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Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days / 4 Nights

This five-day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu is perfect for adventurers looking to experience Peru’s natural beauty up-close. Admire gorgeous landscapes and be fascinated by Inca ruins.

USD $625.00USD $1,378.00

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Discover Inca Ruins and Mountain Scenery on Vilcabamba Trek

Take the Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu and experience a variety of natural and archaeological sights. Enjoy the spectacular snow-capped Andes mountains as you hike through mountain passes. Bask in the warmer temperatures of the Amazon jungle. Visit the hidden treasures of the Inca, from the fortresses of urban centers to the agricultural terraces that cover mountain slopes.

Highlights

  • Explore ancient Inca sites on this Vilcabamba trek and visit the iconic Machu Picchu
  • Experience a variety of Peruvian scenery, from mountain highland passes to Amazon jungle
  • Hike to beautiful lagoons and snow-capped mountains

Tour information

Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
Start and end location: Cusco
Availability: Year-round

Itinerary

Day 1 – Hike to Vilcabamba, The Last Refuge of the Inca, and Camp Near Huancacalle Village
Your Vilcabamba Trek tour starts as you are picked up from your hotel at 5:45 am. After driving for an hour and 45 minutes, you will arrive to village of Ollantaytambo and have breakfast. Then, you will hop back in the car to drive through Abra Malaga Pass, where you can see incredible views of the snow-capped mountains. Then, your car will descend to the beginning of the Amazon jungle. Along the way, you will see fields of coca bushes, lovely waterfalls, and great canyon valleys.

Once you arrive to the village of Huancacalle, you will get your packed lunch, then start your Vilcabamba trek. This location was the last refuge of the Incas when the Spanish invaded. The hike takes 2 hours round trip from the camping site, covering a distance of 3.7 miles (6 kilometers). At night, you will camp near the village of Huancacalle at an altitude of 9,842 feet (3000 meters) above sea level. This camping site has electricity, so you can charge your devices.

Day 2 – Go through Asuntina Pass and Arrive to Racachaca Campsite
Today starts with an early morning wake-up at 4:30 am, followed by an energizing breakfast. Then, you will hike uphill for 4 hours, observing the flora and fauna until you arrive to Asuntina Pass, at 12,844 feet (3,915 meters) above sea level. Then, you will head downhill for 30 minutes and enjoy a delicious lunch.

In the afternoon, you can look forward to hiking through lush greenery to the campsite. As you walk along a well-preserved Inca road, you can admire the beautiful snow-capped mountains. Follow a crystal clear stream to arrive to the day’s camping site: Racahaca, also known as Hatun Pampa, at 11,811 feet (3,600 meters) above sea level. The day includes hiking a mountain pass and has a total of 9 hours, 11.2 miles (18 kilometers) of hiking, so you will be glad to arrive to the campsite by 17:30 pm to have dinner and rest.

Day 3 – Marvel at Mountain Lagoons and Hike through Mountain Passes
You will wake up to coca tea and breakfast. The hike today starts with a 3-hour uphill to Yanococha Pass, at 13,878 feet (4,230 meters). Then, you will walk to a small lake called Yanacocha Lagoon. After admiring the lagoon, you will climb the second mountain pass: Tullu Tacanca, at 14,435 feet (4,400 meters) above sea level.

Along the road you will see more small lakes and a big lake. Hiking through highland grasses and spongy moss, you will arrive to the third pass, Abra, at 14,599 feet (4,450 meters) above sea level. After lunch, you will go downhill for 3 hours, entering the Amazon jungle and stopping at your campsite in a place called Mutuypata, at 8,694 feet (2,650 meters) above sea level. The total hiking for today is 9 hours, 12 miles (19 kilometers).

Day 4 – Explore the Amazon Jungle and Relax in Hot Springs
Today’s hike brings you through the Amazon jungle. You can look forward to warmer temperatures as you hike through a canyon, next to a river, and pass by plantations for coffee, fruit, granadilla, and hot peppers. After about 4 hours, you will arrive to the village of Yanatile.

From there, you will go by car for an hour to a hydro-electric station, have a packed lunch, and hike for 3 hours beside train tracks to Aguas Calientes. This hike brings through the valley below the ancient city of Machu Picchu. You will be able to see the mountains of Machu Picchu and Huyna Picchu, along with agricultural terraces. To top off the day, relax in the 86-degree Fahrenheit (30-degree Celsius) hot springs. The total walking for the day comes to 6 hours, 7 miles (12 kilometers). Finally, stay the night in a hostel.

Day 5 – Witness the Sunrise, Tour Machu Picchu, and Return to Cusco
Wake up bright and early at 4:30 am for breakfast, then take a bus up to Machu Picchu. You will be able to see the sunrise if it is the dry season. Then, tour Machu Picchu for 2.5 hours. In your free time after the tour, you have the option of taking a 2 hour round trip hike to the Sun Gate.

Next, head back to Aguas Calientes by bus, have lunch (optional), and ride the train for 2 hours back to Ollantaytambo. Finally, your Vilcabamba Trek tour ends as you take a private car for 2 hours back to Cusco, where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

What’s included

  • Transportation: hotel pick up and drop off, private car to Huancacalle
  • Large and comfortable tent for up to two people and roll mattress.
  • English-speaking plus paramedic tour guide with oxygen tank, first aid kit, and fingertip pulse oximeter for your safety
  • Mule porter service for 13.2 pounds (6 kilograms) of personal items, extra clothes, mattress, and sleeping bag
  • Meals (5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners)
  • Dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs
  • Horses to carry tents, food, and cooking equipment
  • Hot water for washing and safe, boiled drinking water to fill up your water bottle
  • Hostel in Aguas Calientes
  • Rain ponchos

What’s not included

  • Sleeping bags
  • Inflatable mattress and hiking poles
  • Traditional tips for your hiking/camping team

What to bring

  • Sleeping bag for temperatures down to 17ºF (- 8ºC)
  • Layers for variable temperatures, especially at night (socks, gloves, scarf, woolen hat for cold nights)
  • Camera with charger (there is electricity in the first camp)
  • Sunblock, sun hat, sunglasses, and mosquito repellent
  • Extra plastic bags, rain cover for your backpack, and rain gear, especially in wet season
  • Bathing suit for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
  • Personal medical kit
  • Original passport and ISIC student card (if applicable)
  • Some money for shops along the road

Important notes

  • The following items are available from the tour operator: down sleeping bag (US $25), rented backpack (US $25), pair of trekking poles (US $20), inflatable mattress (US $25)
  • There are vegetarian, vegan, or special diet meals upon request. Please let us know in advance at info@keteka.com.
  • Hiking poles are recommended if you have knee problems.

Map

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Vilcabamba, Cusco, Peru

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Vilcabamba, Cusco, Peru -13.120199, -72.976321

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What Happens After I Book?

After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.

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