Ancascocha Trail

If you are looking for a unique, less-travelled route to Machu Picchu with just as much beauty and history as the Inca trail, the Ancascocha Trail is your answer! This trek is a unique opportunity offered by very few companies. Ancascocha Trail is often referred to as the Super or Hidden Inca Trail. Not only will you experience the exquisite traditional views of the Inca trail, but you will find yourself in unfrequented beautiful ruins and spectacular Andean scenery consisting of crystal- clear lakes and snow-covered peaks. The route being higher elevation, allows for more magnificent views and on the fourth day you reach Machu Picchu!

Adventure Peru Path is one of the only companies that offers the Ancascocha Trail, an experience different from many others, to travel the Andean Mountains off the beaten path. Amidst the tranquility of a route without as many people, you will hike the tops of Andean mountains and past pristine lakes. You will experience the snow covered peaks of Salkantay, Humantay, and Huayanay. Also, you will trek along a section of the Inca trail, which formerly connected with Machu Picchu, Choquequirao, Tumibamba, and the Chinchaysuyo region of Peru.

Overview

Ancascocha Trail – Overview

  • Day 1: Cusco – Soqma – Rayan – Chancachuco Valley
  • Day 2: Chancachuco Valley – Ancascocha – Huayanay Pass – Queqa Valley
  • Day 3: Quesqa – Paucarcancha – Kilometer 82 – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
  • Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Total distance hiked: 45 km/28 miles

Beginning altitude: 3,205 m / 10,512 ft.

Maximum altitude: 4,650 m/ 15,255 ft.

Overall trek difficulty: Challenging

Itinerary

Ancascocha Trail – Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Soqma – Rayan – Chancachuco Valley

We leave Cusco early in the morning and drive 2 hours to Soqma (3,205 m / 10,512 ft.). In Soqma we meet our horsemen and begin our journey through the Ancascocha Trail.  We hike one hour to our first stop, a view of the gorgeous waterfall, Perolniyoc Cascade lookout. Here we soak in the magnificent views, seize the moment, and of course, capture some photos. Then we continue hiking and enjoy our lunch in the village of Rayan (3,700 meters/9,350 ft.), 45 minutes from the waterfall.

After lunch, we begin to ascend 3 hours with incredible views of the Andes Mountains, passing llamas and hopefully spotting a condor or two on the way. Condors can have a wingspan of 10 feet, making them the largest birds of the Andes and a very significant figure in Inca culture. Finally, we reach the Kuychicassa pass (4,450 m / 14,599 ft.). Where we can take a moment to soak in the magical views. On one side of the pass is the spectacular Chancachuco Valley and on the other the breathtaking Sacred Valley of the Incas, as well as a view of Mount Veronica. We are surround by beauty!

From Kuychicassa pass, we will hike 1 hour downhill to reach our camp. Here we cozy up with a warm meal in the beautiful valley of Chancachuco under the stars.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Highest Elevation: 4,450 m / 14,599 ft.
  • Lowest elevation: 3,205 m / 10,512 ft.
  • Distance to walk: 12 km/7.4 miles
  • Approximate walking time: 7 to 8 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Day 2: Chancachuco Valley – Ancascocha – Huayanay Pass – Queqa Valley

We will get up early and have delicious breakfast. Then we begin our hike with a 45 minute trek on flat terrain bringing us to a beautiful stream. We follow the stream uphill on a narrow trail for approximately half an hour, all along the way with a beautiful view of Mt. Veronica (5,822 m/ 19,100 ft.) Then we venture for another two hours downhill to the small community of Ancascocha (3,700 m/ 12,136 ft.) Here we find ourselves in a quaint community surrounded by a beautifully wooded valley with a river rushing through.

From Ancascocha we continue hiking for 1 hour uphill while enjoying views of the nearby glaciers and waterfalls. All bringing us to Ancascocha Lake which will be our lunch place for the day. Here we take pictures, picnic, and relax here at the pristine blue lake.

After lunch we will continue our ascent through switchbacks for 2 hours towards the Huayanay Pass (4,650 m/ 15,255 ft.) As well as being the highest point of our Ancascocha Trail, this is a special part of our trek as we walk along a portion of the original cobblestone Inca trail.

After enjoying the incredible views at the Huayanay pass, we will continue on a 3½ hour descent to a more lush and greener vegetation. During this portion of the Ancascocha Trail we will have lovely views of the classic Inca Trail, the Salkantay glacier, as well as communities throughout the Qesqa Valley. In addition we have the opportunity to explore the small ruins of Incaracay. Finally, we’ll reach our campsite for the night at the community of Quesqa (3,850 m/12,631 ft.) Here we share a lovely dinner in the community, relax, and sleep for the night.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Highest Elevation: 4,650 m/ 15,255 ft.
  • Lowest elevation: 3,700 m/ 12,136 ft.)
  • Distance to walk: 18 km/ 11 miles
  • Approximate walking time: 9 to 10 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: Quesqa – Paucarcancha – Kilometer 82 – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Today we wake at 5 a.m. and enjoy a breakfast before the sunrise. From Quesqa we will descend for 2 hours to the Inca site of Paucarcancha. Here we will have an informative tour learning exciting details about what this special site holds. After, we continue downhill for another 2 hours to the next site, the city of Llactapata (2,750 m/ 9,022 ft.) This site is also visited by the Inca trail trekkers, in fact it is the first site visited on the trek. Since we are hiking a section of the Inca Trail in reverse to KM 82 we have the opportunity to tour here as well. At kilometer 82 we will share lunch prepared by our chef and relax for moment before we continue by van to the beautiful town of Ollantaytambo. When in Ollantaytambo we will be taking the train bringing us to Aguas Calientes (2,040m/6,692 ft.) Along the train ride you will enjoy the scenery of the Andean Mountains and the high jungle.

Once we are at Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town) you will check into a comfortable and lovely hotel. After, we will have dinner at the finest restaurant in town and you will have the remaining time to relax and explore Aguas Calientes!

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Highest Elevation: 3,850 m/12,631 ft.
  • Lowest elevation: 2,040m/6,692 ft.
  • Distance to walk: 15 km/ 9.3 miles
  • Approximate walking time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Today is the day we will explore the sacred city of Machu Picchu (2,440 m/ 8,005 ft.)! We wake early and have breakfast at the hotel before taking the bus at 5:30. We enjoy a scenic drive up the mountain just before the sun completely rises. Once at Machu Picchu, we welcome the day with a beautiful sunrise and a two and a half hour guided tour. In our tour we visit and learn about significant temples, fountains, and many other sites of the ancient city.

Afterward you will have plenty of time to explore the site on your own or if you have elected (included in your trek price) you can climb Huayna Picchu (The Young Mountain) which has gorgeous ruins and a beautiful overlook of Machu Picchu.

After exploring one of the most magnificent places on earth we will take the bus back down the mountain. From Aguas Calientes we will board the train to takes us to Poroy Station bringing us back to Poroy. From here a Peru Path representative will pick you up and you will take a private van back to your hotel in Cusco. Your arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of your train ticket.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Highest Elevation: 2,440 m/ 8,005 ft.
  • Lowest Elevation: 2,040m/6,692 ft.
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy

Inclusions

Services Included:

  • Bilingual English speaking tour guide (additional tour guide for groups of nine people or more)
  • Pre-Departure Briefing at your hotel 1 or 2 days before your Ancascocha trek to Machu Picchu.
  • Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Soqma
  • Four-person tent for every 2 people.
  • Inflatable Mattress
  • Kitchen tent
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Toilet tent
  • Chef
  • Wranglers and horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc)
  • Horse to transport 8 kg of your personal gear
  • Duffle bag for your personal gear
  • Emergency horse in case we need it
  • Three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners
  • Hot water for washing.
  • Daily morning boiled and cold water to fill the water bottles.
  • Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
  • Vistadome train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Expedition train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • One night hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)
  • Ticket for Huayna Picchu mountain
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu
  • Round trip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Services Not Included:

  • Sleeping bag – you can rent one from us
  • Day 1 Breakfast
  • Day 4 Lunch in Aguas Calientes
  • Tips for the crew (guide, chef, wranglers)

What to bring:

  • Original passport (if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking, bring both)
  • Down or synthetic feather sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
  • Clothes (trekking boots, warm fleece jacket, tops, a few t-shirts, socks, sun hat, thermal underwear, light long pants, gloves, poncho, rain jacket)
  • Toiletries (toilet paper, wet wipes, personal towel)
  • Sun block, factor 35+ recommended
  • Head lamp
  • Sunglasses and sun hat
  • Camera with spare batteries – batteries run down faster at high altitudes
  • Binoculars
  • Book to read (you will have some time at every camp to read your favorite book)
  • Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us)
  • Insect repellent

Prices

Group Service

  • US $690 per Person

Private Service

  • US $750 per Person

Discounts

  • Student Discount (with active green ISIC card): US $20.00
  • Under 15 years will pay as student: US $20.00
  • Under 7 years Discount: US $35.00

Optional

Rentals

  • Hiking poles – US $20.00 (pair)
  • Sleeping bag – US $25.00
  • Private Tent – US $30.00

Upgrades

  • Five star hotel or Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
  • Vistadome train (US $35) or Hiram Bingham train (US $375) for trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Buffet lunch at the Tinkuy restaurant in the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu on day 4 – US $45
  • Private hotel room in Aguas Calientes

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