This new alternative to reach Machu Picchu in 5 days and 4 nights, Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu is a hidden treasure for more than 500 years, since this route was not affected by civilization and tourism, this walk covers many kilometers Inca road original and very well preserved, the landscapes, nature, snowy mountains, flora and peculiar fauna, will do as if it returned 500 years.
The walk of Vilcabamba takes you where the Incas made their final resting place. After the Spanish invasion, the Incas retreated into the jungle from where they continued to resist 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 is designed for lovers of walking and culture, without a doubt it will be the experience of your life, especially if you do not want to meet tourists along the way, we recommend you take this new route to reach the new wonder of the world Machu Picchu
Starting Altitude - 2911m / 9550ft.
Highest Altitude - 3915m / 12,844ft.
Overall Difficulty - Difficult
Day 1: Santa Maria - Huancacalle - Pilaupata
Day 2: Pilaupata - Rak'achaca
Day 3: Rak'achaca - Mutuypata
Day 4: Mutuypata - Santa Teresa - Aguas Calientes
Day 5: Machu Picchu
The first day of our trip is dedicated to getting us out to the trailhead. The Vilcabamba Trek is so remote that just getting to where we can begin the trek is a mission in itself. Leaving at 03:00 am our bus will take you over the Abra de Malaga Pass (4,650m) and down to the coffee area of Santa Maria at 1,100 metres above the sea level!
The journey isn't over yet and after spending some time touring a local farm we'll carry on by bus to Huancacalle where our trek will begin. The area around Huancacalle is rich in Inca sites including the White Rock (a large rock with elaborate carvings) and Vitcos one of the summer residences of the Inca emperor.
Our tour of the area will last around 3 hours after which we will carry on to our campsite at Pilaupata (3630m / 11909 ft.) along an original Inca Trail.
Leaving our campsite at Pilaupata we will set out for the high pass. The path winds its way up through lush vegetation for about 3 and a half hours during which you'll get to learn about the many native plants and flowers that thrive in this area. From the pass we'll begin our descent to our campsite at Rak'achaca (3570m / 11712 ft.) following original Inca pathways.
The scenery today is beautiful, with fantastic views of high snow-capped peaks, crystal clear rivers and lush vegetation all around it is a spectacular day through and through.
Today once again has spectacular scenery. As we carry on towards Machu Picchu we cross three high passes, the highest of which is 3860m / 12664 ft. and have fantastic views of snow-capped peaks throughout the day.
Walking today can be quite taxing (it's definitely the hardest day of the trek) as we spend long periods at high altitude and have several passes to cross, however with such great views it is easy to lose yourself in the moment so you hardly notice how tired you are until you lie down at the end of the day.
Today is the last leg of our journey; we have a 4 hour trek from our campsite to the village of Xanatile during which we'll pass by a canyon filled with roaring water and through an area full of plantations producing a variety of fruits as well as coffee beans.
On arrival to Yanatile we'll take a bus (1 hour) on to Santa Teresa and then continue walking following the course of the river until we arrive to the Hydro Electric station where we'll take a train on to Aguas Calientes.
Waking up early we'll take the first bus back up to Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens. We'll have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you'll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you'll have free time to explore the site by yourself and if you have permits to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.
There are several optional upgrades you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices.