Healing Wisdom of the Andes
A Pilgrimage to Q'ollur Riti, Lord of the Snow Star
Friday, May 17th 2013 at 12am to Thursday, May 30th 2013 at 11:45pm
Aqua Bliss Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrival to Lima where you will be met and taken to your hotel for the night.
Day 2 – We return to the airport for our flight from Lima to Cusco in the Andes Mountains. We will have lunch in the city before continuing on to Pachamama Wasi, Manu’s family’s Spiritual Center in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Urubamba. Breakfast included.
Day 3 – Today is for resting, and enjoying the healing energy of the Andes. In the early evening you will participate in a ceremony with Manu. All meals included.
Day 4 – We are up early and take our bus to the village of Ollantaytambo. We will explore the archeological site, climb the many stairs until we reach the top and have a wonderful view of the village below and the two connecting valleys. We will have lunch in the village before taking our train ride to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu. Breakfast included.
Day 5 – After breakfast we will take the bus to the sanctuary of Machu Picchu. After experiencing the beauty and power of this sacred mountain we will return to Ollantaytambo by train and transfer to Pachamama Wasi. Breakfast included.
Day 6 – After breakfast we start our day hike through the village and up the mountain paths until we reach the first lake below the glacier that is behind the retreat center. This will be a good preparation for the hike that we will have to do later at Q’ollur R’iti. All meals included.
Day 7 – Today we visit Moray which was was an Incan experimental agricultural center where the spiraling terraces were used to see how things grew at different altitudes. We will share in a sweat lodge upon our return to the Center. All meals included.
Day 8 – After breakfast we will go to Cusco. After lunch Manu will walk around town with you and we can go and purchase woolen hats, gloves, and anything else that you need for the pilgrimage that starts tomorrow. Breakfast included.
Day 9 – Free day to explore Cusco on your own. If you wish to take a tour of the local ruins this can be arranged for you but the cost is extra. Breakfast included.
Day s 10, 11, 12, 13 – Q'ollur Riti
(Located southeast of Cusco at an altitude of 4878 metres close to a glacier
on the mountain of Sinajara.)
Although there are several fiestas of a religious nature in Cusco during the
same period, there is no more important place in the Andes than Q'ollur
Riti, which is not just a festival but also a pilgrimage made by thousands
of indigenous people who come from all over the Cusco region, often walking
for days or even weeks. The celebrations are a blend of the ancient Inca
religion dedicated to Pachamama, or Mother Earth, represented by the
mountain, and Christianity, itself represented by the miraculous apparition
of the image of Christ at the same site in the 18th century.
The rites and ceremonies made in the area are of a unique nature, and
represent the authentic Andean religion still practiced today in this part
of Peru - a fusion of two cultures. The basic premise of the ceremonies
enacted is contact between mankind and nature, represented by the mountains
and water, the principal elements of Andean spiritualism. Thousands of young
people go to Q'ollur Riti dressed as the mythical Ukuku, a creature that is
half man and half bear. Dancing to ancient rhythms and elegantly dressed,
young girls make offerings and hope, perhaps, to meet a husband in order to
be able to start a new family. The Ukukus climb the glacier to bring back
blocks of its ice on their backs which they will take to their communities,
where it will be venerated as holy water.
Itinerary (4 days / 3 nights)
Leave Cusco by private transport to Mahuallane, a journey of approximately
seven hours through high mountain scenery, where we will make camp.
Accompanied by thousands of pilgrims, we walk to Q'ollur Riti. We camp that
evening on the edge of the area where the ceremonies take place, surrounded
by thousands of people who have come from all over the Cusco region. The
music from hundreds of dance groups competes for attention and reverberates
off the surrounding mountains, whilst pilgrims wait patiently to enter the
crowded, candlelit chapel to see the image of Christ.
A free day during which we will have the opportunity to participate in the
traditional religious festivities.
An optional excursion in the early hours of the morning to the glacier to
watch the ceremonies that take place there, returning before 9am. After
breakfast we will be observe the final great ceremony, the procession of the
Lord of Q'ollur Riti. We then return to Mahuallane at midday for the drive
to Cusco. All meals included.
Day 14 – Today you fly from Cusco to Lima and transfer for your flight home. If you need to spend the night in Lima let us know and we can arrange it for you and let you know the cost.