This trek is like no other in the Cusco region. It is a perfect option for people who prefer a slightly shorter trek at a lower altitude (the highest pass is 3,800 meters). While this trek is the shortest of the alternatives, it also has the most ruins to see along the way as well. What is really special about our version of this trek is the opportunity to stay at the home of a typical host family on the side of the mountain, overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas below you. Out the window of the room where you will stay, you will be able to see the sunrise over the beautiful Huchuy Qosqo ruins (home of the only 3 story Inca complex). The house does not have electricity, and there are guinea pigs running around, so it really is a very authentic experience! Also, The Patabamba community tourism association offers a fascinating participative demonstration of the weaving process, all the way from picking the plants to making dyes, to shearing sheep and setting up a loom – with explanations of the meanings of colors and patterns.
Day 1: Cusco – Patabamba – Huchuy Qosqo
We will begin the tour with an early morning pick up from your hotel, at 7:30am, to drive over to Patabamba (3800m). The day’s hike will start at this point, and will continue through Andean landscapes and over the Pukamarca Pass at 3,800m. We will hike along a path that leads to the Tauca town, where we encounter archaeological remains and wild crops, such as tarwi, and a large quantity of cactus. We continue on to the Pukamarca pass at 4200m, where we enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and immense mountains: Veronica, Pitusiray, Chicon and the San Juan snow peaks.
Continuing along the path, we will descend towards the beautiful, remote Andean pueblo Pukamarca at 4010m, where we stop and have a short break. Once back on the move, we will walk downhill to a mystical ancient path which will lead us to the Leon Punku Ravine. We will be led into a very narrow corridor, between some immense rock walls, where we will discover Incan remains and various Incan bridges and sets of stairs (some of the best examples of Incan stairs anywhere in the world). This canyon is absolutely magical and boasts geological formations surrounded by majestic rocks and boulders that direct the river to Huchuy Qosqo at 3600m, where we will soon be arriving. Upon our arrival to the ruins in the evening, we will actually continue on past the ruins and to our accommodation for the night. We will have dinner and sleep in the typical home of a native of the area, just to the side of the Huchuy Qosqo ruins. (L / D)
Day 2: Huchuy Qosqo – Chinchero Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
After a delicious breakfast, there will be a guided tour of the Huchuy Qosqo Inca City, in which you will discover amazing Inca buildings, sacred temples, farming terraces, storehouses, water channels and an Inca reservoir. After you have had time to explore everything, we head downhill to Lamay for 2 hours. Our private van will take you to Urubamba, city where we will have lunch.
Afterwards we head to the archaeological site of MORAY also known as “The Greenhouses of the Incas,” which is a unique and fascinating site, built prior to the Incas. Different levels of terraces are carved into a huge bowl, part of which was further excavated by the Incas. The terraces have varied microclimates, depending on how deep into the bowl they were used by the Incas to discover the optimal growing conditions for their crops. After you have time to enjoy and explore the site, we continue driving towards the colonial town of Maras and to the Pre-Inca Salt Mine (Salineras). Thousands of saltpans have been used for salt extraction since before Inca times. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt laden water, which is diverted into saltpans and evaporated to produce a salt that is used now for both human and animal consumption. It is quite beautiful the array of saltpans carved around the area.
Then we continue our journey to Ollantaytambo where we will explore the stunning astronomical Inca City of Ollantaytambo. By late afternoon, we take the train to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night in a hotel.
hotels. (B / L/D)
Day 3: Machu Picchu – Cusco
After enjoying an early morning breakfast at your hotel, you will want to take the earliest bus up to Machu Picchu that you can. The first bus leaves at about 5:30 am and arrives to the ruins about 30 minutes later (though the line for the first bus starts a good deal earlier). You will be able to explore around the ruins yourself, or you can sign up to climb Huayna Picchu, before taking part in your 2 and a half hour guided tour of the site. Your guide will explain the rich history and architecture of this astounding site to you as he shows you around. Afterwards, you will have some more time to explore on your own, or to walk up Huayna Picchu, before descending back down the mountain to Aguas Calientes, to catch the afternoon train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco. (B)
Private transport from Cusco to Patabamba (starting point of the trek)
Professional English speaking guide
Emergency horse (in case you want to ride for a bit)
First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
Private transport from Lamay to Aguas Calientes
Huchuy Qosqo entrance fees
Transport from Lamay to Ollantaytambo
Meals during trek as stated above
Vegetarian meals on request
Wranglers with horses (for personal things and food and cooking equipment)
Expedition Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
One night’s stay at a hotel in Aguas Calientes
Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
Guided tour of Machu Picchu
Bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
Return backpacker train to Poroy
Transfer from Poroy to Cusco
What is not included?
Sleeping bag (can be hired from us)
Considering an extra night in Aguas Calientes? We can change the date of your train ticket to the following day. Hotel and other costs associated with returning to Machu Picchu the following day are additional to trek costs. Please also note that your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is valid for one day only, if you wish to visit the ruins on a second consecutive day you will need to purchase another ticket.
Aguas Calientes Extra Day Upgrade Package (optional)
With hikes that trek the traditional Inca Trail, the standard package has clients returning to Cusco at the end of the trek, and they don’t spend a night in Aguas Calientes. This package provides clients the opportunity to stay in Aguas Calientes for an extra night, visit Machu Picchu for a second day and then return to Cusco by the comfortable Vistadome train.
Cost: $195 per person on twin share basis. This price doesn’t change depending on the number of people in the group.
Second day’s entry to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, valued at $75
Bus up and down to ruins on extra day, valued at $24
1 night in a 3 star hotel, like Killa Inn Plaza Andina. These are nice hotels, well decorated, and clean.
With limited eating choices at Machu Picchu hunger tends to send clients to Aguas Calientes; by including the buffet lunch we find that clients can visit Machu Picchu early, then go to the buffet to try lots of different Peruvian (and Western) dishes, rest and go back for a second look at Machu Picchu.
Return in Vistadome train rather than Expedition train, which gives you the opportunity for a more varied timetable and to return in a nicer train, with big windows in the roof.
** Please contact us for a price for the same package but with 2 star accomodation and return in Expedition Train service **
Explanation of services: 2019
Joing a group sign-up and save costs
2 people : US$600.00 per person
4 people : US$550.00 per person
6 people : US$500.00 per person
STUDENT DISCOUNT: $35 off per personStudent Discounts apply to anyone who has a valid GREEN ISIC card at the time of the trek or is 16 years old or younger. For those using an ISIC card to receive the discount, we do need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 16 years old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to [email protected]
Under 15 years will pay as student: US$35.00
Under 7 years Discount: US$50.00
ADDITIONAL ITEMS:As you see in our Additional Items under Trip Overview, there are several optional upgrades you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices, but check our Overview section for more details.
Huaynapicchu: $75 per person
Vistadome Train (One Way): $80 per person
Vistadome Train (One Way): $80 per person
Sacred Valley Tour:
City Tour: $
Maras Moray Tour: