After the conquest by the Spanish, Manco Inca and his successors dominated the region of Vilcabamba. It included several centres and settlements built to honor the last dynasty of the Inca: Manco Inca, Sayre Tupac, Titu Cusi Yapanqui and Tupac Amaru I. According to customs and traditions of other pre-Incan cultures, a Neo Imperial state was created to preserve all knowledge in religion and astronomy.
Vilcabamba is located northwest of Cusco, in the province Convención, in the eastern mountain range of the Andes. It has a chain of snow-covered peaks and high forest mountains with constant climatologic changes. The region is bounded by two very deep canyons, the canyon Apurímac on the left and the canyon Willcamayu on the right. Through both run very fast-flowing rivers which have carved and still carve one of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes of our Andean region.
Altitude: 1850 - 4500m. / 6070 - 14764 f.
High Season: May - November
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
*A minimum of 2 persons is needed for this trek
*It's possible to do the trek in 6 days / 5 nights or 4 days /.3 nights
Vilcabamba and Machupicchu 7 Days Itinerary:
1st Day: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Malaga Pass – Chaullay – Vilcabamba (Hunancacalle)
Our journey starts early in the morning by bus. First, we will head forwards the northwest of Cusco and pass the ancestral towns of Chinchero (3760m/12336f) and Ollantaytambo (2850m/9350f), situated in one of the most fertile regions to cultivate maize. Thereafter, the road leads us to the highest point of the trip: the Málaga pass (4315m/14157f). While descending through the valley of Amaybamba, we will enjoy the exceptional view of snow-caped mountains and cloudy forests. Then, we will pass Chaullay (1200m/3937f) and head for Huancacalle (3000m/9843f). Here we will spend the night in a domestic hotel.
Traveling time: 7 hours
2nd Day: Vilcabamba (Huancacalle) – Vitcos Rosaspata – Abra Puma Chaca or Azutina - Inka Wasi
On this day we will visit the archeological sites of Vitcos Rosaspata (3080m/10105f) and Ñustahispana (3050m/10007f). Furthermore, our trek leads us through beautiful vegetation to the mountain pass of Azutina (3900m/12795f) and Pumachaca (4000m/13123f). Our camping site will be in Inca Wasi (3600m/11811f).
Climate: mild, cold and some mosquitoes
Hiking time: 7 hours.
3rd Day: Inca Wasi – Racachaca – Hatún Pampa
During this day, we will see remains of the Inca Trail that leads towards Racachaca (3700m/12139f). The community of this little village will welcome us cordially and will tell us about its customs and traditions. After lunch, we will head for our camping site in Hatumpampa (4000m/13123f).
Hiking time: 5 hours
4th Day: Hatún Pampa – Mojón pass – Mutuy pata
Our day starts early in the morning with a nice breakfast and an exceptional view of the the snow-capped mountains. After breakfast, we will ascend the passes of Yanacocha (4420m/14501f), Tullu tacana (4500m/14436f) and Mojon (4500m/14763f). While passing the Valley of Laco cocha (3600 m) we will have a great view of the mystic snow-capped Salkantay (6264m/20551f). Our hike continues towards the forest of Mutuypata (3250m/10663f), the place where we will spend the night in our tents.
Climate: cold and warm with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 9 hours
5th Day: Mutuy pata – Yanatile – Santa Teresa
While passing the valley of Mutuypata in the early morning, we will enjoy the region's rich flora consisting of a variety of orchids and other beautiful plants. Moreover, we will see coffee- and fruit plantations. In the little village Yanatile (2000m/6562f) we will take a local transport - un camión – and head for Santa Teresa (1850m/6070f), the place where we will spend the night in a domestic hotel. If you wish, you can also enjoy the hot springs in Santa Teresa and relax a bit.
Climate: warm climate with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 5 hours
6th Day: Santa Teresa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
This day is going to be exciting. After a nice walk along the edge of the Willcamayu river, we will take a typical transport called "Camión" - Truck - and cross the river to get to the other edge. Before go on on foot to Aguas Calientes (2050m/6726f) from the Hydroelectric station (1950m/6398f), we will visit the waterfall of Mayubamba and also Mandor Park, one of the great attractions of this region. We will spend the night in a hostel of Aguas Calientes town.
Climate: warm with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 4 hours
7th Day: Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Cusco
We will leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30 am and head for Machupicchu (2400m/7874f) by tourist bus. We will arrive at the citadel around 6:00 am. After a guided tour around the archeological site, including information about life and culture of the Incas, you will have enough time to enjoy Machupicchu and Wayna Picchu (2750m/9022f) on your own. We will leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 2:55 pm or at 6:10 pm. Until then, you will have time to have lunch in one of the nice restaurants. Moreover, you can visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax a bit.
Hiking time: 02 hours
Vilcabamba and Machupicchu 7 Days
- – Private transport from the hotel to Huancacalle
- – Transport from Yanatile to Santa Teresa
- – Transport from Santa Teresa to the Hydroelectric station
- – Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machupicchu (2 ways)
- – Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco or train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and Cusco by bus
- – Hostel in Huancacalle, Santa Teresa and Aguas Calientes town (Machupicchu, Continental or similar)
- – Entrance fees to Machupicchu
- – Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English)
- – High quality camping equipment (we use professional tents, Doite, Model Kailas 3, extra light/4.5kgs and Doite, Model Himalaya, extra light/4.5kgs, both for 2 persons.
- – Mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent)
- – Meals during the excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks/vegetarian meals are possible), cook and assistant
- – Horseman and mules, for all our camping and personal equipment of customer (up to 9 kg.)
- – Emergency horse, first-aid kit and oxygen bottle
- – First breakfast and last lunch in Aguas Calientes
- – Sleeping bag (If you don't have a sleeping bag, there is the possibility of lending one)
(1) Visit to Huayna Picchu: For Huayna Picchu mountain requires to be booked long time in advance however we charge additional $ 15.00 and then we'll guarantee your entrance for Huayna Picchu as well (This new State law began since the 18th of July, 2011). (2) Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcome. The porters are also very grateful for a small donation, for example clothes or school equipment for their children.
What do you have to bring?
- – Backpack with rain shelter.
- – Sleeping bag
- – Clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket.
- – Rain pants and lightweight pants.
- - Trekking shoes.
- - Slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs).
- - Woollen or synthetic socks and a sweater.
- - Long- and short-sleeved polo's/T-Shirts.
- - Rain poncho and a hat.
- - Bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes).
- - Sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and gel, water bottle and sterilizing tablets, toiletries and toilet paper.
- - Camera (wrapped in plastic bag), a flash light and batteries.
- - Some snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruit.
- - Original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money in soles.
Since the weather can be very cold and moistly, your clothes - once gotten wet - won't dry at night. So take some clothes to change.