Virgen del Carmen

The Explorer's Passage
Price From $3,795
What's More 10% of Sales will be Donated to the Children of Paucartambo
Duration 9 DAYS
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Visit the village of Paucartambo, as people from far-off lands have done for centuries, to celebrate la Mamacha Carmen – the patron saint. Celebrate the Virgen del Carmen Festival, one of the most extraordinary cultural experiences in the world.

Journey into the Sacred Valley along the Inca Trail, and find yourself surrounded with panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks of the Sacred Valley. Trek to the Tres Cruces viewpoint, where the Andes and the Amazon meet and it is said that you can see three suns rising on the horizon. This is one of only two places in the world where you can see this amazing view.

Finally, know that you will contribute back to the very people you meet with, 10% of sales from this adventure will be donated in support to help the children of Paucartambo with health services and basic food support.

Trip Itinerary

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Day 1 / 9

DAY 1:

Bienvenido in Cusco! Upon arrival, a TEP representative will greet you at the airport. Experience the culture and history of the ancient capital of the Inca as you are transported to your hotel. Get settled in before gathering in the lobby for a late afternoon orientation and the opportunity to get to know your fellow explorers. Following your adventure briefing, a special guest will take you back in time as we introduce you to the history of the Carmen Del Virgen festival at an extraordinary meal at one of our favorite Cusco restaurants.

Meals: Dinner 

Day 2 / 9

DAY 2:

Rise and shine for an energizing breakfast before a packed day where we will explore the Sacred Valley. We will begin our journey at Saqsaywaman, a vast fortress built on three platforms, overlooking the city of Cusco. From here we continue to Qenqo, a site of worship with a high rock carved into the shape of a Puma, which dominates a series of canals and passageways painted with animals. The road continues uphill to reach Tambomachay, a site with Inca baths.

Upon our return to Cusco we will visit the main sites around the Plaza de Armas, which includes the Cathedral, the Inca Walls with its 12 angled stone and the Temple of the Sun (Koricancha) inside the Santo Domingo Temple.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch 

Day 3 / 9

DAY 3:

We will depart from Cusco leaving the Andes behind as we enter the cloud forest of Manu National Park. A vehicle will take us along a trucking route to reach the town of Chimor where, weather permitting, we will take a short swim in the relaxing thermal springs. Then, we will continue along the route until we reach the banks of the Mapacho River where our trek will begin. We will cross a hanging Inca Bridge and from there we will begin to climb the last slope of the eastern side of the Andes until we reach our first camp in Unu Pampa located next to a small forest full of Bromeliads, a favorite snack of the local population of spectacled bears.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner 

Day 4 / 9

DAY 4:

After a nutritious breakfast, we will start our hike with a climb up to Qapac Q’asa, the highest point of the trek. From there, you can see clearly the landscape’s transition from mountains to cloud forest and then finally the vast Amazonian pampa. There’s a local legend that says the woods in this region hold treasures left behind by the Incas who escaped the conquest and maintained their indigenous traditions in secret. We will follow the Capac Ñan along the ridge of the mountain, heading north until we reach Quecha Cocha, a small forest with a small lagoon. There, we’ll camp sheltered and protected from the humid winds of the east.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner 

Day 5 / 9

DAY 5:

This morning we will see our first sunrise. It’s almost always cloudy in the mornings, causing the sun’s rays to deliver a unique and impressive show. After a good breakfast and some coffee, we continue our trek along the Inca trail. Throughout the day, we will have panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks that surround Cusco, including Ausangate, Salkantay and several other imposing Apus of the Sacred Valley. We will walk on the pajonal that captures the water of the clouds and carries it east, a process that allows this important section of the Amazon to exist. We’ll camp at the Tres Cruces viewpoint.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 6 / 9

DAY 6:

Dressed in our warmest gear, we’ll have the opportunity to experience another stunning sunrise and a leisurely breakfast before we say goodbye to the heights of Manu National Park. We then head for the town of Paucartambo to attend a cultural event rooted in the blood of the Cusco people, the feast of the Virgen del Carmen. Upon arrival to Paucartambo, we will get settled in camp and have some lunch before the party starts. In the afternoon, the Virgin Del Carmen is paraded through town while the comparsas present their traditional dances in colorful costumes. We will join the lively celebration that lasts long into the night. Those who prefer to rest may return to the campsite located far enough away from the hubbub and euphoria of the party. The only sound you should here from your tent is the Rio Mapacho as it flows by.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 7 / 9

DAY 7:

This is the central day of the celebration. We will have the morning to walk through the streets of this picturesque little town, getting a closer look at the various ¨cargos.” Don’t be surprised if they pull you into the parade and dances. The Capac Coya, Capac Negros, Huaca Huaca, Mestiza Coyacha, Sicllas and other fun dances will captivate you with their costumes and synchronized movements. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner 

Day 8 / 9

DAY 8:

After a good rest in camp, we will walk a bit more through town to visit the small merchants who exhibit local products. We will also visit the local cemetery where many people gather to commemorate those dancers who have passed on or any loved ones who have left for a better life. After lunch, we will visit the Virgin Del Carmen for the last time in one of the most beautiful processions accompanied by dancers. Then, we’ll depart to Cusco where we will have a chance to rest from the days of trekking and celebrating.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 9 / 9

DAY 9:

This morning, gather for one last group breakfast to say our goodbyes. Exchange emails, if you’d like, with your guides and fellow explorers before transferring to the airport. We bid you adieu and will be counting the days until we see you on your next TEP adventure!

Meals: Breakfast

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