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Peru Inti Raymi tour for Solo Women Travel Tribe

The SWTT Peru tripPeru

Join Xena Jones, founder of Solo Women Travel Tribe, on this custom-made 14-day Peru tour! We've collaborated with Xena to design the perfect Peru trip for SWTT members. You must be a member of SWTT to join this private, women's-only trip, which will be led by female guides.

This fantastic program includes ancient ruins, colonial architecture, fantastic food, and thriving, colourful culture, plus Inti Raymi, Cusco’s most famous day of celebration and spectacle, as well as Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca!

TRIP DATES: June 18 to July 1, 2018

Start:

Cusco, Peru

End:

Puno, Peru

Duration:

3 14 days

Price:

US$ 3,675

Includes:

wMachu Picchu oCulture & Food zOutdoors BBike FHike SLake Titicaca

Typical scenery in the Sacred Valley

Typical scenery in the Sacred Valley

Photo fun at Machu Picchu!

Photo fun at Machu Picchu!

Peru's traditional markets are fascinating

Peru's traditional markets are fascinating

Local photo opportunity, Cusco

Local photo opportunity, Cusco

Inti Raymi festival in full swing!

Inti Raymi festival in full swing!

Making friends with a Machu Picchu resident

Making friends with a Machu Picchu resident

Moray - one of the mysterious Inca ruins we'll visit

Moray - one of the mysterious Inca ruins we'll visit

Route map for the SWTT Peru trip

Route map for the SWTT Peru trip

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The trip in detail

We’ll meet up at 3pm to start the trip with a relaxed walking tour around Cusco’s stunning historic centre, followed by the first of many delicious dinners together as we begin our exploration of Peru’s famous cuisine! Over dinner we’ll start to get to know each other, and your guide will give a full briefing on what the next two weeks together holds!

Meals: Dinner included

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco

The sunny, incredibly scenic floodplain between Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the valley of the Urubamba River is known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Pisac is a tiny, cobbled Inca village which is home to the largest handicraft market in the region and a huge Inca fortress. We’ll explore both, then set off into the Sacred Valley. We’ll need frequent photo stops as we pass still-working Inca terracing, irrigation canals, and awesome mountain vistas. Our destination is Ollantaytambo, perhaps the most perfectly preserved of all Inca towns, a maze of cobbled alleyways and sun-drenched plazas presided over by a spectacular, llama-shaped ruin.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Cosy, family-run hotel in Ollantaytambo

Day 3 June 20: Ruins, weavers, and a functioning Inca factory

Today starts with Chinchero, best known for its outdoor weaving studios and extensive Inca terracing with incredible views. Next we’ll explore Moray – a mysterious complex of massive amphitheatres of incredible engineering precision and stern, magnificent beauty.

Then an easy stroll (or ride in the bus if you prefer), through rolling farmland and views of the high Andes, brings us to Salineras – a surreal and beautiful patchwork of pools and paths that still produces salt using Inca technology and is our favourite site in the Cusco region.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Family-run hotel in Ollantaytambo

Day 4 June 21: Adventures in the Amazon basin

Today we cross one of the world’s more drastic topographical divides: from the arid, Pacific side of the Andes to its lush western slope and the uppermost reaches of the Amazon Basin. The differences become more and more obvious as we descend from the icy high pass of Abra Málaga (4,350m/14,000 feet), all the way down to the steamy heat of the ceja de selva (“eyebrow of the jungle”).

Our destination, sleepy Santa Teresa (1,550m/5,085 feet), is home to one of our favourite places in Peru, the
Baños Termales de Cocalmayo, natural mountain hot springs beside a raging river. It’s the perfect place to soak away the road dust of today’s journey from one side of the Andes to the other.

If you’re into biking, you might want to ride some or all of the day’s long descent to the high jungle – it’s an incredibly fun, freewheeling, downhill and is suitable for anyone who can ride a bike. We provide bikes so you can ride as much or as little as you like.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Rustic eco-lodge near Santa Teresa

Day 5 June 22: Meet local coffee growers and sample their wares

Coffee, grown at cottage-industry level and exported to the world through growers’ co-operatives, is the backbone of this area’s economy. This morning a local coffee producer will show us around their plantation, and the operation where they harvest and mill coffee.

In the afternoon we’ll take a short (seven km/five mile) train ride to Aguas Calientes. There’s time this afternoon to explore the market and admire the scenery all around and above us – the isolated little town has one of the most beautiful settings you’ll see in Peru, in a jungle gorge by a rushing river.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes

Day 3 June 20: Start hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu!

We’ll get up very early this morning to take the bus to Kilometre 82, the start of the Inca Trail. The hike begins in the Sacred Valley as we follow the Urubamba River, climbing ever higher and eventually heading off up the Cusicacha Valley, through semi-arid forest and farming villages, to Wayllabamba, where we’ll camp for the night.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Luxury camping on the Inca Trail

Walking: 12km (7.5 miles)

Minimum Altitude: 2,700m (8,860 feet)

Maximum Altitude: 3,100m (10,170 feet)

Altitude of camp: 3,100m (10,170 feet)

Day 4 June 21: Hike over Warmiwayñusca Pass

Most of our walking time today is taken up by a stiff 1,200m (3,940 feet) ascet up to Warmiwayñusca (Dead Woman’s Pass), the highest point of the Inca Trail. From here if it’s clear we’ll enjoy incredible views back the way we came, and onwards towards the distant, snow-capped Vilcabamba Range. Then we descend steeply into Pacaymayo, our campsite for the night with one of the best views in the Andes.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Luxury camping on the Inca Trail

Walking: 11km (6.8 miles)

Minimum Altitude: 3,100m (10,170 feet)

Maximum Altitude: 4,200m (13,780 feet)

Altitude of camp: 3,600m (11,810 feet)

Day 5 June 22: Runkurakay, Sayacmarca and Wiñaywayna

Today’s hike takes us through some of the most stunning scenery in Peru, with cloud forest, orchids, hummingbirds and mountains on all sides, and to three gorgeous little ruins – Runkurakay, Sayacmarca, and Wiñaywayna, next to the evening’s campsite. Along the way we cross the watershed of the Andes – this is one of the best days trekking in the world.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Accommodation: Luxury camping on the Inca Trail

Walking: 12km (7.5 miles)

Minimum Altitude: 2,670m (8,760 feet)

Maximum Altitude: 3,900m (12,800 feet)

Altitude of camp: 2,670m (8,760 feet)

An early start rewards us with sunrise at Machu Picchu – a peak moment for anyone. A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Your trip leader will take you on a guided tour – a necessary start to orient you in this massive site – then you’ll have plenty of time to explore the site and some of the surrounding peaks on your own before we catch the train back to Cusco for the night.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Back at our home-base hotel in Cusco

Inti Raymi was the annual day of tribute from all the subject peoples of the Incas, and today’s festivities are faithful re-enactments of the original. It starts with a huge, elaborate parade: ceremonially-dressed representatives from each of the four suyos (quarters) of the empire march and dance through central Cusco, on their way to the spectacular ruin of Sacsayhuaman that overlooks the town. Here, a parade ground is the scene of ceremonies and offerings for much of the afternoon.

We’ll have priority seating in the Plaza de Armas and at Sacsayhuaman to witness the events of the day, and our expert guide will be there to explain what we're seeing.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Cusco hotel

There are things to do in Cusco to suit every mood and personality: churches, museums, and art galleries, rafting, horse riding, and cooking classes, just for starters. This is also the perfect day to just wander around and enjoy the spectacular mountain views, traditionally dressed locals, excellent cafes and charming architecture that make Cusco such a fascinating and beautiful place.

Meals: Breakfast included

Accommodation: Cusco hotel

The Valle Sur just outside Cusco is a popular weekend destination for Cusqueños, who flock here to specialist restaurants offering regional dishes like chicharrones (deep fried pork chunks with corn and mint) and cuy (guinea pig), as well as plenty of more conventional and equally delicious options! We’ll fit a very local lunch in between visiting Tipón and Pikillacta, two of Peru’s most charming archaeological sites, and the church of Andahuaylillas, whose interior is so ornate that it’s known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas.

Late this afternoon we’ll arrive at the village of Raqchi, home to a group of gracious, funny people we’re proud to call our friends. For the next couple of days, they’ll open their homes and lives to you, giving you a unique insight into traditional Andean life.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Raqchi homestay

Today we’ll strike off into the countryside, wandering to breathtaking lookouts, and the nearby (extinct!) volcano of Kimsach’ata. Later we’ll try our hand at pottery-making – the people of Raqchi are professional potters and will show us how to make a pot on a pedal-powered potter’s wheel.

We’ll also have the privilege of attending a
ch’alla (payment to the Earth) – a ceremony of propitiation of Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) held regularly by an ostensibly Catholic community, and a very good example of the paradox at the heart of Andean religion.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Raqchi homestay

This morning we’ll head off into the altiplano - one of the highest inhabited places on Earth, and home to some of its most unlikely attractions. We’ll take the plunge at Marangani: a surreal and improbable complex of five natural hot pools linked by steaming streams and populated by locals enjoying the only hot water for miles around.

We’ll have lunch at a historic
hacienda. Established as a convent in the 18th century, it’s now home to a dairy farm where we’ll have the opportunity to sample delicious, high-altitude dairy products.

In the afternoon we’ll explore Lampa. Once one of the richest towns in Peru, it’s now all but a ghost town, making the grandeur and scale of its cathedral all the more striking. Impressive from the outside, inside the cathedral is simply incredible. Among many other marvels, it houses a catacomb, a collection of skulls and skeletons, and a full-scale reproduction of Michelangelo’s
Pietá.

We’ll arrive to the shores of Lake Titicaca in time for a memorable dinner at one of Puno’s excellent restaurants.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Family-run hotel in downtown Puno

The tourist map ends at Puno. Past it lies a land of ancient burial monuments dedicated to dwarves, half-buried ruins drowsing in farmers’ fields, and layer upon layer of human history and belief, built up over thousands of years: it’s one of the weirdest and most wonderful places in the world and today we’ll take our pick from many strange sights.

Amaru Meru is said to be a stone-carved door into another dimension. Even if interdimensional portals aren’t your thing, you’ll enjoy the windswept majesty, imposing rock formations, and views of Lake Titicaca around it. We’ll also visit Chucuito, where 86 huge stone phalluses are buried every which way in what is said to be an Inca fertility temple – though some locals passionately argue it’s a hoax. Either way, it’s quite a sight!

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Family-run hotel in downtown Puno

This morning we take to the waters of Lake Titicaca. We’ll stop briefly at the Uros – the famous floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca – but our main destination is Taquile, one of the most fascinating islands in the world. It was isolated until the 1950s and still follows a very different way of life. Decisions are communal, economic activity is co-operative, and society is based on the fundamental Inca principles: "Ama sua, ama llulla, ama quella" (don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t be lazy). There are no cars, few dogs, and little electricity, because the Taquileños want it that way.

Taquile is also the most famous textile centre in the Andes. Colourful, storytelling textiles, designed and woven by Taquile’s women from thread spun by its men, draw aficionados and investigators from all over the world to this amazing island. On top of all this, the scenery is stunning and the serenity is like nowhere else on Earth. Taquile is just magic.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Family-run hotel in downtown Puno

You can book your flight out for any time you like today – do allow for the fact that Juliaca airport is just over an hour’s drive away. If you’re staying on in Peru, we’re delighted to help out with suggestions and assistance for the rest of your time here.

Meals: Breakfast included

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How much does this trip cost?

US $

3,675

pp.


in a group of five to 16 people


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WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • All accommodation (based on twin share. Single Supplement available for US$400)
  • All ground transport (private vehicle, train and boat)
  • All activities specified in itinerary
  • Entrance to all attractions specified in itinerary
  • Extra permit to climb Huayna Picchu at Machu Picchu if available at time of booking (with Option A)
  • Grandstand seating at Inti Raymi
  • Dedicated Aspiring Adventures guide
  • All meals
  • Drinking water with meals

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Tips for your guide(s) and driver
  • Sleeping bag and mat for Inca Trail hike (Option B only. Bring your own or hire from us – US$40/item)
  • Tips for porters and cooks on Inca trail hike (Option B only)
  • Flights

Accommodations

Accommodations on the SWTT trip are our favourites in each place. In Cusco and Puno we stay in clean, comfortable hotels of three-star standard. In Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes, Puno and Santa Teresa, we stay in quirky, interesting, family-run lodgings. The Inca Trail hike entails three nights of camping in tents.

In Raqchi we stay in humble family homes. Here, conditions are basic and hygiene may not be what you are used to at home, but any slight discomfort you experience will be well compensated for by this incredible insight into a very different way of life.

Keen for more?

We've got just the thing! Join Xena in the Amazon Jungle from June 15-18 before the main SWTT trip starts. Please enquire for more info about the jungle experience.


Xena Jones, founder of Solo Women Travel Tribe, says

I am SUPER passionate about all things travel and supporting and encouraging women to live the life of their dreams. And I'm delighted to team up with Katy and Steve of Aspiring Adventures to offer this Peru trip to our SWTT members. Join me in Peru in June 2018!

Check out all our adventure tour itineraries and find groups of like-minded people to share them with. Have us create your own private and/or custom tour. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re here to make it happen!

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