Ancascocha Trek Machu Picchu

Recognized as National Geographic’s top 20 dream hikes on their World Best Hikes list, the Ancascocha Trail is a gem lease travelled by most. The Ancascocha 5 day Trek in the Peruvian Andes Mountains is a unique trail that takes trekkers off the beaten path. The Ancascocha trek takes travelers through Chillipahua, Quesqa, Rayan, and other quaint traditional villages in the Andes and of course, its namesake Ancascocha village.

Throughout the hike, trekkers will ascend to high Mountain peaks with gorgeous views and landscape. This includes the highest point at Huayanay Pass (4,650 m/ 14,925 ft.), here at the top you will be surrounded by breathtaking views of the extremely tall 20,551 foot (6,266 m) mountain Apu Salkantay a sacred peak.

During the 5 day and 4 night trek you have 4 whole days to bask in the beauty more leisurely experience the Andean Mountains. On the 4th day you will hike a portion of the Classic Inca trail and on the 5th day you reach the famous Machu Picchu!

Throughout this trek you will be cared for by the finest and with the finest, including a very nice train ride, hotel pickup and drop off in private van, lodging and dining at very nice hotel and restaurant in Aguas Calientes, and tickets to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain.

Typically ligther foot traffic on this route


Ancascocha Trek  2017 – Overview

  • Day 1: Cusco – Soqma – Perolniyoq – Rayan
  • Day 2: Rayan – Kuychicassa pass – Chancachuco – Ancascocha
  • Day 3: Ancascocha – Huayanay pass – Quesqa community – Paucarcancha
  • Day 4: Paucarcancha – Llactapata – Kilometer 82 – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
  • Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Total distance hiked: 50 km/30 miles

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

Maximum altitude: 4,650 m/ 15,255 ft.

Overall trek difficulty: Challenging


Ancascocha Trek – Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Soqma – Perolniyoq – Rayan

Our first day we depart from Cusco early in the morning and drive 1 hour and 45 minutes to Soqma (3,205 m / 10,512 ft.). This is the starting point of our Ancascocha Trek. Here we will meet our horsemen and begin with a 1 ¾ hour hike to the Perolniyoq cascade lookout. We enjoy a small snack and take in the beautiful views of these incredible waterfalls and take photos. We then continue hiking uphill for 45 minutes until we reach to the Perolniyoq Inca site. Here we will have guided tour of the significance and history this site holds and after you will have time to explore on your own.

After visiting Perolniyoq we continue hiking uphill to our lunch site at the village of Rayan. We will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our chef and his team. Rayan (3,700 m/12,136 ft.) will be our camp for the night, so we will also have time to explore the surrounding area and enjoy our dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Highest Elevation: 3,700 m/ 12,136 ft
  • Lowest Elevation: 3,205 m/ 10,512 ft
  • Distance to walk: 7 km/4,5 miles
  • Estimated walking time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Rayan – Kuychicassa pass – Chancachuco – Ancascocha

We wake up, have a warm breakfast and depart camp at about 6:00 AM. We ascend for about 4 hours and all along the way we will be surrounded with great views of the snow-capped peaks, rolling hills, llamas, gorgeous valleys, rivers, and if we are lucky, a passing condor. Here we reach the Kuychicassa pass (4,450 m /14,596 ft.) where we will take a break and soak in the magical views. On one side, views of the Chancachuco Valley and the other the amazing Sacred Valley of the Incas. After, we hike for another hour and arrive at our lunch spot, the beautiful Chancachuco valley.

After lunch, we will ascend for 30 minutes following a stream with spectacular views of Mt. Veronica (5,822 m/ 19,100 ft.). The walk is magical, following the peaceful stream amidst the mountains and likely, we are the only ones in the area. These many magical moments on the Ancascocha trail are what makes this trek special compared to others.

We then descend 3 hours to the small community of Ancascocha (3,700 m/12,136 ft.) which we will be camping at for the night. We will enjoy a warm meal and tranquility under the stars.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Highest Elevation: 4,450 m/ 15,250 ft.
  • Lowest Elevation: 3,700 m/ 12,136 ft.
  • Distance to walk: 14 km/ 8,6 miles
  • Estimated walking time : 9 to 10 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: Ancascocha – Huayanay pass – Quesqa community – Paucarcancha

Miraculous views of glaciers and beautiful Inca sites are the highlight of this day. After a nourishing breakfast we are ready for this adventurous day.

Hiking uphill towards the Huayanay Pass (4,650 m/ 15,298 ft.) for 4 hours, we reach the highest point of our Ancascocha Trek. Along the way we hike aside an original cobblestone paved Inca Trail.

Once we reach Huayanay pass we will soak in the magnificent views of Mount Salkantay and Huayanay. At this special location, your guide will make an offering for Pachamama (the mother earth), to thank her. This is followed by a 40 minute downhill hike to Incaracay where we will have lunch and relax before we continue to our next camp.

We then continue downhill for 4 hours through the Quesqa Valley passing small villages, potato fields, and beautiful waterfalls. During this portion of our Ancascocha trek we will have the opportunity to view the Classic Inca Trail, as well as lovely views of the Huayanay Mountain. We then reach our home for the night at the Inca site of Paucarcancha (3,133m / 10,276 ft.).  High up in the Andes, we share a meal and sleep peacefully in nature.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Highest Elevation: 4,650 m/ 15,298 ft.
  • Lowest Elevation: 3,133m / 10,276 ft.
  • Distance to walk: 16 km/ 10 miles
  • Estimated walking time: 9 to 10 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Day 4: Paucarcancha – Llactapata – Kilometer 82 – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

We wake you up with a warm cup of coca tea and lovely breakfast in your tent. As we continue our relaxing morning, we hike just a short ways to tour the Inca site of Paucarcancha.

From Paucarcancha we will hike downhill through the beautiful mountains for 2 hours until we reach to Wilkaracay lookout. Here we will see the large Inca site, Llacatapata which is the first visited site of the those who are hiking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We will enjoy a historical lesson about this site, learning about Inca culture and the significance of Llacatapata.

We then continue hiking on the Classic Inca Trail, where we will see more people than we have been use to the last several days because at this point we will be hiking the Inca trail in reverse until the end of our trek at KM 82. Here at KM 82 we will enjoy lunch before we are picked up by a local van to make our way to the beautiful town of Ollantaytambo (2,792 m/9,158 ft.).

Ollantaytambo is an Incan town located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, surrounded by mountains and ruins in the mountain sides. We will be taking the afternoon train here from Ollantaytambo station through the mountains and high jungle to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town).

Once we arrive, we will check you into your comfortable hotel and enjoy dinner at the finest restaurant in town.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Lowest Elevation: 2,792 m/9,158 ft
  • Highest Elevation: 3,133m / 10,276 ft.
  • Distance to walk: 13 km/ 8 miles
  • Estimated walking time: 7 hours
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging

DAY 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

We wake early for the big day! We will have breakfast at the hotel and then take a 5:30 a.m. Bus up the mountain to Machu Picchu. We get there just in time to see the sunrise at the holy Inca Sanctuary. After being mesmerized by the Machu Picchu sunrise, we take a 2.5 hour walking tour. On our informative walking tour, you will learn about the significances of the numerous sacred sites, temples, and fountains.

Afterward, you are free to journey the beautiful Inca city on your own, climb to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) or up to Huayna Picchu Mountain (included in the trek package). When we are done exploring we catch the bus back to Aguas Calientes.

When in Aguas Calientes we board the expedition train back to Poroy. Here, a Peru Path representative will be waiting for you to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. The arrival time to Cusco is dependent on your train ticket.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft.
  • Highest Elevation: 2,430 m/ 7,972 ft.
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy


Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu Includes:

  • 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.
  • 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
  • Four breakfasts, four lunches, and four 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

Ancacocha Trek Not Includes:

  • Sleeping bag – you can rent one from us
  • Day 1 Breakfast
  • Day 5 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
  • Head lamp
  • Sunglasses and sun hat
  • Camera
  • Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us)
  • Insect repellent


Group Service

  • US $770 per Person

Private Service

  • US $830 per Person


  • 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



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


  • 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 5 – US $45
  • Private hotel room in Aguas Calientes

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