In the early morning, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco. You will travel by local bus to the village of Cachora. This trip of 4 hours is the start of the big adventure! We arrive at Cachora at approximately 10.00 am., where we will prepare ourselves for the trek. Afterwards, we are going to walk for approximately 6 hours. We will camp close to the Rosalinas Bridge over the Apurimac River.
We will leave Rosalinas Bridge, heading in the direction of the next camping site called Sunchupata. Our hike takes us to 2900 meters above sea level. After 5 hours of walking we reach the remote ruins of Choquekirao. After a good lunch and a well-earned rest, we will explore the ruins of Choquequirao. We spend the rest of the afternoon in the ruins and set up camp nearby.
After breakfast, we will have plenty time to appreciate houses, terraces and other parts of this late Inca town. After lunch we walk for approx. 3 hours through open grassland and cloud forest to arrive our next camp near the ruins of Pinchinuyoc, recently discovered in 1998. Here we spend the night camping very close to the old Inca Terraces.
We begin our walk through vegetation known as "Dry Andean Highland Forest", with very different trees and plants in comparison to what we have seen before. We meet path with the river Victoria after a few hours and take a break to swim in the refreshing and clear river water. After this, we start the long and steep climb to our camp in Maizal high over the river - probably the most beautiful camp on the trail with views across three valleys and white mountain peaks. Once in Maizal, we have our lunch, set up camp and spend the afternoon relaxing.
We leave our camp in Maizal and begin the climb towards the San Juan pass. We have lunch at the pass at 4000m above sea level, with views of the mountain Choquetakarpo, before we start the descent towards Yanama, a small isolated settlement at the bottom of a long valley surrounded by mountains. Here we set up camp for the night.
We continue from Yanama up through the valley towards the highest point of the trek, The Yanama Pass in 4500m. On the way, we have a good view of the snow-capped Sacsarayoc. Once over the pass the descent is a long foggy hike through grassy fields towards the community of Totora, where we spend the night.
After an early breakfast, we start our seventh day of hiking. We will walk for around 5 hours, descending 2,000m down through the changing vegetation to the warmer camp at the village of La Playa. La Playa is the biggest village on the way, where we can find some small shops to buy snack etc. In this area, we can see small plantations of coffee and bananas. On arrival to The Playa we have two options:Option One:
spend the afternoon in the La Playa and camp there. On the morning of Day Eight, catch a public bus to Hidroelectrica.Option Two:
Take local transport to Santa Teresa, a beautiful village in the cloud forest, where we spend the afternoon and camp. On the morning of Day Eight we walk to Hidroelectrica on a recently discovered Inca trail. We see the impressing Machu Picchu on a mountain saddle further into the valley for the first time. We have lunch at Llactapata enjoying the views of Machu Picchu and the beautiful mountains before continuing to Hidroelectrica.
* You will decide which route you take this day with your guide as a group, either at the pre departure briefing or during the trek itself.
After arriving in Hidroelectrica (time of arrival depends on which above option chosen) we hike from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night in a hostel.
It is also possible to take the train from Hidroelétrica to Aguas Calientes instead of hiking, but you will have to pay for the extra cost of the train.
We get up in the early morning hours to take the first bus to Machu Picchu, where we will have a guided tour of about 2.5 hours. We meet back in Aguas Calientes in the afternoon to catch the train back to Cusco.
Special Discounts apply on fixed departure dates - Click here to check special departure dates.