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Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu 5D/4N

The Ancascocha Trail is one of the lesser known treks from Cusco. In fact, you may even draw blank looks from people when you tell them you’re hiking it. Yet it was named by National Geographic as one of 20 dream hikes on their World Best Hikes list, and for good reason.

Highlights of this trip include guided tours of ancient Inca ruins, wandering through remote incas where generations of farmers have tended their livestock, and passing traditional Andean villages like Chillipahua and Ancascocha. But of course the real reason to take this trek is for the unsurpassed views of the majestic Andes.

Being rewarded with amazing views does not come without effort. This is a challenging trek as you climb above 4,550m to the Huayanay Pass (4,650 m/ 15,255 ft.) and so Peru Wild Treks recommend that everyone who joins us has a good level of basic fitness. But maintaining a high elevation for much of the trek you will see spectacular views across the mountains, beautiful clear blue lakes and raging waterfalls, and with the towering 6,266m (20,551 ft.) Apu Salkantay frequently dominating the skyline.

On your final day of hiking you will be on a portion of the Classic Inca Trail (the one that gets booked up a year in advance!) After 3 days of solitude, you may well be surprised to see so many other hikers; but don’t worry, they are going in the other direction!

From the sacred valley town of Ollantytambo you will take the scenic train to Aguas Calientes, which is the base for your trip to Machu Picchu. The train journey in itself is a fantastic experience, and full of photo opportunities. A night at a nice hotel is included in the price of the trek, as is a group dinner at the  restaurant in Aguas Caliente, so you are sure to get a good night’s rest.

On your final day is spent visiting Machu Picchu, one of the 7 new wonders of the world. Despite the staggering views that you will have seen already, you are guaranteed to be left speechless as you take in the views of the most famous site in South America. Your guide will provide a 2 hour guided tour. After completing the tour, you’ll return you by train and then by  mini-van from the company to your Cusco hotel.

Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu – Overview:

  • Day 1: Cusco – Soqma – 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
  • Total distance hiked: 49 km/30.2 miles
  • Beginning altitude: 3,205 m /10,512 ft.
  • Maximum altitude: 4,650 m/15,255 ft.
  • Overall trek difficulty: Challenging

Ancascocha: Pre-Trek Briefing:

Peru Wild Treks will provide a full briefing for the trek a day or two before you depart. This gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the itinerary or the packing list

Day 1: Cusco – Soqma – Rayan

Your guide from Peru Wild Treks  will pick you up from your hotel early on the first morning and drive for around 2 hours to Soqma (3,205 m / 10,512 ft), the starting point of your trek.

After meeting your porters and horsemen, and making a final equipment check, the 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.

A half hour further on you will arrive at the Perolniyoc Inca ruins, perched on a cliff-top with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. All of the  guides from the company are experts in Inca history and so they will provide you with a quick history lesson as you soak in the views. You will also take lunch here and for the first time you will sample the sumptuous cooking from your kitchen team.

After lunch you will make a steep climb for around an hour to your campsite at Rayan (3,700 meters /12,139 ft).

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 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
  • Area: Dry Mountain

Day 2:  Rayan – Kuychiccasa Pass – Ancascocha

There’s no need to set an alarm ,  the staff from the company Peru Wild Treks  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, you will have breakfast together and get yourselves fueled for the day ahead.

You will need that fuel as you start with a steep 3 hour ascent to the Kuychiccasa pass (4,450 m /14,599 ft). On the way you will pass rustic Fincas, see wild Alpacas or maybe even a passing Condor, and always with the snow-capped peaks of the Nevadas in the background.

There is no race to reach the top though, and you will take a break together to enjoy the 360 degree views of the Chancachuco and Sacred valleys. Then, it’s just a 1 hour easy hike to your lunch stop at the Chancachuco Valley (4,312 m / 14,147 ft).

After lunch you will make a short climb with beautiful views of Mt. Veronica (5,822 m/ 19,100 ft) before an easy 3 hour walk downhill to the community of Ancascocha (3,700 m/12,139 ft). Your campsite for the night is in a small but gorgeous wooded valley with a stream running through it.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • 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
  • Area: Dry Mountain

Day 3: Ancascocha – Huaynay Pass – Quesqa Valley – Paucarcancha

Once again, Day 3 starts with a climb, but this time just for 1 hour. Your reward? Stunning views of the nearby glacier, well preserved Inca remains, and the sparkling blue Ancascocha Lake.

Taking a deep breath you’ll make a strenuous 2 hour climb to the highest point of the trek, the Huayanay Pass (4,650 m/15,255 ft). Along this section you will see an original cobblestone paved Inca Trail. After all that effort, you will take your time to enjoy the incredible views from the summit, before making an easy 45 minute walk to your lunch stop at the small Inca site of Incaracay.

The afternoon’s hiking is much easier as you’ll 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 you 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 your campsite for the evening and yet another excellent dinner.

  • 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

The last day of hiking is the easiest of all as it is a 6 hour hike downhill on a section of the Classic Inca Trail to Km 82 (the official start of the Classic Trail). Lunch will be served at Km82.

After lunch you will drive  to Ollantaytambo (2,792 m/9,160 ft) to catch the scenic train to Aguas Calientes (2,040 m/6,692 ft). The train journey provides a totally different perspective of the mountains you’ve just been hiking in, and many more photo opportunities.

Arriving in Aguas Calientes you will check-in to your nice hotel room where you can rest before dinner. Or, if you still have some energy, the natural hot springs in town are also a great place to relax. Showered and refreshed you will have your dinner together at a nice  restaurant (drinks not included). It’s likely to be an early night though, as your trip to Machu Picchu normally starts before sunrise!

  • 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  provides a very early breakfast, or can provide a boxed breakfast, to ensure you’ll be 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

Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu Includes:

  • Pre-Departure Briefing at your hotel
  • Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Soqma (start of trek)
  • Bilingual English speaking tour guide
  • 4 person tent for every 2 people
  • Mattress
  • Kitchen tent
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Professional Chef and assistant chef
  • Wranglers and horses to carry all equipment
  • Horse to transport up to 5 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
  • Round trip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu

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

Prices

Private Group Service: Price in US Dollars per Reservation:

  • one Person: USD 1200.00
  • 2-3 People: USD 680.00 per person.
  • 4-6 People: USD 650.00 per person
  • 7-+ People: USD 600.00 per person

DISCOUNTS

  • 18 to 25 years old: US$30 Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
  • Under 18 years old: US$30 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old: US$40  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.

EXTRAS 

  • Walking Poles – US$15 per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade  – US$57 per person (For the return to Cusco (Poroy) at 4:43 pm)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain  – US$35 per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Machu Picchu  Mountain –  US$30 per person  (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Single supplement US$30 per night (for solo travellers with single room)

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*
  • Binoculars
  • 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

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