Hiking in Southern Peru you will enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of southern Peru during two memorable hikes in the Colca Canyon and in the heart of the Andes! Moreover, this tour leads you to the most fascinating sites in Peru, like the “White City” Arequipa, the legendary Lake Titicaca, the former capital of the Inca Empire Cusco and the mystical Machu Picchu.
DAY 1: WELCOME TO PERU
Upon your arrival at the airport of Lima, you will be welcomed by our personnel and taken to your hotel.
English speaking assistance from airport to hotel.
Private transfer from airport to hotel.
Accommodation in The Place Hostel 3*** or similar.
DAY 2: CITY TOUR IN AREQUIPA (THE WHITE CITY).
Early in the morning you will be transferred to the airport to take your flight to Arequipa. After your arrival and check-in to your hotel you will start a guided city tour discovering the colonial center of Arequipa, which is also called the “White City” because it is dominated by white buildings. First you visit the Plaza de Armas (the main square) and the Santa Catalina convent, a city within the city with alleys and colourful buildings. Afterwards you will be transferred to the viewpoints of Yanahuara and Cayma, which both offer panoramic views of the city and the nearby volcanoes Misti and Chachani. Alternatively you can visit the museum “Santuarios Andinos” (on your own account, not included), which is famous for its exhibition of “Juanita” and other mummies from the Inca period found in the glacier ice of the surrounding mountains. After your city tour you will return to your hotel.
Very early in the morning you leave Arequipa heading for the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons of the world (approximately 3500m deep). After passing the town Chivay and driving along the beautiful canyon you finally reach Cruz del Condor, which is an ideal place to observe the flight of the condor, the largest flying bird of the world. Besides, you also have a phenomenal view of the canyon illuminated in the morning sun. After leaving Cruz del Condor you soon reach the small town Cabanaconde and the viewpoint San Miguel. There you start hiking until you arrive in the village San Juan de Chuccho, where you will spend the night. While your guide is preparing your supper, you can make yourself comfortable in your bungalow.
Your hiking-equipment will be carried by pack animals, while you will carry your personal belongings by yourself. Further animals which could carry your backpack are available for an extra charge. Your luggage which you don’t need during the hiking, can be stored in Chivay.
DAY 4: OASIS SANGALLE
After breakfast you start the second day of your hiking. On the way, you visit mountain villages, like Cosnirhua and Malata, and meet local people. Finally you reach the oasis Sangalle, which is a peaceful place, where you can enjoy the pool and relax under palm trees. Free evening.
DAY 5: COLCA CANYON HIKE
Early in the morning you leave the idyllic oasis Sangalle and start going uphill. After a hike of 3 hours you reach Cabanaconde, where you will have breakfast. Afterwards you take your bus to Chivay. On the way, you make a stop at Maca village and at several viewpoints to enjoy the breath-taking landscape before you leave the Colca Canyon. Upon your arrival in Chivay, you have time for lunch (not included). In the afternoon, you finally take your bus to Puno, located on the bank of Lake Titicaca.
DAY 6: TITICACA LAKE
Today you will discover the legendary Titicaca Lake. In the morning you are transferred from your hotel to the dock in Puno. There you start your boat trip on the Titicaca Lake until you reach the Floating Islands, inhabited by the Uros people. These artificial islands are made of reed (totoras) and fastened on pegs to avoid drifting away. After visiting one of the islands, you continue to the natural island Amantani. After visiting the archaeological complex Pachatata, you meet your local hosts and spend the night in their houses.*
*If you do not wish to spend the night on the islands, you can visit Taquile Island and the Floating Islands on a day trip.
Early in the morning you leave Amantani, heading for Taquile, an island shaped by terraces. The inhabitants still live according to the rules and the organization inherited from the Inca period. Though property is private, labor is collective: the 300 inhabitants of the island work one day for themselves and the other day for the community. They are self-sufficient and live according to the Inca principles: “do not steal, do not lie, and don’t be lazy”. From the heights of the island you have a superb view of the lake, the Puno bay and the Royal Bolivian Mountain Range. In the afternoon you take the boat to Puno. Transfer to your hotel and free evening.
DAY 8: PUNO TO CUSCO
Early in the morning departure towards Cusco. You will cross the Colla plateau, where you make a stop in Pucara, which is one of the last remaining arquaeological sites of the pre-Inca Pucara culture. You will then traverse the La Raya pass (4360m), which marks the end of the plateau and the beginning of the Cusco region. In Sicuani you try a typical lunch before continuing towards Raqchi where you will visit the spectacular Inca sanctuary built by Pachacutec in honor of the Incan God Wiracocha. You will then continue your journey towards the village Andahuaylillas visiting the church San Pedro, known as the “Sistine Chapel” of South America notably due to its lavishly painted ceiling. Arrival in Cusco at the end of the day.
Today you will start your city tour visiting the Inca site of Tambomachay, one of the four archaeological sites in the periphery of Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. From there you will walk down to the other Inca sites Puca Pucara, Qenqo and finally Saqsayhuamán, a stunning fortress built on a hill over the city of Cusco. This site is characterized by its gigantic blocks of stone, accurately interlocked, with some being over 9 meters tall and weighing more than 550 tons. After visiting the four sites, you continue walking down towards the colonial center of Cusco until you reach and visit the Cathedral, an impressive building which is situated on the Plaza de Armas (the main square) and houses many paintings of the famous Cusco School. You will finish your city tour visiting the Santo Domingo monastery, the ancient temple of the Sun, also known as Coricancha. End of the day free.
This day you will discover the main Inca sites and the natural beauty of the Sacred Valley. In the morning you visit the Pisac archaeological site, which is composed of terraces, fountains, observatories and even a necropolis, the largest of the region (nearly 10000 people were buried there). On your way back down, you will stop at the traditional artisanal market of Pisac before continuing your itinerary towards Ollantaytambo, driving along the bank of the sacred Urubamba River. Upon your arrival, you visit the impressive ruins of Ollantaytambo, from where the Inca once guarded the Sacred Valley from invasions by tribes coming from the rain forest. Afterwards you take a stroll through the paved streets and alleys of the small town, which has remained almost unchanged since the Inca period. Finally, you take the train to Aguas Calientes, a small town located at the foot of the famous Machu Picchu, where you will spend the night.
Very early in the morning, you take the bus which brings you up to the most famous and impressive Inca site: Machu Picchu, which means “old summit” in Quechua. Together with your guide you will start to discover the archaeological complex, still covered by the morning mist, built on top of a ridge and surrounded by precipices: a stunning view that evolves with the progression of the sun. You will roam through the alleys of the citadel, its quarters, squares, royal houses, agricultural zones, paths and observatories. After the guided tour you have the opportunity to climb the mountain Huayna Picchu (entrance at 10 o’clock*) or to visit the Inca bridge and the Sun Gate (“Inti Punku”), situated at 2700 meters. Alternatively, you can also wander about the alleys and squares of Machu Picchu. In the afternoon you return to Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Ollantaytambo, where you will spend the night.
*We have chosen the entrance to Huayna Picchu at 10 o’clock so that you have enough time to visit Machu Picchu with your guide and enjoy a clearer view of the citadel, before you start to climb Huayna Picchu. However, since the number of daily visitors allowed to enter Huayna Picchu is restricted, we cannot guarantee the access to this part of the site.
DAY 12: MARAS SALT MINES AND MORAY
TToday you will visit the Inca site of Moray and the Maras Salt Mines. In the morning you leave your hotel in Ollantaytambo and drive along the riverbank until you reach Urubamba, the principal town in the Sacred Valley. Then you leave the valley, turning towards the beautiful mountain landscape. Finally you arrive in Moray, a former Inca agricultural laboratory. This place was used more than 500 years ago to test the resistance to altitude of certain species of plants. Your next stop is the Maras salt mines, which dates back to the pre-Inca period and is still used like in old times by the inhabitants of the village: The water coming from a salted source is canalized to a series of ponds where it evaporates gradually until a fine layer of salt is left and can be collected. After visiting the saline, you have a typical lunch prepared by a local family. In the afternoon you will be transferred to your hotel in Cusco.
DAY 13: FREE DAY IN CUSCO
Today you have the opportunity to buy souvenirs, to relax or to explore the streets and squares of the historic center of Cusco on your own.
DAY 14: AUSANGATE TREK
In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the village Tinqui. On the way you can enjoy for the first time the view of the sacred glacier Apu Ausangate. According to Andean belief and Incan mythology “Apu” is a deity or the spirit of a sacred mountain. Upon your arrival in Tinqui (3900 m), you get to know the hiking team and start hiking towards Upis (4380 m), a village located at the foot of the Ausangate. There you have the opportunity to take a bath in the hot springs (optional, not included) or to watch the sunset, before you go to sleep in your tent.
The second stage of the hike leads you up to the first pass of the route (4800 m). On the way you can enjoy the magnificent scenery, such as mountain lakes, waterfalls and snow-covered peaks. Later on, you pass by the mountain lake Hatun Pucacocha (4585 m), which is located on the southern flank of the Ausangate, and reach the highest point of today’s hike, which is called Apacheta (4840 m). Finally you descend to the mountain lake Ausangatecocha (4600 m), where you will spend the night.
DAY 16: HIGHEST POINT OF THE HIKE
In the morning you start walking towards the pass of Palomani (5050 m), which is the highest point of the whole hiking. Upon your arrival at the pass, you make a stop in order to enjoy the spectacular view and the atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Afterwards you descend to your place for the night (4800 m).
After breakfast you follow the path to the last pass of the hiking (4986m). At this point you are surrounded by majestic glaciers. Then you start walking downhill, passing beautiful mountain lakes, until you reach the village Pacchanta (4230 m), where you can have a rest or take a bath in the thermal springs (optional, entrance fee not included).
The last stage of the hiking is the shortest one. In the morning you walk back to the starting point in Tinqui, from where you will be transferred back to your hotel in Cusco.
Today you have to say goodbye to this wonderful country and its people. After your transfer to the airport in Cusco, you take the flight to Lima and afterwards connecting flight to your country.
If you would like bring some gifts for the children of the Andean communities we are staying with, it would be much appreciated. You could bring for example, coloring books, coloring pencils or some small toys. Small children’s gifts are also for sale in Cusco; feel free to ask your guide.
Prices and discounts
A mínimum group size would be 2 persons. The bigger the group, the lower our cost per person: please, find our prices and discounts below!