This trek is ideal for those who really want to experience the rural Andes. You’ll camp in areas scarcely seen by tourists with only nature surrounding you. Huchuy Qosqo (small Cusco) is situated above the Valley of Urubamba and offers very spectacular views over the mountain range of Cordillera de Vilcanota. This trek is also a great way for you to enjoy a shorter trip that still includes Machu Picchu and the Inca trail. We will camp for one night in the wilderness at the ancient site of Pumamarca, and the next night we’ll spend in a hotel in Aguas Calientes. After our incredible hike and visit of 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.
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 only inaccessible by public road and only accessible by hiking or on horseback.
Your third day is what you have waited for – the New Wonder of the World – Machu Picchu! Just 30 minutes on the bus and we are at the entrance of Machu Picchu, ready for our guided visit! Our expert tour guide will explain to you the most remarkable temples, residences, and alters, while providing relevant history and archaeological information. After the guided tour you will have extra time to explore by yourself. By 14:30 pm we’ll take a bus back to Aguas Calientes for lunch. At 16.45 pm we board a return train to Poroy station (25 minutes from Cusco). Private transport will return you to your hotel in Cusco.
The Huchuy Qosco trek is a less challenging trek option that combines nature, original Inca Trails, a community visit and a guided tour of the little known Inca site of Huchuy Qosco. Taking you off the beaten path, you’ll get to enjoy a wide range of the amazing things Peru has to offer. The Huchuy Qosco trek is perfect for those with limited time or who are looking for an easier trekking route.
By booking with PumaPath you are choosing the best company to start your journey with!
- Starting Altitude – 3800m / 12,467ft.
- Highest Altitude – 4300m / 14,107ft.
- Walking Distance – 18km / 11 miles
- Longest Day – Day 1, approximately 10km / 6.2 miles
- Coldest Night – Day 1 around -2º celsius
- Overall Difficulty – Easy
Day 1: Tambomachay to Pumamarca
At 06:00 am our private transport will pick you up from your hotels and bring you to Tambomachay (3700m). We’ll begin our hike on an ancient Inca Trail used to travel to the Sacred Valley, Pisac and probably all the way to Machupicchu! From here you can observe panoramic views of traditional neighborhoods such as Santa Ana, Santiago, Puquinetc, and the valley of Qorao. To the left side of the path we’ll see ancient Incan terraces used by farmers to maximize crops. Then we’ll continue our descent along the trail where you’ll see beautifully green valleys for as far as the eye can see as we cross into high open country. At the top, we’ll see Lake Qoricocha (Golden Lake), where we’ll descend for twenty minutes until we reach our lunch spot.
After lunch we’ll continue to climb another 300m to reach the highest point at 4380m. From here there are great views of Chincheros, Piuray lake, Salkantay, and Veronica. Then it’s a 1-2 hour walk down to Pucamamarca (3,980m), our camping spot. We’ll set up camp and enjoy our dinner underneath the stars.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Maximum Altitude: 4350m
Minimum Altitude: 3700m
Distance Travelled:16 km
Approximate Walking Time: 6-7 hours
Day 2: Huchuy Qosqo, Taucca, Chincheros, train to Aguas Calientes, Machupicchu.
Early wake up at 6:00 am, breakfast, and then we’ll leave our campsite by 07:00am. It’s an easy walk to the end of the valley, through a narrow canyon, where we’ll be able to see a recently restored trail with wooden bridges. Huchuy Qosqu is only a one hour walk from here. We’ll have a guided tour for 1.5 hours and after, time visit and explore this interesting Inca complex on your own. Huchuy Qosqo was originally an administrative and military center. At 10:00am we’ll continue our hike for nearly three hours until we reach Taucca Pass (4400 m). From here we’ll begin our last gentle descent for one hour until we stop for lunch. After lunch, our private vehicle will transport us to Chincheros, then Ollantaytambo, where at 16:30 pm we’ll board our train to Aguas Calientes. Here, our guide will take you to your hostel for the night. There will be an opportunity for you to visit the hot springs at this time. At dinner, your guide will inform you about our plans for Machu Picchu the next morning.
Please Note: If some passengers experience altitude problems or find the hike too difficult, there is an option to walk down from Huchuy Qosqo to Lamay in the Sacred Valley, where our vehicle will transport you to Ollantaytambo to board the train to Aguas Calientes.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Hostel in Aguas Calientes
Maximum Altitude: 4450m
Minimum Altitude: 3900m
Approximate Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Day 3: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
We’ll wake up at 4:00am to have breakfast before the first bus to Machupicchu departs at 5:30am. Just 30 minutes on the bus and we are at the entrance of Machupicchu, ready for our guided visit! Our expert tour guide will explain to you the most remarkable temples, residences, and alters, while providing relevant history and archaeological information. After the guided tour you will have extra time to explore by yourself. By 14:30 pm we’ll take a bus back to Aguas Calientes for lunch. At 16.45 pm we board a return train to Poroy station (25 minutes from Cusco). Private transport will return you to your hotel in Cusco.
- Ceremony with your tour guide and locals
- Collection from your hotel at 05:45 am
- Transfer in private vehicle to Tambomachay (starting point of the trek)
- 2 people tents (comfortable and spacious)
- Comfortable foam mattress
- Experienced English speaking guide
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
- Chef, cooking equipment and kitchen tent
- Meals: 2 Breakfast, 3 lunches, 2 Dinners
- Horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment)
- 6 Kg personal porterage for your items
- Emergency horse
- Hot water for washing purposes
- Boiled water to fill your personal bottle
- Private vehicle from Taucca or Lamay to Ollantaytambo
- Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (Vistadome or Expedition)
- Reception at Aguas Calientes and transfer to the hostel
- Accommodation in Aguas Calientes
- Early bus up to Machupicchu from Aguas Calientes
- Admission-fee for Machu Picchu
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Round-trip bus ticket
- Expedition Train return to Cusco or Train to Ollanta and bus to Cusco
- Transfer to your hotel.
- Breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on Day 3
- Drinks and snacks.
- Tips for the staff and porters. Tips are not mandatory but are a great gesture of gratitude.
We recommend that you bring:
- A backpack with one change of clothes
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Hiking boots
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, fruits, muesli, etc.
- Flashlight and batteries
- Toilet paper
- Camera, film and batteries
- Wool hat
- Insect repellent, minimum recommended 20% DEET
- Sun block
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.
Private Service Prices
- 2 people : US$595 per person
- 3 people : US$495 per person
- 4 people : US$420 per person
- 5 people+ : US$395 per person
- Student Discount: US$20 (Requires ISIC Card to qualify)
- Sleeping Bag US$15
- Walking Pole US$5
- Inflatable Mattress US$10
- Single Tent Supplement US$25
- Extra 7kg of personal items US$40
TRAIN TIMES: On the third 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: Huchuy Qosqo 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 PumaPath, a 100% local company!