Dragoman's flagship community project is our fantastic Wild Andes Trail near Cuzco - this trek is an incredible and unique alternative to the overcrowded 'Classic' Inca Trail and has raised thousands of pounds for sustainable development projects in the local Quechua communities in the region we trek through. Our project started in 2005, and in 2013 we changed the route to expand to new areas that would benefit greatly from our help - and the new route is even more spectacular than the original! Our Wild Andes Trail is unique for its absence of other tourists and the stunning untouched beauty of the Andean landscape. The trail features wildlife, culture, amazing views of the huge glaciers in region, and the serenity of being the only trekkers there. It also includes sections of the original ancient Incan trail which connected Cuzco to Machu Picchu. Best of all, we get right into the heart of several remote Andean communities in areas that no other tourists will ever go, which allows for a very genuine local interaction! Our trek ends at the ancient town of Ollantaytambo, and on the following morning we will transfer by train and bus to the magical ruins of Machu Picchu before returning to Cuzco that evening.
Border information: if you are joining in Cuzco, you will most likely enter Peru at Cuzco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (IATA code: CUZ).
There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. There will be a further meeting this evening about the Wild Andes Trek, where we will have a full detailed briefing from our local trekking guides about the next few days!
The rest of today will be free to explore the wonderful city of Cuzco, discover its many historical gems, or to take part in number of optional activities near the city.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cuzco before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Cuzco.
A note on altitude: If you are joining in Cuzco, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise.
In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel.
Take an excellent free walking tour around Cuzco with a local guide, getting a fascinating insight into the history of the city and the life of the locals
Leaving Cuzco early in the morning, we proceed to the ruined temples of Sacsaywaman for a fascinating tour of the archeological site.
After this visit we will continue to the ancient terraces of Pisac to explore the ruins, before heading on to Chincheros, a small Quechua-speaking village in the Sacred Valley. Here we will see a traditional weaving demonstration that has been unchanged for a thousand years, and explore their beautiful archaeological ruins.
From Chincheros we will drive to a stunning viewpoint for a picnic lunch, and then on to Quillarumiyoc (the Temple of the Moon). We will start our trek from here, heading by foot to Zurite where we have a picturesque stay in a colonial house. Tonight we will enjoy a traditional dinner and get a taste of the local village lifestyle.
Approximate walking distance: 8km Estimated time: 4hrs
After a hearty breakfast we leave Zurite and head towards Amaruwatana camp. The walk will take us through Qenteqentiyoc (the Hummingbird Temple), where we will visit and admire this archaeological Inca site.
We will then follow the ancient path all the way to the top of our first pass at 4,400m, where we will have a dramatic view of both the Vilcabamba and Vilcanota mountain ranges.
From here we start walking down on the way to our first camp in the Sambor Valley where we will spend the night.
Approximate walking distance: 13kms, Estimated time: 8hrs
We have an early start this morning, trekking for 2 hours to reach the top of our second pass. From here we have fantastic views of the rock formations below us, and if we're lucky we may spot Andean ibises, caracaras, eagles or foxes up here!
After descending for about another 2 hours, we arrive to a stunning highland valley with a glacial river named Kenqo Mayu (meaning "Zig-zag River") flowing down it - which makes an idyllic stop for lunch!
After lunch we will continue trekking downhill following the ancient trail, which leads us to our campsite in a community called Ancascocha.
Approximate walking distance: 10km Estimated time: 6-7hrs
Today we will descend the narrow Silque Canyon, allowing us to observe the tall granite walls on its sides which are populated by a large variety of orchids and bromeliads, filling the environment with magnificent colours when they bloom. After crossing many little bridges we will reach the community of Camicancha, where we stop at a magnificent volcanic viewpoint looking towards the smow-capped Mt. Veronica.
From here, it is only a short trek to the commnuity of Chilca, where out trail ends. We'll be picked up by our vehicle and head to Ollantaytambo, taking a well-earned shower and rest at our hotel.
In the afternoon we will have an included guided tour around the incredible archaeological site of Ollantaytambo and its world-famous Temple of the Sun.
Approximate walking distance:12km Estimated time: 5hrs
Today we will have an early start to catch the train to the small town of Aguas Calientes. From there, we will take a bus up the winding mountainside to the legendary ruined city of Machu Picchu - one of the world's most iconic sights! We have a guided tour with our expert local guide and plenty of time to freely explore this magical place.
In the afternoon we will head back to Ollantaytambo and then on to Cuzco, where we return to our joining hotel at the end of a long but phenomenal day!
Visit some of the fascinating museums in Cuzco, including the Textiles Museum, the Chocolate Museum, the Casa Concha, and the Museo Inka
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Border information: if you are finishing in Cuzco, you will most likely exit Peru at Cuzco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (IATA code: CUZ).
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Cuzco. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
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