Extreme adventure. This tour is for the most adventurous as it includes rafting on the Apurimac River, through a labyrinth of deep, little-visited canyons. Afterwards come 4 days of trekking in the Andes with the climax at Machu Picchu, and much-deserved reward after the long hike. You’ll next visit Cusco and its surroundings to learn about the unique aspects of this culture. This is a tour that few dare to take but no one forgets. Come complete your own Andean Odyssey over 16 intense days!
Note: Any physical activity at altitude can be a challenge. It is the traveler’s responsibility to evaluate their own physical fitness and ability to complete the mentioned activities.
You’ll arrive at the international airport in Lima (the majority of flights arrive at night between 8pm and 2am). Our team will be waiting with a private vehicle to take you to the hotel of your choice. Depending on your itinerary, you’ll visit some of the most important museums in the city. (Optional)
Early in the morning, you’ll return to the Lima airport to take your flight to Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Upon your arrival, the Land of the Inkas team will be waiting to greet you. During the trip to the center in a private vehicle, the guide will give a brief introductory talk about the city. You’ll have the rest of the day free to acclimatize, relax and enjoy the exceptional atmosphere in Cusco, home to the some of the most amazing history and culture in South America.
We’ll leave Cusco in a van and drive 3-4 hours to start our adventure on the Apurimac River. When you arrive, the rafting guides will be waiting with all the equipment and lunch ready for you. Afterwards, we’ll start with and introduction to white water rafting techniques, equipment and safety. The first descent goes through Class I – IV rapids and lasts about 2 hours. You’ll take in the excellent views all the way down to “Space Odyssey,” the name of the first camp site. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we’ll raft through the rapids known as “Purgatory” and “The Second Conduit” until we arrive at our second campsite of “La Mesa.” This is a beautiful spot, with a white sand beach and calm waters where we can swim and just simply relax. (B, L, D)
The canyon widens out here, giving rise to steep sections and rapids known as “Dolor de Muelas” (Wisdom Teeth Pain), “Babalua Carajo”, and Last Laugh, which are all Class V. The first two are optional depending on your comfort level. Afterwards, calm waters prevail in the last section until we arrive at the Conoc hot springs, where we’ll camp and relax. (B, L, D)
After a relaxing morning, we’ll travel east down the Apurimac River to Mollepata, where we’ll begin our hike. The trail rises sharply over an hour until we arrive at Cruzpata, from where we’ll have our first view of the imposing Salkantay glacier. The last part of the trail takes us to Soraypampa, where we’ll camp for the night. (B, L, D)
We’ll start early, heading uphill to the plain of Salkantaypampa at the feet of Salkantay, which will dominate our views all day. In the afternoon, we’ll brave a steep climb to get to Incachiriaska Pass, later descending to our campsite at Sisaypampa. (B, L, D)
Today the trail continues through a wide valley named Pampacahua before connecting with the famous Inca Trail and our campsite at Paucarcancha. (B, L, D)
We’ll pass by the village of Huayllabamba this morning and enter a rare Queuña forest, a native species that is difficult to find nowadays except in isolated areas. Once out of the forest we’ll arrive at our campsite at Llulluchapampa. (B, L, D)
Our relentless ascent to Warmiwañusqa Pass (“Dead Woman’s Pass”) will be rewarded with fantastic views before we continue on to the ruins of Runkuraqay. Afterwards, we’ll hike to the ruins of Sayacmarca and see the first signs of cloud forest. We’ll end the day’s exertions by hiking to the Phuyupatamarca ruins and camping nearby. (B, L, D).
After hiking through a cloud forest and passing the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna and Inti Punku we’ll catch our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. We’ll continue to the archeological complex and take a bus to our hotel in Aguas Calientes. (B, L)
Early on, we’ll return to Machu Picchu, one of the New Wonders of the World. We’ll devote our entire day to exploring this extraordinary citadel suspended in time and hidden in the jungle. We’ll also have time to summit Wayna Picchu, the mountain to the north that overlooks the ruins. After lunch in Aguas Calientes, we’ll take the train back to Cusco and be transported to the hotel. (B)
We’ll continue our excursion by heading out to the Sacred Valley, which awaits us with its warmer climate. The town of Pisac is our first stop. All along the road out to the ruins there, you can see remains of Inca agricultural activity. You’ll take in the sweeping panoramic views of the Andean mountains and visit the towns of Calca and Urubamba. After lunch, our journey continues towards Ollantaytambo, whose layout still shows signs of Inca planning, with its cobbled streets and Inca fort. We will spend the night in a hotel here.
Today we’ll visit the most important tourist sites in the city and its surroundings. This is an opportunity to try new things and to learn about the history of Cusco and the daily life of its people. Our destinations today include churches, museums and archeological sites. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the fortress of Saqsaywaman and the complexes of Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. All of these were highly important sites in the Inca religion and are located close to Cusco. After our explorations, we’ll return you to your hotel to spend the night.
On the final day, we’ll take you to the Cusco airport for your return flight to Lima and your connecting flight home.
* In case you want to visit any additional sites, you can add extensions on to your original package. If you choose an extension, we’ll organize the connection to your next destination. Someone from the Land of the Inkas team will accompany you to ensure that you make your connection and that everything goes smoothly.