Day 1 Cusco to Qomerqocha Lagoon
We leave the city of Cusco very early by private transport, and drive along the Cusco – Puerto Maldonado highway in the direction of Pacchanta (4100m/13448ft). On the way we pass through Urcos, where we may spot a beautiful lagoon of the same name, continue to Cattca, an agricultural and cattle raising community where we can appreciate the region’s spectacular views. Next, we cross Ocongate, capital of the district with the same name, and finally pass Tinki, a small community already enjoying impressive views of Mount Ausangate, located only half an hour away from our destination. After an approximately four-and-a-half to five-hour drive, we arrive in Pacchanta, a rural community that boasts some well-known hot springs where we can enjoy a nice dip with awesome views of the faces of Ausangate. At this point we meet our wranglers and horses and enjoy a first delicious lunch. In the afternoon we follow our hike through a slight climb up the Pacchanta valley, having the chance to spot llamas and alpacas, until we reach the beautiful Qomercocha lagoon where we set our camp and have dinner. Our campsite will be set in a spectacular spot with amazing views of Ausangate, Santa Catalina, Maria Huamantiqlla, Pucapunta and Colquecruz snow-capped mountains.
Meals: L, D
Total distance 5 km (3,11 miles)
Estimated hiking time 4 hours
Maximum altitude point 4,300 m (14,104 ft)
Campsite altitude 4,300 m (14,104 ft)
Day 2 Qomerqocha Lagoon to Yanamayo
We leave at around 6.00 am and continue towards the first mountain pass of our trek, the Abra Q´ampa at 5000m/16400ft, which we will reach after about four hours. We then descend towards the Ticllaqocha Lagoons, a beautiful group of little turquoise lagoons next to which we have lunch. In the afternoon we continue our hike for an additional two to three hours until we reach Yanamayo where we set our camp in an impressive valley overlooked by the stunning Tres Picos, Colquecruz and Pucapunta peaks.
Meals: B, L, D
Total distance 15 km (9,32 miles)
Estimated hiking time 8 – 9 hours
Maximum altitude point 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
Campsite altitude 4,600 m (15,088 ft)
Day 3 Yanamayo to Condorpaso
We leave camp and start a gradual climb up toward Yanaqocha or “Black Lagoon,” its name due to the dark color of its waters. In this area we can appreciate a soil of volcanic origin, its color turning to dark red and black, as well as moraines, showing the previous presence of glaciers in this region. We will go over Yanaqocha mountain pass (5050m/16564ft) to then discover a surprisingly beautiful valley with an explosion of colored mountains, three spectacular lagoons and the presence of llamas and alpacas; we will cross the valley to head towards our next mountain pass (5100m/16728ft). From this point, an additional hour’s hike leads us to Condorpaso, our next campsite, located very close to the mountain pass of the same name, which will be our challenge for the next day.
Meals: B, L, D
Total distance 14 km (8.69 miles)
Estimated hiking time 8 hours
Maximum altitude point 5,100 m (16,728 ft)
Campsite altitude 5,100 m (16,728 ft)
Day 4 Condorpaso to Source of Sibinacocha Lagoon
After breakfast, we continue on a gradual climb up the valley that takes us to the mountain pass Abra del Condor (5200m/17056ft) after an approximately two-hour walk. From the pass, the highest point of our trek, we may not only enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota mountain range and the Sibinacocha Lagoon, our next milestone, but also hopefully see wild vicuñas. Immediately, we continue our hike for an additional three hours, crossing another mountain pass on the way and then descending into the valley of the Sibinacocha Lagoon’s source. We will camp next to the lagoon and very close to its source, where an impressive glacier stands and nourishes the lake with its turquoise waters that contrast with the pure dark blue color of the lagoon. The lagoon boasts a wide biodiversity: we will probably be able to spot Andean Coots, “Huallatas” or Andean Geese as well as Andean Ducks from our camp.
Meals: B, L, D
Total distance 9 km (5,59 miles)
Estimated hiking time 6 hours
Maximum altitude point 5,200 m (17,056 ft)
Campsite altitude 4,867 m (15,963 ft)
Day 5 Source of Sibinacocha Lagoon to Ccascana
Today, we depart early to walk along the shores of the Sibinacocha Lagoon for three hours until we reach the Yayamari community, next to the mountain of the same name, an impressive rocky peak overlooking the lagoon (5500m/18040ft). We then continue across a pampa where we will probably see hundreds of llamas, alpacas and hopefully vicuñas, to then follow towards the Abra Ccascana at 5000m/16400ft, which will lead us to the lagoon of the same name, where we will set our last camp. In this remote spot, surrounded by impressive snow-capped peaks such as Montura and Chumpi and inhabited by small rural communities, we may have the chance to spot ¨Huallatas¨ or Andean geese and maybe even flamingoes.
Meals: B, L
Total distance 12 km (7,47 miles)
Estimated hiking time 5-6 hours
Maximum altitude point 5,000 m (17,056 ft)
Campsite altitude 4,800 (15,744 ft)
Day 6 Ccascana to Phinaya and back to Cusco
After our breakfast, we leave Ccascana to walk for three and a half hours towards Phinaya. We will have lunch in this small Andean community, which is home to a beautiful little church and only bikes and horses for transport. In the afternoon, we meet our private transport that will drive us back to Cusco, where we expect to arrive after nightfall.
Meals: B, L
Total distance 10 km (6,21 miles)
Estimated hiking time 3.5-4 hours
Maximum altitude point 4,800 (15,744 ft)
* Departure and arrival times are approximate
** Campsites are subject to change according to the designation of the governmental institution regulating the use of the Inca Trail, as well as to our guide’s criteria and the group progress