Today we started our day touring a local market, where they sell everything from fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, nuts, bread, etc… After the market we drove to Ancasmarca, an old archeological site which offers a different form of building architecture. Due to the different rock type a stone and mortar technique was used here, with more cylindrical buildings. From Ancasmarca we continued to Lares town and into the mountains to a place called Cuncani. It was pouring rain when we arrived at the trailhead, but we didn’t let it deter us and by the time we made it to our high point of 13,838’ the skies had cleared and we were rewarded with mountain vistas. From this pass we could view glacier capped mountains rising to over 18,000’. We took some great photos at the pass and then made the descent into the next valley and down to the Huacahuasi Lodge at 12,585’. On the descent we were greeted by grazing sheep, lamas and alpacas. The lodge includes a jacuzzi outside of each room with epic views of the surrounding mountains. It was a fantastic day and we look forward to tomorrow.
Market in Lamay.
Ancasmarca archeological site.
Heading down to the lodge and the jacuzzi.
This morning we headed out from the Lamay Lodge and drove to Amaru at 13,150’, where we set out for a hike to Challwacasa Pass. We were greeted by a family of burros, who helped carry some gear and provided some great photos. After making it to the top of the pass, we descended to Viacha a small settlement and were treated to a “Pachamanca” lunch where potatoes and meat are cooked underground with hot stones. Silver explained the relevance and importance of the native grains the locals grow. After a delicious lunch we continued down an original Inca Trail to the archeological site “Pisaq”. Along the way we had the opportunity to try some traditional farming practices. Pisaq is a very impressive Incan citadel, with incredible terraces. We had a great day and are looking forward to tomorrow!
1. Hiking up to Challwacasa Pass at 14,200’
2. Enjoying the company of the burro family
3. Silver teaching us about the local grains
4. Learning about the traditional farming practices
5. Pisaq 11,430′
6. The impressive terraces at Pisaq
Today we left Cusco behind and traveled into the mountains to a small village called Chinchero. We visited a beautiful textile center, where local women take raw alpaca wool and spin it into works of art. Chincero is also an archeological site where colonial churches rest atop Incan ruins. From Chinchero we descended into lush forests of eucalyptus, down old Incan trails. We took a detour along the way to take some photos near an amazing waterfall. At the end of our hike we ended up in another small village called Urquillos and from there took the van to the Lamay Lodge. The lodge is nestled in the small village of Lamay at 9,705’ and includes a jacuzzi complete with grazing alpacas. We all enjoyed our day of hiking, learning and are now enjoying appetizers by the fire and of course the jacuzzi. Tomorrow we look forward to exploring Lamay and the surrounding countryside.
1. The awe inspiring Andes
2. Local women teaching us about the art of weaving alpaca wool
3. Courtyard at the Lamay Lodge
4. The friendly alpaca, who might give you a kiss while you enjoy the jacuzzi!
5. Lucas and Hanna at the waterfall
This morning we awoke to a deluge of rain and decided to postpone our tour of Cusco in hopes of sunnier skis. Fortunately the afternoon provided us with clearer skies, and we had a great tour of some archeological ruins just above Cusco. Our local guide Silver provided great detail on the development of Cusco, which was the epicenter of the Incan culture. We toured the famous ruins, “Saqsaywaman” which along with Cusco is a UNESCO world heritage site. We then descended into Cusco proper and visited the most prominent Cathedral constructed by the Spanish. Tomorrow we will leave Cusco and head to Lamay and continue on our adventures.
1. The gang at Saqsaywaman
2. Plaza de Armas
3. Beautiful Spanish Cathedrals in the Plaza de Armas
Hello friends and family,
This is Victor checking in from Cusco, Peru with the Sacred Valley Trek to Machu Picchu. Our group of guests assembled at our lovely hotel today for a briefing with our local guide Silver Ballon, followed by a gear check. This evening we dined at one of Cuscos premiere restaurants, “Limo”. We enjoyed the famous Peruvian cocktail the Pisco Sour, along with ceviche, smoked trout and other Japanese/Peruvian infusions. Tomorrow we will go for a tour of Cusco and some of the surrounding architectural sites.
AMGA Certified Ski Guide
This is really a very, very nice, upscale trekking experience and I really enjoyed it. Treking around the Peruvian Andes was fabulous. Days trekking were just long enough so you could sit back and enjoy the wonderful lodge facilities every day.