10 Nov Peru Andean Spirit Tour, 8 Days or 12 Days. A unique physical, spiritual, and holistic adventure.
Next Trips: November 2017 and February 2018
In Andean Cosmology, all of life is experienced as a celebration and is perceived as one grand, infinite ceremony. To honor that essence, Venture Outside’s Andean Spirit tour is an off-the beaten path experience that combines physical adventures in the incomparable Andes with full immersion in the ancient spiritual and holistic traditions of the Andean way of being, called Cosmovision.
Experience sublime clarity at Lake Titicaca, and get lost in the mystery at the tombs of Cutimbo. Stay with indigenous families in the high Andes or on an island in the middle of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at 12,500 ft, and brave the cold water for a swim that redefines the word ‘refreshing’. Take part in an ageless tradition by drinking chicha with direct descendants of the Incas. Learn the intricacies and concepts of Inca architecture and weaving in the villages of Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. Dive deep into the mysteries of our true human nature and remember our original essence through spiritual connection at high Andes peaks and passes while learning the language of the Apus, or mountain spirits. Walk portions of the Inca Trail that never see the treads of commercial tourists, take in rarely visited ruins, and soak in traditional volcanic hot springs with the locals. Tap into earth’s raw healing energies, and take part in a traditional Despacho ceremony to remember the connections we share with all our relations, elements, spirits, and sacred places.
Led by a select group of fully-trained Andean shamans, your experience with Venture Outside will set the stage for incredible personal exploration and life-changing transformation. Traditional music will be an integral part of the celebration, as our guides are accomplished Andean flute musicians, and the “soundtrack” will inspire you to even greater heights on your journey with us.
We offer several options to extend our 8-day tour to a two week trip, including:
Andean Ceremony – Single and Multi-day extensions. Explore the most powerful archaeological and spiritual locations in the Cusco area, ancient capital of the Inca Empire, working with Andean Medicine Men and participating in Andean ceremonies and rituals that will serve you on your journey through life as we learn the wisdom from the ancestors of the Andes, receiving the infinite blessings from the breath of Creation to bring new meaning and purpose into our lives. You will have the option of accepting San Pedro medicine as part of this experience, working closely with Shamans. The basic daily cost of these excursions, beginning and ending in Cuzco, is $75 a day for a ceremonial ritual without San Pedro, and $100 a day with ceremonial medicine. Additional costs will be incurred for ceremonial excursions that involve additional travel and overnight accommodations.
Machu Picchu – 2 days, 1 night via train; or 4 days and 3 nights via hiking on the Inca Trail. Let our shaman guides provide you with the complete Machu Picchu experience. You’ll gain insight into the everyday life of those who lived there, a detailed history, and hear plenty of stories. As an option, they’ll guide you up Huayna Picchu, which requires an additional entrance fee and up to several months notice to reserve a spot. Have your coca leaves read on an overlook above the ruins, and explore side paths and sites. The cost of the 2 day trip is $400, and it includes one night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, train travel, guide, and entrance fees to Machu Picchu. The cost of the 4 day trip is $695, and it includes 2 nights of camping, and 1 night in a hotel, a return train trip, guides, and entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
Hiking the Salkantay Pass – 3 days, 2 nights. Test your high elevation hiking skills with this challenging trek up to, and through a high Andes Pass, down to subtropical forest. You’ll get a close up look at a glacier, see Andean condors, and meet local families who live in stone houses at some of the highest settled elevations on earth. Cost of the Salkantay Trek is $475, including transportation, 2 nights of camping, guide, and all meals.
Lares Trek – 3 days, 2 nights. – A more remote hiking option is this challenging high elevation trek. This adventure begins in the Sacred Valley and ascends between the glaciers through native forest and then descends into the cloud forest hot springs of Lares. The cost of this Trek is $375, including transportation, 2 nights of camping, guide, and meals.
DETAILED ITINERARY FOR PERU SPIRIT TOUR
Day 1: Koricancha – Saqsaywaman – Condor Temple
We begin in the temple of Koricancha, the famous Sun Temple of Qosqo, that was and remains the pinnacle of organization, architecture, and religion of Inka civilization. This temple may have been the exact representation of the center of Inka civilization, or “Navel of the World,” and therefore the center of the world, as dictated by pre-hispanic Andean Cosmovision.
Afterwards we will ascend via bus to the temple of Saqsayhuaman. This Inka structure, with its magnificent design and colossal stones, is considered to be one of the greatest of human constructions on Earth. Finally, we will visit one last temple that we call the Heart of the Condor. Here the guides will introduce Andean Cosmovision, we’ll be guided to connect with the energy of the incredible space, and we’ll revel in the calm of the evening in the Andes mountains.
Day 2: Quillarumiyoq – Chinchero
Today we will travel north of Cusco to visit the site of Quillarumiyoq. This place is named for its enigmatic stone altar dedicated to the moon, but around this famous altar, there are lesser-known altars that make this location one of the most powerful in the region of Cusco, especially because of its altars dedicated to the divine feminine energies of Mother Earth. Quillarumiyoq is a perfect space for reflection, connection and more discussion about the Andean Cosmovision and path of wisdom.
In the afternoon we will travel by bus to the community of Chinchero, also known as the rainbow village. Here we will wander through the expansive ancient temple built by the ancestors and also do a brief walk through of the colonial church built on-top of one of the ancient foundations. This is an important opportunity to learn about the Spanish conquest and how it has changed the culture of this land in many ways, but also to observe the “fusion” that occured when locals had appeared to accept foreign traditions.
Afterwards we will go to a Weaving Center back in town to learn about the textile process and this ancestral art in a step-by-step demonstration with families that conserve this tradition to this day, exactly as it’s been done for thousands of years.
Day 3: Huchuy Qosqo Trek
Breakfast will be in Chinchero before continuing along Lake Piuray to the end of the road and the beginning of our trek. The Huchuy Qosqo trek from Chinchero begins ascending gently, already from a high elevation, to a high pass with spectacular views of the sacred valley and the chain of mountains above. From there we descend from the high grasslands down into a semi-forested area and ancient temple of Huchuy Qosqo, known for its unique architecture and massive terraces. In the evening after exploring the site we will set up camp and dine beneath the stars in the company of this beautiful temple.
Day 4: Huchuy Qosqo – Ollantaytambo
After breakfast we will make the final descent to the ‘floor’ of the sacred valley, a sub-tropical elevation that is excellent for agriculture in the Andes. From here we will travel by bus to the Village of Ollantaytambo. In the afternoon we will visit the famous temple of Ollantaytambo and explore one of the most significant temples in the Andes.
Day 5: Cusco – Puno, Ruta del Sol (The Route of the Sun)
Early in the morning we will depart by private transport from Cusco, for a day of many options for exploration as we pass through dozens of rural communities and numerous cultural sites on the road to Puno and Lake Titicaca. As we travel through the beautiful landscapes of the Andes, we will stop first at the traditional community of Raqchi, and at an amazing ancient Inka temple, one of the tallest known, said to be dedicated to the Andean deity Wiraqocha, creator of the world.
Other choices will include a healing dip in volcanic hot springs and a visit to the ancient temple of Pucara, sacred fortress of the Pucara culture, pre-dating the Inka by millennia. Here we will have the opportunity see in great detail the symbology and Cosmovision of this culture in the lithic museum, which houses original pieces from the archaeological site above the town.
Day 6: Lake Titikaka – Amantani
Early morning we will depart from the port in the city of Puno on Lake Titicaca. Our boat will take us out through the bay of Puno and into the vastness of the lake, surrounded by snow-covered peaks in Peru and Bolivia. First we will stop to visit one of the many floating islands of the Uros people and learn about the unique culture, and hear about their origins and their lifestyle. Back on the boat we will continue towards the Island of Amantani. Here we will enjoy a traditional homestay with a family from the community.
Day 7: Amantani – Puno
After a traditional breakfast we will ascend to the two hilltops of this island, each with its own temple, one for Pachamama and the other for Pachatata, or Mother and Father Cosmos. Here we will have the entire morning to connect with these places of power and also with the profound energy of mother Lake Titikaka.
After lunch we will say goodbye to our host families and return to Puno in the afternoon.
Day 8: Cutimbo (the temple of the return to our origins)
Heading southwest, we will leave the shores of the lake, crossing the mountains to a massive high plain, dotted with flat, mesa-top “islands” of the barren highlands. These hills are ancient cemeteries, or as we prefer to call it, where the ancient masters rest eternally waiting in service for those who arrive with open hearts. This is our destiny for today and the location for our last ceremony together. We will spend the rest of the day at this site which transcends ordinary space and time, opening us up to the miracles of our infinite nature. This is the perfect place to experience the most powerful energy of the Andes, to share, review and comment overall about our experiences throughout the journey.
This evening we will have our farewell dinner, time for sharing, and close to this celebration we have experienced together!
Those who are ending their journey with us here in Puno will be transported to the Juliaca airport for a flight to Lima.
Those who are continuing their journey with us on one or more of our optional extensions will return overnight to Cuzco in a comfortable sleeper bus, with our guides.
Guides – All of our guides are native or transplanted Peruvians, and all have dedicated their lives to sharing Andean traditions. All are trained Shamans who are exceptionally knowledgeable in ceremonies, customs, traditional uses of plants, and history of pre-Incan, Incan, and present day Peru. All trips will be led by at least one guide who is fluent in English.
Level of Difficulty and Activity Level – The level of difficulty for this tour can be modified based on physical abilities of individuals and groups, but the general activity level is moderate to high. Most excursions involve climbing slopes or steps and hiking is inherent in the exploration of most ruins, all of which are at elevations above 10,000 ft. Several of the trip add-ons are rated as very strenuous.
Accommodations and Meals – Our accommodations will generally include intermediate-level hotels, one night of home-stay, and one night of camping. Our menu will be decidedly local in flavor, so expect a lot of amazing dishes of quinoa, native potatoes, alpaca, beans, and gallina. Based on the variety and quality of food available in Peru, we are generally able to accommodate those with special dietary needs.
Weather – The trip includes travel from subtropical valleys up to high Andean mountain passes above 14,000 feet. No matter the time of year, weather will be diverse and changeable, so appropriate gear is important for this trip. Upon registration, we’ll provide a detailed recommended packing list.
Travel Coordination – The Peru Spirit tour begins in Cuzco and ends in Puno/Juliaca, both of which accommodate direct flights to the international airport in Lima. Those continuing on with extensions will travel back to Cuzco, and their tour will begin and end in Cuzco. International flights currently arrive in Peru in Lima, and there are many options for air transfers within Peru. Venture Outside can assist you with your travel arrangements.
Cost includes lodging, all meals, and all activities.
A non-refundable deposit of one-half of the trip total is due one month before the scheduled trip, with the balance due the week before.
The cost for this trip is $1,450 per person. Ask us about discounts for couples or groups!
November 2017 & February 2018
If you are interested in this tour, but unable to attend these dates, please let us know of your interest by completing the form below, and we’ll contact you directly with information on future scheduled tours.
Custom Tours – In addition to the scheduled tour, VO will schedule custom private Peru Spirit tours for groups of 2 to 15 for your desired dates. Pricing will depend on the size of the group and custom specifications. There are a range of accommodations available for private tours of 4 or more individuals that can choose from bare-bones hostel beds to luxury spa level. Our custom tours will combine any aspects of the Peru Spirit tour and the Extensions to design the trip that is uniquely yours!
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