JOURNEY TO LIGHT
October 5 - 19, 2015
Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Holy Mountain Ausangate
Land Cost $2,600
Dear Spritual Traveler,
Welcome to Journey to Light - the 2015 Peru Expedition, produced by Shaman's Journey. This will be a spiritual exploration of the land and culture of the Earthkeepers of the high Andes. We will connect with the energy and the lineages of the Q'ero Paqos and the sacred Karpay transmissions. We will travel in the spirit of Munay- universal love. The trip has been carefully planned for you to have an exceptional experience. We will have great Peruvian guides and Q’ero Paqos to share ceremony with at the sacred sites we visit.
This is the trip of a lifetime - please join us!
We are not a commercial tour company motivated by profit. The land costs we offer are an outstanding value. Check the internet and you’ll see - prices are nearly double for similar packages. Please review the information that is available below and let me know if you have any questions or need more information. If you are planning to come with us, please send us an e-mail stating your intention, and your excursion will begin!
Experience a video of our 2013 Peru expedition.
Included in the land cost fee:
Not included in the land cost fee:
Hotel accommodations based on double occupancy.
Daily continental breakfasts at hotels.
All transfers by motor coach or train.
All entrance fees to sites as outlined in itinerary, including Machu Picchu.
All tours, teachings, and personal assistance from qualified multilingual staff.
Ceremonies with Q’ero Paqos at sacred sites as outlined in itinerary.
At Ausangate: guides, horses, tents and food.
International round trip airfare to Cusco, Peru. Traveler must arrive at airport in Cusco, Peru, by 3:00 pm October 5, 2015. Arrival flight number and time must be confirmed with us by the traveler prior to departure.
Meals not specified in the detailed trip description; drinking water or beverages.
Special transfers for early arrivals or late departures.
Gratuities for travel, hotel, guides, and other.
Additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors.
Health or Traveler’s insurance … strongly recommended.
Additional travel pre or post trip.
Other non-included items: souvenir shopping, personal phone calls, laundry, items of a personal nature.
Registration and Payment Schedule:
A non-refundable deposit of $800 is due by July 3, 2015 and is required to confirm your space in the excursion.
Deposit: $800 due by July 3, 2015
Second Payment: $900 due by August 3, 2015
Third Payment: $900 is due by September 3, 2015
Payments can be made with credit cards online, or by mailing a check to: Shaman's Journey, Peru Excursion, 509 Drown Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023. Late registrations may be accepted at the discretion of Shaman's Journey and are subject to availability of space, accommodations and tour tickets.
Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Ausangate – October 5-19, 2015
Day 1 (Monday, Oct 5)
Travel to Lima, then fly to Cusco arriving in Cusco by 3:00pm. Private bus will take us to our hotel in Pisaq, then evening dinner at hotel with group. Overnight in Pisaq
Day 2 (Tuesday Oct 6)
Leisurely breakfast at hotel. Mid-morning we will bus to the Pisaq Temples and share in Ceremony with the Q’ero.
Afternoon nap or visit to the excellent crafts market in town. Overnight in Pisaq.
Day 3 (Wednesday Oct 7)
Leisurely breakfast at hotel, optional visit to market. Late morning departure for Ollantaytambo. After a light lunch, we’ll tour
the fortress and Temple of the Winds. We finish the tour at the Temple of the Waters. Optional hike to Tunupa for sunset. Overnight in Ollantaytambo.
Day 4 (Thursday, Oct 8)
Late morning departure for the scenic train ride to Machu Picchu. Explore Aquas Calientes town in the afternoon. Group dinner at Indio Feliz restaurant and overnight in Aguas Calientes.
Day 5 (Friday, Oct 9)
Early bus up to entrance gate of Machu Picchu. Guided tour for approximately 2 hours, then a rest break followed by free time for personal exploration. We return mid-afternoon for our comfortable train ride back to Ollantaytambo where we spend the night.
Day 6 (Saturday, Oct 10)
Travel by bus to Moray, the Temple of Pachamama, where we participate in ceremony with the Qero. Optional hike down the salt flats called Salineras to the Urumbamba River. Lunch at Urubamba town. Optional private session with Qero on this afternoon (additional charge for private sessions). Overnight in Ollantaytambo.
Day 7 (Sunday, Oct 11)
We leave Cuzco and proceed to the Chinchero plateau, where we enjoy spectacular views of several massive glacial mountains. There we participate in ceremony with the Qero at the high terraces of the temple ruins. We visit the weaver´s guild for a home weaving demonstration, then visit the Sunday market. We return to stay overnight in Cuzco.
Day 8 (Monday, Oct 12)
We pass valleys and mountains west of Cuzco on the way to Quillarumiyok. At the Temple of the Moon, we explore the trails and share in ceremony with the Qero. We return to Cuzco and have a group dinner near Plaza de Armas. Overnight in Cuzco.
Day 9 (Tuesday, Oct 13)
Morning tour of Sacsayhuaman, and afternoon options of resting or more exploration around Cuzco. Overnight in Cuzco.
Day 10 (Wednesday, Oct 14)
We leave on an early bus to the village of Tinqi, where we’ll meet our guides and horses, check our gear, then walk to our base camp at Pachanta Pampa. We put up our tents, enjoy warm meals, and begin to explore the otherworldy landscape
of the high Andes. We’ll hold a New Moon in Cancer ceremony - an auspicious time to offer gratitude and gifts to the Apu, and set our intentions at the foot of the holy mountain Ausangate. Camping.
Day 11 (Thursday, Oct 15)
After a hot breakfast we pack up and hike 4 to 5 hours, stopping for a scenic lunch along the way. Horses will carry our gear. A horse is available if someone needs to ride part of the way. Arriving near the Blue Lagoon, we’ll make our second camp, then we’ll visit the nearby Jaguar Lagoons and make ceremony with the Q'ero to offer our prayers of gratitude to the Apus. Camping.
Day 12 (Friday, Oct16)
A day of breathtaking exploration, ceremony and high initiation directly from the Apu Ausangate. We will confer with the Qero
to set our plan for the day to include ceremony and high initiation rites.Some will hike further up towards the Rainbow Lagoon
and others may walk closer to camp. Camping.
Day 13 (Saturday, Oct 17)
We’ll have an early hot breakfast and break camp. We hike back down towards the Pachanta Pampa and set up base camp again. There we can soak in hot springs and give gratitude for our ability to speak directly with the Apus and receive their blessings. Camping.
Day 14 (Sunday, Oct 18)
After an early hot breakfast we’ll break camp again, then make the return trip to Cusco arriving before noon. Rest, reflection and relaxation in Cusco for the afternoon and evening.
Day 15 (Monday, Oct 19)
Early transfer to Cuzco airport for return trip to US.
Shaman's Journey reserves the right to modify the itinerary at any time without notice, to account for weather conditions, availability of services or other unforeseen circumstances. Peru is an undeveloped country where things happen in their own time! If the itinerary changes, we will endeavor to make the excursion as good, or better than the original itinerary.
Essential Trip Information
Please do not purchase airfare until the trip minimum has been met. If you do, it is at your own risk.
We are prepared to coordinate obtaining a group discount for those who wish to fly together from Los Angeles LAX airport. Please let us know asap if you would like to participate. We work with a South America expert travel agent who has helped us in the past. She will be monitoring fare fluctuations and will advise us regarding timing.
The Application Form, the Agreement and Release Form, and a scan (not a photocopy) of your passport are due with your deposit. The Traveler Information Form and your airline flight information are due as soon as possible after purchasing your airfare. DOWNLOAD FORMS
A valid passport is required for entry into Peru. A ninety day visa is automatically given to US citizens upon entry. You should also carry a second form of photo ID, such as your driver's license, and have a photocopy of the personal data page of your passport. If you lose your passport, this is the easiest way to prove your identity. We suggest keeping a photocopy of your passport tucked in each piece of luggage.
Please check your passport expiration date right now and apply for renewal immediately if it expires before or within six months of your travel. Before you send in the renewal application with your current passport, SCAN it (don't just copy it) and save that digital file! Some international airlines will not permit boarding with a passport that expires within six months of travel.
If you are traveling with a passport from a country other than the US, please call the Peruvian Consulate nearest to you and find out if there are any visa requirements. The Los Angeles telephone number is 213 252 5910. You can also check the requirements for each country by logging on to Peru Embassy
Responsibity for Health and Safety
You are responsible for your own health and safety at all times while on the excursion. In the event of any medical or health problem, Shaman's Journey will do their best to help you obtain qualified medical care. Shaman's Journey is not responsible for any costs incurred, and does not cover the cost of any medical care or treatment. You are responsible for your own medical care and insurance.
Sometimes, weather, illness, lost baggage or travel-related issues force travelers to cancel plans or drop out of a tour. Travel insurance reimburses you for these and other kinds of loss. We strongly recommend that each traveler purchase travel insurance covering medical expenses, emergency assistance, baggage claim and trip cancellation or delay. There are many types available online, such as Travelex or Travel Guard which can be found online at www.travelex.com or www.travelguard.com . If you book your flights with an agent, they may offer you a dicsount on travel insurance.
Check with your existing health plan to make sure they cover your medical care in foreign countries. If not, you can add this to your travel insurance coverage. You may also want to check with your credit card company, which may already include some sort of luggage or trip cancellation insurance.
Budgeting for your Trip
Airfare: Your largest expense other than the land cost will be your airfare. You are responsible for making your reservations and paying your airfare. We recommend LAN airlines for first time travelers to Peru. If you budget $1400 for airfare you should be covered. Airfares tend to fluctuate in relationship to time and other factors that may not be apparent. Please do not purchase airfare until the trip minimum has been met. If you do, it is at your own risk.
Meals: You are responsible for paying for meals other than the daily continental breakfasts served at hotels. We will likely be eating lunches and dinners at local restaurants. Prices are generally lower than US. You could save by shopping at local markets, however note the precautions about Water and Food below. On a couple days at the more remote sites, we could buy food and make a picnic lunch. We suggest you budget $275 for meals.
Gratuities: We recommend that the group convene at the end of the journey to collect a tip for the guides and driver, which is customary for good service. A typical tip for guides is $5-10 per day per person. We suggest you budget $100 for gratuities, which would include $1 per day for your hotel maid.
Travel Insurance: Prices vary depending on type of coverages, your age, etc. We suggest you budget $150 to $200.
Souvenirs and Craft Purchases: This is completely up to each traveler. There are many beautiful weavings and handcrafts everywhere in Peru and you will certainly be tempted to bring some home.
Private Healing Sessions: Another item to consider would be the cost of a private healing session with one of the Q'ero shamans. If you choose to have receive one, the cost is usually $50 U.S. dollars, and well worth the energetic healing you will receive.
Money in Peru is in Nuevo Soles. The symbol is S/. The current exchange rate is 3.16S/. per dollar. We'll visit a currency exchange in Cuzco with a good rate so you'll have some spending money when you arrive. We don’t recommend carrying large amounts of cash around.
Most ATM cards work at cash machines in the Sacred Valley and Cusco, and it’s a handy way to manage cash. The exchange rate for cash at ATM’s is usually a little better than the exchange rate for traveler's checks. To be on the safe side, check with your bank to see if they have ATM affiliates in Cusco, and be sure to let them know you will be traveling in Peru, so they don’t put a lock on your account when the first transaction comes through.
The next safest way to get cash is at one of the many “Cambio” offices that are in most towns. (Cambio means change in Spanish). Avoid street moneychangers. Visa credit cards are generally accepted in Peru. Note: “damaged” US dollars (imperfect) are not accepted in Peru. Do not bring dollars in 1,5, or 10 denominations. Bring only new or "perfect" bills if you bring paper dollars at all.
Handling money in a third world country is not quite the same as in the US. Use precautions as you would traveling anywhere. It's acceptable in Peru to haggle over prices, especially with street sellers who generally inflate their prices for tourists. Street vendors may not have change and expect you to pay in exact currency, so carry a variety.
Cell Phone and Internet
If you bring and use your cell phone in Peru, you might get hit with enormous ‘roaming charges’ unless you set up an international fixed price plan before you travel. Also be sure to turn off "data roaming" while you are there. Most hotels and restaurants have Wi-Fi in the lobby so you can connect to the internet. Consider unplugging from the digital world during your travel in Peru.
Planning for your Peru Excursion
Medicines and Remedies
If you take prescription medicines, be sure to bring what you need. Containers must be clearly labeled with prescription forms to avoid problems at Customs. A compact personal first aid kit is advisable. Personal remedies might include headache, stomach ache, cold symptoms, or dehydration. We recommend packets of Emergen-C or other brand of electrolyte supplement which can be added to bottled water (both hot and cold). They are good for staying hydrated, especially at high altitude. Since we are normally walking moderately during each day, consider bringing band aids or moleskin. Remember, you are fully responsible for your own health.
Water and Food
Most illnesses while traveling are caused by contaminated water or food. It doesn't take much contamination to make you sick, and some diseases can be severe enough to ruin your trip. Please be careful. Drink only safe water. We recommend that you drink two full liters of water per day. Drinking alcohol will dehydrate you fast, we recommend you avoid it.
1. In hotels, use bottled or purified water for drinking and brushing your teeth. It is readily available where we will be traveling.
2. Do not use ice cubes unless you know them to be purified. Freezing does not kill bacteria.
3. Do not drink from streams.
4. Beware of uncooked food and food from sidewalk vendors.
If you are a vegetarian, you will have plenty of choices. You will have an opportunity to buy food at local markets along the way. Breakfasts at hotels are buffet style, so you may choose what you like. Lunches and dinners will be on your own, so you may eat at restaurants which are generally safe. Consider bringing pre-packed foods, trail mixes, energy bars, etc., if you are particular about your diet.
Prepare Your Body
Strengthen your body for daily hikes and walking activities at high altitude. There are a lot of steps at each site! Most healthy folks are able to enjoy this trip with ease. We will pace ourselves for the whole group. For the Ausangate expedition, pre-conditioning is a requirement.
The Sacred Valley portion of the tour will vary from 8,000 to 12,000 feet. The Ausangate portion of the tour will vary between 12,500 and 15,000 feet.
Altitude sickness can occur at heights of 8,000 feet above sea level. There is no way to know beforehand if you are susceptible to altitude sickness. During our trip, we will reach this height - and above. Your trip has been planned for your comfort and gradual exposure to high altitude. You will land at Cusco at 11,000 ft., but we will transport you quickly to Pisaq in the Sacred Valley at 9,700 ft. where you’ll have time to rest and acclimate for a couple days. Then we will go down valley to 9,200 ft. for a few days with occasional forays to higher altitudes. Machu Picchu is actually the lowest part of the trip at 7972 ft. The final part of the trip will be Ausangate and we will get up to elevations around 14,000 for a few days.
Breathlessness may occur at these altitudes, but it’s hard to predict if, and to what extent, altitude sickness will affect you as an individual. If you follow our suggestions, you should do well. Oxygen is available at most hotels and will be available on Ausangate. People with heart disease and/or anemia may have more difficulty and must seek professional medical advice before committing to the trip.
Peru is a Spanish speaking country. Few Peruvians speak English. We recommend that you practice some Spanish before you travel, so that you can engage with locals. The Quechua language is also spoken by the indigenous Q’ero peoples, but it is not necessary that you learn it.
What To Bring – What to Pack
The following suggestions are general and will be supplemented by updates as we get closer to the travel date.
Weather in the Sacred Valley during the month of October is cool, characterized by daily high temperatures around 69°F, with daily low temperaturesaround 45°F . October is springtime and generally before the rainy season starts. However, occasional rain may be encountered during the trip.
Weather on Ausangate is much colder than the Sacred Valley and is unpredictable - it can vary from clear to stormy. Overnight temps during October where we'll camp can get below freezing.
The key to packing for a trip to Peru is to pack for a variety of conditions while keeping the weight to a minimum. Interchangeable layers is the best way to dress. It can get cold at night, and warm during the day. Three layers are recommended:
Warm base layer: Leggings or tights; light weight body hugging shirt. Choose light weight moisture-wicking fabrics over cotton.
Insulation layer: Pants or skirt; shirt or top, light weight insulating jacket.
Shell (outer) layer: Water-resistant breathable shell, jacket or light coat for valley part of trip / Thermal coat for mountain part of trip.
Suggestions for What to Bring for Sacred Valley:
People tend to bring things “just in case” - and never use them. So think carefully about each item you bring.
Sturdy walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots for day hikes (Tevas OK if your preference)
Comfortable lounging shoes or sneakers for hotel or village market
Good walking / hiking socks (+ extra pair in case they get wet)
Layered clothing assortment for day hiking, picnics, evening lounging and market
Jeans or comfortable pants. You should only need 2-3 pants total
Yoga pants or tights for layering legs
Sweater or fleece type jacket
Lightweight rain slicker or rain poncho
Warm jacket for early morning and night time that can be worn over fleece
Swimsuit for visit to hot springs (optional)
Sunscreen—sunlight is much brighter at high altitudes
Sunglasses (and extra pair) and sunhat with wide brim all around
Day backpack that can hold jacket, snack, two water bottles, sunhat, sunscreen, camera etc. Your daypack will be your constant companion so bring a really good one
Waist pack or money belt for cash and passport is handy
Items of a personal nature & toiletries
Medicines and remedies
Headache medicine like Advil or Tylenol (again, beware of dehydration)
Emergen-C (electrolyte) packets; vitamins and supplements
Snack foods like protein bars, trail mix, jerky, etc. – per your diet and preferences
Kleenex, wet wipes, zip-lock bags. Prepare to carry out what you bring in
Knife and spoon for fruit, picnic, etc – be sure to put knife in suitcase before you fly
High quality small flashlight with extra batteries
Digital camera, memory cards and extra batteries. Memory cards are very expensive in Peru
Converter plug or 220 Volt Converter for South America, if you need it.
Additional Suggestions for What to Bring for Ausangate:
Thermal clothing multiple layers
Thermal gloves and hats, multiple layers
Walking boots - waterproof, well worn-in
Sleeping bag - rated to 10 degrees F for your body type
Walking sticks or poles - optional
Swimsuit for hot springs
Luggage and Packing:
It is burdensome to haul heavy baggage as we travel through Peru and lodge at various hotels on our journey. We recommend that your daypack or fanny pack be your airplane carry-on. Everything else should fit inside your main, checked suitcase. Remember to leave some space in your main bag (or bring an empty duffel bag) for souvenir purchases.
Remember, you’ll need to be able to maneuver your own luggage at the airport; to and from your rooms, the buses, etc. People tend to over-pack and bring things they do not use.
To be in Ayni, please tip or gift those who help you.