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Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu 4 days

    Recommended
Duration 4 days - 3 nights
Travel Style Adventure, hike, History
Difficulty Moderate
Group size Min 2 - Max 8

Embark on an unforgettable journey with 69 Explorer as we discover the hidden wonders of the Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu. This extraordinary trek, less traveled yet immensely rewarding, spans approximately 26 km (16 mi) through the heart of the ancient Inca civilization. As we venture together, the path unveils a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty exclusive to the Andes.

We will start our adventure in the enchanting Sacred Valley, known as the agricultural hub of the Incas. Here, the trail weaves through a diverse landscape, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and lush, green valleys. The Inca Quarry Trail, unlike the more frequented Inca Trail, promises a more serene and intimate experience with nature and history.

As we ascend, the elevation will gradually increase, reaching a maximum altitude of 4,450 m (14,600 ft) at the Kachiqata Quarry. This quarry, a testament to the Incas’ architectural ingenuity, was a vital source of stones used in constructing Ollantaytambo, an ancient town that we will also explore. The trail’s varied terrain will challenge and invigorate us, but the reward is unparalleled – a profound connection with the past and an awe-inspiring glimpse into the Incan way of life.

Along the way, we will encounter remarkable Inca ruins, like Inca Raccay, and marvel at the engineering marvels that have withstood centuries. The flora and fauna of the region will be our constant companions, with the Andean condor soaring above and the colorful orchids adorning our path.

With 69 Explorer, this experience will not only be a trek but a passage through time, awakening our senses and deepening our understanding of the rich Inca heritage. Join us, and together, we will create memories that will last a lifetime on the Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu 4 days.

From US$ 497

95% of travelers recommend this experience

Important information

Includes

  • Guided Tours: Expert guides will lead you through the Inca Quarry Trail, providing insightful commentary on the historical, cultural, and natural significance of the sites you visit. These guides are knowledgeable about the local flora, fauna, and Inca history, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of the trail.
  • Transportation Services: The package includes all necessary transportation, starting with pickup from your hotel in Cusco. This includes the drive to the trailhead, the train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, and the bus ride to Machu Picchu, as well as the return journey to Cusco.
  • Accommodation: Comfortable camping facilities are provided during the trekking days, with tents and basic camping equipment. In Aguas Calientes, accommodation in a hotel is included, providing a comfortable night’s stay before visiting Machu Picchu.
  • Meals and Drinks: The trek includes most meals, typically starting with breakfast on the first day and ending with lunch on the last day. Gourmet meals are prepared by chefs accompanying the trek, with a focus on local cuisine. Drinking water is also provided throughout the hike.
  • Entrance Fees: All necessary entrance fees are included. This covers access to the Inca Quarry Trail, Machu Picchu, and any other archaeological sites visited along the way.
  • Porter Service: For the trekking part of the journey, porter service is provided to carry group equipment. Personal portering services for your belongings are also available, at an extra cost.
  • Camping and Cooking Equipment: High-quality camping equipment including tents, sleeping mats, and cooking gear is provided. You’ll only need to carry your personal belongings and a sleeping bag.
  • Emergency Assistance: Teams are equipped with first aid kits and emergency communication devices, ensuring safety throughout the trek.
  • Cultural Immersion: Opportunities to interact with local communities, learn about traditional lifestyles, and experience the rich cultural heritage of the Andes.

Excludes

  • Travel Insurance: Most tour operators do not include travel insurance in the package. It is highly recommended that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance covering trekking or hiking before starting the trek.
  • Meals in Cities: While meals during the trek are included, meals in cities like Cusco or Aguas Calientes before or after the trek are not covered.
  • Tips and Gratuities: Tips for guides, cooks, and porters are not included in the trek cost. Tipping is customary and is usually given at the end of the trek.
  • Additional Activities: Any activities outside the standard trek itinerary, like the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes, extra hikes (e.g. Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain), or visits to museums, are not
  • Alcoholic Beverages and Snacks: While meals are included, alcoholic drinks and personal snacks are usually at your own expense.
  • International and Domestic Flights: Flights to and from your home country and any domestic flights within Peru are not included.
  • Airport Transfers and Taxes: Transfers to and from the airport and any related taxes are not included.
  • Visa Fees: If a visa is required for entry into Peru, this cost is not covered by the trek package.
  • Emergency Evacuation and Medical Costs: In the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation or any medical treatment not covered by travel insurance, these costs are the responsibility of the trekker.
  • Personal Porter: While group equipment is carried by porters, if you require a personal porter to carry your belongings, this will be an additional cost.

Recommend to carry

  • Backpack: A comfortable, sturdy backpack with a rain cover. A day pack is also useful for carrying personal items during daily hikes.
  • Sleeping Bag: A good quality sleeping bag suitable for temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F). These can often be rented, but check with your tour operator.
  • Clothing:
    • Base Layers: Moisture-wicking underwear and thermal base layers.
    • Hiking Pants and Shorts: Lightweight and quick-drying.
    • T-Shirts and Long-Sleeved Shirts: Preferably moisture-wicking and breathable.
    • Fleece Jacket or Down Jacket: For cold evenings and mornings.
    • Rain Jacket and Pants: Waterproof and breathable.
    • Hat and Gloves: Both for warmth and sun protection.
  • Footwear:
    • Hiking Boots: Waterproof, broken-in, and comfortable.
    • Camp Shoes or Sandals: For relaxing in the evenings.
    • Hiking Socks: Wool or synthetic, plus a few extra pairs.
  • Travel Essentials:
    • Passport and Trek Permits: Keep them safe and accessible.
    • Insurance Documents: Including emergency contact information.
    • Cash: For tips and personal expenses (in local currency).
  • Health and Hygiene:
    • Personal Medication and First Aid Kit: Include blister plasters and altitude sickness medication.
    • Sunscreen and Lip Balm: High SPF and UV protection.
    • Insect Repellent: With DEET for evening use.
    • Toiletries: Keep it minimal with biodegradable products.
    • Hand Sanitizer and Wet Wipes: For hygiene on the trail.
  • Accessories:
    • Sunglasses: UV-protection is a must.
    • Water Bottles or Hydration System: At least 2-liter capacity.
    • Headlamp or Flashlight: With extra batteries.
    • Camera or Smartphone: For capturing memories (with extra batteries or power bank).
    • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible.
    • Small Towel: Quick-drying type.
  • Snacks and Extras:
    • Energy Bars and Snacks: For quick energy on the trail.
    • Reusable Bag: For laundry or wet clothes.
    • Notebook and Pen: For journaling your experience.
  • Sleeping Gear (if not provided):
    • Sleeping Mat: Lightweight, inflatable or foam.
    • Travel Pillow: For added comfort.
  • Documents:
    • Emergency Contact Information: Of the tour operator.
    • Trail Maps and Guides: If you like having your own copies.

Itinerary

Set your alarms for an early start on the Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu, as our journey kicks off at 5:00 am with a convenient hotel pickup. We’ll drive for two hours, heading straight to the heart of the traditional Inca community of Socma. Here, we’ll fuel up with a gourmet breakfast, energizing ourselves for the day’s adventure.

Our trek begins with a scenic walk towards the breathtaking Perolniyoc Waterfall. This majestic natural wonder provides an idyllic setting for a photo break, allowing us to capture memories against the stunning backdrop. After soaking in the views, we’ll continue our hike, reaching the Perolniyoc Archeological Site in about an hour and a half. This site offers a fascinating glimpse into Inca history and architecture.

Rejuvenated from our explorations, we’ll trek for another two hours, arriving at Rayan for a well-deserved lunch. Situated at an altitude of 3,700 meters (12,139 feet), Rayan serves as the perfect midday stop, offering a chance to relax and enjoy a hearty meal.

Post-lunch, we’ll embark on the most challenging segment of the day’s trek: a two-and-a-half-hour uphill hike to the first pass, Puccaqasa. At 4,400 m (14,436 ft), Puccaqasa offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the surrounding landscapes, rewarding us for our efforts. The sense of achievement upon reaching the top is unparalleled.

The day’s journey concludes with a final half-hour walk through rolling valleys, leading us to our campsite. Once you arrive to camp you’ll have nice warm beverages and snacks waiting. Our tents, already set up, await us to settle in and relax. The day ends with a delicious dinner, setting the tone for the rest of our trek.

Key Statistics of the First Day:

  • Distance Covered: Approximately 8 km (5 mi).
  • Highest Altitude: Puccaqasa Pass at 4,400 meters (14,436 feet).
  • Lowest Altitude: Starting point at Socma, approximately 2,900 m (9,514 ft).
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to challenging, with steep uphill segments.
  • Main Attractions: Perolniyoc Waterfall, Perolniyoc Archeological Site, Puccaqasa Pass.

Join us on this unforgettable journey with 69 Explorer, where each step on the Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu brings a new discovery.

Awaken to a new day on the Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu with a hot mug of tea or coffee, served right in your tent. This warm wake-up call sets the stage for a day that’s both scenic and a bit more relaxed than the previous one. After savoring a hearty breakfast, we’ll gear up for today’s hike, which promises stunning vistas and unique experiences.

Our journey today begins with a two-hour walk along a rolling valley, leading us to the summit of the Quychicassa Pass. At an elevation of 4,450 m (14,599 ft), the pass offers spectacular views of the glacially carved valleys below, providing a perfect opportunity for breathtaking photos and moments of awe.

From the height of Quychicassa Pass, we’ll embark on a 1-hour descent down steep switchbacks, an exhilarating segment of our trek. The path then eases into a gentle downhill walk towards the site known as Inti Punku, or the Sun Gate. At Inti Punku we’ll get out first expansive views over the valley, dominated by the picturesque, snow-capped Veronica Mountain.

At Inti Punku, we’ll pause for another gourmet meal amidst this impressive archaeological site. The first hour of our descent from Inti Punku is steep, presenting a thrilling challenge. However, the path soon becomes more forgiving, with two hours of gentle downhill walking leading us to our destination for the night, the Veronica View Hotel.

At the hotel, we’ll indulge in a world-class dinner prepared by our chef. The hotel’s heated swimming pool, spa, and sauna await to provide luxurious relaxation. We encourage you to make the most of the spa facilities, perhaps treating yourself to a massage to soothe any muscle aches from our trek.

Key Statistics of the Second Day:

  • Distance Covered: Approximately 12 km (7.5 mi).
  • Highest Altitude: Quychicassa Pass at 4,450 m (14,599 ft).
  • Lowest Altitude: Veronica View Hotel, approximately 3,400 m (11,155 ft).
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate, with a mix of steep descents and gentle downhills.
  • Main Attractions: Quychicassa Pass, Inti Punku (Sun Gate), views of Veronica Mountain.

Every step on the Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu is an adventure filled with stunning landscapes and rich cultural experiences. Join us for this unforgettable journey!

The third day of your Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu with 69 Explorer begins with a serene morning, as you wake up to the spectacular view of Veronica Mountain and its majestic glacier. This day offers a more relaxed pace, allowing you to fully absorb the beauty and tranquility of your surroundings.

Start your day leisurely, embracing a relaxing morning at the spa or wandering through our gardens. These gardens are a haven of native flowers and wildlife, providing a peaceful retreat where you can unwind and rejuvenate. This morning is all about recovery and enjoyment, giving you time to reflect on the journey so far.

After savoring another delightful gourmet lunch, we’ll make a short 15-minute drive to the Ollantaytambo train station. Here, we’ll board the 1:27 pm Vistadome train, renowned for its panoramic windows and comfortable seating, ensuring a scenic journey to Aguas Calientes. This train ride itself is an experience, offering stunning views of the Andean landscape.

Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, we’ll check into our hotel, settling in before exploring the town. Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, is nestled in the mountains and offers a variety of sightseeing and shopping opportunities. It’s the perfect place to soak up the local culture and perhaps pick up some souvenirs.

The day concludes with a delightful dinner at a local restaurant. Here, you’ll enjoy the culinary delights of the region, a fitting end to a relaxing day. We’ll then retreat to our hotel for an overnight stay, resting up for the next day’s adventures.

Key Statistics of the Third Day:

  • Distance Covered: Short drive to Ollantaytambo, followed by a train journey to Aguas Calientes.
  • Highest Altitude: Ollantaytambo at 2,792 m (9,160 ft).
  • Lowest Altitude: Aguas Calientes at 2,040 m (6,692 ft).
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy, focusing on relaxation and cultural exploration.
  • Main Attractions: Views of Veronica Mountain, spa and gardens at the hotel, Vistadome train ride, exploration of Aguas Calientes.

Join us at 69 Explorer for this unique and tranquil day on the Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu, where relaxation and cultural immersion blend seamlessly into your adventure.

The fourth day of your Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu with 69 Explorer is the climax of your adventure, where you’ll witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the Machu Picchu citadel at sunrise. This day promises an unforgettable experience, filled with exploration and breathtaking views.

We’ll start the day early with an energizing breakfast at the hotel in Aguas Calientes, ensuring we’re ready for the day ahead. Then, we’ll catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu, arriving in time to experience the magical sunrise over the ancient ruins. This moment, with the first rays of light illuminating the site, is not just extraordinary but deeply moving.

Your guide will then lead you on a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu, exploring the most significant parts of the citadel. You’ll learn about its division into agricultural, residential, and religious sectors, gaining insights into the ingenuity and lifestyle of the Incas.

For those who have pre-booked an extra hike, the opportunity to ascend Huayna Picchu awaits. This hike offers an incredible vantage point for viewing Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains. After soaking in the panoramic views, we’ll return by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included in the package).

Depending on the timing of our train departure, you might have some free time in Aguas Calientes. You can spend your time shopping, sightseeing, visiting the local museum, or relaxing in the hot springs.

Our return journey begins with the Expedition train, departing at either 2:55 pm or 3:20 pm, back to Ollantaytambo. This train ride follows the course of the spectacular Urubamba River. The views are stunning, especially the sections with beautiful whitewater rapids and the sight of the Wiñay Wayna ruins high on the canyon wall.

Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, our driver will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in a private vehicle. We anticipate arriving at your hotel by 7:00 pm, concluding an extraordinary day filled with adventure and discovery.

Key Statistics of the Fourth Day:

  • Early morning bus ride: To Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes.
  • Elevation at Machu Picchu: 2,430 m (7,972 ft).
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate, with guided touring and optional additional hiking.
  • Main Attractions: Sunrise at Machu Picchu, guided tour of the citadel, optional Huayna Picchu hike, scenic train ride along the Urubamba River.
  • Additional Activities: Sightseeing and shopping in Aguas Calientes, optional visit to the museum or hot springs.

Join 69 Explorer for this unforgettable day at Machu Picchu, where ancient history, stunning landscapes, and cultural immersion come together in a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

FAQs

The Inca Quarry Trek is an alternative hiking route to Machu Picchu, less crowded than the classic Inca Trail. It offers a unique blend of natural beauty, Inca ruins, and cultural experiences, culminating in a visit to Machu Picchu.

The trek is typically a 4-day journey, covering a distance of around 26 km (16 mi).

The trek is considered moderate to challengingThe hike is miderate to challenging. It involves steep ascents and descents, high altitude, and varied terrain..

The highest point is at the Kachiqata Quarry, which is around 4,450 m (14,600 ft) above sea level.

Unlike the Inca Trail, the Quarry Trek doesn’t require special permits, but Machu Picchu itself does.

Essential items include a sturdy backpack, sleeping bag, comfortable hiking boots, warm and waterproof clothing, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a water bottle, and personal medication. Bring a camera and some local currency.

Yes, spending a few days in Cusco or a similar altitude to acclimatize to the high elevation is highly recommended to reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

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Why choose us

These popular destinations have a lot to offer

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.

Payment

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.

Sustainable Travel

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