Transfer from downtown Cusco to San Jeronimo then hiking 6-7 hours on the pilgrimage to the church of Señor De Huanca.
Normally, we leave from the main square at 8am in order to transit to the neighbouring town of San Jeronimo which is around 40 minutes outside of downtown Cusco. Please buy your snacks for lunch before the starting point. From there, (3200m) we hike up past the farms and forests of Eucalyptus for 3.5 hours on some little tough trails to Huaccoto village 4088m. We can stop in the pampa there for snacks and picnic and then continue up to the top in 30- 45 minutes and continue through to the other side of the 4250m in another 1 hour 15 minutes we shall have our first amazing views of the Sacred Valley below. From there, we are going down purely for 2 hours until a famous and spectacular church. For around 350 years pilgrims have made the route every September 14. After time for photos we transfer to Pisac (15 minutes) where we can either decide to take time for wifi in a cafe or some exploration of this pretty town. After which, we are continuing 25 minutes further by van to the village of Amaru (4000m) and our accommodation on a farm with the Elojidio and Rufinas family. The products from their farm they used to cook with are all natural and organic.
Included: transportation from Cusco to the district of San Jeronimo, trek leader, transport to Pisac from end of trail, a hearty dinner in Amaru community, bed for 1 night. Private Rooms for 2 people. a hearty breakfast the next morning. Courtesy towels, hot showers are available too
Not included – Snacks for lunch, water. Optional visit (if time) to the ruins of Pisac
Trekking around the 3 lakes (optional fishing for trout)
After breakfast we need to walk 1 hour to a large lake called Quimsacocha (4000m). After some time navigating the lake and photos we started another lake, Azulcocha (4100m) in 30 minutes without much climbing. For the third lake (possible the most exotic, but needing to climb for 1 hour more) and 350 meters to Pumacocha and a superb panoramic view of the area with Azulcocha below. We are return back down in 2 hours back to our viallge of Amaru same as previous night.
Note: If you wish to reduce hiking and use time for fishing on the lake then this could also be offered at an extra cost. Photos – Lake Kimsacocha
Included – Breakfast, lunch - some snacks from our homestay, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation in homestay.
Not included – Fishing on the lake for trout. About $5 per person.
The Huchuy Qosqo trek
This is the day for visiting the archaeological ruins of Huchuy Qosqo and walking a very nice trail in a canyon with waterfalls.
The first part will be driving from our homestay to the Sacred Valley floor until the viallge of Lamay (famous for spit roasted guinea pig) then travelling up in a car to the ruins (2 hours in total from homestay to ruins). We have significant time for photographing the walls and terraces of this Inka site that almost nobody visits.
Afterwards, we’ll trek about 1.5 hours to the village of Pucamarca and can take our picnic at some scenic spot there. And then go up another 1.5 hours to the high pass and 4335m in elevation to where we can see a panoramic 360 ° view and a large lake (Qoricocha). From there, we descend downwards to Lake Piuray in 1.5 to 2 hours. At the end of the trek, we need to take a short ride from the lake to rest in the beautiful town of Chincheros where there are many cottages offering locally handmade crafts and artisanal textile wares - our homestay will be one of them.
Obvious Inka trails and paths are throughout this route. Lake Piuray at the end
Such is the diversity on this route it can only be seen to be believed!
Included – Breakfast, entry fees to ruins, box lunch, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable accommodation in homestay.
Not included – Extra snacks
Tonight we have the opportunity to stay at the home of Pascual, Fortunada and their 11 year old son Diego. Pascual is largely involved in the Chinchero community as one of the high member he works on his ceramics projects as well as a potato farmer. Fortunada is an expert weaver and offers a short workshop to give you an insight to her hand-weaving, hand-dye techniques using natural products
Fortunada and our guest learning how to dye wool naturally to prepare for weaving textiles.
Inka trail from Chincheros ruins to Urquillos + afternoon workshops.
Today, we head down on Inka Trail route back into the Sacred Valley. We start trekking from some Inka Terraces and find some great views and eucalyptus forests. The descent should take us no more than 3 hours to complete.
On the second half of the day (the afternoon) we have lunch in a restaurant in the town of Urubamba, we can also take any laundry from these last days to be washed, then go to our homestay in the community of Chichubamba. Tonight we stay with Nerys and her sister Monica who run the homestay accommodation in Chichabamba and also cacao workshop were you can roast and make artisanal chocolate, along with their neighbour Bernadiño who has his artisanal ceramics workshop where you get to mould clay and paint designs.
Then to our homestay in the community of Chichubamba.
Included – Breakfast, lunch, Dinner, trek leader, local transport, accommodation in homestay, towels and showers.
Not included – Extra snacks
Drive to Viewpoint of Salt Terraces of Maras, drive to Ollantaytambo and trek the Patacancha valley and ruins of Pumamarca.
At around 9am we head off from our homestay and go to the viewpoint of the Salineras Salt terraces. The Salt Terraces of Maras are thousands of small plots of land where salt precipates naturally forming deposits all around, the salt is then taking and process to becoming what we have on our dinner tables in Cusco and elsewhere. Salt ornaments as well as bath-salts, spiced salts and salty chocolate are all for sale at the various shops located on-site. It may be possible to trek down to the Sacred Valley in 1 hour and have the car meet us there but there are some discussions at this moment about whether or not to permit tourists or trekkers to pass through the route.
We then drive another 30-40 minutes alongside the river Urubamba to Ollantaytambo town. On the way, we could offer to stop at a Chicha house – a local tavern where they make corn beer. Learning the process of the staple drink of the Peruvian Andes
OPTIONS INSTEAD OF THE SALT TERRACES.
If you would like the opportunity to horse ride in the morning, then this can be arranged the evening before.
Price is $60 USD per person and lasts around 2 hours.
Rafting on the Urubamba river is another option – level beginner, river grade 2-3 max. 1.5 hours in river. Starts from and finishes town after Ollantaytambo.
Includes briefing safety equipment, professional raft guides, transport and lunch. Arrangements should be made 24 hours in advance
Price is $60 USD per person and lasts 3 hours. Minimum 4 people.
At lunch, we can have in a typical restaurant and to conclude our first part of the day.
In the second part of the day, we would start around 1-1.30pm from the main square of Ollantaytambo town. We need to climb about 2 hours to get to the small Inka fort of Pumamarka. Along the way we take a gradual path, steeper in some places passing through Inka terraces, a few river crossings and some remote farm-houses. With of course some splendid viewing Time to take in the views and have some snacks at the ruins. From there it is an easy 1 hour quick descent down zigzag pathways and steps to the village of Pallata in Patacancha valley and onto or homestay community of Huilloc around 1 hour or less if we get a taxi or local van.
Included – Breakfast, lunch, entry fees, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation in homestay.
Not Included – entry to Ollantaytambo ruins.
Travel to Lucmabamba via the hot springs of Cocalmayo
Today is more of a travel day but still with some time to relax at some wonderful hot springs at the end of the drive. We start around 9.30am for our family breakfast at our homestay, we need to travel back down the entire Patacancha valley and time to the valley and onto the town of Ollantaytambo.
Then we head up a continuously snaking road up to the pass of Abra de Malaga at 4450m with some astounding views of the Veronica glacier if clear enough (can often be misty) and dramatic scenery behind us. We then glide down the other side into the denser vegetation which soon transforms into more tropical like growth, banana plantations quickly appear everywhere and humidity becomes suddenly obvious.
Snaking roads on one side, and Banana plantations on the other
We stop for a buffet lunch in beautiful surroundings and a chance to visit a small Inka site called Huamanmarca. In the afternoon, we will get to the hot-springs of Cocalmayo where we can relax until sunset.
We then head to the community of Lucmabamba and stay next to the coffee plantations with Sonia, Walter and their children Rodrigo (7) and Bridget (10).
Included – Breakfast, lunch, hot-springs entry fees, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation in homestay, towels and showers.
Tour of the coffee plantations and trek part Inka Trail to ruins of Llactapata. Lodge & Machu Picchu panoramic viewpoint.
In the morning, we start with an interactive coffee tour with the native people of the area and demonstrate the traditional methods of which they organically cultivate their coffee plantations. There will be opportunity for everyone to toast and grind the coffee beans as well as try their organic coffee. You can buy products from them if you wish.
We will then continue through the coffee and banana plantations, we can also look out for granadillas - a member of the passion fruit family, yucca and avocados. After lunch, A walk uphill of around 700m and 3 hours takes you through beautiful garden-like scenery. Fruit trees, flowers, coffee and banana plantations are in abundance. Some of the paths are ancient Inka trails and in just over 3 hours with stops you should arrive at the most wonderful view over Machu Picchu. Here there are some Inka Tambos (Small rest houses) known by the name as Llactapata. We walk from here down until 15 minutes to our rustic mountain lodges.
Llactapata was supposedly an Inka site or religious temple with incredible energies. We try to appreciate this remarkable site and view point to Machu Picchu by getting there when there are no groups and it will be peaceful. We then descend with another 30 minutes to our simple lodges but incredible viewpoints that offer what is hopefully an amazing panoramic for both the sunset and sunrise.
Ascent: 3-3.5 hours/4.5 mile’s – 6900ft to 8950ft. Descent: 0.5 hours/1 mile 8950m – 8530ft
Included – Breakfast, box-lunch, coffee tour, Dinner, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation, towels and showers.
Trek from Llactapata to Hidroelectrica and hike to Mandor waterfalls on the railway to finish in Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu village.
After breakfast, we hike downhill for 2 hours to the start of the railway known as ‘hidroelectrica’. Around 10, we can continue on a flat section along the railway for 2 hours.
Lunch will be taken at a spot about half-way along the railway - there could be the option to detour at some local waterfalls known as ‘Mandor garden’. depending on time and trek stamina.
We should arrive to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu village) by late afternoon. At this time we can relax once checked into the hotel. We offer a free evening to decide where you want to eat as dinner is not included for the final evening. We will arrange for the guide to meet you in reception at some time in the evening so you have the plan fresh for the next morning when you go to Machu Picchu.
Descent: 2 hours/3.5 miles – 8530ft to 6590ft + Level walking: 3 hours/6.5 miles
Note: There is a train to take 2 times daily to get to Machu Picchu village in 1 hour. It is an extra cost of $33 USD and can be purchase on the day. 3pm is the only ideal train.
Accommodation: Aguas Calientes decent hostal. Mantu Boutique 3 star,
Included – Breakfast, lunch, trek leader, transport where applicable, accommodation, towels and showers Not included – entry to waterfalls, dinner
Machu Picchu guided visit and return by train and road to Cusco
Today is the day to visit the ruins of Machu Picchu. We start after breakfast around 7.30am before taking a 25 minute shuttle bus to the main entrance where we meet our guide and go inside to explore and some personal time with photos. We then proceed on a tour of the main citadel with the guide and the most important parts of this Inka city. Our time-slot only allocates us a few hours to enjoy, but with an early start people will be getting hungry early too, so we can head down to get lunch in town and then board our train at 2.30, 2.55, or 3.20pm to get as back to
Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley in 1.5 hours, then a 2 hour drive by road onto Cusco for a reasonable hour around 6-7pm so time to eat out in the evening once back.
Included – Breakfast, Machu Picchu guided tour, Machu Picchu entry ticket, shuttle bus up to ruins, train to Sacred Valley, transfer from train stations to Cusco
Not included – Huayna Picchu entry permit ($20 USD – subject to availability), return shuttle bus ($12 USD), train upgrades such as Vistadome, lunch or dinner.