Last year I decided to travel to Peru with my girlfriend Effie to experience Darlene's Sacred Pilgrimage tour.
This was actually my first trip to South America so I didn't know what to expect but Darlene's detailed pre-trip preparations were greatly informative. Darlene's itinerary is very thorough and detailed and for the most part we followed it pretty well.
Her vast knowledge of the local situation in each of the stops we made put me at ease. Darlene has forged strong relationships with hotels and restaurants at each stop of the tour, resulting in great service and experiences. She goes out of her way to share her previous experiences and provide helpful tips along the way of the tour to make the trip more enjoyable.
One of the best features of Darlene's tour is her selection of local tour guides and shaman. Our main tour guide, Juan, was the best I have ever experienced and I have been to dozens of countries around the world. His command of English is excellent! In cases where speakers during the tour were in Spanish or Quechuan (indigenous Peruvean language) he was very prompt at translating what was being said to our group and answering any questions. His voice was always loud and clear and the best part of having Juan as a tour guide is that he was passionate about sharing the rich history of his country and people with our group. There were days where the schedule was long and demanding and he always showed up to guide us with a smile and warm hearted hospitality. Juan has extensive knowledge on the history of Peru and other countries and shared details with us that allowed us to grasp the depth and intelligence of the civilizations we were learning about. He went above and beyond to make sure our stay in Peru and our visits to sacred sites were exceptional and memorable experiences.
We had the opportunity to partake in several spiritual ceremonies with shaman, which were well-organized and provided some deep healing and grounding experiences. The combination of the high vibration of the land and Peruvian shaman made the ceremonies very powerful. Many were done in the mountains, which was not only an ideal place for spiritual ceremonies but also beautiful spaces to spend time at.
I felt very safe throughout all stops of the Sacred Pilgrimage tour offered by Darlene. The local people are very warm and for the most part the places we visited showed very little "touristification". If you are looking for an authentic cultural travel experience, this tour offers it!
Darlene's tour offers a great experience at a lower cost than any other offerings out there and you will be supporting her cause of bringing education to lovely Peruvian children, who would otherwise not have the financial means to attend school.
On a personal level, visiting Peru and the experiences that came there opened up a new chapter in my healing journey.
Thank you Darlene for organizing such a wonderful trip!
My original intention was "to do the thing I thought I could not do" - go on adventure to a foreign place as a solo introvert with a group of unknown people and return intact. And it proved an adventure of so many proportions packed into a mere two weeks.
Moreover, my excursion to Peru with Darlene provided me with the priceless gift of a vast personal and soul expansion, which I savour to this day. This made possible by experiencing the richness and majesty of Peru's Andes, the incredible openness of the people, the vibrant colour and intrigue of their culture, the spiritual awakening from seeing their strong beliefs shared in ceremony and family, the wholesomeness of their food. Not only did I see the magnificence and wonderment of the remnants of civilizations past, they were brought to life by the knowledge and story telling ability of the tour guides Darlene connects with. 14 glorious days of non stop experiences, that I had not ever had before, and could not have imagined. Under
Darlene's incredible organization skills, all bookings for accommodation, transportation by train/bus, guides, ceremonies and entry fees were taken care of leaving the opportunity to just fully experience and savour the journey hassle free.
Thus, beginning with the vibrancy of Cusco and its markets chockfull of handmade products expressing the talent and artistry of the people, the food and drinks indigenous to their culture, the helpfulness and graciousness of their personalities (tolerating the grinding negotiations of the foreigners). Move outside of this vibrant city and back in time we go -- on to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a gargantuan fortress of engineering mystery, a monument to the most ferocious battle between the Inca and Spaniards. Surrounded by the spectacular landscape, my first experience with a Shaman, and son in training, who graced us with a Despacho Ceremony. Wunderbar! Just the beginning.
Darlene and spirit companion, shared the experience of ceremony and homestyle hot lunch in the ruins alongside a Sacred Lake; with guides, the concentric circles at Moray, believed to have been an Inca agricultural laboratory; the terraces at Ollantaytambo with a sharing of the history of the last resistance between the Inca and the Spanish, the absolute joy of a stay in the vibrant town of Aguas Caliente at the bottom of Machu Picchu where we enjoyed the hot springs, a gruelling but rewarding climb up Putucusi Mountain -- the sights from which were mesmerizing and breathtaking, a soothing soak in the hot springs, immense variety of food choices, and a shopping extravaganza. On a more sacred level, the walk in the jungle to a sacred space for a Despacho Ceremony and a visit to a magnificent jungle waterfall where Pacha
Mama was honoured with the Despacho. Machu Picchu proved a massive mysterious archaeological wonderment and a feast for the eyes and spirit. A well preserved and amazing integration of architecture and landscape, an exploration goldmine. The joy of the experience of Lake Titicaca, upon which the Floating Islands constructed of reeds sustain a culture of pre-Inca times,onward to the island of Amantani, preserved, pristine with residents happy to share their home and food brought in from the lake and harvested from their surroundings. Puno, a cosmopolitan city on the shore of the Lake bursting with life in the altitude of the Andes.
The shared commentary by my fellow travellers is that this was "the trip of a lifetime" and one that could easily be repeated over and over again. It is a must to note that Darlene's personal connections who were more than happy to welcome us with unsurpassed kindness and comfort wove a special energy, comfort and delight into this adventure. The best successful self improvement experience possible made possible by the boundless enthusiasm, energy and positivity of Darlene Hintzen.
What a great trip! Thanks Darlene for putting together a trip to Peru that showed your heart and soul. I was able to experience a trip of a life time. The way that you chose all of your favourite spots to share with the group was super. I appreciated being introduced to many people from Peru who were our guides and hosts during the trip. The trip was interesting, challenging and mind expanding. My memories of Peru will be with me forever.
I joined Darlene on the Peru Trip in August of 2014. It was a wonderful experience! I especially enjoyed the personal touches that Darlene arranged: the yoga and course we also have to thank our tour guides, Juan and Danny of Amazing Andean Adventures, for sharing their knowledge, experience and love for their country and culture.mediation sessions, ceremonies with the Shamans (special thanks for Jorje), the group dinners to experience authentic Peruvian meals, just to name a few. I felt some of the excursions took us "off the beaten path" and many times I did not even feel like a tourist, they were experiences, as though I was living in the various cities among the citizens. I also felt that I was traveling with my friends as the group was reasonably small and intimate and I hope life-long friendships were made. I would highly recommend a trip with Darlene to anyone considering a trip to Peru and Machu Picchu.
By Deborah & Bob Hannaford.
Pick up your backpack and canteen; put on your hiking boots and prepare for an unforgettable adventure. Explore the sacred sites of the Inca, participate in a sacred Despacho ceremony, enjoy the music of the Andes while sampling alpaca and cuy (guinea pig) delicacies and shop at the local markets. Most of all embrace the people of Peru who are so open, friendly and welcoming.
So many things happened to me in Peru. My sharing may not be in the proper order, just sharing.
I met some wonderful friends both in our group and in Peru. I did some much shopping, there is
so much wonderful stuff to buy and so cheap. I do regret not buying more. In the moment it seemed I was spending a lot of money but when I got home I keep wishing I had more, more of everything to share with my family and friends.
When I first arrived, Darlene was there to greet me and get me into my room. I had just spent over 24 hours getting there but instead of having a nap I was so energized, I went shopping with the group that was already there. Almost the first shop we were in I spotted Tumi. I was so drawn to Tumi and my first experience of the energy of Peru. Just a side note, I bought many Tumi items.
On the next day we went for a visit to an Inca site, I take a lot of pictures and the cactus and air plants growing everywhere was amazing, the view was amazing, the mountains, the lakes, the sky, the sun. We had a Peruvian lunch there camping style and then had a drumming circle. The drumming and rattles was calming and grounding and my hands just stopped I was so quiet and then this light just desended on me. I asked if there was a message but just the light, the wonderful light. We had some free time to explore, so I wanted a picture of a building I had seen on the way down. It was at that spot that I got the first picture of an energy vortex. I didn’t see this till I got home and saw it on the computer. I got many pictures of energy vortex at Machu Picchu and during the camping trip. The energy and pictures of it put this whole trip off the charts for me. Another aside, I take a lot of pictures including with a long range lens, during the time on Putucusi I tried to take long range pictures of Machu Picchu and all I saw was white fuzz, I thought I had broken the lens on the climb up however the lens works perfectly now. It was the energy. The energy was so dense I got a picture of energy not a long range picture of Machu Picchu.
We travelled to many Inca sights, so beautiful and amazing to see what the pre Inca and Inca had built and to hear about the society they had created. Juan was so interesting and informative, I learned so much and took lots of pictures. At every site there is lots to buy both from individual and from the markets and as I previously remarked I regret not buying more. Be sure to batter.
I decided not to go on the Inca Trail mainly because I was doing the camping and thought that would be enough camping. We did so many other things and just as much walking and climbing. The walk to Mandor Falls was beautiful, the mountains. The trees, the flowers, just walking. Everywhere I looked was a wonder in itself. The climb to the top of Putucusi was one of the high lights for me. The mountain is 2400 meters high and straight up, sometimes so straight we climbed ladders. The view all the way up and down was so awesome, out of this world. To climb this mountain you have to sign a book, name and age, I looked at the other ages and said I was the oldest person to sign in. Just as we were about to climb the first ladder a man came down and Darlene asked how old he was. He was 71 and she said not the oldest to me.
Just what I needed. I was determined. The walk climb was slow many breaks, so arriving at the top was a huge feat and then the view. There are no words to describe the view of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains from the top of Putucusi. It was like being on the top of the world, what a rush.
Of course the shopping was great, if you see something you like and want, buy it, no regrets. Its so wonderful to have the reminders when back home. The tour of Machu Picchu was wonderful but there are really no words to describe the feelings, the energy, the information I received while on this trip.
I manifested things everyday, my ankle was healed by a person who own a pharmacy, I met people that I connected with, even if the meetings were only a few minutes or days.
Darlene and Savati were great hosts, the tour guides were very informative, super friendly and really wonderful people. I will remember them always. The Shaman and The Grandfather were a joy to be around and with.
There are no more words at the moment, but I could share for hours my trip to Peru and the pictures.