Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu
Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu is a lesser known yet an interesting trek from Cusco to Machu Picchu. It takes you to the lesser known Incan archaeological site, Huchuy Qosqo. In Quechua the name signifies Little Cusco.
Huchuy Qosqo was built as a Royal Estate by the eighth Inca emperor Viracocha. The Inca Empire did not practise the normal tax system. Instead they acquired control of land and labour. This helped the Incan emperors to acquire many royal estates and pass it down in their line of succession.
During his rule, Viracocha faced revolt from the local Cancha community. He handed over the throne to his son Pachacutec and took asylum in Huchuy Qosqo. Pachacutec in turn deposed his father and assumed the role of the Inca Emperor.
Huchuy Qosqo was expanded massively during Pachacutec’s rule. The mummified corpse of Viracocha was stored here. On Spanish conquest, Gonzalo Pizzaro looted the site and burned down the mummified corpse of Viracocha.
This is one of the best treks to get a detailed understanding of Incas’ past and how the Spanish conquest changed everything.
Why Peruvian Highland Trek?
Peruvian Highland Trek is a fully locally owned tour operating company based in Cusco. We are licensed tour operators. All our tour guides are locals. They have an extensive knowledge about trekking and local culture.
Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu is a high altitude experience. The trek involces hiking through some high mountain psses. We highly recommend you to spend 3-4 days in Cusco before the trek to avoid altitude sickness.
Please take a moment to check out our reviews on Tripadvisor.
Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Pichu 3D / 2N
- 1 night camping and 1 night is spent in a hostel in Aguas Calientes town.
- Length: 18 km.
- Difficulty: fairly easy (depends on your fitness level).
- Landscape: typical Andean from valleys to grasslands with great mountains views.
- Inca sites: 2 (you will also walk on Inca trails!).
- Temperature: varied from 22ºC to 0ºC
- Coldest night: The first (minus – 2ºC).
- Highest point: 3800 meters.
- Longest day: 1st (about 10km – 5 hours walk more or less)
- Recommendation: needs to be normal fit and maybe acclimatization is advisable (3 to 4 days before tour) ask to your doctor for Diamox.
Day 1 – Cusco – Qoriccocha Lake – Quencco.
We will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco at 0600 AM. Then in our private transport, we will be driving you to Puca Pucara. It will be a 20 minutes drive.
We will begin the trek with a gradual uphill hike for an hour and a half to the first mountain pass at 4100 metres above sea level. You will get a captivating view of Cusco and the snow capped peaks of Mount Veronica, Pitusiray, Chicon and San Juan.
The trekking guide will share some facts on how the Incas found this place and how the Spanish conquered it.
We will then hike for 45 minutes to reach the top of the valley. On our way, we will be crossing a small stream that snakes through the valley.
For lunch, we will be stopping on the shores of Queullacocha lake.
You will get a spectacular view of the Peruvian highland region here. Here you will also be able to spot different birds like Andean Geese, Lapwings and Partridges.
After lunch we will hike to our campsite at the village of Quencco. Making our way over the top of one of the ridges we will descend towards Qoriccocha Lake (Golden Lake).
It is about a two and a half hour walk to the village where we will be greeted by locals. They are very friendly and will be happy to meet and welcome us to their community.
After we settle in, they will offer us a hot cup of team. We will then visit a local family house to know about their way of life.
After visiting the family we will have some free time to relax and your guide will teach you more about the Andean way of life. If you are interested in taking home gifts or souvenirs of the Andes, there is a good opportunity to find them here
Distance walked: 14 km
Day 2 .- Quencco – Huchuyqosqo – Lamay- Ollantaytambo- Aguas Calientes.
We will be waking you up to a hot cup of Peruvian coffee or infusions. This will be followed by a typical Andean breakfast.
We will then begin with a two hours hike to Huchuy Qosco Archaeological site. It is a two hours hike before we will be hiking on the stretch of the Inca Trail or Qhapaq Ñan. We will be right below the village of Pumamarca.
Along the way we will pass by many locals grazing their Llamas and Alpacas. This is one of the main professions of the people here. The terrain here is perfect for it.
Once we reach the Inca Trail the scenery really changes going from the high mountaintop to a secluded valley. This valley is beautiful and is full of lush vegetation, there are many small birds that can be seen including a variety of hummingbirds that feed off the many flowers that grow here.
As we make our way down the valley we will be able to see snow capped mountains above us and the famous Urubamba mountain range. There will be ample time to take advantage of the many picturesque photos on offer.
Little by little we will be making our way towards the main site. As we will be approaching we will be passing through an adobe Inca gateway. Then we will finally reach the magnificent Inca site of Huchuy Qosqo ( LITTLE CUSCO 3600 msnm).
The complex is perched above one of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here, you will see amazing Inca buildings like religious houses, store houses, Inca terraces for agriculture and Inca reservoir used to deposit water in the dry season. Your guide will take you on a tour of the site and is an expert in the history of the Incas, so he will explain and teach you about everything.
Afterwards you will have time to explore the site by yourself before we have lunch. From here we will begin our walk downhill to the Sacred Valley, it takes about 2 hours to get to the village of LAMAY (2,800 msnm) on the Urubamba River where the bus will be waiting to take us to Ollantaytambo.
We will have dinner in a restaurant here before taking the 7.pm train with your guide to Aguas Calientes. We will get set up in our hotel and be able to rest, hot showers are available.
Day 3 .- Machu Picchu- Hot Water – Cusco
Reaching Machu Picchu is the most important part of our trip. We will give you the option of how you want to arrive at this sacred site. You can either walk up the stairs for 1hr 20 minutes at 4.00am or you can take the first bus at 5.30 am, which takes 30 minutes.
We need to wake up early in order to arrive early to Machu Picchu to see the sunrise over this beautiful place (weather allowing) and once we enter you will have a guided tour around the area for 2 hours. Then you will be free with the options of climbing Huayna Picchu or the Sun Gate.
Both have breathtaking views but make sure there is plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu. Sungate or Inti Punku is the gate through which those hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu enter the citadel.
After you have taken in all of Machu Picchu, you will return to Aguas Calientes to enjoy lunch with your guide. Then board the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo where you will board a bus and return to Cusco at approximately 6.35pm. to Cusco.
- Professional, bilingual Tour Guide.
- Assistant Guide (for groups of 9 or more people).
- Collection from hotel (for groups of less than 9 people).
- Entrance fee to Huchuy Qosqo and Machu Picchu.
- Transportation – bus to start of trail, bus Lamay – Ollantaytambo and train back (Backpacker service to Ollantaytambo) and bus to Cusco.
- 1 nights’ accommodation in Aguas Calientes.
- Return bus trip – Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu / Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.
- (You need to bring water for the first morning then we will provide you with drinking – previously boiled – water).
- 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 afternoon snacks, 2 dinners and various snacks to be eaten throughout the day
- Dining tent with tables and chairs.
- 4-man tent for 2 people.
- Sleeping mattress.
- 1 horse in case of emergencies.
- Oxygen bottle.
- First Aid kit.
- Vegetarian food on request at no extra cost!
Optional services (not included):
- Hire of sleeping bag.
- Walking stick.
- Single Tent supplement
- Price: depends on number of people in your group:.
Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu Packing List:
- Original passport (and *International Student card (ISIC) if applicable)
- Travel Insurance is essential
- Sleeping bag (not included but can be hired from us)
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
- Warm jacket
- Hat and gloves
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun protection cream (factor 35 recommended)
- Insect repellent
- Toiletries and hand sanitizer.
- Personal medication
- Camera and films
- Torch with spare batteries (headlamps are useful)
Optional items to take:
- Walking stick (with rubber tip)
- Plasters and bandages
- Extra money
- Bathing suit (for hot springs in Aguas Calientes)