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.