1st day / Cusco - Saywite - Villa Los Loros lodge
Travelers are picked up at their hotel at 7:00 am 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.
2nd day / Villa Los Loros lodge - Playa San Ignacio - 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)
3rd day / Choquequirao full day
Beautiful day. We are stricken to observe how the vast majority of visitors take 4 days trekking but only a few hours or even minutes (!) to enjoy exploring the different sectors of Choquequirao. Bearing in mind that Choquequirao is scattered on both sides of the spur of Apu Corihuayrachina we know a fair amount of time is needed to understand the integrity of its context. Travelers will enjoy lunch near the ruins and hopefully view condors’ flight over the deep canyon. Back at the campsite, dinner and overnight. (Bathrooms and cold showers available)
4th day / Choquequirao - Villa Los Loros lodge
We head back to our lodge early after breakfast. The known route makes returning easier. The ever changing landscape is fully appreciated with our now recovered muscles. The voice of the river as background and the imposing Apurimac Canyon seems to swallow the traveler. Finally, Playa San Ignacio. "Black Whip", "Machuco", "Cayguash" or some others are waiting for us. Our return on horseback is the perfect chance for a last look at the landscape we are now part of. Riding allows a great way to photograph friends who are traveling with us and the new friends this journey has given us; our fellow horsemen and their way of life will remain deep in the traveler’s heart. Beside the ruined walls of the Hacienda San Ignacio, lunch is served. The final stage takes us riding to Villa Los Loros lodge. Dinner and overnight.
5th day / Villa Los Loros lodge - Salcantaypampa (Mollepata)
After breakfast, we board the bus that will take us to Mollepata district, in an estimated time of 4 hours. In the sector of Soraypampa ends the road; there, horsemen and mules are waiting for us and toghether we head to Salcantaypampa (13530 feet), site of the first camp. Dinner and overnight (1.85 miles trek).
6th day / Salcantaypampa - Abra Salcantay - Collpapampa - Santa Teresa
Today we’ll ascent to the Salcantay pass (15091 feet), enjoying the wiew of the its high snowy peak (20551 feet). During this way don’t have to forget taking with you a little stone for bidding the “Apus” (Gods) when you’ll arrive to the pass, putting it on the top of “apacheta” (pile of stones carried for travelers). We’ll arrive to Colpapampa, where we take the bus toward the tropical Santa Teresa. Dinner and hotel. (11.8 miles trek)
7th day / Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Machu Picchu - Cusco
After breakfast, the mobility takes us to the Hydroelectric station from where the train will take us to Machu Picchu village. We will board the bus that will leave us in the same Inca Sanctuary, located on the canyon of the Urubamba River, in the heart of the jungle eyebrow mountain range of Salkantay, wonder of the world that we will visit, having the opportunity to make the optional visits to the imposing Mountain of the Wayna Picchu or at the door of the sun (IntiPunku). Returning to Machu Picchu village, we will consume a buffet lunch at a tourist restaurant and then take the train back to Cusco. Transfer to the hotel.
Briefing to participants at their hotel in Cusco, the day before departure; Transfers (Cusco - Villa Los Loros lodge - Mollepata) and (Collpapampa - Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica); Professional guide (English - Spanish); Three nights at hotels (Villa Los Loros lodge and other in Santa Teresa); Three nights of camping (Choquequirao and Salcantaypampa), with camping equipment of high quality (tent, sleeping bag with hygienic personal savannah, mat, kitchen tent, dining room, tables and chairs, kitchen and all utensils, lighting equipment, etc.); First aid kit; All meals and drinks (7 lunches, 6 dinners, 6 breakfasts); Snacks and water throughout the trek; Trained and qualified personnel: field chef, muleteers; Emergency saddled horse throughout the trek (1 for every 4 or 5 hikers); Entrance tickets to the Archaeological Complex of Saywite, Choquequirao and Machu Picchu; Horses for the return from Playa San Ignacio to VLL lodge; Train Hydro-Machu Picchu village; bus Machu Picchu village - Sanctuary - Machu Picchu village; VistaDome train from Machu Picchu to Cusco.