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From Colca canyon to the Ausangate

  • The trip
  • Itinerary
  • Price
  • Organization

The trip

In Summary

This is a trip that will allow you to discover the Andean landscapes through two treks, one in the Colca canyon and the other around the Ausangate mountain, “the lord of the Andes” in the Cusco region. On top of this, add the main sites of Peru such as the Titicaca Lake or even the Machu Picchu to get a complete trip in 20 days. The itinerary has been designed to allow the lovers of trekking and large open spaces to gently acclimate to the altitude and therefore live this Andean adventure to the fullest!

The strong points of the trip  « From Colca canyon to the Ausangate »

  • A trip for the experienced sportsmen
  • The must-see sites of Peru: Colca canyon, Titicaca lake, Cusco region
  • A 4 day trek in the Colca canyon and the Ausangate circuit in 5 days

Map


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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 “Sur mesure”. 

 

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)

Discovery of 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 (2400 m) – CABANACONDE (3285 m) - LLAHUAR (2020 m)

You will leave early for the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons of the world (up to 3500m deep). After a 3h drive, you will arrive in Chivay, the “capital of the canyon”. You will then continue to Cabanaconde on a road following the canyon. In the afternoon, you will start your trek. The path climbs up to the Achachihua mirador and crosses the Colca river and one of its tributaries, the Huaruro river. You will arrive at Llahuar at the end of the day and have the opportunity to relax in the hot springs before dinner.

5 hours of walk, +150 m / - 1200m of height difference

 

DAY 4: LLAHUAR (2020 m) – LLATICA (2570 m) – FURE (2760 m)

After breakfast, you will take a path following the Huaruro river. You will arrive at Llatica for lunch. After, you will continue to the Huaruro falls, which are over 100m high! Once you have fully enjoyed this splendid place, you will continue walking until Fure, where you will be welcomed by your hosts.

5 hours of walk, +800m / -100m of height difference

 

DAY 5: FURE (2760 m) – SANGALLE (2100 m)

Departure for a new part of the trek towards Sangalle. This itinerary offers a magnificent view of the occidental mountain range, with the possibility of seeing over your heads the majestic condors who, at this hour, launch themselves into the sky to find ascendant currents. You will arrive at Sangalle for lunch. Free afternoon to rest, enjoy the pool or discover the surroundings at your rhythm.

4 hours of walk, -650 m of height difference

 

DAY 6: SANGALLE (2100 m) – CABANACONDE (3287 m) – CHIVAY – PUNO (3820 m)

Early morning departure for the last stage of the trek. You will climb up to the village of Cabanaconde using a path weaving on the sides of the canyon. When you will arrive, after a 4 hour walk, you will take the road for Chivay, where you will have lunch. In the beginning of the afternoon, you will take a touristic bus to Puno. Arrival in the evening and check in to hotel.

4 hours of walk, +1100m of height difference

 

DAY 7: PUNO (3820 m) - UROS - TAQUILE (3870 m) - PUNO (3820 m)

Departure by boat towards the Taquile island, located on the Titicaca lake. On the way, you will stop on the Uros floating islands, built in reeds and moored to pickets to avoid the drift.  They live of fishing, crafts and hunting. They live of fishing, crafts and hunting. You will continue sailing on the Titicaca Lake (which signifies “stone puma”) until 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 (3350m): 4 RUINS AND CITY TOUR

In the morning you will leave for Tambomachay, the farthest of the four archeological sites in the periphery of Cusco. From there, you will walk down to Puca Pucara, Kenko and finally Saqsayhuaman, a 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. After the visit of the four sites, you will continue walking down to the Plaza de Armas. Here begins the visit of the Inca capital, starting with the 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 Koricancha. End of the day free.

 

DAY 10: CUSCO (3350 m) – PISAQ (3400 m) – OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 m) – AGUAS CALIENTES (2040 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 (about 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 Ollantaytambo, driving by the sacred Urubamba river. After a stroll through the small paved streets of this singular village of the XVth century almost unchanged since its creation, you will then take the train to Aguas Calientes. Arrival and check in to hotel.

 

DAY 11: AGUAS CALIENTES (2040 m) - MACHU PICCHU (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 12: 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 13: CUSCO (3350m)

Free day in Cusco.

 

DAY 14: CUSCO (3350 m) - TINQUI (3900 m) - UPIS (4380 m)

Transfer in the morning for Tinqui. On the way, you will make a stop at Urcos, capital of the Vilcanota region. You will then take the road to Ocongate and cross the Pilluyo pass where you will have the chance to admire the Apu Ausangate, sacred mountain for the Quechua inhabitants living nearby. From the Ocongate village, you will continue to Tinqui, where you will meet your team of mule-drivers who will load your belongings. You can finally start the first stage of your trek! The camp is set at the foot of the Ausangate (6378m) in the Upis hamlet. You will have the possibility to swim in the hot springs and view the sunset from the summit.

4.5 hours of walk, +480m of height difference

 

DAY 15: UPIS (4380 m) – PUCACOCHA (4585 m) - AUSANGATE COCHA (4585 m)

You will wake up facing the lord of the Peruvian mountains. After breakfast, you will take a path climbing up the Ausangate and go to the Arapa pass, at an altitude of 4700m. On the other side, the scenery is extremely different: a lunar colored valley with an unobstructed view of the Sorimani and Tucusari summits and with, as a background, a glacier. You will continue walking on a path going by several lakes. You will arrive at Hatun Pucacocha, the “big red lake” facing the Ausangate. Then, you will climb up the Apacheta pass (4840m) to finally reach the frozen water lake of Ausangatecocha. Set camp for the night.

6 hours of walk, +500m / -550 m of height difference

 

DAY 16: AUSANGATE COCHA (4585 m) –PALOMANI COL (5050 m) - CHILCA FINAYA (4600 m) – JAMPA (4800 m)

This day is physical because you will go through the highest point of your itinerary : The Palomani pass (5190m). Here, you will discover exceptional landscapes of mountains and lakes, with a 360°view. You will then go back down to the other side of the pass, to the campsite of the Ausangate (4600m), where you will gradually discover the Chillca Finaya valley. You will set camp in Jampa, in the middle of herds of alpacas, llamas and sheeps.

6 to 7 hours of walk, +650m / - 400m of height difference

 

DAY 17: JAMPA (4800 m) - CHILCA FINAYA (4600 m) - PACCHANTA (4315 m)

You itinerary will take you outside the valley: as soon as the first rays of sunlight appear, you will put your back to the Ausangate and head towards the Chilca Finaya village with its herds of sheeps, alpacas and horses. On this day, you will take on the southern part of the route. You will climb up the valley following the river, where you could see populations of viscachas coming to warm up in the sun. You will soon reach the last pass of the itinerary, the Paso Arapa (5090m). The view of the mountain range is unobstructed. You will go down towards Pacchanta where you will spend the night.

7 hours of walk, +500m / - 775m of height difference

 

DAY 18: PACCHANTA (4315 m) - TINQUI (3900 m) - CUSCO (3350 m)

You will have reach the last stage of the trek. You will arrive in Tinqui at the end of the morning and take our private bus back to Cusco. Arrival late afternoon and check in to hotel.

2.5 hours of walk, -415m of height difference

 

DAY 19: CUSCO (3350m)

Free day in Cusco

 

DAY 20: 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 3*** hotels (according to local standards), camping and in homestay accommodation (To be upgrated, please contact us)

- The meals during the treks and those mentioned as “included”

- Private and group ground transportation

- Assistance at airports

- The guide, mule-drivers and cook during the treks

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

- English speaking guides at every stage

- The train Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes (go and back)

- Excursions on the Titicaca Lake and in the Sacred Valley

- The entrances to the sites scheduled in the program

- The domestic flights Lima – Arequipa and Cusco – Lima

 

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

- International flights

- Insurance

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

- Drinks

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

- The single supplement (please ask us)

- The entrance to the hot springs of Chivay (4 USD), Upis (2 USD) and Pacchanta (2 USD)

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

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.