Virgin Of Almudena Celebrations in Cuzco

Featuring Documentary Photographer Michael Hanson

Photography opens doors. It offers access to people's homes, their villages and their families. If we use this access with respect and awareness, our images will reveal a world very rarely seen with stories not often heard.

Our photo workshop will not only teach you the necessary skills to work quickly with your camera, but also how to approach situations that might, at first, seem uncomfortable. Making a connection with your subject and gaining access to their life is an important piece of photography. Daily assignments will stretch our boundaries and the critiques that follow will reinforce lessons. We will learn how light and composition effect the quality of the subject.

We'll see evidence of ancient cultures through markets in Cusco to a fortress in Ollantaytambo to the working salt pools near Maras and, of course, to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Standing on the ruins overlooking this ancient structure is an experience unlike any other. Hiram Bingham's images of this land over 100 years ago brought a lost civilization to life. How fortunate are we to be able to stand in his footsteps and share in that experience, making our own images that reveal a culture from centuries ago? Bring energy, curiosity and a sense of adventure as we set out to document and explore the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Michael Hanson


  • 7 Nights/ 8 Days
  • Award winning Instructor
  • Stroll the UNESCO World Heritage Central Plaza of Cuzco
  • Photograph the Sacred Valley of the Inca
  • Enjoy Markets, communities... and much more! 


Day 1: Arrive Cuzco 

Arrive in Cuzco and check in to your hotel, which is located within walking distance of the central square of the city. Cuzco is considered the oldest city in the Americas and is located at 3,350 m above sea level. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most beautiful cities in Peru and the main gateway to reach Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Today you meet your instructors. Today we will take it easy as everybody adapts to the altitude of the city. In the evening we gather as a group for a welcome a dinner.

Casa Andina Hotel (D)

Day 2: Cuzco

After breakfast at the hotel we will gather for our portfolio review and for the first lecture of the workshop. After lunch we will photograph the city of Cuzco. We will visit the Temple of The Sun (Koricancha) where you can appreciate the incredible masonry of the Incas, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral with its carved woodworks, altars and paintings. Then you will be driven to the Inca fortress of Sacsahuamán, to the underground cave and temple of Kenko, have a panoramic view of Puca Pucará and then you will enter to Tambomachay, known as the Baths of the Inca. Finally, we stop at the living art the workshop “ Inka´s Expression”. The visit will allow passengers to admire how the local artisans create wonderful silver pieces, paintings and wood carvings. 

Casa Andina Hotel (B, L)

Day 3: Sacred Valley of the Inca / Ollantaytambo / Maras Moray

After breakfast we will go to Ollantaytambo a former Military, Religious and Agricultural center of the Incalco Empire. We will shoot the massive fortress, the temples and the ruins from where you will be able to see the village. Walk along the preserved streets of the village, visit and shoot locals houses. After lunch we will photograph Moray’s ruins. Discovered in the 1930’s, these circular terraces like formations presumably served as a botanical laboratory for the Inca . We will continue to the salt mines of Maras, an impressive array of terraces carved out of the hillside containing mini salt-pans, each of them. Capture the landscape and the people working at the mines.

Casa Andina Hotel (B,L)

Day 4: Sacred Valley of the Inca / Machu Picchu

Alfter breakfast, we board the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes. for Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World The Citadel of Machu Picchu is by far the most important attraction in the sacred valley discovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, this stronghold, overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba River is considered one of the most extraordinary examples of landscape architecture in the world. We will spend the afternoon, at sunset, photographing the ruins and the landscape. 

El Mapi Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 5: Huayna Picchu / Machu Picchu / Cuzco

This morning we will have an early breakfast and will have an optional second visit to Machu Picchu at sunrise or a trekking to Huayna Picchu to visit the Temple of the Moon and to be able to photograph the “Ciudadela”, the city, of Machu Picchu from the best place to do so, before the crowds, to have the opportunity to photograph this magnificent sites with the best possible light. After lunch we will go back onboard the Vistadome Train to Cuzco where we will check into our hotel. In the afternoon we will have an edit and critique session.

Casa Andina Hotel  (B, L)

Day 6: Cuzco - Virgin of Almudena Celebrations 

Corpus of Almudena celebration dates back to the 17th century. The Almudena is one of Cusco’s most venerated Madonnas. This celebration includes a procession, typical dances and music from Cusco and the surrounding highlands and offers a rich cultural experience as well as a wide range of photographic opportunities. In the afternoon we will have an edit and critique session.

Casa Andina Hotel (B)

Day 7: Pisac Market / Chinchero 

Early in the morning you will be transferred to Pisac, a beautiful town famous for its typical handicraft market, full of color and tradition. We continue to Chinchero located 35 km (22 miles) northwest of Cusco. The town of Chinchero lies on the foundations of an important Inca site built in the late 1400s. Brightly dressed, the people of Chinchero gather in the main plaza to barter foodstuffs and offer visitors an array of crafts from the Cusco region against a scenery of breathtaking beauty. The group will come together for the last time this evening for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Casa Andina Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 8: Cuzco Departures 

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight.  (B)

Who should attend?

This workshop is for amateur and serious digital photographers. All participants must bring a digital camera, a laptop computer and software for organizing and presenting images. The workshop is limited to 16 participants to allow for maximum individualized attention.  

terms and conditions

To reserve space in this workshop, a $500 per person deposit is required at the time of making the reservation. Deposits are due no later than 90 days prior to departure. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure unless indicated otherwise in the description of the tour or workshop. All payments must be made by credit card to Photo Xpeditions, LLC, and instructions for payments will be mailed upon confirmation of participation.

Photo Xpeditions reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by 60 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 60 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted. All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark. If you cancel 90 days or more prior to departure, a refund less an administrative fee equal to 50% of your deposit will be made. Per person charges for cancellations that occur less than 90 days prior to departure are as follows:

60–90 days prior to departure: 100% of your deposit amount;

45–60 days prior to departure: 50% of the expedition cost;

45 or fewer days prior to departure: 100% of the workshop cost.

Photo Xpeditions reserves the right of cancelling the workshop at any time if the minimum amount of students required for the workshop is not reached. If a workshop needs to be cancelled for this reason, a full refund will be given to all participants