Day 1: Cusco - Abra de Malaga - Huancacalle - Pilaupata
We pick you up in your hotel very early (04:00 AM), in private transport. You pass through the pretty Sacred Valley before beginning to climb to the Abra de Malaga, a very spectacular and very windy road!. Often the pass (4.300m/14.100ft) is snow covered. At Chaullay you divert from the route to Quillabamba and head towards Huancacalle. You should arrive at Huancacalle by 01:00 PM, and after lunch you will have a guided tour of the archaeological sites of Vitcos-Rosaspata and the Ñustahispana (or White Rock). From there we will hike for approximately 2 hours, walking on an impressive inca trail that was part of the Qhapaq Ñan (Network of Inca Trails that criss crossed the Inca Empire). Will camping in Pilaupata or Pumachaca (3.630m) or slightly earlier, depending on progress of group.
Day 2: Pilaupata - Asuntina Pass - Racachaca
After an early breakfast we begin our expedition by climbing, all the while observing flora and fauna. After 3,5 hours we will arrive at a high point at Azotina/Asuntina Pass (3.915m/12.850ft) before desending quickly along well preserved Inca Roads to Pillaukasa (3.860m/12.670ft). We observe a variety of snow capped mountains, and follow crystal clear rivers. It is spectacular walk as you leave the high jungle and arrive in the Andes. Accommodation: Camping Racachaca (3.570m/11.700ft) or Hatun Pampa (which is 2.5 hours further on from Racachaca).
Day 3: Racachaca - Hatun Pampa - Yanococha Pass - Mutuypata
After passing Racachaca we will climb 2,5 hours to Hatun Pampa (3.860m/12.670ft). From Hatun Pampa we will climb for plus 2,5 hours to Yanococha Pass before (3.320m/10.900ft) before descending steeply to Yanacocha lake and then climbing to the second pass of the day at Tullu Tacanca (3.340m/10.950ft) and then onto the well known, and third pass of the day Abra Mujun (3.340m/10.950ft) another 2 hours of hiking. This is a difficult days trekking with many changes in altitude, but also beautiful high alpine lakes and snowcapped mountains. This is the most difficult day of the hike. From Abra Mujun, we pass by S'aqra Cocha and descend to Laco Cocha about 2,5 hours of hiking further. From Laco Cocha to Mutuypata is a further hour. Hiking time 8 hours. Accommodation: Camping Mutuypata or further below.
Day 4: Mutuypata - Yanatile - Hydroelectric Station - Aguas Calientes
After breakfast, our hike is all downhill as we enter once again the high jungle, and already the climate is temperate. We pass by a canyon filled with roaring water and continue by coffee, fruit and granadilla plantations, before arriving at the village of Yanatile (approx. 3 hours walking). From there, we will take transport to the Hydro-Electric station, where we will have lunch. We will then walk for two and a half hours following the railway tracks to Aguas Calientes. You will arrive in Aguas Calientes in time for a soak in its famous Hot Springs, or a shower in your hostal, and then a celebratory diner. Hiking time: 5 hours. It is recommended to bath in the famous medicinal baths when you arrive in Aguas Calientes. Accommodation: Basic Hostel Aguas Calientes.
Day 5: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Breakfast included at hotel. Early in the morning (before dawn) we will take a bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Bus included in price, so that you can appreciate sunrise from the Watchman's Hut (or Inti Punku if you get up very early). You will then have a 2,5 hour guided tour of Machu Picchu with your guide. After your tour you can further explore the ruins by yourself or climb Huayna Picchu. This hike takes about 1 hour to climb, and less to descend and offers awesome views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding terrain. Also try to fit in a visit to the Temple of the Moon or the fabulous Inca Bridge. We highly recommend walking down from Machu Picchu to get a feeling for the vegetation and also the audacity of its builders. It is a 1-2 hour walk back to the village of Machu Picchu, though a ticket on the bus is included in your trek price. We return to Cusco in the afternoon by train (leaves either at 2.30pm or 6pm) and are met by a driver at Ollantaytambo who will transfer you directly back to your hotel. You will arrive approximately 4 hours after your train's departure from Aguas Calientes.