DISCOVERING CUSCO AND AUSANGATE, ITS SACRED MOUNTAIN. 11 D / 10 N
- DAY 1
- DAY 2
- DAY 3
- DAY 4
- DAY 5
- DAY 6
- DAY 7
- DAY 8
- DAY 9
- DAY 10
- DAY 11
- INCLUDES/DOES NOT INCLUDE
- PHYSICAL PREPARATION
- DOWNLOAD PROGRAM
DAY 1: FLIGHT TO CUSCO + CITY TOURUpon your arrival to Cusco´s airport, a member of our team will be waiting for you to welcome you, and show you to your hotel. In the afternoon, one of our guides will pick you up to take you on your first guided tour of the city starting at Sacsayhuaman. This is one of the most impressive archeological site in the area due to its megalithic structures. Later, we will show you around the Main Square and take you into Cusco’s cathedral, which has over 300 paintings from the Cusqueñean School of art decorating its historical stonewalls. Our final stop of the day will be at the center of the Inca Empire known as The Golden Temple or, by its Quechua name, Qoricancha. This impressive title refers back to the days of the Inca rule where the walls of this timeless structure were coated in golden plates. When the Spanish arrived however; the unimaginable amount of gold was melted down and made into “Escudos” (the Spanish currency of the time) to be taken back to Spain. And atop the Inca temple was built Santo Domingo Convent and church, a stunning baroque style construction that reminds us to this day of the imposed dominance of the Europeans over the Americans.
DAY 2: SACRED VALLEYFor the Incas and their descendants, the Urubamba or Vilcanota River brought and still brings fertility to the earth. This river has its source in the high mountains, Southeast of Cusco, and is perceived as a sacred being. Surrounding the river is an extremely fertile valley we now call the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where several important Inca architectural complexes are located. The bus ride over the ridge will allow us breathtaking views of snowcapped Veronica and Chicon Mountain with a backdrop of the Vilcanota range. Our first stop will be at the Inca agricultural laboratory of Moray. Here, The Incas did researched on how to adapt plants from higher to lower ecosystems and vice versa. Next up is Maras, a beautiful colonial town and salt mine, which has been exploited artisanally since Inca times. After our visit of the salt mines, we will take a beautiful hour long walk to the Restaurant for lunch. Finally, in the Afternoon, we will visit Ollantaytambo, which is considered the Last Living Incan Village in the Sacred Valley. Above the town are Inca temples and other finely built architectural structures erected during the Imperial Period. We will have plenty of time to visit this magnificent site where General Ollanta challenge the colossal power of Inca Pachakuteq. In the same area, there are many smaller Incan architectural complexes and archaeological sites.
DAY 3: TRIP TO MACHU PICCHUWe will depart the hotel for the train station. The Ollantaytamo- Aguas Calientes route is one of the most spectacular train rides in the world. The rail line follows the Urubamba River through the cloud forest. Once we arrive at the town at the base of Machupicchu called Aguas calientes we will check into the hotel. Then, we will take a 25 minute bus ride up to the the world wonder. Our expert guide will given inspiring tour of the ancient citadel during the mid-evening hour to avoid the crowds and in order to enjoy the magic of the sunset
DAY 4: MACHUPICCHU- OPTIONAL HIKES (SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY)An extra day at Machupicchu will allow you to explore this otherworldly marvel with more depth. During the day we will hike to the top of Machupicchu Mountain which gives us the perfect vantage point to gaze upon the surrounding sacred “Apus” (Salcantay, Pumasillo, and Huacyhuillca). On the hike up we will take plenty of breaks in order to rehydrate, and learn about the flora and fauna of this unique region. After our hike we will head back down to the village on the bus and take the train back to Poroy where a member of our staff will be waiting to bring you back to Cusco.
DAY 5: HIKE TO THE SHRINE OF THE LORD OF HUANCAWe depart from Cusco in the morning towards San Jeronimo district, just over 30 minutes by car to the southeast from the Historic Center of the city. We start our hike in the San Jeronimo square. The path goes up the first section, until we reach a small community called Huaccoto, from the top of the mountain we have a breathtaking view of the valley of Cusco, the Sacred Valley and the majestic mountains around, especially Apu Pachatusan, the highest in the area. From that point, the path is flat and then descending, by a narrow road at the end of which is the Shrine of the Lord of Huanca. Thousands of pilgrims use this trail every September 14th, during a night walk towards the Shrine; this place keeps a catholic image, which is, according to the Andean traditions, the spirit of the Apu Pachatusan. Then we descend by car to the the Sacred Valley of the Incas where we will have a delicious lunch. After it, we will take the car back to your hotel in Cusco.
DAY 6: CUSCO – CHILLCAIn a comfortable coach we head along the Vilcanota River to visit the temple of Checacupe, then the upper valley of Pitumarca. At Japura, we'll trek a short distance to Chillca. Locals and musicians playing Andean instruments greet us in your first “Andean Lodge”, as we sip coca tea. Hot showers and full bathrooms as well as 8 double and matrimonial bedrooms are available. We emphasize tasty and nutritious local cuisine (such as Alpaca meat) but vegetarian and other preferences are welcome. .
DAY 7: CHILLCA - MACHURACAYAfter breakfast we trek alongside thousands of alpacas and llamas in the glacier valley of Phinaya. On the way to more glaciers at Santa Catalina, we climb by the inspiring Pjachaj waterfalls. Above, our picnic lunch await us. Then, surrounded by moraine walls, glaciers and lagoons we walk about 5 hours to Machuracay Tambo. Our bags, carried by a llama caravan, meet us there and the family that runs the lodge will welcome us.
DAY 8: MACHURACAY - ANANTAPATAToday we take in our first mountain pass (16 587 ft.) with has spectacular panoramic views. Descending alongside the glaciers, we hike to the Ausangate Cocha Lake for lunch. Here, the landscape dramatically shifts due to the existence of a red sandstone formations where we will see vicuñas and sometimes condors. After a day of great hiking we arrive at the third “Andean Lodge” ready to relax and enjoy.
DAY 9: ANANTAPATA - HUAMPOCOCHAAfter breakfast, we take the trail to another mountain pass. Dropping down, we'll hike by Lake Kayrawiri, surrounded by rugged mountain peaks and the great valley below. Striations of color are imbedded in the hillsides. Then we go on to Cerro Laya Grande via massive glacier del Inca, and find the most striking colors in the sediments of Yauricunca mountain. We eat lunch here while taking in this unique landscape. On our way to the fourth Andean Lodge we may see hundreds of Andean geese nesting in the cliffs of Anta, and the flatiron formations of Apu Labrayani near Huampococha Tambo where we will spend the night.
DAY 10: HUAMPOCOCHA - CUSCOAs we hike up; enjoying a great view of the mountains, we reach the top of our final pass. It’s all downhill from here! We encounter some of the most capricious shapes of limestone formations from the Cretaceous age and hike until the end of the trail in Trapiche. Here, we have lunch and return by bus to Cusco while reminiscing on the wonderful experiences we shared in the Andes.
DAY 11: TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORTA representative of our company will pick you up in your hotel and take you to the airport at a convenience time.
INCLUDES● General organization. ● Private Service in Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machupicchu and San Salvador Tours. ● Shared Departure in Ausangate Trek. ● Services of expert guides in high mountain trek. ● Private transport. ● Entrances fees. ● Train Tickets: Poroy / Machupicchu / Poroy. ● Bus tickets to and from Machupicchu. ● Accomodation in double rooms. ● Hotels ● Breakfast and dinner served in the lodges, snacks and lunches served on the way. ● Waterproof bags for the baggage carried by llamas. ● First aid kit and oxygen.
DOES NOT INCLUDE● Flights to and from Peru / Cusco, or any kind of transport before or after completion of the program. ● Tipping staff ● Meals not mentioned in the program. ● Airport taxes.
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