Spiritual tourism is attracting more Western travelers seeking out local shamans to help cleanse the evils of the modern world from a visitor’s soul.
In the past two years spiritual tourism has boomed in the South American country according to guides and tour operators in the region outside of the World Heritage site, Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incans. Guides are seeing increased pilgrimages to Incan holy sites and interest in the Incan end of times myths, growing in conjunction with curiosity about the Mayan calendar marking the end of the world in the year 2012.
Tour operators say that people are trying to find someway to connect with something real again and are coming to Peru for a "spiritual awakening."
Spiritual tourism is now attracting an older, more conservative group of travelers than in years past.
The basis of traditional healing comes with lots of chantings, coca leaf chewing and the occasional imbibing of a hallucinogenic substance.
The Incan Pisac ruins is where the visitor enters the walled Incan city through a narrow slit in the rock wall, meant to symbolize the birth canal of the Earth.
Some of the services provided include oracle readings with coca leaves, cleansing and flourishing ceremonies, offerings and blessings to mother earth, crystal cleansings and music therapy with Andean melodies --all to help people teaching them to find answers themselves.
Some travelers are lured to Peru by the Incan end of days mythology, which unlike Mayan myths don't predict a moment in time when the world will end, but rather, describes when the glaciers atop the Andes will melt and the Incan kings will return to save the world.
The ruins at Ollantaytambo, which includes a terraced temple sector with another Sun temple is a traditional starting off point for the three or four day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu.
The basis of traditional healing in Peru is similar to psychotherapy -- looking beyond the ego to see personal flaws and showing people a path to changing their perspective on their lives.