This trip has been designed for mountain's lover. It will start with small trek in the Lares valley to acclimate yourself until arriving at the stunning Machu Picchu.
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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 transferred to your hotel. From there, you will discover the 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 (3660m)
You will leave early for the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons of the world. You will drive at 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, the view of Ampato (6400m), Sabancaya (5976m) and Huallca Huallca (6025m) are unobstructed. You will go down to Chivay where you will have lunch. In the afternoon, you will climb up to Canacota to then descend to the hot springs of Calera where you will have the chance to take a dip in the thermal baths. End of the day free.
DAY 4: CHIVAY (3660 m) – CRUZ DEL CONDOR – PUNO (3820 m)
After breakfast, departure to 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 departure in tourist bus to Puno where you will arrive in the evening.
DAY 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: CUSCO (3350m): 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 as well as true goldsmithery treasures. 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 9: CUSCO (3350 m) – PISAQ (3400 m) – OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 m) – URUBAMBA (2700 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 go then to the town of Urubamba where you will spend the night.
Approximately 2 hours of walk
DAY 10: URUBAMBA (2700 m) – LARES (3230 m) – HUACAWASI (3800 m)
Early in the morning, after breakfast, you will go by vehicle to Lares, place known for its thermal baths. You will have the chance to swim there before your trek. For this first day of hiking, you will gently start with a little 3 hour hike to Huacahuasi.
2930m / 3800m of height difference
DAY 11: HUACAWASI (3800 m) – PATACANCHA (3600 m)
You will begin this day of hiking by going through several hamlets before arriving at the Ipsay pass (4400m), highest point of your trek. After this, you will go down to go Ipsaycocha lagoon to then continue to Patacancha. On the way, you may be able to approach several herds of South-American camelids such as llamas and alpacas.
6 hours of walk
Height difference: 3800m / 4400 m / 3700 m
DAY 12: PATACANCHA - PUMAMARCA - OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750m) - AGUAS CALIENTES (2040m)
You will start this day by going down on an Inca trail, crossing from time to time the Ollantaytambo road. Then, you will turn to go to the village of Pumamarca, known for its zigzag walls. You will then continue your descent until Ollantaytambo from where you will take the picturesque train of the Sacred valley to reach Aguas Calientes. Evening at the foot of the Machu Picchu.
7 hours of walk, height difference: 3700m / 2750m
DAY 13 : AGUAS CALIENTES (2040 m) – MACHU PICCHU (2450 m) – OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 m) – CUSCO (3350 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, where a bus will drive you back to Cusco.
*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 14: CUSCO – LIMA
Transfer to the airport of Cusco to take your flight to Lima. Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. Free time in the capital.
DAY 15: LIMA - HUARAZ (3090 m)
After a short transfer to the bus terminal, you will take a bus to Huaraz. During this day of travelling, you will be able to enjoy the transition between the landscapes of the arid coast of the Pacific and the scenery of the Andes mountain range. On the way, you will stop at Barranca, charming colorful coastal city. When you will arrive in Huaraz, our team will drive you to your hotel and explain the organization of the next few days.
DAY 16: HUARAZ (3090 m) – CASHAPAMPA – LLAMACORRAL (3760 m)
Very early in the morning, you will be transferred in a private vehicle to the point of departure of your trek: Cashapampa. Passage through a first city, Carhuaz, then through Yungay and Caraz, located at an altitude of 2550m (lowest city of the Huaylas valley). When you will arrive in Cashapampa, you will meet the team of mule-drivers who will accompany you for the next 4 days. You will start by taking a path crossing a forest of Queuñales, endemic trees of the region. When you will leave the forest, you will have the chance to appreciate an unobstructed view of the horizon, notably of the snowy summit of Taulliraju. Arrival in Llamacorral where your camp is set for the night.
5 to 6 hours of walk, + 760 m of height difference
DAY 17: LLAMACORRAL (3760 m) – TAULLIPAMPA (4200 m)
After breakfast, you will start your trek walking at the foot of immense glaciers. You will soon arrive at Quisara where you will take a path leading you to the Alpamayo base camp (at an altitude of 5947m). Following this, you will pass by the lakes of Ichicocha and Hatun Cocha, which are populated by ducks, Andean geese and sometimes even condors. Arrival in Taullipampa where you can admire the view on the glaciers of Taulliraju (5830m), Rinrijirca and Artesonraju.
5 to 6 hours of walk, + 490 m of height difference
DAY 18: TAULLIPAMPA (4200 m) – CACHINAPAMPA (3700 m)
Your trek begins with a difficult ascent on a pre-Hispanic trail that will take you to the Punta Union pass (4750m). From there, you can enjoy a stunning view on the Jatuncocha and Taullicocha lakes, whose turquoise waters face the glaciers of Taulliraju, Rincrijirca (5810m), Artesonraju (6025m) and Paria. You will then continue towards a pass behind which can be found the Amazonia. You will begin your descent towards the Morococha lake, and cross a new forest of Queuñales before arriving in Cachinapampa.
7 hours of walk, + 500m / - 1050 m of height difference
DAY 19: CACHINAPAMPA – VAQUERIA – HUARAZ (3090 m) – LIMA
You will begin the last day of trekking crossing Huaripampa and Colcabamba, and other hamlets where farmers harvest wheat and quinoa. You can appreciate the majestic summit of Chacraraju (6112m) that overlooks this part of the trail. At the village of Vaqueria (3600m), a vehicle will take you to the Portachuelo pass (4800m). You are now in the heart of the Andes mountain range, where the most famous mountains of Peru stand: the Chacraraju (6112m), the Huandoy (6356m), the Pisco (5792m), the Huascaran (6768m, highest summit of the country), the Chopicalqui (6350m) and many more. After a short descent on a path, you will continue by road to Cebollapampa, where the neighboring glaciers are mirrored in the emerald lake of Llanganuco. After a pleasant walk, you will take a bus to Huaraz, where you will enjoy the utilities of a hotel to rest a little before boarding the bus to Lima.
4 hours of walk
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
THE PRICE INCLUDES:
- Accommodation in 2** and 3*** hotels (according to local standards )
- English speaking guides at every stage
- English speaking guide on the Chivay – Puno and Puno – Cusco trips
- Private and group transportation
- The guide, mule-drivers and cook during the treks
- The meals scheduled in the program
- The domestic flights Lima – Arequipa and Cusco – Lima
- The entrances to the sites scheduled in the program
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- International flights
- Lunches and dinners not mentioned in the program (expect 5 to 10 USD per meal)
- Excursions indicated as “optional”
- Tips (2 USD/day/person for the guide and 1 USD/day/person for the carriers, mule-drivers, chefs)
- Personal trekking equipment: sleeping bag (possibility to rent one of the spot)
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.
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.
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!
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. …).
- 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.