These activities are a walk in the park! You will be able to enjoy the scenery, history, and time with loved ones without exhausting yourself. You do not need any special training, gear, or acclimatization for an “Easy” trek or tour. Terrain will be generally flat and comfortable, highly traveled.
A step up from “Easy,” these tours require a little more physical effort but are still 100% manageable to anyone with or without adventure experience. Again, you do not need special training, gear, or acclimatization for a “Mild” trek or tour. Terrain is generally flat but with possible gentle up- and downhills.
Before embarking on a “Moderate” trek or tour, you should be at least partly acclimatized to the high altitude of the Andes as it affects your oxygenation, energy levels, and hydration. These tours are still very manageable without special training as long as you have spent a day or two at high altitude. Terrain often includes moderate up- and downhill walking with possible rough patches or infrequently-traveled sections.
“Challenging” treks or tours require that you are acclimated to the Andes’ high altitude before leaving as it affects your oxygenation, energy levels, and hydration. Spending 2-3 days or more at high altitude will help you on the trek. You will need hiking shoes and possibly trekking poles for these treks. You will need to be in good physical shape, and it’s recommended that you train at least some beforehand, possibly with running, biking, or strenuous workout videos. Terrain is often rough, sometimes with steep up- and downhills and often not highly traveled. Generally, these last several hours.
These “Formidable” treks are our most difficult treks and require serious effort but are also the most rewarding. It is necessary to be in pristine physical condition. Again, you must be acclimated to the Andes’ high altitude before leaving as it affects your oxygenation, energy levels, and hydration. Spending 4-5 days or more if possible at high altitude will help you on the trek. You will need hiking shoes and possibly trekking poles for these treks. It is important to train physically before these treks so that your body is prepared for the strenuous nature of the trip. Generally, these last at least an entire day in infrequently-traveled areas with rough paths.
Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu – Overview:
- Day 1: Cusco – Socma – Perolniyoc – Rayan
- Day 2: Rayan – Chancachuco – Ancascocha
- Day 3: Ancascocha – Huaynay Pass – Quesqa Valley – Paucarcancha
- Day 4: Paucarcancha – Kilometer 82 – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
- Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Day 1: Cusco – Soqma – Perolniyoc – Rayan
Early in the morning we’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive for around 2 hours to Socma (3,205 m / 10,512 ft), the initial point of our adventure through impressive Andean landscapes.
After meeting your porters and horsemen, and making a final equipment check, our hike begins with a moderate 2 hour walk to the Perolniyoc waterfall. If the weather is warm enough you may want to make the short climb down to the base of the falls to cool off, or maybe just stay on the trail and take your first photos.
An hour further on we’ll arrive at the Perolniyoc archaeological site, located on a cliff-top with spectacular views of the surrounding valley and the mountains. Your tour guide will provide you with a quick history lesson as you soak in the views. We will also take lunch here and for the first time you will sample the sumptuous cooking from our kitchen team.
After lunch we’ll make a steep climb for approximately an hour to our campsite at Rayan (3,700 m /12,139 ft).
Clear nights in the Andes are a wonder in themselves, and as we settle down to the dinner you can watch the sky fill with constellations and the most amazing display of shooting stars before retiring to your tent for a well-earned night’s sleep.
- Lowest Elevation: 3,205 m/10,512 ft.
- Highest Elevation: 3,700 m /12,139 ft.
- Distance to walk: 8 km/4,9 miles
- Approximate walking time: 4 to 5 hours
- Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Day 2: Rayan – Kuychiccasa Pass – Ancascocha
Our team will wake you gently in the morning with a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee and hot water to wash with. Once everyone is up, we will have breakfast together and get ourselves fueled for the day ahead.
You will need that fuel as we start with a steep 3 hour ascent to the Kuychiccasa pass (4,450 m /14,599 ft). On the way we will pass rustic Fincas, see wild Alpacas or maybe even an Andean Condor, and always with the snow-capped peaks of the Andes in the background.
There is no road to reach the top though, and we will take a break together to enjoy the 360 degree views of Chancachuco and Sacred valley. Then it’ll just an 1 hour easy hike to our lunch stop at the Chancachuco Valley (4,312 m / 14,147 ft).
After lunch we’ll make a short climb with beautiful views of Veronica snowked mountain (5,822 m/ 19,100 ft) before an easy 3 hour walk downhill to the community of Ancascocha (3,700 m/12,139 ft). Our campsite for this night will be in a small but gorgeous wooded Valley with a stream running through it.87
- Highest Elevation: 3,700 m/12,139 ft.
- Campsite elevation: 4,450 m/14,599 ft.
- Distance to walk: 14 km/8,6 miles
- Approximate walking time: 8 – 10 hours
- Level of Difficulty: Challenging
Day 3: Ancascocha – Wayanay Pass – Quesqa Valley – Paucarcancha
This third day, after a nutritious breakfast, we start the day with a climb of approximately 1 hour to the highest point of our adventure (Guayanay pass at 4,650 m/15,252 ft.), dreamed views of the nearby glaciers, well preserved Inca remains, the sparkling blue Ancascocha lake and stunning views around. After all that effort, we will take our time to enjoy the incredible views from the summit, before making an easy 45 minute walk to our lunch stop at the small Inca site of Incaracay.
The afternoon’s hiking is much easier as we descend to the community of Quesqa Valley and on to the Inca site of Paucarcancha (3,133 m/10,278 ft). At this lower elevation, the vegetation is lush and green, and we will have the chance to see a view of the Classic Inca Trail in the distance as well as the remote communities of the Quesqa valley.
On arrival at Paucarcancha your guide will provide a guided tour of the site, before settling into our campsite for the evening.
- Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
- Highest Elevation: 4,650 m/15,255 ft.
- Campsite elevation: 3,133 m/10,278 ft.
- Distance to walk: 15 km/ 9,3 miles
- Approximate walking time: 8 to 9 hours
- Level of Difficulty: Challenging
- Area: Dry Mountain
Day 4: Paucarcancha – Kilometer 82 – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
We’ll take our breakfast early in the morning to hike down to km 82, this section of the trail is pretty much the section of the Classic Inca Trail, so on the trail we’ll see a lot of Inca Trail hikers who are starting their adventure. On the trail we’ll see Llaqtapata, a beautiful Incan ruins nestled in the Sacred Valley with amazing crop terracing around, and other small Inca ruins. After, 5 -6 hours hiking, we’ll have arrived to km 82 where we’ll have our last lunch prepared by our chef, and a place to say goodbye to our horses, muleteers, and chefs. Next, we’ll drive for 45 minutes to Ollantaytambo Inca town, a quaint town with Inca cobble stone streets. From this place we’ll have a train to Machu Picchu Town, Aguas Calientes, for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
We’ll spend the last night of our adventure in our hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
- Lodging: Hotel
- Highest Elevation: 3,133 m/10,278 ft.
- Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/6,692 ft.
- Distance to walk: 12 km/ 7 ½ miles
- Estimated walking time: 6 hours
- Level of Difficulty: Easy
DAY 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
The hotel we use provides a very early buffet, or can provide a boxed breakfast, to ensure we are in the queue for the bus as early as the group would like. It is about a 25 minute drive along the winding road to Machu Picchu, and on a clear day the sunrise can be spectacular.
Upon arrival your guide provides a 2 hour walking tour of the site, named as one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Then you are free to wander through the ruins yourself, perhaps finding a solitary spot to reflect on this awesome achievement of the Incas, or, if you have elected to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountains you can begin the hike once your guided tour concludes.
Your guide will arrange the time for you to return to Aguas Calientes by bus in time to make your train connection back to Poroy or Ollantaytambo. From here you will travel by private van to Cusco and back to your hotel. Arrival times will vary depending on traffic and connections, but should be around 8pm.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft
- Highest Elevation: 2,440 m/ 8,052 ft.
*The standard trek includes a permit to climb Huayna Pichu Mountain which is a fairly easy 1 hour hike. However, if no tickets are available (e.g. due to late booking) then a permit to climb Machu Picchu mountain will be issued. Note that this is a 2-3 hour strenuous climb up and down following very steep and narrow steps
Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu Includes:
- Professional English speaking tour guide (additional assistant tour guide for groups of 8 people or more)
- High quality, 4 person tent for every 2 people
- Inflatable Mattress and pillow
- Kitchen tent
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Portable Eco-friendly toilet ant toilet tent
- Professional Chef and assistant chef
- Wranglers and horses to carry all equipment
- Horse to transport up to 8 kg of your personal gear
- Duffle bag for your personal gear
- Emergency horse (in case we need it!)
- Five breakfasts, four lunches, and four dinners
- Hot water for washing twice daily
- Daily morning boiled and cold water to fill the water bottles.
- Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
- Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- Expedition train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Poroy or Ollantaytambo
- Private van transportation from Poroy or Ollantaytambo to your Cusco hotel
- 1 night hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)
- Round trip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Entrance to Machu Picchu
- Ticket for Huayna Picchu mountain*
*In the event that Huayna Picchu Mountain is sold out, you will receive a permit to hike Machu Picchu Mountain
Ancacocha Trek Not Includes:
- Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
- Trekking poles (can be rented from us)
- Day 5 Lunch in Aguas Calientes
- Tips for the trek crew (tipping optional and guidelines provided)
- Travel/Health/Emergency insurance
What to bring:
- Original passport (nb. if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking you MUST bring both)
- Down or synthetic feather sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
- Clothes (trekking boots, warm fleece jacket, tops, a few t-shirts, socks, sun hat, thermal underwear, light long pants, gloves, poncho, rain jacket)
- Toiletries (toilet paper, wet wipes, personal towel)
- Sun block (factor 35+ recommended)
- Head lamp + batteries*
- Sunglasses and sun hat
- Camera + batteries*
- Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us) MUST have rubber tips
- Insect repellent – 15% DEET
- Snacks (while your crew will prepare the most amazing meals, everyone’s energy needs are different, particularly at altitude, and so you should pack some suitable snacks to make sure you are always fully energized)
* nb. Batteries run down faster at high altitudes