NAZCA – CUSCO – 5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

Departures: Monthly (see list of departure dates)

Day 1:

Pick up from hotel at 8.30 a.m. Following this a minivan will be used to transport the visitors along the paved road which runs up from Nazca on route to Cusco. It is interesting to observe how the landscape changes from desert to high mountain plains vegetation in less than 2 hours. If we are lucky we shall see the rare Guanacos during the climb. We shall stop for a time at the Pampa Galeras Reserve where we can see hundreds of vicuñas grazing freely.

Vicuñas in Pampa Galeras

Vicuñas in Pampa Galeras

Lunch will be taken in the town of Puquio. We shall proceed along the Interoceanic Highway for a short distance before taking a branch road towards the Sondondo valley. We shall make stops at a large reservoir and also a lake to enjoy the views and see wild ducks.

Shortly before reaching our destination, Andamarca, we shall make a stop to visit part of the 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.

agricultural terraces in Andamarca

agricultural terraces in 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.

Local museum in Andamarca

Local museum in Andamarca

Day 2:

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 by the look out point near Mayobamba

Condor flying by the look out point near 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

Puya de Raimondi Plants

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

Day 3:

Today we shall journey between the Sondondo and Chicha Soras valleys. Following breakfast we shall head back to Andamarca to visit the archaeological site of Caniche which is located within the town. Here there are constructions built by the Rukanas, Wari and Inca civilizations. For those interested there are a number of optional short walks which can be taken or a visit can be made to a local museum dedicated to the scissor dances. We shall leave following lunch.

Caniche

Caniche

We shall head back towards the main highway but taking a different route where we should see Huallatas (Andean geese) and Vizcachas (rodents a bit like wild rabbits). We shall also make a stop by some lakes where there is a large population of Andean flamingoes and wild ducks.

We shall enter the Chicha Soras valley along another branch road. On the route we will make a short stop to see some large spherical stones of volcanic origin.

We shall stay overnight in a pleasant guest house in the district of Pampachiri.

Day 4:

Following a breakfast prepared by the local “Mothers Club” we shall take a walk around Pampachiri and its surrounding countryside where we will be able to see a waterfall, a lake and an attractive stream.

We shall leave Pampachiri before midday. After a journey along pretty rough roads we shall reach two very unusual and impressive attractions. Firstly we shall visit a house known as “the home of the smurfs”. 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 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.

The House of the Smurfs

The House of the Smurfs

Stone Formations

Stone Formations

In the afternoon we shall continue our journey towards the city of Abancay. Being the capital of the Apurimac Region, Abancay has all the amenities to allow you to pass an enjoyable evening.

Day 5:

We shall leave around 9 a.m. to head towards Cusco. On the way we shall visit an attractive integrated family farm. The owner will demonstrate how he manages the fields. We shall sample some of the local produce.

A second stop will be made to see the famous Saywite stone, which is a model constructed by the Incas depicting agricultural terraces and irrigation systems. Further along the route we shall visit a lookout point high above the Apurimac River, where we shall have some spectacular views.

The famous carved stone of Saywite

The famous carved stone of Saywite

We should arrive in Cusco around 5 p.m.

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