Peru Travel Writing Expedition

May 18 – May 25, 2018
Peru
$4,747

From the stunning streets of Cusco to the breathtaking grandeur of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley—dotted with an untouched village and ancient ruins—join us, this spring, to explore and uncover all the tales Peru has to offer while learning how to make your next trip pay for itself.

If you’ve ever leafed through a glossy travel magazine and thought, “I could write a story like that”…

If you love to travel and are looking for a way to help pay for your adventures…

If you’ve always liked to write but don’t know how to start selling your stories…

Or, if you are just hungry to see the world in an adventurous, safe way, alongside a small group of like-minded travelers…

Then this is, hands down, the best place to begin your adventure.

This May, alongside Yankee Magazine’s Deputy Editor Ian Aldrich, you’ll…

  • Experience the ancient beauty of Peru’s Sacred Valley… from iconic Machu Picchu at first light… to the traditional weavers at work in villages that time has long forgotten… to the colonial streets of Cusco, the old capital of the Inca Empire…
  • Gain insider tips on how to connect with editors so you’ll never pay for another VIP perk again…
  • Learn how to get your stories published when you get back home so you can start funding trips like these for yourself right away…

And practice your new skills with a professional travel writer and editor by your side every step of the way.

In just seven days, you’ll learn everything you need to know to travel in style, earn an income from your vacations, and feel the pride and prestige that comes with seeing your travel stories on the cover of magazines or in the travel section of a newspaper.

If Peru isn’t on your bucket list, it should be

The former capital of the Inca Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cusco is known for its mixture of Inca and Spanish Colonial architecture, churches built on top of ancient granite walls, and narrow cobblestone alleys leading to charming neighborhoods.

Using our hotel here as a base, we’ll explore the city’s inner core and write about the many nearby attractions, including the Plaza de Armas, flanked by magnificent churches; the Koricancha, whose interior was said to have been covered in gold; and the mighty Inca fortress of Sacsaywaman, with its massive granite walls.

From Cusco we’ll also take day trips in our private transport to the colonial village of Pisac to explore its Sunday market as well as Inca ruins; to the weavers’ village of Chinchero; and the colonial town of Maras, home to the Inca salt mines.

The highlight of the trip will be our visit to the magnificent Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, located in what locals call “the eyebrow of the jungle.”

Before taking the train to Machu Picchu, we’ll spend an evening in the quaint village of Ollantaytambo, where narrow passageways through stone buildings and past babbling irrigation channels will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

In the morning, we’ll take the train through the spectacular river gorge where the Vilcanota River cuts its way down toward the Amazon, ending our ride in Machu Picchu Pueblo, the village located below Machu Picchu.   As a special treat, we’ll spend one night here, instead of visiting the site as a rushed day-trip like most tourists.

And, unlike most travelers, we’ll get to visit Machu Picchu TWICE –once at sunset and once at sunrise—to be sure we get the full experience (and in case fog moves in during one of our visits). You will be blown away by this world-class site at different times of day.

It’s safe to say that while exploring Cusco and Machu Picchu, you can’t help but find something to write about at every turn. And that’s why we have chosen this unique destination for our travel-writing workshop this May.

Here’s what past Great Escape Publishing workshop attendees have to say…

“Great Escape Publishing pulls out all the stops to plan an ‘experience’ not a ‘trip.’ Absolutely recommend them for seasoned and novice travelers alike.” — Connie Owens

“Great Escape Publishing keeps their workshops small on purpose so that each individual has one-on-one time with instructors and comes away with tangible results. You feel that they sincerely want you to be successful because they understand that your success… is their success! Destination workshops and world travel – works for me!” — Sarita Simmons

“My experiences from the 4 events I’ve attended with Great Escape Publishing have been fantastic! The people have been tremendous and the help and guidance given throughout have been topnotch. I can’t wait for the next one.” — Scott Noe

“Great Escape Publishing is the only group I want to travel with on my journeys around the world.” — Sheri Escobar

“These workshops are a wonderful opportunity to travel to a new locale and explore while learning a new skill.” — Sandra M.

“I would definitely recommend this workshop to others. It’s a great way to explore a city and one’s own creativity.” — Heather G.

“You all did an awesome job. I have learned so much in 7 days… totally priceless.” — Nelda Bernal

Turn your stories into cash and your travels into paid vacations using the skills and secrets you learn in Peru

This May, you’ll not only visit Peru… but experience it.

I assure you, not only will you come away with a real passion for Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the villages of Peru’s Sacred Valley—having discovered them through the eyes of a travel writer—but you’ll also learn all the ins and outs you need to craft articles that sell.

Ian is excited to share with you, and just 11 others, his years of experience and knowledge, providing lots of one-on-one feedback that will turn your love of adventure into a lifetime of free travel and a great income.

No matter your level of ability or experience (beginners welcome!), you’ll gain valuable insights geared toward propelling your career as a travel writer forward.

The bottom line is: You don’t need prior experience to sell your stories to magazines and newspapers. You, too, can learn to write the kind of stories that editors will buy and readers will love.

And, this May in Peru, we’ll show you exactly how it’s done… helping you transform your writing skills… and your life.

Meet your instructor

Your instructor, Ian Aldrich, is the Deputy Editor for Yankee Magazine and a native New Englander.  For the last decade, Ian has worked and freelanced for Yankee, writing feature stories and overseeing the magazine’s digital platform. 

In this last year alone, Yankee has expanded by leaps and bounds—including producing its own television show. And, in Peru, Ian will share with you all he’s learned over the years, both as a writer and editor, providing personal feedback on your work and insights for how the travel-writing industry is changing, showing you exactly what you can to do to stay ahead of the curve.

Here’s what past workshops attendees have to say about Ian:

“Ian’s friendly, easygoing personality makes his sessions fun. He gives editors an approachable face and has helped to drop the curtain for new writers that still see editors as the gruff, cigar-chewing firewall between the writers and success.” – Chuck Warren

“Ian is an experienced editor who really makes you feel like you can do travel writing. He has moved up through the ranks and he still writes. It gives more credibility to his subject knowledge. A great personality and easy to talk to.” – Debby Tanning

“Ian is very knowledgeable and very professional. He’s also very approachable and comes across as someone who genuinely wants to help mentor new writers.” – Rosela Sartaguda

“Ian was so willing to listen, interact, and give great advice. His information was also delivered in an engaging manner, packed with useful strategies and tips.” – Karen Ballard

“Ian provides you with great advice and examples of what editors appreciate and hate. He peels back the layers and gives you first hand advice on how to get editors to take you seriously.” – Lanii Denni

With Ian by your side in Peru, you’ll quickly learn:

  • The tricks travel writers use to travel for free and what it takes to get started…
  • How to make an editor love you (and come back to you again and again for repeat assignments)…
  • How to look like a pro, even when you’re not…
  • Which travel markets and publications are eager to work with freelancers…
  • Ways to expand your reach as a travel writer beyond the printed page using short video clips and eye-catching photos…
  • How to go from writing emails to your friends to writing articles you can get paid for…
  • Where to sell your Peru stories when you get home…

And much more.

THE GREAT ESCAPE PUBLISHING DIFFERENCE

Here at Great Escape Publishing, we’re committed to creating tours and experiences that are unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere. Here’s our 4-POINT PROMISE about what you can expect on this expedition and what makes us different.

1. SMALL GROUPS

You’ll be part of a small group of like-minded travelers… folks who want to explore, experience, and enjoy what’s unique and authentic about a place. The group size is just 10-12, so you get the chance to know everyone in the group, and you get plenty of one-on-one time from our staff and instructors.

2. AUTHENTIC ACCOMMODATIONS

It’s important to us that our accommodations match the destination. We avoid big chains like Hilton and Marriott because they’re the same around the world. And instead we opt for small, family-run boutique hotels that match the splendor of the city. Each hotel has the same level of comfort and amenities as these bigger brands, but with a lot more charm and character.

From Hacienda-style lodges in Ecuador… to luxury tent camps on the Serengeti in Tanzania… casas particulares in Cuba… or a luxury boat in Ha Long Bay… our choice of lodging might just be your favorite part of the trip!

3. INSIDER EXPERIENCES

We like to explore something the average tourist might not know about. We’ve made connections on the ground so we can visit the best sites, markets, festivals, restaurants, cafés, and villages that would be hard to find on your own. We’ll use local guides where possible instead of well-advertised companies and we’ve geared our schedule toward photographers or writers, so you can skip right to the heart of Peru and capture something the regular tourist never will.

4. GENEROUS TEACHERS

Photography or writing tours are a dime a dozen. But try to find a tour that teaches you how to write compelling stories AND how you can sell those stories for a nice side income, and you’d be hard pressed.

The truth is, a lot of people today aren’t crazy about sharing their photography secrets and their income-earning advice with newbies. But the photographers and writers who lead Great Escape Publishing trips are some of the most generous teachers out there. They know that the need for great photos and great articles is only increasing—so the more people who can fill this need, the better for everyone!

On this expedition, you’ll have an expert by your side every step of the way, ready to share her professional insights and secrets to help you travel the world and get paid to do so.

Learn by doing

On a hands-on, boots-on-the-ground expedition like this, you’ll learn travel writing in a fun way… among new friends… and absorb the skills faster than you would if you did it on your own.

With your notebook in hand and camera ready, you’ll draw inspiration from the ancient beauty, dramatic landscape, and people around you… and return home with a whole new set of skills, sure to have you exploring the world in record time on someone else’s dime.

Not to mention all the memories you’ll make and the people you’ll meet… those you’ll learn with, have fun with and continue to grow with on your travel-writing journey.

When you’re not taking notes on the history of an ancient Incan relic, or snapping photos of the iconic Machu Picchu at sunrise while light peeks through the mountain crest … you’ll have time to explore on your own and immerse yourself in the vibrant indigenous culture… seeking out even more story ideas at every turn.

Weave your way through bustling markets brimming with intricate, handcrafted treasures and meet locals who go about their daily chores in traditional clothes of striking color…

Savor traditional street fare like anticucho (deliciously cooked meat on a skewer—though you might want to give the “cow heart” variety a miss), salchipapa (sliced Peruvian hotdog with fries, smothered in ketchup, mayo, mustard, and aji sauce) or the ever-present and popular roast pork sandwich…

Then return to the classroom and learn exactly how to turn your experience into an article you can sell.

Take a vacation to Peru and learn how to write stories you can sell

You’ll find this expedition fast-paced and fun, and you really will see this destination in a way you never could as a regular tourist. We have a full itinerary planned for each day and most of the workshop will be done out and about on foot, so you’ll need to be prepared for high activity throughout the week.

You’ll benefit from unique, one-on-one instruction on a daily basis from experienced travel writer and magazine editor, Ian Aldrich. It’s this kind of learning experience that can improve your skills in record time.

Plus, you’ll learn about which types of stories sell best for magazines and online sites, exactly how to get your first byline, and what you can do as a writer to expand your work past the printed page.

With his expertise in digital content, Ian is excited to share with you all his insights and secrets for cultivating an online presence as a writer that will have editors knocking on your door for stories.

And, nearly every day on this expedition, there will be a lesson or special writing session where you’ll receive valuable feedback and tips to help take your travel writing to the next level.

Whether you’re just starting out and have little experience, or you’ve already had stories published, you’ll benefit immensely from this expedition.

Ian will provide you with all the insights you need to write your stories, get them published, and get paid.

Your itinerary

May 18-25, 2018

Day 1 – Friday, May 18

We’ll meet in the afternoon in the hotel lobby to enjoy a cup of coca tea and get right down to business. After introductions and an overview of the upcoming schedule, you’ll have your first travel-writing lesson with Ian. You’ll discuss your goals for the expedition, and he’ll get you started with some writing basics you can use throughout the week.

This evening, you’ll have a chance to wind down and explore some local restaurants and bars according to your energy level.

Day 2 – Saturday, May 19

This morning you’ll walk across the street from the hotel to reach Qorikancha—or the “Temple of the Sun”—the most important place of worship in the Inca Empire. The Inca temple was converted into the Church of Santo Domingo, but the interior still features the best example of Inca architecture in South America.  Afterwards, you’ll wander with the group through the cobbled streets of Cusco discussing story ideas and finding where Spanish Colonial architecture meets the ancient Inca walls.

Next, we’ll take a short ride to the Inca military fortress of Saksaywaman, located high above Cusco.  Made of massive granite stones weighing up to 125 tons, Saksaywaman boasts a double wall in a zigzag shape, a large ceremonial plaza, and spectacular views of Cusco and the surrounding mountains.

Day 3 – Sunday, May 20

This morning, we’ll head to the charming colonial village of Pisac to explore its colorful Sunday Market, featuring both an artisans’ market and a locals’ market. Here you can sniff out stories while marveling at alpaca clothing, carved wooden figures, and leather goods in the artisans’ market… and you’ll find fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, dyes, and more among the locals’ offerings. Pisac’s Sunday Market is also a great place to catch a glimpse of local elders dressed in traditional clothing as they arrive at the church for a mass in the Quechua language. You’ll also find some pretty special gifts for friends and family back home.

After lunch, we’ll make our way to the Inca ruins above town. Best-known for agricultural terraces, the Pisac ruins also boast a ceremonial center, temples, and spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley below. After our visit to Pisac, we’ll make our way to Ollantaytambo and check into our hotel, taking some time to rest and relax.

Day 4 – Monday, May 21

This morning, we’ll explore the quaint village of Ollantaytambo—the best example of Inca city planning, featuring narrow cobblestone streets flanked by Inca granite walls. Inhabited since the 13th century, “Ollanta,” as the locals call it, is located in the shadow of the Ollantaytambo Ruins and represents the only place where the Incas won a major battle against the Spanish conquistadores. Here you’ll climb the ruins’ terraced hillside, visit its temples and housing complex, and enjoy panoramic views of the town below and the Urubamba Valley.

In the late morning, we’ll hop a train to Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best-known archaeological site in the continent. Our 90-minute train ride will take us through the spectacular river gorge as the Vilcanota River cuts its way down towards the Amazon. Our ride ends in Machu Picchu Pueblo, formerly known as Aguas Calientes, a small village with a funky vibe that serves as the base for visitors to Machu Picchu.

While our bags are transported from the train station to the hotel, we’ll take a bus to Machu Picchu, the fabled Inca city that was never found by the Spaniards and virtually forgotten until its “rediscovery” in 1911. Inside the citadel, you’ll spend some time exploring the site’s many ancient temples, housing complexes, plazas, tombs, baths, and more.

In the evening, you’ll have some time to relax at your own pace with dinner at one of the restaurants nearby. Warning: This is not a night to stay out too late…

Day 5 – Tuesday, May 22

This morning, we’ll be up early to catch the very first bus to Machu Picchu. You’ll get to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Machu Picchu at first light—from the famous overlook offering the “classic” view of the ancient ruins. After sunrise, we’ll take the bus to Aguas Calientes to explore the local streets and grab some lunch.

In the evening, we’ll return to Cusco and relax at the hotel. 

Day 6 – Wednesday, May 23

FREE DAY. In the late morning, we’ll meet for our final travel writing review, followed by a presentation on how to get your work published in magazines, with tips from Ian on how to find magazines, how to approach them, how to submit your work for maximum impact, and more.

After, you’ll be free to explore Cusco on your own, do some shopping, explore local churches and ruins, or simply relax at the hotel. Our staff will have plenty of recommendations for you if you’re looking for more activities.

Day 7 – Thursday, May 24

This morning, we’ll drive about 30 minutes to the Village of Chinchero for a weaving demonstration by Quechua women artisans. The weavers will explain how they prepare, dye, and finish the wool, how they make soap, and more. You’ll be free to look around and ask questions to bolster your articles. Afterward, you’ll have the opportunity to buy some of their beautiful textiles directly from the artisans.

After visiting the weavers, we will drive to nearby Maras and enjoy lunch with a local family in their home, followed by a visit to the Inca salt mines; thousands of above-ground salt pools, dating back to pre-Inca times.  We will even have a chance to buy some salt from the mine while we’re there.

After our trip to Maras, we’ll drive back to Cusco, arriving in the late afternoon. And, in the evening, we’ll get together for our group farewell dinner (on us)!

Friday, May 25 – Departure

On this day, you’ll fly home from Peru, or extend your visit in this extraordinary country and do some exploring on your own.

Note: Schedule and instructors are subject to change.

Pricing and what’s included in your seven-day
Peru expedition

Full Price: $4,997 per person

Special Early Bird Discount: Save $250 with your Early Bird Discount when you sign up today.

The full price of this workshop is $4,997 but you’ll pay just $4,747* when you apply the $250 Early Bird Discount and register today.

If your spouse or a guest would like to join you, he or she can do so for just $4,347.

(*Note: Additional discounts may apply. You can click through to the registration form at the link below to learn more.)

Easy Payment Plan: What’s more, if you’d like to take advantage of our easy payment plan, you can register today for just $999 down.

Here’s how it works:

  • Reserve a seat on the expedition for just $999 when you put your name on our attendee list today.
  • When you do, you’ll automatically lock in the discounted workshop price of only $4,747* – a full $250 SAVINGS for you! (*Note: Additional discounts may apply.)
  • We’ll bill your credit card $999 today, and spread the rest of the payments out comfortably between now and when the workshop starts in May (one payment per 30 days).

There are no additional fees for taking us up on this easy payment plan.

The registration fee for the workshop includes:

  • Seven nights’ hotel accommodation in private rooms: five nights in Cusco, one night in Ollantaytambo, and one night Machu Picchu Pueblo…
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure in Cusco if you stick to our itinerary…
  • Daily travel-writing instruction including reviews and feedback from writer, editor and instructor, Ian Aldrich…
  • English-speaking guide to accompany the group for the full duration…
  • Entrance fees for all sites and activities in the itinerary including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu…
  • Transportation throughout the excursion on a modern air-conditioned bus…
  • Breakfast daily…
  • One boxed lunch when traveling to Machu Picchu Pueblo…
  • A group farewell dinner…
  • Access to an exclusive, members-only Facebook group where travelers can ask questions, share their plans, meet one another before the event, and stay connected post-event…
  • Pre-Event Guidance from Great Escape Publishing staff, including what to expect, what to pack for the weather, equipment list, travel tips, and more.

Your Registration Does NOT Include:

  • Airfare to and from Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco, Peru…
  • Meals not already listed above (allow $20 a day USD for this depending on whether you want fine-dining experiences or local eats)…
  • If you arrive early or stay late, you’ll need to arrange your own transfers to or from the airport at an additional fee. We can help you with this…
  • Equipment – laptop, notebook, camera, etc…
  • Tips for tour guides and bus drivers (tipping is at your discretion, but I usually budget $20-$25 USD for a great tour guide, and $5-10 USD for bus drivers).

What to bring:

  • Your passport
  • Your favorite notebook and pen or a laptop if you prefer to type your stories
  • Your camera
  • Spare batteries and charger (plus an adaptor and/or transformer if needed)
  • Spare memory cards
  • Layers and comfortable shoes for walking
  • A sense of adventure!

What to expect:

Health: As with all overseas travel, it’s recommended that you’re up to date on all routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Peru does not require any immunizations for entry, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends Hepatitis A and Typhoid for travelers going to Peru. You can find all this, as well as more information pertaining to health precautions such as safe food and water practices, on the CDC website.

Visa Entry/Exit Requirements: If you’re a U.S. citizen, you need a current passport that’s valid at least SIX months after the date you plan to return with at least one black page. If your passport expires before November 2018, you’ll need to renew it.

If you’re a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visa to travel to Peru for stays up to 183 days. If you’re not from the U.S., check with the Peruvian consulate for your country details.

Money:  Peruvian sol is the currency used in Peru. You’ll get the best exchange rate if you use your credit card for purchases and meals and your debit card in an ATM to withdraw cash (almost all ATMs have screens in English). Check with your bank before you leave to make sure your card will work in Peru. 

Electrical: Peru’s electrical system operates at 220 volts and has a frequency of 60 hertz. Some places in Peru will take the standard US two-prong plug, and others need a “Type C” with the two round prongs. Bring a Type C adapter (and possibly a converter) for your equipment. Almost all laptops and camera battery chargers have an electricity converter built into the power cord (that means you don’t need a converter).

Insurance: We highly recommend insurance coverage for cancellation. This should be taken at the time you book the trip. We also recommend supplemental travel insurance to protect yourself in case of unplanned medical emergencies.

ACTIVITY LEVEL: HIGH

In Peru, you can expect long days with A LOT of walking—often up and down hills, on irregular stairs, and over uneven terrain. You should have the ability to walk comfortably for two miles and/or for at least an hour in these conditions.

Also, keep in mind the elevation in Cusco is over 11,000 feet. That’s higher than many mountain summits. I HIGHLY recommend arriving a couple days early to get used to this elevation.

If you are unable to keep up with the group, please understand that you might not be able to participate in an activity. If you have concerns about physical limitations, please contact a Great Escape Publishing staff member before registering. You can email us at workshops@greatescapepublishing.com or call (561) 860-8266.

DRESS: Generally, the weather in Peru in May is warm with highs around 70°F and lows around 50°F.  We do plan to go out and shoot at night, so do bring layers. Please plan to bring:

  • Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes for the long days out and about as well as trips to Machu Picchu
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sunhat to cover you from the harsh sun
  • Light layers as it can be chilly in the mornings and at night

Please note: Peru is a very poor country so it is dangerous (and in bad taste) to show off expensive jewelry, designer clothes, etc. There is no need for dressy clothing—it is a very casual place.

Prerequisites: It doesn’t matter what level of writer you consider yourself to be, or if you’ve never tried selling your travel articles… all the skills and concepts introduced are doable by anyone.

This workshop is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for folks who truly want to get paid to travel. Not only will you explore Peru, pen and notebook in hand, but you’ll have the rare opportunity to travel with a professional writer and editor by your side, providing personal feedback and sharing all his hard-won insights and secrets for creating travel articles that sell.

Space is limited to just 12 attendees on this trip, so I strongly urge you to sign up today. It could be years before you get another opportunity to explore Peru with such a small group of like-minded people—and, with an expert editor and travel writer by your side!

We’ve had a number of requests to save seats already—this program will fill up quickly! And I’d hate for you to miss out.

So please, register here now by clicking below or, if you have any questions, call our office today at (561) 860-8266 (Eastern time zone). You can also email me at lori@greatescapepublishing.com.

P.S. If you can write a simple paragraph, you have what it takes to become a successful freelance travel writer. It’s that easy. The many successful folks who have attended one of our workshops in the past don’t do anything you can’t learn to do.

You don’t need a journalism degree. And you don’t need writing experience to get started. In Peru, you’ll get all the real-world know-how you need to turn a trip here or a vacation there into a little cash on the side… or even jump in full-time. To turn 2018 into the year you become a travel writer, join us in Peru and learn how you can pursue your dreams of travel writing and get paid to do it.

NOTE: You may qualify for additional discounts on this expedition. Click below on the Register Today button for details or call our office at (561) 860-8266 to find out how much you can save.

Cancellation Policy: All our workshops and expeditions are non-refundable. If, however, you are unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances—and you give us at least 60 days’ notice—we will be happy to apply your payment toward a future workshop, minus a $300 processing fee. If you cancel due to reasons that are covered by your purchased travel-insurance policy, we will advise the insurance company that your travel and conference fees are non-refundable.

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