Ancascocha Trek 5D

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Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
Availability : Every Day.
Depart: Mollepata
Destination: Machu Picchu
Max People : 12

About the 5 Day Ancascocha Trek

This Ancascocha trek combines amazing history, spectacular vistas and a glimpse of modern day Andean life – and all without the normal crowds! Trek through traditional farming villages, pass crystalline lakes and camp in the shadows of the region’s most impressive peaks.

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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! 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.

    Short on time? 5 days seem like too much time spent hiking in Peru? We also have a 3 Day Ancascocha trek! Pack maximum adventure into minimum time, and still visit Machu Picchu.

Ancascocha Trek Highlights

  • Experience the Andes in their full splendor without the clamber of a multitude of trekkers.
  • Multiple high passes, rocky terrain, turquoise lakes and snow-capped peaks.
  • See traditional stone houses in 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


3 people


4-6 people


7+ people


High quality personalized experience

Unique, off-the-beaten track routes

Experienced staff

Verified sustainability practices

$20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Important Details About the Ancascocha Trek

What is Included?


  • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
  • Camping pillows
  • Basic foam mattress. If you would like greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
  • Toilet tent
  • 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.


  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
  • 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 Travel Consultant during the booking process if you have certain preferences! Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. When served, salads are washed in boiled water.
  • Boiled water to drink on the hike (which you can carry in your own reusable water bottle)
  • Filtered water provided during the drive on the first day
  • Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes
  • Lunch on the last day.


  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your Ancascocha trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek
  • 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.

Trekking Team

  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
  • Horses and horsemen, who carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 10kg/22lbs per person).
  • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals


  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower

Additional inclusions

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu

What is Not Included?


  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Dinner on the last night


  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
  • Additional horses for your personal luggage or to ride


  • Tips for the guide, cook and muleteers
  • Flights to/from Cusco
  • Travel Insurance
  • Entrance to the hot springs
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain

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.

Equipment Available for Rent

  • Extra horse to carry luggage exceeding the allowed 10kg (22lbs) per person
  • Llamas to carry your own things. Note that this traditional Inca beast of burden can only carry about 7kg (15lbs), and will only walk in groups. The cost of hiring llamas includes a small group of 3-4 llamas and a llamero (llama driver)
  • 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

Service Upgrades

Optional Activities


  • 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.

What to Pack

    We recommend that you bring the following items with you:

  • A fleece or down jacket is an essential item at this elevation;
  • Hiking trousers with zip off shorts are a good idea, as day time temperatures can be quite warm, yet temperatures plummet as soon as the sun goes down. You can supplement these with leggings or thermals to wear underneath;
  • A rain poncho or waterproof jacket is also important. It can rain or even snow at certain times of the year!;
  • Water-resistant trekking boots are advisable. The trail on this hike can sometimes be muddy and wet, so we also recommend to bring extra socks!;
  • A warm sleeping bag, rated to -15°C (5°F). If you prefer, you can rent one from us;
  • A headlamp or torch;
  • A high factor (SPF) sunscreen, a sun cap and sunglasses. The sun can be really strong, especially in dry season. Sun protection is essential!;
  • A small daypack to carry your necessary items for each day’s hiking.

Guides & Safety on the Trail

Our whole trekking team know the Ancascocha region like the back of their hand! They are some of the warmest, endearing and wonderful people you are ever likely to meet.

Our guides are all licensed and receive regular training. They share their experience, professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm with our passengers on every trek.

Get to know our team!

Available Discounts

  • Students: USD $30 off, in certain circumstances. Please enquire for details about eligibility.
  • Youth 12-17: 5% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 5-11 years: 15% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 0-4 years: 75% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking. Children under 4 will not count towards the total number of guests in a group, but will be charged 25% of the per person price based on final group size. For example, a group of 4 adults and one child under 4: adults will be charged the full price per person based on a group size of 4 and the child will be charged 25% of the per person price for a group of 4. Children under 3 will not be considered to occupy a seat on any train or bus, and instead must ride on a parent’s lap. Car seats, cribs and other baby needs may not be included and must be discussed in advance. For more information about travelling with infants and toddlers, please see this blog as well as the Age Requirements section of our Booking Conditions.
  • 5% off a day tour listed price when you also book a 3-day or longer trek operated by Apus Peru

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.
  • Travel insurance is a must! World Nomads offers travel insurance for adventure activities.

5 Day Ancascocha Trek Itinerary

Day 1Mollepata - Soraypampa - Salkantaypampa - Pampa Japonesa - Inka Chiriaska - Yanaq'aya Lookout

      • Total Walking Distance: 12km
      • Total Walking Time: 8hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 3800m (12,467 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 5000m (16,404 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4750m (15,583 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -15˚C (5˚F)

We pick you up from your hotel in our private transport and drive for approximately 3 hours to Mollepata (2870m / 9416ft) where we will have the opportunity to buy a few last-minute snacks and supplies. From here, we continue another hour to Soraypampa (3930m (12,849 ft)) where we’ll begin to walk. After hiking through fields, we’ll continue walking to Salkantaypampa which is also the starting point for the popular Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu; we will continue hiking several hours until we reach Pampa Japonesa (4600m / 15,091ft) the base of snow-capped Salkantay (6264m / 20,551ft) and Humantay (5217m / 17,116 ft) mountains, where we will have lunch. Once we’re good and rested, we continue to Inka Chiriaska for and 1:30hs; Inca Chiriaska is a high pass at an astounding 4959m (16,269ft) from where we will have views over the area’s breathtaking landscapes. From here, we descend to our campsite at Yanaq´aya lookout.

Day 2Yanaq'aya Lookout - Millpo - Yahuarmaky

      • Total Walking Distance: 17km
      • Total Walking Time: 10hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 3300m (10,826 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4850m (15,912 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 3300m (10,826 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -10°C (14°F)

After a nourishing breakfast to get us ready for the day ahead, we step onto an original Inca trail, retracing the steps of ancients until we arrive at Toqto Pass (4850m / 15,912ft), where the trail then continues on towards Salkantay. We carry on for 2h to Calacocha Pass (4667m / 15,311ft) and then another hour to Cruz Casa (4600m / 15,091ft) and then Millpo Pass. From here, we descend to Millpo (4399m / 14,434ft) where we will have lunch. From Millpo you will trek up for an hour until we reach Qosqueñaq pass (4600m /15,091ft) and then descend to Yahuarmaky to set our camp.

Day 3Yahuarmaky - Ancascocha

      • Total Walking Distance: 13km
      • Total Walking Time: 8hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 4000m (12,123 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4686m (15,374 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4400m (14,435 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -7˚C (19.4˚F)

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 / 15,191ft) 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 / 15,374ft) 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 / 15,191ft), and down again to our campsite at Ancascocha (4400m / 14,435ft).

Day 4Ancascocha – Chillca – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

      • Total Walking Distance: 11km
      • Total Walking Time: 6hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 2700m (8,858 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4000m (13,123 ft)

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 / 9612ft), 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.

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). Your guide will give you a 2-3h walking tour of the historic citadel.

If you’re feeling adventurous you may wish to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, but take note: this requires an extra permit, and they can sell out well in advance! Be sure to tell us at booking if you would like to add one of these hikes. For more tips on what to see, check out our Visiting Machu Picchu page.

Want more time to explore? Consider our Extra Day Upgrades.

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.

3 Reviews
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Nicolas N. from France

Group Traveller

This trek is really fantastic. No tourists, breathtaking views, and a real challenge until Machu Picchu. Our guide was truly outstanding and was also a very pleasant person to be around with. His knowledge of the mountains and his help throughout the journey made this experience top notch. A special mention to the porters and to the chef, who cooked us super impressive food at very high altitudes.

I would therefore very highly recommend Apus Peru for their knowledge of the mountains and also their alternative treks which are very special. If you want to avoid other tourists and groups along the way and embark on a challenging adventure this may be your best bet. I don’t see how one could be disappointed.

15 October, 2017

Noel A. from UK

Couple Traveller

We opted for the Ancascocha trek as we wanted if possible to enjoy the mountains without the crowds. The trek was quite hard work but hugely satisfying and we were lucky with the weather. The Apus team on the trek were hard working, cheerful and competent. Our guide inspired great confidence and was knowledgeable as well as being excellent company. The planning was helped by an informative office team who discussed our requirements and worked with us to ensure that we got the most from our trip.
During our time acclimatising to the altitude we also did 2 guided day trips with Apus, with another equally excellent guide. These were hugely informative as well as good fun. I cannot recommend Apus more highly.

25 October, 2016

Dames M. from Ecuador

Couple Traveller

From the start the Apus Peru website gave all the right messages – environmental awareness, concern for local staff and support for Threads of Peru. Email discussions with our sales representative were really helpful and he suggested our final choice of trek, the Ancascocha alternative.
For two experienced, but ageing (one of us was over Apus’s stated maximum age!), mountain walkers, 5 days acclimatisation in Cusco was essential and we picked 2 of the Apus day trips to break us in: the “Four Ruins” Cusco day and the Moray/Maras trip. Our guide for both days, was friendly, informative and really knew his stuff.
We had told our sales representative that we wanted a trek that avoided the crowded, popular routes and the Ancoscocha trek was everything we had hoped for. It was described as “difficult-strenuous” and certainly tested us with the first camp at 4600m and a pass at 4959m early on the second morning, but our guide was patient and encouraging as well as being great company. We saw no other trekkers at all once we left the Salkantay route early on the first day and were able to enjoy the solitude and peace of the mountains to the full.
Our cook, performed miracles thrice daily in his attempts to out-perform in a tent any of the restaurants that we had visited in Cusco. Horsemen, horses, camping gear, transport, environmental care and all the logistics provided by Apus worked seamlessly to ensure that the trek and day trips were the memorable experience that we had hoped for.
Well done Apus and thank you for making our time in Peru such a success.The initial good vibes from your website were not just hype!

14 October, 2016

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