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Vinincunca by ATV
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Vinincunca ATV

For some people, traveling to Vinincunca may be boring or not very adventurous. However, that perception no longer has a place, since a couple of years ago they began to operate routes on ATVs or ATVs, for their acronym in English All Terrain Vehicle. These four-wheeled, all-terrain motorized vehicles are ideal for a new travel experience. Therefore, it is important to know more about this route, the care, and recommendations that are never superfluous. Here you will find detailed information from someone who has just made this trip.

The ATV route

Doing any ATV route is different from any conventional tour where there is only transportation in a minivan, car, or truck; and then, start with the walk to the destination you want to visit. Doing a short or long ATV tour is something that will fill you with adrenaline and at the same time will allow you to appreciate from another angle the whole route through the mountains or the landscapes that surely hide the destination. On the route by ATV to Vinincunca you can appreciate beautiful landscapes, composed of the blue sky, and the high mountains of the Cordillera del Vilcanota, all this place reaches more than 5,000 meters above sea level.

To access these services, you must first contact an agency that allows you to do this tour, then plan the day of travel. And finally, you just have to prepare the right shoes and clothes for this adventure. After the trip that we will detail below in a minivan or van, you will arrive in some cases in Japura in other cases usually have their parking lots in Uchullujllo. From either of these two points, the ATV adventure begins. The guide and the person in charge of the ATVs will explain in detail the handling and the correct way to use the protective equipment. The guide and the person in charge of the ATVs will explain in detail the handling and the correct way to use the protective equipment, as well as the precautions to follow while driving. The travel time to the Vinincunca climbing area is approximately two hours. All the services are equipped with safety accessories so it will be an obligation to use them. Now let’s see in detail the route that follows from Cusco.

What is the route you are taking?

The tour will start early in the city of Cusco. The services that are usually offered include pick up from the hotel, in some cases, only for some sectors of the center of Cusco, so you will have to consult promptly. The tour will start minutes before 4:00 am. This is because the travel time from Cusco – Pitumarca can take 3 hours. Before arriving at Pitumarca it is customary to have breakfast to recharge your energy and use it during the ascent by ATV. From Pitumarca to Japura or Uchullujllo, it is less than 40 minutes, until this place is reached by the same transport. From these small and rustic ATV parking lots, the ATV route begins.

The ATV route will follow the old road to Vinincunca, so the trip will take 2 to 3 hours. On the way there you will follow an ascending road that will be nerve-wracking for people who are not very used to the high ravines that form the mountains. But there is nothing to worry about, the road is safe and the paths are constantly maintained by some villagers. This route considerably reduces the chances of suffering from altitude sickness. This is because the physical activity is limited to only a short walking section of approximately one hour. This section does not have a road, to maintain the magic of the hike that allows you to appreciate the mountains that surround Vinincunca.

The time to walk begins

Once we have arrived at the parking area, we will get off the ATVs to get ready and start a short hike. The walking time will be less than 2 hours. This time may vary depending on the physical condition of the people and the acclimatization time they have had before starting this tour. In any case, it is recommended to do the tour lightly and without haste. This time of walking is perfect to better contemplate the geography of the place and it will also be possible to feel the more than 5000 meters of altitude. The hike, on the other hand, will encourage a moment of trust between travelers who share a pleasant conversation, as in all hiking trails.

The tour includes enough time for all travelers to appreciate and take pictures of the place without any hurry. In case you do not want to walk you can also hire the service of the muleteers who will facilitate the arrival to the viewpoint of the Montaña de Colores. The price from this place is usually 60 soles or 60 PEN. However, this may vary depending on the season. The return will be by the same route. You may also have the option of descending on horseback to where the ATVs were left. Once all the team is together, we will start descending in the caravan. It is important to stay in a group to avoid accidents or to act immediately in case one occurs.

A well-deserved rest upon arrival at Vinincunca
A well-deserved rest upon arrival at Vinincunca

Is it difficult to drive ATVs?

Learning to ride ATVs is quite intuitive, especially for people who are already proficient in riding a bicycle or at best a motorcycle. These means of transportation are quite safe, especially designed for off-road terrain. Each of these vehicles is comfortable and provides a truly rewarding experience. As we mentioned at the beginning, the tour agencies will provide you with all the safety equipment such as gloves and helmets. Essential equipment that will also help to avoid freezing winds.

The guide and the instructor will be in charge of teaching and accompanying each of the participants in learning and driving. Before starting the route, there will be a small driving test. This test is ideal to check if all the participants can do the tour. In most groups, there are not usually people who are not able or dare to drive. If there are people who have some difficulty, the guide or instructor will be in charge of transporting them on the ATV. Another option may be that your companion or one of the group is in charge of this function. In some sections of the tour, you may exchange the role of driver if you wish.

The experience of getting to Vinincunca by ATV

From the foothills, it will already be possible to appreciate the coloration of the mountains. In some cases the snow has fallen earlier, it is for some, a lucky moment. Since it allows a quite beautiful contrast between the snow, the blue of the sky, and the colors of the mountain, to have a better view of the entire mountain and the surrounding landscapes, you must climb a hill that will allow you to appreciate the entire Cordillera del Vilcanota, the chain of mountains that surround it and are also part of the Red Valley. The Red Valley can be visited by taking the traditional tour, but it is optional and according to the disposition of the travel agency. Normally this is conditioned by the time of ascent.

An important factor to decide for this tour is that it will have a shorter walking time, but this added to the landscapes that can be appreciated during the ATV trip, is an interesting companion. The adventure of ascending and then descending the Andean mountains is really rewarding, an unconventional tour but one that everyone should do at least once in a lifetime since it is easy to do and could be done with the whole family.


By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 01-03-2024

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