Day 1: Pucallpa - Nueva Luz De Fatima
Welcome to Peru! Meet the group and depart from the Manish Hotel Ecologico between 8 and 9 am. Take a 30 minute boat ride across the Ucayali River to the retreat in the village of Nueva Luz de Fatima. Get settled into your home for the next 4 days. In the afternoon we'll talk about ayahuasca and what to expect each night. This is a good chance to get to know others in the group, and also talk about what you would like to get out of the experience.
Explore the village. Later in the afternoon get ready for the short 20 minute jungle hike to the maloka (the indigenous word for house or cabin) where we'll participate in an ayahuasca ceremony each night. Spend the night in the maloka.
Day 2: Nueva luz de Fatima
Get up in the morning and have breakfast. Take the morning to relax and get cleaned up. Have lunch and meet as a group later on to talk about the previous night and process the experience. The discussion will be led and guided by Angel.
Take the afternoon to do whatever - go for a swim in the pool, lay in a hammock, or explore the jungle. Later in the afternoon we will trek out to the maloka for the second ayahuasca ceremony and spend the night.
Day 3: Nueva Luz de Fatima
Wake up and head back the village to clean up and get ready. Today we'll spend the first half of the day on a boat tour of the Ucayali River. Breakfast will be served on the boat as we make our way down the river. Gilber will point out animals, lizards, birds, and fresh water dolphins. Keep your eyes on land because there's always a chance to see a sloth - by far the easiest animal on the planet to catch, so we may even get a chance to hold one.
In the afternoon head back to the retreat eat and relax. Later in the afternoon we'll meet as a group to talk about the previous night. Get to the maloka before the sun goes down. Participate in the third ayahuasca ceremony and spend the night in the maloka.
Day 4: Nueva Luz de Fatima
Wake up and head back for breakfast. After breakfast, we'll talk about the ceremonies with discussion led by Angel. This is a good way to get the most out of the entire experience.
After lunch Gilber will show you how he makes ayahuasca and we're welcome to help. Ask as many questions as you want and learn about everything that goes into it. He's happy to share what he knows and always has a good story to tell. His stories are so legendary that Lonely Planet once asked him to write for their website.
Later we'll head out to the maloka for the fourth and final ayahuasca ceremony.
Day 5: Nueva Luz De Fatima - Cusco
Wake up, have breakfast, pack your things, and say goodbye to the jungle and our amazing hosts Gilber, his wife Sylvia, and everyone else you met. Take the boat back to Pucallpa and then to the airport to catch a flight to the historic city of Cusco. Cusco sits at 11,000 feet above sea level, so be prepared for some acclimatization. Check into our nice and comfortable hotel, and feel free lie down for a bit. Peruvians drink coca tea to ease the effects from altitude - it’s included and available at the hotel.
In the afternoon check out the historic district around the hotel. Walk over to Plaza de Armas surrounded by restaurants and shops, explore the area, and get dinner. We really like Green Point because it's a vegan restaurant and easy to follow a natural diet, which is highly recommended after doing ayahuasca.
Day 6: Cusco
After breakfast we'll head out for the day and take a guided tour of Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Walk the cobblestone streets of the historic district and see ruins from an ancient Inca palace, historic churches built by the Spanish Conquistadors, and the impressive San Pedro Mercado. Grab lunch at one of the many great and inexpensive places to eat in the city.
In the afternoon we'll go to the outskirts of the city and explore the Inca ruin sites of Sacsayhuaman. The Incas finished building this fortress sometime in the 13th century and held as much as 1,000 troops. After the collapse of the Inca Empire in 1532 the fortress was abandoned and buried by the Conquistadors - where it remained until it was excavated in 1934.
Day 7: Cusco - Aguas Calientes
Pack up and head out after breakfast, we’ve got a full day ahead of us. We’ll drive north and even higher in elevation to our first stop in Chinchero Village at 12,000 feet above sea level and dates back to the Incan empire. Get a demonstration on the traditional way to weave alpaca wool into clothes and get a tour of Inca ruins in and around the village. Drive north to Moray ruin, which was used as a laboratory of sorts by the Inca Empire where they learned to grow and harvest crops on each tier with slightly different climates at each level, with the highest temps at the bottom - the difference in temperature from the bottom to top can be around 15 degrees.
Next stop at Maras Salt Pans, which is a salt mine that has been used since the 1100s by generations of families. Continue north to the town of Ollantaytambo and tour the ruins that sit right on the edge of town as a constant reminder to locals of past generations. In the late afternoon we will take the train from Ollantaytambo train station through the mountains to the village of Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu Pueblo. The train is the only way in and out of Aguas Calientes. Spend the next two nights in the quirky and lively village.
Day 8: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu
Start the day around 8 am and head up to the Machu Picchu World Heritage Site. There are two ways to the top, hike and bus, your choice. The ruin is at around 8,000 feet above sea level, so there are less issues with altitude here. Go on a tour around the ruin and spend as much time as much time as you like.
Meet back in Aguas Calientes at the hotel later in the day and spend the evening out with the group for the last night of the journey.
Day 9: Aguas Calientes - Cusco
Spend the morning in Aguas Calientes and have breakfast at the hotel. Around noon we'll take the train back to Ollantaytambo, get lunch there and see more of the town. In the early afternoon we’ll drive back to Cusco, and will arrive around 5 pm. You can fly home that evening or spend extra time in Cusco. Say goodbye to everyone you met and head home!