8 DAY YOGA JOURNEY
This amazing trip is designed for yoga groups of 10-12 people. It is organized at a slower place with the intention of giving your group time to have twice daily yoga sessions.
Day 1: WELCOME, TRANSFER AND ACCLIMATION
Arrive in Cusco(70 minute flight from Lima) where you will be met by your guide at the airport. You will then be transferred by private van to your accommodations in the Sacred Valley. Cusco is at an elevation of 11,150 feet while the hotel sits at an elevation of 9,400 feet. Immediate transfer to the Sacred Valley will allow for ease of acclimation.
Leaving Cusco, we get views of snow capped mountains and descend into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, following the Urubamba river through fertile farmlands and bustling towns to reach the serene retreat of Sach’a Munay (http://www.sachamunay.org/) or similar location in the Sacred Valley where you will stay at the hacienda adjacent to the facility. Drink Coca tea, rest, acclimate, relax, have an afternoon yoga class and re-convene for a welcome dinner with a concert of local folkloric music.
Included: lodging, dinner with concert of traditional folkloric music, private transport from the airport, use of yoga studio
Day 2: VISIT TO PISAC WITH HIKING AND SPIRITUAL CEREMONY
After morning yoga and breakfast, we will drive though the stunning scenery of the Sacred Valley for 1 1/2 hours to Pisac where we will visit terraced Inca ruins that are situated on a mountain. From here, there are amazing views of the Sacred Valley and there will be free time for yoga here if desired. Learn about the religious, astronomical and military functions of the site and see the terraces that allowed the Incas to grow food above 11,000 feet. After visiting the Inca ruins, there will be a chance to hike on a little known, seldom used original Inca trail and through a tunnel that was build by the Incas. Your guide will then perform a spiritual ceremony while overlooking Pisac, thanking Pachamama for life, food, love, and family, all while feeling the energy of the Inca ruins and Sacred Valley.
We will have lunch in PIsac and then visit the handicraft market in the town to buy things such as ceramics, jewelry, and weaving.
You will then be transferred back to Sach’a munay or similar location where there will be time to relax and for afternoon or evening yoga before dinner.
Day 3: SACRED VALLEY: LOCAL MARKET, FARM, CERAMICS AND CHICHA
After yoga and breakfast at the hacienda, Valentin will take you on a guided tour of a market in his hometown of Urubamba. This is not a tourist market, but instead is a market where locals go to buy and sell vegetables, chilies, and some of the over 3000 varieties of potatoes that grow in Peru. Learn about and see the corn that is used to make chicha, a fermented corn drink that was produced by the Incas and is still drunk by locals today. Buy fresh and local produce that will be taken to Valentin’s family farm in Yanahuara and will be prepared for you for lunch.
While lunch is being prepared, we have the option to visit the workshop and gallery of an amazing local potter, Pablo Seminario http://www.ceramicaseminario.com/en/
We will then drive to Valentin’s farm where we will tour the farm and fruit orchards, learn about and taste local produce, cut alfalfa to feed the guinea pigs (which are a delicacy for locals!), drink Chicha and then have lunch with his family with produce that we purchased at the market earlier that morning. Option to do yoga outside at the farm if desired or return to Sach’a munay or similar location for evening class.
Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, private transport, snacks, yoga
Day 4: SALT MINES, MORAY, PACHAMANCA, LOCAL SCHOOL VISIT
After morning yoga and breakfast at the hacienda, we start our day with a tour of Maras, a collection of salt mines that have been used since pre-Inca times to evaporate salt from an underground stream. It is truly a breathtaking site. We then continue on to Moray, where you can do yoga on the terrace, looking down below to contemplate the concentric circles that made up an Incan agricultural laboratory. Hike down into the archaeological site with a private guided tour of the ruins.
After lunch we will travel to the home of a local family. Lunch will be prepared by a loal chef. We will have a chance to learn about the Pachamanca that comes from the Quechua words “Pacha” or earth and “Manka” or pot. Lunch will be prepared in this oven of hot stones, covered in earth and we will have lunch with his family.
After lunch, we will travel to the village of Chinchero and visit a weaving cooperative that was founded by a local woman to allow the women of the surrounding mountain villages to be self -sufficient. By having this gathering place, knowledge of ancient Incan weaving techniques can be passed down to younger generations. Here we will see a demonstration by local women and have a chance to purchase some of their amazing textiles.
Transfer back to Sach’a munay or similar location in time for relaxation and afternoon or early evening yoga.
Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, entrance to Maras, snacks, private transport, and yoga studio
Day 5: CUSCO CITY TOUR
Morning yoga and breakfast followed by private transfer to Cusco (1-½ hours).
In Cusco, your guide will lead you on a tour of the most important historical sites. We will start the day by visiting the bustling San Pedro market, where many Cusqueños start their day. We will stop to have coffee or tea and take a tour of the stands that sell everything from fruits and vegetables, meats and medicinal plants.
We will then go to the Plaza de Armas and the main cathedral where you can see a painting of the last supper where they are eating guinea pig. We will also will give you a tour of Corikancha, which was the most sacred Inca temple dedicated to Inti, the sun God. When the Spaniards arrived to Cusco, they demolished the temple, using the existing foundation on which to build a colonial church. We will then have lunch in a local restaurant.
After lunch, we will drive 15 minutes to the Unesco world heritage site of Sacsayhuaman. Located on a steep outcropping overlooking Cusco, this Inca site is composed of massive boulders held together without mortar. It was an important site for military and ceremonial purposes and there is a central large plateau where the group can do yoga if desired.
Return to Sacred Valley for the afternoon or evening yoga and dinner.
Included: breakfast, dinner, entrance to Cathedral and Corikancha, hotel, private transport
Not included: lunch, Entrance to Sacsayhuaman (covered by boleto turistico)
Day 6: OLLANTAYTAMBO AND TRANSFER TO AGUAS CALIENTES
After yoga and breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to Ollantaytambo, which was the lodging of the Inca emperor Pachacuti and later served as a military checkpoint for the Incas trying to protect the roads to Machu Picchu from the invading Spaniards. Enjoy a guided tour of the terraced ruins, fountains and aqueducts and see storage houses that were used by the Incas to maximize winds to keep crops cool and preserved. We will then have lunch and have time to wander the streets of one of the oldest towns in Peru, where many 15th century Inca buildings still stand today.
After lunch we will board the Vistadome train for a 2-hour journey to the town of Aguas Calientes, which is the base for visiting Machu Picchu. Large glass windows and ceilings allow for spectacular views of the countryside. Arrive in Aguas Calientes in time to visit the local hot springs before having dinner in town. There will be time to wander around the town on your own as well.
Included: breakfast, snacks, train tickets to Aguas Calientes, entrance to hot springs, Tierra viva machu picchu or similar caliber hotel (http://tierravivahoteles.com/tierra-viva-machu-picchu)
Not included: lunch, dinner Lodging: Aguas Calientes as above
DAY 7: THE ICING ON THE CAKE: MACHU PICCHU!
Today is the day when you will get to visit the site that many people dream about seeing. We will have a very early am departure at 4:30am, when we will catch the 30 minute bus, allowing us to reach Machu Picchu for sunrise. We will climb to a viewpoint of the ruins in order to do yoga overlooking the citadel while the sun is rising. After stopping to take photos, Valentin will give a 2-3 hour guided tour of Machu Picchu. We will then take a break to rest and for snacks. There is an option to hike up to the Inti Punku or sun gate, which used to be the main entrance to Machu Picchu and offers phenomenal views of the entire site.
You will then have two hours of free time to explore on your own before taking the bus back down to the town of Aguas Calientes where we will have lunch and then take a mid afternoon Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy and will then drive back to Cusco where we will spend the night.
Included: breakfast, snacks, bus to and from Machu Picchu, train back to Ollantaytambo, and private transfer back to Cusco. Lodging: Tierra Viva Cusco Plaza or similar caliber hotel Not Included: Lunch and dinner
Day 8: CUSCO FREE DAY, FAREWELL LUNCH, TRANSFER TO LIMA
Morning yoga at a studio in Cusco-- http://healinghousecusco.com/ or Inbound Yoga Cusco http://yogacusco.com/ or Yoga Room Cusco http://www.yogaroomcusco.com/. Enjoy a free day in Cusco. Here you have the opportunity to visit a myriad of museum and markets or you can wander the cobble stone streets and charming shops of the San Blas artistic district. You can then have an afternoon yoga class at a yoga studio in Cusco and we will all meet up for final farewell late lunch in Cusco before transferring to the airport.
Lodging: Tierra Viva Cusco Plaza or similar
Included: breakfast and late lunch, yoga studio, transfer to the airport
Price: Contact us for pricing, will depend on the size of your group and the kind of accomodations you desire