Cloud forest camp by Qinti

Llactapata - where nowhere is just the place to be

 

True - it’s a hike to get there, you probably even sweat and breath hard till you reach the top. Is it worth it? 

YES!

The place is magical to say the least. It feels like being dumped into the middle of a far away enchanted forest, alive with birds, ancient trees, fragrant flowers and mosses that reach from the treetops to the ground.  The sky and the sun, create a constant display of light, colours and the clouds chip in with paintings of soft hues and shades. At Llactapata we experience the beauty of a fast eroding world, as cloud forests have shrunk to just 1% of the global woodlands, however it is estimated that they harbour the greatest concentration of species anywhere on land. 

 

Together with Silverio, a traditional Andean healer, on who's land we can stay, we set up a comfortable camp, so you can enjoy this almost forgotten world. The place invites you to a “less is more” day with a sprinkling of small hikes into the forest to listen to the birds, the rustling of the leaves and to meditate upon the beauty of creation. We set up a few hikes and spots, that invite you to sit, relax and observe nature in its original state. 

Of course the place is a great spot to see the Inca city of Machu Picchu perched on the ridge across the valley. For the culture curious, there are the close by Inca ruins to be explored. A great opportunity to take close up pictures of the finest stone works, something that is no longer possible in Machu Picchu. 

Birding is another amazing activity to do. In the early mornings the forests come alive with the sounds and songs of a large number of birds, including the Andean the Cock of the rock, kites and different species of humming birds. 

Our cloud forest camp by Qinti

From April 2022 we will offer initially 4 comfortable Kingdom 6 tents from REI, each with a living and bedroom compartment, including a private bathroom with shower. 

Included in the program, starting each day at 12 noon: 

  • Pick up by your host and and trail assistants at Lucmabamba

  • Lunch and visit of local coffee plantation

  • Assistance to carry your bag to the camp, water and juice on the way

  • All meals and non alcoholic beverages at the camp (2 dinner, 2 breakfast, 1 lunch, snacks, tea, coffee, water, juices)

  • Sundowner including wine, beer, local spirit, snacks

  • Bonfire

  • Shaman ceremony

  • Visits to our quite grove, an amazing place in the cloud forest

  • cloud forest walk

  • birding

  • farm visit

  • Llactapata monument

  • Drop at Hidroelectrica

Rate per person for 2 nights sharing tent: USD

Rate per person for 2 nights, single using double tent: USD

Program: Option A (3D/2N, standard program)

Arrival at noon at Lucmabamba, either from the Salkantay Trek, from HidroElectrica (Machu Picchu) or the sacred valley or even Cusco.

Day 1. Lucmabamba - Camp (4 hour trek uphill, some people do it in 3 hours) 

Individual (or organised by Qinti) arrival at Lucmabamba at noon, lunch and visit of a coffee plantation. After lunch we start the 3 - 4 hour hike to Llactapata. The trail is very scenic and offers great views of the Santa Teresa valley. It’s a steady uphill walk all the way to the top. 

After arrival, welcome drink and settling into the camp. Evening bonfire and dinner and of course star gazing, which is amazing from the camp ground. 

 

Day 2. The cloud forest Camp

Sunrise at Llactapata is a MUST! Enjoy the amazing nature spectacle and the awakening of the cloud forest day with a steaming hot cup of coffee. Breakfast with a great view of Machu Picchu. 

The day can be spent with the following activities: 

  • Bird watching

  • Cloud forest walks

  • Visit of the Inca ruins of Llactapata

  • Farm visit

  • Silent grove to listen to nature

 

Of course there will be a nice lunch in between all the activities. In the evening we enjoy a sundowner with a fabulous sunset. Evening bonfire and a small ceremony with Silverio, our Andean healer, who will tell you about the origins of his craft and traditions. Dinner 

 

Day 3. Camp - HidroElectrica (3 hour trek downhill, go slow take 4 hours) 

We are sure you want to rise early again, as the Llactapata sunrise is just too good to be missed. Depending on your further program, you start after an early breakfast, or even after lunch to trek down to HidroElectrica to either catch the train to Machu Picchu or the car to drive to Cusco or the Sacred Valley, in this case we suggest a hike back to Lucmabamba. 

 

Program Variation:

To make the program more complete we have worked out some amazing variations to reach or leave our camp. 

 

Option B: 4D/3N including Machu Picchu and the High elevation experience of Abra Malaga (4320 Meters)

 

Enjoy four wonderful days in the steps of the Machu Picchu explorers. We start with a car ride to the bottom of the Llactapata mountain where we visit a coffee plantation and enjoy a wonderful lunch with a local family. Then we hike to the top of Llactapata, which is in the middle of the cloud forest and offers amazing views of 8 snow capped peaks including the Salkantay.  The following day we enjoy a full day exploring the cloud forest area and Inca remains, lakes and a ceremony with the local healer. The next day we hike down, visit the local town of Santa Teresa for lunch and enjoy a wonderful bath in the thermal waters of Cocalmayo before taking the afternoon train to Machu Picchu. We spend the night in the hotel. The next morning we take the shuttle to Machu Picchu and enjoy a guided tour and lunch before returning to Cusco by train. 

Day 1. Ollantaytambo/sacred Valley - Lucmabamba - Camp 

We start our journey in Ollantaytambo or the sacred valley. The road takes us up to the Abra Malaga pass at 4320 m with splendid views of the Veronica glacier. We take a short high elevation walk to get the feel of the clean fresh air and use the possibility to hang out with the alpacas grazing in the pastures. The drive then descends through a spectacular road into the cloud forest to Santa Maria, where we switch to a dirt road and drive for one hour to Santa Teresa and 30 minutes more to Lucmabamba, lunch and visit of a coffee plantation. After lunch we start the 3 - 4 hour hike to Llactapata. The trail is very scenic and offers great views of the Santa Teresa valley. It’s a steady uphill walk all the way to the top. After arrival, welcome drink and settling into the camp. Evening bonfire and dinner and of course star gazing, which is amazing from the camp ground. 

 

Day 2. The Cloud forest Camp

Sunrise at Llactapata is a MUST! Enjoy the amazing nature spectacle and the awakening of the cloud forest day with a steaming hot cup of coffee. Breakfast with a great view of Machu Picchu. 

The day can be spent with the following activities: 

  • Bird watching

  • Cloud forest walks

  • Visit of the Inca ruins of Llactapata

  • Farm visit

  • Hike to a small lake

  • Silent grove to listen to nature

 

Of course there will be a nice lunch in between all the activities. In the evening we enjoy a sundowner with a fabulous sunset. Evening bonfire and a small ceremony with Silverio, our Andean healer, who will tell you about the origins of his craft and traditions. Dinner and star gazing, which is amazing from the camp ground. 

 

Day 3. Camp - HidroElectrica (3 hr trek downhill, go slow 4 hours) - Machu Picchu

After breakfast start of the trek, with a stop at the Llactapata archeological site en route and hike down to the hanging bridge of Aobamba where our transfer will be waiting for us. Lunch in Santa Teresa before heading to the thermal bath of Cocalmayo. After the hot springs the car take us to the Hidroelectrica train station, from where we experience  a beautiful and shaky (40 min) train ride through the lush cloud forest to Aguas Caliente, the base of Machu Picchu. 

 

Day 4. Machu Picchu - Cusco / Sacred Valley

Early breakfast and bus to Machu Picchu. Visit of the lost city of the Incas, lunch and drive or walk down to Aguas Caliente. Evening train to Cusco. 

 

This program of course can be done in the reverse order as well.