CUSCO – NAZCA – 5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

Departures:        Monthly (See chronogram for dates)

Day 1:

Pick up from hotel at 9.00 a.m. The journey by minivan will begin on the paved road between Cusco and Abancay. We shall cross the Apurimac River on the journey, where there are impressive views.

Continuing our journey we shall make a further stop to see the famous Saywite stone, which is a model constructed by the Incas depicting agricultural terraces and irrigation systems. Shortly after this we shall visit an attractive integrated family farm. The owner will demonstrate how he manages the fields. We shall have lunch here – sampling some of the local produce.

We shall arrive in Abancay around 6 p.m. As the capital of the Apurimac Region, Abancay has all the amenities to allow you to spend an enjoyable evening.

The famous carved stone of Saywite

The famous carved stone of Saywite

Day 2:

Following breakfast in Abancay we shall continue our journey along the main road. Shortly before reaching Chalhuanca we shall take a branch road towards the district of Sañayca. After a journey along pretty rough roads we shall reach two very unusual and impressive attractions.

Firstly we shall visit a huge area of amazing stone formations – known as a stone wood. This is probably the most spectacular of its kind in Peru. The stone formations are the result of volcanic activity around 4 million years ago from the Sotaya and Qarhuarasu mountains and the subsequent erosion of soft layers of rock. The formations are spread over more than 40km. We shall have a picnic for lunch amongst the stones and everyone will have time to explore on foot the variety of formations.

Part of the Stone Forest close to Llamcama, Pampachiri

Part of the Stone Forest close to Llamcama, Pampachiri

Later on we shall proceed a little further to visit a house known as “the home of the pitufos”. A local family has constructed their home using gigantic conical stones for their rooves – their animal corral also has the same design.

After a stop to visit the house and to speak with the family (if home) we shall continue our journey towards the Chicha Soras valley. The river of the same name divides the Apurimac and Ayacucho Regions. We shall stay overnight in a pleasant guest house in Pampachiri.

Day 3:

Following a breakfast prepared by the local “Mothers Club” we shall travel to the district of Larcay on the far side of the Chicha Soras River in the Ayacucho Region. Here there are some thermal springs where we shall enjoy a relaxing break on the banks of the river.

Once we proceed we shall head out of the Chicha Soras valley. We will make a short stop to see some spherical stones close to the road which have a volcanic origin. Lunch will be taken on route.

We shall come out onto the main highway once more but after a short drive we shall take another branch road towards the Sondondo valley. We shall make a stop beside some lakes which have a large population of flamingoes and wild ducks. We shall also see Huallatas (geese) and Vizcachas (like wild rabbits) on route.

Andean Flamingoes

Andean Flamingoes

Shortly before reaching our destination, Andamarca, we shall visit some spectacular prehispanic agricultural terraces which remain in perfect working condition to this day – the local farmers continue to maintain and cultivate these terraces with a variety of Andean crops.

The prehispanic agricultural terraces of Andamarca

The prehispanic agricultural terraces of Andamarca

We shall reach Andamarca around 6 p.m. Before resting we shall have the opportunity of visiting a local museum and of watching a live performance of the famous scissor dance.

Day 4:

We shall leave in the minivan at around 6.30 a.m. and head towards the district of Chipao. Following a journey of 40 minutes we shall reach a condor lookout point. Over the next 1½ to 2 hours we shall see a large number of condors (probably 15 or more) flying in formations over spectacular scenery.

 

Condor flying close to the Look out point, Mayobamba

Condor flying close to the Look out point, Mayobamba

From this point we shall head towards the small town of Mayobamba where we shall install ourselves in a hostel close to some thermal springs. We shall also have breakfast here. Following a short rest we shall walk uphill for around 45 minutes (It is also possible to go in the vehicle) to reach an area of strange geological formations known locally as mini volcanoes for their appearance.

In the afternoon we shall take the vehicle to a large wood of Puya de Raimondi plants. These very special and rare plants flower only once, after a lifespan of around 100 years. There will be an opportunity to walk through the plantation and to take photos of the scenery.

Puya de Raimondi Plants, Chipao

Puya de Raimondi Plants, Chipao

Upon returning to the accommodation everyone shall be free to enjoy the thermal springs.

Day 5:

Following breakfast we shall return to Andamarca. During the morning we shall visit the archaeological site of Caniche, which is located within the town. There are remains of the Rukanas, Wari and Inca civilizations here. For those interested there are a number of short local walks to choose from before we head off after lunch.

Caniche

Caniche

Upon leaving Andamarca we shall head back towards the main highway – taking an alternative route. After passing the town of Puquio we shall make a stop at the Pampa Galeras nature reserve. Here we can see hundreds of vicuñas grazing freely. Once we start to head down towards Nazca we may be lucky enough to see the rare guanacos in their natural environment.

Vicuñas in Pampa Galeras

Vicuñas in Pampa Galeras

We shall reach Nazca by 6 p.m. in time for those who wish to continue their journeys by bus towards Lima, Cusco, Arequipa or Tacna. Alternatively we can help arrange accommodation in Nazca and with contacting local tour operators who can book flights over the Nazca lines or organize trips to other points of interest around Nazca such as the underground prehispanic irrigation systems.

COST of TOUR

SEE PAGE ON ITINERARIES AND COSTS FOR PRICE OF TOUR

The price includes:

  • Private transport for 5 days
  • A professional guide
  • Local guides and coordinators
  • Lodgings for 4 nights
  • Live show of the scissor dancers
  • All meals accept those mentioned below
  • Entrance to museums, Caniche, swimming pool in Larcay and Saywite

The price does not include:

  • Dinner and breakfast in Abancay (estimated cost US$12)
  • Dinner in Andamarca on day 3 (estimated cost US$3)
  • Lunch in Andamarca on day 5 (estimated cost US$3)
  • Entrance to the hot baths at Mayobamba (estimated cost US$3)
  • Hotel in Nazca
  • Additional drinks and extras