Are you the type of traveler who loves to practice adventure sports? If so, I invite you to meet the beautiful and elegant Pitusiray Glacier in the province of Calca, Cusco. The tour of this snowy mountain promises to make an unforgettable trek, in addition to climbing the incomparable glacier. Don’t waste any more time and join me on this tour:
The Pitusiray Glacier is located in the province and district of Calca in the department of Cusco. The trekking towards Nevado Pitusiray is approximately 5 to 6 hours.
Apu Pitusiray in Cusco:
The elegant Pitusiray Glacier in Calca, being over 4,950 meters above sea level, becomes a splendid challenge for all travelers who love trekking and climbing. Its slopes are made up of volcanic rock outcrops, which give it a special touch when climbing this incredible glacier.
According to Andean history, the snowy Pitusiray together with the Sawasiray Glacier, would be interrelated. From this connection is born the legend of a beautiful and stormy love during the Inca times, this beautiful love story is known as “The legend of One Orqo”, and is staged to the delight of the inhabitants and visitors in the province of Calca in the month of October.
On the other hand, if we do not base ourselves on Andean magical thinking, Sawasiray and Pitusiray would be associated with the practice of agricultural and pastoral activities, like most important places in Cusco during the time of the Incas. Likewise, the legend of Uno Orqo, from Andean cosmology, would refer to the duality, male-female; day Night.
Myth of the Apu Pitusiray and Sawasiray in Cusco
This is a love story that was transmitted through oral sources in the province of Calca, Cusco region.
Orqo Waranqa was a kuraka from the town of Urco and had a daughter of extraordinary beauty named Pitusiray, the fruit of love with a princess of the Yungas.
Growing up and as the years passed, the girl became a beautiful woman who falls in love with the handsome Sawasiray.
The kuraka (her father) had lands that were dying, because the scarcity of water made them unproductive, which is why one day she offered Pitusiray’s hand to whoever could carry the water to the parched furrows.
Kuntisiray and Sawasiray, lords of neighboring regions, disputed the primacy of the almost impossible goal that the kuraka had entrusted, the same one that was made even more difficult by the geographical conformation of the lands to be overcome.
It is said that Sawasira tried to drive the water down the slope of the Sunqu Qhata hill and for the short time available she failed in her attempt.
On the other hand, the lucky Kuntisiray built a large well on a hill and the water began to flow down the platforms of a ravine, resulting in being the legitimate winner.
The princess overwhelmed with the outcome, could not do anything but obey her father’s orders. Her marriage to Kuntisiray was pompous for several days.
Days passed and when he could not bear the nostalgia and the remoteness, one stormy night, Pitusiray ran in search of Sawasiray, fleeing with him towards the hills, believing that they could overcome the height and take refuge in distant lands. However, they were overtaken by the warriors of Orqo Waranqa and the offended Kuntisiray, remaining as punishment petrified and turned into snowy mountains.
These peaks rise today behind the province of Calca, one is known as the Pitusiray peaks and the other is the Sawasiray peaks, and behind the two mountains are the Kuntisiray peaks.
The Pitusiray Glacier in Calca is located at an altitude of 4,950 meters above sea level and is part of the Eastern Cordillera.
The climate of the charming province of Calca is pleasant for most of the year, however, being within the department of Cusco, they share two seasons.
Between the months of November to March, this season is quite cloudy, with the presence of rains and even hail depending on where you are. During the month of February, some tourist places close their doors, especially Machu Picchu, in order to carry out the maintenance of the Inca citadel.
It includes the months of April to October, the dry season is partially cloudy and it is cool throughout the year. You can enjoy sunny days accompanied by great landscapes and beautiful Cusco blue sky.
Best time to visit the Pitusiray Glacier in Calca:
Taking into account the difference between the two seasons in the province of Calca, it is recommended to visit this beautiful province throughout the month of May, June, July until the beginning of October, as it is the dry season.
In this season it is great for any tourist trip to any part of Cusco, since the presence of rain is minimal and you can enjoy sunny days with the presence of a blue sky. You can also enjoy beautiful landscapes.
However, for the early mornings and nights it is recommended to wrap up enough to avoid feeling the intense cold of Cusco. It can be used, warm clothes such as jackets, caps or chullos, scarves, gloves, etc.
How to get to Calca?
Getting to Calca is not complicated, you just have to take into consideration the following recommendations:
If what you want is to get to Calca as soon as possible, it is recommended to take a minivan from Calle Puputi one block from the Inca Garcilaso De La Vega School in Cusco, the travel time in this means of transport is 50 minutes to 1 hour approximately.
While the route continues towards Calca, we will be able to observe some architectural ensembles such as Q’enqo, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara; then we will pass the Malaga pass. On the way we will see the generosity of nature by showing us and giving us beautiful landscapes and the sight of animals typical of the area.
Once we arrive in Pisaq, we will proceed with the trip along the Vilcanota River, until finally reaching the beautiful province of Calca. From this point we will go to the Nevado Pitusiray, remember that you will walk between 5 to 6 hours approximately.
Entrance Ticket Cost:
The Pitusiray mountain is available 24 hours a day, however, it is recommended to do the tour during the morning. Regarding the cost, the entrance is free.
- It is important to have personal documents.
- To do the trekking to Nevado Pitusiray, it is recommended to have the service of an agency authorized to provide quality service, such as Inkayni Peru Tours.
- Children over 15 years of age can do the walk as long as they are in the company of a responsible adult.
- It is important to hydrate, so it is suggested to bring water.
- It is necessary to acclimatize in Cusco between 2 or 3 days to avoid health decompensations.
- Plan clothes depending on the season in which you decide to visit Calca.
- If you take a tour in Cusco in the company of a minor, this may go only under the responsibility of a responsible adult.
- In the case of suffering from altitude sickness, it is good to consume coca leaf tea