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  • The trip
  • Itinerary
  • Price
  • Organization

The trip

In Summary

The strong points of the trip  «  »

  • A journey to discover Peru away from the beaten tracks
  • A few nights spent in homestay, the occasion to exchange with them about their cultures and traditions
  • Visit of must-see sites, such as Machu Picchu

Map


Afficher Du Canyon du Colca à la vallée de Lares sur une carte plus grande

Itinerary

This itinerary is an example of a trip; you can change as you desire the steps and activities. If you wish to do so, please refer to the tab “Personalized trip”.

 

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LIMA

Upon your arrival in the airport of Lima, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. You will have the evening free in the dynamic neighborhoods of the Peruvian capital.

 

DAY 2: LIMA – AREQUIPA (2400m)

Early in the morning, you will be transferred to the airport to take your flight to Arequipa. When you arrive in “the white city”, you will be welcomed and taken to your hotel. From there, you will discover the white city and its colonial center: the Plaza de Armas, the church and the Santa Catalina convent, real city in the city with its alleys lined with colored houses. You will then go to the Yanahuara and Cayma miradors, which offer panoramic views on the spectacular volcanoes. Return to the hotel.

 

DAY 3: AREQUIPA (2400m) – CHIVAY (3615m) – CABANACONDE (3285m)

You will leave early for the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons of the world. You will drive past the foot of Chachani and cross the national reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca, populated with wild vicunas. The road climbs gradually to reach its culminating point: the mirador of the volcanoes at an altitude of 4900m. From there, sights of Ampato (6400m), Sabancaya (5976m) and Huallca Huallca (6025m) are unobstructed. You will then descend towards Chivay where you will have lunch. After this, you will continue your journey using a vertiginous road dominating the Colca canyon which is close to 2500m deep in certain places. The Colca river winds at the bottom of the canyon, thin strip of silver which suggests distant sound murmurs. You will continue until Cruz del Condor. A little further, your vehicle will leave you by the side of the road. Here starts a 2 hour hike that will take you to the little village of Cabanaconde before sunset. Check in to hotel.

 

DAY 4: CABANACONDE (3285 m) – CHIVAY (3615 m)

After breakfast, departure for Cruz del Condor, a mirador offering a spectacular view on the Colca canyon as soon as the first rays of sunrise. Here, you can observe the flight of the largest bird of the world: the condor. You will then walk towards “Salto del Cura” (Jump of the Priest). This path offers magnificent views of the canyon. On the road returning to Chivay, you will discover the villages of Yanque, Coporaque, Achoma and Maca, where the lifestyle of the locals has remained nearly unchanged since the Inca period. Lunch in Chivay and, in the afternoon, you can go to the Canocota village to walk down to the hot springs of Calera where you will have the chance to take a dip in the thermal baths. Return to the hotel at the end of the day.

 

DAY 5: CHIVAY (3615 m) – PUNO (3820 m)

Free morning. In the beginning of the afternoon, you will take a touristic bus to Puno. You will cross the Altiplano region, before arriving on the banks of the Titicaca Lake in the evening. Check in to hotel.

 

DAY 6: PUNO (3825 m) - UROS - AMANTANI (3850 m)

In the morning, departure by boat towards the Uros floating islands, built in reeds and moored to pickets to avoid the drift.  They live of fishing, crafts and hunting. You will continue sailing on the Titicaca Lake (which signifies “stone puma”) until the Amantani island, where you will roam the paths by foot to fully enjoy the spectacular view of the royal Bolivian mountain range. You will ascend Pachatata (4200m) and enjoy, if the weather allows it, a magnificent sunset by the lake.

 

DAY 7: AMANTANI (3850 m) - TAQUILE (3900 m) - PUNO (3820 m)

Early in the morning, you will leave your local hosts of Amantani to sail to Taquile, an island exploited thanks to the system of terrace cultivations. The lifestyle of the inhabitants has conserved the community organization inherited from the Inca period. Although the property is private, the labor is collective; the 300 habitants of the island work one day for them, and one day for the community. Taquile lives in relative self-sufficiency with the Inca principles: “do not steal, do not lie, do not weaken”, habits unchanged for centuries. From the heights of the village, your efforts will be rewarded by a superb view on the lake, the Puno bay and Bolivia (the Royal mountain chain) in the Altiplano mists. At the end of the day, you will take the boat and return to Puno. Check in to hotel. Evening free.

 

DAY 8: PUNO (3820 m) – CUSCO (3350 m)

Early morning departure for Cusco by bus. On the way, you will stop in the Pukara village. It is one of the last places testifying of the pre-Inca culture of the same name. You will pass then the La Raya pass (4360m), symbolizing the end of the Altiplano. Then, you will visit the spectacular inca sanctuary of Raqchi, before continuing to Andahuaylilas village and its San Pedro church, known as “Sistine chapel” of South America notably due to its lavishly painted ceiling. Arrival in Cusco and check in to hotel.

 

DAY 9: CUSCO (3350 m): CITY TOUR and 4 RUINS

You will begin the visit of the Inca capital, starting with the cathedral, impressive building that holds many paintings of the Cusquenian School. You will continue your discovery with the Santo Domingo monastery, ancient temple of the Sun, also known as Qorikancha. Then, you will leave the center in order to visit the four principal archeological sites in the periphery of Cusco: Q’enqo, Tambomachay, Pukapukara and finally Saqsayhuamán, stunning fortress built on a hill dominating the city of Cusco. This site is characterized by its gigantic blocks of stone, accurately interlocked, with some standing over 9 meters tall and weighing more than 550 tons.

 

DAY 10: CUSCO (3350 m) - PISAQ (3400 m) - LARES (3500 m)

You will leave for the sacred valley and start your discovery of famous sites with the visit of the Pisaq archeological complex, composed of terraces, fountains, observatories and even a necropolis, the largest of the region (nearly 10000 persons are buried here). It is from here that the Incas controlled and dominated the Sacred Valley. On your way back down, you will stop at the traditional artisanal market of Pisaq before continuing your itinerary towards Lares, where you will stop for the night. You will have the possibility of swimming in the hot springs (entry not included).

 

DAY 11: LARES (3500 m) - CCACHIN - COCHAYOC (3900 m)

On your first day of trek, you will climb up to the Ccachin village, with llamas carrying your bags by your side. When you arrive at the village, you will discover the constructions of adobe and thatch of the houses of the hamlet. The inhabitants, dressed in ponchos and red skirts, are firstly farmers, but also specialized in weaving. You will cross the village and ascend the neighbouring crests where ancient Inca tombs can be seen. You will gradually progress through the valley of Cochayoc, where there is a village with the same name, meaning “the village with a lake” in Quechua. You will stop and spend the night there, next to shepherds who share their lives with their herds of llamas, alpacas and sheep.

6 hours of walk, + 650m of height difference

 

DAY 12: COCHAYOC - QU'ELHUACOCHA

If weather permitting, you will have a beautiful view on the Terijuay mountain chain before continuing your hike. You will cross the high mountain pastures of Cochayoc and climb up to the Q’elhuacocha pass. The ascent is a little difficult but the view is worth it. You will then cross two other passes before arriving at the camp, close to a small lake. From there, you will have a magnificent view of some snowy summits.

6 hours of walk, + 700 m / - 400 m of height difference

 

DAY 13: QU'ELHUACOCHA – PATACANCHA

You will continue your hike descending towards the Patacancha valley (3950m), where you will say goodbye to the local team. You will then head towards the little community of Patacancha where you will have the opportunity to exchange with the inhabitants who still live according to the Quechua traditions.

5 hours of walk, + 750 m / - 1250 m of height difference

 

DAY 14: PATACANCHA (3350 m) – PUMAMARCA - OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 m) – AGUAS CALIENTES (2040 m)

After breakfast, you will leave your hosts and walk towards Ollantaytambo, via Willoq. You will have the opportunity to discover the local fauna and flora in the deep valley where you will pass. Visit of the Inca site of Pumamarca before arriving in the Ollantaytambo village. In the afternoon, you will take the train to Aguas Calientes. Arrival and check in to the hotel at the foot of Machu Picchu. 

4 to 5 hours of walk, - 800m of height difference

 

DAY 15: AGUAS CALIENTES (2040 m) - MACHUPICCHU (2450 m) – OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 m)

Very early in the morning, you will take the bus to go up to the most famous Inca site of the country: Machu Picchu, “old summit” in Quechua. You will there discover the architectural complex, still enveloped in the morning mist, built on top of a ridge and surrounded by precipices: a stunning view that evolves with the progression of the sun. You will roam through the streets of the citadel, its areas, squares, royal houses, agricultural zones, paths and observatories. After a 3h guided tour, you will dispose of free time to discover by yourselves, if you wish, the Huayna Picchu (entry at 10AM*), the Sun Gate (“Intu Punku”) situated at 2700m, or even the Inca bridge. For the less sporty, you can wander peacefully in the city. Return to Aguas Calientes in the afternoon to take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Check in to hotel and free evening.

*We have chosen the 10 o’clock trip in order to give you time to visit Machu Picchu with your guide and enjoy a clearer view of the citadel. However, the number of entries to Huayna Picchu being limited, we cannot guarantee the access to this part of the site.

 

DAY 16: OLLANTAYTAMBO (2800 m) - MORAY (3500 m) – MARAS (3300 m) – CHINCHERO (3780 m) - CUSCO (3350 m)

After breakfast, visit of the archeological site of Ollantaytambo under the first rays of sunlight.  You will then take the road to the Maras saline. These saline date of the pre-Inca period and continue to be used like old times by the inhabitants of the village. The water coming from a salted source is canalized to a series of ponds where it evaporates gradually. A fine layer of salt is deposited and can be collected.  After this visit, you will continue to Moray, real agricultural laboratory which was used more than 500 years ago to test the resistance of certain botanical species at the altitude. To finish, you will go to Chinchero, the “rainbow city”. Visit of the ruins and return to Cusco at the end of the day.

 

DAY 17: CUSCO (3350 m) – LIMA – INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

Transfer to the airport of Cusco, where you will take a flight to Lima, the Peruvian capital. Connection with your international flight.

 

END OF OUR SERVICES

Price

THE PRICE INCLUDES:

- Accommodation in hotels of 2** and 3*** categories (according to local standards), in double rooms.

- Private and group ground transportation, as mentioned in the program

- Local English speaking guide

- The meals mentioned as “included”

- Assistance at airports

- Excursions in the Colca canyon, on the Titicaca lake, in the Sacred Valley, at Machu Picchu

- The entrances to the sites scheduled in the program

- The domestic flights Lima – Arequipa  and Cusco – Lima

- The group logistic of the treks: food, tents, mattresses, packhorses …

 

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

- International flights

- Travel insurance

- Lunches and dinners not mentioned in the program (expect 5 to 10 USD per meal)

- Drinks and individual expenses

- Tips (2 USD/day/person for the guide and 1 USD/day/person for the carriers, mule-drivers, chefs)

- Individual pharmacy

- Personal trekking equipment: sleeping bags (possibility to rent one on the spot), trekking poles…

- The single supplement (depending on the number of nights and the hotel quality)

Organization

PERSONNEL

You will be accompanied by a local private English speaking guide at every leg of the journey. This means you will have a different guide for each region you will visit, depending on their specialization. The level of English of the guides varies from one region to another.

A few exceptions:

- For the Puno – Cusco trip, you will travel in a group touristic bus with an English / Spanish guide

- The trips in public transports (buses, shuttles, trains and internal flights) are not escorted.

 

ACCOMMODATION

In Peru, the hotel standards are different to what you may be accustomed to. Here are a few useful details on every type of accommodation:

- Camp: thanks to the perfect organization of our cook(s) and muleteer(s), you could really rest after a good day of walking. We have a tent for the kitchen, another one for to take the meals, another one for the bathrooms. For two persons, you will have a 3 places tent for more comfort. We also supply you a comfortable mattress and a basin of hot water at the beginning and at the end of the day for your toilet; and of course we prepare you warm and complete meals.

- Homestay accommodation: Basic comfort, communal toilets, no hot water and sometimes no running water, simple but clean rooms, sometimes no electricity  and the doors do not lock (however, there are no security problems).

- 2** and 3*** hotels (local standards): comfortable rooms, simple and clean, private bathroom with hot water; some hotels offer rooms equipped with a safe, heating system, mini bar, …

As far as our possibilities, we choose hotels whose geographical location will allow you to fully enjoy the town and its attractions.

 

MEALS

In order to allow you more freedom during your trip, only a few meals are included in our programs: these are the meals during the treks (cold at noon and hot in the evening) and during certain excursions when the conditions make it necessary (on the Puno-Cusco road, in the Sacred Valley, etc).

For the non-included meals, expect 5 to 10 USD per person. This allows you to choose the time, place and menu according to your desires!

 

TRANSPORTS

Most of the time of your trip, your travels will take place in private vehicles: you will have at your service a private vehicle with a Spanish speaking driver who will adapt to your rhythm (photo stop, shopping, etc. …).

Exceptions:

- For the Puno – Cusco / Chivay – Puno and Arequipa – Puno trips, you will travel in a group touristic bus that will make several stops and visits on the way.