Lima, Kuelap, Gocta Waterfall, Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 12 Days

MAR 2022 - DEC 2022 Price from $ 4280 USD pp
Trip Type foodCulture & Adventure
Difficulty Level Leisurely/Moderate
Group Size 2-8 people
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The north of Peru, still almost undiscovered by tourism, has a diverse cultural, historical and scenic offer, so that every traveler gets their money’s worth. Embark on an exciting journey to the unknown north of Peru and follow in the footsteps of the pre-Inca civilizations. In two weeks, you will get to know picturesque colonial cities, you will visit the ruins of Kuélap, an impressive fortress dating from the eleventh century -approximately- and is located at 3000 m s. n. An architectural jewel built by the Chachapoyas culture, it stands out for the perfection of its finishes, the monumental size of its buildings and how complex it was to access it, due to its walls up to 20 meters high. Hike to one of the highest waterfalls in the world. Let yourself be drawn into the spell of this exciting journey through the cultural past of northern Peru.
The follow days, you will immerse in depth the inca culture, visiting the ancient capital of South America, where the incas developed the most powerful empire and great Andean technologies. Explore Cusco together your expert local guide, who will bring you to the unique attractions. Don’t let pass the best of the sacred valley villages, and fantastic local traditions of the Quechuas.
Admire the most impressive masterwork the incas did. The short inca trail to Machu Picchu, actually is well preserved and you can hike through this ancient inca trail, that on incas time was used just by the royal families of the King. Along their 11 km you will walk by lush cloud forest, full of Andean birds, beautiful orchids. As well stunning inca constructions, many of then were used as religious shrines.
Came and explore the best of peruvian  Andean Cultures.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • All domestic flights: Lima – Jaen – Lima / Lima – Cusco.
  • Private transfers between hotels/stations/airports/excursions according to the itinerary
  • Inka rail 360° train, Ollantaytambo – Aguas calientes – Ollantaytambo
  • Accommodation in 3-4 star hotels for 11 nights in their specified destinations. Buffet breakfast is included.
  • All activities provided in the program with equipment, unless they are marked as additional costs in the itinerary.
  • Tickets to the tours provided in the program.
  • English speaker tour guide in all the route
  • 24/7 assistance and personal concierge
  • First aid kit, oxygen bottles are used only in an emergency.

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Minimum medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Evacuation: in the event of a serious medical injury, we will coordinate with your travel insurance company to arrange evacuation
  • Any activity not described in What’s Included
  • Meals and drinks are not specifying on the itinerary
  • Personal equipment (Sleeping bag, walking sticks)
  • Gratuities
  • In the Andes of Chachapoyas we find a perfect balance between history, nature and living cultures. Impressive waterfalls fall from the heights, such as Gocta or Yumbilla. Forests of mist are home to the Kuélap fortress and mausoleums such as Revash or the sarcophagi of Karajía nest on the cliffs. Chachapoyas is, without a doubt, the best kept secret in Peru.
  • Come fill your five senses. Feel the force of the water at the Gocta waterfall. See how the light is illuminating the forests and mountains. Listen to the moments of silence and the moments of whispering that this land offers us.
  • Enjoy a splendid vacation at Gocta Lodge, as it has the best view of the Gocta waterfalls. The gardens, the swimming pool and all the rooms, which have a balcony or terrace, are oriented towards them. And that tranquility that is always breathed in Cocachimba!
  • Marvel at the best trekking experience in South America. The Inca trail to Machu Picchu is one of the best cultural and historical spaces that can still be observed and discover the great feats of the Inca empire.
  • Get to know the towns in the sacred valley, where you can still see many cultural manifestations, such as respect for nature, worship of their deities and sacred mountains, you can also participate in a barter in their typical markets.
  • Explore one of the modern wonders, Machu Picchu, with your local guide, with whom you will explore all its greatest attractions, all of them full of mysteries.
  • This tour visits places of more than 3000 meters so it is recommended that all participants be in good physical condition, since there will be days when somewhat strenuous walks will be done.
  • Be well prepared with your trekking equipment and clothing, as you will know Peru is a country of mountains, where there is a great diversity of climates, and very changing temperatures.
  • It may happen that in the first days of the tour, altitude sickness affects you a little, for which it is recommended to take some type of pills, and always be hydrated.
  • Two very important things, bring a good sunscreen, and your insect repellent.
  • Hotels 3-4 Stars: (10 nights)
    Overnight stays in double rooms (with shower / WC) in a balanced mix hotels, very cozy.

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 50 m

Welcome to Peru! Your adventure begins in Lima. Peru’s colourful capital is equal parts cosmopolitan and chaotic. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel where you will meet your fellow travellers and local leader. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. After the meeting, stroll the streets of downtown Lima and check out some of its main attractions on a leader-led walking tour. Enjoy free time before an optional group dinner this evening. The unofficial food capital of South America, there’s no better place to sample Peru’s national dish, ceviche, than at one of Lima’s excellent restaurants. As there’s little time spent in Lima, you may like to arrive a few days early to see the sights, including the chic suburb of Miraflores, Central Park, Lovers’ Park and the National Museum.

  • Accommodation: Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco
  • Meals Included: There are no meals included on this day.

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 1800 m

You will catch a flight from Lima to Jaen. At your arrival our staff of Andean Great Treks will pick up you, and transfer to your hotel, where we’ll stop for lunch before heading to Chachapoyas by private transport, which takes about four hours, during this beautiful journey we will descend into the Marañon River Valley (the Marañon is a major tributary of the Amazon River) before climbing upwards towards Chachapoyas through the stunning Utcubamba Canyon. About 20 km north of Chachapoyas, we’ll take a side road to the village of Cocachimba. This is where we’ll spend the night, at the wonderful Gocta Lodge. The lodge has amazing views of Gocta Waterfall, both from its 18 rooms and its outdoor swimming pool.  Gocta Lodge is close to the start of the trail to Gocta Waterfall, our destination on Day 2.

  • Accommodation: Gocta Andes Lodge (Twin Room)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 1800 m
Hiking Distance 15 km
Approximate walking time 6 hrs

Our trek to Gocta Waterfall begins right at our hotel door, which is a short walk from the trailhead. The trek passes along the sides of a beautiful cloud-forested valley, passing through the forest where animals, birds and butterflies are found in abundance. If you’re very lucky, you might even spot (or at least hear) a yellow-tailed woolly monkey, mountain sloth or magnificent cock-of-the-rock (the national bird of Peru).

The trail to Gocta is well maintained and very scenic. If you’re in good physical condition and enjoy walking and hiking, it’s a relatively easy trek. Some sections have steep inclines, however, and some visitors may struggle at times during the trek. One alternative to trekking is to hire a horse for part of the journey, or for the return leg if you´ve had enough walking.

You’ll have glimpses of Gocta Waterfall from various points of the trek, and you’ll hear it growing louder as you get nearer, but only after about two hours will you come face-to-face with this towering waterfall, which measures around 771 meters tall — one of the world’s tallest waterfalls. And although locals have known of Gocta for as long as they can remember, it was only in 2006 that its existence was announced to the wider world. It’s a magnificent sight up close, its raging waters tumbling down into a massive, churning pool below. If you’re feeling brave – and have a poncho or other waterproof jacket (or maybe just a bathing suit) – you can walk close to the plunge pool, where the feeling of tumbling water and rainbow-flecked spray is almost overwhelming.

After spending time at the falls, you can make your way back along the trail and return to the lodge, where you can have a well-deserved rest. The entire trek to Gocta and back normally takes about six hours. Make sure you bring good walking shoes.

  • Accommodation: Gocta Andes Lodge (Twin Room)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2300 m
Hiking Distance 5 km
Approximate walking time 2 hrs

After breakfast we’ll drive back down into the beautiful Utcubamba Canyon before crossing over into the neighboring province of Luya. From the village of Luya we will head to the village of Cruz Pata, where we begin our reasonably short and very scenic walk to Karajia (the walk normally takes about 45 minutes).

When we finally round a bend on the valley side, you’ll see the striking sarcophagi of Karajia standing on ledges on the cliff face above you. These human-shaped figures represent one form of burial used by the Chachapoya culture, which ruled this part of Peru from around 900 to 1470. The figures are unusually large, the seven main sarcophagi standing up to 2.5 meters tall and constructed of clay, sticks and grass. They stand looking out towards the rising sun. Their location on a largely inaccessible cliff has protected them from looters, something the ancient Chachapoya likely took into consideration when they put them there. Each sarcophagi contains a mummy, with various artifacts, some precious, accompanying them. They were likely elite members of the Chachapoya civilization.

Once we have marveled at these spectacular sarcophagi, we’ll head back along the trail to our transport.

  • Accommodation: Gocta Andes Lodge (Twin Room)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 3000 m
Hiking Distance 5 km
Approximate walking time 2 hrs

In the morning we’ll drive to the village of Tingo where we’ll board the cable car for a fun ride across a canyon up to Kuelap Fortress. After a short walk, we’ll arrive at this hugely impressive archaeological site.

Kuelap was built by the Chachapoyas culture in the 6th century AD, some 500 years before Machu Picchu. It sits at 3,000 meters (9,900 feet) above sea level on a ridge overlooking the Utcubamba Valley, a commanding presence watching over the surrounding area. As you approach the fortress, you’ll undoubtedly be impressed by the towering outer walls, which reach 20 meters tall in places. The entire oval-shaped complex is about 584 meters long and 110 meters wide at its widest part. It is believed that it took about 40 million cubic feet of stone to build the gargantuan fortress, making it possibly the largest known ancient stone structure in South America, and three times larger than the Great Pyramid of Egypt.

As we walk around the near-impenetrable outer walls, we’ll eventually reach one of the three extremely narrow entrances into Kuelap. These provided excellent defense against potential invaders. As you walk up the narrow stairway, you can imagine how tough, and how brutal, it would have been for any attackers trying to force entry through these tight stone passages.

At the top of the entranceway, you’ll step up onto a tranquil plateau inside the fortress walls. As you do so, you’ll understand why the term “fortress” doesn’t quite do Kuelap justice. It was more like a walled city or citadel, capable of supporting thousands of people. Inside the fortress are the remnants of more than 400 circular dwellings, some of which have been restored to how archaeologists believe they would have looked hundreds of years ago. These dwellings are decorated with strange zigzag motifs and rhomboid friezes, the symbols possibly representative of the families who lived within. Passing through lightly wooded area inside the complex, where orchids grow and hummingbirds flitter about, we’ll explore the rest of the complex, including religious buildings, defensive towers and a strange construction that might have been used as a solar observatory.

There’s plenty to see at Kuelap, so we’ll make sure you have plenty of time to explore with your guide and then on your own. When you’re ready, we’ll return to our private transport and head back to Chachapoyas.

  • Accommodation: Gocta Andes Lodge (Twin Room)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2100 m

The day  begins with a scenic two-and-a-half-hour drive through the hills to a small village called Yerbabuena. From here, we walk for two hours uphill to the enchanting site of Revash, a cliff-side funerary complex (alternatively, we can drive you a further 10 km to the village of San Bartolo, from where it’s an easier 30-minute walk to Revash).

Built by the Chachapoya culture around 1200 AD, Revash is different from other funerary sites in the region. Rather than sarcophagi or simple tombs, the mausoleums, or chullpas, at Revash were built to look like little houses, giving the impression of a tiny, colorful village built on the cliff.

The tombs are built of rock and adobe, and painted pink and cream. The sloping roves are purely symbolic and serve no real practical purpose (the cliffs above protect the chullpas from the rain). The walls of the little “houses,” meanwhile, are decorated with painted figures, including felines, South American camelids, people and geometrical designs.

Through analysis of the bones found at Revash, it appears that each tomb was not used for a single person. Instead, each tomb served as a collective funerary residence for members of a prestigious or powerful family.

After exploring Revash, we’ll continue on to Leymebamba (a 45-minute drive) where we’ll visit the modern and highly impressive Leymebamba Museum. The museum houses more than 2,500 artifacts from the Chachapoyas culture, and teaches you all about this fascinating civilization. And then there are the famous mummies, more than 200 of them! The museum was purpose built to house the mummies found at the Laguna de los Cóndores archaeological site. Seeing them lined up in their climate-controlled room is quite an experience. They are so well preserved that you can see them as individuals, frozen in time, with expressions all of their own.

The museum building was designed to reflect local architectural traditions, and the surrounding gardens are full of beautiful flowers and trees, including more than 100 native species or orchids. Inside the museum, all of the exhibits have detailed descriptions in several languages, making it very accessible to foreign visitors.

After visiting Leymebamba Museum, we’ll go to Chachapoyas.

  • Accommodation: Gocta Andes Lodge (Twin Room)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 50 m

Today we say goodbye to these wonderful lands, after breakfast you will be transferred to the Jaen airport. During the journey you will be able to enjoy the Utcubamba valley, and its mountains full of vegetation. At the Jaen airport, you will take the flight to Lima, where you can stroll in the afternoon in the Miraflores neighborhood, or if you want to have a fabulous dinner in the best restaurants in Peru.

  • Accommodation: Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco
  • Meals Included: There are no meals included on this day.

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 3400 m
Hiking Distance 5 km
Approximate walking time 2 hrs

Today you will say goodbye to the capital of Peru for a few days, since in the morning you will have to take a flight to Cusco, your local guide will meet you at the Cusco airport.

This city is at a very high altitude (3,400m), so you may want to take a little time to acclimatize, whether it’s to go out to see the city or relax with a bite of street food. After arriving at your hotel, in the afternoon you and your local guide can enjoy an orientation walk to see the colonial wonders and indigenous foundations of this fascinating city. It is the oldest inhabited city in South America, so there is so much to do and see. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square.

  • Accommodation: Anahuarque Hotel Boutique
  • Meals Included: Breakfast

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2800 m
Hiking Distance 5 km
Approximate walking time 2 hrs

In the morning we gonna pick up you at 7:00 , from your hotel, then we will go by bus to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where the Inca once built important cities such as Chinchero, Ollantaytambo, Maras, Urubamba. This spectacular cities amidst the breathtaking Andean landscape were designed in harmony with nature and are a dream for anyone who likes to visit archaeological sites and ruins. For the tour, we will use the tourist ticket “Boleto Turistico Parcial” . This lush valley was known as Wilcamayo to the Incas and has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls. Our first place to visit is Chincheros where you can see the andean terraces, temples, also you can enjoy  the typical market of Chincheros, then we will visist Moray, and Salineras at midday we go to Urubamba city where is the lunch stop, then we will go to the inca city of Ollantaytambo, where our tour guide will show you the most important places of this inca remain. The day will end at your hotel located in the Sacred Valley.

  • Accommodation: Tierra Viva Valle Sagrado Hotel
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2700 m
Hiking Distance 11 km
Approximate walking time 6 hrs

We pick you up from your hotel in Sacred Valley at 5:00am, in our private transport, then we descend to the Ollantaytambo station, this first stretch lasts 1 hour. Then we will travel by train, our train leaves at 6:40 in the morning. We will travel to the side of the Vilcanota River until km 104 to begin our short inca trail. At 8:00 am we will start the trek the first archeological site to visit is Chachabamba (2270 meters). We continue our ascent to Wiñayhuayna, during the journey you will have beautiful views of the Urubamba River. We can observe different species of orchids. After 2 hours, you will reach the ruins of WIÑAYHUAYNA (2,650 meters), this fabulous archaeological site is located on a rocky promontory that dominates the Urubamba Valley and is dominated by a large set of terraces, this place was built by Pachaquteq, the emperor most powerful of the Incas empire. After eating our box lunch, we continue with the walk to Sun gate, where it will arrive at 2:00 pm. From this place we have the first view of Machu Picchu, also you can enjoy an exceptional sunset. Then we descend to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu (2400 meters), where we can only take some panoramic views, in the afternoon we will go down by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, so we will end the first day of the short inca trail in a confortable Hotel.

  • Accommodation: Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2400 m
Hiking Distance 6 km
Approximate walking time 3 hrs

You’ll have time for breakfast first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 05h40. We’ll then walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu.

We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here you’ll begin your guided walking tour with an experienced and highly knowledgeable guide. Our tour of Machu Picchu will last about two hours, and will take you to all the most famous and most spectacular parts of the extensive archaeological complex.

These include the House of the Guardian, Intihuatana, Temple of the Sun, Sacred Plaza and other key locations. And as we walk around, we’ll have spectacular views across the agriculture terraces of Machu Picchu and across to the surrounding mountains and plunging gorges.

Once we’ve finished our tour of Machu Picchu, we’ll take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes where you can relax and have lunch (not included) before we board the train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at the station, we’ll be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco.

Visiting Machu Picchu:

According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.

Special Information

Sunrise at Machu Picchu: The first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu departs at 5.30am. The estimated arrival time is between 6- 6.30am The sun rises at Machu Picchu at approximately 5.30am, therefore it’s not possible to be there in time for sunrise.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Tierra Viva Cusco
  • Meals Included: Breakfast

After the breakfast you will say good bye Cusco, and  you will be transfered to the Cusco airport, from where you will take a flight back to Lima.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast
warm jackets
Hydration bladder
wool socks
camera
scarf
first aid kit
hiking shoes
Dry bags
Trekking Poles
sun cream
Snack
sun hat
bathing suite
rain coat
Sandals
insect repellent
Passport
Down Jackets
toilet paper
daypack
Wool cap
head lamp
gloves
sun glasses
cap
extra cash
Trekking pants

ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.

JANUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
FEBUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
MARCH Warm - Heavy Rain
APRIL Warm - Light Rain
MAY Hot
JUNE Hot
JULY Hot
AUGUST Hot
SEPTEMBER Hot - Warm
OCTOBER Hot - Warm
NOVEMBER Warm - Light Rain
DECEMBER Warm - Heavy Rain

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

MAR 2022 - DEC 2022 Price from $ 4280 USD Per Person
Tour for 2 - 4 person $ 4280USD Per Person
Tour for 5 person $ 4180USD Per Person
Choose your preferred departure date to proceed.
Avalible Dates

Why travel with Andean Great Treks

LOCALLY INSPIRED, DELICIOUS FLAVOURS
There is something magical about artisanal farming in the Andes. The rich soils and unique climate give products an otherwise unattainable flavor. Our chefs serve local and international food. With unparalleled views of the fabulous Andean Mountains, amid the highland forests from your table, you’ll enjoy delicious gourmet food and new spins on classic Peruvian favorites. We use only local produce and fresh ingredients.
OUR PASSIONATE TOUR GUIDES
Unlock the secrets of Peru’s most iconic adventure destination. Our team is passionate about making sure your experiences are unique —some thrilling, some relaxing, all awe-inspiring. Our private guides will let you explore the Andes and rainforest at your own pace, stopping for a snack if you’re hungry, or racing to the top of a hill if you’re up to it.
YOUR SAFETY OUR PRIORITY
We work with certified guides, the latest high-tech equipment and satellite communication, to guarantee your safety every step on the trail. Each year we do the course of rescue and first aid with all our hiking team (guides, cooks, horsemen, drivers). The course is comprehensive and practical, including all of the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments.
ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY
We have deep love and respect for our Mother Earth or Pachamama since we are a 100% Cusco company. We know the importance of our Andean culture, and like good children of the earth, we do everything possible to avoid contamination.
CAMPING EQUIPMENT
It’s essential to have the best equipment when you’re walking in the mountains. Due to the constant climate changes in the region, we use tents suitable for all four seasons.
SMALL GROUPS & BIG ADVENTURES
With a maximum group size is 8 on most tours, it feels more like traveling with friends than being on an organized tour. You'll meet like-minded people where everyone is guaranteed to share a passion for travel.

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