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The Cachicata Trek is a different adventure, exploring Inca ruins missed by most adventurers. Cachicata Trek features ancient Inca trail, settlements, and the Intipunku gateway. This journey provides an in-depth look at this magnificent civilization Inca.
During the Cachicata Trek, you will discover the ancient Inca town Ñaupa temple, Perolniyoc and the Inca quarry Cachicata . The quarry is the place where the Incas unearthed rocks to build Ollantaytambo. On this trek, you will experience the fascinating and diverse landscapes of the Sacred Valley, high-altitude grasslands, and lush forests dotted with rushing waterfalls. This trek offers you plenty of time to experience the highlights of the Sacred Valley away from the crowds!
We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco relatively early and drive down to the Sacred Valley of the Inca to the village of Socma, just a short drive outside of Ollantaytambo. Before we arrive to Socma, we stop at a spot where we can view and take photos of some stone age petroglyphs.
Today’s hike, takes us up the valley behind Socma. As we make our way to a small and pristine Inca site and beautiful waterfall that lie at the top of the valley. Along our Inca Quarry trek, we walk past fields of potato, corn, and quinoa nestled among the incredible mountains. Throughout, we will have the opportunity to see a variety of flora and fauna – gorgeous and lush fields and trees and fascinating native birds. Also, your guide will inform you of the customs of the Andean people of this region and will teach you some Quechua (the Inca language) as we hike.
After a relaxing morning’s walk, we finally arrive to our destination, the best Inca site of Perolniyoc. We will tour here and learn of the significance of this site. After, we will carry on for just a little longer to our campsite at Rayanniyoc (3650m / 11975 ft.). In the afternoon, we will visit one of the local families and you can practice the Qhechua you had learned in the morning. As for the Quecha you didn’t learn in just a morning’s time, your guide will translate for you, making this a beautiful cultural exchange and learning opportunity for both you and the local people.
In the evening, we enjoy a deliciously prepared dinner by our trekking chef, soak in the views, and sleep amidst the mountains.
We wake up early with a cup of hot coca tea and breakfast prepare for the longest day of the adventure. We continue on up the valley, approaching the first pass of the Quarry trek Peru. This agricultural area is still tended by the local people despite the high altitude. One of the few plants that thrive wildly in this region is muña, Andean mountain mint. The aroma is lovely and the scent infuse the air, especially in the morning. Muña makes a beautiful cup of tea, so along the way we pick some for later.
In total, it’s about a 4 hour hike to the pass (4500m / 14,764ft.), where we will stop to take in the stunning panoramic views, snap some photos, and catch our breath before carrying on. It is only about another 20 minutes until we arrive at our lunch spot, at an incredible vantage point of the valley below.
After lunch, the hike is slightly easier, having reached the top of the mountain, the terrain levels out. We then hike through a strange area, a landscape with numerous mounds, that resemble burial mounds but are actually glacial moraines. These are piles of rock deposits are from glaciers dating back to the Ice Age, fascinating!
In the late afternoon, we pass a beautiful Inca ruin site, Intipunku, which means Sun Gate in Quechua. Of course, we will rest here and take advantage of this incredible photo opportunity, with the valley below and the snow capped mountains surrounding us.
As we work our way down from the high plateau, our destination for the day is the Inca Quarry of Cachicata resting at (3,6000m / 11,808 ft.). This is our home for the night and will share a lovely dinner in this tranquil campsite.
Today we wake up amidst the mountains and enjoy a delicious breakfast. Our day we is dedicated to exploring Cachicata trail and all it has to offer. Despite it’s proximity to Ollantaytambo and the incredible architecture and ingenuity, hardly anyone actually comes up here. Cachicata is a vast site, as it was the quarry used by the Inca for the construction of Ollantaytambo. There are a number of significant sites, including: large buildings, abandoned and half finished quarried stones, chullpas (burial houses), and a cave with Inca mummies still in place. We will take ample time here and learn of the interesting history this site holds.
After our Cachicata Trek, we’ll continue following the trail down the mountain walking along the original platform that the Incas used for transporting stones to Ollantaytambo. In the early afternoon, we arrive in Ollantaytambo, where we will board the train. We then take a scenic train ride from the Sacred Valley of the Incas through the lush jungle to Aguas Calientes. Once we arrive at this lovely town, we will check you into the your comfortable hotel and then you will have the rest of the afternoon to relax and explore. Aguas Calientes has bustling artisan markets and natural hot springs, plenty to do to fill your late afternoon. Then, in the evening, we meet for dinner at a lovely restaurant in town and return back to the hotel.
The hotel we use provides a very early buffet, or can provide a boxed breakfast, to ensure we are in the queue for the bus as early as the group would like. It is about a 25 minute drive along the winding road to Machu Picchu, and on a clear day the sunrise can be spectacular.
Upon arrival your guide provides a 2 hour walking tour of the site, named as one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Then you are free to wander through the ruins yourself, perhaps finding a solitary spot to reflect on this awesome achievement of the Incas, or, if you have elected to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountains you can begin the hike once your guided tour concludes.
Your guide will arrange the time for you to return to Aguas Calientes by bus in time to make your train connection back to Poroy or Ollantaytambo. From here you will travel by private van to Cusco and back to your hotel. Arrival times will vary depending on traffic and connections, but should be around 8pm.