MOONSTONE TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 5D/4N
This extraordinary hike is our newest offering. We go out of our way to develop a rare route that is not used by any other Company. This hike has many features that aren´t found on other treks in the area.
First of all, it is named for the Moonstone, Quillarumiyoc in Quechua. This is one of the finest carved rock huacas in the vicinity of Cusco. From the Moon Stone we follow the footsteps of the Incas who built a high route from their capital city of Cusco westward through the rugged cordillera, and filled their empire with amazing temples and royal residences.
You will visit a rare, well-preserved pre Inca site as well as the longest Inca Canal built in the entire Empire. You will see the quarry where the stones from Ollantaytambo came from. Add to this an incredible Canyon, interactions with multiple small communities, red Mountains, the Huaracondo river, farms of quinoa, corn and potatoes, abundant alpacas and llamas, stunning views of Mount Veronica, snow capped glaciers and much more.
During four hiking days you cover 38 ½ km / 24 miles, starting at 3,257 m / 10, 682 ft, and finishing at 2,792 m / 9,158 ft above sea level. The high pass has an elevation of 4,625m / 15,170ft.
DAY 1: QUILLARUMIYOQ – VARPISO – HUATTA – CHILLIPAWA
We start the day with an early pick up from your hotel. We take a 1 hour drive to Quillarumiyoc (the Moon Temple). There we will explore all the religious sectors of the Incas. After the breakfast, we will drive a further 40 minutes to the trailhead, Varpiso (3,257 m / 10, 682 ft). Here we will meet our horses and horsemen. We will pack all the gear on to the horses and start the trek.
We cross a bridge over the Huaracondo River and then are off to this incredible, rarely visited región. This segment is 3 hours uphill. Then we arrive at Huatta (3,924 m / 12, 870 ft), a pre-Inca site. Huatta is a substantial pre-Inca fortress dominating the crest of a ridge. Archeologists currently excavating the site are revealing burial sites and occupation levels from the Formative Period (2,500 years ago), on through the enormous fortifications of the 4th century Regional Development period; a scattering of late-period Inca structures seems like an afterthought on the top of the highest hill. The site is classic: a defensible ridge with dominating three-way views along intersecting valleys. We will have lunch and a tour here.
In the afternoon we continue the trek for 3 hours of up and down sections. At that point we will arrive to our camp at the night, the hamlet of Chillipawa (3,750 m / 12,300 ft). As a side note, Chillipawa is the native village. You will experience remarkable Peruvian hospitality in this village.
Lowest Elevation: 3,256 m / 10, 682 ft
Highest Elevation: 3,924 m / 12, 870 ft
Distance to walk: 10 km
Approximate walking time: 7 to 8 hours
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Lodging: Camping at Chillipawa
DAY 2: CHILLIPAWA – PUCACCASA – CHANCACHUCO
This morning, you will be woken up with delectable Coca tea or heavenly local coffee. After that and your robust breakfast.The beginning of the trek is uphill for 4 hours. We will stop at a small glade for lunch (4,438 m / 14,557 ft).
Following the path, we have 1 hour more to go uphill to the high point of the trek, the Puccacasa pass (4,643 m / 15,229 ft). This is a very unique vantage point. On one side, you see Cusco and the Mountain Ausangate (6.372 m /20,900 ft), which is the tallest peak in the Urubamba Mountain Range. On the other side you have a close up view of Mount Veronica (5,882 ft / 19,096 ft). Mountain Veronica represents the end of the Urubamba Mountain range and its pyramidal shape makes it particularly impressive.
After we enjoy this astonishing view, we start our trek downhill to the camp. During this 2 hours stretch we will see abundant llamas, alpacas and potato farms. We will then arrive at our camp, Chancachuco (4,177 m / 13,700 ft) for the night, where we will enjoy a well earned bountiful dinner. We will have a gorgeous view of the Huaynay Glaciers.
Lowest Elevation: 3,750 m / 12,300 ft
Highest Elevation: 4,643 m / 15,229 ft
Distance to walk: 11 ½ km / 7 miles
Approximate walking time: 7 to 8 hours
Level of Difficulty: Challenging
Lodging: Camping at Chancachuco
DAY 3: CHANCACHUCO – PUNKUYUC – INCA CHANNEL – INCA QUARRY
Featuring a breath taking canyon, this is the most beautiful section of the trek. Additionally, this portion is part of an original Inca Trail. Since we a5 minutes of gentle up and down sections, until we reach our camp, the Inca Quarry (3,525 m/ 11,564 ft). We will have lunch at our camp.
We will have the remainder of the day to relax. We will have happy hour, a plentiful dinner and then enjoy the sunset over the Sacred Valley.
Lowest Elevation: 3,525 m/ 11,564 ft
Highest Elevation: 3,940 m/ 12,136 ft
Distance to walk: 10 km
Approximate walking time: 6 to 7 hours
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Lodging: Camping at the Inca Quarry
DAY 4: INCA QUARRY – OLLANTAYTAMBO – AGUAS CALIENTES
After another delectable breakfast, we begin a relaxed day where we will have ample opportunity to enjoy the sites between the Inca Quarry and Ollantaytambo. This is a rarely visited region and we will likely not encounter any other trekkers. This is an exceptional opportunity to see sites that others never have the chance to see. The hike is 3 hours downhill until we reach Ollantaytambo (2,792 m / 9,158 ft). We will have lunch in Ollantaytambo.
After lunch, we will catch the train to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes, you will check in to your hotel room. Since we will get to Aguas Calientes in the early afternoon, you will have plenty of time to relax, enjoy the town and visit the hot springs. Dinner will be at restaurant.
Lowest Elevation: 2,792 m / 9,158 ft
Highest Elevation: 3,525 m / 11,562 ft
Distance to walk: 7 km / 4 ½ miles
Approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours
Level of Difficulty: Easy
DAY 5: 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 a 2 hour walking tour of the site.
If you have booked to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain you will begin the hike at 10 AM, this ticket is a extra cost of 30 usd. If you are not climbing the mountain you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu before you return to Aguas Calientes by bus.
When you arrive in Aguas Calientes you will board the train to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo you will travel by private car to Cusco and we will drop you off at your hotel. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of your train ticket.
Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft
Highest Elevation: 2,440 m/ 8,052 ft
- Bilingual English speaking tour guide (additional tour guide for groups of nine people or more)
- Pre-Departure Briefing 1 or 2 days before your trek.
- Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Varpiso
- Four-person tent for every 2 people.
- Mattress and Pillow
- Kitchen tent
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Toilet tent
- Professional Chef and assistant chef
- Wranglers 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
- Five 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)
- Entrance to Machu Picchu
- Round trip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
SERVICES NOT INCLUDED:
- Sleeping bag – you can rent one from us
- Day 5 Lunch in Aguas Calientes
- Travel insurance
- Tips for the crew (guide, chef, wranglers)
- Ticket for Huayna Picchu mountain
- 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.