Posted July 19th, 2011 by oitravel
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The Hidden Peru:
Cusco & Machu Picchu Trek via Salcantay Trail

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Trip Grading: Extreme
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Day 1: Arrive Cusco, Peru (D)
After you arrive in Cusco, relax and enjoy the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, ending the day with a welcome dinner at Museo de Arte Precolombino.

Day 2: Cusco (B)
Embark on a tour of Cusco’s main sights, including the Korikancha Temple, the Cathedral of Santo Domingo and Sacsayhuaman.

Day 3: Cusco (B, L)
Visit the fortress of Ollantaytambo, a formidable stone structure with massive terraces. After lunch at the Hacienda Huayoccari, meet master weaver Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez to learn about back strap weaving. On the return trip, you’ll visit Awanakancha, a center where South American Cameloids are bred.

Day 4: Cusco (B)
Today is a day reserved for you to enjoy Cusco at your own pace.

Day 5: Cusco – Soyroccocha (B, L, D) Approximately 14 km, 8.7 mi
Leaving Cusco, head to Challacancha, where you’ll meet our wranglers and horses and ascend to Mt. Salcantay, eventually ending the day at our camp at Soyroccocha, next to the glacier of Salcantay.

Day 6: Soyroccocha – Collpapampa (B, L, D) Approximately 12 km, 7.45 mi
Breaking camp, you head up to the Salcantay Mountain Pass for breathtaking views while observing chinchillas and condors in their natural habitat. As you descend, stop at Qollpapampa, our second camp and a natural hot springs.

Day 7: Collpapampa – Lucmabamba (B, L, D) Approximately 18 km, 11 mi
Walk along the Santa Teresa River and bask in the increasingly lush vegetation, passing waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. End the day at your third camp, Lucmabamba, watching for parrots and spectacled-bears.

Day 8: La Playa – Aguas Calientes (B, L, D) Approximately 8 km, 5 mi
Climbing to El Mirador or Abra Q’elloqasa, you have an exceptional view of the legendary Machu Picchu. Our descent takes us to a train, which will take us to Aguas Calientes.

Day 9: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes (B, L, D)
Board a bus to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the Inca citadel as well as the Temple of the Moon and the impressive Inca Bridge.

Day 10: Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo – Cusco (B)
Return by train to Cusco for a leisurely day of sightseeing. This evening’s dinner will be at the historic private house of Colcampata, which has magnificent views of Cusco.

Day 11: Departure (B)
Get ready for your flight home. Bon Voyage!


Day 11: Lima (D)
Arrive in Lima to tour the “City of Kings,” visiting the historic Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral and the Presidential Palace. Enjoy a private dinner at Casa Garcia-Alvarado to cap the evening. (For those in the mood, visit Casa Aliaga, Lima’s oldest colonial mission, for a cocktail before dinner.)

Day 12: Lima (B, L)
Visit the Pachacamac temple, the most famous archaeological site in the Lima region. Enjoy a private lunch at the Hacienda Santa Rosa. Afterward, you’ll see a fascinating demonstration of the Marinera dance, with horse and rider. Guests who wish to ride horses will be allowed to experience this unique breed.

Day 13: Lima (B, L)
Explore the Larco Museum, the world’s largest collection of pre-Columbian art, with its Chief Curator Ulla Holmquist. Your final night in Lima you’ll enjoy dinner at the Cafe del Museo Restaurant.

Day 14: Departure (B)
Depart for home!