Conquer ancient pathways on the historic Inca Quarry trail hike.

Retrace the steps of the ancient Inca civilisation on the Inca Quarry Trail hike. Explore Cusco's maze of ruins and cobblestone streets, and discover the fascinating colonial and Inca histories that have visually impacted this fascinating town. Rise early to join our expert local guides and porters for a challenging hike along the far-less-travelled Inca Quarry Trail. On the fourth day, transfer from Kachiqata to Aguas Calientes via train before traveling on to Machu Picchu. Watch the sun rise over the enigmatic ruins and get lost exploring these crumbling structures, an experience that is sure to take your breath away. This tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will challenge and reward.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Cusco, Peru
Finish
Cusco, Peru
Destination
Peru
Style
Original
Theme
Short Breaks
Code
GGHK
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Cosmopolitan, scenic and steeped in Incan heritage, Cusco is a dream to walk around. Marvel at the cathedral, explore colonial art and architecture or explore the incredible ruins nearby

  • Cusco's central market is a great chance to meet Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas and browse for weird and wonderful Andean specialties

  • Hike to the mother of all Incan cities, magical Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins, plus free time to explore at your leisure

  • Be treated to incredible sunrise views over misty Machu Picchu – just cross your fingers for clear skies!

  • With a cook to prepare meals and porters to carry your equipment, you can focus on the walk and get the most out of your experience

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

  • The trip is recommended for those with a moderate level of fitness but there are also a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the trip notes for more information.

  • On the trail you'll be camping with basic facilities. It's not exactly the Hilton Hotel, but the rewards of the trek are great.

Itinerary

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Cusco, the heart and soul of Peru.
The day is at your leisure until your 6 pm welcome meeting in the hotel lobby. Be sure to take it slow while your body adjusts to the altitude (3,400 m). If you have time, check out the beautiful cathedral or perhaps the nearby ruins of Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo or Tambomachay. A Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) will grant you access into these sites. For a change of pace, head to the central market, or perhaps enjoy a meal at Yanapay at 415 Ruinas Street. This restaurant uses all its profit to support children in Cusco through Aldea Yanapay and its social projects.

Notes: This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

CAFÉ DARIA:
In your free time in Cusco why not stop & check out Café Daria? This café & pizzeria which opened in its now permanent home in the tourist area of Cusco city in April 2018, is Cusco’s first vocational training site for young adults with special needs. Manos Unidas core purpose to improve the quality of life for people with developmental & intellectual disabilities though vocational training, education and parent advocacy, leading to successful inclusion within a society in which they had traditionally been ostracised from.

The food is all natural and is prepared and baked by the students on site and students are trained across all aspects of hospitality so this is a great way for our travellers to interact with locals and in doing so, give a young adult who would normally be isolated from society the opportunity to meet people from all over the World and hone their skills.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures - USD36
  • Cusco - Ruins & Market Walking Urban Adventure - USD70
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
While you're away from Cusco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. The evening before you leave Cusco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum). Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Keep in mind that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group.

Make an early start along the Inca Quarry Trail today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite (3700 m above sea level). You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

Notes: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 km long in total and its highest pass is at 4450 m above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping, and on the third night you'll stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and inflatable camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • 4 day guided hike with porters' support
  • Machu Picchu guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. Your walk (approximately 3 hours) takes you to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (4370 m). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, hike to Kuychicassa (approximately 2 hours), the highest pass of the trek (4450 m). From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite which is only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today’s hike is all downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, your trek comes to an end. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will explore the incredible Machu Picchu ruins with a local guide. Your tour lasts approximately two hours, and there will be plenty of free time afterwards to explore on your own. When it's all over, return to Cusco for a well-earned shower and perhaps a Pisco sour.

Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5.30 am along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes). If the skies are clear, take in spectacular views over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

Notes: Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy, our leaders are prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures - USD36
  • Cusco - Ruins & Market Walking Urban Adventure - USD70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Sunrise at Machu Picchu:
The first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu departs at 5.30am. The estimated arrival time is between 6- 6.30am The sun rises at Machu Picchu at approximately 5.30am, therefore it's not possible to be there in time for sunrise.
Farewell your new friends as your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Check-out time is 9 am. Luggage storage can be arranged at the hotel if you're departing later.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Minibus, Train

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Hotel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • 4 day guided hike with porters' support
  • Machu Picchu guided tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

TRAIN OPTION
The train option is not available on this trip. Passengers wanting to take the train should see 'The Machu Picchu Explorer' or one of our group itineraries.

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

INCA TRAIL OR INCA QUARRY TRAIL
While hiking the 4 Day Inca Trail or the 3 Day Inca Quarry trail portion of this trip you may be joined by other Intrepid and/or non-Intrepid travellers.

On June 30th Peruvian authorities released a new list of regulations for visiting Machu Picchu, which came into effect from July 1st

The main points impacting our visits are:

1. Tickets are now only valid only for one entry, that means that passengers cannot leave the site and re-enter as we have in the past.
2. Once the passengers begin on a chosen circuit (there are 3 different ones) they cannot walk backwards and once they finish the circuit they must leave the site. They cannot explore afterwards.
3. The two allotted times to visit are 6am-12pm/ 12-4.30pm
4. It will be mandatory to have a guide (Machu Picchu guide, not our Leaders) to visit the site. However, this rule can’t be applied as there are not enough official guides to cover the large amount of people visiting so authorities are being flexible.

These new regulations are affecting how much time our passengers can spend in Machu Picchu, in the past, after a 1-2.5 hour tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site unguided, this is not possible anymore.

Our only alternative is to make passengers explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun gate and Inka Bridge) before their guided tour starts (so about 2 hours before meeting the guide). Your Tour Leader will provide more information on what the group options are at the Welcome meeting.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.