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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. 


Everything you can live in Huchuy Qosqo

The architecture of Huchuy Qosqo invites us to discover one of the most magical places in the Urubamba Valley, thanks to the fine finish in each corner of the polished stone of the site.
In Huchuy Qosqo we will find history and the passage of time in each of its ruins.
Among its tourist attractions we have a three-level building that has been preserved for 500 years and without a roof.
There is also a long rectangular building that has several doors that face the valley; with enclosures that functioned as outposts, patios, squares, pedestrian paths, esplanades and a state center where officials of the Inca culture called "kallanka" were housed.
Be dazzled by the terraces and terraces that adorn the contour of the place, creating a unique atmosphere in Huchuy Qosqo.


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).

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.


What does Huchuy Qosqo mean?

Huchuy Qosqo means "Little Cusco", but it also has other names; one would be Qaqyaxaqixawana and another Qaqyaqhawana, this means "from where the rays are observed"; and it is certainly a good name since being 800 meters above the Sacred Valley of the Incas, gives you the opportunity to see the dramatic show of lights and sound, at the moment when lightning and thunder descend from the sky to crash against the I usually. Others say that the site was probably known in Inca times as “Caquia Jaquijahuana”.


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.


Origin of Huchuy Qosqo

According to Inca mythology, it was the favorite place of the Inca Wiracocha, who also encouraged the construction of the city, making it his resting place. With the passage of time, already in his old age, he decided to move away from the government and the movement of the Tahuantinsuyo empire, seeking tranquility in this area.
However, according to the historian María Rostworoski, Wiracocha and his son Inca Urco took refuge in this area due to the discontent generated by the latter's inability to govern the towns of the Urubamba Valley.
According to the stories shared by the villagers, Wiracocha died in Huchuy Qosqo at the age of 80.


History of Huchuy Qosqo

Pedro de Cieza de León, in his second chronicle "Señorío de los Inkas", affirmed that the palaces in Huchuy Qosqo were built by Wiracocha, the eighth Inca ruler. Who chose to leave Cusco to take refuge in this place from the attack of the Chankas, leaving his son Tupac Inca Yupanqui (Pachacútec) in command of the Inca resistance.
The Spanish chronicler Juan de Betanzos affirms that after ten years of leaving power to Pachacútec or Inca Yupanqui, Wiracocha spent his last days in the Xaquixaguana valley and died at the age of eighty.
To this, Maria Rostworoski adds, in her work "Historia del Tahuantinsuyo", that Wiracocha affirmed, chose as his successor his son Inca Urco who, dizzy by power and vices, proved to be a total unable to rule. The Inca royalty was very dazed by this choice and tried to conspire to impose another son of Wiracocha, Prince Cusi Yupanqui. Social unrest and tension increased every day and to make things worse, the darkest night fell on Cusco: the Chancas came to the gates of the capital and were ready to destroy it. It is the year 1438. Wiracocha leaves the city to his fate and, accompanied by his son Inca Urco, takes refuge in his palaces in the Urubamba valley, among which was Huchuy Qosqo.
After the Spanish conquest, Gonzalo Pizarro found here the mummy that supposedly belonged to the Inca Wiracocha and ordered to burn it. The descendants of the Inca kept the ashes in a jar that the chronicler Polo de Ondegardo would discover many years later.

What was Huchuy Qosqo?

Due to its constructions and vestiges found in this place, it is assumed that it is an administrative and military center around Pisaq, with many constructions in the surroundings; In this place it is possible to observe Inca buildings with fine and perfect stone structures and grain stores called Qolcas that are located below the main site of Huchuy Qosqo; This storage system was useful for storing and preserving food, since this place was an important agricultural center to produce corn.


Construction of Huchuy Qosqo

To build it, Wiracocha and his descendants required a large number of workers. Thus, the citizens of the Inca empire were forced, under the mit’a system, to contribute labor in the construction of the Huchuy Qosqo, in addition to other specialists and artisans. The royal estates also served as elegant country palaces and, at times, fortresses to defend against rivals.
In Huchuy Qosqo, one of the best architectural works of the Inca empire is exhibited, around which a series of architectural structures made with great ingenuity and wisdom are still standing, using lithic material combined with adobe and clay for its construction. . The walls with a slight inward inclination, defy telluric movements, strong inclement weather, and the inevitable passage of time; They are proof of their high technology and knowledge in these constructions.
The construction of the enclosures has a slight inward inclination, which guarantees better behavior during earthquakes. The "windows", as can be seen, have a trapezoidal shape, with less width at the top and may at the bottom, a stone lintel closes the gap, the height of these openings is between 4 and 5 rows of stones.


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. 

Buildings in Huchuy Qosqo

One of the most notable characteristics of the complex is the placement of the complex in a staggered manner following the natural slope of the mountain, the result is of great aesthetic quality.

Among its constructions you can see:

  • A "Kallanka" that was of great importance to host the Inca officials; at least 40 to 50 meters long.
  • Three remarkable buildings, one of three floors, with two floors of carved stone and an upper one of adobe, while the second preserves its structure based on adobe. The third building is a rectangular base construction, made with large adobe bricks, which is believed to have had the purpose of being a space for labor apprenticeships for the women of the Empire; in addition to large terraces, cliffs, a very extensive plaza and a large Inca gate that surely served as a gate to control access to the town.
  • The water supply to the site is an irrigation canal built by the Incas, lined with stones perfectly assembled together to prevent water leakage, of about 800 meters and several small reservoirs for irrigation. Upon the arrival of the Spanish they used the site as a farm, demolishing some other Inca structures to build the largest reservoir that can be seen today.

How to get to Huchuy Qosqo?

To get to Huchuy Qosqo it is necessary to walk through three different routes:


The first in a tour of 2 days and 1 night through the ancient Inca roads, crossing mountain passes and walking near beautiful lagoons with views of the snow-capped mountains of the Andes Mountains; This walk begins at 3800 meters above sea level in Tambomachay, the highest point is at 4300 meters above sea level and ends at 2800 meters above sea level; This implies that there is a considerable unevenness, which requires camping under the stars and the tranquility of this place.


The second way is through the route is through Chinchero, this begins in Taucca, a small town on the beautiful Piuray lagoon, in an average of 03 hours of walking and in the course of it there are lagoons that appear shining, on them Andean ducks, huallatas, and grazing llamas are a beautiful sight to behold.


The other walking route is going up from the town of Lamay, approximately 2 hours of walking along a narrow and steep path.

Doubts and Frequent Questions about Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu

What is the altitude during the Huchuy Qosqo Trek?


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! 


The best season to visit Huchuy Qosqo

It will depend on the type of adventure you want to live in Cusco, you can enjoy Huchuy Qosqo with or without rain.
The rainy season is from the months of November to March; and the dry season, the rest of the year.
We always recommend doing the tours at the most accessible time of the year, which is the dry season and where the rainfall is not constant.


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.



  • The entrance fee to Huchuy Qosqo is 22 soles for adults, 10 soles for students (foreigners and nationals pay the same).
  • To carry out this walk acclimatization is necessary; That is why, to achieve a good acclimatization, you must rest as much as possible, eat little, drink liquids and especially drink coca tea. Coca has known healing and digestive properties. This will prevent you from getting altitude sickness or soroche.
  • Undeniable being absorbed by so much architectural beauty left by the Incas. It is amazing that, to date, we have not been able to explain how the Incas came to develop such precise architectural techniques.

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
Activity level
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