Tierras Vivas
A Whole World of Experience
+51 984 004 472

Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu

Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu

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.

Quick Itinerary

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


Highlights of the Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu:

  • Discovery and exploration of the beautiful landspaces of the trek
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Explore the best landscapes of the mountains
  • Interesting and important ruins.
  • A good alternative to the Inca trail.

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)


Extra information

Why choose Tierras Vivas?

  • A liscensed tour guide for 8 trekkers, two licensed tour guides from 9 up to 16 trekkers.
  • Specialist operators for international tour companies;
  • Highly experienced english speaking guide.
  • Inclusion all equipment for your trek (sleeping bag, thermarest mattress, etc)
  • Clean quality brand new camping equipment, 2 people per tent (4 season tents)
  • Tents are of the brand MOUNTAIN PASS 3XTE designated for 4 seasons. We provide with 3 person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, 
  • Oxygen bottle and first aid kit
  • Nutritious, well-balanced, hearty and healthy buffet meals with fresh, high quality ingredients, high in energy value and prepared carefully to avoid illness.
  • Drinking water since the second day to fill up your water container for the day hike
  • Daily afternoon tea
  • Gentle wake up each morning! with a hot drink (coca tea, chocolate, coffee, etc)
  • We catter for any food restriction
  • Private bus to head trail
  • Comfortable sleeping foam roll matts (inflatable)
  • Tierras Vivas hires peruvian professional staff like guides, assistant guides, chefs, and porters and pay them with good wages far lots better than other tour companies do.

Resposinble Travel


San Martin de Porres School

If you reserve this trip, you will be making a donation to the school for special needs children.


Tierras Vivas Porters

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.


Day 01: Cusco- Huancacalle - Vitcos

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.

Day 02: Huancacalle – Racachaca.

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.

Day 03: Racachaca – Mutuypata.

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.

Day 04: Mutuypata – Yanatile - Santa Teresa

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

Day 05: Santa Teresa - Hydro - Aguas Calientes

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.

Day 06: Machu Picchu

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!


Salkantay Inca Trail Trek

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

Days 6
per person
$ 700.00
Activity level
Request information

Date of travel:

Number of people:
How did you hear about us:

responsible people foundationThe Responsible People foundation is registered under the Peruvian Non-Profit Organization Act. With an annual contribution from Tierras Vivas, we support our operating costs as well as a significant portion of project development costs. If you would like to help us, you can bring warm clothes or new school supplies. While you contribute, you might win a Rainbow Mountain for free (or, another tour in Cusco.). Help us to help Andean children and families please!

Travel New Posts


2 Day Inca Trail Availability

15 August 2019
Peruvian government allows the entry of 250 tourists per day for the 2-day Inca Trail. Check 2 day Inca Trail Permits Availability 2019 and Book Online!

+ More information +


Raqchi: Inca Parthenon of the Fifteenth century

09 August 2019
Raqchi archaeological site is one of the most important constructions of Inca Empire, characterized by its unique and extraordinary architectural technique

+ More information +


Discovering Andahuaylillas in Cusco: the Sistine Chapel and More

07 August 2019
Our adventure starts from the city of Cusco traveling 36 km to the town of Andahuaylillas Cusco, the bus trip last 45 min following the Andean Baroque route to Andahuaylillas Church the Sistine Chapel of America.

+ More information +