The Huchuy Qosqo Trek is the perfect trip for those short on time yet big on adventure! Our custom-designed 3-day itinerary combines a visit to the incomparable Machu Picchu with a Sacred Valley Peru trek through the less well-known but equally fascinating ruins at Huchuy Qosqo (“small Cusco”). You’ll follow ancient Inca trails that connect the local villages to Cusco, retracing their steps as you head from Cusco towards the Huchuy Qosqo ruins and then down to the Sacred Valley. On Day 3, we cap things off with a visit to Machu Picchu.
If you’d like to do a short trek to Huchuy Qosqo and skip Machu Picchu, we also offer a two-day Huchuy Qosqo trek.
Spectacular views of the Sacred Valley, interesting archaeological ruins including the majestic and enigmatic Machu Picchu, and a unique perspective on the Cusco-Sacred Valley area.
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!
We leave Cusco early and take private transport towards Tambo Machay. After seeing the ruins from a distance, we start to hike, climbing steeply upwards from where we will have spectacular views over the city. Over the course of the day, we will cross four gentle passes, the highest of which is 4000m (13,123 ft). Along the way, we will pass pretty alpine lakes and pastoral landscapes with grazing alpacas and potato fields. Towards the end of the day, we connect with an ancient Inca trail which will lead us down to a village filled with stone houses with thatched roofs. We will camp at the small hamlet of Pucamarca for the night.
Total Walking Distance – 12km
Total Walking Time – 7h
Minimum Altitude – 3800mt / 12,467ft / Maximum Altitude – 4000m / 13,123 ft.
Altitude of camp – 3800mt / 12,467ft
Approx. night temperature – 5°C
After breakfast, we continue our hike to Huchuy Qosqo, passing through a narrow but magical canyon and with wonderful views over the Sacred Valley on the other side. After about 1:30 more hours of walking we will arrive at the Huchuy Qosqo ruins, an infrequently visited ancient Inca site that translates as “Small Cusco”. We will have time to explore the ruins and ponder its role. From here we have a 2.5h steep and slippery descent into the Sacred Valley. We will have a late lunch in the typical and untouristed village of Lamay.
From Lamay it’s off to Ollantaytambo, the living Inca village, traveling by private car. If we have time, you can explore this incredibly quaint town with its narrow, cobblestone streets and stone buildings, or climb up to the Inca ruins above the village (there is an extra fee to climb the Ollantaytambo ruins not included in your Huchuy Qosqo Trek price. Please tell us at booking if you would like to visit these ruins). In the late afternoon, we will travel by train to Aguas Calientes, where we will check into our accommodations and enjoy a celebratory dinner.
Total Walking Distance – 4km
Total Walking Time – 4h
Minimum Altitude – 3000mt / 9842ft / Maximum Altitude – 3800mt / 12,467ft.
Today we will get up in pre-dawn hours in order to take the first bus up to Machu Picchu. If we time things just right, you may get to witness the sunrise over this amazing Inca citadel from the Watchman’s Hut or even Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. Our guide will give us a 2-3h guided tour of Machu Picchu, and you will have the option to visit 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.
Want more time to explore? Consider our Extra Day Upgrades!
After visiting Machu Picchu, you can take the bus or walk back down to Aguas Calientes. From there, we return to Cusco in the afternoon by the Expedition (tourist class) train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, where our driver will meet us and transfer you directly back to your hotel in Cusco. Total travel time is about 4 hours from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
Total Walking Distance – 6km
Total Walking Time – 3h
Minimum Altitude – 3700mt / 12,139ft / Maximum Altitude – 3800mt / 12,467ft.