Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu
Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu is a lesser-known yet a fascinating trek to Machu Picchu. During the trek you will see the stunning views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba range and the verdant valleys at lower altitudes. This trek has a perfect combination of nature and history. Vilcabamba mountain range was the last refuge of the Incas after the invasion of the Spanish rule. Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu mostly runs through regions unexplored by majority of travellers. In this trek, we will be visiting the Vitcos which once served as a summer palace of Pachacuti, the ninth Incan ruler. Pachacuti is also known for building Machu Picchu. Hiram Bingham discovered the palace in 1911, the same year he discovered Machu Picchu. We will also be visiting the “White Rock”, which is one of the most sacred pre-Hispanic sites in all of South America.
DeparturePick up from your Hotel
Departure Time5:00 AM.
Return TimeApproximately 6:00 PM.
Dress CodeWarm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk
IncludedAccommodationEntrancesFirst aid kit and emergency oxigenMealsPick up from your HotelProfessional GuideTransportation
Not IncludedWalking Stick
Day 1: CUSCO – MALAGA PASS – HUANCACALLE – PILLAUPATA
At 05:00 in the morning we will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco. We will be traversing through the Sacred Valley of Incas to Ollantaytambo, where we will be stopping for breakfast. From here, we will drive up to Malaga Pass, where would get a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
From here, we will drive down to a remote village of Chaullay, where our vehicle will turn on to a road leading to the town of Quillabamba (1050 meters / 3445 feet) towards Huancavalle (1700 meters / 5575 feet). We will be reaching Huancavalle at around 1:00 pm. Lunch will be served here. After lunch, you will be having a guided tour of the archaeological sites of Vitcos, Rosaspata, and Ñustahispana (White Rock). In the afternoon we will follow a section of original Inca highway for about an hour, as far as our campsite at Pillaupata, where we will spend the night.
Day 2:PILLAUPATA – ASUTINA PASS – RACACHACA – HATUNPAMPA
After breakfast, we will start with our hike. Our guide will be talking to you about the flora and faunas that you will be encountering along the way which are typical to the region. As we head up to Asutina Pass (3915 meters / 12,840 feet) we will have commanding views of the entire area, with vistas stretching for many miles in all directions. Continuing on to Pillaukasa, we will have more gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. We will camp for the night at Racachaca or Hatunpampa, depending on the progress the group has made during the day.
Day 3: HATUNPAMPA – YANACOCHA PASS – MUTUYPATA
From Hatunpampa we will ascend for around three hours to Yanacocha Pass (4420 meters / 14,497 feet). From this point, we will descend for a while before starting our climb to Tullutacana (3340 meters / 10,955 feet). Continuing on our way, we will descend and ascend again, until we reach the third pass at Mujun (3340 meters / 10,955 feet). Although, this leg of the trek if somewhat challenging, we will be rewarded with beautiful scenery as we will be walking along lakes and mountains, experiencing varied landscapes. We will reach our campsite at Mutuypata later that day. You will have enough time here to relax and see the breathtaking scenery that surrounds our campsite.
Day 4: MUTUYPATA – YANATILE – HIDROELECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU
Heading down into the jungle, we will find ourselves in a landscape inhabited by many plants, butterflies and birds as we make our way to the village of Yanatile. From Yanatile, we will continue in our private vehicle towards hydroelectric station. We will stop here for lunch. After relishing a freshly cooked local meal, we will start hiking along the railway lines for two and a half hour to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu pueblo. We will be accomodating you in a comfortable ensuite room in a hotel. In the evening we will meet for dinner and celebrate the completion of our Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu.
Day 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO
At 05:30 in the morning, we will be taking a fifteen minutes ride up to the main entrance of Machu Picchu citadel in a tourist bus. We will try to be among the first set of groups to enter to witness the sun rising over the walls of this lost city of Incas. Machu Picchu is situated on a forested mountain peak amid spectacular scenery.
During the guided tour of the site, our guide will talk about historical and cultural aspects of this lost city. There will also be time, for those who opt to do so, to climb Huayna Picchu mountain, overlooking Machu Picchu and providing unmatched views of the entire Inca city (this option must be booked in advance). In the afternoon we will take the train to Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, from where we will head back to Cusco by road in our private transport.
- The times given on this itinerary are approximate.
- Hiking times depend on how the group progresses.
- The trip offers plenty of adventure.
- For complete information, please send us an email.
- We will have a meeting at your hotel before leaving to give you complete trek details and to answer any questions.
- Students: US$ 29 students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please note that Youth Travel Cards are not valid.
- Teenagers: US$ 20 up to 16 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings.
- Children: US$ 46 up to 10 years of age, passport.
- Pre trek briefing.
- Pick up from your hotel.
- Transport from Cusco to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in private car.
- Entry fee to Vilcabamba and Machu Picchu. (Huayna Picchu $15 extra)
- English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide. (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people)
- Tents – 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
- Basic foam mattress.
- Toilet tent.
- Toilet paper, pack-in &pack out.
- Bio-degradable personal hand soaps.
- Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items. (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person)
- 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower.
- Tents for our staff to sleep in.
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Bus up and down from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu.
- Train or equivalent luggage from Hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes.
- Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
- Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a basic hotel.
- One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment.
- Cook and Cooking equipment. (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
- Meals (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes) Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
- Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals.
- Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes.
- Lunch on the last day is included.
- Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead.
- Dinner on the last night.
- Huayna Picchu entrance fee: if you would like to climb this mountain an additional fee of US $16 per personal applies Breakfast on the first morning
- Entrance to the thermal springs.
- Sleeping bags – If you haven’t got a sleeping bag or you don’t want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.
- Tips: please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as you wish.
- A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
- Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping
- Sleeping bag. (we can hire these to you)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold.
- Sun block.
- After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.
- Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although no malaria risk has been reported.
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
- Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
- Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
- Small towel.
- Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs.
- Cash in soles and/or US$.
- Original passport.
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
- Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended.
- Flashlight/headlamp and batteries.
- Camera and batteries. (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
- Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed into Machu Picchu. Plastic water containers (ie. Nalgene) or metal ones are recommended.
- Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far.
- Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount.
- Optional: walking sticks or poles. (rubber covers required in order not to damage archaeological sites)
- Once you have chosen your tour, please read the Booking Terms & Conditions, as your booking is subject to these terms.
- In case your reservation is confirmed, a money deposit will be requested to secure your reservation.
- Once we confirm the deposit reception, your booking is confirmed. A Service Confirmation Form will be sent to you including all the details of your program.
- Sleeping bag $5 per day.
- Walking Stick $2 per day.
- Inflatable Mattress $5 per day.
PRICE $USD PER PERSONPrivate Group
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