In the Andes, the towering Ausangate snow peak in the Vilcanota mountain range is considered sacred. At 6384 meters it is one of the highest mountains in Peru. As the symbol of the father and masculinity, Ausangate is said to fertilize Pachamama, or Mother Earth herself.Andean traditions and myths consider this mountain to be “Apu”, a god, and the spiritual protector of the native people.
Rainbow Mountain Peru, also known as Vinicunca, is an undiscovered area with wild desert landscapes, snowcapped glacial peaks, herds of alpaca, and pristine beauty.
This journey passes between two different ecosystems, first is the Andean grassland called “puna”, and closer to the glaciers, the “janca” ecosystem. There is interesting flora and fauna on the way to the sacred mountain of Vinicunca. Among the species that may be seen will be the river gull, Andean flicker, falcon, and puna ibis. There may be ichu grasses and tress such as polilepis like queuñas. Near the glaciers there are many succulents, mosses and chilcas shrubs from the aster family.
The journey passes through a vibrant green valley with the impressive Ausangate Mountain towering in the distance. You will experience firsthand how locals live in the mountains and even see them hard at work. As you get closer to the Rainbow Mountain you will begin to see the first signs of the colored minerals and your guide will explain what makes up the Rainbow Mountain. One last push either on foot, mule or horseback ends at a spot with a 360 degree view of the breathtaking landscape of this sacred land. A great sense of satisfaction descends upon you on arrival at the ultimate destination – the painted hills of Rainbow Mountain, hidden deep in the Andes. The same trail takes us back down through magnificent scenery to the beginning where hot drinks and a warm meal will be waiting for you in the dining tent after your challenge to this magnificent scenery.
Duration: Full day 4am – 6pm
Distance: 15K / 9.3 miles optional 10Km / 6.5 miles
Elevation: 4300m (14,200ft) – 5035m (16,520ft)
Difficulty: moderate / difficult
THE GREAT URUBAMBA RIVER/RAFTING CLASS III- IV.
The Great Urubamba River in Peru is a partially navigable headwater of the Amazon River. It rises in the Andes to the southeast of Cusco, near the border of the Puno region, in a place called “La Raya Pass”, which at 4338 meters; it lies between the snowcapped Chimboya that rises to 5489 meters and the Mosaya snow peak, at 5400 meters. Here, at its origin, it is called the sacred Vilcanota River. Another main source of water for this sacred river is the snowcapped mountain Ausangate that rises to 6384 meters. As it flows in the Sacred Valley between Pisac and Ollantaytambo the river is called the Willcamayu or “Sacred River of the Incas”. It flows north-northeast for about 724 kilometers before joining the great Apurimac River to form the Ucayali River. Together they join the Marañon River and the Napo River to form the Great Amazon River near Iquitos in the north part of Perú.
River rafting: Vilcanota,Chuquicahuana section:
After two hours drive we reach a town called LLocllora. Late afternoon we will arrive to the camp near the river to enjoy hotdrinks and some rum,fire for the night and agood sleep near the sounds of the water of the sacred river vilcanota. After , we reach a town called LLocllora where we get up for breakfast and for preparations, safety instructions and to gather our equipment and gear for the rafting trip. Because this is a challenging section, we will meet up with our “Safety Kayak” who will accompany us along this section. For the first 3,30 minutes , we will be in a variety of class I, II, III, IV rapids, over a distance of 30 kilometers. Our first class III rapid is called “the Introduction” which is good training for the main rapids coming ahead. After that, we pass the class III+ rapid called “the Curve”, and then we will continue through easy class I and class II rapids. After a rest in a spot with great views of the Vilcanota Mountain range, we will run the canyon, enjoying a section with two class III+ rapids, called “the Train of Waves” and “the Knife”. Further down the canyon we will run three class IV rapids.Because our first class IV rapid is difficult, we will stop to scout the rapid and assess the conditions. Continuing down the river, we will run “the Butterfly” rapid, a class IV with technical conditions, then “the Bridge” rapid, also a class IV.
We will take a break in another spot with beautiful views of the Vilcanota mountain range and prepare for the next challenging section. “The Big Waves” is a large class IV rapid that is over 100 meters long with big, continual waves. Later, we will have two great class III+ rapids until we reach a flat section. The rest of the day is class I and class II rapids. Along the way, we enjoy excellent opportunities to see some of the flora and fauna of the Inter Andean valleys.
Then we will float for a while in class I;II rapids with incredible scenery of the vilcanota mountain range. With great variety of flora and fauna such a Andean gull, black phoebes and giants hummingbirds.as well we will be paddling in grass land and Andean scrub bush vegetation with tress like pepper corn and tanning.as well chachacomos and queñas which is part of our native forest “the Introduction” rapid, which is class III. From there we go through a section of class II rapids until we reach Cusipata Canyon, which has class III rapids..
We continue through sections with some waves and some flat sections of class I and class II rapids, then more class II rapids. All along, we will be enjoying beautiful views of the Vilcanota Mountain range and the flora and fauna of the Andean forest. We take-out at a beautiful spot change into dry clothes and have a picnic lunch. Our drive back to Cusco is about one hour and a half..
Included: We Provide and Include: Itinerary transport round trip from Cusco-Licensed,C;P;R,SWISS WATER RESCUE COURSES Bilingual, history and naturalist Tour Guides-All Itinerary Meals, including vegetarian & snacks, Safety orientation and River Equipment , optional activities-First Aid kit and Oxygen-Tour specific,-Dining tent, Cook & Services. Emergency phone, Safety Kayak. Portable toilet. Pictures and video optional