Women’s Peruvian Journey
The Sacred Valley, Cusco & Machu Picchu
with Dawn Mirabal
9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS
May 7 – 15, 2020
This is a unique opportunity to authentically experience the essence of ancient Andean culture. Walk gently along the pathways of origin in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This beautifully woven exploration into the Andean world through a native perspective combines visiting magnificent pre-Columbian archeological sites and exquisite Peruvian cuisine with profound cultural immersion events, allowing you to cultivate an intimate relationship to this land, its people and customs.
This trip is designed for women to connect with captivating places, themselves, and each other through an inspiring and educational journey that is life changing, based in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and engage in a culture that honors the feminine, Pachamama.
Peru Cultural Journeys and Dawn Mirabal offer a unique opportunity for women to journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas while visiting colorful markets, picturesque villages, and magnificent archeological sites, including Machu Picchu for Mother’s Day. Savor renowned Peruvian cuisine and participate in authentic cultural immersion experiences that are life changing.
This trip is designed for women to connect with captivating places, themselves, and each other through an inspiring educational travel adventure. Based in the Sacred Valley of the Incas at the charming Pisac Inn, engage in a culture that honors the feminine Pachamama.
Organized by Peru Cultural Journeys, a socially responsible travel company founded by Roman and Fielding Vizcarra who are dedicated to sustaining traditional Andean culture. Doors are opened to a profound appreciation of Andean cosmology, and a deep connection to this land, the people and their customs.
Dawn Mirabal is a member of the Taos Pueblo tribe in Taos, New Mexico. Dawn utilizes her experience of living in two worlds and shares her wisdom and stories as a mother of three daughters. She loves to travel and has been traveling to Peru since 2011, participating in cultural exchanges.
Early bird price per person: $2,450 USD (before February 26, 2020)
Full price per person: $2, 660 USD
- A $900 deposit is required to reserve your spot, which is not refundable after February 26, 2020. Before February 26 deposits can be refunded less a $300 registration fee.
- Full payment is required by March 25, 2020.
- Prices are based on double occupancy. For single occupancy, add an additional $350.
- Huayna Picchu entrance ticket has an additional cost of $30 USD.
- Airport transfers and all ground transportation upon arrival to Cusco airport in a private tourist level vehicle
- Private, specialized, professional, English speaking native guides on excursions and during special events
- Fresh, organic meals celebrating Peruvian cuisine in special set menus as on program
- Charming accommodations at Pisac Inn 6 nights, standard double occupancy
- Entrance fees to all historical sites on daily excursions
- Special Unucha Spa gift
- Cultural events with local Andean specialists; Special events on program
- Visit our Cultural Projects: The Kusi Kawsay Andean School, The Kusi Ñan Organic Farm, and The Apu Runawana in the traditional community of Amaru
- Tourist class train from Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo
- Bus from Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
- Overnight in Aguas Calientes 1 night, standard double occupancy
- Overnight in Cusco 1 night, standard double occupancy
Airfare, travel insurance, personal expenses, special events not included in program, spa treatments, any tips or donations, meals eaten out as indicated on program, and any snacks or beverages not included at mealtime.
- The cost of our tour is in U.S. dollars per person.
- Our small group sizes are minimum 8 & maximum 12 passengers
- You can customize your trip with hotel upgrades; add on special events, and extensions.
- Taxes may apply
- Programs and prices are subject to change and availability.
Arrival Sacred Valley
Day One / Thursday, May 7
Arrival Sacred Valley
Take a spectacular morning flight to Cusco, “the navel of the world”, land in the heart of the Andes and be greeted at the Cusco airport to begin your exclusive journey. Enjoy a stunning one-hour scenic drive to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Revel in the striking beauty of the snow topped peaks, mountainsides delineated by Inca terraces, and fields that cover the valley floor. Arrive to Pisac with lower altitude and small town charm. Settle into your room at Pisac Inn and enjoy a cup of coca tea to help you acclimate. Savor your first in a series of delicious meals spun into a select set menu prepared by the Inn’s Restaurant, Cuchara de Palo so you may explore the diversity and richness of Peru’s ancient agrarian heritage. Take the afternoon to rest or explore the cobblestone streets of Pisac on your own, or experience a Spa treatment at Unucha Spa. Gather for an orientation reception with a welcoming Pisco Sour followed by a fireside dinner.
Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: L, D
Considerations: While the altitude in Pisac is lower than in Cuzco, your body will acclimate optimally if you nap upon arrival. If you feel dehydrated, sluggish, short of breath, and/or have a headache or stomach cramps, tell the Pisac Inn staff. They will prepare special teas for your remedy and advise rest.
Cusco Archeological Sites
Day Two / Friday, May 8
Cusco Archeological Sites
After breakfast enjoy a 30-minute scenic drive to explore pre-Columbian sites outside of Cusco including the sacred spring of Tambomachay, the lunar and solar observatories of Kenko, and megalithic Sacsayhuaman whose zigzag walls are built with some of the largest stones to be found in Inca masonry. You will be captivated by the introduction to Andean astronomy and sacred geometry, the foundation of Andean culture that will be expanded on each day of your journey. Enjoy lunch at one of Cusco's fine restaurant recommended by your guide, and return to Pisac for a quite afternoon. Upon return to Pisac Inn relax before dinner. Dinner followed by festive traditional music and dance with a local group of musicians, artists and visionaries dedicating their lives to preserving their Andean culture. This is a special opportunity to meet some of the founding families of the Kusi Kawsay Andean School, as well as teachers and students who participate in this remarkable presentation that follows the Andean Agrarian Ritual calendar celebrated at Kusi Kawsay. Enjoy this evening full of music, dance, in depth explanations, the sharing of stories; and connect to the natural cosmic cycles of the Andes.
Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, D (lunch not included)
Considerations: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking in the countryside and in the city. Bring a daypack with layers for drastic temperature changes; be prepared for sun, cold and possible rain. Bring camera, sunblock and sunhat, and plenty of drinking water. You can leave any personal belongings in the car. Bring money for lunch.
Day three / Saturday, May 9
Begin your day with a breathtaking one-hour drive through the heart of the Sacred Valley to the Inca town Ollantaytambo. Visit Ollantaytambo's magnificent archeological site with an impressive astronomical observatory, irrigation waterways and ceremonial site. Learn about the Llama constellation and explore the quaint town that was built in the shape of a corncob. After lunch enjoy a spectacular train ride to Aguas Calientes, where you will have a nice dinner out and spend the night in preparation for an early start to Machu Picchu the following morning.
Hotel: La Cabaña Boutique Hotel Meals: B, Picnic, (dinner not included)
Considerations: You must bring your passport; you cannot ride the train or enter Machu Picchu without!
For Ollantaytambo outing:
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for hiking and a picnic in the countryside. Bring a daypack with layers for drastic temperature changes; be prepared for sun, cold and possible rain. Bring camera, sunblock and sunhat, and plenty of drinking water. You can leave any personal belongings in the car. Bring small change for photos and souvenirs.
For the overnight in Aguas Calientes:
Pack your overnight bag, and a separate daypack. Don’t forget your insect repellant. Bring money for dinner in Aguas Calientes and lunch out the following day at Machu Picchu.
Day Four / Sunday, May 10
Get an early start to take the 20-minute bus ride up steep slopes to magnificent Machu Picchu, renown as a wonder of the world. Isolated among mountain peaks, this awe-inspiring site carries sacred mathematical and scientific wisdom yet to be fully discovered. Explore the important sectors full of astronomic explanations, and revel in the beautiful natural setting and ancient ruins. Take bus down to Aguas Calientes to catch the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and drive back to Pisac. After a full day of exploring, your return to Pisac Inn feels like coming home. Enjoy dinner upon your return to Pisac Inn.
Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, D, (lunch not included)
Considerations: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for hiking. You can leave your overnight bag at the hotel in Aguas Calientes, and we will make arrangements for the hotel to take luggage to the train station in the afternoon. Bring a daypack with layers for temperature changes; be prepared for sun, cold and very possible rain. Bring camera, sunblock, sunhat, repellant, and plenty of drinking water. You will have to carry your day pack at all times, unless you check it in a day locker up at Machu Picchu at your own expense. You must have your passport. Bring money for lunch and souvenirs.
Please let us know if you want to hike Huayna Picchu, as this requires a separate entrance ticket with entrance fee, and is not included. Spaces are very limited, and gets fully booked months ahead of time.
Community of Amaru
Day Five / Monday, May 11
Community of Amaru
Delight in a 45-minute drive into the majestic high Andes and walk through the patchwork fields replete with potatoes, fava beans and corn to the traditional highland community of Amaru, where a genuinely authentic way of life is still practiced to this day. You will be welcomed with an endearing sweetness rarely felt in this day and age by this community that is consciously preserving and practicing their ancestral heritage. Through participation in a communal agrarian workday a beautiful cultural exchange unravels as you experience this incredible opportunity to step back in time and appreciate a quality of life with an admirable simplicity that is strikingly moving and profound. Enjoy a traditional lunch prepared with their prized agrarian products as the women begin to spin their naturally dyed wool. Try spinning by their side, while others meditatively set up their back strap looms to share their ancestral weaving skills with us. This wonderful opportunity to purchase textiles directly from the weavers is not to be missed. Return to Pisac for a quite evening with dinner. Dinner followed by an evening Coca Leaf Offering, a unique opportunity to personally engage in an authentic Andean ceremony. The Coca Leaf Offering is an optional special event, with an additional fee.
Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, L, D
Considerations: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking and working in the fields that you don’t mind getting dirty! Bring your hand wipes and Purell this day, and be prepared for rustic conditions. Bring a daypack with layers for drastic temperature changes; be prepared for extreme sun, extreme cold and possible rain. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested; hiking boots are not necessary. Bring camera, sunblock and sunhat, and plenty of drinking water. You can leave any personal belongings in the car, but the car will drop you off and you will walk up, so the car will not be nearby. Bring cash to purchase textiles; they are hand made and one of kind pieces.
Be prepared for authentic cultural immersion at its height, and come with respect, honor and open mindedness as guests are invited into a sacred ancestral culture.
Pisac Archeological Site & Market
Day Six / Tuesday, May 12
Pisac Archeological Site & Market
Visit Kusi Kawsay Andean School and the school’s organic farm, Kusi Ñan. Learn about this exceptional educational project and unique vision that honors Andean tradition combined with elements of Waldorf Pedagogy. Delight in the beautiful school grounds, dedicated teachers and smiling students. Continue to the Pisac archeological site where the staggering agricultural terrace work is among the most extensive in the area following the shape of the mountainsides in entrancing concave and convex forms. The central astronomic and ceremonial area is widely acclaimed as some of the finest stonework, comparable to that of Machu Picchu. This expansive site provides an ideal setting for a picnic lunch with magnificent vistas up and down the valley. Embark upon a breathtaking walk down to the town of Pisac and enjoy the afternoon exploring Pisac's colorful Traditional Market. This is a wonderful opportunity to buy gifts to take home with you. Enjoy a stroll along the cornfields or simply relax with a Pisco Sour as you people watch either at the sidewalk café or on the balcony. Visit with Victoria Taco Alvarez who will share her knowledge of traditional healing practices and medicinal herbs of the Andes with focus on women’s health passed on to her from her mother Andrea Montañez Quispe, followed by dinner and an evening women’s circle with Dawn Mirabal.
Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, Picnic, D
Considerations: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for hiking and a picnic in the countryside. Bring a daypack with layers for drastic temperature changes; be prepared for extreme sun, cold and possible rain. Bring walking poles if needed, this is one of the big hikes of the trip. Bring camera, sunblock and sunhat, and plenty of drinking water. Consider bringing chocolate or nuts for energy. This day you must carry everything you need in your daypack, including the provided picnic bag lunch.
Day Seven / Wednesday, May 13
Embark on a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley and up to highlands of Anta with patchwork fields and awe-inspiring vistas. Visit an off the beaten path temple that honors the moon and feminine energy. Killa in Quechua is moon, Rumi is stone and with the suffix yuk it translates as “the one with a moon stone.” Spend time reflecting and connecting at this site. Enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by an expansive natural beauty. Upon return to Pisac wander through the town as the market is broken down before another memorable meal in Peru.
Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, Picnic, D
Considerations: Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for hiking and a picnic. Bring a daypack with layers for drastic temperature changes; be prepared for sun, cold and possible rain. Bring camera, sunblock and sunhat, and plenty of drinking water. You can leave any personal belongings in the car.
Tipon & Cusco City
Day Eight / Thursday, May 14
Tipon & Cusco City
Enjoy an hour drive to Tipon, an amazing archeological site full of water channels that come from a natural underground spring. The Inca were brilliant engineers who integrated their architecture with the natural surroundings. Tipon, a 500- acre site built around a spring near Cusco, has been called their masterpiece of water management. Hike the site and find a perfect spot for a picnic lunch. Tipon has beautiful stone terraces with fountains and irrigation channels that still function, which provides an endless, soothing soundtrack of running water. Continue to Cusco and spend the afternoon exploring the city. After visiting the main pre-Colombian Inca Temple, Coricancha, spend the rest of the afternoon wandering the city on your own. Stroll through the streets of Cusco, admire the Inca walls, and visit the central market, museums, or boutiques that feature high quality alpaca in contemporary design. Enjoy the Plaza de Armas in the evening, and dinner at a fine restaurant recommended by your guide.
Hotel: Cusco Plaza Hotel Meals: B, Picnic (dinner not included)
Considerations: Bring your bags downstairs in the morning after breakfast; they will be loaded in the vehicle.Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for hiking at Tipon, and for exploring the city of Cusco. Bring a daypack with layers for drastic temperature changes; be prepared for sun, cold and possible rain. Bring camera, sunblock and sunhat, and plenty of drinking water.
Day Nine / Friday, May 15
Enjoy breakfast before leaving for the Cusco airport.