Although lesser known than Machu Picchu and the Amazon national parks, Markawasi park is gaining in popularity. Located just a few hours from Lima, the park is famous for it’s stone forests and frequent UFO sightings.
Neither its fearsome abyss, nor the gruelling hill that they will have to walk up to get there, nor the low temperatures in the area discourage seasoned travelers who visit Markawasi in Peru.
Since this is the best time of year to be dazzled by its breathtaking landscapes, deep blue skies and the incredible rock formations stationed over 4,000 meters above sea level, here are some tips to make your natural adventure 100% formidable.
Tourists camp out in Markawasi ampitheater during the sunny season, from April to November.
It is important to know that Markawais (also spelled Marcahuasi) is a completely deserted plateau, where there are no shelters, places to eat or drinking water.
The town of San Pedro de Casta, about 4 kilometers from the plateau, only has a municipal hostel that can accommodate 90 visitors per night, and some family homes which offer about 150 beds. So if you plan to live the full experience, you must send at least one night camping on the plateau.
According to the Sierra Verde tourism group, it is best to have a map you can buy in San Pedro de Casta. They also advise people to travel in groups and with a guide due to the climatic and geographical conditions of the area and, above all, because these professionals know the best hours and points to admire the landscape.
The trail begins at park Echenique, in Chosica, from where buses depart to San Pedro de Casta. The famous 13-curve slope announces the proximity of the village, which is our first stop. Know that to enter Markawasi, you must pay five soles, register in the tourist office and walk about three hours to the plateau.
There are two well-marked paths. The short one, which takes you to La Cabaña and the Monument of Humanity, and the long one that takes you to the Amphitheater – with its derivation in Portachuelo – and then to La Fortaleza. It is a three hour walk with fairly high level of difficulty (level three). It is convenient to hire a horse and donkeys to carry the load, because you have to save energy to explore the plateau,” says Sandro Sandoval, creator of the website for this mystical destination.
During the night, take into account the low temperatures that reach zero degrees and strong winds that produce a lower thermal sensation. That is why it is advisable to camp in the area called the amphitheater (which is a large crater-shaped depression) or somewhere closed by the rock formations.