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Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu

    Recommended
Cusco, Mollepata, Inka Chiriaska, Ancascocha, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu
Duration 5 days - 4 nights
Travel Style Adventure, hike
Difficulty Moderate
Group size Min 2 - Max 8

Embark on an exhilarating journey with 69 Explorer as we traverse the lesser-known yet breathtakingly beautiful Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu. This hidden gem, often overshadowed by the more famous Inca Trail, offers a unique and serene experience, immersing you in the heart of the Peruvian Andes.

As we begin our adventure, we will find ourselves delving into the rich tapestry of Andean culture and history. The Ancascocha Trek, stretching over a distance of approximately 44 km (27 mi), will lead us through remote villages, offering an intimate glimpse into the daily lives of the local Quechua people. These vibrant communities, steeped in centuries-old traditions, will be a highlight of our trek.

Our journey will unfold over 5-days, each day presenting new landscapes and challenges. We will ascend to breathtaking altitudes, reaching a maximum elevation of about 4,650 m (15,255 ft) at the Huayanay Pass. As we climb, the vistas will become increasingly dramatic, unveiling panoramic views of majestic snow-capped peaks and sprawling valleys.

We will navigate a variety of terrains, from lush cloud forests to rugged mountain trails. The diversity of flora and fauna along the Ancascocha Trek is remarkable. Keep your cameras ready, as we may encounter rare wildlife species endemic to this region.

One of the highlights of our trek will be the Inca sites that dot our path. These archaeological treasures, including the Q’anabamba and Paucarcancha ruins, will offer us a fascinating insight into the Inca civilization. We will explore these sites in depth, understanding their historical significance and marveling at their architectural genius.

Throughout our Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu, we will ensure the utmost comfort and safety. Our experienced guides, fluent in both English and Spanish, will be with us every step of the way. They will share their extensive knowledge of the area, enriching our experience.

The Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu with 69 Explorer Peru promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We will immerse ourselves in the beauty and history of the Andes, connect with local cultures, and marvel at the architectural wonders of the Incas. Join us on this unforgettable journey and discover the hidden treasures of Peru.

From US$ 627

95% of travelers recommend this experience

Important information

Includes

  • Transportation:
    • Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to the starting point of the trek.
    • Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back.
    • Expedition train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
    • Private transport from Ollantaytambo back to your hotel in Cusco.
  • Accommodation:
    • High-quality camping equipment for the trek (including tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping mats).
    • One night’s accommodation in a hotel in Aguas Calientes.
  • Meals:
    • All meals during the trek, freshly prepared by experienced chefs. This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a variety of nutritious and delicious options.
    • Snacks and water provided throughout the trek.
  • Experienced Guides:
    • Professional bilingual guides (English and Spanish) with extensive knowledge of the area and the Inca culture.
  • Entry Fees and Permits:
    • All necessary permits and entrance fees, including the Machu Picchu entrance fee.
  • Porters and Support Staff:
    • Porters to carry the main luggage (up to a certain weight limit).
    • Support staff including chefs and camp assistants.
  • Additional Amenities:
    • First aid kit including emergency oxygen.
    • Dining tent with tables and chairs for meals.
    • Bathroom tent for use in campgrounds.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Briefing before the trek to provide detailed information and answer questions.
    • Celebration dinner in Aguas Calientes.

Excludes

  • Meals Not Specified:
    • Meals in the city (e.g., in Cusco) before and after the trek.
    • Lunch on the final day in Aguas Calientes.
  • Travel Insurance:
    • Comprehensive travel insurance is not included but is highly recommended for all participants.
  • Additional Entrance Fees:
    • Entrance fees for optional sites and attractions, such as the hot springs in Aguas Calientes or additional archaeological sites outside of the standard tour.
  • Extra Activities:
    • Fees for optional activities like the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain hikes, which require separate tickets and must be booked in advance.
  • Personal Gear:
    • Personal trekking gear such as walking sticks, appropriate clothing, and backpacks.
    • Additional rental gear outside of the standard offering (e.g., upgraded sleeping bags or air mattresses).
  • Tips and Gratuities:
    • Tips for the guides, porters, and support staff, which are customary but at the discretion of the traveler.
  • Additional Transportation:
    • Any additional transportation services not specified in the itinerary, such as transfers outside of the set schedule or to places other than your Cusco hotel.
  • Additional Overnight Stays:
    • Extra nights of accommodation in Cusco or Aguas Calientes before or after the trek.
  • Airfare:
    • International or domestic airfare to and from Cusco.
  • Personal Expenses:
    • Expenses of a personal nature like alcoholic beverages, bottled water, snacks outside of those provided, laundry, phone calls, or other incidental expenses.

Recommend to carry

  • Clothing:
    • Waterproof jacket and pants (especially during the rainy season, from November to April).
    • Insulated jacket for cold evenings.
    • Lightweight, breathable hiking pants.
    • Moisture-wicking t-shirts and long-sleeve shirts for layering.
    • Thermal underwear for sleeping.
    • Hat, gloves, and scarf for colder altitudes.
    • Sun hat or cap for daytime protection.
  • Footwear:
    • Sturdy, broken-in hiking boots.
    • Comfortable shoes or sandals for evenings in the camp.
    • Hiking socks (preferably wool or synthetic).
  • Backpack and Bags:
    • A comfortable backpack with a good support system.
    • Waterproof backpack cover or liner.
    • Small daypack for carrying personal items.
  • Sleeping Gear:
    • Sleeping bag suitable for temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F) (can usually be rented from trekking companies).
    • Inflatable pillow or small cushion.
  • Hydration and Snacks:
    • Water bottles or hydration bladder (minimum 2-liter capacity).
    • Water purification tablets or a water filter.
    • High-energy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and energy bars.
  • Health and Hygiene:
    • Personal first-aid kit with essential medications.
    • High SPF sunscreen and lip balm with sun protection.
    • Insect repellent.
    • Hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
    • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.).
    • Toilet paper.
  • Accessories:
    • Sunglasses with UV protection.
    • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.
    • Camera with extra batteries and memory cards.
    • Trekking poles (optional but recommended).
  • Documents and Money:
    • Passport and necessary visas or permits.
    • Insurance documents.
    • Cash for personal expenses and tips.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Quick-dry towel.
    • Binoculars (for wildlife and landscape viewing).
    • Lightweight book or journal.
    • Plastic bags for keeping dirty or wet clothes separate.

Itinerary

Our Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu begins with an invigorating first day, full of awe-inspiring landscapes and the majesty of the Andean mountains. We will start this unforgettable adventure early in the morning at 5:00 am, and travel through some of the most stunning scenery Peru has to offer.

Your guide will collect you in the morning at your hotel in one of our private vans. The journey to trailhead at Soraypampa will take approximately 3.5 hours. As we travel, we will be treated to captivating views of quaint villages like Iscuchaca and Limatambo, as well as the breathtaking valleys that surround them. The highlight of our drive will undoubtedly be the sight of the magnificent, snow-capped Salkantay mountain.

Upon reaching Soraypampa, we will begin our day with a nourishing breakfast, enjoying the spectacular views of the Humantay (5,900 m / 19,356 ft) and Salkantay (6,217 m / 20,396 ft) mountain glaciers. Fueled and ready, we will embark on a 2.5-hour return hike to the stunning turquoise waters of Humantay Lake, a sight not to be missed.

Our journey will then continue with a gentle 1.5-hour ascent to Salkantay Pampa. Here, amidst the beauty of the glacier, our chefs will serve a delicious lunch, offering a perfect blend of nourishment and scenic beauty.

After lunch, we will face a one-hour uphill hike by switchback to reach our first campsite at Soroccocha, situated at the foot of the grand Salkantay Mountain. As we arrive, hot drinks and appetizers will be awaiting us, with our tents already set up for a comfortable night’s stay. This will be the perfect opportunity to settle in and relax before enjoying a well-deserved dinner.

The first day of our Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu will indeed offer breathtaking views and an experience filled with natural beauty and wonder.

Key Statistics of Day One:

  • Distance Covered: Approximately 12 km (7.5 mi)
  • Highest Altitude: Soroccocha campsite, around 4,000 m (13,123 ft)
  • Lowest Altitude: Starting point at Soraypampa, approximately 3,900 m (12,795 ft)
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate, with some steep sections during the hike to Humantay Lake and the ascent to the campsite.

Get a good night’s rest as you will need it for the days to come, we’ll sleep with anticipation for the adventures and sights that await.

The second day of our Ancascocha Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a journey through the heart of the Andean highlands, challenging yet immensely rewarding. This day will be marked by the crossing of several high mountain passes, each offering its own breathtaking views and unique challenges.

Our morning will start with a hot mug of tea or coffee served right in our sleeping bags. After enjoying this warm wake-up call, we will gather for a hearty breakfast, fueling ourselves for the day’s hike.

We will set off on what can only be described as a spectacular day of hiking. Our first major milestone will be the Inca Chiriaska Pass, standing at an impressive 4,959 m (16,269 ft). Here, we will pause to take in the extraordinary views of the surrounding landscapes, a perfect blend of rugged beauty and serene vistas.

Following this, our path will lead us along an original section of the Inca Trail. We will tread the same ground that the Incas once did, heading towards the majestic Salkantay Mountain. The historical significance and natural beauty of this trail segment will be a highlight of our trek.

Our journey will then bring us to the Tocto Pass, located at 4,821 m (15,816 ft). The views from this pass, with Salkantay Mountain in the background, will be a memory to treasure.

As we continue, we will conquer three more passes: Calacocha Pass at 4,667 m (15,311 ft), Cruz Casa Pass at 4,600 m (15,091 ft), and finally the Millpo Pass at 4,399 m (14,432 ft). Each of these passes will present its own unique challenges and awe-inspiring vistas.

After successfully navigating these four mountain passes, we will descend to our campsite at Millpo. This will be our resting place for the night, where we will unwind with afternoon tea and appetizers, followed by a well-deserved dinner.

The second day of our trek will be a testament to our endurance and love for adventure, offering unparalleled views and a deep connection with the Andean highlands.

Key Statistics of Day Two:

  • Distance Covered: The trek will cover a significant distance, challenging our stamina.
  • Highest Altitude: Inca Chiriaska Pass at 4,959 m (16,269 ft).
  • Lowest Altitude: Our campsite at Millpo, offering a serene end to the day.
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging, due to multiple high-altitude passes and the distance covered.
  • Number of Passes: Crossed: Four, each presenting unique views and experiences.

The third day of our Ancascocha Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a day filled with awe-inspiring vistas, challenging ascents, and fascinating archaeological discoveries. We will continue our journey through the heart of the Andes, encountering some of the most breathtaking scenery on the trek.

We will start our day in the comfort of our tents with a warm mug of tea or coffee, followed by a nutritious breakfast to energize us for the day ahead. Our trek will begin with an hour’s walk towards the Chusqenay Pass, situated at 4,630 m (15,190 ft). This part of the hike offers a gentle start to our day.

Next, we will head towards the Rumi Inca Pass, continuing our ascent into the narrow Valley of Yahuarmaky. Here, we will take a short rest, allowing us to fully appreciate the stunning panoramic views around us.

Feeling refreshed, we will then climb for about 1.5 hours until we reach the Aqocasa Pass, at an altitude of 4,686 m (15,374 ft). The Aqocasa mountain, known for its beautiful sandy red color, provides a spectacular backdrop. From the top of this pass, with binoculars in hand, we will be able to spot the Classic Inca Trail that leads to Machu Picchu. The distant views of the Salkantay, Humantay, Huayanay mountains, and Huacay Willka, also known as Veronica, are truly a sight to behold.

An exciting part of our day will be exploring the small archaeological site of Inca Raqay, offering us a glimpse into the rich history of the Inca civilization.

After our time at Inca Raqay, we will descend and then climb once more to the Huayanay Pass, also at 4,630 m (15,190 ft). This segment of our trek will be challenging but equally rewarding.

Our day concludes with a 3-hour downhill walk to our campsite at Ancascocha, located beside the serene Ancascocha Lake at 3,700 m (12,139 ft). Here, we will have a total of approximately 8-9 hours of walking for the day.

Upon reaching Ancascocha, it will be time to relax, enjoy a well-deserved dinner, and share stories about the incredible sights and experiences of the day.

Key Statistics of Day Three:

  • Distance Covered: The day involves a considerable amount of walking, covering various terrains.
  • Highest Altitude: Aqocasa Pass at 4,686 m (15,374 ft).
  • Lowest Altitude: Our campsite at Ancascocha Lake, 3,700 m (12,139 ft).
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging, with multiple ascents and descents throughout the day.
  • Total Walking Time: Approximately 8-9 hours, making it a day full of adventure and discovery.
  • Distance Covered: The day involves a mix of uphill and downhill walking, covering varied terrains.
  • Highest Altitude: 13,907 ft (4,215 m) at the Warmiwañusca Pass
  • Lowest Altitude: Begins at the elevation of Llulluchapampa camp
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging due to the combination of high altitude and distance

This day on the Inca Trail is a true test of our endurance but also a rewarding experience, filled with historical insights and unparalleled natural beauty. As we settle into our camp at Phuyupatamarca, we will rest with a sense of achievement, eagerly anticipating the final leg of our journey to Machu Picchu.

The fourth day of our Ancascocha Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu marks a transition from the high Andean landscapes to the lush valleys, offering a different yet equally captivating experience. This day is characterized by a scenic descent through the heart of the Andes, leading us towards our much-anticipated destination: Machu Picchu.

We will begin our day with a hot drink served in our tents, followed by a hearty and delicious breakfast. This will provide us with the energy we need for the day’s trek. Our journey will then take us down towards Chillca, starting with a 2-hour descent to Arequipa Pampa. This part of the trek will offer a gentle start to our day.

As we walk, we will pass through small villages nestled in the Andean valleys. These villages are surrounded by typical Andean flora, including chachacoma, queuña, orchids, begonias, and bromeliads. The beauty of these flowers and trees will adorn our path, adding color and life to the landscape.

The descent will become progressively easier as we approach Camicancha, located at an elevation of 2,930 m (9,612 ft). Here, we will have the option for our car to pick us up, or we can choose to continue our descent to Chillca.

In the late afternoon, around 4:00 pm, we will board a train to Aguas Calientes. This train ride will be a relaxing and scenic end to our day. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, we will enjoy a celebratory dinner, reflecting on the incredible journey we’ve had so far. We will then spend the night in a comfortable hotel, resting and preparing for our visit to Machu Picchu the following day.

Key Statistics of Day Four:

  • Distance Covered: A significant portion of the day involves descending towards Camicancha.
  • Highest Altitude: Starting from Ancascocha, which offers stunning morning views.
  • Lowest Altitude: Camicancha at 2,930 m (9,612 ft), marking the end of our trek for the day.
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate, with a focus on a gradual and scenic descent.
  • Highlight: The scenic descent through Andean valleys, adorned with beautiful flora and traditional villages.

The fifth day of our Ancascocha Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is the climax of our adventure, where we finally explore the awe-inspiring citadel of Machu Picchu. This day is all about discovering the mysteries and marvels of this Incan site, a true highlight of our journey.

Our day starts early with a nourishing breakfast at the hotel in Aguas Calientes. We will then catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu, ensuring that we arrive in time to catch the magical sunrise over the citadel. Watching the sun illuminate this iconic site is an unforgettable moment and a must-see.

Once at Machu Picchu, our guide will lead us on a comprehensive 2-hour tour. During this tour, we will explore the most significant parts of the Machu Picchu Citadel. We will delve into its history and learn about its division into three sectors: agricultural, residential, and religious. This tour will offer insights into the ingenuity and mystery of the Incan civilization.

For those who have pre-booked the additional hike up Huayna Picchu, there will be time to embark on this exciting challenge. The views from Huayna Picchu are exceptional and offer a unique perspective of Machu Picchu.

After soaking exploring the wonders of Machu Picchu, we will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. Here, we can enjoy lunch (not included in the trek cost) and have some free time. Depending on our train departure time, we might also explore the local market, visit the museum, or relax in the hot springs.

In the afternoon, we will board the Expedition train back to Ollantaytambo. This train journey follows the spectacular Urubamba River, showcasing beautiful sections of whitewater and narrow canyons. Along the way, we can catch a glimpse of Wiñay Wayna, high up on the steep canyon wall.

Upon arriving in Ollantaytambo, our private driver will be waiting to transport us back to our hotel in Cusco. We anticipate arriving back at the hotel by 7:00 pm, bringing an end to our remarkable day and the entire Ancascocha Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

Key Statistics of Day Five:

  • Early Morning Start: To catch the first buses to Machu Picchu and witness the sunrise.
  • Machu Picchu Tour Duration: Approximately two hours, covering the citadel’s major sectors.
  • Optional Huayna Picchu Hike: For those who have booked this additional adventure.
  • Return to Cusco: A scenic train journey back to Ollantaytambo, followed by a private vehicle transfer to Cusco.
  • Expected Arrival Time in Cusco: Approximately by 7:00 pm, concluding our unforgettable trek.

FAQs about Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu

The Ancascocha Trek is a lesser-known but incredibly scenic hiking route in the Peruvian Andes. It leads to Machu Picchu and offers a more secluded and authentic experience compared to more popular treks like the Inca Trail.

The Ancascocha Trek is considered challenging. It involves high altitudes, steep ascents, and long hiking days. It’s recommended for those who are physically fit and have some experience with high-altitude trekking.

The trek typically takes 4 to 5 days, covering a distance of about 44 km (27 mi). 

The best time for the Ancascocha Trek is during the dry season, from April to October, when there’s less rain and clearer skies.

Unlike the Inca Trail, the Ancascocha Trek does not require a special permit, making it a great alternative for those unable to secure Inca Trail permits.

Essential items include hiking boots, warm and waterproof clothing, a sleeping bag suitable for cold temperatures, a hat, sunscreen, a water purification system, and personal medication. It’s important to pack light but adequately for the various conditions of the trek.

Yes, the trek involves high altitudes, with some passes over 4,600 m (15,000 ft). It’s important to acclimatize properly before the trek and be aware of altitude sickness symptoms.

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At 69 Explorer, we are committed to providing an exceptional experience. Your safety, comfort, and enjoyment are our top priorities. We continuously strive to exceed expectations and ensure that every trip with us becomes a cherished memory.

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Local Experience

Our guides are locals with extensive knowledge about the history, myths, and secrets of the region.

Small personalized groups

Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you an unforgettable experience

Our experience

Our With seven years of experience and more than 20 packages to Machu Picchu alone, our team knows how to carry out a successful expedition.

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We believe in responsible tourism. Our tours are designed to respect the local communities and environment, ensuring a positive impact.