7-Day Yoga Retreat with Machu Picchu by Train
This retreat includes yoga, traditional Andean Cleansing Ceremonies, Offering Ceremonies to Pachamama (the Earth Mother) and takes you to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel and modern Wonder of the World.
We designed this unique experience for travelers who would like to experience authentic Andean culture and traditions plus the Eastern one of yoga. This includes four Andean ceremonies, all presided over by Q’ero Nation shamans specialized in different areas of healing. Q’ero is a small village a few days walk up the mountains, and its inhabitants are a high mountain people who fled up higher into the Sierra when the Spanish invaded, managing to survive the Conquest. As such, they are the closest living descendants of the Incas and still maintain many of their ancient traditions. Each of their shamans is specially chosen by a shamanic family to follow their profession.
The first ceremony is an Andean Blessing to invoke the protection of the Mountain Gods and Mother Nature, and to offer gratitude. The last three ceremonies are a Flower Cleansing Ceremony, a Coca Leaf Reading Ceremony, and an Offering to Pachamama, the Earth Mother. Traditional shamanic ceremonies such as these have been practiced since before the time of the Inca Empire and their Quechua culture. Participating in these shamanic ceremonies with an authentic Andean shaman will show you a new perspective on life and will allow you to develop physically and spiritually.
We will also have 5 yoga sessionsThe word “yoga” means “union,” or “connection,” in this case between the body, mind and spirit through a series of physical movements, meditation and breathing originating in India. These disciplines are used in our yoga activity as techniques to heal the body and restore balance to energy fields. We can get you started on your journey as a yogi or continue your journey to the next level.
Day 1: Cusco - Sacred Valley (Pisac or Urubamba)
Today we will meet or pick you up in Cusco, nestled among the energy-infused mountains of the Andes. We will transfer straight to the lower altitudes, warmer climate and peaceful environment of the Sacred Valley. Along the way, we will visit Awanakancha, a community-driven project that introduces us to the South American camelids and traditional weaving techniques of the area.
After arriving at your hotel in Pisac, you will participate in an authentic Andean Blessing to Pachamama (the Earth Mother) ministered by an Andean Priest. This ceremony invokes the help and energy of the Mountain Gods and Pachamama (the Apus and the Earth Mother, respectively) for the health, wellbeing, and happiness of the participants. At the same time, the participants show appreciation for life and their blessings.
The rest of the day will be free for you to relax and acclimatize.Included Meals: Lunch
Day 2: Sacred Valley – Señor de Huanca Shrine – Ancestral Ceremonies – Yoga session (B)
EAfter breakfast, we will leave the Hotel and travel through the Sacred Valley, stopping at the shrine of the Señor (Lord) de Huanca, located on the mountain known as Apu Huanca. This sacred massif is considered to be the “Master Doctor” or “Protector of Health” in this part of the Andes.
After our visit to this sacred shrine, we will begin the three Ancestral Ceremonies. To begin, the shaman must start with a Flower Cleansing Ceremony, done with sage and yellow flowers. Sage is common around houses and businesses here in the Andes, often found by the front door, and is used to ward off bad spirits. In our ceremony, it is used to clean the negative energies from your body. The shaman creates a cover of sage over you while saying a prayer in his native Quechua language. The next step is to cover your body with yellow flowers for protection. Many say they can feel the strong energy as an after effect of the ceremony. It is quite a moving experience.
Next is the Coca Leaf Reading Ceremony. The shaman will start by asking questions regarding your home life, health, family, friends and occupation. The shaman will say a prayer to the mountains with his satchel of coca leaves held high above his head. He next places them down on a flat surface and gently opens the fabric. The placement of the leaves is his direct insight into your past, present, and future. This is a long-standing practice in Andean culture and a one-of-a-kind experience.
The final and most important ceremony is the Offering to Pachamama. Pachamama is the Andean word for Mother Earth. We give thanks to Pachamama for our crops and everything we have by putting our intentions back into the earth below. This is done through the prayer of the shaman and his pouch of sacred Andean offerings. All are symbolic of aspects such as protection of travel and relationships, occupational success, and many more. The shaman, with the help of the translator, will go over each offering and its significance in Andean culture before wrapping them all up to go into the bonfire.
Afterwards, we will return to Pisac for a yoga session and to spend the night.
Included meals: Breakfast
Day 3: Sacred Valley – Visit to the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo – Yoga (B)
This morning we will visit Pisac, a spectacular Inca site located along the length of a ridgeline high above the village of the same name. Here, we will learn about the Intiwatana (Sun Temple) and its religious significance before continuing through the picturesque Sacred Valley to tour the ruins of Ollantaytambo.
Ollantaytambo is the only continuously inhabited Inca town; it is still laid out on its original Inca street plan. Our tour will take us up its steep terraces to the enigmatic, unfinished temple and magnificent views at the top. We will explore the lower temple as well, with its many baths and water channels. Before dinner, you will have the opportunity to wander Ollantaytambo’s cobblestone streets lined with water channels that have been running since the time of the Incas.
Afterwards, we will have an evening yoga session.
* Note that the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo require purchasing an additional entrance ticket (see below). This same ticket
can be used for the ruins of Moray on Day 4.
Included Meals: Breakfast
Day 4: Ollantaytambo – Moray & Salineras – Yoga - Ollantaytambo (B, L)
In the midst of endless agricultural fields that lie just above the Sacred Valley is Moray. This is a lesser-known Inca site whose original use is still debated. There are some who believe that it was a sacred site and representative of the female womb; however, most believe that it was an Inca experimental agricultural centre. Formed by concentric, circular terraces, there can be a difference in temperature of up to 15°C between the upper and lower terraces, creating various environments and allowing for the growth of species from different parts of the empire. Regardless of its original use, it is a site full of energy, perfect for our yoga practice.
From here it is a short drive to the Salineras salt pools near Maras. In existence since pre-Inca times, these small pools are fed by a natural spring and left to dry until it is possible to harvest the salt. Each pool is owned by a family from the area and provides a renewable source of income for the region. Walk through this surreal white landscape, we’ll take advantage of the light and colours for some incredible photos. Note that the Salineras salt pools require an additional entrance ticket of S/.10 which can be purchased at the entrance.
Afterwards, we will return to Ollantaytambo to spend the night.
Included meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch
Day 5: Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes (B)
After breakfast, we’ll have our last yoga session before performing our final ceremony, the Offering of Gratitude to Pachamama (the Earth Mother). This is our opportunity to show our gratitude for all the blessings we have received in the previous days.
From Ollantaytambo, we will take the train to Machu Picchu. Make sure you are at the train station half an hour before your train’s scheduled departure. Upon your arrival in Aguas Calientes, a tour guide will be waiting for you and will take you to your hotel to explain the itinerary for your Machupicchu tour. You’ll have the rest of the day free to either bathe in the hot springs (additional cost, plus you must bring your own bathing suit and towel or rent them in town).
Included meals: breakfast
Day 6: Machu Picchu – Cusco
Your tour guide will pick you up to take you on the 2-hour Machupicchu tour. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore the site and participate in any of the following activities:
* Climbing Wayna Picchu and visiting the Temple of the Moon (requires an additional pass and must be reserved at time of booking – see below).
* Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain (requires an additional pass and must be reserved at time of booking – see below).
* Hiking to the Sun Gate, where the first rays of sunshine fall on the winter solstice.
* Visiting the Inca Bridge, where you can marvel at the incredible engineering skills and ingenuity of the Incas.
* Sitting on the terraces below the Temple of the Condor and taking in the energy of the site.
* Walking through the site again, ducking into hidden corners and little-visited rooms to refine your own theory about Machu Picchu.
At the end of your tour, you can have lunch and visit some of the museums in Aguas Calientes. The return train to Ollantaytambo/Poroy will leave at the time indicated on your ticket.
When you arrive at the train station in Ollantaytambo or Poroy, Travel and Healing staff members will be there to transport you to your accommodation in Cusco.
Day 7: Departure Day
Transport to the Cusco airport from your accommodation to connect you with your departing flight. Bon voyage!
You should bring:
- Extra clothes, including appropriate yoga attire.
- Warm and comfortable clothes.
- Sun block, sun glasses and hat for days when you go for walks.
- Comfortable shoes or hiking boots for walking.
- Flashlight or headlamp if you have one.
Ollantaytambo/Pisac/Moray Tourist Ticket
If you wish to visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, Pisac and Moray, you must purchase a tourist ticket. A full tourist ticket costs S/130 or S/70 for students (up to 25 years old with a valid ISIC card). The full tourist ticket is valid for 10 days and allows entry to the majority of tourist attractions in Cusco, the Sacred Valley and the South Valley. An alternative option for this tour is to buy a partial tourist ticket, which costs S/70, is valid for 2 days and allows entry to all the sites we will see. Purchasing the full ticket is the better option if you also plan to visit other sites in the Sacred Valley, the South Valley, or the ruins right outside Cusco.
The Salineras salt pools near Maras have an addition entrance fee of S/.10
Tickets for Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountains.
Those trekkers who wish to climb Wayna Picchu Mountain must let us know well in advance as permits are limited. For high season (May to October), 2-4 months in advance. Low season (November to April) 1-2 months in advance. There is an additional $15 USD per person charge so we can purchase your ticket for the 2nd time slot at 10:00 am (students with ISIC card: $8 USD per person). Machu Picchu Mountain (additional cost $15USD) is far less busy and doesn’t need to be booked as far in advance but must also be reserved at the time of booking so that we can purchase your ticket.