Vilcabamba & Machupicchu Trek
Vilcabamba & Machupicchu Trek
Vilcabamba is located northwest of Cusco, in the province de la Convención, in the eastern mountain range of the Andes; it has a chain of snow-covered peaks and high forest mountains with constant climatologic changes. It is demarcated by two very deep canyons, the canyon of Apurímac on the left and Willcamayu on the right
Itinerary Included Requirements FAQ Map
Day 01: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Malaga Pass – Chaullay – Vilcabamba
Early in the morning we will leave the hotel to head northwest of Cusco. On the way we will observe the ancestral town of Chinchero (3760m / 12336f) and Ollantaytambo where will be the place to have a short rest. Continuing our transport we will arrive at the highest point of the trip called Málaga pass (4315m/ 14157f), and after this we will descend through the valley of Amaybamba, with an impressive view of snow-caped mountains and cloudy forests to Chaullay (1200m / 3937f) there, we will change our direction to drive up for about 3 hours to Huancacalle (3000m / 9843f). We spend the night in the familiar hostel of Huancacalle.
- Traveling time: 8 hours.
Day 02: Vilcabamba (Huancacalle) – Vitcos Rosaspata – Abra Puma Chaca or Azutina - Inka Wasi
Today we visit the settlements of Vitcos Rosaspata (3080m / 10105f) and Ñustahispana (3050m / 10007f) in spite of we will explore the resent excavations that are being restored. The superb of stone highway is visible between the vegetation and in all directions runs within Vilcabamba ´the last dynasty of the Incas´. We will take the pass of the day, which is Azutina (3900m / 12795f). After this we will go down to Inca Wasi (3600m / 11811f) where our camp will be.
- Hiking time: 7 hours
- Climate: Mild, cold climate and mosquitoes.
Day 03: Inca Wasi – Racachaca – Hatún Pampa
During this day we will again be seeing a part of the Inca Trail that leads to the community of Racachaca (3700m / 12139f). We will also have a magnificent view on the snowed peaks of Lazuna (5470m / 17946f) and part of the chain of Sacsarayoc. The population of Racachaca is generally very nice and will welcome us and share their knowledge with us about the customs and traditions. Our camp will be in Hatumpampa (4000m / 13123f).
- Hiking time: 5 hours
- Climate: cold
Day 04: Hatún Pampa – Mojón pass – Mutuy pata
Today will be the most arduous and wonderful landscape because of the challenge ecosystem will go through, the passes of Yanacocha (4420m / 14501f), Tullu tacana (4500m / 14436f) and Mojón (4500m / 14763f), with an excellent view on the snow-peak Salkantay (6264m / 20551f).
We will descend observing the trail that is not very well, because of the rain season and the erosion of the mountains. This region is solely of the farmers, where groups of tourists sporadically are to be found. Continuing, we pass by Soyro Cocha (3600m / 11811f) and the dimmed forest of Mutuypata (3250m / 10663f), where we will be camping.
- Hiking time: 9 hours
- Climate: cold and warm with mosquitoes.
Day 05: Mutuy pata – Yanatile – Santa
Going through the valley of Mutuypata, we will get to see a great sight of flora and fauna, having the course down the river Sacsara and we go to the town of Yanatile (2000m / 6562f). Here we have the possibility of continuing to Santa Teresa (1850m / 6070f) in a public transport ´truck´. In the town of Santa Teresa we will spend the night in familiar hostel and we will have the possibility of visiting the thermal baths.
- Hiking time: 5 hours
- Climate: warm climate with mosquitoes.
Day 06: Santa Teresa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
In the morning we will have a long walk by the edge of the Willcamayu river. We take a typical transport of this region called cable car “Oroya” which will bring us to the other side of the river. During this trail you can also see the Mayubamba waterfall and the mountain of Machu Picchu. Arriving at the hydroelectric station (1950m / 6398f), the train will be ready to go to Aguas Calientes (2050m / 6762f), where we will spend the night.
- Hiking time: 4 hours
- Climate: in a warm climate with mosquitoes.
Day 07: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
It is recommendable to visit the lost city of the Incas early in the morning; we will go by tourist bus to Machu Picchu (2400m / 7874f), where we are going to rediscover the policy and ancestral technique in agriculture, astronomy and religious center in harmony whit nature. After this the participants have enough time to walk through Machu Picchu themselves before returning to the village of Aguas Calientes and taking the train back to Cusco. The climate in Machu Picchu is warm with mosquitoes.
What one needs to bring
Backpack, sleeping bag, clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket, sweater, trekking shoes and trousers, polo’s/ t-shirts, rain poncho, hat, sun block cream, insect repellent and disinfecting alcohol and gel, bottle of water and sterilizing tablet, camera (wrapped in plastic bag), flash light and batteries, some snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruit, original passport, ´ISIC´-student card and extra money in soles.
- Private transport from the hotel to Huancacalle.
- High quality camping equipment (We use professional tents, Doite, Model Kailas 3, extra light / 4.5kgs and Doite, Model Himalaya, extra light / 4.5kgs, both for 2 persons. Mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent).
- Meals during the excursion (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks / Option vegetarian).
- Professional bilingual guide.
- Cook and assistant.
- Horseman and mules, for all our camping and personal equipment of customer.
- Emergency horse.
- Transport from Yanatile to Santa Teresa.
- Transport from Santa Teresa to the hydroelectric station.
- Train from the hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes.
- Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco or train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and Cusco by bus.
- Familiar hostel in Huancacalle.
- Familiar hostel in Santa Teresa.
- Entrance fees to Machu Picchu.
- Bus 2 ways, from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
- Hostel in Aguas Calientes (Machupicchu, continental or similar).
- First-aid kit, oxygen bottle and safety rope.
- Breakfast on the first excursion day.
- Lunch in Aguas Calientes.
- Sleeping bag (If you don’t have this, we can offer it)
- Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
FOR YOUR DUFFEL:
Remember you are packing for 5 nights of camping and 1 night in a hotel. Porters will carry up to 8 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.
- 2 wicking t-shirts
- 2 hiking pants
- 4 sets of undergarments.
- 3 sets of hiking socks
- Bathing suit for Hot Springs
- 1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket: this trek includes 2 cold nights camping
- 1 Rain jacket and pants
- 1 sun hat
- 1 wool hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean - might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
- Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.
- Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least
- Face moisturizer
- Bug spray
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
INSIDE YOUR DAYPACKS:
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside citadel gates.
PassportValid, STUDENT card (if you booked as a student)Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)Good daypack (the smaller, the better)Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
- Water: we supply clean water at each meal. You are responsible for your first morning of water only as we won't have time to filter water until your first lunch.
- Rain gear
- Music (IPhone)
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
- Hire of sleeping bag 5 season $25.00
- Walking stick highly recommended! $15.00
- Single supplement $60.00
- Additional night at 3 star hotel $85.00
- Huaynapicchu entrance $30.00
- Machupicchu Entrance $30.00
Is the trek difficult? Do I need to be in good physical condition?
All our treks (Inka Trail, Salkantay, Ausangate, Lares, etc) are moderately difficult, lengthy and traverse rough mountain terrain. We kindly recommend that if you plan to conquer any of these routes to be in relatively good physical condition, plus acclimatization. These means arriving to Cusco at least 02 days prior to your trek departure to adjust to altitude. During the last two months leading up to your trek we suggest a regular and moderate exercise routine to improve endurance and stamina. We wish for you to have the best experience possible! To Cusco at least 02 days prior to your trek departure to adjust to altitude. During the last two months leading up to your trek we suggest a regular and moderate exercise routine to improve endurance and stamina. We wish for you to have the best experience possible!
Are vegetarian, vegan, and/or other special diet needs available?
Of course! Without any additional costs! When you make your reservation, please inform us of any dietary needs or requirements, including allergies!
Vegetarian foods will be absent of all meats, chicken or fish. We will assume that eggs and cheese or other lactose products are OK.of all meats, chicken or fish. We will assume that eggs and cheese or other lactose products are OK.
Most of our main meals are a buffet-style, leaving you the option to avoid anything undesirable to you.
If there are any food items or veggies that you cannot stomach, perhaps onions, tomatoes, mushrooms.. etc, upon your request we will ask our chef to leave them out or separate this item.
We can also attend lactose-intolerant or gluten-intolerant diets. We cannot accept individuals with serious allergic or life-threatening reactions.
I have a food allergy. May I still participate?
Every day we receive many clients with food allergies to nuts, wheat, etc. Please inform us in detail of your condition upon making your reservation.
We kindly ask that you declare the severity of your reaction and any medication that you take in case of emergency.
If your allergy is severe, we ask that you be accompanied by a friend or individual conscious and fully responsible of your situation and ready with any medication.
WE CANNOT ACCEPT CLIENTS WITH LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGIES
When must I arrive in cusco or arrive to your office?
We require that all clients arrive to Cusco at least 48 hours before the start of your trek, although 03 nights before is ideal. You must pay your remaining balance two days before your departure for your trek. This will assure that all individuals are acclimatized and adjusted to the high altitude conditions to begin your trek comfortably. Please note that your remaining balance must be paid in cash in our office and cannot be paid before your arrival.
Our office hours are Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 1:00pm, 4:00pm – 8:00pm. (Please aim to arrive 7:30pm at the latest!)
Are hiking sticks or poles necessary?
For this trek more than any other, we do recommend hiking sticks, especially for those with any known knee problems. The poles will assist your balance and reduce the impact on your knees.
Inca Footsteps Company will rent hiking sticks for $25
Where can I store my baggage that I dont need for the trail?
Any baggage that is not necessary for your trek may be stored in your hotel in Cusco (most hotels offer this service free of charge). In the case that your hotel may not provide this service, we will store your baggage safely in our office free of charge.
What is the weather like during the trek?
The best time for making the trek with good weather is between the months of April – October when there is minimal rainfall and clear skies. The driest months are June – August, which is winter in the Andes.
January to March is summer in Peru, which means rainy season for Cusco and especially the Inka Trail, which is located mostly in the tropical cloud forest.
Where do I have to be the morning of the start of my trek and where will I finish at the end?
We will pick you up from your hotel to begin your trek and upon finishing, we will also leave you at your hotel.
I wish to have a train company or train option different to that which Inca Footsteps Company offers, is this possible?
If you wish to change your train company or option (such as Vistadome de Peru Rail, to Ollantaytambo or the whole route to Poroy), or your departure time, additional fees may apply. You must speak with one of our sales agents to inquire about availability and the additional costs.
Vilcabamba is located northwest of Cusco, in the province de la Convención, in the eastern mountain range of the Andes; it has a chain of snow-covered peaks and high forest mountains with constant climatologic changes. It is demarcated by two very deep canyons, the canyon of Apurímac on the left and Willcamayu on the right. Through both run very fast-flowing rivers which have carved and still carve one of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes of our Andean region.