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HAYUNI LINES – OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN CUSCO

Hayuni Lines – Get ready to explore the new wonders of the Andes of Cusco. visit before it gets crowded like Rainbow Mountain

Have you ever been in a situation where you are the first tourist in one place, and you are allowed to name the new tourist attraction?

While I was in my office, I got a call from Elizabeth who works in APU ANDINA (an NGO that helps remote villages promote their tourist attractions) saying that my company AB Expeditions is invited to explore one place which can be a potential tourist attraction like the Rainbow Mountain. Of course, I accepted, because I love to explore hidden places. She never told me what it was.  I assumed it was another colorful Mountain or a beautiful lake. I was so curious.

It was Agust 21st, 2019. I woke up so early to go to the meeting point. I saw Elizabeth with her boss waiting for me. She introduced me to her boss called Erland and told me to wait for another travel companies owner. We waited for about 40 minutes and nobody showed up. It was only me in the van with 15 seats empty, so I thought it would be canceled. After a long wait, Erland said, “I promised to the president of the community of Hayuni to go today, I can’t break my promise”

Hayuni Lines People

Heading to Hayuni Lines 

We drove for about 3 hours until the trailhead.  On the way there we picked up the president of Hayuni. Once we get the trailhead I ask the president where I can buy a bottle of water and you know what, there was not any shop around. So I didn’t have water and snacks to hike to this unknown place.

Hayuni Lines local woman wearing her traditional costume

The president briefed us about the hike. It will be hiking around 3 hours round trip.   First, we hiked to the viewpoint from where we could see the Rainbow Mountain and the Ausangate glacier. In the beginning, the path was almost flat. Then it was uphill to the viewpoint. On the last part of the hike, the trail got narrow and it was very steep.  

I was out of breath and the president was joking with me “how come a guide who has done many times the Rainbow Mountain can suffer here”.  I know I have done many treks.   More than a hundred times, like Inca Trail, which is my favorite trek.  However, walking the speed of the local people is not easy at all. This part of the trek reminded me when I went to explore the Rainbow Mountain in October 2015 before anyone offered the trip from Cusco.  I couldn’t catch up to my horsemen even though he was older than me.

 Once we get to the viewpoint we couldn’t see the Rainbow Mountain or Ausangate because the clouds covered them.  It was disappointing to walk all that way and see nothing. After taking some pictures, we went down the hill to see the second place. I had wanted to see the view from the top. I walk down sadly to the next place.

 

Hayuni lines woman

Getting There

After 15 minutes we could see some lines coming from the hill. Once we got closer I was so amazed by the lines on the hill. I was not expecting to see this kind of marvel. We ran for photos everywhere like tourists. You know what?  We were the first tourists in this amazing place. I was so proud of myself to be one of the first foreigners on this área. It was so worth it to hike all the way up without water and snacks. After taking so many pictures, the president showed us some figures of animals on the lines such as Pumas, Alpacas, and Llamas.

Hayuni Guide

Round-shape rocks

I walked a bit farther and I was shocked by the shape of the rocks. They were like tires and they were on the line. They are so impressive. We tried to figure out how they could have been made. Since there are not any pieces of information about this place yet,  we wondered if the lava of the volcáno did all this round shape rock and the lines. I hope to bring a geologist with me next time to explain it. 

Round shape rocks at Hayuni community

Apart from this marvel, we met with a lot of Alpacas and the local people beautifully dressed in their typical clothes. They come to us to take a picture with them. Of course, they ask for 1 sole to take pictures as a tip. They only speak Quechua, so it was easy for me to communicate with them because my first language is Quechua. They asked me to bring a lot of tourists to their marvel so they can have extra income. 

After exploring, we walk back to the other side of the mountain where is not much wind. We sat and enjoy lunch which the President and the farmers brought to share with us. We ate dry potatoes called Chuño. Since I grew in a remote village, I m familiar with this type of food. It was so delicious.

Naming the new place

Once we finished the food, the president said, this place doesn’t have a name.    Since we are the first tourist, we have to give it a commercial name. First, at all, I asked the farmers what is the original name of this place. They said Qollpa Wayc’o in the Quechua language which is difficult to pronounce. One of the farmers raised his hand and he said “We decide on our community meeting this place will be called Montaña de la Bestias (beast Mountains). Erland joked about this name and he decided to put that name as a nickname to all people who are with us. And then Elizabeth mentioned one name which was interesting HAYUNI LINES. Everybody agreed to call with this name because these lines belong to this Hayuni Community which makes sense.

Hayuni Tour guide

After our meeting, we walked back to the trailhead. It so easy because it was all downhill. Once we arrived at the trailhead we were tired and hungry. Then we drove for about 1 hour and stopped in the shop where we bought some fruit and bread. We then drove back to Cusco.

HOW CAN I GET THE HAYUNI LINES?

You need to take the bus which goes from Garcilazo stadium to Sicuani. You get off on Quiquijana town where you take colectivos to Hayuni Village. The colectivos run only Saturday and Sundays and they don’t go up to the Trailhead. You need to private taxi to the trailhead. From the trailhead, you need to go to the north which will be on your left side.  Some local people live on the Trail.  You can ask which direction to go.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO?

The best time to go to this place is from April to October when it is the dry season in Cusco. Take warm clothes because on the top it is very cold.

HAYUNI LINES WEATHER

The weather in the area of Hayuni lines is usually divided into two seasons: dry and wet. The zone of Huyuni Lines, Cusco forms part of the Cordillera Vilcanota in the Peruvian Andes. The dry season is from May to November, mostly with sunny days, with a minimum percentage of rain or wet days.  This is the recommended time to take any of the treks to the Hayuni Lines.  The rainy season starts from December to April, with hail storms, snowing, cloudy days, and less visibility on the mountains.