What started as a pilgrimage to a shamanic healing retreat in Peru, ended in a month long odyssey that earned a place in the top three highlights of my life. When I decided to top and tail my retreat with journeys of the sacred kind, research revealed how little I knew about this mystical land apart from famous sites such as Machu Picchu, the Nazca Lines and Titicaca Lake.

Finding a tour company that mirrored my needs proved a challenge. Time swiftly passed and airfares from Adelaide, South Australia to Lima, Peru, continued to rise. I took a chance and booked a return flight that would deliver me to Lima on 4 July 2013.  Then I booked my retreat, due to commence in mid July. From that moment on, everything started to fall into place.

I Googled ‘magical Peru’ and bingo – there was Peruvian Magic Journeys. A ten day ‘mystical and esoteric’ journey was scheduled to commence from Lima on 4 July 2013. Divine timing indeed! I contacted the tour guide Romulo Castilla about availability and received a prompt, friendly reply confirming a vacancy. He attached a suggested, flexible itinerary which included popular and lesser known ancient, sacred sites, and a helpful list of recommended items to pack. I booked and paid via a bank transfer within days.

Additional research led me to the little known mystical Huaringas healing lagoons in the Huamani mountain range, northern Peru. I received several quotes, one as high as AU$4000 for five days but didn’t feel confident about travelling through this remote region alone. When I contacted Romulo, he said that he wanted to explore this part of Peru as well and offered to research and plan an itinerary. Several days later he emailed me a proposed itinerary and highly competitive quote which included ceremonies with local, authentic shamans. I booked and paid for it without hesitation and also booked a luxurious Lima hotel for the final two days of my Peruvian odyssey.

From the moment I landed in Lima, where I was greeted by a professional, friendly driver, my adventure of a lifetime flawlessly unfolded.  After two days exploring historic sites in Lima with a most entertaining guide, and enjoying some down time to do as I please, I flew to Cusco to meet up with Romulo. Relieved that I had opted for a professional tour guide rather than stumble my solo way through a predominantly Spanish speaking country, I relaxed into the journey that took me to Machu Picchu, Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley of the Incas) Puno and Titicaca Lake including an overnight stay with a family on the floating Uros Islands.

The journey to the Huaringas lagoons was extraordinary. I fell in love with the remote mountain village of Huancabamba and saw myself returning there to write Andean inspired poetry one day. While part of the journey to the lagoon was an uphill climb on horseback in near Arctic conditions (something out of a National Geographic documentary), I plan to return to further explore the 14 sacred lagoons and participate in more shamanic ceremonies. 

Romulo is a consummate professional, highly skilled tour guide who speaks fluent English, Spanish and French. He is also a walking encyclopaedia of the Inca Empire and mystical matters, a Pranic and Reconnective Healer. I had two reconnective healing sessions at Machu Picchu and he also helped me overcome altitude sickness in the Lake Titicaca region by using a combination of Agua De Florida (shamanic flower water), deep breathing and energy healing. Tip: Don’t try to take Agua De Florida out of the country. My bottles were confiscated at the Lima Airport but I have since discovered that they can be ordered via the internet.

I highly recommend Romulo’s services to travellers from all walks of life, particularly those on a path of spiritual growth and personal transformation.