ITINERARY FOR: A MAGICAL JOURNEY TO MACHU PICCHU

With Jean-Claude & Arianne Koven
September 17 - October 1, 2010

Experience the Spiritual, Traditional,
Cultural, and Mystical Wonders of Peru

Eleven-night program

To the world at large, Machu Picchu is an important tourist attraction – a treasured cultural site that was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Since it is one of the few places not plundered by the Spanish when they conquered the Incas, it offers a rare opportunity to view a well-preserved time capsule of the Inca civilization. But, as we discovered, Machu Picchu is far more than a rich archeological site. If one has been properly initiated, then the hidden, arcane aspect of this historic sanctuary springs to life and one experiences the very same instreaming energetic flows that arguably caused “The Lost City of the Incas” to be constructed in the first place.

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One can certainly go to Machu Picchu and the land of the Urubamba River as a tourist and ask to be entertained. He (or she) will return with stunning photos, T-shirts, and locally crafted goods, replete with wonderful stories that will regale friends and family for years to come. Or one can enter the mystical world of shamans and seers as a seeker, open to experience and be transformed by the timeless energies that have connected this planet to the higher mysteries for billions of years.

No one can foretell what will actually happen for each participant. What we can report is that you will have the opportunity of entering what can best be described as dimensional portals. These “gaps in space/time” have the power to project you out of this illusion and present you with perspectives that will completely redefine your sense of self and the cosmos. We have experienced other “power vortices” in other parts of the planet, but none as singular or focused as those present in the lands of the Urubamba.

Because of the extraordinary nature of this quest, we are limiting the group to approximately sixteen participants. It will be a grand adventure in every sense of the word. While in the Sacred Valley, we will be staying at Willka T’ika Guesthouse, set in breathtaking gardens on the slopes of the Urubamba. The surrounding gardens are filled with Andean medicinal plants, brilliant flowers and organically grown vegetables, all featured in our gourmet strictly vegetarian meals. Our menus also include delicious and nutritious protein-filled Andean cereals and legumes. Seven sacred gardens for healing and meditation, indoor meditation rooms, solar-heated floral medicinal baths, healing massage rooms and a crystal bed healing room are all available to guests.

Each day after a relaxed buffet breakfast, we will visit a different ancient Inkan site in the Sacred Valley. Time is set aside for hiking and your personal exploration and meditation inside each sacred site.

At all times, we will travel with a guide passionate about her work, who will spark your excitement as you come into contact with the traditions and spirituality of each ancient site. Our guide will ensure that your adventure is organized to cater to your individual needs.

We have arranged authentic rituals led by a practicing healers and seers in the Andean tradition and a modern day representative of an age-old line of spiritual authority. Just being in their presence is transformative beyond measure. Experiencing them presenting a tableau of your spiritual life from a reading of cocoa leaves will astound you. There is a certain magic and inner knowing that has been held in the tradition of the Andes for millennia. You will no doubt discover (as we did) that there is much in us we had yet to uncover.

This trip has been one of the highlights of our lives. We want to share it with a small group of friends who want to delve ever-deeper into the eternal mystery. Following is our provisional itinerary. We are planning certain refinements and will share them with participants as they gel.

The package includes eight nights at Willka T’ika, two days in fascinating Cusco City, two days at Machu Picchu, guides, authentic Andean ceremonies, transport, hotel accommodation, entrance tickets and tourist train to Machu Picchu. All meals at Willka T’ika, a welcome lunch in Cusco and special dinner at Machu Picchu are included.

Our Magical Journey to Machu Picchu provides the opportunity to connect on a deeper level to the indigenous culture and authentic spirituality of the Quechua people. You will be inspired by:

  • Willka T’ika Garden Retreat Centre: A place of serenity, peace and exquisite beauty.
  • Early morning/evening meditations in our beautiful gardens and studios.
  • Magnificent Andean peaks and Sacred Valley scenery.
  • Mysterious ancient cities and temples including Machu Picchu.
  • Vibrant and colourful Quechua people in their mountain villages.
  • Andean culture and cosmology. Participation in authentic ancient ceremonies.

Friday, September 17th:
Departure from home country for Cusco City via Lima.

Saturday, September 18th:
The program begins in Cusco, ancient capital of the Inkan Empire. Magical Journey airport transfer to comfortable hotel conveniently situated off the historic Plaza de Armas. Rest for a few hours and acclimate to the 11,000 ft altitude before the program officially begins. At 1 PM, our guide will meet us downstairs in the lobby for a welcome lunch at Pukara, followed by a group. Then, a late afternoon walk through the cobblestone streets of Cusco where our guide will point out fascinating Inkan stonework en route to the Korikancha Temple, the holiest site during Inkan times. We will explore the remarkable technological wonders of this landmark culture. Early night to rest or enjoy a walk through the San Blas Artists’ district, a quaint area filled with artisan and art shops. Stop in at one of the lively restaurants or coffee shops. (L)

Sunday, September 19th:
After a buffet breakfast in the hotel, early bus to the Inkan ritual fountain at Tampumachay, the perfect starting place for our program on Andean cosmology. “Where there is water, there is life.” To the Andean people, water is sacred, and we participate in a water ceremony that balances and opens our energy centers further activating and enhancing our creative and healing forces. Our first coca-leaf ceremony will introduce us to the sacred energies of Pachamama (Mother Earth). Continue onward with a visit to the sacred sites at Saksaywaman overlooking the city of Cusco. Impressive stonework and structures weighing hundreds of tons never fail to amaze visitors. How did the ancestors of the Quechua and Inkans build those structures without the use of the wheel and steel implements? Return to Cusco for lunch on our own or free time to explore some of the quality silver shops on the main square. In the evening, dine at one of the restaurants around the festive main square where musicians stroll by to entertain. (B)

Monday, September 20th:
After breakfast, enjoy a morning visit to the local market to show the traditional foods and aspects that are there. Or free time to walk through the cobblestone streets to the San Blas Artists’ district, a quaint area filled with artisan and art shops, lively restaurants and coffee shops.

Group meets back at the hotel for 3:30 PM departure to the Sacred Valley and Willka T’ika Garden Guest House, our base over the next week. Willka T’ika was built especially for Magical Journey groups to gather for teachings and meditation in a garden setting, and enjoy the splendor of the Andes. Orientation at Willka T’ika followed by a welcome dinner and introduction to their friendly Quechua staff. Early evening autumn equinox ceremony (very auspicious timing) to connect with the energies in the Sacred Valley. (B.D)

At Willka T’ika you will enjoy the peace and tranquility of Nature surrounded by an abundance of Andean flowers and medicinal herbs, the perfect setting for transformative experiences. Their vegetarian meals cater to the special health diets and requirements of their guests and include high protein Andean grains and fruits. All meals at Willka T’ika are vegetarian, with large amounts of our organic food grown in the sacred energy of their gardens. While at Willka T’ika there will be time to schedule a private massage/healing session in our healing rooms, a crystal bed treatment, or a soak in our hot outdoor Andean baths filled with minerals from Pachamama and medicinal herbs and flowers from the gardens.

Enjoy some of the wonderful offerings at Willka T’ika. Make sure that you set time aside to explore the seven healing gardens filled with medicinal herbs and flowers. Check out the array of unique Andean birds in the gardens.

Attention shoppers – Peru has markets filled with wonderful goods. If you like to shop, when you see all the Andean offerings, you will want to buy a variety of beautiful hand-woven goods, ceramics, music, alpaca sweaters, hats, gloves and loads of creative jewelry. If you are tempted by any of the offerings and you enjoy shopping in foreign country markets, please plan to bring EXTRA CASH in US currency, untorn bills. Based on feedback from past participants, Magical Journey recommends that you bring extra cash in US dollars. Euros can be changed in Cusco.

Tuesday, September 21st:
Root Chakra Day – Focus on Pachamama, the Earth, releasing to the earth, being earth bound. Special day with authentic Andean ceremony. Morning optional yoga/stretch and buffet breakfast. After breakfast group orientation tour of the seven sacred gardens at Willka T’ika. Incorporating Andean symbols, these magnificent flower and herbal gardens bring wholeness to our being and have been built with love and guidance from nature. Group attunement and meditation in the gardens connect us with Pachamama and further enhances our connection to the energies of the Sacred Valley. Our guests are encouraged to spend time and meditate in the splendors of nature during their stay at Willka T’ika and during visits to nearby ancient sites.

Energetic guests may hike in the countryside, stopping at a neighbor’s chicharia to see how the traditional drink is brewed. Chicha, made from Sara (sacred corn), is an important component in ceremonies to the Apukuna (mountain spirits). Our staff, all children of traditional Quechua campesinos will happily accompany you and invite you into their nearby homes. Others may wish to use the time to rest, paint and write in their journals. Early afternoon also is the best time to schedule coca-leaf readings (included in the price of our trip). After an early dinner, an authentic pakko – a ritual specialist – invites the group to participate in a special Andean offering ceremony to Pachamama. Conducted for the well being of the group and practiced by Andean Quechua for thousands of years, this despacho healing ceremony invites you into their spirit-filled world. The despacho ends with a fire ceremony, preparing our mind, body and spirit for our pilgrimage to Machu Picchu. A gift of a coca leaf reading to each participant (included in the price of our trip). (B.L.D)

Wednesday, September 22nd:
Water Chakra Day. After early optional yoga/stretch and breakfast, we welcome the sparkling energies of the day by going ‘into the earth’ at Moray Circles followed by a visit through Maras salt farms – salt of the earth. You arrive at the Urubamba River in the Valley below for a picnic lunch. An afternoon meeting in the water garden to help seal in your daily invocations. (B.D)

Thursday, September 23rd:
Sun Chakra Day – EARLY sunrise drive through the Sacred Valley to P’isaq and Sun temple, Intiwatana.

Overlooking impressive Inkan terraces, we hike the non-tourist trail to the Inkan Temple of the Sun, a doorway to the upper Andean world of the Condor, messenger of the Gods. Connect with the animal archetype of the puma – fear, courage. Optional meditation and optional hike down the mountain to the colorful market of P’isaq. Be prepared – this market offers a wonderful opportunity to buy woven goods, jewelry, colorful wall hangings and hand-painted beadwork, as well as wonderful photographic opportunities. Observe the colorful traditionally dressed campesinos coming to barter and sell their produce. Our guide will recommend some delicious options for an inexpensive al fresco lunch, where you can watch the lively activities of the market. Return to Willka T’ika in the afternoon for a visit in the Sun Garden. Time to relax before dinner. (B.D)

Friday, September 24th:
Heart Chakra Day – munay, love, AYNI: Opening the heart to receive and give love in true Andean tradition, through the children. Exchange of gifts, work with them, teach them a song, art, English or music.

After breakfast, your day will begin with a very special visit to an Andean mountain school (weather permitting). For fifteen years Magical Journey has maintained contact with dedicated school teachers and traditionally-dressed pupils in isolated high mountain communities, in areas that few tourists are privileged to visit. With each visit, we see how Andean communities, so dear to our hearts, are progressing. The warmth and joy of the children and their openness in bringing us into their daily lives are experiences not easily forgotten. Visitors always are humbled and deeply moved by this cultural exchange.

Note: All net profits from our group will be donated to the Children’s Fund.

WILLKA T’IKA CHILDREN’S FUND:

Our special Willka T’ika Children’s Fund began fifteen years ago with small projects to help Quechua children in isolated Andean villages and grew to building a four-roomed schoolhouse for teachers and fully-stocked library at Patakancha, where we had supplied school materials, food for hostal children and hot lunch meals for over four years. We also supported mothers in three special weaving programs, provided blankets and traditional clothing for children during cold winter months, and financed numerous school activities and projects.

Since then, we have been called to more needy areas that are not easily reached where we continue to assist isolated mountain communities in desperate need of help. The Children’s Fund currently supports four schools – supplying a hot meal daily to all the children in an isolated village, supporting a community weaving program and assisting two new schools in very poor communities with donations for desks, tables and basic amenities such as hygienic services, paint, windows, and other supplies as needed in the years to come. Thanks to donations to the fund, the children can concentrate on their studies and catch up to the standards of education that will assist them in acquiring work one day.

We run an ongoing emergency medical assistance fund. Hospitals are not free and supply no medicines whatsoever. We remain open to requests for emergency treatment for children who otherwise would receive no help. Where essential, we continue to supply students with a hot lunch each school day. Each September on Children’s Day and Christmas, we try to fulfill multiple requests to assist teachers and organizers with transport and food so mountain children can attend special festivities and receive small gifts at appropriate times. Our own guide runs a radio program to encourage children to read and creates festivals of dance and music. As an incentive to encourage children in the arts, Willka T’ika sponsors bicycles and other gifts as a once-in-a-lifetime prize to the winners. We choose projects where children receive NO other assistance. Whatever donations we receive, whether in the form of articles or money, go directly to the children, with no middle man or organization taking anything off the top. We continue to invite all our participants to help the children by bringing books in Spanish that relate to their nature-based life style, quality art and school supplies or second-hand hardy clothing for children aged 4-12.

After our visit with the community, we will make our way to the Ollantaytambo ruins with its wonderful stonework and sun temple. Preparation for Machu Picchu.

Saturday, September 25th:
Sound Chakra Day – Opening to sound, expression, communication.

Morning train to Aguas Calientes, the lively village situated below the nearby Machu Picchu Ruins. After a brief check-in to our hotel, ascend by bus to the sunlit terraces of the historical Inkan center of spiritual and political power. In the morning our special guide will take us on a tour of the “Lost City of the Inka.” Thereafter there is plenty of time to return in the afternoon as pilgrims for meditations and explorations its unique energy sites. We will assist the group in deciding which areas they might wish to further explore or hike.

Meet at the hotel at 6pm. Weather permitting, the group is invited to participate in an outdoor shamanic healing ceremony. The healer uses special custom-made instruments to tune in deeply to the core essence of Machu Picchu. After the hour-long ceremony, Magical Journey invites you to a delicious three-course dinner in one of the finest restaurants in Aguas Calientes. (B.D)

Sunday, September 26th:
We are planning a special sunrise ceremony at Machu Picchu, leaving on the 5:30am bus. Our guide will meet us back at the hotel in the afternoon at the appointed time to catch our afternoon train back to Ollantaytampu where we will transfer to Willka T’ika in time for dinner. (B.D)

Monday, September 27th:
Spiral Chakra Day – third eye, opened vision, intuition.
A day of integration. Optional yoga/stretch in the morning. Take in a meditation walk in the spiral garden. Some of you may wish to take in another guided hike around the surrounding villages. Free time while each person experiences a half hour session in the crystal bed to ‘top things off’. (B.L.D)

Tuesday, September 28th:
Crown Chakra Day – final day dedicated to the Lucuma tree – ancient energies, ancestral. Optional morning yoga/stretch and readings will be available with psychic and seer Doris (included in the price of our trip). Group closing ceremony in the gardens before dinner followed by an evening farewell gathering and group activity. (B.L.D)

Wednesday, September 29th:
After breakfast, there will be an early departure to the Cusco Aiport for those going back to Lima or continuing on to Lake Titicaca. (We are currently putting together an additional optional tour to Bolivia/Lake Titicaca. This is not part of the Machu Picchu package and we will provide details at a later date. Please let us know if you might also be interested in this extra journey.) Please coordinate your departure flight times with the group facilitators. Booking on the same flight works best. Passengers have to be at the airport one and half hours before the flight and it takes one hour and fifteen minutes from Willka T’ika to the airport. To avoid getting up at dawn, we suggest that you book your departure from Cusco at around 11:00-11:30am. Multiple flight departures may require multiple transfers from the guesthouse at additional cost. With some airline exceptions, overseas flights out of Lima tend to leave in the evening. (B)

Thursday, September 30th:
Arrival in home city.

The itinerary is subject to change in extraordinary circumstances. Weather in the Andes is unpredictable and may cause delays or cancellation of flights or activities. Changes in flights and train schedule are common in Peru. We work with authentic healers who are not always available on certain dates and therefore we may need to adjust the itinerary. We also select days to visit sites when fewer tourists are likely to be there.

In over twenty years of running special programs in Peru, our hosts have had a perfect record with only minor weather-related adjustments to our activities. However, we, Magical Journey and Willka T’ika Guesthouse cannot be held responsible for any unforeseen events in Peru or elsewhere that may disrupt this program offering. We strongly suggest that all participants take out travel/health insurance to protect your travel investment.

Program begins and ends with group Cusco airport transfers.

Note: The order of the various outings may be changed and may be altered if weather or other conditions arise. The prices are based on double occupancy. Single supplements and private transfers (if needed) are additional in cost. Extra nights in Cusco before or after the tour are optional and not included in tour price.

Cost includes all programs and meals indicated in this itinerary. All quality hotels, transport, specially selected guides, all entrance tickets, workshops with authentic healers, a lunch in Cusco, dinner in Aguas Calientes, all breakfasts and all meals while at Willka T’ika. Willka T’ika serves delicious organic vegetarian meals including ample buffet breakfasts, garden lunches and gourmet dinners.

  • (B.L.D) indicates breakfast, lunch, or dinner included in the land costs.

There is no facility like Willka T’ika in Peru, and there is no other company we know that offers an authentic Andean program at this price, with high quality accommodation, massage and spa options, beautiful meditation facilities, superior healthy meals, first class services, excellent guides who offer personalized teachings, wonderful and genuine Andean ceremonies, and a commitment from all their staff to do their very best to make this a journey of a lifetime.

Not included:

  • International return flights from your country to Cusco via Lima.
  • Please allow between $4-$14 for the meals not included in the itinerary.
  • Airport departure taxes: Each participant must keep aside a total of approximately US$44 (US$32 for one international and $6.00 each for two domestic departures).
  • Individual airport transfers.

Tipping: It is customary in Peru for each group to tip their guide who will be with the group the entire time at the end of the program. Past participants comment on how much the guide enhances the journey. The amount of this tip is entirely up to the group’s discretion. (included in the price of our trip).

Flights: We will help you coordinate the flight times with leader to ensure that you all arrive together. We recommend arriving into Cusco by 9:30 AM in order to start your acclimation. Peru is currently a very popular travel destination and we advise that early international and domestic flight bookings are essential. LAN Airlines has convenient international direct flights to Lima, with connections on their subsidiary LAN Peru to Cusco. Multiple US carriers fly into Lima. TACA Airlines has international service to Lima with daily connections to Cusco.

If arriving at a different time from the group leader, there will be an additional cost of $12 fee to send an agent to meet you at the airport and transfer you from the airport to the hotel in Cusco or you may easily take a taxi outside baggage claim for $9 or so straight to your hotel. Hotel selection depends on availability. Late registrants cannot be assured of our first choice of hotels and Magical Journey reminds you that early booking is essential and will ensure your place in this special program. Additional detailed tour information, including suggested packing, reading and contact lists will be made available to send to participants upon their registration. All costs are accurate at the time of printing and are subject to change.

If you are interested in joining us on this adventure, please let us know ASAP by return email. Names will be listed as received. We will send out additional mailings over the next few months to provide you with updates on the tour.

The cost of the entire Sacred Valley tour as provided above is USD$3,750. This is exclusive of your airfare to/from Lima and Cusco and any non-itemized extras or individual purchases you wish to make. A non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 is required to reserve your place. The balance of $2,750.00 will be due by March 15, 2010.

CONTACT AND HOTEL INFORMATION

Willka T’ika Garden Guesthouse
Paradero Rumichaka, Urubamba, Peru
Telephone: +51 84 201508
US Emergency – 888-737-8070 (PST)

The guide for this program is Gabriela (Gaby) Meneses
She can be reached by message through Willka T’ika Guesthouse.

September 18th & 19th, 2010 – Cusco:
Hotel Los Andes de America,
Calle Garcilaso #234, Cusco
Telephone: +51 84 222253 or 084-606060
Fax: 084-606071

September 25th, 2010 – Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu):
Hotel Andina,
Aguas Calientes
E-mail: reservas@siahotels.com
Tele: Office in Cusco: 084-244598
At Machu Picchu: 084-211102 / 084-211106
Fax: 084-211065

There was also an optional side trip to Bolivia after the Peru Journey.
For more information CLICK HERE

All profits from this trip (as well as the profits from the optional Bolivia portion of the journey) were donated to the Willka T’ika Children’s Fund.