Four friends took to the trails with Knowmad for a journey through Peru unlike any other. In ten days, they visited the Huchuy Qosqo ancient ruins, kayaked beautiful lakes, and camped at one-of-a-kind sites to experience spectacular Peru a wide variety of ways!
Spending the first day of their ten-day trek through Peru in the Sacred Valley, Devin and his troupe of friends jumped right in with visits to several impressive archaeological sites while they acclimatized to the region’s altitude. The next day they traded in their hiking shoes for kayaks and paddles to glide along Lake Piuray and behold glaciers. Once they reached the shore where they would camp for the evening, they made their way to Umasbamba to meet the local community and learn about their weaving and farming traditions. In the evening, they returned to their lakeside campsite for a tranquil night on the water.
For the next few days, Devin and his companions moved from the lakeside views to ancient Incan ruins. They spent one of their days hiking to and exploring Huchuy Qosqo, a large mountaintop archaeological site, and set up camp close to the ruins for an extra-special evening of wonderment. Following their night at Huchuy Qosqo, the group ventured on to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu where they continued to revel in the mystery and grandness of the incredible Inca sites.
Devin and his friends made their way to Cusco for the last few days of their trip, where they got to see a bustling, modern-day Peruvian city; indulging in the delicious local cuisine, shopping at the Andean markets, and taking in the culture at their leisure.
Do you want to travel to Peru with your group? We’re regional experts here at Knowmad Adventures and pride ourselves in building custom trips that are a perfect fit for our travelers. If you’re interested in crafting an adventure combining several regions in Peru, but this particular itinerary doesn’t strike your fancy, take a look at our Peru Trip Ideas page, or reach out to our Trip Specialists at 612-394-2894 or [email protected] to begin planning your trip today!
Incan Ruins Trek: Huchuy QOsqo + Machu Picchu
DAY 1 USA – Lima
You will fly from the USA to Lima arriving most likely in the evening. Upon your evening arrival to Lima you will be independently responsible for crossing the street and checking in to the hotel adjacent the terminal.
- No meals – Costa del Sol Ramada airport hotel
DAY 2 Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley
In the morning you will be responsible for crossing the street and checking in for your onward flight to Cusco (we recommend leaving your hotel about 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours prior). After your short morning flight to the former Incan capital of Cusco where Andean cultures come alive (don’t be surprised when the language doesn’t sound like Spanish – it is most likely the native Andean tongue Quechua), you’ll be met at the airport and taken for lunch. Departing for the Incan sights outside Cusco, you’ll visit the fortress Sacsayhuaman and its megalithic stone terraces; Kenko, with its carved stone surfaces and subterranean altars; the Puka Pukara fortress that protected the royal capital from attacks; and the water temple, Tambo Machay. Continuing through the mountains with inspiring views to the snow-capped Andean peaks you will descend into the Valley of the Incas and check in to your accommodations. Take the afternoon to unwind, explore and acclimatize.
- B, L – IFK Lodge
DAY 3 Lake Piuray Basecamp
Departing early from your hotel, you will head to Lake Piuray near the village of Chinchero, a scenic area predominated by high-altitude indigenous farming communities and views of the Sacred Valley mountains. Your driver will take your main suitcase, while you will take with you just your duffle for your next few days of camping. Upon arrival at the lake your guides will provide a safety and equipment briefing, and you will begin your approximately 2-hour kayaking excursion. Enjoy awesome views of the Veronica and Salkantay glaciers as well as the mountains and agricultural terraces around the lake, with the opportunity to meet local fisherman and farmers as well. After kayaking you will relax and enjoy a tasty Andean style picnic lunch on the shore of the lake. In the afternoon you will drive and/or walk about 3 km to the community of Umasbamba, an old and beautiful hacienda populated by traditional Andean farmers and weavers, where you will learn about the Andean traditions and the magic of waist loom weaving, as well as the harvest of the dyeing agent plants, washing with natural soaps (roots), spinning and weaving. At the end of the excursion you will return to the stunning Basecamp site where your camping tents will be set up for you and dinner will be served, as you enjoy the evening at your leisure relaxing under the stars.
- B, picnic L, D – Piuray Basecamp campsite
DAY 4 Huchuy Qosqo Ruins
After waking up on the beautiful shores of Lake Piuray you will begin your day hike. Starting your ascent from camp you will hike alongside herds of Llamas and Alpacas overlooking the snowcapped mountains of the Sacred Valley, and go through the Apacheta pass at over 12,000 feet. After enjoying both a snack and lunch en-route, you will descend to the stone and adobe ruins of Huchuy Qosqo. Enjoy the beauty of these remote ruins that are built on the mountaintop, with clear blue skies above and streams running on either side. Relax in the shade of the Quenua trees (Andean Oak) and the pristine beauty around you during an evening at leisure at your campsite.
- B, L, D – Huchuy Qosco Ruins campsite
DAY 5 Huchuy Qosqo – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
Today after breakfast you will begin the approximately two-hour hike out from the Basecamp site. From your exit point at Lamay you will be transferred by a short car ride to Ollantaytambo, where you can enjoy lunch at your leisure in town. One suggested restaurant is El Albergue near the train station, which has both a café and sit-down style restaurant. In Ollantaytambo you will board the train that follows parts of the Inca Trail to arrive at Aguas Calientes, the town in the shadow of Machu Picchu, where you will spend the evening at your leisure.
- B, D – Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
DAY 6 Machu Picchu
Early risers can watch the sunrise from the Machu Picchu citadel or make the early morning climb of Huayna Picchu mountain. This incredibly vast archeological site – lost to the world until well into the twentieth century – is perched amongst Andean peaks and lush cloud forest making it one of the most breathtaking sights in the world. You’ll have the opportunity to get a complete guided tour of the site as you begin to unlock the mystery of the Inca, and will also have some to explore the ruins on your own. Lunch at the adjacent Sanctuary Lodge means you’ll be able to enjoy the whole day without leaving awe-inspiring Machu Picchu.
- B, L –Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
DAY 7 Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
Taking the train after breakfast, you will have time to roam through Ollantaytambo town taking in the ancient ruins towering above. Heading into the Sacred Valley you will stop to enjoy lunch at an authentic colonial-era hacienda before continuing on and arriving in the early evening to Cusco.
- B, L – Quinua Villa Boutique
DAY 8 Cusco
Enjoy the day independently exploring Cusco, one of South America’s most dynamic cities. Visit Incan architectural jewels such as Korikancha – the temple of the sun, shop at Andean markets, enjoy incredible Peruvian cuisine, and see the colonial cathedrals around the Plaza Central.
- B – Quinua Villa Boutique
DAY 9 Cusco – Lima
After the morning at your leisure to continue exploring Cusco you will be picked up at your hotel in the afternoon and transferred to the airport in accordance with your onward flight to Lima.
END KNOWMAD SERVICES
Hasta Pronto, Knowmad Adventurers
Knowmad Adventures works closely with independent-minded travelers creating innovative trips to South America. Our specialists in Patagonia, Chile, Machu Picchu, Peru, Argentina, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Antarctica are eager to collaborate and create a trip as unique and authentic as you are, and our experienced South American operations team guarantees you get an insider’s perspective, superior values, and a flawlessly-operated trip.