Get off the beaten path and explore the Cachicata Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu, a four-day journey that guides you along ancient quarries, rivaling the classic Inca Trail. Discover the rich heritage of Peru's stonemasons at the Ollantaytambo Quarry and traverse landscapes steeped in history. This alternative path offers a unique adventure through the heart of the Andes, blending rugged natural beauty with archaeological wonders. 

Conclude your unforgettable Cachicata Quarry Trek 4 days by visiting the Iconic Machu Pichcu and a scenic ride back on the Vistadome Panoramic Train, ensuring your journey is as majestic as it is transformative.

Trek details

4 days - 3 nights
Adventure - Camping - Hiking
Maximum Altitude
Ollantaytambo & Machu Picchu
Group Size
6 to 10

Embark on the Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek to Machu Picchu, a four-day adventure that takes you deep into the history of the Inca civilization. This trek follows ancient paths used by the Incas to carry large stones from the Cachicata Quarry to build the town of Ollantaytambo. This quarry was one of the most important sources of stone for the Incas and is still filled with partially carved stones left behind by the builders.

As you hike, you will pass through stunning landscapes, including wide-open spaces, high waterfalls, and quiet lakes nestled in the Andes mountains. The path also takes you to the Sun Gate of Ollantaytambo, a special spot that offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

One of the highlights of this trek is experiencing a traditional Pachamanca barbecue. The locals use this cooking method, where food, including meats and vegetables, is cooked underground using heated stones. It's not only a meal but an experience that connects you with the local traditions and flavors.

The Cachicata Trek is more than just a hike; it is a journey through the rich history and vibrant culture of the Andean people. It combines breathtaking natural beauty with a deep dive into the ingenious engineering of the Incas. This trek is an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of ancient stonemasons and explore a vital part of Incan heritage, making it a memorable and transformative experience.


  • Discover the hidden Inca Trails of Ollantaytambo
  • Explore the Cachiccata Inca Quarry
  • Enjoy a Pachamanca barbecue
  • Arrive early morning to Machu Picchu before sunrise
  • Board the Vistadome Panoramic train on the way back to Cusco

Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail at a Glance!

Day 1: Cusco — Racca — Socma Waterfalls — Korimarca

Depart from Cusco at 7:00 am and drive to Racca. Visit the ancient Inca shrine Ñaupa Iglesia at 2967 meters. Hike for 6 hours to the campsite, visit Socma, Perolniyoc waterfalls, and the Rayanpata Inca site. Camp overnight at Korimarca village at 3611 meters.

Day 2: Qorimarca — Sacred Valley Lookout — Inti Punku — Choquetacarpo

Start with a 4-hour ascent to Charkahuaylla Pass at 4450 meters for views of the Sacred Valley. After lunch, hike another 4 hours to the second campsite at Choquetacarpo at 3600 meters. Visit the Intipunku Inca site.

Day 3: Choquetacarpo — Inca Quarry — Ollantaytambo — Aguas Calientes

Begin with coffee and views of the Sacred Valley. Hike 5 hours downhill through the Cachiccata Inca Quarry. After a Pachamanca barbecue, explore Ollantaytambo and take a train to Aguas Calientes for overnight.

Day 4: Explore — Machu Picchu — Return to Cusco

Catch the first bus to Machu Picchu for a morning tour with a local guide. Optional hikes to Huayna Picchu or Montaña (not included). After exploring, return to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and take the Vistadome Panoramic Train to Ollantaytambo. Transfer to Cusco, arriving around 7:30 pm.

Optional hikes after the Machu Picchu tour:

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: This trip must be booked in advance. There is limited availability, and the cost is $68 per person.
  • Machu Picchu Montaña: It must be booked at least a month in advance, and there is limited availability. The cost is $68 per person.
Full Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco — Racca — Socma Waterfalls — Korimarca

Pick up from your hotel in Cusco at 7:00 am. Please have breakfast at your hotel before departure. We will drive for 2 hours to the community of Racca (2967m / 9734 ft) in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. From there, we'll start a 1-hour hike to visit Ñaupa Iglesia, an important Inca shrine. After exploring the shrine, continue with a 3-hour uphill hike to the Andean community of Socma (3188 m / 10459 ft), a village nestled in the heart of the Andes and inhabited by farmers growing a variety of crops.

In Socma, you will meet the horsemen and porters who will accompany us throughout the trek. We'll have lunch near the local school, enjoying the beautiful mountainous scenery. After lunch, we continue hiking uphill for 3 hours to Perolniyoc, home to one of Cusco’s most spectacular waterfalls, which plunges almost 100 meters (328 feet). Admire incredible vistas of the Socma Valley, the Maras Plateau, and the snow-capped Chicon mountain.

We will also visit the Rayanpata archaeological site and spend the night camping nearby.

  • Campsite Altitude: 3611 m / 11847 ft
  • Hiking Distance: 12kms/7.5 miles
  • Hiking Duration: 7 hours
  • Meals: Snack, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping with comfortable tents
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Day 2: Qorimarca — Sacred Valley Lookout — Inti Punku — Choquetacarpo

After breakfast, begin your hike following an ancient Incan water channel. The trail leads up through the Ccorimarca Valley, adorned with terraces known as "Andenes" that are still used by locals to grow crops. Ascend for 3 hours to the highest point, Charkahuaylla Pass (4450m/14599ft), enjoying stunning views of the snow-capped peaks of the Urubamba mountain range and the enchanting Sacred Valley of the Incas. Lunch is served 4 hours from the campsite, near the tranquil Andean lake of Marcacocha.

After lunch, continue ascending for 2 hours to the next mountain pass, Apu Buena Negra (4370m/14300ft), where breathtaking panoramic views of the Sacred Valley and the surrounding snowy mountains await. Then, descend for 2 hours to Inti Punku, the "Sun Gate," which offers a spectacular doorway view of the sacred Veronica mountain. The day's journey ends just a few minutes away at Choquetacarpo campsite (3600m/11811ft), nestled amidst these serene landscapes.

  • Campsite Altitude: 3600m/11811ft
  • Distance: 15kms/ 9.3 miles
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Difficulty: moderate to challenging
Day 3: Choquetacarpo — Inca Quarry — Ollantaytambo — Aguas Calientes

Start your day with a cup of coffee, taking in the stunning sunrise over the mountains and the Sacred Valley. After breakfast, get ready for the final leg of the Inca Quarry Trail. Today’s journey involves a 4-hour downhill hike, starting at the Cachiccata quarry. This site is one of the largest Inca quarries in Cusco, where you can see large, unfinished stones that the Incas left behind during the Spanish Invasion.

By midday, you will arrive in the town of Cachiccata. Here, you can visit our library project dedicated to local children and enjoy a special Pachamanca lunch—a traditional Andean meal cooked underground with hot stones, celebrating the completion of your trek. After lunch, take a short ride to Ollantaytambo. This town is often referred to as "the last living Inca city" and is known as the "world capital of Native Americans." Spend some time exploring its ancient streets and significant sites. Dinner will be in a local restaurant.

Later, board the 7 p.m. train to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival, check into your hotel to rest and relax, preparing for the next and most exciting day of your tour: visiting Machu Picchu.

  • Aguas Calientes Altitude: 2040m/6692ft
  • Distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Difficulty: easy
Day 4: Explore — Machu Picchu — Return to Cusco

After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, catch the first buses to Machu Picchu at 5:30 am. The 30-minute drive winds up the mountains to the entrance of Machu Picchu (2430 m / 7972 ft). Upon arrival, go through the main entrance and pass the control point. Your exploration of Machu Picchu begins with a short hike to the main viewpoints. Then, follow your tour guide through the magnificent Inca complex, visiting its most famous streets, plazas, temples, and altars. After about 3 hours with your guide, you'll have additional free time to continue exploring or opt for optional hikes to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain (these hikes are not included and require separate tickets).

After finishing at Machu Picchu, take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, where you can grab lunch (not included). Later in the afternoon, board the Vistadome Panoramic train for a 1.5-hour ride back to Ollantaytambo. Here, the Ultimate Trekking team will meet you and provide an exclusive van transfer back to Cusco. You will be dropped off right at your hotel door, concluding your Inca Quarry Trail tour around 7:30 pm.

  • Highest altitude: 2400 m/ 7872 ft
  • Duration of the guided tour: 4 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast at the hotel


  • Pre-departure safety briefing.
  • Hotel pickup is in Cusco on tour day.
  • All transportation during the 4-day tour.
  • Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu.
  • Round-trip bus tickets to Machu Picchu.
  • Professional native tour guide.
  • Additional guide for groups of 9 or more.
  • Comfortable camping gear.
  • Sleeping foam mattresses, pillows, and hot water bags.
  • Portable toilets and showers.
  • Duffle bags for your items up to 7 kilos.
  • Cargo mules to carry food and equipment.
  • Trekking chef, porters, and muleteers.
  • Two nights of camping with comfortable equipment.
  • One night in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes.
  • Pachamanca traditional cooking experience.
  • Daily meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, plus daily snacks.
  • Dining tent, kitchen tent, tables, and chairs.
  • First aid kit, oxygen tank, and satellite phones.
  • Eureka tents for two travelers each.
  • All taxes and fees.

Not Included:

  • Lunch on the last day.
  • Sleeping bag, air mattress, and trekking poles (available for rent).
  • Optional hikes up Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).

What is the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail Trek?

The Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek is a wonderful hiking adventure in Cusco, Peru. It leads to the Cachicata quarry, where stones were once cut for building Inca sites like Ollantaytambo. This trek offers a mix of beautiful nature and history, and there are fewer crowds than on more famous treks.

How long does the Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek take?

This trek usually takes about 4 days. During this time, you will walk through stunning landscapes and explore historical sites related to the ancient Inca civilization.s). You can do it in a shorter time, like 3 days, or even a longer 5 days trek, if you combine it with the Short Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu

What are the key differences between the Quarry Trail and the Inca Trail?

When comparing the Quarry Trail vs Inca Trail, the Quarry Trail is less crowded and not as steep, making it a bit easier for some hikers. It also passes through the Cachicata quarry, offering a unique look at how the Incas worked with stone.

What type of accommodation is provided during the Cachicata Quarry Trek?

During the Cachicata Quarry Trek, you will stay 2 nights in tents at campsites along the trail. These tents are equipped with the basics for a comfortable night under the stars. You will also stay 1 night in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes. 

How many nights are spent camping on the Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek?

You’ll spend 2 nights camping out in the nature. These nights let you rest in the middle of nature and enjoy clear night skies with comfortable equipment.

What is the hotel accommodation like on the last night of the Cachicata Trek?

On the last night of the trek, you will stay at a hotel in Aguas Calientes. These hotels are comfortable, providing a nice bed and warm shower after several days of hiking.

What is the total distance of the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

The total distance you’ll cover on the Cachicata Quarry Trail is approximately 34 kilometers (about 21 miles). It's a manageable distance for many hikers.

What should I pack for the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail Trek?

Packing for the Cachicata Trek should include hiking essentials such as comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing for various weather conditions, a hat and sunscreen for protection, a hydration pack, and your camera to capture the stunning views. Here’s a complete packing list for the Cachicata Trek to help you prepare:


  • Shirts and leggings that dry quickly.
  • A warm jacket for cold days.
  • A waterproof jacket and pants.
  • Hiking pants or shorts that dry fast.
  • Several pairs of socks for hiking.
  • Underwear.
  • A warm hat and gloves.
  • A hat or cap for sunny days.
  • Sunglasses.


  • Hiking boots or shoes that fit well.
  • Sandals or comfy shoes for relaxing after hiking.


  • A backpack for day trips with a cover to keep it dry.
  • Walking sticks (optional but helpful).
  • Sleeping bag (can hire).
  • A headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.
  • A water bottle or hydration system.
  • Waterproof bags to keep your things dry.
  • Camera or smartphone for photos.

Toiletries and Personal Items:

  • Sunscreen to protect from the sun.
  • Bug spray.
  • Basic toiletries like a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • A small towel.
  • Wet wipes or biodegradable soap.
  • Toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
  • Any personal medicines, and altitude sickness pills if your doctor suggests.

Important Documents and Other Items:

  • Your passport and a copy.
  • Details of your travel insurance.
  • Emergency contacts.
  • Some cash for tips and small purchases.
  • Snacks like bars or dried fruit.
  • Something small for entertainment, like a book.
  • A basic first aid kit.

Remember, packing light is key; you’ll enjoy the hike more with less weight. The well-organized pack will make your adventure even better.

AWhat kind of climate can be expected during the Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek?

Expect a mix of weather conditions. Days can be sunny and warm, while nights might get quite cold, especially at higher elevations. Always be prepared with appropriate clothing.

What are the elevation changes on the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

The trail includes several elevation changes, with some parts reaching up to 4,450 meters (about 14,600 feet). These changes can make the trek challenging but also very rewarding.

How should I prepare for the Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek?

To prepare, start by getting in good physical shape. Practice hiking and make sure to spend a few days in Cusco or a similar area to adjust to the high altitude. Also, pack wisely—bring layers for changing weather, a good pair of boots, and all the essentials.

hat is the best time of year to undertake the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

The best time for the Cachicata Quarry Trail is from May to September. These months are usually dry, making the trek safer and more enjoyable.

What cultural experiences does the Cachicata Quarry Trail offer?

This trek offers a deep dive into local culture. You’ll see how the Incas quarried and transported large stones and learn about current local practices and daily life in the villages. You will also visit ancient sacred sites, waterfalls, and the Intipunku (Sun Gate) of Ollantaytambo.

Are meals provided during the Cachicata Quarry Trek?

Yes, meals are provided on the trek. The trekking staff prepares a variety of local dishes that are nutritious and delicious, fueling you for the hike. You will also prepare a Pachamanca Barbecue. 

What wildlife might I see during the Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek?

Wildlife on the Cachicata Quarry Trek might include sightings of local birds, Vizcahas, deer, and the Andean Condor. However, these animals are extremely rare to spot.

What are the camping facilities like on the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

The camping facilities along the Quarry Trail are out in Nature. Tents, sleeping mats, and cooking equipment are provided by Ultimate Trekking, and the campsites are in scenic locations.

How difficult is the Cachicata Quarry Trail compared to the Inca Trail?

In the debate of Inca Trail vs Quarry Trail, the Quarry Trail is considered moderately challenging, mainly due to its lower altitude and less steep paths, making it a bit easier than the Inca Trail.

Are there any age or fitness requirements for the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

There are no strict age restrictions, but a good level of fitness is important. The trek involves several days of walking, often at high altitudes, and being in good health will help you enjoy it more.

What safety measures are in place during the Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek?

Safety on the trek is taken very seriously at Ultimate Trekking. Guides are trained in first aid and emergency response, and the route is well-marked. Groups are also equipped with a radio, first aid kit, oxygen, and a satellite phone for emergencies.

ow do I get to the starting point of the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

The starting point for the Cachicata Quarry Trail is usually accessed from Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Ultimate Trekking offers transportation from Cusco to the trailhead as part of our packages.

Is a guide necessary for the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

Yes, a guide is necessary not only for safety and navigation but also to enhance the experience by sharing knowledge about the historical and cultural significance of the sites you visit.

What historical sites will I visit during the Cachicata Quarry Trek?

On the Quarry Trail, you’ll explore several historical sites, including the Ollantaytambo quarry. Here, you can see how the Incas worked the stone and possibly used it in constructions like those at Ollantaytambo. Here is a list of the Places we visit: 

  • Ñaupa Iglesia
  • Rakaypata site
  • Intipunku (Sun Gate)
  • Choquetacarpo
  • Cachiccata Quarry
  • The Ancient Inca Trails
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Machu Picchu. 

Is the panoramic train to Machu Picchu included in the Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek?

Yes, Al Ultimate Trekking, includes a scenic Visatdome train ride to return from Machu Picchu. This train journey is a wonderful way to see the landscape and relax after the hike.

Are there any permits required for the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

No special permits are required for the Cachicata Quarry Trail itself, which makes it a bit easier to plan compared to treks that do. However, you must book Machu Pichcu tickets in advance. 

How does the Cachicata Quarry Trail impact the local community?

The Cachicata Quarry Trail helps the local community by providing jobs and bringing tourists, which supports local businesses like restaurants and shops.

What are some of the most scenic spots on the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

The Quarry Trail offers breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley, the Veronica Peak, and, of course, the intricate stonework at the Cachicata quarry itself.

How can I manage altitude sickness on the Cachicata Quarry Trail?

To manage altitude sickness, take time to acclimatize in Cusco before starting the trek, stay hydrated, eat light but high-energy foods, and ascend gradually. If you feel ill, inform your guide and take the necessary precautions.

What are the bathroom facilities like during the Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek?

On the trek, there are no built bathroom facilities, but we provide portable toilets for all our groups. We use these portable toilets to minimize our environmental impact and keep the natural areas clean.