The Coffee Route is a unique, alternative experience that takes you to Machu Picchu while meeting and staying with remote coffee farmer families along the way. Ride a bike on a spectacular mountain road from the cold heights down into the upper jungle (optional), cross rivers with a zip line (optional), walk Inca trails with steep stairs alongside high cliffs to reach the houses of the families that will welcome you and show you how to produce their organic and unique coffee.
To reach the start of the bike route, we leave from Cusco (or Ollantaytambo) to the Malaga Pass at 4200masl. Here begins the incredible three-hour descent to the cloud forest, to 1500masl, watching the landscape changing and feeling the fresh air on your face. Then we will arrive to the farm of José and Julia in Huyopata, where we can have some rest and a delicious lunch, and also learn about the cultivation of coffee beans and other fruits, as well as the cacao process (the latter only from September – April). We stay with this lovely family for the night.
The next day, after breakfast, we set off to the starting point of the Inca jungle trail. At this point begins a spectacular 2 to 2,5 hour walk, but if you’re afraid of heights, there’s the possibility to take a shorter hike of about 1 hour and 15 minutes. We will arrive to Alejandro’s house just right for lunch and afterwards we will learn all about the production of organic coffee in this remote part of the Andes from one of Peru’s specialists. His family will wait for us in the evening for dinner and they will share experiences with us, the perfect end before spending the night in the basic, but comfortable guest houses of our new made friends in the middle of nature.
The third day starts with our 3 to 4 hour hike to Santa Teresa, although it is also possible to go by car part of the way. In Santa Teresa we will visit the thermal baths of Cocalmayo to revitalize the body before continuing. Close by is a zip line (optional for the thrill seekers!) to have some fun before continuing the trip by car to our next host: Enrique’s, in Lucmabamba. If we are not too tired, he will be happy to give us a tour around his plantation. We will also get to know his wife Teófila, who will surprise you with original coffee creations, which earned her the nickname we give her: “Starbucks of the Woods”! Here we spend the night in his comfortable guest houses with private bathroom.
The fourth day starts with continuing the well-preserved Inka Trail that connects with the Salkantay route, with an almost continuous view of Machu Picchu Mountain at the distance until we reach the so called Hydroelectric station. Here we will have lunch (not included) and we suggest taking the train to Aguas Calientes afterwards. The cost for the train is USD 33 p.p. and can only be paid in dollars (!) directly at the train station. You can also choose to walk to Aguas Calientes from here, but it’s another 2,5 to 3 hours hike. Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes (basic hostel).
To end a spectacular journey, the 5th day does not need much explanation: Machu Picchu!
- Location: Near to Machu Picchu
- Activities: Hiking, mountains, coffee, chocolate, family engagement
- Trip Tip: You can do this experience in 2, 3 4 or 5 days
- Accommodation: Private rooms in family homes
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