The Inca Quarry Trek was named by National Geographic’s as one of the top 6 alternative treks to Machu Picchu. This trek brings the beauties of the Andes with an experience truly immersed in history.
You will enjoy a trek less travelled, meaning routes and campsites with less crowds and more tranquility. Throughout, you will be surrounded by the vibrant and stunning flora and fauna and the towering and powerful Apus (mountain spirits).
You will visit the Perolniyoc Inca site, the Cachicata quarry, and several small communities in the region. Of course, you will end up at the magnificent Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu and enjoy an extensive tour of the citadel. Throughout the trek you will enjoy catered food prepared by our trekking chef, a one-night stay in one of the lovely hotels in Aguas Calientes, and a scenic and comfortable train ride to and from Machu Picchu.
Overall distance hiked: 32 km/ 20 miles
Starting altitude: 3,205 m / 10,512 ft.
Maximum altitude: 4,457 m/ 14,619 ft.
Overall trek difficulty: Moderate
Our professional tour guide will provide a pre-trek briefing from your Classic 4 day Classic Inca Trail Trek before starting the hike to review the day-by-day itinerary and discuss any questions that you may have about hiking the Inca Trail. We highly recommend spending at least two full days or more in Cusco before starting the Inca Trail. This will help you to adjust to the altitude of the Area and be prepared for the physical demands of the Inca Trail hike.
We will pick you up at your hotel early in the morning and drive 2 hours through the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas to Soqma (3,205 m/ 10,512 ft.), a small community close to Ollanaytambo. Then we take our first steps on the Inca Quarry Trail. We start with an hour uphill walk to the Perolniyoc Cascade lookout. Here you will view a gorgeous waterfall and take advantage of the many photo opportunities.
From the waterfall, we will embark on another 1 hour walk to the Inca site of Perolniyoc where we will have a guided tour and have free time to explore and enjoy this fascinating place.
We then adventure through beautiful fields of corn and quinoa, amidst the Andean Mountains, all while experiencing variant Andean wildlife and landscape. We make our way to the lovely village of Rayan (3,700 m/ 12,136 ft.), a small and close knit community.
Here we set up camp here for the night, share food and make memories with locals and one another. Today is a light day of hiking as we rest and rejuvenate for tomorrow’s longer hike!
We rise early preparing for a long and gorgeous day with a nourishing breakfast and hot coca tea. We set out up the valley reaching the first pass and highest part of our trek, Kuychiccasa Pass (4,457 m/ 14,619 ft.) Along the trek today we will be gifted with the pleasant aromas of muña, Andean mountain mint, which makes a beautiful tea. We will venture through fields, where despite elevation, the local people with ingenuity and skill still grow an abundance of food.
Altogether, this is approximately a 4 hour climb through the pass to once in a lifetime views. Once to the top we will take a break, soak in the surrounding views and take photos. Surrounding us will be the Sacred Valley of the Incas on one side and to the other the Chancachuco Valley.
Then we descend for 1 hour to find our lunch spot for the day. We enjoy a well-deserved lunch prepared by our trek chef and after a rest, it is mostly even terrain from here! We will see interesting geological developments looking similar to burial mounds, however, they are rock deposits dating back from the Ice Age. Whoa!
In the afternoon, we will hike 2 hours to visit the Inca site, Intipunku, the Sun Gate. These are gorgeous ruins sitting on top the mountain and all around us will be snow-capped mountains and views looking down into the valley.
After 30 minutes more of hiking we finally arrive at the Inca quarry of Cachicata (3,600 m/ 11,808 ft.), our home for the night. We unpack and settle in and enjoy a lovely dinner, cozy up and relax in our tents after a day with many accomplishments!
We welcome in the day with a beautiful sunrise and a hot cup of tea. Then it is time to explore Cachicata! We will have a guided tour, learning about the history and appreciating the architectural beauty of this site. This extensive area was a quarry once used by the Inca to aid in the construction of Ollantaytambo.
Then we make our way down to Ollantaytambo (2,840 m / 9,315 ft.), a beautiful town in the valley with ruins perched atop the surrounding mountains. We hop on the train and travel from valley to high jungle to Aguas Calientes (aka Machu Picchu town).
Once we arrive at Aguas Calientes, we will check you into a comfortable and lovely hotel. After you will have time to explore the town, there are shops, the river, and the hot springs. The natural hot springs are a perfect way to relax after all the trekking and rejuvenate before Machu Picchu. At the end of the evening we enjoy dinner at the best restaurant in town.
After a great night’s rest and breakfast at the hotel, we catch the early bus (5:30 a.m.) to Machu Picchu. As we drive up the mountain through cloud forest we reach Machu Picchu to welcome the sun and our tour guide. We will enjoy a 2 hour guided tour, visiting numerous significant sites and learn of the incredible ingenuity of the Incas.
After the tour you will have time to explore on your own or climb Huayna Picchu Mountain (ticket included in your trekking package). If you choose to hike Huayna Picchu, it is a 45 minutes uphill climb to another beautiful ruins site and a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu below.
Once we have finished our exploration of the sacred citadel we head back down the mountain by bus and catch the afternoon train to Poroy train station. In Poroy, a Peru Path representative will be there to warmly welcome you and bring you back to your hotel in Cusco by private van.
Included during Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu:
What to bring: