Our upcoming trips..
The Andes of Peru and Bolivia
November 2nd - November 15th, 2019
This November, Shamanic Voyages will be returning to the magnificent Andes Mountains to visit and work with our South American friends and experience the power and deep history of the people of this region. We will again begin our voyage in Cusco, ancient capitol city of the Inka Empire and arguably still the cultural center of the region. Our friend Don Carlos Anibal Candia Muriel, Altomisayoc, (high lineage healer), and expert on Inka culture, will be our host shaman while in the Cusco area. I have grown very fond of Don Carlos and come to admire his extensive knowledge of the history and traditions of this area.
Although we leave room for some spontaneity in our itinerary, the rough outline will be as follows: On 2/November, 2019 we will arrive from our various departure points at the International Airport in Lima, Peru. Please arrive by 9:00 am. At around 10:30 we will depart Lima for Cusco, arriving around noontime, where we will meet our interpreter, guide and dear friend, Lilia Paz. Lilia will accompany us throughout our time in the Cusco area. This first day will be spent relaxing and adjusting to the altitude. We will settle into our hotel, Casa Elena, which is just outside the city center and spend the rest of the day getting to know one another, visiting the main square and enjoying an opening ceremony dinner.
Our second day will begin with breakfast at the hotel. This day will be spent visiting the city and its immediate surroundings, including the Koricancha Temple and the ruins of Q’enqo, Puqa-Puqara, Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman. The significance of each of these places and their place in Inka history will be explained to us by Lilia, and there will be some time to wander and meditate as well. We will wrap up our day in the city exploring some Peruvian cuisine.
Day three will take us on a full day excursion into the Sacred Valley. There is so much to see and learn about here, you will be sure to want to take some notes to go with your photos. We change some of our destinations on each trip to provide some variety to our repeat voyagers, but the sites are always amazing! This time we will visit the Maras salt fields that have been cultivated since Inka times and Moray, an archeological site consisting of several enormous circular terraces, known as ‘Andenes’, which are believed to have been outdoor agricultural laboratories of the Inka. We will also be visiting two of our regular stops, Ollantaytambo village and its nearby ruins, which include temples, funerary caves and the fortress where Inka Manco Yupanqui staged his resistance against the Spanish. We will finish up our excursion in Pisac, which is home to an extensive artisan market featuring the work of many skilled craftspeople as well as an enormous amount of kitsch.
Between these visits we will be subjected to some incredibly beautiful scenery as we travel from one place to another, and we will be stopping midway for a delicious lunch. This will be a very full day.
Day four will begin with breakfast at the hotel as usual, but we will be leaving Cusco for a couple of days to visit the village of Patabamba soon afterward. This journey will take us to an elevation of just over 4,000 m above sea level, (13,000 ft), the highest extended stay of our trip. Patabamba is situated well above Pisac, earning itself the nickname, ‘Balcony of the Sacred Valley’, and the view from the edge of the village is nothing less than breathtaking!
I absolutely love the people here. This traditional agricultural community will welcome us in grand form, with music and dance, and over the next day and a half make us feel at home by sharing their way of life with us and inviting us to join in, including pitching in with the work! The women here are known for their highly skilled weaving and you may very well want to put some cash aside to purchase some of their work directly from the makers. To learn more about Patabamba, go to our ‘past trips’ section and scroll down on the 2018 trip to our last visit there.
Those of us who will be taking part in the Huachuma ceremony at Tipon later, will begin our special diet while here in Patabamba. Plan on spending some time in ceremony here, and if you have any healing skills to share, we will have an opportunity to offer them to our hosts. Our visit to Patabamba will end on the morning of day six.
After taking leave of our friends in Patabamba early in the morning, we will travel to Tipon, where we will have the great privilege to take part in a Huachuma ceremony conducted by Don Carlos Anabel Muriel, who has secured permission to hold ceremony in this sacred place. Huachuma, or San Pedro, is a sacred visionary medicine used by Inka shamans for ages for the purpose of divination and communion with the deities. Offerings will be made by Don Carlos and participation will be open to each of us to what ever level we are comfortable with. For any specific questions or concerns about participation, contact me directly and I would be happy to discuss what is involved.
Tipon itself is one of my favorite places in Peru, partly for the beauty, but also for the power I sense there. The water that courses through its canals has been running constantly for over five hundred years. The breezes that blow there seem to carry the echos of conversations held long ago in this stunning landscape of terraced mountains and open sky. To hold ceremony here will be magical.
We will conclude the ceremony and depart sometime in the afternoon, when we will return to Cusco and Casa Elena. We will most likely have a low key evening in the vicinity of the hotel as we process the events of the day.
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Day seven will be a new experiment for Shamanic Voyages. Though we previously announced that we would no longer be going to Machu Picchu, we realize that this particular place is still on many peoples bucket list, so we are going to try something new. While Crow remains in Cusco to guide the group for visits to museums and shopping, Lilia and Alison will take those who are interested to Machu Picchu for a day trip. There will be an extra charge of $300 USD per person for this service to cover the additional expense. If you are interested in this option, let us know as soon as possible so we can make the arrangements.
This will be our last day in the Cusco region, so we will want to thank our local hosts at dinner before we move on toward the Lake Titicaca part of the trip.
Early on the morning of day eight, we will rise, eat a quick breakfast and get to the bus station by 7:00 am for the long ride to Puno. On the way, we will make several stops to see some sights and break up the trip. These will include Andahuaylillas, where you can visit the San Pedro Apostol church or just chill in the central park, then the archeological complex of Raqchi which includes the ruins of the Temple of Wiracocha. The next stop will be for lunch in the town of Sicuani, (a very amusing alpaca lives there). The highest point on our trip will be as we move through the pass in the town of La Raya at an altitude of 4338 m, (about 14,000 ft), where we will pause briefly to visit their market. Our last stop will be in Pucara, a very picturesque town famous for its sculpture, where we will visit their museum. We should arrive in Puno, (population 128,600), around 5:00 pm, where we will check into the Hotel La Hacienda Puno and Greet Don Hermogenes, (Hermo), our Lake region shaman and his delightful wife Berta, who will translate for us. A good dinner will follow at our favorite Puno restaurant, then back to the hotel to rest up for our busy day trip to follow.
After breakfast, Hermo and Berta will accompany us onto Lake Titicaca to two beautiful destinations. First will be the floating islands of Uros. The inhabitants, the Uru, are a culturally distinct people who spend their entire lives on these man made islands of totora reeds, which they harvest in the shallows of the lake. Here you will learn of their many interesting traditions and history and you can even get your passport stamped on one of the islands! After we conclude our visit of Uros, we will head 45 km offshore to the island of Taquile. This island of roughly 2,200 souls boasts four Apus, or mountaintop deities. Here we will learn something of their ways, and join Don Hermo in ceremony to these deities and Pachamama, or Earth Mother. We will have lunch on the island and spend some time enjoying the beauty of the island and the company of the locals.
We will return to Puno and our hotel in the late afternoon, spending the evening in the city.
Today, on day ten, we leave Peru for Bolivia. (US citizens must have a tourist visa in hand, for details see our registration package), but on our way, we will make a stop in the Stone Forest of Juli, to make observances and hold ceremony at the Temple of Aramumuru, also known as the Star Portal. We begin by honoring the representatives of the three realms, the Serpent for the lower realm, the Puma for the middle realm and the Condor for the upper realm. This process takes us across a plain and to the temple itself, where we will hold a purification and prayer ceremony including an interaction with the portal itself. After making our offerings, we will continue on to the Bolivian border and Copacobana.
In Copacobana we will have lunch, see a little of the city if there is time and meet up with our ever cheerful friend Juan Carlos, our Bolivian guide, who will join us for our time there. At some point we will board our private boat and embark for the Island of the Sun and our lodgings for the next two nights, the Hotel Pumapunku. I love this spot. It is right on the water, and a short walk from the Temple of the Sun.
Please click on the photo to advance to the next image…
We will depart early on the morning of our eleventh day, for several ceremonies at various locations including the Temple of the sun, Koa and the Temple of the Virgins on the Island of the Moon. Non-virgins are also welcome, (no one will ask), and we will hold a special ceremony here for the women of our group only, conducted by Berta, with Hermo and the men holding space in support. At days end we will return to our hotel for dinner and companionship. If the past is any indicator, good humor will abound.
Day twelve will have less structure and we will be free to walk about the Island, explore and if you dare, join Crow for a swim in the worlds highest major lake, ( at 3810 m or 12,500 ft above sea level). There is sure to be more levity and story telling on this, our last night on the lake. the next morning, we will head for shore.
On day thirteen we will return to Copacabana by private boat and board a bus for Tiwanacu. We can’t tell you much about this place other than we have heard it is well worth the trip, so it has been added new this year. I’m sure that Juan Carlos will have a great deal to show us! There are four stock photos below.
After our Day trip to Tiwanacu, we will take the bus back to Puno, check back into the Hotel La Hacienda in Puno and join up afterward for our farewell dinner.
After breakfast at the hotel, Don Hermo will accompany us to the Juliaca Airport for our return trip to Lima, where we will make our connecting flights home. To be safe book your flight for 5:00 pm or later on 15/November.
Your facilitators for this trip will be John MacKinnon, (Crow), Director of Shamanic Voyages, shamanic practitioner and veteran guide for SV, and Alison Farlow MacKinnon, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and an original scout for this destination. At least one of us will be available to you at all times throughout this trip.
The cost of this trip is $2500 USD from Lima to Lima. This price includes all breakfasts at the hotels and all meals at Patabamba, lunches while in transit and the opening and farewell dinners. All air, ground and boat fares are included, with the exception of the optional day trip to Machu Picchu, which costs $300 USD per person additional. Tips, alcoholic beverages and other meals are not included.
A deposit of $1000 USD will secure your place with a $100 early registration discount for registrations received by June 1st, 2019. You may pay by check, (free), or by bank wire, (charges vary by bank). We are a non profit and operate with a slim margin, so please don’t forget to add the fees to your payment, and yes, we do accept donations! You can pay over time, but all funds are due by September 1st to ensure that reservations are held. We no longer accept PayPal, Contact me in person if you want to hear my tirade as to why. Ask about credit card payments, which are being looked into at this time. Deposits are non-refundable, but the balance will be refunded at 80% if cancelled by September 15, 2019.
US citizens are required to secure a tourist visa for Bolivia in advance. This can be done on line at https://www.visahq.com/bolivia for a fee of $259.00 No visa is required of other nationalities to our knowledge at this time, but you may want to check with your embassy. This visa is good for ten years.
Because of the significant altitude, we recommend asking your health care provider for a week supply of Acetazolomide, a safe medication that helps oxygenate the blood. Beginning this treatment a few days before leaving helps many people avoid the symptoms of altitude sickness, which can really be unpleasant. While in the Andes, traditional medicines as well as Acetazolomide are available without a prescription.
Note: When packing, remember to pack a set of white clothing for ceremonies.
For any questions, comments or concerns, and to request your registration materials, contact : Mail@ShamanicVoyages.org
Think about joining us. It will be an experience you will never forget!
The Amazon with Shamanic Voyages
March 7-20, 2020 - Experience the Magic of the Amazon
Shamanic Voyages returns to the Amazon Rainforest in 2020 for an intensive experiential program with Don Cesar Agustin Rivas, (Viejo) and Dona Andrea Marques, (Nina Caspi). Learn about the traditional healing and visionary plant medicines of the jungle amid the sights and sounds of the most important ecosystem in the world. More information to come soon, registration will begin in the late summer of 2019.
The Mongolian Steppes
Return with us in June, 2020 to the Blue Sky Country!
Shamanic Voyages will return to the beautiful countryside of Mongolia in the company of two or three Mongolian shamans. We will learn about their history, culture and spiritual practices amid the beauty of the steppes. Extensions will be available to join the Nadaam Festival as well. More to come…