Do you hear about some ancient Inca quarries where Incas takes the rocks to built the empire? Yes they are few, but they are and with this tour you will have the opportunity to visit one of the most important Inca quarries. " Cachicata", the inca quarry used to built Ollantaytambo Fortress. Sound great yeah?
The Cachicata Trek is not a typical trek taked by many travelers. Cachicata Trek features some ancient Inca quarries, settlements, and the Intipunku gateway. This journey provides an in-depth look at this magnificent civilization from the Andes called the Incas and its high level of architectural engineering. During the Cachicata Trek, you will discover the ancient Inca town Ñaupa. There you will explore the site by your archaeological tour in what once was the Inca quarry Cachicata. The quarry is an unique place from where the Incas unearthed rocks to build their important temples, fortress and their civilization. The best of all? On this trek, you will experience the fascinating and diverse landscapes that offers the Sacred Valley of the Incas, also you will have the opportunity to meet and talk with local communities and why not ask about their costums with your tour guide help if you don´t speak spanish. Don't forget the panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Cachicata's proximity to Machu Picchu makes trekking around it an attractive alternative to the oversubscribed Inca Trail. Remember that Cachicata is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and that you can appreciate the Huarocondor terraces, the water fall, incas ruins, andean terraces, Intipunku (Sun gate), Inca trail original, stone quarries.So explore with us one of the best alternative trek to Machu Picchu. If you want more information, please don't forget to read our section Before you go!! and avoid any problem during your trip.
Day 01: Cusco - Huarocondo - Pachar - Corimarca
Day 02: Corimarca - Queñacancha
Day 03: Queñacancha - Cachicata
Day 04: Cachicata - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Personal: Salkantay Trek Machu representatives in Cusco and professional guide in Cachicata Trek and Machu Picchu
Accommodation: Camping (2 nights), Hostel (01 night)
Meals: 03 Breakfasts, 03 Lunches, 03 Dinners and 02 afternoon tea
Transportation: Private transport, van, train
Camping Equipment: You can view our Cachicata camping equipment here!
We drive from Cusco to Pachar located in the Sacred Valley, arrive Huaroncondor to trailhead, here we will meet with muleteer and horses and we will prepare the camping equipment, then we climb up the stairs and visit to Huarocondor terraces. continue the trek to Raphcca, 2,900 m.a.s.l (9,514ft.) From here we hike up the valley, along the route we appreciate inka terraces, water channels, Quechua comunities and endemic flora and fauna. We follow an steep trail that eventually bring us to a tall waterfall where we can pause to refresh our body and mind. Walking further, we visit the little known Inka site of Corimarca, our first campsite.
On this day, we will climb across an open meadows, reaching a zone of the high altitude shrubland known as Puna, approaching the pass of Chancachuco 4,400 m.a.s.l (14,435ft). This part of the trek offers an unique panoramic views of the highest peaks in Cusco region so don´t forget your camera and pay attention maybe you could find some of typical animals along the path. Then, our route continues across a high plateau, passing by mountain lakes where we may see andean and wetland birds,so if we see some consider a lucky trekker. Finally we will descent to our second campsite at Qeuñacancha, 4080 m.a.s.l (13,385ft).
We hike downhill following the trail until we join the Inka water channel which comes from Maracocha lake, from here we reach the temple call Intiwatana, which is located on the edge of the mountain called Apu Alambre, in front of the Veronica snow peak. Then we continue downhill to Choquetacarpo an archaeological site, which was most likely the residence of architects who managed the Inca quarries and performed ceremonies at Intipunku, after lunch we wend our way downward, exploring different sectors of one of the biggest Inka quarries, where massive carved blocks of pink rhyolite lie scattered in disarray. The quarried stones, testimony to a great building project that was never finished and were destined for the Inka site of Ollantaytambo. We descend to our third and last camp near the village of Cachicata. Here we enjoy toilets, hot showers and a warmer climate.
Wake up very early,today is the best day because you will have the oppotunity to finally explore Machu picchu!! After a delicious breakfast we will go to the train station to take the train that will leave us at Aguas Calientes town (Machu Picchu town), here our guide will be waiting for us to then take us to Machu Picchu, you will have a guided tour of Machu Picchu and then you can explore this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement by yourself. In the night we will take the train to Ollantaytambo and transfer you to your hotel in Cusco.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-50 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for this tour, you receive your own single tent and a single room in Aguas Calientes.
Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price!
Many people include The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in this “Things to do”, although what most people don’t know is that there are various Inca Trails Trips to Machu Picchu to pick from in the Cusco region. The difference lies in what kind of an experience you want, hiking alternative treks and how challenging you like your treks.
You have to take into account that usually you will need to book in very advanced the Classic Inca Trail, and in case it is fully booked, we recommend other good alternatives:
HOW TO BOOK THIS TREK?
Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Pachar (1st day) to Cachicata (2th day). 3 day hike, you will take your luggage by train to Aguas Calientes. You are expected to carry your own luggage (max 10 min). We recommend keeping the weight under 5 kg/10lb. You will need to carry clothes, sleeping bag.
If very important your take best cover backpacker, because the weather in Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu is change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended putting your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside the plastic bag.
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machu Picchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machu Picchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.
The camping equipment to Cachicata trek will be returned to Cusco on day 3rd, you need to give to chef the sleeping bag and the thermal rest mattress.