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How to get to Patakancha and Huilloc

To get to Patakancha and Huilloc, indigenous weaving communities in the mountains above Ollantaytambo, you have three options. You may prefer to use a local guide, especially if you wish to visit indigenous people there in order to buy weavings and see how they live their ecological subsistence lifestyle, growing potatoes, farming animals such as chicken, sheep and alpaca and weaving homespun wool.

  • Walk (or cycle if you like pushing the bike uphill) - find a local guide such as Arturo Usandivares in Ollantaytambo or make your own way. On the main street towards the ruined fortress in Ollantaytambo take the first right after the plaza, between the restaurant Tunupa and KB Tambo and just keep walking up that road, using the shortcuts to cut the corners on the switchbacks, particularly a big elbow just past the bridge where the road turns right leaving the last houses in Ollantaytambo. Carry on through the various communities until you reach Huilloc and later Patakancha. You need to be fit to do this walk uphill and to get to Huilloc takes about six hours and Patakancha eight hours.

  • Ride a horse, which Mario Tapia Meza can organise and will accompany you.

  • Local truck, 7am on Saturdays to Huilloc and then Patakancha, 7am on Sundays to Huilloc first and then the same truck goes on to Patakancha a few hours later, or if you don’t want to stop so long in Huilloc you could just keep walking up the road for two hours. You can put a bike on the truck, which you might hire in Cusco, Urubamba or Ollanta, then ride down - bumpy but fun.

  • Taxi, from the plaza in Ollantaytambo or from the petrol station or plaza in Urubamba. You could call local taxi driver Raul Choquehuillca.

 

There is a beautiful trek on from Patakancha to Lares, also possible in reverse and possible in one day without a heavy pack (so no need to take camping equipment if you get transport up to Patakancha and stay in a basic hostel in Lares), but easier in two. The route is difficult and it is recommended that you hire a guide from Ollantaytambo (such as  Arturo Usandivares or Mario Tapia Meza) or Patakancha (such as Juan Yupanki or Bernadino Quispe) to show you the way and you may also hire mules to help with your kit. Take rain gear and plenty of food, water and coca leaves to chew and share with locals. You may want to buy weavings in which case take 10 to 100+ soles to buy belts, small bags or blankets.