Cachiccata: alternative Inca Trail

Cachiccata trek is an outstanding trekking route that allows travelers not only to visit ancient archeological sites but also to explore modern day Inca communities and local traditions that have been kept alive for centuries. This journey takes us through Inca sites, waterfalls, ancient terraces with breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley and imposing snow-capped mountains. Finally, we finish the adventure with a guided visit to the “Lost city of the Incas”, Machu Picchu.

Day 1 Arrival to Lima

We meet you at Lima´s airport and transfer you to your hotel in Miraflores, where you are free to relax and wander around at your own pace. Depending on the arrival time we have plenty of suggestions for you so you can make the most of your first day in Lima.

Meals: None

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Lima

Day 2 Cusco walking city tour & Sacsayhuaman

After an early breakfast we have a short drive to the airport to take our 55 minutes flight to the city of Cusco. If possible we will try to get a seat on the left side of the aircraft as some of the best views of the Andes can be seen by this side of the aircraft. Once in Cusco airport we meet one of our representatives who take us in private shuttle to our hotel. The morning is free to acclimatize to the altitude. After lunch a walking city tour takes us not only through the most touristic sites in Cusco such as the Main Square, Cathedral and Koricancha “Temple of the Sun”, but also along ancient streets where we will discover the magic of Cusco. In the afternoon we drive to the northern outskirts of Cusco heading to the magnificent ruins of Sacsayhuaman and its impressive rocky constructions. This tour gives us also free time to wander around by ourselves.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco

Day 3 Sacred Valley of the Incas (Awanacancha-Pisac-Ollantaytambo)

After breakfast, we meet our guide who takes us on a tour through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The first stop on the route is Awanacancha where we can see all the different camelids of Peruvian Andes.  Then we visit the archaeological complex of Pisac and have free time to wander around the colorful Indian market, where a variety of handicrafts are available.  After this, we drive to Urubamba for a delicious buffet lunch, followed by a guided tour through the giant Ollantaytambo fortress, which was once the scene of one of the most famous battles between the Incas and the invading Spanish conquerors.

Meals: Breakfast & buffet lunch

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in the Sacred Valley

Day 4 Cachiccata trek – Soccma to Piruchayoc

We leave Cusco and drive for about one and a half hours to Racca located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. First we hike up  to Ñaupa church which was once an Incan shrine place.  We continue our hike uphill heading towards the Soccma community, nested in the heart of the Andes. In this point we meet our porters and horses who will travel with us during the whole trek. After a picnic lunch we continue hiking uphill towards Piruchayoc, which has an amazing view of the Soccma valley, Maras tableland and Chicon snow-capped mountain.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Total trekking distance: 7 kms/4.35miles (5 to 6-hours hike)

Highest altitude: 2,900m/9,512 ft

Camp altitude:  2,900m/9,512 ft

Day 5 Cachiccata trek – Piruchayoc to Chancachuco

After breakfast we start walking following an old Inca water channel; the trail goes up to Ccorimarca valley through ancient terraces locally known as “Andenes”, where the locals are still growing crops. We hike up to our first pass from where we have a stunning view of the snow-capped mountains of the Urubamba mountain range (Veronica, Chicon, Ausangate, Pachatusan and Salcantay) and the fields of the Sacred Valley below us. We continue through the small valley of Chancachuco, where we have lunch next to the Andean lake of Maracocha. Here it is possible to admire Andean birdlife, such as the Andean goose, Cara Cara, Andean flicker, among others. We continue downhill to our next campsite, which has  a spectacular view of the snow peak Huayanay, located in the Vilcabamba range. We also have the opportunity to visit a local family house whose economy is based on potato farming and sheep herding.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Total trekking distance: 9 kms/5.59 miles (6 to 7-hours hike)

Highest altitude: 4,198m/13,776ft

Camp altitude:  4,198m/13,776ft

Day 6 Cachiccata trek – Chancachuco to Cachiccata Quarry

Early in the morning, we head to the second pass “Apu Buena Negra”. From this point we have a spectacular view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the snow peaks of the Urubamba range. After resting in this beautiful spot we start hiking down until we reach the Inca water channel coming from Maracocha Lake.  From here we can see Intiwatana temple, located in front of the Veronica Mountain, where traditional pagos (offerings to mother earth) are made. We also have a great view of the Pakaritampu pyramid.  We continue the trail down to the archaeological site of Choquetacarpo, where we have lunch. After this, we walk downhill to visit one of the biggest Inca quarries in Cusco, which once supplied stones for the town and the famous fortress of Ollantaytambo. Tonight we sleep in a beautiful campsite owned by a group of local young people from the Cachiccata community, hot showers and proper toilets are available.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Total trekking distance: 8 kms/4.97 miles (7-hours hike)

Highest altitude: 4,300m/14,107ft

Camp altitude:  2,750m/9,022ft

Day 7 Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu

After breakfast we head to Ollantaytambo where we take the train to Aguas Calientes. We visit the magical citadel of Machu Picchu with a professional guide and then we have some time to explore it by ourselves. In the afternoon we take the train that goes back to Cusco.

Meals: breakfast

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco

Day 8 Cusco to Lima

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. End of our services.

Meals: Breakfast

What’s Included

Accommodation

  • 01 night in a comfortable hotel in Lima
  • 02 nights in a comfortable hotel in Cusco
  • 01 night in a comfortable hotel in the Sacred Valley
  • 03 camping nights

Transport

  • Private transportation from Cusco to the start point of trek and from end of the trek to Ollantaytambo train station.
  • Expedition train (Ollantaytambo-Aguas Calientes- Cusco)
  • Bus tickets  (Aguas Calientes- Machu Picchu- Aguas Calientes)

Meals

  • Balanced meals served during the trek (4D/3N), including 01 snack every day
  • Cook specialized in Andean cuisine
  • Buffet lunch at the Sacred Valley (2nd day)

Equipment

  • All common camping gear: Mountain tent, mattress, kitchen dishes, kitchen tent, dining tent, toilet tent, table and chairs.
  • First aid kit with oxygen
  • Shortwave radios
  • Sanitary equipment (disinfected dishes, filtered water, etc)
  • Environment care (all the garbage goes back to Cusco)

Guides

  • Orientation meeting in Cusco (previous to departure date)
  • Professional bilingual guide plus one assistant for every nine clients
  • Horses and llamas to carry equipment and luggage

Not Included

  • Internal flights in Peru
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu and archaeological sites in Cusco and the Sacred Valley
  • Airport taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not described in the program
  • Tips for porters, cooker and guide
  • Sleeping bags (we can hire one if you ask for it)

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