Select Page
Category: Tag:

Vilcabamba – Machu Picchu

Peru

Duration

5 Days/ 4 Nights

Difficulty

Easy

Tour Description

Embark on the Vilcabamba Trek, a journey that leads you far off the beaten path to the region in Cusco where the Incas made their last stand against the Spanish conquest. Following the conquest, the Incas withdrew deep into the jungle, continuing to resist the occupation. Vilcabamba, the last Inca city, serves as the backdrop for this trek, taking you to some of the final domains of this once-great empire.

With stunning scenery, Inca sites, and a diverse array of flora and fauna, the Vilcabamba Trek offers a unique and compelling option for those seeking to explore the remnants of the Inca civilization and experience the natural beauty of the region.

Itinerary

**Day 1: Santa Maria – Huancacalle – Pilaupata**

The first day kicks off with an early departure, aiming to reach the remote trailhead of the Vilcabamba Trek. Starting at 03:00 am, the journey involves crossing the Abra de Malaga Pass (4,650m) and descending to the coffee region of Santa Maria at 1,100 meters above sea level. After exploring a local farm, the journey continues by bus to Huancacalle, where the trek officially begins. The area is rich in Inca sites, including the White Rock with intricate carvings and Vitcos, a summer residence of the Inca emperor. A 3-hour tour of the area precedes the trek to the Pilaupata campsite (3630m / 11909 ft.) along an original Inca Trail.

**Day 2: Pilaupata – Rak’achaca**

Departing from Pilaupata, the trek heads towards a high pass, winding through lush vegetation for about 3.5 hours. Participants learn about the native plants and flowers thriving in the area. Descending from the pass, the trail leads to the Rak’achaca campsite (3570m / 11712 ft.) along original Inca pathways. The day offers spectacular views of snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear rivers, and lush vegetation.

**Day 3: Rak’achaca – Mutuypata**

This day continues to showcase spectacular scenery as the trek progresses towards Machu Picchu. Crossing three high passes, with the highest at 3860m / 12664 ft., participants enjoy fantastic views of snow-capped peaks throughout the day. Though challenging, the beauty of the surroundings keeps trekkers engaged, making the journey memorable.

**Day 4: Mutuypata – Santa Teresa – Aguas Calientes**

The trek’s final leg consists of a 4-hour journey from Mutuypata to the village of Xanatile. Passing through a canyon with roaring water and plantations producing various fruits and coffee beans, participants eventually take a one-hour bus to Santa Teresa. From there, they continue walking along the river to reach the Hydro Electric station, where a train takes them to Aguas Calientes.

**Day 5: Machu Picchu!**

An early start leads to the first bus up to Machu Picchu, entering the site as it opens. A 2-hour guided tour covers the most important areas of the citadel, providing insights into Inca history. After the tour, participants have free time to explore the site independently or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. The day concludes with a train ride back to Ollantaytambo and a bus journey back to Cusco.

This trek offers a diverse and immersive experience, blending historical exploration with the breathtaking natural beauty of the region.

Itinerary

**Day 1: Santa Maria – Huancacalle – Pilaupata**

The first day kicks off with an early departure, aiming to reach the remote trailhead of the Vilcabamba Trek. Starting at 03:00 am, the journey involves crossing the Abra de Malaga Pass (4,650m) and descending to the coffee region of Santa Maria at 1,100 meters above sea level. After exploring a local farm, the journey continues by bus to Huancacalle, where the trek officially begins. The area is rich in Inca sites, including the White Rock with intricate carvings and Vitcos, a summer residence of the Inca emperor. A 3-hour tour of the area precedes the trek to the Pilaupata campsite (3630m / 11909 ft.) along an original Inca Trail.

**Day 2: Pilaupata – Rak’achaca**

Departing from Pilaupata, the trek heads towards a high pass, winding through lush vegetation for about 3.5 hours. Participants learn about the native plants and flowers thriving in the area. Descending from the pass, the trail leads to the Rak’achaca campsite (3570m / 11712 ft.) along original Inca pathways. The day offers spectacular views of snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear rivers, and lush vegetation.

**Day 3: Rak’achaca – Mutuypata**

This day continues to showcase spectacular scenery as the trek progresses towards Machu Picchu. Crossing three high passes, with the highest at 3860m / 12664 ft., participants enjoy fantastic views of snow-capped peaks throughout the day. Though challenging, the beauty of the surroundings keeps trekkers engaged, making the journey memorable.

**Day 4: Mutuypata – Santa Teresa – Aguas Calientes**

The trek’s final leg consists of a 4-hour journey from Mutuypata to the village of Xanatile. Passing through a canyon with roaring water and plantations producing various fruits and coffee beans, participants eventually take a one-hour bus to Santa Teresa. From there, they continue walking along the river to reach the Hydro Electric station, where a train takes them to Aguas Calientes.

**Day 5: Machu Picchu!**

An early start leads to the first bus up to Machu Picchu, entering the site as it opens. A 2-hour guided tour covers the most important areas of the citadel, providing insights into Inca history. After the tour, participants have free time to explore the site independently or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. The day concludes with a train ride back to Ollantaytambo and a bus journey back to Cusco.

This trek offers a diverse and immersive experience, blending historical exploration with the breathtaking natural beauty of the region.

Includes / Excludes

**Includes:**

– Professional English Speaking Tour Guide
– Assistant Tour Guide for groups of 9+
– Chef
– Mules to carry cooking and camping equipment
– Mules to carry 7kg of personal items
– Pick-up from your hotel
– Transportation by bus to Santa Teresa, bus from Xanatile to Santa Maria, and train from Hydroelectrica to Aguas Calientes
– Return transportation by train and bus to Cusco
– Water (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own)
– 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Afternoon Snacks, and 3 Dinners. Dietary requests like vegetarian food can be accommodated if informed in advance.
– Dining tent with tables and chairs
– 4-man tent for every 2 trekkers
– 3-star hotel for the final night
– Sleeping mattress (you need to carry this unless you hire a personal porter)
– Oxygen bottle
– First aid kit
– Entrance to Machu Picchu
– Return bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes

**Important Notice:**

– Zero plastic bottles on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu from December 1st. It is 100% prohibited to take plastic water bottles due to new government regulations. Aluminum 0.700ml bottles are recommended, and they can be purchased for as little as 10 Soles (USD 3.00) at the office.

**Does Not Include:**

– Sleeping Bag (Can be hired from them)
– Lunch on Day 4 and lunch and dinner on Day 5
– Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain
– Tips
– Travel Insurance – strongly recommended for the duration of the trip

**What you need to take:**

– Original Passport
– Student card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
– Walking boots
– Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
– Warm jacket
– Hat and gloves
– T-shirts
– Comfortable Trousers
– Sun hat
– Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
– Insect repellent
– Toiletries and hand sanitizer
– Personal medication
– Camera and film
– Torch with spare batteries

The notice regarding zero plastic bottles emphasizes the importance of complying with government regulations on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. Additionally, it suggests alternatives like aluminum bottles and provides information on purchasing them. Trekkers are encouraged to bring essential items and are reminded of items that can be hired or purchased locally. Travel insurance is strongly recommended for the entire trip duration.

Additional Info
  • Starting Altitude – 2911m / 9550ft.
  • Highest Altitude – 3915m / 12,844ft.
  • Walking Distance – ?km / ? miles
  • Longest Day – Day ?, approximately ?km / ? miles
  • Overall Difficulty – Difficult
Tour Price

$1,100.00

per person

If you have questions about the Tour, please call us to customize your adventure and learn more making your trip a once-in-a-life experience.
Pay a 50% deposit now and the rest when you arrive in Peru.
Select Group Size

Tour Information

Max. Guest

12

Min Age

+10

Tour Location

Peru

Languages Support

Spanish & English