Visit Cusco & Machu Picchu on a spectacular group tour before your ayahuasca retreat
Are you considering coming on one of our Ayahuasca retreats at Gaia Tree center? Would you also love to visit some of the many splendours of Peru such as Cusco and Machu Picchu while you’re here?
Then consider joining us on a spiritual adventure in the heart of the Peruvian Andes in the week before your Gaia Tree retreat and experience the adventure of a lifetime. The Peru Pilgrimage Journey is perfect for you if you’re looking for a short but deeply meaningful journey to explore Peru’s most sacred places. Highlights of the tour include Cusco, Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo and of course Machu Picchu. You will also experience a sacred Huachuma (San Pedro) ceremony.
‘An other-worldly country which forces you to wake up and experience the moment…’
Peru is an astonishing place of contrast and diversity. A country which wraps you in its embrace, immerses you in nature, astonishes and delights you, scares you sometimes, but more than anything, wakes you up to the multi-dimensionality of life. It is one of the few countries left where the indigenous people and their ancient wisdom and beliefs are still current. You might think you’re travelling there for one reason, but what you experience will be far more than you can ever anticipate. You won’t be the same person as when you arrived.
A Land of Sacred places & Natural wonders
Peru is home to not just one, but several of the most mysterious and awe-inspiring places on the planet. A list that includes Machu Picchu, Saqsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo, plus many natural wonders such as Lake Titicaca, the Andes mountains and the amazing Amazon Rainforest.
The Peru Pilgrimage tour will only take you into the spectacular Andes mountains between Cusco and Machu Picchu. However, if you wish to extend your stay and visit other locations by yourself then we can help organise that also.
Day 1 – Cusco the ancient capital of the Incas
On the first day of the tour you’ll be exploring the city of Cusco, the ancient Inca capital.
Cusco has to be one of the most unique cities in the world. It’s a stunningly beautiful city in an amazing location. Surrounded on all sides by the majestic Andes mountains, you can never get bored of exploring its nooks and crannies, ancient cobble-stone streets, Inca ruins and other places of great interest. The meaning of the word CUZCO comes from the Quechua word QOSQO which means navel, attributed to “The center or navel of the world.”
The Cusco of today is a beautiful amalgam of the ancient Inca capital and the colonial city it became after the Spanish invasion. From the Incas, it preserves impressive walls of meticulously cut granite or andesite, rectilinear streets running within the walls, and ruins of the Sun Temple. Of the colonial city, there remain the freshly whitewashed squat houses, the palace and the marvellous Baroque churches which achieved the impossible fusion of the Plateresco, Mudejar or Churrigueresco styles with that of the Inca tradition.
Day 2 – Sacsayhuaman
In the morning you’ll visit Sacsayhuaman. In many respects, Sacsayhuaman is the most impressive of all the ancient sites in Peru (and perhaps even the world). The location isn’t quite as mind-blowing and magical as the location of Machu Picchu, but take a closer look at the stones and you’ll notice what an amazing feat of engineering it is that almost certainly could not be replicated today with our modern technology.
In many respects, Saqsayhuaman is the most impressive of all the ancient sites in Peru (and perhaps even the world). The location isn’t quite as mind-blowing and magical as the location of Machu Picchu, but take a closer look at the stones and you’ll notice what an amazing feat of engineering it is that almost certainly could not be replicated today. Officially Saqsayhuaman is said to be an Incan fortress built less than 600 years ago, however some researchers believe it was built by a much older and far more advanced civilization that pre-dates the last ice-age. Remnants of Atlantis or Lumeria perhaps? In his groundbreaking book “Fingerprints of the Gods” Graham Hancock also writes about this impressive location.
Day 3 – Pisac in The Sacred Valley
After leaving Cusco we will head into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a magnificent, fertile valley with stunning views that will have you regularly picking your jaw up from the floor! This is one of our very favourite parts of Peru and the energy in the valley is incredible and it’s not hard to understand why this valley was considered so sacred by the Incas.
You’ll be spending 4 days in the Sacred Valley and visiting several beautiful places including:
Pisac is a traditional and rustic village nestled in the Sacred Valley with extraordinary terraces lacing the overlooking mountains. Situated close by the Urubamba river Pisac is world famous for its artisan market open every day although the Sunday market is usually the most extensive. You will be overwhelmed by all the stunning things you can buy here at very competitive prices. As it is high in the Andes where the climate is cool and fresh, this is one of the best places to get your fill of colourful winter clothes. A place of narrow streets with streams running down the centre, plazas, tiny shops, Pisac attracts a burgeoning community of western people flocking to its particular vibrancy to run yoga retreats and many other healing modalities.
High above Pisac town are the ruins of an Inca citadel. This is a great starting point for an inspiring downhill walk. Craggy unscalable walls peppered with the holes of Inca graves, extraordinary agricultural terraces and the extent of the city ruins themselves, will make you marvel. They warrant a slow descent to absorb it all as you walk through massive stone doorways, clamber down steep stairways, through an occasional short tunnel, and weave in and out of a maze of temples. With the Sacred Valley spread out before you, you can almost forget what century you’re living in. A local musician may follow playing his beautiful sounding flute – the perfect serenade for such a timeless place as this.
Day 4 – Huachuma (San Pedro) Ceremony
Huachuma to the indigenous people) is a cactus that grows all along the Andes mountains and it’s another visionary plant teacher that has been used for thousands of years by the shamans of the Andes. You could say it’s Ayahuasca’s mountain cousin, and they complement each other extremely well.
Huachuma is also used for healing as well as mystical purposes. Its incredible energy opens up your channels, allowing you to connect deeply with yourself as well as the entire cosmos and other spiritual dimensions.
Huachuma activates your heart chakra and often leads to incredible feelings of bliss and profound connectivity with nature. Whereas Ayahuasca ceremonies are done at night, Huachuma ceremonies are usually done during the day, out in nature.
Huachuma gets you out of your mind and into your heart. Greater acceptance, love and compassion towards yourself and others are often the results of working with this powerful teacher.
Please note. If for some reason you don’t wish to take part in the Huachuma ceremony, you can spend the day relaxing or exploring Pisac. The hotel we stay in Pisac also offers various holistic therapies and now has a spa. However, these will be an additional cost.
Day 5 – Travel to Ollantaytambo
On the morning of Day 5 you’ll get to rest awhile and then in the afternoon you’ll head to the village of Ollantaytambo which is situated at the far end of the Sacred Valley.
Andean peaks gaze down from on high making it feel like frontier-land. Sitting by the wide plaza at the top of the town, flanked with its multitude of shops with soft-as-down alpaca poncho’s you could easily expect Clint Eastwood to ride in with a cheroot clamped between his teeth. Cobbled streets and dusty roads lead you over the gushing Urubamba. You’ll pass a favourite watering hole called ‘Hearts Cafe’ and discover the impressive ruins of the Inca temple fortress themselves which climb up a steep shoulder of mountain in front of another market-filled plaza where you’ll also find a chocolate museum. The views from the top of the ruins, about two hundred massive steps up, is breath-taking and you can understand how the Inca’s were able to defeat the Spaniards at the battle outside these walls. A fascinating place to explore and a gateway to Machu Picchu by train.
Day 6 – Ollantaytambo Ruins & Train to Machu Picchu
In the morning of Day 6 you’ll visit the ruins at Ollantaytambo and then after lunch we’ll take the train to Machu Picchu village.
Day 7 – Machu Picchu – The Lost City of the Incas
Machu Picchu has been designated one of the Seven Wonders of the World and it’s really not hard to see why. It truly is a staggering achievement guaranteed to fill you with awe and wonder from the moment you arrive. Just standing in this place is enough to raise your consciousness to a whole new level! Machu Picchu is sometimes known as the “Lost city of the Incas”, “The City of Light for Initiates” and the “Crystal City”.
It is an ancient and very sacred power place that is fed by grids of powerful natural energies. The shamanic belief is that Machu Picchu served as an initiatory centre for higher learning.
Whatever the truth, it is a mystical and enigmatic place many of us have dreamed of experiencing and yet however you imagined it to be, the reality will be far more intense and extraordinary. The view over the ruins of the citadel is as iconic as the image of Earth from space but when you stand above it as the sun creeps over the nearby peaks to light these ancient walls and terraces foot by foot you will be stunned to silence. Nothing can prepare you for the impact of seeing this extraordinary ‘crystal city’ emerge from the shadows of the dawn and your dreams.
It is a wonder-filled journey walking through the temples and gardens perched on this mountain-top eyrie surrounded and protected by higher mountain peaks. You will wake up early at 4.45am to have a quick breakfast and then get on the first bus so that you will be one of the first people through the gates when they open at 6am. This is the best time to enter Machu Picchu because you will feel like you have the place to yourself until crowds start arriving.
Day 8 – Rest at Machu Picchu
Our tours beginning in January have an extra day at Machu Picchu. This gives you a full morning of rest, or if you wanted to you could visit Machu Picchu again early in the morning (You would need to purchase a second ticket). After lunch we will get a train back to Cusco where we will have a final meal together.
Day 9 - Tour ends, and fly to Iquitos
Day 9 is a travel day. In the morning you'll fly from Cusco to Lima and then in the afternoon from Lima to Iquitos in the Amazon jungle.
Included in the cost of this trip is:
- 8 Nights in 4 different hotels
- 1 San Pedro Ceremony
- Train to Machu Picchu and all bus travel around Cusco and Sacred Valley
- All Entrance Fees
- Breakfast everyday
What's not included:
- International flights to Peru
- Domestic flights
- Flight from Cusco to Iquitos (We can arrange this for $250 including 2 nights accommodation in Iquitos before your retreat starts)
- Lunches and evening meals on the tour
Due to the way our new booking system works we have to take the payments separately for the tour and the retreat.
The cost of the Gaia Tree retreat is $990 and the cost of the tour is $1700
If you want us to arrange your flight to Iquitos and accommodation for 2 nights there is an additional cost of $250
Therefore the total cost is $2940 (or $2690 if you arrange your own flights and accommodation)
You can pay $500 deposit on the Gaia Tree retreat and an $850 deposit on the tour. You can pay by either credit or debit card and the remaining balance will be automatically charged to your card 6 weeks before the tour and retreats start.
What flights you need to arrange
The Gaia Tree center is in a very different part of Peru to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Gaia Tree is based in the north of Peru, in Iquitos, and Cusco and Machu Picchu are in the Andes mountains, several hundred miles south. There are no direct flights between Cusco and Iquitos.
The Machu Picchu tour starts and finishes in Cusco, and the Gaia Tree retreat starts and ends in Iquitos.
Book your international flight all the way through to Cusco. We recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 1 day before the tour starts because you're at high altitude and it's good to give yourself at least 24 hours to acclimatise. Also, the tour starts at 10am and you would need to fly to Cusco very early if you arrive on the same day the tour starts.
Using these flight booking sites you can book your return flight to begin in a different location than where you arrived. You do not want your return flight to start in Cusco, because you will finish in Iquitos . So please book your return flight to start in Iquitos.
You will also need to fly between Cusco and Iquitos after the tour finishes. There are no direct flights so you need to fly via Lima, the capital of Peru. To make things easier for you, we can book these flights for you at a cost of $250 and we also include 2 nights accommodation before your retreat starts.
Alternatively, if you would like to spend some time in Lima, the capital of Peru. You can book your international flight to Lima. And then arrange all your domestic flights separately. This option may sometimes work out cheaper. If you do this option and want to find the cheapest domestic flights then we recommend you book your domestic flights with Star Peru or Peruvian Airlines.
Not coming to Gaia Tree?
Anybody is welcome to attend this Machu Picchu adventure, even if you don't want to attend the Ayahuasca retreat (or if you wish to do a different ayahuasca retreat). If you only want to do this Machu Picchu adventure and not the Gaia Tree retreat, then the cost is $1700. You can register for the tour at Outer Travels Inner Journeys
How to register
Before registering there are a few things you should be aware of and agree with.
First of all you need to be reasonably fit and in pretty good health. We’re going to be at high altitude for much of the tour and it can be pretty tough on some people, although the majority of people get over altitude sickness within 24 hours. Also, although we’re not going to be doing any really long hikes, there will sometimes be walking involved at locations that are sometimes rocky and steep to climb - nothing particularly dangerous, but certainly not ideal for people with any walking disabilities.
We recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 24 hours before the tour begins so that you can acclimatize to the altitude.
Accommodation will be mostly 2 and 3 star hotels, nothing extravagant, but all will be charming, clean and comfortable.
All rooms in hotels will be shared (same sex, and 2 people to a room), if you’re coming with a partner or friend please let me know so we can put you together. If you wish to have a single room, it can be arranged at a higher price (subject to availability).
Most importantly you should understand that this is a spiritual retreat, so please only apply if you feel called to this experience at a soul level.
1) First of all choose your preferred Gaia Tree retreat:
We offer the tours on the following Gaia Tree retreats:
Please register for your preferred Gaia Tree retreat first.
|September 15 - 22, 2018||6||Register now|
|September 24 - October 1, 2018||9||Register now|
|October 13 - 20, 2018||3||Register now|
|October 22 - 29, 2018||9||Register now|
|November 10 - 17, 2018||12||Register now|
|December 8 - 15, 2018||12||Register now|
|January 12 - 19, 2019||12||Register now|
|January 21 - 28, 2019||11||Register now|
2) Register for the accompanying tour:
Once you have registered for your Gaia Tree retreat please register for your preferred tour dates below:
|April 4th - 12th, 2018 (for Gaia Tree retreat starting 14th April)||Register Now|
|May 2nd - 10th, 2018 (for Gaia Tree retreat starting 12th May)||Register Now|
|June 6th - 14th, 2018 (for Gaia Tree retreat starting 16th June)||Register Now|
|July 4th - 12th, 2018 (for Gaia Tree retreat starting 14th July)||Register Now|
|August 1st - 9th, 2018 (for Gaia Tree retreat starting 11th August)||Register Now|
|September 5th - 13th, 2018 (for Gaia Tree retreat starting 15th Sept)||Register Now|
|October 3rd - 11th, 2018 (for Gaia Tree retreat starting 13th October)||Register Now|