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Vilcabamba trek, is part of our alternative wonderful trekking program, that brings you to machu picchu; it’s one of the most remote and nice place, land though important trekking trails are passing to connect from the Andean territory to the jungle in peru, beside its beauty, this region is rarely visited by tourists.
The history of this region, has always been shrouded in mystery, the area was the last stronghold of the Incas against the Spanish, during the colonial occupation. Many of the most important battles were fought in Vilcabamba, the sites has remained almost untouched to this day.
If you take this hike this tour, you won’t see busloads of tourists, because no many companies and tour guides knows about it. There are many small villages and Inca sites too, where Spaniards never found the gold of the incas, those were buried in secret sites. This pristine area, has intact nature and it’s a great places with scenic mountain views and the high jungle.
To complete this hike. It is needed 6 days, and 5 nights, plus couple of days in the city, doing tour to get adjusted to the highland, before the hike, will be enough: Discover the last refuge of incas land, leaded by expert, professional local guides.
The fantastic vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu, begins with an early meet up in your hotel and drive towards northwest, from ollantaytambo the bus road is uphill until the Malaga pass at 4,600m, here the view is magnificent, snow covered picks, jungle vegetation, and the location are the moments that one deserves to the soul.
This region has several Inca sites, we may stop at one of the villages, to see the way of the campesinos (farmers). Then we descent to 1000 m in a humid tropical setting, with plantations of coca and fruit groves. At noon we will reach Huancacalle 3400m, the last village before the hike, at arrival we’ll lunch.
After lunch; we are going to continue with a gentle walk; after crossing a river we take a trail through veins, and bushes to see the inca site of Vilcabamba, situated on a small hill that has great view to the valley, then it leads to the white rock, which is an enormous carved rock, that has being used as a shrine, we can enjoy the view of exotic plants, clear water streams, and terraces.
Then we continue by a path that will lead us to the first camp named Pillao Pata (trek difficulty: Moderate. Total distance: 5 km “3 miles”. Estimated walking time: 4 hours).
This is the place where the vilcabamba adventure truly starts. After a good breakfast we start walking towards the raqachaca, the hike follows a trail surrounded by native trees, gentle uphill take us to the 1st summit named hasutina “a place where you get wiped” the summit has a great view of snow mountains, valleys and we may see eagles, overflying the area.
From here we descend through a trail, that is not frequented even by locals, after an hour downhill we stop for lunch.
After lunch we continue downhill and arrive in to a valley that is home of few shepherds that they farm some tubers such as potatoes, oca and lisas, the trail crosses an small river with clear water and we will camp nearby, surrounded by vegetation and mountains.
(Difficulty: Challenge , medium hard. Total distance: 12 km “6 miles”. Estimated walking time: 7-8 hours).
After breakfast we will begin a fantastic ascent, the first section of the trek, lead beside an small river on an uphill path, then there is coming a short gentle level ground where we cross a stream (no bridge, but there is not much water, we take off our shoes and cross it), then we start with an uphill hill.
the trail is unique, snow cap mounts are surrounding, finally we summit the Mojon pass at 4600m. From here the path leads in a uphill and downhill section, we walk by the original inca stone trail, we will see some lagoons, we arrive at soyrococha lagoon where we stop and have lunch.
From lunch we continue descending by switchback path. our camp site is going to be situated at the trees mark, here we will find running water through the stream, where we will set-up our tents, this is is going to be the most remote campsite of our entire hike, at lacco cocha, over 3700m.
(Difficulty: Challenge. distance: 14 km. Estimated time: 8 hours).
This section of the trail, takes mostly by the ceja de selva or jungle`s brow, “rain forest”, we will pass, along orchids, bamboo. The trail has recently being cleared up by the locals and it looks great, trees are worth to stop and see along the entire path.
While we get lower elevation, we’ll find more vegetation, once we cross the chaupi chaca (the bridge in the middle we will be in the high jungle, while lower elevation the trees are taller, we will see coffee plants, avocado trees, bananas, etc.
At arrival to Yanatile, we will lunch, after lunch our vehicle will ride us to santa teresa town where we will have the chance to go in to the hot springs that will be a perfect relaxing time after a n interesting but exhausting path.
(Difficulty: Medium. Total distance: 18 km. Estimated walking time: 7 hours).
The last section, is going to be easy, after breakfast we follow the route that is 7 km distance and takes about 2 hours of walk, then we stop at the hydroelectric power plant, we have our box lunch, then we continue hiking 10 more kilometer ” 6 miles”.
The trail follows a path next to the train tracks, it is an easy and nice walk for about 3 hours, we’ll stop along the way to enjoy flower, trees and birds, then we are going to arrive to aguas calientes at around 14 hours, then we go directly to the hotel, where you can take shower, and relax until dinner time.
(Difficulty: Medium. Total distance: 17 km. Estimated walking time: 6 hours.
Wake up at around 5:00 am and take bus ride to the archaeological park, this will be an exciting day, where a complete guided tour is waiting for, the visit to the Inca citadel will take approximately 2 hours but our guides are not on rush to they take three hours of tour, the guide will take you by all the most important sector of the citadel.
After tour, if you got the ticket for huayna Picchu Mountain you can climb up, to experience a spectacular view of all of the archaeological site, the valleys and mountains that surrounds it, visit the temple of the moon, or the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes from where we take the train back to the city, where this magnificent adventure hike ends.
B. hike Difficulty: Medium.
you may be also interested in Choquequirao Trek.
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