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Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu 5D / 4N

Created with Sketch. Vilcabamba, Machu Picchu, Peru
Ranking
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Duration

5D/4N

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Tour Type

Specific Tour

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Group Size

12 people

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Languages

Español, Ingles

Overview

Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu, This is a trek like none other, taking you to the last Inca city, Vilcabamba. As you hike off the beaten path, through a unique route to Machu Picchu passing the beautiful forest to the remote villages of Huancacalle and Racachaca.

You will hike along the ruins of Vitcos (the last remains of Vilcabamba) and along what is thought to be the same route   travelled by Manco Inca as he fled the Spaniards in 1537. Vilcabamba was later conquered after two invasions in 1539 and 1572.

For anyone attempting to avoid the tidal wave of crowds surging along the Classic Inca Trail and popular alternative treks  to Machu Picchu, while at the same time learning extensive history of Peru, this remote trek is perfect for you.

Pre-trek briefing:
You will have a thorough briefing with your guide 1 or 2 days before your trek. Your guide will meet you at our office in Cusco and you can take this opportunity to ask questions and make any final preparations.
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    Activities: Trekking Adventure
    Difficulty Levels: 4 of 5
    Maximum Altitude: 4650 masl / 15255 ft.
    Accommodation: 3 nights camp + 1-night hostel
    Departures Day: Daily Departures.
    Starts: Pick up at your accommodation in Cusco around 4:30 AM
    Ends: Drop-off at your accommodation in Cusco around 9:45 PM

Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Santa Maria – Huancacalle – Pillaupata
We will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco at 4:30 AM and begin venturing to the remote trailhead at Huancacalle which will take about 7 hours. Along the way we pass through several small villages before arriving to Huancacalle (3,123m/10,233 ft.) by noon.

Here we’ll meet our horsemen, load up the horses, and they will take our bags to camp.

About an hour later we will enjoy a lovely lunch prepared by our trekking chef. After, we hike an hour to the last capital of the Incas, Vitcos. Here we will take a informative tour and learn how and why the Incas fled from Cusco to this site specifically and other fascinating histories Vitcos holds.

We then continue another hour to the religious site of Ñusta Hispana (The White Rock) with beautiful Inca carvings. The surrounding areas here have many ruins to explore. We will have an extensive tour of the area learning of the rich history and significance all these sites hold.

Then we continue on to our campsite at Pillaupata (3,630m/ 11,909 ft.) which is along a portion of the original Inca trail. We set up camp and share a nourishing warm meal and relax to prepare for the next day’s adventures!

Shuttle to Huancacalle: 6½ to 7 hour approximately.
Hiking distance: 6 km / 3.7 miles
Hiking time: 3½ to 4 hour approximately.
Difficulty Levels: Easy
Climate: hot in the day and warm in the night.
Acomodation: Camping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Maximum Altitude: 3630 Masl / 11909 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 2954 masl / 9694 ft.
Day 2: Pillaupata – Hasuntina pass – Racachaca Village
Your day will begin with warm cup of tea in your tent and magnificent views just as soon as you zip open your door! We will share breakfast and pack up to head out on a part of the original Inca trail. We begin with a moderate 5 hour climb through the breaktaking Andes traveling through lush vegetation and wildlife until we reach the Hasuntina pass (4,500m/14,763ft). Here we rest soak in the view spectacular views of snow-capped peaks and crystal clear rushing rivers and have a lunch.

Then we descend for three hours following the beautifully preserved Inca trail to our next camp at the quaint village of Racahaca (3,570m / 11,712 ft.). Here we will eat a lovely dinner prepared by our trekking chef and admire our stunning surroundings.

Hiking distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles
Hiking time: 6½ to 7 hour approximately.
Difficulty Levels: Challenging
Climate: hot in the day and warm in the night.
Acomodation: Camping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Maximum Altitude: 4500 masl / 14763 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 2750 masl / 9022 ft.
Day 3: Racachaca Village – Mojon pass – Mutuypata
Once again we wake you with a warm cup of tea and nourishing breakfast to prepare for the day. Today we accomplish hiking over three passes (4,500 m/14,763 ft.). From Mojon pass, we will have the first views of the magical Machu Picchu and the Urubamba mountain range. Of course, we will stop and take advantage of these perfect photo opportunities. This climb will take us extremely close to the snow peaked mountains of Pumasillo (6,012 m/19,724 ft.) and Sacsarayoc (6,026 m /19,770 ft.), the entire day you will be in awe of the breathtaking 360 views.

Today is by far is the most physically demanding day, however the majestic mountains and scenery will carry you all the way to our home for the night at Mutuypata (3,200 m/10,498 ft.) At our camp we feast amidst the mountains and relax and rejuvenate for the next day.

Hiking distance: 14 km / 8.7 miles
Hiking time: 9-10 hour approximately.
Difficulty Levels: Challenging
Climate: hot in the day and warm in the night.
Acomodation: Camping.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Maximum Altitude: 4500 masl / 14763 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 3200 masl / 10498 ft.
Day 4: Mutuypata – Yanatile – Santa Teresa – Hidroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes
Today we welcome the day with fresh mountain air, stunning views, and of course, a delicious breakfast. We begin with a short hour downhill hike to the beautiful Yanatile village passing through coffee and fruit plantations. From here, we take a car for approximately 3 hours to the train station in Hidroelectrica. We take the train through the beautiful high jungle all the way to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town).

Once to Aguas Calientes we will check in at the lovely and comfortable hotel you will be staying at. You will have time to explore, whether it is browsing the artisan markets, taking a dip in the hot springs, or enjoying the powerful river that flows through the town. Once you rest and relax, we will have dinner at the finest restaurant in town.

Distance to walk: 10 Km. / 6.2 mile
Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours approximately.
Difficulty Levels: Easy
Climate: tropical warm.
Acomodation: Hostel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks)
Maximum Altitude: 3200 masl / 10498 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 2000 masl / 6561 ft.
DAY 5: Hiking to Machu Picchu – Cusco.
Today we arrive at the long-awaited finale of our trek, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Machu Picchu! We will wake up early after a refreshing night at our hostel to beat the crowds to the top of Machu Picchu and enjoy its serenity in the soft morning light. The Machu Picchu entrance check point is open from 06:00 AM until 17:00 PM. We will hike up to Machupicchu (a bus ride is optional for $12.00) and enter the hidden Royal Citadel of the Incas. Here we will have a 2-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city to visit temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the farming fields. Be amazed at the engineering ingenuity of the Incas which was so far ahead of their time and still partially a mystery today! Without having modern tools or even steel and iron to work with, the people who built this city were genius in organizing this community in a sustainable and beautiful way on the side of a mountain, even bringing water in canals through its streets for the people to use. When a Peruvian guide showed this site to Hiram Bingham, it was almost unrecognizable, covered in thick vegetation and in a state of disrepair. It has since been cleaned and restored and is now protected and treasured by the world at large!

After this tour, you are free to climb up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). Each mountain takes approximately 3 hours to hike up and down. Another lower-impact option for which you do not need an extra ticket is to trek to the Sun Gate, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round-trip). Another option is walking to see the Incan Bridge. You will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for more than 7 hours before hiking back down to Aguas Calientes for the train ride at 18:20 hrs (subject to availability) to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick up our group and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco at about 21:30 hrs. Rest your feet and your body now, but we can assure you your heart will still be soaring for weeks and years to come!

Distance Travelled: 6 Km. / 3.7 mile
Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours approximately.
Machu Picchu guided tour: 2½ hour.
Climate: tropical warm.
Shuttle to Cusco:3 hours by train and bus from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast.
Maximum Altitude: 2429 masl / 7972 ft.
Minimum Altitude: 2040 masl / 6692 ft.

Include:

  • Bilingual English speaking tour guide
  • Pre-Departure Briefing at your hotel 1 or 2 days before your trek.
  • Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Huancacalle on day 1
  • Four-person tent for each two persons
  • Thermarest Inflatable Mattress and pillow
  • Kitchen tent
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Toilet tent with portable toilet
  • Expert chef and assistant chef
  • Wranglers and horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc.)
  • Horse to carry 8 kg of your personal belongings
  • Duffle bag to pack your personal belongings
  • Emergency horse in case we need it
  • Five breakfasts, four lunches, and four dinners
  • Hot water for washing twice daily
  • Daily morning boiled and cold water to fill the water bottles.
  • Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit
  • Expedition train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Poroy
  • Private van transport from Poroy to Cusco
  • Ticket for Vitcos and the White Rock.
  • Ticket for Huayna Picchu mountain (if Huayna Picchu Mountain is sold out you will receive a permit to hike Machu Picchu Mountain)
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu
  • Round trip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Lodging in Aguas Calientes on night 4 of the trek (double occupancy)
  • Dinner in Aguas Calientes on night 4

Not Included:

  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
  • Day 5 lunch in Aguas Calientes
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for the crew (muleteers, chef and guide)
  • Hiking poles (can be rented from us)
  • Train ticket from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Vilcabamba, Machu Picchu, Peru

Tour Map Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu 5D / 4N

FAQs

What Should I Bring for the Tour?
– Original passport
– For students: ISIC card
– Insurance card/certificate
– Walking stick ( Highly Recomemded )
– Hiking boots
– Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
– Warm jacket
– Hat and gloves
– 2-4 t-shirts
– 2 pairs of pants (1 for hiking, 1 for camp)
– Long underwear for sleeping
– Hand sanitizer
– Comfortable trousers
– Sun hat or cap
– Sunscreen
– Insect repellent
– Water
– Toiletries/ Toilet paper
– Personal medication
– Camera
– Flashlight or headlamp
– Extra money for tips/snacks/beer.
How much is to enjoy hotspings?
In Santa Tereza - Cocalmayo, You will find the best hotspings in the area, it only cost 10 soles or 3.5 USD dollars.
When Machu Picchu open and close ?
Machu Picchu Open at 6:00 am and Close at 5:00 pm.
How long people usually take in machu picchu?
Usually people stay in Machu Picchu for 5 hours then they prefer to go to Aguas Calientes for lunch or spend sometime in the town.
Do you serve vegetarian food in machu picchu jungle tour?
Yes we do . Please when you book this tours don't forget to tell us if yu are vegetarian or you have any kind of allergy.
Huayna Picchu VS Machu Picchu Montaña
Many people ask about Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Montaña and few people know the difference about this 2 climbing hike mountains in Machu Picchu.

Huayna picchu: It is located at the northeast area and it is famous because since the summit you can enjoy a beautiful landscape and Machu Picchu.

huaynapicchu have a steep road and people arrive to the summit in approximately 45 minutes hike up. In the summit you can enjoy and take picture for not longer then 20 minutes. This is because huaynaPicchu pick do not have a big space and not to of people can login there.

if you plan hike up to Huayna Picchu You need to book in advance . it cost 25 American dollars per person.

Huayna Picchu altitude: 2789 masl.

Montaña Machu Picchu: It is the taller Mountain. You need at list 3:30 hours to enjoy the hike up to this Montaña. This mountain ofer different altitudes view of Machu Picchu and also a amazing panoramic view of all machu picchu, Aguas calientes, hidroelectrica and others areas around.

In the summit you can spend longer time. this is because not lot of people go to this mountain yet because the new accest it is.

if you plan hike up to Montaña, You need to book in advance . it cost 25 American dollars per person.

Montaña altitude: 3240 masl.
How difficult is the hike?
For an average traveller or tourist, Salkantay is considered a challenging but certainly not impossible hike. Due to the physical demands, anyone who wishes to trek Salkantay should at least be moderately fit. Plus, all trekkers should spend at least 2 days in Cuzco before the trek, to get acclimatized. Being extremely fit does not grant any immunity from altitude sickness.

The entire hike is approximately 72 kilometers (approximately 45 miles), and this hiking takes place during 4 days and 3 nights. The remaining 1 day of the trek is spent at Machu Picchu. In general, Salkantay is considered to be slightly harder than the Inca Trail. Other trails, such as Choquequirao, are considered to be slightly harder than Salkantay.
What's the most challenging section of the hike?
The Salkantay Pass, at 14,760123 feet above sea level, is the most difficult section in the trail. Expect wind and cold temperatures. Some hikers might experience symptoms of altitude sickness. Symptoms will disappear as soon as you start your descent. Oxygen will be provided if needed. The Salkantay Pass, at approximately 4,650 meters above sea level is the most difficult section in the trail. These challenges are a result of several factors: the challenge of uphill climbing, bitter cold winds, low temperatures in general, and the fact that you are trekking at a low-oxygen altitude.
How Old do I have to Be?
Very young children may not enjoy this. They should be able to walk (without being carried) for 90 minutes without whining (the whining part applies to children of all ages.
Can I hike the Salkantay at any time?
Weather conditions during the rainy season makes the Salkantay trek into a risky decision. Therefore we cannot guarantee the availability of the Salkantay treks from mid-march to the end of February. If the weather is good, we will give the OK for a trek to start. If we think the safety of our porters and clients is being threatened, we will cancel the trek.
When is the best time to hike the Salkantay?
The dry season is the best time for this trek. In Cuzco, the dry season lasts from April to November, and the wet season is from December to March. From June to September are the most popular months to do the trek, due to summer vacations in Europe and the US. It is generally thought that May and October offer the best weather conditions.
Can I make the trek by myself?
Yes, it is possible for a single traveller or a small group to hike the trek by themself, without guides or porters. However, the trail is not clearly marked at all points, which makes getting lost a high possibility. This is one of the biggest advantages of hiring a tour agency like Mystic Salkantay. Our guides know the route very well.
Can I do the trek with my kids?
Children under 14 years old are not allowed to do the trek, and children who are over 14 years old should be in good physical shape and used to hiking long distances.
Can I use my mobile/cell phone on the mountain?
You will get sporadic phone coverage during the trek and there will not be anywhere whilst trekking to charge your phone.
Will there be an international cell phone on the trek?
One of the trek leaders will be carrying a satellite phone. However this is emergency use only.
What is the weather like?
Weather is very varied on this trek, due to the fact that it winds its way through wildly different terrain at different altitudes. The only place where weather is a serious concern is the Salkantay Pass, and the nearby areas. Temperatures here, and at the nearby Soraypampa campsite, can fall below freezing. The other camps are much warmer, due to their proximity to the cloud forest.
Why do I need to make a deposit?
We recommend to make your reservation in advance and we will guarantee your Spaces for this hike. Each reservation needs 50% of deposit as first payment. The final balance(50%) will be paid in Cusco(Briefing Day). About Payment you must choose where would you like to make the deposit: Payment system online ,

Paypal by Debit or Credit Card
Western Union, Money Gram
Peruvian Banking Account
We use the money from your deposit to make several important purchases, including the entrance fee to Salkantay, the entrance fee to Machu Picchu, bus tickets, and train tickets. In addition, making a deposit assures us that you will be coming on the trek, and are unlikely to cancel at the last minute. This helps us with knowing how much food to buy, how many of our guides to use for the trek, etc. The deposit is non-refundable once we receive it, because we will immediately use it to purchase the tickets mentioned above.
What happens after I make the security deposit?
First, we will send you an email to confirm your payment. Then we will contact you to offer you different hotel or hostel options in Cuzco, as well as inform you of other tours you might be interested in.

Two weeks before your tour date, we will contact you by email to request the final payment. We will also ask you where you will be staying in Cuzco, to be able to pick you up on the day of your hike.

After we receive the final payment, we will send you an email confirming your tour date and informing you of important contact information for our tour agency, as well as some final tips to prepare for the trek.
Can I change my starting date for the Salkantay?
Once we have purchased your tickets, with your security deposit, you can only change your start date if you pay an additional amount. This amount is usually around $200 USD. The reason for this is the tickets we purchase are non-refundable and non-transferable, so we are not allowed to simply change your tour date.
Is altitude sickness a problem? What should I do to avoid altitude sickness?
To avoid altitude sickness, give yourself time in Cuzco to acclimatize to the change in altitude. Two days minimum is recommended!!! Try to avoid alcohol before and during your trek, and make sure you eat lightly and drink plenty of water. Make sure to stay hydrated during the trek, don't force yourself to walk faster than your body wants to, and take frequent breaks. Drinking coca leaf tea helps a lot, and you may wish to speak with your doctor about Diamox pills.
What should I do if I get altitude sickness?
If you get altitude sickness while on the trail, let your guide know immediately. They will help you. Recognize the symptoms of altitude sickness: a headache, nausea, extreme tiredness, dizziness, and a general malaise are all symptoms.
Do you provide water during the trek?
Yes, we will give you safe drinking water at every meal and in the morning when you wake up.

In addition, there are small streams and mountain springs along the way. The water here is clean, but to be safe, you should drop in a water purification pill. Most pharmacies in Cuzco sell them.
What is the environmental impact of my trek like?
The Salkantay trek is a low-impact activity. We will only be travelling short distances by bus and train, and almost the entire trek is done by walking. We will avoid areas with endangered plants, and we will give you steps on minimizing your impact even further. For example, please give your trash to you porters at the end of the day. This helps keep the trail as clean as possible.
Are there bathrooms during the trek?
During most of the trek, there are no bathrooms, or just basic toilets. This is an inevitable part of adventure treks. Once we arrive in Aguas Calientes your hotel will have a private bathroom with hot water.
What is the food like on the Salkantay trek?
A cook accompanies every group on the Salkantay. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hearty snacks are provided for your hike. Meals are a mix of local specialties and international favorites. Vegetarian meals are also available upon request.
What are the guides like?
Having a good guide is an essential part of having a good trek. Because of this, Mystic Salkantay hires and works with some of the best guides in the business. Our guides are knowledgable in the areas of history, archaeology, ecology, and are natives of the Cuzco area.

In order to continue working with our guides, we pay them a higher wage than most agencies, and assure they are treated well. They are given free use of high-quality sleeping bags, mats, and good food. The same goes for our porters and horse-men.
What happens if I fall ill, can't keep up or there is an emergency?
The event is not run as a race and there is always a large discrepancy in people's walking ability. This is allowed for. There will always be a staff member at the back of the group to ensure you are not left behind and can take things at your own pace. If necessary you can be carried off the mountain by mule.
What is the food and drink like?
There will be a hot breakfast (porridge, eggs, toast, tea and coffee) to start the day, a packed lunch on the mountain or at your camp and a filling hot meal in the evening (soup, followed by rice, potato or pasta and sauce, but fresh fruit is difficult to find.) There will be ample drinking water, as we will be filling up from local water sources. This will need to be treated with iodine drops or tablets to purify the water. The staff will collect water each morning and evening for drinking and cooking. Are requested to inform the leader of the walk before departure if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.
What is done to protect the environment?
We are keeping to a small group so that we limit the impact we have on the surrounding environment. The Salkantay Mountain National Park is a very delicate environment.
Who will be leading the group?
We employ a number of qualified leaders. All of them speak English. They will also be a first aid qualified medical officer. They will ultimately be responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group. The itinerary is there as a guide and may change due to unusual weather patterns, the strength of the group and so on. We will do our very best to keep to the set itinerary. However we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, your challenge leader will have the final say.
What are the toilet/washing facilities like?
There are no toilets on the wilderness route, so you must make sure you bury all waste. Where local conditions permit, we arrange basic long drop toilets in the camps. Mountain streams will be the main washing facility! Your camp team will provide washing bowls of warm water as you arrive at camp at the end of the day's trekking. Take plenty of toilet paper with you, and antiseptic wipes / anti-bacterial hand gel.
What about hygiene?
While trekking there will be hot washing water for you in the morning and again after the walk at an agreed time in the afternoon.
What kit do I need to buy? What can I borrow?
It is extremely important that you have the right kit. Please take the time to have a good look through your kit list and contact Charity Challenge if you have any questions regarding the list.
Do we need to take our own sleeping bags and mats?
Yes, you will need to bring (or hire) a warm sleeping bag (four season or three season with silk or fleece liner) And the mat is included.

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from $650,00
Extra
  • Machu Picchu Entrance ⇨$0,00 *
    Include
  • Vilcabamba Entrance ⇨$0,00 *
    Include
  • Return Tourist Train Mountain ⇨$0,00 *
    Include
  • Huaynapicchu Mountain ⇨$250,00
  • Machu Picchu Mountain ⇨$25,00
  • Buffet Lunch in Machu Picchu ⇨$35,00
  • Bus Up and Down ⇨$25,00
  • Vistadome Train 360º | Return ⇨$40,00
  • Sleeping Bag & Walking Sticks ⇨$50,00
  • Private Service ⇨$250,00
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