Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu Trek 5 Days


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ALTITUDE: 1850 - 4500 m
SIZE: Up to 8 people


Vilcabamba was dominated by Manco Inca and his successors after the Spanish invasion. There were several administrative centers built in honor of the emperors of the last Incas dynasty, from Manco Inca to Tupac Amaru. They created a neo-imperial state in order to preserve religious and astronomical knowledge while respecting the knowledge and traditions of other pre-Incan cultures. The territory of Vilcabamba is located northwest of the city of Cusco, in the province of Convención, in the eastern cordillera of the Andes. It has a chain of snow-capped peaks and mountains with high tropical forests where ecosystems constantly vary, passing through the high Andean plains drowned in an infinite forest of clouds.



Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Malaga Pass – Chaullay – Vilcabamba (Huancacalle)

Our day will start early in the morning, we will go by bus to the northwest of Cusco and we will pass villages like Chinchero (3760m) and Ollantaytambo (2800m), located in a very fertile area where corn is grown. Then, the trail will take us to the highest point of the region: the Malaga Pass (4400m). During our descent through the Amaybamba Valley, we will enjoy the superb view of snow-capped mountains and cloud forests. We will then pass the Col de Chaullay (1200m) and we will head to Huancacalle (3000m), where we will spend the night in a local hotel.

  • Travel time: 8 hours
  • Climate: cold and warm during the day
  • Altitude difference: Cusco (3400 m) – Ollantaytambo (2800 m) – Malaga pass (4400 m) – Chaullay (2950 m) – Vilcabamba (Huancacalle, 3000 m)

Day 2: Vilcabamba – Vitcos Rosaspata – Abra Pumachaca or Azutina – Raccachaca

During this day, we will visit the archaeological sites of Vitcos Rosasapata (3080m) and Ñustahispana (3050m). Our tour will take us through beautiful vegetation to the mountain passes Pumachaca (3900m) and Azutina (4000m). We will spend the night in our camp, mounted in the community of Raccachaca (3700m).

  • Walking time: 8 hours
  • Climate: temperate and cold with mosquitoes
  • Altitude difference: Vilcabamba (3000 m) – Vitcos Rosaspata (3080 m) – Abra Pumachaca (3900 m) / Azutina (4000 m) – Racachaca (3700 m)

Day 3: Raccachaca – HatúnPampa – Mojon Pass – Laccococha

During the day, some locals will explain to us the traditions and customs of their region. Then we will go through the passes of Yanacocha (4420m), Tullu Tacana (4500m) and Mojon (4500m). From here, we will have a great view of the Salkantay Mountain. After lunch, we will go down to Laccococha (3600m), our place of encampment.

  • Walking time: 7 hours
  • Climate: cold
  • Elevation gain: Raccachaca (3700 m) – Hatún Pampa (4000 m) – Col Mojon (4500 m) – Laccococha (3600 m)

Day 4: Laccococha – Mutuypata – Yanatile – Hidroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes

Our day will begin with a breakfast with a magnificent view of the mountains. While crossing Mutuypata forest (3250m), we will admire the vegetation of the region. We will also see coffee plantations and tropical fruits. In the small village of Yanatile (2200m), we will take a bus to Hidroelectrica, and then we will take a train to Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night in a hotel.

  • Walking time: 7 hours
  • Climate: cold and hot with mosquitoes
  • Elevation gain: Laccococha (3600 m) – Mutuypata (3250 m) – Yanatile (2200 m) – Hidroeléctrica (1950 m) – Aguas Calientes (2005 m)

Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

We will leave the hotel after breakfast at 5:30am and we will ride to Machu Picchu (2400m) by tourist bus. We will arrive at the citadel around 6:00am. After a guided tour of the archaeological site (including information about life and culture of the Incas), you will have time to explore Machu Picchu at your own pace. We will leave Aguas Calientes by train at 14h55 or 18h20, until Ollantaytambo, and then a bus will take you to your hotel in Cusco.

  • Transport time: 4h30
  • Visiting time: 2 hours
  • Warm climate
  • Altitude difference: Aguas Calientes (2005 m) – Machu Picchu (2400 m) – Cusco (3400 m)



  • Information meeting in our offices with your guide 1 or 2 days before the start of the trek at 18h or 19h, to be confirmed when booking
  • Transport from your hotel in Cusco to the village of Huancacalle
    • Public transport from Yanatile to Hidroelectrica
    • Train from Hidroeléctrica to the village of Aguas Calientes
    • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
    • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco
  • Family hotel in Huancacalle
  • Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
  • Hotel in the village of Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu
  • Bilingual Spanish-English professional guide (for a French-speaking guide, contact us)
  • Professional camping equipment (Professional tents Eureka! Timberline 4, used for two people, floor mats, tent with tables and chairs, tent-toilet)
  • Food during the excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack / vegetarian option on request).
  • A cook and an assistant
  • Muleteers for all our camping equipment and personal belongings of the customers (maximum of 7 kilos per person)
  • A rescue horse
  • A first aid kit, oxygen
  • Cold boiled water during the all trek.

Not included:

  • Breakfast of the 1st day and lunch of the last day in Aguas Calientes
  • Sleeping bag (If you do not have one, you can rent one in Cusco).


What to bring?

  • Backpack with a rain poncho
  • Sleeping bag
  • Clothing for hot and cold weather
  • Rain pants and lightweight pants
  • Trekking shoes
  • Sandals or flip flops (for showers and thermal baths)
  • Wool or synthetic socks and a sweater
  • T-shirt with short and long sleeves
  • Rain poncho and hat or cap
  • Swimsuit and towel (for hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
  • Sun protection, anti-mosquito, hand sanitizer gel, water bottle and purifying tablets, toilet paper
  • Camera (wrapped in a plastic bag), flashlight and spare batteries
  • Bars of cereals, chocolate, dried fruits, etc.
  • Original passport and student card “ISIC” (for entrance to Machu Picchu) extra money in Soles
  • The climate can be quite cold and wet; in this case, your wet clothes will not have enough time to dry. Take some extra clothes.


  1. From the 2nd to the 4th day (from Huancacalle to Yanatile), we will be accompanied by a team of muleteers and mules, who will carry all the camping equipment, food and personal belongings (maximum 7kg per person). On the 4th day, luggage will be sent by car to the Hidroelectrica Station.
  2.  Visit to Huayna Picchu: The ascent of Huayna Picchu requires to book a good time in advance. We take care of the reservation and guarantee your entrance to Huayna Picchu. The entrance fee to the mountain is $20 USD (This new law came into force on July 18, 2011).
  3. Tips: For muleteers, cooks and guides are always welcome. The muleteers are also very grateful for a small donation, such as clothes or school equipment for their children.
  4.  Student Card : To be eligible for the $ 20.00 student discount, you must have a valid ISIC student card when booking – not just when you arrive in Cusco! When booking, we will need a copy of your card.
  5. CANCELLATION: For any last minute cancellation, the expenses already made by the agency will be at your expense.


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