peru: cusco and the sacred vally tentative itinerary

Day 1 Itinerary:  June 25, 2017

Arrive in Cusco and find your private transportation waiting for you at the airport. Then take the beautiful 2-hour drive through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo. The drive is one of the most scenic you will ever experience, and is hopefully all you ever imagined Peru would be. You definitely will see local people living their farming lifestyle as they have for centuries; you will see stunningly massive mountains, and if they are not blanketed in clouds you will see the glaciers nestled in gorgeous mountain gorges.

Arrive to the ancient Incan village of Ollantaytambo, check into your comfortable room, and perhaps enjoy a hot shower to refresh yourself.

You've been traveling for several hours, so spend the afternoon just relaxing or wandering this one-of-a-kind town... there is always something to see!

Of course you'll want to make time for yoga; we recommend one of the nearby grass terraces, beautiful stone floors, the rooftop, or the garden terrace.

Day 2 Itinerary:  June 26, 2017

Wake up and smell the coffee (or tea if you prefer – try the coca tea!) and enjoy breakfast at your hotel. After breakfast make time for an early morning yoga session, or an early visit to the famous Ollantaytambo fortress for your first yoga session of the day. This incredible structure was still being built when the Spanish conquest arrived, and is the location of the only significant battle that the Incas ever won against the Spaniards (Hurray Ollantaytambo!). Its centerpiece is the unfinished Temple of the Sun, huge monoliths of pink granite carried from a nearby mountainside. It features some of the best Incan stonework in all of Peru, not to mention great views of town and the surrounding mountains. Your guide will show you all the hidden secrets of this Inca site, which is one of the most important in all of Peru. There are plenty of terraces and flat stone floors hidden away to practice yoga in the midst of unmatched beauty. It is best seen in the morning for about 2-3 hours when there are no crowds.

In the afternoon, you could relax with a cup of tea, or take a walk around town. If you prefer something more active you could take one of a number short side hikes from the hotel, and take your yoga mats to enjoy a trailside sunset session.

Day 3 Itinerary:  June 27, 2017

After a leisurely morning complete with breakfast and your morning yoga routine, head to the fantastic Incan sites of Salt Mines of Maras and the circular ruins of Moray. This trip is one that we recommend over almost any other, as it has a little bit of everything: breathtaking scenery, ancient ruins, and local people living their agricultural lifestyle virtually unaffected by tourism. You will see two Incan sites that are unique and quite different from any others.

These sites can be seen via hiking, biking, or van. In other words, you travel either by van, bicycle, or a combination of van and some walking. You can easily decide when you get there and talk to your guide, just know that several levels of relaxation/adventure are available. None of our yogis will be pressured to do any adventurous activities they are not comfortable with, and this retreat can be as relaxing as you wish.

It takes about 5 hours to see both sites in a van, including one hour at each site and one hour for yoga. The views of the Andes Mountains on the way to, and between, the Salt Mines and Moray are some of the best in the Sacred Valley!

For a more active schedule, in the afternoon after returning from the Salt Mines and Moray you can do a half-day hike around Ollantaytambo, such as Pumamarca.

Day 4 Itinerary:  June 28, 2017

Today we will visit Abra Malaga! One of the most scenic drives in South America and perhaps the world, this has it all – Huge glaciers, waterfalls, great views, herds of llamas, and lots of ancient, local culture. This amazing valley will likely soon be a protected national park, but currently it is unrestricted. It can be enjoyed by either just doing the drive in a van, or it is possible to get dropped off up the valley and then walk down to the valley floor and then back to Ollantaytambo.

The most recommended way is via one of KB Tambo's famous mountain bike rides down the newly paved, 50 kilometer winding road from the high pass of Abra Malaga at 4316 meters (14,160 feet above sea level ) The ride takes about 4 hours total and is by far the most popular trip we do – everyone absolutely loves it!

After returning to the hotel and having lunch, we will have a free afternoon, a good dinner, and relax in preparation for an early start toward Machu Picchu in the morning!

Day 5 Itinerary:  June 29, 2017

Time to go to Machu Picchu!

The mountains surrounding Machu Picchu are so steep and rugged that there are no roads going to or from the site–only a train. We include all transportation in this package, including the train, and we will also have your Machu Picchu entrance tickets ready for you, complete with an additional optional entrance ticket to hike up Machu Picchu Mountain or the stunning Huayna Picchu Mountain.

Machu Picchu gets magically empty in the hour before closing, when nearly all the travelers have headed down the mountain. Weather permitting, we will enjoy a private yoga session on Incan Royalty's best grass terraces, llamas grazing in the distance, and no sounds but the eternal flow of the mountain breeze.

Day 6 Itinerary:  June 30, 2017

Today would be a great day, after returning from Machu Picchu, to relax and do some meditation as you likely will be tired from the day before.

Sleep in, and take a late breakfast up on our terrace, drinking tea and watching the sun rays hit the Incan fortress of Ollantaytambo. After breakfast, you could either just wander around town for the rest of the day, or if you are up for more activities there are cultural options, such as woodcarving, ceramics, or Incan textile weaving classes.

Day 7 Itinerary:  July 1, 2017

Arrive in Cusco.  Take the day to explore this city or to relax prior to your flights home tomorrow. Spend the night in Cusco.

Day 8 Itinerary:  July 2, 2017

We recommend scheduling an early morning flight to Lima so that you can take an evening flight back to the States if you are not joining us on the Lima, Nazca, Islas Bellantes extension.  Safe travels!