1st day / Cusco - Saywite - Villa Los Loros lodge
Travelers are picked up at their hotel at 7:00am on a private bus. First stop will be 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 - Pinchaunuyoc
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 (8160 feet). Camp is set amidst these remote ruins. (5.3 miles trek)
4th dy / Pinchaunuyoc - Maizal
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 (6152 feet). Lunch is served. Climbing the Qorihuayrachina Mountain all the way to Maizal (9488 feet), a natural balcony with a breathtaking view, proves to be another challenging section. Camp is set here. Dinner and overnight. (5.9 miles trek)
5th day /Maizal - Yanama
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 (11549 feet), a forgotten peasant community. Camp and dinner (7.8 miles trek)
6th day / Yanama – Santa Teresa - Machu Picchu Village
Today board a bus to Santa Teresa Village. We can rest at Cocalmayo Spa, near Santa Teresa; after lunch, we will have 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.
7th day / 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 Cusco. Transfer to your hotel in the Imperial City.
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 hotel accommodation (Villa Los Loros lodge and Machu Picchu village); 4 nights camping with high quality outdoor equipment (3 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 (7 lunches, 6 dinners, 6 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; train fron hydroelectric station to Machu Picchu village and “Vistadome” train from Machu Picchu to Cusco.