MOONSTONE TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS
With Inca Trail permits running out earlier than ever and 500 people starting the trail most days during peak season, we are delighted to be able to offer a fantastic alternative trek that can be substituted into most of our Inca Trail trips. This is an isolated route with unexplored ruins, discovery at every turn and great mountain views ,an excellent introduction to high Andean trekking.
The trek starts in a quiet, rural valley between Cuzco and the Sacred Valley and finishes in Ollantaytambo, only seven miles upstream from the start of the Inca Trail. It passes through seldom-visited Andean villages, Inca and pre-Inca ruins and heads onto a beautiful altiplano plateau surrounded by glaciated peaks. Most groups won’t encounter any other tourists for the entire trek and the combination of stunning mountain scenery and wildlife, fascinating relics and real isolation is truly rewarding.}
DAY 1: CUSCO / KILLARUMIYUC / CHILLIPAWA
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we will pick you up from your hotel in our private van and head to the Pampa de Anta (3,391 m.a.s.l.). After an hour of the journey, we will stop at the sacred Inca Killarumiyuc (in the Quechua language) or Moonstone sanctuary. It is an ancient temple dedicated to the deity of femininity. The site is not only an age-perfect design but also includes areas of cultivation systems and the moon cult became a sacred area for the people of the Andes. We continue to our trailhead by the Huaracondo River where it drains the western edge of the plain, and meet our trail crew, who arrive from nearby communities. We will observe valleys, mountains, archaeological sites, and the impressive Inca city of Wata, an important pre-Inca fortress that dominates the crest of a hill at 3,855 meters. We will visit the city, admired for its strategic location, before going uphill to Chillipawa (3,750 m.a.s.l.), the village where we spend the night. We will also have the opportunity to participate in the daily life of the local people.
Distance: 10.5 Km.
Walking Hours: 7-8 hours
Low Altitude: 3331 m. /10928 Ft.
High Altitude: 3750 m. / 12303 Ft.
Campsite Altitude: 3750 m. / 12303 Ft.
DAY 2 CHILLIPAWA / CHANCACHUCO
After breakfast we will start our trek. We climb gradually through fields and glades of the indigenous Chachacomo tree, in a landscape of pastures and small fields clinging to the steep mountainsides. Wherever there is water, we find an Andean family compound of adobe and straw. On the way, we will find indigenous villages that still keep the Incas ancient traditions regarding agriculture, religion, music, language, and others. Then we will continue on our way up to the Accoccasa Pass (4,625 m.a.s.l.). Here we will enjoy a breathtaking view of the immense, snowy peaks. We will feel the full extent of the Andean sky with its’ cold, dry air. Later we will enjoy an easy descent to reach our camp in the spacious Chancachuco Valley (4,350 m.a.s.l.), opposite of the glaciers of the Cordillera Huaynay.
Distance: 8.8 Km.
Walking Hours: 6-7 hours
Low Altitude: 3750 m. /12303 Ft.
High Altitude: 4625 m. / 15173 Ft.
Campsite Altitude: 4350 m. / 14271 Ft.
DAY 3 CHANCACHUCO / CACHICCATA QUARRY
After breakfast, we will descend gradually into the upper valley. Along the way we will see the headwork of an Incan aqueduct, now-abandoned Inca aqueduct which transported water from the Chancachuco valley north to supply the otherwise-arid north-facing slopes above Ollantaytambo. While we descend through a flower-filled notch in the valley wall, on the mountainside above us we can glimpse traces of the original stonework, testimony to the extraordinary engineering in the project. We reach our final pass (3,940m/12,923’) and visit a spectacular ridge-top Inca shrine called Huayrapunku (Gate of the Wind), with an astonishing view towards Nevado Veronica (5,682m/18,637ft) directly across the valley. After that, we will descend into the valley and the climate will become semi-tropical.The site offers unsurpassed views to the terraces and temple site of the royal town of Ollantaytambo, over 4,000 feet below us. Constructed in the 15th century by the Inca emperor Pachacutec, the town was an important administrative and religious center. Then we will continue with the hike and reach Cachiccata (3,525 m), a large terrace at the edge of a huge quarry with the same name. This was an Inca city inhabited by hundreds of architects and workers of the empire. Buildings used for administration, housing, terraces, burial chambers, and irrigation canals can be found in Cachiccata. We spend the night in this place.
Distance: 11.8 Km.
Walking Hours: 8-9 hours
Low Altitude: 3,525 m. /11,564 Ft.
High Altitude: 3,940 m. / 12,926 Ft.
Campsite Altitude: 3,525 m. / 11,564 Ft.
DAY 4 CACHICCATA / OLLANTAYTAMBO / AGUAS CALIENTES
After breakfast, we will start our trek to Ollantaytambo (2,792 m.a.s.l.). Along the way we will descend a wide Incan road, through the area of the quarries. Then we will continue downhill, crossing the Vilcanota River and finally arriving at the famous Sun Temple in Ollantaytambo. We will have time to explore the village and the temple before taking the train that will take us to Aguas Calientes (2,040 m.a.s.l) in the afternoon. Once we get to Aguas Calientes, we will check in to our hotel where we will spend the night.
Distance: 9 Km.
Walking Hours: 6-7 hours
Low Altitude: 2792 m. / 9160 Ft.
High Altitude: 2040 m. / 6692 Ft.
DAY 5 AGUAS CALIENTES / MACHU PICCHU / CUSCO
We will get up early in the morning, eat our breakfast, then you will take the bus towards Machu Picchu. There we will have a guided tour that will take approximately takes 2 hours and then you have a free time to explore by yourself another áreas like Sun gate , Inca Bridge. If you booked in advance you will climb up Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain. The maximun time to stay in the citadel according the new regulations is until middday for the first Schedule. If you like to stay more time you have to buy 2 tickets, because the second group is from 13:00 pm to 17:00 pm.
After you finish with your visit, you will return to Aguas Calientes. In the city you can enjoy amenities like lunch, and later in the afternoon is the train back towards Ollantaytambo town, there will pick up our transfer , so you will arrive to the small plaza of San Francisco wich is very close of Cusco’s dowtown.
What’s Included on Moonstone Trail Tour Package?
- Professional English/Spanish/Quechua speaking tour guide
- Predparture briefing.
- Pick up from your hotel
- Four-person tent for every 2 people
- Sleeping mattress
- Kitchen tent , Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Toilet tent
- Professional Chef
- Horsemen and horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc)
- Horse to transport 5kg of your personal gear
- Duffle bag for your personal gear
- Emergency horse
- 05 Breakfast , 04 Lunch, 04 Dinner
- Daily drinking water
- Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit
- Train ticket from Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo
- One-night hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)
- Entrance to Machu Picchu
- One way bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Sleeping bag ( you can rent at the office $ 20 usd )
- Trekking poles ( you can rent at the office $ 15 usd)
- Huaynapicchu Mountain ( $ 30 usd )
- Extra drinks like sodas, beer, pisco
- Personal horse to ride every day during the trekking
- Travel insurance
- Tips for the crew ( cook, horsemen, guide )
- Solo fee – private tent and hotel room (US$75)
PACKLIST FOR THE TREK:
- Original Passport ( If you get a new one while the time after the booking, please bring both)
- Original and validity student cad of the college or university if applicable.
- Daypack for personal items
- Trekking Clothes (trekking boots, warm fleece jacket, long sleeve tops, t-shirts, socks, sun hat, thermal underwear, light long pants, gloves, poncho, rain jacket, beanie)
- Personal Toiletries, toilet paper, small towel, moist towelettes, personal medications
- Sun block
- Head lamp or flashlight
- Two 1 litre water bottled or 2 litre water reservoir
- Bug repellent
- Extra money for drinks & tips, souvenirs etc in soles
- 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.