Incan Pathways - Peru 2019
Follow ancient Incan pathways through Peru
The awe-inspiring Machu Picchu
Remote mountain villages, local artisans & an ancient way of life
Peru through the eyes of its women
Adventure in style and comfort
A small group of like-minded ladies
- Great for those looking to leave the beaten track
- 14 days
- Escorted by Sarah Hoyland
This one off, tailor made itinerary takes in all of Peru's greatest icons including Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, whilst simultaneously leading you delightfully far from the tourist trail. Experience a sense of awe and leave the modern world behind to discover breathtaking scenery and remote communities rarely seen by Peru’s tourists.
Travelling with a small group of like minded women and escorted by stylist, TV presenter and author Libby Allaway, and The Secret Women’s Series founder Sarah Hoyland , we’ll begin by dining on exquisite avant garde cuisine in cutting edge restaurants, wandering fabulous colonial architecture and shopping the bustling markets of Lima and Cusco. Travelling deeper into the Andes we’ll experience remote mountain life as a local, drinking in the pure mountain air as we browse colourful co-operatives and marvel at the fascinating archaeological sites left by the Incas, of which Machu Picchu is the jewel in the crown. Our journey will see us walking the winding, rarely trodden Andean trails of the Sacred Valley. Leaving the well-trodden tourist trail far behind, we’ll see local people going about their daily chores, meet traditional artisans, pass roving herds of llamas and alpacas and drink in the landscape of majestic snow-capped peaks and impossibly turquoise lakes. Finally travelling to the brilliant blue Lake Titicaca we’ll step ‘aboard’ the inhabited floating islands and discover their secretive communities who have lived unchanged for centuries.
Throughout there will be a focus on discovering magical market treasures with Libby, and your own wellness and spiritualty with the opportunity to take part in yoga and meditation sessions. If you want to be inspired by colour and creativity, whilst being humbled by nature, Peru will happily oblige.
This journey seamlessly blends cosmopolitan cities, authentic cultural immersion and the revitalising effects of nature with the companionship of a small group of likeminded female travellers and a real adventure in comfort and style!
Welcome to Peru's capital city, Lima! Arrive on Thursday 25 April and check into Casa Republica - a beautifully restored 1920s manion, now a stylish
boutique hotel, in Barranco - the hip, alternative district of Lima. Enjoy a 'welcome' dinner showcasing traditional Peruvian ingredients that
create stylish, contemporary dishes - the perfect kickstart to our tour.
This morning we head to the Pueblo Libre District and visit the Larco Museum to view more than 3000 works of Peru's pre‐Columbian history. Accompanied
by a curator we will have an incomparable opportunity to discover the mysteries of the Pre-Inca world. After lunch we will return to the
hotel for an afternoon at leisure. If you are feeling energetic Sarah and Libby will lead a stroll through the streets of Barranco lined with grand
old casonas (large houses) and amazing street art. Temptations along the way to stop for a snack or a drink are infinite, but we will
return to our hotel in time to prepare for this evenings outing - commencing with a trendy beachfront cocktail demo at sunset, followed by a gourmet
Amazonian cooking class. We'll try exquisite local recipes in a hands-on, but laid back, chic environment whilst indulging in true Peruvian
A quick domestic flight delivers us to Cusco where we will check into the trendy El Mercado hotel for overnight. After a light lunch we will take a guided tour of Cusco. Commencing in historic downtown Cusco we will marvel at masterpieces
of colonial architecture such as the Santo Domingo Convent, the Cathedral and the Casa de Aliaga. There will be ample opportunity to take alpaca and llama selfies around
Plaza de Armas, view impressive Inca stone walls including the 12-angled stone before we end in the San Blas
neighborhood with an impressive panoramic view of Cusco city.
After breakfast we will depart for the charming colonial town of Písac. On the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley it lays claim to arguably one of
the largest and most famous craft markets in all of Peru. We will spend time amongst the indigenous Quecha, admiring (and haggling over)
their colourful textiles made from fluffy alpaca wool, dyed and woven in their richly symbolic Andean style before we continue our scenic drive
to Viacha town. Here we will learn about the agricultural activities of the community, participate in a traditional ceremony that gives thanks
to Mother Earth and enjoy a traditional meal cooked under hot stones called Pachamanca. Of all the dishes from the Andes of Peru, the
Pachamanca is perhaps the most important, as its preparation pays homage to the goddess Mother Earth. After lunch we will hike to Pisaq
archaelogical site before continuing to our lodge where our day concludes with the local community performing a traditional folk dance.
An early morning yoga session is on offer for those who wish to participate, followed by breakfast and a visit to the truly unique archaeological site of Ancasmarca, an intimate experience as this site is off the usual tourist track and rarely visited. We will enjoy a traditional lunch in Choquecancha, known for its skilled artisan weavers, before foraging with them to discover the wild plants they use for dyeing. We will continue to our lodge to learn about Andean Spiritual Cosmology - not only the four cosmological Quechua principles – Water, Earth, Sun, and Moon, but the the way in which the Inca empire viewed the world and how they answered the questions that were posed at that time. Before dinner an optional yin restorative yoga & stretch session is on offer for those who wish to give their bodies a little energy restoration after another day full of adventure.
Meet the local women of Huilloq, a tiny agricultural village, and hike with the ladies, their alpacas and sheep before a 'thank you' ceremony to give thanks to the sheep for their wool at Marcacocha. This afternoon we will visit Pumamarka Archaelogical Site, thought to be an important Inca centre with many aqueducts and agricultural terraces still cultivated, then hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo (the route is easy to moderate). Spend some time wandering Ollantaytambo, which is often dubbed 'the best surviving example of Inca city planning' with its narrow cobblestone streets and babbling irrigation channels before visiting a local artisanal brewery before dinner.
Participate in a morning stretching & meditation ceremony before breakfast, if you wish, before we depart for an exploration of the archaeological
site of Ollantaytambo. Discover the Incan structures high above the town and visit the ancient temple, taking in the amazing agricultural terraces
that spread across the valley. By noon we will embark on a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes, the town that lies in an impressive gorge below
Machu Picchu, surrounded by dramatic cliffs, fast flowing rivers and cloud forest. This afternoon will be spent at the iconic Machu Picchu Citadel,
which requires little introduction and is every bit as awe-inspiring as you imagine!
An optional morning stretching session is on offer before we take a short hike to Mandor Nature Park, a patch of cloud forest with a diverse animal and plant life, including an abundance of orchids, colourful bird species and a scenic waterfall. After lunch we'll take the train back to Ollantaytambo, then continue by road to Cusco where we will check back in to El Mercado - our home for the next three nights. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are at leisure to rest or explore as you please.
Today will be a full day excursion to the high altitude Chinchero village and to the salt mines and archeological site of Moray. Chinchero Village lies 3,772m above sea level and is famous for the extraordinary beauty and quality of its textiles. Walking its traditional alleyways with a private guide we'll see people in traditional colourful outfits as we explore hidden corners and visit a unique women's weaving collective established to engage younger generations of women in an effort to keep ancestral artisan skills alive. Continuing to Moray we'll see the vast ampitheatre of cultivated terraces before viewing the salt pans of Maras - the site of a still-operating salt mine, in use since Incan times, which will amaze you with its steeply descending, stark white pans in contrast with the surrounding green hills. Today will fill you with a sense of mystery and wonder - the sites are mysterious, beautiful and simply fascinating.
There are no plans for today, leaving you to wander Cusco at your leisure. Cusco is a fascinating city where ancient Incan history meets
cosmopolitan city life, artisan markets sit with exclusive boutiques, and cathedrals, cobbled streets and colonial architecture are
found at every turn. Its not uncommon to see a traditionally dressed lady holding a baby llama while business people rush past. Sarah
and Megan will be on hand to advise and guide you through this fabulous city which is perfect for exploring on foot. A excellent day
for shopping, people watching and photography.
We'll leave the city behind and board a train from Cusco to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Wending our way through scenic Peruvian countryside we will arrive in the late afternoon and check into Casa Andina and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
A full day boat excursion will take us across the world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, to the floating Uros and Taquile Islands, where time seems to have stood still.
The first stop will be to the Uros floating islands. These are a peculiar grouping of around 40 small islands made totally of totora, a natural reed that grows around the lake, where the cheerful inhabitants will invite you to get to know their traditional lifestyle and customs. Continuing to the picturesque Taquile Island, we'll discover a peaceful place where old Quechua traditions live in perfect balance with modernity and discover a landscape distinct from the other islands thanks to the Incan terraces filled with local flowers and crops. The rich colors of the clothing worn by the local inhabitants and their beautiful hand-made fabrics are stunning. We'll enjoy a traditional lunch, then the evening is at leisure.
After breakfast we'll head to the western shores of Lake Titicaca to Llachon, a community of farmers and fishermen who take pride in their village and way of life and promote an interesting community-based home-stay tourism experience that allows visitors to learn about and understand their customs firsthand. Later you'll have the opportunity to stroll along the white sandy lake shore, kayak or sail the vivid blue waters. Our final stop today will be Lampa, known as the 'Rose City' due to the colour of its traditional houses. Wandering its streets we'll admire colonial buildings which display European styles brilliantly executed by indigenous workers, as well as impressive churches which are colourfully tiled, built of shining stone or house exact replicas of Michelangelo’s work.
After breakfast we board our return flight to Lima where we will begin our journey home, bidding 'hasta luego' to Peru.
Itinerary extensions to the Amazon and other Latin American destinations are available - please contact us for details.