The information shown below is a quick guide to what you need to know to travel to Peru. For more detailed information you can access the information section by topics, which is shown at the end of this article.
Two of the most important tourist centers of the city of Cusco are Maras and Moray. In these places you can appreciate part of our ancient culture in its different stages such as pre-Inca, Inca, colonial and republican. We invite you to learn a little more about these tourist attractions and to start planning your next vacation with visits to these places, Maras and Moray are waiting for you!
Location of the district of Maras
Maras is located at an altitude of 3,380 meters above sea level. Maras is located at a distance via Izcuchaqa – Chequerec of 48.10 Km. via Cusco – Chinchero of 48.88 Km. (this is the most recommendable because it is an asphalt highway).
In the town of Maras, you can appreciate the snow-capped mountain ranges of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Vilcabamba. The district of Maras has tourist attractions from the pre-Hispanic, colonial and republican period; in the town, the main highlights are its colonial façades with the coats of arms of the nobles and chieftains of the 16th and 20th centuries.
Maras was the forced passage for the muleteers and their mules that transported tropical products and especially coca leaves from the high jungle of Cusco to satisfy the needs of the city of Cusco and the country. The district of Maras has a church built with adobe bricks, a typical construction of the religious architecture of the village, in whose atrium is a cross carved in granite; inside the church can be seen canvases of the Cusco school in which the apostles are represented; the author of these paintings is the Quechua painter, Don Antonio Sinchi Roqa Inka, a native of the district of Maras who is said to have painted with great care for his church.
From the town of Maras there are two routes, one to the archaeological complex of Moray and the other to the saltworks of Maras, both of which are approximately 4 km away.
Salt mines of Maras
The Salineras de Maras has an impressive salt mining complex, located in the area called Qoripujio, at a distance of approximately 4 km from the town of Maras. It has salt mines, which have been exploited since the Incas (time of the Incas) as a means of economic exchange and values. From Maras, you can visit the salt mines by a bridle path; it is very common to find mules that carry the sacks of salt extracted from the natural salt mines.
How to get to Maras?
To get to Maras you must take a Private Tour offered by our Tourist Agencies, you will surely spend a great experience and also enrich your knowledge about the Inca culture.
Location of the archaeological group of Moray
Moray is located 53 km. from Cusco, has an altitude of 3,385 meters above sea level.
Approximately 7 km southwest of Maras is Moray, a unique archaeological group in the region. Moray is a center of depressions or gigantic natural holes which were used to build (in their contours) terraces or agricultural platforms with their respective irrigation channels. What is important in the place and therefore very striking is the average annual temperature difference between the top and bottom of the depressions, this difference can reach up to 15°C.
The largest hole has a depth of 150 m. and the average height of the platforms is 1.80 m. between them.
The structures found in Moray are typically Inca, however, some suggest that they are older structures; this can be seen mainly on the lower terraces. It is also estimated that the Moray bottom is on a very porous natural rocky formation that facilitates the filtration of the water towards the interior of the earth since at the bottom of the depressions there are no floods during the rainy seasons.
Machu Picchu facts and Travel guide to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu It is the most famous and spectacular archaeological park on the continent, considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
It was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, it is said that his discovery was by chance because what he was really looking for was the city of Vilcabamba, the last refuge of the Incas and the last point of resistance against the Spanish.
Formerly known as Picchu or Piccho, this legendary place of Peru in colonial times had something like two parts, the old, “Machu” and “Wayna”, the young; Picchu means simply “hill”, and the name “old hill” comes from the set.
Not many people lived in the citadel, perhaps no more than 200 or 300 approximately, and according to them, although hypothetically suitable in the subject, almost all were linked to the lineage of the Incas or at least of high rank.
What is certain is that all this construction was essentially a kind of sanctuary of abundant wealth and for this reason considered very important, built near Cusco.
The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchuhas an area of 32,592 hectares, and is located at an altitude of 2490 meters above sea level, taking as a reference the Main Square of the archaeological site. The temperature ranges from 8º to 22º C. The rainiest months are from December to April.
The access is given by rail, during 4 hours approximately by 112.5 Km are covered from the station of San Pedro in Cusco, until the station of Aguas Calientes and then it is ascended in Bus by the highway until the Historical Sanctuary of Machu picchu. Those who like hiking and adventure can get to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail.
A living Inca city
Taking back the main road in Urubamba, the town of Ollantaytambo emerges after 50 kilometers. Here the mountains have bowed to the hand of man, who has taught them with terraces of containment. The labyrinthine layout of the village has been linked to the original Inca as an open-air museum, where ruins from seven centuries ago survive between ditches and adobe houses.
From now on, the traveller will chain paths that have always been inscribed in the local memory, although their incorporation into the maps is relatively recent. The final objective of these roads is Machu Picchu, the ceremonial citadel that, located at 2,500 meters, has not yet revealed all its mysteries. The route of several days until reaching this magnificent enclave is reduced to a few hours thanks to the train that takes you from Cusco to the town of Aguas Calientes, 167 kilometers away.
TO KNOW MORE TO TRAVEL TO MACHU PICCHU
Currency: nuevo sol.
Time difference: 7 hours less.
Health: you need to acclimatize to prevent altitude sickness.
How To Get There: Several airlines connect Lima and other; a local flight takes you to Cusco. Buses, taxis and trains connect Cusco with the surrounding villages. The train to Aguas Calientes takes 4 hours; the bus gets on at the entrance of Machu Picchu in 20 minutes.
The Inca Trail The complete route from Cusco takes 8 days, but it is usually done in 4 Days trek or 2 days trek (Short Inca Trail). The 4-day route starts at Km 82 (Piscacucho) or Km 88 (Qoriwayrachina) of the train line to Aguas Calientes. The 2-day route begins at Km 104. Permission to do the Trek and the entrance to Machu Picchu is through the Institute of Culture in Cusco or Aguas Calientes.
Machu Picchu Cusco
Its three Sectors
This impressive sanctuary, located approximately 1000 meters below Cusco, at 2,360 meters above sea level, consists of two important sectors, the agricultural sector and the urban sector, also called citadel, and a third one called Wayna Picchu.
The largest sector would be agriculture, as it somehow embraces the citadel, surrounding it completely.
The citadel is made up of buildings of different kinds, including houses, warehouses and temples. It is a large sanctuary where its buildings are connected to each other through narrow streets and paths, most of them in the form of stairways.
In turn, the citadel is also surrounded by an enormous protective wall and a very wide and deep ditch, both built for ritual isolation purposes.
Sectors in Machu Picchu Cusco
SECTORS IN MACHU PICCHU
With an approximate an altitude of 2.720 mts., this summit catalogued and known as the third sector inside the great sanctuary, impresses already from its particular form of blade and mid-view that goes up through it.
Once reached its peak and right in the middle of the major rocks there is what the collective imagination has decided to call “the Inca’s chair”, that is, a stone carved in a very similar way to an ancient rustic throne.
From there it is not only the carved stone that leaves the tourist speechless, but also the immensity of the landscape. When you look around what you see is really dazzling, a huge green model with peaks and ravines that from no other point can be appreciated in this way.
Life in Machu Picchu
It seems that all the people who settled in the city over the years were not exactly local but quite the opposite, they were people from different places and areas.
Most of the women lived there, according to the number of graves found at the site. They worked the land and were also engaged in manufacturing, specializing in classic textiles and the production of ceramic pieces.
On the other hand, there are documents dating from the sixteenth century, which indicate that in lands belonging to ancient kings such as Wayna Qhapaq, the establishment of thousands of women, or mamacunas.
The population that inhabited Machu Picchu did not have any warriors at all, and this could be known after not finding in any of the corpses discovered any traces of trepanation. Really remarkable.
Altitude of Machu Picchu
The city of Machupicchu is located at an altitude of 2,450 meters above sea level. (8,038 feet). It is 2,490 m.a.s.l. taking as reference the Main Square of the City of Machu Picchu.
Surface of Machu Picchu
The Archaeological, urban and agricultural Park of Machu Picchu, that is to say, the Citadel itself, has an area of more or less 10 hectares. The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu over an area of 32,592 hectares, 80,535 acres (325.92 km²; 125.83 m²), a vast territory of the Province of Urubamba in the Department of Cusco.
Weather in Machu Picchu
The weather in Machupicchu is warm and humid during the day and cool at night. The temperature is between 12 and 24 degrees Celsius. The natural climate is rainy (about 1,955 mm per year), especially from November to March.
In the months of December to March or April is the rainy season in Machu Picchu, while in the months of April to November or December the dry and sunny season is presented, with a special shade in the spring month of September, where there is a spectacular landscape of the sub-tropical forest.
In the rainy months from September to April, rain and drizzle are almost daily, followed by a clear blue sky and intense sunshine. However, given its location on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, the rains are latent in any month of the year, even in the dry season from March to December.
In Ollataytambo is the famous city and fortress of Ollantaytambo, built by the Inka Pachacutec in the fifteenth century, and from this place you can see beautiful snow-capped mountains along the route.
When you reach kilometer 82 or Qoriwayrachina Station you will find the beginning of the most famous adventure trail in America or Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, with a distance of 35 kilometers that can be walked in three or four days, visiting the archaeological sites of Patallaqta, Runkurakay, Sayaqmarca, Phuyupatamarca, latipaia and Wiñayhuayna, ending in Machu Picchu; in this route there are natural landscapes, flora and fauna of extraordinary beauty that deserve special study.
After crossing a bridge, you will arrive at the archaeological site of Chachabamba and it is the beginning of the “Camino Sagrado” (Sacred Way), named after being parallel to the Sacred River of Vilcanota, which leads to the archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna, one of the most beautiful I know of its kind, after a walk of five kilometers or three hours approximately.
At kilometer 107, on the left bank of the Vilcanota River, you can see the dam of the Machupicchu hydroelectric plant. Then our train arrives to the town of Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo, there after staying, we will immediately go to take a few hot springs, then to have dinner, respecting the recommendation to eat a little and take a little we must follow the instructions of our guide, and if possible sleep alone, so that in the early morning, early in the morning, first thing in the morning we head to the enigmatic city of Machu Picchu.
The cars leave very early from 5:00 a.m., after breakfast, we will be the first to arrive at the parking lot of the hotel and after a brief rest, we will begin the adventure of meeting our guide and more than anything find the history and architecture of this magnificent city brought from the past for us.
The return trip has two options: take the bus back to the town of Aguas Calientes in about 20 minutes or use the pedestrian path, walking about 60 minutes, a path that I recommend for those who want to enjoy a slow descent, even more so because I was a construction site resident in charge of rehabilitating this path, Both routes end in front of the Puente Ruinas Station, and from there we will go to the town of Aguas Calientes where we will enjoy lunch and then return to the city of Cusco, boarding the train, you have to be about 20 minutes before at the train station, for safety not to miss it.
If you plan to stay more days in Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes, you can enjoy views of the Putucusi mountain or the Machu Picchu or go to the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes, where you can relax.
If you are not familiar, the route to Machu Picchu can be a confusing network of Quechua names, so here is a quick guide to the classic route from Cusco to Machu Picchu by train: From Cusco to Ollantaytambo take a bus, or a shared private car, from the corner of Pavitos and Grau (it will take 1? hours to Ollantaytambo / cost 15 soles). From Ollantaytambo take a train to Aguas Calientes (2 hours / cost varies / book tickets in advance); from Aguas Calientes take a bus (25 minutes / $ 24 USD round trip) or walk down the stairs (1.5 hours / free / not too tiring) to Machu Picchu.
Protect your skin from insects
Whether you are walking to Machu Picchu or sleeping in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, you will need a good insect repellent. You will discover that if you want to walk to Machu Picchu, the climate of Aguas Calientes is favorable for small annoying mosquitoes, which will feast on your ankles if you are not prepared. Stronger repellents often cause allergies and are more harmful; on the other hand, natural repellents work well, but should be applied frequently. We appreciate this advice, believe us an extra ounce of repellent, will be very useful in your luggage.
Public Bathrooms in Machu Picchu
Public restrooms are rare in Aguas Calientes, in fact, they are just a few public restrooms for the 2,500 visitors who enter Machu Picchu every day. For this reason we recommend you to consider visiting a bathroom before visiting the Inca City. Not all bathrooms usually have toilet paper, and it is highly recommended to take some toilet paper with you, in Machu Picchu and in Peru in general.
In some cases, people from restaurants and other services add the amount of the tip to the amount to be paid. While you may wish to leave a tip, it is not an obligation; nor should it be included on bills, receipts or consumption receipts. Feel free to leave a tip alone if you wish. But also keep in mind that it is polite to tip, if the service was to your liking.
Being at 6:00 am in Machu Picchu will allow you to not only see the sunrise of Machu Picchu, but also fewer people, since the largest number of visitors to Machu Picchu arrive by the 11:00 am train. You can avoid this agglomeration by taking the 5:00 am train, which will allow you to be in Machu Picchu at 7:30 am. Or better yet, sleep in Aguas Calientes the night before and start the ascent on foot or by bus at dawn.
Is it possible to eat in Machu Picchu?
Officially, no food or water bottles are allowed in the park, and this should be checked at the luggage storage at the entrance. In practice, however, the bags are rarely fancy, and most people have no problem carrying a small bottle of water and something to snack on, something you’ll definitely want to do especially if you’re about to move away from the central ruin set. Buy all this in advance, as prices on the same site are much more expensive. Don’t you dare leave a trail of garbage behind you.
REQUIREMENTS: Passport, waterproof jacket, t-shirts and t-shirts, sunglasses, sunscreen, repellent, rain poncho (available in Cusco and very cheap), warm pants and other lighter pants for walking, trekking boots and canes with rubber tips.
HIGH SEASON: For the Inca Trail, it is best to go from April to December – the rest of the months are very rainy. It is best to go towards the end of July and beginning of August, during the celebrations for the Pachamama. It coincides with the winter solstice. see the inca Trail Availability 2018/2019/2020
What precautions should we take if I want to buy tickets to Machu Picchu?
To be able to buy them you must reserve them in advance on the internet, as explained above, but here are a couple of things you should be aware of if you do not want to be disappointed when buying your tickets to Machu Picchu.
What do we mean by that?
There is a maximum daily limit for people to enter this archaeological site and its surroundings.
Most websites report that no more than 2500 people can enter the Inca city, no more than 400 people can enter Huayna Picchu (divided into two schedules, group 1 and group 2), no more than 800 and there is no limit for the Museum
Why should I consider it? When we see which are the modalities of tickets to Machu Picchu, you will realize that to enter Huayna Picchu, the Mountain and the Museum you will need, for each one, a different ticket. And if this one’s sold out, you can’t get in.
So, plan your activities and run for your tickets to Machu Picchu!
Is there only one type of ticket to Machu Picchu?
No, like everything that has to do with tourism, but if we talk about an architectural wonder like Machu Picchu, there are different packages.
We have to make it clear to you that just because it says “individual ticket” does not mean that it is for a single individual, the tickets around this tourist spot are about the different places you will have access to, not the number of people.
Each ticket, in itself, is individual. Now yes, here are the ones that appear with the best references on the web:
This ticket includes the entrance to the city of Machu Picchu, which can be used multiple times respecting the date of issuance of the ticket and taking into account the access times to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
Normally this is from six in the morning to five in the afternoon in local time.
Tickets to Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu
This ticket, like the previous one, will allow you to enter the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, but it adds the extra of being able to visit the mountain Huayna Picchu, another of the great attractions that Peru can offer you.
First group Huayna Picchu from 07:00 – 08:00 hours.
Second group Huayna Picchu from 10:00 – 11:00 hours.
This is an extra experience you can achieve if you buy tickets to Machu Picchu, so consider this option very carefully.
Only 400 people per day can be reached in 2 groups, so we recommend booking in advance.
It will be an unforgettable experience.
Tickets to Machu Picchu + La Montaña
With this ticket you will not only have the right to access Machu Picchu, but also to climb a mountain of 3,082 m.a.s.l. located within the Inca City and from where you can have a panoramic view of the entire landscape surrounding the city.
Unlike Huayna Picchu, this is less steep, being ideal for travelers who like quiet walks. The duration of the walk is 3hrs 30 min, and has a capacity of 80 people per day divided into 2 groups.
First group Machu Picchu Mountain from 07:00 – 08:00 hours.
Second group Machu Picchu Mountain from 09:00 – 10:00 hours.
Ticket prices to Machu Picchu
From July 1, 2017, the new prices for tickets to Machu Picchu as well as Huayna Picchu and La Montaña will come into effect.
Here you can find the official price in soles (PEN), as sold by the Peruvian government.
The dollar amounts (US$) are informative and rounded, based on the current exchange rate ($1=3,2720 soles).
Machu Picchu Entry Times[Updated]
The Deconcentrated Direction of Culture of Cusco communicated that as of July 1, 2017 there will be 02 hours of entry to Machu Picchu:
The Inti Raymi is a festivity that celebrates the Sun god, nowadays it is recreated on June 24th of every year as the most solemn and grandiose festivity of the disappeared Inca Empire.
The Inti Raymi is a feast celebrated since the time of the Incas during the winter solstice to worship the sun god, involves colorful costumes, luxury banquets, festive music, and historical recreations.
The stage of the Inti Raymi is the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, located in the northern part of the city of Cusco, according to the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Sacsayhuaman is “the greatest and most arrogant work that the Incas had built to show their power and majesty.
The Inti Raymi in the time of the Incas
The sun was going away (June – winter solstice), the cold was increasing, at dawn the water was frosty, therefore, we had to ask the Sun to return, so that when the morning twilights were nearing, they would not continue advancing towards the north. Finally, it was necessary to witness to the god Inti, the eternity and total surrender of his children, with submission and respect.
The Inka Pachakuteq ordered the construction of the Qorikancha, a sumptuous temple dedicated to reverencing the Sun, god whom the Inkas called Apu P`unchao or Apu Inti, in whose honor the imposing feast of the Inti Raymi was consecrated, which reaches contours of solemnity and splendor, as described by the most important chroniclers.
More than six centuries ago, the Inka Pachakuteq instituted the Festival of the Sun God and today the Cusco people continue to represent it with the same fervor with which their ancestors performed it.
There were several reasons that prompted the Inca civilization to make sacrifices and offerings to the star king. One was that the Inka, like the nobility of Cusco, were considered natural children of the Sun; they obeyed his existence, and should correspond to him with sacrifices and offerings.
The Inti Raymi in the News
The town of Cusco has been preparing for the festival for many days before June 24th, when it fills the esplanade in front of which the fortress of Sacsayhuaman is built.
To the beat of millenary musical airs, delegates from the four of them parade in their typical costumes, and also, as if they had come from other times, as if they were wild, coyas and pallas, which advance in undulating columns. Finally, all of a sudden, the Inca lets himself be seen. The sovereign is transported on a bunk bed that in legendary times was made of gold and silver and accompanied by a retinue of apricots and other dignitaries who walk at a respectable distance from him.
The festival in honor of the sun god, is held in the presence of the Inca, the Willaq Uma or High Priest, Tarpuntay, Wirapirikuq and Kallparikuy, as well as the nobles and representatives of the panacas, for which three impressive historical and natural scenarios are used:
Inti Raymi – Coricancha
Qorikancha (Golden fence): Main temple of Cusco dedicated to the Sun, where the golden garden is said to have been (here the first rituals of the cult of the Apu Inti and the Pacha Mama were performed, where large offerings were buried, whose evidences found in 1972 are in the Garcilaso Museum of the INC).
Inti Raymi – Main Square
The Plaza Mayor (the ancient Auqaypata or Warrior Square): In the time of the Incas, the ceremony was held entirely in this immense square in the middle of the great USHNU (ceremonial platform).
Inti Raymi – Sacsayhuaman
Sacsayhuamán (voice derived from the Quechua terms “sacsay” and “huamán”, which translated into Spanish means “sacíate falcón”). It is located at 3,555 m.a.s.l., one kilometer from the Inca neighborhood of Qollqanpata. It was the Royal House of the Sun and temple dedicated to the Lightning, according to Garcilaso. The central part of the contemporary Inti Raymi has been held here since 1944 in front of an impressive crowd.
With almost sixty years of existence, the new Inti Raymi is now an inseparable part of the life of Cusco. Not only is it the main event of the month in the city, but its fame has transcended Peruvian borders and also, within them, it has been the example for other festivals of national identity.
Puno is undoubtedly one of the most attractive destinations in Peru and one of the most interesting in the continent: few cities have the privilege of being located on the shores of a natural wonder like Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at more than 3800 meters above sea
It is located in the vicinity of the city and department of the same name, area of the high plateau of the southern mountains of Peru, on the shores and at the northwest end of Lake Titicaca, the Port Captaincy, includes the part of Lake Titicaca and islands within the national territory.
LOCATION: Department of Puno, Province of Puno
LATITUDE : 15°50’00” South
LENGTH : 70°01’00” West
ALTITUDE : 3,820 msnmm
Located on the Collao Plateau in the territory of the Collas and Tiahuanacos, Puno is the most important lake port in Peru. Its strategic location between the cities of Cusco and La Paz, make Puno a must for tourists traveling between Peru and Bolivia. The city of Puno is the capital of the department of the same name.
The department of Puno, together with what is now Bolivia, was the territory of the Tiahuanaco culture, and then had the presence of the Inca Empire, as evidence, is the Temple of the Phallians, in Chucuito. The Spanish traces are present in the construction of beautiful churches in the various towns of the department, such as in Lampa and Juli or in their various colonial-style houses located in the city of Puno.
Puno is considered the Folkloric Capital of Peru and America, Puno is immensely rich in dances, music, customs and legends, its dances exceed 350. Puno is famous for the variety and colorful of its folklore, undoubtedly the richest and most dazzling of the continent, whose maximum expression is the Feast of the Virgin of Candelaria, which takes place in February.
The main attraction of Puno is Lake Titicaca, which covers part of Peru and Bolivia, with an area of 8,560 km, a depth of 227 meters and 3,812 meters above sea level. Here you will find the famous Floating Islands of the Uros, a surprising archipelago of reed islands, inhabited by the Uros, descendants of one of the oldest cultures on the continent. It is also advisable to visit the island of Taquile and enjoy an authentic experience tourism.
A short distance from there is the island of Amantani, which has natural viewpoints from where you can fully appreciate the Titicaca. Suasi, in the community of Cambria, on the banks of the Titicaca, is a private and unique island, a place of rest where you can enjoy the diversity of flora and wildlife. It is also advisable to visit the Anapia archipelago.
Puno invites you to visit the chullpas of Sillustani, also the forest of Tinajani, which impresses with its large rocky formations. Also, in Pucará, get to know the famous “Toritos de Pucara”.
To get to Puno from Lima, you can get there by road, passing through Arequipa and Juliaca. The journey takes about 18 hours. You can also choose to take a flight to Juliaca which will only take 1 hour and 45 minutes from Lima, or 25 minutes if you leave from Arequipa. You can get to Puno by train, leaving the city of Cusco in about 10 hours, in this case, the route is 384 km.
The City of Puno
The Spanish foundation of the city of Puno dates from 1668. Puno is a city rich in expressions of local mestizo art: colonial balconies, carved stone arches, baroque churches and museums with stupendous pieces of textile and ceramic art. However, perhaps the greatest attractions of the place are just ten blocks from the Plaza de Armas, in the waters of the Titicaca: a vast area of 8,560 km2 that the locals skillfully navigate in boats made of cattail, a kind of reed that grows on the shores of the lake (or in boats, when it comes to serving visitors).
Puno is a tourist place thanks to its proximity to Lake Titicaca and the Chullpas of Sillustani. The city itself is not very interesting and looks to some extent rather poor. Most of the houses are made of adobe and covered with metal roofs, however, we can find some beautiful buildings such as the Cathedral, the Church of San Juan, the Deustua Arch and the Balcón del Conde de Lemos.
Jiron Lima is a car-free street with many restaurants and pubs. This street is the center of the nightlife and is crowded by many tourists and locals looking for distraction. Peñas with live music create a pleasant atmosphere. This street leads to the Main Square of Puno, where you can appreciate its beautiful Cathedral built in 1747 by Simon de Asto. On Avenida La Torre is located the train station as well as a fruit and vegetable market.
Guide to Puno and Lake Titicaca
City of Puno: The beauty and charm of the city, is a mixture of its typical Andean architecture buildings located on the slopes of a hill and on the shores of Lake Titicaca, and its people, humble, poor and friendly. Colonial churches and mansions, small museums, viewpoints of the lake in the highlands, the Yavari museum boat, craft sales, restaurants and bars in the pedestrian street of Jiron Lima. The city has great commercial activity and an excellent hotel infrastructure; normally the starting point for expeditions to Lake Titicaca.
Lake Titicaca: The highest navigable lake in the world, with deep blue waters and a huge silver mirror on full moon nights. To cross its waters is to travel through beautiful landscapes having as a background the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Real of Bolivia; zone of rich high Andean biodiversity, the northern part forms the National Reserve of Titicaca. Numerous islands in its interior, some of them inhabited as Taquile, Amantani and Suasi; near the city of Puno the Uros floating islands. On its western shores colonial towns with architectural gems. From Copacabana, in the Bolivian part, cruises and visits to the Sun island.
Uros Flotainting Islands: Ancient Aymara descendants, who build floating islands with woven reed and on them their homes and schools, a whole village, dedicated to fishing and extractive activities, crafts and tourism. On some of its islands, tourists can stay in a native home and share all the activities of the community. Connected with the Puno city by boats that take an average of 45 minutes to cross.
Taquile and Amantani Islands: These two islands on Lake Titicaca offer you an authentic journey into the past and the possibility of sharing everything with the native communities that inhabit them.
Many natives offer accommodation to tourists in their homes and share their activities, clothing and food, are the guides for visits to the island and prepare space activities for their guests. Both islands have magnificent landscapes, with the waters of the lake as a backdrop, ancient systems of terraces for their limited crops, and a rich calendar of festivals. The Taquile island and its textile art are World Heritage Sites. They are one of the best sceneries in Peru for rural tourism or experiential tourism.
Archaeological Sites of Puno: The Collao plateau, the Andean highlands, and on the banks and islands of Titicaca Lake are considered the cradle and origin of Andean civilizations, here flourished the culture of Pucará, Tiahuanaco, Collas, Lupacas and the Incas, origin of the Aymara and Quechua ethnic groups. These ancient cultures have bequeathed important archaeological sites such as the Chullpas of Sillustani, the archaeological complex of Kalasaya – Pucará, Cutimbo, Inca Uyo and the Inca temples on the island of Sol (Bolivia).
Around Puno: The 2 most important circuits, one that borders the southern area of Titicaca Lake, with colonial towns that keep architectural gems of its era of splendor, from Chucuito through Juli, Pomata and Yunguyo to Desaguadero border with Bolivia. The other circuit north of Puno, from Juliaca, Llachón, Lampa and Pucará on the road that joins Cuzco.
Folklore and Art in Puno: The folkloric capital of Peru, offers the richness of its ancestral traditions, with a rich calendar of religious and pagan festivals, crafts of indigenous communities, varied regional food, and more than 300 native dances that reach their maximum expression in February in the celebrations of the Carnivals and the famous celebration of the Virgin of Candelaria that gathers tens of thousands of participants and has as a stage the whole Puno city.
The destiny of Puno Titicaca- Lake, together with Cuzco – Machu Picchu and Arequipa – Colca, form the so-called golden triangle circuit. Puno becomes the first destination in Peru for tourists coming from Bolivia. From Puno there are also organized visits to Bolivian areas such as Copacabana and the Island of the Sun, and/or the archaeological complex of Tiahuanaco. Flights to Puno arrive at the airport of the city of Juliaca located 44 km away.
Paracas is an excellent ecological destination for lovers of nature and marine biodiversity, it also offers archaeological attractions and is a good alternative for relaxation.
The desert and the sea meet in spectacular landscapes of Paracas, located in the department of Ica, a few hours south of Lima. The cliffs that border its beaches and islands are full of life, millions of birds that live here all year round, and thousands of them that arrive from the northern hemisphere and others from further south, from guano birds to Humboldt penguins.
Paracas is a seaside resort, a peninsula, a bay, a desert, a pre-Inca culture, a National Reserve and the name of a strong wind, which sporadically produces desert sandstorms.
The Paracas National Reserve was created on September 25, 1975. It was created with the purpose of conserving a portion of the Peruvian sea and desert, giving protection to the diverse species of wild flora and fauna that live there.
Peruvian State (SINANPE) and the governing body is the National Institute of Natural Resources known as INRENA.
It is the only protected maritime area in Peru. Sea lions, Humboldt penguins, dolphins, flamingos, parihuanas and other birds live here.
It is 260 km south of the city of Lima. The trip from Lima takes 3 hours to 4 hours by car or bus.
More than 100,000 people visit this reserve annually.
The Ballestas Islands are just outside the reserve, due to the activity of guano extraction from time to time, but the islands and surrounding areas are home to sea lions and other species of marine fauna that depend closely on the protection of the reserve.
There are excursions from the land part of the reserve by car and combi. There are also some cars for tourists called the tubular cars. They have a capacity for 12 people.
Within the reserve at Km. 27 of the Pisco – Puerto San Martín highway is the interpretation center of the Paracas National Reserve, next to the Julio C. Tello Museum. Here is detailed information about the reserve, its ecosystems, the threats to the reserve and its protection.
In the tour around the Paracas Reserve you can observe the archaeological attraction of the Candelabro, impressive works of nature such as the Cathedral, and beautiful beaches.
The Candelabro, located to the northwest of Paracas Bay, is a geoglyph (channels or lines engraved on rock) that has an extension of 120 meters, which is also called Tres Cruces or Trident.
The candlestick is engraved on cream-coloured rock, but mostly covered with sand. The sand never completely erases the chandelier because of the winds that are always removing excess sand from the canals. (shows photo with creamy rock with sand)
It is believed that the candlestick of Paracas is related to the lines and geoglyphs of Nazca and Pampas de Jumana.
The best way to appreciate this geoglyph is from the sea and the tours to the Ballestas Islands always pass by and stop a few minutes for tourists to take their pictures.
The cathedral is a rocky formation caused by sea erosion and wind. It has a concave shape reminiscent of the domes of cathedrals.
Flora of the Paracas National Reserve
The Paracas Sea has a rich variety of marine flora because its water currents favor the presence of plankton, phytoplankton and algae. Studies show that there are a variety of 200 seaweeds, such as weeds, sea lettuce, etc.
The terrestrial flora of the Paracas Reserve is very poor due to the low rainfall and humidity. On the beaches you can see the salt grasses in their various varieties.
Fauna of the Paracas National Reserve
Birds in the Paracas National Reserve
Among the birds that inhabit the Paracas National Reserve are the gray seagull, eared gull, grater, grater, plover, arctic, chuita, guanay, shorebird pelican, red-headed hen, black oystercatcher, condor, Humboldt penguins, parihuanas and flamingos.
PLACES AND ATTRACTIONS OF PARACAS
Small town dedicated basically to tourism, where modern and luxurious hotels have been installed. In its surroundings there are numerous beaches in the bay area and the peninsula, ideal for water sports, hiking, bird watching and adventures in the desert. In the area of El Chaco and its boardwalk, are located restaurants, artisan market, lodging, fishermen’s cove and the pier for tourists. Paracas is the starting point for excursions to the Paracas National Reserve, the Ballestas Islands and St. Gallen Island. In addition, Paracas has the historical memory of being the place where the liberating force of General San Martín (1820) disembarked and from here the end of the Spanish viceroyalty began.
Paracas National Reserve
Located south of the Paracas, a natural protected area dedicated to the protection and conservation of marine ecosystems and to the protection of the cultural and historical heritage of the Paracas culture, including the necropolises and archaeological sites of Cabeza Larga and the Pampa de Santo Domingo. A refuge for sea lions, Humboldt penguins, flamingos and many other birds. Several visits can be made to the reserve, which has numerous natural and archaeological attractions on its 335,000 hectares. One of them is the Candelabra, a geoglyph of more than 120 meters of extension that can be observed better from the sea, on the way to the Ballestas Islands. The Interpretation Centre offers an interesting explanation of biodiversity and the dangers facing the area. The Julio C. Tello Museum permanently exhibits pieces of the Paracas culture found in the cemeteries of the place.
Three small islands, Ballestas Norte, Ballestas Centro and Ballestas Sur, located west of the Paracas resort. They constitute the natural habitat of a great variety of sea birds that form immense colonies and sea lions that can be easily observed from a boat. The excursion to the islands is one of the most common from Paracas and takes an average of 2 hours. It is not permitted to land on the islands. The Ballestas Islands is a protected natural area and is part of the National Reserve System of Islands, Islets and Guanera Points. Photos of the Ballestas Islands.
The city of Pisco was founded in 1640, capital of the province of the same name in the department of Ica and has about 110 thousand inhabitants. The city is divided into Pisco town and Pisco port. Pisco is a population of peaceful life, basically of people engaged in agriculture, small-scale trade and marine activities. Cotton ginning industries, fishmeal and fish oil and textile factories.
Pisco has fluid means of land transportation to other tourist destinations, 3* and 2* hotel services that provide comfortable accommodations for tourists visiting Paracas and restaurants. In the Pisco beaches is located the picturesque fishermen’s cove of San Andrés, where there are numerous seafood restaurants, which are characterized by the humility of their facilities, but exquisite food.
Pisco has an airport and Air Force base, with regular flights from Lima and Cusco, as well as air taxi services for the Nazca and Palpa lines. The port of Pisco was deactivated for commercial maritime traffic when it was moved by the modern port of San Martin located in the northern part of the Paracas Peninsula.
In the colonial era, from its port, the grape brandy produced in the valleys of Ica was shipped to all the Spanish colonies in America and from here this liquor took the name of pisco with which the emblematic pisco sour is made, pisco is a brandy and the national drink of Peru.
How to get to Paracas
The traditional way to get to Paracas is by bus, several transportation companies offer regular service from the cities of Lima, Ica and Nazca.
Alternatively, there are regular flights from Lima and Cusco to Pisco, from where you can also fly over the Nazca Lines and Palpa Lines.
How to have the right physical preparation to do the Inca Trail, here we tell you
The Classic Inca Trail is the most famous in America, for its historical importance and indescribable landscape beauty along the way, passing through the numerous archaeological complexes built by indigenous hands of the Inca civilization.
For those who have in their plans to go for a walk on this impressive route, here are some tips to prepare themselves physically before embarking on this impressive adventure.
People who are in good physical condition and practice some sport, this route will not be complicated, even if it involves walking for many hours and on rough routes of rugged and flat terrain.
But for those who are not accustomed to extreme physical exertion, they may have complications of fatigue and tiredness en route which are completely normal but a little annoying if they are excessive so it is better to start this stunning adventure prepared in every possible way. The most important thing before undertaking this incredible route is to prepare yourself physically to get your body used to the activities of physical effort. Here’s what you need to do for excellent preparation.
It’s a winding mountain trail that winds its way through the Sacred Valley and offers a stunning backdrop: the Andes that boasts thousands of shades of green to snowy peaks.
The goal is the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, a place where it is easy to reach by train, but the only way to see it as the Incas saw it when they arrived and enjoy it at dawn is walking the Inca Trail, here you can read my experience when you arrive. Machu Picchu at dawn
Travelling along the Inca Trail is not an easy task and if travelling along the Inca Trail without too many complications, it requires previous preparation, which includes adapting to the altitude, being in good physical shape (training before the trip and, if possible, at a high altitude), preparing your backpack thoroughly and finding a good guide… these are 5 of the essential ones, in addition to putting in place a very good attitude to overcome the challenge and withstand the dozens of unforeseen events that may arise.
In short, to prepare the Inca Trail, you have to consider:
Altitude and how to prevent altitude sickness:
Be in good shape
Backpack what to take?
Hire a guide
Attitude to overcome the challenge
Physical Good Conditions
The height and possible difficulty in breathing is only half of the problem when it comes to the Inca Trail.
During the trek through a difficult terrain where you walk about 12 km per day, which can take from 3 to 6 hours depending on the amount of breaks you take, how difficult the terrain is and what type of inclination you have…. You have to be in shape if you want to… –
It goes without saying that walking 12 km in a city is much easier than walking through the mountains of the Sacred Valley.
With this in mind, fitness is a must and our recommendation is to train for several months before you intend to do the Inca Trail.
The recommended workout is one that focuses on cardio (running or swimming) with a light to medium intensity and a high duration; this means swimming smoothly but for a long time, jogging long distances, instead of running at full throttle for a few kilometers.
The days before we added some cardio to our basic travel training.
During the Way no pressure, you have to go to the rhythm that your body supports, you don’t have to “burn on day 1” but on the contrary, you have to gradually increase the rhythm…. because the excess effort leads to altitude sickness and if this happens, the Way is over.
Backpack for the Inca Trail
When I pack my backpack for the Inca Trail or any Trek route, I think I will have to carry it.
This means that you have to pack only what is absolutely necessary.
Even if you plan to hire a porter… it will be carried by one person and the logical thing is to think about it… not to make your job harder than it should be.
Clothes: think about overlapping layers, if the group decides to start walking very early it will be very cold, but at noon it will be hot and you will only need a t-shirt.
Shoes: What is indispensable are good mountain boots for the Inca Trail, designed for difficult mountain trekking, there is no other possible substitute and obviously no new Trek boots are used in the mountains, but must be worn in various terrains before the trek.
First Aid Kit: It is ideal to have a small first aid kit with the basic medicines for altitude sickness, acetozolamide, some bronchodilator and headache painkillers, in general the agencies carry oxygen tanks, but it is never too much to take with you.
Food: for the treks I always take energy bars, chocolate and bananas (for the potassium); in this case I also take 10 doses of protein supplement (Whey Protein) and powdered milk.
Miscellaneous: Sunglasses and sunscreen, the sun itches a lot at those heights, even without noticing it.
Mountain trekking poles, indispensable for descents.
The experts recommend that the backpack should not weigh more than 10% of the body weight…. and so we respect it, we do not hire porters for our personal belongings.
Good Mental Attitude to Do the Inca Trail
The physical form, the prevention of altitude sickness, are not enough to enjoy the Inca Trail, nor any mountain route…. the essential thing is enthusiasm.
Attitude and enthusiasm are 80% of the total for any activity and for life itself.
On the way no matter how much shape you are going to have, some cramps will appear, it will hurt, you will feel some fatigue and a lot of it will not go out as planned…. so you need mental strength to overcome pain, fatigue and some frustration (rain, other groups of tourists, cold at night and a lot more).
With enthusiasm, everything is resolved, there is no difficulty to stop or frustrate….. if you prevent altitude sickness, the physical condition is good, the equipment is adequate and the group with the guides make up a good team success is guaranteed… some say that there is no need to repeat trips because second parts have never been good… however, the Inca Trail has become one of the best experiences of my life again!
The Salkantay Trekking is an old and adventurous trail alternative to the Inca Trail, has spectacular views and various ecological floors; we will walk between lagoons, impressive snow-capped mountains such as Salkantay and Humantay, crossing rivers and subtropical areas of abundant flora and fauna.
This road is an excellent option for those people who want to get out of the routine and venture in a fun, friendly and above all of a cozy group coexistence.
This excursion passes under the magnificent Salkantay snow-capped mountain (6,710 m / 22,014 ft), one of the highest and most impressive in the Peruvian Andes.
To begin the trek to Humantay you must take all possible precautions such as carrying flashlight, canes, warm clothes, sunglasses … etc, the road is the same to go to the snowy Salkantay taking a detour halfway to reach the lagoon after hours of walking approximately. The path is somewhat complicated due to the altitude, remember that you will be over 4,000 masl so it is recommended to stay in the city of Cusco for at least 01 day to acclimatize, but we promise that when you reach the lagoon at the foot of the snowy Humantay you will not regret and you will realize that the walk was worth the spectacular landscape, the lavish lagoon is so charming that you will not want to take the road back.
SALKANTAY SNOW-CAPPED MOUNTAIN
It is the highest peak of the Vilcabamba mountain range, part of the Peruvian Andes. It is located in the region of Cusco 60 km (40 mi) West – Northwest of the city of Cusco. It is the 38th highest peak of the Andes and the 12th highest in Peru. However, it is the second highest in topographic prominence in the country, after the Huascarán. The “Salkantay” snow-covered mountain is the tutelary Apu of Cusco with 6271 mts. of altitude. In this tour you can observe beautiful Andean landscapes, you pass an Abra of 5000 mtrs. and you have the possibility of observing Condors and Alpacas in their natural habitat. Salkantay is a high, steep peak, the most spectacular peak in the region, with great vertical relief, particularly over the low valleys to the north that are tributaries of the Amazon River. However and without doubt, it is the greatest in its splendid isolation and the greatness of its two-headed mass, with the addition of being one of the mountains of this magnificent Andean region that present greater technical problems for all its slopes.
Mild symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, possibly increasing to mild dizziness, moderate symptoms rise to nausea and loss of appetite. Coca leaves, widely used throughout Peru to cure virtually everything, are known to provide significant relief from altitude sickness symptoms by improving oxygen absorption, reducing fatigue and providing many vitamins and minerals, coca leaves can be purchased in any Peruvian market.
The Salkantay excursion was recently named by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine as one of the top 25 excursions in the world.
The trek to Salkantay is one of the beautiful routes that crosses the immense mountains of the Andes, and to be able to realize this trek you will need all the necessary information so that your trip is unforgettable.
On this page you will find useful information about different aspects of the Salkantay hike such as the location, altitude, degree of difficulty of the hike and the main tourist attractions we can visit along the hike.
This information is updated constantly and responsibly because for us your health and safety is the primary concern and the main basis for our services, we hope that all this information will be useful to you:
Location of Nevado Salkantay:
The Salkantay Snow Mountain, (6272 m.a.s.l.) or also called Apu Salkantay is located to the north of the city of Cusco, is the highest mountain range of the eastern flank of the Vilcabamba mountain range. The Quechua name of this snow-capped mountain means “Wild Mountain” because it is a snow-capped mountain that is difficult to climb to the top.
How to get to Salkantay:
To get to the beginning of our trek we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to Mollepata. The trip lasts from approximately 3 hours to 3 hours 30min, or if you want to make this trip independently you can take the local buses that leave from Arcoparta.
Weather in the Salkantay hike:
In the Andean region of Cusco there are two well-defined seasons: Winter, which runs from April to November and is predominantly dry, with high temperatures during the day and very low temperatures during the night and summer, between November and March, when it rains the most; these rains are torrential but do not usually last long and are interspersed by long periods of sunshine. The trail can be done in the rainy months as the trail is in very good condition, the camping equipment is modern and all meals are taken inside a tent.
Salkantay Hiking Altitudes:
Cusco rises to 3,400 meters above sea level, which can be a problem for some people, so we recommend that you be in Cusco at least 48 hours before starting the trail, during which you should drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol and rest. The maximum altitude within the hike in Salkantay is 4 600 m.a.s.l. which is the beautiful Salkantay pass and the minimum altitude is 2 200 m.a.s.l. in the last camp in Sahuayaco.
Conditions for the Salkantay hike:
You will have no problem completing this route as long as you are in good health, in good shape and used to walking. If you don’t walk regularly, you can always do a little training before your trip.
Recommended age for the Salkantay Inca Trail
Any age is ideal for this excursion as long as you are in reasonable physical shape and have no problems walking. Children under 10 years of age who take part in the Salkantay Walk will be under the responsibility of their parents.
Difficulty level of the walk to Salkantay:
Taking into account the following points of difficulty where:
Easy: Accessible to all types of people in good health.
Moderate: Accessible for people who do a bit of sport eventually, and who are used to walking on all types of terrain, without much weight to carry 4 to 6 hours of walking.
Challenging: Accessible to physically active people with some walking experience for 6 to 7 hours.
Demanding: Accessible to people who require endurance and effort, good health and average walking experience are necessary, in certain circumstances it is worth bringing your own equipment.
Strenuous: Accessible to people who are physically and psychologically prepared for a strenuous hike, this is a level of adventure, often involving carrying your own equipment.
Taking into account these levels of difficulty the walk to Salkantay is between easy and moderate.
Availability of the trek to Salkantay:
At the moment the hike to Salkantay does not have any type of regulation as far as availability and quotas, so it can be visited at any time of the year, the only detail is the rainy months (December to March) where the rains make the walk a challenge, but with much desire and an adventurous spirit we will arrive at our final point of visit that is Machu Picchu.
Beautiful, Machu Picchu is a destination that all Peruvians should know and main destination for all international tourists, so here are some tips and advice to make your trips to Machu Picchu are much more rewarding and safe:
Well, I have personally traveled to Cusco more than 10 times and 6 times to Machu Picchu, it is an unforgettable and tireless experience, I could go another 5 times and I assure you that I will still say the same thing!However, I have heard problems and complaints from some tourists, many of them experience real nightmares, but all this is for lack of information, so I decided to do this article to help all those who want to have a magical trip to Machu Picchu and the millenary Cusco without problems:
1. The weather is a very important factor, look well in which season you are going to visit Machu Picchu, everything has its pros and cons, they say that the best thing is to go in dry season (April to October) where there are not many clouds and the photos come out spectacular…. but, being dry season the grass looks a little yellow, however, in the rainy season (November to March) you will see the grass very green, beautiful, everything blooms…. but many times the rain clouds play tricks on us, that’s why I don’t recommend them, they can spoil your picture, for me, the best season is from May to July, when the grass is still green and there are no clouds…. watch out, that in the rainy season the prices go down a lot! (you know why)
2. Avoid carrying a lot of things, Machu Picchu is a place to walk, and walk a lot! a small briefcase and water is recommended to take with you, the road is long and many times the beautiful sun is present, a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen would not be bad, but do not forget to bring a very light jacket, it is possible that in the afternoon there is a little wind, this tip to Machu Picchu is important.
3. The first thing you have to do when you arrive in Cusco is to rest at least a couple of hours and then go for a walk very slowly so that your body gets used to the altitude, you can take advantage of visiting first places in the center of the city like San Blas, the Plaza de Armas and the Stone of the 12 angles…. you can read my article Lima and Cusco – Basic package to Peru where you will have more destinations to know in the City.
4. Dizziness is common in height….soroche or altitude sickness, I recommend taking some 30min dizziness pill. Before arriving to the city (buy it in the city not in the airport) and of course, do not eat anything heavy or with a lot of fat on the first day, your body is just getting used to it, remember that the soroche is due to lack of oxygen, another good option is to buy a bottle of personal oxygen in the pharmacies of Cusco that are not worth more than $20.
5. A good guide makes the difference to have a good tour of Machu Picchu, keep in mind that you will receive a lot of information in a short time, ask for references about which are the most charismatic guides before entering the citadel (you can request it if you travel in group).
6. First visit all the tourist sites and then visit the museums of Cusco, so you can better understand the explanations of the guide and you can learn more, remember that most of the archaeological pieces are in the museums.
7. The Inca Trail is super cool! good for adventure tourism, but keep in mind that you must have very good physical condition or at least willpower, also implements and adequate equipment, in rainy season is extremely tired, read more about this topic in the article “How to get to Machu Picchu – Train or Inca Trail”.
8. If you pass through Ollantaytambo remember that the wind is strong, wear glasses to protect yourself from the wind and dirt that can enter your eyes.
9. Always wear light and sport clothes, a sweater or jacket at hand at all times, the weather is very variable, rain, sun, cold heat, everything is possible in Cusco, this is an important tip.
10. All services and trains to Machu Picchu are not the same and there is a lot of difference in the categories of them, this you should know when considering a trip from Cusco, the train station is half an hour away by taxi and the train to Machu Picchu has a duration of 4 hours (depending on what kind of train you travel), the trip in an economy class is really cheap but can be very uncomfortable, on the other hand, the trip in a higher or first class is incredible, majestic, fantastic, but… it can be extremely expensive…
11. Remember that your travel agency must precisely coordinate the journeys by car, before and after the train, because if you do not do it in advance you will lose a lot of time and money looking for mobility or taxis in the area.
12. When you go up to Machu Picchu take into account that everything is more expensive upstairs, if you want to bring water to drink, some accessories or something else because you buy in the city of Aguas Calientes, that is before going up or take it from Cusco.
13. An important point, the mountain that is next to Machu Picchu and appears in all the photos called Huayna Picchu has some ruins not very visited by tourism, if you arrive before 1 o’clock:00pm you will be able to climb, but remember that it is very difficult, no climbing experience is required but I know people who have stayed in the middle, BEWARE, all the people who want to climb, make them sign a certificate in which nobody is responsible if something happens to them due to the high danger and very difficult access of the area, it is superfluous to mention that this mountain should not be climbed in rainy season.
14. The Machu Picchu experience is a whole day, you leave at 6:00am and return to Cusco at 8:00pm.
If you follow these recommendations, you can only enjoy one of the new wonders of the world…
Rafting is one of the most practiced sports in the city of Cusco, since it is the Urubamba River, one of the longest rivers in Cusco.
URUBAMBA RIVER RAFTING AVAILABILITY: EVERY DAY.
Some of the best rivers for rafting in South America are in the mountains that surround Cusco, so if you want to give yourself a chance, this is the place! All of our day trips cover a section of the Urubamba River, about an hour and a half from Cusco. This is the same river that flows through the Sacred Valley and was worshiped by the Incas as the “Bearer of Life”.
This Urubamba Rafting 1 Day is only for those who have an adventurous heart and enjoy what nature can offer them. Within the Urubamba River, you will be able to enjoy rapids, class II, III and IV, within a temperate climate, which presents us the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
It is one of the most enjoyable sports, as it will fill you with adrenaline and pure adventure. We also have our River Apurímac, which is considered one of the best rivers of the Andes highly recommended for rafting, as it presents the conditions conducive to practice: class III, IV and V rapids.
The Urubamba River
The Incas Sacred River in the Urubamba River (also called Vilcanota or Willkamayu) and which is one of the most exciting adventure activities that is offered surrounded by beautiful mountains crowned by majestic glaciers that belong to the Andes mountain range. South of Peru.
Location: Cusco, Cusipata, province of Quispicanchis (3 310 masl)
The Urubamba Rafting 1 Day has as meaning in Quechua “spider plateau”, this is one of the main rivers of our country. There are different protected areas along the way, such as the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, the Megantoni National Sanctuary and the Otishi National Park.
In all our daily departures, we include a talk about the handling of equipment and basic maneuvers in the Rio, as well as provide security information that will make your adventure the most exciting and safe
Sections for Rafting
This section of the river is the softest on offer and well suited for nervous beginners and children. It is quite flat, levels I and II, in the dry season that runs from May to September. In the wet season, it can reach a level III
This section of the river is riskier. In the dry season it remains fairly tame with rapids up to level III, however, in the rainy season, the rapids can be as large as level IV.
The Best Season to do Rafting on the Urubamba River
The best season to visit the Urubamba River and practice this discipline its recommended between the months of December to March. The Urubamba River has different areas to practice, and of different levels; the levels of rapids are I, II and III, occur in the area known as Ollantaytambo, and since the degree of difficulty is low, no previous experience is required to enter this area. The moderate difficulty, to practice rafting in the Urubamba river, that is to say, of the levels II, III and IV, occur in the zone of Huarán.
NOTE: Rapids are cataloged as follows:
Quiet water, lakes, low-level rivers
Really easy without any risk, we just let the current take us down.
Small rapids with small rocks
Water stream with some waves and small rocks.
Rapids, Waves, Rocks, incredible for rafting
Stream with rocks, holes, and waves (nice).
Fast strong, Waves, very fun!
Water current, rocks, holes with more gradient or more volume of water with a little risk. For this level, it is not necessary to have a safety kayak with the group.
The most difficult level that a person can run, really dangerous
Stronger and more pleasant than the IV with an element of risk, maximum level of commercial rafting. For these rapids it is necessary to have a safety kayak with the group.
We offer a one-day tour for two different sections on the Urubamba River:
This level of difficulty you should avoid
Chuquicahuana: class III, IV, V (Operable from December to April).
Its union with the Ucayali gives rise to the Amazon River. It is born in the snowy Yarupa (5,800 m.s.) takes its name from the point where the Puchca and the Arancay meet. It runs in the NNO direction between the Western and Central mountain ranges, to the mouth of the Chinchipe; it cuts the central mountain range giving rise to the Pongo de Rentema; continue north and then northeast; 160 km from the aforementioned pass, after the Santiago River, it crosses the eastern Cordillera through the Pongo de Manseriche, and then receives the Huallaga water, which gives strength to its flow.
The river is navigable to the Pongo de Manseriche.
Located in Peru, giving birth to the Amazon River, the Marañón River, it is rated the 11th longest as its tributary. Look what you do not know about him.
The Marañón River was considered as a source of the main ones that feed the Amazon River. Being one of the most important rivers in Peru.
Its route passes its waters through ten regions of that country, it is estimated that this amount of regions are inhabited by approximately 14% of the total of the inhabitants of Peru.
They say that one of the expeditionary left with Gonzalo Pizarro in search of the country of Canela, feeling discouraged by the difficulties of navigation through the numerous water courses and the exploration of the wooded lands, told the captain that this was a tangle, to which this one replied “Maraña no, but marañón” (1542).
Francisco de Orellana came to the Atlantic and to Spain because of his current.
His true discoverer was Marshal Alonso de Alvarado who crossed this river when he marched to Chachapoyas to subdue the Levantist populations of the region.
The course of the Marañón was duly established when Father Samuel Fritz drew it on his famous map of the Amazon region (1707) and it was very difficult to navigate it before using steam navigation in its waters.
Headwaters and Ending of the Marañón River
From the birth of the Marañón River, there are two places, given that the biologist and in addition to this geographer Antonio Raimondi and Agronomist Augusto Cardich, have proposed two different places of origin of this river.
Given the case of the biologist and geographer Antonio Raimondi indicates that this fact starts from the so-called glaciers that are located on the slope on the eastern side of the Cordillera de Huayhuash, which is the Andes Mountains of Peru.
For his part, the engineer Augusto Cardich, proposes that it is on the Nevado glacier called Yapura, where it is located approximately 5,800 meters in the Cordillera de Raura, being a mountain range of the Peruvian Andes in the border zone with Lima.
That place from where its source of water originates, receives the waters of the thaw that slide from the Nevado Matador and in a place of name Huánuco, also those coming from the lagoons:
Santa Ana and
Before arriving at the lagoons, it was given by name the one of the Guayco River, from that point it continues, making its route in the north direction in the denominated part Marañón high course.
Then when arriving at the course denominated like means, it takes direction northeast. In its path, its water source is located in 9 regions of Peru.
Since 20% of the river is in Ecuador, its basin also passes through 9 other regions of that country. The Tigre River is also shared with its neighbors.
Marañón River Features
Marañón River has an approximate length of 1,600 kilometers, having an average flow of about 11,360 m³/s, and covering a hydrographic basin of approximately 764,183 km², its route has been divided into two parts called Alto Marañón and Bajo Marañón.
Alto Marañón (High Marañon)
The Marañón is characterized by having a narrow and deep channel, its extreme slope being accentuated, besides its turbulent flow. As it is also the Urubamba River.
Its course in this sector is being oriented from the southeast to the Northwest, from the so-called Western Chains and also the Centrals of the recognized Northern Andes, to a place called the Pongo de Rentama.
After this, it begins to run through the so-called Cadenas but now through the Central and Oriental, in the Northeast direction course, until arriving at the so-called Pongo de Manseriche.
It is noteworthy that on this route there are numerous pongos and canyons which prevents it from being easy to navigate.
After making a route of approximately 1,600 kilometers, it makes its union to the Ucayali River, which is responsible for giving birth from that point to the Amazon River, where it delivers its waters.
The wonders of the Amazon. Loreto and the union of the Ucayali River and the Marañón River
It should be noted that it is called Pongo a species of the canyon which has a narrow and deep formation, which are carved into rivers by mountains.
There the channel makes a drastic reduction placing itself at about 60 or 80 meters with the mountains being vertical walls that limit it. And turning turbulent waters when hitting those walls, and dangerous navigation over many eddies and currents.
Passing through the dangerous Pongo de Manseriche
Bajo Marañón (Low Marañon)
Starting from the Pongo de Manseriche and its meeting point with the Ucayali River towards the formation of the Amazon River, the Marañón River begins to turn its course, from the West to the East.
From then on it is when it crosses the Amazon Plain, with a channel that does not have rocks, it is covered with sands, being called as mendric.
For the month of November, the crescent begins, and it is then when it floods large areas towards the Selva Baja, giving rise to the abandonment of its previous channel and the opening of a new one.
This is how its flow becomes abundant and conducive to navigation, especially at this time of year.
The fauna and fluvial flora of this part of the Marañón River becomes abundant. And the cities of Nauta and Borjas are the most important located on the left bank of the river.
Because of its great length and the uneven terrain of its channel, it crosses various altitudinal levels, generating a diversity of ecosystems in a certain area reduced from the temperate warm climate in its margins, whose altitude depends on its geographical location, until the cold climate of the summits corresponding to the Huánuco, Ancash, La Libertad and Amazonas regions.
It is remarkable its contrasted variation of the ecosystem in its margins, from the sub-humid montane in its springs, corresponding to the jurisdiction of the Huanuco provinces of Lauricocha, Yarowilca, “Dos de Mayo” and Huamalíes; going through the arid in the limits of Ancash, Huánuco, La Libertad, Cajamarca, Amazonas and finally to the tropical humid, after crossing the Pongo de Rentema and entering the Peruvian Amazon.
Location and Map of the Marañón River
Approximately 150 km north of the city of Lima Peru, the headwaters of the Marañón River are located, it is 80% of that basin located in Peru, and it is considered 20% of it in the neighboring country of Ecuador.
Curiosities of the Marañon River
The nature that surrounds us, it becomes indispensable to become aware that it is she who provides us with what we need to survive.
Therefore, it is we who need it, she does not need us.
The river’s dificulty to do rafting is determined by a “class or category” that is given to the river, according to the InternationalScaleof Degree’s Difficulty of the Rivers.
This scale was developed by the AW (American Whitewater Society), a non-profit organization, founded in 1954 and whose mission is “to conserve and restore the resources of American White Waters and improve the opportunities to enjoy them safely”.
This scale, besides evaluating the American rivers, was created with the aim of being applied to all the rivers of the world; hence its international character. The AW promotes, that rowing sports are done with the greatest possible safety, and therefore, in addition to the scale of difficulty of the rivers, they have also made a Decalogue of Safety for the practice of rowing sports that we will develop in another post If I want to explain, what are the White Waters I have named above. It is the set of waters of the earth that are the basis of the production of water for human consumption. They are the waters of rivers, lakes or springs, which originate and will be treated for that purpose.
This International Scale is used both to measure the degree of difficulty of a river and a stretch of a river, or the rapids of the river, which ultimately is the main thing.
Each level or grade of the Scale reflects the technical difficulty and the level of skill required, associated with the stretch of river to which we are referring. It is used for different activities and water sports, not only for rafting, but also for canoeing, canoeing, paddle-surfing, hydrospeed …
Levels or Classes to classify the river
There are 6 categories that are called “Class” followed by a number and sometimes they can be associated with a + or a – depending on whether within the level or class, the rapid or the river, is of greater or lesser difficulty, thus representing, example: class III + or class III- that would mean, that it is a river or fast of Class III of high difficulty or Class III of low difficulty.
Class I (easy): They are waters that move quickly, with small or almost nonexistent waves and rapids. Little or no obstruction in the course, all of them if any, easily recognizable and obvious. They are easily overcome. The risk if there is a rollover or someone falls into the water, is minimal, you can even get out easily and just swimming, with the help of the life jacket normally.
Class II (beginner): Rapids with wide and clear channels, which are predictable without having made an ocular inspection on the ground before making the descent.
Sometimes, during the descent, maneuvers will have to be done, and medium-sized rocks and waves are easily avoided by the guides. If any of the crew of the boat falls into the water, it will rarely be injured, and the assistance of the rest, will rarely be necessary as well.Within this class, there may be rapids that due to their greater difficulty, are classified as Class II +.
Class III (intermediate): In this class, the rapids have moderate, irregular waves, and they can be difficult to avoid; In addition, they will easily flood the boat. Here complex maneuvers are required in the rapids, and also to avoid colliding in certain tight steps or with curves or plateaus.There are big waves, but they are easily avoidable.
They are characterized because there can be considerable eddies, especially in large rivers.Rarely injured someone who falls into the water, self-rescue is usually easy if this happened, but may be necessary assistance from the entire group of the boat to prevent the person who has fallen into the water, is dragged a considerable distance. Depending on the difficulty, rapids can be classified as Class III + or Class III-.
Class IV (advanced): There are intense and powerful rapids, but predictable, and that require a precise handling of the boat. Depending on the character of the river, large, unavoidable waves and eddies or narrow passages with demanding evasive maneuvers can be presented, under pressure for the guides of the boats.
Rapid turns may also be necessary to initiate such evasive maneuvers. It is advisable to take a reconnaissance tour of the section before making the first descent. The risk of injury to the crew of the boat if they fall into the water, is moderate to high, and the water conditions, could hinder the rescue.
If there is a fall to the water, the entire crew will have to collaborate, and an instruction on the part of the guides about how to undertake the rescue maneuvers should have taken place beforehand. Skill knowledge is highly recommended. The rapids, depending on their difficulty, may be classified as Class IV + or Class IV-.
Class V (expert): In this class, the rapids are extremely large, obstructed, or very violent, and expose the components of the boat to added risks.They are not predictable, and they have very large waves and complex, narrow and demanding steps. A certain aptitude is needed to be able to carry out the descent, since they are rivers with a lot of intensity level; that is, they are very dynamic, there are rapids continuously along the route.Ocular inspection is recommended in the field before the descent. From this class, included, we can make subclassifications of rapids; class 5.0, 5.1, etc …
Class VI (extreme unexplored rapids): This type of channels, has never been tried or almost never. If you decide to take a descent on a river of this kind, it can have very serious consequences, and rescue can be impossible. The descent of this type of rivers, only carried out teams of experts, and with favorable water levels, after having made a thorough ocular inspection at the foot of the river, and having made an intense preparation and planning of what is will realize. All precautions that are taken will be necessary. If there have already been enough descents of a river or section of Class VI, its change to the appropriate Class 5.X may be considered.
In Mayuc we have a group of professionals specialized in adventure travel; write to us and one of our experts will organize your next vacation, you can also contact us by Phone or WhatsApp 24 hours a day, we speak Spanish and English and all our guides are local