Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu
This trek allows the visitor to see indigenous communities and observe their methods of production and traditional customs, as well as the beautiful scenery, flora and fauna of the area. With the help of local porters, muleteers and horses, this trek is made in three days, arriving on the third day at the village of Ollantaytambo, from where we will be able to take the train to Aguas Calientes. The fourth day is exclusively dedicated to visiting the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, with an afternoon return train journey to Cusco.
DAY 1: Cusco-Calca-Lares -Wacawasi
We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco in the morning for the drive by private bus. The trip leaves Cusco at 6.00 am for Calca, a town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. At this time of the morning it is a spectacular trip. Along the way we will visit the Inca qolqas (granaries) of Muyoq Orqo, and then continue, passing the mountain of Sawasiray before beginning at the Willka Punku pass the ascent to Lares. Here there will be time to rest and enjoy the thermal baths of Lares. After lunch the walk begins to our first campsite at the village of Wacawasi, where we will visit the weaving families and have our evening meal. Camp.
Meals: Lunch, dinner
Driving distance:.Calca – Lares 42km. 26 miles dirt road. Good conditions. Time: 3 hours.
Trek length; Thermal baths – Wuacawasi 6.3 km. 3.9 miles. Time: 3 hours
Main altitudes: Lares 3285m. 10775f. Wuacawasi 3806m. 12483f.
DAY 2: Wacawasi-Ipsayqocha
After breakfast, the trek continues towards Ipsayqocha, a constant climb through the natural habitat of llamas and alpacas. Here there are high Andean birds and panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. In the afternoon we arrive at our second campsite in a completely isolated spot far from any human settlements. Camp.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek length: Wuacawasi – Ipsayqocha 9 km. 5.6 miles. Time: 5 hours
Main altitudes: Wuacawasi 3806m. 12483f., Ipsayqocha 4347m. 14248f.
DAY 3: Ipsayqocha-Ollantaytambo-Aguas Calientes
On this day we reach the high pass of Ipsayqocha at 4350 meters above sea level, in a landscape dotted with herds of llamas and alpacas. Once over the pass, a long descent takes the walker to the indigenous community of Patacancha, where our vehicle will be waiting to take us to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo.
Here there will be enough time to visit this site before being transferred to the train station for the ride to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night at the hotel of your choice (hotel not included).
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek length; Ipsayqocha - Patacancha 6.5km. 4 miles. Time: 3 hours
Main altitudes: Ipsayqocha 4347m. 14248f, Patacancha 3802m. 12470f. Ollantaytambo 2846m. 9335f.
Driving distances: Patacancha to Ollantaytambo 28 km. dirt road (1hour)
Ollantaytambo tour (2-3 hours).
Train Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu 55km by train (2hours)
If you do not like crowded routes, but want to have a good trek with a great natural scenery, then, a great option you have is the Salkantay trek 5 days / 4 nights. Along the way, you will see the Apu Salkantay, the highest peak near Machu Picchu. This snow-capped giant is still central to beliefs of the Incas’ descendants, the Quechua people of the Andes. After a great trek, we will visit Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Cusco / Mollepata / Soraypampa
Early morning, we will pick you up from your hotel in our private bus. We will journey west through the Anta Valley. Then, we will visit the Inca temple of Tarawasi. Continuing with our journey, we will arrive to the village of Mollepata, where we will enjoy of a short visit to this beautiful town. Then, we will continue our journey to Soraypampa (10,660 ft / 3250 m), where our team will be waiting with mules or horses to start out trek. We will hike through beautiful landscapes to Ichupata that will be our first campsite.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner.
Driving travel time: 3.5 hours.
Approximate Walking Time: 4 hours.
Maximum Altitude: Soraypampa 12,693 ft (3869 m).
Day 2: Soraypampa / Chachani Qasa
After a delicious breakfast, we begin our trek climbing above the Rio Blanco. One of the beautiful things of this part of the trek is that we will see condors. We continue the ascent arriving to the Inca Chiriaska pass (15,826 ft / 4825 m) below the south face of Salkantay (20,600 ft / 6247 m ) the highest peak of the Vilcabamba mountain range.Our path continues down and then up to Chachani Qasa, where we will camp.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Distance: 10 miles (16.8 km).
Approximate Walking Time: 6-7 hours
Maximum Altitude: 15,830 ft (4825 m) (Inca Chiriaska pass)
Day 3: Chachani Qasa / Aqoqasa
A short hike takes us to Cruz Qasa pass at 15,465 ft (4715 m) with exceptional views of the Mount Ocobamba (16,813 ft / 5126 m). Then, we will descend to an altitude of 13,615 ft (4150 m), and after that we will ascend to the Chuqeñan pass (14,114 ft / 4302 m). We will continue our beautiful hike across the grassland over 13,451 ft (4100 m) for about 7.5 km to Aqoqasa (13,887 ft / 4234 m ), where we will camp.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance: 7 miles (12.5 km)
Approximate Walking Time: 6 hours
Maximum Altitude: Chachani Qasa 4600 m, Chuqeñan pass 4302 m
Day 4: Aqoqasa / Chillca
This day, we will cross the final pass (1,908 ft / 4446 m). We will descend and pass the ruins of Inca Raqay and the village of Ancasqocha. Then, we will descend the narrow Chillca gorge and the most fertile area of the region - the Urubamba Valley - where we will camp at 9,184 ft (2800 m).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Distance: 12 miles (20.7 km).
Approximate Walking Time: 8 hours.
Maximum Altitude: 15,354 ft (4680 m) (Aqoqasa pass).
DAY 4: Full day at Machu Picchu
The tourists who come from Cusco on this day arrive at the ruins from 10 am onwards, and to avoid these people and to have a much better tour we should take the first bus up to the ruins at 6:30 am, thereby having plenty of time to enjoy the Lost City of the Incas. If weather conditions and the physical condition of the client allow, and if there are spaces available, we may take the optional walk to the summit of Wayna Picchu up the flank of the mountain of that name, with the abyss below.
Our tour will include a visit to the temples, plazas, palaces, watercourses and residential areas. After it, we will have time to take pictures or walk around the Inca citadel. Afterward, we will go down by bus to Aguas Calientes and board the train to return to Cusco.
Tour length: 3 hours in Machu Picchu.
Optional hike to Huayna Picchu peak. (2-3 hours) subject to space available.
Main altitudes:Machu Picchu 2460m. 8068f. Huayna Picchu peak. 2720m. 8922f. Aguas Calientes 2020m. 6625f.
Return to Cusco by train
Driving distance: 55 km. to Ollantaytambo by train. 85 km to Cusco by bus.
2016 Prices: Group trek (minimum of 2 people) = US$1100 per person with Vistadome train or US$1092 per person with Expedition train.
with 2 people = US$1116 per person with Vistadome train or US$1108 per person with Expedition train.
with 3 people = US$904 per person with Vistadome train or US$896 per person with Expedition train.
with 4 people = US$788 per person with Vistadome train or US$780 per person with Expedition train.
Day 5: Machu Picchu
Today we leave the camp early to walk to the train station for the ride to Machu Picchu. We will arrive to Aguas Calientes, where we will take the bus to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Once there, our guide, will explain the history of this Inca citadel. We will return to Cusco in the afternoon.
2016 Prices: Group trek (minimum of 2 people) = US$1114 per person with Vistadome train or US$1074 per person with Expedition train.
with 2 people = US$1136 per person with Vistadome train or US$1096 per person with Expedition train.
with 3 people = US$902 per person with Vistadome train or US$863 per person with Expedition train.
with 4 people = US$772 per person with Vistadome train or US$734 per person with Expedition train.