CUZCO – You will be met at the airport and taken to our hotel to check in and relax. Consider this day a time of relaxation and integration, adjusting to the altitude. In the evening, we share a welcome dinner together, get acquainted and learn about the days to come. A short walk from our hotel we will be introduced to the city of Cuzco by night, the Plaza de Armas and the historical buildings in the square. Check into a cafe for a hot chocolate, or people watch. Often, there is a parade or other colorful festivity taking place.
TIPON: Outside of Cuzco up a winding dirt road, at the top of a mountain, lies the lush and magical site of Tipon with its purifying and uplifting waters. Water flowing from the top and through the left of the site is said to be the merging of the female and male energies. It is also said to be a representation of the original Inca Empire – Chile, Equador, Peru and Bolivia. A welcoming and cleansing ceremony is performed to enhance our serenity and peace and connect us to Peru.
ANDAHUAYLAS: Known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Andes”, the 17th Century church is resplendent with outstanding gold leaf frescoes, an impressive doorway and a gilded altar. The church also houses fine paintings by Riano, Diego Quispe, Tito and Tadeo Escalante, as well as some anonymous artists and possibly the great Spanish painter Murillo. A charming town square is the setting for Andahuaylas.
CULTURAL IMMERSION: Early this morning we leave Cuzco, drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas and up to a remote mountain village where we spend an unforgettable day within a Peruvian community. Learn how the people work and play – dance, make music and art – learn their history and traditions and contemporary concerns. We are served a traditional dinner and bask in the open-hearted kindness of the people.
MORAY: Moray resembles a sunken amphitheater with circular terraces carved deep into the earth. Theories about the use of these circular earth sculptures are many an varied.
OLLANTAYTAMBO: the Incan Temple of the Sun is also known as The Pyramid of Pakaritambo, or The Dawning Place of Tomorrow. It is also known as Temple of Love – and that vibration can be felt in this place. Take your time to see and experience the many facets of this site. Springs with flowing waters grace this site and have a calming effect. Inca structures and streets wait for us to explore on a walk later in the day.
We have a lunch in town and return to Cuzco.
In the evening we have a talk on weaving from an internationally recognized expert on Peruvian textiles.
CHINCERO: We visit the native market in an area of the town below the old square. This lush colorful market offers a wonderful generous taste of the colors, smells and sounds of Peru. Above the market is a small village surrounded by ancient haucas (natural temples of stone), waterfalls and caves to explore and enjoy.
“And so I climbed the Earth ladder, through the awful labyrinth of lost jungles, up to you, Machu Picchu.” Pablo Neruda, Heights of Machu Picchu, 1950.
MACHU PICCHU: The early morning Vistadome train takes us to Machu Picchu amidst the breathtaking views of the lush Urubamba Valley. The sacred crystal city of Machu Picchu, known as the Eighth Wonder of the World awaits. The total meaning and the varied uses of Machu Picchu are still unknown; why it was built and what purpose it served, who lived there and when they departed and why. It is widely agreed that the main intent of this stunning city, sometimes steeped in rain forest clouds, was a spiritual and ceremonial place for the Incas—although they were latecomers to this island in the sky. Clearly, its creators intended the journey to the sacred city to be a powerful experience for anyone who makes the pilgrimage. The fairytale ruins amongst the peaks of mountains, buffered by forests and deep gorges—surrounded by the swirling Milky Way in the sky matching the course of the Urubamba River are extraordinary. The structures and ceremonial sites are breathtakingly beautiful and rich with the heartbeat of Pachamama (Mother Earth).
Today we will walk the site and get oriented. You may discover places that feel special to you, call to you, or are your personal power spots.
Lunch at the Orient Express Sanctuary Hotel at Machu Picchu’s entrance.
MACHU PICCHU: You may choose to greet this magnificent site at the break of day, before the main influx of people and tour groups. When the grass is still wet with dew you overlook the pristine Crystal City of Machu Picchu laid out in the image of a condor or walk to the Sun Gate on the old Inca Trail—or explore on your own to your heart’s content. This is your time with Machu Picchu and there are endless areas to explore and connect with this mystical place. Our train leaves late this afternoon to return to Cuzco.
CUZCO: You will love this charming, warm, welcoming delightful colonial city. The city of Cuzco was laid out in the form of a Puma with Saqsaywaman as the head. Our walking tour of Cuzco introduces us to the area; learn to navigate from our hotel to the square, shops, restaurants and other points of interest.
HATUN RUMIYOC STREET: Close to our hotel, we step onto the best known street in the city. One of its cut-stone walls features the famous 12-cornered stone, which was once part of the ancient palace of Inca Roca, one of the rulers of Tahuantinsuyo or Incan Empire. This lively street is a gateway to the picturesque San Blas quarter at one end and the Main Square at the other.
QORICANCHA – TEMPLE OF THE SUN: Cuzco means “navel” or “left” and was considered by the Inca and their predecessors to be the center of the universe. Qoricancha (“site of gold”) houses the Sun Temple, the most important temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun.
PLAZA DE ARMAS: Known in Inca times as Huacaypata, or “the warriors’ square”. Events in Cusco’s history: it was here that the conquistador Francisco Pizarro declared Cusco under Spanish occupation; it was here that Túpac Amaru I, leader of the indigenous resistance movement, was killed. The spectacular Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun) was hosted here. Beneath the now existing churches and cathedrals are the temples of the Inca and those who came before them. The Cathedral: Large slabs of granite taken from the Inca fortress at Saqsaywaman were used to build the cathedral between 1560 and 1664. One of the most imposing structures in Cuzco, Its façade, built in Renaissance style in contrast to the Baroque and silver of its lavish interior. The cathedral houses important collections of gold and silver work of the colonial period, elaborately engraved wooden altars and a beautiful collection of oil on canvas paintings from the Escuela Cuzqueña (Cuzco School). The Del Triunfo church, a small auxiliary chapel, was built in 1539 on top of the palace of Inca Wiracocha. These are a couple of our walking tour stops. Cuzco has much to offer in its historic district – we will see what else the group might like to explore.
SAQSAYWAMAN: Located just above Cuzco, colossal stones laid out like lightning bolts across the mountaintop have stories to tell going back into the distant past, before the Incas. The ancients understood that the stones would be the one thing to remain after everything else was gone. Ancient/Future wisdom is vibrating in the stones and accessible to those who visit this amazing place. The city of Cuzco is laid out in the shape of the Puma and this site is the head of the Puma.
QENKO: In Quecha the word Qenko means “zigzag” – a perfect description of the nature of this site zigzag cave and its mysterious altars carved from rock. Take your time here, although a relatively small site, it is steeped in mystery and meaning.
FAREWELL DINNER this evening.
Our Final Day in Cuzco! Depending upon the time your flight leave, you may have time to shop, enjoy and explore more of Cuzco. We say our good-byes to old and new friends and welcome the changes conscious travel can bring into our lives.
NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions within Peru and other factors we cannot pre-determine.
HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR PERU JOURNEY:
- Arrive in Cuzco and everything is provided.
- Cultural Immersion
- Community visit and time with locals.
- Small intimate groups
- Slow easy pace
- Plenty of free time to explore at your own pace.
- 4 & 5 Star Accommodations
- Upgrades available.
- Vistadome train to Machu Picchu with lunch at the Orient Express Sanctuary Hotel
- We visit sites at times and locations away from the crowds, whenever possible.
- Walk, read, take photographs, write, meditate, explore or simply relax and soak in the healing of the earth and ancient sites we visit.
- There is no guide or leader telling you what is important for you to do, see or understand.
- There are no “optional” portions of the journey that cost you more money to experience.
- There are no enforced shopping expeditions.
- We do not use commercial tour providers who have a hurried agenda—we go at our own pace in private transportation.
- We support you to trust that your intuition and personal wisdom will guide you.
- We do not adopt or profess or put forth any belief systems, dogma or “way” of being.
- People of all ages, religions, nationalities and belief systems are welcomed and honored. We encourage cultural diversity.
- Environments and opportunities to assist you in connecting more deeply with your inner self, the sites, hidden histories, ancestors – whatever your particular interest might be.
- Peruvian natives, spiritual practitioners and ceremonialists join our group to share about their culture and conduct ceremonies.
- We support eco-friendly practices.
EXTENSION TO BOLIVIA JULY 23-25, 2018
Those who wish to explore Tiahaunaco will leave Cuzco early in the day on July 23rd. We will stay in La Paz, with time to explore the city that day. Next morning we take private transportation to Tiahuanaco where we will spend the day. Evening in LaPaz and you return home via Lima the 25th. This is a short extension, but the site will stay with you forever.
Plan for your international flight from home to arrive in Lima early A.M. Flights continuing to Cuzco usually leave before noon. In Cuzco we meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel for check-in, refreshment and a little relaxation. Please speak to us before booking your flights and we will be happy to assist with your travel arrangements.
Luminous Antonio is the Founder and CEO of the Integrative Archaeology Foundation (501 c3). She is a researcher and scribe of ancient archaeological sites and sacred places, their energies, mysteries and hidden histories. The mission of the Integrative Archaeology Foundation is to provide education through events, media, immersion into indigenous cultures and interactions with wisdom keepers to broaden perspective and create cooperative and sustainable models for living.
Integrative Archaeology is a personal, multi-sensory personal exploration to discover hidden origins, histories, practices, customs, stories and deeper meanings beyond the material evidence of ancient and prehistoric civilizations and cultures. Personal, historical and spiritual meanings may emerge.
Luminous is the author of four books on ancient archaeological sites including INTEGRATIVE ARCHAEOLOGY—the essential guide for explorers of sacred sites and power places. We invite change into our lives when we travel to ancient places.