Briefing the night before the departure.
DAY 1 / CUSCO - SAYWITE - VILLA LOS LOROS LODGE
Travelers are picked up at their hotel at 7:00am on a private bus.
First stop being Saywite Archaeological Park. This mysterious monolith
and the nearby archaeological remains including the “ushnu” and the
“pacchas” must remain in our memory to contrast their correspondence
with the ceremonial architecture of Choquequirao. After a healthy box-lunch,
we continue down the remote Huanipaca Valley, a place in the Peruvian
highlands reserved for travelers. Villa Los Loros Lodge awaits at the
bottom of the gorge. The rooms ready and after a necessary rest, a short
meeting is held to dispel the anxiety a trip like this brings up in
every traveler. Dinner and overnight. (Box lunch, D)
DAY 2 / VILLA LOS LOROS LODGE (7415 FEET) - PLAYA SAN IGNACIO (4757
FEET) - CHOQUEQUIRAO
We leave at 5:30 am right after breakfast, walking down a footpath
that leads to the Hacienda San Ignacio and then tumbles downhill towards
the raging Apurimac River (Playa San Ignacio). Across the hanging bridge
is where the serious hiking starts; ascending from water level (4757
feet) to Choquequirao campsite (9415 feet) is nothing less than
overwhelming. On the one hand, the beauty of the landscape, rivers,
waterfalls, flowers, all is movement ... On the other; the wild
environment; the steep slope and your heartbeat combine in an intimate
connection with the environment. At the campsite and after lunch, a
quick visit to the Phaqchayoc Sector (a terraced agricultural system
where corn is still grown) and The House of Waterfalls (according to
archaeologists, the home of the Inca of Choquequirao.) Back at the
campsite, tired and proud, a warm meal is enjoyed before a good night’s
sleep. (Bathrooms and cold showers available) (B,L,D)
DAY 3 / CHOQUEQUIRAO (10000 FEET) - PINCHAUNUYOC (8160 FEET)
Explore the best areas of Choquequirao. Lunch is served amidst the
ruins; a bit of luck will give us the chance to spot the majestic Andean
Condor flying over the canyon. Leaving the citadel behind, the ascent
continues through the highland forests rich in epiphytes, bromeliads and
beautiful orchids, up to the Choquequirao Pass (10728 feet). A steep
descent along the west side of the mountain takes us to Pinchaunuyoc.
Camp is set amidst these remote ruins (A 5.3 mile trek) (B,L,D)
DAY 4 / PINCHAUNUYOC (8160 FEET) - MAIZAL (9488 FEET)
Morning is spent investigating the seldom visited Pinchaunuyoc, a
growing range of platforms topped by a small ceremonial site. Further
down the mountain the trail leads us to the White River or Yuraqmayu
Lunch is served. Climbing the Qorihuayrachina Mountain all the way to
Maizal, a natural balcony with a breathtaking view, proves to be another
challenging section. Camp is set here. Dinner and overnight. (A 5.9 mile
DAY 5 / MAIZAL (9488 FEET) - YANAMA (11549 FEET)
Up across a foggy forest and besides the old Victoria silver mines,
we reach the famous San Juan Pass (13780 feet). The Vilcabamba Mountain
Range draws an unfathomable view. A lonely footpath breaks through the
mountains towards tiny Yanama, a forgotten peasant community. Camp and
dinner (A 7.8 mile trek) (B,L,D)
DAY 6 / YANAMA (11549 FEET) - TOTORA (11155 FEET)
Our route climbs out the valley to Yanama Pass (15157 feet), the
highest point of the journey. On the other side, down through the valley
of Santa Teresa, we enjoy the view of Salkantay (20570 feet) and
Huamantay (19413 feet), the highest peaks of the Vilcabamba range.
Salkantay’s slopes host famous Machu Picchu. An amazing zigzag leads
down to our campsite besides the in the village of Totora. (A 7.5 mile
DAY 7 / TOTORA (11155 FEET) – LA PLAYA (7005 FEET)
An easy downward slope all the way to the Collpapampa settlement.
Lunch is enjoyed and we relax in the nearby hot springs. A path takes us
through pleasant forests and coffee plantations, tropical gardens where
passion fruit, papaya and avocado grow carelessly. Towering mountains on
both sides lead to La Playa, our campsite. (A 9.3 mile trek) (B,L,D)
DAY 8 / LA PLAYA (7005 FEET) - HYDRO (6152 FEET) – MACHU PICCHU
Two options to choose from today;
(i) Continue hiking to the hydroelectric plant or
(ii) Board a bus to Santa Teresa Village and hydroelectric plant.
Option one requires a 6 hour* climb along a hidden Inca trail. The path
leads to Llactapata (“Machu Picchu’s Balcony at 8497 feet), where
sunrise and sunset were observed at specific occasions (solstice and
Option two is a short bus ride to the Cocalmayo Spa, near Santa Teresa.
Both options end in a 15 minute train ride from the hydroelectric
station to Machu Picchu. Rest at your hotel, share a few drinks and
enjoy the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes. (A 10 mile trek )* (B,L)
DAY 9 / MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO
Early wakeup to catch the first bus and watch the surreal sunrise at
the Incan Sanctuary. Climbing to the top of Wayna Picchu Mountain or to
Intipunku ( the Sun Gate) is up to you. Back down at Machu Picchu
Village a well deserved buffet lunch is enjoyed before the train back to
Transfer to your hotel in the Imperial City.(B)
WE SUGGEST YOU TO:
- Use boots during treks and sneakers during long walks.
- Drinking lots of liquids on long excursions, especially during the
- Always taking an umbrella or rainwear.
YOU SHOULD BRING
-Warm Jacket or Sweater
-RainGear (from Nov to April)
-T-shirt , short, long pants.
-Back pack, trekking shoes, sandals
-Sun Hat , wool hat , sun glasses
-Water bottle, flash light, hat
-Personal clothing for trek
-Insect repellent – Sun cream
-Water Purification Tablets.
-Briefing at your Cusco hotel the day before departure; -private
transport to Villa Los Loros lodge; -professional bilingual guide
(English - Spanish); -professional field chef; -two nights lodge and
hotel accommodation (Villa Los Loros Lodge and Machu Picchu village);
-six nights camping with high quality outdoor equipment
(4 season tent, sleeping bag with personal hygienic sheets, mattress,
kitchen tent, dining tent, toilet tent, dining tables and chairs, all
kitchen and dining utensils, lighting equipment, etc.); -first aid kit;
all meals and beverages (9 lunches, 8 dinners, 8 breakfasts, snacks);
-emergency saddled horse (1 for every 5 hikers); -horsemen and pack
mules; -entrance tickets to the Saywite, Choquequirao and Machu Picchu;
-bus round trip Machu Picchu village – Machu Picchu Sanctuary - Machu
Picchu village; -Vistadome train from Machu Picchu to Cusco.
TOURIST SERVICES ALONG THE TREK
It is truly wild country out there. No tourist services are available.
Proper preparation and skills are required and recommended. Bear in mind
that a happy journey can become a survival nightmare for unexperienced/untrained/underprepared/unaccompained/irresponsible
If you are in doubt, contact a respected adventure travel company.
The following is a basic description of way points;
Cachora town: basic accommodation, small shops, transport service,
muleteer associations offering load service (some may have camping gear
for rent) telephone.
Capuliyoc: panoramic viewpoint
Chiquisca: campsite; basic food and beverage; restrooms.
Playa Rosalina: campsite; restrooms.
Santa Rosa: campsite; beverage; restrooms.
Maranpata: campsite; basic food and beverage; restrooms.
Choquequirao Campsite: cold showers, restrooms.
Playa San Ignacio: campsite, restrooms.
Hacienda San Ignacio: campsite; beverage; restrooms.
Villa Los Loros Lodge: campsite, lodging, restaurant; private transport
service for customers.
Huanipaca town: basic accommodation, small shops, private and shared
transport service, phone.
Don’t leave valuables inside your tent when visiting the site.
- Bring cash, no ATM’s.
- Open fires and cooking with wood is prohibited
- Respect the environment carrying bags to collect and take away all
- Carry a little medical kit (anti-inflammatory cream, water
purification tablets, hydrogen peroxide, gauze, bandages, analgesic,