The Cordillera Vilcabamba is a mountain range which houses a range of both historical and natural attractions of great importance to the development of Andean civilisation.
The trek we propose is one of the most remote that we have experienced. We have to consider that this cordillera served as a refuge to the last rebel Inkas fleeing the invasion; led by Manqo Inka II for about forty years.
Geography, flora, fauna and a rich history take us on an adventure through a remote region of the southern Andes which motivates us to arrive at the legendary Machu Picchu, the maximum expression of the high level of civilisation achieved by Andean people, represented by the Inkas.
- Terms & Conditions
The Vilcabamba Trek takes you right off the beaten path to the area of Cusco where the Incas made their last stand. Following the Spanish conquest the Inca withdrew far in to the jungle from where they continued to resist the occupation. Vilcabamba was the last Inca city and this trek takes you to some of the last domains of this once great empire. With beautiful scenery, Inca sites and a wide variety of flora and fauna the Vilcabamba Trek is a great option.
By booking the Vilcabamba Trek with Haku Travel you are choosing the best. Don’t believe us? Check out our reviews on TripAdvisor!
Starting Altitude – 2911m / 9550ft.
Highest Altitude – 3915m / 12,844ft.
Walking Distance – ?km / ? miles
Longest Day – Day ?, approximately ?km / ? miles
Overall Difficulty – Difficult
DAY 1: CUZCO – CASAPATA
At this ecological level the principal activity is agriculture, mainly products such as tea, coca, coffee, cacao and fruits; and we will see the crops.
Our first stop is at the archaeological site of Huamanmarca, where there is an important Usnu or ritual platform and a precinct with four double jamb doorways facing the four cardinal points.
We continue to the settlement of Santa María, where we can rest for a few minutes, to then continue on to Huancacalle, the village where we will leave our motorized transport. The journey is long; but the reward is the solitude we enjoy as tourism is not very developed in this area. Here we meet our arrieros (mule-handlers) and mules which will accompany us on our walk. We have lunch.
After a short break, we begin our walk to visit the Rosaspata – Vitcos sector of the Vilcabamba Archaeological Park, including a tour of the famous Ñusta Hispana. It is suspected that the tomb of the rebel leader Manco Inka II can be found in this area of the Vilcabamba cordillera. We will also see the famous white rock.
By dusk we arrive at Casapata, which will be our campsite, where we enjoy our dinner and rest.
DAY 2: CASAPATA – HATUMPAMPA
We walk through Quechua, Suni and Puna ecological levels. When we arrive at the Pillaujasa mountain pass, we can see the Jasutina pass nearby, in the middle of an Andean landscape worthy of a postcard.
We begin the trail which descends to the valley of the Racchchaka river and following the river upstream, we arrive at Hatunpampa, where we will camp and enjoy a beautiful view of the Tuytubamba snow-capped peak.
DAY 3: HATUMPAMPA – NOGALPAMPA
We descend through the Mutuypata ravine, where we have lunch, and after a rest we continue to the valley of the Saqsarayoq river which we will cross to reach Nogalpampa, where we set up camp.
DAY 4: NOGALPAMPA – AGUAS CALIENTES
DAY 5: MACHU PICCHU – CUZCO
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
- For complete facts about many aspects of Haku Travel, check out our
- FAQs page
- Pre trek briefing
- Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
- Transport from Cusco to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in private car
- Entry fee to Machu Picchu (If you wish to climb Huayna Picchu its $15 extra, please advise at booking)
- English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people).
- Tents – 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
- Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest).
- Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
- Toilet tent
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
- Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person).
- 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower
- Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
- Tents for our staff to sleep in
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Bus up and down from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
- Train or equivalent luggage from Hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes
- Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco. Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes
- Lunch on the last day is included in this itinerary.
- 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a basic hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hostel with breakfast included and private bathroom. If you wish to upgrade from this hotel.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
- Breakfast on the first morning.
- Dinner on the last night.
- Entrance to the thermal springs
- Huayna Picchu Entry ($15 extra)
- Sleeping bags – If you haven’t got a sleeping bag or you don’t want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.
- Tips for the guide, cook and porters
- Additional horses for passengers luggage.
- Extra activities (ie Cola de Mono zipline)
YOU SHOULD BRING?
- A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco .
- Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
- Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
- Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)
- Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
- Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
- Sun block
- After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
- Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although no malaria risk has been reported
- Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
- Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
- We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
- Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
- Small towel or sarong
- Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs )
- Cash – sufficient for snacks, tips and souvenirs.
- Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
- Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day)
- Binoculars (if you have them)
- We can hire the following to you – please contact your Travel Consultant / or our booking forms for the current rates.
- Extra mule to carry YOUR things
- Extra riding mule and muleteer to lead it
- Sleeping Bag suitable for – 10deg
- Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15deg.
- Walking stick lightweight aluminum – Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
- Thermarest inflatable mattress
- Thermarest Inflatable pillow
- Comforting Camping trek upgrade – bigger tents, camp beds, includes sleeping bag, thermarest, and walking stick.
- Single tent supplement (ie you don’t want to share a tent)
Group Service Prices
Price per person : This will depend on the amount of people coming to the trek and to the kind of accommodation
- Student Discount: US$20 (Requires ISIC Card to qualify)
- Under 18’s Discount: US$20
- Sleeping Bag US$30
- Walking Pole US$15
- Single Tent Supplement US$35
- When calculating costs for hire of walking stick, sleeping bag, calculate using the length of the tour. Even though you won’t use the equipment on the final day it will still be ‘on the road’ and ‘occupied.’
- If you hire equipment and break it – you are responsible for price of replacement /or repair. (please do the right thing!)
1.-Available Discounts (these discounts are not cumulative)
5% discount on treks only for members of South American Explorers Club (SAE)
- Students: US$ 30.00 (students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please beware that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
- Teenagers: US$ 20.00 (up to 15 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
- Children: US$ 45.00 (up to 10 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
- Visit to Huayna Picchu: For Huayna Picchu mountain requires to be booked long time in advance however we charge additional $ 20.00 and then we’ll guarantee your entrance for Huayna Picchu as well (This new State law began since the 18th of July, 2011).
- Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcome. The porters are also very grateful for a small donation, for example clothes or school equipment for their children.
OUR BOOKING POLICIESNon-Refundable, Non-Transferable Deposits for TREKS and Short Tours
There is a $200 per person deposit needed to your trek/tour with Haku Travel. The deposit can be made through PayPal, which will incur a 5.5% PayPal merchant fee paid by the traveler or by a wire directly to our bank (Bank of America or Citibank) for free if you are a fellow account holder. All deposits are fully non-refundable and non-transferable. In the event that you need to cancel your trip, cancellation fees will be assessed as outlined below under Cancellation Policy. It is not possible to transfer your deposit to another person’s trek if cancelling, they will need to send in their own deposit.
If you are booking a full itinerary, including hotels, with Haku Travel, we will require 50% of the total value as a deposit. If you must CANCEL, refunds other than the non-refundable $200 deposit required for all tours, will be returned if your start date is more than 60 days away. Once you are within 60 days of your tour beginning, money will no longer be refundable.
Final Payment Terms
For all treks and small tours, final payment is due at least three days before your tour begins with Hatu Travel. This is normally paid directly in our office, but can be paid in advance by PayPal with a 5.5% fee or wire to Citibank. In the office we accept both US and Peruvian currency, any denomination but NO torn bills.
Cancellation Policy for Treks and Small Tours
Notification of cancellation must be made in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are within 8 weeks of your tour start date, further payment is needed as follows:
- If you cancel 8 weeks or more days before departure: Cancellation fees equal the amount of your deposit.
- 8 weeks to 4 weeks before departure: 60% of the total tour price is due.
- 4 weeks to 5 days before departure: 80% of the total tour price is due.
- 5 days to 36 hours: 90% of the total tour price is due.
- 36 hours or less before departure: 100% of the total price is due.
Inca Trail Permits
Inca Trail permits are 100% non-refundable, non-transferable. Permits are issued in the name and with the passport number of the trekker and cannot be transferred to anyone else under any circumstances.