Discover the secret city of the Incas
Machu Picchu trek

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Passing through Cusco on your way to Lima, you'll arrive at the centre of the Andes and embark on a journey that will take you to the most precious jewel of the Inca civilization.

This challenge will leave you spellbound! During your excursion, you'll discover Cusco, the ancient Inca city founded in the 11th century, several Inca relics, as well as the extraordinary wonders of Machu Picchu. Since its rediscovery in 1911, it has been recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Above and beyond the awe-inducing relics of the Inca civilization, you'll be greeted by an endearing people who will welcome you with open arms and will treat you to their delicious, rich and varied cuisine that will undoubtedly delight the explorer in you.

 

Details

Where

Peru

When

August 25-September 3, 2019

Duration of the trip

10 days

Level of difficulty

Intermediate

Accomodation

3 star hotel and tent

Fundraising goal

$9,000
Participants
Bilodeau Valerie, Bui Thi Anh Dao, Caron Simon, Gingras Isabelle, Girondin Ludovic, Godin Joanie, Groulx Josée, Labbé Audrey-Anne, Morand Nicolas, Pelletier Marie-Lyne, Peterson Noemie

Your Journey

Participants meet at Pierre-Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and fly to Lima, Peru.

Overnight flight

Dinner and breakfast on board

Participants arrive in Lima and travel to Cuzco in the morning. Upon arrival in Cuzco, participants will check-in at the hotel and assemble with the trip organizers for an introductory meeting. Participants will have free time to rest before a welcome lunch at the Plaza de Armas. After lunch, participants will be guided on a tour of the old colonial city.. In the evening, participants will have dinner with the treat of a traditional dance and music show.

One night in a 3-star hotel in the heart of Cuzco 

Lunch and dinner included

After breakfast at the hotel, participants will depart on a tour of the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park discovering Inca fortresses and temples. Afterwards, participants will descend into the Sacred Valley. Along the way, they will visit a community weaving center and learn about various fabrics and weaving methods used in the Andes.  Lunch will be served in the village of Pisaq and participants will be given time to explore the village’s arts and crafts market. Afterwards, a tour of Pisaq’s impressive ruins which are suspended above the valley will end with a warm-up for the trek by walking down the 1,050 steps from the ruins to the village.

Return to Cuzco for the night (3-star hotel) 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

After breakfast at the hotel, participants will depart for a tour of the village of Chinchero. Near the village begins the path that will lead participants into a pristine Andean ecosystem allowing the body to gently complete its adaptation to the altitude change.  Along this path, participants will be led to the quaint village of Maras which has barely changed over the centuries. After lunch, participants will walk to the site of the Salineras for a visit. The day will end with a final descent to the Sacred River Urubamba before dinner.

One night stay in a 3-star hotel in the Sacred Valley

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

After breakfast, participants will depart by bus to reach the trek’s starting point, also known as “Kilometer 82” on the Cuzco railway to Quillabamba. The hike begins gently and after a few minutes it will cross the Cusichaca suspension bridge (built with steel cables), over the Urubamba River. On the left side of the road participants will discover a eucalyptus field before reaching the archaeological remains of Llactapata. This site includes many Andean terraces, which were thought to be used to feed the inhabitants of other cities and "Tambos" (warehouses) of the Inca Trail. The climate in this area is generally hot and colored by the beautiful brush of the landscape. It should be expected that the first day will be cloudy or rainy; however the hike is fairly easy on a nearly flat and scenic path. 

Along the path, participants will be led through a ghostly landscape of volcanic lava, caves and foamy streams framed by giant groundsels.  Participants will then come to the Shira plateau and will then continue to travel for another 3 to 4 hours before arriving at Shira Camp.

Distance: 9.8 km 

Elevation: + 2,800 m / Approximate Duration of the Trek: 6h

One night stay in a tent

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

This part of the trek is the most challenging as it involves a steep ascent to “El Abra de Warmihuañusca” (the literal translation meaning "where the woman dies ") at 4,200m. Participants will be challenged due to the constant climb up the steep slope leading up to the abra. Along the way, the natural environment will begin to change from a temperate valley to a cold landscape without trees. Before arriving at the abra, participants will come across camp “Llullupampa", located in a valley bordered by two crystalline streams. Here, participants will have the opportunity to rest for a while before resuming their walk to “Paso de Warmihuañusca”. Along this stretch is the only place where participants may experience a degree of altitude sickness. The area is characterized by strong winds and low temperatures. After crossing the abra, participants will take a break before descending to the valley of the river Pacaymayo, where a small waterfall, a camp and public toilets can be found. On this second day of trekking, the path is well defined and includes steep stairs which are almost vertical. It is very important, especially on this day for participants to set their own pace.

Elevation: min. 3,000 m, max. 4,200 m / Approximate Duration of the Trek: 8h

Distance: 10.2 km 

Overnight in tent 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 7 will be the longest of the days, however, not too demanding.  Participants will trek through a second passage upon which the archaeological remains of Runkuracay can be discovered at 3,800 meters of altitude. These ancient ruins are very interesting, as they have a single entry with seven separate accesses to their respective rooms. Following this exploration, participants will descend to Laguna Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and arrive at Sayaqmarca. This interesting Inca ruin is located on a cliff top; where panoramic views of the Acobamba valley and snow covered Pumasillo can be enjoyed. Accessing this viewpoint requires a climb up a steep and solid stone staircase located on the edge of the mountain. Participants will walk along Conchamarka, a small and recently discovered archaeological ruin, and will pass through the camp of Chakicocha, a spacious area with public toilets and water. Following this, the trail will begin to climb again. Participants will discover the first tunnel measuring 20 meters in length with rock carved steps. The path continues in an ascent to the Citadel of Phuyupatamarca which translates into the "village above the clouds", an original citadel of the Inca Trail. It is surrounded by clouds and located on a gorge overlooking the Urubamba. Near the crossing of Phuyupatamarca, the path begins to curve downhill through a second tunnel. The path then opens onto relatively flat ledges along the course of the Urubamba River to Wiñayhuayna standing at 2644 meters high. This is regarded as the most attractive citadel of the Inca Trail and the last town before the Machu Picchu. 

Elevation: Min. 2,700 m Max. 3,950 m / Approximate Duration of the Trek: 8h

Overnight in tent

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Participants have an early morning departure for a relatively short (one to two hours) hike to arrive at the Gate of the Sun before sunrise. This allows for a stunning panoramic view over the lost city of Machu Picchu, revealing itself through the mist as the sun rises. This site was recently designated as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. After a tour of the lost city, participants will travel via bus to Aguas Calientes where they will board a train back to Cuzco in the late afternoon. 

Overnight stay at 3 star Hotel in Cuzco

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Breakfast will be served at the hotel before participants’ transfer to the airport for their flight to Lima. A French-speaking guide will greet participants for a city tour of the Peruvian capital including a visit to the colonial centre and its famous catacombs. Last step, the huge district of Miraflores, now the new center of Lima. Free time in Miraflores. Your vehicle will pick you up to take you to the airport 3 hours before your international flight.

Breakfast and lunch included

Participants will have breakfast at the hotel beforetransferring to the airport for their flight to back to Montreal, Canada.  

Breakfast included

Be ready to face your challenge

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Equipment

In order to be comfortable throughout your adventure, it's essential to bring the right equipment. The secret is to protect the most vulnerable parts of your body against heat, cold and moisture. Always pack warm clothing and waterproof hiking shoes. You may want to consider bringing along a toque and even a walking stick. Choose a light backpack and carry nothing but the essentials for your journey. Check out our tool box section for more tips and tricks.

Logistics

Even though the CRS Challenge is a personal experience, it's also a group adventure. Our team of experts will provide you with useful advice and the answers to all of your questions from the moment you register to the moment you return. We have mastered the art of logistics, thanks to our knowledge of the destinations we offer and the fact that we organize several challenges every year, making your overall experience all the more enjoyable.

Peru, sacred land of the Incas

Located between the Pacific Ocean, the Andes, the Amazon rainforest and the desert, Peru has much to offer to its visitors. The land of ancient sun worshippers and of the great condor lets the richness of its history and Spanish influences seep through every step of the way. Its colonial architecture is everywhere and its seductive charm will grow on you with every village you visit. The panoramic views that you will behold are stunningly beautiful; a true paradise for amateur photographers! Although Peruvian cuisine has had its share of influences, it cannot be ignored. Just think of ceviche, which is now a North American staple, or of pisco sour, the popular cocktail made with grape alcohol, egg whites and lemon; the perfect drink to enjoy once you've returned from your trek. Peruvians are proud of their heritage and are always happy to share it with you.

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The fulfillment of our mission is thanks in large part to our partners. Without them, none of this would be possible. We wish to thank the following partners for their generous contributions to this challenge.
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