The retreat of an Inca Ruler
The hike begins in the small village of Siwas (3800 masl), after a short 1, 5 hour drive from the city of Cusco. In the morning we will climb to the highest point of the day, walking slowly and steadily for 1 hour and 30 minutes along this not too difficult ascent to 4060 masl. If the weather permits, in the Southeast we can see far off in the distance the massive mountain of Ausangate, one of the three most sacred mountains around Cusco.
After enjoying the views from the top and taking some memorable photographs we begin the two hour walk down to Huchuy Qosqo. Not too long into our hike we join the principal Inca Trail, passing through the picturesque village of Puka Marka. This place is just the entrance to an amazing ravine. The path crosses this section along a well paved Inca Trail and charming little bridges crisscross the creek that flows down to the Sacred Valley. After the section of bridges we continue walking, enjoying beautiful views of agricultural terraces we may even catch sight of some of the local fauna like deer or exotic indigenous birds. There is a good point nearby Huchuy Qosqo where we can take a break to view the Sacred Valley and the village of Lamay below, right next to the Wilcamayu river, the most sacred and important river for the Inca people. A few more minutes walking from this lookout we reach our principal destination of the day: HUCHUY QOSQO!
We will have plenty of time to enjoy our packed lunch and wander around the Inca Site, getting a great lesson from our knowledgeable guide learning more about this amazing People who were able to build such a incredible places around the Andes of Perú. Huchuy Qosqo is a great cultural example of agricultural engineering with irrigation channels and terraces. Then, with the arrival of the Spaniards, the site changed and now it is home to a big water reservoir built with the stones previously used by the locals who built this place for their Inca Ruler Wiracocha in the early 15th century.
In the afternoon we leave Huchuy Qosqo and descend for about two hours towards the village of Lamay, where we meet our private transportation to take us back to our hotel in Cusco or The Sacred Valley.
Hiking time: 7 Hrs
Altitude range: 3700-2900
Degree of difficulty: Moderate
Meal: Box lunch
DAY 1 - CUSCO TO HUAYLLABAMBAEarly in the morning, we take the way leading from Cusco to Km82 (2750 mt/9130 ft), this is our check point at the beginning of the trek. The trail follows the river valley for a while; this is a good training day before the second more challenging day. Along the way we will pass Wilkaracay with its impressive view of Patallacta which are both important Inca remains. It is just the beginning of a holy trail full of sanctuaries. Today, after about 7 hours walking we will reach our first camping place at Huayllabamba (3000 mt/9842ft). On reaching our camp for the evening we will be met by our trek team, the porters who will have already set up camp and our cook who will be preparing our evening meal. Day Distance: 12 km / 7.3 ml Approximate Walking time: 6-7 hrs Meals: L, D + Snacks
DAY 2 - HUAYLLABAMBA TO PACAYMAYOEver optimistic, the sun will be shining on our second day as we follow the Inca trail to Warmiwañusta (Dead Woman’s Pass). This is considered to be the most challenging trek day as we cross this highest point of the trail at 4200m (13779ft), prepare for a steep uphill until we summit. The sense of achievement is a reward in itself, then a beautiful stone trail will show us the way as we descend to our tents in the campsite at Pacaymayo (3580 mt/11740 ft). On reaching our camp for the evening we will be met by our trek team who will have already set up camp and our cook who will be preparing our mouthwatering evening meal. Day Distance: 11km / 7 ml Approximate Walking time: 8 to 9 hrs. Meals: B, L, D + Snacks
DAY 3 - PACAYMAYO TO PHUYUPATAMARCAWaking up just in time to be served a hot drink, our tents pitched within the surroundings of the cloud forest. After a good and healthy breakfast we continue along this ancient trail passing small marshes, continuing over the second mountain pass of the trek. It is the second highest point of the hike (3,900mt/12,950ft). As we descend we will see the flora and fauna become more abundant with hummingbirds accompanying us along our route. We have lunch at Chaquicocha (3500 mt/11,620 ft) a fine place for a break in the middle of the cloud forest. The last two hours of the day, are some of the most memorable and breathtaking views of the Inca Trail. We reach our last campsite when the sun sets at Phuyupatamarca, a befitting name meaning 'town in the clouds'. Day Distance: 12 km / 7.3 ml Approximate Walking time: 8 to 9 hrs Meals: B, L, D + Snacks
DAY 4 - PHUYUPATAMARCA TO MACHU PICCHUWe begin the final leg of our trek to the lost city of Machupicchu. We descend for 3hrs, about 900m below from Phuyupatamarca. On the way down there are a couple of Incan Archaeological sites: Intipata first, and then Wiñaywayna which is just 2 hrs before the Sungate entrance (“Inti Punku”). Having taken time to enjoy the first glimpse of Machu Picchu; we walk down in to the astonishing complex for a full tour to learn from our guide all about this fascinatingly unique Citadel. Later we take the bus down to be on time for the train back to Ollantaytambo, from here, our private transport will bring us back to Cusco. Day Distance: 7.3 km / 4.5 ml Approximate Walking time: 5 hrs Meals: B, L + Snacks
Machu Picchu EXTENSION
At Quechua Treks we aim to provide bespoke itineraries suited to each adventurer down to the last detail, we want to create your dream experience. Together, we can customize our itineraries with additional activities ranging from a variety of ‘adrenaline pumping’, ‘culture vulture’ or ‘relax and unwind’ options to best fit your needs throughout your tour. Check out our ideas for inspiration and let us know what captures your imagination!
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