This trail offers great views of the Sacred Valley and the amazing mountain range of Urubamba. If you are late to book the classic two day Machu Picchu trek, this is a great alternative option as you will be trekking one full day without any crowds and still be able to experience life on the Inca trail. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the Incan ruins of Huchuy Qosqo, meaning “Little Cusco”. Along the way, we will also have the unique opportunity to visit the “Gate of the Puma” – a special canyon that many do not get the chance to see. Afterwards, we will still be ending our trek at the majestic site of Machu Picchu, so you will have the change to discover this ancient world for yourself.
Huchuy Qosqo is an archaeological site north of Cechu. Its name is Quechua for “Little Cuzco.” It lies at an elevation of 3,600 meters (11,800 feet), above the 3000-meter high town of Lamay and the Sacred Valley. The site received its name in the 20th century; previously it had been known as Kakya Qawani. Pedro de Cieza de León, in his Second Chronicle of Peru, claimed that the palaces were built by Viracocha, the Eighth Inca ruler. Amongst a large number of buildings, some stone, some adobe, is a kallanka (great hall), 40m long. Providing water to the site is an Inca built irrigation channel, lined with stones for about 800m.
The Spanish took control of Huchuy Quosqo in the 1500s, after the Manco Inca Revolution (approx. 1540) and used the site as a farm. The Quechuas constructed several small reservoirs for irrigation. During their time at Huchuy Quosqo the Spanish demolished some other Inca structures to build the larger reservoir you see today.
Below the main Huchuy Quosqo site is the recently restored store house for dried meat and crops such as corn, potatoes, quinoa, and beans. In this two story structure, you can see the historic cooling storage system known as ‘conjeras’.
This site is inaccessible by public road and only accessible by hiking or on horseback.
After our incredible hike and picnic lunch at the ruins, we may be able to get up close to some native condors who are nesting at the site. We will then hike down to Lamay and travel by train to Aguas Calientes. A good night’s sleep in a hotel there will prepare us for an early morning rise to see one of the new Wonders of the World in the morning – Machu Picchu! We will have a great 3 hour guided tour of the ruins and then some free time. Afterwards, we head back to the Incan Capital – Cusco.
DAY 1: CUSCO – SIWA – LAMAY – OLLY – AGUAS CALIENTES.
- Walking distance: 10km
- Visit the Gate of the Puma (the great canyon)
- Visit Huchuy Qosqo
- Overnight at a hotel
DAY 2 : MACHUPICCHU – THE LOST CITY OF THE INCAS
- Early morning visit to Machu Picchu
- Climb to Huaynapicchu ( $ 25 )
- Return to Cusco
Day 1 : CUSCO HUCHUY – QUENQO – SIWA – LAMAY – OLLY – AGUAS CALIENTES:
We will pick you up at 5:00am from your hotel to be driven for 20 minutes to the trail head, where we’ll have breakfast with a view of the Sacred Valley. We will start our trek near Siwa (3750m) It will take two hours to reach the highest point, Inka Yupanqui Pass (4050m). Along the way there is great views of snow capped peaks, farmlands, and the potential to witness falcons in their natural habitat. From the pass it’s just fifteen minutes downhill to reach the canyon of Puma Punko (Gate of the Puma). Then it’s just ninety minutes more until we reach Huchuy Qosqo, which was once the Palace of the Wiraccocha King. You will get guided tour then a picnic lunch at this site. After, we’ll complete the last section of the trail, 1.5 hours downhill to Lamay, where we’ll take private transport to Ollantaytambo. Here we will visit the town and get dinner, then catch the 7:00pm train to Aguas Calientes.
Included: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
Day 2 : MACHUPICCHU – RETURN TO CUSCO.
After an early breakfast, we’ll take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu in order to enjoy the sun rise. After, you will get two hour walking tour with your guide with plenty of time after to explore on your own. It’s now you can climb to Huayna Picchu if you booked a ticket in advance. After we’ll take bus back to the town for lunch and take an afternoon train (2:55 pm, 4:45 pm or 6:45pm) depending on train availability. If you prefer, you can get the Vistadome upgrade for $65. From the train station we’ll transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco.
- Ceremony with your tour guide and locals
- Huchuy Qosqo 2D/1N
- Entrance fee to Huchuy
- Picnic meals
- Train tickets
- Hotel Aguas Calientes
- Entrance to Machu Picchu
- Guide for the trek and Machu Picchu
- Transfer back to your Hotel.
- Round-trip bus ticket
- Lunch on day 2
Trekker’s Packing List:
- Original Passport
- Good Day Pack
- Extra batteries
- Sun hat, sunscreen
- Hiking pants, hiking boots
- Rain gear
- Extra cash
At Puma Path, your comfort and safety are of our utmost concern. Therefore, we provide all necessary camping equipment for your trek. Included in prices are: sleeping tent, rollmat and pillow for your comfort. Please feel free to bring your own sleeping bag if you prefer.
2 Day Huchuy Qosco Trek Including Horses to carry your gear 7kg
- $425 per person
- Student Discount (with valid ISIC card) – $15
- Under 15 Discount – $15
- Bookings of 6 people or get free sleeping bag rental.
- Sleeping Bag (4 season) – $15 (Maximum size 1.95m / 6´4″)
- Pair of Walking poles – $10
- Air Mattress – $10
TRAIN TIMES: On the second day we will take the 2:55, 4:42 or 6:45PM train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantayatambo and then we will transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco.
HUAYNAPICCHU MOUNTAIN: If you are thinking of climbing Huaynapicchu mountain, you must book this at the same time as your trek. Only 400 people can hike Huaynapicchu per day. You will climb it on your own after the tour in Machu Picchu around 10:00 am. The price is $25 per person.
HORSES OR PORTERS: On this trek we provide horses to carry food and camping equipment. There will be one cook, his assistant, two horsemen, and one porter who will be picking up trash on the trail. You will have a personal allowance of 7kg for your gear. This will not be available during the day as the horsemen will be ahead of the group.
OUR GUIDES: Most of our guides began as porters before they went to Cusco University and Institute where they learned about the Inca history. They are always learning in order to be the best guide. They each speak English fluently, along with Spanish and Quechuan, the Inca Language. They are all able to communicate with natives from around the area and have lots of history to share with you.
OUR FOOD: Definitely one of the highlights of the tour is the food. It is always fresh and most of it is organic. There is always a lot to eat and a variety of options including vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and other types of protein and carbohydrates. Everyone sits down to eat together and we go out of our way to accommodate all dietary requirements including vegetarian options and any food allergies. We do not provide any alcoholic drinks on the trek but if you would like you can bring your own.
OUR EQUIPMENT: We provide 4 man tents for only 2 people and foam mattresses for everyone. Our dining equipment includes a spacious dining tent, tables and chairs, plates and utensils. We do not supply walking sticks, but they can be rented from Puma Path. We bring an extra blanket for all our hikers for those especially cold nights. Just ask and your guide will provide you with this.
Please note that if you are over 1.95 meters / 6´4″ tall then you won´t be able to rent a sleeping bag in Cusco. In this case it is recommended to bring your own.
WE ARE SUSTAINABLE: We always pick up waste along the trail as we go. We respect the local people, teach them to keep the land clean, and help the local children. We always take one extra porter who will be on the trail just to clean up the bottles and plastic bags that those who came before us threw away.
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE: We treat our hikers, porters and all the local people from the villages with the utmost respect. We travel in small groups to give personalized tours to each traveler. We pay good salaries to our porters and follow the Porter’s Law. We provide all our porters with their hiking gear such as shoes, pants, jackets, t-shirts, hats, sleeping bags and most importantly, health insurance.
FITNESS: The trek is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it. Fitness is naturally important but this is the kind of trek that anyone with a positive attitude and determination can do. Obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail and the more chance you will have to take in the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do some extra walking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip.
Many people worry whether they will be able to cope physically but complete failure is rare and would usually only result from severe altitude sickness or a person lacking even a basic level of fitness. People of all ages (from teenagers to pensioners) complete the trek and age itself is no barrier if you are positive minded and live an active lifestyle. Before departing for your tour, we recommend visiting your doctor who will be able to provide you with more information.
STORAGE DURING THE TREK: During the trek your main luggage will be stored in Cusco and you will receive a small duffel bag at your trail briefing (briefings are normally set for the evening before the trek) to pack clothes for 3-4 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group. You should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water, sun screen, etc. By Peruvian law the duffel bag carried by the porters must not weigh more than 7kg (14pounds). You can either store your luggage at your hotel or you can leave it with us.
BOOKING: The Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu is available to depart any day of the week so long as we have two people. You still need to book in advance.
Thanks for traveling with Puma Path a 100% local company!