Get off the beaten path, discover the most remote villages, rarely visit Inca sites, and have beautiful waterfalls. During the Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu, you'll see the largest Inca Quarry in Cachiccata Village.

Trek details

Duration
4 days - 3 nights
Activities
Adventure - Camping - Hiking
Difficulty
Challenging
Maximum Altitude
4450m/14599ft
Destination
Ollantaytambo & Machu Picchu
Group Size
12
Overview

Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu is the perfect option if you're planning to hike off Peru's beaten path and visit Machu Picchu. The Quarry Trail Trek combines Inca Shrines, waterfalls, villages, snowcapped mountains, lakes, and history. Visit Cachiccata Inca Quarry, considered as the biggest one in the Inca Empire, also. You'll be able to see Inca tombs, water channels, and the fantastic Sungate overlooking the Veronica Mountain, and finish with Machu Picchu.

Highlights:

  • Discover the hidden Inca Trails
  • Explore rarely visited Inca Sites and waterfalls
  • Visit the Cachiccata Inca Quarry
  • Enjoy a Pachamanca barbecue
  • Beat the crowds to Machu Picchu before sunrise
  • Board the Vistadome Panoramic train on the way back to Cusco
  • Visit and support our Social projects in Cahiccata

Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail at a Glance!

Day 1: Cusco — Racca — Socma Waterfalls — Korimarca

Depart from your hotel in Cusco at 7:00 am and drive to Racca's village, where you can visit the ancient Inca Shrine of Ñaupa Iglesia (2967m / 9734 ft). The hike today takes 6 hours, visiting Socma, the waterfalls of Perolniyoc, and the Inca Site Inca of Rayanpata. Camp at Korimarca village (3611 m / 11847 ft).

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

After breakfast, begin the 4-hour ascent to the highest point, the Charkahuaylla Pass (4450m/14599ft). You will be enjoying the fantastic views of the snow-capped peaks of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. After lunch, continue for another 4 hours up and down to the second campsite at Choquetacarpo (3600m/11811ft). You'll visit the Intipunku Inca Site.

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

Wake up with a nice cup of coffee on top of the Sacred Valley. Today is all downhill for 5 hours visiting Cachiccata Inca Quarry, considered one of Cusco's largest Inca quarries. Enjoy a Pachamanca Lunch to later continue to Ollantaytambo, explore the town, and take the train to Aguas Calientes. Spend the night in a hotel.

Day 4: Explore — Machu Picchu — Return to Cusco

Travel by bus to Machu Picchu before the crowds and explore with a local tour guide all morning. Hike to Sungate or Inca Bridge, discover the Inca temples, palaces, and altars, and have time to either hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the afternoon, take the Vistadome panoramic train back to Cusco. Arrive around 7:30 pm at your hotel.

Optional hikes after the Machu Picchu tour:

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: Must be booked in advance; limited availability, and the cost is $75 per person.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: Must be booked at least a month in advance; limited availability; the cost is $75 per person.
Full Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco — Racca — Socma Waterfalls — Korimarca

Pick up from your hotel in Cusco at 7:00 am (you need to have breakfast in your hotel before departure) and drive for 2 hours to Racca's community (2967m / 9734 ft), located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You will start hiking for 1 hour to visit Ñaupa Iglesia, an important Inca Shrine. After exploring the shrine, you'll hike uphill for 3 hours to the Andean community of Socma (3188 m / 10459 ft). This community is nestled in the heart of the Andes, inhabited by farmers of different crops. At Soccma, you'll meet the horsemen and porters who will accompany you during the whole trek. Lunch is near the local school with beautiful mountainous scenery. After lunch, continue uphill for 3 hours to Perolniyoc, one of Cusco's most beautiful waterfalls with its drop of almost 100 meters - 328 feet high. Enjoy the Socma Valley's incredible vistas, Maras Plateau, and the snow-capped mountain Chicon; you'll visit Rayanpata archeological site and spend the night 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, you'll begin the hike following an ancient Incan water channel. The trail ascends through the Ccorimarca Valley, where terraces locally known as "Andenes" dot the hillsides. The Incas built these terraces, and locals still grow their crops here. Hike up to our highest point, the Charkahuaylla pass (4450m/14599ft), for 3 hours, enjoying the fantastic views of the Urubamba mountain range's snow-capped peaks and the mystical Sacred Valley of the Incas. Lunch is after 4 hours from the campsite at the small valley of Chancachuco next to the Andean lake of Marcacocha, as it drains its waters into the stream.

After lunch, well-rested and full of energy again, begin the ascend for 2 hours to the second mountain pass of the Inca Quarry trek, Apu Buena Negra (4370m/14300ft). You'll have a spectacular birds-eye view of the Sacred Valley and the snowy mountains at the top of the pass. From here, head down for 2 hours to the site that the Incas called Inti Punku, a beautiful door that opens up to the sacred Veronica mountain's most beautiful view. You'll find the campsite just a few minutes distance away, called Choquetacarpo (3600m/11811ft)

  • 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

Wake up with a nice coffee cup, a beautiful view of the mountains, and the Sacred Valley, and wait for the most stunning sunrise. After breakfast, prepare for the final stretch of the Inca Quarry Trail. The hike is all downhill for 4 hours, with the first stop at the Cachiccata quarry, considered one of the largest Inca quarries in Cusco. You can witness beautiful and enormous rocks that the Incas were carving, and they couldn't complete due to the Spanish Invasion. At midday, we arrive at the town of Cachiccata, where you can visit our Libary project for local children and enjoy a special Pachamanca lunch, celebrating the end of this challenging but fascinating trek.  From here, we see the original Inca settlement of Ollantaytambo; you'll have time to explore the city, considered like “the last living Inka city,” “world capital of Native Americans. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Then catch at 7 p.m train to Aguas Caliente. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will register at your comfortable hotel and relax for the next and most significant day of the Inca Quarry Trail tour.

  • 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 in your hotel, catch the first bus at 5:30 am to Machu Picchu; the drive takes 30 minutes along a winding road. Upon arrival, top the main entrance and pass the control point. You'll start exploring Machu Picchu (2430 m / 7972 ft). The tour begins with a short hike to Sungate or Inca Bridge, then follow your tour guide to the magnificent Inca complex of Machu Picchu, its most famous streets, plazas, temples, and altars. After the 3 hours of a guided tour, you will have extra free time to keep exploring or take the optional hikes to Huayna Picchu Mountain (Not Included) or Machu Picchu Mountain (Not included and different from Machu Picchu Citadel).

After you finish exploring Machu Picchu, take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, and have lunch (Not included). Later in the afternoon, take the 1.5 hours Vistadome Panoramic train ride to Ollantaytambo, here. Our Ultimate Trekking team will wait for you and transfer you in an exclusive van back to Cusco. The drop-off will be at the door of your hotel, where the Inca Quarry trail tour ends around 7.30 pm.

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

Included:

  • Pre-departure safety briefing
  • Pickup from your hotel in Cusco on the day of the tour
  • All transportation included during the 4-day tour
  • Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu
  • Round trip bus tickets to Machu Picchu
  • Professional Native Tour Guide
  • Second guide for groups 9+
  • Comfortable camping equipment
  • Sleeping foam mattress, pillows, hot water bags
  • Porta potties and showers
  • Duffle bags for your stuff up to 7 kilos
  • Cargo Mules to carry food and equipment
  • Trekking chef, porters, muleteers
  • 2-nights camping with comfortable equipment
  • 1-night 1 a 3-star hotel in Agua Calientes
  • 1-night 3-star Hotel Accommodation in Aguas Calientes
  • Pachamanca cooking
  • breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, and a snack every day
  • Dinner tent, Kitchen tent, tables, and chairs
  • First aid kit, Oxygen tank, satellite phones
  • Eureka 4-men tents for each 2 travelers
  • All taxes and fees included

Not Included:

  • Lunch on the last day
  • Sleeping bag, air mattress, trekking poles (available for rent)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain hike
  • Machu Picchu mountain hike
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
FAQs

What is the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail Trek?

The Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail Trek is a lesser-known, yet stunning hike in the Sacred Valley region of Peru. This trek takes you through ancient Inca trails, archaeological sites, and a quarry that provided stones for the construction of Ollantaytambo, an impressive Inca fortress.

How long is the Cachicata Trek?

The trek typically spans 3 to 4 days, covering a distance of approximately 36 km (22 miles).

What is the difficulty level of the Cachicata Trek?

The Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail is considered a moderate trek. Although not as challenging as the Inca Trail or Salkantay Trek, it does involve some steep ascents and uneven terrain. A reasonable level of fitness is recommended.

What is the best time of year to do the Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu?

The best time to trek the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. The weather is generally more pleasant, with less rainfall and clearer skies. However, note that June, July, and August are the busiest months for tourism in the region.

Do I need a permit to trek the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail?

Unlike the classic Inca Trail, permits are not required for the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail. However, booking with a reputable tour operator is still recommended to ensure a safe and well-organized experience.

What are the main attractions of the Trek?

The trek features a variety of attractions, including stunning mountain landscapes, traditional Andean villages, and archaeological sites like the Cachicata Quarry, the Sun Gate, and Ollantaytambo.

Can I visit Machu Picchu after the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail Trek?

Yes, you can visit Machu Picchu after completing the trek. Most tour operators will offer the option to continue to Machu Picchu by train from Ollantaytambo.

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

When packing for the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail Trek, it's important to be prepared for various weather conditions and terrain. Here's a suggested packing list:

Clothing:

  • Moisture-wicking base layers (tops and bottoms)
  • Insulating layers (fleece or down jacket)
  • Waterproof and windproof outer layers (jacket and pants)
  • Quick-drying hiking pants or shorts
  • Hiking socks (extra pairs)
  • Underwear
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sun hat or cap
  • Sunglasses

Footwear:

  • Sturdy, broken-in hiking boots or shoes
  • Camp shoes or sandals (for relaxing after the day's trek)

Gear:

  • Daypack (with rain cover)
  • Trekking poles (optional but helpful)
  • Sleeping bag (check with your tour operator if they provide one)
  • Headlamp or flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Reusable water bottle or hydration system
  • Dry bags or plastic bags (to keep items dry)
  • Camera or smartphone for photos

Toiletries and personal items:

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and other personal hygiene items
  • Travel-size towel
  • Wet wipes or biodegradable soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Personal medications, including altitude sickness prevention (consult your doctor)

Travel documents and miscellaneous items:

  • Passport
  • Travel insurance information
  • Emergency contact information
  • Spare cash (for tips, snacks, or souvenirs)
  • Snacks (energy bars, nuts, dried fruit, etc.)
  • Lightweight book or entertainment for downtime
  • First aid kit (with essentials such as band-aids, pain relievers, and blister treatment)

Packing as lightly as possible is important; we will be carrying your belongings during the trek.

Are there altitude sickness concerns on the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail Trek?

The trek reaches a maximum altitude of around 4,450 meters (14,600 feet) at the Charcawaylla Pass. It is important to acclimate before beginning the trek, and consider taking precautions such as staying hydrated and ascending slowly. Consult your doctor before traveling to high-altitude regions.

What kind of accommodation can I expect on the Cachicata Inca Quarry Trail Trek?

Accommodations on the trek include camping in comfortable tents.