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Andean Adventure

Andean Adventure
ITINERARY

AREQUIPA, COLCA TREK, PUNO, CUSCO, LARES TREK, & MACHU PICCHU
17 Days / 16 Nights

Day 1. Lima-Arequipa
A short flight takes you from Lima to Arequipa, one of the most beautiful cities in Peru. Known as “The White City” because many of the buildings are made of volcanic clay, this city has a stunning backdrop of Volcano Misti standing as a sentinel over the city. You have time to explore the city, tour the famous 400 year old Santa Catalina Convent, which is the most important example of colonial architecture in Arequipa or choose to take an afternoon white water rafting trip on the nearby Chile river.

Day 2. Arequipa – Colca Canyon trek
You’ll be picked up early in the morning from your hotel in Arequipa to take a six-hour bus trip to the town of Cabanaconde, located at 3,230 meters (10,600 feet) above the sea level. On the way we pass through the Aguada Blanca reserve where you can see llamas and vicunas in their natural habitat. After breakfast we prepare our donkeys and begin to hike and to descent into the Colca Canyon. After approximately four or five hours of downhill walking, we’ll arrive at the community of Llahuar, located at 1,900 meters (6,200 feet) above the sea level, where you can bathe in natural hot springs and watch the geysers (more during the rainy season!). It’s also possible to do some fishing along the river. We’ll spend our first night here in a cozy little lodge.

Day 3. Trekking at the Colca Canyon
We get an early start to avoid the mid-day heat and hike to the village of Fure through the canyon. Look around because you are in the natural habitat of the magnificent condor. In Fure we’ll leave our luggage at our guesthouse and then hike up to the waterfalls of Huaruro, which are 80 m (260 ft) high. Then we’ll go back to Fure to have dinner and some rest.

Day 4. Trekking at the Colca Canyon
Today we are hiking downhill for the most part. We hike all the way down to the Oasis at the bottom of the canyon. After four hours we will be at the oasis to rest, eat lunch, swim in the pool and relax.

Day 5. Trekking at the Colca Canyon and back to Arequipa
We get up very early today to make the steep ascent back to Cabanaconde before the sun comes up. We’ll have breakfast in Cabanaconde and then take the bus toward “Cruz del Condor”, where we’ll see the area´s famous Condors. After this beautiful experience, we’ll take a bus back to Chivay and from there travel back to Arequipa.

Day 6. Arequipa - Puno
We travel by bus through the altiplano region to Puno, which is the city located at the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Once there, we’ll explore Puno on foot.

Day 7. Titicaca Lake
We embark by boat on Lake Titicaca to explore some of its island. First we explore the fascinating floating reed islands of the indigenous “Uros” population, while our local guide explains the local traditions of these islands made out of Totora reeds. Then, our trip continues to the island “Amantani”, inhabited by a self supporting Aymara community. After eating something, we’ll spend the night in the homes of local families as guests, which is a great opportunity to experience rural life in the altiplano.

Day 8. Titicaca Lake
We say goodbye to our host families in the morning and continue our trip navigating to a neighboring island called “Taquile”, which is known for its beautiful weavings and handicrafts. Once we get there, we’ll walk around the island before going to the top to have a nice lunch. We have some time free after the meal, and then, we’ll return to the city in the early afternoon. At the end of the day, we spend the night in Puno.

Day 9. Puno – Cusco
Today we ride the bus to Cusco. On the way we´ll enjoy beautiful mountain landscapes. Once in Cusco we´ll have time to explore this fascinating city that once was the heart of the Incan Empire.

Day 10. Sacred Valley Mountainbike / or white water rafting
We mountain bike along the Sacred Valley of the Incas and visit the agricultural center of Moray where the Incas created various ecosystems to experiment with different crops. We also pass by the scenic salt terraces of Maras that have been in use by the local population since the time of the Incas. We end the tour in Urubamba where we spend the night.

Dag 11. Start Lares Trek
Today we start our 4-day Lares trek in the Lares valley where we´ll see life in the high Peruvian Andes region as it´s been for centuries. We start at 3,000m (9,800 ft) in the Pumahuanca valley and hike to the Pacchaspata community. Here we take a break and have lunch with view of the mountains and the waterfalls. (Pacchaspata means waterfalls in Quechua language). We walk further to our first campsite in Cuyoc at 4,000m (13,100 ft). We spend the night near the first pass and close to a native Quena forest. Quena are the native trees that grow at this altitude.

Dag 12. Lares Trek
We start to climb up the first pass to 4,650 (15,200 ft) from where we have great views of two valleys - the Lares Valley in front of us and we the Sacred Valley of the Incas behind us. After descending for an hour and a half, we eat lunch on a hill with views of Lake Paracocha and the Sirhuani glaciar (5,399 m, 17,700 ft). We go further down to the village of Cuncani, where we set up camp and spend the night. Cucani is still an entirely agricultural community that primarily raises potatoes and llamas..

Dag 13. Lares Trek
From Cuncani we ascend for two hours and then descend to Huacahuasi. After lunch we go over the last pass of 4,400 (14,400 ft). Once over the pass we hike one more hour to Mantanay at 3,900 m (12,800) Here we set up camp. If we make good time we can make it to the hotsprings of Lares and set up camp there.

Dag 14. Lares Trek
On our last day we hike from Mantanay or Lares back to Yanhuara, the end of our trek. A mini-bus will wait for us here. We will pick up our luggage in Urubamba and ride to Ollantaytambo. This is a small village where people still live in houses similar to those built by the Incas. We spend the night here.

Day 15. Machu Picchu - Cusco
We get up early and walk 10 minutes to the train station in Ollantaytambo. From here we have a train to Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu (train takes about 1.5 hours). We take a shuttle bus up to the ruins and have a guided tour in the Lost City of the Incas. After this you will have time for yourselves to wander around this amazing site and hike up to the Sungate for amazing panoramic views. In the afternoon, we take a train back to Cusco, where we spend the night.

Day 16. Cusco - Lima
A short flight brings you back to the capital, Lima.

(Note: This trip can also be done with the 3-day Lares Trek, Salcantay Trek, Inca Trail, Ausangate or other treks.)


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