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Huchuy Qosqo Hike

The Huchuy Qosqo hike to Machu Picchu is one of the shortest in Cusco, since an average of 17 kilometers is traveled by walking, this route was designed for those people who do not have much time but still they want to take a walking tour before arriving at the great Inca city of Machu Picchu, ideal for people who like to be in contact with nature, outside the bustling city.

During the Huchuy Qosqo hike we will have the opportunity to see vestiges of Inca constructions, some Inca stairs and small doors with Inca decorations until we reach Huchuy Qosqo, an ancient Inca royal palace. Huchuy Qosqo is a Quechua word that means Small Cusco, it is located on the mountains of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, from this point you can appreciate the impressive panoramic view of the entire Vilcanota mountain range with its imposing snow-capped peaks.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Cusco – Tambomachay – Pucamarca.

Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu begins when we will pick you up from your hotel at 07:00 a.m. and we will take you to Tambomachay (3,800 meters above sea level), an Inca temple of the aquatic cult that has ceremonial sources. From here, we will begin to walk through the landscapes of the Puna and over the Sicllaccasa pass (4,020 masl). On the other side of the pass, we will walk along a path that leads to the Barranco de Ccauca and admire the archaeological remains and wild crops such as quinoa.

We will continue towards the Queulloca pass (4,185 masl) where we will enjoy the views of a lake with the same name and the snow-capped mountains of Veronica, Pitusiray, Sawasiray and Chicon. Continuing the walk, we will pass the Queullococha lake where we can see huallatas, ducks and small fish.

Then, we will climb towards the Challu Challu pass (4220m). Later, we will ascend to the fourth pass in Rumicruz (4,230 meters above sea level), to enjoy the Cordillera de Vilcanota. At this point, we will have lunch before continuing to an Inca stone quarry (4,220 meters above sea level), the place where the rocks were extracted to build Huchuy Qosqo. Finally, we will descend to the community of Pucamarca (4,010 masl) where we will set up camp and have dinner.

  • Hiking distance: 14 km. / 8.6 miles.
  • Walking time: 6½ to 7 hours approximately.
  • Climate: hot in the day and cold at night.
  • Accommodation: Camping.
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner.
  • Maximum altitude: 4350 meters above sea level. / 14271 feet
  • Minimum altitude: 3700 masl. / 12139 feet

Day 2: Pucamarca – Huchuy Qosqo – Lamay – “Aguas Calientes”.

Early in the morning, we will leave the camp and walk downhill towards the Leon Punku Ravine, where we will find remains of a bridge and Inca trail. Then, we will walk to Huchuy Qosqo (3,600 masl), which was an important center in the time of the Incas. From this place, we can admire the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the Sacred River from above. Once we get to Huchuy Qosqo, we will have a guided tour for approximately two hours; The tour will end at lunch time.

After that, we will continue the walk towards Lamay (2,800 masl) where our transport will wait for us and we will travel one hour to the Ollantaytambo train station and we will take the train to the picturesque town of «Aguas Calientes / Aguas Calientes»; The train ride will be two hours through the Sacred Valley surrounded by impressive mountain landscapes.

Once we arrive at the town of “Pueblo de Aguas Calientes” we will have accommodation at the hotel; In the evening, you can go to relax in the natural thermal bath and be ready for the next day.

  • Hiking distance: 12 km. / 7.4 miles.
  • Walking time: 5½ to 6 hours approximately.
  • Climate: hot in the day and warm at night.
  • Accommodation: Hostel in the city of Aguas Calientes.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
  • Maximum altitude: 3800 masl / 12467 feet.
  • Minimum altitude: 2800 masl / 9186 feet.

Day 3: Hike & Visit Machu Picchu – Cusco.

Today we reach the long-awaited end of our trek, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Machu Picchu! We will get up early after a refreshing night at our lodge to beat the crowds to the top of Machu Picchu and enjoy its serenity in the soft morning light. The entrance control point to Machu Picchu is open from 06:00 a.m. at 17:00 p.m. We will walk to Machupicchu (a bus trip is optional for $ 12.00) and we will 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, priests’ houses, the sundial, the industrial sector and the farm fields. Be amazed at the engineering ingenuity of the Incas that was so far ahead of its time and is still partially a mystery today! Without having modern tools or even steel and iron to work with, the people who built this city were great at organizing this community in a sustainable and beautiful way on a mountainside, even bringing water in canals through its streets for the people can use. When a Peruvian guide showed this site to Hiram Bingham, it was almost unrecognizable, covered with thick vegetation and in poor condition. It has since been cleaned and restored and is now protected and treasured by the world at large!

After this tour, you can climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). Each mountain takes about 3 hours to go up and down. Another low-impact option for which you don’t need an additional ticket is to walk to Puerta del Sol, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes around 2 or 2.5 hours round trip). Another option is to walk to see the Inca Bridge. You will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for more than 7 hours before returning to Aguas Calientes for the train ride at 6:20 p.m. (subject to availability) to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick up our group and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco around 9:30 p.m. Rest your feet and your body now, but we can assure you that your heart will still race for weeks and years to come!

  • Distance traveled: 6 km. / 3.7 miles
  • Walking time: approximately 3 to 4 hours.
  • Guided visit to Machu Picchu: 2½ hours.
  • Climate: warm tropical.
  • Transfer to Cusco: 3 hours by train and bus from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
  • Meals: Breakfast.
  • Maximum altitude: 2429 masl / 7972 feet.
  • Minimum altitude: 2040 masl / 6692 feet.

Included:

  • Pick up from your hotels at approx. 05:45 am
  • Transfer by private vehicle to Tambomachay (starting point of the trek)
  • 2 people per tents (the tents are comfortable and spacious)
  • Comfortable mattress rolls or thermal rest.
  • Experienced English-speaking guide
  • Food: 2 lunches 1 dinner 1 breakfast
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs.
  • First aid kit with emergency oxygen tank.
  • Chef and kitchen equipment and kitchen tent.
  • Meals: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners.
  • Horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment)
  • 4 kg of personal cargo for your items (canvas bag provided by the company toMachupicchu)
  • Hot water every morning and night to wash
  • Boiled water to fill your bottle (and at lunchtime if requested well in advance)
  • Private vehicle from Taucca or Lamay to Ollantaytambo
  • Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (Expedition)
  • Reception in Aguas Calientes and transfer to the lodge.
  • Accommodation in a private double room
  • Early bus to Machupicchu from Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu on day 3 and free time
  • Bus down from Machupicchu to Aguas Calientes
  • Expedition Train return to Cusco or Train to Ollanta and bus to Cusco.

Not Included:

  • Sleeping bag.- It can be rented in our office for US $ 20 for the entire trek (each sleeping bag is washed before each use).
  • Meals.- in the town of «Aguas Calientes» on the last day, you should consider a bugged from US $ 15 to 30 in an average restaurant.
  • Entrance fees to the mountain «Huaynapicchu» (US $ 30). Please advise at the time of booking as spaces are limited.
  • Tips.- for staff.

Recommendation:

Acclimatization is necessary in Cusco, one or two days before starting the tour. For a good acclimatization it is necessary to rest as much as possible, eat little, drink plenty of fluids; especially the coca tea, which has known healing and digestive properties. Proper acclimatization prevents it from affecting the «soroche» or altitude sickness, which could cause numerous health problems.

If you plan to stay in Cusco more days, we recommend you to hike to rainbow mountain peru or visit the humantay lake full day tour.

What should I bring for the Huchuy Qosqo hike?

  • Original passport
  • For students: Original Student card
  • Insurance card / certificate
  • Walking stick (highly recommended)
  • Mountain boots
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
  • Warm jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • 2-4 t-shirts
  • 2 pairs of pants (1 for hiking, 1 for camping)
  • Long underwear for sleeping
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Comfortable pants
  • Hat or cap for the sun
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Water
  • Toiletries / Toilet paper
  • Personal medication
  • Camera
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Extra money for tips / snacks / beer.

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