VILCABAMBA - ESPIRITU PAMPA 7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS
The last Inca-capital was established in the Vilcabamba-area or the region of the Antis, which was the most inaccessible area because of the warrior tribes who were living there at that time. The Vilcabamba territory is situated in the north-west area of Cusco, in the province of Convención. It's a very large region in the eastern part of the Andes with large chains of snow-peaks as well as high jungle with different constant changes of climate. It's delimited by two of the deepest canons in the world; the Apurimac Canon that runs through it on the left-side, and the Wilcamayu Canon on the right-side. Both canons have wild mountain rivers running through and sculpting one of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes in our Andean region. This territory has a multitude of micro-climates. The landscapes from the highest snow-peaks of more than 6000meters above sea level, onto high Andean plateaus down to never-ending the cloud forests of high jungle. This region had been dominated by Manco Inca after the occidental invasion and contains different settlings with constructions of holy centers. Those centers were built previously and had a complex net of Inca trails that amplified the presence of Manco Inca, Sayre Tupaj, Titu Cusi Yupanqui and Tupac Amaru I. They were decided to create a state Neo Inca, aiming to preserve all knowledge, religion and astronomy as was they're habit as well as traditions from the ancient Inca society. The trek to Vilcabamba is a perfect mixture of ecotourism, Inca history and architecture... An unforgettable experience will lead you to the entrances of the jungle through breathtaking landscapes.
2nd Day - Vilcabamba - Abra Colpacasa - Utullococha (3000 - 3700 - 3400m)
1st Day - Cusco - Malaga pass - Vilcabamba (3350 - 4315 - 3000m)
Early in the morning we'll leave the hotel to take a transport that will bring us to the north-west part of Cusco (3350m). On the way we'll have the chance to see the village of Chinchero (3760m) with Andean traditions and skills left over by our ancestors as well in textile as in hectares of cultivated agriculture. Just a few minutes from there you'll see the richest corn area named the Sacred Valley of the Incas with a very gentle climate all year long and an altitude level between 2800 and 2900meters. We'll have a brief stop in Ollantaytambo (2850m) from where we'll continue our transport up to the highest part of this journey, called Abra Malaga (4315m). From there we'll go down with an excellent view over the Cloud Forest and High Jungle halfway the Amaybamba Valley until we get at the lowest part of our trip at the village of Chaullay (1200m). Here we'll change road halfway the Vilcabamba Valley, going up for the next 3 hours until the village of Huancacalle (3000m), a place were we'll visit archeological remains such as Vitcos Rosaspata, Ñustahispana and recent Excavations. Our travel time will be about 9 hours in a moderated to cold climate with some mosquitoes.
After spending some time in Vitcos Rosaspata and Ñustahispana around Huancacalle (3000m) we'll go on the road again direction the village of New Vilcabamba (3450m) after what we'll have a stop to have lunch while observing the black hills of Huamanapi, Sillarumi and Yanantin that are over 5000meters high. Later on we'll be in the highest pass we'll cross called Colpacasa (3700m). This is an excellent place to observe the mountain chain of snowed Vilcabamba. Finally we'll go down until the first campsite of Utullococha with an altitude of 3400meters. Trekking time will be about 6 hours in a cold climate (breakfast, lunch and diner included).
3rd Day - Utullococha - Cedrochaca (3400 - 3000m)
This day we'll hike down, crossing different communities and rivers as can be found in these beginnings of the jungle or Cloud Forests. Very soon we'll arrive at the Pampaconas community (an Inca ethnic where are living around 100 indigenes). We'll hike through a valley and cross river Chalca to arrive at Ututopampa later on. Continuing on this trek we'll walk downwards taking an original Inca Trail halfway the Lorofindiyoc Valley down to the campsite of Cedrochaca (3000m). Our hiking time will be about 8 hours in a cold climate with some mosquitoes (breakfast, lunch and diner included).
4th Day - Cedrochaca - Urpipata (3000 - 2800m)
At dawn our campsite will be surrounded by misty clouds known as the cloud forest. This is nature at his best with enchanting views. During the day we'll be hiking down and up through different climates. Finally we'll be able to see here these typical bridges of this zone, built by the peasants who used slices of wood brought to them by the River Zapatero. We'll stay a while in the community of San Fernando Vista Alegre (2600m).
After one hour we'll hit the road again and cross rivers coming from Vista Alegre and Sucsochicana. Later on we'll take the pass to the community of San Guillermo and the Corcu moco coffee plantation which is the beginning of a steep road until we arrive at the campsite of Urpipata (2800m). Our hiking time will be about 8 hours (breakfast, lunch and diner included).
5th Day - Urpipata - Espiritu Pampa (2800 - 1511m)
Continuing our trek we'll begin by hiking down and come upon one of the rivers that during the raining season give great difficulties and problems, as well to the peasants as whatever adventurer that wants to use this campsite nearby the rivers Palomayuc or Locomayuc.
We'll continue by hiking upwards ‘till the highest point for this day which is called the pass of Cedrocasa. We'll walk through a rocky landscape from where we'll take a flat road until we come upon a river called Concevidayoc where we'll have lunch. Continuing on this road we'll arrive at an area called Pajonal and later on at the pass of Espiritu Pampa. Around there you'll be able to see wooded and jungle-like landscapes in its whole natural splendor.
Our goal will be to hike down until the community of Espiritu Pampa which will be our campsite for the night and hike the next day from there up to the archeological complex of Espiritu Pampa which is situated 15 minutes higher (1511m). Our hiking time will be about 8 hours (including breakfast, lunch and diner)
6th Day - Espiritu Pampa - Chihuanquiry - Quillabamba (1511 - 950 - 1050m)
We'll enter the complex of Espiritu Pampa where we'll have a guided tour with possibility to buy some artesian pieces from which the money will be used by the I.N.C. (charged with restoration of the archeological and natural sites).
Returning to the campsite we'll continue hiking through a warmer climate, crossing bridges like Espiritu Pampa, Lechemayoc and Villa Carmen as final goal for this trek the place of Chihuanquiry (950m) where you'll have the possibility to take a public transportation and meet the population of Quiteny.
From there leave the main road where we'll be able to take the bus until Quillabamba (1050m). Our trekking time will be about 5 hours (includes breakfast, box-lunch and diner).
7th Day - Quillabamba - Malaga pass - Cusco (1050 - 4315 - 3350m)
Transport from Quillabamba to Cusco (about 7 hours drive)
Includes Breakfast and lunchbox.
What one needs to bring
Backpack, sleeping bag, clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket, sweater, trekking shoes and trousers, polo's/ t-shirts, rain poncho, hat, sun block cream, insect repellent and disinfecting alcohol and gel, bottle of water and sterilizing tablet, photo camera (wrapped in plastic bag), flash light and batteries, some snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruit, original passport, ´ISIC´-student card and extra money in soles
Also the Practical information might be good to read.What is included:
- Private transport from the hotel to Huancacalle
- High quality camping equipment (We use professional tents, Doite, Model Kailas 3, extra light / 4.5kgs and Doite, Model Himalaya, extra light / 4.5kgs, both for 2 persons. Air beds, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent).
- Meals during the excursion (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks / Option vegetarian).
- Professional guide (English or Spanish)
- Satellite telephone
- Cook and assistant
- Horsemen and mules, for all our camping and personal equipment
- Emergency horse (for every 3 persons)
- Truck from Chihuanquiri to Quiteny
- Public transportation from Quiteny to Quillabamba
- Host family in Huancacalle o camping
- Hostal in Quillabamba
- Public bus from Quillabamba to Cusco
- First-aid kit, oxygen bottle and safety rope
- Breakfast on the first excursion day
- Sleeping bag (If you don't have this, you can hire it in our office)