Take this tour and connect with rural, Andean culture that many visitors only see in passing, on their way to see another fabled Inca ruin. You’ll meet with a guild of llama breeders, and walk with them as they heard their flock along a breathtaking trail. Then, you’ll arrive at a Quechua village where locals will introduce you to their traditional lifestyle, and share with you how they live off the land in an often unforgiving environment.
- 8 hrs
- Available Days:
- Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
- Hotel Transport Included
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
First, you’ll meet your ride at the Charan bridge – one of the last remaining suspension bridges built by the Inca. Climb into a sturdy truck for a 30-minute drive through the rugged terrain to the trek’s starting point, Saywapata. Next, you’ll meet the llamas in the Llama Pack Project, and your guides will show you how to help pack the llamas.
Once the llamas are loaded up and ready to go, your group will set out on a 3- to 4-hour trek uphill. You’ll walk at a slow pace along the banks of a river, through a mountain forest. The Llamas will walk ahead of you for safety reasons, and it’s important to note that petting the llamas is not allowed – they come from semi-wild backgrounds, so they’re not always totally friendly.
As you hike, your guides can provide more on the history of the centuries-long relationship between the Andean people and their beasts of burden. These pack animals are essential to their way of life. Each can carry around 50 pounds and are essential to the local economy. And as a bonus, they’re quite eco-friendly!
Eventually, you’ll arrive in the Cancha Cancha community, where you’ll get a more in-depth look at a Quechua village. Around 70 Quechua families live here and use self-sustaining agriculture, in the shadow of the Chicon, Sirihuani, and Sahuasiray glaciers. Even with visitors, their workday continues, although you will be invited into a typical home where your hosts will serve you a picnic-style brunch. As you eat, you’ll get to take an incredible view of the mountainous surroundings. On the picnic menu: sandwiches, fruit salad, cookies, soda, and warm coca leaf tea.
At the conclusion of your meal, you’ll say goodbye to your hosts and begin the return hike, this time leaving the llamas behind. In total, your llama trek will last 7 to 8 hours, with 3 to 4 hours hiking uphill and 2 to 3 hours hiking downhill. This is a fairly challenging hike, so come acclimatized to the altitude. Luckily, the stunning scenery provides plenty of motivation to keep going.
Note: On the rare occasion that llamas cannot join the tour, you’ll still get to experience the rest of the activities.
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “BOOKING REQUEST” for full details.