This majestic mountain was an alternative home from many Incas during the Empire, between the road to Machu Picchu. Maybe the Vilcabamba mountain is well known but the trek to Machu Picchu is not famous and that makes it special because we can realize a challenging but at the same time quiet tour. Considerate like a hidden treasure because is not completely explore yet. Generally the Vilcabamba hike is finished on 6 days, each one with new explorations and archaeological sites to discover, the ruins and monuments are compared to the magnificent view from beautiful landscapes. It's really amazing, see the animals and vegetation you will find along the trip, incredibly valleys and admirable lakes also have a good panoramic view, before to reach to Machu Picchu we'll have to crossing between unknown territories and beautiful landscapes for then descending until the specatular jungle.
Walking on inca trails preserved and exploring the unexplored where there is a story for every Inca monument that you see along the trip. All the time will be beautiful for your eyes, seeing the tropical jungles and snow mountains that is inevitable to take pictures. Crossing by Vitcos, Ñustrahispana and the lost citadel which are the most important sites along the Vilcabamba trail.
Maybe it can be quiet but also is known for the challenging paths, is for that an acclimatization in few days before the trek would be nice to finish the trek. Don't worry, because at the end of the trail you'll have your reward, the lost citadel of Machu Picchu. So, no doubt Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu is a good alternative of Inca Trail.
Day 01: Cusco - Chaullay - Huancacalle - Vitcos
Day 02: Huancacalle - Racachaca
Day 03: Racachaca - Mutuypata
Day 04: Mutuypata - Yanatile - Santa Teresa
Day 05: Santa Teresa - Hydro - Aguas Calientes
Day 06: Machu Picchu
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
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.
Vilcabamba Tour Operator: Tierras Vivas Travel
Crew: A professional Tour Guide, Cook and Horseman during the trek.
Accommodation: 4x campsite, 1x Hotel
Meals: 5x breakfast, 5x lunch, 5x dinner, 3x afternoon tea
Transportation: A private transportation, a return train EXPEDITION (18:20 or 14:30)
If you reserve this trip, you will be making a donation to the school for special needs children.
Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters and horses 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.BOOK ONLINE
We will pick you at 5:00 am in your hotel drive to Huancacalle in private bus for this route will pass through Chincheros, Urubamba Ollantaytambo, from where there are huge blocks of snow along our route will climb up to the Abra Malaga which is 4170 m. Then descend through the villages of Alfamayu, Amaybamba, Huyro, Huayopata, Quintalpata finally reach Santa Maria small town, we crossed the Urubamba River to Chaullay. From this point begins the upward path that leads to Lucuma, the district capital of Vilcabamba, Subsequently Huancacalle to arrive where we rest and have lunch, after the lunch, we will visit Vitcos and Rosaspata which is half hour walk from Huancacalle.
After an early breakfast, we will start to walk up to Asutina Pass, where we'll stop for lunch. From there, we will descend until Racachaca, where we will find a nice view of the snow-covered peak of Lasoma and then we ascend to our second campsite at Racachaca.
Wake up; we will climb again to Pumaccasa pass, where we can see Yanacocha Lagoon. Continue our trek, we go up to Mojon Pass, the highest pass in our trek. We'll see the snowy peaks of Verónica and Salkantay and also the Huayna Picchu. We will descend until Mutuypata, where we’ll find the third campsite, in this day, the trek is difficult and we can appreciate many changes in altitude, but also beautiful lakes, snowcapped mountains, waterfall and Inka Trail route.
Wake early, this day is hard day and we will begin to walk by the borders of Yanatile river and one stroll in the impressive eyebrow of forest to appreciate birds of the forest, medicinal plants, snakes, butterflies and exotic fruits. we enter to the high jungle, and the temperature change. We pass by a canyon filled with roaring water and continue by coffee plants, fruits like handle, fragmentation hand grenade, papaya, avocado, mandarin, orange, banana. which will be able to take them and to enjoy their delicious taste, and also appreciated coca leaves plantations. Arrived to the Yanatalie Village, where we will take the local bus to Santa Teresa
After breakfast you will walk for four hours until you reach the Urubamba River and have lunch by the hydro-electric station there.
Hydrolectrica is actually farther than Machu Picchu town on the train. It is mainly used by locals. There we follow trails leading us to Aguas Calientes town located at the foothill of Machu Picchu Mountain!. Walking along the train line is much more enjoyable than we anticipated as a wide path undulates beside the tracks. Almost the entire distance is shaded by jungle foliage, trees and flowers, the incline is very gradual. Arrived to Aguas Calientes and basic hotel.
An early start to continue hiking to Machu Picchu and see the sunrise over this glorious old city! We walk for about 2 hours to the ruins of Machu Picchu and have a full guided tour that takes about 2 hours.
After you have plenty of time to traverse the fortress on your own, and maybe climb Huayna Picchu (if you have a permit) or the Inca Bridge.
Afterwards you can take the bus to Aguas Calientes. You can have lunch at Aguas Calientes (not included in the cost).
In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to Cusco.
Machu Picchu is both, the best and the least known site of the Incas as it is not mentioned in any Spanish conquistador´s chronicle so that contemporary archaeologists can not do anything more than just speculate on its functions. Local Quechuan farmers had known about Machu Picchu for centuries before an 11-year-old boy showed the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in a search of Vilcabamba) this site on the 24th of July 1911. At that time, all the rest of the world became aware of its existence. However, the site was covered with thick vegetation so Hiram Bingham along with his team returned and within the years of 1912 and 1915 cleared its surface. Over the years, plenty of work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain!
Single room & Tent: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room & tent" option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.
Our guide will visit your 2 or 1 day before the trek and He/ She will give you a briefing and more information about your trip and the suggest items. So it is very important, let us know, where you will be staying in Cusco. You can send us this information 2 week before your trek.
All Vilcabamba Tour groups are accompanied by a Tierras Vivas Tour Guide. The aim of our Tour Guides is to take a hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip in Peru. The Tour Guides provide all the information on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat and introduce to his/her colleagues. The Guides have a broad general knowledge of each country visited during a tour, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local Tour Guides where we think that more specific knowledge could add more enjoyment to visited places.
Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Huancacalle (1st day) to Yanatalie (4th day). 5 day hike of the Vilcabamba, our chef takes your luggage by bus to Hidrolectrica. From there to Aguas Calientes, you are expected to carry your own luggage (max 3 hrs), in case, the local train running, our chef take your luggage to the town. We recommend keeping the weight under 7 kg/15lb. You will need to carry clothes.
If very important your take best cover backpacker, because the weather in Vilcabamaba Trek is change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended to put your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside the plastic bag.
The Salkantay Walk goes through the most impressive landscapes of Peru. This 6-day hike takes you to the base of the snowy Salkantay, one of the most sacred mountains in the region. The trek starts at the base of Salkantay at 3,883 meters above sea level and then down 5 of the ecological zones to Machu Picchu which is 2,450 meters above sea level, giving you the opportunity to pass through mountains, cloud forests, and the jungle. Salkantay Inca Trail Trek