Ready for a weeklong women-only slumber party in the Sacred Valley of Peru?
August 11-17, 2020
Optional Andean Homestay August 17-20
7d/6n Peru Adventure $1195 • 4d/3n Andean Homestay add-on $450
Sign up by October 31 and pay in 11 installments of as little as $108.64 ($149.55 with the homestay add-on) or secure your spot with a $200 deposit
Includes lodging, all activities, guides, ground transportation, admissions to museums and attractions, lessons, classes, and daily breakfast. Excludes airfare, travel insurance, restaurant meals, souvenirs and gratuities
It’s all part of the adventure™
Seeing all the sights is just the beginning. On my Women’s Adventure Tours, you’ll taste, cook, dance, hike, and hang out with locals as we dig deep into the culture. For example, past trips have included a ceremony with a shaman, sleeping on a riverboat in Borneo, and riding camels into the Sahara Desert to spend a night in a Bedouin camp.
My travel style can be a little rough & rugged. Hot water can be questionable, towels aren’t fluffy, and we all pitch in on chores to keep costs down. There’s no one to carry your bag or make your bed. We take local transportation at times, and we get dirty. My guests wouldn’t have it any other way, and neither would I!
If you want to travel the world without the insulation of a chain hotel or tour bus, these trips are for you!
Sacred Valley • Cusco • Machu Picchu
We’ll scramble over Incan ruins, make offerings in a traditional ceremony, explore the historic city of Cusco, meet women weavers, and spend a day in the clouds at Machu Picchu! You’ll hang out with locals, hike in the mountains, try local transportation, and so much more. By the time you leave, you’ll know Peru better than most tourists.
This trip will include a lot of walking, on rough terrain, at high altitudes. You need a reasonable degree of fitness.
Your 7d/6n Peru Adventure
Note: I usually manage to squeeze in a few delightful surprises at the last minute, and sometimes the order of events changes, but these are the activities I definitely plan to include.
Day 1: Arrivals (August 11, 2020)
If you’re arriving today, someone will meet you at the airport and bring you to our meeting point in Cusco.
If you get to Cusco a few days early (which I think is a great idea, so you can acclimate to altitude) I’ll help you find the right hotel and make sure you’re picked up at the airport and taken there.
Either way, on this day we’ll all pile into a private van and ride together to our house in the Sacred Valley, where we will settle into our rooms and get to know one another.
Our house will be Andean-style, a bit rustic. Expect questionable hot water, scratchy, thin towels, flat pillows, and mountain views that will fill your soul for months to come.
Day 2: Local Life (August 12, 2020)
This day is deliberately slow-paced in order to let you acclimate to the altitude and soak up the incredible views and amazing people of the Sacred Valley.
After an optional yoga class and a leisurely breakfast, we’ll head to the incredible Inkariy Museum where you’ll learn about the historic rituals, beliefs, and traditions of the Andean people.
After that, we’ll make our way to Urubamba, the village that is my home when I’m in Peru. Urubamba is the heart of the Valley, where locals gather to trade homegrown vegetables in the market or to enjoy an ice cream cone in the plaza. A guided tour of the market will help you understand both the local produce and the people.
You can ride in mototaxis to save your strength while you’re acclimating — they’re adorable and fun!. I’ll take you to my favorite café where you can relax with a coffee, tea, or juice in a lovely garden. We’ll have lunch at the Children’s Home that I work with and meet some of the kids and staff. After lunch, we’ll visit a ceramic artist’s studio, and have a gourmet dinner in town at a great restaurant. Finally, we’ll return home for a relaxing evening.
Day 3: The Spirit of the Land (August 13, 2020)
After an optional yoga class and breakfast, a van will take us to the village of Pisac. High above the town are trails where you can hike in the mountain air and encounter Incan ruins around every turn. In Pisac, you can opt for a truly strenuous and breathtaking hike or visit just the most dramatic sites and then return to the village by mototaxi to shop in the market and stroll the streets.
In the evening, we’ll have a traditional Despacho Ceremony of Gratitude and Healing. According to our spirit guide “This ceremony links gratitude with happiness, health, and dreams manifested. This ceremony is also to acquire inner balance and inner peace and to remove anything negative. Despacho is to call upon the elemental forces and to enter into our own divinity.”
Day 4: The Heart of Peru (August 14, 2020)
After breakfast, we’ll head to Cusco, the heart of the Incan Empire and the seat of Spanish control in Peru. On our way, we’ll visit the weavers of Chinchero and learn about Andean dying, spinning, and weaving. You’ll have a chance to buy handmade items directly from the artists who create them.
Cusco offers museums, shopping, cathedrals, and hikes to surrounding historical sites. We’ll decide together what we want to do and perhaps split up into smaller groups for the second half of the day. We’ll return to our house in time to pack our overnight bags for our trip to Machu Picchu!
Day 5: Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes (August 15, 2020)
First thing in the morning, we’ll leave for Ollantaytambo, a beautiful Incan city on the way to Machu Picchu. After lunch, we’ll check out the incredible ruins on the mountainside. You’ll have the option to climb the terraces and explore; those who want to save their energy for Machu Picchu can enjoy a rooftop cafe with a stunning view.
The train to Aguas Calientes is about 90 minutes of breathtaking scenery, including mountains, rivers, ruins, and jungle. We’ll check into our hotel and have a nice dinner.
Day 6: Machu Picchu (August 16, 2020)
On this day, you’ll wake up early, nosh on the hotel breakfast, then head into the clouds on the most amazing bus ride of your life!
At Machu Picchu, a guide will explain the ruins, including the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, and other Incan buildings. We’ll take our time and stop at all the best photo locations. Then we’ll return by train to Ollantaytambo and take a van home.
Day 7: Departures (August 17, 2020)
Departure day. I’ll make arrangements for everyone to be returned to the airport in Cusco so you can begin your journey home. Meanwhile, if you’re staying for the Homestay Extension, this is Day 1 of that trip for you (see below).
4d/3n Andean Homestay Extension
Day 1: Free time in the Valley (August 17, 2020)
While I’m handing departures for those aren’t staying, you’ll have a free day to explore. I can help you arrange a visit to the Salt Pools at Salineras, a museum day in Cusco, zip line from the bluffs, or a mountain hike. After that, we’ll spend the night in our home in the Sacred Valley(note: this day overlaps with Day 7 above)
Day 2: Traveling to our homestay (August 18, 2020)
We’ll be going high into the Andes for our homestay in a remote village. During the trip, we’ll enjoy spectacular views and we’ll probably spot some Incan ruins.
When we arrive at the village, we’ll meet our host families and get settled into our lodgings. Next, the women of the pueblo will teach us all about their world-famous textiles, including the plants they use to dye their natural wools. You’ll be amazed to learn how they weave these intricate designs from their minds, without a pattern of any kind. After that, the family will prepare us a traditional dinner in the pueblo.
Your homestay will be rustic — expect a dirt floor and no hot water. However, Western toilets are usually available.
Day 3: Waking up at our homestay (August 19, 2020)
Firstly, we’ll start our day with a traditional breakfast in the village and a low-energy, high-altitude hike to take in the mountain scenery. After that, we say goodbye to our host families and new friends in the pueblo, we’ll return to the valley for warm showers and one last dinner together in town.
Day 4: Departures (August 20, 2020)
Departure day. I’ll make arrangements for everyone to be returned to the airport in Cusco so you can begin your journey home.
Details and registration
A note to introverts and independents
All the activities listed here are included in your trip, but nothing is mandatory. You are always welcome to decline a group activity and do your own thing; I just ask for a note so your next-of-kin know that you stepped out of my care for a while. 🙂
We usually go to restaurants as a group, but if you need to sit by yourself or in a smaller group sometimes, just tell me. My trips are judgment-free zones, I want you to do what makes you happy.
Hi, I’m Lauren Haas, the founder of Indie Travel Guru.
In May of 2013 I sold everything I owned and started traveling the world with all my possessions in a backpack. It’s been an incredible journey, and now I’m beginning to share the world with small groups of women who want to see it the way I do.
I love to walk, hike, take local transportation, get involved in local life, and learn about cultures from the inside out, through arts, food, music, dance, and culture. Come join me for an unforgettable adventure!
Testimonials from past trips
Lauren, our host, was a charming ambassador for Morocco; I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience than she did for our group consisting of eight strangers (soon to become friends).
Thank you, Lauren, for planning such a wonderful trip and sharing so many fabulous experiences. Looking forward to your future retreats. Read more “I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience”
Lauren made me feel comfortable and safe traveling to a part of the world I had never been to previously. The personal experiences she shares regarding being a smart traveler and her cultural knowledge are valuable.
She is friendly, a good problem solver, respectful of personal space/time, and fun. I would definitely travel with her again. Read more “Safe, comfortable, and fun!”
Lauren was a fantastic host —wonderful, full of life, giving, trustworthy and a ton of fun! Even though the stay was only a week long, we got such a beautiful, well-rounded immersion in the culture…
What this is not: your standard trip. We saved money along the way and got a fantastic cultural voyage. I can wholeheartedly recommend this experience and I will most definitely be joining Lauren again in the near future. Read more “A well-rounded immersion in culture”
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$200 deposit is nonrefundable. 30 days before the trip begins, the full balance becomes due and nonrefundable
I strongly recommend buying travel insurance well ahead of your trip. Insurance will refund you in the event you need to cancel at the last minute, and will also cover lost luggage, medical emergencies, stolen telephone, and so much more.
Other Important Information:
This trip is being offered subject to a minimum number of travelers registering. In the event the trip needs to be canceled by Indie Travel Guru, LLC, you will be notified as early as possible and your deposit and/or payments will be refunded in full.