Custom Short Inca Trail
to Machu Picchu for Rachel's Group
3 Days / 2 Nights
Discover the path to Huchuy Qosqo, the Incan archaeological complex which holds the lesser-known pages of Incan history. It is not accessible by road, only by foot and horseback, so enjoy the wilderness of the Andes and the breathtaking views of your surroundings as you trek your way to Machu Picchu. Huchuy Qosqo -- "Little Cusco" in Quechua -- is located atop a plateau overlooking the Sacred Valley. The site offers stunning views of the Sacred Valley and snow-capped peaks.
This trek is ideal for those with limited time who still wish to squeeze in a bit of outdoor adventure and camping before reaching Machu Picchu. The trail itself -- one of the loveliest around Cusco -- is moderately difficult to traverse, but we've rated it as challenging due to the higher altitude.
$770 USD per person
Peak Elevation :
4,400 m / 14,435 ft
2,040 m / 6,690 ft
Please note that all distances and elevations are approximate. Trek times are estimated; various factors -- such as weather conditions, individual fitness levels, and how each trekker manages at altitude -- may affect the time it takes to reach each point.
The evening before your trek, you will meet with your tour guide at your hotel. Your guide will give you an overview of your trek to help you prepare and pace yourself for the physical and mental challenges that lie ahead. You'll have the opportunity to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have regarding the trek. Your guide can advise you on where you may rent or purchase last-minute supplies. You will receive a duffel bag to hold up to 7 kg / 15 lbs of your personal belongings; this will be carried by the horse that will accompany you on your journey. Your pick-up time will be confirmed.
Cusco | Tambomachay | Lake Qoricocha | Huchuy Qosqo Pass |
Pucamarca | Huchuy Qosqo Campsite
You will be picked-up at your hotel around 6 am; an earlier pick-up time will depend on your location and any additional passenger pick-ups. You will travel in a private vehicle to Tambomachay (less than 30 minutes from the city center). From here, you will begin your trek. The first 2 hours will be a gentle uphill climb amidst a panoramic view of Cusco and a beautiful backdrop of farmland, mountains and valleys. You will continue for 2.5 hours on a hilly, up-and-down path until you reach Laguna Qoricocha ("Golden Lagoon"in Quechua), your lunch site. After lunch, for about 1 hour, you'll gradually make your way uphill to the highest point during your trek -- Huchuy Qosqo Pass. Then it's a gradual downhill for the rest of the afternoon. After about 1 hour, you'll pass Pucamarca, a small Incan fortress, and enter a narrow canyon. It's another 1.5 hours until you reach the Huchuy Qosqo campsite. Before 5 pm tea, you may get settled in your tent, freshen up and relax. Dinner will be served at 7 pm. Dulces sueños.
Huchuy Qosqo Campsite / Huchuy Qosqo Archaeological Complex | Ollantaytambo | Aguas Calientes
6 am wake-up. Breakfast will be served at 6:30. Before heading out at 7:30 you'll go on a brief guided tour of the archaeological complex. You'll then continue on a 2.5 hour steep uphill climb along a zig-zagged path to the Tauca Pass where you'll have an impressive view of the surrounding mountains. From there, it's a mostly gradual 2-hour descent to the town of Tauca, close to Chinchero, where you will break for lunch. Afterwards, the support team (cook and horseman) will wish you a farewell. They'll pack up camp and head home while you gather your gear and prepare for your journey to Aquas Calientes. You'll first travel approximately 1.5 hours by private transport to Ollantaytambo. From there, you will take the train to Aquas Calientes. Just a short walk from the train station, you'll check into your hotel. You'll have some free time before you meet up with your guide at 7 pm to enjoy a fabulous dinner. Buenas noches.
Aguas Calientes | Machu Picchu Citadel | Ollantaytambo | Cusco
You should be up by 4:45 to have breakfast at the hotel and meet up with your guide to catch the early bus to Machu Picchu at 5:30. You'll have a 2-3 hour guided tour of the archaeological complex. Afterwards, you will be free to explore the citadel, Sun Gate, or Incan Bridge on your own. Or, if you had already pre-purchased a ticket, you may proceed to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain.
You will then take the bus back down to Aquas Calientes, grab lunch on your own, retrieve your gear at the hotel, and wait for your return train to Ollantaytambo. Private transport will await you there to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Please leave your empty Banderitas duffel bag at the front desk of your hotel. Thank you!
prices per person in USD
Group of 2: $740
Group of 3: $690
Group of 4: $650
Group of 5: $610
please inquire about pricing for larger groups
Our prices include: a complimentary airport pick-up; a high quality, inflatable sleeping pad, a pillow, the use of a private portable toilet + toilet tent; dinner at a 'top' Aquas Calientes restaurant; a night in a highly-rated ★★★ hotel; and a round-trip ride on PeruRail's Vistadome train
What is Included
WHAT IS NOT Included
- Experienced, Professional Tour Guide
- Responsive, U.S.-Style Customer Service
- Experienced Cook
- Reliable Horseman and his horses
- Safe, Responsible Drivers
TICKETS / ENTRY FEES
- Machu Picchu Ticket
- Entry Fee for Huchuy Qosqo Archaeological Complex
- Complimentary pick-up from Cusco's Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport to your hotel in Cusco
From hotel pick-up on Day 1 to hotel drop-off on Day 3:
- Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to Tambomachay
- Private transport from Lamay to Ollantaytambo
- PeruRail tickets for Vistadome train
- From Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- This is a comfortable, upscale service with panoramic views (side and ceiling windows)
- Consettur bus tickets:
- From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- From Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes
- Private transport from Ollantaytambo back to your hotel in Cusco
MEALS and BEVERAGES
From Lunch on Day 1 to Lunch on Day 2:
- 4 Fresh, wholesome meals prepared by Banderitas' Cook: 1 Breakfast, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner
- We respect dietary restrictions and preferences, and will accommodate special requests (i.e., vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, etc.)
- Dinner on Day 2 will be at one of Aquas Calientes' top-rated restaurants on TripAdvisor (e.g., Indio Feliz or a comparable restaurant)
- Breakfast on Day 3 will be provided by the hotel
- Snacks -- unpackaged, unprocessed, and healthful (e.g., fruit and cereal bars)
- Variety of teas including whole leaf coca
- In the morning, freshly ground, pour-over organic coffee from Quillabamba (and instant coffee, if that's what you prefer)
- Drinking water (boiled and cooled, from lunch on Day 1)
EQUIPMENT / ACCOMMODATIONS
- First Aid Kit
- Oxygen Tank
- Eureka Timberline Tent
- Inflatable Thermarest ProLite Plus Sleeping Pad
- plus an additional foam pad for extra comfort
- Private portable toilet / toilet tent for your group
- Hot water bottle
- Foam ear plugs
- Private room at a TripAdvisor top-rated ★★★ star hotel in Aguas Calientes (e.g., Panorama B&B, La Cabaña, El Quetzal or one on par with these hotels)
- At the Pre-Departure Briefing on the evening before your trek, you will be provided with a Banderitas Duffel Bag which you may fill with up to 7 kilos / 15 pounds of your belongings. This will be carried by a porter. While we recommend that you carry all you will need for the day in your daypack, you will have access to your duffel bag at all lunch stops and campsites. The duffel may be left at the front desk of your hotel following your trek.
These extras and upgrades come as standard services when you book with
Banderitas Adventures in Cusco
HUAYNA PICCHU / MACCHU PICCHU MOUNTAINS
- Ticket to climb either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain on Day 3. It may be purchased through us for $20 USD. Please let us know as soon as you book if you wish to purchase a ticket as they are subject to availability.
EQUIPMENT for RENT
- Down Sleeping Bag $8 USD
- Trekking Poles (rubber-tipped, per pair) $8 USD
- Breakfast on Day 1
- Lunch on Day 3 (you will have many restaurants and cafes to choose from in Aquas Calientes)
Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountains
During your visit to Machu Picchu Citadel, you'll have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. We prefer that you decide upon booking your trek as entrance tickets are limited to 400 per day per mountain. Tickets for each mountain cost $20 USD. Both are moderately challenging hikes with stunning views from the top. Climbing and descending Huayna Picchu, on average, takes 2-3 hours; Machu Picchu can take 3-4 hours. Tickets to Huayna Picchu tend to sell out quickly, but don’t be discouraged if they’re sold out during your visit; Machu Picchu mountain may not be as popular to climb, but it is less crowded, and the views are just as beautiful, if not more.