5-7 hours hiking, 7 miles, 9200-6900 feet
After a light breakfast at 6:30 AM, we begin an approximate two hour trek descending to the Santa Theresa river valley through populated rural areas with avocado orchards and coffee plantations as the terrain becomes more lush and tropical. At the village of Maychayhuaycco, we pause to visit the local elementary school, an educational project sponsored by Yanapana Peru. Yanapana Peru is a non-profit association created by the founders of our lodges that was established to reduce poverty and foster tourism-related growth in the communities impacted by the lodges. As a model for responsible and sustainable trips to Peru, Wildland Adventures is proud to support the work of Yanapana Peru and our trek includes a donation to their projects. After a question and answer session with a representative from the school, we share a late breakfast with the school children and have an opportunity to interact with them, playing soccer, dancing together or practicing our Spanish and Quechua!
Mid-day we bid farewell to the school children and meet the vehicle that takes us on a short drive to the trail-head of an original Inca Trail protected by the Ministry of Culture from which point it is a short walk to Lucma Lodge, set in a tropical wooded enclave surrounded by avocado groves and lush coffee plantations. Often you’ll visit with native Quechua members of the local community who are small scale farmers, producing what is considered by some to be one of the finest shade-grown coffees in the world. Overnight Lucma Lodge.