The Vilcabamba Trek takes you where the Incas made their final resting place. After the Spanish invasion, the Incas retreated to the jungle from where they continued resisting the occupation. Vilcabamba was the last Inca city and this hike takes you to some of the last domains of this empire. With beautiful landscapes, Inca sites and a great variety of flora and fauna. This tour begins in the last Inca city of Vilcabamba and ends in the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. It is a walk where history meets the desert. We visited three important Inca sites, including Vitcos, Ñustrahispana and Machu Picchu, and we followed miles of well-preserved Inca roads in the Vilcabamba region, largely without maps and unexplored. In addition to discovering these last refuges of the Incas, we will pass through a variety of spectacular landscapes, from tropical subtropical forests to mountain passes covered in snow. This is an area that is little visited, providing a unique and adventurous trip.


Useful information

  • Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
  • Walking distance: 60-70 km
  • Elevation: 2,000-4,200m (6,560-13,780ft)
  • Difficulty: moderate-difficult
  • Crowds: few to none, except in Machu Picchu

Climate in Vilcabamba


In Vilcabamba, the summers are short, cool and cloudy; The winters are short, cold and partly cloudy and dry throughout the year. During the course of the year, the temperature generally varies from 1 °C to 17 °C and rarely drops below -1 °C or rises above 19 °C. Based on the tourism score, the best times of the year to visit Vilcabamba for hot weather activities are from the end of April to mid-June and from mid-July to mid-October.


Temperature: The temperate season lasts 2.8 months, from September 8 to December 1, and the average daily maximum temperature is more than 17 °C. The hottest day of the year is October 2, with an average maximum temperature of 17 °C and an average minimum temperature of 4 ° C. The cool season lasts 1.5 months, from June 13 to July 30, and the average daily maximum temperature is less than 16 °C. The coldest day of the year is July 15, with an average minimum temperature of 1 °C and an average maximum of 16 °C.


Clouds: In Vilcabamba, the average percentage of the sky covered with clouds varies extremely during the course of the year. The clearest part of the year in Vilcabamba begins approximately on April 29; It lasts 4.9 months and ends approximately on September 26. On August 3, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear or partially cloudy 62% of the time and cloudy or mostly cloudy 38% of the time. The most cloudy part of the year begins approximately on September 26 ; It lasts 7.1 months and ends approximately on April 29. On February 23, the most cloudy day of the year, the sky is cloudy or mostly cloudy 92% of the time and clear, mostly clear or partially cloudy 8% of the time.


Rain:To show the variation over a month and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated during a 31-day rolling period centered around each day of the year. Vilcabamba has a slight variation of monthly rainfall per season. The rainy season lasts 6.0 months, from October 13 to April 14, with a mobile interval of 31 rainy days of at least 13 millimeters. Most of the rain falls during the 31 days centered around February 25, with an average total accumulation of 32 millimeters.


So When to go?

The best way to travel and enjoy Vilcabamba trek is to go from March to November, while the weather is dry and there is no rain. It is not advisable to travel from December to March, since some services can be suspended due to weather conditions. From April to October the days are sunny and hot and in the afternoons the temperature tends to go down from 5pm to 8pm From November, the beginning of December and the end of March the rains are rare. Heavy rains occur from December to the beginning of March. 


How to get to Vilcabamba:

If we leave the city of Cusco, we must go to the bus terminal in Santiago (Almudena cemetery area) to board a bus to the Quillabamba highway. After about five hours of travel you reach the town of Chaullay. The route continues in the direction of Vilcabamba and we do not stop until the town of Oyara arrives, the stretch continues for at least two hours.


Places to visit in Vilcabamba

  • Rosaspata Vitkos Archaeological Center
  • The Hispanic Ñusta, classic painting
  • The tomb of Espiritupampa, a recent discovery of a nobleman of the Wari culture.
  • Vitcos, the last residence of Manco Inca.



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