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Ancascocha Trek 5D

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Why Book With Us?

  • High quality, personalized experience from start to finish
  • Unique, off-the-beaten track routes
  • Experienced staff
  • Verified sustainability practices
  • $20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Threads of Peru

Martina Puma Ccama – Chaullacocha

Handy in the Andes

handy in the andes

  • Want to give back while on vacation? Do some good while having a blast and join us on one of our Clean Up Treks!                                                                                                  Read More


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5 Days / 4 Nights
Availability : We depart any day during dry season with 2 people. Not available Dec-March.
Machu Picchu
Difficulty : ★★★★ Challenging
Adventure : ★★★★ Very adventurous
Solitude : ★★★★ Remote
Min Age : 8
Max People : 12
h per day

Ever wanted to hike to Machu Picchu with nothing but clean mountain air and gorgeous vistas to accompany you? Then the  5D Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu is for you! This Ancascocha trek combines amazing history, spectacular vistas and a glimpse of modern day Andean life. You’ll trek through high Andean Quechua farming villages, pass jewel-like glacial lakes, and camp in the shadows of the region’s most impressive peaks, from Salkantay to Humantay and Huaynanay, and more.

Walk along less-travelled Inca trails, no less impressive in their ingenuity and historical significance on a route that formerly connected the Incan sites of Limatambo, Mollepata, Machu Picchu, Choquequirao and Chinchaysuyo, to reach the impressive Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu.

This isolated Ancascocha trek is a true adventure for those craving a chance to commune with nature as they hike the real Andes on their way to Machu Picchu.

What to Expect on the 5D Ancascocha Trek

A chance to experience the Andes in their full splendor without the clamber of a multitude of trekkers. The Ancascocha Trek is a high altitude trek with multiple high passes, rocky terrain, turquoise lakes and snow-capped peaks. You can also expect to see traditional stone houses belonging to local farming villages, some Inca ruins, and a bit of Andean wildlife. And of course, Machu Picchu on Day 5!


Prices are per person in USD, based on group size. We do not have fixed-date group departures. If you do not want to book a private trek, please see our Trekkers Wanted page for a list of open departures within your dates.

2 people


4-6 people


7-8 people


9-12 people


What is Included?

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of the Ancascocha Trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
  • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
  • Cook and cooking equipment, plus assistants for larger groups.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary. Our professional cooks prepare a combination of traditional Peruvian and Western cuisine. Talk to your guide if you have certain preferences! Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. When served, salads are washed in boiled water.
  • Toilet tent
  • Horses and horsemen, who carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7kg/15lbs per person).
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
  • Tents for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
  • Train ticket (Vistadome service) from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes
  • Lunch on the last day.
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a nice, clean and safe Standard Hotel with breakfast included and private bathroom.
  • For greater comfort, consider upgrading your hotel.

What is Not Included?

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Dinner on the last night.
  • Entrance to the hot springs at Aguas Calientes.
  • Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain entry fees. Must be requested at time of booking.
  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters
  • Additional horses for your personal luggage

You Should Bring

    See What To Bring for our comprehensive recommendations on what to pack for your trek. Note that this trek is particularly cold. Make sure you have enough very warm layers with you! For more great suggestions, check out our blog about How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru.

Optional Extras & Upgrades

    We offer you the opportunity to personalize your trek and make your experience more comfortable through our Optional Extras and Upgrades. All options are available during the reservation process; please ask your sales consultant for more information.

    • Extra horse to carry luggage exceeding the allowed 7kg (15lbs) per person
    • Extra horse for you to ride, and horseman to lead it
    • Sleeping Bag suitable for -5˚C
    • Deluxe sleeping bag suitable for -15˚C
    • Light-weight aluminum walking stick. Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
    • Thermarest inflatable mattress
    • Thermarest inflatable pillow
    • Single-occupancy tent supplement
    • Comfort Camping Upgrade
    • Aguas Calientes Hotel Upgrade
    • Extra Day at Machu Picchu
    • If you’d like to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain , let us know at the time of booking as it requires a separate permit.
    • If you’d like more flexibility in your return travel to Cusco, consider upgrading to the Vistadome train (Executive Class) for an extra $30 per person. This upgrade must be requested at time of booking.


    • When calculating the cost of renting equipment, calculate using the length of the entire trip, not just the number of trekking days.
    • Please be careful with rented equipment! You are responsible for the cost of replacement if something is damaged or broken.
    • Any upgrades or trip extensions must be requested at time of booking.

Available Discounts

  • Students: USD $30 off. A valid student card which clearly shows the expiry date must be presented upon booking.
  • Youth 12-17: 5% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 5-11: 15% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 0-4: Free. A valid passport must be presented upon booking. Children under 4 will not count towards the total number of guests in a group. This discount does not apply to train fares. Children under 2 will not be considered to occupy a seat on any train or bus, and instead must ride on a parent’s lap.

Trekkers Wanted

    Want to join a trek? Ready to confirm a departure date of your own, but interested in having others join you? Then Trekkers Wanted is for you! Our innovative Trekkers Wanted system matches people up who are interested in hiking the same trek, bringing costs down and multiplying the fun for everyone! Read More about Trekkers Wanted, post your trek or search for confirmed departures!

Important Info

  • Each guide has their own preferred route and so the route you trek might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
  • The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group, and the guide may change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group.
  • The Ancascocha trek is tough and should not be done as a “first time ever trek.” Most trekkers find that it is harder than they expected. If you do not have prior trekking experience, you should not attempt this trek. You should be well acclimatized, fit and hardy!
  • Trek conditions vary according to the season. In the dry season the trail can be dusty; in the wet season, it can be slippery and muddy. Apus Peru takes no responsibility for trail conditions, as it is directly related to the weather.
  • This trek includes transportation by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo on the Expedition service (Tourist Class), followed by bus transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco. Train times are variable and according to availability. If you’d like more flexibility in your return travel to Cusco, consider upgrading to the Vistadome train (Executive Class) for an extra $30 per person. This upgrade must be requested at time of booking.

Ready to Book?

    Does this trek sound like just what you were looking for? If you’re ready to book or just want to find out a bit more information, fill out the Inquiry Form in the top right-hand corner of this page to get the ball rolling. You’ll be connected with one of our amazing sales people who will be able to turn your dream of hiking in the Andes into a reality. For more information on the entire booking process, please see our How To Book page.

Day 1Mollepata - Soraypampa - Salkantaypampa - Pampa Japonesa

    We pick you up from your hotel in our private transport and drive for approximately 3 hours to Mollepata (2870m / 9416 ft) where we will have the opportunity to buy a few last-minute snacks and supplies. From here, we continue another hour to Soraypampa (3840m / 12,598 ft) where we’ll begin to walk. After hiking through fields and pastoral villages, we’ll have lunch around Salkantaypampa which is also the starting point for the popular Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. Once we’re good and rested, we begin a long afternoon, hiking several hours until we reach our campsite at Pampa Japonesa (4600m / 15,092 ft), at the base of snow-capped Salkantay (6264m / 20,551 ft) and Humantay (5217m / 17,116 ft) mountains. You must be well-acclimatized as this is a very high campsite and expect cold conditions for the night.

    Total Walking Distance – 6km
    Total Walking Time – 5h
    Minimum Altitude – 2870m / 9416 ft / Maximum Altitude – 4600m / 15,092 ft
    Altitude of camp – 4600m / 15,092 ft
    Approx. night temperature: -15˚C (5˚F) (June)

Day 2Pampa Japonesa - Inka Chiriaska - Millpo - Yahuarmaky

    After a nourishing breakfast to get us ready for the day ahead, we start the day’s hike where several high passes await us. First up is Inca Chiriaska at an astounding 4959m (16,270 ft) from where we will have views over the area’s breathtaking landscapes. From here, we step onto an original Inca trail, retracing the steps of ancients until we arrive at Toqto Pass (4821m / 15,817 ft), where the trail then continues on towards Salkantay. We carry on for 2h to Calacocha Pass (4667m / 15,312 ft) and then another hour to Cruz Casa (4600m / 15,092 ft) and then Millpo Pass. From here, we descend to our campsite at Millpo (4399m / 14,432 ft).

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 8-9h
    Minimum Altitude – 4399m / 14,432 ft / Maximum Altitude – 4959m / 16,270 ft
    Altitude of camp – 4399m / 14,432 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 3Millpo - Yahuarmaky - Ancascocha

    We’re off to an early start this morning, with a lot of terrain to cover! First, we make our way to Chusqenay Pass (4630m / 15,190 ft) before descending to Rumi lnca Pass and then up and over to the narrow Yahuarmakay Valley. After this, we start climbing again, another 1.5h until we reach Aqocasa Pass (4686m / 15,374 ft) atop a gorgeous, sandy, reddish colored mountain. From here, we can actually look across the range to view the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! We’ll also have a moment to take in our surroundings, the beautiful Salkantay, Humantay, Huayanay and Huacaywillka (Sacred Tears) mountains, and pass the Incan archaeological site of Inca Raqay. From here, we descend 3 hours to Inca Rakay followed by a 1.5h ascent to Huaynanay Pass (4630m / 15,190 ft), and down again to our campsite at Ancascocha (3700m / 12,139 ft).

    Total Walking Distance – 13km
    Total Walking Time – 8-9 h
    Minimum Altitude – 3700m / 12,139 ft / Maximum Altitude – 4686m / 15,374 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3700m / 12,139 ft
    Approx. night temperature – -5˚C to -8˚C (18˚F to 23˚F)

Day 4Ancascocha – Chillca – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

    After three long and strenuous days of high altitude hiking, we are in for a bit of an easier day today as we lose elevation and walk down from Ancascocha to the town of Chillca. Over the course of about 5 hours, we’ll pass through small Andean villages and have the chance to take in lots of native vegetation, including chachacoma and qeuña trees as well as orchids, begonias and bromeliads. By the time we reach Camicancha (2930m / 9613 ft), our descent will become even easier as we continue on to Chillca, near Ollantaytambo. We arrive in time to catch our late afternoon train to Aguas Calientes where we will enjoy a celebratory dinner and spend the night in a hotel.

    Total Walking Distance – 8-9km
    Total Walking Time – 5h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –

Day 5Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

    And now, the pièce de résistance: Machu Picchu! All our hard work has paid off and we can spend today taking in this magnificent piece of Incan history. From Aguas Calientes we’ll take a bus in the pre-dawn hours up to the site in order to take in the magnificent sunrise from the Guardhouse (aka Watchtower). You will then have a 2-3h guided tour of Machu Picchu after which you can check out some of the other highlights on your own.

    You may want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain to cap off your Machu Picchu experience, but remember that permits are limited and must be reserved at the time of booking! There is an additional cost to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain not included in the price of this trek. For more tips on what to see, check out our Visiting Machu Picchu page.

    After taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, we will make our way back to Cusco via train to Ollantaytambo and then private transport the rest of the way. The return trip takes about 4h in total.

    Want more time to explore Machu Picchu? Consider adding on an Extra Day!