In this period of quarantine, we know that you are all impatient to get off the beaten track to discover the little unknown jewels of our dear Mother Nature! Let’s be honest, we feel exactly the same. So impatient to enjoy once again a Sunday break to venture out in the heart of the Andes.
While waiting for this precious moment, we decided to share with you an easy one day itinerary from Cusco to a still unknown waterfall : Perolniyoc.
Hikers, here is all the information you will need to reach this unique site as well as the ruins of Raqaypata.
Perolniyoc is located 40km north of Cusco towards the village of Ollantaytambo. The beginning of the trek is in Socma, a small village of 800 inhabitants, at an altitude of 3100m. To get there, several options were available before the Corona Virus :
- Take a « combi » (locals minibus) from Cusco to Ollantaytambo (1h30-2h drive) and then book a taxi from Ollantaytambo to Socma (45mn).
- Book a private driver from Cusco directly to the village of Socma (2h drive – remember to share it to save money but especially for the environment).
The access to the village of Socma is on the road Cusco – Huarocondo – Ollantaytambo passing then by Pacchar. Some « colectivos » (locals minibus) used this route, so you may wonder why you had to go to Ollantaytambo instead of stopping along the way?
The answer is simple, if you were going down the road at the crossroads going up to Socma you had no driver or taxi available to take you to the village.
That’s why you had to first go to Ollantaytambo to find a driver and then return by taxi to Socma. It is precisely for this reason that the « combi » + taxi journey time was longer than a direct taxi option from Cusco.
Important informations to know :
1) As the post-corona virus measures are not yet defined, it is possible that when activities in the region will start again, combi-transport will maybe no longer be available as it was before. For health and safety reasons we advise you in any case to avoid grouped transport.
We recommend you to better choose trips in private vehicles or in transport adapted to the new health standards and new obligations in terms of social distancing (contact us for more information on these transports).
2) There are no vehicles available in the village of Socma. It is therefore very important to negociate with the private driver or the taxi that will take you there to wait for you for the time of your walk in order to bring you back to Ollantaytambo or Cusco.
3) Few drivers know the road to get to the village of Socma. You can contact us if necessary to have a profesional private driver for your journey. In this case, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a message in our website.
Once you arrive at Socma square, ask your driver to park at the school level and wait for you until your return. Put on your hiking shoes and get ready … that’s when the adventures begin!
The hike last around one hour to the Perolniyoc waterfall. The hike starts with a gradual ascent on a track and then the path becomes more hilly and steeper as you get closer to your goal.
If you are traveling without guide, several trail options will be available during the walk. To avoid to get lost, nothing could be simpler, always stay to the left of the brook!
After a little more than 400m of positive altitude slopes you will surely need a good break. Few moment after you’ve passed the most difficult slopes of the route you’ll reach the goal: Perolniyoc!
Lost in the middle of the vegetation, this waterfall is a real gift of nature that you will most probably be lucky enough to discover without any tourists on the horizon … unless of course you and your group of adventurous friends are also tourists. It is up to you to define your status during an endless talk at the foot of Perolniyoc.
The place is ideal to recover, enjoy a long relaxing break, take a few pictures or have a picnic (be kind with our Pachamama, don’t leave anything behind once your snack is finished).
After this break with mother nature, some of you may still have a lot of energy. And that’s a good thing since the Perolniyoc waterfall is not the only attraction of the area! 1h of walking further and about 100m of ascent higher you will find the Inca archaeological complex of Raqaypata (literally the ruins of the high part in quechua).
To get there you will have to turn back and continue up the valley. After a few hundred meters the path is then tagged by blue signs. If the visit of the site is interesting for its historical and cultural aspect, the path to get there will also reserve you a nice surprise: a panoramic view of the waterfall that you will never forget!
After visiting the ruins we realized that the path continued even further into the valley. For the more sporty there is indeed an option to reach Ollantaytambo in a 2-day trek with different passes and sites such as the Sun gate of Ollantaytambo. The trek requires 2 or even 3 days of walking and can be associate with a visit of Machu Picchu. For more informations you can find them here :
Our driver was waiting for us and we hadn’t planned to leave for several days. That’s why we enjoyed a last time an amazing view of the valley and then we started our descent on the same path. The descent lasts about 2 hours to the village of Socma and then it takes the same time as the outward trip to Cusco.
We won’t be able to tell you much more on the way back as the majority of the group fell into the arms of Morpheus, 5 minutes after we entered the vehicle. What we can all tell you is that we arrived in Cusco with a smile on our faces and only one idea in mind: set the date of our next journey in the sacred valley.
And you, will you try the Perolniyoc experience ?