ANCASCOCHA TREK

5 Days 4 Nights

The ANCASCOCHA TREK is a spectacular trail that is beautiful, strenuous, and off the beaten path. 

This trek takes 5 days/4 nights and ends in Machu Picchu. Ancascocha is very strenuous and challenging due to the altitude gain, high altitudes, 7 steep summits, and length of hiking: 56 km/34.8 miles and goes up to 4,821m/15,817ft. The Ancascocha Trek, also known as the Hidden Inca Trail or the Super Inca Trail, is a strenuous and less traveled trek. If you’re looking for off the beaten path trails, pristine wilderness, and a challenging trek, this is the one for you! National Geographic recently named Ancascocha Trail as one of the World’s 20 Best Hikes!

Don’t feel up to a hike quite as challenging as this one? Try the stunning 6 Day/5 Night Rainbow Mountain Trek & Machu Picchu package instead. Minimum passengers necessary for trek departure: 2 people (1 person or private/custom treks possible with extra fee). Maximum trekkers per group: 10 people (special, private party groups can exceed maximum).

Meters

Kilometers

Days

Nights

The Nitty Gritty Trek Details

Highlights

Off the beaten path, pristine wilderness, glacial mountains & lakes, Machu Picchu.

Location/Terrain

Glacial, snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, multiple high passes, rocky terrain

Acclimatization

3 day acclimatization and multi-day trekking experience recommended

Duration

5 Days/4 Nights

Distance

56 km/34.8 miles

Altitude

2,870m/9,416ft to 4,959m/16,270ft

Adventure Rating

★★★★★
Very strenuous, lengthy, high altitude

Solitude Rating

★★★★★
Quiet, remote, off the beaten track

When to Go

Best from March to November

Departures

Daily departures with 2 or more people

Prices USD

6-10 trekkers: 950,  3-5 trekkers: 990, 2 trekkers: 1150 (per person)

Customizable

Yes! Private, custom, add-ons all available.

DAY 01: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAYPAMPA – PAMPA JAPONESA

Private transport will pick you up early at your hotel for the 3 hour drive to Mollepata (2,870m/9,416ft) where we have the chance to buy supplies (extra snacks, rain ponchos, etc.). From Mollepata we continue driving for 1 more hour until we reach Soraypampa (3,840m/12,598ft). We begin today’s hike from the pastures of Soraypampa Village or Challacancha Village, stopping for lunch in Salkantaypampa. After lunch we continue trekking for several hours until we arrive at our campsite Pampa Japonesa (Japanese Plain 4,600m/15,092ft). Our campsite for the night is at the base of the majestic snow-capped Salkantay (6,264m/20,551ft) and Humantay (5,217m/17,116ft) Mountains. The campsite altitude is very high so it is important to be well acclimatized and bring sufficient cold weather camping clothes and sleeping bag/liner. Walking distance approximately 12 km/7.5 miles (6-7 hours)

DAY 02: PAMPA JAPONESA – INCA CHIRIASKA – MILLPO

After breakfast we start our long hike, including summiting multiple high passes. The first high pass is Inca Chiriaska (4,959m/16,270ft), from where we will have views over the amazing landscapes of the area. From here we walk along an original Inca Trail until you arrive at the Tocto pass (4,821m/15,817ft) where the Inca trail then heads towards Salkantay. We will continue hiking for another 2 hours to the Calacocha pass (4,667m/15,312ft). From here it is another 1 hour trek to the Cruz Casa pass (4,600m/15,092ft) and then within another hour we will summit Millpo Pass. Here we begin our descent to tonight’s campsite, Millpo (4,399m/14,432ft). If the group is feeling good we may continue to the campsite at Yahuarmaky. Approximate walking distance: 16 km/9.9 miles. Total walking time today 8.5-9 hours.

DAY 03: MILLPO – ANCASCOCHA

After an early breakfast we walk for about 1 hour towards the Chusqenay pass (4,630m/15,190ft) and then in another hour we will descend to the pass of Rumi Inca and continue on upwards to the narrow valley of Yahuarmaky. We then start climbing again, for about 1.5 hours until we reach Aqocasa pass (4,686m/15,374ft). This mountain is a nice reddish sandy mountain and from the top of this pass (with the help of binoculars) we will appreciate the famous Inca trail which leads to Machu Picchu. We can also see the Salkantay, Humantay, and Huayanay Mountains and off in the distance we can see Huacaywillka (Sacred Tears). Along the trail we will see a small archaeological site called Inka-raqay. From here it is a 3 hour descent to Inka Rakay, and then another 1.5 hour ascent to the Huayanay pass (4,630m/15,190ft). We then descend 3 hours to our campsite at Ancascocha (3,700m/12,139ft). Approximate walking distance: 16 km/9.9 miles. Total walking time today is approximately 8-9 hours.

DAY 04: ANCASCOCHA – CHILLCA

After breakfast we will walk downhill for approximately 5 hours to arrive at Chillca. Beginning from our campsite at Ancascocha it is a 2 hour descent to Arequipapampa. We will pass by small villages, observing Andean valleys and native vegetation such as chachacoma, qeuña, some orchids, begonias, and bromeliads. The descent becomes easier towards Camicancha (2,930m/9,613ft) and we continue our hike to Chillca where our private transport will drive us to Ollantaytambo to catch the train to Aguas Calientes. In Aguas Calientes we will check into our hotel and have a celebratory dinner. If you wish you can choose to soak in the local hot springs. Walking distance approximately 12 km/ 7.5 mi (6-7 hour hike)

DAY 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO

Breakfast is very early in order for us to take first (5:30am) bus directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft). Once we arrive at Machu Picchu you will show your entrance ticket and passport. If you are a student you must bring your ISIC card to the entrance or you will not be permitted entrance. You are allowed to take in a small backpack (under 20L).  From the entrance it is a 15 minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Enjoy the early tour of Machu Picchu with your guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, explaining the history and flora/fauna. Your guide will spend about 2 1/2 hours relating interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors. Your tour of Machu Picchu will finish between 9 and 9:30am after which you will have free time to take photos and explore before the 10:30 crowds arrive. After you are done exploring the ruin site take the bus down to Aguas Calientes.  There are many restaurants to choose from and your guide can also help find a nice place for lunch. NOTE: there are no bathrooms in the ruin site. There are bathrooms right outside the entrance, cost is 1 sol per entrance, and they provide a little toilet paper. You will be provided with a report to fill out about your trekking experience. Please fill it out honestly and realistically.

HIKES WITHIN MACHU PICCHU

There are hikes within Machu Picchu that you can do on your own if you wish. The hikes that do not require an entrance ticket are The Inka bridge and the Sun Gate (where the Inka Trail ends with a view of Machu Picchu city). Wayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes both require a paid ticket and there are a limited number of spots (200 at 7am and 200 at 10am). If you want to hike one of these please let us know well in advance as these spots fill up very quickly. Price per hike is 25USD. Please note we cannot guarantee you a spot for the mountains requiring tickets and that the trail is very steep and slippery and not for those afraid of heights or with vertigo).

INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any questions
  • Collection from your hotel in the morning or our departure point (you choice) Plaza Regocijo
  • Private bus transport to starting point of the trek
  • Personal porter to carry your overnight gear up to 8kg/17.6lbs
  • Dry bag in which to put your overnight gear so it won’t get wet or dusty on the trail
  • 3 person, 4 season tents (2 people in large and comfortable Mountain Hardwear Expedition tent)
  • Extra-thick foam mattress sleeping pad to put under your sleeping bag
  • English speaking professional guide
  • Full meals (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, snacks on the trail)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Emergency horse (1-2 per group depending on group size)
  • Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
  • Dining and cooking tents with tables and stools
  • Horsemen and horses (to carry tents/food/cooking equipment)
  • Hot water every morning/evening for washing purposes
  • Boiled water to fill water bottles every morning/afternoon
  • Round trip tourist train: Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu and back
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
  • Round-trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu, plenty of time to explore on your own
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes and dinner in a local restaurant
  • Private Transport back to hotel in Cusco
NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after the trek
  • Lunch and dinner on the last day
  • Items of a personal nature/souvenirs
  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Entrance to hot springs (10 soles)
  • Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain Hike (25USD each) – advanced booking essential
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Tip for your guide(s) and trek staff are optional but highly encouraged if you enjoy your trek
ON THE TRAIL
On the trail you should carry a day pack with your camera, water bottle or bladder, snacks, cold weather clothing and rain gear or poncho in case of rain (unlikely in dry season – May to October) and anything you will need before dinner as horses do not walk alongside you. Your bag will be waiting for you at every campsite. We will provide you with a duffel bag for extra luggage to be carried by horses.
HELPING LOCAL PEOPLE
Helping Local Children or Andean People (Optional) Along certain treks we may encounter some local children and Andean people.  If you wish to lend a helping hand you may bring some clothes, toys, books and school equipment (used or new), toiletries and other essentials, and new/sealed medication for a variety of ailments.  You will be rewarded with their gratitude and beautiful smiles. Please do not give candy or sweets as they do not have access to dental/medical care and tooth decay can lead to serious illness. For those who wish to help but take a trek that does not pass local people or villages you can leave your donated items with a Killa Expeditions representative and we will distribute them to one of the local communities that we support.  There are a variety of other ways in which to lend a helping hand to local communities (charity events, building schools, and much more). If interested please get in touch!
PRICE AND NUMBER OF TREKKERS
A minimum of 2 trekkers required for this trek. Maximum of 10 trekkers in a group. Price for 6-10 trekkers: 950 USD per person. Price for 3-5 trekkers: 990 USD per person. Price for 2 trekkers: 1150 USD per person. Private treks, single trekker, custom treks, large groups, and packages welcome! Please email us to customize.
WHEN TO GO AND DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
Year round. This trek is rated as a very challenging or advanced hike considering the high altitudes, length of walking and 7 strenuous summits. It is recommended that you acclimatize in Cusco for at least 3 days before trekking.
WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR TREK
What to bring: for your trek: The weather varies a lot in Peru, having 28 climates and 84 of the worlds 104 ecosystems. Cusco is set high up (3,380 mts, 11,089 ft) near the Andean Mountain Range and the dry season (winter) is from April/May to October/November with the wettest part of the year (summer) being January through March. Temperatures don’t vary too much between these seasons but the amount of precipitation does. If the sun is out it can be quite warm, but in the shade it gets cool fast. Temperatures change quickly and you will need layers as you hike during the day. At night it is quite cold in the mountains (usually near or below freezing) and most people will need long underwear and layers to sleep in, nice warm socks, gloves, and a hat. Everything you need for the day should be kept in your daypack that you carry because all the items you leave with your porter will not be available to you until the evening at the campsite. It is recommended not to hike in cotton or jeans in the event of rain as cotton takes a very long time to dry. It is also recommended to bring true hiking boots or trail running shoes as regular running shoes do not get very good traction especially when it has rained. We encourage everyone to bring reusable bags and limit plastics and single-use items. Please also bring earth-friendly, biodegradable soap and other toiletries for use on the trail.

  • Sleeping bag (we recommend a sleeping bag rated for well below freezing)
  • Walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Sleeping bag liner (for your sleeping bag if you wish)
  • Mattress pad – while we provide a mattress pad, being rested is essential for a great hiking experience and we find that sleep habits are very individualized. Therefore we recommend bringing your own pad that you know you are comfortable sleeping on, as well as any other sleep items you might want to have (camp pillow, etc).
  • Sunscreen: the sun is very strong in Cusco
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Hiking pants and shirts (layers)
  • Layers – long underwear and/or warm sleep pants for cold nights
  • Hand warmers if you wish
  • Warm hat, gloves, scarf and thick warm socks (or you can buy a traditional Peruvian hat and scarf – they are beautiful!)
  • Daypack and rain cover
  • Rain gear – rain jacket and rain pants (optional for the pants), can buy an inexpensive poncho before the trek
  • Cash for tipping porters, cooks, horsemen, guides, buying items along the trail, for in town, emergencies, etc. Note: Cash should be in perfect condition (ripped, damaged soles are NOT accepted anywhere in Peru)
  • Swimsuit, flip flops, towel for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes if you wish to go
  • Sandals
  • Torch/flashlight/headlamp (and batteries)
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra snacks if you wish (beyond snacks provided by us) Eg. if you have a favorite protein bar (as Cusco does not sell items like this)
  • First aid kit, including blister protection (though your guide will have one, you may wish to carry one of your own)
  • Personal medication and toiletries you might want
  • Camera, extra memory cards/film, batteries
  • Solar panel to recharge your devices/batteries
  • Water bottle or water bladder to refill
  • Passport (must be valid 6 months past your travel dates for most countries)
  • Copies of passport (keep copies separate, give to travel friends to keep, etc)
  • Power adapter/converter
  • Travel lock(s) approved by TSA (or they cut them off – US only)
  • Tickets, itinerary, emergency contact information
  • Any medications you currently are taking or need/may need (see suggestions below)
  • Small quick-dry pak towels and/or compostable wipes for a quick wipe down at the end of the day

What to bring: medications – medications are optional and depend on your specific needs

  • Antibiotic for travelers diarrhea or UTI
  • Antibiotic for a severe bacterial infection
  • Medication for upset stomach/indigestion
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Anti-nausea medication for motion sickness/altitude sickness if needed
  • Cold/flu medication
  • General painkiller/fever reducer
  • Vaccinations – recommend bringing all boosters up to date (MMR, tetanus, etc)

View latest travel advisories and recommended vaccinations and medications for the regions you plan to visit. For Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu there are generally no vaccinations required. If you are going to the jungle or any other higher risk area you may need: yellow fever vaccine, medicine for malaria, typhoid vaccine, etc. Click here for updated info: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/peru.aspx

NOTE: Please visit your doctor several weeks before your trip to discuss any health restrictions you may have, medications he/she might recommend for you personally, and to seek more information about any vaccinations or medications recommended for Peru (or any of your other destinations). Additionally: speak with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter and/or prescription medications alone or combined.

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