peru trekking & camping "the roads of the incas were the most useful and stupendous works ever executed by man" alexander von humbolt. the vast network of roads built by the incas stretches from quito, ecuador to tucuman, argentina and connected the far reaches of the empire with cusco at the heart. the network, know as qhapap ñan (the sovereign´s higway) comprised of a series of paved pathways that were suitable for people and llamas. large suspension bridges made of maguey rope spanned rivers and abysses, while precisely cut steps wound thier way down shear rock faces. while a lot of these paved highways still exist by far the best preserved is the stretch leading to machu picchu know as "the inca trail". today hiking any inca network in peru, the visitors to step back in time and experience a variety of eco system and dazzling views of rarely visited villages. inca path peru offer many alternative treks, in the coastal, andes, and the amazon jungle.
peru trekking and camping tour destination
lima - nasca - cerro blanco sand dune - san fernando reserve - majes canyon - andagua valley - colca cayon - puno - lake titicaca - cusco - sacred valley of the incas - ollantaytambo - inca trail - machu picchu - lima.
reception at the airport of lima and transfer to the selected hotel - overnight.
at 6am travel to nasca (6hrs). arrival to nasca, were we have lunch and meeting with the mountain guide. transfer by private van to the 28 km on the way to cusco. 4 hours trekking through the andean slopes the highest sand dune in the world, named “cerro blanco 2070m”. camping at the top of this sand dune, enjoy an amazing sunset over the nasca and taruga valley, a wonderful starry night and do sand boarding at sunrise (b - d).
alter breakfast with sunrise over the cerro blanco sand dune (2070m). afterwards we will learn some safety techniques so that you can enjoy your ride safely. practice sand boarding on the many dune formation. get the steepest section and enjoy the best sandboarding in the world, sliding 1350m on the fine sand of the cerro blanco. at 12pm arrival to the selected hotel in nasca. after completely guided tour to chauchilla cemetery are real ancient tombs with nasca mummies, located on the right slop of the chauchilla valley.
come back to nasca to visit the ceramic museum - shop, where the craftsman will give good explanation about the nasca ceramics. to finish the tour the miners, where are working hard to extract gold. here the miners will show us the ancient method they use to get the gold out of different minerals. return to the hotel.
optional: people don't like to do sandboarding we offer only trekking to this sand dune (b - s).
at 7am transfer to the aerodrome of maria reiche, after some basic information about the lines and safety instructions, you will board the cessna light airplanes, which have spacious room for 5 people, each person with a window seat. over flight the mysterious nasca and palpa lines, this aerial tour take 1 hour journey to see the most representative figures and hundreds of lines drawing on extended arid area in the world.
after over flight the mysterious travel by 4x4 into the amazing landscape. we drive 2 hours approximately and then 3 hours of nice trekking in the middle of desert looking for huanacos (lama family), land covered by poor but very nice flora, surviving with early morning and late afternoon sea humid. el mirador is the best lookout of the san fernando reserve, also know like small peruvian galapagos. san fernando is the quietest place for the sea fauna in all the south coast of peru. you can see the sea lions, penguins, oysters catchers, bobbies, cormorants, pelicans, eagles, vultures, condors and many others species nesting at the big cliff around this wonderful reserve. lunch and camp in this marine paradise. plenty time to explore the reserve or swim in the beach (b - l - d).
early breakfast trekking on the slop of the sand dune observing the home of hundreds of sea lions resting along the beach. then transfer in our 4x4 by the panamercana highway to the southern of peru, stop at chala to have lunch and continue traveling passing small valleys and picturesque town along the way. at 4pm enter to the valley of majes, where we go to visit the famous petroglyphs of toro muerto, located on the left slopes of the majes canyon. explorer this mystical and enigmatic zone, covered with big volcanic rocks where drawing the pre and inca figures. arrival to aplao (600m) and stay at selected hotel (b ).
breakfast will be early morning and then travel to the andes by private van. drive up through the majes canyon, tipan canyon, viraco valley, coropuna mountain (6450m) and finally descend to andagua town (3600m), know like the valley of the volcanoes. camping or stay in based local accommodation (b - l - d).
after packing all our staff and breakfast began the real andean trekking to chachas valley. hiking between small extinct volcanoes, crossing a nice country side on the left rim of the andagua river. after 6 hours of trekking into this remote and rarely visit this volcano valley we cross chachas lagoon and arrival to camp out site of chachas valley (3000m) (b - l - d).
after breakfast trekking to the miña pampa (4200m) this we hike supporting by the mules and arrieros (mules drivers) they will carry all our personal staff, camping gear and food. on the half way up stop for lunch and plenty of time for rest. amazing views of the volcano valley (valle de los volcanes) witch 68 small craters, blue glass of chachas lagoon and the large green valley surrounding by huge mountains. camp at miña pampa (b - l - d).
today we climb the highest pass on this trek, named paso cerani (5100m), also is the most impressive and panoramic point, from here are magnificent views of the mountain in andagua region and also we can appreciate the highest snow-capped on the both side of the colca canyon. cerani pass, is the enter to colca canyon or colca valley. short time for relax and after descend to miña canyon. nice trekking large land covering by ichu grass, typical grass from the high andes use for food of animals. after 7 - 8 hours arrival to miña valley, located on the bottom of the same canyon and protected by mountains with difficult access. set up the tents at backyard of the school (b - l - d).
this day is easy 5 hours of trekking along the miña river, into the this nice canyon, passing big cliffs of iron and cooper walls on the both side. on the way down is possible to see many wildlife animals, such as andean eagle, condor, falcons, deer, vizcachas, many type of small birds. chocco is nice and very elcoming inter andean village (2570m) and produce fruits, including the tuna (cactus fruit), camp in this village. free afternoon (b - l - d).
at 8am hike down to the deepest point of the colca canyon to discover the biggest walls of the second deepest canyon in the world. spectacular and completely view of the canyon and colca river, inaccessible arid area contrasting with different land colours. also we can see the magnificent condor flying over the top of the mountains. after 4 hours trekking on the left slope of the canyon we met the puente colgado point, where our transportation will be waiting for us. drive up on the zigzag dirt route to cabanaconde (3380m). lunch at this town and stay in a comfortable lodging (b - l - d).
at 6am have breakfast and begin of 2 hours trekking to the condor cross lookout. the condor cross (cruz del condor) is the most popular place to watch the biggest flying birds in the world. plenty of time for break and get the best picture of the condor.
transfer to chivay by our private van passing small picturesque villages along the right bank of this canyon. we stop at pinchollo, maca and yanque villages, where are nice colonial churches in good condition, large terracing still used by the cabanas and collaguas peoples. arrival to chivay and transfer to the hot spring, 2 hours for enjoy and relaxing at the medicinal pools. back to chivay for lunch. at 2pm transfer to arequipa. over night in the selected hotel (b - l).
morning is leisure for personal activities. at 2pm is the completely guide tour to the city by private van, we will visit yanahuara main square, mirador de carmen alto, plaza mayor, cathedral, church and jesuit cloisters, santuarios andinos museum of the juanita mummy "the ice maiden", santa catalina monastery, church and cloister of san lázaro, san agustin church and fundo el fierro. stay at the selected hotel in arequipa (b).
morning travel by luxury bus to the highest city of puno, on the way we stop at many places to appreciate the best views of the high andes, after 7 hours of journey arrival to puno, stay at the selected hotel (b).
at 8am you will be picked up from your hotel. travel and after 2 hours by motor boat and then you will arrive at the uros island. fishermen and hunters inhabit the floating islands of the uros. the residents of the uros use the cattail, a type of rush, which grows in the lake, to create the conditions that ensure the islands stay afloat. the dense roots that the plants develop support the island.
the roofs are waterproof and the houses are extremely humid because of the surrounding water. continue traveling in our boat, we will get the next island called amantani, just arriving there will be first contact with locals families, the bring you up to they homes, there you get your accommodation for one night in basic typical room between the agriculture fields. the local family will supply yours all foods (1l - 1d - 1b). after lunch all the group together walk up to highest point of island, called pachatata temple = 4200 meters over the sea level. is the best place to get pictures from all surround views of this blue sacred lake of the incas.
after the explanation of your tour guide, back to the homes to get your dinner and then you can go to enjoy typical dances with the local music players. over night with the families (b - l - d).
at 7am after family breakfast meet the entire group and travel by boat to the taquile island, 2 and half hours crossing the lake you will arrive at the last place to visit. visit and explanation about the live, culture, typical costume and every common activity at the main square, short treks around the island including lunch in the co-operative restaurant, there is also a co-operative shop on the plaza that sells exceptional woollen goods which are not cheap but of very fine quality. taquile island is famous for its craft production, particularly for its beautiful textiles. the island is narrow only about 1 km wide, but 6 to 7 km. long, on taquile there are numerous pre-inca and inca ruins and inca terracing. at 4:00 or 5:00 pm. you will return to puno (b - l).
early breakfast and departure to cusco by luxury tourist bus - stopping at different places like la raya pass (4250m), sicuani town (lunch), raqchi inca temple, pikillaqta complex and andahuaylillas church - arrival to cusco and transfer to the selected hotel (b - l).
leisure day for personal activities. optional half day guided city tour, full day white river rafting in the andahuaylillas river, horseback riding or other excursions around cusco.over night at the selected hotel (b).
at 9am full day guided excursion to the sacred valley to visit inca sites and andean markets of pisaq, calca, urubamba and ollantaytambo. we stop at urubamba town to have buffet lunch, surroundings with huge mountain and marvellous green valley, where the inca culture was established before the spanish arrive. part of the afternoon is free to explorer around this valley. stay at the selected hotel in this valley (b - l).
(12km) the first day of the trek is relatively easy and serves as training for the days to follow. at 8am is the transfer to the trailhead at kilometre 88. having arrived at km 88, hikers cross the vilcanota river and follow the trail on the right as it climbs steadily up from the river. after passing through a small village, the ruins of the inca hill fort of huillca raccay come into view high above the mouth of the river cusy chacca. from parts of this trail there are great views of the urubamba mountain range and the snow capped peak of veronica (5870m). here we also have a good view over the extensive llactapata inca ruins. llactapata means "upper town" in quechua and was first discovered by hiram bingham in 1911. we continue hiking 8 km on the left bank of the river up to the small village of wayllabamba "grassy plain", 3000 meters over sea level. we will eat dinner and spend the first night here (b - l - d).
(12km) after breakfast, following the left bank of the lluyuchayoc river for about 1 hour we climb up to three stones and cross a small bridge over the wayruro river. there is a toilet facility. the stream is named after the wayruro, an ornamental tree. hiking up 4½ hours, you will see spectacular views of lluyucha pampa (3680m). continuing up you will get to the first and highest pass of the inca trail, called abra huarmy wañusca meaning "dead woman's pass" (4200 metres above sea level). at the top hikers can celebrate having completed the most difficult section of the trail with a warm and delicious lunch. we then do an steady decent following the trail on the left side of the paqaymayo valley. our dinner and second campsite is at 3600 meters over sea level (b - l - d).
(15km) after breakfast we climb up for one hour to the ruins of runkuracay. these small circular ruins occupy a commanding position overlooking the paqaymayo valley. another hour hiking we will be at the top of the second pass, called abra de runkuracay at 4000m. the descent down the steps from the pass is steep. this section of the trail is particularly beautiful as the path crosses high stone embankments and skirts deep precipices.
after about one hour walking we will arrive at the pass called sayaqmarca = "inaccessible town". this describes the position of the ruins perfectly, protected on three sides by sheer cliffs. no one knows the exact purpose of these ruins. after lunch, we level out into cloud forest full of orchids, hanging mosses, tree ferns and flowers, passing through an impressive inca tunnel.
we then climb up to the 3rd pass called puyupatamarca = "town in the clouds" (3700m). here excellent views are offered of several snow-capped peaks, salkantay mountain (6180m) and veronica mountain (5750m). access to the ruins is down a steep flight of stairs passing six inca baths, probably used for the water ritual. leaving the site via an impressive inca staircase leading from the west side of the ruins, you will descend a thousand steps. take care with your knees. after three hours walking through cloud forests you will arrive to wyñay wayna. this is our last campsite before machu picchu. there is a restaurant, a patio bar to buy drinks and well deserved hot showers.
that afternoon we go to the ruins of wyñay wayna "forever young". the ruins located on a nice slope comprise magnificent agricultural terraces. there are many buildings of quality stonework, suggesting that the site was probably a religious center associated with the worship of water (b - l - d).
(5km) we will wake early, have breakfast and hike up to the last pass at to inti punku (sun gate) to get machu picchu before sunrise. from here you will appreciate machu picchu ruins, wayna picchu and the low canyon called aguas calientes. we will spend an hour watching a spectacular sunrise over the ruins.
continuing down the trail to the best views of the ruins, you will have plenty of time to take photos of machu picchu. we then descend to the main entrance, where you can safely check your large backpacks. following a guided tour for two hours of the major sections, you will have free time to explore the ruins alone or to climb to wayna picchu (2 hours to go up and down). following by lunch at machu picchu sanctuary lodge, located of the citadel (optional stay at this hotel). late afternoon we do the last trek down into the urubamba canyon to aguas calientes town. stay at the selected hotel (b - l).
one more day to spend in machu picchu is definitely the way to go. this day we will have the morning on our own, you can take a bus up to machu picchu (us $6) after breakfast, the entrance fee to machu picchu is us $24 and for those with high energy, we recommend to climb wayna picchu. if you do not want to go up again you can stay in town and enjoy the aguas calientes mineral springs ($2 usd) or go for a lovely walk to the waterfall of mandor or putucusi view point. at 3pm meeting at the main square in aguas calientes and catch train back to cusco - over night at the selected hotel (b).
morning transfer to the airport and flight to lima - (optional afternoon guided city tour in lima) and end of this amazing program (b).
b = american breakfast / l = buffet lunch / d = tourist diner / s = snack
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