INCA QUARRY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 4D/3N
The Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu (also known by the names Cachiqata, Soqma and Chaski Trek) is a unique trek that remains off the beaten path. It is a great trek for those who want an immersive experience for learning Inca history and getting a first hand look at life in the high Andes. The trek was recently included in the top six Alternative treks to Machu Picchu by National Geographic.
In addition to all the amazing scenery, flora, and fauna, you will visit the Perolniyoc Inca site, several small communities in the region and the Cachiqata quarry. The Cachiqata quarry is where the stones were carved to build Ollantaytambo. You can still see rocks that were cut by the stone masons in the Inca times.
After three days of hiking you will make your way to Aguas Calientes by train. On the fourth day you will visit the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu.
DAY 1: CUSCO – SOQMA – RAYAN
We leave 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 Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu and where we meet the horsemen that will join us during the hike.
We begin the hike with a 2 hours walk to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout. This is a perfect opportunity to stop for photos and eat our snack. The waterfall that you will see at this location is breathtaking. We will then hike a further 35 minutes until we visit the Inca site of the same name, where we will have a brief tour. This place will be our lunch site. After we will ascend 45 minutes until our camp at Rayan (3,700 meters/12,136 ft).
Minimum altitude: 3,205 m/ 10,512 ft
Maximum altitude: 3,700 m/ 12,136 ft
Distance to walk: 8 km/5 miles
Approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours
Area: Dry Mountain
DAY 2: RAYAN – INTI PUNKU – CHOQUETACARPO
After an early breakfast, we ascend 3 hours to the first pass of the trek, known as Puccaqasa (4,370 m/ 14,333 ft). At the top of the pass, there are incredible views of the Sacred Valley. This is a perfect place to take pictures.
Then we head downhill for 25 minutes to our lunch location. After lunch, we hike 2 hours with alternating ascents and descents. The final 20 minutes of this segment will take us uphill to the highest pass of the trek, Kuychicassa (4,457 m/ 14,619 ft)
From here we will go down for 3 hours to the inca site called Inti Punku, (meaning Sun Gate), where there is a spectacular view of Mount Veronica (5,682 m/ 18,637 ft) and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Our campsites is 30 minutes downhill from Inti Punku at Choquetacarpo (3,600m/ 11,808 ft).
Minimum altitude: 3,600 m/ 11,808 ft
Maximum altitude: 4,457 m/ 14,619 ft
Distance to walk: 13 km/ 8 miles
Approximate walking time: 8 to 9 hours
DAY 3: CHOQUETACARPO – OLLANTAYTAMBO – AGUAS CALIENTES
We will have an early breakfast and then walk one hour downhill to the Cachiqata quarry (3,525 m/ 11,562 ft), where we observe the location where stones were cut for Ollantaytambo. We will have a tour and talk about how you can still see remains of stone work that was interrupted by the Spanish conquest.From the quarry we descend for 3 hours until we reach Ollantaytambo (2,840 m / 9,315 ft). We will have lunch in Ollantaytambo.
In the afternoon we travel by train to Aguas Calientes. When we arrive you will check in to your hotel room. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to spend a late afternoon/early evening if time is available before dinner. Dinner will be at the finest restaurant.
Minimum altitude: 2,840 m / 9,315 ft
Maximum altitude: 3,525 m/ 11,562 ft
Distance to walk: 11 km/ 7 miles
Approximate walking time: 4 hours
DAY 4: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
You will have breakfast at your hotel before we take a very early bus (5:30am) along the winding road to Machu Picchu to see the magnificent sunrise. Once there you will be given at 2 hour walking tour of the site.
If you have reserved to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain (the price of this is not included in your Inca Quarry Trek price), you will begin the hike at 10 AM. If you are not climbing the mountain you will have free time to explore the site, hike to the Sun Gate, or hike to the Inca Bridge before your return to Aguas Calientes by bus. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes you will board the train to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo you will travel by private van to Cusco and we will drop you off at your hotel. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of your train ticket.
Maximum altitude: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft
Minimum altitude: 2,440 m/ 8,052 ft
INCLUDED DURING INCA QUARRY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU:
- 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 trek.
- Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Soqma
- Four-person tent for every 2 people.
- Sleeping pads
- Kitchen tent
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Toilet tent
- Muleteers and horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc.)
- Horse to transport 5 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.
- Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- One night hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)
- Entrance to Machu Picchu
- Round trip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Sleeping bag – you can rent one from us
- Day 1 Breakfast
- Day 4 Lunch in Aguas Calientes
- Ticket for Huayna Picchu mountain ( $ 30 USD )
- Tips for the crew (guide, chef, wranglers)
- Extra mule to carry your things
- Sleeping Bag – US$20 per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
- Air Mattress – US$20 per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
- Walking Poles – US$15 per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
- Personal Tent – US $30 (Tent for single trekkers only)
- Vistadome Train Upgrade – US$57 per person (For the return to Cusco)
- Huayna Picchu Mountain – US$35 per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
- Machu Picchu Mountain – US$30 per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS (these discounts are not cumulative)
Students: US$ 30.00 (students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please beware that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
Teenagers: US$ 20.00 (up to 15 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
Children: US$ 45.00 (up to 10 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
TO MAKE A BOOKING
You will need to email us to check availability, receive booking forms and then make your deposit. For our payment conditions and booking please refer to our Make a Booking page.
For organisational reasons, we require one week to organise your booking, prior to departure.
YOU SHOULD BRING:
- 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. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
- 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.
- Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)
- 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
- Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
- 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 sterilizing 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
- Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs )
- Cash – sufficient for snacks, tips and souvenirs.
- Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
- Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day)
- Binoculars (if you have them)
- Because of the strict regulations of the Machupicchu Park, once you have made your reservation, you cannot cancel the space that you have reserved. You also may not alter the name or date of the reservation. If you are unable to come on the date you have reserved, we cannot reimburse you.
- The $200 deposit is non-refundable. We cannot reimburse the entrance fee to the Inca Trail because the permits are non-refundable and ECO PATH TREK purchases the tickets from Machupicchu Park when you reserve your spot.
- If you cancel between 30 and 10 days before your trek, you must pay 50% of the total cost.
- If you cancel between 10 and 3 days before your trek, you must pay 80% of the total cost.
- If you cancel one or two days before your trek, you must pay 100% of the total cost.
- In the exceptional case that you decide to head back once you have started the trail, you must pay extra expenses such as food and transportation. You may join the group in Machupicchu for the walking tour and use all of the services onward.