Andean Weavers’ Trek

Andean Weavers’ Trek 4 days 3 nights plus MACHU PICCHU

Trek in Cusco’s Andes mountains, visiting remote indigenous communities. This walk is a unique experience. You will visit isolated Andean villages where life has changed very little since Inca times, experiencing the lives of communities dedicated to growing their crops and herding llamas and alpacas, which are used as pack animals, as well as for their wool and meat. These villagers conserve their traditional weaving techniques, making their clothing from sheep, alpaca and llama wool. This unforgettable journey ends in the fertile Lares Valley, where we will be able to bathe in natural thermal pools set among subtropical vegetation. Following the trek, you can opt to continue to Machu Picchu.

YOUR DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY AND SERVICES:

Day 1: Cusco – Inca ruins – Patacancha – Camp

Leaving your hotel, we will head north through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Ollantaytambo, where you can visit the village and ruins in the company of our guide. We will then continue by private vehicle for about one hour to the village of Patacancha (3825 meters / 12,545 feet), a charming community of small houses built from mud brick and thatch. This is where our trek begins. We will walk through typical inter-Andean valley scenery for approximately four hours, arriving at our campsite on the Yanaqaqa plain (3915 meters / 12,841 feet), where we will camp.

Day 2: Yanaqaqa campsite – Qelcanca community

Leaving our campsite in the early morning, we will make a brief ascent to the next pass at 4392 meters (14,405 feet), before descending into the Qelcanca Valley, home to a rural community of llama and alpaca herders. These welcoming villagers will demonstrate their ancestral weaving techniques, and depending on the time of year, visitors are welcome to participate in farming activities. The village school teaches its children in their native Quechua, and the residents are friendly and welcoming. On the way to the community we will pass through smallholdings where local people produce different types of Andean crops, including several varieties of potatoes. We will camp in the mountains beyond the village at 3916 meters (12,844 feet), with a fine view of imposing Mount Terijuay (5800 meters / 19,025 feet).

Day 3: Huyunapampa – Cochayoc community

During the morning we will climb to beautiful Lake Yuraccocha, formed by the melt waters of Mount Terijuay. From the lake, we will head downhill, with plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful surrounding countryside, until we reach Lake Yanacocha, near the village of Cochayoc, where the local community is famous for its textile tradition, and where we will make our camp.

Day 4: Cochayoc - Cachin - Lares valley and Ollantaytambo / Train to Machu Picchu

In the morning we will visit Cachin, whose inhabitants are famous for their weavings. Local people's houses are built in the traditional Inca style. Around midday we will descend towards the Lares Valley, with its warm, agreeable climate, as far as the village of Lares. Located at an altitude of 3207 meters (10,521 feet), this is a typical colonial village with a church, a main plaza and narrow streets. The local thermal baths are famous throughout the Cusco region. Leaving Lares, we will travel by road to the village of Ollantaytambo. The highest point of this road stands at 4265 meters (13,990 feet), from where we will be able to see the mountains of Sawasiray and Pitusiray, before descending into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In the late afternoon, participants can continue by train to Machu Picchu, overnighting in the town of Aguas Calientes, or opt to return to Cusco by road.

Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Known throughout the world as the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu remains intact because it was never discovered by the invading Spanish. Built some time during the 15th century, Machu Picchu is the greatest surviving achievement of the architects of the Inca state. The site covers an area of 13 square kilometers and would have originally served as an administrative and religious center. Our guide will carefully explain the history of this unique place and escort you around its terraces, streets, temples, palaces and watercourses. You will return to Cusco by train in the afternoon.

EXTENSIONS: DO YOU HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND IN PERU?

Other travelers added the following extension to this Peru itinerary...

CUSCO CITY TOUR Half day 
Explore historic Cusco and its major attractions during a half-day excursion: Colonial-era Cusco, with its cathedral and the Inca Temple of the Sun, or Qorikancha. The enormous Inca temple complex of Sacsayhuaman, located at the top of the hill overlooking Cusco's main square, and other archaeological sites in the hills around the city.

CHECK TO SEE WHAT'S INCLUDED AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING...

Included
  • All land transport (private vehicle)
  • English speaking guide
  • Camp cook, pack animals and mule drivers, camp assistant(s). Mules carry up to 8 kg of each participant’s personal gear.
  • Camping equipment: Two-person tents, kitchen and/or dining tent, and toilet tent
  • Inflatable mattress
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Snacks in the morning, including fruit, chocolate, candies, etc.
  • Hot drinks in the afternoon (tea or coffee)
  • First-aid kit
Not included
  • Sleeping bag (available for hire at an additional cost)
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Tips
What to bring:
  • Passport 
  • Daypack
  • Warm clothes for the high Andean section of the itinerary
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeved cotton shirts 
  • Shorts for walking (optional)
  • Hiking boots
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun block
  • Water bottle for the first day (we will refill your bottle each day)
  • Binoculars for birdwatching enthusiasts
  • Flashlight
  • Camera
  • Swimwear and sandals for thermal baths
FAQs - Frequently asked questions

How far in advance do I need to book a trek or hike?

For trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you should make your booking at least five days in advance, so we can make the necessary preparations, although we recommend that you make your booking up to 90 days in advance. Full refunds (minus administration costs) can be offered 45 days before your scheduled departure date. After 45 days, only partial refunds will be given. 

I would like to trek with my friends, can I book now and my friends book later?
Yes, for trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you can add other travelers to your group before departure. Write to us for more information on the treks, hikes and tours we have available. 

What is the maximum group size? Is there a maximum?
The maximum group size is 16 persons. For more than 16 persons, a second group must be organized. A single guide travels with 8 participants. For larger groups, an assistant guide will also accompany the participants.

If I am traveling alone can I have my own tent / hotel room?
If you are traveling alone and are willing to share a tent, with a member of the same sex or partner, family member or friend, then there is no additional cost. If, however, you would like your own private tent an additional supplement will be payable. Please contact us in advance, because on some trekking and hiking routes this option may depend on the availability of spaces at campsites designated by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

What do we do for water?
Use of plastic bottles on the network of Inca Trails to Machu Picchu is not permitted. Other treks and hikes do not have this restriction, but we always recommend and encourage our travelers to use reusable canteens or second use plastic water bottles. Our cook will provide you with boiled water to refill your bottle at all the campsites.

What food safety processes do you have in place?
All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible. 

What do I need to carry?
You will need to carry your daypack with all the personal items you need during the day. The rest of your luggage will be transported by us (van / porters). Porters are only permitted to carry 8 kilos for each person (including sleeping bag). As a company, Andean Adventures Peru is committed to the well-being of its porters during treks and hikes, ensuring that they are properly paid, well fed, and comfortable at our campsites. On some of our trekking and hiking routes, pack animals are used. 

What type of camping gear is used for treks and hikes?
We supply all the camping equipment needed for groups to enjoy the great outdoors safely and comfortably: 4-person tents for every two participants; air mattresses; complete table service; dining tent, chairs and tables; kitchen tent; latrine tent; sleeping bags on request (many travelers choose to bring their own sleeping bag; however, we also offer sleeping bags for hire at an additional cost). 

What processes are in place to ensure the equipment is always in perfect condition?
Our full time logistics staff continuously maintain and/or replace all our equipment. To ensure proper use of our equipment, all gear is handled by our trained field crew during treks and hikes.

Do you provide sleeping pads?
Yes.

What food safety processes do you have in place?
All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible. 

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