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Follow in the footsteps of modern-day explorer Vincent Lee! This Vilcabamba trek takes you to the little known ruin of Puncuyoc and then crosses through un-trekked wilderness to an ancient Inca trail that leads to the last capital of the Incas, Espiritu Pampa.
We start our trip early in the morning and leave Cusco in our private transport. Please note that it is a long drive to reach the trailhead. This 8-day journey includes 3 days travelling by car or bus, 4 1/2 days of hiking – including some very long days (9-11 hours per day) – and 1 day to visit the site of Espiritu Pampa.
The Vilcabamba trek is filled with Inca Ruins and archaeological sites and it’s the perfect choice for both nature and history lovers! Feel the thrill of exploration as you arrive at the wonderfully constructed stone steps that lead to Espiritu Pampa, once the home of Tupac Amaru I. If you’re an Incan history buff looking for a unique, off-the-beaten-path adventure, then this Vilcabamba trek is for you!
Complete the circuit and start by doing our 8 Days Choquequirao to Vitcos hike!
This Vilcabamba trek does not include Machu Picchu. Consider adding a Machu Picchu Extension!
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.
We recommend that you bring the following items with you:
For our full packing list for treks in the Andes, see What to Bring.
Our blog How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru will also give you some great tips for how to get ready for your trek, before you even leave home.
Our whole trekking team knows the Vilcabamba to Espiritu Pampa trek 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!
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!
Rise and shine! We pick up from your hotel in Cusco in the early morning (4am) today to start your Vilcabamba Trek to Espiritu Pampa. After driving about 8h by private car we reach Vilcabamba. We will explore Vilcabamba for a couple of hours before camping here for the night.
After a delicious breakfast this morning, we will take a local transportation to Huarina (2hs drive). From Huarina we will hike up to Puncuyoc to visit the intriguing site of Incahuasi (4300mt /14,107ft), returning to Huarina at the end of the day in about 7h total hiking time. We camp again tonight at Huarina.
Today is the most adventurous day of the Vilcabamba Trek to Espiritu Pampa as we hike for about 9h along the mountain ridge, passing beautiful lakes along the way. We will camp in Capillayoc lagoon.
We must be well-rested today in order to face a long day of hiking. We will hike about 10h in total as we journey from Capillayoc lagoon to Qollpaqasa (4h) and then continue on to Ututo (4h), where we will camp for the night.
Today’s journey will take us through Andean jungle from Ututo to Vista Alegre. We will cross Inca trails and will have the opportunity to see the tunki bird, which is a relative of the famous Peruvian “gallito de las rocas”. We will overnight in Vista Alegre.
After breakfast, we will start trekking for 11h descending from Vista Alegre to Concevidayoc. We will admire different types of birds and flora like orchids. We will pass Tunqui Mayo bridge, the Andean community called Urpi Pata and different communities who are engaged in agriculture, raising farm animals and coffee growing.
After three really long, intense days of hiking we get a well-deserved break! From Concevidayoc we will hike for about 3 hours until we reach Espiritu Pampa (1400m /4593ft). Here we can admire the remains of the archaeological site of Espiritu Pampa, the last Inca Capital. We will spend most of the day here. Espiritu Pampa is an especially intriguing site as most of it remains shrouded in vegetation, adding to its mystique. We will continue the journey back by bus (5h), stopping at Kiteni where we will spend the night in a hostel.
Leaving Kiteni we will take a bus to Quillabamba (4h) around 8am, for the final leg of the return journey. We arrive to Cusco around 6pm.
For even more adventure and a chance to see Machu Picchu, don’t forget about our Machu Picchu Extension!
In 2012, I was in Peru but unable to see several ruins I had wanted to see. A guide from another company actually recommended Apus Tours as the company to contact for more custom treks to less travelled locations. That is what I did. Our travel consultant kept the lines of communication open. When the time was right, he put together this trek from Choquequirao to Vilcabamba and on to Espiritu Pampa.
What can I say? Words can’t do justice to my experience. Natural beauty that literally made me cry, challenging trails that almost made me want to cry but were so rewarding. Breathtaking ruins and miles of empty Inca roads. Good company with a great team that made life on the trail easy. This was a never to be forgotten trip of a lifetime. It was the highlight of an incredible six week trip in Peru.
Our guide was patient and knowledgeable. When we stopped in a village, he talked to the people and gave us insight into their lives. His interest in the archeology was evident. Thanks!
Our cook made incredible meals. I don’t know how he kept up the variety for 2 weeks. He also hiked with us, sharing his knowledge and making it possible for each of us to go at our own pace. Thank you for your enthusiasm.
I hope to return to Peru. I will book with Apus again if I do.