Espiritu Pampa Vilcabamba Trek (7 Days)

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Tour Details

Retrace the footsteps of Incas on this seven days Espiritu Pampa Vilcabamba Trek from Cusco. Vilcabamba Espiritu Pampa, played a major role in the final days of Inca civilisation. It was the last stronghold of the Inca Empire. 

In Quechua Vilcabamba means “The Sacred Plain”. The modern name is Espiritu Pampa which means “Plain of the Spirits”.

The Incas won the battle of Ollantaytambo in 1537 with the Spanish troops. However, due to Ollantaytambo’s close proximity to Cusco, Manco Inca II was certain that the Spaniards would invade Ollantaytambo again, with a much stronger force. He took refuge in the jungle in the high jungle region, Vitcos Rosaspata. Eventually he moved to Vilcabamba and named it as the capital of Neo Inca state in 1539. 

In 1572, the Spanish troops led by Martin Hurtado de Arbieto invaded the last capital of Incas. They then captures Tupac Amaru II, the last monarch of Incas and beheaded him in Cusco which marked the downfall of Incan empire. 

This seven days trek will take you through some remote Andean communities. Most of them are untouched with modernity. Espiritu Pampa Vilcabamba Trek offers a cultural and historical experience. 

On this trek, we will also be visiting a few other Inca sites. This includes Ñusta Hispana and Vitcos Rosaspata. Ñusta Hispana is a giant white rock which was sacred to Incas. 

You will also be trekking on the esteemed Qhapaq Ñan. It is an ancient royal Inca roadway which was abandoned after colonisation. 

Want to combine your Vilcabamba Trek with a visit to Machu Picchu? Check out our 05 Days Tour itinerary

Why Encuentros Peru Adventure?

On any treks with us, the one thing that will stand out is our passion for outdoors. We only employ certified local travel experts as guides. They have extensive knowledge and are passionate about the history of Incas. You will be having a fun-filled, safe and a memorable experience with us. 

On all tours, safety is of an utmost importance to us. We operate tours in small groups. This would let our guide explain things efficiently. Do check out our reviews on Tripadvisor.

Although the trek does not involve high altitude mountain passes, we highly recommend you to spend some time acclimatizing in Cusco to avoid altitude sickness.

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

0400 AM

Price Includes

  • Pre trek briefing
  • Pickup from your hotel in Cusco on the morning of trek.
  • Transport from Cusco to the trailhead in private car
  • Return private transport to Cusco at the end of the trip (from Phinaya)
  • 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 storage of backpacks.
  • 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
  • Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person).
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle

Price Excludes

  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Dinner on the last night
  • 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 to rent.
  • 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
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. You can buy them in Cusco for USD 1.
  • 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
  • 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 sterilising 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
  • Cash – sufficient for snacks and souvenirs.
  • Original passport
  • Walking sticks or poles
  • Sleeping Bag suitable for – 15deg

Day 1Cusco - Abra Malaga Pass - Huancacalle

We will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco at 0430 AM. Then in our private transport, we will embark on a six hours drive along the Sacred Valley of Incas to Huancacalle. 

On our way, we will have a brief stop at Abra Malaga Pass. It nestles at 4325 metres above sea level. This pass is the starting point of the Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu. 

After enjoying the birds eye view of the valley below, we will start descending to the cloud forest to Santa Maria. On this part of the route, we will be passing through regions popular for coffee plantations. 

We will then be on the road that leads to Quillabamba. We will be stopping at Huancacalle. It is at 2955 metres (9826 feet). Here we will be having lunch. 

After relishing on a typical lunch, we will hike to Vitcos Rosaspata. This is the place where the renowned Inca emperor, Manco Inca II was assassinated. Here our tour guide will be giving you a detailed tour and will be introducing you to the last days of Incan empire. 

We will then hike up to Ñusta Hispana rock. This giant white rock was sacred to Incas. After touring these sites, we will return to our campsite in Huancacalle. 

  • Cusco to Huancacalle drive: 7 Hours. 
  • Total hiking distance: 6 km / 3.7 miles
  • Duration of hike: 4 Hours. 
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
  • Maximum Altitude: 3630 metres / 11909 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 2954 metres / 9694 ft.

Day 2Huancacalle – Ututo

Our crew will be waking you up to a freshly brewed Peruvian coffee or tea. We will then serve breakfast. Then we will start hiking to Vilcabamba. 

We will begin with an uphill hike for three hours to Collpajasa Pass. It is at 3864 metres above sea level. This is the highest point of the Espiritu Pampa Vilcabamba Trek. You will have an enchanting view of the valley and Andean peaks from here. 

We will be descending from here on an ancient Inca road. Locally this roadway is known as Qhapaq Ñan. It was a part of the Royal Inca roadway system. 

Upon Spanish conquest, this was abandoned. Along the hike, we will have lunch on the banks of Pampacona River. 

Then we will be hiking to Ututo. It is a small village. We will be camping here. 

  • Total hiking distance: 20 km / 13.1 miles
  • Duration of hike: 10 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
  • Maximum Altitude: 3860 metres / 12664 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 2960 metres / 9711 ft.

Day 3Ututo - Huayna Pukara - Vista Alegre

We will be serving you a nutritious breakfast. Then we will start with a downhill hike to Huayna Pukara. It was the last point of resistance of Incas. Our guide will give you a detailed tour of the sector. 

After the tour, we will be crossing to the other side of the river on a wooden bridge. This bridge connects the communities that live on both sides of Locomayo and Chalca river. 

We will be then hiking through a path that was prominent to Incas. Our trek through the cloud forest will continue till we will reach Vista Alegre. Here we will be camping for the night. 

  • Total hiking distance: 14 km / 8.7 miles
  • Duration of hike: 7 Hours. 
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
  • Maximum Altitude: 2960 metres / 9711 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 2017 metres / 6617 ft.

Day 4Vista Alegre - Concebidayoq

Early in the morning we will serve you a typical breakfast. Then we will start the trail by retracing the footsteps of Incas. We will be on a section of the Inca roadway system where the Incas lived their final moments before seeking refuge deep in the jungle. 

On this section of trek, we will be passing through dense rainforest region. Here our guide will give you a tour of many native plants and typical birds. Eventually we will be reaching Concebidayoq. Here we will be spending the night. 

  • Total hiking distance: 16 Km. / 10.2 miles
  • Duration of hike: 7 hours.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks)
  • Maximum Altitude: 2017 metres/ 6617 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 1498 metres / 4915 ft.

Day 5Concebidayoq – Espiritu Pampa

This will be the most relaxing day of the seven days Vilcabamba Espiritu Pampa Trek. After breakfast, we will be hiking to Espiritu Pampa Vilcabamba archeological complex. We will be entering through the dense region of the complex. 

Once at the campsite, we will be leaving our belongings and will be visiting archaeological sites. Here, our guide will give you a detailed tour of the prime sectors of the complex. 

After a full day tour, we will be returning to the campsite for dinner. 

  • Total hiking distance: 5 Km. / 2.7 miles
  • Duration of hike: 2 hours.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks)
  • Maximum Altitude: 1498 metres / 4914 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 1449 metres / 4753 ft.

Day 6Espiritu Pampa - Serranuyos

Our crew will be waking you up to a freshly brewed coffee or tea. After breakfast, we will start with a five hours hike to Chihuankiry. We will be stopping for lunch here. 

After lunch we will be in our private transport to Seranuyos. It is a small community about 10 minutes away from Quillabamba. Here we will be camping for the night. 

  • Total hiking distance:: 8 Km. / 4.9 miles
  • Duration of hike: 3 hours.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks)
  • Maximum Altitude: 1449 metres / 4753 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 593 metres / 1945 ft.

Day 7Serranuyos - Cusco

We will be giving you a tour of a coffee farm after breakfast. The farmers here will explain the process. You can later try to brew some coffee or make hot chocolate. We will be visiting Chuyapy River. 

While our crew will organise your lunch, you may take a dip in the fresh clear waters of the lake. We will then embark on a six hours drive back to Cusco city. 

  • Shuttle to Cusco: 6 hours by bus from Serranuyos to Cusco.
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch.
  • Maximum Altitude: 2429 metres / 7972 ft.
  • Minimum Altitude: 2040 metres / 6692 ft.


3 Reviews
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Akash Dixit

Solo Traveller

I read a book forgotten Vilcabamba by Vincent Lee and ever since I wanted to visit Vilcabamba. I was planning on a solo trip and I am very thankful that I came across Encuentros Peru. It was a fantastic trip with everything organised exceptionally well.

March 11, 2020

Derek Whittacker

Solo Traveller

Totally recommend this tour and the tour company. I did this after my Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and it was more like a chronological way to retrace Incan footsteps. The guide made a big difference. He has so much of knowledge about Incas. This was well worth the time and money spent.

February 18, 2020

Patricia Dunkell

Couple Traveller

This was a trip of a lifetime. Me and my friend were inquisitive to discover more about Incan history. We did this tour with Jose Luis. He is an exceptional guide with an extensive knowledge about history and culture. I cannot recommend doing this tour enough.

February 3, 2020

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