5D4N Apu Huayllanay Trek and One day hike on the
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
We place emphasis on choosing beautiful campsites.
This trek originally designed as an alternative trek to the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, turned out to be a favourite one for many people. The authenticity of the environment and outstanding beauty makes this trek very special. Theterrain is similar to the Inca trail with the difference that you hardly meet other trekkers on the trail; you will experience the peasant life as you watch people work the land, camp near their homes and encounter little visited Inca sites in the midst of a pristine environment reminiscent of ancient times.
DAY 1: SACRED VALLEY
On the day before you will begin your trek at 7:30 a.m. in the morning, we’ll pick you by private vehicle from your hotel for a great Sacred Valley tour. This is the natural and most efficient way to get close to the trail head while acclimatizing and getting familiarized with Inca trails. We will drive over the “Ccorao” pass above Cusco to descend on a winding road to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here we will hike on Inca trails through the magnificent Inca citadel of PISAC considered as one of the outstanding Inca remains because of the quality of the stone work and breath-taking location on a mountain saddle overlooking the Sacred Valley. After a 1 1/2hour visit and hike we will drive down the mountain for a short visit to the colonial town of the same name with a quick stop at their famous Indian handicraft market. Afterwards we will drive following the Urubamba River downstream to Urubamba city; here we will visit the local food market and have lunch at a local restaurant nearby. Afterwards we’ll visit Ollantaytambo, considered the most authentic living Inca town. This town has been continuously inhabited since Inca times until the present, conserving its original urban layout and stone walled homes. A guided walking tour through the extensive ruins and cobblestone paved narrow streets will make you feel like you are travelling back in time. Stay at Hotel in Ollantaytambo for the night (Hotel is billed separately).L, Dinner on your own.
Day 2: OLLANTAYTAMBO TO SILQUE AND TREK TO ANCASHCOCHA
We pick you up early from your hotel in Ollantaytambo and transfer you to Chillca where we meet our crew and begin our hike up towards the Silque Canyon. We pack our animals and begin to ascend by the way of narrow canyon following a stream that will gradually get smaller; we can observe tall granite walls on the sides of the canyon populated by a large variety of orchids and bromeliads, filling the environment with magnificent colours when in bloom. We continue by crossing the stream several times until we reach higher lands and find our camp set up near the village and lake of “Ancashcocha”, a warm cup of tea is waiting for us at the dinning tent and later a delicious dinner before we settle for the night. Beautiful views of the “Veronica” mountain are seen behind us most of the way. L, D.
Distance: 14 Km
Max altitude: 4,200 mts. (Campsite)
Day 3: TREK ANCASHCOCHA TO PAUCARCANCHA
After a hearty breakfast we are ready for this challenging day. Webeginascending towards the high Huayllanay Pass (4,600 meters). At first we take a steep zigzag trail up to where we find an original cobblestone paved Inca trail that will take us smoothly towards the high pass. Not far we can spot the beautiful waterfall that feeds into the Ancashcocha glacier lake. The wild “Huallata” or Andean Geese and Black Ibis are often spotted in this high area. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the midst of this high mountain scenery; later as we begin descending from the pass we will enjoy beautiful views of high mountains, we will pass by the ruins of Incarajay and further down we find small settlements scarcely populated by native peasants that mark our way to the village of Q’esqa. Further along we follow a long descending trail into greener vegetation while views of the classic Inca trail to Machu Picchuappear in the distance. Later in the afternoon, we’ll reach our campsite next to the beautiful Inca remains of Paucarcancha: A unique Inca settlement restoredtooriginal condition that probably served as a “Tambo” or rest point and also a control point between two canyons that lead the way to the main trail to Machu Picchu. Views of the nearby Glacier, snow peaks and well preserved Inca remains are the highlight of this day during our trek. B, L, D.
Distance: 18 Km
Max altitude: 4,600 mts
Campsite altitude: 3,000 mts
Day 4: TREK PAUCARCANCHA TO APU VERONICA CAMP KM. 82
After breakfast we begin to descend on a well-defined trail down a narrow canyon until we reach the Hatunchaca bridge near the village of Huayllabamba where we meet the Classic Inca Trail and the numerous hikers that will be going the opposite direction from us. We continue to hike down a wide trail until we reach a lookout point to observe the Llactapata archaeological complex: this large Inca remain was restored a few years ago. Further along as we continue descending we’ll find scattered peasant’s homes along the trail until we reach the valley floor next to the Urubamba River. When we reach the valley we continue upriver to our private campsite at Km. 82. Located right in front of the spectacular Veronica Glacier a warm cup of tea and cookies will be waiting for us at the dining room. Here we camp the night in the comfort of roomy tents, indoor plumbing toilets, hot showers and a firewood sauna for your enjoyment…B, L, D.
Distance: 13 Km.
Max Altitude: 3,320 mts
Campsite altitude: 2,700 mts
Day 5: HIKE KM 104 TO MACHU PICCHU
Note: This day you only take a daypack with you on the train and hike. The rest of your luggage will be taken to Ollantaytambo and will be picked up when you go by on your way to Cusco.
After a very early breakfast, a short hike will take us to the local Train Station to take an early train and travel to Km. 104. Here we leave the train, cross the Urubamba River at the hanging bridge built on the foundations of an old Inca bridge. On the other side of the river, we register at the checkpoint and then visit the “Chachabamba” Inca remains: A well-preserved Inca site next to the river. Afterwards, we begin our ascent following a steep original Inca trail to the beautiful Inca ruins of “Wiñay Wayna” or Forever Young. Masterful Inca engineering is today’s highlight along the trail, we will visit this spectacular Inca remains that houses a series of Inca baths that also helps pressurize water for an efficient irrigation of the numerous agricultural terraces that produced food for its inhabitants and for nearby Machu Picchu. A several miles long stone channel also brought water from Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu. We will have a picnic lunch nearby and later continue on the Inca trail until we reach “Inti Punku” or Gate to the sun. At this point, we are overwhelmed with the first view of the spectacular city of Machu Picchu below us. We take a little time for photos and to catch our breath to later begin a quick descent along the wide royal Inca road and we enter the mysterious citadel for an in depth tour of the site and to spend some time wandering and wondering in the midst of its eternal beauty. In the evening, you will take the bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes, have time for an early dinner on your own and board the train that will take you back to Ollantaytambo and/or Cusco. B, Box Lunch. (Dinner is on your own.)
Distance: 12 Km.
Max altitude: 2,680 mts
This is a full service trek were you only carry a day pack: All gear, food and a duffle bag (we will provide bag) with up to 8kg of your personal belongings is carried by the pack animals.
Please note: The following day (Day 5) most people visit Machu Picchu (please see options bellow). If by any chance you will not want to go on to Machu Picchu and you want to return from Km. 82 to Cusco or the Sacred Valley, you will need an extra transfer not included in price. Please let us know and we will send you options and prices.
This trek includes:
• Transport in private vehicle from your hotel in Cusco to the Sacred Valley andto the trail head.
• Services from DAY 1to DAY 5.
• Entrance to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
• Guided tour in Machu Picchu.
• Round trip train from Km 82 to Machu Picchu and back to Cusco.
• Meals mentioned as B, L and D at the end of each day in the itinerary.
• Service of local official tour guides.
• Service of camp staff: Cook and assistants
• Mule Skinners and Horses to use as pack animals.
• Emergency horse for every 6 participants on the Huayllanay trek portion.
• Roomy 4 man tents used for double occupancy.
• Dinning tent, tables with tablecloths, silverware and chairs.
• Toilet tent with bio-degradable chemical toilets.
Does Not Include:
• Hotels (hotel options priced separately)*
• Entrance tickets to sites (BoletoTuristico BTG)**
• Meals not specified after each itinerary day.
• Optional tipping to staff.
• Medical expenses for any emergency.
• Travel insurance.
• Other expenses of a personal nature (liquor, laundry, and so on.)
• Trip member must provide sleeping bag and pad (rental available).***
*Hotel in Ollantaytambo from US$60 a room will be billed separately in your Final Balance.
**TheBoleto Turistico BTG ticket you can buy directly in Cusco to include all sites in the city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley for about US$60 in local currency.
**Sleeping Bag is US$18 and inflatable sleeping pad is US$15 for the Huayllanay trek.