Grade

Difficult

Travel to Vilcabamba & Machu Picchu Trek – 5 Days

Travel to Vilcabamba & Machu Picchu Trek – The Cordillera Vilcabamba is a range of mountains that are home to many historic attractions that were of great importance to the development of Andean civilisation. This part of the Andes mountains was known to be a refuge for the last of the rebel Inkas fleeing from the Spanish invasion; the rebel group of Inkas was led by Manqo Inka II for nearly forty years.

Many lesser travelled trails exist in this part of the Andes; and it’s a rare occurence to encounter other trekkers or groups. Following on the trail is remote, very beautifully surrounded with landscapes and extremely quiet. Trekkers get to pass through snow-capped nevadas on a number of original and well-maintained Inca trails. After all the trek is typically completed over a 5-day itinerary program; although there are variations, particularly on the route out to the trailhead.

It takes most of the day to arrive at the mountain town of Huancacalle from Cusco; passing the abra Malaga en route. Parts of this region are closely surrounded by the Peruvian Amazon jungle. This also makes a nice climatic change to the trekking environment and there are some towns of the jungle nearby; like Quillabamba, Kiteni and Santa Teresa.

 

Day 1
Cusco - Casapata
You'll leave very early in the morning, taking the road to the Sacred Valley of the Inkas. Passing the town of Ollantaytambo, we head towards the Abra Málaga (mountain pass) which you cross, and then descend through the Puna towards the high jungle. At this ecological level the principal activity is agriculture, mainly products such as tea, coca, coffee, cacao and fruits; and we will see the crops. Our first stop is at the archaeological site of Huamanmarca, where there is an important Usnu or ritual platform and a precinct with four double jamb doorways facing the four cardinal points. Continuing to the settlement of Santa María, where you can rest for a few minutes, to then continue on to Huancacalle, the village where we will leave our motorized transport. The journey is long; but the reward is the solitude you enjoy as tourism is not very developed in this area. Here we meet our arrieros (mule-handlers) and mules which will accompany us on our walk. Lunch time. After a short break, beginning your walk to visit the Rosaspata – Vitcos sector of the Vilcabamba Archaeological Park, including a tour of the famous Ñusta Hispana. It is suspected that the tomb of the rebel leader Manco Inka II can be found in this area of the Vilcabamba cordillera. You'll also see the famous white rock. By dusk arriving at Casapata, which will be your campsite, where you'll enjoy dinner and rest.
  • Maximum Altitude: 3060 masl / 10039 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2950 masl / 9678 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 5 km / 3.10 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 3 hrs
Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Day 2
Casapata - Hatumpampa
Again leaving early in the morning, climbing up through the ravine of the Pumachaka river to the Chupana sector where this river begins. Here you'll find segments of Inca Ttrail which you'll follow. Along the way observing local flora, which is used to dye textiles produced in the area. You'll walk through Quechua, Suni and Puna ecological levels. Arriving at the Pillaujasa mountain pass, you'll see the Jasutina pass nearby, in the middle of an Andean landscape worthy of a great picture. Beginning the trail which descends to the valley of the Racchchaka river and following the river upstream, arriving at Hatunpampa, where you'll camp and enjoy a beautiful view of the Tuytubamba snowcapped peak.
  • Maximum Altitude: 4086 masl / 13406 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 3060 masl / 10039 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 17 km / 10.56 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 10 hrs
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3
Hatumpampa - Nogalpampa
Taking the path which climbs to the Yanacocha mountain pass, you'll find a forest of native trees (Qeuña y Kiswar) at over 4500 masl. At the pass itself, you can enjoy a view of the Yanacocha lake, and then begin your walk to the Mojon pass, the last high pass on this trek. The landscape of the Puna reminds us of how far you are from civilisation. Descending through the Mutuypata ravine, where you'll have lunch, and after a rest continuing to the valley of the Saqsarayoq river which you'll cross to reach Nogalpampa, where camp will be setup.
  • Maximum Altitude: 4500 masl / 14764 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2788 masl / 9147 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 14 km / 8.69 m
  • Approximate Walking Time: 8 hrs
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4
Nogalpampa - Aguas Calientes
Resuming your walk downhill through a spectacular native forest, towards the town of Yanatile. Here you'll take transport to the train station at the Hidroelectrica (hydro-electric plant), where you'll board the train that will take you to the town of Aguas Calientes. Overnight in a hotel.
  • Maximum Altitude: 2788 masl / 9147 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2100 masl / 6890 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 13 km / 8 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 5 hrs
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 5
Machu Picchu - Cusco
At sunrise, taking the bus to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, where you will have the chance to climb up to the summit of Huayna Picchu, from where the view is spectacular; Inti Punku (the sun-gate) and the archaeological complex itself. The length of the tour will depend, afterward the train will take you back to the town of Ollantaytambo, where our transport will await us to take us back to Cusco.
  • Maximum Altitude: 2437 masl / 7995 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2070 masl / 6791 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 1.50 km / 0.93 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 3 hrs
Meals included: Breakfast
  • Vilcabamba Trek
  • Machu Picchu Travel

Tour Info

Breakfast x 4
Lunch x 5
Dinner x 4
Private Transport – collection & drop-off
Professional bilingual guide
Cook
Horsemen & mules
All camping equipment (Sleeping bags to hire + Walking sticks)
Accommodation in Aguas Calientes – x1 Night
Machu Picchu Entrance Ticket
Round-trip bus tickets
Return Train to Cusco & transfer to hotel
Hotels before & after (can be organised as part of trip)
Tips for crew
Domestic flights (can be organised as part of trip)
Any additional extras
There will be a pre-trek briefing held usually the evening before departure, at your hotel, to go over the details of the trek and any specific requirements not already captured
Prior to setting off we recommend you steer clear of street food and only eat in good restaurants, to avoid any stomach complaints. Peruvian food can be spicy, it can be strong and rich for many European diets. Likewise with tap water, it is largely untreated, so please avoid at all costs on arrival and stick to bottled water only or sterilised water if you have the right equipment.
We’ll ensure that we cater for all of your dietary needs, at the point of booking we’ll collect this information from you. We can secure special menu requests also for your trek party.
We are able to customise our treks to suit you, but usually our treks are guided by a professional bilingual guide, arriero (horseman) and mules to carry all equipment (passenger horses also available on request), and a mountain cook. They become a large part of your trekking expedition and it’s a great experience working together.
This is a really important part of your trip planning process, please find a link below which explains a little more about preparing for altitude.
Attached below are a couple of links which will explain how to prepare for your trip & trek in advance of your arrival. We recommend being prepared in advance to save time & stress whilst you’re in Peru.
From June through to the end of September, we’re offering one person free on all of our treks for group sizes of 3+. If you are a group of 2 you can add one person for free, or if you’re a group of 3 the third person joins free and so on.

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Included
  • Private transportation Cuzco - Huancacalle
  • Guide service in Spanish / English Sleeping Bag per person (-10 ºC), mummy form (our sleeping bags are cleaned after every use)
  • Sleeping liner
  • Pillow
  • Inflatable sleeping pad
  • Cook and assistant
  • Cooking equipment
  • Food (3 breakfast, 3 lunch, 3 dinner)
  • Daily tea service
  • Dining equipment including chairs and tables
  • Cooking, eating and bathroom tents
  • Vegetarian menu at no extra cost
  • Two person tents (3-people capacity tent – 4 seasons), single tents available for extra cost
  • Mule-handlers
  • Mules
  • Saddled horse (for every 6 passengers there is one saddled horse)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • Train ticket Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Round trip bus ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo
  • Private Transportation Ollanta – Cuzco
 
Not Included
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Extra food
  • Optional tip for field staff
  • Extra costs
Inquire about tour


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