WHAT YOU’LL DO
Mesmerizing and mystical, the legend of Machu Picchu may never be fully unraveled. On a six day journey to the heart of it all, lace up those hiking boots to follow Eco Quechua Lodge along overgrown jungle trails, past hidden ruins, and through vibrant Andean communities to the Lost City of the Incas.
"WALKING IS THE SPEED WE WERE CREATED TO USE WHEN TRAVELING THROUGH LIFE."
- JORGEN JOHANSSON, BACKPACKER
The story begins in Cusco on the cobblestone streets that weave between the city's Spanish colonial churches and plazas. Once the beating pulse of the Incan Empire, it now serves as a historic and archeological prelude where the shops and markets that line the city streets expose ancient traditions and timeless customs.
After two days of urban exploration, it's time to hit the trail. Meander from the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes via the Malaga Pass, taking time off between two trekking days for a little relaxation. As the elevation rises, well-trod trails reveal unsullied views of the snow-capped Andes and verdant jungle canopies - rewards well worth the effort.
Tucked into the surrounding scenery, the Eco Quechua Lodge is a welcome respite from all that treking. Revive tired muscles with a soak in the nearby hot springs or jolt the senses with a cup of locally grown organic coffee before making the final ascent to the legendary Lost City of Machu Picchu.
Toes still tingling from the excitement - and all that walking - board the plane back home with a weary smile, still entranced by the memory of your time on the trail.
Day 1 | Cusco – Chinchero
We will meet you upon arrival at the Cusco airport and take you to your hotel in Sacred Valley. You’ll have time to relax and acclimate before having lunch with your tour leader. The afternoon is scheduled for a walking introduction to the archaeological and colonial highlights of the area. You can enjoy the unique character, traditions and ancient customs of Chinchero village as your guide directs you to shops, markets and beautiful walking paths which you can explore on your own. Overnight at the Hotel Casa de Barro in a Colonial-style room.
Day 2 | Cusco
In the morning, you will have a half-day guided tour of ancient Inca temples, Spanish churches and the surrounding ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. In the afternoon, you will visit Andean communities where you can enjoy pottery or weaving workshops, markets, and Quechua villages where highland Indians tend their fields and sell handcrafts in outdoor markets. You will return to Chinchero and overnight at the Hotel Casa De Barro. Prepare for the start of our adventure program with an evening briefing about the next four days’ activities. B/L/D
Day 3 | Chinchero, Sacred Valley, Abra Malaga, Santa Teresa, Eco Quechua Lodge.
6:00 -7:00 am: Early morning pick-up at your hotel lobby by an Eco Quechua Adventures representative. Transportation service through the amazing Sacred Valley with stops in various archaeological ruins along the way and crossing over the 4,316m high Malaga Pass at the base of massive glaciers. The landscape is quite impressive with amazing views of the snow-capped mountains. We will stop along the road for the scramble up moraine to a spectacular viewpoint where you will see various birds of the region. Following the tour of the Malaga Pass, you will be taken to the Huaman Marka Inca Ruins which have recently been restored. We’ll arrive in Santa Maria in time for lunch. After, we prepare ourselves for an afternoon hike along the Inca jungle trail, reaching Eco Quechua lodge at the end of the day where you will enjoy a special candlelit dinner in our riverfront restaurant. B/L/D
Day 4 | Eco Quechua Lodge (1, 530 m / 5,007 ft)
This day is spent at leisure for rest or activities, depending upon your preferences. The most popular activity at Eco Quechua is a nearby half-day Canopy tour. In the afternoon, guests may choose the birding tour or a visit to the hot springs. In the evening, the tour leader will brief the trekking party on gear and the itinerary for the next two days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are taken at the Lodge. B/L/D
Day 5 | Eco Quechua Lodge, Llacta Pata Inca Trail, Aguas Calientes:
Eco Quechua Lodge – Aguas Calientes (1, 900 m / 6, 200 ft). After an early start and a hearty breakfast, we travel by car approximately 30 minutes to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail. We walk about 20 minutes to the coffee plantation where local experts will teach you about sustainable growing practices and coffee’s vital role in Santa Teresa´s social and economic evolution. ( It is said that Santa Teresa produces the best organic coffee of the world.) After tasting the result of the plant to cup process, we head uphill for 2-3 hours towards the Llactapata Pass (2, 700 m/8, 900ft), where we come upon a distant but quite special view of Machu Picchu from the southwest which few tourists ever glimpse. An added value are the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored, a place that had great sacred significance for the Incas.
Lunch is provided nearby, in view of Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests and more orchids and coffee plantations (2-3 hour descent). Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are a short (30 minutes), scenic train ride away. (Total hiking time: 4-6 hours. Hiking level: moderate to challenging). B/L
Day 6 | Machu Picchu – Cusco:
Today is spent exploring the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu with your tour leader. In the afternoon, we return to Aguas Calientes to board the train for our journey back to Cusco. We get off at Ollantaytambo and change to motorised transport arriving into Cusco in the early evening. Breakfast in your hotel; recommended to purchase a box lunch before heading to Machu Picchu.