Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days / 4 Nights
Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days 4 Nights, If You are looking for something 100% off the beaten track, then this is your kind of trek. Walk through the valleys, jungles and mountains of the Vilcabamba mountain range. An amazing adventure along part of an original Inca trail; this path will take you from the last capital of the Inca to the mysterious lost city of Machu Picchu!!!
Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days 4 Nights, This trek will allow you to see the amazing combination of important Inca ruins and diverse natural scenery.
You will be able to experience hiking along traditional Inca roads, ruins and tropical glaciers. Vilcabamba is the original capital of the Incas that were left behind after the Spanish conquest.
By booking the Vilcabamba Trek with Cusco Journeys & Adventure you are choosing the best. Don’t believe us? Check out our reviews on TripAdvisor!
- Starting Altitude – 2911m / 9550ft.
- Highest Altitude – 3915m / 12,844ft.
- Walking Distance – ?km / ? miles
- Longest Day – Day ?, approximately ?km / ? miles
- Overall Difficulty – Difficult
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.
Day 1: Cuzco – Casapata
We leave very early in the morning, taking the road to the Sacred Valley of the Inkas. Passing the town of Ollantaytambo, we head towards the Abra Málaga (mountain pass) which we cross, and then descend through the Puna towards the high jungle.
Our first stop is at the archaeological site of Huamanmarca, where there is an important Usnu or ritual platform and a precinct with four double jamb doorways facing the four cardinal points.
We continue to the settlement of Santa María, where we can rest for a few minutes, to then continue on to Huancacalle, the village where we will leave our motorized transport. The journey is long; but the reward is the solitude we enjoy as tourism is not very developed in this area. Here we meet our arrieros (mule-handlers) and mules which will accompany us on our walk. We have lunch.
After a short break, we begin our walk to visit the Rosaspata – Vitcos sector of the Vilcabamba Archaeological Park, including a tour of the famous Ñusta Hispana. It is suspected that the tomb of the rebel leader Manco Inka II can be found in this area of the Vilcabamba cordillera. We will also see the famous white rock.
By dusk we arrive at Casapata, which will be our campsite, where we enjoy our dinner and rest.
- Meals: lunch and dinner
- Maximum Altitude: 3060 masl / 10039 ft
- Minimum Altitude: 2950 masl / 9678 ft
- Distance Travelled: 5 km / 3.10 ml
- Approximate Walking Time: 3 hrs
Day 2: Casapata – Hatumpampa
We leave early in the morning, climbing up through the ravine of the Pumachaka river to the Chupana sector where this river begins. Here we find segments of Inka Trail which we will follow. We can observe local flora, which is used to dye textiles produced in the area.
We walk through Quechua, Suni and Puna ecological levels. When we arrive at the Pillaujasa mountain pass, we can see the Jasutina pass nearby, in the middle of an Andean landscape worthy of a postcard.
We begin the trail which descends to the valley of the Racchchaka river and following the river upstream, we arrive at Hatunpampa, where we will camp and enjoy a beautiful view of the Tuytubamba snow-capped peak.
- Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Maximum Altitude: 4086 masl / 13406 ft
- Minimum Altitude: 3060 masl / 10039 ft
- Distance Travelled: 17 km / 10.56 ml
- Approximate Walking Time: 10 hrs
Day 3: Hatumpampa – Nogalpampa
We take the path which climbs to the Yanacocha mountain pass, finding a forest of native trees (Qeuña y Kiswar) at over 4500 masl. At the pass itself, we will enjoy a view of the Yanacocha lake, and then begin our walk to the Mojon pass, the last high pass on our trek. The landscape of the Puna reminds us of how far we are from civilisation.
We descend through the Mutuypata ravine, where we have lunch, and after a rest we continue to the valley of the Saqsarayoq river which we will cross to reach Nogalpampa, where we set up camp.
- Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Maximum Altitude: 4500 masl / 14764 ft
- Minimum Altitude: 2788 masl / 9147 ft
- Distance Travelled: 14 km / 8.69 ml
- Approximate Walking Time: 8 hrs
Day 4: Nogalpampa – Aguas Calientes
We resume our walk downhill through a spectacular native forest, towards the town of Yanatile. Here we take our transport to the train station at the Hidroelectrica (hydro-electric plant), where we will board the train which will take us to the town of Aguas Calientes. Overnight in a hotel.
- Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Maximum Altitude: 2788 masl / 9147 ft
- Minimum Altitude: 2100 masl / 6890 ft
- Distance Travelled: 13 km / 8 ml
- Approximate Walking Time: 5 hrs
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cuzco
After breakfast we will board the bus which will take us to the biggest energetic center of the Incas, “Machu Picchu”. As part of our itinerary the same professional tour guide from the Vilcabamba trek; will teach you about all the history of this mysterious and mystical place. We will visit the Sun Temple, Royal palace, Main Temple, Three Windows Temple and Sun Dial. It will be an unforgettable experience. After the guided tour, you will have free time to explore on your own.
If you have booked Wayna picchu, you will need to coordinate with your guide for Machu Picchu visiting depending on your scheduled time to the mountain, for people not hiking any of the mountains there are some other optional activities on your own (not included in the price):
- Visit the Sun Gate: You will have an opportunity to walk (approx. 2 hours up and down) up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) to see Machu Picchu from a different angle.
- Hike to the Inca Bridge: The Inca Bridge offers a dose of adventure for your next Machu Picchu visit. However in this case, the adventure is a little less strenuous, but a lot more death defying, not for people with vertigo.
Train back to Cusco: In the afternoon you will return to the train station in Aguas Calientes for the trip back to Ollantaytambo. Upon your arrival to train station you will be transferred by car to your hotel in Cusco.
Optional: Buffet lunch at the Tinkuy restaurant in the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu on day 5 – US $45
- Meals: Breakfast
- Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft
- Highest Elevation: 2,440 m/ 8,052 ft
- Trek briefing with your guide
- Professional local guide (on hike)
- Second tour guide for groups of 9+.
- Private transport and professional driver (to the starting point of hike)
- All entrance tickets and permits for Vilcabamba hike
- All necessary tools for tree planting
- Transfer in bus to starting point of the trek
- 2 person per tent Igloo tents (new, spacious and comfortable)
- A roll pad mattress
- Dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs
- Excellent tour guide (2 guides for groups over 12)
- Full board meals: 3 Meals per day, snacks each afternoon
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
- Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
- Excellent meals (4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners)
- Food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, and rice, all rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking (Vegetarian, vegan or special diet meals upon request)
- Horses or mules and Indigenous horsemen to carry camping equipment: client tents, dining and cooking tents, table, stools, cooking gear, stove, gas container, cutlery, plates, food and fresh vegetables.
- Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes
- Boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning
- Expedition Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- Expedition Train return from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and private transport to Cusco
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes (double or triple accommodation)
- Porterage of 8 Kg per person.
- Round Trip Bus Tickets
- Meals: 4 Breakfast, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
- Tea time before dinner (tea, coffee, coco, biscuits, popcorn)
- Oxygen Tank & First aid kit
- All local taxes
- Sleeping bag
- Water on Day 1, just half day
- Energy snacks which can very useful such as chocolate and granola bars and dried fruits
- Breakfast on Day 1, Lunch on Day 5
- Wayna Picchu Mountain $ 25.00 (Walk to the top without a guide. The trail is well marked)
- **Tips for the crew (muleteers, chef and guide)
Bring for the Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
- A good daypack: Eagle Creek Afar Backpack –appropriate packs to carry your personal belongings.
- Original passport with the migration Peru card (for Trains, Machu Picchu Park, and Hotels)
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended but not required).
- Swimwear for the hot springs of Lares
- Lighter trekking boots (with good ankle support)
- 3 pairs of trekking pants (not jeans): 1 hiking, 1 cotton–which is just enough. Please spray both pairs with an insect repellent before the trip.
- Layers for variable temperatures especially at night
- 1 rain jacket: The first night the temperature can be as – 5 degrees Celsius/41 degrees Fahrenheit. The rain jacket can be helpful, because there are rainy days even if we are in dry season!
- 1 warm/Winter jacket
- Thermals: wool socks, gloves, scarf, and woolen hat for cold nights.
- 4 pairs of underwear, 5 pairs of socks (Bamboo or cotton/nylon-blend socks dry faster than 100 percent cotton, which lose their softness when air-dried). It is nice to have a couple of extra pairs of socks to change into at night when you’re not hiking. Also, we recommend bringing both really heavy hiking socks and lighter socks because the weather is variable, so you want to make sure you’re not too cold or overheat.
- 4 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts
- 1 good sleeping bag liner that is super lightweight and easy to pack. Definitely does its Job!
- Travel-size tissues and wet wipes–The air is cold and damp so your nose is going to run a lot. Everyone seems to run out of tissues by the end of the trek. Also, most bathrooms do not have toilet paper (if you even get a bathroom), so wet wipes are key.
- Iron tablets and pills for altitude sickness. Several people on the hike have varying degrees of altitude sickness and both of these remedies (in addition to the coca tea) are very helpful in alleviating the symptoms.
- Sun protection cream (SPF 45 or higher recommended).
- Bug spray with 30% DEET in it–which you need, but it doesn’t work very well. The issue with Cusco outdoors is that most of the bugs are not mosquitoes. They are these small flies you can’t even see that leave weird bites that first look like you pricked your finger and then blow up into itchy red bumps. Unfortunately, these bugs seem to bite you no matter what kind of spray you put on, so an anti-itch medication could be helpful.
- Re-usable plastic or metal water container or a hydration pack such as Camel back
- Water (only for first day hike). Then we will provide you with water throughout the hike.
- Camera and film
- A headlamp to navigate camp in the evenings and pre-dawn mornings with spare batteries
- Bandages or moleskin
- Flip flops to change into at night–your toes will thank you!.
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste/floss, shampoo/conditioner, brush/comb, Vaseline (for feet great for potential blisters), feminine hygiene products, deodorant, nail clippers/file/tweezers, spare glasses and/or prescription, mini-eyeglass repair kit, contact lenses if required and supplies, hand sanitizer etc.–and whatever else you need, but pack light.
- Medication (Imodium AD or something for your stomach. Some people get an upset stomach on the trek. With 8-10 hours of hiking each day, you need to get over whatever the day throws at you quickly, so bring some meds.
- Plastic bags for dirty and wet clothes
- Something to read in the evenings
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, & tips to your staff
- Additional Notes
Gift for Andean children “Optional”
We recommend bringing: Coloring books, crayons, pens, notebooks, pencils, stickers, clothes, toys, etc. but not candies or chemical products. Children will love to receive these gifts when we pass through Andean communities which have schools.
Permits are needed for your chosen start date. Tour prices are based on the number of people in a group. Prices are valid from March 2019 through January 2020. All prices quoted are $USD
- 2-3 Trekkers: $750 per person
- 4-5 Trekkers: $700 per person
- 6 or more Trekkers: $650 per person
Important: Price includes up to 8 kilos of your personal belongings to be carried by the mules (NO need of extra Porter hire!).
- Student Discount: US$20.00 Check this link:( http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/items/estudiantes.html )
- Under 15 years will pay as student: US$20.00
- Under 7 years Discount: US$35.00
Optional Extras (Need to Book in Advance):
- Machu Picchu Mountain climbing: USD 25.00 (Need to book in advance)
- Huayna Picchu Mountain climbing: USD 25.00 (Need to book in advance)
- Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (5 star hotel) – US $580 per person per night (double occupancy)
- Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel (4 star hotel) – US $345 per person per night (double occupancy)
- Santuario Hotel (3+ star hotel) – US $65 per person per night (double occupancy)
- Vistadome train -US $65 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Hiram Bingham train (deluxe) -US $485 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy
- Hiking poles – US$20.00
- Sleeping bag – US$25.00
- Sleeping bag Deluxe Package (+ Pillow & Liners) US$35.00
- Private Tent – US$30.00
1.- How difficult is the vilcabamba trek?
The vilcabamba is considered a difficult trek. It’s the longest and most strenuous trek to Machu Picchu, however the wilderness you trek through makes up for its difficulty. No technical skills are required.
2.- What is the distance of the vilcabamba trek?
The rough distance of the trek is 32 miles or 52 kilometres.
3.- What is the scenery like on the vilcabamba trek?
The trail is extremely remote and beautiful. You will walk through sub-tropic jungle, several Inca ruins and pass through several snow-capped peaks.
4.- Do I need a permit to hike the vilcabamba trek?
No permit is required to trek the vilcabamba trail.
5.- Should i book in advance?
The vilcabamba trek is not a busy trek, but we still recommend booking at least 2 month in advance.
6.- When is the high season for the vilcabamba trek?
The high season for the vilcabamba is from April to November (dry period).
Terms & Conditions
1.- Contract between the Client and Cusco Journeys & Adventures
- To secure a booking with Cusco Journeys & Adventures, the Client must deposit 30% of the entire price of the trip (minimum US$200). All flights (domestic and international) and UpGrades must be paid 100% in advance to secure spaces. The deposit is non-refundable. Clients booking by telephone, fax or email will be deemed to have read the booking conditions.
- A booking is accepted and becomes definite from the date Cusco Journeys & Adventures has received the deposit from the Client. It is at this point that a binding contract between Cusco Journeys & Adventures, LLC, and the Client comes into existence.
- The contract is made between Cusco Journeys & Adventures, LLC, and the Client, which includes all persons named on the booking form. The person signing the booking form warrants that he/she has full authority on behalf of all the persons whose names appear thereon and confirms that all such persons are fully aware of and accept these conditions.
- The balance of the amount due must be paid to Cusco Journeys & Adventures no later than 30 days before departure. In case of non-payment of the balance by the due date, Cusco Journeys & Adventures will treat the booking as cancelled by the Client.
- In the case of bookings made within 30 days of the departure date, the full amount of package price will be paid upon booking.
- Payment can either be made by wire transfer, direct deposit, or check. In case of a bank transfer, all wiring and transfer costs should be assumed by the Client.
- All prices are United States of America Dollar based.
- Our prices do not include Peruvian sales taxes. Those exempt from paying this tax must meet the legal standards. For an exemption from the IGV (General Sales Tax) the visitor (guest) must prove he or she meets the international treaty standards honored in Peru by showing a passport, driver’s license or national identity card. Please note that visitors who have stayed in Peru longer than 90 calendar days are no longer exempt from IGV (General Sales Tax). Please make sure that your identity documents are legible and note that the TAM (Andina Migration Card) cannot substitute a passport.
3.- Changes by the Client
Any changes to the original booking must be confirmed by the person signing the booking form. For any change by the Client to the itinerary after receiving a confirmed Travel Program from Cusco Journeys & Adventures, a US$50 changing fee will be charged plus any costs or charges which are incurred or levied by our suppliers as a result of the amendment. While every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate changes and additional requests, their availability cannot be guaranteed.
Services can be transferred from one client to another as long as there is availability and the providers’ conditions allow it.
4.- Substitution of Client
If any member of your party is prevented from traveling, it may be possible to transfer the booking to another suitable person, provided that written notice is given at least 30 days prior to departure. An administration fee of US$50 will be levied plus any costs imposed by Cusco Journeys & Adventures suppliers. In the case of certain tickets such as those for Machupicchu Site, Huayna Picchu mountain or for the Inca Trail, these must be purchased again as they cannot be transferred, then we need see the availability.
5.- Cancellation by the Client
The Client may cancel the booking at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to Cusco Journeys & Adventures in writing. Deposit paid to reserve trip is non-refundable. Payments for flights, cruises, Machupicchu site, Inca Trail Trek and Train Tickets bookings are non-refundable due to airline, Peruvian goverment and operator policies. All other reservations cancelled less than 45 days prior to the departure date of the tour are subject to the following cancellation fees:
|Period Before Departure When Notification Is Received||Cancellation Fee As A Percentage Of The Refundable Services Price|
|8 Days or Less||100%|
In case part of a booking is cancelled, the remaining party may have to pay additional charges (e.g. under-occupancy, or single room supplements). In case of trip postponement, an administration fee of 15% of the trip price will be charged plus the amount already spent on non-refundable subcontracted services. The remaining amount may be used toward future travel with Cusco Journeys & Adventures.
6.- Changes and Cancellation by Cusco Journeys & Adventures
While Cusco Journeys & Adventures will use its best endeavors to operate all tours as advertised, by entering into this contract the Client accepts that it may prove necessary or advisable to vary or modify a tour itinerary or its contents due to prevailing local conditions. Cusco Journeys & Adventures reserves the right to cancel or change any of the facilities, services or prices (including flights, accommodation or other arrangements) at any time and to substitute alternative arrangements of comparable monetary value without compensation and accepts no liability for loss of enjoyment as a result of these changes.
If a major change is known to us at the time of the booking, the Client will be informed immediately. A major changed is defined as a change affecting at least one in three full tour days of the itinerary, or which materially affects the character of the Product in its entirety. If a major change becomes necessary after booking, Cusco Journeys & Adventures will inform the Clients as soon as reasonably possible.
When a major change is made, the Client will have the choice to accept the change of arrangements, to purchase any other available tour or to cancel the tour and obtain a full refund. This is providing that the major change is not because of force majeure.
Force majeure is war, threat of war, riots, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activities, natural or nuclear disaster, fire or adverse weather conditions, technical or maintenance problems with transport, changes imposed by cancellation or rescheduling of flights by an airline, the alteration of airline or aircraft type, or other similar events beyond the control of Cusco Journeys & Adventures.
Cusco Journeys & Adventures is not liable for any charges in the event of a change – beyond their control – to the departure time or date of a tour, flight or other form of transport.
Should any price increase, Cusco Journeys & Adventures will absorb the price increase if the price increase is less than 5% of the total package price. If the increase is more than 5%, the client will be surcharged the difference.
8.- Passport, Visa and Vaccinations
It is the responsibility of the Client to be in possession of a valid passport, visa permits, inoculations and preventative medicines as may be required by the authorities of the visited countries for the duration of the tour. Information about these matters or related items is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of Cusco Journeys & Adventures.
9.- Age, Fitness and Participation
All Clients are expected to assess that their physical fitness aligns with the requirements of the itinerary of their choosing prior to booking. Travelers with pre-existing medical conditions are advised to check with a healthcare professional before traveling on the chosen itinerary. No unaccompanied minors (those under 18 years of age) can be accepted on tours operated by Cusco Journeys & Adventures, however older teenagers may be considered provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who accepts full responsibility for the minor. Cusco Journeys & Adventures reserves the absolute right to decline a booking at their discretion. Clients agree to accept the authority and decisions of the employees of Cusco Journeys & Adventures, tour leaders and agents, while on the tour with Cusco Journeys & Adventures. If, in the opinion of such persons, the health or conduct of a Client before or after departure appears likely to endanger the safe, comfortable or happy progress of a tour, the Client may be excluded from all or part of the tour. In case of ill health Cusco Journeys & Adventures may make such arrangements as it sees fit and recover the costs thereof from the Client.
10.- Local laws
All participants in tours operated by Cusco Journeys & Adventures are expected to obey the laws and regulations of the countries visited and any failure to do so will relieve Cusco Journeys & Adventures of all obligations that they may otherwise have under these booking conditions.
11.- Illness or disability
Anyone suffering from illness or disability or undergoing treatment for any physical or medical condition must declare the true nature of such condition at the time of booking and arrange for the provision of any medication or other treatment which may be required during the tour. Failure to make such disclosure will constitute a breach of these booking conditions and result in such persons being excluded from the tour in which case all monies paid will be forfeit.
If the chosen holiday includes a cruise or excursion or transfer by boat of any sort, the Client must make it known at the time of booking if he/she is unable to swim. This will not prevent the Client from participating in the tour but will enable Cusco Journeys & Adventures to take additional precautions for the safety of the Client at such times as may be appropriate.
12.- Client has a Complaint
If the Client has a complaint about any of the tour arrangements, he/she must bring it to the attention of the tour leader or other representative of Cusco Journeys & Adventures at the appropriate time so that they may use their best endeavors to rectify the situation. It is only if Cusco Journeys & Adventures is made aware of any problems that there will be the opportunity to put things right. Making your complaint known to Cusco Journeys & Adventures as a problem arises during your trip will allow us to remedy the situation or facilitate compensation. Should the problem remain unsolved, a complaint must be made in writing to Cusco Journeys & Adventures within 28 days of the completion of the holiday.
13.- Flight Bookings
Cusco Journeys & Adventures will use its best endeavors to ensure that all flight prices are correct at the time that they are quoted. Airlines reserve the right to amend or withdraw fares without prior notice. Once a deposit is paid on an airfare, it guarantees that a booking is being held for you, but it DOES NOT GUARANTEE the fare. The fare can only be guaranteed when the flight booking has been paid in full and a ticket has been issued. Flight bookings cannot be transferred.
The flight times given by Cusco Journeys & Adventures are for general guidance only and are subject to change. Up-to-date flight times will be shown on the tickets. The Client must check the tickets very carefully immediately upon reception of the latest timings. Cusco Journeys & Adventures will endeavor to inform the Client as soon as possible in the event of any flight alteration. Details of airlines are also subject to change. Such alterations do not constitute a significant change to the trip arrangements and will therefore not be entitled to cancel without paying the normal charges as a result.
Cusco Journeys & Adventures cannot be held responsible for any delay to your flight whether this delay is caused by adverse weather conditions, the action of air traffic controllers, airport authorities or (local) governments, the rescheduling of flight times by the airline, mechanical breakdown, strike, industrial action or any other reason.
14.- Our responsibility
Cusco Journeys & Adventures cannot guarantee the accuracy of any hotel, resort or other leaflet which is not published by them but may be supplied as an additional service to the Client.
Cusco Journeys & Adventures accepts responsibility for ensuring that the vacation which the Client books with them is supplied as described in the final version of the travel program the Client will receive upon arrival and for ensuring that the services reach a reasonable standard.
Cusco Journeys & Adventures acts only in the capacity of an agent upon the legal conditions that, while exercising every possible precaution, it is not responsible for injury, illness, damage, loss, additional expenses, accidental delay, or other irregularities which may be caused either through willful or negligent acts or omissions made by the companies or individuals providing or engaged in transportation, accommodation or other services related to the accomplishment of the tour, or through natural disasters, social upheavals or other causes.