Vilcabamba to Espiritupampa Trek – 7 Days

Vilcabamba to Espiritupampa Trek: The last capital of the Incan resistance; known by them as Vilcabamba, it was named Espiritu Pampa by the Spanish. Manco Inca retreated from Ollantaytambo to Vitcos; and finally to Vilcabamba. Manco Inca brought together all those of the royal blood he could find; men and women alike, and retired to the wild forest of the Antis; to a place called Villcapampa where he lived in exile and solitude as one can imagine a dispossessed and disinherited prince would live. Until one day he was slain by a Spaniard whom he had sheltered and protected from enemies who had sought his death.

Enjoy an adventure taking you along historic trails used by the rebel Incas, as well as their pursuers.

This is the ultimate Machu Picchu Alternative trek. The route typically traverses South to North; to Espiritu Pampa and onto Chaunquiri (approx. 11-12 days trekking).

From here trekkers are transported by vehicle to Quillabamba where you can overnight should you wish to head to Machu Picchu on the final day. So then; the following day, you’ll take a bus to the Hydroelectric Station via Santa Theresa; and onto Aguas Calientes before heading up to the Incan Citadel.

Day 1
Cusco - Abra Malaga - Santa María - Huancacalle
Leaving the city of Cusco very early in the morning to travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, up to abra Malaga (4300 masl / 14108 ft), from where begin our steep descent into the high jungle of the southern Andes. We cross fields of fruit trees, coca, tea, coffee etc., in a warm climate. Arriving at Santa Maria, a small town where you'll have a short rest, then continuing our journey passing by Chaullay, a turning in the road which leads to the warm and friendly city of Quillabamba. Arriving in the town of Huancacalle (2995 masl / 9826 ft), time for lunch and rest before your trek in the afternoon. Starting this trek takes a trail which leads you to the archaeological site of Rosaspata – Vitcos. This important ritual site, is where the leader Manco Inca II was killed. Next visiting the site of Vitcos with its ceremonial rocks, on the way to Ñusta Hispana. Here you'll find water channels, some ruined buildings, and the White Rock or Yurac Rumi: an amazing carved stone with a representation of the Chakana or Inca Cross, as well as other carvings. Returning to Huancacalle by following an original Inca trail, to have dinner and spend the night.
  • Maximum Altitude: 3041 masl / 9977 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2995 masl / 9826 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 6.5 km / 4 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 3 hr
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 2
Huancacalle - Vilcabamba La Nueva - Abra Collpajasa Ututo
Leaving Huancacalle for the town of New Vilcabamba, founded by the Spanish. You'll follow the path uphill, crossing the ecological levels Quechua and Suni to the Collpajasa pass, the highest point on our trek. You will begin your descent, finding along your way ancient crossroads that have sadly been destroyed by the road. Following a beautiful path along the banks of the Pampacona River, entering the high jungle. Arriving at the site named Ututo, where you'll spend the night after a long day walk…
  • Maximum Altitude: 3860 masl / 12664 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2960 masl / 9711 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 21.65 km / 13.45 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 10 hr
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3
Ututo - Huayna Pukara - Vista Alegre
You'll leave camp to descend to the Huayna Pukara sector, the last point of resistance by the Inca army. A spectacular location for this last stand through an ambush, which was betrayed with the previous Spanish victory. The trek is through a semi-tropical forest. The trail finally leads us to the school of Vista Alegre, where you'll have dinner and spend the night.
  • Maximum Altitude: 2960 masl / 9711 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2017 masl / 6617 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 14.25 km / 8.85 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 7 hr
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4
Vista Alegre - Concebidayoq
Continuing your path by following the legendary route where the last rebel Incas fleed the Spanish invasion. You'll enjoy this Inca Trail as it passes a fascinating rainforest where the flora and fauna join the historical stories associated with this hike. Arriving at camp in Concebidayoq, you'll take dinner and camp for the night.
  • Maximum Altitude: 2017 masl / 6617 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 1498 masl / 4915 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 16.42 km / 10.20 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 7 hr
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5
Concebidayoq - Espiritupampa
Today is a short walk to the campsite of Vilcabamba (Espiritu Pampa). You'll leave the campsite to follow the trail towards Vilcabamba, the last capital of the Tawantinsuyo. Walking the “Thousand Steps”, an Inca trail that leads to Vilcabamba. Arriving at site, the camp is set up and you begin your tour of the archaeological complex, visiting all the sectors that are open. Here you'll stop to eat, then continue touring. Later on returning to camp, where you'll enjoy a good dinner, followed by a good rest.
  • Maximum Altitude: 1498 masl / 4914 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 1449 masl / 4753 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 4.46 km / 2.77 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 2 hr
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6
Espiritupampa - Kiteni
Leaving your campsite at Vilcabamba, you'll walk towards Azulmayo, private transport will be waiting to take you to the town of Kiteni, where you'll have lunch, dinner and camp down for the night.
  • Maximum Altitude: 1449 masl / 4753 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 593 masl / 1945 ft
  • Distance Travelled: 8 km / 4.97 ml
  • Approximate Walking Time: 3 hr
  • From Azulmayo to Kiteni (Private Transport)
  • Distance: 21 km / 13.04 ml
  • Duration: 4 – 5 hr
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7
Kiteni - Quillabamba - Cusco
Enjoying a visit to “Siete Tinajas”, a series of waterfalls with many small pools. Leaving in private transport for the city of Cusco, where you'll arrive to check-in to your hotel for the night.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Tour Info

Breakfast x 6
Lunch x 7
Dinner x 6
Private Transport – collection & drop-off
Professional bilingual guide
Horsemen & mules
All camping equipment (Sleeping bags to hire + Walking sticks)
Hotels before & after (can be organised as part of trip)
Extension trips to Machu Picchu
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.

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  • 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 (7 breakfast, 7 lunch, 6 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
  • Private Transportation Kiteni – Cuzco
Not Included
  • Extra food
  • Optional tip for field staff
  • Extra costs
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