Peru and Machu Picchu HSP and Introvert Retreat 3-27-20-4-4-20

Urubamba, Cusco, Peru

MR
Melissa Renzi
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28 reviews
Mar 27 - Apr 4, 2020
Group size: 10 - 14
Peru and Machu Picchu HSP and Introvert Retreat 3-27-20-4-4-20
Urubamba, Cusco, Peru

Melissa Renzi
  • Mobile phone verified
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
  • Twitter verified
28 reviews

$2095
Deposit: $400
Mar 27 - Apr 4, 2020
Group size: 10 - 14

About this trip

Ready for a retreat that offers the perfect balance of introspective time and adventurous activities? 


Experience mystical Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, on an 9-day, 8-night adventure specifically for highly sensitive people and introverts.


Wake up with mindful meditation and movement as you greet the stunning backdrop of the Andes Mountains and ease into your day.


Discover the sites of the Sacred Valley visited by few and take a solo hike to a nearby waterfall.


Befriend an alpaca and learn traditional weaving techniques of the local women at a cooperative in Chinchero. 


Connect in  a meaningful way through ancient rituals and vibrant culture as you learn about real Peru from our local guide.


Support education for Peruvian children, as both our accommodations and guide services fund NGO projects. 


Early bird pricing ends on August 31, 2019.


Final deadline for registration is November 30, 2019.

What's an HSP/introvert retreat?

The world is full of amazing, life-changing experiences and many of us introverts and HSPs love adventure.


Yet, not everyone wants to travel alone and most group travel comes with its own set of challenges for us introverts and HSPs. We may worry about sensory overload, too much social interaction, feeling pressured by a group, feeling accepted… the list goes on, right? 


This is why we offer a better way that helps take the anxiety out of travel – an opportunity to connect with others while honoring your needs for personal space and freedom.


We allow plenty of alone time to recharge. Traveling with a group can feel overwhelming if you always have to be with other people. We structure our schedules so that you have substantial downtime to do anything your inner heart desires.


We reduce the likelihood of sensory overload. We do our best to balance any activities that entail more sensory stimulation with ample free time the day before and after to mentally prepare and recharge.  Many of our group activities are off-the-beaten-path to be able to enjoy the beautiful peace of the natural world. If a popular excursion is included in your trip, we do our best to visit at the least busy times and provide free time the day before and after to recharge. For example, Machu Picchu is spectacular, but it is a popular site. We take this into account so that you have personal space and time before and after this adventure.   


We support self-guided activities. If you want to go on a solo excursion or meditate alone, you got it. No questions asked and we’ll help you arrange activities as you desire. Group activities are optional and we set the tone from the start to ensure that everyone can be themselves.


We minimize the small talk. Well, we can’t ban small talk, but you will be among like-minded folks that want to connect at a deeper level and understand that small talk can feel draining. We offer group reflection time to debrief the retreat activities and discuss other meaningful topics related to introversion and sensitivity. We encourage quiet hours during certain times of the day, in order to support a peaceful space. 


We create authentic travel experiences. We select locations that we know will offer a genuine connection to the natural beauty and culture of a place. Our experiences allow the time and space to connect to yourself and fellow travelers.


We encourage you to be yourself. We set the stage from the start so that you can decline an activity or leave the dinner table early. We value each person’s individual needs and encourage you to say no when something is not for you. We ask all guests to honor your wishes.

FAQs

What do I need to know about flights?


Length and Cost: You will fly into Cusco (CUZ) at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport. You should be prepared that flights from most major U.S. cities can entail 12-16 hours (2 stops) of travel on average and may cost $600-800 USD. 


When to Arrive/Depart: Plan your travel so that your flight arrives in Cusco by late morning on Day 1 (or the night before). We'll depart from Cusco at approximately 1:00pm on Day 1. The precise time will be determined once all travelers' flight itineraries are received.


Please plan your return flight so that it departs after 2:00pm on Day 9. You may want to plan to spend at least that afternoon and evening in Cusco and depart the next day. 


If your travel falls outside of group transfers, you will be responsible for your transportation costs.


Flight Tips: Wait until about 2-3 months before your trip to book your flight for best pricing. 


If your dates are flexible, both Google Flights and Kayak.com offer features for searching with flexible dates. AVOID the third party online travel aggregator, JustFly, as there are numerous reports of shady business practices. 


For domestic carriers in Peru, we recommend trying to book with Avianca or LATAM. Peruvian, VivaAir, Sky Airlines, etc. are not as reliable and often have delays and hidden fees.


Is Cusco part of our itinerary?

We will not be touring Cusco during the retreat, but we encourage you to spend a day or so visiting. Because of its high altitude, we recommend you visit Cusco at the end of your trip rather than before it so that you have time to acclimate. Even if you have a night in Cusco before the retreat begins, you may not have the energy to sight-see. 


How will the altitude affect me? 

Every traveler is different with respect to how their bodies respond to elevation change. Out of the places we will visit, Cusco has the highest altitude at 11,154 feet. Urubamba Valley is 9,420 feet and Machu Picchu is about 7,972 feet. Travelers may experience fatigue, sleeplessness, headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath during the first several days. This can be minimized by drinking lots of liquids including coca tea, avoiding alcohol, and not overexerting yourself the first day. Your doctor may prescribe you sorochi, a pill for altitude sickness, to take before you arrive as a precaution. If you have any medical conditions, it is recommended that you discuss the effects of altitude with your physician before traveling. 


Do you have hotel recommendations in Cusco?

Hotel Niños is an adorable, modest boutique hotel that supports 600 Peruvian children with school and medical expenses.  Both Niño Hotels (Meloc and Fierro) are good options, but we will depart from Niños Meloc on Day 1. 


You may also check TripAdvisor or Airbnb for other options in the cute, quieter neighborhood of San Blas. 


What is the climate like?

November to April is considered to be the rainy season in the Sacred Valley. January receives the heaviest rain and rain is minimal in March and April, so you can expect little rain. When it does rain, it typically does not last all day and the green lush valleys are spectacular. Daytime temperatures in fahrenheit are typically in the 60s and nighttime temps can drop down to 40s. Please pack accordingly.  


What is the level of difficulty for planned excursions?

It's important to note that the effects of the altitude can make normal activities much more challenging.  Machu Picchu can be challenging for some, as it has many stairs and is steep in some parts. That said, we can take it slow to accommodate various levels of fitness. Tours such as the ruins at Ollantaytambo, Maras, and Moray require minimal walking. 


Can you meet my dietary needs? 

Yes, please inform us of your dietary preferences and restrictions so that we can plan accordingly.
 

Do I need a passport or visa?

Peru does require a current passport valid for a minimum of six (6) months after your travel dates. Peru does not require a special visa to enter. 


Do I need travel insurance? 

We strongly recommend and encourage the purchase of travel insurance. Read What to Know Before Buying Travel Insurance for a quick overview of the features you want to look for in a travel insurance policy. Basically, you want to be sure your policy includes trip cancellation/interruption, medical coverage, emergency evacuation, lost baggage and flight insurance. In theory, you’re supposed to buy insurance as close to the date of your first trip payment as possible to ensure coverage for all expenses and eliminate any risk of claim denial for pre-existing conditions. Many use a site like www.insuremytrip.com to purchase travel insurance. 

 

Do I need vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required to enter Peru. However, we strongly recommend and encourage you to consult with your doctor or visit your local travel clinic to ensure you are up to date with all relevant vaccines. 

 

What do I need to pack?

A packing list will be provided in the Pre-Departure Packet you'll receive after registration.

Accommodation

We'll stay at El Santuario, a private property of Munay Sonqo, which is nestled in an oasis of native plants and fruit trees and nourished by a magnificent waterfall. Munay Sonqo is also an NGO, which uses retreat profits to support educational permaculture projects to support and provide food to the local community. 


Both double and single occupancy are available for the retreat. You do not need to sign up with a friend for double occupancy. We'll pair you up with a compatible roommate. 


Guest rooms are modest, yet comfortable. Each is a reflection of the Peruvian culture in the Sacred Valley and offers quality beds and linens.

Food

Munay Sonqo serves three (3) delicious meals per day with locally-grown, mostly organic, and lovingly prepared ingredients.  Dietary needs and restrictions can be met.  


On Day 2, we'll go the home of our guide for a traditional pachamanca lunch, a Peruvian stew cooked in the earth.


On Day 4, we'll take a packed lunch from the retreat center for our excursion around the valley.


Two (2) lunches and one (1) dinner during our Machu Picchu excursion are NOT included in the trip cost. Breakfast before Machu Picchu IS included.

Location

You will fly into Cusco (CUZ) at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport. You should be prepared that flights from most major U.S. cities can entail 12-16 hours (2 stops) of travel on average and may cost $700-800 USD.  


The retreat center, Munay Sonqo, is located about 1 hr and 45 minutes from Cusco. A private return shuttle will be provided between Cusco and the retreat center.


Note that the retreat center is remote and the nearest town, Pisac, is roughly 30-40 minutes away and approximately a $20-25 taxi ride. We've included several group excursions to offer you opportunities to see the valley, as well as time to relax at the retreat center or visit other sites on your own. There's a nearby waterfall to visit about a 45-minutes hike from the center.  

Cancellation Policy

 Cancellation

  • All deposits are non-refundable.
  • Fifty (50) percent of trip cost is due by November 30, 2019.
  • Remaining balance must be paid 60 days before trip start date (January 26, 2019).
  • If you decide to cancel your trip, the following fees apply and are due at the time (prior to departure) we receive written notice of your cancellation.

-More than 90 days before retreat start date, 100 percent of your payment previously made may be applied to another retreat. 


-60-89 days before retreat start date, 75 percent of any payment previously made may be applied to another retreat, excluding your deposit. You will forfeit 25 percent of the price of your retreat, excluding the deposit. Example: If your retreat cost is $2000 with a $400 deposit, and you’ve paid in full, $1200 may be applied toward a future retreat. 


-15 – 59 days before retreat start date, 25 percent of your payment previously made may be applied to another retreat, excluding your deposit. You will forfeit 75 percent of the price of your retreat. Example: If your retreat cost is $2000 with a $400 deposit, $400 may be applied toward a future retreat. 


-If you cancel 14 days or less before retreat start date, you will forfeit your entire payment. 

FAQs

What do I need to know about flights?


Length and Cost: You will fly into Cusco (CUZ) at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport. You should be prepared that flights from most major U.S. cities can entail 12-16 hours (2 stops) of travel on average and may cost $600-800 USD. 


When to Arrive/Depart: Plan your travel so that your flight arrives in Cusco by late morning on Day 1 (or the night before). We'll depart from Cusco at approximately 1:00pm on Day 1. The precise time will be determined once all travelers' flight itineraries are received.


Please plan your return flight so that it departs after 2:00pm on Day 9. You may want to plan to spend at least that afternoon and evening in Cusco and depart the next day. 


If your travel falls outside of group transfers, you will be responsible for your transportation costs.


Flight Tips: Wait until about 2-3 months before your trip to book your flight for best pricing. 


If your dates are flexible, both Google Flights and Kayak.com offer features for searching with flexible dates. AVOID the third party online travel aggregator, JustFly, as there are numerous reports of shady business practices. 


For domestic carriers in Peru, we recommend trying to book with Avianca or LATAM. Peruvian, VivaAir, Sky Airlines, etc. are not as reliable and often have delays and hidden fees.


Is Cusco part of our itinerary?

We will not be touring Cusco during the retreat, but we encourage you to spend a day or so visiting. Because of its high altitude, we recommend you visit Cusco at the end of your trip rather than before it so that you have time to acclimate. Even if you have a night in Cusco before the retreat begins, you may not have the energy to sight-see. 


How will the altitude affect me? 

Every traveler is different with respect to how their bodies respond to elevation change. Out of the places we will visit, Cusco has the highest altitude at 11,154 feet. Urubamba Valley is 9,420 feet and Machu Picchu is about 7,972 feet. Travelers may experience fatigue, sleeplessness, headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath during the first several days. This can be minimized by drinking lots of liquids including coca tea, avoiding alcohol, and not overexerting yourself the first day. Your doctor may prescribe you sorochi, a pill for altitude sickness, to take before you arrive as a precaution. If you have any medical conditions, it is recommended that you discuss the effects of altitude with your physician before traveling. 


Do you have hotel recommendations in Cusco?

Hotel Niños is an adorable, modest boutique hotel that supports 600 Peruvian children with school and medical expenses.  Both Niño Hotels (Meloc and Fierro) are good options, but we will depart from Niños Meloc on Day 1. 


You may also check TripAdvisor or Airbnb for other options in the cute, quieter neighborhood of San Blas. 


What is the climate like?

November to April is considered to be the rainy season in the Sacred Valley. January receives the heaviest rain and rain is minimal in March and April, so you can expect little rain. When it does rain, it typically does not last all day and the green lush valleys are spectacular. Daytime temperatures in fahrenheit are typically in the 60s and nighttime temps can drop down to 40s. Please pack accordingly.  


What is the level of difficulty for planned excursions?

It's important to note that the effects of the altitude can make normal activities much more challenging.  Machu Picchu can be challenging for some, as it has many stairs and is steep in some parts. That said, we can take it slow to accommodate various levels of fitness. Tours such as the ruins at Ollantaytambo, Maras, and Moray require minimal walking. 


Can you meet my dietary needs? 

Yes, please inform us of your dietary preferences and restrictions so that we can plan accordingly.
 

Do I need a passport or visa?

Peru does require a current passport valid for a minimum of six (6) months after your travel dates. Peru does not require a special visa to enter. 


Do I need travel insurance? 

We strongly recommend and encourage the purchase of travel insurance. Read What to Know Before Buying Travel Insurance for a quick overview of the features you want to look for in a travel insurance policy. Basically, you want to be sure your policy includes trip cancellation/interruption, medical coverage, emergency evacuation, lost baggage and flight insurance. In theory, you’re supposed to buy insurance as close to the date of your first trip payment as possible to ensure coverage for all expenses and eliminate any risk of claim denial for pre-existing conditions. Many use a site like www.insuremytrip.com to purchase travel insurance. 

 

Do I need vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required to enter Peru. However, we strongly recommend and encourage you to consult with your doctor or visit your local travel clinic to ensure you are up to date with all relevant vaccines. 

 

What do I need to pack?

A packing list will be provided in the Pre-Departure Packet you'll receive after registration.

What’s included

  • 7 Nights Accommodation
    at Munay Sonqo Retreat Center
  • 1 Night Accommodation
    Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • 8 Breakfasts
    All Days
  • 6 Lunches
    (Lunch is on your own during our 2-day trip to Machu Picchu)
  • 7 Dinners
    (Dinner is on your own during Machu Picchu trip)
  • Machu Picchu Trip
    Transport, train, hotel, entrance to Machu Picchu, guide, entrance to Ollantaytambo ruins
  • Farm Visit & Pachamanca
    Visit to our guide's farm to learn about the local foods and then enjoy a traditional meal cooked in the earth!
  • Sacred Valley Tour
    Transport, guide, and entrance to Chinchero Weaving, Maras Salt Mines, and Moray Agricultural Site
  • Boleto Turistico
    10-Day Tourist Ticket (covers various sacred sites, some we will visit together and some you can visit on your own)
  • Private Transfer
    To/from Cusco to Munay Sonqo
  • Meditation & Yoga
    Guided mindful yoga and meditation (most days)
  • Reflection Circles
    Evening discussions to debrief and share meaningful conversation
  • Airfare
    to/from Cusco
  • Travel insurance
    highly recommended
  • Meals at Machu Picchu
    1 dinner, 2 lunches
  • Tips
    $60-70 total for all retreat center staff and guides
  • Additional services
    massage, excursions, souvenirs, etc.

Available Packages

Double occupancy (EARLY BIRD)
Available until Aug 31, 2019only 1 left

Twin bed with shared bathroom (2 per bathroom). Rooms are spacious and have high-quality linens. 


See El Santuario Room Diagram for layout. You will likely be placed in Casa Piscina, possibly Casa Blanca.


Share with a friend or we will pair you up with a compatible roommate!

$2095
Deposit: $400
Deluxe Double Occupancy (EARLY BIRD)
Available until Aug 31, 20194 left

Spacious bungalow with loft reading space, kitchen, bathroom, and patio. Bungalows are spacious and have high-quality linens.  Great option for couples ($2295 per person).


See El Santuario Room Diagram for layout (Casa Misky)

$2345
Deposit: $400
Single with shared bath (EARLY BIRD)
Available until Aug 31, 20195 left

Private single occupancy room with shared bathroom (nearly private bath). Rooms are spacious and have high-quality linens.


See El Santuario Room Diagram for layout. Single occupancy guests will likely be placed in Casa Blanca, which has 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. 


$2445
Deposit: $400

Available options

Huayna Picchu (read Trip Description)
$70
Extra Machu Picchu (read description)
$55
$2095
Deposit: $400

Double occupancy (EARLY BIRD)

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive at Munay Sonqo

All guests will need to meet at Hotel Niños Meloc in Cusco by 1:00 p.m. A private shuttle will transport us to Munay Sonqo Retreat Center in the Urubamba Valley. We will arrive around 3:00 for a welcome snack and then have time to settle in before our opening circle and gentle yoga at 5:00. The circle will include introductions, intentions, and some gentle stretching and meditation to move our bodies and ground after traveling. We will then have our welcome dinner at 7:00.

Your Organizer


MR
Melissa Renzi
28 reviews
Melissa is a trauma-informed yoga teacher, social worker, and highly sensitive person. She's passionate about helping others heal anxiety and trauma while cultivating authentic self-love. Melissa's philosophy is that the root cause of many of our personal and societal problems is a disconnection from our true selves. She sees yoga and connection to the natural world as two of the most powerful means we have to heal ourselves and communities. When she's not yoga-ing, you can find her hiking, salsa dancing, scuba diving, crosswording, reading, and cooking creative concoctions in her kitchen.

Reviews

One of the most beautiful places I've been in the world! The food was beyond fantastic! Melissa had everything organized so well that it seemed seamless. Rich's yoga classes are enhanced with his extensive knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology, besides creating a very playful and fun environment. Everything was made so easy! Absolutely loved this trip, the people, and everything about the place!
ab
This was one of the top trips of my life. The location is incredible. Melissa's planning made every day more seamless and special than the last. Rich is far and away the best yoga teacher I've ever had. His ability to teach alignment while smoothly guiding you through a series of flows over the week that subtly build on each other while delivering beautiful, funny and touching dharma was magical. I honestly can't say enough about these two, this place and this experience. So much love!
Melissa's experience in organizing retreats really shows in her organization, selection of Valentins Pachamama journeys as tour guide, resort selection, communication with staff, organization of all our entrance tickets, train tickets, required passport info, hotel for Machu Picchu. She was kind but firm when she needed to be. 'Herding cats' is not easy with 16 onery yogi's in tow. I will say that some of the retreat attendees were not physically prepared or knowledgeable about some of the activities they signed up for. I think it is recommended when travelling out of country to always have antibiotic for GI distress. Additionally we had option to do a sweat lodge/temazcal. Some guidance/info on hydration, need to replenish electrolytes etc would have prevented some from feeling ill afterwards. While none of this was a reflection on Melissa, attendees need to have some personal accountability for knowing what they are capable of (or not), especially in a foreign country. Overall Melissa is a tremendous retreat host and I highly recommend her retreats. I would sign up for another retreat with her any day.
10 stars! I can not say enough good things about this trip in Peru. Every detail was taken care of and I was able to fully enjoy myself and do the inner work I needed without any stress. Melissa was amazing in her organization of all trip details and making sure we had everything and any kind of support we needed. Very well organized, a great balance of free time and wonderful and profound activities planned. The food at the retreat center was phenomenal! The views were breathtaking. The group energy was amazing. It was a profoundly transformative week for me and I am so grateful for the experience. I felt very supported and look forward to joining another retreat with Melissa. With Love, Olesya
This retreat far exceeded my expectations. I have travelled throughout much of South America so while I knew I would enjoy the trip, I didn't expect to learn as much as I did about the Peruvian culture in such a short period of time. In addition, it was nice to be among so many kindred spirits and to feel like I could truly be myself, As a bonus, I returned home with several new friends. I thoroughly enjoyed the yoga classes and Melissa's calm spirit as she guided us through different poses and deeper reflection about ourselves. It was also wonderful to not have to worry about organizing anything because Melissa was on top of it all. The whole week went so smoothly and our group clicked so beautifully--I think the harmony of our group had a lot to do with the positive, supportive and loving tone set by Melissa and her co-leader Michael. I definitely plan on taking another trip with Melissa.
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