Vibrant Peru Journey 2023
July 1, 2023
Vibrant Peru Journey 2023
Hiking, Cultural Connections, Well-being, and Andean Cuisine
with Annie Barrett, M.A. and Steve Scheuerell, Ph.D
July 1 - July 12, 2023
THIS TRIP IS ALMOST FULL! CONTACT US IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN JOINING.
Join a group of travel enthusiasts and explore the ancient wonders, cultural traditions, breathtaking landscapes and welcoming people of the Cusco region of Peru. Visit highland Quechua communities, Incan ruin sites, local farms and landscapes that have been lived in for more than 10,000 years. Stay in charming Andean towns with vibrant markets and savor delicious Andean cuisine. Enjoy hikes through the cultural landscapes of the Inca's Sacred Valley and surrounding mountains that promise rejuvenation, engagement, and awe. Take part in daily yoga sessions for refreshment and well-being. As retreat leaders, we bring Spanish speaking fluency and a passion for knowing the people and places of the Sacred Valley, to the point of having created a home and gardens here. Join us, Annie Barrett, bilingual educator, yoga teacher and wellness coach, and Steve Scheuerell, college professor with years of experience teaching and leading groups in Peru, for an unforgettable adventure in the Andes.
Highlights of this trip include:
- Visiting Machu Picchu and several other Incan archaeological sites
- Hiking in the breathtaking Andean landscape
- Visiting the communities and homes of Quechua highland people
- Walking through vibrant markets with local produce and handicrafts
- Harvesting potatoes and roasting them in earthen ovens in the field
- Savoring unique and exquisite farm to table local cuisine
- Enjoying yoga and well-being programs
- Interacting with local artisans, guides, and Andean experts
- Spending time with other like-minded travel enthusiasts
Who is trip designed for and what should one expect?
Crafted with the adventurer in mind, this trip is designed for active, fit travelers.
Physical Condition: Regular physical preparation and good health is required. Walking and hiking on uneven surfaces is required to fully explore the region. Participants should be prepared to walk up to 6 miles on our active hiking days and be comfortable walking up and down extensive flights of steps found at all archaeological sites.
Places we'll visit: Tourist attractions, archaeological sites, natural parks, and rural communities.
Height and Geography: Travelers should be prepared for elevation. Cusco sits at 11,400 feet. The Sacred Valley is between 9,000 and 10,000 feet, and our lowest site is Machu Picchu at 8,000 feet.
See itinerary below for more details on activities.
The trip package includes:
- 11 nights accommodation
- Transport to and from Cusco airport
- Regional transportation, including train to Machu Picchu
- Retreat leaders and local guides
- Daily well-being sessions
- Daily tours and activities per itinerary
- Entrance tickets to all itinerary sites
- Tips for guides, hotels, and restaurants, etc.
- All meals except two lunches and one dinner
- Bottled water and snacks
The trip package does not include:
- Airfare to Cusco International Airport
- Two lunches and one dinner
- Alcoholic drinks beyond one per meal
- Personal items, souvenirs
- Single occupancy: $3600
- Shared occupancy $3300
A $500 deposit is due at the time of registration to confirm your booking.
12 Days, 11 Nights
Day 1 - Saturday July 1
Arrival in Cusco. A van will meet you at the Cusco airport and bring you to the town of Pisac, a 45-minute scenic drive down into the Sacred Valley and to our home base and guest houses where we will begin our journey together. Pisac is home to spectacular Incan temples and terraces, a thriving artisan market, and great hiking. We will gather together for dinner at our house, Ccatachacra, and preview trip details.
Day 2 - Sunday July 2
Optional morning wellbeing session followed by breakfast. After breakfast, we will walk through the fascinating Pisac Sunday Market and then continue along the Incan corn terraces to Ccatachacra Farm (Steve and Annie’s Pisac home) where we will learn about native tubers, grains, and fruits, then have a delicious lunch of local ingredients al fresco amidst views of the Sacred Valley and surrounding mountains. After lunch you are free to relax or wander the extensive artisan market in Pisac before meeting up for dinner.
Day 3 - Monday July 3
Optional morning wellbeing session followed by breakfast. After breakfast, we will visit the extensive Incan site above Pisac. We will van or walk (your choice) up to the local community of Viacha, a traditional Quechua village seated above the Pisac Ruins. Our local guides, Angelica and Rodrigo, will show us their community and how they subsist at such high elevation. We will learn about their agriculture traditions and harvest activities of late June, share coca leaves, and enjoy a typical lunch of field roasted potatoes (huatia), Andean cheese, and delicious condiments. We will return to Pisac for dinner.
Day 4 - Tuesday July 4
Optional morning wellbeing session followed by breakfast and a day excursion above the town of Pisac to a lovely lake called Kinsa Kocha. From there we will walk several miles to the community of Amaru and likely see llamas and alpacas. In Amaru we will join our friends for lunch at their house and learn about traditional weaving. If interested, this is the best place to buy exquisite woven textiles directly from the weavers. We will return to Pisac for dinner.
Day 5 - Wednesday July 5
Optional wellbeing session followed by breakfast. After breakfast, we pack up and leave Pisac, driving an hour down the Sacred Valley where we will visit a thriving agricultural market in Urubamba. We’ll walk through town to see how locals live and shop in the bustling valley town of Urubamba. Then, we will continue down the valley to a restored hacienda on the edge of the river where we will enjoy a buffet lunch with diverse Peruvian specialties. After lunch, we’ll drive 20 minutes to the Incan fortress town of Ollantaytambo. Here we stay in the old Incan part of town, walking pedestrian-only streets lined with original stone work and Incan canals en route to our lodge for 4 nights. Dinner together.
Day 6 - Thursday July 6
We will enjoy breakfast and then visit the impressive ruin site of Ollantaytambo, wrapped around the ancient town in the shape of a giant llama with classic stonework, sun calendar, and ceremonial baths. In the afternoon, participants are on their own to relax, explore the original Incan pedestrian ‘streets’ of Ollantaytambo, climb up to Incan granary buildings, and shop and enjoy the plaza. You are welcome to join an afternoon yoga session al fresco in the garden of Apu Lodge. We will meet up in the evening for a delicious dinner in town.
Day 7 - Friday July 7
Day Trip to Machu Picchu! We will rise at dawn and catch the train to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy breakfast on the scenic one hour and a half train trip, traveling along the roaring river between mountain peaks into lush subtropical forest. From Aguas Calientes, we bus up to the entrance of Machu Picchu where we can hike to the top of Machu Picchu mountain and tour the citadel center. Enjoy a picnic lunch and be mesmerized by this amazing place! In the late afternoon we return by bus to Aguas Calientes where participants are on their own for dinner before our group returns by train to Ollantaytambo in the evening.
Day 8 - Saturday July 8
After a long day at Machu Picchu, we will have a leisurely morning with breakfast at Apu Lodge. Spend the day enjoying the town of Ollantaytambo, with options to visit shops and galleries, the Incan ruin site near the river, a hike up valley to Puma Marka Ruins, book a birding or biking tour, or simply wander and relax!. Those who are interested are invited to gather for an afternoon yoga session in the garden of Apu Lodge followed by a group dinner.
Day 9 - Sunday July 9
After breakfast, we will drive to the fascinating Incan agricultural site of Moray. From Moray, we will take impressive mountain vistas and continue on to the Salineras, a vast collection of salt evaporation ponds sculpted into a valley. These have been the regional salt source for thousands of years, still hand worked in the traditional way. After viewing the Salineras, we will then continue to the highland town of Chinchero, home to another fascinating ruin site upon which a colonial church was built. Sunday is their traditional market day and a great place to view and shop. After visiting Chinchero, we will drive to Cusco and our hotel in the San Blas district of Cusco. We’ll arrive with time to wander the cobblestone streets before enjoying a delicious dinner.
Day 10 - Monday July 10
After breakfast, we will visit the immense fitted stones and ceremonial grounds of Quenco and Sacsaywaman that forms the Puma head of Cusco city. Return to Cusco for lunch. Participants have the afternoon free to wander the colonial streets of Cusco. Those who are interested are invited to meet up in the late afternoon for a yoga session followed by dinner.
Day 11 - Tuesday July 11
Last full day! Breakfast followed by a short walk to the main historic plazas and central covered market. The rest of the day offers options for visiting local sites of this fascinating regional capital and center of the ancient Incan world including markets, and museums. We'll gather in the evening for a group dinner.
Day 12 - Wednesday July 12
Departure Day. After breakfast at our hotel, we say our good-byes. The hotel will arrange transport to the airport.