Day 61: Arequipa to Cusco (Peru)

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Day 8 of G-Adventures Inca Heartland tour

We get up early at 06:00 am in Hostal Solar/Arequipa. Sun is shining, we see from our rooftop room first time the volcano and the surrounding mountains …

We leave without breakfast to the airport. There we checkin and take a coffee – no spoon, if you want to stir you get a straw, no milk – consumation offers are very limited.

FLIGHT14: Latam LA2094 Arequipa (AQP) 08:46 to Cusco (CUZ) 09:46, 0h57min, 195 OneWorld miles,

Latam knows how to make customer to promoters. 2 EUR for a beer in the plane. What a deal. We have super views on take off and on approach for landing in Cusco.

Flight into Cusco is super nice. You fly into the valley right over their heads and see the planted terraces on the green hill slopes ….

We take our luggage in Cusco and a waiting minibus drives us to the Hotel. It is not the one from the schedule, instead it is El Puma Hotel, a little bit more outside. First thing we request is an electric heater. It is cold, rooms are zero isolated or heated.

Optional electric heating, super uneffective, we let it run the whole day. There was no war in this room, we just pack our bags for the Llamas on the Lares Trek.

Well, it is a bed to sleep, seems to be clean, close to Cuscos city center, a Claro shop (to top up our cell phone) and a RedBanc. The rooms are at 10:15 already available and super huge.

We drop the luggage, get a map to find home and walk to Jacks cafe. A little bit australian, huge unsugared joghurts with fresh fruits, good coffee, … we have breakfast.

Afterwards we split up. Christina, Gianni and me take a taxi at Plaza Mayor de Cusco to Sacsayhuamán for 10 soles (2,5 eur). There we buy our Cusco Tourist Tickets (70 soles – valid 1 day to visit 4 sights) and enter the site.

There is a tourist ticket for 10 days and all sights, too, but they are far to drive and the ticket is 130 Soles. We are fine with the “Partial Cusco Tourist Ticket – Circuit 1 Saqsayhuman” which covers Saqsayhuman, Qenko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. If you need more info check this guide.

Then we walk to Qènko.

From there we rake the public blue white local bus for 1 sol pP to Tambomachay. Don’t take the bus – it is sooo unsafe … wtf, we are locals …

We walk 5 minutes to Puka Pukara.

Since we still got time we take a bus like the locals (1 soles per ride) back to Sacsayhuamán and walk around a bit.

Then we take a taxi back to Plaza Mayor for 15 soles (cheap, but we get no rear axis stability and suspension comfort, anyway, we made it), get a coke and walk around in the city center.

Then we walk to the Lares Trek briefing in the G Adventures office in Cusco at 04:45 pm.

we get a map of the Lares Trek and an overview how high how far to go.

And we meet Speedy Rudy, our G Adventures Tour Guide for the Lares Trek.

He shows us the tents, the porters will carry for us (two men tents). They will also build them up and tear them down each day. We get the opportunity to rent sleeping bags, extra matresses (standard is just a sheet of paper) and hiking poles. We donot take the poles. They charge us 45 PEN for each (matress, bag), we pay 180 PEN in total. Tents and sleeping bags are fine quality, you donot get a pillow and the sleeping bag has nothing like that included (good luck, we have our own).

We get an advice how to tip:

The everybody gets a duffle bag, which can be filled max with 8 kgs. They will be carried by Llamas. We can use 3.5 kgs (rest is sleeping bag and matress, which we rented). Everything else we have to carry by our own. Rudy tells us to take not more than 10 % of body weight. The girls exhale loudly.

We walk back to the hotel, start to pack our duffle bags and at 06:45 pm we leave to have dinner with the group at Uchu, a peruvian steak house. Food is fantastic.

Well, they take their money for it …

Afterwards we continue to pack in the hotel, go to the lobby and get the weight, adjust packing, …

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