Additional Trip Information
This trip has been designed so that you might visit the incredible power places of the Inca people and further your own spiritual growth and understanding. Mallku will lead us in rituals, meditations and ceremonies at some of the most beautiful and most powerful sites on the planet. You will have the opportunity to experience the spiritual and ceremonial side of Peruvian culture through Mallku’s unique vision and teaching.
This tour is open to everyone who is reasonably fit and healthy. The biggest physical challenge of this trip is the adjustment to the altitude. Mallku has arranged it so that we spend the first few days getting used to the altitude outside of Cusco in the Sacred Valley. When we return to Cusco (11,000’) after we visit Machu Piccu (8,000’) we will be somewhat acclimatized. There are no physically demanding walks on this trip. The longest walks are downhill, and if you needed to avoid them, you would be able to. It is important, however, that you be able to go up and down steps. This trip is ideal for anyone who is interested in sacred sites and geometry and the power places of the world.
Traveling in Peru is an amazing experience. The land and people are unique, the Andes are breathtaking in their ruggedness and vertical scale, and the people are open and friendly. We will be interacting with Peruvians who are keenly involved in helping the land and its people celebrate their heritage.
Mallku makes this trip unique. He has dedicated his life to telling the history of the Inca people from the native perspective. He will lead us to Inca sites both on and off the ‘beaten path.’
Mallku’s reverence for Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the civilizations who have inhabited the Andes is evident at every turn. As we travel to sacred sites he explains the historical, cultural, and spiritual importance of the site and its symbols. He celebrates the sacred aspects of the site, not just the tourist attractions. We will have the opportunity to take part in ceremonies much as the Incas did in their time.
After gathering together in Lima on July 27th and resting up from our international flights in our Lima 5 star Hotel, we will fly out to Cusco, on the morning of July 28. The city has a population of about 300,000, triple the figure of 20 years ago. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cusco, its altitude is around 11,500 feet. It is the historic capital of the sun-worshiping Inca empire. In deference to this rapid change to high altitude we will immediately board our bus and head down some 2000 feet to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Its agreeable climate and fertile plains make a rare and fruitful site in the high Andes. It was also the route to the jungle and therefore an area with access to the fruits and plants of the tropical lowlands. Today the Sacred Valley remains a lush agricultural region supplying the city of Cusco with much of its produce including maize, fruit and vegetables.
On the way to the Sacred valley we will visit Chinchero, a small Andean Indian village located high up on the windswept plains of Anta about 20 miles from Cusco and visit the amazing Earth Altar. We will also visit the Hatun Chinkana, a magical place that is considered the ‘brain’ of Pachamama (Mother Earth.) There are beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the snow-capped peak of Salkantay dominating the western horizon. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow.
We will overnight in a beautiful garden hotel compound in the sacred valley where we were treated to a visit from a 7 inch hummingbird during our last trip.
On the morning of July 29th we will visit Moray, an ancient Inka experimental garden with circular terraces used to create micro climates to study the domestication and hybridization of a wide array of vegetable species. Our Andean master, Mallku, will instruct us in walking exercises and a meditation in the center circle of this amazing power center. Afterwards we continue on to the salt mines of Maras, amazing ponds terraced down the Andean mountainside, which are still in use today. Since pre-Inka times, salt has been harvested in Maras by evaporating salty water which flows out of the mountain, leaving the salt behind in a vast number of evaporating ponds. In the afternoon we explore the sanctuary of Ollantaytambo , where the buildings still retain the original architecture of the Inkas. We will have an opportunity to enter one of the homes and see how the people have lived for hundreds of years. Our climb to the top takes us to the Sun Temple , whose huge red porphyry blocks were placed overlooking the village and the Sacred River. We will be staying overnight again in the Sacred Valley.
On the morning of July 30 we will meet some of the Andean people visiting communities who are preserving the art of weaving. In the afternoon we will visit the Inka site of Pisac, considered an archaeological treasure, which is spread across the entire mountain behind the village of the same name. We will drive to the top, from where we can hike downhill past ancient sites and burial grounds along an amazing trail with breathtaking views. When arrive at an Inka temple, Intiwatana, we have a ceremony, and then continue to a place where our bus has driven to meet us while we were enjoying one of the most beautiful walks in this region.
On July 31 we will board a train and ride down into the rainforest to Aguas Calientes, where we will check into our hotel before visiting the famed city of Machu Picchu, which Mallku refers to as the Crystal City, the Rainbow City, the City of the Condor and the Hummingbird, the City of Peace, and the City of Light. The legendary beauty of this magnificent city defies description. The village appears to have grown right out of the top of the mountain. Mallku will explain that this was the only major Inca village not found by the Spanish invaders. There are many trails and power sites to explore here, and we will have the opportunity for ceremony. Mallku will guide us through the ruins, offering his invaluable insights on the various temples and shamanic centers. Later that day we will take the bus back down to the village of Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu. During the evening you will have the opportunity to bathe in the hot springs for which the town is named so bring a bathing suit.
Early on the morning of August 1st we return to Machu Picchu to spend the day there, either taking part in a ceremony, hiking up Wayna Picchu, or spending the day in quiet introspection. We return to Cusco on an afternoon train and bus, spending the night in what the Inkas referred to as the "navel of the world."
On the morning of August 2nd we will visit Tipon, an ancient agricultural site with many terraces and an intricate irrigation system that runs along the Temple of the Water. We will stop in Cusco for lunch and then move on to visit Amaru Machay, The Cave of the Serpents and Q'enqo, the sacred place of the Puma. Our guide Mallku is a specialist in Q'enqo and its rich lore and history. We will then continue to Saqsaywaman, a huge, stunning site which holds the great house of the Sun, where the head of the Puma of Cusco resides. Its megalithic, zigzag stone walls were pieced together with amazing skill, drawing the Snake and other Andean symbols, like a lightening bolt across a great field. We will subsequently return to Cusco .
On August 3rd we will spend the morning at our leisure in Cusco and late in the afternoon we enjoy a nice ceremony with drums and other celebrations.
On August 4th we will move by bus to Puno visiting sacred sites along the way including the magnificent Temple of Wiracocha . We will arrive at our hotel near Puno in the late afternoon. Thus begins the Lake Titikaka portion of the trip. This amazing deep blue lake, 120 miles in length with an average width of 30 miles, is the largest lake in South America and the largest in the world above 6500 feet. Lake Titicaca was, according to Andean legend, the birthplace of civilization. Wiracocha, the creator god, brought light into a dark world by directing the Sun, Moon and stars to rise up out of the lake and take their place in the sky. With time the Sun and Moon had children who also rose from the depths of the lake. These new people were sent out from Titicaca to the four corners of the earth, with Manco Capac and his sister-wife Mama Ocllo and their family clan being sent off to inhabit the Cusco region. Inca legend believed that Manco was the first Inca and a direct descendent from the Sun. On
August 5th we will discover the ancient AIMARA altars as we walk the sacred path on the Magical Serpent and explore the Ajayu Marka, a dimensional world with its doors. We will then continue to Copamaya for a salutation to the spirit of Titikaka and at the end of the afternoon, visit the Temple of Fertility. We will stay overnight in Puno.
On the morning of August 6th we will cross the highest navigable lake in the world to the island of Amantani. The hillsides, which are mostly worked by hand, are terraced with stone walls and planted with wheat, quinoa, potatoes, and other vegetables. Livestock, including alpaca, also graze the slopes. The inhabitants of Amantaní are known for their textiles, as well as their ceramics. Most of the inhabitants live in houses of adobe. The spiritual leader of the community will led us in a power offering for Pachamama. We will spend the night in the homes of some of the local inhabitants. There are two mountain peaks on the island, Pachatata (Father Earth) and Pachamama (Mother Earth), with ancient Inca and Tiwanaku ruins on top of both. Early in the morning of
August 7th we ascend to the temples of Pachatata and Pachamama where we present our offering to Pachamama and to life. After lunch we return to the mainland and then on to Puno. The rest of the afternoon will be free to explore Puno.
On the Morning of August 8th we will visit the Andean Taj Majal at SILLUSTANI, another sacred site for our closing ritual and circle, then move to the airport for our flight to Lima . If you are flying out that night, you will be taken directly to the airport. If your flight is the next day, you will be transferred to your hotel in Lima for that night.
On August 9th transportation to the airport if you have spent the night in Lima will be provided for your international flight home.
Travel to LIMA - PERU
You need to book your own travel arrangements into Lima and return from Lima to your country of departure. We can help you organize international travel if you like.
Our package takes you from July 27th to the morning of August 8.
We can arrange extra nights at the Lima hotel, if you wish before and/or after our tour package. (See the registration form for more information on this.)
The trip price includes all transfers upon your arrival to Lima. Domestic airfare is included between Lima and Cusco and between Juliaca and Lima, as is all other transportation including trains, buses, coaches. Entrance fees to various sites are included. Accomodation in three star hotels is included. Note that when we are on Amantani Island we will stay in the homes of local inhabitants. Room fees are based on two people per room. If you would like a room to yourself, a single supplement is available and priced below. Daily breakfast is included, as are nine other meals. In addition, trip fees include all meditations, ceremonies, and shamanic experiences, as well as all costs associated with expert guides.
Extra night's accommodation in Lima are available at our Lima 5 star hotel.
Single room US $70.00/room.
Twin occupancy US $ 90.00/room
You may, of course, arrange extra nights yourself at other hotels.
The trip price does not include international airfare or airport taxes associated with international or domestic departures. The price does not include meals except for breakfast and nine others as specified. Beverages with meals, both alcoholic and non alcoholic are on your own. Tips for guides and drivers are not included.
Individual Cost (2 to a room) $2686.00
Single Supplement ($565.00)
Extra nights in Lima $70.00 US/single/$90.00 double
Deposit $500 is NON REFUNDABLE
Up to two months before the trip begins, full refund minus $500 deposit.
After two month window has expired, there will be no refunds .
We reserve the right to modify the tour in order to provide the best experience for the group but we will follow the intent of the original itinerary.
Please only bring one suitcase, and one carry-on bag with you.
Please check weight restrictions with your particular airline. When we go to Machu Picchu we will leave our large bags in Cusco, as there is not much room on the train, and you will be carrying your bag from the train to the hotel. Have a small daypack ready for this purpose, and be ready to travel especially light for two days.
We strongly recommend that you purchase your own personal, medical and travel insurance. For travel insurance prices go to www.insuremytrip.com . Please check with your doctor for any medical requirements, especially regarding altitude sickness. Although most people suffer from headaches at high altitudes, others can become quite ill. There are local medicines available, should you have symptoms of altitude sickness, which will be available at your own expense.
Things to Bring Along on the Trip
Please check with your airlines regarding baggage allowances, as it seems to vary from one airline to the other, and seems to change all the time these days. Last year, going to Peru, I was ok with a carry - on regarding weight when I was traveling from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles, but when I changed to the international terminal, and tried to get on LAN to Lima, suddenly the rules had changed, and they decided to check my bag. Be forewarned!
Please keep in mind that when we take the train ride to Aguas Calientes, we will want to pack very lightly for two nights. We will leave most of our stuff with Mallku’s office in Cusco. So - you will want a daypack that is big enough to get you through the next day and a half, or you can share a carry on bag with someone you are traveling with. There is not a lot of room on this truly spectacular train ride, (packed with people just like us!) and, as there are no cars in Aguas Calientes, you will be carrying your bag uphill to the hotel.
In general we will be in a vehicle driving to places, then walking around, so a daypack of some sort is handy for the things you will need during the day. Some people like fanny packs for easy access to water, sunscreen, etc.
When we return to Cusco following our trip to Aguas Calientes, there will be an opportunity to do laundry, (or have it done), so you really do not need a massive wardrobe. It will be winter in Peru. The guidebooks say that the highs average around 70 degrees. It will get cold at night – so be prepared to layer your clothing to go in either direction. There are fabulous sweaters to buy in Peru, so don’t panic!
Pants - 2 or 3 pairs (some people like the zip off into shorts kind, but I do not think heat is going to be a major issue for this trip!)
Long underwear – silk, capilene, or whatever - a pre-cautionary measure. It came in handy in April.
Rain jacket/wind breaker and pants – rain should not be a huge issue at this time of year, but I would still have it along
Fleece pullover, sweatshirt, sweater
Fleece jacket – to layer under rain jacket/wind breaker
Shirts – 2 long sleeved, 2 short sleeved- or just think about what it is you like to wear
Walking shoes – I personally do not think you need proper hiking boots as they are so heavy and take up so much space, and we are not going to be doing particularly demanding hiking. We will be up and down a lot of steps in the ruins, but a short ankle height walking shoe or ‘light’ hiking shoe just might do it. Having said that, however, some people had proper boots last year. It just depends on your ankles! If you choose to bring boots, you might want to wear them on the plane so as not to take up half of your suitcase! You might want another lighter pair of shoes for walking around the towns at night.
Gloves and hat for cool mornings
Bathing Suit – for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
One outfit that is a bit dressier than the rest, in case we want to see some music in a restaurant in Cusco, or go out to dinner in Lima
Daypack, fanny pack - Do not worry about ‘Camelback’ style water devices, as all of the water you will be drinking will be coming from bottles. Last year we had ‘Camelbacks’ and they were not at all helpful, as the part that goes into your mouth seemed to end up on the floor a lot, and this was not a good thing
Walking Sticks – Not absolutely necessary, but some people swear by them. If you use one, make sure it has a rubber tip, as metal tips are not allowed in and on the Inca ruins, especially at the bigger places like Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo
Money belt or money pouch for around your neck
Sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
Toiletries, Personal Medications – Soap, shampoo (not always provided), toothpaste
Grapefruit Seed Extract – These are antibacterial drops you put in your drinking water, and really help. You can get them at health food stores.
First Aid kit – band aids, Second Skin, etc. for blisters, Pepto Bismol, (don’t leave home without it!), etc. Please note that you can get prescription strength medicines, including anti-diarrheals in the local drugstores.
Altitude medication – Some people swear by Cell Food, available at your local health food store. You may want to check with your doctor regarding other prescription medications.
Hand Disinfectant – Sometimes the larger ones are sold along with the pocket size, which is great. The small one fits everywhere, and you can refill it from the larger as necessary.
Ear plugs- there are a lot of firecrackers at dawn as saints are celebrated
Travel Size Kleenex – you never know when you might run out of toilet paper!
Sewing repair kit
Plastic zip loc bags in various sizes always seem to come in handy for something
Flash light or small head lamp
Travel alarm clock
Notebook, pens, journal
Favorite teas or coffee - South Americans think instant coffee is the best thing since sliced bread, so if coffee is your ‘drug of choice’, you might want to think about bringing your own, or plan on having a personal crisis! One woman had her own drip filter last year…
Favorite snacks, granola bars, etc. There will also be the opportunity to buy some along the way
Xerox copies of your passport Leave one with a friend at home. Give one to me, and another to someone on the trip. And keep some for yourself, spread out amongst your things. You may also want to make copies of your credit cards.
Spanish English Dictionary – always useful in a Spanish speaking country!
Contact information – There are Internet cafés everywhere, so bring your email addresses with you
ATM cards – you can get cards just for your trip- that are preloaded with cash, so you will not jeopardize your entire checking account should you lose the card
Cash – We found the best rates last year right at the airport in Los Angeles. Moneychangers abound on just about every corner, and Mallku will take us to the good ones. Please note that Peruvians will not accept dirty, or torn US dollars, or even ones with writing on them - so make sure the ones you get from your bank are as new as possible. $300 - $400 is recommended . You can also access ATMs in the larger cities.
Shots/Immunizations – Nothing is required coming from the US. A tetanus booster, or making sure yours is up to date, is a good idea. Some people recommend the Hepatitis A vaccine. Check with your doctor.
Visas – Not necessary for Americans at this point in time. You might want to check to see if anything has changed prior to our trip.