Trek to Q’ero Nation (Cruz Velacuy festivity)

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

Day 1 / Cusco – Ccochamocco

We will depart by private transportation at 8 am from Plaza San Francisco. At approximately noon, we will arrive at the town of Paucartambo, where we will make a stop to stretch our legs and tour the town a bit. We will visit its beautiful main square with its impressive statues of the different dancers of the ‘Mamacha Carmen’ festivity (Paucartambo’s largest and most famous festivity), the local church and its museum. We recommend taking a walk around the market, where we can always find a variety of wines that are worth trying. Then we will continue the trip for about 3 more hours, going up to Cocchamocco (4200 m.a.s.l.), where we our first camp is located. No people live here. Our landscape will be that of a typical puna grassland with very little vegetation, composed only of ichu (Peruvian feathergrass) and lichen. We will take the rest of the day off for resting and acclimatizing to the high altitude.

Day 2 / Ccochamocco - Hatun Q’ero

On this day, our trek will begin after a soft breakfast. We leave at around 8:30 am to go on a walk through a quiet and descending road. During the trek, we will see herds of alpacas, llamas and sheep grazing. After about an hour, we will begin to see the typical houses of the Q’ero, made of stone and with a green elder tree outside as decoration. Very few locals will cross our path, since most are in their homes or at work. Some are quite shy at first, but if you introduce yourself with respect and manage to establish a good rapport, you will have an excellent chance to learn about their culture and wisdom and to buy Q’ero ponchos of the best quality possible, all while directly supporting local commerce. This route is not as demanding and our trek will have beautiful landscapes with pure and clean energy to soothe our spirits. Our next stop will be Hatun Q’ero, the most important town in the Q’ero Nation and our camp for two nights, where the celebration of the Holy Cross or Fiesta Cruz Velacuy will take place.

Day 3 / Hatun Q'ero

On this day, we will join the celebrations for the Cruz Velacuy festivity, interacting with the local people and participating in their scheduled activities that will allow us to discover a very important ancestral culture that was hidden from the rest of the world for 500 years, and that now everyone, especially Peruvians, must respect, value, protect and learn from.

Day 4 / Hatun Q’ero - Munay Tika

On this day, we leave Hatun Q’ero. Our walk will begin early, at approximately 7 am. The trek will be smooth, without many ups and downs. During the journey we will visit friends and family of Rufino, our local Q’ero guide. The arrival at Munay Tika, our next camp, will be at approximately 2 pm. We will have the rest of the afternoon to ourselves. We can enjoy the scenery or visit the local school, which is very close to our camp.

Day 5 / Munay Tika - Collpaccuchu - Apu Huamanripa

After an early breakfast, we will continue the trek at approximately 7 am. The walk to our next camp will take about four hours. The first three tend to be very smooth, and for the last one we must climb a saddle, which will add excitement to the day. We plan to arrive at Collpaccuchu at approximately 11 am, where we will have lunch and rest. Our most important activity of the entire trek is scheduled for the afternoon: we will introduce ourselves to Huamanripa, the main Apu and protector of the Q’ero Nation, a holy priest appointed by the Apu Ausangate himself. The walk there has somewhat of a steep climb, but light enough to take us an hour to reach the place where the offering ceremony to the Apu Ausangate will take place. The view is magical, we will be surrounded by mountains, feeling an energy and mysticism that cannot be found anywhere else. After the ceremony, we will return to Collpaccuchu. This will be our last night, and we hope to celebrate with a bottle of pisco.

Day 6 / Collpaccuchu - Ccochamocco - Cusco

On this day, we will depart after saying farewell to our local friends. After an hour of walking, we will reach the top of a small saddle where we’ll find an apacheta (Andean sacred monument that protects travelers) and unique and beautiful landscapes. Then, after another hour of walking, we will reach Ccochamocco, where our private transportation will take us back to Cusco.

Includes / Not Included

INCLUDES: Private transportation from Cusco – Ccochamocco – Cuzco. The necessary equipment for the tour (tents, kitchen and dinning tent) and mules.
Food: Every meal except breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last day.
Staff: Chauffeur, muleteers, cook, tour conductor, official guide and local Q’ero guide.

NOT INCLUDED: Sleeping bag, trekking poles and matra.