The Virtual Machu Picchu Challenge

Postponed to incorporate Beirut explosion relief


Thank you to those of you have donated and registered for the Machu Picchu Virtual Challenge. Your support is very much appreciated. The monies raised will go to assist Chichuchas Wasi girls school toward providing emergency food for those children impacted by COVID-19 in Cusco, Peru.

Our thoughts have recently been turned to the unprecedented events in Lebanon last week. Our immediate focus is on how we can support those affected. 

To that end, we have taken a decision to postpone our Machu Picchu Virtual Challenge and instead we will be preparing for a Lebanese Mountain Trail Virtual Challenge to take place in September, dates to be confirmed. 

We want to give all of those registered the opportunity to transfer over to the Lebanese Mountain Trail Virtual challenge (without need for further donation), details of which we will be able to share in due course. 

We thank you in advance for your understanding. We very much hope you will be able to join us on the Lebanese Mountain Trail Virtual challenge and will confirm details as soon as we have them.



Have you ever wanted to trek to Machu Picchu?

Or been there and want a trip back up memory lane? 

Does the idea of trekking 66km reaching 4,450m interest you? 

Due to Covid 19, we unfortunately can't travel to Peru to complete this incredible trek however we remain committed to fundraising for our charity projects and to providing ways for you to keep up your exercise with us. 

Want to do the real Machu Picchu trek in 2021 with us? Check out the dates for next year here.

Are you up for this virtual charity challenge?

Then join us along with our wonderful Chairwoman, Anne Edmondson, and Charity Director, Elaine Kelly, starting Saturday 15th August at 4pm for our Charity Challenge: The Virtual Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Make a minimum donation of AED 100 to register through YallaGive.
  2. You will then receive an email providing all the information and instructions you need to take part.
  3. Download Zoom to your device and join us at the virtual start line for the warm-up, then off you go!

You will have 10 days to complete the challenge. There will be pictures and videos shared with you as you progress so you can get a feel for what the real Machu Picchu trek is like. A few surprises along the way too!


This event is approved by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, license number 3161.


Welcome: 4pm Dubai; 7am Cusco - Sat 15th Aug 2020


Acclimatisation Hike (11km) - Sun 16th Aug

We start with an acclimatisation hike from Tambo Machay (3,800m/12,467ft). With its intricately carved water channels this is thought to have been used both for ritual cleansing as well as the worship of water.

From here we carry on back down to Cusco, stopping at the Temple of the Moon and other historical sites along the way.

During our stop at the Cusco ruins we will see the impressive site of Sacsayhuaman. Huge stone ramparts surround a beautiful grass amphitheatre. Once the scene of fierce battles it now hosts the recreation of traditional Inca ceremonies such as Inti Raymi and Warachikuy.

Time permitting you may wander through the beautiful historic centre of Cusco which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 with Inca and colonial architecture evident all around.


Lares trek from Totora canyon to Quishuarani (7km) - Mon 17th Aug

After breakfast, we take a scenic two-hour drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the start of our trek at the small village of Totora. We follow an ancient Inca trail into a narrow canyon, where Inca tombs perch in the cliffs. Emerging from the canyon we pass through tiny rural communities before stopping for a picnic lunch at Chaypa (3,650m/11,975ft).

Our bus then takes us to the small and very traditional community of Quishuarani and our camp for the night at (3,700m/12,140ft).


Lares trek from Quishuarani to Huacahuasi (17km) - Tue 18th Aug

This is a stunning day of hiking. We leave camp behind and climb past colourfully dressed locals and up towards the native forests that our ground handlers have been heavily involved in re-planting. These forests harbour Andean deer, vizcachas and several rare species of birds and are essential to the future of this area.

A further push and we reach the stunning views from our highest pass of the trek, the Huchayccasa pass (4,450m/14,600ft). A chain of emerald blue lakes fills the hillside below us and in the distance rise the snow clad Urubamba mountains. Descending through hand turned potato fields we come to the upper reaches of the ancient community of Cuncani at (3,800m/12,4600ft). From here our bus takes us twenty minutes to our camp at Chancachaca (3,440m/11,286ft) with an option to visit the Lares hot-springs after lunch.


Lares trek from Huacahuasi to Patacancha Valley (19km) - Wed 19th Aug

This is a day filled with encounters with locals. Men head off to work in the potato fields, wooden ploughs slung over their shoulder. Women sit, legs outstretched weaving their traditional clothes on wooden looms. Small children sit motionless guarding herds of alpaca and llama, their ever faithful dog by their side.

We start a 15-minute drive from camp whereby we begin our journey towards the final pass. Lying at 4,200m/13,780ft the Ipsaycocha pass marks the border between Lares and the Patacancha Valley. We start gently ascending and then climb a final steep section to get to the summit. We will have spectacular views of Mount Veronica. We have lunch by the beautiful Ipsay lake then follow an ancient trail to the Patacancha Valley and the village of Patacancha where the trek ends.


Royal Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (12km) - Mon 24th Aug

We start early in the morning and transfer to the train station for the beautiful journey towards Machu Picchu. At km104 we alight, pass through the control and start our walk past the interesting ruins at Chachabamba. Following the ancient Inca trail, we ascend through tropical cloud forest and climb high above the roaring Urubamba River. Whilst walking all we need to carry is a daypack.

An initially challenging ascent is replaced by satisfaction as we reach Wiñay Wayna, a beautiful Inca ruin full of swallows and orchids. We enjoy a picnic lunch and, time-permitting, visit these impressive ruins before joining what is generally considered to be the most spectacular part of the Inca Trail. The contour path through the fascinating cloud forest leads to Inti Puncu, ‘the gateway of the Sun’ and our first glimpse of Machu Picchu.

We savour the moment and, once in the ruins themselves, our guide will give us an extensive walking tour of Machu Picchu explaining the fascinating history of the Incas. If time permits those who wish can explore further to the Inca Bridge, whilst others may prefer to relax and take in the stunning location.

Chichuchas Wasi

Driven by the impact of the COVID-19 world-wide crisis, our international challenges are currently on-hold. We are trying to still support our charity projects through other events until we can get back to the mountains.

Your donation will go towards the emergency food distribution Chicuchas Wasi is providing for 126 families who are still on lock down. The Peruvian school year is closed until March 2021 when the next school year will open. This is a Peruvian safety measure to keep children home until Covid threat is past. 

To find out more about our long term project work with Chicuchas Wasi please visit our website pages at, Chicuchas Wasi in Cusco, Peru. Chicuchas Wasi is a comprehensive primary school for impoverished indigenous girls who attend free of charge.


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