5 Days / 4 Nights
The Vilcabamba region was a pivotal location at the tail end of the Inca Empire. It was here that the last remnants of the Inca Empire fled after a series of battles against the Spanish conquistadors, forming the new capital of the Neo-Inca State in 1539. The Inca emperor, Manco Inca, took his people to this remote location, where the Incas hoped to hold out against the unceasing hostility of the Spanish, to preserve their knowledge, their culture, their freedom and their lives. In 1572, however, the Spanish made a final raid on the Inca’s remote jungle capital, which by then was a city of four hundred houses. The Incas were defeated, and their Empire fell soon after.
It is this story of survival and battle that goes with us on our five-day trek along the route to and through Vilcabamba and then on to Machu Picchu. For anyone interested in the history of the Incas, this trek is hard to beat. It’s also a spectacular route in terms of scenery, passing through high tropical forests and between snow-capped mountain peaks. The route is also far less traveled than the Inca Trail and other alternative treks, making it ideal for anyone who really wants to get away from it all, to experience a far-flung adventure in the footsteps of the last Incas, where few have gone before.
Our adventure begins when we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. It will be an early start, as we have plenty of ground to cover before we reach Vilcabamba. We will take the road to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, passing the town of Ollantaytambo before rising up over a mountain pass called the Abra Málaga. We’ll then descend through the puna towards the high jungle and the Vilcabamba area.
Our first stop will be at the archaeological site of Huamanmarca ...
Day 2 begins early in the morning, as we have a lot of trekking ahead of us, on what is probably the hardest day of all. We’ll first climb up through the ravine of the Pumachaka River to the Chupana sector of Vilcabamba, where the river begins. Here we will find sections of an old Inca trail, which we will follow, passing through different ecological zones: Quechua montane valleys, cold and dry Suni, and puna shrub lands. Among the diverse local flora we’ll see plants used...
After an early breakfast, we’ll set of on another tough trek through some mountain passes. First we’ll take the path that climbs to the Yanacocha mountain pass, where we’ll walk through a forest of native qeuña and kiswar trees, at about 4,500 m. From the pass, we’ll have wonderful views of the surrounding landscape and across Yanacocha Lake. Next we’ll hike to the Mojon pass, the last high pass on our trek. Standing here on the rugged puna, you&rs...
On Day 4 we’ll cover the most distance of any day so far, but now we’ll be at a lower altitude, making things much easier. There are also no more mountain passes to tackle! After breakfast we’ll begin our trek with a downhill hike through a spectacular native forest, heading towards the town of Yanatile. The environment will slowly change as we make our way along the trail, turning from temperature jungle into the coffee and fruit plantations that are typical of this...
To best appreciated Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning on Day 5 so we can get to the citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast in Aguas Calientes 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’l...
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.
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
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.