INCA TRAIL, VITCOS, VILCABAMBA, ESPIRITU PAMPA & MACHU PICCHU: 7D6N
INCA TRAIL, VITCOS, VILCABAMBA, ESPIRITU PAMPA & MACHU PICCHU: 7D6N
Inca trail is unique trip that visits several Inka archaeological sites of historical importance and features abundant observation of wildlife and flora within the multiplicity of Andean ecosystems, as well as a jungle experience. The setting is the Region of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, where enormous glaciated massifs – individually separated from one another by intervals of densely vegetated terrain- suddenly thrust upward from the jungle and cloud forest to loom at altitudes of 20,000 feet. A truly remarkable environment. Nevertheless, this is not an extremely demanding trip. Enjoy a milder type of adventure, rewarding in mind. body and spirit.
We Provide and Include: Itinerary transport roundtrip from Cusco-Licensed, Bilingual, history and naturalist Tour Guides-All Itinerary Meals, including vegetarian & snacks, Safety orientation and Equipment for optional activities-First Aid kit and Oxygen-Tour specific Sleeping bags, air mattresses and Expedition grade tents-Dining tent, Cook & Services-Horse,Mule,Llama for tour outfitting,wrangler staff, and emergency or back-up horse-Ecological, portable toilets-All Entrance Tickets-Bus up and down for Machu Picchu-Pre-purchased Return Train connections to Cusco.optional hikes in Machu picchu and Huayna picchu mountains and the Intipunku Inca trail.
Difficulty of the trek: easy to moderate , good regular physical conditions.
Day 1: Distance: 5km, Altitude: 3050 to 3550 mts, hours 3, 4, camping 3050mts
Day 2: Distance: 15km, Altitude: 3050 to 3860 mts, hours 7 camping 3000mts
Day 3: Distance: 15km, Altitude: 3000 to 2017 mts, hours 8, camping 2017mts
Day 4: Distance: 16km, Altitude: 2017 to 1498 mts, hours 8 camping 1500mts
Day 5: Distance: 5km, Altitude: 1500 to 1450mts, hours 2, and camping 2200mts
Day 6: Distance: 4km, Altitude: 1450 to 593 mts, hours 2, and camping 1950mts
Day 7: Distance: 7km, Altitude: 2060 to 2450 mts, hours 6, and camping 2060mts
Day 8: Distance: 8km, Altitude: 2450 to 3100mts, hours 8, Cusco 3300mts
Ecosystems: Scrub bush vegetation, Andean semi dry forest, cloud forest, inter Andean valleys. Grass land, subtropical forest,alpine,glaciers.
Highlights: Some Inca remains. High biodiversity, flora, fauna. Ancient Inca road, sacred mountains, amazing landscape.
Climate: The temperature varies in between below ºC to 2ºC,morning ,night to 20ºC,middle day to 25ºC day.mountain climate sunny to cloudy,windy.
Note: For adjusting to tour altitude, we suggest one day tours like the Sacred Valley, River Rafting and the City Tour of Cusco. As Guides we offer 100% Gauranteed Information, for your sensibilities – about the best specific hotel rooms and services around Peru, like extra windows and other amenities.
Departing Cusco at daybreak, we drive through the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba River and tour the area around the ancient remains of the once-great Inka City fortress of Ollantaytambo. The architecture, the dress of the local inhabitants and the impressively massive stone constructions from times past, make for a notably photogenic setting. We then continue our sojourn, leaving the valley bottom and begin to ascend, passing various inter-Andean valleys, to reach the summit of the high mountain pass known as Abra de Malaga (alt 4315mts). The ensuing descent down the other side takes us through a succession of small eastern-slope Andean ravines valleys as the environment rapidly becomes more densely vegetated and forested. Also there is an optional mountain bike descend middle to moderate about 3 hours. By middle of the day -after a bus ride- we come upon the Urubamba River, starting point of our (optional) rafting experience in class II and class III water. We will have lunch on the River. After the river trip we drive further on for about 1 hour more to eventually arrive by late afternoon in the village of Huancacalle (alt.:11,000 ft) where will camp out. (L, D) Camping.
This is a good opportunity to observe the native arboreal flora represented by tress such as the Llaulli (Bernadesia horrida) from the asteracea family, as well the copious and giant leguminous Pisonay (Erythrina edulis) from the fabacea family.
The avian fauna is represented by an assortment of Hummingbirds: Sparkling Violet Ear (Colibri coruscans) and the Giant Humming Bird (Patagonia gigas), to name a few, as well as by other interesting species among which is to be noted the White-Eyed Parakeet (Aratinga leucophalmus).
After a good and substantial breakfast in Huancacalle, we set off early on a 3-hour round trip hike to the archaeological sites of Vitcos (one of the last Inka redoubts, seat of a fortified palace complex featuring magnificent masonry and walling) and the nearby ceremonial site of Ñusta Hispana (or Chuquipalta) centered on an enormous granite boulder carved in-situ, surrounded by finely wrought thrones and niches. Following this remarkable exploration, we return to HuancacalleThem we begin our ascending to the Pampaconas pass (3900mts) for about 5 hours. After lunch we have 2 hours more to Mullupunku. We are afforded the great opportunity of viewing a substantial amount of indigenous flora and fauna representative of the different ecosystems in the area. Once atop Pampacona pass we indulge in a light yet energy-rich lunch, followed by a small break for rest and relaxation. soon, we are ready to continue. Here, another optional feature presents itself in the form of choosing to the descend the hither side of the pass on mountain bikes, or walking. Either way leads us through the usual assortment of highland and midland Andean Valleys to our next camp, which lies situated in the proximity of Mullupunku (alt.:10,000 ft.) and counts with a grand view of the mountains and snowcapped peaks in the region.. The nighttime –with the generous cooperation of fine weather- provides a wonderful opportunity for star gazing, sky watching and scrutinizing the many constellations. (B, L, D) .
This spot also offers fauna and flora enthusiasts with possibility of closely observing that most ubiquitous of cacti: the Tuna (Opuntia ficus indica), known as Nopal in Central America and Prickly Pear in North America. The birdwatchers will revel in the sight of the Tanca (Muranta armata), Mutuy (Senna birostris) and also the Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia malanogenys), the Blue and White Swallow (Notiochelidon cyanoleuca), the Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis) and the Mountain Caracara (Phalcoboenus mega lopterus). (B, L, D)
On this day we begin our hike from near Mullupunku to Linda Vista. We pass through Andean semi dry valleys and cloud forest. There many opportunities to contemplate and study many examples of the flora and fauna typical of those ecosystems. We stop at the village of Ututo for lunch accompanied by a refreshing dip in the nearby river. Later on we read Linda Vista where our camp has been setup near the river. We also get a close look an original Inka Road used by the last Inkas as late as the year 1572. There are good opportunities to see Maqui Maqui (Oreopanax ischnolobus), Maguey (Furcrasea andina) and the Queñua Tree (Polilepis incana), as well as Treeferns (Cyathea caracasana).
Among the more interesting examples of bird life to be observed are the Scarlet Bellied Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus igniventris) and the Blue and Gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus).
To top it all off, there are numerous opportunities –as well as reasons- for refreshing swims in the river. (B, L, D).
Today brings with it an excellent outdoor breakfast to the accompaniment of the sounds of the jungle.will take us into the unknown and mysterious cloud forest and the delight in observing its abundant flora and fauna. We make a prolonged stop at a point of confluence of two rivers. Here, almost 500 years ago, Inka forces organized a well concerned attack against the Spanish host. .From this point and commanding position, the Inkas held a wide spanning view of the surrounding valleys and passes. The availed themselves of the strategic advantage they held in sighting the invaders and –at a given moment- unleashed a destructive strike upon the Spaniards, including the dislodging of huge boulders and debris from the height of the surrounding cliff. The Spanish force was nearly destroyed and the final conquest and capture of Vilcabamba was temporarily thwarted and delayed. We then resume our hiking through the increasingly more pronounced river canyon –with the alluring possibility in store, of visiting some previously unexplored or unknown archaeological sites extant in the midst of the thickening cloud-forest. In the late afternoon we pull into Concevidayoc (alt.: 4,500 ft) and camp. The tour de force of this new site is the profusion of Epiphytic Orchids, such as the much esteemed and popular Epidendrum secundum –known as “Wiñay Wayna” (meaning “Forever Young” in the native Quechua language), as well as Wakanky (Masdevaliaveitchiana), Fuchsias (Fuchsia boliviana), Begonias (Begonia veitchii), and more. Not to be outdone, the Bird life makes its presence with the Russet Backed Oropendola (Psarocolius angustifrons), the Great Thrush (Turdus fuscater) and, not least of all, the Great Breasted Mountain Toucan (Andigena hypoglauca). (B, L, D)
In the wake of our customary and infallibly superb breakfast, we set off from Concevidayoc and hike for about 2 hours to visit the celebrated Inka City of Vilcabamba the Great, or the “Old”, which is situated in a thickly forested alluvial plain now bearing the Spanish toponym of “Espiritu Pampa”. This was –in effect- the last Royal Seat of Power and Capital of the “rebel” Inkas. Its capture in the 1570’s and the ensuing execution of the last Inka king, Tupac Amaru I, sealed the fate of the indigenous cause. The conquest became complete. Approaching the entranceway to the city, one walks upon a splendid and well built Inka road paved with ashlars, which well deserves being considered beautiful. We check into our camp which has been pitched nearby and make preparations to go on an exploratory expedition. of the renowned archaeological site. A 20 minute hike brings us the hike to the Inka city, embarking upon detailed and fascinating tours and discoveries for the remainder of the day. We partake of a picnic lunch near the archaeological site. It is late afternoon, virtually evening, by the time we go back to our camp. There lies awaiting for us a well deserved and delectable dinner followed by the joyous reveling in the great starry sky and the sounds of the forest. (B, L, D)
Another early start assuaged by a glorious breakfast; we resume our hiking following a North by East course through the cloud forest and the canyon of the Cosireni River. In about one and a half hours we come upon a motor road head near the town of Chaunguiri. This is the agreed rendezvous point to meet our bus, and sure enough, there it is. A period of organizing equipment and packing is soon after followed by approximately 6 hours’ bus drive to the train station situated near the town of Santa Teresa whence we shall board the uphill train for one more our and a half pull as far as the Town of Aguas Calientes (Municipality of Machu Picchu), a colorful jungle town located on the right margin of the Urubamba River. Several thousand feet above, perched – if not delicately balanced-on a steep ridge, lies the Inka Citadel of Machupicchu. This site – which remained uncovered for close to 500 years until its discovery in July of 1911- represents the only extant example of an intact urban center. It was never visited, besieged looted or dismantled by the conquering Spaniards, hence its pristine condition. Time and research has also proven that – contrary to initial theories- Machu Picchu is, or was, not an isolated sanctuary, but rather the center of a mayor urban hub, crisscrossed by roads and surrounded by several score complementary urban sites, astronomical observatories, etc.
We camp that night in the vicinity of Aguas Calientes, below the Inka city of Machupicchu, close by the roaring torrent of the Urubamba River carving its relentless way through the mountains to finally spill out into the vast plain of the Amazon Jungle. A welcome time to relax and perhaps delight in the local the hot springs. (B, L) hotel.
Today we board the first small that shuttles visitors from the valley bottom up to the fabled ruins. The zig zagging ride up the steep mountain slope lasts about 25 minutes. We have arrived and begin a 2-hour tour of the vast complex, now one of the seven new wonders of the world. Once this has concluded, we will have the chance to hike on one of the original Inka Royal Roads coming from Cusco called the Sun gate (about 2 hours), which enter Machu Pichu from above. From the scenic overlook known as Inti Punku (the Gateway of the Sun) will enjoy a light lunch against the spectacular backdrop of the entire Inka citadel. Come mid-afternoon everyone gets free quality time of their in the ruins. By late afternoon we descend on bus to Aguas Calientes and board the train back to Cusco. (B, L,) Hotel.
ELIJA SU PRÓXIMO DESTINO
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