DEC 27—JAN 5


Tap into the powerful spirit and majestic beauty of the Andes Mountains on this transformational Peru & Machu Picchu New Year’s Retreat!  From our luxurious home base, we will hike magnificent valleys, take part in shaman-led ceremonies, explore the ancient city of Cusco and spend two days in sacred Machu Picchu. Enter 2015 rejuvenated and revitalized!



  • 7 nights’ accommodation at a gorgeous eco-yoga retreat center in the mountains of Peru
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in Cusco
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu)
  • Guided tour of the mysterious ancient cities and temples of Cusco and Machu Picchu
  • Cultural activities with a passionate local guide
  • Spiritual ceremony with an authentic pakko, or shaman
  • Daily yoga with Gayle Olson in a beautiful, sun-filled yoga studio
  • Vibrant, organic, gourmet vegetarian meals lovingly prepared by local chefs
  • Morning serenity walks through the renowned Seven Chakra Gardens
  • Abundant hiking beneath magnificent Andean peaks and high mountain meadows dotted with grazing llama and alpaca
  • Group meditation in the round Takiwasi music shala with a fireplace and an array of Andean musical instruments
  • Free airport transfers to and from the Cusco airport



Discover or rediscover the joy of moving meditation with Exotic Yoga Retreats founder Gayle Olson with classes blend traditions of hatha, Iyengar and Vinyasa yoga. Whether fiery and energetic or soft and receptive, the practice will include Gayle’s trademark hands-on massage adjustments, and encourage you to maintain a strong, meditative focus on your breath — and on the joy of yoga. Gayle has been teaching world-wide for more than twenty years and is author of the Women’s Guide to Yoga & Fitness.



Day 1, Saturday December 27

Your journey begins with a group transfer from Cusco airport to your hotel, conveniently situated off the historic Plaza de Armas. Meet your guide in the hotel lobby for a group orientation and a late-afternoon stroll through San Blas, with its cobblestone streets and Spanish architecture. Your guide will point out the collision of Spanish and Incan cultures as you walk to the Korikancha Temple, the holiest Incan site, with the finest Inca stonework on Earth. In the evening, dine in one of the acclaimed restaurants near the main square and return to our hotel for tea and relaxation.

Day 2, Sunday December 28

After a gourmet vegetarian breakfast, travel to the Incan ritual fountains at Tampumachay. Participate in a ceremony to honor Yaku, the spirit of water. A traditional coca-leaf divination ceremony invites you to embrace the energy of Pachamama, Mother Earth. Continue on a guided tour to the giant stones of Saksaywaman, overlooking the city of Cusco, where you may participate in a brief meditation or hike around the vast Incan ruins. Afterward, visit the shamanic site of Kenko. Enjoy an afternoon free to sample local cuisine and wander through the famed alpaca-wool and silver shops in Cusco’s main square.

Day 3, Monday December 29

Depart for the Sacred Valley of the Incas and our exquisite eco-resort. Along the way, explore the mysterious terraced circles at the Moray archeological site. In the afternoon, we’ll settle into our new home, starting with a welcome lunch and an introduction to the Quechua staff, who will take care of our needs during our stay. Orient yourself with a brief overview of the week’s activities. The afternoon is yours to wander the grounds, relax in your lush, gardenside room or select a spa treatment from the resort’s generous menu. In the evening, enjoy a meal of ingredients grown on-site.

Day 4, Tuesday December 30

This day is dedicated to Pachamama, who resides in the Earth and all beings. Tour our retreat center and meditate in the splendor of the Chakra Gardens; join a guided walk through Rumichaka, the neighborhood where the Quechua campesinos (locals) live; or take an energetic hike into the valley. Nourish body and soul with a wholesome vegetarian lunch. In the afternoon, visit the resort’s library or relish a Solar Bath, Incan Hot Stone Massage or Crystal Bed Session in the spa. In the evening, savor a healthy organic dinner rich with local flavors, followed by a transformative fire ceremony with a shaman healer from the high Andes. The ceremony serves as a wonderful preparation of mind, body and spirit for your pilgrimage to Machu Picchu.

Day 5, Wednesday December 31

On New Year’s Eve, rise to visit the spectacular ruins in the hillside village of Písac. Hike to the ancient Incan Temple of the Sun and meditate with the group, or alone in silent reflection. Rest and relax, or, if you prefer, join in an optional afternoon hike down to the famous Písac market to shop for woven goods, jewelry, wall hangings and hand-painted beadwork. Choose a café for lunch in the market square, where you can observe colorfully dressed campesinos coming to barter and sell their produce. Return to our resort with time for a late-afternoon group gathering and festivities to celebrate the New Year.

Day 6, Thursday January 1

Welcome, 2015! After an early breakfast, catch the morning train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to ancient Machu Picchu. Enjoy a fabulous guided tour of Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular places on Earth. We’ll journey through temples of political and spiritual power and connect with the site’s energy. We will enjoy a celebratory three-course dinner in one of the finest restaurants in Aguas Calientes, then settle in to our accommodations in a riverside lodge.

 Day 7, Friday January 2

Take pleasure in an open day in Machu Picchu. The energetic may take the 5:30 a.m. sunrise bus. Hike Machu Picchu Peak, meditate on a hidden terrace or return by bus to explore Aguas Calientes. Together, we will take the late-afternoon train back to the town of Ollantaytampu and return to our eco-resort in time for a late dinner.

Day 8, Saturday January 3

Begin this heart-opening day with a drive through the Sacred Valley to an isolated Quechua mountain school, one of four remote facilities supported by the nonprofit Willka T’ika Children’s Fund, which we will be among the few tourists privileged to visit. Cherish the children’s warmth, joy and openness and leave humbled and deeply moved. After a picnic lunch along the valley river, return to enjoy a massage or spa treatment. In the afternoon, active guests may choose to tour the ancient ruins of Ollantaytampu.

Day 9, Sunday January 4

As a sojourner, you were called to the Sacred Valley. Today is a gift dedicated to you. In silence, enjoy the pure energy of the Chakra Gardens. Feel Pachamama’s embrace and allow her to whisper her wisdom to your soul. Indulge in an Andean spa treatment to pamper body and soul. More active guests may practice yoga, hike into the nearby valley and town or climb the zigzag paths of the ancient Maras salt farms. Celebrate the culmination of your journey with a delectable farewell dinner and an Andean musical event.

Day 10, Monday January 5

After a tantalizing buffet breakfast, we depart by bus to the Cusco airport. We’ll arrive at our final destination transformed the journey of a lifetime.




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