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Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu

Inca Quarry Trail  to Machu Picchu

Inca Quarry Trek - Cachicata's proximity to Machu Picchu makes trekking around it an attractive alternative to the oversubscribed Inca Trail. Cachicata is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in this trek will appreciate the Huarocondor terraces, the water fall, Incas ruins, Andean terraces, Intipunku (Sun gate), Inca trail original, stone quarries and Inca Mummies. During this hike you will enjoy the nature of the Andean highlands and the enigmatic Inca path.

On the third day, continue the hike will arrive to Inca Ollantaytambo, where you will take the train to Aguas Calientes town and you will spend a night in the hotel. The last day you will visit the 'Lost City of the Incas'. Guided tour of the Machu Picchu and free time to walk around to the city or the best option to climb up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Discover the new Inca Path and it is similar to the Classic Inca Trail. Book Now!!

Inca Quarry Trail  to Machu Picchu

The Inca emperor Pachacuti conquered and razed Ollantaytambo; the town and the nearby region were incorporated into his personal estate.  The emperor rebuilt the town with sumptuous constructions and undertook extensive works of terracing and irrigation in the Urubamba Valley; Cachicata was the stone quarries used for the building of  Ollantaytambo and it's huge and magnificent carvings, ruins monoliths and stone structures. These stones were often transported mysteriously to other local areas for the building of special ceremonial places in the mountains and valleys.


Inca Quarry Trek Overview 

Sustainable Tourism: At Tierras Vivas, we are happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities 

Service Level: Superior service all inclusive, extra horses for your equipment and private transport.

Physical Rating: 3 - Demanding -  Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers

Age requirement: 12+ / All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Tour Operator: Tierras Vivas Travel

Crew: A professional bilingual Tour Guide, a Cook, a Muleteer and horses on the Cachicata.

Accomodation: Campsites (2 nights), hotel (1 night).

Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 2x afternoon tea.

Transportation: Transportation by private van, 2x train.

Camping equipment: It is included the all camping equipment for your hike. Please click here


Quick Itinerary:

Day 01: Cusco - Huarocondo - Pachar - Corimarca (L, D)

Day 02: Corimarca - Queñacancha (B, L, D)

Day 03: Queñacancha - Cachicata - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D)

Day 04: Machu Picchu - Cusco (B)


Highlights of the Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu:

  • 3 day hike with professional guide, chef, muleteer and horses
  • Discover the Inca ruins and monuments
  • View the sun rise over Machu Picchu
  • Discover the Inca mummies hidden in a cave
  • Visit the stone quarries of the built to Ollantaytambo
  • Hike part of the original Inca Trail
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu


Meeting & Starting Point

Departure Point: Cusco - We pick you up from your hotel.

Departure Time: 05:30

Briefing Point: Our guide will visit your hotel 2 or 1 day before the trek 

Briefing Time: Between 17:00 - 18:00

Return Point: Cusco - Our driver will drop-off in your hotel or Airbnb department


Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu Review

Responsible Travel


San Martin de Porres School

If you reserve this trip, you will be making a donation to the school for special needs children, click here please


Tierras Vivas Porters

Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! There is still a long way to go when it comes to a reserve of adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation. click here


Each Year Tierras Vivas hots a Christmas party in Patacancha. Family porters,


Day 01: Cusco - Huarocondo - Pachar - Corimarca (L, D)

We drive from Cusco to Pachar located in the Sacred Valley, arrive Huaroncondor to trailhead, here we will meet with muleteer and horses and we will prepare the camping equipment, then we climb up the stairs and visit to Huarocondor terraces. continue the trek to Raphcca, 2,900 m.a.s.l (9,514ft.) From here we hike up the valley, along the route we appreciate inka terraces,  water channels, Quechua comunities and endemic flora and fauna. We follow an steep trail that eventually bring us to a tall waterfall where we can pause to refresh our body and mind. Walking further, we visit the little known Inka site of Corimarca, our first campsite.

Day 02: Corimarca - Queñacancha (B, L, D)

We climb across open meadows, reaching a zone of high altitude shrubland known as Puna, approaching the pass of Chancachuco 4,400 m.a.s.l (14,435ft). This part of the trek offers panoramic views of the highest peaks in Cusco region. Our route continues across a high plateau, we pass mountain lakes where we may see andean and wetland birds, descending to our second campsite at Qeuñacancha, 4080 m.a.s.l (13,385ft).

Day 03: Queñacancha - Inca Quarry Trail - Cachicata - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D)

We hike downhill following the trail until we join the Inka water channel which comes from Maracocha lake, from here we reach the temple call Intiwatana, which is located on the edge of the mountain called Apu Alambre, in front of the Veronica snow peak. Then we continue downhill to Choquetacarpo an archaeological site, which was most likely the residence of architects who managed the Inca quarries and performed ceremonies at Intipunku, after lunch we wend our way downward, exploring different sectors of one of the biggest Inka quarries, where massive carved blocks of pink rhyolite lie scattered in disarray. The quarried stones, testimony to a great building project that was never finished and were destined for the Inka site of Ollantaytambo.We descend to the train station and to take the train to Aguas Calientes town.

Day 04: Machu Picchu - Cusco (B)

We have a ver early morning start(before dawn), so we can get to Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate or Intipunku before the crowds. we trek the last 2 hours up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu. Guided tour of Machu Picchu and then you can explore this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement by yourself. In the night we take the train to Ollantaytambo and transfer you to your hotel.


What is included in this hike?

  • Pre-trek briefing (Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing);
  • Early morning transfer by private bus to Huaroncondor - the initial point of the trek;
  • Accommodation: Campsites (2 nights) and a Hotel in Machu Picchu (1 night);
  • Entrance fee to Cachicata and Machu Picchu;
  • Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner and 2x afternoon hot beverages;
  • Professional bilingual Tour Guide;
  • Professional Cook;
  • Horseman;
  • Horses to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 7 kg of each passenger's stuff;
  • Camping equipment: Eureka Mountain Personal double tents (3 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks);
  • Sleeping / Inflatable mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress);
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
  • A blanket per person
  • A pillow
  • A pair of hiking poles;
  • Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
  • Rain Ponchos;
  • Water every day (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own);
  • Tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas;
  • A round trip by tourist train (Expedition Service) between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes;
  • A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town;
  • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco;

Not Included:

  • Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day;
  • International and domestic flights nor airport departure taxes;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu ($ 80);
  • A shuttle bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu ($ 12 - one way, $24 - a round trip);
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
  • Other extras not mentioned.

Solo Traveler: Please note that if you have booked the "Solo traveler" option for this tour, you receive your own single tent and a single room in Aguas Calientes.

Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price!

Packing List for the Cachicata Trek

Luggage and backpacker for you trekking

Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Pachar (1st day) to Cachicata (2th day). 3 day hike, you will take your luggage by train to Aguas Calientes. You are expected to carry your own luggage (max 10 min). We recommend keeping the weight under 5 kg/10lb. You will need to carry clothes, sleeping bag.


If very important your take best cover backpacker, because the weather in Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu is change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended putting your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside the plastic bag.


Appropriate clothing along this hike

Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machu Picchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machu Picchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.


What to bring to Cachicata Trek?

  • Passport original
  • Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount)
  • Cash in soles no dollars
  • A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
  • Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping
  • Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
  • Camera and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
  • Sun block
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
  • Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Toilet paper
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. This recommendation applies for all clients being used to a specific snack, as it may happen that it is not included in our selection
  • Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed into Machu Picchu. Plastic water containers (ie. Nalgene) or metal ones are recommended
  • Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far
  • Small towel
  • Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
  • Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage archaeological sites).

Extra Information

The camping equipment to Cachicata trek will be returned to Cusco on day 3rd, you need to give to chef the sleeping bag, Therma rest mattress.

  • Camping (double tent) provided in nights 1st, 2nd
  • The bed (double room) provided in Aguas Calientes town on nights 3th
  • This trek to Cachica included 5 kilos of personal items in the tour price carried by horses. You will need to carry with you a daypack with your Camera, water bottle, snacks, cold weather clothing and a poncho in case of rain (unlikely in Dry season May to October)- but as a precaution) and anything you will need before lunch as horses do not walk alongside you.
  • You will meet up with your bag at lunch and then it will be waiting for you in your tent at campsites.
  • The bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes not included in this trek


Optional services to be hired

  • Backpack 45 Lts USD 20
  • Walking sticks or trekking poles USD 20 for both
  • You need to take 5 kilos of personal belonging included in the tour price carried by horses ...If you would like to request more porter age for personal items each extra 3 kilos requested is USD 20 additional charge but you can just request this in the office at your checking.
  • Maybe you have to doubt to walk in this trek, you can hire the extra emergency horses, and the price is USD 80.


Climate: The highland region of Cusco has well defined winter and summer seasons.Winter days (June - August) are very sunny and warm, but the temperature drops to near freezing at night . Rainy season is from January to March. December and January are two of the nicest months for trekking with only the occasional shower and blooming flowers.


When is the best time to hike to Machu Picchu?

The best season is during the dry season, which covers the months April to the end of September. In October the rains begin and you can find Machu Picchu covered by clouds. If you travel in June, we recommend you to book the Inti Raymi 2020Tour that takes place in June 24th, and also hike thePalcoyo Mountain Tour, which is an incredible Rainbow Mountain located in the Andes.

Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail to Inca Trail 4 Day

Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail to Inca Trail 4 Day

Cachicata to Inca Trail is located on the Sacred Valley of the Incas. During two day hike to Cachicata, you will enjoy the nature of the Andean highlands, the water fall, Incas ruins, Inca Mummies original, Andean Terraces, Intipunku (Sun gate), Inca Trail original and stone quarries. two night camping. On the third day you will arrive to Ollantaytambo archeological village and take you by train to the starting point of this 2 day Inca Trail trek - Chachabamba, also called Km 104 (2,350 m). Cachicata Trek to Inca Trail 4 days

Classic Inca Trail vs Inca Quarry Trail

Everyone knows about the Inca Trail: their friends may have traveled it and it is the echo that is heard in return when the name of Machu Picchu is called in all the Andes.


No matter what path you take, walking in Peru offers you a dazzling perspective of the old mountain peaks, offers the rewards of a physically demanding hike and takes you on a journey while meeting the locals along the way.


While many travelers are in panic searching Google for 'other walks in Peru' after discovering that the Inca Trail permits have been exhausted, you can even consider the Quarry Trail as a better option for you.


For whatever reason you have found yourself at a crossroads trying to decide, here is a quick summary of what you will get from both amazing walks.


Classic Inca Trail


The Classic Inca Trail is classic route to Machu Picchu and famous of the world, the classic trail need to book in advance, the tourist limit is 500 people per day and you have to worry, if your company has booked or no your hike. Once be on the route, you realize that in the route there are more than 500 or 200 hikers with you, which makes it very difficult to connect and enjoy the scenery of the Inca Trail. the Classic Inca Trail offer diferents micro-climates (mountain range to Rainforest), but It’s actually one of the most beautiful walks in.South America, at least among those in the know.


inca quarry trail vs inca trail


Tierras Vivas offers two hike to the Inca Trail trek:

Inca Quarry Trail


In case, you want to explore, enjoy the beautiful landscapes, the Inca Quarry trail is new alternative hike to theClassic Inca Trail, where you wont find the hikers. Not on the usual gringo trail path.It doesn’t lead right to the Sun Gate, the main thing you miss by doing the Quarry Trail is hiking through rainforest as the Quarry trail does not go through different micro-climates but you can still reach Machu Picchu via a short train ride. But you can find a new Sun Gate all over the Andes. Sun Gate or called Inti Punku, are structures built to honor the sun, usually at such an angle that they frame a distant mountain and welcome the first rays of the winter solstice. Inca mummies inside the caves. The water fall, where you can take a shower, above it will appreciate the Inca ruins. Andean Terraces and finally the stone quarries it is one of the ancient quarries used by pre Inca and Inca civilizations to build the vast complex of Ollantaytambo.


inca trail vs quarry trail


Tierras Vivas offers two hike to the Inca Quarry trek:

Classic Inca Trail vs Inca Quarry Trail


  Classic Inca Trail Inca Quarry Trail
What is it? This place was dedicated to carve and extraction of stones that were used for the construction of Ollantaytambo and many establishments nearby and it is located 9 kilometers away from it. The tourist can see the great work done in the moment the gigantic stones were moved to build the enclosures of Ollantaytambo. There you can appreciate Incan terraces, short authentic Inca trail, Temple of the Water God above a secret holding lovely waterfall, Incan mummies and Andean highlands. On the last day, you take a train to Machu Picchu and visit the antique and mysterious Incan citadel!! A climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain can be also added to the trek. The Inca Trail is considered the best trek in South America. It is a 43-kilometer route along ancient Inca trails to Machu Picchu. The start of the journey is in Pisqacucho (kilometer 82), near the town of Ollantaytambo in Cusco. The end is at the Intipunku (Puerta del Sol) in the Inca City of Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is considered among the 5 best hiking trails in the world. Daily they only allow a maximum of 500 people to enter their paths. Of these, approximately 200 are tourists. The rest are support staff: guides, porters, cooks. This route is the way the Incas once arrived in Machu Picchu.
Where is located? The Inca Quarry Trail is ubicated 12 km from Sacred Valley of the Incas and 9 km of the Ollantaytambo and near to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is located in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, between Cuzco, Capital of the ancient Inca Empire, and the citadel of Machu Picchu. The alternation of mountains and valleys along the walk offers an incredible and very diversified spectacle.
How difficult is the Trail? The overall distance of the Quarry Trail is about 26km (the Inca Trail is 43km) and the maximum altitude is 4,450m above sea level (the Inca Trail highest point is Dead Woman Pass at 4,215m). We’ll give you time in Cuzco to acclimatize before the trek, but altitude sickness can be a problem for some. The Inca Trail is considered of medium moderate difficulty. The 4 days and 3 nights of walking are intense the first days but decrease as the end approaches. The jackpot is to see Machu Picchu from a unique place at the end of the trekking.
When is the best time to do the Trail? The best season to do the Inca Quarry is May or October are good months. Peak time is the same as the Inca Trail, June, July and August. Weather here will be great, but you will be fighting for photo space at Machu Picchu. The difference is, you will have had the Andes to yourself for the last few days. From May to September (dry season) is the ideal time to travel the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. These months are usually generally good for the crossing due to the low rainfall frequency. In the months of November to March, summer (rainy season) is presented. This season is usually very rainy, which makes walking and access difficult. You will not even be able to travel the Inca Trail in February due to rainfall and maintenance work.


Other Hiking Tours to Machu Picchu

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.


Cheap Inca Trail Tour / 4 Days

Cheap Inca Trail Tour / 4 Days

The traditional Inca Trail is so well known and so popular that it has grown very difficult to get a spot and very expensive to take. This trip allows travelers who care more about the challenge and the experience than being coddled, for those who can’t afford to pay a lot but desperately want to take this legendary trail and visit the incredible city of Machu Picchu. This trip through the mountains and cloud forests of the Cusco region of Peru is an unforgettable journey to the Lost City of the Incas and an important experience that anyone, regardless of budget, should be able to enjoy. This trip includes guilds, meals, transportation back from Machu Picchu, and a tour of the city.

Cheap inca trail machu picchu

Short Salkantay to Machu Picchu / 4 Days

Short Salkantay to Machu Picchu / 4 Days

The Salkantay mountain is considered a sacred mountain. This shortened hike passes through these mountains, as well as very close to the Inca Trail, making it a very similar but much more isolated experience, as well as much easier to book. This trek brings hikers close to nature, due to the long hours of hiking through the elements and the two nights of camping. There is one night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, giving the travelers a good chance to rejuvenate before a tour of Machu Picchu in time to see the sun rise.

Salkantay trek Machu Picchu

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu / 4 Days

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu / 4 Days

The Lares Valley, being as secluded as it is, has preserved a certain culture, closely connected to the Incas. The many villages in the valley are famous for their weaving and their traditional outfits, which are brightly hand-dyed. This is a culturally immersive hike that allows travelers to interact with the locals and learn their customs and way of life, which includes domesticating large herds of llamas, alpacas, and sheep, farming on Incan terraces, and many other things. This hike travels to Ollentaytambo to catch the trail to Aguas Calientes for a relaxing night before an early morning tour of the Incan city itself.

Lares trek to machu picchu

Days 4
per person
$ 550.00
Activity level
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