The Ancascocha trek journey is relatively easy compared to some others, so it is an excellent option for less experienced or less athletic trekkers. A few companies only offer the Ancascocha Trek because it is so off of the beaten path. It is less traveled than the original Inca Trail and is considered one of South America’s best hikes by many who know it well. Inca ruins and quaint villages are attractive aspects of this trek, and the beautiful mountain vistas of the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges provide the opportunity to encounter dramatic landscapes. This trip combines high Andes hiking, incredible history, fantastic cultural elements, and rare solitude on arguably the best route to Machu Picchu.
The Ancascocha Trek is one of the newest trekking routes offered in the Cusco region. The trail is based on the classic Inca Trail and takes you past high waterfalls, Inca ruins, beautiful scenery, and unforgettable views.
Along the Ancascocha Trail, we will experience Quechua farming communities’ lifestyles whose culture and customs have not changed for centuries. We will travel through traditional villages like Chillipajawa and Ancascocha (12,136 ft.). Also, our high point will be at Huayanay Pass (14,925 ft.) This trek is recommended for people who like solitude and exploring the less popular route to Machu Picchu. The probable highlight and last day of the tour will explore the “Lost City,” Machu Picchu, and traveling back to Cusco by train.
We’ll pick you up from your hotel very early in the morning, and we’ll travel for 2 hours to Soqma (3,205 masl / 10,512 fasl), the starting point of our trek. Our vans are incredibly comfortable, and also, we’ll provide blankets in case you want to enjoy a few more minutes of sleep.
After meeting the porters and muleteers, our trek will begin for 2 hours to the Perolniyoc waterfall. You’ll have the opportunity to get to the base of the waterfall to cool off. You can also stay on the road and take amazing pictures.
After half an hour, we’ll arrive at the Inca archaeological site of Perolniyoc, built on a cliff with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. All our guides are experts in Inca history, so quality information is guaranteed. There we’ll also have lunch and, for the first time, you’ll taste the exquisite food prepared by our chef and his assistant.
We will ascend for about 1 hour to our camp in Rayán (3,700 masl / 12,139 fasl) after lunch.
The clear nights of the Andes are lovely. As we prepare for a full 3-course dinner, you’ll see the sky full of constellations and shooting stars. Then, a pleasant night of rest awaits you in your comfortable tent.
You don’t need to activate your alarm to wake up on trips with Salkantay Trekking. We’ll say good morning to you with a delicious hot cup of tea or coffee. When everyone has woken up, you’ll enjoy breakfast, and we’ll then continue our adventure.
We’ll ascend for 2 hours to the Kuychiccasa pass (4,450 masl / 14,599 fasl). During the journey, we’ll observe cultivation fields, alpacas, and, if you are lucky, even the flight of a condor while with the snowy peaks of the Andes in the background.
There’s no need to rush to get to the top. We’ll take a break together while enjoying the Chancachuco valley and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Then, you need to continue for 1 hour to the place where we’ll have lunch (4,312 masl / 14,147 fasl).
After lunch, we’ll continue our ascent to enjoy the beautiful views of Verónica Mountain (5,822 masl / 19,100 fasl), and then we’ll descend for 3 hours to the community of Ancascocha (3,700 masl / 12,139 fasl).
Our camp will be located in a small but beautiful wooded valley crossed by a crystal clear stream.
This day begins with a 1-hour climb. Your reward? Stunning views of the surrounding glaciers, well-preserved Inca archaeological sites, and the brilliant blue of the Ancascocha Lagoon.
We’ll ascend for 2 hours to our excursion’s highest point after catching our breath: the Huayanay pass (4,650 masl / 15,255 fasl). On this day, you’ll get to know a section of the original Inca Trail.
After all that effort, we’ll take our time to enjoy the incredible views from the summit before heading for 45 minutes to the small Inca site of Incaracay, where we’ll have lunch.
The walk from here is much more comfortable. We’ll descend to the Quesqa community and then to the Inca site of Paucarcancha (3,133 masl / 10,278 fasl). At this altitude, the vegetation is green and lush. From there, it’s possible to appreciate the path of the Inca Trail in the distance and the remote communities of the Quesqa Valley.
Upon arrival in Paucarcancha, you’ll have a guided tour where you’ll get to know the mysteries of that place before settling in our camp. A delicious dinner awaits you!
Our last day of hiking is the easiest of all. It’s a 6-hour descent through a section of the Classic Inca Trail heading to Km 82 (the known starting point of the Inca Trail). We’ll have lunch there.
Later, we’ll transfer you to Ollantaytambo (2,792 masl / 9,160 fasl) to board the train to Aguas Calientes (2,040 masl / 6,692 fasl). This train ride will give you a different perspective on the mountains you walked through and plenty of opportunities for great photography.
Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you’ll check-in at your hotel where you can rest until dinner. If you still have energy left, you can visit the hot springs, which are a great place to relax. Later, we’ll enjoy dinner in an excellent restaurant (drinks are not included). Remember to go to bed early because our trip to Machu Picchu will start before sunrise.
You’ll enjoy breakfast at your hotel, and then we’ll embark very early (5:30 a.m.) on a bus to the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu to see the sunrise. You’ll discover the secrets of this mysterious place on a 2-hour guided tour.
If you chose to climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain (not included in the package), you must do it at 10:00 a.m. Otherwise, you’ll have free time in Machu Picchu (you can walk to Puerta del Sol or the Inca Bridge) before returning to Aguas Calientes by bus.
In Aguas Calientes, you’ll board the Expedition Train heading to Ollantaytambo, and later you’ll travel to Cusco in a private van. We’ll drop you off at the hotel door. The time of your arrival will depend on the time of your train ticket.
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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My husband and I did the trek. Our guide, Lizandro and his team did an amazing job. The food was AMAZING! The hike was much harder than I anticipated, but the crew was patient and helpful even when I got sick. Lizandro did a great job coming up with an alternate of activities when we decided I couldn’t finish the hike due to altitude sickness. I would do it all over again.