DAY 9: Pachatusan

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Standing in the east, in the land of Antis, Apu Pachatusan is one of the Guardian Mountains of Cusco. Its partner, Apu Huancaure, is the site of the first Inca settlements in the Sacred Valley.

The name Pachatusan derives from two Quechua words. Pacha, meaning time and space, and Tusay, meaning to prop up. Thus to the ancients, the role of this mountain was to prop up the Earthly dimension of time and space.

We leave Cusco early, passing through the town of Huasao, famous for its paqos or priests of the Andean tradition. According to some it is located at the point where the powers of the Apus Ausangate and Salkantay meet.

Following the valley, we ascend to Patabamba, at the base of the mountain, with its fields of corn. We observe the ancient tombs set high in the mountainside. From Patabamba, we ascend further to the ancient city of Tipon, with its mysterious complex of terraces, and ancient aquaduct, evidence of the advanced hydraulics of the Inca.

Finally, we head downhill to overnight with the paqos, taking in the ancient Intihuatana (sun stone) and the truly stunning views of the valley.

Hiking: Easy to moderate.

Overnight Pachatusan Camp site.