Andean Expeditions and Adventures (ANEXA) is proud to offer this hike
This is an itinerary that cannot be found on any other site, but comes with Andean Expeditions and Adventures (ANEXA) intention to offer you alternative hikes along which you will enjoy awesome sceneries, without having to share them with other visitors.
Discover places where ancient Peruvians used to live, with lots of mountains and their “apachetas” (Altars for offerings to the Apus or Mountain Spirits), herds of llamas and alpacas, mysterious lakes, native communities located in isolated places, native tree forests and as usual, Inca remains, to end this circuit on one of the most impressive architectural sites the Incas left us; Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu.
Puerto Yanamayo – Chuchaococha – Anantay plain
After an early start in Cusco, and a transfer by van, we will pass by Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley, to climb an unpaved road which goes north, passing by picturesque villages like Pallata, Huilloq and Patacancha, to get to Puerto Yanamayo, our trailhead, at 4,430 m. / 14,530 ft. above sea level. The first part of the hike will be going up and down some hills, where it is sometimes possible to observe herds of llamas and alpacas, and by clear weather, we may see the Eastern side of the impressive Mount Veronica and the Southern side of the Terijuay and Quilloc mountains. Today, lunch will be served at Chuchaococha Lake, where flocks of Andean geese can sometimes be sighted on the lake´s banks, along with the uncommon black-faced ibises which may be seen on grasslands, near rocky outcrops. In the afternoon, we´ll hike the up and downhill trail, over mountains and hills, with only the typical Andean grass (ichu) as predominant vegetation, at that altitude. Then, we´ll reach the beautiful Anantay plain (4,548 / 14,917 ft.), where herds of llamas and alpacas may be grazing and it will be possible to appreciate their presence. Our first camp will be at this place. Lunch and Dinner.
Huaqratanka path – Alancoma Pass – Qheuñapuckru
Today, we will start our hike, seeing not far away from camp Azulcocha Lake beneath our trail, hiking up easily to a mountain and descend to Huaqratanka path at 4,550 / 14,924 ft. of altitude to later start climbing on an ancient trail to Alancoma Pass; the highest point on the circuit, at 4,747 m. / 15,570 ft. above sea level. From this culminating spot, we will still be able to contemplate the impressive snow-capped peaks of the Urubamba Mountain Range, all around us, like Mount Veronica (5,682 m. / 18,637 ft.) and close to us, Mount Alancoma, with its 5,367 m. / 17,604 ft. of altitude. After the pass, the trail will go downhill, on a quite steep slope and gravel covered terrain which is considered as the remains of snowy area and later on, we´ll get to the community of Alancoma, where our lunch will be served. In the afternoon, the trail will still be going down, on a stony terrain, all the way to Queuñapuckru (4,063 m. / 13,327 ft.), to settle at our second campsite. Queuñapuckru´s campsite is located in a valley surrounded by native vegetation predominated by low trees with rugged scaly bark, that grow in more or less open groves, at a high altitude and are surrounded by scrub or grass and on the way, we´ll also be able to observe a few bird species that are restricted to these unique woodlands. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Choquechaca – Pumamarka
Today, we´ll have another day of descent along the Yuraqmayo Valley, finding on our way, more local human settlements, with farming land and animals, like in the community of Choquechaca, for example. The still steep slope will take us some time to descend, as we´ll enjoy the valley which offers some waterfalls and increasing vegetation of the under tree-line level, and will have our third lunch close to an Incan water canal. In the afternoon, the hike will go on along the trail that will take us to the archaeological site of Pumamarka, at 3,470 m. / 11,382 ft., where we´ll find lots of architectural remains belonging to the Incas and pre-Incan civilizations, with structures of “adobe” or sun-dried mud bricks and stone houses, granaries and a square for their social and ceremonial events and all of that built on top of large terraces, which makes it look like a huge pyramid. Our third campsite will be located at the foot of these terraces. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
Leaving our camp behind, as well as the archaeological site of Pumamarka, the rest of our trail will take us through an area with countless and still cultivated terraces, to the vicinity of the town of Ollantaytambo, where we´ll have a chance to visit the archaeological complex and enjoy the people´s life in that ancient and still living Incan town, having lunch before we leave for Aguas Calientes.
The train to Aguas Calientes will depart in the afternoon, as it takes an hour and a half to get there and once in Aguas Calientes, we´ll spend the night at a hotel. Breakfast and Lunch.
Machupicchu – Cusco
Today, we’ll have a very early start, to try to be among the first to get in Machupicchu for the sunrise. So, we’ll have a guided tour in the morning, for lunch, we will return to Aguas Calientes, in the afternoon, we´ll board the train back to Ollantaytambo, from there a van ride to Cusco town. Breakfast.