There is a jewel, little-known in the climbing world
Only a couple of hours from the city of Cusco: the Ch’acco Huayllasca climbing park, near to the town of Pitumarca, southeast of Cusco, this is the largest climbing area in the region. Nestled in a narrow valley in the foothills of the imposing Ausangate Mountain, with the routes starting at over 4,100m.a.s.l., climbing here is a unique experience. There are more than 150 established routes, suitable for all levels – as well as extensive bouldering areas – so this trip is a true adventure for all climbers, from beginners to seasoned experts.
Cusco – Pitumarca – Cusco
Today starts early (6:30am approx.), leaving the hotel by private car to head to the town of Pitumarca, 2 hours southeast of Cusco. Pitumarca is a small, traditional town, made up of various communities that also has access to the famous “Rainbow Mountain”. We continue up to the high mountain community of Ch’acco Huayllasca, at 4,040m.a.s.l., where we register to enter the park and leave the car. From the carpark, an uphill hike of 20 minutes to the base of the routes awaits us (depending on which area we go to).
Before we start the activity, the instructors will give a short briefing about the equipment and safety considerations for the day. Afterwards, we start climbing and spend the day trying as many routes as we wish. There is a great variety of levels (grades from 4 to 8a), sectors, styles and rock features (stalactites, tufas, slabs, overhangs, roofs, dihedral corners), so we can stay in the same sector all day or walk to different parts to enjoy the diversity of the area. In the late afternoon, we relax as we return by car to Cusco (2.5hrs approx.) where we will arrive at around 6:30/7pm.
Duration: 12 Hours (multi-day options available)
Tour Type: Top Rope / Leading climbing / Multi-pitch / Trad climbing
Good for: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Technical Difficulty: Grades 5a – 8a / route height from 10 to 150metres
Requirements: No previous experience necessary
Rock Type: Limestone
Altitude: 4100 m.a.s.l
Time of Year: April to November
Type of Service: Private
DAY 1 - CUSCO TO HUAYLLABAMBAEarly in the morning, we take the way leading from Cusco to Km82 (2750 mt/9130 ft), this is our check point at the beginning of the trek. The trail follows the river valley for a while; this is a good training day before the second more challenging day. Along the way we will pass Wilkaracay with its impressive view of Patallacta which are both important Inca remains. It is just the beginning of a holy trail full of sanctuaries. Today, after about 7 hours walking we will reach our first camping place at Huayllabamba (3000 mt/9842ft). On reaching our camp for the evening we will be met by our trek team, the porters who will have already set up camp and our cook who will be preparing our evening meal. Day Distance: 12 km / 7.3 ml Approximate Walking time: 6-7 hrs Meals: L, D + Snacks
DAY 2 - HUAYLLABAMBA TO PACAYMAYOEver optimistic, the sun will be shining on our second day as we follow the Inca trail to Warmiwañusta (Dead Woman’s Pass). This is considered to be the most challenging trek day as we cross this highest point of the trail at 4200m (13779ft), prepare for a steep uphill until we summit. The sense of achievement is a reward in itself, then a beautiful stone trail will show us the way as we descend to our tents in the campsite at Pacaymayo (3580 mt/11740 ft). On reaching our camp for the evening we will be met by our trek team who will have already set up camp and our cook who will be preparing our mouthwatering evening meal. Day Distance: 11km / 7 ml Approximate Walking time: 8 to 9 hrs. Meals: B, L, D + Snacks
DAY 3 - PACAYMAYO TO PHUYUPATAMARCAWaking up just in time to be served a hot drink, our tents pitched within the surroundings of the cloud forest. After a good and healthy breakfast we continue along this ancient trail passing small marshes, continuing over the second mountain pass of the trek. It is the second highest point of the hike (3,900mt/12,950ft). As we descend we will see the flora and fauna become more abundant with hummingbirds accompanying us along our route. We have lunch at Chaquicocha (3500 mt/11,620 ft) a fine place for a break in the middle of the cloud forest. The last two hours of the day, are some of the most memorable and breathtaking views of the Inca Trail. We reach our last campsite when the sun sets at Phuyupatamarca, a befitting name meaning 'town in the clouds'. Day Distance: 12 km / 7.3 ml Approximate Walking time: 8 to 9 hrs Meals: B, L, D + Snacks
DAY 4 - PHUYUPATAMARCA TO MACHU PICCHUWe begin the final leg of our trek to the lost city of Machupicchu. We descend for 3hrs, about 900m below from Phuyupatamarca. On the way down there are a couple of Incan Archaeological sites: Intipata first, and then Wiñaywayna which is just 2 hrs before the Sungate entrance (“Inti Punku”). Having taken time to enjoy the first glimpse of Machu Picchu; we walk down in to the astonishing complex for a full tour to learn from our guide all about this fascinatingly unique Citadel. Later we take the bus down to be on time for the train back to Ollantaytambo, from here, our private transport will bring us back to Cusco. Day Distance: 7.3 km / 4.5 ml Approximate Walking time: 5 hrs Meals: B, L + Snacks