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Pacaymayo Valley

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Pacaymayo Valley

Pacaymayo is a valley crossed during the famous Trek of the Inca Trail. It is located not far from the Runkurakay ruins.


The temple, the deep Pacaymayo valley and the subtropical forest unite in one vision, pure magic. The blue sky was often covered by clouds that were not seen until we got there, this is why this valley is often called 'the forest among the clouds'. White peaks surrounded us everywhere we could see. Simply beautiful!


Definetely, is an impressive attraction that you can´t lose on your trip to Machu Picchu.



The word Pacamayo comes from the Quechua word 'sunrise'.


Altitude of Pacaymayo valley

The Pacaymayu valley is located at an altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level / 11,811 feet.


How to get to Pacaymayo valley?

To know the Pacaymayu valley you just have to follow the Inca trail that leads to Machu Picchu. We recommend that you take a tour of the 4 day Inca Trail Tour to enjoy various archaeological complexes found on this route, so that you can live an unforgettable experience before knowing the wonderful Machu Picchu.


Descending is hard on the knees so we take our time. Several small camping spots can be found in the Pacaymayu valley.


Also, you can get to this beautiful archaeological attraction of Cusco, choosing the following routes of the Inca trail: Machu Picchu 3 day hike2 day Inca Trail with campingone day Inca Trail.



Be careful, it is impossible to do the Inca Trek without having the services of a trekking agency.


Inca Trail through the Pacaymayo valley

There are many roads that lead to Machu Picchu but none like the Inca Trail. The most popular among travelers and the most famous pedestrian route in the American continent. From Cuzco, 43 kilometers of path between forests and dense fogs, ancient stone steps and majestic views. At the end is the reward: the famous Puerta del Sol and its impressive views of the ruins of Machu Picchu.


Doing the Inca Trail is an initiatory rite for the traveler and a unique adventure, but it is necessary to plan well before setting off.


Description of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu route


Based on 4 days / 3 nights Tour.


The total distance of the road is approximately 39.6 km and begins at Kilometer 88 at a place called Q'oriwayrachina. To start the journey, you need to cross the Kusichaca bridge, (an important Inca bridge that using Inca techniques, which was built with steel cables that allowed visitors to cross the Urubamba river) Then you must go to the left bank of the river through from a eucalyptus forest to start the day calmly.


Almost immediately, you will reach the archaeological complexes of Q'ente, Pulpituyoc, Kusichaca and Patallacta. From this last point, you must follow the path to the left of the Kusichaca river, in the area with the same name, where you will not only see the bridge, but you will also find the tombs, aqueducts, terraces, paths and a canyon. You will have to continue until you reach the small rural town of Wayllabamba and the Inca aqueducts. It will take around four hours to cover the 9 km to this place. The first night you can camp here, but for greater comfort it is recommended to stay in Llullucha, 1.6 km further on.


The second day is more difficult since you will have to climb to 4,200 masl, crossing the Warmiwañusqa pass, the first and highest point. If you suffer from "soroche" (altitude sickness) it is better that you do not stop and descend quickly to the Pacaymayu valley, where you can camp. This place is 7 km away and approximately 8 hours walking.


The third day is the longest but the most interesting. You can visit impressive complexes such as Runqurakay, the second pass, at 3,800 masl. This is a walled complex with interior niches that was perhaps a small resting place, guard post and place of worship. After crossing the second pass, we will descend to Yanacocha (the black lagoon), and then climb a path with stone steps until we reach another group of buildings that attracts the attention of visitors. This place is called Sayaqmarka a pre-Hispanic complex with narrow streets, buildings built on different levels; sanctuaries, patios, canals and an exterior protective wall. At the top of the buttress you can see many buildings that lead us to suppose that they once became a temple and an astronomical observatory where there was a permanent supply of water and an excellent food store.


Sayaqmarka is a place full of mystery and charm. The approximate distance to Runkuraqay is 5 km., 2 hours. This complex is 3,600 meters above sea level. There are great trails and a tunnel through this complex. We recommend that you camp near the Phuyupatamarca ruins or 3 km further on at the Wiñay Wayna Visitor Center, where you can buy food and drinks or use the restrooms. The Phuyupatamarca ruins is the one that preserves better than we have observed so far.


It has been built on a solid foundation of several meters in some cases. The Wiñay Wayna ruins took this name possibly due to the abundance of a type of beautiful orchid flowers that blooms almost year-round throughout the area. The Peruvian government and the Viking Fund signed an agreement in 1940 to investigate the area, and sent the Wenner Gren expedition led by Professor Paul Fejos. But despite the expedition, there is no precise information on the specific function of the six housing groups near Machu Picchu. They are divided into four well-defined sectors that are: the agricultural sector with many terraces, the religious sector, the source sector and the residential sector where the houses are located.


On the fourth day, which starts around 8 A.M., the walkers arrive at Machu Picchu, the Sacred city of the Incas at approximately 11 A.M. after an 8 km walk through the jungle. You should follow the signposted route and then take some water at the Wiñay Wayna Visitor Center. The path is clearly marked but we recommend not getting too close to the cliff.


Camping in Inti Punki is prohibited. You will need to leave your travel gear at the control gate and enjoy.


If you have planned to stay in the town of Machu Picchu (Formerly called "Aguas Calientes"), the distance from the Puente Ruinas station to Machu Picchu is 2 km. It takes around 20 minutes on foot along a narrow path that is located parallel to the train line.


Alternative Treks to Inca Trail

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