We had thought about writing a new article to rescue the validity of our beloved and popular Coffee Route, but we realized that in reality, we would be leaving aside many other experiences that can be lived while making the route of roasted beans.
Today, our Coffee Route also has the flavor of tea, and color to biodiversity, and family warmth, and the aroma of homemade food, and many other things that we barely manage to name.
What is most remarkable is that you will travel a route that is not so conventional, and in the end, you will get to know the wonder of the world that we have the privilege of hosting and the reason why the vast majority of visitors come to Peru. But that does not detract from what we are about to describe, because according to some of our passengers The Coffee Route – and of the many things – is the highlight of their trip.
★★★★★ gravitycarolyne from Huntsville, Canada
The Coffee Route has our three ambassadors of always and a new ally that joins to give variety to the alternative road that goes from Cusco to Machu Picchu.
Visits to Julia and José’s family homes; Alejandro and Elvira; and Enrique and Teófila are literally the three stages you will have to fulfill. Each of them lives in different levels of the Andean-Amazon jungle and in all of them there is coffee, but also in each of them, there are particularities that make the trip a varied adventure.
You may come from the city of Cusco, or maybe you have preferred to acclimatize first in Ollantaytambo, any of these centers of the Inca culture will fill your eyes with images of Andean life, and from there you will go up the Urubamba mountain range to enter the province of La Convencion.
Once in the warm valley of Huayopata where large trees, flowers, insects and flocks of birds, as well as tropical fruits are the rule, you will be handed over to Julia and José.
Having settled in at home, you can simply enjoy Julia’s delicious food and the rest of the time you can simply let yourself go, or request what you want to do from among all the options: obviously there are activities related to coffee, but also to tea; to chocolate; and to the tasting of many delicious fruits in the company of José. Or maybe you want to go, at dusk, to visit the most beloved birds of the country in a natural display of beauty. As you can see, there are activities on demand for you to decide what to do and when.
When you are ready to continue, those who are waiting for you are nothing more and nothing less than the coffee-winning family of the golden grain, but again that is not all, since to get to Alejandro and Elvira’s house in Huacayupana, you will have to walk a short but nice section of the Inca trail with a first view of the Apu Salkantay in the Vilcabamba mountain range.
Between Alejandro & Elvira’s house and that of Enrique & Teófila (last climb before Machu Picchu), you can find Pumachaca and the family accommodation of the siblings Kattya y Juan Carlos.
Right after the photogenic bridge of Pumachaca (literally bridge of the puma) and before the oroya de Cocalmayo (river crossing system by cable) is its ecological house and its privileged view of the Vilcanota waters. But the visit to the Vidal brothers’ house is optional, however its hospitality and delicious food, as well as the terrace-dining room that is truly enviable, may make you look at the clock and count the minutes better to make the most of your time and share as much as possible with them.
Further along the route, they wait for the thermal waters of Cocalmayo, whose almost always crowded pools are almost miraculously cleared at night, a perfect opportunity to soak the body until you begin to notice more wrinkles on your skin than you can already have. Only the closing time will force you out of the water, but you will surely feel the need to get between the sheets until the next morning (for this you will have to consider spending the night in Santa Teresa).
Good morning, Lucmabamba! Here Enrique and Teófila wait for you, she is a magnificent barista who will surprise you with her special preparations of the black beverage. Their house is in the middle of the most exuberant nature (and you might be thinking: and the previous ones were not? But the truth is that there are levels of natural contact that you will experience).
Honey is present here, with flavors of jungle that your palate will not forget. The road to Enrique and Teófila’s house is hard, as well as the descent that you will have to face the next day to reach the railways that will eventually lead you to Machu Picchu town, but the way will reward your effort with nature in abundance, rivers and refreshing waterfalls, the shade of the forest and the glimpses of the wonder in the distance, in addition to the occasional archaeological sites that act as evidence of the imminent approach to your destination.
¡Finally Machu Picchu!
From Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes) we recommend you take the early bus to the citadel of Machu Picchu “The lost city of the Incas”, construction spectacularly located on the Urubamba River at an altitude of 2430 m. and whose origin is dated around the year 1450 AD., in times of the Inca Pachacutec “The shaker of the world”.
The route along Machu Picchu can take place in different ways and depending mainly on your interests, however, the frequent and very variable regulations of the Peruvian authority to protect the site of the thousands of daily visitors (5600), make a necessity to plan the tour very well with due anticipation.
For example, if you want to climb the very popular (and rightly so) Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains, you will have to purchase differentiated tickets that allow access, since in addition, the daily limit of admission is 400 people.
You can also choose to visit the least restrictive and also less crowded Inca bridge or Sun gate, but then you have to think about the temples of the Sun, of the Condor, and the Intihuatana, which although they are contemplated in the general ticket, now have schedules for specific visit times.
For all the above, you will have information provided by your travel designer and then, as well as all the experience of the expert guide who will accompany you on your journey.
Visiting Machu Picchu is a unique experience, and to ensure a satisfactory day you have to have everything perfectly organized. That same afternoon, after your visit, you can take the train back to Cusco.
At RESPONS we also recommend a time of prior acclimatization, to enjoy your trip without worries, and we take care of the whole process so that you not only enjoy the destination, but also everything before and after Machu Picchu.