+51 984 004 472 info@tierrasvivas.com
+51 984 004 472 info@tierrasvivas.com

Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu

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    The 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.

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    Tierras Vivas Travel > Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu

    Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu

    Code: PVTM

    Vilcabamba to Machu PicchuThis 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.


    Vilcabamba Peru Overview

    Sustainable Tourism: At Tierras Vivas, we are happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities. We are again supporting Sernamp this Inca Trail 2023 with picking up trash and clearing the trail  

    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 to Ollantaytambo

    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.

    Meeting & Starting point

    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 

    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 

    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


    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 Inca 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 Machpicchu 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!




    • Pre-trek briefing (Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing);
    • Early morning transfer by private bus to Huancacalle – the initial point of the trek;
    • Accommodation: Campsites (4 nights) and a Hotel in Machu Picchu (1 night);
    • Entrance fee to the red of Vilcabamba, Vitcos and Machu Picchu;
    • Meals: 5x breakfast, 5x lunch, 5x dinner and 4x afternoon hot beverages (please advise us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost);
    • Professional bilingual Tour Guide (a group of up to 8 participants receives 1 Guide, a group over 8 persons receives 2 Guides);
    • Professional Trekking Cook;
    • Horseman;
    • Horses to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 7 kg of each passenger’s stuff;
    • An emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower;
    • Water every day (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own);
    • Camping equipment Personal double tents (4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks);
    • Air mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress);
    • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
    • A pair Hiking poles
    • A blanket per person
    • A pillow
    • Tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas;
    • Rain Ponchos;
    • Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
    • A T-shirt of the Salkantay Trek Map;
    • A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town;
    • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo;
    • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco;
    • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.

    Not Included

    • Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day;
    • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu ( U$80);
    • A shuttle bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu (U$12 – one way);
    • Peru Travel insurance;
    • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);

    Solo Traveler: Please note that if you have booked the “Solo Traveler” option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.

    Optional Services to be hired

    • You need to take 7 kg of personal belonging included in the tour price carried by horses. If you would like to request more porterage for personal items each extra 3 kilos requested is USD 60 additional charge but you can just request this in the office at your checking.
    • Maybe you have to doubt to walk in this trek, you can hire the extra emergency horses, the price is USD 80.

    Tierras Vivas Representative and Professional Guide

    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.

    Suggets Items

    Luggage and backpacker for you Trekking

    Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Huancacalle (1st day) to Yanatalie (4th day). 6 day hike of the Vilcabamba Peru, 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.

    What do you take to the Vilcabamba Trek?

    • Original passport (+ copies for a case of lost),
    • Original ISIC (an international student card if applicable)
    • Travel insurance (+ 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.



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