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Nasca to Cusco: Trekking in places full of nature

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Travel the stretch of the Oceanic South, between Nasca and Cusco A trip that will give you many surprises.There are more geographical contrasts over this 650 km long road than over any five thousand in Europe. It may be one of the most bio-diverse routes in the world and it’s one of the trips that everyone should have a go at trekking.

On the road between San Juan de Marcona, on the Pacific coast, and Urcos, there is a detour to Puerto Maldonado and Brazil. This goes through four districts: Ica, Ayacucho, Apurimac, and Cusco, and has enough facilities to plan a trip for one or more days.

The sands of the desert, where Nasca developed their domain as it seemed in Cahuachi, is the starting point to climb up to Pampa Galeras, the protected area where the majority of the vicuña population resides. At 75 kms. it transitions to the 500 m. in where you can find Nasca and its four thousand stretch of protected land. The rise known as “cuesta del borracho” runs alongside Cerro Blanco, and with its 2,080 m. it is one of the largest dunes in the world.

*Valleys and Mountains*

Puquio, land of harpists, scissor dancers, and bullfighters, shines on the horizon. This Andean valley is the preamble to the highest part of the trip, the highlands of Negro Mayo, a stretch of about 4,200 m. that passes by fields and lagoons that change color.

After leaving Ayacucho the road goes through a part of Apurimac that turns into a district full of beautiful people and landscapes. The district conserves a long tradition of ‘haciendas,’ where you can also see in Abancay, that have just managed to resist the passing of time.

Reaching Abancay, it’s time to climb again, this time along the snowy Ampay that leads to the descent to Curahuasi, which produces the best anise and flaxseed in Peru. As you trek you will see the Apurimac River that twists among the hills, establishing the boundary between Apurimac and Cusco.

The journey then continues through the valley of Limatambo, where the Tarawasi archaeological site is located. Soon after Limatambo, you’ll come across Pampas de Anta, the ‘breadbasket of Cusco,’ where Zurite conserves some of the largest terraces in the country and where the magical site Quillarumiyoc, the Temple of the Moon, dominates the valley.

Reaching cosmopolitan Cusco, the trek continues on into the South Valley, with Huasao and its enchantors, Oropesa and its bread ovens, Saylla and its chicharrón, Piñipampa’s tejas, and the baroque beauties in Andahuaylillas. The end of a journey that never ceased to amaze.

*Travel Guide*
By road: The distance between Nasca and Cusco is about 650 km, and about 11 hours. The companies Oltursa :www.oltursa.pe, Cruz del Sur :www.cruzdelsur.com.pe, and Movil Tours :www.moviltours.com.pe move along this route.

*Accomodation:*

*1. *Nasca*
Casa Andina :www.casa- andina.com – from U.S.$ 64
Wasipunko :www.wasipunko.com – from S/. 200

*2. *Chalhuanca*
Tampumayu :www.hoteltampumayu.com – from U.S.$ 64

*3. *Abancay*
Tourists :www.turismoapurimac.com – from S/. 150

*4. Cusco*
Tierra Viva :www.tierravivahoteles.com – from U.S.$ 80

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Natasha grew up in a suburb of Chicago and moved to Peru two years ago and studied Bilingual Administrative Assistance and General Management at the British Academy. In her spare time she loves to be with family and her maltese, Maya.