Would you like to visit Peru? Read the story of Anne-Sophie who shares with us her journey full of different sporting and cultural experiences. Thanks to a travel agency, she was able to discover the richness of Peru as a group through numerous activities.
If you want to be amazed a little more every day on the other side of the world, Peru is the destination that will surprise you with its multitude of landscapes and experiences among alpacas and llamas. Here’s the itinerary our group made.
100km on foot
Average daily budget
Method of transport
Best time to travel
Themes of the route
History and wide open spaces
Day 1: Arrival in Lima, the capital of Peru after 24 hours of travel.
Day 2: Flight to Cuzco to discover the city.
Day 3: Start off at 4350m for a 50km mountain bike downhill ride in the morning and a rafting trip down the Vilcanota River in the afternoon.
Day 4: Trek in the jungle: morning tasting of local chocolate and coffee, followed by a trek on a section of the Inca Trail, a historic path in the valley with breathtaking views.
Day 5: Zipline 250m above the ground crossing the valley, then 3-hour walk (10km) between Hydroelectrica and Agua Calientes, to reach the city of Machu Picchu.
Day 6: 2,000 steps to access one of the wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.
Day 7: We start the 4-day trek from Tinqui, a village in the Ausangate National Park with a 6km walk to the first camp and sleep at 4400m.
Day 8: Second day of trekking and first climb to 4850m at Arapa Pass.
Day 9: Head for the iconic 7-colour mountain
Day 10: Fourth and final day, with the highest climb of the trek at 5200m (Palomani Pass) and about 25/30km
Day 11: Last day with the Peruvians who accompanied us during the trek and return to Cuzco
Day 12: Rest and flight for Arequipa
Day 13: Headed to Chachani (volcano): acclimatization and setting up camp at 5200m
Day 14: Last climb of the trip to Chachani, the tip culminates at 6074m, 800m climbing and no less than 40% of oxygen.
Day 15: Return to France
Located in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 3400m, Cuzco is the ancient Inca capital which has preserved its authenticity thanks to its stone buildings. It is easy to walk around the city and through the alleys to the local shops and markets. Around Cuzco, you can do a multitude of activities, here’s what we did: a downhill mountain bike ride of more than 2 hours, starting at an altitude of 4,000m to ride down the mountain, rafting in the Vilcanota river, crossing the valley thanks to 4 zip lines hanging 250m above the ground, guaranteed thrills and good times shared in a group to start the trip.
On the third day of our trip, we took the road into the jungle. Our guide, Alex, explains the benefits of the plants throughout the hike and then we take a break to discover how coffee and cocoa, pure local products, are harvested and made. I was delighted to make these discoveries in nature and to meet the Peruvians who taught us a lot about their country and their culture. Being on an organised trip with local guides allowed us to experience activities like these. It is very rewarding and meaningful.
Of course, every discovery deserves to be tasted, especially to regain strength for what follows. The second part of the hike was along the Inca Trail, on the edge of a cliff and in a breathtaking valley. The height of the mountains and the drops are impressive!
We finish the hike in the dark with the help of our headlamps. And, for the record: we had to cross the river on a zip line sitting in a wooden crate. The Peruvians, who, with the help of a rope, pulled us and transferred us from one side of the valley to another. I didn’t feel it was very safe, but we had a great time. We spent the late afternoon and early evening in the hot springs of Santa Theresa, nothing more relaxing after a day of walking.
Day 5, on the road to Machu Picchu! An ancient Inca city that is well worth visiting: we walked 10km along the "Peru Rails", a train that can take you directly to the site. In the evening we arrived in Agua Calientes, the closest village to Machu Picchu and the starting point for accessing the site (by bus or on foot), where we spent a great evening surrounded by Peruvian songs (like "Guantanamera").
The next day, day 6 of the trip, we start at 4:30 am to climb the first 2000 steps, which took us to the site of Machu Picchu, an amazing archaeological site and natural reserve! Let's not forget that we are on a sporting trip, the visit will be done in the afternoon, we leave as quickly for 2000 additional steps in direction of the Montagna Picchu at 3000m of altitude, which allowed us to observe Machu Picchu from above. The climb is very rough, the stones are uneven, the difference in altitude is quite significant and my legs started to feel heavy following the previous days of walking. Fortunately, the group spirit is there to encourage and motivate each other, and always to make each other laugh and tell stories. The difficulty is quickly forgotten when you reach the top, the view is incredible over the mountain range and Machu Picchu. In the afternoon, we toured and learn about the history of the ruins, very interesting, Machu Picchu or "old mountain" in the Quechua language, is largely worth the detour!
On Friday lunchtime, we ate at the home of our local guide and his family, Cyrillo, in the small village of Tinqui. The Quechuas and mules would accompany us throughout the trek where we would be completely off the grid without any mobile/internet network, a real break to fully live the experience.
In the afternoon we walked 6km in the rain and thunder up more than 4000m, time to test our rain gear and acclimatise to the altitude. The landscape is already impressive, with snow-capped mountains on one side and rolling plains filled with greenery on the other. First night at 4400m, a first for me and most of the group!
On the 2nd day of the trek, it's off for a little more than 15km on foot, the landscape changed completely from the day before: less snow, more lakes, rather red and "earthy" mountains because of the minerals. We walked on a single path through the free-roaming herds of alpacas. We made our first “pass” (big climb) at 4850m at the Arapa pass and then the Apuchata pass at 4950m. It was physically intense, the climbs were tough and the weather conditions changed almost by the hour. I was completely disconnected from the world, I fully experienced all the moments shared with the group and the beauty of the landscapes that I would certainly only see once in my life. 2nd night camping at 4600m of altitude.
We got up on the 3rd day... under snow! It's incredible the change of weather in the mountains, the snowy landscape with the sunrise, the alpacas nearby; it was splendid and I am lucky to experience these moments.
A big day awaited us, we made our first ascent to the Abra Warmisaya pass at 4950 m altitude in the direction of the mountain of the 7 colours, also called Montana Vinikunka, an emblematic mountain of Peru. Luckily the sun melted the snow and we were able to see a colourful side of the mountain thanks to all the minerals. We had reached 5036m in altitude. The effort was very intense at this altitude with the sun, the slope was very steep. The mind plays an important role but the pleasure of pushing one's limits and the pride of having done it encourages us to go forward little by little.
We ate at the camp for lunch and then set off for a 6km walk to experience our 4th and final night in a tent. The atmosphere on the way and at each camp was very joyful. We had a great group where we all got to know each other and create friendships.
Last morning in our tent, departure at 5am for our first ascent of the Palomani pass at 5200m of altitude with a significant difference in altitude of +600m, the weather is very nice and the landscape still impresses us. The second part of the day is less fun: second ascent of the Jampa Pass at 5000m with 2 hours of hail, the road is endless, a great memory! Fortunately, the group spirit carries us along, and we spend our time talking and laughing to make the road more pleasant. In the evening, we sleep in the warmth of the village of Pacchanta and the next day we drive to Cuzco.
We had a lot of fun during this trek, landscapes so varied that we had the impression of crossing several countries, mountains as far as the eye could see.
The last (and not the least!) test of our trip: the ascent of the volcano, Chachani, with its summit at 6074m altitude. We leave Arequipa the day before, with Carlos and his son, our guides for the climb. 3h of driving in 4X4 and 2h walking with our 10kg bag on our back (we were in total autonomy), we arrive at the camp at more than 5000m of altitude. From the camp, we could observe a lunar desert landscape that changes colour every minute with the setting sun, and on the other side, the mountain that we would climb the next day. We played a few games to keep ourselves busy and gently acclimatise. We then prepared our equipment to leave in the night, nothing is left to chance. We also prepared our minds for the climb in a few hours. Departure at 4am, it was still dark and very cold. We moved forward single-file with our headlamps, Carlos leading the pace, step by step. It took me an hour to catch my breath, we were almost standing still and the slightest exertion is felt at this altitude. It is also in difficult moments that we feel the bonds created in the group to help each other and the encouragement that keeps us going mentally until the finish.
9h15: The 7 of us reached the top without giving up, which was immensely satisfying! The summit is at 6074m with over 800m of ascent over 5km, with bars eaten and vitamins swallowed and multiple heaters used.
The much easier descent was done in 1h30 over the sand to join our camp. Return to Arequipa for the last day of the trip and enjoy the city.
“Investing in travel is investing in yourself.” Matthew Karsten