|Day 1||Arrival in Lima, night in Lima|
|Day 2||Bus to Ica and hike to Huacachina, night in Huacachina|
|Day 3||Daytrip to Islas Ballestas, night in Huacachina|
|Day 4||Visit Ica, bus to Arequipa|
|Day 5||Arrival Arequipa, bus to Cabanaconde, night in Cabanaconde|
|Day 6||Colca Canyon hike, day 1, from Cabanaconde to Llahuar|
|Day 7||Colca Canyon hike, day 2, from Llahuar via Fure to Sangalle (Oasis)|
|Day 8||Colca Canyon hike, day 3, from Sangalle to Cabanaconde. Night in Cabanaconde|
|Day 9||Bus back from Cabanaconde to Arequipa, visit Arequipa.|
|Day 10||Bus to Puno. Visit Puno and lake Titicaca. Bus to Cusco. Night in Cusco.|
|Day 11||Visit Cusco, book trips, arrange equipment.|
|Day 12||Visit Maras y Moray|
|Day 13||Day 1 Cachicata trek from Pachar via Socma to Rayan, night in Rayan|
|Day 14||Day 2 Cachicata trek from Rayan to Cachicata, night in Cachicata|
|Day 15||Day 3 Cachicata trek arrival in Cachicata, visit Urubamba, train to Aguas Calientes, night in Aguas Calientes|
|Day 16||Visit Machu Picchu, bus to Cusco, night in Cusco|
|Day 17||Daytrip with zipline and rafting, night in Cusco|
|Day 18||Daytrip to Rainbow Mountains, night in Cusco|
|Day 19||Flight from Cusco to Lima|
|Day 20||Departure from Lima|
Colca Canyon is one of the main attractions in Peru. It’s around 4 hours drive from Arequipa, Peru’s second biggest city after Lima. It’s a beautiful valley, named after the Rio Colca, with a side valley where the Rio Huaruro flows.
Travel agencies take different routes, but the route we did definitely beautiful. Nice articles:
Detailed route for GPS navigation
This is a very nice hike, but to my knowledge until now there was no map or track. Via the link below you can download the detailed GPS track. There is no Internet in Cabanaconde (or anywhere on this trek), so be sure to download everything you need on beforehand.
We did it in the direction Cabanaconde – Llahuar (with hot springs) – Fure – Sangalle – Cabanaconde, but the other way is possible as well.
|2 days version||Most people who have 2 days go to Llahuar and then to Sangalle, skipping Fure. You can see the roads from Llahuar to Fure on the map below, I didn’t make a GPS route for it.|
|3 days version||This is the version on the map, with nights in Llahuar Lodge and in Sangalle (also called “Oasis”).|
|4 days version||If you have another day, you could go to the waterfall north of Fure. It’s easy to find from Fure as there’s only one way. You can see the roads on the map below, I didn’t make a GPS route for it.|
You’ll find a lot of different treks in the Sacred Valley.
- The most famous one is the Inca Trail, which you have to book well in advance.
- The Salkantay trek is a well known alternative.
- The Choquequirao trek goes to the so called sister city of Machu Picchu.
- Another alternative is the adventurous “Inca Jungle Trail”
We did an alternative trek in the Sacred Valley, sometimes referred to as the “Cachicata trek” or “Inca Quarry trek”.
Detailed GPS track
To my knowledge, no map or GPS track was available. You can find it by clicking the image below.
We did this trek without a guide, which appeared to be very uncommon. The locals haven’t seen many foreigners, not everybody speaks Spanish.
The trek starts at Pachar, from where there are no collectivos and very little transport whatsoever to Socma (also written Soqma). You’ll see the Catarata (waterfall) Perolniyoc, which is really nice, and not touristic since the remoteness of it. Above the waterfall lays an even more astonishing fortress. From there it’s a short way to Rayan, where you can put up your tent. It’s a small community, there’s no hostels or anything, it’s not allowed to start a fire and there’s mountain water from which we drank without any problems.
From there we actually took a wrong path, but I tried to find the correct one and put it in the GPS track. Feedback is appreciated. There’s campsites near Cachicata where you can spend the second night. The third day is limited to a short descent, after which you can visit Ollantaytambo (also called Ollanta) or take the train to Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu.
We booked a one day trip to Rainbow Mountain in Cusco. There are plenty of agencies, which are open until late in the evening, and almost every agency offers this trip. Prices are around 80 soles in these agencies, a lot more if you book via the Internet in advance.
Do not underestimate the hike, we planned it at the end of our stay to be more in shape and accustomed to the height.
We didn’t book the regular tour, which takes the same way back, but found the “Valle Roja” (Red Valley) version, which takes a different route for the descent, for only a few soles more. The route is longer, but it’s not much more exhaustive since it’s all downhill. We didn’t see other groups there, which was nice. Also, we were a bit before the ‘regular’ groups since we had a longer route ahead, which was nice because we could take pictures before the crowd arrived. We had to look really hard to find agencies that had heard of the tour. The guide claimed they’re the only ones offering it. We just found it in an agency located on the north-west side of the Avenida El Sol in Cusco, unfortunately we didn’t write down the exact address.
There’s a lot of information already available on the Internet, I assume you’ve done some research already and try to stick to the specifics.
For traveling between cities we took buses. Peru’s buses are famous for being dangerous, so for tourists a reliable company such as Cruz Del Sur is advised (we didn’t use any other reputable bus company). I would definitely recommend this for very long distances and mountainous roads, such as between Ica and Cusco. However, for shorter distances (a few hours) we also took other bus companies, which were cheaper and offered us more departure times. In most cities there are hubs where a lot of bus companies offer their services and departure from. The way we did it, was to book tickets to the next city at the moment we arrived in the hub coming from the previous city.
Locally we used Uber a lot, because it’s said to be safe and doesn’t require you to hassle or wonder if the price is reasonable. We also used common taxis or unofficial taxis – every car in Peru seems to offer taxi services, and even a mototaxi. All of them were safe and delivered good service. In general, most or all Peruvians we came in touch with were honourable and very helpful people.
We also hitchhiked a bit, out of necessity. Hitchhiking is not common since about every car functions as a taxi and tariffs are low, so hitchhiking would basically mean taking a taxi without paying. However to reach one remote location, we had to jump on a truck. We offered money, but the driver wouldn’t take it.