Journey to the Lost Inca City...
ABOUT THE CHALLENGE
One of the 7 modern wonders of the world, and an iconic South American landmark, the lost city of Machu Picchu rests hidden within the Peruvian Andes.
On our 6-day expedition you will venture from the historic market town of Cusco on a spectacular adventure through the glaciers and mountains of Salkantay, ancient Inca paths and dense jungle as you journey towards the fabled ruins.
All our challenges are inclusive of accommodation, guides, food and in country transport.
Upon arrival at Cusco airport, you will be met and travel by minibus to your hotel. After check in, its time to acclimatise to your surroundings, with no better way than our own "Locals' guide to Cusco" tour.
This short walking tour is a great way to get your bearings and also helps you get used to the altitude, with Cusco sitting at 3,399m.
The beautiful historic centre of Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 with Inca and colonial architecture evident all around.
Later in the day, your guide will give you a full briefing for the adventure ahead.
You will have lunch in a local restaurant in Cusco
Guided Tour: Included
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
You will be able to enjoy a free day exploring the historic centre of Cusco and its sites or to rest and recuperate before the adventure begins. Whether your interest is exploring Inca ruins, visiting colonial churches, bargain hunting in artisan markets, chocolate museums or just relaxing over a cappuccino on a terrace overlooking the Plaza de Armas, Cusco has it all.
You will have dinner in Cusco and get an early night before we begin your adventure!
An early pick up this morning from your hostel as we depart on a 4-hour journey to Marcojasa - the start of the trek.
You will start your hike from here, following the ancient path along the aqueduct to Soraypampa, a beautiful spot nestled within the green valleys, with a picnic lunch en-route.
We then continue through the valleys on the route, eventually arriving at Soraypampa campsite in the late afternoon. Here you will have dinner and stay overnight in tented accommodation.
Trek: 5 hours
Meals: B, L, D
Transport: Included, 4 Hours
You will ascend from your campsite in Soraypampa (3760m) to one of the most beautiful lakes in the region at the base of the Humantay glacier (4200m), where we have a break for photos.
After descending back down to the campsite for lunch, you will then begin the 2-hour trek to Salktantaypampa, where you will set up camp for the second night.
Trek: 5 hours
After breakfast, you will depart on a long and tough ascent towards the Salkantay Mountain Pass at an altitude of 4650m, the highest point on teh trek.
The views as you walk here are spectacular, with the looming hulk of the sacred mountain Nevado Salkantay dominating the glaciated valley through which you will pass.
Lunch will be taken just after the highpoint of the pass before we make a slow descent to Collpapampa, arriving mid-afternoon.
Trek: 8 hours
Today we begin by continuing down the Santa Teresa Valley, through tropical cloud forest and famous coffee plantations, rivers and farmland in the heart of Peru to your campsite at Lucmabamba.
From here, you shall have fantastic views over Peru’s coffee plantations and fruit trees that are exported across the globe.
Trek: 7 hours
Our final day of hiking takes us through the lush vegetation of coffee and tropical fruit plantations and up into pristine cloud forest. We follow an ancient Inca Trail to Llactapata, an Inca site that has only recently been excavated with an amazing view of Machu Picchu that few tourists get to see, in a unique location from behind the wonder. From here, it is a short hike down to the hydroelectric plant where you will sign into Machu Picchu National Park.
After lunch, the trek will continue through semi-jungle for around 3 hours, until you arrive at Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. Here participants can check into the hostel in the early afternoon and rest for the final ascent.
Trek: 8 hours
You will wake this morning for a very early breakfast before setting off for Machu Picchu while it is still dark. The ascent will be steep and, if possible, enable us to arrive at the ruins in time for sunrise through the gates of Machu Picchu.
There will be a guided tour of Machu Picchu lunch will be provided.
After your visit, you can choose to either walk back down to Aguas Calientes or you can hop on the local bus (an additional cost).
Later, we will take the train back to Cusco, arriving mid-evening for hot showers and a chance to explore Cusco's evening entertainment together.
Trek: 2 hours
Today you will have the chance to unwind and recover from the challenge prior to the start of the extension or return journey home!
Grab a coffee in the square, explore ancient nearby ruins or sit back and relax.
Transport to airport provided
THE SIGHTS, SOUNDS AND THRILLS OF PERU - CHALLENGE EXTENSION
Not ready to end your South American adventure after the challenge? Choose to join our challenge extension and stay an extra 5 days in Peru exploring the best of the countries culture, adrenaline filled thrills, sights and sounds.
From visiting the legendary rainbow mountain, to tasting local delicacies, taking part in water sports, ziplines and beginners mountain climbing opportunities, the extension has something for everyone, and is the perfect way to maximise your adventure and take it to the next level.
DAYS - 5 | REG FEE - £95 | FINAL BALANCE DUE - £600
Payable over 5 monthly instalments
INCLUDES: All transport, Accommodation, Breakfast and meals where stated, Airport Transfer, All Equipment
HOW TO SIGN UP: Add 'Extension Trip - The Sights, Sounds, Thrills of Peru ' to your basket at the main challenge sign up page
Can be added at a later date after purchasing
Enjoy a free morning in Cusco for some rest and recuperation.
Next, you will take part in the "Bean to Bar" Chocolate workshop, which is a two-hour group workshop in the art of chocolate making. You will learn the origin of chocolate and its history; even preparing drinks like the Maya and Conquistadores used to. You will explore the chocolate making process, starting from the cacao tree in the jungle, before making your own Chocolates (120g) with milk and dark chocolate and more than fifteen different flavours. An hour later, you can collect your own handmade chocolates, customized the way you like them, and bring them back to your friends and family.
To finish the day, you will have a chance to learn how to make the famous Pisco Sour with a professional bartender from the Museo del Pisco. This is a delicious mix of Pisco (local grape brandy) limes, crushed ice, and egg white and is considered to be Peru's national drink and a "must try" for any one visiting Peru.
Non-alcoholic options are also available.
We will head in the morning to a water sports centre on the shores of Lake Huaypo.
Set amongst fields of corn with fantastic views across to the snow-capped Vilcanota mountains, this is a relaxing rural setting and the perfect place to relax and enjoy some fun on the water.
Choose between exploring the lake on a Stand-Up Paddleboards or Sit On Top Kayaks.
Wetsuits and Life Jackets Provided
On the far side of the lake, we will enjoy some snacks before heading back to our base in time for hot showers and a lunch of locally selected products.
Theres time to enjoy the hammocks and the stunning views before we say farewell to Huaypo and take a dirt road to the colonial village of Maras to begin a short hike.
Famous for its out-standing Spanish door arches and a vast church, Maras was also renowned for its spies due to the strategic location above the Sacred Valley.
You will take an old mule trail downhill to the amazing saltpans. Thousands of saltpans cover the whole of the hillside creating a stunning white landscape. They have been constantly worked since Inca times and were even mentioned in The Chronicles.
The Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Day trip is a spectacular experience deep in the heart of the Vilcanota Mountain range. This is an ideal way to enjoy the magical coloured mountains, on a relatively short trail with minimal incline and without the crowds.
On a clear day, you can see the snow-capped peaks of Ausangate, Mariposa, Nevado del Inca and the diversity of this mountainous region. At the highest point of the trail, you can see the Bosque de Rocas (Rock Forest) with its unique formations.
An amazing mountain climbing opportunity for people without any experience. This combination of Via Ferrata and zip-lining is the complete mountain thrill.
A short drive outside of Cusco, you will climb 400 metres of Via Ferrata and then descend the mountain using 6 zipwires (150 metres to 700 metres).
Initially climbing vertically 400m on the Via Ferrata (Italian for Iron Road), you arrive at the start of the ziplining. After checking out the awesome views of the Sacred Valley, you set of zipping down 5 lines to arrive back down in the Sacred Valley.
This should take around 4-5 hours.
A Via Ferrata is a path used to climb a mountain with a safety system permanently installed. It gives the chance to people without any experience in climbing the opportunity to move through spectacular mountain scenery using a minimum of equipment. The climber is permanently tied to a steel cable that runs through the entire route. Usually does not require any climbing rope. Metal ladders, bridges and similar facilities are used. This helps maintain the physical difficulty of climbing and mix beginners skills while providing access to a very high, and extreme vertical sections of a mountain, that could only be accessible to experienced rock climbers.
After a well-deserved lie-in, you have a final free day in the old Inca Capital and time to pack and enjoy all that this city has to offer before the flight home!
Finally, we will transfer you to Cusco Airport in time for your onward flight.
Choose from a university specific challenge, or join one of our student open groups
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