The Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes is a spectacular trail that remains off the beaten path even given its close proximity to the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
The Ancascocha Trek (often called the Super Inca Trail or even the Hidden Inca Trail), a far more strenuous, yet less traveled and more rewarding path. The trek takes roughly five or six days wandering through traditional villages like Usutapampa and its lake names Ancascocha at 12,795 feet.
Along the way, it humps over big passes, including a high point of roughly 16,000 feet on Inca Chiriaska, and takes in views of towering 20,551-foot Salcantay.
The itinerary below is a sample. Hiking times are an average and will vary depending on the group. Additionally, lunch and camp sites may change to meet the needs of the group and conditions.
Before the trek, your guide will meet you at your hotel for an in-depth briefing. This provides an opportunity to ask questions and do any last-minute shopping before leaving Cusco.
We drove for an hour and a half from the city of Cusco to Limatambo, part of the Usutacancha community, in the quiet valley of Sondorf.
Here our horsemen and horses will be here waiting for us, they are in charge of carrying the equipment along the route.
We gently begin to ascend the Lechería valley, along to the river of the same name and across fields of crops and livestock. The road becomes steeper until you reach a narrow and damp area which gives shelter to a spectacular Queuñas forest, Andean native tree.
After crossing the forest, the valley opens up again and we move to Huascapampa area where our chef will be waiting with a delicious lunch. We continue to our camp at Quewllacocha, a quiet area on the high Andean plain.
At night, we will have on us, a sky full of stars.
5-6 hours walking, 3000-4000mt.
Today is a spectacular day and the most demanding of the entire route.
We continue our ascent by the Andean highlands to cross two mountain passes, the first step of Accojasa (4700mt.) where the snowy peaks of Huayanay give us a spectacular welcoming surprise, rewarding gift after a challenging ascent.
After passing Huayanay(4600mt), second and last path of the route, we begin the descent for the rest of the walk, and arrive to the base of Mount Huayanay. We will take advantage of this beautiful place to have lunch near the glacier of this mountain.
Then we continue down into the valley of Ancascocha, with a spectacular view of Lake Ancascocha and the snowy mountains that surround it, original traces of an ancient Inca trail, among other beautiful natural scenery. This is an area of condors and hopefully we can see some flying.
We will continue a little further to reach our camp close to Ancascocha Lake (400mt), where a rest and a delicious happy hour will be waiting.
5-6 hours walking, 4000-4700mt.
Today we descend continuously until the end of the tour.
We leave the arid highlands to get us into a lush valley full of exquisite and abundant Andean flora, hummingbirds and hopefully, flock of parrots. We will see the confluence of three rivers and suddenly Nevado Veronica will surprise us with its spectacular beauty and awesome presence.
Gradually, the valley becomes a narrow canyon leading Sillque the river towards the village Camincancha in the Chilca valley, final point of the trek where we will catch a delicious dinner.
Here our transportation will be waiting to take us to the town of Ollantaytambo, where we board the train to Aguas on to the comforts of your hotel.
4-5 hours walking, 4700-2900mt.
After enjoying the tourist amenities of Aguas Calientes and getting a full night’s sleep at a hotel, we catch one of the first buses to Machu Picchu in order to see the awe-inspiring view of the ruins at sunrise.
After a two-hour guided tour, you will have free time to climb Huayna Picchu, explore the city, or simply relax. In the early afternoon we take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes where you catch the train to Cusco.
While not as difficult as some treks, the trek traverses two passes over 4500m. Trekkers should be in good physical condition and acclimated by spending at least a few days at Cusco (3400) or similar before attempting the trek. Additionally, weather and trail conditions can vary. Temperatures range from warm and humid to below freezing.
Trekkers should be prepared for changes to the itinerary and to meet unexpected challenges with an open-mind and sense of adventure. Climbing Huayna Picchu is an excellent addition to a trip to Machu Picchu. Entrance to Huayna Picchu is limited and at scheduled times; visitors must sign up for a spot in advance. If you would like to consider doing the climb, it is important to book it in advance.
US$810.00 per person
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