15th - 16th July - This trip leaves once a
Paucartambo is small town about 4 hours east from Cusco on the
road to Manu National Park. It most famous for one massive festival:
Virgen del Carmen, which takes place over four days, with the
principal days from July 15th to 17th. The Virgen is known locally
as Mamacha Carmen and is a patron saint of the mestizo population.
The festival itself consists of lots of traditional and significant
dances by people in awesome costumes. Many of these dances have
ingenious choreographies that portray events in Peruvian history.
On the central day, (July 16th) the Virgin Carmen is carried around
the town in a spectacular procession to bless those present and
scare away demons The dancers become more and more animated as
the festival progresses performing daring gymnastics, showing
off their colorful Inca and colonial garb. At the end of the procession,
war is waged on the demons, from which the faithful emerge in
triumph. Finally, the gathering ends up in the cemetery to pay
homage to the souls of the dead.
About 40km north of Paucartambo is a site called Tres Cruces
(3 crosses), which is situated on the very edge of the Andes mountains
at an altitude of 3900m. From Tres Cruces, there is a steep drop
into the Amazon basin, which means the view is incredible. Tres
Cruces is most famous for the sunrise in the months of June and
July because special climatic conditions mean that there are optical
This trip is ideally combined with our Mountains to Manu trip.
Day One: 15th July
Early morning Collection from your hotel and departure from Cusco
- Visit to the Chullpas of Ninamarca
- Light snack
1.30pm Arrival at Paucartambo
Lodging in a shared accommodation, and a rest if you wish
3.00pm Visit to the different streets of the town
Visit to the main church, and an appreciation of the traditional
entrance, and of the special dances "Cora Apacuy" and
8.00pm The serenade in honour of the Virgin del Carmen begins
We will be able to enjoy (visitors and locals alike) the happiness
of this event. It's is possible for members of our group to rest,
or others will wish to continue with the festivity until later
Day Two: 16th July
1.30am We will assemble in our lodging to depart for our trip
to Tres Cruces to see the see the sunrise, the only place you
can see this spectacle in South America . (3739 m)
Accommodation will be in an available place.
Light snack (with hot drink and a sandwich)
7am Return to Paucartambo.
Transfer to the lodging, rest, wash and breakfast (depending on
each passenger). Visit to the Temple of the Virgin of Carmen,
to the Bridge Carlos III where we can enjoy more than 15 typical
3pm Procession of the Virgin of Carmen
We will accompany the procession and can appreciate the dances
and the ability of the dancers.
5.30pm We will gather in our lodging to collect our things and
board our bus to return to Cusco.
9.00pm Return to Cusco and return to your hotel.
· the exact program is subject to change, due to weather
and other unexpected circumstances.
• The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking
times depend on the group and the guide can change lunch spots
and campsites, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide
has their own preferred route and it might not correspond exactly
to the route described here.
• This is an adventurous trip. You should be sure to bring
an open mind, flexibility and a sense of humor. Most of all you
should be prepared to go with the flow. Most of all, you are joining
an Andean fiesta - and you should be willing to accept their means
and methods of celebration.
• This region is not frequently visited by tourists, therefore
tourist infrastructure is limited. This tour incorporates public
transport, and use of local facilities. Visitors should be aware
that things change, or may not go to plan. This is all part of
For complete facts about many aspects of Apus Peru tours, check
out our FAQs page!
• Pre Trek Briefing
• Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
• Private transport from Cusco- Paucartambo - Tres Cruces
- Paucartambo - Cusck
• English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you
will have an assistant guide for groups over 8 people).
• Shared accommodation
• Meals as described
• Sleeping mat
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
• Breakfast on the first morning.
• Sleeping bags If you haven't got a sleeping bag or you
don't want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with
you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.For this trek you should
hire minus 15 or warmer bags.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
• A sense of humor, dancing shoes (a willingness to dance)
and an open mind.
• A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole
period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
• Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf
and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially
for sleeping. ** The visit to Tres Cruces is particularly cold
trek, you should make sure you have a lot of very warm clothes.
• Ear plugs!!! Needed for this fiesta
• Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
• Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly
under cold conditions)
• Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
• Sun block
• Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
• Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits,
• Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the
• Your own medical kit with any special medications that
you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
• Cash - sufficient for your final lunch in Aguas Calientes,
tips and souvenirs.
• Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity
Card) if you have one.
We can hire the following to you.
Sleeping Bag suitable for – 10deg $4.00 per trip day
Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15deg. $5.00 per trip day)
Thermarest inflatable mattress - $4 per trip day
Inflatable pillow - $2 per trip day
When calculating costs for hire of walking stick, sleeping bag,
calculate using the length of the tour. Even though you won’t
use the equipment on the final day it will still be ‘on
the road’ and ‘occupied.’ If you hire equipment
and break it – you are responsible for price of replacement
/or repair. (please do the right thing!)
AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS (these discounts are not cumulative)
5% discount on treks only for members of South American Explorers
$30 discount if combined with an Apus Peru trek, 3 days plus.
TO MAKE A BOOKING
You will need to email us to check availability, receive booking
forms and then make your deposit. For our payment conditions and
booking please refer to our Make a Booking page. * For organisational
reasons, we require one week to organise your booking, prior to