Awaken your inner adventurer and global goddess while on this exclusive International Women’s Day Retreat in Peru and Machu Picchu. You’ll strike a perfect balance between the active and the introspective with stunning off-the-beaten-path hiking trails through archeological ruins, pristine farmland, and iconic valleys. Marry that movement with a blissful mix of private yoga sessions, guided meditations in sacred places, an introduction to Andean Shamanism and a moment with a local medicine woman. All will be punctuated with the exquisite Peruvian cuisine and the perfect Piscos as well as local Women of Influence sharing a tale or two from the hidden hills of Peru to the city streets of Cusco. Plan on seeing and experiencing a full range of emotions, people, and places, all the while being surrounded by one of the world’s most breathtaking backdrops.
September 9th-17th, 2020
Price: $4,190 USD
Group Size: 10-16
Deadline to book - April 31st, 2020
About the Trip
This spirited South American adventure includes an Exclusive International Women's Day celebration in Machu Picchu as well as visits to world-renowned archeological sites including Ollantaytambo and Pisaq.
You’ll find yourself surrounded by a feminine force of like-minded female travelers and adventurers as you share stories and experiences and connect with local communities and women of influence all along the way. You’re sure to be transformed traversing through the Lares and Sacred Valley as your body, soul and senses are sated by epic hikes, archeological sites, Peruvian food, Pisco sours, picnics, sunrise yoga, meditation in sacred settings, meeting local artisans, being healed by a medicine woman, wowed by a weaver and running with the llamas before resting your head in rustic yet stunning settings.
(This is on a first come basis. Don't wait until the final deadline to book as tickets for Machu Picchu may no longer be available at that late date.)
Dates - September 9th-17th, 2020
Days - 9 Days/8 Nights
Size - Minimum of 10, Maximum of 16
Style - Adventure, Wellness & Culture
Needs - $500 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot. Deadline to book - April 31st, 2020.
Treats - Celebrate International Women’s Day Hiking Machu Picchu
Host- Karen Loftus
Fees - $4,190 USD
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1 | September 9th, 2020
We kick off our adventure with a secluded acclimatizing hike to a sacred site just outside of Cusco. We will come together for a welcome ceremony honoring Pachamama (our Mother Earth), to connect the group and set our intentions for the adventure ahead. Afterward, we will enjoy a catered lunch on site before heading back to Cusco. That evening is our welcome dinner at a coveted local restaurant where you will be introduced to the unique flavors of Peru's world-renowned cuisine.
Day 2 | September 10th, 2020
Our second morning starts with a sunrise yoga flow and hikes to secret locations of ruins rarely visited by locals and tourists. After returning to Cusco for lunch we will connect with a local artisan who runs an all female-run art atelier. We will experience modern Cusqueñan art culture and have an opportunity to get "hands-on" while we explore our own creativity. An optional guided tour of historic Downtown Cusco follows before the evening’s highly anticipated "plates + pours" paired dinner at our boutique hotel, El Mercado.
Day 3 | March 11th, 2020
Cusco - Amaru - Viacha - Pisac
We begin the day with another off-the-beaten-path hike through Amaru to the mountain village of Viacha where we will have the honor of sharing a traditional Pachamanca lunch prepared by a local family. This is a unique opportunity to experience the local culture and specifically the role that women have in the local Peruvian agriculture.
Following lunch, we enjoy a visit to the breathtaking Pisac archeological site. We will come together for a grounding meditation on site before continuing on to explore Pisac’s famous outdoor market. Dinner and overnight at The Mountain Lodges of Peru's, Lamay Lodge will follow. (Scheduled massage optional).
Day 4 | September 12th, 2020
We start with a morning yoga flow before visiting a remote village in the Lares Valley. After a visit to a local school, we connect with a traditional women's weaving collective. Master weaver Señora Maria will share and demonstrate the centuries-old technique of dying wools with natural plants and weave on a traditional wooden loom.
Free time to enjoy the hotel and the grounds of the stunning Mountain Lodges of Peru, Huacahuasi Lodge will follow. A scheduled massage is optional. Karen will close with a casual evening of storytelling after dinner.
Day 5 | September 13th, 2020
Lares Valley - Ollantaytambo - Sacred Valley
On the 5th day we have prepared a one-of-a-kind opportunity to witness the truly breathtaking and sacred ceremony of "Honoring the Sheep". Again taking the time to connect and experience local communities in a truly incomparable way.
After hiking with alpacas and sheep, led by local women, we will continue on towards the infamous town and archeological wonder of Ollantaytambo via a stunning hike through pristine farmlands and hidden temple sites. Lastly, a long day on the trail wouldn't be complete without a pit stop at the local Sacred Valley brewing company to enjoy award-winning cervezas.
Day 6 | September 14th, 2020
We kick off this epic day with a luxury train ride into Machu Picchu followed by a visit to the rarely visited Temple of the Moon. We have both morning and afternoon passes into Machu Picchu. So we will take a well-needed break with lunch in between served at the Belmond’s stunning Sanctuary Lodge just outside of the Citadel. Once refueled, we are led on a guided tour and hike through the Citadel. The day finishes off with celebratory dinner and a chic overnight at Aguas Calientes' most coveted hotel, The Inkaterra.
Day 7 | September 15th, 2020
Sacred Valley - Cusco
As we head back towards Cusco through the Sacred Valley, on our scenic train ride, we stop to meet with a Woman of Influence, a femme powerhouse, and revered local medicine woman.
You have the evening free to enjoy and explore for yourself. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at a stunning boutique hotel in the center of town, a property which was once a convent, dates back to the 16th century.
Day 8 | September 16th, 2020
Sacred Valley - Cusco
This morning we enjoy our final yoga practice before an impressive hike through Sacsayhuaman archaeological site. We then meet in town to enjoy a guided tour of Cusco's most renowned cultural and culinary hub, San Pedro Market. You will learn about the medicinal applications of local superfoods and indulge in some exotic fruit tastings. You have the afternoon free.
Our final evening will commence with a beautiful farewell dinner and special farewell ceremony led by Karen and a local Woman of Influence.
Day 9 | September 17th, 2020
Enjoy your last moments in Cusco this morning before heading to the airport to make your connections! Buen Viaje!
This trip was planned meticulously by Karen Loftus and Destination Designed. Once your booking is confirmed, you will receive a more detailed day to day itinerary by Destination Designed. Once in Peru, a few more details will be revealed. You can expect plenty of extra special bells and whistles with the Women of Influence that you will meet along the way.
Until we travel again...
El Mercado Boutique Hotel
This centrally located boutique hotel by Mountain Lodges of Peru is the perfect place in Cusco to kick-off our Peruvian adventure. Nightly music, accompanied by a fire pit and happy hour set the fun, festive and eclectic Peruvian tone. The decadently paired plates and pours over dinner are counteracted by the healthy breakfast buffet complete with a superfood smoothie bar. It’s all the fuel needed to explore Cusco city, its surroundings and its magic!
Select Lodges of Mountain Lodges of Peru
Nobody does luxury adventure quite like The Mountain Lodges of Peru. They have been awarded time and again by some of the world’s top publications, such as Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast, to name but a few. They have the mad mix of rustic luxe meets authentic experiences with adventure out your door thing down. We will be in excellent hands while we savour three of their world-renowned and widely- recognized lodges as we make our way to Machu Picchu.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Located in the heart of Machu Picchu, the iconic Inkaterra Hotel is known worldwide as THE hotel to experience and stay in while in Aguas Calientes. Aside from local proximity to Machu Picchu, funky restaurants and local markets abound right outside your door. Once on property, you won’t want to leave with their pool and their lush jungle-like gardens and grounds. It’s sweet dreaming and deep sleeping among the coos and caws of surrounding wildlife throughout the night. There is no other place we would want to celebrate International Women's Day in Machu Picchu than at this stunning hotel.
*All images of Peru are courtesy of Karen Loftus, except for accommodations.
Accommodations, Rates & Availability
SHARED ACCOMMODATION: $4,190 USD
A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Please note: Payment must be made in full prior to the date of departure.
Our exclusive program welcomes a maximum of 16 travelers with a minimum capacity at 10.
Hover over the image below to see the full BIO on Your Host, Karen Loftus
Karen in Peru
Photo Credit for Gallery: Karen Loftus
Your Tour Operator
Destination Designed is a DMC, or destination management company, that specializes in the design and implementation of high-quality special interest group travel in the Cusco Region of Peru. As defined by the Association of Destination Management Executives, or ADMEI, a DMC is a "professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics.” They are the experts on the ground and only partner with highly regarded and accredited companies and establishments to design an unparalleled and unforgettable group travel experience.
I couldn't think of a better place or way to celebrate International Women’s Day than by hiking into this sacred site with a force of women by my side.
Until recently, you could get a day pass for Machu Picchu. Due to the volume of visitors, that’s now limited to a morning or afternoon pass. However, we are lucky enough to be privy to both morning and afternoon passes on this special day. So, we will have plenty of time to explore and hike in. Then we will break for lunch at the beautiful Belmond right outside of the site before heading back in with a private guide.
This is an active trip as we are hiking nearly every day and doing yoga every other. If you are active, you’ll be fine. If not, you will want to prepare a bit for this. Feel free to discuss this with me if you have any questions or concerns.
As far as altitude, if you are sensitive to it, you may want to arrive in Cusco a day earlier to give yourself the extra time to adjust. There's plenty you can do in advance to prepare as well as once there.
I used to suffer terribly from altitude sickness. I now have plenty of tricks up my sleeve that I swear by. So, I never have a problem anymore. I will share them on the site soon and with all of the participants on this trip.
Last, do know that we will be in the best hands as I have traveled with Andres and the notable Mountain Lodges of Peru prior. Now with this new boutique company, we together have created a very unique itinerary where we will be meeting with a lot of local women on several levels. We’re also staying in many of the Mountain Lodges of Peru properties where the staff is all local from the nearby valley. It is authentic through and through with some of the best hiking of your life.
It’s going to be a majestic trip and a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day in Machu Picchu and in Peru...