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Cachicata Trek: The Inca Quarry 4 Days

Cachicata Trek: Inca Quarry Machu Picchu

Cachicata Trek: The Inca Quarry to Machu Picchu (also known by the locals as the Soqma trail or Chaski Trek) one of the most beautiful treks in the proximity of the Sacred Valley.  This excellent alternative trek called Cachicata Trek, is a great option of trekking for those who want to experience the incredible scenery, the Inca sites and getting a firsthand look of the country lifestyle in the Peruvian Andes. The Inca Quarry trek is for sure one of the top Alternative treks to Machu Picchu, listed by National Geographic Magazine.

Besides the amazing mountain scenery, flora, and fauna, the Cachicata Trek: The Inca Quarry to Machu Picchu enables you to be introduce to the Inca history during the trek, we will visit little villages and very important sites like: Perolniyoc Inca ruin, part of the Inca Trail to Ollantaytambo and the Cachicata Inca Quarry itself. The Cachiqata Trek  allows you to see the place where the Inca builders carved the stones before to transport to Ollantaytambo fortress.

The Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 32 kilometers long in total and its highest point is at 4,450m/14600ft above sea level. During the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. In this Inca Quarry Trek we will spend the first two nights camping and the third night you will stay at the hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Cachicata Trek – Inca Quarry – Highlights:

  • Amazing mountain scenery
  • High Mountain passes
  • Typical Andean Villages
  • Impressive Inca sites and trails.
  • Snow capped mountains.
  • The very attractive Inca Quarry at Cachiqata
  • Train ride to Aguas Calientes
  • Machu Picchu the lost city of the Incas


Cachicata Trek – Overview

  • First day : Cusco – Soqma – Rayan
  • Second day : Rayan- Inti Punku – Choquetacarpo
  • Third day: Choquetacarpo – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
  • Four day : Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu –  Cusco.


Cachicata Trek: The Inca Quarry – Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Soqma – Rayan

We will start the Cachicata trek with the pick up of travelers from the hotels in Cusco, we then drive through the Sacred Valley 1 hour and 40 minutes to arrive to the village of Soqma (3,205 m / 10,512 ft). Which is the trail-head for Cachicata trek, the horsemen will be waiting for us at this village ready to join us in this adventure trek.

To start the  Inca Quarry trek from Soqma, we’ll gently make our way up following a picturesque path along the beautiful valley, after walking for 1 hour and 30 minutes we will stop at the waterfall of Perolniyoc; which is one of the nicest falls in the northern part of the Sacred Valley. We will continue  our Cachicata Trek walking for one more hour uphill to reach the archaeological site of Perolniyoc, located above the waterfall, after explore the ruins with our guide, we will walk for one hour to arrive to our lunch spot and camp

This first day of Cachicata trek will be part of the acclimatization to the high altitude, so after lunch we can relax and have rest for the next day; we spend the night at Rayan campsite (3,700 meters/12,136 ft).

  • Meals:  Lunch & Dinner
  • Walking distance: 8 km/5 miles
  • Estimated walking time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Difficulty of the hike: Moderate

Day 2: Rayan – Intipunku – Choquetacarpo

After breakfast we will set off from the camp, 3 hours of slow hike will lead us to the highest pass of Cachicata trek called Puka kasa pass (4,450 m /14,600 ft), for many people this is the hardest section because the altitude but is the most spectacular day, we will see many snow-capped mountains and the Sacred Valley in the other side. Once we reach the mountain there will be a magical feeling of surviving one the highest passes on this mountain range. .

We then walk downhill for 25 minutes to our lunch place. In the afternoon, we will hike for two more hours undulating trail with some ascents and descents. The last 25 minutes of this segment lead us uphill to the highest pass of the trek, Kuychi kasa (4,457 m/ 14,619 ft)

We then trek downhill for 2 ½ hours to the famous site the called Inti Punku, or the Sun Gate, where we will have a spectacular view of Veronica  Mountain(5,682 m/ 18,637 ft) and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

We will spend the night at Choquetacarpo which is 30 minutes downhill from Inti Punku (3,600m/ 11,808 ft).

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Estimate Walking distance: 13 km/ 8 miles
  • Walking time: 8 to 9 hours
  • Trek difficulty: moderate

Day 3: Choquetacarpo – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

We will continue our Cachicata trek having an early breakfast and then walk down for one hour to arrive to  Cachicata, the Inca Quarry (3,525 m/ 11,562 ft), the reason for the name Cachicata trek; where we will be able to walk around and observe all the stone works did by the Inca builders before to transport down to Ollantaytambo. Our guide will show us the remains of the unfinished stone work left by the Incas, because the invasion of the Spanish conquerors.

From the Cachiqata quarry we will descend for 3 hours until we arrive to Ollantaytambo (2,840 m / 9,315 ft.) our lunch place.

In the afternoon we will have train connection to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night at the hotel. In the evening we will have dinner in one of the restaurants in the town, and we will plan our Machu Picchu visiting for the next morning.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Distance to walk: 11 km/ 7 miles
  • Estimate walking time: 4 hours
  •  Trekking difficulty: moderate

DAY 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

After breakfast we will take the bus which will bring us to the biggest energetic center of the Incas, “Machu Picchu”. As part of our itinerary the same professional tour guide from the Cachicata trek;   will teach you about all the history of this mysterious and mystical place. We will visit the Sun Temple, Royal palace, Main Temple, Three Windows Temple and Sun Dial. After the guided tour, you will have free time to explore on your own or take the following options.

  1. Visit the Sun Gate: You will have an opportunity to walk (approx. 2 hours up and down) up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) to see Machu Picchu from a different angle.
  2. Hike to the Inca Bridge: The Inca Bridge offers a dose of adventure for your next Machu Picchu visit. However in this case, the adventure is a little less strenuous, but a lot more death defying, not for people with vertigo.

Train back to Cusco: In the afternoon you will return to the train station in Aguas Calientes for the trip back to Ollantaytambo. Upon your arrival to the train station you will be transferred by car to your hotel in Cusco.

  • Meals: breakfast


What’s included in the Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu:

  • Pre-departure briefing at your hotel in Cusco
  • Pick up from your hotel in Cusco, the morning of Cachicata trek departure
  • Horseman’s and horses to carry our camping and kitchen equipment
  • English Speaking Professional Guide
  • 4 Season tents, with 2 to 3 people capacity.
  • Therma-Rest self-inflating mattress
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 suppers included
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Expedition Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (day 4)
  • Return Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Transfer from the Train Station to your hotel in Cusco
  • One night accommodation in Aguas Calientes Hotel (last night)
  • Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip)
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu

What is not included in the Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu:

  • Sleeping bag.( you can hire it in our office)
  • Walking poles( you can hire it in our office)
  • First day breakfast and Lunch at Aguas Calientes on the last day.
  • Tips (Cook, horseman and guide)
  • Transfer out from Cusco
  • Insurance of any kind, international airfares, domestic flights, Airport departure (U.S. $ 31 per person for international flights and U.S. $ 7 for national flights) and entrance fee to Wayna Picchu Mountain

Note: if you want to climb up to Wayna Picchu, we kindly suggest you to book it way in advance, because the spaces are limited for any additional information contact us.

What you need to take for Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu

  • Original Passport is required for Cachicata trek
  • ISIC card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
  • Walking boots are suggested for Cachicata trek
  • Waterproof jacket,pants / rain poncho
  • Warm jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable Trousers
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Insect repellant
  • Toiletries and hand sanitiser
  • Personal medication
  • Camera and film
  • Flash light
  • Spare batteries

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