This morning journey into one of the most beautiful areas of Peru. We begin the day with a visit to Chinchero, a village known for its rich weaver heritage, market, and white-washed colonial church that was built on the foundation of an Inca temple or palace that overlooks beautiful terraces and Inca ruins. We will visit the church and ruins as well as the market before going to the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco
, a local organization committed to preserving the region's weaving traditions. Watch weavers demonstrate their craft and learn about the history and processes of Peru's most well-known art form.
After lunch, we continue to the seldom-visited town of Maras and its pre-Columbian salt mines (still in use today with salt being collected in traditional fashion in open-air pools of water). The day ends with a special visit to the the Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, thought to have been a nursery to experiment with and modify different varieties of crops. At Moray, we have arranged for a special ceremony with a local shaman with your guide, Marcos, to translate from the local Quechua language into English and to explain the significance of the ritual. This is a time for personal meditation or simple observation to get an understanding of the Inca beliefs and the connection between man, Pachamama (Mother Earth), and the spiritual world represented by the "apus", the spirits who inhabit the Andean mountain peaks that surround Moray.This experience will provide a unique insight to traditional cultural beliefs that remain strong and influencial in the Andes today. Eventually, you will make your way to the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo where you can relax for the night at the El Sauce Hotel.