Qoyllority is a quechua word which means Snow star or Shining Snow. The people of this zone are also a stream of Taytacha Qoylloriti (The sir of the Replacement Snow). This a old religious procession only practiced by the inhabitants of the big Andes. Every year, days before the celebration of Corpus Christi, every small village or clan send a delegation with colorful dancers and “pabluchas” to the Capilla del Senor Qoylloriti. This is situated of the beginning of the mountain Sinakara in the village of Mawayany, at 4600 meters above sea level. Los pabluchas represented alpacas and are intermediaries between the Sir Qoylloriti and his men.
Day 01: Cusco – Mahuayani
We leave the city of Cusco in a private bus, and drive along the Cusco – Puerto Maldonado highway in the direction of Tinki (3800 masl) and Mahuayani, where we will arrive by 03.00 pm approximately. On the way we stop in Urcos, where wi visit a beautiful lake with the same name. we then go on to Cattca, an agricultural and cattle raising community where we appreciate the region’s spectacular views, following to Ocongate, capital of the district with the same name, Tinqui, stanting point for most treks in the Ausangate area, and finally Mahuayani (4600 masl) after an approximated 7h drive. In the afternoon, we take the chance to visit the local market, before having dinner at our camp nearby.
Day 02: Mahuayani – Sanctuary of Qoylloritti
We wake up at 07.30 am and after our breakfast; we start our hike up towards the Sanctuary of Qoylloritti, located in a breathtaking spot, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. We slowly hike though an uphill trail along which we will encounter 14 crosses that are venerated on the way; the last one is already located at the Sanctuary. Upon arrival, we will be accommodated at our camp and enjoy free time in the afternoon. The display of activities at the Sanctuary is impressive, as well as the number of pilgrims attending this festivity year by year. In the evening, we can attend to the mass at the Sanctuary; there are two ceremonies, at 06.00 pm or 08.00 pm dinner and camp at the Sanctuary.
Day 03: Sanctuary of Qoylloritty
This day is fully spent at the Santuary, following the activities of the pilgrims. We attend the “Alacitas” market in the morning. This is a very curious display in which one buys miniature goods such as trucks, houses, cattle, university titles and others, with money that is only valid during the Qoyllur Ritti festivity, according to one’s real wishes. The legend says that whatever you accomplish in this game will come true thanks to the power of the Lord of Qoylloritty. The Soul Mass at the Sanctuary atrium (10.00 am) is the next event followed by the “Pablitos” mass at 12.00 pm. The afternoon is reserved for other activities, for all wanting to join them: the procession of the Lord of Tayancani and the Virgin, several dancing performances, mass at the Sanctuary at 06.00 pm and the singing to the Lord at 07.00 pm. At night, after dinner, we enjoy the spectacular “Burning of Castles”, in which wooden construction with fireworks are burnt, followed by the “Child’s Dance”. Afterwards, the pilgrims ascend to the snow-capped mountain and glacier to bring down the crosses to the Sanctuary.
Day 04: Sanctuary of Qoylloritty – Yanacocha – Tayancani
After an early wake up at 07.00 pm, we pack our bags and get ready for the pilgrimage. We wait and attend the Blessing Mass at 10.00 am and at noon, we leave in the so-called “24 hour procession”, together with the rest of pilgrims. The procession leaves from the Sanctuary and runs through Calvario Machucruz, the lagoons in Kumukasa and Alqamarina sectors, until reaching Yanacocha, where we arrive at around 06.00 pm we then sleep for 3-4 hours until 10.00 pm, when we start walking during the night towards Tayancani. Night hike.
Day 05: Tayancani – Cusco
After a spectacular night pilgrimage, we wait for sunrise, the impressive “Sun Greeting” ceremony (07.00 am) to descend to Tayancani and attend the blessing to Sanctuary and village of the same name (08.00 am). We attend the mass (10.00 am) and then follow our hike up a mountain pass (2h) and then down to Ocongate (1h); where we have lunch. In the afternoon, we board our private transportation back to Cusco (5h), where we expect to arrive around 06.00 pm.
What is included:
• Collection from your hotel in the morning and transfer in bus to Mahuayani, the starting point of the pilgrimage
• English speaking professional guide
• Cook and cooking equipment
• Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
• 1 emergency horse per each 6 persons
• Accommodation for our guides, cook and horsemen
• Meals 04 Breakfast, 05 Lunch, 04 Dinners & snack
• Igloo tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks
• One mattress per person
• One sleeping bag per person
• Dining tent with tables and chairs
• Kitchen tent
• Toilet tent
• First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
• Private transportation from Ocongate to Cusco, including transfer to your hotel in Cusco
What is not included:
• Breakfast on the first day
• Tea service and dinner on the last day
• One sleeping bag per person
Bring and Carry
What you need to bring and carry:
• A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
• Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
• Strong footwear, ideally trekking or sport shoes
• Flashlight and batteries
• Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
• Toilet paper
• Snack: biscuits, energy bats, chocolate etc.
• Non-disposable canteen and sterilizing tablets (ie. Micropur)
• Cash in soles
• Optional: walking sticks or poles
Optional services to be hired:
• An extra horse to carry your personal items: A horse
can carry up to 20 kg.
• Sleeping Bag rent