Sky, Sea & Sun Salutations

Yoga and Body Rolling in Peru & The Galapagos

with Nancy Zampella

*POSTPONED*

 

This trip has been postponed. Please check back regularly or subscribe to our newsletter to learn about our next adventure with Nancy Zampella!

Trip at a Glance

  • September 25–October 8, 2017
  • Daily practice with Nancy Zampella
  • Accompanied by BJ & Lauren of RetreaTours
  • Explore the ancient wonder of Machu Picchu
  • Discover the treasures of the Sacred Valley
  • Step back in time in Cusco, Peru’s historical capital 
  • Stay on two of the inhabited islands of the Galapagos, Santa Cruz & San Cristobal
  • Enjoy sightseeing boat trips and snorkeling day trips
  • Small group tour: limited to 12 guests
  • Early bird price of $5999 per person (based on double occupancy) until April 30, 2017 (thereafter, $6399)
  • Please click here to learn about the option for attending only the Peru portion or only the Galapagos portion

Are you ready for what we believe is the VERY FIRST yoga retreat to ever combine Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands?

Join RetreaTours and Nancy Zampella for a yoga and body rolling adventure in South America! We’ll wander the land of the ancient Incan Empire first, exploring the Sacred Valley, Cusco, and the crown jewel, Machu Picchu.

From Peru, we’ll fly to Ecuador and on to the Galapagos Islands. We’ll explore the land and waters of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands, discovering first-hand this extraordinarily unique landscape and its diverse wildlife!

 

Itinerary at a Glance

September 25: Arrive in Lima, Peru

September 26: Fly from Lima to Cusco and take train to Machu Picchu Pueblo

September 27: Explore the wonder of Machu Picchu at sunrise

September 28: Discover gems of the Sacred Valley on our drive to Cusco

September 29-30: Enjoy the sites in and around Cusco, the Historical Capital of Peru

October 1: Fly from Cusco to Lima and onto Quito, Ecuador

October 2: Fly from Quito to Santa Cruz island in the Galapagos

October 3-4: Delight in the natural beauty on Santa Cruz island, including a boat tour of Seymour Norte island

October 5: Take a short ferry to neighboring island of San Cristobal

October 6-7: Experience the wonder of Galapagos marine life during snorkeling day trips from San Cristobal

October 8: Depart from the Galapagos back to Quito (to home or your next adventure!)

Lima

Cusco

Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes

Quito

Santa Cruz

San Cristobal

About Our Destinations

Peru

Traveling through Peru is like jumping in your own personal time machine. Although much of Peru is extremely modern and cosmopolitan, her ancient civilizations have left an indelible mark.  Peru has been inhabited since 9,000 BC and has had complex societies since 3000 BC. The Incas were an immensely powerful state in the 15th century, with Cusco as their capital.The crown in the Incan empire is, of course, Machu Picchu. You’ll have the opportunity to spend a full day at this powerful site, as we’ll spend the night in Machu Picchu Pueblo the night before. However, the Inca left their mark all over the Sacred Valley, and we know you’ll enjoy exploring these historic and engaging sites with us.

In 1532, the Incan Empire fell to the Spanish conquistadors. The result, particularly in Cusco, is a fascinating blend of indigenous structures and foundations mixed with colonial Spanish flourishes and embellishments.

 

 

Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. These UNESCO World Heritage islands, isolated 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, are home to diverse and unique flora & fauna–many are found nowhere else on the planet. In fact, Charles Darwin’s visit to these remote islands in 1835 helped him develop his theory of natural selection.

We’ll be staying on two different islands on this land-based tour, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, and we’ll take plenty of boat excursions to reach the treasured, remote vistas of this otherworldly volcanic archipelago. The convergence of three major ocean currents brings an incredible mix of marine life to the islands. You’ll have the opportunity to snorkel with sea lions, turtles, rays, marine iguanas, and yes, even sharks!

 

Detailed Daily Itinerary

MACHU PICCHU

You’ll begin your adventure by flying into Lima, Peru. We know that many flights arrive in the evening, but for those of you who arrive earlier in the day, we can help arrange a tour of Lima or you can explore the beautiful coastal neighborhood of Miraflores.

On the morning of September 26,  we’ll take a quick 80 minute flight to Cusco. You can also spell this town as “Cuzco,” but we like to use the local spelling; if you want to take it way back, the original Incan name for this town was Q’osq’o! However, don’t get too attached to this city, no matter how you spell it, just yet.

Cusco rests at 11,152 feet (3,399 m) altitude–and resting is about all you would be able to do if you stayed here after coming from sea-level Lima. We take your health and comfort seriously and we want to avoid any altitude-related discomfort. For that reason, we’ll immediately head down to Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly known as Aguas Calientes), the town that sits below Machu Picchu. At 6,693 feet (2,040 m), this is a reasonable place to start acclimating yourself, and we will gradually make our way back to Cusco.

Our train ride along the Urubamba river to Machu Picchu Pueblo is a perfect introduction to this very exciting segment of our journey. The large windows, extending even into the ceiling, give you a broad view on the mountains that kept Machu Picchu hidden from Spanish conquistadors. In fact, it wasn’t until July 1911 that Hiram Bingham “stumbled upon” the ruins of Machu Picchu–he was actually looking for a different lost Incan city!

We’ll arrive in Machu Picchu Pueblo in the afternoon and leisurely explore this tiny town. Located along the Vilcanota river just a 30 minute bus ride or 90 minute hike from Machu Picchu itself, this town seems perpetually abuzz with visitors’ excitement. We’ll have a relaxing evening (perhaps you’ll try the local dish of alpaca steak?) in preparation for our early morning.

In the morning we’ll be on the first buses to Machu Picchu, a perfect time to beat the day-trip crowds that come from Cusco. We’ll watch the fog clear and the sun rise over these beautiful ruins. We’ll take an expertly guided tour and then you’ll be free to explore on your own for as long as you like.

The rest of the day will be yours for yoga practice and to nap, explore, or even visit the namesake of “Aguas Calientes,” the hot spring tucked behind the town. This may be the perfect time to sample a celebratory Pisco Sour, Peru’s national drink. Looking for a non-alcoholic refresher? You must try that mysterious purple drink you see around you; that’s chicha morada, a sweet corn-based juice.

We’ll depart from Machu Picchu Pueblo the next morning, giving you one more scenic train ride along the Urubamba River. We’ll disembark at the ancient site of Ollantaytambo and we’ll take a leisurely drive back to Cusco and explore a few sacred Valley sites along the way. We adore Salinas, a picturesque site with thousands of “salt pans,” shallow pools where families naturally harvest salt from the nearby mineral-rich hot springs. We can also explore the fascinating Incan terraces at Moray. These terraces are concentric circles, and reach a depth of 98 feet, forming a microclimate which can see a 27°F temperature difference from the lip of the terraces to the bottom. It is thought that the Incas used this site as an agricultural “laboratory” of sorts, determining which conditions were ideal for certain crops.

CUSCO

We’ll arrive in Cusco and check in to our centrally-located hotel, just off the main square (Plaza de Armas). There is a certain charm to Cusco that we can’t get enough of. This Unesco World Heritage Site was the stunning capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th until the 16th century, and it is South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city. The blend of the ancient Incan foundations, topped with the ornate relics of the Spanish invasion and colonization, make this city a marvel at every turn. It’s no wonder that the Constitution of Peru designated Cusco as the country’s Historical Capital!

We’ll explore the outskirts of the city, including the breathtaking site of Saqsaywaman, a stout citadel on the northern edge of town. The fine stonework of this fortress is remarkable (and makes it all the more heartbreaking–spoiler alert–that its materials were pillaged for the Cusco Cathedral). We’ll see Q’inqu, a small but powerful Incan ceremonial site, and we’ll head on to Pisac to visit its ancient terraces and its colorful, engaging market. This is a perfect time to start grabbing those souvenirs and gifts, as the handicrafts at this market are second to none.

You’ll also have free time in Cusco to discover the sites that strike your fancy. Whether it’s the towering Cathedral on the Plaza or the quaint San Blas church, the local markets, or just writing in your journal in a local cafe, you’ll have downtime in Cusco to explore in a way that suits you best.

We’ll enjoy dinner together our last night in Cusco on September 30th. Speaking of dinners…did you see the painting of the Last Supper inside the Cusco Cathedral that shows the interesting main dish of cuy (guinea pig?) If you’re interested in trying the Andean specialty of cuy, tonight’s the night! If not, there are a host of other Peruvian and Andean treats to choose from, from quinoa soup to lomo saltado (beef stirfry). 

Tomorrow morning we’ll fly from Cusco to Lima, and then fly onward to Quito, Ecuador. We’ll spend the night in Quito and in the morning we fly to the Galapagos! First stop: Santa Cruz island.

SANTA CRUZ

GALAPAGOS

We’ll arrive at Santa Cruz’s airport on Baltra island, and you get your first tiny boat ride right away, across the Itabaca Channel (about 400 meters). Our destination on Santa Cruz is Puerto Ayora, on the southern coast, but we’re taking the scenic route! We’ll break up the one-hour drive by stopping in the highlands to visit the Giant Galapagos Tortoises at Rancho Primicias. Here you can marvel at these gentle giants as they roam about their natural habitat.

Puerto Ayora is Santa Cruz’s main town, with a population of 12,000. This will be our home base for three nights and is an interesting town to wander in your free time. You’ll encounter tons of wildlife just trying to walk down the sidewalk, side-stepping sea lions and marine iguanas!

Tomorrow morning we’ll take a boat to Seymour Norte, an island which is a natural haven for the Blue-Footed Boobie and Frigate birds. We’ll also explore Bachas beach and perhaps see some flamingos in the nearby lagoon! On this outing, we’ll also have the opportunity to break out our underwater cameras for our first snorkeling experience in the Galapagos.

On our last full day on Santa Cruz, we’ll take advantage of the wildlife right here in the “big city.”  We’ll head toward Tortuga Bay at low tide, where the Pacific recedes and uncovers a beautiful white sand beach dotted with…wait for it…not tortugas, but marine iguanas! Whether they’re sunbathing or diving for snacks, these marine iguanas (native ONLY to the Galapagos) have definitely claimed this beach as their own. We can also visit Las Grietas (The Cracks), deep cuts in the landscape that form high canyons filled with crystal clear water for snorkeling or swimming. Or perhaps you’d like to head to the east side of town and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. There’s a tortoise enclosure and a baby tortoise incubator, in addition to information about their wildlife restoration efforts.

SAN CRISTOBAL

GALAPAGOS

On October 5th, we’ll take a 2-3 hour speedboat ferry to San Cristobal, our neighbor to the east. We’ll be staying in the main city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which also serves as the capital of the Galapagos Province of Ecuador. This town offers some wonderful educational activities, including the National Park Visitor Center, where you learn that the history of the Galapagos is even stranger–and darker–than fiction.

This island is where Charles Darwin first disembarked on his renowned 1835 voyage, which greatly impacted and informed his theory of evolution. You can see the statue of Darwin from high stop Frigate Bird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas) or hike out to see it close-up on your way to snorkel in the aquamarine bay.

We have two full days on San Cristobal and two amazing snorkeling and beach adventures to fill them! One day we will visit Kicker Rock, or León Dormido; obviously the British thought this monolith looked like a shoe, while the Ecuadorians thought it looked more like a sleeping lion–you decide! Kicker Rock, the eroded cone of an extinct volcano, is a local favorite for snorkeling and diving. This is a great space to see spotted eagle rays and sharks–even hammerheads, if you’re lucky! But don’t forget to look up, too, as the towering rock formations are home to blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, and more.

The next day we will head to Isla Lobos–that’s right, the Island of Sea Lions! We’ll share the waters with these playful sea lions (or, more accurately, they’ll share the water with us!) and get a glimpse of them gliding around in their element. Don’t let their slow, clumsy behavior on land fool you–they are amongst the most elegant and agile creatures on the planet! We’ll also take a walk on the island itself, which is a favorite nesting spot for frigate birds and blue-footed boobies.

Both of these trips will be combined with lunch and time on a beautiful nearby beach, with a bit of time for walking, resting, or swimming. In the afternoon we’ll heard back for some late afternoon yoga. On one or both of our San Cristobal evenings, we’d love to take you to La Loberia beach, just a 10 minute drive from town, for a beautiful sunset and also one of the larger sea lion colonies in the Galapagos!

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Your Daily Practice

Each day, retreat participants will have an opportunity to unwind travel tension and explore physical freedom via guided yoga and body rolling sessions. Customized to meet the group’s needs as well as enhance the particulars of our itinerary, one day’s practice may focus on re-energizing tired legs, while another day may emphasize the balance between directing attention inwardly or outwardly.

Physical Requirements: In order to enjoy all this trip has to offer, participants should have the stamina to attend a 2-hour yoga and body rolling session that includes seated, standing & reclining poses, core strengthening, and using upper body strength to roll the lower limbs. All participants are encouraged to attend at least one 2-hour body rolling workshop with Nancy before your spot can be reserved so she can ascertain your level of fitness. If you are not located in the Tampa Bay area and cannot attend one of Nancy’s live workshops, she will reach out to you to discuss your practice before your registration for this trip is finalized. *If you are attending with a loved one and don’t plan on participating in yoga and body rolling, that is fine and you are most welcome to attend!

Required Props:

Each participant must bring a yoga mat, a yoga strap, and the 3 balls we’ll be using in our daily practice: a tennis ball for the feet; a pair of black “calf” balls, and the “pearl” ball. These last two can be ordered online from https://bodyrollingdianneglass.com/shop. We like to recommend these folding travel mats from Khataland, as they are much easier to pack inside a suitcase (although many participants use other roll-up travel mats and attach them to their carry-ons). If you use this link, or the code “MATT” at checkout, you can save 5% on your chosen mat! Make sure to think of your knees when purchasing a travel mat, and how much cushioning your precious joints will require.

Price & Inclusions

This 14 day/13 night all-inclusive journey is $5999 per person (double occupancy) before April 30, 2017. After that date the price is $6399.

If you prefer to have your own room, the single supplement is $779 and will be added to your last payment. (Click here to understand why this single supplement is necessary). Please note that we cannot guarantee you a roommate for this trip, and if you room alone, you will be responsible for the single supplement.

An $1000 deposit holds your space.  The second installment of $2500 is due by May 28, 2017 (120 days before start of trip) and the balance is due by July 27, 2017 (60 days before start of trip).  Single supplement ($779) is due along with the last installment.

Price Includes:

  • All meals in Peru
  • All meals in Quito, Ecuador
  • All breakfasts and 1 dinner in the Galapagos
  • All lodging
  • All transportation within Peru: roundtrip flight from Lima to Cusco; roundtrip transportation from Cusco to Machu Picchu
  • Flight from Lima, Peru to Quito, Ecuador
  • Roundtrip flight from Quito to the Galapagos
  • One entry ticket to Machu Picchu, guided tour, and roundtrip bus ticket from Machu Picchu Pueblo to Machu Picchu
  • One Tourist Ticket that covers Sacred Valley sites and guided tour
  • One Religious Circuit Ticket that cover 3 religious sites in Cusco
  • $100 Galapagos Park Entry Fee
  • $20 Ecuadorian Immigration Transit Control Card
  • Seymour Norte day tour, Galapagos
  • Kicker Rock day tour, Galapagos
  • Isla Lobos day tour, Galapagos

Price does not include:

  • International airfare from your home to Peru or back from Quito  (although we can and will be more than happy to help you decide on arrangements)
  • 5 dinners and 6 lunches on the Galapagos (although a light lunch is included during our boat excursions)
  • Alcohol
  • Travel insurance (required)

NOTE: 

  • There is a minimum of 6 guests that must sign up in order for this trip to take place. We will hold your deposit & payments until the minimum number of guests have signed up.  Please do not purchase any airfare until you get the go-ahead from us that we’ve reached our minimum number of participants.  
  • If the minimum number of guests have not signed up 3 months prior to the departure date, we’ll give you the option to transfer your reservation to another tour or fully refund your money.
Payment Details

This Payment info is for the entire trip. Please contact us for payment info for the individual trip modules.

Please refer to the Price tab for specific information about price & what is included on your journey.

We accept payments via check (which we prefer!) and credit card (via PayPal). For our international guests, we can accept wires, which we find is the most economical solution for everyone; please contact us for wire details.

  • Paying by Check: Checks can be made out to Insight Travels, LLC and sent to 8821 NW 14 Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.
  • Paying by Credit Card or PayPal balance: You can pay with credit card or PayPal balance through the following the red buttons below.  Please click the appropriate amount to be taken to PayPal’s homepage to complete your transaction. All PayPal transactions must be in USD.  Note that you do not have to pay with your PayPal balance.

Final installment due on July 27, 2017. We’ll provide you the amount and invoice well before the due date.

Click here to pay the $1000 deposit by credit card (via PayPal)

Click here to pay the $2500 second installment by credit card (via PayPal) [due by May 28, 2017] 

Registration Questions & Contract

Please scroll down within this tan box to reach the end of the questionnaire and contract. At the end of the contract, you will see a “submit” box—please hit that button.  If you are having difficulty completing it on this website, you can go directly to the form here

Your spot is not considered reserved until you have completed these questions and contract on the website.

Please click here to download to view and download PDF of the contract for your records. 

Suggested Packing List & Average Temperatures

Coming soon!

Average temperatures during this time of year:

Lima: 55-65°F

Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley: 40-70°F

Cusco: 37-68°F

Galapagos: 73-85° F

Quito : 45-70°F

Water temperature in the Galapagos: ~73°F

FAQs (visa, vaccine, food, hotel info & more!)

PASSPORT/VISA

  • What do I need to know about the visa?    

First and foremost, your passport MUST be valid at least 6 months beyond the end date of the trip (that is, April 6, 2018), and you’ll need two empty pages in the Visas section of your passport (make sure they are in the Visa section, not the Amendment or Endorsement section). 

Peru and Ecuador offers 90 day visa-free visits to citizens of most countries, including the U.S, Australia, and Canada; please check this list to see if your home country is eligible for a Peruvian Visa.

FOOD

  • I have special dietary needs—can I be accommodated?

Peruvians and Ecuadorians love their meat, from roast chicken to beef stir fry, from alpaca to guinea pig (and don’t forget every variation of seafood, both in Peru and on the Galapagos). Vegetarians will find vegetable-based options, although the selection is somewhat limited. Vegans might find it more difficult, as the vegetarian options will often include cheese as a base ingredient (although Cusco does have a dedicated vegan restaurant). Email us and let’s talk about your veg preferences!

Gluten-free guests should not have trouble, although we request you print this card out to carry with you for clarification. Please contact us directly for other dietary concerns.

  • Usually all meals are included on your trips–why is this different?

All of your meals in Peru and in Quito are covered, as well as your breakfasts and one dinner in the Galapagos. (In addition, light lunches will be provided on the days we have boat tours.) We’ve decided to give you more freedom in your lunches and dinner in the Galapagos due to the wide range of options there.On both islands there are more value-oriented meal options (between $6-15) and more high-end options ($20+).  We know that some of you might just want to have fresh lobster at every chance, and some of you may be more content with simple Ecuadorian dishes. One aspect that makes this even easier is that the currency used in Ecuador (and the Galapagos) is the US Dollar.

  • Can I drink the water?

In a word, No. Although many cities around the world are getting more advanced public water systems, we don’t recommend it.  Not only from a pathogen standpoint, but it’s a different set of bacteria than your body is used to. Why risk an upset stomach if you don’t have to? We recommend drinking only bottled water, and you will want to rinse your toothbrush off in bottled water.

HEALTH

  • What vaccines do I need?

None are required to enter Peru or Ecuador, but we suggest you work with your physician or your area’s travel health expert to decide what options are best for you.  You can read the CDC’s Peru recommendations here and the Scottish NHS Peru recommendations here; click here and here for the Ecuadorian recommendations.

  • What about the altitude?

We’ve planned this entire trip around acclimating you the altitude as much as possible (we start lower at Machu Picchu, then up to Ollantaytambo, then finally to Cusco at 11,150 feet). Please read BJ’s tips (http://www.travelconsultants.biz/prevent-altitude-sickness) on preventing altitude sickness, along with Lauren’s tips on more natural ways to prepare your body (http://www.retreatours.com/how-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling).  You may want to speak to your physician about Diamox you have experienced altitude sickness in the past.

 *All of the information here is for reference purposes only and is not intended to substitute for advice from your licensed health care professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health condition or disease. If you are experiencing medical issues, you should contact your medical health care provider.

  • What about malaria? What about Zika?

Malaria is not a risk on our itinerary (Lima, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Quito, Galapagos). As always, we request that you work with your physician or travel doctor when making these choices. Please see our blog about this topic for more information about malaria.

This is what the CDC is currently advising regarding Zika in Peru and in Ecuador. 

 *All of the information here is for reference purposes only and is not intended to substitute for advice from your licensed health care professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health condition or disease. If you are experiencing medical issues, you should contact your medical health care provider.

  • Do I need travel insurance?

We require that our guests carry travel insurance because it just makes sense. It’s a relatively small expense but affords huge peace of mind!  When choosing a travel insurance policy we require that you are covered for emergency medical expenses, medical evacuation, and repatriation. We also highly recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance, as this may cover cancellation penalties in certain circumstances if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness, injury or other unforeseen circumstances.

We like World Nomads for our guests under 70, but ultimately you have to choose the company and policy that is right for you. We’ll be asking for confirmation of your travel insurance 60 days before your departure. Please click here to get a quote. We love the services of these companies so much that we became affiliates, so we would ask that if you do choose to purchase these policies, you do it through our links.

MONEY

  • How much money should I bring?

Coming soon!

  • How do I get the local currency?

The local currency in Peru is the Sol (PEN). You can either exchange cash in Peru or use a local ATM (which we prefer) to get soles. Just make sure you call your bank and credit card company to let them know you’ll be traveling in Peru, so they don’t put a hold on your card when they see it being used halfway across the world. When exchanging cash, you always get a slightly better deal when exchanging $100 bills.

You do NOT need to exchange money before you arrive in Peru, as exchanging money while still in your home country usually has a very poor exchange rate.

The local currency in Ecuador is the U.S. dollar! Bring cash from home or you can extract it from ATMs in Quito.

HOTELS

  • What kind of hotels will we be staying in?

All of our hotels are extremely comfortable and well-located for self-exploration. Our Peruvian hotels each have wifi and hot water in abundance; our Galapagos hotels have wifi and hot water, but as you can imagine, the wifi can be rather limited and slow. Before the trip, we will make sure you have the hotel names and contact information to pass along to your loved ones.

COMMUNICATION

  • How can my family get ahold of me in an emergency?

Before the trip begins we will give you the contact information for our hotels to pass along to your loved ones. If you choose to bring your cellphone or tablet, you can use VoIP services such as Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime to connect with your loved ones at home, as well.

How fit must I be for this trip?

Generally speaking, this trip is not suitable for guests who require wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility aids. A good rule of thumb will be the ability to walk 2-3 miles unassisted. Please see below for more details.

Regarding Machu Picchu

We will not be hiking the Inca trail to see Machu Picchu on this trip. Instead, we will be taking a train from the Sacred Valley/Cusco area to Machu Picchu Pueblo. When we visit Machu Picchu at sunrise, we will be on the first set of buses that climb the final hill up to the site (~5:30 AM, for a 20-minute bus ride). If people elect to take the 90-minute hike up the hill to the entrance of Machu Picchu, they can feel free to do so, as long as they leave by ~4:30 AM. (Or you can hike back down to town when it is daylight, which we think is more advisable is you really have the itch to hike! Otherwise, we will catch a bus back down.)

When we get to the site, you will encounter stone steps to get you into the site and to iconic viewpoints. Bank on 15-20 minutes of an uphill climb at a normal pace. You can take these at your own pace–it’s not a race to the top! And because we will be visiting at sunrise, the temperature will be pleasant (even chilly!)

There are steps and paths all over the site which makes it difficult to you give a specific number of steps, but you don’t need to cover every square inch of the site. If you choose to find a shady spot and enjoy the view, we can always meet up with you again (or meet you back in town).

For those wishing for more physical activity, there are plenty of trails that you give you broad vistas of the surrounding mountains.

If you live in an apartment building with stairs, you may wish to take the stairs more and more as training as the trip approaches.

Regarding the Altitude

The altitude of Machu Picchu is 7,900 feet, or the same as Aspen and Vail, CO (with Santa Fe just 700 feet lower). Cusco rests at 11,150 feet, which is why we head to Machu Picchu first and work our way up to Cusco. We will go slow and let our bodies adjust to the altitude.

Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to worsen at high altitude, so it is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your physician. Certain medications are utilized to aid acclimatizing to high altitude; please discuss these options with your doctor or a local travel physician.

Regarding Swimming in the Galapagos

We will enjoy several snorkeling excursions in the Galapagos. We do recommend that you have tried snorkeling at least once (which shouldn’t be too hard for many of you who live in Florida!) While you should feel comfortable in your swimming ability, you can always wear a life vest during these excursions in the water. In fact, even strong swimmers sometimes like to wear a life vest just so they can have more fun floating and taking in the gorgeous underwater vistas around them.

About the Altitude

Altitude Sickness Prevention

We begin in LIma (sea level) and Machu Picchu Pueblo (6,700′) very intentionally work our way up to Cusco (11,150′), lessening the effects of altitude as much as possible. We plan our first few days very lightly, to allow you to acclimatize.

Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to worsen at high altitude, so it is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your physician. Certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude; please discuss these options with your doctor or a local travel physician.

Click here to read BJ’s take on how to prevent altitude sickness, as someone who has traveled extensively at high altitudes and never had ill effect and is an avid reader on the subject.

Click here to read Lauren’s suggestions to natural therapies to begin before your trip. Lauren is a Board-certified Acupuncture Physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine with a specialty in the world of dietary supplements.

 *All of the information here is for reference purposes only and is not intended to substitute for advice from a licensed health care professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health condition or disease. If you are experiencing medical issues, you should contact your medical health care provider.

Travel Insurance (required)

We require that our guests carry travel insurance because it just makes sense.  It’s a relatively small expense but affords huge peace of mind for very little cost. When choosing a travel insurance policy we require that you are covered for emergency medical evacuation/repatriation. We also recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance, as this may cover cancellation penalties in certain circumstances if you have to cancel your trip unexpectedly due to illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances.

We like World Nomads, but ultimately you have to choose the one that is right for you. If you’re 70 years old or older, you’ll have to use a different company (we can advise you if you like). We’ll be asking for confirmation of your travel insurance before your departure.

Travel Insurance. Simple & Flexible.

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    I only want to attend the PERU portion

    For the Peru-only portion of this trip, you would follow the same itinerary until we reach Lima on October 1st. From there you would continue your journey home (on onward). The early bird cost for the Peru-only portion is $2699, with a $399 single supplement. After April 30, the price is $2899.

    I only want to attend the GALAPAGOS portion.

    For the Ecuador-only portion of this trip (Quito and the Galapagos), you will meet us in Quito on the evening of October 1. You will follow the same itinerary from October 2nd onward. The early bird cost for the Ecuador-only portion is $2999, with a $399 single supplement. After April 30, the price is $3199.

    About Nancy

    A yoga educator since 2001, Nancy Zampella, MS, E-RYT, has been helping her students reap yoga’s therapeutic and joyous benefits. She regularly teaches group classes and workshops on topics such as: Holistic Stress Management, Happy Hips, Learn to Love Yoga Props, Growing Younger with Body Rolling, Breathing Freely, etc.Nancy_Pigeon_Bali

    With a master’s degree in holistic nutrition, Nancy teaches an exceptionally therapeutic & joyful blend of yoga styles and techniques that encourage students to break through boundaries and achieve new levels of personal freedom. With this in mind, she named her Sarasota, FL studio Yoga Libre!

    Nancy incorporates the lessons learned from training across a wide variety of modalities and yoga styles, led by knowledgeable teachers and healers. She has personally experienced yoga’s power to heal in reversing her own painful carpal tunnel syndrome, torn hamstring attachments, and chondromalacia patella. Today, she delights in helping her students empower themselves to reverse the effects of chronic postural imbalances through correct alignment and a balanced yoga practice.

    Nancy was one of the first teachers to recognize the prevalent need for myofascial release which she brings to her yoga students via ball rolling massage and Yin Yoga. This deep-tissue massage “juices” the joints to keep them healthy and ensures continued freedom through the available range of motion.

    About BJ and Lauren of RetreaTours

    BJ & Lauren created RetreaTours in 2010 with one goal in mind: to make world travel accessible, authentic, and astounding.  In order to focus fully on this passion, they moved out of the U.S. in January 2013 to reside full-time overseas. Each day is spent exploring new destinations, strengthening local ties & relationships, and creating memorable and transformative retreats and tours (aka, RetreaTours™!)

    BJ & Lauren take great pride in the itineraries they plan, as they can personally vouch for every hotel, every restaurant, and every activity that you will experience. They craft each element of the trip with intention, and they understand that it is this careful attention to detail that sets them apart.  Fueled by their passion, armed with know-how, and supported by knowledgeable local professionals in all of their destinations, BJ & Lauren set the scene for the vacation of a lifetime.

    The dynamic duo are available to answer any and all questions before the trip begins. From giving advice on the best flights and travel insurance to providing a packing list, FAQ, and even a tiny “phrasebook,” BJ & Lauren pride themselves on these ‘nuts & bolts’ of personalized service.

    In addition, as a guest, you receive free travel consulting services (normally a $300 value) should you choose to extend your travels. As one of their most ‘frequent fliers’ put it recently, BJ & Lauren make everything easy for you. Once you arrive in your destination city, your trip is all-inclusive—your meals, transportation, lodging, site fees, donations, and tips are all taken care of.  The research has been done, the itinerary carefully laid out, the reservations made, the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. All you have to do is show up and take in all your destination has to show you!  So….let’s get going!

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