Peru Hiking & Yoga Adventure Retreat
Nov 10-17th, 20204
Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime, customized Peru retreat to discover the magical wonders and irresistible culture of the country. We will hike and explore the magnificent archaeological sites of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu with expert local guides. We will meet and participate in activities with local musicians, artists, and healers who will share their traditions and ceremonies with our group. This is your opportunity to truly connect with Pacha Mama (Mother Earth)!
What is a typical day?
Each day is totally different on this trip. We will give you a “Day by Day” itinerary. We will be getting up early on most mornings to get out and hike (Sunrise at Machu Picchu) and see the sacred sites, visiting local weavers and artisans. We will restore and rest in the afternoons with yoga or massage.
Highlights we will explore:
We will spend two days exploring the famous ruins of Machu Picchu. Arriving by train from the Sacred Valley, we will explore the ruins on the afternoon of our first day and hike down with the full moon, staying in the ruins until sunset, one of the quietest times of the day. We will return early the following morning in time to witness sunrise over the ruins. Our amazing guide, Gaby, will accompany us both days, the first afternoon giving us a full tour of the central ruins with its ceremonial center, sun-dial, still functioning water channels and impressive stonework, all built in harmony with the surrounding mountains of the high jungle. On our second day we will hike some of the most famous trails at Machu Picchu, ascending the inca staircases to the top of the spectacular Huaynu Picchu, descending down inca steps and ladders to the back side of the mountain to explore the Moon Temple and circling back to the main ruins on an awe inspiring ancient trail cut right into the side of the mountain. Sacsayhuman: We will hike above Cusco to visit the zigzagging walls and impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman where we will be introduced to some of the greatest megalithic stonework in the world. We will explore the expansive area including the carved boulders and hidden underground caves of Qenqo, and further up, a fascinating area still being excavated, known as “Temple of the Moon”. Gaby will help us understand the significance and theories about the awe-inspiring and sophisticated construction of Sacsayhuaman and beyond.
It is larger than Machu Picchu in size, but because it was discovered by the Spanish, it is not as intact as Machu Picchu. But, Pisac is well worth exploring for a full day as there is so much to see and discover including its sun temple area, vast terraces, intact water systems, hill side tombs and famous craft market. Our local guide will help us to engage and connect with our surroundings with an earth offering ceremony at a special spot high in the Pisac ruins.
High above the Sacred Valley at 12,000’ and famous for its women weavers, we will spend the morning witnessing a weaving demonstration using native plant dyes and techniques; followed by a walk and guided tour of the beautiful Chinchero ruins.
We will admire the magnificent circular terraced basins of Moray considered a sophisticated agricultural experimental center built by the ancient people who inhabited these lands, a perfect place to do a meditation before we get into the Sacred Valley.
Included in the Price:
- 7 nights lodging. Rates are based on double occupancy, private rooms can be arranged at an extra charge.
- Meals: All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners
- Airport Transfers and all groundad transportation if they are with the group. If you must leave a day early then we cannot pay for your shuttle
- Cusco/Sacred Valley Tourist Card
- Guided Tours, Ceremonies and Cultural Events
- Transportation/First Class train to Machu Picchu
- Machu Picchu Entrance Fee
- Yoga classes
* Airfare and transportation to and from the retreat is not included in the cost.
What are the accommodations?
Cusco: The first two nights of our Peru retreat will be spent in the cultural and historical city of Cusco. Our home base for two days will be at Hotel Encantada a locally owned boutique hotel in the artsy neighborhood of San Blas with a fantastic view overlooking the city center. On our arrival day, we will have time to walk around and explore the historic and cultural center of the city.
Machu Picchu: We will spend one night in Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes), in order to have a base from which to explore the ruins. We will be staying at El Mapi Hotel, a newer upscale hotel near the train station and close to where the buses leave for the ruins. The hotel staff will make sure we are comfortable and able to get a good night’s sleep and healthy dinner and early breakfast to fuel us for our two days spent extensively exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu.
Sacred Valley/ Urubamba: Women’s Quest has looked high and low for the Perfect eco lodge which actually feels like a hidden oasis in the Sacred Valley with it’s flowers, gardens and beautiful trees along our footpaths to our individual bungalows. This slice of heaven is called Casa Colibri. Women’s Quest reserves the whole area just for US!
Single Rooms are available at an additional cost of $1200.
What will the food be like?
One of the highlights of our trip will be to sample Peruvian food, the gourmet cuisine of South America. Peruvians take great pride in the preparation, presentation and nutrition of their food which includes a huge variety of colorful, locally grown vegetables, grains and fruits. The unique dishes of the highlands feature local crops including the world’s largest variety of potatoes, olluco, corn, purple corn, quinoa, amaranth, fava beans, native berries and other delights. A healthy breakfast buffet featuring fresh fruit, juices, coffee, tea, yogurt, granola, eggs, bread, butter and local berry jams will be served each morning at all of our hotels. Box lunches will be provided for carrying in our day packs when we are out exploring. In Cusco we will enjoy two special catered restaurant meals near the Plaza de Armas featuring local fare. At Illarimuy, our home in the Sacred Valley, we will have daily breakfast at the hotel and then go out for dinners near the hotel in Urabamba to explore, listen to local music and enjoy different Peruvian specialties. Vegetarian options and other food preferences or dietary restrictions will be available.
We will take care of all breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners.
Tell me about the yoga?
We will try to practice yoga or stretch out every day but many times we are out hiking and exploring. We begin each adventure-filled Women’s Quest day with a unique “Awakening the Senses” Yoga. This gentle but powerful practice draws inspiration from Yoga, Qigong, and Tai Chi, and is a perfect way to prepare the mind, body and senses for the activities of the day. When we get up for the morning hikes we will stretch out in the afternoon.
During the activities of the day we will cultivate a yogic focus—bringing with us awareness developed in the daily yoga. We’ll take mini “yoga breaks” during the day, finding opportunities to feel suppleness and receptivity of the body as we draw the beauty of the environment into our cells. This is one thing that makes out Peru retreat so unique.
The yoga practice on this retreat is designed to be accessible for all levels—both fresh beginners and experienced practitioners will deepen their practice according to individual needs and desires. Variations will be offered, and the instructors work with the principle that each person can find relationship with an “inner voice” that guides the balance of challenge and ease.
Tell me about the hiking?
We will be hiking every day so GET READY!! While in Machu Picchu we will hike for two days. The hikes are really beautiful hikes and the days are long. We also hike Gaby’s favorite trail in the Sacred Valley. This hike takes about 5 hours or you can stay and hike along the beautiful river and that hike is about 1 to 2 hours. The distances will not necessarily be great, but the hiking will often be steep up and down at high elevations on uneven stonework sometimes with exposure (safe but impressive) We also have options for the hikes.
What is the altitude?
Cusco is at 11,150 ft., The Sacred Valley is at 9400 ft., and Machu Picchu is at 8250 ft. While adjusting to the higher altitudes we recommend to taking it slow, eating lightly, abstaining from alcohol, and drinking lots of water. Mild symptoms that some people experience usually subside in a couple of days. In order to prepare for the altitudes, we recommend spending time walking at higher elevations in the days/weeks immediately prior to the trip. Please consult with a physician if you have any specific medical concerns. We have had success with people going to their doctor and getting Acetazolamide (diamox) tablets which can really help. Oxygen will be available at our hotel in Cusco and medication is available over the counter at pharmacies just in case someone needs them.
Do I have to participate in everything on the schedule?
You do not need to participate in everything; you can pace yourself so that it is the perfect amount of activity for you. We fully support you in doing as much or as little as is right for you in the moment. The schedule gives you a sense of the flow of each day. It is subject to change, depending upon the needs of the group, weather, etc. We will go over the schedule each day at breakfast.
What weather can I expect?
November is near the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season in the mountainous area around Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The heavy rains usually do not start until later in the season. This is the beginning of summer in the Andes when the days are normally pleasant with moderate temperatures in the 70s. Evenings can be quite cool at the higher elevations of Cusco and the Sacred Valley. We are asking the sun gods to bless us with sunshine for our trip, but bring your rain gear just in case of some rain showers.
What is the average age on the Peru Retreat?
We have a wide range of women who attend our retreats, from 15-70 years young. Each retreat will vary. Please contact us if you have questions about the ages on a specific retreat.
What if I am coming alone?
The majority of the women who attend our retreats come by themselves. English is widely spoken and we are here to answer any questions about travel that you may have. Although you may come alone, you will leave the retreat with new, lifelong friends!
A deposit is required to hold your reservation at a retreat. Deposits are $500 for domestic and $1,000 for international retreats. Additional deposits may be required to reserve a single room. All deposits are non-refundable.
We cannot hold your reservation until we have received your deposit. If you would like to reserve an available spot in a retreat 90 or fewer days prior to the retreat date, we require payment in full for the retreat to hold the spot. This is in accordance with our payment policy below.
Payment in full for all retreats is due 90 days prior to the retreat date. If you do not provide payment in full by 90 days prior to the retreat you risk losing your reservation.
A 4% payment processing fee will be added to all payments made using PayPal, Stripe or Venmo.
You are welcome to send in a check or pay by Zelle to avoid this fee.
If you must cancel a reservation, a full refund, less your deposit which is non-refundable, will be provided for any cancellation we receive in writing at least 91 days prior to the commencement date of the retreat. We are sorry but we cannot refund any payments for cancellations made 90 or fewer days prior to the commencement of the retreat.
We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest. Women’s Quest IS NOT responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in schedules or tour cancellations.
Cancellations by Women’s Quest: Women’s Quest reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel or reschedule any retreat due to concerns over Covid-19. As a small company Women’s Quest is unfortunately not able to provide refunds of payments for retreats cancelled by Women’s Quest due to the Covid pandemic. This is primarily due to our financial commitments with the various retreat venues. As a result, in the event Women’s Quest cancels or reschedules a retreat due to Covid-19 Women’s Quest will apply all payments to the rescheduled or following year’s retreat, or to any other Women’s Quest retreat of your choosing through the end of the next year after the year in which the retreat was cancelled by Women’s Quest. Because of the unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances of the outbreak, this policy supersedes earlier policies.
Cancellations by You: If you need or desire to cancel your reservation due to Covid-19, or failure to comply with the requirements of a negative test and being symptom free, this cancellation is subject to the Cancellation Policy above. This is why we urge everyone to purchase travel insurance when signing up.
Covid Waiver and Release:
This waiver, release and acknowledgment of responsibilities are unfortunately necessary during this unique time of the Covid 19 pandemic. By signing up for and or attending any Women’s Quest retreat you agree to be bound by the terms of this document. We understand these times are challenging, however, these provisions are necessary to protect all attendees and staff members of Women’s Quest.
Testing For and Symptoms of Covid 19. Irrespective of vaccination status you are required to provide a negative test for Covid 19 taken within 3 days of the commencement of the retreat. This test can be either a PCR test or a home antigen test. Also, irrespective of your vaccination status, you agree you will not attend the retreat if you have any symptoms of Covid 19 immediately prior to the beginning of the trip. These symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea (these, along with symptoms outline in the following link and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control shall be collectively referred to as the “Symptoms”.) More information on symptoms of Covid 19 can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Symptoms During the Retreat. In the event you develop any Symptoms during the retreat you must immediately leave the retreat and follow protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and all local regulations. We understand this may result in you incurring significant expenses associated with separate accommodation and travel, however, you understand these expenses are not the responsibility of Women’s Quest and must be incurred by you. You agree to be fully honest with Women’s Quest staff in regard to any Symptoms you may develop and agree to comply with a request by Women’s Quest staff to depart as determined by Women’s Quest staff in their sole discretion. As provided below, this is why we strongly urge everyone to get travel insurance covering these and other expenses prior to departure.
Procedures During the Retreat. During the retreat Women’s Quest may, but need not, endeavor to practice social distancing and wearing of masks when traveling in close proximity. You agree to comply with all requests of Women’s Quest staff during the retreat related to these procedures. Any such procedures implemented by Women’s Quest are not a guaranty you will not be exposed to Covid 19 and you understand you are responsible for taking any precautions you deem necessary and providing your own personal protective equipment during the retreat. You also agree to comply with any reasonable requests by other attendees to respect their social distancing and other protective measures (“Participant Requests”.) Notwithstanding the foregoing, you are responsible to comply with all laws and regulations of the locality visited relating to protections against Covid 19.
Waiver of Coronavirus Related Illness; Indemnification. You understand that irrespective of protective measures that Women’s Quest or you may or may not take, you may be exposed to Covid 19 by another retreat attendee, a Women’s Quest staff member and or an individual to whom you may be exposed during, or traveling to or from the retreat. You agree to waive and release Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any claims, liabilities or damages you may incur in the event you contract Covid 19 at any time during travel to, attending or after attending the retreat. You further agree to indemnify and hold harmless Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any loss, liability or damages it or they may incur as a result of your failure to receive a negative test for Covid 19 prior to the retreat as provided above, attending the retreat with any Symptoms, not respecting Participant Requests, and not immediately departing the retreat if you develop any Symptoms.
Cancellation. In the unfortunate event you need to cancel your trip, cannot attend due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms prior to the retreat, or must leave the retreat due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms, Women’s Quest cannot provide any refund of any amounts you paid.
Travel Insurance. As provided in this document you could incur significant personal expense in the event you contract Covid 19 or develop any Symptoms during the retreat. As such, you are strongly urged to obtain travel insurance that provides adequate protections against these risks.
Additional Waiver. This waiver is incorporated into and made a part of other waivers you agreed to in connection with signing up for the retreat. In the event of a conflict between these terms and the terms of any other waiver, this waiver shall govern.
Purchasing Travel Insurance
We highly, highly recommend you get travel insurance to cover your expenses and losses in the event you test positive or come down with Symptoms prior to the retreat, develop Symptoms during the retreat, or cannot return home due to Covid related issues. We recommend getting insurance that covers the cost of your trip, medical care while at the retreat, and coverage to pay for the necessary quarantine period if you test positive or come down with Covid. Please remember, if you have to cancel your trip in the unfortunate event you come down with Covid, test positive, or suffer Symptoms prior to or during the retreat and need to leave, Women’s Quest cannot provide a refund since we have to pay your trip expenses well ahead of time.
If you are concerned about travel and the changing environment in which we are living irrespective of your Covid status, we recommend getting travel insurance that allows you to cancel for any reason. This coverage is more expensive, however, may provide you with the coverage and flexibility you desire.
We spoke with Allianz Travel Insurance about travel insurance primarily for Covid issues – trip cancellation, medical treatment and delay in coming home due to catching Covid. From our understanding, Allianz does offer policies providing for trip cancellation due to Covid and extended trip interruption coverage for Covid quarantine periods, however, you should talk to them via the phone to ensure you have the coverage you need. Irrespective of the travel insurance you get, please make sure you talk to a travel insurance agent prior to buying any insurance and make sure you have the coverage you desire and that the policy will cover trip cancellation, medical expenses and trip interruption due to Covid. We are providing this only as our understanding after talking to Allianz and not as a representation of what Allianz will cover. You should do your own investigation including directly calling Allianz or any insurance provider you choose, and not rely on this overview to ensure you get the coverage that is right for you.