When people think of Peru and Bolivia, it is often the vibrant rich culture, ancient cities and ruins, and beautiful, mystical landscapes that forms our impressions. The historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu, a top destination for tourists, prevails over a vast number of ancient sites that exist in the Andes, and the stories that proliferate are those easily explained with conventional archeological logic. Discussions about the history of this region tend to emphasize the Incan Empire, but what happens when we delve deeper and farther back in history? What wisdom can we gain from exploring a more ancient past?
This Face the Current Travel Feature is published in Issue 22 / Winter 2019. Order PRINT here, SUBSCRIBE, or continue reading this article below.
Following the previous year’s Gathering in Egypt, Face the Current set out to explore ancient wisdom and modern research with the Resonance Science Foundation in Peru and Bolivia and delve deeper with the 2nd Annual Delegate Gathering. Led by Nassim Haramein, who has been researching, publishing papers, delivering lectures and creating educational material on unified physics for more than thirty years, the Foundation seeks to challenge the generally accepted history of humanity to ask, “what if?” Together we were to consider many possibilities including whether ancient civilizations had knowledge of the organization of space and applied this knowledge to construct massive structures. The 2nd Annual Gathering sought to expand upon what was discussed during the 1st Gathering in Egypt in 2017 and consider new perspectives and insights that would further challenge and enhance our understanding of the world.
With a recent shift in awareness, travel is recognized as more than just an escape, but rather as a catalyst, which has the potential to inspire us to create meaningful changes in our lives and the world in which we live. As Nassim reflected, these tours in Egypt, Peru, Bolivia and those to come are purpose driven and meant to transform not only the lives of those who join the tours, but also those around us. “In life we often find ourselves connecting at a superficial level and failing to connect at a deeper, more meaningful level. By being here, you’ll have left behind what is familiar and comfortable, and we’ll visit unknown places both physically and intellectually.”
All the factors contributing to a truly life-altering adventure were present in our tour experience. They included traveling with intention, openness, and mindfulness, engaging in challenging physical and/or cultural experiences, and taking time for personal reflection and “meaning-making.” As people now seek this type of travel experience, it is rapidly replacing typical tour itineraries.
A Global Community Gathers…For Another Adventure!
Our journey began at over 11,000 feet elevation in “the archeological capital of the Americas,” Cusco, Peru. Here, one-hundred fifty Delegates gathered from twenty-seven different countries including Australia, China, Finland, India, South Africa, Turkey and the United States assembled to immerse in the Andean culture, connect with historical traditions and explore amazing archaeological sites. From the 20-somethings to a 90-something who inspired us all, our group was comprised of students, fitness instructors, naturopaths, engineers, a farmer, psychotherapists and those involved in a variety of other industries. To gather and share this mindful journey in a unified, connected, and purpose-filled manner, was not only profound but also inspiring to see the potential of a conscious global community to live a more connected life. All came seeking adventure, a betterment of self and our world, connection with like-minded people, enlightenment and wisdom.
I want to leave a legacy in this world,” declared Aaron Hutchings a twenty-two-year-old from Long Beach, California. “To do this I want to be around people like Nassim and the Delegates who are making a difference, who are helping each other strive for the best and reach their full potential.”
Suzana Salgado of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, her intention for joining the tour, which was in support of Nassim’s unified worldview that bridges the gap between spirituality and science.
I’m here because I do believe science can explain spirituality, and spirituality can be explained by science,” she reveals. “Usually people see only one view or the other. If we continue to try to incorporate both perspectives into an understanding of our place in the universe, this world will be different.”
Beginning the tour in Cusco, we found pisco, ceviche, and of course ancient wonders—from the mystique of the Urubamba Valley, known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, to the sanctuary of Machu Picchu. This all wrapped in a climate ranging from desert to lush tropical, and the glaciers of Nevado Huascaran, the highest mountain in Peru at more than 6,700 meters (22,000 feet).
Tapping Into A More Ancient Wisdom
The sites on our tour’s itinerary were not chosen simply because they are incredible milestones in the human record.
These places are not isolated; there is a specific relationship between these sites as they are part of a network that covers the globe. They are in very specific places that may have been chosen for a very specific reason by an advanced civilization prior to our written history.” – Nassim Haramein
As we journeyed through numerous sites, most associated with Incan culture, we discovered that perhaps a truer, or more ancient history exists in a story less often told or yet to be fully understood. With many ancient sites containing constructions that defy logic, it requires an open mind and a variety of applications from science, archeology, engineering, geology, multi-generational local wisdom passed on through oral teachings and more to begin to form these new perspectives and potential explanations.
We’re not the only ones attempting to define a new story about human history. We shared this journey as part of a collective mission to advance our understanding, with one of our guides, Brien Foerster, wisdom keepers of Raqchi, a local diver at Lake Titicaca who revealed submerged ancient ruins, local archeologists, and many others.
Like the pyramids of Egypt, the sprawling citadels of Machu Picchu and Tiwanaku exceeded our expectations, leaving us in awe and contemplation. Experiencing and examining such sites shed light on the notion that we must continue to travel, explore, and research deeper, and not assume the orthodox theory of human prehistory taught in schools to be the correct or fully accurate ones.
The Gathering paved the way for unique encounters and incredible insight from local elders at every twist and turn. We received a special gift when we arrived at the village of Raqchi, site of the Temple of Wiracocha, once one of the holiest shrines in the Inca Empire. There, as if guided by some unseen hand, we happened upon a family of multi-generational healers and ‘wisdom keepers.’ They told us how they were raised and educated through a long history of oral teachings to become the voices of their elders. They proved to be an incredible unexpected resource for sharing aboriginal language and culture. They joined with us on the balance of the tour leading us through several ceremonies and meditations enriching our time for personal reflection and inviting powerful conversations.
Local Cultures and Adventures
This tour encouraged challenged us in many ways with perhaps a unanimous vote for the Machu Picchu Mountain hike being the most physically demanding! Situated in front of the citadel, Machu Picchu Mountain towers over 10,000 feet in elevation with awe-inspiring views that reward those who make the climb. This was not the highest altitude we would hike to, however it was approximately one and a half to two hours of vertical stair stepping to ascend and another hour and half to descend! Most of the sites we toured sat at high altitudes, ranging from 8,000 to 13,400 feet elevation and required many of us to face the unique challenges brought on by the high altitudes experienced. We summited the highest islands in the world at Lake Titicaca, climbed stairways and trails of ancient terraced sites, and tunneled through caves and crevasses.
The adventures also included new experiences with local culture. Walking the streets of Cusco and other villages, we were often met with colorful traditionally dressed locals, anxious to be photographed with their alpaca or baby goat in hand. Local artisans displayed their hand-crafted goods and tempted us with beautiful items such as jewelry and alpaca scarves and sweaters. Sampling the regional foods, that were naturally farm to table, was a delight. Quinoa, large-kernal Inca corn, Inca plantain chips, and fish straight out of Lake Titicaca were just a few common foods we encountered and enjoyed.
We ventured by foot across one of the most incredible border crossings in Latin America on our trip from Peru to Bolivia and visited one of the most exceptional places on earth: the floating Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca. The list of unique experiences we shared is long and unforgettable!
Traveling for a Better Life and a Better World
Some people like to travel alone to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Others like to travel with a group to build a sense of community and gain their support in integrating the lessons extracted from their experience. As those with wanderlust know, we now need ‘travel’ more than ever to create memories, broaden horizons, provide real-life education, boost confidence, rid ourselves of fear, insecurity and intolerance.
Many can complete a journey like this. But to Nassim, the Delegate Gatherings are a chance to grow by gaining fresh perspectives and building relationships.
To have experienced this adventure with our Delegates who are consumed with pure intentions, was a priceless opportunity. Everyone here immersed themselves in the cultures we encountered with a respect I felt was imperative for our success. The Foundation would not exist without Delegates like this. I am grateful.”
Now, Face the Current invites you to join us as we share more on the sites we visited on this tour. We hope you enjoy the journey and become inspired to delve deeper, perhaps even joining on the next adventures in Rapa Nui or Mexico in 2019!
Inhabited continuously for over 3,000 years, Cusco, Peru is the most ancient urban settlement in all of the Americas. It was here the Resonance Science Foundation chose to convene the 2nd Annual Delegate Gathering as its next stop on a multi-year adventure trail. Delegates assembled to search for evidence of past, advanced civilizations here and explore the relationship between these findings with what was explored in Egypt during the 1st Gathering in 2017.
When most people think of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of Peru they of course discuss the Inca civilization that existed there from about 1000 to 1535 AD. However, when one delves deeper into the story, with the assistance of local wisdom keepers we find out that about 1000 years ago the Inca found an abandoned megalithic center and adopted it as their capital.” -Author and researcher, Brien Foerster
As the historic capital of the Inca Empire between the 13th and 16th centuries, until the Spanish conquest, both old and new flourish today in Cusco. Traditional Quechua women carry goods and children in their llicalla’s in front of century old cathedrals, souvenir vendors ply their trade in narrow cobblestone streets, while trendy galleries sell modern art and exclusive boutiques offer the finest alpaca knits.
Travel guides described Cusco as seductive, striking and natural. Its history lives in its streets, squares, and mesmerizing landscapes found in the nearby Sacred Valley. This 70-mile narrow river valley, formed by the Urubamba River or “sacred river,” was not even part of the Inca Empire but the personal property of the high or Sapa Inca rulers due to its exceptional natural beauty and incredibly fertile land. Here it seems every mountain is adorned with terraces and you can marvel at incredible examples of engineering from Sacsayhuamán, Tambomachay and Ollantaytambo, to Machu Picchu, the Inca jewel.
In the heart of the old city, you will find the central square, Plaza de Armas, with wooden balconies, colonnades, and plentiful Incan and pre-Incan wall ruins. In fact, the baroque Santo Domingo Convent located here was built atop the Incan Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha). Also built on Inca ruins and a short walk from the square, is the Inca Museum. Here twenty-four exhibition rooms are filled with information dating back to pre-Inca times, with many items on display having been excavated in and around Cusco. The museum itself is housed in an impressive 17th century building called Casa del Almirante, the former home of Spanish Admiral Francisco Alderete Moldonado.
While walking the narrow cobblestone streets with Nassim, viewing examples of both Inca and pre-Inca masonry and visiting the Inca Museum, I realized the true origins of humanity are not what we were taught in school. This stop convinced me that with all the technology we have today we cannot duplicate what was built by these ancient civilizations who used advanced technologies which have since been lost to history.” -Richard Salazar of San Antonia, Texas.
About 50 km from Cusco, Moray is reminiscent of a Roman amphitheater, with its deep, bowl-shaped basins. It is not found in many guidebooks and subsequently not inundated with tourists, allowing you to enjoy this impressive site in relative privacy.
Here we were impressed with the circular agricultural terraces, which are up to 330 feet deep. Even more impressive is how they were constructed using retaining walls connected by an irrigation system. The terraces rise like stairs to the top of the valley. The full purpose behind these concentric terraces is still being discussed although some conjecture the site was once an agricultural laboratory using the terraces to create micro-climates to examine the growth of various crops.
On the valley floor, in the center of the circles, Nassim led Delegates in a group meditation channeling the power of the ARK crystals. “The presence of the community was palpable as we gathered swiftly, silently into ever larger concentric rings, from the center of an ancient archaeological terraces,” recalled Tara Dubarr, of Boulder, Colorado. “Our resonance with each other, the crystals and the site was powerful as we collectively focused our intention. It was our first such site together as a group. As our collective energy spiraled outward there was an expansiveness in our unity, a heartfelt collaboration we would repeatedly create throughout the trip.”
MARAS SALT TERRACES
The salt ponds of Maras is an incredible site that may leave you awestruck as you take in the astonishing vista and reflect on its storied past. Located in the Scared Valley near Cusco, the salt ponds were first constructed almost 2,000 years ago by the Chanapata culture, pre-dating the Incas. The area was once covered by ocean and retains residual salt deposits.
Here in Maras there are about 5,000 ponds, most owned by individual families. Each pond averages about five meters square and thirty centimeters in depth. The ponds are fed by a spring water canal called Qoripujio. The pond owners allow their pond to flood and then close it off allowing the water to evaporate. Once the pond has dried up, the scraping of the pink salt crust begins.
This incredible process continues to produce a pink salt, which has been recommended by experts due to its curative properties, and for those who suffer from hypertension because it has low levels of sodium chloride. Maras salt also contains calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium, making it a perfect medicinal option for skin conditions and to treat swelling.
Many people enjoy Maras salt for flavoring their dishes, but in order to retain its medicinal properties, this salt should be added after cooking. It loses its medicinal properties in temperatures higher than 40 degrees Celsius!
Chinchero is a small Andean Indian village located about 30km from Cusco and is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow and located at 3,763 meters (12,500 feet), is one of a few towns in the region that has a higher elevation than Cusco!
Still the picturesque village seems towered over by the Vilcabamba mountain range and the snowcapped peak of Salcantay. Here examples of Inca architecture, ruins and megalithic carved rocks can be seen.
In addition to the ancient wonders, Chinchero is also known for its indigenous weaving and colorful market. The beautiful adobe Church of Chinchero sits on the plaza, which can be visited daily. Now known as the Temple of Our Lady of the Nativity, it was built in 1607 and is one of the first Catholic buildings erected in Peru. It’s not surprising that the church was built on the foundation of an Inca building. Transforming an existing Incan structure was part of the formula employed by the Spanish to convert Incans to Catholicism.
I remember Chinchero was my first encounter, at scale, with the Pre-Inca, molded stonework.” We all flocked instinctively to that first big wall to touch it, lean against it, and feel its ancient energy in the late day sun. It was a powerful moment so early in the trip. At that point it was hard to imagine that we were on an ascent curve of higher and higher vibrational experiences!” -David Knox, of Portland, Oregon.
It’s interesting to consider how traveling to these Andean sites exposed us to energies that may have affected our consciousness. Some believed these energies were divine. Others believed they were a result of physical forces, as we learned the magnetic field within the Sacred Valley is one of the major energy centers of the world.
Regardless of what you may believe, travel, especially to sacred sites, helps us experience connectedness with something bigger. Your focus shifts from the familiar to unimagined possibilities—one is compelled to expand their perspective and ideas of what’s possible.
On the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco are many archaeological sites, with perhaps the best-known being the vast Sacsayhuamán Archeological Park that spans 7,643 acres. The name Sacsayhuamán is derived from two Quechua words, “Sacsay,” which means satiate and “wamán,” which means hawk. This could be reference to the fact that the birds were divine protectors of the Incas and the military. Perhaps this is one of the reasons both Spanish and contemporary writers assumed it was a military structure. However, together with resident experts and local wisdom keepers, we discussed a more ancient history and construction of this site.
What was particularly striking for our tour was the architectural work consisting of megalithic walls made of stones than can weigh from 99 to 138 tons. The stones vary in size and some have more than one hundred angles, each fitted and joined to the other with no mortar of any kind! It’s mind-boggling even today, to consider not only how the engineers moved the massive stones from quarries almost three miles away, but also the amount of materials that they transported.
While most attribute this feat to the Incas, Nassim pointed to evidence of a more advanced, pre-existing culture.
Here at Sacsayhuamán you can clearly see the difference between Inca reconstruction and the original megalithic stones in the walls. Associating everything here to the Inca is wrong and it also denies the true history of the site.”
Today we recognize Sacsayhuamán as the location of the most important temples in Hanan Qosqo or Upper Cusco, dedicated to Andean cosmology, the worship of the Inti (Sun), Quilla (Moon), Chaska (Stars), Illapa (Lightning) and the other divinities. Even today, every June 24th, Inti Raymi, the great feast of the sun is celebrated, which draws thousands of tourists.
From the ruins, you can also catch a splendid view of Cusco and the Cristo Blanco (White Christ) statue of Jesus Christ, standing some eight meters (twenty six feet) high. The statue was a gift from Arabic Palestinians who sought refuge in Cusco after World War II.
A bit more than four miles northeast of Cusco, and at 3,765 meters (12,350 feet), stands Tambomachay, popularly known as the “Inca’s Baths.” This incredibly peaceful site is comprised of a series of delicately carved aqueducts, canals, and waterfalls that run through its terraced rocks.
The beautiful fountains, canals, and terraces beckoned me to fall in love with this place. And to experience this space with a community of amazing people who are working to shift their view of the world, left an indelible mark on my soul.” -Laura Hames Franklin, of New York.
Tambomachay is better known as El Bano del Inca, or “The Bath of the Inca,” because it is thought to have been a place to bath in attempt to clean the mind and spirit of evil. Clearly however the site was linked to the reverence of water, which originates from nearby thermal springs. The aqueducts and canals were built in such a way that the water flows unimpeded to a little waterfall at the bottom of the structure that was used for ceremonial purposes. Incans worshipped water as the source of life and was one of the pillars of the Andean conception of the world.
Tipón is known for its beautiful Inca ruins. As it happens to be relatively hidden in the mountains, it makes for one of the less visited sites in the Sacred Valley. As we explored the site, we came across a serious of well-maintained terraces, which were skillfully irrigated by the Incas. However, it was not the Incans that developed this ancient network of stone canals. A civilization called the Wari thrived in the Andean highlands and built a complex society between 500 and 1000 AD, centuries before the rise of the Incas. Not much is known about the Wari although many archaeological sites reveal they were great urban planners and engineers. They are credited with constructing a series of ancient stone canals, known locally as amunas, like those at Tipón. Many believe the Inca came upon the work at Tipón and claimed the infrastructure work and technology as their own as they took over occupation and began to redevelop the area.
Locals shared stories about the Wari’s use of the ancient water canals, telling of an advanced technology that served as a “power plant” or “energy source.” This technology, they claim, was what captivated the Incans to take over the site for themselves.
The Tipón ruins are some of the most impressive, architecturally in the area, with terraces and water channels that feed the whole complex with water from a natural spring near the top of the site. Some of the aqueducts are still in use today and in fact, such ancient water technologies continue to serve many villages. Lima has been turning to them as well in attempt to revive over fifty ancient Wari canals and alleviate the city’s water deficit.
This was one of my favorite sites. It’s three huge green layers tiered on a gentle slope and flanked by waters still flowing through ancient aqueducts, were not only beautiful to behold, but they had joyous, nurturing, and protecting energies that invited you in to play and nap and breath with elements, all present so harmoniously in this sacred space.” -David Knox
Built in 1580, the Church of San Pedro Apostol of Andahuaylillas is known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas. The chapel features a simple façade, which is contrasted by its remarkable Baroque interior with its gilded altars, walls, paintings, and polychromatic ceilings. As was their practice to reform the indigenous population, the Spanish built the chapel on an existing Inca temple, and relied heavily on decorative paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña, or Cusco School. Cusco School was an artistic tradition that centered on Cusco in the 17th and 18th centuries, after the 1534 Spanish conquest of the city. It is considered the first organized artistic movement in the New World.
This movement was a form of religious art whose main purpose was moralistic. The Spanish, who aimed to convert the Incans to Catholicism, sent a group of religious artists to Cusco. These artists formed a school to teach drawing and oil painting. Their work was characterized using exclusively religious subjects, a lack of perspective, and the predominance of red, yellow and earth colors.
Here if you look closely, in addition to its altars, wood carvings, beautiful pieces in gold leaf, and its incredible painted ceiling, you can find a portrait of Pope Joan, the only women to have “purportedly” ruled the Catholic Church between the years 855 – 857.
Andahuaylillas is also the location of the Museo Ritos Andinos, where museum director, anthropologist Renato Dávila Riquelme has various types of skeletal remains on display including those with a disproportionate skull, large eye sockets, open fontanelle, and other unusual features. Here our guide Brien Foerster, discussed theories on the unique characteristics and latest understandings of the Huayqui skeleton with its elongated skull. Foerster has done extensive research on elongated skulls along with scientists, archeologists, geologists, engineers and leading experts around the world and shared insights on what he has discovered with the inclusion of carbon dating and DNA testing. He recently shared his expertise on the subject with popular author, Erich Von Daniken for an Ancient Aliens episode that aired January 2019 on the HISTORY channel. In this episode, it was speculated as to whether Von Daniken’s ideas posed in his infamous “Chariots of the Gods” may soon prove true, fifty years after its publication with more than 70 million copies sold.
Just forty five minutes by car from Cusco and situated at the eastern end of the Sacred Valley along the Río Vilcanota or the Urubamba River as it is also known, are the ruins of Pisac. They’re almost as spectacular, equally fascinating, and far less crowded than Machu Picchu. This is one of Peru’s most intact ancient sites, and it seems that no matter where you stand, you can admire remarkable agriculture terraces that are still being used today. Legend states that at night the city was guarded by pumas, possibly to stand guard over the estimated 3,000 Incan graves resting here.
The historical record states there is no evidence indicating pre-Inca occupation at the site so construction probably started no earlier than 1440. But like most of the sites we visited, we viewed megalithic stonework that is seemingly incongruent with the style employed by the Incas.
We see megalithic work here, indicating that the Inca found this place just like they did at Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo and other sites, and built their complexes around it to honor their mysterious ancestors. The Inca were not likely capable of this very precise megalithic work because they only had Bronze Age technology. The stones here are basalt or possibly andesite and super hard. Any strike with a bronze or copper chisel would be useless.” -Brien Foerster
Pisac was once an important trading post for the Incas due to its strategic location. From here it was possible to guard the Urubamba River below and a pass that leads towards the jungle to the northeast. Traders would gather to barter for goods, and today the large market every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday flourishes with textiles and handicrafts and attracts many tourists from nearby Cusco.
Ollantaytambo, called Ollanta by the locals, lies about 70 km northwest of Cusco and represents some of the best-preserved Inca ruins in Peru. The site was the estate of the Emperor Pachacuti who built the ceremonial center and the town in the mid-fifteenth century. During the Spanish conquest in Peru, Manco Inca Yupanqui, the leader of the Inca resistance, used Ollantaytambo as a fortress. His initial opposition there in 1536 has the distinction of being the only time the Inca’s repelled the Spanish army in Peru. However, victory was short-lived as the Spanish returned with a greater army and eventually took control of Ollantaytambo while Manco Inca fled to the city of Vilcabamba organizing a guerrilla resistance against the hated Spanish until his assassination in 1544.
However, many regard Ollantaytambo as a pre-Inca fortress, with rock walls of tightly fitted blocks weighing up to forty tons each.
Ollantaytambo has some astonishing megalithic work which defies logic and reason. The accepted theory that the Inca were building this structure and suddenly stopped working on it does not make sense. I think it was destroyed by an ancient cataclysm long before the existence of the Inca people. Clearly the Inca found this site after it was damaged and they rebuilt it.” -Brien Foerster
Some of the fallen megalithic stones illustrate just how intricate their construction was. One such block reveals an inside edge that is as smooth as glass with a slight lip, concave along the edge. The stone standing next to it was just as smooth but with a slight convex lip along the edge so that the two would fit perfectly together. Legend that says the stones talked to the ancient stonecutters so that they could be precisely matched when cut.
Today we believe the Inca’s used the site for astronomical observations and as a solar clock. The Temple of the Sun with its monolithic stones soar above the town’s cobbled streets. Ancient symbol-like marks in relief still adorn these huge stones. The complex also includes a stepped terrace as well as an area known as the Princess Baths, where ceremonial bathing took place.
A climb up the 200 steps to the top gives a visitor a close look at the remains of several fountains and temples. Those local to the area also like to point out the Inca face carved into the cliff above the valley.
Rightfully voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel located on a ridge between the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains in Peru. It sits at 2,430 meters, (7,970 feet) and continues to both reveal and shroud mysteries of Inca and pre-Inca civilizations.
Said to have been built in the 1450s by Inca emperor Pachucuti, Machu Picchu is thought to have been either a country estate for royalty, or an important place of worship. The exact purpose is still subject to debate.
What is not debatable is the humbling and mystifyingly beautiful ingenuity that went into the construction. A large portion of the city was completed using the classic dry polished rock method of placing stone on stone without mortar, known as ashlar. This technique also helps strengthen the structure.
Peru is seismically active and Machu Picchu itself sits atop two fault lines. It is said, when an earthquake occurs, the stones “dance.” That is, they bounce through the tremors and then fall back into place. Without this building method, Machu Picchu probably would have collapsed long ago. To this day, exactly how the ancient builders managed to move and place these large stones with such precision remains a wonderful mystery!
However, some see evidence that suggests Machu Picchu (meaning ‘Old Peak’ in the Quechua language) was revered as a sacred place from a far earlier time.
I clearly see different stages of development here where the technology peaked early in the occupation rather than progressing as time passed. All around us we see examples of newer Inca work transitioning from superior megalithic construction.” -Nassim Haramein
There is a belief among the people of the Andes that the entire planet is sacred. However, they deem some places exceptional because they shelter energies or spirits, or other elements of nature. Machu Picchu is considered a special place because it is situated within concentric circles of mountains while the white Urubamba River winds around its mountain base like a coiled snake. Quartz crystals are abundant here (which is why it is also called the Crystal City) and it was constructed in complete harmony with the cyclical aspects of nature.
In this powerful setting, we sought moments of quiet reflection individually and collectively to re-establish a connection with this shrine of stone and with the people who created it. Many Delegates were drawn to the Sacred Rock, called a Wank’a in Quechua, which means statue or stone. Located in the lower part of the Urban Sector of Machu Picchu, the rock acts as a memorial where the Incas carried out special rituals and Pachamamas (offerings to the earth). Some say the rock resembles the shape of the top of the mountains behind it (most noticeably Yanantin Mountain). Regardless, it remains a powerful symbol in Machu Picchu, and is recognized as being a spiritual area for meditation and absorbing positive energies.
When visiting Machu Picchu, we highly suggest you take the time to explore the ruins and add to your adventure by going on some of the additional hikes. There are four options to choose from: Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain, the Sun Gate, and the Inca Bridge. Many of us decided to climbed Machu Picchu Mountain. At 1,640 feet it is twice as tall as Huayna Picchu which anchors the opposite end of the site. The reward for this effort was spectacular views of the area surrounding the ruins. But start planning early. Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are hikes that require a special entry ticket. Peak season at Machu Picchu is from April to October when it’s less likely to rain, and these tickets can sell out up to four months in advance.
Located on the ancient Inca Road in a beautiful valley at an altitude of 3,460 meters (11,351 feet), the village of Raqchi has seen almost 2,000 years of continuous occupation. Although the site had many uses, including religious, administrative, defensive and acting as a repository of food and ceramics, it does not receive as many tourists as other sites.
The most prominent feature here is the remains of the Temple of Wiracocha, built by the Inca Wiracocha in honor of the Superior God, “Apu Kon Titi Wiracoch,” who was invisible to the Andean people. This was an enormous two-story roofed structure that measures 92 meters (302 feet) by 25.5 meters (84 feet). It had central adobe walls – which sit on foundations of Inca rock walls – 18 to 20 meters in height and with eleven columns on each side. Prior to its destruction by the Spaniards, the temple had what is believed to be the largest single roof in the Incan Empire, stretching 25 meters on each side and covering the columns. Because this was such a large structure, the whole complex here is sometimes referred to simply as the Temple of Wiracocha.
Surrounding the site, and still in use by villagers, are several Inca built terraces. It is said that a stone wall once enclosed the area. Unfortunately, not much of this wall remains as the Spanish used the stone to construct the Colonial church in the beautiful neighboring Village San Pedro, which remains home to artisans, farmers and small ranchers.
Upon arriving at Raqchi we connected with local indigenous wisdom keepers. They have resided at this site for generations where they have been passing down their wisdom through traditional oral teachings and practices. Their wisdom and stories were profound and our connection with them was great, so we invited them to join us on our journey as we continued to visit more sites beyond Raqchi. Martina Mamani, Guardiana Del Templo de Wiracocha, together with her daughter Grivanesa Flores Mamani, joined us for the remaining days of our trip in Bolivia as they lead us in traditional healing ceremonies with chanting in their native language and sacred use of various objects such as the local coca leaves and continued to share incredible stories from their multi-generational wisdom on the ancient sites we were visiting.
SACRED VALLEY HIGH ALTITUDE HOT SPRINGS
From Raqchi, the tour journeyed onward to Puno, and we encountered a thunderstorm and cold rains. This did not prevent us from our next scheduled stop on the itinerary: the high altitude hot springs! Sitting at 14,300 feet, the amazing Peruvian geothermal baths at Occobamba were surrounded by an Iceland-esque mountainous landscape, and an icy cold river that flowed along the outskirts of the hot baths grounds.
The geothermal baths varied in temperature, from ‘extremely’ hot to luke warm, and many here opted for hot-cold hydrotherapy, plunging into the river as well. One covered bath was filled with several herbs and offered an aromatherapy experience. The hot baths left us with a blissful, rejuvenated, and we were grateful not to have passed up the experience!
PORTAL DE ARAMU MURU
It’s a surreal landscape. In the Hayu Marca stone forest, “City of the Gods” near the shores of Lake Titicaca, giant red granite sculptures rise from the Altiplano, the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside Tibet. Erosion has formed natural sculptures, bridges and grottos in the rock. It’s fun to conjecture whether some of these formations were the work of nature or man. But what was recently found here, and the work of man, is Aramu Muru. It is simply a flat stone roughly 23-feet square, with a T-shaped alcove some 6 feet, 6 inches tall carved into it. We do not know when Aramu Muru was made or who created it – but most likely it pre-dates the Incas.
Locals are said to call the doorway the “Puerta de Hayu Marca,” or “Gate of the Gods.” Legends apparently speak of people disappearing through the doorway as well as of strange sights, such as “tall men accompanied by glowing balls of lights walking through the doorway.” They also tell that at some point, these gods will return to the Earth through this gate “to inspect all the lands in the kingdom.”
The legend of Aramu Muru stayed quiet until the mid-1990’s when it was “rediscovered” by a local tourist guide. He told of seeing the structure in a dream and almost passed out from excitement when he came across the subject of his vision. His story went viral and the old, mysterious stories about Aramu Muru became popular again.
It was curious to find several burn-pits around the site. We learned from the wisdom keepers traveling with us these were places to provide gifts to Pachamama, a goddess revered by the people of the Andes, known as the earth/time mother. Traditionally people leave offerings to help replenish Pachamama because she provides the earth so much energy. Popular offerings include tobacco and a spattering of water.
Lake Titicaca spans the borders of both Bolivia and Peru and is the highest navigable lake in the world at over 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level! There are over forty islands on Lake Titicaca, some of which play an important part in Incan and pre-Incan ancient history such as Isla del Sol (Sun Island), the largest island and the highest point on the lake at approximately 13,450 feet above sea level. The city of Puno sits on the edge of Titicaca and was the portal to launch visits to the famous Floating and Amantaní Islands.
Evidence of the presence of pre-Incan cultures including the Purakas, Tiwanakus, and Collas, and the Incas presence as well can be seen by the ancient ruins that remain on the islands and within the lake. While touring the islands, a local diver shared images he had captured of submerged ancient ruins that lie at the bottom of the lake, some of them megalithic in size.
A recent BBC report revealed the findings of another local diver, Reddy Guaygua, and archeologist Christophe Delaere of Belgium who has located tweny-four submerged archaeological sites in the lake. These discoveries, which have yielded more than 10,000 items determined to be from pre-Incan and Tiwanaku culture, will soon find a new home in an underwater museum now being constructed in Bolivia. Projected to be open in 2020, the new museum will include an on-shore building where items excavated from the lake will be exhibited. Incredibly, visitors will be able to view underwater structures of the “hidden city” through transparent walls.
The lake itself was known to hold sacred meaning for the Incas. In the Incan creation myth, the god Con Tiqui Viracocha emerged from the lake bringing a human with him. After commanding the sun (Inti), moon (Quilla) and the stars to rise, Viracocha created more humans from the surrounding stone and told them to populate the world. The Incas believed the lake is where they came from and that upon death, their spirits would return to the lake.
One of the most fascinating sites on Lake Titicaca are the Uros islands, a vast group of more than forty man-made totora reed islands floating on the Peru side of Lake Titicaca. Their inhabitants, the completely self-sufficient Uros tribe, pre-date Incan civilization and continue to hunt and fish the plentiful land and waters they occupy. There literally is no other place like this on earth!
The Uros people have been living on the lake for hundreds of years as they were forced into a nomadic existence on the floating islands when the Incas expanded onto their land. Totora reed, which is plentiful along the edges of the lake, is used to construct their homes, their furniture, their boats, and the islands they live on. As reeds disintegrate from the bottom of the islands, which are four to eight feet thick, residents must add more to the surface, which is soft and occasionally spongy.
Each island has a collection of simple, reed houses. Originally the mobility of the islands was used as a defense mechanism but today an Uros family will only move to rid themselves of disruptive neighbors! Even tiny outhouse islands have been created, and the ground roots of the outhouse islands help absorb waste.
Amantaní Island is proclaimed as the “world capital of mystical tourism.” It is the largest island of the Peruvian side of the Lake Titicaca and a place where the traditions of the old empire are preserved and the residents are renowned for their exquisite woven fabrics. Here you’ll encounter decorations of climbing plants, agricultural lands growing quinoa and potatoes, mosaics, stone walkways, and cultural relics.
The island has two mountain peaks, Pachatata, “father earth,” and Pachamama, “mother earth,” with ancient Inca and Tiwanaku temple ruins on top of both which are still used to honor these deities by the local population.
Hiking to the apex of Pachatata on the island that reaches 13,330 feet in elevation, we arrived at the mountain top and the temple, a site that remains closed by four metal doors on each side of its walls all but one day of the year when it is open for a special celebration. The 360-degree views are breathtaking, and after our group took time to soak it all in, we gathered to experience our own special ceremony atop the remote island. Here, wisdom keeper Martina Mamani performed a traditional healing ceremony for every person in our group.
For anyone wishing to stay on Isla Amantaní, there are no hotels, however many locals will open their homes to visitors. It is a serene and mystical island, free from many modern conveniences such as cars and electricity is limited. Go and see for yourself why this remote island is claimed to be a world capital for mystical tourism!
ISLA DEL SOL AND ISLA DE LA LUNA
The Isla del Sol is believed to be birthplace of the sun and the Incan dynasty. Here, over one hundred eighty ancient ruins can be found on this island alone. Our experience on this island revealed itself to be an energetic blend of mysticism and spirituality, truly the personification of peace and serenity.
The island is also the site of the famous Inca Steps. Two-hundred six stone steps, built by the Incas, leading up to a sacred fountain, made up of three separate springs that are said to be the fabled Fountain of Youth.
“I returned immediately to Isla del Sol after the tour concluded. This place just had a huge interest and attraction for me. I spent almost ten days there and the time was incredible. Something deep in my belief system has started to shift since the tour with Nassim. At the Island of the Sun I did Sun gazing each morning and evening, not a practice that I have ever undertaken before. The experience of falling in love and feeling love from the Sun, and feeling that the Sun was intelligent, and full intelligent communication with me was profound.” -Brett Powell, from Cape Town, South Africa.
Brett was not the only person to return to the island. A small group of people including Nik Meuli of Switzerland, immediately went back to further surrender to the peace and serenity found there.
Isla del Sol was a very profound place for me. Being surrounded by Lake Titicaca and the snow-capped Andes mountains was beautiful and powerful in itself, but the energy I felt there gave me a feeling of homecoming and allowed me to connect to my inner self. This is why I chose to return there on my own after the ‘reality blowing’ trip with the Resonance Science family to integrate what we experienced as much as possible and essentially ‘give birth’ to a new reality and insights.” -Nik Mueli
TIWANAKU AND PUMA PUNKU
Throughout our travels, we examined evidence of Pre-Inca occupation, and one of the most mysterious sites revealing these ancient wonders that defy logic was the renowned ancient citadel of Tiwanaku together with Pumu Punku in Bolivia. It is said that what can currently be viewed above ground today is just a small glimpse of what may lie beneath the surface and what once may have existed in totality. With the help of modern technology that consists of infrared surveys and precision cameras, recent data has revealed what the Bolivian Ministry of Cultures and Tourism proposes to be a pre-Inca city buried beneath the ground. While it may take up to 50 years to uncover what is hidden beneath the surface, the recent survey has already found a plaza and two platforms of what is considered a pyramid. Archeologist Arthur Posnansky dated Tiwanaku to 15,000 B.C., which would make it one of the world’s oldest cities. While scientists have claimed that Posnansky’s evidence was based on a “misuse of archeoastronomical evidence,” new research carried out with modern technology and scientific efforts may potentially add legitimacy to his claim. With the cooperation of scientists from Japan and UNESCO, this new discovery could force us to rethink long held ideas about Tiwanaku and other ancient complexes.
At an altitude of 3,850 meters (12,600 ft) it was the highest city in the ancient world and had a peak population of between 30,000 and 70,000 residents. It is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five hundred years.
Walking the grounds of Tiwanaku, you’ll discover the Temple of Kalasasaya and Pumu Punku, the Gateway of the Sun, the Puerta del Sol, the Pyramid of Akapana and many other monoliths and structures displaying extraordinary precision of their cutting and placement. As incredible as it is to explore the citadel today, it will be interesting to see the unraveling of this ancient marvel as excavations continue to reveal more of the ancient remains and hopefully enhance our understanding of the construction and purpose of this site and others around the world.
The Journey Continues…
Together with Resonance Science Foundation, we have explored ancient sites in Egypt, Peru, and Bolivia, examining evidence of constructions, which seemingly cannot be replicated with equivalent precision in modern times today suggesting an advanced technology once existed. Applying our current understanding of modern physics, exploring and examining sites with local expert archeologists, and considering different perspectives as we connect the dots, we continue to explore the world’s ancient technologies, sacred sites, temples, and ruins to support a mission to advance our understanding of our history and future. This spring, Resonance Science Foundation will continue the journey with a premiere Master Series trip to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), followed by the Mayan Mexico Expedition in fall of 2019 that will include exploration of Teotihuacan, the powerful ancient site of Tula, the largest pyramid in the world: Cholula Pyramid, and much more.
We invite you to join us, together with Resonance Science Foundation, to embark on this incredible “mission.” We’ll explore pyramids, temples, waterfalls, underground tunnels, caves and evidence of ancient technologies, and beyond to also experience powerful activations with ARK® crystals as well as initiations, ceremonies, group meditations and educational opportunities with faculty, guest hosts and scientists. Learn more about these upcoming travel adventures at https://resonance.is/events2019