Journey through the heartland of Peru’s Sacred Valley with FP Escapes.
It was at 11,000 feet where we began our Superfood Civilization adventure — in Cusco, a city in the Peruvian Andes once known as the capital of the Inca Empire. Called the gateway to the Sacred Valley, Cusco is famous for its archeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. With partner Yogascapes and yoga instructor Ashleigh Sergeant at the helm, we were on our way to aligning mind and body to the land around us.
A visit to the ancient site of Saksaywaman (one of the most energetically charged locations on earth) yielded a connection between the architecture of the enormous interlocking stones and studied astronomical alignments. Local guide Gaby shared that the Incas frequently used sacred geometry to enhance the nature, energy and spirituality of their surroundings.
In Inca mythology, Pachamama is the fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting. With 80% of the world’s ecological climates present in Peru, Pachamama’s energy is an ever-present force. As we toured and tasted our way through local markets, we learned about native superfoods (such as maca, canihua, algarrobina — all of which are great for energy!) and their significance in the Peruvian diet for thousands of years.
El Albergue, an organic farm nestled in the hillsides of Ollantaytambo, became a truly magical agricultural experience. The charming farm manager, Oscar, gave a captivating tour of the grounds and gardens, where we enjoyed a beautiful Pachamanca lunch, a traditional Andean way of preparing food in a subterranean natural oven lined with hot stones.
Meaning Village of the Rainbow, Chinchero is a colorful town notorious for its world-famous textiles and proved one of our most enchanting visits. The women of the Chinchero Weaving Cooporative demonstrated how they turn alpaca and llama wool into elaborate, vibrant textiles.
The ancient salt ponds of Maras are a true wonder of the Sacred Valley. Carved into steep mountain hillsides, the site is made up of over 3000 small terraced salt ponds. The local community has been harvesting this salt in artisanal form for thousands of years and, depending on the expertise of the salt miners, are able to harvest white pink, red, and even brown salt.
Of course, no visit to Peru would be complete without a trip to Macchu Piccu. Like an iceberg, 60% of Machu Picchu is submerged underground. Built in the 15th century, and rediscovered only a century ago by Hiram Bingham, the site is a testament to the sophisticated and advanced architecture of the Incans. After waking up at 3:45am, we embarked on an unforgettable 7-mile sunrise hike to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain. As we watched the sun rise over lush mountain peaks and illuminate the ancient city below, we were collectively left in awe of our simple yet so powerful connection to the natural world.
So much gratitude to Pachamama for leading us on a journey of adventure, understanding and self-discovery. Thank you, Peru. xo
Photos By: Alexander Cramer