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Take a vibrant adventure into the heart of the Andes.

Hiking, Cultural Connections, Yoga, and Andean Cuisine
with Annie Barrett, M.A., E-RYT 500 and Steve Scheuerell, Ph.D

Upcoming Trip: June 30- July 11, 2018

Join a group of travel enthusiasts and explore the ancient wonders, cultural traditions, breathtaking landscapes and welcoming people of the Cusco region of Peru. Visit highland Quechua communities, Incan ruin sites, local farms and landscapes that have been lived in for more than 10,000 years. Stay in charming Andean towns with vibrant markets and savor delicious Andean cuisine. Enjoy hikes through the cultural landscapes of the Inca’s Sacred Valley and surrounding mountains that promise rejuvenation, engagement, and awe. Take part in daily yoga sessions for refreshment and well-being. As retreat leaders, we bring Spanish speaking fluency and a passion for knowing the people and places of the Sacred Valley, to the point of having created a home and gardens here.  Join us, Annie Barrett, bilingual educator, yoga teacher and wellness coach, and Steve Scheuerell, college professor with years of experience teaching and leading groups in Peru, for an unforgettable adventure in the Andes.

Explore our 12 Day, 11 Night Itinerary

Day 1:
Arrival in Cusco.  A van will meet you at the Cusco airport and bring you to the town of Pisac, a 45 minute scenic drive down into the Sacred Valley where we will begin our journey together.  Pisac is home to spectacular Incan temples and terraces, a thriving artisan market, great hiking, and delicious food. We will gather for dinner together and preview trip details. Lodging:  Pisac.

Day 2:
Begin the day with yoga followed by breakfast.  After breakfast, we will walk through the fascinating Pisac traditional farmers market and then continue along the Incan corn terraces to Ccata Chacra Farm (Steve and Annie’s Pisac home) where we will learn about native tubers, grains, and fruits, and the surrounding landscape. We will enjoy, a lunch of Andean ingredients al fresco amidst panoramic mountain and valley views. After lunch you are free to relax or wander the extensive artisan market in Pisac before meeting up for dinner. Lodging: Pisac

Day 3:
Begin the day with yoga followed by breakfast.  After breakfast, we will visit the extensive Incan site above Pisac, learn about Incan architecture and water systems, enjoy a picnic lunch in the archaeological park, and hike back down to Pisac in the afternoon.  Late afternoon free time followed by dinner.  Lodging: Pisac.

Day 4:
We will begin the day with an early morning yoga session followed by breakfast and a day excursion to the local community of Viacha, a traditional Quechua village above the Pisac Ruins.  Our local guides will show us their community and the indigenous solutions to subsisting through centuries of colonial hardship and high elevation conditions. We will help harvest potatoes, share coca leaves, and enjoy a typical lunch of field roasted potatoes (huatia), Andean cheese, and delicious condiments. For the energetic, we’ll walk up to stunning mountain views. We will return to Pisac for dinner. Lodging: Pisac.

Day 5:
After breakfast, we leave Pisac, driving an hour down the Sacred Valley and crossing up to visit the fascinating Incan agricultural site of Moray.  From Moray, we will take in impressive mountain vistas and continue on to the Salineras, a vast collection of salt evaporation ponds sculpted into a valley.  These have been the regional salt source for thousands of years, still hand worked in the traditional way.  We’ll walk down through the Salineras to the valley and a gourmet buffet lunch at a restored hacienda. A 20 minute drive brings us to the Incan fortress town of Ollantaytambo. Here we stay in the old Incan part of town, walking pedestrian-only streets lined with original stone work and Incan canals alongside our lodge for 4 nights. Dinner together. Lodging: Apu Lodge, Ollantaytambo.

Day 6:
We will enjoy breakfast and then visit the ruin site of Ollantaytambo, created in the shape of a giant llama with classic stonework, sun calendar, and ceremonial baths.  In the afternoon, participants are on their own to relax, explore the original Incan pedestrian ‘streets’ of Ollantaytambo, climb up to Incan grainery buildings, and visit the chocolate museum.  We will have an afternoon yoga session al fresco in the garden of Apu Lodge and we will meet up in the evening for a delicious dinner in town.  Lodging: Apu Lodge, Ollantaytambo.

Day 7:
Day Trip to Machu Picchu!  We will rise at dawn and catch the train to Aguas Calientes.  Enjoy breakfast on the scenic hour and a half train trip, traveling along the roaring river between mountain peaks into lush subtropical forest.  From Aguas Calientes, we bus up to the entrance of Machu Picchu where we will meet our guide and experience Machu Picchu for the day. Enjoy a picnic lunch and be mesmerized by this amazing place!  In the late afternoon we return by bus to Aguas Calientes where participants are on their own for dinner before our group returns by train to Ollantaytambo in the evening.  Lodging: Apu Lodge, Ollantaytambo

Day 8:
After a long day at Machu Picchu, we will have a leisurely morning with breakfast at Apu Lodge.  Spend the day enjoying the town of Ollantaytambo or take an optional hike up valley to see the Puma Marka Ruins.  We will gather for an afternoon yoga session in the garden of Apu Lodge followed by a group dinner in town.  Lodging: Apu Lodge, Ollantaytambo

Day 9:
After breakfast, we will drive to another highland town called Chinchero, where we will see the thriving Sunday market, both local goods and fine textiles.  Chinchero is well known for traditional textile weaving with intricate designs and all natural dyes. It is also home to another fascinating ruin site upon which sits a colonial church with an interior covered in 17th Century fresco painting details. We will visit the market, church, ruins, and  a weaving collective where we’ll have a home-cooked lunch. In the afternoon, we will proceed to Cuzco City, arriving in the San Blas district with time to wander the cobblestone streets before enjoying a delicious dinner.  Lodging: Amaru Hostal, Cuzco

Day 10:
After breakfast, we focus on Cuzco’s Incan and colonial history and development, starting with a visit to the immense fitted stones and ceremonial grounds of Quenco and Sacsaywaman that forms the Puma head of Cusco city.  Return to Cuzco for lunch. Participants have the afternoon free to wander the colonial streets of Cusco.  We will meet up in the late afternoon for a yoga session followed by dinner. Lodging: Amaru Hostal, Cuzco

Day 11:
Last full day!  Breakfast followed by a short walk to the main historic plazas and central covered market.  The rest of the day offers options for visiting local sites, markets, and museums of this fascinating regional capital and center of the ancient Incan world.  Meet up for afternoon yoga session followed by group dinner.
Lodging: Amaru Hostal, Cuzco

Day 12:
Departure Day.  After breakfast at Amaru Hostal, we say our good-byes.  Amaru Hostal will arrange transport to airport.

Participant Requirements
Participants must be in good health and physical condition.  This is a physically demanding trip.  Walking and hiking on uneven surfaces is required to explore the region.  The majority of our time will be spent at an altitude of between 9,000-11,000 feet.  We will make time for acclimatization in the early days and leave ample time for rest and relaxation along the way.

Accommodations and Meals
We will have overnight lodging in the following towns: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Cusco.  In each location, Annie has chosen charming hotels chosen with private bathrooms. Breakfasts typically consist of fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, eggs, bread and coffee or tea.  We will dine in our favorite local restaurants or enjoy delicious picnic lunches while out on our excursions.  Quinoa, rice, corn, potatoes, vegetables, meat and poultry and fresh fruit are the main foods consumed in the Andean region.  Hearty vegetarian meals are always available.  If you have specific dietary preferences, let us know, and we will do our best to make accommodations. If you have severe allergies or a very restrictive diet, you may need to be prepared to bring along some of your own food. Talk to Annie if you have questions.

Yoga and Daily Well-being Program
Each day we take the time set the intention for personal well-being and opening ourselves up to the people and places we meet. Yoga and meditation sessions will be included most days of the trip for daily well-being and reflection. All classes will be all-level classes – beginners are welcome!  The richness of the culture and the awesome setting of the Sacred Valley add a powerful and inspiring element to our practice.

Retreat leaders
Annie Barrett is an Andean enthusiast, educator, coach, yogi and fluent Spanish speaker. Annie offers a heartfelt exploration of culture, mind, body and spirit.  She first visited the Andes in 1995 and has been making extended visits to the Sacred Valley of Peru with her family annually since 2010. Annie’s husband, Steve Scheuerell, has lead semester-long university study abroad programs in the area and handles our logistics and education on geography, Incan and colonial history, architecture, stonework, cultural landscapes, and traditional food and agriculture. Together they are very knowledgeable about the area and have extensive connections.  They will be your general guides for the region, and will collaborate with local guides in rural communities and Incan sites to optimize participant learning.

Retreat package
Double occupancy: $3100
Single occupancy: $3400

If you are traveling solo and would like to share a room, please let us know, and if possible we will match you with another person on the retreat.
No refunds are provided for arriving late or departing early, or for activities or meals in which one does not participate.

The package includes:

  • 11 nights accommodation (4 nights in Pisac, 4 nights in Ollantaytambo, and 3 nights in Cuzco)
  • Transport to and from Cusco airport
  • All listed regional transportation, including train to Machu Picchu
  • Retreat leaders and local guides
  • Daily yoga/meditation sessions
  • Daily tours and activities per itinerary
  • Entrance tickets to all itinerary sites
  • Tips for guides, hostel staff, drivers, and all other service providers
  • All meals except two lunches and one dinner
  • Snacks and bottled water

The package rate does not include:

  • International airfare to Cusco
  • 1 dinner in Aguas Calientes, 1 lunch in Ollantaytambo and 1 lunch in Cuzco.
  • Optional activities on free afternoons
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal items, souvenirs