12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu

12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu

12 Day Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu


12 Days / 11 Nights

Package Type



Activity Level

Activity Level

Very High

Wildlife expectation

Physical Difficulty

Wildlife expectation

Cultural rating

Wildlife expectation

Wildlife expectation


Travel specialist

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The Vilcabamba region was a pivotal location at the tail end of the Inca Empire. It was here that the last remnants of the Inca Empire fled to, after a series of battles against the Spanish conquistadors, forming the new capital of the Neo-Inca State in 1539. The Inca emperor, Manco Inca, took his people to this remote location, where the Incas hoped to hold out against the unceasing hostility of the Spanish, to preserve their knowledge, their culture, their freedom and their lives. In 1572, however, the Spanish made a final raid on the Inca’s remote jungle capital, which by then was a city of four hundred houses. The Incas were defeated, and their Empire fell soon after.  

It is this story of survival and battle that goes with us on our extended eight-day trek along the route to and through Vilcabamba and then on to Machu Picchu. For anyone interested in the history of the Incas, this trek is hard to beat. It’s also a spectacular route in terms of scenery, passing through high tropical forests and between snow-capped mountain peaks. The route is also far less traveled than the Inca Trail and other alternative treks, making it ideal for anyone who really wants to get off the beaten track and to experience a far-flung adventure in the footsteps of the last Incas, where few have gone before. 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! 

Special features of our Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu: 

Type of Tourism:  Trekking, Hiking and Cultural 

Places To Visit:  Cusco, Sacred Valley, Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu 

Duration:  12 Days and 11 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.  In the evening, enjoy the eclectic restaurant opt...

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    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 available in this incredible imperial City. Show more

      From your hotel, we’ll head to the famous Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop is Pisac, founded during Colonial times; you will be able to appreciate the mixture of tradition. Here you will have the opportunity to test your bartering skills, interact with the local craftsmen and purchase hand-made souvenirs.  After exploring the indigenous community and all it has to offer, we will head off to the Potato Park! Meet the local community, learn about the unique process of potato cultivation, and see the beautiful flora...

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        It will be an early start, as we have plenty of ground to cover before we reach the Vilcabamba region. We will take the road from the town of Ollantaytambo before rising up over a mountain pass called the Abra Málaga. We’ll then descend through the puna towards the high jungle and the Vilcabamba area.  

        We’ll head for the settlement of Santa María in the Vilcabamba Valley, where we can have a short rest before continuing on to Huancacalle. Here we will leave our motorized transport and meet...

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          After an early breakfast we’ll head off along segments of an old Inca Trail, which we will follow through some magical landscapes. We’ll pass through different ecological zones: Quechua mountain valleys, cold and dry Suni and puna shrub lands. Among the diverse local flora, we’ll see plants used to dye textiles produced in the area.  

          We’ll have a short break and then continue our ascent to the Choquetacarpo Pass, which sits at about 4,600 m. Here we will have beautiful views of Choquetacarpo...

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            Today begins with an energizing breakfast, and then we continue our adventure by first visiting the Quellccamachay cave. Heading on, we will continue up and down through cloud forests at around 3,300 m (10,827 ft), finally arriving in the traditional village of Yanama, where we can get a glimpse of Andean life and experience its colourful customs. This is where we’ll have dinner and stay for the night. 

            Hiking Time: 8 hours 

            Hiking Distance: 14 km / 8.69 miles 

            Lowest Point: 2,788 m/ 9,147...

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              Today offers a break from trekking as we travel on horseback (although you can still walk some sections if you like). We’ll leave Yanama after breakfast and ride back out of the valley as we head up to the highest pass on the trek, at 4,840 m (15,879 ft). As we make our way to the pass, the scenery will shift from the lush valley to high puna, a region of rugged highland grasslands. Once we reach the pass, we’ll have fantastic views of the surrounding mountain ranges including the mighty Salkantay, which rises to 6,270 m....

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                Today, much of our trekking takes us through a region of jungle known as the “ceja de selva” or the eyebrow of the jungle, that lies between the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. We’ll cross the Lluskamayo River and find ourselves in a world of waterfalls, tropical fruits and colorful birds. If we’re lucky, we might even see a cock of the rock, Peru’s national bird. The temperature will be much warmer here, and the various waterfalls and creeks provide plenty of opportunities to cool down with a refreshin...

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                  Today we head towards Llactapata. It will be a steady three-hour climb, passing through the coffee, banana and avocado plantations, and as we ascend, we’ll have wonderful views of the Santa Teresa Valley below us. Eventually, we’ll reach Llactapata, an impressive Inca ruin that may have served as an important resting place and roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu, which it is connected to, via the Inca Trail. From here we get our very first glimpse of our final destination: Machu Picchu in the distance, an inspi...

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                    We’ll be covering lot of ground today, but the trekking is easy, especially now that we’re at a lower altitude. After breakfast, we will hike downhill for about two hours towards the Hidroelectrica (Hydroelectric Station), a well-known landmark along various routes to Machu Picchu. We’ll then continue for about 1.5 hours along an easy route to Mandor, where we’ll have a delicious lunch and spend the night at the wonderful Jardines de Mandor – Gea Lodge, where you’ll have a standard room with privat...

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                      We will wake up early for breakfast and your guide will meet you at around 5:40 a.m. for the short walk to the gates of Machu Picchu. From here we can watch the sun rise over the famous Inca citadel.   

                      We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here you’ll begin your guided walking tour with an experienced and highly knowledgeable guide. Our tour of Machu Picchu will last about two hours, and will take you to all the most famous and most spectacular parts of the extensi...

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                        After breakfast enjoy your last day at leisure before transferring to the airport for your return flight home via Lima. 

                          WHAT'S INCLUDED

                          • Accommodation: A *star hotel is specially chosen by us for you throughout the itinerary
                          • Meals: 11 breakfasts, 7 lunch, 7 dinner 
                          • Transport: Private or share 
                          • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Vilcabamba and Machupicchu  
                          • Arrival and departure transfer  
                          • Briefing to the tour one day before the trek at 19h00 
                          • An assistant guide for groups of more than 7 people 
                          • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities  
                          • Professional guide who speaks English 
                          • Snacks appropriate for all hours and hot and cold beverages  
                          • Complete set of kitchen equipment and utensils 
                          • Dining room equipment which includes tables, chairs, and a dining tents 
                          • Water (you need to bring water for the first morning then we will provide you with drinking - previously boiled - water) 
                          • Pack horses that will carry the camping equipment, the cooking equipment and the food 
                          • Another packhorse to carry your personal gear that weighs up to 7 kilos 
                          • Entrance ticket into Machu Picchu and for the Vilcabamba valley 
                          • Horse of ride for 2 days 
                          • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Poroy 
                          • First aid kit 
                          • Round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu  
                          • 24/7 support and emergency line available throughout the itinerary 

                          WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

                          • Airfare to and from destination 
                          • Minimum medical and emergency evacuation insurance 
                          • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance 
                          • Evacuation: in the event of a serious medical injury, we will coordinate with your travel insurance company to arrange evacuation 
                          • Visas 
                          • Any activity not described in What's Included 
                          • Meals on your own 
                          • Gratuities 
                          • Optional excursions 
                          • Personal equipment such as trekking equipment 
                          • Camping equipment such as sleeping bag or walking stick 
                          • Damages caused by the client to the bus or to the camping equipment 

                          Trip Preparation & FAQS

                          You can check our safety protocols in the following link: https://www.valenciatravelcusco.com/notification/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-travel-alert

                          We do not include travel or health insurance and we strongly recommend a comprehensive travel insurance for any unexpected circumstances. This is not obligatory, however. An full travel insurance policy that covers cancellations and delays as well as medical insurance.

                          We suggest that you speak with your doctor to ensure that you are up-to-date with the recommended vaccinations when traveling to the destination. In any case, a negative Coronavirus Molecular Test (PCR) is needed to enter the country.

                          We suggest that you speak with your doctor to ensure what medications you will need to bring to the destination. Pharmacies and drugstores are common in all cities, however, it is not certain that you will be able to find a specific drug that you can find in your country of origin.

                          As in any city in the world, there can be pickpockets in crowded places. We suggest being vigilant at all times, but if you are in a group you will always be safer.

                          We do not include the cost of any domestic or international flight in any of our programs. These services must be booked independently by each guest.

                          Yes, hotels will charge the cost of a double room as standard, so a single supplement will be charged if you are traveling alone.

                          VA Expeditions is supported by Valencia Travel, a company with more than 12 years of foundation with a solid financial position. We have insurance from the insurance company La Positiva, that supports us and protects our guests from any eventuality at the destination, covering our guests for more than 5 million US dollars.

                          Each trip is customizable, but there may be additional restrictions and expenses in each case. We suggest contacting your sales representative for more information.

                          Yes, in addition to multi-day programs, we offer half-day experiences and excursions without overnight, which you can purchase as additional services. In case you wish to purchase one of these services, you can ask your guide, the transfer representative or your sales representative to provide you with the support you need.

                          Yes, you can add additional or optional services to your regular tour. We appreciate contacting your sales representative for any changes you wish to make.

                          Yes, you can travel with children and we have many activities to do as a family, however, depending on your itinerary, some experiences can be a bit demanding for young children. As a recommendation, we suggest that you ask your sales consultant if the tour you wish to book is suitable for children.

                          We work with a maximum group size of 12 passengers for sustainability reasons and a more personaized experience.

                          We suggest making your reservations at least one month before your trip in order to reserve the best hotels, transportation and services for your travel dates, however, in last minute cases, we can reserve up to 15 days in advance.

                          We suggest consulting with your embassy to review any documents, tests or special visa you need for your trip.

                          The official currency in Peru is the peruvian sol (PEN). In large cities there is a good chance that you will find ATMs or ATMs, however, we suggest that you do not rely entirely on this solution, as it may not be enabled to work with your bank.

                          Yes, we cater for all special dietary requirements. Please let us know at the time of booking if you have any allergies or special dietary needs.

                          As a sustainable travel company, we are in constant search of how we can improve the sustainability of our operations, that is why we carry out the following activities to generate a fair and sustainable development in our areas of operation: https://valenciatravelcusco.com/pages/sustainability

                          Tips are not included in the cost of the tour. You should plan to tip 10% in restaurants and for your guided services, however, tipping is never required.

                          Cultural norms vary within each Latin American country, even within each city within the country, however, we recommend the following measures to have a pleasant visit in each destination: Latin American culture in general tends to be closer and more informal than in others cultures, so there is usually always a friendly approach in all conversations, and going directly to the point could be considered offensive to some people. Personal space can be much shorter as well, but without being interpreted as sexual in nature. 

                          The schedules are also usually more relaxed and informal, however, this is not the case of VA EXPEDITIONS / VALENCIA TRAVEL, since we will always respect the hours indicated in your itinerary. This may be different for other appointments that you can book on your own at other locations.

                          This depends on each itinerary, and will be indicated in the detail of the day. However, our itineraries always usually include free times to offer more flexibility to our guests. 

                          For any emergency, we appreciate contacting the following number: +51 979 706 464

                          At VA Expeditions we believe that every action we take should generate a positive impact on the communities and the environment of our entire production chain, which is why we carry out various activities focused on this objective. Please ask your travel specialist for more information on our sustainable programs.

                          All our guests have 24/7 support for any type of emergency or eventuality. For emergencies you can contact the following number: +51 979 706 464. For general inquiries, you can write to us at the following email: info@valenciatravelcusco.com 

                          This depends on each itinerary, but generally is a ratio of one guide for every nine guests.

                          This depends on the type of the type of Travel insurance that the passenger has. We recommend that you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy for better care and hospital facilities.

                          The tours are carried out by an expert team that has determined the optimal times of visits to make the most of our guests' time, without rushing. All our programs are customizable, so if at any time at the destination you want to adjust the pace of the trip, you can ask your guide to reach a consensus with the whole group in case you need to make adjustments to the pace of the trip.

                          Each trip is customizable, but there may be additional restrictions and expenses in each case. We suggest contacting your sales representative for more information.

                          Yes, you can safely store any luggage at your  hotel.

                          For city tours, there are public bathrooms available, in remote destinations bathroom facilities are more sparse.

                          In the mountains and remote places there is no Internet connection. Hotels and public places usually have WIFI available.

                          In cities and tourist centers you will have good telephone reception. In remote areas, there may be no cell phone reception.

                          It depends on each itinerary. We suggest contacting your account representative to give you specific information regarding your  program.

                          We suggest that you bring a refillable water bottle or purchase bottled water if necessary. Depending on your destination, at various points on your trip there will be places where you can fill your water bottle.

                          Thank you very much for your interest! You can follow us on our networks:


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