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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!!!​

Overview

Overview:

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!

Useful Information

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

Itinerary

Itinerary:

Pre-trek briefing:

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

Includes

Included:

  • 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 7 Kg per person.
  • Round Trip Bus Tickets
  • Tea time before dinner (tea, coffee, coco, biscuits, popcorn)
  • Oxygen Tank & First aid kit
  • All local taxes

Not Included:

  • 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.

Prices

Prices:

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 2020 through January 2021. 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 7 kilos of your personal belongings to be carried by the mules (NO need of extra Porter hire!).

Discounts:

  • Student Discount: US$20.00 Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using a University Student Card our under 17-years-old, we need to see a copy of their card or passport at the time of booking to receive the discount.Please send all to info@cuscojourneys.com.

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)

Upgrades:

Hotel Upgrades:

The hotel is 2-star and is based on sharing a room – either double, matrimonial, or triple. There is a single room surcharge of $30 if you are booking alone. Rooms all include private bathrooms, with hot showers and wifi. We can also upgrade your hotel if you prefer something fancier. Please remember that the service you receive in Aguas Calientes may not be comparable to that in Cusco. Below is a list of possible upgrade options, although we can usually work with most hotels in Aguas Calientes.

  • 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)

Train Upgrades:

  • Vistadome train -US $65 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Hiram Bingham train (deluxe) -US $485 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy

Rentals:

  • Hiking poles – US$20.00
  • Sleeping bag – US$25.00
  • Sleeping bag Deluxe Package (+ Pillow & Liners) US$35.00
  • Private Tent – US$30.00

FAQ's

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

By booking or participating in a tour and any related products or services (a “Tour”) with Cusco Journeys, you agree to these Terms & Conditions.

Booking:

  1. Your booking is confirmed and a contract exists when the Tour Operator or your travel agent issues a written confirmation after receipt of the applicable deposit amount. Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to the Tour Operator or authorized agent immediately. Please ensure that names are exactly as stated in the relevant passport.
  2. You will pay a deposit which is completely non-refundable in any situation. There are no exceptions.
  3. You will be required to show the original passport (not a copy) that you booked with, at the checkpoint to enter the Inca Trail. If you originally booked with an old passport and then renewed your passport, you must also bring your expired passport along with your new, valid passport to permit entry or they will refuse your entrance to the trail.
  4. The only acceptable ID to receive a Student Discount is your University Card with a clear expiration date that must be the same year as trek. IDs with expiry dates the following year, even though clearly valid, will not be accepted by the Peruvian government. You must submit a copy of this card at time of booking.

Cancellations:

  1. Cancellations: In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 40% is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing (we do not accept medical notes of any kind) as our out of pocket expenses are non-refundable to us.. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:

ONCE BOOKED, DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. CHART BELOW OUTLINES WHAT FURTHER FEES WILL BE DUE.

Cancellation By

Terms

91 days or more before departure we will retain 50% of your deposit.
90 – 30 days before departure we will retain 75% of the total tour cost.
29 – 0 days before departure we will retain 100% of the total tour cost.

Inca Trail Tours:

  1. Permits: Permits for the Inca Trail are in your name and can not be transferred to anyone else under any circumstances. Change of dates is also not possible once a permit has been purchased. Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable. The deposit will be forfeited. Please note that this is a regulation of the Peruvian government and not Cusco Journeys (or any agency).
  2. In extreme cases when the “Inca Trail to Machu Picchu” is declared closed for safety reasons, Cusco Journeys will replace your trek with an alternative trek.
  3. Those who booked PERMITS with a Student ID must bring that ID with them on the trek. If they fail to show this card to the Park Rangers, they will not be allowed entry onto the trail.

Medical Information:

  1. You must advise Cusco Journeys of any medical problems or allergies you may have. You need to be in good physical health, and if your health is questionable, then you should consult a doctor. If you are over the age of 70 years old, then you will need to present us with a current good health medical certificate.
  2. You are responsible for assessing whether a Tour is suitable for you. You should consult your physician to confirm your fitness for travel and participation in any planned activities. You should seek your physician’s advice on vaccinations and medical precautions. The Tour Operator does not provide medical advice. It is your responsibility to assess the risks and requirements of each aspect of the Tour based on your own unique circumstances, limitations, fitness level and medical requirements.
  3. Cusco Journeys reserves the right to deny you permission to travel or participate in any aspect of a Tour at any time and at your own risk and expense where the Tour Operator determines that your physical or mental condition renders you unfit for travel or you represent a danger to yourself or others.
  4. Pregnancy is considered a medical condition and must be disclosed to the Tour Operator at the time of booking. The Tour Operator may refuse to carry pregnant women over 24 weeks. The Tour Operator may refuse to carry anyone with certain medical conditions if reasonable accommodation or alternatives cannot be arranged.
  5. It is strongly encouraged to purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case of medical emergency or any tour cancellations.

Tours and Treks:

  1. All balances need to be paid in either cash, Western Union, Transfer Bank or PayPal (in full) prior to the briefing which will be held the night before your tour. Visa incurs a 5% service fee and if you need to use another card, it must be through PayPal which incurs a 5.5% service fee.
    You must advise your guide if you wish to leave the group or the camping area for independent walks or sightseeing. If you are experiencing any problems with the services of the guide or tour, please advise the guide in that moment, so that he can resolve any problems.
  2. All Adventure Treks include transportation to Cusco. The return train route depends on train availability.
  3. If you become ill or injured on the trail and are unable to continue, a porter will be provided to accompany you back to an area with emergency assistance capabilities. Helicopter air lifts and medical assistance are at the expense of the trekker. If you are unable to complete the tour due to illness, we will assist you in meeting your group at Machu Picchu to recommence your tour at that point. There will be no refund of the original payment. However, we will prepare a document to certify illness which can be presented for your travel insurance.
  4. Cusco Journeys will take all reasonable care in providing to our clients avoidance of accident, illness, and loss of personal property, and will only employ suitably qualified staff. We accept responsibility for the actions of our own employees. Cusco Journeys cannot, however, be responsible for any action of third parties. You are totally responsible for your own personal property and rented equipment.
  5. Cusco Journeys does not take responsibility for unfavorable weather conditions, natural catastrophe, strikes, accidents, illness, injury, loss of personal ítems, etc. It is the client’s responsibility to carry insurance to cover these types of events. We reserve the right to modify or cancel the program due to any of the unforeseen conditions listed above.
  6. Cusco Journeys may modify your itinerary where reasonably required in its sole discretion.
  7. Group tours might be as large as 16 participants. Groups are open to everyone no matter skill or age. By accepting a Group Tour you acknowledge that others might change the speed and timing of the tour.
  8. All tours are done in English.

Delays:

  1. Any costs, whether direct or incidental, incurred by the Customer as the result of delays caused by bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, sickness, government intervention or other contingencies which are beyond the control of southern explorations will not be reimbursed.

Thank you so much for choosing Cusco Journeys!!!

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If you wish to climb one of these mountains please mark with the symbol that is located below

Huayna Picchu Mount.Machu Picchu MountainAnother (Extra Paid)

FAQ about Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain

Is anyone in your group 17 or under?*

If you answer yes, we need a copy of their passport. Please email to info@cuscojourneys.com

Yes, I have emailed a copy of their passport(s)Yes, I will email a copy of their passport(s) shortlyNo

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STUDENT UNIVERSITY CARD*

The Ministry of Culture has changed its regulations regarding student discounts for entrances to Machu Picchu and Inca Trail permits. For anyone wishing to obtain a student discount, the following requirements must be met: ( 1.- Must be under 25 years of age. 2.- Must have a valid institutional student card with. A.- Photopgraph. B.- Student´s full name. C.- Expiry date in 2019 that includes the date of reservation and the date of visit to Machu Picchu ). We will require a scanned copy of any student card at the time of booking. Please note ISIC cards or any alternative documents proving student status will not be accepted. Unfortunately if you fail to meet any of the above criteria we will not be able to offer the discount. Please be sure to check all passport expiration dates. Your passport must be set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. That means if your passport has less than six months remaining until the expiration date, you should renew it right away! Six months or more is required to enter and depart Peru.

Client Details: Name as written on passport, Passport Number, Date of Birth, Natinality and EMAIL *

Please list Full Names (as written on passport), Passport Number, Nationality, Dates of Birth, Gender and email addresses for all in your party. Please make sure your passports will be valid for more than 6 months after your visit to Peru. If not, Customs & Immigration may not allow you into the country

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