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Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu

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. 

Peak Elevation :

4,300 m / 14,107 ft

Low Altitude:

2,040 m / 6,690 ft


Overall Difficulty:



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.


Hours of Trekking


Elevations for the Day

Cusco - 3,400 m / 11,150 ft  lowest

Tambomachay - 3,750 m / 12,300 ft  

Lake Qoricocha - 4,150 m / 13,615 ft

Huchuy Qosqo Pass - 4,300 m / 14,105 ft  highest

Pucamarca - 3,800 m / 12,465 ft 

Huchuy Qosqo Campsite / Complex - 3,500 m / 11,480 ft 

Meals Served

Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea




- You'll be doing quite a lot of trekking on this first day, a lot of it challenging, but you'll probably be too distracted by the beautiful views to even notice.

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Hours of Trekking


Elevations for the Day

Huchuy Qosqo Campsite / Complex - 3,500 m / 11,480 ft 

Tauca Pass - 4,300 m / 14,105 ft  highest

Tauca - 3,750 m / 12,305 ft 

Ollantaytambo - 2,790 m / 9,150 ft 

Aguas Calientes - 2,040 m / 6,690 ft  lowest

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner + Snack


★★★ Hotel in Aguas Calientes


- Just a half day of trekking, then you're off to Aguas Calientes.

- You'll part ways with the rest of the team after lunch. Thanks, guys!

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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, if you had already pre-purchased a ticket, you may proceed to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain.

> click for more information <

You will then take the bus back down to Aguas 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!


Hours of Trekking

2-3 hour guided walking tour at Machu Picchu Citadel

Elevations for the Day

Aguas Calientes - 2,040 m / 6,690 ft  lowest

Machu Picchu Citadel - 2,400 m / 7,875 ft 

[optional: Huayna Picchu Mountain - 2,720 m / 8,925 ft]

[optional: Machu Picchu Mountain - 3,082 m / 10,110 ft]

Ollantaytambo - 2,790 m / 9,150 ft

Cusco - 3,400 m / 11,150 ft  highest


Meals Served

Breakfast at Hotel


Final Day - No Overnight Accommodations


- Machu Picchu!

-You'll only be permitted to carry a small daypack no larger than 20 liters into the citadel. The rest of your gear may be placed in storage at the hotel. You may also rent a locker for S/5 (US $1.50) by the entrance of Machu Picchu.

- Trekking poles are allowed inside the citadel only under special circumstances.

- After your guided tour, you'll have several hours to explore the citadel, grab lunch and walk around town on your own before you head back to Cusco via train and private transport.

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2023 prices per person in USD

Group of 2: $790

 Group of 3: $740 

Group of 4: $690

Group of 5: $650

Solo traveler: $1,570

please inquire about pricing for larger groups

Our prices include these upgrades

- a ride on PeruRail's Vistadome train with a panoramic view and live entertainment*

- free use of a pillow a Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus inflatable sleeping pad and a pillow

- Private portable toilet and toilet tent for your group

- dinner at a top Aguas Calientes restaurant

- accommodations at a highly-rated hotel on the final night

*most tour operators include tourist-class train service and offer Vistadome as a $50-$75 add-on

What is Included

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


- Machu Picchu Ticket

- Entry Fee for Huchuy Qosqo Archaeological Complex


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 train tickets:

        - Expedition from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes

        - Vistadome 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


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 Aguas Calientes' top-rated restaurants on TripAdvisor (e.g., Mapacho or a comparable restaurant

- Breakfast on Day 3 will be provided by the hotel

- Snacks -- unprocessed and healthful (e.g., fruit, nuts or cereal bars)

- Variety of teas including whole leaf coca

- In the morning, freshly ground, organic coffee from Quillabamba

- Drinking water (boiled and cooled, from lunch on Day 1)


- First Aid Kit

- Oxygen Tank

Day 1

- Eureka Timberline Tent

- Inflatable Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Sleeping Pad

       - plus an additional foam pad for extra comfort     

- Private portable toilet / toilet tent for your group

- Pillow

- Hot water bottle

Day 2

       - Private room (double occupancy) at a top-rated 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


- Ticket to climb either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain on Day 3. It may be purchased through us for $30 USD. Please let us know as soon as you book if you wish to purchase a ticket as they are subject to availability.  

> click for more information <


- Down Sleeping Bag $15 USD

- Trekking Poles (rubber-tipped, per pair) $8 USD


(Not applicable to solo travelers)

- For your own tent $20 USD

- For your own hotel room based on availability $85 to 95 USD


- Breakfast on Day 1

- Lunch on Day 3 (you will have many restaurants and cafes to choose from in Aguas Calientes)


Huayna Picchu

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 $30 USD. Both are moderately challenging hikes with stunning views from the top. Climbing and descending Huayna Picchu, on average, takes 2 to 2.5 hours; Machu Picchu can take 3 to 3.5 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. 

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