It seems that every day there is something new to know in Cuzco and that is the case of Perolniyoc, a site that has double attraction since it has a beautiful waterfall topped by a charming archaeological zone.
To approach Perolniyoc (also called Raqaypata) from Cuzco, it is necessary to take the new Huarocondo road and exit at the detour to Soqma (sometimes Socma), which is timid but clearly signposted between kilometers 14 and 15, before reaching Pachar.
The valley you enter is somewhat arid and irrigated only by the river that forms after the fall of water, but this is enough to maintain corn plantations and therefore the local population, some of which have also started to take advantage of the influx of visitors to diversify their economic activities (a drinks kiosk where you can enjoy a little shade and a child who offers to take pictures with a llama for a tip).
It is advisable to go early, to start the walk when the sun isn’t making things too hot, because the dry valley and the heat can be a real disappointment at first, but it will be fully rewarded with the freshness of the waterfall and the beautiful views that this, and the viewpoint of the archaeological site, have prepared for you.
The route can start from the Huarocondo road itself (if you are enthusiastic and if you have more than 1 extra hour) but if you start from Soqma then you will only have to overcome a slight almost constant slope until the foot of the waterfall for 45 minutes.
In the place where the water spray keeps lusher vegetation, you will find multiple elderberry trees, recognizable by their very rough bark trunks and very bright leaves. The small and very purple fruits, which are given in the form of large clusters, are edible, in case you want to taste the flavor of these easily recognizable wild berries.
Having refreshed (and perhaps eaten) it is time to continue the path (and the climb) to the archaeological site, which you may have already seen in part during the first section of the walk. The whole remaining path is clearly zigzagged on the side of the mountain, so take it easy and you will see that soon (35 min approx) your feet will be in the middle of Inca ruins.
Stroll through the complex, as it only takes a few minutes and is quite pleasant, in addition, it is in a perfect state of preservation thanks to recent recovery work. Also, look at the water channel that borders the capricious geography. Undoubtedly, this is a site built with a unique architectural vision.
Route: 6 Km – 3 h
Maximum altitude: 3645 m
(or 8 Km – 4 h if you walk from the road. Difficulty: In this case, ENTHUSIAST because there is a considerable ascent from the road: +1000m)
At RESPONS we have a complete catalog of hikes in Cuzco and surroundings, ask your specialist travel designer and fill up with the pure air of the countryside without leaving the daily comfort of the city.
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5 Km or less. Gentle and brief
6-10 Km. Relatively flat terrain, perhaps with an occasional hill
8-12 Km. Relatively flat terrain, with steeper occasional climbs
11-15 Km. Wavy terrain on a variety of surfaces. One or two steeper ascents to spectacular viewpoints or places of interest.
11-15 Km. Terrain that varies between loose and mountainous, with some steep climbs
11-15 Km. Very mountainous terrain that offers many challenges.The routes go through high prairie trails and / or well maintained cliff paths, with some steep climbs.