CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK TO MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO – PERU

DAY 1: CUSCO – CACHORA – CHIQUISCA

We will pick you up from your Cusco hotel at 5.00 am in our transport, and then drive for 2 hours to Curahuasi (2909 m. / 9543 ft.), village where we will have breakfast, and then we continue to Capuliyoc, we arrive to nice view point called Capuliyoc (2915 m. / 9561 ft.), from here, we will have the privilege to see spectacular views of Padriyoc and Wayna Cachora snowcapped peaks (mountains over 5400 m.). At this point we will have some time to enjoy our snacks and we take some pictures of the breathtaking views of the river and the canyon stretching down the valley. From here we will descend through a unique zigzag path for 2 hours more to reach our place for lunch. Finally around 1 pm. we will have lunch. You have time to relax, put your feet up and have some refreshing tea, before we get ready to hike again for 2 hours more descending, so, we will reach our campsite located at Chiquisca (1836 m. / 6023 ft.) around 5 pm. where we will spend the night.

DAY 2: CHIQUISCA – MARAMPATA – CHOQUEQUIRAO RUINS

After our breakfast, we will leave early, throughout the day we will see a wide variety of bromeliads, orchids and stands of bamboo; we’ll also hope see birds such as Andean Quetzals, Toucans an a variety of hummingbirds. From our campsite we walk around 1 hour in order to descend to the bottom of the Canyon, called Playa rosalina and the magnificent Apurimac river (1550 m./ 5084 ft). From here we will begin probably the hardest section of the path due to the ascension; 2 hours steep climb to Santa rosa (2095 m. / 6873 ft.) where We will have time to take a refreshing break. From Santa rosa we will continue uphill for another 2 hours towards marampata (2913m / 9557ft), a flat ground where we can have a break and enjoy the views of Apurimac Canyon and the famous Inca site of Choquequirao. Here We’ll have lunch and take advantage of the facilities (toilets and wash room).After lunch We will continue to hike for another one hour to reach our campsite which is located just outside of the Great Inca Site Choquequirao (3110 m. / 10120 ft.) and We will spend the late evening in the ruins, where we will see a very nice sunset over mountains, and if we may be lucky enough to spot Condors soaring nearby over the valley below. Camping at Choquequirao campsite (bathrooms and cold water showers are available).

DAY 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO RUINS – CHOQUEQUIRAO PASS – MAIZAL

After our early breakfast we will visit the mysterious Inca site of Choquequirao, where our professional Tour Guide will explain about the history of this magnificent Inca site. Originally discovered in the 17th century by the Spanish, it lay abandoned and forgotten until recent years when tourism raised the profile of the city and exploration began. Even with this increased interest only 25% of the city has been explored and many of its secrets still wait to be discovered. Actually we can visit the most important zones such as the main plaza, the inca houses, the granaries, the ceremonial sector and its altars, the famous terraces, and the great Llama sector where Incas represented this sacred animal on their buildings. After our guiding visit, you have extra time to explore and enjoy the place by yourselves, after this, we continue with our trail, we will begin walking uphill until the highest point for this day called Choquequirao pass located at 3,300 masl. or 10,890 ft., then we will descend until to the deepest point of the small canyon known as White River or Río Blanco (1900m/6234f), On the way we will pass by Pinchiunuyoj, a small archaeological site. From Rio Blanco we will climb up for about 3 hrs. and during this time we will observe different species of birds, different varieties of orquids, and local coca plantations, we continue hiking until our campsite at the place called maizal (3000 masl. / 9900 ft.).

DAY 4: MAIZAL – SAN JUAN PASS – YANAMA

Today after a very good breakfast we will start a superb day’s hike on a path surrounded by vegetation and flowers climbing by 3 ½ hours along the way you will see evidence of mines that at one time were exploited, but are no longer used. As we continue and ascend, the weather will become a little colder and we will find the remains of an Inca trail. This trail will take us toward the pass called San Juan Pass (4200m/13,780ft). From this beautiful place you can see a great landscape with a grand chain of mountains such us Sacsarayoc, Pumasillo and Choquetecarpo, from which some of the latter peak more than 5000m/16404 feet. You will also see glaciers and many mountains that surround it. After some pictures and a break at the San Juan Pass, we’ll head down and in the distance another recently discovered Inca ruin, Corihuayrachina and the equally interesting old silver mines of Mina Victoria, and we continue Descending by 3 hours to the north into the River Yanama Valley, we follow a high trail which traverses steep slopes and provides another excellent opportunity to spot condors. We camp beside the river at the little Andean village of yanama (3530 m / 11,581 ft.). In the afternoon once again our cook will prepare a tea time for us and after a delicious dinner.

DAY 5: YANAMA – YANAMA PASS – TOTORA – COLPAPAMPA

After early breakfast, we make our way out of the Yanama valley, as we ascend we return to a more barren environment where only the local grasses and hardiest plants can survive. we will start climbing slowly to the highest point of the whole trek, this pass is known as yanama pass(4670 masl. or 15410 feet), again the view will be amazing from here, we will be surrounded by snowcapped mountains as the Sacsarayoj mountain and the Padreyoj mountain and if we are lucky we will even see a condor flying., After a small stop, from this pass we make our way down in to the valley and back in to warmer climes. About 1hour beyond the pass we arrive to a small community called totora at 3,630 masl. or 11,979 ft. where we will have our lunch. After lunch, during the afternoon, we will enjoy frequently the view of snowcapped mountains such as Salkantay (6264 m.) and Pintuyu (5450 m.) and we continue going down for another 2 hours to colpapampa (2750 m.) which is where we’ll be camping for the night; when we arrive you’ll notice a change – now that we’re nearly to Machu Picchu the communities are larger and more well supplied, there are also more tourists whom came from the route of the Salkantay trek and they converge at this point.

DAY 6: COLPAPAMPA – PLAYA SAHUAYACU

Our destination today is the village of La Playa about 12km down the valley from Colpapampa. Our route takes us along the Lluskamayo River through an area that is teeming with life and that has various coffee and fruit plantations. Tonight we will stay at the village of La Playa (2400m / 7874ft.) which is well connected and there are plenty of places where you can buy snacks and refreshments, you can also try some of the locally grown coffee. If you are interested there is the option to visit some hot springs that are close by, let your guide know in advance so that he can organise this for you.

DAY 7: LA PLAYA – HYDROELECTRIC STATION – AGUAS CALIENTES TOWN

Today is your last hiking day. It will end around lunch time. This climb along the Inca Trail takes about six hours. It is three hours uphill, along the hillside with great views of the Santa Teresa Valley and some coffee and passion fruit farms. Once we arrive at the top of this mountain, we will be at the famous Inca site of Llactapata, which was built by the Incas. They used it to observe the sunrise during the winter solstice. You will also see Machu Picchu for the first time from this location, as well as views of the surrounding areas, such as, the valleys and mountains of Machu Picchu (Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountains). Then, we will walk the last three hours, descending down to the hydroelectric station. Here, we will enjoy our last lunch and say goodbye to your trekking chef. You will retrieve your duffel bags and catch the train around 3:30 p.m. After a one hour ride to Aguas Calientes, you will be taken to your hotel for a hot shower. If you would like, you can visit the famous hot springs at Aguas Calientes (the entrance fee is $3 per person), then enjoy dinner at a restaurant.

DAY 8: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

This day will be for sure the most fascinating for you, because you will see Machupicchu in all its glory from dawn. We get up at 5:00 am and after our breakfast we will go to the bus station for boarding the first bus that leaving at 5:30 am to be in Machupicchu at 6:00 am. Inside Machupicchu we will have 2 hours guided tour where you will visit the most remarkable places such as: el torreón semicircular, el templo de las tres ventanas, el intihuatana, el templo del cóndor, la sala de los morteros y el baño del inca. Then you will have free time to explore Machupicchu by your own or descend to Aguas calientes (Lunch in not included). In the afternoon you will board the train from Aguas calientes to Ollantaytambo, place from where you will be transported by touristic bus to Cusco.
Estimated arrival to Cusco (20:00 pm).

MORE INFORMATION CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK

 

Choquequirao, basic information – CUSCO – PERU

What does Choquequirao mean?

Choquequirao is a Quechua word that means ‘Cradle of Gold’. The name comes from the nomination of a hill near the archaeological site.

Where it is located?
Choquequirao is located in one of the fringes of the snowy Salkantay, north of the Apurímac River. It is currently located in the Santa Teresa district, La Convencion province, Cusco department, Peru.

How high is it?

Choquequirao is located 3,033 meters above sea level (m.s.n.m.). Due to its location, it is presumed that this Inca enclosure served as a checkpoint between the main Inca sites such as Pisac, Cusco and Machu Picchu.

What’s in Choquequirao?
Choquequirao has only been excavated by 30%. Despite this, it already has several very important Inca buildings:

Main square – The main square or Huaqaypata divided the enclosure into two. It is a two-story stone construction. Along with this, there are other buildings connected to each other.
Colcas – Typical constructions of the main Inca centers. In Choquequirao, these platforms have internal subdivisions. The purpose of these warehouses was to store products for food, clothing and others.
Platforms – Choquequirao has a significant number of platforms for cultivation. In the western sector there are 22 engravings in the form of a flame arranged on 15 platforms. These figures are known as the ‘Flames of the Sun’.
Housing – In the highest part of Choquequirao, there are up to 5 buildings whose purpose was probably housing for the priests of the compound. This Inca site is believed to have been an important ceremonial center.
Inca Cemetery – Also known as the ‘Triumphal Wall’. There were found 17 funeral bundles and a water trough called “The House of the Fall of Water”.
Kallankas – These rectangular buildings had multiple functions such as workshop, administrative center, meeting space, etc. In Choquequirao there are 2 Kallankas on whose walls there were gutters that supplied water.
Ushnu – This oval platform construction sits on top of a hill. Due to the wall that surrounds it and the privileged view of the snow-capped mountains, the river and the entire enclosure; it is believed to have had a religious purpose.
How to get to Choquequirao?
The only way to get to Choquequirao is by land. Currently, the main route is going to the town of Cachora (2,903 masl), 3 or 4 hours by road from the city of Cusco (2 hours from the city of Abancay).

There, the walk begins to the Inca archaeological site. The route through various important points such as Capuliyoc, Maranpata and Sunchupata. It is calculated that from Cachora, after 32 kilometers on foot, you reach Choquequirao.

The walking time from Cachora to Choquequirao on average is 10 to 12 hours. A cable car is currently being built that would significantly reduce this time.

How’s the weather?
The Choquequirao archaeological site is located at 3,033 meters above sea level. The climate is temperate with cold at night. However, the tourist will not stay in the Inca complex until after sunset.

However, the path leading to the top of Choquequirao is hot due to the proximity of the Apurímac canyon. The temperature at the archaeological site is calculated to vary between 5º C and 25º C.

What is the flora and fauna like in Choquequirao?
Choquequirao is home to a diversity of animals and birds such as the condor, foxes, vizcachas, cougars, hummingbirds, spectacled bears and the cock of the rocks.In addition, like Machu Picchu, a great variety of orchids are concentrated there.

Choquequirao trekking route
Choquequirao 4-day tour
The most usual way to get to Choquequirao is through the trekking route of 4 days and 3 nights. You can hire this tour online or directly from an agency in the city of Cusco. Choquequirao Trek Information

 

SALKANTAY TREK

The magic of snowy Salkantay – CUSCO – PERU

The snowy Salkantay (Wild Mountain), is one of the highest mountains in the Cusco region, along with the snowy Ausangate in the Vilcanota mountain range which is located further south, this snowy has two types of peaks, which years ago they had some differences between them, but today after the collapse of the Serac to the WEST of the snowy mountain, it shows that both tops are really identical. SALKANTAY TREK INFORMATION

The summit to the WEST is slimmer
While the summit located to the EAST, it is slightly higher when it is crowned by a SERAC (large block of ice fragmented by important cracks in a glacier).
During the way towards the snowy Salkantay, you will be able to witness the excellent flora, among it you will find the famous Orchids that are very beautiful and colorful adorning the landscape.
Location:
The snowy Salkantay or Salkantay is a snowy mountain in Peru, located in the Vilcabamba Mountain Range, in the Santa Teresa district, La Convencion province, Cusco Department. This beautiful snow-capped mountain rises to 6264 m. n. m.

 

inca trail to machu picchu

TREKS TO MACHU PICCHU: SHORT INCA TRAIL

The Inca road – Qhapaq Ñan

The impressive Inca road network had an initial length of 60,000 km and linked territories of the current nations of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. 39,000 kilometers survive to this day. The Inca trail to Machu Picchu is one of the best engineering works, made entirely by hand, unaware of the existence of the wheel or iron. Ironically, it may have also sped up the invasion process; The Spanish were able to reach all corners of the empire.

The Incas knew one or two things about water
Machu Picchu is the amazing Inca city of Machu Picchu that is visited by around 3,000 people per day, it is built in the middle of two mountains and is one of the most energetic places on the planet, but there is something that most people do not know; the wonder does not end with constructions such as the temple of the sun or the temple of the Condor, the wonder continues below. Machu Picchu was built on complex systems of channels, drainage and underground irrigation, preventing the intense rainforests of the Amazon rainforest from damaging its more than 150 structures, its agricultural terraces on the slopes of the mountain, or the network of roads that reached she.
The complex canal system and Inca road drainage
This same amazing way of draining water was used on the Inca trail and has allowed it to be maintained to this day. In almost all the Inca constructions you can see a true exhibition of the great dimension and compression that the Incas had of the water, and how they applied it when building their cities, roads and others. Every year, water destroys hundreds of modern roads. But the Inca road network has been maintained for hundreds of years, in most cases without any maintenance. INCA TRAIL

characteristics
The Inca trail, like Machu Picchu, was built taking into account the probability of the intense earthquakes that sporadically occur in this territory. This small detail has made engineers and architects obsess, when they study them seeking to benefit from that knowledge.

Sustainability is the key to success and the Incas knew this very well; They paid attention to every detail of local conditions, used local materials and avoided at all costs altering the natural landscape, “the amazing natural landscape” of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

Steps were built in the steepest places to dissipate the energy of the water and counteract erosion; At high altitudes, they paved the road with rocks to protect the surface from ice and snowfall. If the path was to have supporting walls, there were holes that allowed water to drain.

The Inca trail is part of nature
Sustainability is claimed to have been the key to success in making the journey last. Ramiro Matos is the chief curator of the exhibition, he is a native of the Quechua language and grew up traveling the Inca road network.

The Incas were concerned with preserving the environment by making the road part of nature. “This path is not just a physical route, it is a cosmological route and it is considered alive.” Ramiro Matos says.

The Kallawaya (itinerant healers) use the Inca path to recycle their energy; They say that “the Inca way has a spirit.”

The capital of the Inca empire was Cusco, all roads started from this city; the routes and sacred places were marked with Huacas. He finished Huaca or Waca gathers all the sacred places for the Incas; temples, shrines, tombs, and others of nature, extremely beautiful.

Unesco declared the Inca road network as a World Heritage Site in 2014 and many of its sections are still traveled by people from the many ethnic groups in the vast Andes region.

The Incas are remembered for their special predilection for human sacrifice, including some children; And although we know that their environmentalist side does not take away certain negative characteristics, we have to recognize the genius of the Incas to carry out constructions such as the Inca road network.

 

inca trail

INCA TRAIL: CLASSIC ROUTE TO MACHU PICCHU

The ways of the Inca (Qhapac Ñan)

The Incas covered much of the South American continent. To maintain communication in such a vast territory, it was necessary to build a network of roads. Thus, the Inca ordered to build a network of roads called Qhapac Ñan (Inca Trail).

The Qhapac Ñan managed to cover up to 30 thousand kilometers from the current countries of Peru, Ecuador and part of Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. The trekking route from the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is only a small part of the extensive network of roads of the Qhapac Ñan.

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail was revealed to the world in 1915 when it was being excavated in the Inca City. Three decades later, the route was traced by the Viking expedition in 1942. Today, thousands of visitors decide to travel the 43 kilometers to the ‘Puerta del Sol’ in Machu Picchu.

However, Machu Picchu is not the only archaeological site that you will see on the Inca Trail. On the tour you will also appreciate the ruins of Llactapata, the archaeological site of Runkurakay, Saycamarca, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñaywayna.

There are trains and buses that can take you directly to Machu Picchu. However, the experience of arriving as the Incas did for centuries is unmatched.

Versions of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Not all people have the necessary days to travel the Inca Trail (4 days and 3 nights). That is why there are 2 versions depending on the time you have:

Classic Inca Trail: 4 days and 3 nights (43 kilometers of walking).

Short Inca Trail: 2 days and 1 night (12 kilometer walk).

How is the tour of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

The Inca Trail shows rugged geographies with ascents and descents next to cliffs. The mountains reach great heights with rugged stretches. In the jungle areas you will see the variety of shades of green tropical forests.

Day 1: Cusco – Wayllabamba (13 kilometers)

The Inca Trail begins at kilometer 82 of the railway that leads to Machu Picchu (2 hours and 30 minutes by bus from the city of Cusco). Then the ascent to the Cusichaca valley will begin. The visitor will visit the ruins of Llactapata (2,840 masl) until reaching the town of Huayllabamba (3,057 masl).

Day 2: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayo (11 kilometers)

The second day is the most difficult due to physical demand. The tourist will ascend to the Warmiwañuska (‘Dead Woman’s Pass’). This is the highest point of the route (4,215 masl). From this point it is possible to see the Runkurakay archaeological site (3,760 masl).

Day 3: Pacaymayo – Wiñay Huayna (16 kilometers)

The third day the descent will be dizzying to the Pacaymayo river valley. The section goes down a steep slope of almost 1,600 meters to the Sayaqmarca compound (3,625 masl). Here the view is extraordinary.

Day 4: Wiñay Huayna – Machu Picchu (3 kilometers)

The last day hides some of the best Inca samples: Phuyupatamarka, Wiñaywayna. Upon leaving these ruins, a gradual descent will be undertaken which will become more complicated in the end. Finally, you will arrive at Intipunku or Puerta del Sol. From there you will walk for another 30 minutes to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu.

After visiting Machu Picchu, the visitor returns to Cusco through a train and bus service. The duration of the trip is approximately 3 hours. These services are included in the tours to the Inca Trail.

During the 4 days of the Inca Trail you will experience fatigue and very low temperatures (between the Andes Mountains and the Amazon forests).

 

tours en cusco

ONRE DAY TOURS: Q´ESWACHACA AND WAQRAPUKARA

WAQRAPUKARA 

Waqrapukara Tour, is the archaeological monument located in Acos, Acomayo province in Cuzco, which has been declared a National Cultural Heritage by the Vice Minister of Cultural Property. This Inca monument is located on the slopes of Mount Kenter, has a privileged view of the Apurímac River and has two groups of buildings.

The first group is located at the top, in the middle of a rocky dam, where you can see two enclosures separated by a wide central space. The enclosures have halls, ornamental niches and doors with double jambs; its architecture seems to be similar to that of other ceremonial buildings.

The second enclosure is located at the bottom, and has 8 platforms 153 meters long and 1.80 meters high, which correspond to the topography of the terrain.

Some inhabitants of Acos also call it Llamapukara; and although its origins go back to pre-Inca times, its foundations were built by the Q’anchi, and the Inca construction was built during the sovereign period of the Tahuantinsuyo Wayna Qhapaq.

Waqrapukara: Hidden Trips to the Incas
However, the destination is gaining attention as a hidden gem for travelers seeking an alternative hiking and camping adventure.

Located in the Acomayo province, in the Pomacanchi district of Cusco, the name Waqrapukara means “horn-shaped fortress.”

Getting there involves a 2½-hour drive from Cusco to the town of Santa Lucía, and then a 2-hour walk.

Similar to Machu Picchu, the Inca ceremonial architecture at Waqrapukara combines the amazing stone masonry and spectacular natural formations.

Nestled sinuously along a rocky outcrop, built around two horn-shaped mountain peaks, the site features eight Inca terraces with retaining walls and stone staircases.

Qeswachaka Bridge Ritual

On the second Sunday of June, the Qeswachaka Bridge Reconstruction Festival is held in the town of Quehue.

Thanks to this tradition of Inca origin, the Qeswachaka suspension bridge has been maintained. This cooperative work is carried out by the communities of Huinchiri, Chaupibanda, Ccollana, Quehue and Pelcaro.

The renovation of the bridge is repeated year by year. The festival lasts 4 days and involves all the men and women of the towns involved.

First day

Qeswachaca Tour

informationAt dawn on the first day, the ‘Paqo’ (officiating the ceremony) celebrates the rite in favor of the te Apu tutelary Quinsallallawi ’. On the other hand, the ‘icchu’ (straw) was collected and stacked in advance by members of the 4 communities.The women of the communities who have the function of weaving the first soguilla or ‘qheswa’ actively participate in these activities.In the afternoon, the males divided into 2 groups gather over the sides of the bridges and spread the “queswas” in a straight line on the road.Finally the ropes are braided by the ‘Chakaruwac’ (Inca engineer) to assemble the ‘Qheswasca’ (major braid).Second dayOn the second day, the dismantling of the old ropes that support the bridge is carried out.Then we proceed to tie the new braids that will be thrown from one side of the bridge to the other for its assembly.In total 4 thick ropes are braided which serve as the base and railings for the bridge. The men who carry out this work have extensive experience and are respected by the rest of the community.Third dayThe third day continues with the assembly of the railings and the base of the bridge.Men must complete the work with great effort (and risk). According to Inca tradition, women should not cross or show themselves until the bridge has been installed. This due to the belief that women bring bad luck.After installing the Inca bridge of Qeswachaka, the inauguration proceeds with music, typical dances of the region, delicious typical dishes and alcoholic beverages.Fourth dayOn the fourth day (central day), the chakuruwacs finish weaving the bridge, securing the last fibers. Finally, a scream announces the end of the hard work.The last day there is a festival with typical dances of the region and sale of typical foods of Cusco.The bridge can already be used by tourists who come to the town to live the adventure of crossing the Qeswachaka bridge.

 

palcoyo mountain

Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo

Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo: weather, hours and tips
What is the weather like in the Mountain of the Seven Colors in Palccoyo?
Palccoyo Mountain has a cold climate due to its proximity to the snowy Ausangate. The temperature can drop below 0ºC. That is why, at some times of the year, the slopes are covered in snow.

What to see in the Palccoyo mountain?
In addition to being a natural attraction of incomparable beauty, the Mountain of the Seven Colors is the natural habitat of various types of animals such as llamas, alpacas, vizcachas, condors and more.

On the route that connects Cerro Colorado there is a forest of stones formed naturally millions of years ago. From there you can closely appreciate the beauty of the snowy Ausangate, the largest in Cusco.

What is the entry time?
Due to the cold weather, visits to the Seven Colors Mountain in Palccoyo are only in the morning and part of the afternoon. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. at 3 p.m.

When is the best time to visit the mountain?
The best time to visit the Mountain of the Seven Colors in Palccoyo is during the dry season (April to October). In those months, rains occur much less frequently, making the excursion easy.

Tips for traveling to the Mountain of the Seven Colors of Palccoyo
It is recommended to acclimatize to the climate of Cusco before visiting the Palccoyo Mountain. Otherwise, the visitor may suffer from the so-called altitude sickness.
This mountain is a tourist attraction that receives few visitors every day. It is recommended to follow the indicated route and avoid looking for a different path.
It is advisable to find out how the weather is in Palccoyo before booking a tour to the Mountain of the 7 Colors. The cold can cause the entire venue to be covered in snow and ruin the tour.
The trekking route up to this mountain is not as challenging as Vinicunca. That is why the Palccoyo is a great option for people who do not feel capable of doing the difficult trek to the 7 Colors Mountain.
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ONE DAY TOURS CUSCO – RAINBOW MOUNTAIN AND HUMANTAY LAKE

Trek to the Rainbow Mountain

7 Colors Mountain Tour – This picturesque summit used to be an attractive 4 day trek to the snowy Ausangate. Over the years, this mountain gained popularity on its own. Today, the most widespread way to visit this summit is through a tour. There are 1-day and 2-day services. Most include transportation, food, entrance fees and professional guide. In the city of Cuzco there are many tourism agencies offering these services.

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Traveling on your own? – It is also possible to visit the ‘Cerro Colorado’ on your own. For this, the visitor must take a bus to Sicuani from the city of Cuzco (2 hours and 40 minutes away). Once there, a bus is taken to the town of Quesiuno. Then a walk begins (you can also hire a horse ride) to the Mountain of the 7 Colors. The price of the entrance ticket is 10 soles.

Difficulty of the mountain – The 3 or 4 hour walk (depending on the tourist’s physical condition) is not dangerous and requires moderate-high physical effort. There are considerable sections of slopes up and down. However, one of the biggest difficulties is cold weather and icy wind. The altitude of the area can cause altitude sickness or soroche. A previous acclimatization of 1 or 2 days in the city of Cusco is recommended.

Recommendations – Spend a day or two acclimatizing in the city of Cusco. Take warm clothes to do the walk. If you do not consider yourself in good physical condition for the trek, rent a horse to one of the locals. On that day, don’t forget a hat or cap, sunscreen, jacket, pants, ideal shoes for trekking and a rain poncho. MORE INFORMATION OF RAINBOW MOUNTAIN

The Trek to the Humantay lagoon

Can I go to the lagoon on my own?

– Yes. To go to the lagoon on your own you must take public transportation from the city of Cusco to the town of Soraypampa. The buses leave from the ‘Arcopata’ terminal and cost approximately 15 Peruvian soles (5 USD).

Once in Soraypampa you must get a collective taxi service to the Soraypampa community. There are times when you will not find this transport so you must get a taxi. This service could cost 50 Peruvian soles (15 USD).

Finally, in Soraypampa you must make the walk to the Humantay lagoon. Due to the complexity of the trip by public transport, it is recommended to choose a tourist package with transport included. It can be cheaper and safer than going on your own.

image

How much does the entrance to the lagoon cost?
– In the town of Mollepata you must pay to enter the Soraypampa camp where the lagoon is. The cost for foreign tourists is 10 Peruvian soles (3 USD). The cost for Peruvian tourists is 5 Peruvian soles (2 USD). Some tour packages include this entry while others do not.

How long does the walk last?
– The final section of the trip is the walk from Soraypampa to the Humantay lagoon. This section is approximately 2 kilometers long and can take from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the physical condition of the visitor. Tourists who are not used to this type of hiking can rent a horse as transportation to the lagoon. It is common for tourists to feel the symptoms of altitude sickness, whether in Cusco, Machu Picchu or Humantay.

How to rent a horse? How much?
– The residents of the Soraypampa community offer horse rental at the starting point of the trek to the Humantay lagoon. The service is only for the upstream section and has an approximate cost of 90 Peruvian soles negotiable (30 USD).

What kind of clothes to wear?
– Due to the cold climate of the Humantay lagoon, it is recommended to wear a warm jacket as well as gloves and chullo. Of course, during the walk wear light clothing since the visitor will inevitably perspire. A rain poncho is also important since it can rain at any time.

With which tourism agency to travel?
– In Cusco there are several tourism agencies that offer the 1-day tour to the Humantay lagoon. All services must include: full transportation, breakfast, lunch and tour guide service. Choose the tourism agency that meets your expectations. Remember that you can also contract the service through the website of the tourist agency.

Can I get a tour once in Cusco?
– Yes. Unlike the Inca Trail tours or the entrances to Machu Picchu, there is always availability for the tour to the Humantay lagoon. Therefore, you can get a tour to the lagoon once in Cusco, without any problem. MORE INFORMATION OF HUMANTAY LAKE

 

WAQRAPUKARA TOUR

Waqrapukara is declared a National Cultural Heritage

Waqrapukara is a new tourist attraction that remains almost unknown until today. The tour is suitable for those seeking a spirituality that is drowned in the sea of ​​commercial tours. Waqrapukara is a pre-Inca archaeological complex located in the Acomayo province within the Cusco region, near the Apurímac River. The main construction is located on platforms, squares and a so-called «Bosque de Piedras». From its height of 4,140 meters above sea level, it offers spectacular views of the Apurímac River and the Andes.

WAQRAPUKARA TOUR ITINERARY

Its name comes from Quechua, “waqra” means horn, while “pukara” means fortress. Therefore, the meaning of the name translates as a “horned fortress” given by its typical form. However, the locals also called it “Llamapukara”, as they claim that the shape does not represent horns, but ears of a lama.

It was built by the pre-Inca Qanchis culture in the period called “Auqaruna” (1,500 BC – 1,000 BC). During this period, the complex was a city called “Llaqta Pukara” and home to a leader of the Yankees. It also served as an astronomical observatory and sanctuary for the god “Teqci Pachakamaq Wiraqocha” (a creator of all created things). Subsequently, it was conquered by the Incas, who have molded the buildings to geography during the reign of Wayna Qhapaq. Then it became a first-class Inca sanctuary that symbolizes an immense political and religious power that has not yet been confused. In 2017, the complex was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation by the Ministry of Culture of Peru.

Waqrapukara Archaeological Complex. Cultural Heritage of the Nation of 2017.

It was built by the Qinchas and later conquered by the Incas. The building is located on platforms, squares and a stone forest, it would be an Inca sanctuary. Waqrapukara has a privileged view of the Apurímac River.

Waqrapucara details

  1. Maximum Altitude: 4,140 meters / 13,580 feet
  2. Minimum Altitude: 3,096 meters / 10,157 feet
  3. Duration of the walk: 6 hours
  4. Trekking distance: 15 km / 9.3 miles
  5. Difficulty: Moderate
  6. Weather: Cold

Waqrapukara is the archaeological monument located in Acos, Acomayo province in Cuzco, which has been declared a National Cultural Heritage by the Vice Minister of Cultural Property. This Inca monument is located on the slopes of Mount Kenter, has a privileged view of the Apurímac River and has two groups of buildings.

The first group is located at the top, in the middle of a rocky dam, where you can see two enclosures separated by a wide central space. The enclosures have halls, ornamental niches and doors with double jambs; its architecture seems to be similar to that of other ceremonial buildings.

The second enclosure is located at the bottom, and has 8 platforms 153 meters long and 1.80 meters high, which correspond to the topography of the terrain.

Some inhabitants of Acos also call it Llamapukara; and although its origins go back to pre-Inca times, its foundations were built by the Q’anchi, and the Inca construction was built during the sovereign period of the Tahuantinsuyo Wayna Qhapaq. MORE CUSCO TOURS.

 

CHIRIHUCHU – CUSCO – PERU

he Cusco region, being one of the most recognized destinations, has an indigenous cuisine due to the use of protein-rich products from the area such as: corn, different meats such as alpaca, guinea pig, lamb, pork, etc.

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The essence of culinary miscegenation has made the Cusco cuisine well positioned before our visitors.

“Chiri Uchu” This name comes from the union of two Quechua words: Chiri which means “COLD” and Uchu which means “AJI” so we can understand what it is: Aji (or spicy) cold, this is the flag dish of the region of Cusco in the celebration of Corpus Christi.

History:

The chronicles of Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, who in 1572 spoke of the “strange” combinations of ingredients that the ancient Peruvians made in the kitchen, suggest that this stew has an Inca origin; especially of the chaskis (young athletes who traveled from one place to another carrying certain messages), since they carried their food in their ch’uspa (purse) and therefore tended to eat it cold.

It is also presumed that he was born of the Aynis (Reciprocal Work System among family members), since at the end of the work day each Ayllu (Family Community) shared the best of his meal with others, thus forming a mixture of foods.

With the arrival of the Spaniards, customs and traditions were replaced with religious traditions, just one of them was the “Corpus Christi”, a Catholic holiday that brings together patron saints and virgins of all the parishes of the city; This is how Chiri Uchu becomes part of the European fusion with Andean traditions.