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Classic Ancascocha Trek To Machu Picchu 5 Days

5 Days and 4 Nights
Multi-day hike
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Reservations for the great year 2024 - 2025 have already started, more than 5000 clients with reservations secured!

Are you thinking about taking a trip to Machu Picchu? What are you waiting for, make your reservation now and secure the best place to see Machu Picchu completely and live an unforgettable experience!.

We recommend booking it at least 2 months in advance as tickets are quite limited.

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Free cancellation
Change of plans? No problem. Cancel up to 24 hours before your activity starts for a full refund.
Spanish, English
Departure city: Cusco, Peru
Ends in the city: Cusco, Peru
Group Size: 12 PER GROUP
Availability: Daily Departures
Trip Styles: Hiking
Max Altitude: 4650 M. / 15255 FT.
Lodging Type: Camps & Hotel
Difficulty: Moderate

Ancascocha Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days

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 (3,900 m / 12,136 ft). Also, our high point will be at Huayanay Pass (4,650 m / 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.

Why Take the Ancascocha Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • Get a great view of Veronica and the Huayanay snow-capped mountains.
  • If you’re looking for best off the beaten path trails, pristine wilderness, and a challenging trek, this is the one for you!
  • Ancascocha is considered as one of the World’s best hikes by National geographic.
  • Trek the off the beaten track in the Sacred Valley’s highlands—some of the best trekking in Peru to reach Machu Picchu.
  • Direct & official local tour operator based in Cusco, managed by locals.
  • Full-service camping, including a comfortable dining tent, we have the best of the trail in gears.

DAY 1Cusco - Soqma Village - Perolniyoc - Rayán

Visit places
Soqma Village
Perolniyoc waterfall
Rayán Camp

We’ll start our exciting journey today as we collect you from your hotel early in the morning. We’ll travel for an hour and a half to the starting point of our trek (3,000 m / 9,843 ft). You’ll find our transport extremely comfortable and be able to use the cozy blankets we provide to catch a little more sleep on the drive if you need to.

Before we set off, we’ll enjoy a bit of breakfast and meet our cooks and horsemen who’ll accompany us along the trek. Our hike starts with a 1-hour stretch to the Perolniyoc waterfall. On the way, you’ll spot corn, wheat, and quinoa fields all around you. Once we get to the falls, you’ll have the opportunity to cool off in the falling water or stay on the side and capture some amazing shots.

After another hour of walking, we’ll get to the Inca Archaeological site of Racaypata, which was constructed on the side of a cliff and boasts amazing views of the surrounding valley. Every one of our guides is an expert in the Incas history, so you can expect a wonderful history lesson and learn all about the culture. We’ll also enjoy our first lunch there, and you can try the great food our chefs prepare in the middle of the mountains.

In the afternoon, we’ll descend for about an hour to our campsite in Rayan (3,700 m / 12,139 ft). The clear nights in the middle of the Andes are astounding. As you wait for dinner to be served, you can rest your legs and look up at the beautiful constellations and shooting stars. After another tasty meal, you’ll be able to head to your comfortable tent for a good night’s rest.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Accommodation:Camps
  • Difficulty:Moderate
  • Walking Distance:8 km / 4.9 mi
  • Campsite Elevation:3,700 m / 12,139 ft
  • Highest Elevation:3,700 m / 12,139 ft

DAY 2Rayan - Abra Kuychiccasa - Chancachuco - Ancascocha

Visit places
Abra Kuychiccasa
Ancascocha Camp

When you travel with Peru Hike Company, you don’t need to worry about setting your alarm clock. We always wake you up with a warming cup of hot tea or coffee. Then, you’ll head to enjoy breakfast with the rest of the group before setting off for the day.

This morning, we’ll go uphill for about 1.5 hours to the Kuychiccasa Pass (4,500 m / 14,764 ft) and enjoy some more wonderful views along the way. You can expect to see cultivation fields, alpacas, sheep, and if you’re lucky, even the flight of a condor with the perfect backdrop of Andean snowy mountains behind.

You don’t need to rush to get to the top. It’s not a race, and remember that you’ll be at a high altitude, so slow and steady is always the best way to go. We’ll take a break and enjoy spectacular views of the Chancachuco Valley and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You’ll then need to continue for another hour to get to our lunch spot (4,350 m / 14,272 ft), where our chefs will be waiting with another incredible feast.

This afternoon, we’ll continue ascending to enjoy some more astounding landscapes and enjoy stunning views of La Veronica glacier (5,682 m / 18,642 ft). We’ll then begin a well-welcomed descent for 3 hours that’ll take us to the Ancascocha community (3,900 m / 12,795 ft), which is where the trek is named after.

Our camp is located in a truly stunning location in a beautiful valley with a crystal clear stream running through the middle. Spend the evening unwinding after a long day of hiking and enjoying a tasty meal before settling in for the night in your tent.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Accommodation:Camps
  • Difficulty:Challenging
  • Walking Distance:14 km / 8.7 mi
  • Campsite Elevation:3,900 m / 12,795 ft
  • Highest Elevation:4,500 m / 14,764 ft

DAY 3Ancascocha - Huaynay Pass - Quesqa Valley - Paucarcancha

Visit places
Huaynay Pass
Quesqa Valley
Paucarcancha Camp

After another amazing breakfast to get you going, your hike starts with a 1-hour climb today. You’ll be rewarded with some of the most spectacular landscapes and breathtaking views of surrounding glaciers, Inca archaeological sites, and the brilliant blue of the Ancascocha Lagoon.

We’ll then keep climbing up for 2 hours to the highest point of the entire route, Huayanay Pass (4,650 m / 15,256 ft). After your grand effort, we’ll make sure we have plenty of time to rest at the top and take in the gorgeous surroundings from the summit before we continue to the Incaracay Inca site and have our lunch.

The walk in the afternoon will be much easier on your legs as we descend to the Quesqa community and then onto another Inca site, Paucarcancha (3,120 m / 10,236 ft). You’ll notice how the landscape and climate change at this altitude as the vegetation becomes greener and thicker. From here, you’ll get an amazing view over some of the original Inca Trail in the distance and the quaint, remote villages of the Quesqa Valley.

Once we get to Paucarcancha, your guide will take you on a tour to get to know more about the site and its relevance to the Inca empire before settling in at our camp. Of course, there’ll also be another delicious dinner waiting for you.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Accommodation:Camp
  • Difficulty:Challenging
  • Walking Distance:14 km / 8.7 mi
  • Campsite Elevation:3,120 m / 10,236 ft
  • Highest Elevation:4,650 m / 15,256 ft

DAY 4Paucarcancha - Llactapata - Km 84 - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

Visit places
Km 82
Aguas Calientes Hotel

You’ll be pleased to hear that our last day of trekking is the easiest of them all. You’ll be enjoying a 5-hour hike along the Classic Inca Trail to KM 82, which is where those that hike this route starts from. You’ll be walking in the opposite direction to all the other trekkers. Along the way, we’ll pass through little villages and get to see the large archaeological site of Llactapata. On the other side of the river, you’ll see the Inca citadel of Canabamba. You’ll enjoy your last nutritional lunch made by our chef at KM 82 before saying goodbye to our hiking team.

From there, we’ll transfer in private transport to Ollantaytambo (2,792 m / 9,160 ft), which is a quaint Inca town in the Sacred Valley. You’ll catch a train here to Aguas Calientes (2,040 m / 6,693 ft) at the base of Machu Picchu. Along this train ride, you’ll be able to enjoy the mountainous landscape from a different perspective and get some excellent opportunities for some wonderful photos to take home as memories.

Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, we’ll take you to your comfy hostel, where you can enjoy a hot shower and relax until dinner. Alternatively, and if you still have energy, you can explore the small town or head to the hot springs to relax your tired muscles. We’ll meet for dinner in a top-quality restaurant and chat about tomorrow before heading to our rooms early to get some rest. We’ll need to be up bright and early in the morning.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Walking Distance:13 km / 8.08 mi
  • Accommodation Elevation:2,040 m / 6,693 ft
  • Highest Elevation:3,120 m / 10.236 ft

Day 5Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Visit places
Agucas Calientes
Machu Picchu
Train to Ollantaytambo
Cusco Hotel

The day you’ve been waiting for since you set foot on the Ancascocha Trek is finally here. Today, you’ll be heading up to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. You’ll need to set your alarm and be up before the sun today to grab a quick breakfast. We like to beat the crowds at the Lost City of the Incas so that you can enjoy the site in peace and take some amazing photos before more visitors arrive.

The entrance to Machu Picchu opens at 6:00 am, so we catch the bus from Aguas Calientes at 5:30 am. or we will hike to Machu Picchu. Upon entering, you’ll feel a sense of magic and mystery wash over you as you look out at the whole site for the first time. Take some time to ponder how the ancient culture could construct such a feat on the mountainside.

After you’ve soaked it all in, your guide will take you on an informative and exciting tour of all the important sectors and let you in on the best-kept secrets of the Incas. You’ll then have two more hours to continue exploring by yourself. At this moment, you’ll climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain if you got tickets in advance. Don’t worry if not, though, as you can hike up to the Sun Gate or Inca Bridge without a ticket. From any one of these spots, you’ll get an amazing view over the whole Inca citadel.

Around midday, it’ll be time to head down from Machu Picchu and back to the small town of Aguas Calientes. You’ll have a bit of time to choose a restaurant of your choice and enjoy a nice lunch before heading to the train station to board your train to Ollantaytambo. Your train time will depend on availability at the time of booking.

Once we get to Ollantaytambo, you’ll find our driver and private transport waiting to collect you and take you back to your accommodation in Cusco. You can finally put your feet up and rest. Take some time to reflect on your trip of a lifetime that you, for sure, will never forget!

  • Meals:  Breakfast
  • Difficulty:Moderate
  • Tour in Machu Picchu: 2-3 hours exploring
  • Machu Picchu Site Elevation: 2,430 m / 7,972 ft
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain Elevation: 2,720 m / 8,924 ft
  • Machu Picchu Mountain Elevation: 3,000 m / 9,843 ft
Trip Info
Packing List
Before You Go
High Quality Service & Safety
  • Pre-departure briefing
  • Experienced Guide speaks English and Spanish
  • A professional cook only for our group
  • Motorola Talkabout Radio, for communication
  • Medical Kit – First Aid Kit
  • One duffle bag per person
  • Customer Service 24/7
  • Extra oxygen
Private Camping Equipment
  • We also include a large tent with table and chairs for you to enjoy your meal without worry-free, and all the cooking equipment, carried by our porters and horses
  • We also included a portable toilet
Permits & Entrance Tickets
  • Entrance Ticket to Machu Picchu Circuit (1 or 2)
  • Private transportation from Cusco to the start of the trek
  • Horses, and muleteers horses carry your 8-kg / 16-pound personal items.
  • Private transportation from the end of the walk to the Ollantaytambo train station
  • Day 4: Train Ticket from Ollantaytambo To Aguas Calientes
  • Day 5: Train Ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Day 5: Private transport from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco.
  • Meals: 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 4 Dinners
  • Meals: vegetarian and vegan
  • Water to drink on the trail every day
  • Wake up tea, every morning
  • Tea Time or Happy Hour, every afternoon
  • Snacks on the trail daily
  • Products for hygiene
  • Personal Accommodation in Private Campsites
  • 4-Person, 4-season tents, destined for 2 travelers
  • 1 Polar sheet per person
  • Pillows throughout the tour
  • Rubber warmers, for the night
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
Additional Included
  • PRO Air sleeping pad, Therma-Rest brand
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking stick
What Is Not Included?
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for our staff
  • Additional costs or delays out of control of the management
  • Original Passport
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
  • Warm jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable trousers
  • Sun hat
  • Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
  • Insect repellant
  • Toiletries and hand sanitiser
  • Personal medication
  • Camera and film with extra batteries
  • Torch with spare batteries
  • Daypack

Everything you need to know before you go for a hike.

We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about Ancascocha Trail  in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!

Briefing or informative meeting

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.

Duffel bag or canvas case

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.

Payment of Trek Balance (in Cusco)

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.

Can I store my luggage at your office?

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.

Pick up of guests

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.

Return to Cusco

Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don’t worry. Everything is included in your tour!

  • In Machu Picchu you’ll board a bus that will take you for 25 minutes to the small city of Aguas Calientes. The buses are boarded according to your arrival.
  • In Aguas Calientes you’ll board a train to Ollantaytambo or Cusco. Your guide will give you the train tickets where the boarding time will be shown. Make sure you’re on the platform 30 minutes early. The train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes 2 hours.
  • Once you arrive at the station, our representative, identified with the Peru Hike clothing, will be waiting to transfer you to Plaza San Francisco, in Cusco. The trip from Ollantaytambo to Plaza San Francisco takes 2 hours.
  • In San Francisco, depending on your hotel’s location, we will take you to a smaller car from our company (Hyundai H1) to transfer you faster to your hotel in Cusco.

Group tours

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

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.

Lost objects

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.

8 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Ellie R

Group Traveller

My trek with Peruvian Hike was the experience of a lifetime, I would definitely use this company again!!! Every detail was taken care of perfectly, the team answered all of our questions leading up to the trek, the food was fantastic, and each day was incredible.

14 April, 2024


Couple Traveller

The whole experience was amazing. We were looking for serenity, adventure and spirituality and the tour provided all in spades. Everything worked out like clockwork. We are better while trekking than when we were in Cusco. I will be back next year for another trek, likely Salkantay, and I would highly recommend this company to anyone visiting Peru!

27 August, 2023

Kelly O

Couple Traveller

I did the 5 day/4 night Ancascocha trek and it was absolutely stunning, so glad I did it! The scenery was spectacular with dramatic mountains and valleys, and we passed through several Incan ruins and small Quechua-speaking communities along the way. The Peru Hike Company staff were also great and made me feel very well taken care of. Our guide, Odón, was very experienced and could predict the weather and our hiking times with spooky accuracy. Pretty much every meal had multiple courses! Would highly recommend!

27 August, 2023

Alex Y

Couple Traveller

This review is for the 5 day/4 night Ancascocha trek with Peru Hike Company . 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 third days and then back along the beginning of the Inca trail on the four day and a train ride to the city by Machu Picchu. On the 5th 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.

27 August, 2023

Nick S

Couple Traveller

Peru Hike has it dialed in! We showed up not really knowing what to expect and they treated us like royalty. In my opinion, the guides make the experience, and Christian and Eddy did an amazing job connecting with each guest, sharing insightful history about the trail, and also cracking jokes with all of us along the way. Everyone in our 11-person group (8 of the people I did not know) had a smile on their face the whole time and we were all so sad to leave once it was over. Would highly recommend choosing Peru Hike.

26 August, 2023
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