After getting all my gear together and starting to pack I realized everything I had was not going to fit into a 55 liter Osprey Fairpoint and a 32 liter Osprey Skareb. Since I’ve decided I am not going to check any luggage in at the airport because I will be talking far to many modes of transportation to be lugging around a suitcase. So….. I am going to have to pack lighter.
Day 1: Flight to Lima
flight departs Pittsburgh Aug. 24, I have a layover in Miami and then off to Lima.
Flanked by streets of ornate mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is where I will start my exploration of Lima. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral of Lima, which houses the remains of Lima’s founder, Francisco Pizarro.
I’ll visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains. Continue onto the Central market where I’ll take a walk through the markets which have a huge variety of fresh produce to offer, including fruits, vegetables and even guinea pigs. i’ll also have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street foods.
Back to the hotel then perhaps head out for dinner and check out the night life.
Day 2: Amazon Jungle
Day 3: Amazon Jungle
Day 4: Amazon/Cusco
Take the time to acclimatise to the city’s 3,450 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city. I’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. Finally I’ll visit the Chocolate museum where there will be an opportunity to sample a hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. Tonight, perhaps I’ll head out for dinner and then get some rest.Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of the places I’ll visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer from altitude sickness. The locals recommend drinking tea made from coca leaves.
I’ll visit Café Daria, This café & pizzeria which opened in its now permanent home in the tourist area of Cusco city in April 2018, is Cusco’s first vocational training site for young adults with special needs. Manos Unidas core purpose to improve the quality of life for people with developmental & intellectual disabilities though vocational training, education and parent advocacy, leading to successful inclusion within a society in which they had traditionally been ostracised from.
Day 5: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo
Day 6: Inca Quarry Trail
Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon.
Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq’a, and meet the porters who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, I hope to reach the small community of Socma.
Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 meters above sea level. We should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q’orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.
Day 7: Inca Quarry Trail
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A four-hour hike will takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 metres high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a two hour hike before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 metres. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, which is only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.
Day 8: Inca Quarry Trail
Today’s hike will all a lot of downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek.
Day 9: Machu Picchu/Cusco
Route 2 Quarry Trail:
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am along the winding road to Machu Picchu (30 minutes). At Machu Picchu, enjoy spectacular views over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.
Day 10: Back to Cusco
I’ll head back to Cusco by train and continue to explore the cities culture, food, and ancient ruins. Not sure how long I’ll stay in Cusco before heading back to Lima for a few days and then make my way North back to the U.S.