Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu is an off the beaten track trek. It offers an experience of lifetime. On this five days trek from Cusco, you will be visiting the two prominent sites of Inca.
Filled with interesting history at every turn. You will be discovering many astonishing facts on this trek with our qualified local expert. The five days trek takes you to the ruins of Vitcos where Manco Inca II was killed. You will also be visiting Rosaspata and Nustahispana (Giant White Rock).
We can easily consider this as one of the best alternatives to Inca Trail. It is a combination of everything. You will be rewarded with sights of Inca ruins, typical flora and fauna of the region. You will also get an overview of the life of Incas and more.
Vilcabamba, the modern name is Espiritu Pampa was the last capital of Incas. It was founded in 1539 by Manco Inca II. After winning the battle of Ollantaytambo in 1537 against Spanish intruders, he moved to Vitcos Rosaspata. This was because of its closer proximity to Cusco.
He was certain that the Spanish troops would attack Ollantaytambo again with much force. Which they did and the Incas lost the beautiful village to Spanish rulers. He then moved to Vilcabamba in 1539 and declared it as the capital of Neo- Inca state.
Much like Machu Picchu and Choquequirao, the complex of Vilcabamba too is quite impressive. It was in 1572 when the Spanish troops, led by Spanish Viceroy Francisco de Toledo invaded. They captured the Inca emperor, Tupac Amaru, the last monarch of Incas.
This marked an end to Inca civilization. Fearing more attacks, they abandoned the city and moved elsewhere. In 1911, the renowned American explorer, Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu. He was on a mission to discover Vilcabamba.
Many archaeologists and explorers tried and some did discover a part of the last capital of Incas. However the major discovery was made after an extensive work by Vincent Lee. He gave a detailed information in his book Forgotten Vilcabamba in 2000.
Machu Picchu the renowned site of Incas was built during the rule of Pachacutec. It was built as his royal estate and was home to some 750 families. Most of them were working for the royal family.
Unlike most royal estates which are passed in the line of succession. Machu Picchu was used just for 80 years and was later abandoned. This was upon the Spanish invasion.
The citadel depicts impressive Incan engineering. The agricultural terraces here were built on a slope of the hill to protect the citadel from landslides.
If you are inquisitive to know more about Incas we highly recommend this five days hike from Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu.
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 tour 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.
This trek involves high altitude mountain passes. We highly recommend you to spend some time in Cusco to avoid altitude sickness.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
We will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco at 0500 AM. Then in our private transport, we will be driving you through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo. Here we will be stopping for breakfast.
We will then continue driving upto Abra Malaga (Malaga Pass). This is the starting point of Inca Jungle Trek. You will have an enchanting view of the valley from here.
Then it is a short drive down to Chaullay. It is a remote farming village. From here we will drive you on the Quillabamba road to Huancacalle. Here we will be serving you lunch.
After lunch, we will be starting the Vilcabamba Trail. We will be visiting the renowned Inca sires, Vitcos Rosaspata and Ñustahispana (White Rock). Our local expert will be explaining the prominence of each site.
Later in the afternoon, we will be hiking on the Qhapaq Nan (Original Inca Highway) to our campsite in Pillaupata.
We will be waking you up to a hearty breakfast. Then we will start hiking to Asutina Pass (3915 metres | 12840 feet). Along the way, we will be passing through many flora and fauna. Our guide will be explaining the use of native plantations that we will be encountering along the way.
From the pass, you will get a panoramic view of the whole area. We will be ten continuing the trek to Pillaukasa. This is another point in the trek which offers stunning views. Depending on how we progress, we will be camping for the night either at Racachaca or Hatunpampa.
We will be serving you a nutritious breakfast. We will then start with an uphill hike for around three hours to Yanacoccha Pass (4420 metres). From here we will be descending a bit and then hike up to Tullutacana (3340 meters).
We will then be continuing onward to Mujun Pass. It is at (3340 meters / 10,955 feet). This part of the trek is the most challenging of the five days’ experience.
Hiking through the beauty and tranquility of nature, we will breaching Mutuypata. We will be camping here for the night.
We will start the day after a nice breakfast. Hiking through the lush tropical plantations we will reach a remote village, Yanatile. From here we will be boarding our transport. We will be then driving you through Santa Teresa to Hidro Eletrica station.
We will be serving you lunch upon reaching. After lunch, you will be retracing the footsteps of Hiram Bingham III when he rediscovered Machu Picchu. You will be hiking for three hours along the railway lines to Aguas Calientes town.
You will be staying in a comfortable basic ensuite hotel room for the night. Later at night we will be meeting at a local restaurant for dinner. Here our guide will be briefing on the following days tour.
We will be starting the day quite early. You will be taking the bus to Machu Picchu citadel. Upon reaching, our guide will meet you. We will assist you in passing through the security control.
Once inside the citadel, we will be giving you a complete two hours guided tour of Machu Picchu. You will be visiting prominent sites like the main square, farming terraces, remains of temples and more.
After the tour, you will have some time to explore the citadel on your own. If you have booked to climb Huayna Picchu mountain, our guide will indicate the entrance.
You will then be taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes town. From here, you will be boarding the train to Ollantaytambo. Our local representative will be meeting you here and will drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.
I have recently returned from an amazing trip to Peru, walking the Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu. It was a wonderful experience, made all the more special by Encuentros Peru. They added a whole new dimension to our trek, with their tremendous knowledge of Inca history.
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and organized and the trip couldn’t have been more amazing and perfect! I have traveled all over and have had various tour guide experiences and he is by far the best I’ve experienced! I highly recommend traveling with Encuentros Peru for any tours or adventures your planning in Peru!!!