We leave Cusco early in the morning to head to the provincial town of Calca, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and climb north to a spectacular high pass before descending to the town of Lares on the eastern slope of the Andes. Here we take a delicious dip in a hot spring in the meadows outside the town and then enjoy a picnic lunch. We then begin a leisurely half-day hike up the valley of the Trapiche River, before arriving at the village of Huacahuasi, where we camp for the night. Huacahuasi (3,600 masl / 11,800 ft) Willop Patacancha is an authentic Andean community located in an impressive valley. Here you can observe the typical constructions of the Quechua communities that live at high altitude.
We climb steadily, crossing an open, treeless landscape of plants and flowers hugging the ground, among Andean grass pastures scattered by herds of alpacas and llamas. Reaching an altitude of 4,500 masl (14,760 ft), we cross the Ipsayccasa pass. The pass offers impressive views from Veronica Mountain (5,750 masl / 18,864 ft) and the surrounding snow-capped peaks. We then descend to Ipsaycocha or Ipsay Lagoon. We may see Andean geese, Puna ibis and other waterfowl in the wetlands here as we travel through the heart of this Quechua village, which are locally nicknamed “Huayruros”. These jungle seeds have two colors: black and red; similar to those of the villagers’ dress. We arrive at the village of Patacancha, a well-known Andean textile community that still preserves the ancient citadel of Machupicchu and the dress code. We set up our camp nearby and spend the night amidst breathtaking scenery.
Our transportation takes us through the valley to Pallata, where we will see the Inca ruins of the Inca site of Pumamarca (Puma people). After arriving in Ollantaytambo, from here we will take the train to Aguas Calientes. Tonight you will have accommodation in the city of Aguas Calientes.
After an early breakfast we will visit Machu Picchu. You will have free time to explore, take pictures and of course, if you have the energy, choose to climb Huaynapicchu mountain which has the best view of the city to offer. This will take approximately 2 hours up and back, you should also arrive early as there are only 400 people per day that can hike the mountain. After free time you will have a 2 hour guided tour, then it is time to go by bus to Aguas Calientes, then return to Ollantaytambo by train, at the train station the bus will be waiting for us to return to Cusco.