The Ancascocha Trek 4 Days is one of the least known and travelled, and therefore less crowded, excursions among the tourist circuits of Cusco. However, it was declared by National Geographic as one of the 20 dream walks on its list of the best walks in the world, and with good reason.The Ancascocha Trail in the Peruvian Andes is a spectacular trail that remains off the beaten path even given its proximity to the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
The Ancascocha Trek, often called the Super Inca Trail or even the Hidden Inca Trail, a far more strenuous yet less traveled and more rewarding path.
We’ll cover a portion of the Classic Inca Trail during the third day of walking (yes, the one that needs reservations a year in advance). After a few days of solitude, you may be surprised to see many hikers suddenly. However, there’s nothing to worry about as they go in another direction.We’ll visit Machu Picchu, one of the 7 New Wonders of the World, on the last day.
You’ll notice that nothing compares to the most famous archaeological site in South America despite all the beauty you have already seen so far. You’ll have a 2-hour guided tour and the possibility of climbing the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (subject to availability). After completing the tour, we’ll return by bus to Aguas Calientes and then train to Cusco. Don’t worry about a thing; we’ll drop you off at your hotel’s door to arrive.
After meeting you at your hotel, we leave Cusco early in the morning and drive 1h 45m to Soqma (3,000 m/9,843). This is the starting point of our trek and where we meet the horsemen (and horses) that will be our porters during the hike.
The hike begins with a 1h 45m hour walk to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout. The waterfall is breathtaking, and you can even take the short climb down to the base of the falls for some fantastic photo opportunities (and cool down if the weather is hot)! Then, hiking for a further 45 minutes we visit the Inca site of the same name. Perched on a cliff-top with spectacular views of the surrounding valley, your guide will share some of the history of the site and the Incas and you will be free to wander through the ruins, imagining life 500 years ago.
Next we make a steep ascent for around an hour to reach our lunch spot, Rayan (3,700 m/12,139 ft). Here you will sample for the first time the incredible culinary skills of your chef, with a chance to rest, relax and refuel for the afternoon’s hiking.
The afternoon begins with a challenging 3 hour uphill hike to reach the Kuychiccasa pass (4,500 m /14,764 ft). Passing the rustic houses of the farmers, at every turn you will see sumptuous views of the snow-capped peaks of the ‘Nevadas’, wild llamas, sprawling valleys, and if we are lucky, a passing condor (the largest bird in the Andes with a wing-span of up to 10 feet across!).
As we reach the top of the pass (perhaps a little breathless) we take a break to soak in the magnificent views of the Chancachuco Valley on one side and the Sacred Valley of the Incas on the other.
From here it is an easy 45 minute downhill hike to reach our camp for the evening at the Chancachuco Valley (4,350 m / 14,272 ft). Here, with the campsite already prepared when you arrive, you can change into warmer clothing and lie back to watch the sky gradually fill with the most incredible display of stars (clouds permitting!) before joining your guide and your fellow trekkers for a well-earned, hearty dinner.
You will be woken with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea, followed by a full breakfast to fuel you for the morning ahead.
We begin with a 45 minute undulating hike followed by a 20 minute ascent by way of a narrow trail that follows a stream with beautiful views of Mt. Veronica (5,822 m/ 19,100 ft).
We then take a 2.5 hour walk downhill to reach the small community of Ancascocha (3,900 m/12,795 ft), in a small but gorgeous wooded valley with a stream running through it.
Continuing uphill for 1 hour you will enjoy views of the nearby glacier and well preserved Inca remains, before reaching the beautiful crystal blue Ancascocha Lake where we stop for lunch.
After lunch we continue our ascent towards the Huayanay Pass (4,650 m/15,255 ft). This is a strenuous 2 hour climb along a steep switchback trail which brings us to the highest point of our trek. Along this section you will see an original cobblestone paved Inca Trail.
After taking time to enjoy the incredible views from the summit, we embark on a 3 hour descent into greener vegetation. Along this stretch we will have a distant vista of the classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu as well as fascinating views of the communities of the Quesqa valley. We will also pass the small Inca site of Incaracay.
Finally we will reach our campsite, nestled in the Quesqa valley (3,850 m/12,631 ft). Once again, your chef will serve an excellent dinner as we reflect on the sights and sounds of the day.
On our final day of trekking we descend from Quesqa Valley for 2 hours until we reach the Inca site of Paucarcancha (3,120 m/10,236 ft) where your guide will provide a comprehensive commentary about the site.
We then join a section of the Classic Inca Trail and make an easy hike downhill for 5 hours until we reach Km 82, which is the official start of the Classic Trail. Along the way we will be able to see the Inca site of Llactapata. Lunch will be served at Km82.
After lunch we will be picked up by our private local van and transported to Ollantaytambo (2,792 m/9,160 ft) to catch the scenic train to Aguas Calientes. Photo opportunities are endless as we carve through the valley floor into the lush green vegetation of the Aguas Calientes area.
After 2 nights in the mountains, your comfortable hotel room will be a welcome sight. The natural hot springs in town are also a great place to relax if there is time before dinner. We will take dinner together at a nice and quality local restaurant with an extensive menu (drinks not included) before retiring to the hotel to prepare for the early start on Machu Picchu.
After a very early breakfast at your hotel we take one of the first buses (5:30am) along the winding road to Machu Picchu to see the magnificent sunrise. Your guide will then give a 2 hour walking tour of this breathtaking site, named as one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is included in the price of the trek.
If you have elected to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountains you can begin the hike once your guided tour concludes. The ticket price for Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain is also included in the price of your trek. If you choose not to climb the mountain you will have plenty of free time to explore Machu Picchu before returning to Aguas Calientes by bus.
Arriving back in Aguas Calientes you will board the expedition train to Poroy or Ollantaytambo. From here you will travel by private van to Cusco and back to your hotel. Your arrival time in Cusco will depend on the time of your train ticket.
*The standard trek includes a permit to climb Huayna Pichu Mountain which is a fairly easy 1 hour hike. However, if no tickets are available (e.g. due to late booking) then a permit to climb Machu Picchu mountain will be issued. Note that this is a 2-3 hour strenuous climb up and down following very steep and narrow steps
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Peru Hike offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.
A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don’t worry. Everything is included in your tour!
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
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We have just concluded our 4 day Ancascocha Trek with Peru Hike and we had a great experience with this local company. Our experience started with our first email and finished with our great guide Rox. He was an amazing tour guide during our 4 day trek and I would highly recommend him and his crew.
This review is for the 4 day/3 night Ancascocha trek with (Peru Hike). I originally wanted to do the original Inca trail to Machu Picchu but am incredibly glad that we decided to do Ancascocha instead. This trek will take you on the Ancascocha trail for the first two days and then back along the beginning of the Inca trail on the third day and a train ride to the city by Machu Picchu. On the 4th day, you take a bus up to Machu Picchu to sightsee. So instead of hiking the Inca trail to end up at Machu Picchu, this takes you over a different part of the area.
The biggest reason why I loved this trek was that we were quite literally the only trekkers on the trail for the first two days. It was amazing to walk through the untouched lands, except for the people who live there. It felt as though we were exploring a land that very few people have crossed. Contrasting that with the Inca trail where we passed by tons of trekkers and porters along the way and it felt so much more crowded.
Odon, our guide, was exemplary. He knew so much about the area and its history. He knew all of the people who lived along the trail. His knowledge and wisdom felt unparalleled as a guide. Plus he has a great sense of humor and we got to joking a bunch along the way, which made the high-altitude trekking more bearable. Also he knows at a glance whether you will be able to make it through the high-altitude portions or if you will need assistance on the horse. After having done other treks with other guides, I’ve come to realize how special Odon is. Can’t say enough about him, he’s like the fun uncle in your family.