Vilcabamba Trek 6D
Vilcabamba Trek 6D
If you are looking for an adventurous and challenging trek in the untouristed part of Andes this trek is for you! It’s truly spectacular and special with variety of flora, fauna, snow peaks, impressive valleys and lakes on the way, while at the same time visiting the last refuge of the Incas - Vilcabamba and its archeological sites.
Itinerary Included Requirements FAQ Map
DAY 1: CUSCO-HUANCACALLE.
The day begins very early as we pick you up at your hotel and travel by private bus to the village of Huancacalle. Its a long day of driving, but from the very beginning we are introduced to the history of the last days of the Incas. We travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Ollantaytambo, then cross Malaga Pass behind Wacaywillca (Veronica) mountain, following the path Manco Inca took with his warriors to Vilcabamba as he continued his rebellion against the Spanish. We then cross the Rio Urubamba and follow the Rio Vilcabamba, sometimes traversing high on the mountain sides through small towns and coffee and coca fields. After arriving at Huancacalle in the afternoon, we will walk to the ruins of Vitcos, an important Inca center and the stronghold of Manco Inca. We will also see Ñustahispana, the White Rock, which was once the most sacred site in the area. After a tour of these sites, we will camp near the river. 2 hours walking, 3600m
DAY 2: HUANCACALLE-RACACHACA
In the morning we begin the trek by climbing a well-preserved Inca road for about four hours out of the high jungle and into mountainous terrain. At the pass (4000m), we can see the snow-capped Pumasillo, and the other mountains of the Vilcabamba range. Descending, we reenter the forest where there are a variety of orchids and other interesting plants. Crossing a stream, we continue to the small settlement of Racachaca, where we camp near the school. 7 hours walking, 3600-4000-3600m
DAY 3: RACACHACA-MUJUN
There are more mountains today as we traverse multiple. First we climb past a few farms to the high puna. Here the vegetation is sparse, mostly bunch grass called “ichu,” but you can see Andean geese and other native birds who inhabit the high mountains. After the first pass, we reach four glacier-fed lakes before continuing to our highest pass of the day (4200m) and then onto Mujun pass (4000m). From here, with a good pair of binoculars, you can see the ruins of Machu Picchu. After a long day of mountain vistas, we camp just below the pass. 8 hours walking; 3570-4200-3800m
DAY 4: MUJUN-YANATILE-SANTA TERESA
In comparison to the previous day, today is mostly down hill. After breakfast and watching the sunrise over the mountains we descend into the forest along an Inca trail. We pass through jungle thick with bamboo to plantations of coffee, oranges, bananas, avocados, pineapples, and other fruits to the town of Yanatile. From there we take a bus to our camp near the town of Santa Teresa, where we can visit the hot springs. 6 hours walking, 3800-1550m
DAY 5: SANTA TERESA-AGUAS CALIENTES
There are two option for this day, depending on the weather conditions and the energy of the group.
A we take a short bus ride to the trailhead at a royal Inca road, which we follow uphill. At the pass there is an excellent view of the city of Machu Picchu, and just downhill is the archaeological site of Llactapata. Unlike Machu Picchu, the site is still mostly covered with vegetation, giving you an excellent idea of what Machu Picchu must have looked like when Hiram Bingham first saw it. After exploring the site, we walk downhill for about 3 hours and then catch the afternoon train for Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in a hotel. 6 hours walking, 1550-2550-1900m
Walking from Hidroelectrica
This is a good option if the weather is adverse or the group does not want to climb anymore hills. We take a bus to Hidroelectrica and walk the flat trail from there to Aguas Calientes. 3 hours walking, 1900-1900m
DAY 6: AGUAS CALIENTES-MACHU PICCHU-CUSCO
After enjoying the tourist amenities of Aguas Calientes and getting a full night’s sleep at a hotel, we catch one of the first buses to Machu Picchu in order to see the awe-inspiring view of the city at sunrise. After a two-hour guided tour, you will have free time to climb Huayna Picchu, explore the ruins, or simply relax. In the early afternoon we take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes where you catch the train to Cusco.
- Visit to Huayna Picchu: For Huayna Picchu mountain requires to be booked long time in advance however we charge additional $ 30.00 and then we’ll guarantee your entrance for Huayna Picchu as well (This new State law began since the 18th of July, 2011).
- Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcome. The porters are also very grateful for a small donation, for example clothes or school equipment for their children.
What is Included?
- Licensed guide fluent in English, Spanish, and Quechua, plus an assistant guide for large groups.
- Support staff including professional cooks and wranglers for the mules and horses.
- Horses and mules to carry group gear as well as large duffels bags, provided at the briefing, for personal items. (No weight limit)
- All meals on trek, which incorporate traditional Peruvian dishes as well as modern fusion cuisine and special dietary needs.
- Drinking water and snacks.
- Dining tent with table, stools, and all dining implements, toilet tent, and kitchen tent
- Sleeping tents, foam pads, and Thermarest. Three-person tents are provided for single occupancy and four-person tents for double occupancy to allow plenty of room for personal gear.
- One riding horse for emergencies. Additional riding horses can be provided for an additional charge.
- First aid kit, including oxygen.
- Pre-trek briefing.
- All group entrance fees, including Machupicchu.
- Optional climb to Huaynapicchu or Machupicchu Mountain!
- Hotel in Aguas Caliente.s (3 star hotel)
- Train. (Expedition Train Service)
- All transfers, including private van from your hotel in Cusco to Huancacalle, to Santa Teresa and Aguas
- Calientes, bus to and from Machu Picchu, and private transfer back to your hotel in Cusco
What is Not Included?
- Dinner on the 5th day at Aguas Calientes. Lunch and dinner on the 6th day.
- Personal hiking gear including backpacks, trekking poles, and sleeping bags. Poles and sleeping bags may be hired.
- Tips for guides, cooks, and wranglers.
- Entrance to hot springs or other entertainments in Aguas Calientes.
- Personal riding horse. Additional horses may be hired according to the needs of the individual and group.
- 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 4 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.
If you are looking for an adventurous and challenging trek in the untouristed part of Andes this trek is for you! It’s truly spectacular and special with variety of flora, fauna, snow peaks, impressive valleys and lakes on the way, while at the same time visiting the last refuge of the Incas – Vilcabamba and its archeological sites.
We trek along some excellent examples of the unrestored Inca trails before heading off into “unknown territory”. We cross three consecutive passes, often covered in snow before descending to the wonderfully warm jungle. Crossing a great mountain chain, we finally arrive at Machu Picchu.
The Vilcabamba trek is one of the hidden treasures in Peru!