This Inca Quarry trek is for you if you would like to immerse yourself in the history of the Incas and really experience what life is like in the highlands of the Andes. The trek recently featured in the list of Top 7 alternative treks to Machu Picchu by the National Geographic Society. Apart from stunning landscapes and enigmatic flora and fauna, you will visit the Perolniyoc archaeological complex, a handful of indigenous communities and the Cachiqata quarry, where they sourced the rocks to the build the well-known Ollantaytambo archaeological fortress.
If you are swayed by the sophisticated techniques hidden in these walls, then visit the old Inca quarry from where the Incas carved the rocks to build the important Ollantaytambo Inca city, the star gate to Machu Picchu. Take time to explore the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo and hike up to the dusted remnants of the old Inca hillside storehouses.
Then all aboard the most scenic train to Aguas Calientes and bathing in an all-natural hot springs. On your final day, will be the long awaited tour to explore and experience the masterful energy center of the spiritual world of Machu Picchu with our professional guide!
We leave Cusco early in the morning and drive for 2 hours to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where the Incas historically would honor the moon. A short drive from here takes us to Rafq’a. Now it is time to lace up your boots at the starting point of our trek where we meet the horsemen for our hike. We hike for about 1 hour to reach the typical Inca community of Socma. Just a hop, skip and a jump ahead, takes us to the hypnotizing Perolniyoc Cascade. It is the perfect opportunity to stop, take photos and have a snack. Our goal is to reach our campsite at 3700m or 2139ft at about lunchtime. After lunch, we set off to explore the Q’orimarca archeological site, which served as a checkpoint during the times of the Incas.
• Meals: Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time -Dinner
• Accommodation: Camping
• Distance: 12kms/7.5 miles
• Time: 7 hours approximately
• Difficulty: Moderate.
This is the most challenging but most rewarding day of the hike. A 3-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass, known as Puccaqasa (4370mts). After enjoying the picturesque views of the undulating valleys below, we descend down for 30 minutes, just in time for lunch.
Rested and full of energy again, we head onward and upward for about 2 hour to the highest pass of the trek: Kuychicassa(4450m/14599ft). From here, we head down for 2 hours to the site that the Incas called Inti Punku, (meaning Sun Gate) with its imposing views over the valley and the horizon is engulfed by the picturesque Veronica Mountains. We discover our campsite is just a short distance away from Choquetacarpo (3600m/11811ft).
• Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
• Accommodation: Camping
• Distance: 14kms/9.5 miles
• Time: 8 hours approximately
• Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Day 3 is all downhill hiking, with our first stop at the Kachiqata Quarry where we can personally witness the workmanship of the Incas, which they could not complete due to the Spanish Conquest. Midday we arrive at the town of Kachiqata, the end of this challenging and fascinating trek. From here we visit the original Inca settlement Ollantaytambo and in the afternoon we travel by train to Aguas Calientes where we stay overnight at our private hotel.
• Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
• Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel
• Distance: 7kms/5 miles
• Time: 6 hours approximately
• Difficulty: Moderate.
Bursting with excitement on your final surreal day, we take the first bus to Machu Picchu archeological site, making sure we tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The Citadel of the Incas, Machu Picchu, what an unforgettable experience. Your guide will expertly direct you through the energetic ruins and its diverse main streets. Then on your own, you can wander around the town squares of the world’s spiritual center of esoteric wisdom, as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made of stone. Alternatively, you can stay still and find the peace within as you sit in the pure delight of the moment.
If you wish to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own you can (not included in the price):
• Climb up Huaynapiccho or machupiccho mountains
• to appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu from the views above ($25 each additional cost)
• You will be given some time to walk to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku. (Free of cost)
• Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs (will be an additional entrance fee).
When you are ready, you will descend to Aguas Calientes, have a leisurely lunch on your own, and later on board the Expedition train at 4:22pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo Station, where you will catch our private van back to Cusco and arrive at your hotel around 8pm.
• Meal: Breakfast
• Difficulty: Easy.