DAYS

9

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate

HOST COUNTRY

Peru

FROM

$3,795 USD

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The Story

 According to the legend, in the 13th century a young, female trader came to Paucartambo, a village in southern Peru. In her satchel, she had a silver dish that she sought a buyer for. Upon reaching the village, she discovered a beautiful head of a woman with no body. She proceeded to place the head on her dish and the head began to speak to her. She said that her name was Carmen and that she was there to help the local people. Carmen began to heal the people of Paucartambo. She performed miracles and it was said that a shining light emanated from her. For these amazing feats, she became the patron saint of Paucartambo and the Mestizo population. ⁣

Why Explore Peru with TEP?

Virgen Del Carmen Festival 

For centuries people from far off lands have come to the village of Paucartambo in Peru to celebrate la Mamacha Carmenthe, the patron saint of Paucartambo. During your visit you will learn of the many stories that speak to the origin of Carmen Del Virgen. One story in which many speak of is that of a body-less head that performed healing miracles for the people of Paucartambo.

 

Exploratory Andean Trek

Trek along a lesser known area of the Inca Trail where the Andes meets the Amazon. With panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks 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.

The Sacred Valley

Explore Cusco, once the heart of the Inca Empire and described by Travel & Leisure Magazine as “a living monument to Inca history”.  Then journey into the Sacred Valley where you’ll find yourself surrounded by 600 year old Inca sites with the majesty of the soaring peaks of the Andean Mountains towering above you.

The Legend of Virgen Del Carmen

  • Why Explore the Peru with TEP?

    Virgen Del Carmen Festival

    For centuries people from far off lands have come to the village of Paucartambo in Peru to celebrate la Mamacha Carmenthe, the patron saint of Paucartambo. During your visit you will learn of the many stories that speak to the origin of Carmen Del Virgen. One story in which many speak of is that of a body-less head that performed healing miracles for the people of Paucartambo.

    Exploratory Andean Trek

    Trek along a lesser known area of the Inca Trail where the Andes meets the Amazon. With panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks 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.

    The Sacred Valley

    Explore Cusco, once the heart of the Inca Empire and described by Travel & Leisure Magazine as “a living monument to Inca history”.  Then journey into the Sacred Valley where you’ll find yourself surrounded by 600 year old Inca sites with the majesty of the soaring peaks of the Andean Mountains towering above you.

  • The Story

    According to the legend, in the 13th century a young, female trader came to Paucartambo, a village in southern Peru. In her satchel, she had a silver dish that she sought a buyer for. Upon reaching the village, she discovered a beautiful head of a woman with no body. She proceeded to place the head on her dish and the head began to speak to her. She said that her name was Carmen and that she was there to help the local people. Carmen began to heal the people of Paucartambo. She performed miracles and it was said that a shining light emanated from her. For these amazing feats, she became the patron saint of Paucartambo and the Mestizo population. ⁣

  • Trip Details

    Countries: Peru

    Airport: CUZ (Cusco)

    Tour Duration: 9 days / 8 Nights

    Trek Duration: 4 Days

    Accommodations: 3 Nights Hotel / 5 Nights Tented Camps

    Activities: Hiking

    Trip Activity Level: Moderate

    Guest to Guide Ratio: 7-1 

    *Please refer to our Trip Activity Level Guide or speak to one of our Adventure Consultants at 855-208-6800 to determine if this is the right trip for you.
  • Trip Itinerary

    Daily Itinerary Overview 

    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:

    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:

    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:

    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:

    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:

    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:

    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:

    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:

    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

    Please CONTACT US for a complete detailed itinerary.
  • 2019 Start Date

    July 10, 2019

     

    Please CONTACT one of our Adventure Consultants for a custom departure date.
  • Trip Cost

    Prices are based on per person, double occupancy

    $3,795 USD

    Single Supplement: $700 USD

    View More Information on Pricing
  • Trip Accommodations

    Palacio del Inka | Cusco

     

    One of the finest hotels in Peru and part of Starwood Resort’s Luxury Collection, Palacio del Inka is a 16th century mansion built as the home of a Spanish conquistador. Located in the heart of Cusco, it is walking distance to shopping, restaurants, and museums and is located across from the Koricancha, the most sacred temple in the Inca Empire. The spacious rooms are exquisitely appointed, combining Peruvian art and handcrafted furnishings with state-of-the-art technology. The on-site restaurant, Inti Raymi, serves authentic Andean specialties, with ingredients organically grown from the Sacred Valley. Take advantage of the full service spa that draws on the ancient healing mysticism of the Andes.