5 Days / 4 Nights
The Moonstone Trek is one of the more recent alternative treks to Machu Picchu, and it’s an option well worth considering, especially if you want to avoid the crowds on the Inca Trail. This five-day trek also takes you to sites not included on other trails.
As you follow this trail, you’ll pass through spectacular landscapes, stop off at remote rural communities, and see some important archaeological ruins that few tourists ever visit. The trek itself is named after Quillarumiyoc, which in Quechua means the “Moonstone” or “a stone that has a moon.” This is a reference to the beautiful moon symbol carved into a rock at the site, which served as a place of moon worship.
Our Moonstone trek to Machu Picchu takes us along an old Inca route that passed from Cusco to the mountains. On our way, we’ll discover a fascinating quarry where rock was mined to build Inca settlements such as that of Ollantaytambo. We’ll also see an Inca canal or aqueduct, possibly the longest they ever built. And during out trek, we’ll stop at colorful Andean villages surrounded by fields of quinoa, corn and potatoes, and herds of alpacas and llamas. The natural landscape, meanwhile, is varied and awe-inspiring, encompassing deep canyons, towering mountains and rugged Andean vistas.
The first day of our adventure begins early in the morning when we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. From Cusco we drive for one hour to Quillarumiyoc (the Moonstone). Dedicated to the Inca moon god, this site has a truly mystical feel, with large rocks engraved with drawings, symbols and strange patterns, the most famous being the intricate half-moon carved in bas-relief into a large rock. After exploring this intriguing ruin, we’ll have a tasty breakfast at the site before...
We will begin Day 2 with a cup of coca tea or wonderful local coffee. Then we’ll have a hearty Andean breakfast to build up our energy for the day ahead. Setting off, we’ll first tackle an uphill trek for about 3.5 hours. After that, we’ll stop at a picturesque glade where we’ll have lunch. We are now reaching some serious elevation, at around 4,438 m (14,557 ft).
After lunch it’s another uphill climb for about an hour, where we’ll rea...
Our trek on Day 3 takes us through the most beautiful landscapes we’ll see, as we follow a section of an old Inca Trail. We’re also unlikely to see any other people along this route, as it is relatively unknown.
After breakfast, we begin our trek with a walk through the enchanting Puncuyoc canyon, where we will be surrounded by lush green vegetation and polylepis trees as we follow a stream that flows through the canyon. This section through the canyon and th...
After another tasty breakfast, we’ll begin a relaxing day of exploration as we trek from the Inca Quarry to Ollantaytambo. This area is rarely visited and we’re unlikely to encounter many other trekkers (if any) as we descend along a wide Inca road, passing through an area of Inca quarries and chullpas (old Inca cemeteries), seeing ruins that few others have ever explored. The ...
To best appreciated Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning so we can get to the citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 5:40 a.m. We’ll then walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu.
We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here you’ll begin your guided walking ...
Now featuring our exclusive Atmos Foam to further reduce weight and boost compressibility, the ProLite is the lightest and most compact three-season mattress available. Self-inflation keeps set-up super-easy and its die-cut foam packs small, easily fitting inside the most ultralight packs. It's ideal for high-mileage, high-speed journeys where every gram counts. Stuff sack included.
Those in search of a true once-in-a-lifetime experience can choose to make their pilgrimage to Machu Picchu in comfort with our sure-footed horses as their ideal traveling partners. Guests on horseback may choose to use along a uncrowded route that led early Incas to the great city of Machu Picchu.
Duffle bags for packing on cargo horses on relevant trips
Experienced Quechua Wranglers (muleteers) to look after all stock
No include Riding helmets (you may bring your own if you want)
Note that our sleeping bags are feather for those that are allergic
These poles are designed to help you endure long treks into rugged, remote areas with a heavy pack. If you need a little extra support when walking, an adjustable folding walking stick is ideal. It has an aluminium body with plastic handles and base, it folds away neatly for easy storage when not in use.
Inca Trail Porters Protection Law No. 27607(Dec 6th 2001). Decreed Laws Numbers 19990 and 25897 Article 3 Conditions of work:
QUESTION IS, WHO ARE THE PORTERS?
Porters are indigenous Cusqueñian people who have lived in Cusco, at 4,000 meters high, all of their lives relying on the land of the Andes. Due to economic problems, it is important for these local indigenous people to continue working in the mountains they know so well, rather than give up their jobs in the country to move to the city. They prefer to stay in their local villages and support the education of their children by working as porters on tours.
Sadly, many tour operators don't give them the recognition they deserve. Often tour operators do NOT provide porters with adequate clothing or gear for carrying things while paying them very low salaries. Because of this, you will see thirsty, hungry porters with a low morale along the Inca Trail. Our government has created the Law of the Porter, which requires tour agencies to treat porters better and provide necessary resources for them, but sadly, many of these regulations are not met. Please make sure that the agency you book through respects the Porter Law and be sure to ask for proof of this. Otherwise you could be contributing to the ill treatment of these hard-working porters.