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Llactapata Trek to Machu Picchu


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    Tierras Vivas Travel > Llactapata Trek to Machu Picchu

    Llactapata Trek to Machu Picchu

    Code: ITLM

    Llactapata trek to Machu Picchu is similar to the Short Inca Trail 2 days. This archaeological site is a small Inca ruin. The Quequan word “Llactapata” means “High City”. Llactapata shows us her incredible condition located 2.840 meters above the sea. This archaeological site is in the Classic Inca Trail.

    Llactapata is fulfilled with a religious and agricultural importance that is reflected by its proximity to other resorts where the Pulpituyoc ceremony was made. It’s also near to wealth and fertile lands which were frequently used. The strategic location indicates its importance which is expressed by the Inca domination. Llactapata invites us to enjoy the view of its cloud forest landscape. The last day we go hiking to Machu Picchu and then we have a guided Tour in the “lost city of the Incas”. The rest of the time free. Finally we return to Ollantaytambo by train and then return to Cusco by bus.


    Quick itinerary:

    Day 01: Trekking Llactapata to Machu Picchu
    Day 02: Hike to Machu Picchu

    Highlights of the Inca Trail – Llactapata Trek:

    • Visit of a Peruvian cloud forest
    • 2 day hike with a professional Tour Guide
    • Guided tour of the Incan complex of Llactapata
    • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
    • Climb to Huayna Picchu (Optional)

    Crew: A Tierras Vivas Representative in Cusco and a professional Tour Guide of the trek.
    Accommodation: Hostel (1 night).
    Meals: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x dinner (Please allow USD 20 – 30 for meals not included).
    Transportation: Transportation by private van, 2x train.

    Responsible Travel

    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 – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes

    At 4:00 am, we pick you up from your hotel to take by private vehicle to Hidrolectrica (hydroelectric plant). During this 5 hour ride, we can observe cloud forest and mountain landscapes, for example Abra Malaga (4,550 m). When in Hidrolectrica, we get off the vehicle and start climbing to Llactapata Incan complex where we receive a guided tour. Later on, we return to Hidrolectrica and from there, we walk for 3 hours along trails until Aguas Calientes (a small town just below Machu Picchu). We overnight there in a nice hostel with a private bathroom.


    Day 02: Machu Picchu – Cusco

    Today, we wake up very early to hike for 2 hours up to Machu Picchu!! In this amazing Incan citadel, our Tour Guide explains us about its each part function and its history. (Optional) Then,we are given time off to hike Huayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time down) where we can take panoramic photos of Machu Picchu! Later, we can return to Machu Picchu and explore it on our own. In the evening, we return to Cusco by train and then by bus.

    Please note! If Huayna Picchu is fully booked in the time of your booking, we might replace it with Machu Picchu Mountain (a place where all typical postcard photos of Machu Picchu are taken) hiking!, This trek is similar time to the short Inca Trail 2 days


    • Pre-trek briefing with your Tour Guide;
    • Transfer by private vehicle to the initial point of the trek at Hidroelectrica;
    • Accommodation: Hotel (1 night);
    • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu;
    • Meals: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x dinner (please advice us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost);
    • Experienced bilingual Tour Guide;
    • Tourist train (Expedition) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo;
    • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

    Not Included

    • Breakfast on the first day and lunch in Aguas Calientes Town on the second day,
    • A shuttle bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu ($12 one way or $24 a round trip),
    • Travel insurance,
    • Tourist train from Hidrolectrica to Machu Picchu
    • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu mountain (U$ 25)
    • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
    • Other extras not mentioned.
    Single room: If you like a single room for this trek, please choose the “Single room” option during your booking.
    Local flights: No local flight is included in the trek´s price!

    Llactapata Location

    Llactapata is an archaeological site located about 5 kilometers west of Machu Picchu. The complex is located in the Cusco region, La Convencion province, Santa Teresa district, on top of a ridge between the Aobamba and Santa Teresa drainages.


    Etymology of Llactapata Peru

    Hiram Bingham, discoverer of Machu Picchu and many other Inca sites, states that Llacta Pata is a descriptive term: “llacta” means “city” and “pata” means “height”.

    It is believed that a high-ranking Inca had ordered the construction of Llactapata in Peru and that the place must have had some connection to Machu Picchu (located further northwest).

    In scientific resources and newspapers, magazines, there are several archaeological sites called «Llactapata». They are not always the same. Confusions can occur.

    In the vicinity of Machu Picchu there appear to be two places known as Llactapata: one is a site about 5 km (3.1 miles) west of Machu Picchu; while the other is a site about 15 km (9.3 miles) southeast of Machu Picchu. Both sites can be known as Llactapata; both sites have Inca ruins; both are sites in different sections of a trail known as the Inca Trail 4 days / 3 nights.

    Llactapata Pronunciation

    The pronunciation of Llactapata is yakta-pahta.


    Archaeological Center of Llactapata Peru

    Llactapata is an archaeological site composed of buildings with several well-defined sectors, enclosures, platforms, squares, stairways, canals, etc. I highlight, in a special way, the agricultural terraces and their drainage system. This archaeological site should not be confused with another place of the same name, located west of Machu Picchu, which can be visited on the trek to Salkantay, which was a ceremonial center.

    Llactapata in Machu Picchu near the Inca Trail was an eminently agricultural town, it was probably the place where the products of the Valley were concentrated. These are constructions with several well-defined sectors, enclosures, platforms, squares, stairways, canals, etc. Highlighting, in a special way, the agricultural terraces and their drainage system.

    The viewpoint par excellence of Machu Picchu

    The city is located in a small chain of ravines, near the top of a steep slope that rises higher than Machu Picchu itself, at 1,828 meters above sea level. Its location is precise so that through it the impressive views of the lost city of Machu Picchu can be observed.

    Most of the photos of Machu Picchu that tourists are used to seeing are taken from the north side. Very few visitors today have seen it from the other side, from Llaqtapata, where it can be seen above the southwest. For example, Huayna Picchu, the mountain that dominates Machu Picchu in most photographs, is almost insignificant seen from the new angle that Llaqtapata offers.

    Ceremonial and astronomical sanctuary

    Thomson and Ziegler concluded that Llaqtapata’s location along the Inca Trail suggested that it was an important resting place and roadside sanctuary during the journey to Machu Picchu. This investigation and subsequent ones have revealed an extensive complex of structures and features related and connected to Machu Picchu by a continuation of the Inca Trail that leads to Vilcabamba.

    This magnificent archaeological complex has several well-defined sectors, including residences for the upper class, ceremonial chambers and platforms, all of them with spectacular views of Machu Picchu and other nearby snow-capped mountains.

    Thus, Llactapata Peru may have been a member of the network of interrelated administrative and ceremonial sites that supported the regional center of Machu Picchu. Experts speculate that it played an important astronomical role during the solstices and equinoxes of the Inca Empire.

    The Discovery of the Llactapata Ruins

    The ruins of Llactapata were discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1912, shortly after he found the ruins of the great Machu Picchu.

    Bingham had great difficulty discovering the ruins of the dense vegetation. The nearby Aobamba Valley, near Llactapata, was also infested with poisonous snakes.

    The height of the trees also precluded clear observations, even though the team had gone to great lengths to cut through vegetation with machetes to get through.

    Shortly after the discovery, the Llactapata ruins were abandoned and covered again by vegetation.

    The ruins of Llactapata were thoroughly examined by the Thomson-Ziegler expedition in 2003.

    The ruins of Llactapata were determined to be an important site near the Inca Trail that leads to Machu Picchu. It was probably a sanctuary.

    About Llactapata Inca Trail

    The Llactapata site contains the remains of a small Inca complex near Machu Picchu.

    Without a doubt, it is an impressive place for its large size and its wide curved terraces that surround the Inca city at the top. It is also surrounded by large mountains that form a beautiful landscape worthy of admiration.

    Although little evidence remains regarding its history, it is believed that Llactapata was a complex of observatories and temples, used to take astronomical readings. The walled remains of various structures can be explored, along with a 150 foot sunken corridor.

    Llactapata near the Inca Trail should not be confused with another place of the same name, located west of Machu Picchu, which can be visited on the trek to Salkantay, which was a ceremonial center.


    How to get to Llactapata in Cusco?

    To get to Llactapata in Cusco, you must leave from Cusco. From Lima to Cusco, the redBus ticket has a cost that varies between 60 and 150 soles. Once in Cusco, visitors can rent a private vehicle or take a bus to the Santa Teresa district. They can also take a bus to Quillabamba at Santiago station, get off at Santa María and take a bus or colectivo to Santa Teresa. The combis that go directly to Quillabamba leave from the Plaza de Armas de Santa María every 15 minutes. There are frequent buses to Santa María from the bus terminal.

    From there they must take a local train that takes them to the Hydroelectric Power Plant, about 8 km from Santa Teresa. Upon arrival, you can transfer in a private vehicle for approximately 30 minutes to the starting point of the trek in Lucmabamba. There they take the Inca Trail through a moderate ascent to Llaqtapata that lasts approximately 6 hours, from where you have a spectacular view of the citadel of Machu Picchu.

    Upon return, you can rent a vehicle to take you to the beginning of Lucmabamba. From there you can take a bus to the Hydroelectric or continue to Machu Picchu.



    Tips for visiting Llactapata

    • The best time to visit Llactapata in Cusco is in the dry season, from April to October, where there is less rain and the sky is clear and the landscapes and views of the archaeological site are visible.
    • The path along the Inca Trail is well signposted and can be done without a guide, although these are useful to indicate the ruins, as well as the flora and fauna.
    • To trek the Llactapata to Inca Trail path it is essential to enjoy an excellent physical condition since the conditions are difficult and demanding for travelers.
    • Tourists are recommended to leave early, as it is hot on the road. Also, bring repellent and sunscreen is very necessary. As well as protecting yourself against altitude sickness by taking the appropriate medications (pills) that can be easily purchased at any pharmacy, or by drinking coca tea or chewing the leaves. Also, carrying a bottle of water with you can be very useful, as the high temperatures in the jungles can quickly dehydrate travelers.
    • You have to carry all the money you need because there are no banks or ATMs.

    Appropriate Clothing along this trek

    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 Machupicchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machupicchu 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 take this trek

    • Original passport (+ copies for a case of lost),
    • Pocket money in Nuevos Soles,
    • A backpack
    • A small rucksack,
    • Rain gear (a rain-jacket and a waterproof trousers or a rain poncho – this can be purchased in Cusco),
    • Resistible footwear, waterproof trekking shoes are recommended,
    • Sandals (for a higher comfort while at a campsite),
    • Warm clothes such as a jacket, a fleece (thermal clothing is also recommended for cold nights during camping),
    • Hat or a cap (to protect you against the Sun, rain as well as cold),
    • Sun cream or sun block,
    • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body,
    • Insect repellent – recommended minimum is 20% DEET (please note that no malaria cases have been reported during this trip!),
    • Camera and its charger/batteries (please note that batteries are consumed quickly under cold conditions),
    • Flashlight/headlamp + batteries,
    • Handkerchiefs and toilet paper,
    • Small towel and toiletries,
    • Sufficient reserve of underwear,
    • Swimsuit (to visit the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes),
    • Snacks (biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.)
      Please note: we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. The recommendation of taken own snack applies only for customers who like a specific snack that might not be in our menu.
    • Bottled water for the first morning and a water bottle to be refill.
    • Optional: walking sticks; you can also rent it from us,
    • Please note: we provide with filtered boiled water during the entire trek, but if you like to use water from streams along the trail, you need to take some water-purifying tablets with you.

    Where to stay in Llactapata?

    Eco Quechua Lodge

    Ecological hotel with private balconies overlooking the Vilcanita River and the mountains. Guests can enjoy zip line excursions (also known as canopy or canopy) and visits to indigenous communities accompanied by official guides. Built with different types of native wood, the Eco Quechua Lodge has recycling and reforestation programs and is located 1 hour by car from Machu Picchu and 15 minutes by car from the ruins of Santa Teresa.

    Rooms at the Eco Quechua Lodge are equipped with a minibar, a tea / coffee maker and a private bathroom. The property serves a full breakfast with tropical fruits and coffee, and the restaurant offers candlelight dinners and room service.

    1. Yacumama Hotel Santa Teresa

    It offers accommodation with free WiFi and a pet-friendly terrace in Santa Teresa near Llactapata, 8 km from Machu Picchu. The property has a restaurant and private parking is available. All rooms have a flat-screen cable TV. Some of them have views of the mountain or the city.

    This property has a 24-hour reception and offers bicycle rental.

    1. Llactapata Lodge

    Located in a magical place, Llactapata Lodge has the most beautiful views of the impressive archaeological site. There visitors can enjoy these majestic panoramas and also the beautiful surrounding landscape, which includes the Salkantay mountain, the Vilcanota river, the Verónica mountain and the trails to Santa Teresa and the Hidroeléctrica. The owners grow their own local produce for the kitchen, such as coffee, bananas, avocados, tomatoes, pineapples, hot peppers, carrots, potatoes and olluco. They also make honey and farm fish.

    The Llactapata Lodge offers excellent accommodation with solar showers (they have capacity for 20 people in single, double and triple rooms), buffet meals, drinks and natural coffee, roasted, ground and filtered by themselves. It also offers guided tours to Machu Picchu passing through Salkantay and Llaqtapata.

    1. Cola de Mono Lodge

    It offers an outdoor pool and accommodation in rooms and tents. WiFi is free. In addition, guests of rooms and shops receive a free breakfast. The Cola de Mono consists of two different types of accommodation. The room has a private bathroom, and has the peculiarity that it is in the trees and includes great views of the valley and the Sacsara river, while the tents have a shared bathroom, mattress, duvet, sheets and towels.

    The Cola de Mono has a 24-hour reception, a garden, barbecue facilities, a games room, a tour desk and a laundry service. Different activities can be carried out on site or in the surroundings with prior reservation, such as hiking, trekking, zip-lining and visits to hot springs.


    Other tourist attractions near Llactapata


    The second highest mountain in Cusco, the snowy territory of Salkantay presents travelers with a unique landscape crowned by snow-capped peaks, where nature is the main protagonist. The snowy Salkantay is an alternative route to get to the citadel of Machu Picchu. This route consists of a unique five-day hike, which begins from the town of Mollepata, on the way to Abancay and three hours from Cusco, on a journey that takes travelers from the mountain pass, at an altitude of 4600 masl, to the high jungle of Machu Picchu.

    The splendid snow-capped mountain is famous among mountaineers for its constant and unpredictable avalanches that have claimed the lives of several climbers; very few have been able to reach the top.

    1. Cola de Mono

    In Llactapata near Santa Teresa you will find the highest canopy in South America, a unique experience available for all nature and adventure lovers. It has a total route of 2,500 meters of galvanized cables that are divided into 6 routes, about 350 meters long, and 11 platforms, which allow adventurers to slide and enjoy the fabulous landscape of the Sacsara valley at an exorbitant height.

    The flight height is between 35 and 150 meters and everything is built with the best technology in high mountain sports. The experience can be done by anyone, individually or accompanied by the guides. It can grip speeds of 60 km / h and the total duration of the tour is approximately 2 hours.

    1. Cocalmayo thermal baths

    The Colcalmayo hot springs are a popular destination for travelers seeking a connection with nature. These beautiful municipal-run natural hot springs are a first-rate attraction. The pools, which disappeared with the 2010 floods, have been rebuilt, but not the camping areas. The thermal baths of Cocalmayo are in the valley of the Urubamba river (Vilcanota) in a cozy and relaxing place, with naturally heated pools, and reach 44 ° C. They are located 20 minutes from the town of Santa Teresa, precisely at kilometer 135 of the railway line between Cusco and Quillabamba, at 1600 masl

    Putucusi to Machu Picchu Trek

    The mountain of Putucusi is one of the jewels of Machu Picchu, let’s say the unknown jewel then, other gems like the mountain Huayna Picchu are already well known. And if you did not know, the Putucusi mountain is as impressive as everything that can be found in Machu Picchu.

    In addition, it offers one side of Machu Picchu that only those who dare to climb the Putucusi know. The Putucusi mountain offers views of Machu Picchu that not many people have been able to capture and completely different from what you get from the tops of the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains. It is the only mountain that offers a horizontal view of the Inca city.

    Putucusi means “happy mountain”, it has a round shape and is on the opposite (northeast) side of the Urubamba River (Vilcanota), in front of Machu Picchu; in the department of Cusco in Peru. Its highest point reaches 2,560 meters above sea level. This mountain offers epic views of Machu Picchu and the valley of the Urubamba River that surrounds the mountains where Machu Picchu is located. Putucusi to Machu Picchu Trek

    Inka Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu / 3D

    The Inca Jungle trek to Machu Picchu is by far the most adventurous trekking option in the Cusco region. It is also the most varied in terms of activities. The ‘trek’ includes a massive downhill mountain biking experience, followed by possible river rafting on Grade III and IV rapids, jungle trekking, and optional zip-lining. It culminates with a visit to Machu Picchu. 

    The trek naturally appears to adventurous types who like thrilling adrenaline-filled experiences. If you are looking for a pure Andean trekking experience, hate mountain biking and enjoying camping, then this trek is not for you. Rather check out these alternative treks to Machu Picchu or indeed, the Classic Inca Trail. Inka Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu

    Tierras Vivas - Travel Agency