8 Days / 7 Nights
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The Moonstone Trek is one of the more recent alternative treks to Machu Picchu, and it’s an option well worth considering, especially if you want to avoid the crowds on the Inca Trail. This five-day trek also takes you to sites not included on other trails. Why don’t you try off season? March, April, September and October are particularly good months, either side of high season, the weather is still decent and there are even fewer people!
As you follow this trail, you’ll pass through spectacular landscapes, stop off at remote rural communities, and see some important archaeological ruins that few tourists ever visit. The trek itself is named after Quillarumiyoc, which in Quechua means the “Moonstone” or “a stone that has a moon.” This is a reference to the beautiful moon symbol carved into a rock at the site, which served as a place of moon worship.
Our trek takes us along an old Inca route that passed from Cusco to the mountains. On our way, we’ll discover a fascinating quarry where rock was mined to build Inca settlements such as that of Ollantaytambo. We’ll also see an Inca canal or aqueduct, possibly the longest they ever built. And during out trek, we’ll stop at colourful Andean villages surrounded by fields of quinoa, corn and potatoes, and herds of alpacas and llamas. The natural landscape, meanwhile, is varied and awe-inspiring, encompassing deep canyons, towering mountains and rugged Andean vistas.
Special features of our Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu:
Type of Tourism: Trekking, Hiking and Cultural
Places To Visit: Cusco, Sacred Valley, Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu
Duration: 8 Days and 7 Nights
Type of Service: some tours are small group service tours and other tours are private
Accommodation: 4 star hotels at every destination that you will visit. These hotels had been carefully chosen and we can guarantee that you will feel comfortable and pampered.
Arrival to Cusco with a transfer to your hotel; a welcome meeting will be organized by your guide for a quick briefing of the tour. The rest of the day can be spent exploring Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, set in the Andes Mountains. Discover Spanish churches and mansions that sit alongside Inca remains, visit the local market of San Pedro and their array of products from handicrafts to vegetable products, fresh juices and items for traditional Andean ceremonies. ...
After breakfast, enjoy a free day to explore Cusco at your ease. The capital city of the Inca Empire is now the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas, as well as the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. You may visit the local archaeological sites of Saqsaywaman, Tambomachay and Qenqo or you can take part in a Peruvian cooking class or chocolate making class, depending on how you want to spend your free day. We can help arrange and suggest all activities a...
Today our adventure begins early in the morning when we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. From Cusco we drive for one hour to Quillarumiyoc (the Moonstone). Dedicated to the Inca moon god, this site has a truly mystical feel, with large rocks engraved with drawings, symbols and strange patterns, the most famous being the intricate half-moon carved in bas-relief into a large rock. After exploring this intriguing ruin, we’ll have a tasty breakfast at the site before heading on...
We will begin the day with a cup of coca tea or wonderful local coffee. Then we’ll have a hearty Andean breakfast to build up our energy for the day ahead. Setting off, we’ll first tackle an uphill trek for about 3.5 hours. After that, we’ll stop at a picturesque glade where we’ll have lunch. We are now reaching some serious elevation, at around 4,438 m (14,557 ft).
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Hiking Distance: 11.5 km / 7 miles...
Our trek today takes us through the most beautiful landscapes we’ll see, as we follow a section of an old Inca Trail. We’re also unlikely to see any other people along this route, as it is relatively unknown.
After breakfast, we begin our trek with a walk through the enchanting Puncuyoc canyon, where we will be surrounded by lush green vegetation and polylepis trees as we follow a stream that flows through the canyon. This section through the canyon and...
After another tasty breakfast, we’ll begin a relaxing day of exploration as we trek from the Inca Quarry to Ollantaytambo. This area is rarely visited and we’re unlikely to encounter many other trekkers (if any) as we descend along a wide Inca road, passing through an area of Inca quarries and chullpas (old Inca cemeteries), seeing ruins that few others have ever explored. The downhill trek will take about 3.5 hours, after which we’ll reach the town and Inca ruins of...
To best appreciated Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning so we can get to the citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 5:40 a.m. We’ll then walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu.
We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here you’ll begin your gui...
After breakfast, enjoy your last day at leisure before transferring to the airport for your return flight home via Lima.