The area of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu known as the Sanctuary Garden is private property containing archeological sites including store houses, irrigation canals, farming terraces, shrines, towers, reservoirs, tunnels and more, including part of the Inca trail network. Not many agencies are permitted to operate within the Sanctuary Garden, and Pirwa Travel´s route is exclusive! This uncommon experience will take you through sierra and lowland tropical rainforest to the jungle of Machu Picchu. Here, in an area bordered by sacred peaks, you´ll find mysterious Inca ruins long-settled into their lush surroundings. In this trek through time you´ll come to know the mystery, nature and history of the Andes as you journey to the great lost city of Machu Picchu.
We will pick you up from the hotel after breakfast and travel on our private transport to Piscacucho (2720 m.s.n.m), located at Km 82, along the railway line that leads to Machu Picchu. Here we will start the trekking along the right bank of the Urubamba river, downstream from the ruins of Salapunku (2623m), which protected the entrance to the Sacred Valley. Its solid stone walls resemble those of another famous fort, Sacsayhuaman.
Continuing, the next stop will be close to the Q'anabamba precincts, 'Prado Verde'. We will also visit Q'oriwayrachina (2520 m). Here, on a huge rock stretches the Vilcanota river horizontally. Observed remains of a circular tower and stone staircase give clues about the possible use of the site as a communication center. We will cross the river by the suspension bridge, to arrive at our camp in Q'ente, where we will have lunch and rest for a while. We will walk about 7km in a period of about 4 hours and with a slight degree of difficulty.
After our rest we will walk along the left side of the river, we will cross the river Cusichaca and we will enter the zone of the community of Chamana. Then we will ascend by an original Inca road, just 200 meters from Willkaraqay, 'sacred house' (2790m) a place that was used as a rest stop and trading center during the Inca times. Its more than 30 rooms have a unique geometry and a semicircular watchtower with a view on the western side of the valley. The entire complex is believed to have been a military base.
Then we descend to Patallaqta, 'Village in the Heights', which is also known as Q'entemarka 'Place of the Hummingbird', a formidable complex with more than 100 buildings organized in blocks, with streets and alleys.
Continuing along the eastern fringe of Patallaqta, we will take the direction of our last stop, the Pulpitutyoq Inca sanctuary (2500m), which we will enter via a round staircase. After visiting this site we will return to Qente, having traveled around 4.5 kilometers for 4 hours. The degree of difficulty is slight, with a short stretch of ascent to Willka Rakay. We will have dinner and rest at the camp.
After a refreshing breakfast, we will walk along the left side of the river. Today's route has a surprisingly large amount of flora and fauna. We will cross the Machuq'ente, 'Old Colibri', along the way we will see wide Andean terraces that form the figure of a hummingbird. 2 ½ km from Machuq'ente, in the direction of the Vilcanota riverbank, is Waynaq'ente, 'Young Hummingbird' (2550m), one of the most beautiful archeological complexes of the Garden Sanctuary. The main stone, including a finely carved double door, suggests that the precincts here had a ceremonial purpose. In its heyday, it was connected by a fine Inca trail. We will return to Q'ente camp to enjoy an appetizing lunch, after having walked about 4 km in a period of 4 hours. The degree of difficulty up to Waynaq'ente is high, with an ascent of 300 meters, but from there the trail will be light. After lunch, we will have the afternoon free to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. We will have dinner and spend the night in the camp.
We`ll have breakfast very early before embarking on the train which will take us to Machu Picchu Pueblo (known colloquially as Aguas Calientes). This is the last stop on the train, so from here we`ll need to take a bus for the final part of the ascent to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu Archeological Complex. We´ll have a guided tour in the famous and mysterious ancient citadel. Our guide will explain to us about the key sights such as the main plaza, the circular tower, the cemeteries, the Temple of the Three Windows, and the royal rooms. The highlight is the shrine to the sun god, Intihuatana, the Sacred Solar Clock which aligns with the two equinoxes and with the winter solstice. After the guided tour we´ll have time to explore the ruins by ourself and take photos. We´ll return to Aguas Calientes for lunch before boarding the train to return to Cusco and our respective hotels.