The Huchuy Qosco trek is like taking a step back in time, although hard to believe it is so close to Cusco! From its beginning, this trek takes you off the typical tourist route. You will walk along ancient pathways and visit local communities where you will be immersed in the local culture. On your 2nd day, you will visit the little known site of Huchuy Qosco, a pre-Inca site which was incorporated into the Inca empire early on when they came to power. This site offers an interesting mix of pre-Inca and Inca architecture and is set in a beautiful location overlooking the Sacred Valley.The Huchuy Qosco trek offers a view of Cusco that few will ever see, incorporating culture and beautiful scenery packed into just 3 days. It’s ideal for those with not have a lot of extra time on their hands. This is a unique experience that you won’t regret undertaking!
Early morning pick up from your hotel in Cusco will be at 7:30 AM. We will drive to Tambomachay (3800 MASL – 12467 FASL), an archaeological complex situated in the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park. Tambomachay is comprised of a series of ceremonial water fountains, which are thought to have been dedicated to a water cult. The day’s hike will start at this point, and will continue through puna landscapes and over the Sicllaccasa pass at 4100 MASL/13186 FASL where we will have spectacular views of two valleys.
To your right, you will see the capital of the Incas, Cusco, with stunning mountains surrounding it.
Your tour guide will tell you about how and where the Incas arrived to this area, and about its conquest by the Spaniards. There are two Inca sites at the bottom of the valley and, on your left, there will be a beautiful landscape of mountains and farmlands.
From the pass, we will follow the side of the valley, making our way toward the top to cross over to the other side. It’s about a 45 minute walk to the top end of the valley. Once we get there, we will cross a small stream that divides the valley and begin making our way to our lunch spot at Qoricocha Lake.
The scenery at the lake is quite barren because the whole area is a high puna between the mountains, and is covered with tough, Andean grass called Ichu. It may be possible to see a variety of bird life, such as Andean geese, lapwings, and partridges, among others. After lunch, we will continue on to our campsite at the village of Patabamba. We will make our way to the top of one of the ridges and, as we descend, loop around Qoricocha Lake (Golden Lake).
It is about a two and a half hour walk to the village where we will be greeted by groups of locals who are always happy to welcome us into their community! After we have settled in and had a steaming cup of coca tea, we will visit one of the local families to learn about their way of life. If you have brought any gifts with you, you can share them with the family at this time. After visiting the family, we will have time to relax, and your tour guide will teach you more about the Andean way of life.
This trail will first take you to the little village of Sihua and then up to the Pukamarca pass (4150 MASL – 13615 FASL) which overlooks the village with the same name. Here, you will have a splendid viewpoint of the Urubamba mountain range and the Sacred Valley. After reaching the top of the pass, there is a 2km/0.6 mile (approximately 30 minute) downhill hike to the Pumamarka Community.
After this, you will continue your trek to the Puma Puncu canyon ( “the puma door” ). From here, you will hike along an original Incan trail, which has been restored as part of the Qapacñan project. This trail will lead you to the isolated and mysterious Inca site of Huchuy Qosqo (“the little Cusco’’) perched above the Sacred Valley of the Incas at 3600 MASL/11811 FASL.
Once in the site, your guide will walk you through and show you all the site’s amazing Inca buildings like sacred temples, storehouses, Inca terraces for agriculture and the Inca reservoir used to store water during the dry season.
Also in this same place we will have lunch, with views of snow-capped mountains surrounding this archaeological complex and the sacred valley of the Incas.
After your guided tour of the site and lunch, we will begin our 40-minutes walk downhill to the village of Lamay (2800 MASL – 9186 FASL) in the Sacred Valley where we will get a bus to take us to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, we take a train to Aguas Calientes (2430 MASL – 7972 FASL) (the village below Machu Picchu) where we will spend the night in a hostel.
Today’s Highlights: Your excitement for our rendezvous at Machu Picchu will rise as we are hiking early in the morning through the forest to reach the site before most other tourists – even the Inca Trail trekkers!! You will have plenty of time to explore this truly magnificent World Wonder while you enjoy the beautiful sunrise from this once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint. Your group will learn about this mystical place in a two-hour guided tour of the ruins.
Afterwards, you can opt to climb Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Mountain (if you have pre-booked tickets) or walk to the Sun Gate (without extra tickets).
Today we arrive at the long-awaited finale of our trek, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Machu Picchu! We will wake up early after a refreshing night at our hostel to beat the crowds to the top of Machu Picchu and enjoy its serenity in the soft morning light.
The Machu Picchu entrance check point is open from 06:00 AM until 17:00 PM. We will hike up to Machupicchu (a bus ride is optional for $12.00) and enter the hidden Royal Citadel of the Incas. Here we will have a 2-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city to visit temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the farming fields.
Be amazed at the engineering ingenuity of the Incas which was so far ahead of their time and still partially a mystery today! Without having modern tools or even steel and iron to work with, the people who built this city were genius in organizing this community in a sustainable and beautiful way on the side of a mountain, even bringing water in canals through its streets for the people to use. When a Peruvian guide showed this site to Hiram Bingham, it was almost unrecognizable, covered in thick vegetation and in a state of disrepair. It has since been cleaned and restored and is now protected and treasured by the world at large!
Optional: going to Huayna Picchu has an additional cost
After this tour, you are free to climb up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). Each mountain takes approximately 3 hours to hike up and down. Another lower-impact option for which you do not need an extra ticket is to trek to the Sun Gate, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round-trip). Another option is walking to see the Incan Bridge.
You will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for more than 7 hours before hiking back down to Aguas Calientes for the train ride at 16:22 hrs (subject to availability) to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick up our group and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco at about 20:00 hrs. Rest your feet and your body now, but we can assure you your heart will still be soaring for weeks and years to come!
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.
Here are some other options that will suit your needs
Thanks for the special time I had with my young daughter Chelsey, 12 years old. We wanted a little adventure, moderate level of trek and a chance to truly meet the local people. This trek was perfect, with a home stay, a couple of days of hiking and of course Machu Picchu. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Huchuy Qosqo ruins, (little Cusco) but most of all our stay with our family IRENE (highly recommended) the first evening. They were so warm and really did their best to make us feel welcome. Our guide helped us with introductions. My daughter loved it. The second day in Sacred Valley with the Salt Mines & Moray were an incredible sight and so beautiful. Of course, Machu Picchu met all of our expectations, and our guide was so good at answering our questions with great English. Chelsey could not leave the Llamas alone. They were so fun for her to pet. We had just the right amount of hiking, fun with a real Inca family and Machu Picchu.
Once again thank you Peru Hike for making our trip so unforgatable!