Vilcabamba to 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 civilization. So then; 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-traveled trails exist in this part of the Andes, and it’s a rare occurrence to encounter other trekkers or groups. Following on the trail is remote, and beautifully surrounded by landscapes with quiet serenity. 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.
Breakfast x 4
Lunch x 5
Dinner x 4
Private Transport – collection & drop-off
Professional bilingual guide
Horsemen & mules
All camping equipment (Sleeping bags to hire + Trekking Poles)
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 organized as part of the trip)
Tips for crew
Any additional extras
Domestic flights (can be organized as part of the trip)
|Joining Arrangements||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.|
|Food & Water||Prior to setting off we recommend you steer clear of street food and only eat in good restaurants, to avoid any stomach complaints. Likewise with tap water, it is largely untreated, please only consume bottled water only or sterilised water if you have the right equipment.|
|Special Diets||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.|
|Trekking Crew||We are able to customise our treks to suit you, but usually our treks are guided by a professional bilingual guide, mountain cook, arriero (horseman) and mules to carry all equipment (passenger horses also available on request). 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. Altitude Preparation
|Machu Picchu||An excursion to Machu Picchu is included as part of your trip, including professional bilingual guide, entrance tickets, return trip bus tickets, Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountains (mountain climbs to be confirmed on reservation) & your return train ticket to Cusco. To be confirmed on reservation.|
|Covid-19 (Coronavirus)||We are working with the latest protocols issued by the Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) to ensure our operations are safe and compliant for the future. We also have access to on-call health services for your time with us.|
|Covid-19 (Useful Links)||World Health Organisation | World Health Organisation – Peru | Covid-19 Data – Peru | Covid-19 Daily Statistics|
|Available Discounts||Throughout 2022 we’re offering a 15% discount for each member of a group larger than 4+|
|Reservation||Please contact us to reserve your trek and we will send you our deposit & payment options.|
|Customer Service||Please feel free to contact us at any point before your trip for any queries or problems.|
You’ll leave very early in the morning, taking the road to the Sacred Valley of the Inkas. Passing the town of Ollantaytambo, heading 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 you’ll 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 meeting 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.
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 Trail 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.
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.
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.
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 on how long you would like to explore, afterward the train will take you back to the town of Ollantaytambo, where our transport will await us to take us back to Cusco.