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Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu (4 Days)

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Tour Details

Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu is an off the beaten track trek from Cusco to Machu Picchu. This four days alternative trek gives you an orientation to the life of Incas. It takes you through the less trodden path of Incas through their stone quarry. 

During the rule of Pachacutec, Cusco saw a rapid development. He built many notable sites like Machu Picchu, Choquequirao and Inkilltambo. Ollantaytambo, the administrative capital of Incas, houses some of the impressive stone work of Incas. 

Most of these stones were brought from their largest stone quarry in Cachicata. On this four days Cachicata trek to Machu Picchu, you will be retracing the footsteps of Incas through the very same path through which they transported these stones. 

On your trip to Cachicata you will see the remains of fine pink marble stones scattered in a dismay. This is a testament to the massive unfinished construction project in Ollantaytambo.

You will also be visiting the iconic sun gate or Inti Punku that nestles right above the quarry and offers stunning views of the Urubamba mountain range. Cachicata trek also takes you to the remains of the residents of architects and people who once worked in the quarry. 

The trek is dotted with many Inca ruins, one of the unmissable ones is the Inca Canal. Here you will witness the advancement of Inca engineering. 

Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu is a high altitude trek with the highest point at 4500 metres above sea level. We highly recommend you to spend at least three days and acclimate in Cusco before the trek to avoid altitude sickness.

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Pickup from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
  • Transport from Cusco to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in private car.
  • Round trip train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.
  • Round trip bus transfer from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu.
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu.
  • Return private transport to Cusco at the end of the trip.
  • 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 to store your ruck-sacks.
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Therma-rest).
  • Toilet tent.
  • Toilet paper, pack-in &pack out.
  • One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment.
  • Bio-degradable personal hand soaps.
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Chef and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
  • 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.
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals

Price Excludes

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Lunch and Dinner on the last day.
  • 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.
  • Any Private Expenses

Recommended To Carry

  • 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.
  • 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. * This is a particularly cold trek, you should make sure you have a lot of very warm clothes.
  • 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
  • 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 and souvenirs.
  • Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.

Day 1Cusco - Socma - Perolniyoc

We will be leaving from Cusco quite early in the morning to go to Socma. It is a small Andean village that is a part of the Sacred Valley of Incas. The four days Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu begins here. 

The first day of the trek is mostly up the hill. We will be hiking through the picturesque Andean farms and villages and along waterfalls. 

It offers a distinct beauty at every turn. One of the most iconic sites of the trek is Perolniyoc. It is a beautiful community. 

There is a beautiful waterfall here and views are out-worldly. You can spend the evening by taking a refreshing bath under the natural waters of Perolniyoc falls. We will be camping here for the night.

Day 2Perolniyoc - Qeuñacancha

We will begin the day with a nutritious breakfast. Then we will hike up to the first and the highest pass of the Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu, Chancachuco Pass at 4400 metres above sea level. 

The pass offers a breathtaking view of the highest and the sacred Andean peak – Ausangate,On our way, we will also be passing through many Andean farms where you will be able to spot the Andean camelids – Alpacas and Llamas. 

From the pass, we will be descending to the community of Qeuñacacha where we will be camping.

Day 3Queñacancha - Cachicata

You will be waking up to a beautiful view. After breakfast, we will hike down the hill to the Inca Canal.  It originates from Marcocha Lake. We will be hiking to Intiwatana. 

It is located at the edge of a high plateau. This is a sacred Incan site right in front of Veronica mountain. Here we will be visiting the Sun Gate. 

We will then be hiking to the remains of the residence of architects who worked at the quarry. Here we will be stopping for lunch. After lunch, we will be hiking down the hill visiting different sectors of the Cachicata stone quarry. 

Our local expert will be giving you a guided tour of the complex. We will then be descending further to Cachicata village, where we will be camping for the night. 

Day 4Cachicata - Machu Picchu - Cusco

At day break, we will be taking the first train to Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo. Train station. The train ride offers beautiful views of the Urubamba river snaking through the villages. Once in Aguas Calientes, we will be taking a bus to Machu Picchu citadel. 

Our local expert will be giving you a detailed two hours hour of the citadel. You will be visiting the main plaza, the ceremonial centre, agricultural terraces and other prominent sites in the complex.

After the tour, you will have some free time to explore the citadel on your own. If you have booked to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, our guide will direct you to the respective entrance. 

Once you have had your fill of the emblematic Inca citadel, we will be returning to Aguas Calientes where you will be boarding the train back to Ollantaytambo. Our representative will meet you on arrival and will transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco.