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Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu

Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu

The archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo (Small Cusco), which was known during the Inca times as Qaqyaqawana (which in Spanish means "place where you look at the thunder"), is located in the district of Lamay, within the province of Calca, in the department and region of Cusco, specifically in a plain found on the top of a mountain. At an altitude of 3 550 meters above sea level. And it is currently considered, thanks to the National Institute of Culture, as Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

At the historical level, this site is known for being the favorite place of the Inca Wiracocha, which he chose as a place of rest and retirement and, where, according to the myth, he died at an advanced age (80 years). It is also said that this area was already populated by different ethnic groups, before the arrival of the Inca, so they had to be previously defeated. Another striking story about the area is that the Inca Wiracocha would not have arrived alone there, but in the company of his son: Inca Urco, the worst ruler of the Empire, who left Tahuantinsuyo to his fate after the Chanca attack that ended up being stopped by his other son Cusi Inca Yupanqui. Finally, another reason that makes this site important is the discovery of a mummified body, found during the Conquest, and that had been attributed to the old Inca monarch, although later burned by the brother of Francisco Pizarro.

As for its location, it can be added in addition to the access feature, which provides the visitor (and those who lived in the archaeological center) a great view of the snow-capped Pitusiray along with the town of Calca.

Regarding the architectural remains that have been preserved on the site, we can say that there are at least 2 buildings, in addition to the presence of platforms and cliffs. Among the buildings, built with some of stone and others of adobe, we can observe, one of three floors, without name; This first construction is characterized by the presence of the mixture of building materials, since the two lower levels are made of stone, while the last one conserves a structure based on adobe. The second building, also without a name, is a rectangular base construction, made of adobones, which was believed to have been intended as a space for labor learning for the women of the Empire. There are also remains of remains of minor enclosures that are almost destroyed by natural events, including rainfall and vegetation in the area.

Quick Itinerary:

Day 01 Cusco – Tambomachay – Pumamarca 

Day 02 Pucamarca – Huchuy Qosqo – Lamay – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes.

Day 03 Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco. 


Huchuy Qosqo Ruins

The enclosure located in Huchuy Qosqo, is called Qaqyaqawana; Quechua name that refers to the place where the beam is looking. This archaeological site is located in the upper third of the mountain called Qaqya (thunder), and exhibits one of the most impressive works of topographic modification by the use of terraces, modulating the edges of precipices and vertical ravines over the Vilcanota Valley, culminating in platforms that were used as ceremonial esplanades, around which you can still find standing, several architectural structures made of stone and adobe. Materials used and worked with great criteria, achieving a fine finish.

In addition, the structures of the enclosure are distributed in such a way that they resemble it architecturally to the city of Cusco; it is for this reason that at the beginning of the 20th century it receives the name of Huchuy Qosqo (small Cusco). One of the most outstanding features of this archaeological site is the use of lithic material combined with adobe and mud. This demonstrates the knowledge and mastery of the different construction materials, used with high technology, especially adobe; the walls constructed of this material, with centuries of antiquity, even defy the strong climatic inclemencies of the zone, the seismic movements and of course the passage of time.


Day 01: Cusco - Tambomachay - Pumamarca

Pick up from the hotel at 6:00 a.m., private transfer to the archaeological site of Tambomachay; The hike will start at this point and continue through puna landscapes and over the Sicllaccasa pass (4020 m / 13186 ft). We walk along a path that leads to the Barranco de Ccauca, where we find archaeological remains and wild crops, such as tarwi, and a large amount of cactus. We will continue towards the Queullococha pass (4185 m / 13727 ft), surrounding the area in spectacular views of the snow peaks of Veronica, Pitusiray and Chicon. We walk by the Queullococha lake, where we can see huallatas, ducks and small fish and then go up to the Challu Challu pass (4220 m / 13842 ft). From this point, we observe the plains of Chinchero and the Piuray and Qoricocha lagoons. Then we ascend to the fourth step in Rumicruz (4230 m / 13874 ft). Then we make our way to the Inca quarry (4220 m / 13842 ft), which was the place where the stones were extracted to build Huchuy Qosqo. We descend towards the community of Pucamarca (4010 m / 13153 ft), where we will arrive in the afternoon. Here we have dinner and camp at night.


Maximum Height: 4230 masl

Estimated walking time: 6 - 7 hours

Distance: 15km

Day 02: Pumamarca - Huchuy Qosqo - Lamay - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes.

After breakfast; We left at 7:00 a.m. from our campsite to continue to Huchuy Qosqo. Hike downhill towards the Leon Punku ravine, where we find remains of an Inca bridge and trails. This canyon has geological formations surrounded by majestic rocks and that direct the river to Huchuy Qosqo at (3600 m / 11808 ft). Huchuy Qosqo is an Inca archaeological complex with impressive architecture that includes a large ceremonial center, from which we enjoy a panoramic view of the Sacred Valley and the Vilcanota River. After the explanation we started walking around two hours until the next point, going down around two hours until we reach Taucca, where we have lunch, from here we take our private transport to Ollantaytambo station where we take the train to Aguas Calientes, we spent the night in a nice hotel in Aguas Calientes.


Maximum Height: 3980 m

Estimated walking time: 4 hours

Distance: 5 km

Day 03: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco.

Very early after breakfast (approximately 5:00 am) we will start the ascent for an hour's walk to the Inka citadel of Machupicchu, in this way we can be one of the first groups within the Inka city which will allow us to enjoy the majestic sunrise, then we will have a guided tour of the most important temples and Inka palaces within the citadel of Machu Picchu, with your guide for an approximate of 02 hours, then you can explore the mysterious Inka city on your own. (Optional climb to the mountain of Huaynapicchu extra cost $ 25 USD per person). At opportune time we will descend from Machu Picchu towards Aguas calientes to board our return train to Ollantaytambo and from there by car to Cusco, our average time to arrive in Cusco will be 8:00 PM, and then we will transfer you to your respective hotels. 



  • Pick up from your hotel in Cusco.
  • Private transportation from Cusco to Tambomachay (starting point of the trek).
  • Private transportation from Taucca to Ollantaytambo train station.
  • Professional bilingual guide.
  • Lunch: 2 breakfast / 2 lunches / 2 dinners
  • Equipment for cooking and cook.
  • Train ticket Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo.
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes.
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu
  • Double tents for up to 3 people.
  • Tents (mattresses, chairs), dining tent, kitchen.
  • Oxygen bottle.
  • First aid kit.

Not Included

  • First breakfast and last lunch.
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Entrance to the mountain Huaynapicchu 
  • Tips

Packing List

  • Original passport ISIC card or student card, if applicable (must be sent at the time of booking).
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented at the agency)
  • Mountain boots and sandals (very important)
  • Trekking poles (can be rented at the agency)
  • Headlight (very important).
  • Camera and spare batteries.
  • Sunscreen / hat and sunglasses.
  • Personal medical kit.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Rain clothes: a good raincoat and rain pants and a plastic rain poncho.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Small towel.
  • Extra money for drinks and tips, souvenirs, etc (soles or dollars).
  • Water Bottle (1 liter recommended).

Doubts and Frequent Questions about Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu

Where is Huchuy Qosqo?

Huchuy Qosqo is located in the peasant community of the same name, just under 5 km from the city of Calca in the department of Cusco, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas; exactly on a summit at 570 m. on the basin of the Urubamba river (Vilcanota). The Huchuy Qosqo route is very beautiful; touring its trails will allow you to visit some Andean communities, archaeological centers and enjoy beautiful landscapes. Many people take advantage of visiting Huchuy Qosqo on their trip to Machu Picchu.



What to see in Huchuy Qosqo?

Here is a list of what you can see in Huchuy Qosqo; at the moment no ticket is needed, or pay to enter Huchuy Qosqo.

  • A structure of three levels (floors), the first two in the form of regular polyhedra, and the last floor made of adobe.
  • The enclosure is of rectangular shape and of enormous architectural invoice.
  • A long building of rectangular plant made of adobones on an eminent platform, this building counts on a great quantity of doors oriented towards the valley.
  • You will find many other small enclosures scattered, most are in poor condition.
  • Very close to these ruins, you will find an Inca road oriented to the Cusco Inca road oriented to Cusco.
  • Also some small loose enclosures as outposts and surveillance located on the edge of the precipice, in order to have the greatest possible field of vision, of the valley.
  • Huchuy Qosqo enclosure internal windows



Is the trek difficult? Do I need to be in good physical condition?

The trek is considered moderately difficult, long. We recommend you should be in relatively good physical condition, in addition to acclimatize. Therefore, we suggest you arrive in Cusco at least 02 days before your departure from the trek to adapt to the altitude. During the two months prior to your walk we suggest a regular and moderate routine to improve endurance. We want you to have the best possible experience!



When should I arrive in Cusco?

We require that all clients arrive in Cusco at least 48 hours before the start of their trek, although 03 nights before is ideal. You must pay your remaining balance a day before your departure for your trip. This will also ensure that you can acclimatize to the altitude to start your hike comfortably. Please note that your remaining balance must be paid in cash during the briefing.


Are the walking sticks necessary?

For this walk, we recommend the walking sticks, especially for people with knee problems. The trail is full of steep and steep climbs, narrow Inkas stairs. These will help in your balance and reduce the impact on your knees.


Where can I keep my luggage that I do not need to take to the walk?

Any luggage that is not necessary for your walk can be stored at your hotel in Cusco (most hotels offer this service free of charge). In the event that your hotel does not offer this service, we will store your luggage safely in our office.




Huchuy Qosqo Day Hike

It is a spectacular day of walking around Cusco. Departing near Chinchero, from the Piuray lagoon (30 min from Cusco by private transport), we travel in height, a spectacular Inca trail, with long uphill and downhill slopes, Inca walls on the sides of the road passing through an open Arrive at Huchuy Qosqo, one of the most important and least visited Inca archaeological centers with impressive views of the Sacred Valley. Huchuy Qosqo Day Hike

Huchuy Qosqo Trek

This hike begins near the community of Taucca, near the town of Urubamba. This trek takes you through a diversity of terrains, from highland plains to fertile potato and corn fields. The highlight is the camp and enjoy a traditional Andean dinner at the Inca site of Huchuy Cusco, also known as "Little Cusco", which offers spectacular views. Huchuy Qosqo Trek

Days 3
Code HQTM3
Activity level
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