"The best part for me was sharing the route with the Qoyllority pilgrims. The noise, colour and rhythm of the dancers and musicians (who easily overtook us on some of the steepest sections) will always remain with me."
- Debra, Australia


Giving back

Trek with us and $20 of your trek price is donated to generate a sustainable trekking industry in the Andes, and the NGO: ThreadsofPeru.com

Photo of 3 rafts on a beautiful and calm Peruvian river surrounded by trees and mountains

The Apus Peru staff in a group shot on a sunny day.

Qollor Riti Pilgrimage Trek 4d

Qoyllority is a Quechua word which means Shining Snow, and in Quechua "The Lord of Qoyllority" translates as Taytacha Qoyoriti. (also known and spelt Colloritty) This an old religious procession that is practiced by those who live in the high Andes. Every year, days before the celebration of Corpus Christi, every small village or clan sends a delegation with colorful dancers and "pauluchas" to the Chapel of the Señor (or Lord) of Qoylloriti. This Chapel is situated spectacularly at the base of the Sinakara mountain, some hours walk above the village of Mawayany, at 4600 meters above sea level. It has spectacular views of the much venerated Apu, Ausangate.Other spellings include: Qollor Riti / Qollor Riti/ Qollor Riti / Q'oyoriti

Apus Peru is one of the few trekking companies in Cusco to offer you the opportunity to do the 4 day Qollor Riti Pilgrimage.

Qollor Riti Pilgrimage trek 4d

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Highlight: Pre dawn trek under the cold gaze of Ausengate to finish with the sight of thousands of dancers / Paluchcas descending down the mountain side as the sun creeps up.

Location: Maywayny - Ocongate

Level: moderate trekking, you need to be acclimatised. Difficult for cultural and cold reasons.

Adventure Rating:Few foreigners do the Pilgrimage each year.

Inka Trail alternative: Can be combined with a day trip to machu picchu at the beginning or end of your trip.

Departure dates: Once a year - in the week before Corpus Christi. .

Combos: This trip can precede or follow the magnificent Ausangate trek - if you combine the two trips, you will receive a significant discount as you do not have to pay transport twice!

 


PRICES 2017

# of People

2 3 5-6 7-8 9-12

Price USD (per person)

$1040 $790 $620 $570 $480 $398

Make a booking

please read our Make a Booking page for more information on how to book with us.
To enquire about availability or for reservation forms email us at [email protected]

> View the Full Itinerary
> What's included / What to bring
> Available discounts

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4 day Qollur Riti Pilgrimage - Itinerary

Detailed itinerary for the 4 day Qollur Riti Pilgrimage - departs Sunday before Corpus Christi annually.

2016 DATES: Sunday 22nd May - Weds 25th May. Corpus Christi is in Cusco on the 26th May. Plan to be in Cusco for that date though its not included in the tour.

2017 DATES Sunday 11 June - Weds 14 June. (Corpus Christi in Cusco June 15, not included in the tour)

2018 DATES: Sunday 27 May - Weds 30 May (Corpus Christi in Cusco May 31 not included in the tour)

Day 1: Sunday - Cusco - Maywayny - Sanctuary of Qoylloritti

Leaving at Cusco early, we travel from Cusco to Maywayny (via Tinqui, the trailhead for the Ausangate Trek) along e the Transoceanic highway. We pass through spectacular landscapes and stop for photos along the way at Urcos, Cattca and Ocongate. The drive takes about 3 hours. We will have an early lunch with other pilgrims at Maywayny (4600m), which will bursting at the seams with visitors, before starting our hike up to the Sanctuary of Qoylloritti, located in a breathtaking spot, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. We slowly hike through an uphill trail along which we will encounter 14 crosses that are venerated on the way, the last one is located at the Sanctuary. The hike up to the Sanctuary takes between 4 and 6 hours, depending on fitness. In the evening, we can attend the mass at the Sanctuary, being two ceremonies, one at 06.00pm and the other at 08.00 pm. Dinner and camp at the Sanctuary. Please note: the Sanctuary has high altitude - and as you will be camping there - you should be well acclimatised.

Day 2: Monday: Sanctuary of Qoylloritti

This day is spent at the Sanctuary, watching and learning about the activities of the pilgrims. We attend the "Alacitas" market in the morning. Here you can buy miniature goods such as trucks, houses, cattle, university titles and anything that your heart desires. The legend says that whatever you purchase and then sacrifice to the Lord will come true thanks to the power of the Lord of Qoylloritti. The Mass at the Sanctuary (10.00 am) is the next event followed by the "Pablitos" mass at 12.00 pm. The afternoon is reserved for other activities: the procession of the Lord of Tayancani and the Virgin, several dancing performances, mass at the Sanctuary at 06.00 pm. At night, after dinner, we enjoy a spectacular Andean fireworks show where wooden constructions with fireworks are burnt, Afterwards, the pilgrims ascend to the snow-capped mountain and glacier to bring down the crosses to the Sanctuary. We retire to our tents.

Day3: Tuesday - Sanctuary of Qoylloritti - Yanacocha - Night Pilgrimage to Tayancani

After breakfast and a last look at celebrations around the Sanctuary we will get ready for the pilgrimage. We wait and attend the Blessing Mass and we leave in the so-called "24 hour procession", together with the rest of pilgrims. The procession leaves from the Sanctuary and runs through Calvario Machucruz, the lagoons in Kumukasa and Alqamarina sectors, until reaching Yanacocha, where we arrive at around 06.00 pm. About 6 hours of hiking.

we have two options at this stage - to then sleep for 3-4 hours until 10.00 pm, when we start walking during the night towards Tayancani with the other pilgrims. Alternatively, we can opt for an early rise (ie 4am), sunrise over Ausangate and a slightly late arrival at Tayancani. this will be discussed and decided upoon amongst the various members of the group during the trek.

Day 4: Wednesday - Tayancani - Ocongate- Cusco

After a spectacular night pilgrimage, we wait for sunrise, the impressive "Sun Greeting" ceremony (07.00 am) to descend to Tayancani and attend the Blessing to Sanctuary and village of the same name (08.00 am). We attend the mass (10.00 am) and then follow our hike up a mountain pass (2h) and then down to Ocongate (1h), where we have lunch. In the afternoon, we board our private car back to Cusco (3hours), where we expect to arrive in the late afternoon.

Please note: Thursday is Corpus Christiin Cusco. We organise so that you will be Cusco for this event, which is very colourful and interesting.

Itinerary notes - QollorRiti Pilgrimage trek 4d.

  • The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group and the guide can change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has their own preferred route and it might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
  • This is an adventurous trip. You should be sure to bring an open mind, flexibility and a sense of humor. Most of all you should be prepared to go with the flow. Most of all, you are joining an Andean fiesta - and you should be willing to accept their means and methods of celebration.
  • The Qollor Riti Sanctuary is very high, plus you are close to a glacier. Temperatures are cold, and can fall well below freezing in the nights. You should travel well prepared for cold temperatures. Hire/or carry sleeping bags for temperatures less than freezing (minus 15 celsius or more).
  • This region has limited tourist infrastructure and this tour makes use of local facilities. Visitors should be aware that things change, or may not go to plan. This is all part of the adventure, and visitors to Peru are encouraged to have an open mind and be open to the differences in the way things are done in another culture.

Practical Information

What's included?

For complete facts about many aspects of Apus Peru tours, check out our FAQs page!
 Pre Trek Briefing

Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.

Private transport from Cusco to the Trailhead and return at the end of the trek

English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 8 people).
Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks. .
Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest)
Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
Toilet tent
Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person). .
1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower
Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
Tents for our staff to sleep in, sleeping bags & mattresses plus a budget for their meals.
First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle - but not blister treatments as known in western countries.

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?

Breakfast on the first morning.
Sleeping bags If you haven't got a sleeping bag or you don't want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.For this trek you should hire minus 15 or warmer bags.
Tips for the guide, cook and porters
Additional horses for passengers luggage.

WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING

A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping. ** This is a particularly cold trek, you should make sure you have a lot of very warm clothes.
Ear plugs!!! Needed for this fiesta Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)
Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
Sun block
After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
Insect repellent - minimum recommended 20% DEET - although no malaria risk has been reported
Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
Small towel or sarong
Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs)
Cash - sufficient for your final lunch in Aguas Calientes, tips and souvenirs.
Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day)
Binoculars (if you have them)

optional extras

We can hire the following to you.

  • Extra mule to carry YOUR things - $10.00 per trip day
  • Extra riding mule and muleteer to lead it - $18 per trip day
  • Sleeping Bag suitable for – 10deg $4.00 per trip day
  • Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15deg. $5.00 per trip day)
  • Walking stick lightweight aluminum ($2.00 per day, per stick) Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
  • Thermarest inflatable mattress - $4 per trip day
  • Inflatable pillow - $2 per trip day
  • Comforting Camping trek upgrade $40.00  per trip day
  • Single tent supplement (ie you don’t want to share a tent) $25.00 per person

HIRE POLICY:

When calculating costs for hire of walking stick, sleeping bag, calculate using the length of the tour. Even though you won’t use the equipment on the final day it will still be ‘on the road’ and ‘occupied.’ If you hire equipment and break it – you are responsible for price of replacement /or repair. (please do the right thing!)

AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS (these discounts are not cumulative)

  • 5% discount on treks only for members of South American Explorers Club (SAE)
  • $30 discount if combined with an Apus Peru trek, 3 days plus.

TO MAKE A BOOKING

Please visit our Make a Booking page.

You will need to email us to check availability, receive booking forms and then make your deposit. For our payment conditions and booking please refer to our Make a Booking page. * For organisational reasons, we require one week to organise your booking, prior to departure.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (continued from intro above) The "pauluchas" are costumed dancers who carry alpacas and are intermediaries between the Lord Qoylloriti and his men. They begin their climb of the Sinakara glacier at 4am, a ritual where they ask for their animals to grow well. They go back with an iceblock or a block of snow which they use to purify humanity. They are charged with taking care of the small stream in the mountains. The origin of the small holy stream is explained by a legend. According to the most well-known version, a mestizo boy with blond hair and rough looks, helped a alpaca shepherd take care of his animals. The father of the shepherd heard of this, and in order to thank the boy for helping him with the animals, he decided to make new clothes for him of best quality. The Bishop of Cusco was interested by this story and wanted to get to know the young boy, and asked the people of the church of Ocongate to investigate the situation. The people of the church didn't discover the boy, who disappeared and the shepherd died of sadness. At the place where this occurred an image appeared of the crucified Christ, reflected in a rock. It is here you can find the Templo del Señor de Qoylloriti, which is constructed over the rock. The Ten Nations or ten brotherhoods that belong to Paucartambo, Qusipicanchis and Tahuantinsuyo provinces attend the event. Masses, ascents to Mount Sinakara and simulated battles lead to the cohesion of all the brotherhoods and make this a very special and colorful festivity, surrounded by the cold of the awesome scenery.

During the celebration, the people that have participated in the procession praise Our Lady of Fatima and ask for good luck in business, life and the future. The end of the procession takes place at the ancient Inca capital of Cusco with the celebrations of Corpus Christi, when the streets filled with people and the squares with music and color.