If you are looking for an adventurous and challenging trek in the untouristed part of Andes this trek is for you! It’s truly spectacular and special with variety of flora, fauna, snow peaks, impressive valleys and lakes on the way, while at the same time visiting the last refuge of the Incas – Vilcabamba and its archeological sites.
We trek along some excellent examples of the unrestored Inca trails before heading off into “unknown territory”. We cross three consecutive passes, often covered in snow before descending to the wonderfully warm jungle. Crossing a great mountain chain, we finally arrive at Machu Picchu.
The Vilcabamba trek is one of the hidden treasures in Peru!

  • overview
  • Itinerary
  • Included
  • Prices
  • Terms & Conditions

The detailed itinerary is an example. Hiking times are averages and will vary depending on the group. Additionally, lunch and camp sites may change to meet the needs of the group and current weather conditions.
This tour begins in the last Incan city of Vilcabamba and ends in the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu. It is a trek where history meets wilderness. We visit three important Incan sites including Vitcos, Ñustrahispana, and Machu Picchu, as well as follow miles of well-preserved Inca roads in the largely unmapped and unexplored Vilcabamba region. In addition to discovering these last refuges of the Incas, we will pass through a variety of spectacular scenery, from sub-tropical rainforests to snow-dusted mountain passes. This is an area that is sparsely visited, providing for a unique and adventurous trip.

Useful Information

Duration: 6 days/5 nights
Distance trekked: 60-70 km
Elevation: 2,000-4,200m (6,560-13,780ft)
Difficulty: moderate-difficult
Crowds: Few to none, except at Machu Picchu

The day begins very early as we pick you up at your hotel and travel by private bus to the village of Huancacalle. Its a long day of driving, but from the very beginning we are introduced to the history of the last days of the Incas. We travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Ollantaytambo, then cross Malaga Pass behind Wacaywillca (Veronica) mountain, following the path Manco Inca took with his warriors to Vilcabamba as he continued his rebellion against the Spanish. We then cross the Rio Urubamba and follow the Rio Vilcabamba, sometimes traversing high on the mountain sides through small towns and coffee and coca fields. After arriving at Huancacalle in the afternoon, we will walk to the ruins of Vitcos, an important Inca center and the stronghold of Manco Inca. We will also see Ñustahispana, the White Rock, which was once the most sacred site in the area. After a tour of these sites, we will camp near the river. 2 hours walking, 3600m

In the morning we begin the trek by climbing a well-preserved Inca road for about four hours out of the high jungle and into mountainous terrain. At the pass (4000m), we can see the snow-capped Pumasillo, and the other mountains of the Vilcabamba range. Descending, we reenter the forest where there are a variety of orchids and other interesting plants. Crossing a stream, we continue to the small settlement of Racachaca, where we camp near the school. 7 hours walking, 3600-4000-3600m

There are more mountains today as we traverse multiple. First we climb past a few farms to the high puna. Here the vegetation is sparse, mostly bunch grass called “ichu,” but you can see Andean geese and other native birds who inhabit the high mountains. After the first pass, we reach four glacier-fed lakes before continuing to our highest pass of the day (4200m) and then onto Mujun pass (4000m). From here, with a good pair of binoculars, you can see the ruins of Machu Picchu. After a long day of mountain vistas, we camp just below the pass. 8 hours walking; 3570-4200-3800m

In comparison to the previous day, today is mostly down hill. After breakfast and watching the sunrise over the mountains we descend into the forest along an Inca trail. We pass through jungle thick with bamboo to plantations of coffee, oranges, bananas, avocados, pineapples, and other fruits to the town of Yanatile. From there we take a bus to our camp near the town of Santa Teresa, where we can visit the hot springs. 6 hours walking, 3800-1550m

There are two option for this day, depending on the weather conditions and the energy of the group.
Via Llactapata
A we take a short bus ride to the trailhead at a royal Inca road, which we follow uphill. At the pass there is an excellent view of the city of Machu Picchu, and just downhill is the archaeological site of Llactapata. Unlike Machu Picchu, the site is still mostly covered with vegetation, giving you an excellent idea of what Machu Picchu must have looked like when Hiram Bingham first saw it. After exploring the site, we walk downhill for about 3 hours and then catch the afternoon train for Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in a hotel. 6 hours walking, 1550-2550-1900m
Walking from Hidroelectrica
This is a good option if the weather is adverse or the group does not want to climb anymore hills. We take a bus to Hidroelectrica and walk the flat trail from there to Aguas Calientes. 3 hours walking, 1900-1900m

After enjoying the tourist amenities of Aguas Calientes and getting a full night’s sleep at a hotel, we catch one of the first buses to Machu Picchu in order to see the awe-inspiring view of the city at sunrise. After a two-hour guided tour, you will have free time to climb Huayna Picchu, explore the ruins, or simply relax. In the early afternoon we take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes where you catch the train to Cusco.
-(1) 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).
-(2) 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.

  • Licensed guide fluent in English, Spanish, and Quechua, plus an assistant guide for large groups.
  • Support staff including professional cooks and wranglers for the mules and horses.
  • Horses and mules to carry group gear as well as large duffels bags, provided at the briefing, for personal items. (No weight limit)
  • All meals on trek, which incorporate traditional Peruvian dishes as well as modern fusion cuisine and special dietary needs.
  • Drinking water and snacks.
  • Dining tent with table, stools, and all dining implements, toilet tent, and kitchen tent
  • Sleeping tents, foam pads, and Thermarest. Three-person tents are provided for single occupancy and four-person tents for double occupancy to allow plenty of room for personal gear.
  • One riding horse for emergencies. Additional riding horses can be provided for an additional charge.
  • First aid kit, including oxygen.
  • Pre-trek briefing.
  • All group entrance fees, including Machupicchu.
  • Optional climb to Huaynapicchu or Machupicchu Mountain!
  • Hotel in Aguas Caliente.s (3 star hotel)
  • Train. (Expedition Train Service)
  • All transfers, including private van from your hotel in Cusco to Huancacalle, to Santa Teresa and Aguas
  • Calientes, bus to and from Machu Picchu, and private transfer back to your hotel in Cusco

What is Not Included?
  • Dinner on the 5th day at Aguas Calientes. Lunch and dinner on the 6th day.
  • Personal hiking gear including backpacks, trekking poles, and sleeping bags. Poles and sleeping bags may be hired.
  • Tips for guides, cooks, and wranglers.
  • Entrance to hot springs or other entertainments in Aguas Calientes.
  • Personal riding horse. Additional horses may be hired according to the needs of the individual and group.
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
Optional Extras:
  • Sleeping Bag US$30
  • Walking Pole US$15
  • Single Tent Supplement US$35

Non-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 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.
We charge these fees because there are many expenses that Hahu Travel pays to set up these tours. There are no exceptions unfortunately, but if you need a letter for your insurance company to help recover some of the cost, we would be happy to supply one.
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.

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