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adventure travel trip to Peru
Dates
  • Jul 26-Aug 6, 2014
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 12 days
    Group Size 8-16
    Land Cost $3,175 Details
    Single Supplement $595
    Lodging 1 star-3 stars
    Grade II-III
    Best Time

    Active in the Andes

    Multi-activity adventure on Inca trails and waterways culminating at Machu Picchu

    Day 1      Arrive Lima

    Flights from the U.S. arrive in Lima late in the evening. You will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel for a transit night before continuing to Cusco in the morning, where our real adventure begins. If you want time to explore Lima, it is possible to add additional time in Lima before or after the group trip.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Hotel La Castellana

    Lima's City Hall is representative of the colonial architecture around the city.
    Day 2      Fly to Cusco / Embark Rafting Trip

    Early in the morning, we head to the airport for our flight to Cusco and our first glimpse of the Andes. Our guide will meet us at the airport and transport us to the Apurimac Canyon, where we will be briefed on rafting safety and instruction before embarking on a three-day, two-night excursion on the Apurimac River. By descending from Cusco to the canyon, we will have a chance to acclimatize and by beginning with this river run we will be sure to start the trip on a metaphorical high note.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Tented Beach Camping

    Float down this breathtaking river
    Day 3      Apurimac River Rafting

    Today we will face the mighty rapids of the Apurimac, which means "The Great Speaker" in Quechua. The rapids are largely continuous and occasionally we may have to stop to scout a new route to avoid obstructions.

    At night we camp on gorgeous, sandy beaches and explore the surrounding rocky terrain. If we're lucky, we may spot Andean foxes, otters, and pumas on the banks of the river.    

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Tented Beach Camping

    Your expert guides will help you navigate the canyon
    Day 4      Apurimac / Cusco

    After two days of rafting, we reach a break in the canyon walls and head back to Cusco. Along the way, keep an eye out for the snow-capped Salcantay Mountain. Upon arriving in Cusco, we will be dropped off at our hotel for a refreshing shower and, later, enjoy a celebration of our successful run through the Apurimac Canyon.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Hotel Tupac Yupanqui

    We will bond on the waters of the mighty Apurimac River
    Day 5      Mountain Biking in the Sacred Valley / Urubamba

    This is a bike ride you'll never forget: a one-day, mostly downhill trip across the Chinchero plain and into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will follow dirt trails and ancient mule routes along the breathtaking Lake Huaypo and through the village of Chequereq. A short uphill sretch brings us to the mystical, circular Inca ruins of Moray. Here, enjoy a picnic lunch and meander through the enchanting ruins.

    After lunch, take a smooth mule trail to the town of Maras for a descent into the incredible salt pans. Thousands of them cover the hillside. The salt pans are a significant part of Inca culture and quite a sight to see. Finally, meet your vehicle beside the Urubamba River for the drive back to your charming hotel in Ollantaytambo located in the heart of the Sacred Valley.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Urubamba Villas

    The best way to cross the Chinchero Plain
    Day 6      Lares Trail: Urubamba to Quisuarani

    Today we begin our four-day hike toward Machu Picchu. Departing Urubamba early, we drive along the Sacred Valley heading high into the Andes. We will drive about two hours before abandoning our vehicles and hiking up an ancient Inca trail, beginning acclimatization. Within the narrow canyon, we will have the chance to explore Inca burial tombs before reaching a bus at the end of the valley that will take us over a 14,000' pass to a small community called Quisuarani, where we will camp for the night.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Day 7      Lares Trail: Quisuarani to Huacahuasi

    Today is dedicated to hiking out of the Quisuarani Valley, hopefully meeting some colorfully dressed locals. This whole area is famous for its weavings, and at campsites along the way we can barter for beautiful hand-made textiles at a fraction of the price they would be at home or even in Cusco. As we continue along the trail, we will pass native tree reforestation projects where many endemic birds make their homes in the restored ecosystem, descend past spectacular waterfalls and crystal clear lakes, and hopefully encounter herds of Llama and Viscachas (long-tailed rabbits). We stop for a picnic lunch in the small village of Cuncani before a short walk over the ridge to the village of Huacahuasi where we will camp for the night. The old Inca Trail past camp leads to the "Baños del Inca" – The Inca’s Baths – a group of perfectly heated natural pools where we can enjoy a good soak after a great, but tiring, day.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Spot a soaring Andean condor. No other land bird has such a large wingspan.
    Day 8      Lares Trail: Huacahuasi to Huilloc

    This morning offers the greatest challenge of our trek, as we climb over a 14,000' pass and slowly descend down into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Hike by untouched lakes before arriving at the pass after lunch, a great vantage point for viewing the snowy Mount Veronica. Continue down an old mule trail through Patacancha to the village of Huilloc, famous as the hometown of many of the traditional porters for the Inca Trail. We will set up our final camp here, where everyone wears traditional dress and the locals speak Quechua.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Day 9      Lares Trail / Machu Picchu Town

    We begin our day with a short, steep climb to the little visited ruins of Pumamarca. Later, we follow an ancient Inca trail along the many terraces of the Huilloc Valley, winding our way through eucalyptus forests to the nearby town of Ollantaytambo, where we conclude our hike. Following lunch, we'll catch the afternoon train to cover the remaining distance to Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly known as Aguas Calientes), the town outside the Machu Picchu ruins.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Inti Inn (or similar)

    The train helps us cover the distance between the Lares Trail and Machu Picchu
    Day 10      Machu Picchu / Cusco

    Wake up early to get to Machu Picchu for a full guided tour. There will be time afterwards to climb Huayna Picchu (or Machu Picchu Mountain), though this needs to be planned in advance due to permit restrictions. Otherwise, you can wander through the valley at your own pace and soak in the moutain air.

    In the evening our train and bus brings us back to Cusco so we can spend the full day there tomorrow.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Hotel Tupaq Yupanqui

    Experience majestic, mysterious Machu Picchu
    Day 11      Cusco Free Day

    Cusco is a busy, historically rich city with endless things to do, and with just a day here, we don't want to dictate how you spend it. Explore Inca ruins, visit colonial churches, bargain hunt in Indian markets or just relax over coffee on a terrace overlooking the Plaza de Armas. If everyone is interested, we'll try together for one final group farewell this evening.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Hotel Tupaq Yupanqui

    Visit the always-vibrant Plaza de Armas
    Day 12      Onward

    Transfer to the Cusco airport for onward flight. Perhaps you'd like to consider an extension to explore Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and Arequipa? Or consider adding a day or two to explore Cusco in greater depth.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: None

    It's a shame to go to Peru without witnessing the culture of Lake Titicaca


     
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