Each afternoon, at 6pm, our inhouse guides will provide a briefing to describe the activities our guests will be able to choose from the following day. Some activities will be more physically intensive, others will focus on culture and history. Most of our activities will include a sumptuous lunch made from local produce and fresh ingredients. All activities will include transportation from and back to the resort.
5 hours / moderate level of fitness required
A shorter version of this trip (3 hours /easy hike) will consist of vehicular transportation to the Pumamarca Fortress and a hike down the Inca Trail.
Leave Las Qolqas at 9 am walking along the Patacancha River for roughly five kilometers, ascending approximately 500 meters. The trail takes you along the agricultural terraces of Musqa Pukyo (1) and the village of Pallata. You will then commence your ascent to Pumamarca (2), a Fortress dating from roughly 1000 AD, belonging to the early Inca empire, which borrowed much from the Wari Culture. Pumamarca is a fortified citadel on a hilltop overlooking the Patacancha valley. It is strategically positioned to defend Ollantaytambo from the Eastern approaches, which lead to the jungle. The complex consists of Chulpas (Grain storage towers), Military observation posts, a central square flanked by buildings of religious and monarchical use and a grid-like city plan with buildings of various shapes and uses.
After about an hour of exploration in the Fortress you will commence your return journey along the Qhapaq Ñan (Imperial Inca Road), which will take you past the Inca irrigation canals and terraces of Chocobamba (3).
You will stop for a picnic along the way and then finish your hike at the Inca Terraces of Media Luna (‘Half Moon’) (4), which has terraces beautifully shaped to resemble eating utensils and tools of agricultural use.
You will be driven upriver for 20km along the Patacancha Valley to the village bearing the same name. Many of the porters working the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu come from here. Once there you will visit various weaving centers and experience the way of life of the villagers, which still wear their traditional garb and have not changed their customs by much for the past 400 years. You will also have a chance to bargain hard at the picturesque market, where their textiles are all hand made. You will then be driven down to Willoc to visit another weaving center and to enjoy a sumptuous trout dish from the local fish farm.
Full day trip / moderate level of fitness required
Depart Las Qolqas at 7:00 am. You will be driven to the village of Soqma (1). From there you will walk for an hour up to the 80 meter waterfall of Peroliyoc (2). After enjoying a subtropical microclimate and the spray of the waterfall, you will hike for about an hour up to the Fortress perched atop the waterfall. This rarely-visited archaological site was restored in 2013 and offers a fine example of Inca architecture. Combining agricultural terraces with irrigation channels, military and religious compounds. The site also offers breathtaking views of the valley below. Perolniyoc was strategically located to guard the pass to the west of Ollantaytambo and remained in use after the Spanish conquest. After visiting the ruin you will then descend back to Soqma where you will be driven to the town of Huarocondo (3). Here, a sumptuous dish of suckling pig, Tamales and Humitas will await you at the main square.
To round off your trip you will then drive back towards Pachar and will stop at Ñaupa Iglesia (4), a piramidal-shaped cave with some of the finest examples of stone masonry of the Incas, or possibly even an older civilization.
This site will be particularly intriguing for those travellers that are susceptible to energy fields as it is purportedly placed atop one of Earth’s energy lines. The cave has a portal chisselled on one of its walls and at the mouth of the cave there is a finely carved altar made of blue stone with three niches. The alignment of the niches, the angles of the stones making the piramidal cave and the ratios of the sides of the portal all follow impressive mathematical and astrological principles. This site is both spooky and magical.
5 to 6 hours / moderate to advanced level of fitness recommended
You will depart Ollantaytambo at 6 am and cross the Inka suspension bridge to the other side of the Urubamba river. You will then follow the trail downriver in a northerly direction. On clear days you will be treated to the first rays of light shining on the Sun Temple atop the Ollantaytambo fortress. This is especially so around the days of the winter solstice.
Continue for about an hour and you will reach the first of two stone quarries where the pink granite used for building the sun temple in Ollantaytambo came from. There are numerous chullpas (circular stone structures), and megalithic stone blocks scattered along the trail. A further hour of fairly steep terrain will lead you to the second quarry. Here we will stop for breakfast and some free time to explore the various stone formations.
Another hour climb will take you past an Inca settlement where the stone masons likely lived and at the end of the trail you will reach a breathtaking shrine offering priceless views of the Apu Veronica with its snow-capped peak.
In one day by train or two days by train and hike
Peru’s most famous landmark can be easily visited in one day by train. The first morning trains depart Ollantaytambo as early as 4:30 am and reach Machu Picchu 1 ½ hours later. Allowing you to visit the site in the morning and/or afternoon. We prefer the afternoon hours as visibility will generally be better and the light from a low-lying sun is warmer and offers more interesting shadows for your pictures. The last train back to Ollantaytambo is at 21:50, which arrives in Ollantaytambo at 23:35. We offer transportation to and from the Ollantaytambo train station once an hour throughout the day. For those wishing to enter the Inca citadel by foot, we offer a two day trekking tour. The train will drop you off at kilometer 104. From there you will proceed along the Inca Trail, past the ruin of Wiñay Wayna, setting camp a few hours walk from Machu Picchu. The following day you will be able to enter Machu Picchu in the morning via the Sun Door and enjoy one of the world's (new) seven wonders of the world.