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Hidden Valley Trek to Machu Picchu

Hidden Valley Trek to Machu Picchu– 5D/4N

Are you ready to push your limits and experience the magic of Tomacaya in the most authentic way?

Look no further than our Hidden Valley Trek to Machu Picchu.

This 5-day, 4-night adventure is designed to challenge your mind, body and spirit while rewarding you with unparalleled views and unforgettable memories.

HIDDEN VALLEY TREK – ITINERARY 5D/4N

  1. Pre-Trek Briefing
  2. Day 1: Cusco – Trailhead (Tomacaya) – Tinko
  3. Day 2: Tinko – Tocto Pass – Pampacahuana
  4. Day 3: Pampacahuana – Paucarcancha – Chamana
  5. Day 4: Chamana – KM 82 – Ollantyatambo – Aguas Calientes
  6. Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
  7. What’s Included?
  8. FAQs

About our Hidden Valley Trek tour

Are you ready to escape the crowds and discover the hidden gems of Peru? Our 5-day, 4-night Hidden Valley Trek, also known as the Tomacaya Trek, is your ticket to an unforgettable adventure off the beaten path.

This trek isn’t just about reaching Machu Picchu (although that’s definitely a highlight!). It’s about immersing yourself in the diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture of the Peruvian Andes. You’ll follow ancient Inca trails through breathtaking valleys, ascend to towering mountain passes, and witness the daily life of remote communities that have preserved their ancestral customs.

You’ll witness the dramatic beauty of the Canyon of the Condor, explore remote Inca sites like Paucarcancha, and even walk a section of the famed Classic Inca Trail.

This trek is a journey through time, connecting you with the spirit of the Inca Empire and the natural wonders of the Andes. Our expert guides will share their knowledge of the region, its history, and its people, ensuring you have a truly immersive and enriching experience.

And of course, the adventure culminates with a visit to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, where you’ll stand in awe of this ancient wonder of the world.

So, if you’re seeking a unique and challenging trek that takes you off the tourist trail, the Hidden Valley Trek is calling your name.

Get ready to discover the hidden treasures of Peru!

Detailed Itinerary – Hidden Valley Trek – 5D/4N

Pre-Trek Briefing (required):

Before we set off, we’ll need to discuss what you can expect, cover some ground rules, and, of course, give you an opportunity to ask any questions you have about the itinerary or otherwise.

You can either choose to visit us at our office for this briefing, or we’ll come to you at your hotel.

Note: Your briefing must happen the day before the Hidden Valley trek begins, so make sure you give yourself enough time when booking travel over to us!

Day 1: Cusco – Trailhead (Tomacaya) – Tinko

Driving distance: 77.2 km (48 mi)

Trekking distance: 12 km (7.4 miles)

Time: 6-7 hours

Accommodation: Tents

Wave goodbye to Cusco’s bustling city streets – today, your journey into the remote wilderness begins! We’ll embark on a scenic drive towards Limatambo, the gateway to the majestic Andes. Prepare to be wowed as we traverse the Tika Tika Pass, where the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Salkantay and Mt. Humantay dominate the horizon.

The adventure continues as we cross the vibrant Anta plateau, a tapestry of fertile fields and towering mountains.  We’ll take a short detour to the Tarawasi ruins, an important Inca ceremonial center that offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history.

Finally, we’ll arrive at the charming village of Tomacaya, the starting point of your trek.  Lace up your boots and get ready to experience the magic of the Andes firsthand! The initial climb is steep, but don’t worry – the trail levels out as you delve deeper into the valley. As you ascend, watch the landscape transform from lush greenery to rugged high-altitude terrain.

At the end of your first day on the trail, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the meadows and valleys below. We’ll set up camp at Tinko (4154 m / 13,628 ft), a picturesque spot nestled beside a tranquil stream. Get ready for a well-deserved rest under the Andean stars!

Day 2: Tinko – Tocto Pass – Pampacahuana

Trekking distance: 15 km (9.3 miles)

Time: 8-9 hours

Accommodation – Tents

Get ready to test your limits and soak in breathtaking views on this exhilarating day of trekking! We’ll start by heading straight up the valley, taking the left-hand trail that leads to the majestic Tocto Pass. As the sun warms your back and the scenery unfolds around you, keep your eyes peeled for the iconic Andean Condor soaring above the peaks.

After a steady 3-4 hour climb, you’ll reach the highest point of your journey: Tocto Pass (4,900m / 16,072 ft.). The panoramic views of the south face of Mt. Salkantay are simply awe-inspiring, and the sense of solitude, knowing you’re far from the tourist crowds, is truly special.

From the pass, it’s time for a well-earned descent into the Pampacahua Valley. As you follow the trail towards our campsite at Mirador Pampaccahuana (4,000 m / 13,120 ft.), the eastern face of Mt. Salkantay will be your dramatic backdrop, providing a constant reminder of the majestic landscape you’ve conquered.

This is a day of triumphs and unforgettable vistas – a true adventure you’ll cherish forever!

Day 3: Pampacahuana – Paucarcancha – Chamana

Trekking distance: 15 km (9.3 miles)

Time: 7-8 hours

Accommodation – Tents

Today, we bid farewell to the towering presence of Mt. Salkantay and begin our descent into a lush new world.  Following an ancient Inca canal that winds through the heart of the Pampacahuana Valley, you’ll pass by small farm settlements and witness the daily life of Andean communities.

As we descend, the landscape transforms before your eyes.  The air grows warmer, the vegetation thickens, and soon you’ll find yourself surrounded by the vibrant greenery of the cloud forest.  Our lunch stop will either be at the remote Inca site of Paucarcancha, nestled at the meeting point of two valleys, or further down the trail at our Chamana campsite – your guide will decide based on the group’s energy and preferences.

At Paucarcancha, you’ll have a chance to explore the remnants of ancient Inca houses and stone walls, imagining the lives of those who once called this place home.  Then, we’ll continue our descent, joining a section of the famed Inca Trail as we make our way towards Chamana.

Just outside of Chamana lie the Llactapata ruins, another hidden gem rarely visited by tourists.  After a hearty lunch (if you haven’t already eaten at Paucarcancha), we’ll explore this ancient rest stop once used by Incas on their pilgrimage to Machu Picchu.  It’s a unique opportunity to connect with the past and imagine the footsteps of those who walked this path centuries ago.

Day 4: Chamana – KM 82 – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Trekking distance: 7 km (4.3 miles) Time: 4 hours

Driving distance: 15.6 km (9.7 mi) Time: 30 min

Train ride: 43 km (27 mi) Time: 1:45 hours

Accommodation – Hotel in Aguas Calientes

Today, we’ll dive deeper into the heart of the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary.  After exploring the Qorihuayrachina ruins, with their impressive terraces and breathtaking scenery, we’ll bid farewell to the sanctuary and head towards the official Inca Trail entrance at Piscacucho.

Get ready to walk in the footsteps of history!  This section of the trail follows the sacred Vilcanota River, winding past ancient archaeological sites. You’ll be tracing the same path Hiram Bingham took when he first stumbled upon Machu Picchu in 1911 – talk about following in the footsteps of legends!

We’ll then catch a ride to the charming town of Ollantaytambo, a perfect spot to explore if time allows.  From there, it’s all aboard the train to Aguas Calientes, the bustling town nestled at the foot of Machu Picchu.  Tonight, rest up in your cozy hotel (Hatun Inti Classic Hotel) – tomorrow is the day you’ve been waiting for!

Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Meals: Breakfast

Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/6,691 ft

Highest Elevation: 2,440 m/8,052 ft

Rise and shine, adventurers! Today is the day you’ve been waiting for: Machu Picchu! After an early breakfast at your hotel, you’ll catch the first bus up to the Lost City of the Incas. Arriving early means you’ll beat the crowds and have this ancient wonder practically to yourself as the morning mist lifts.

Your expert guide will lead you on a two-hour walking tour, unraveling the mysteries of Machu Picchu’s temples, terraces, and intricate stonework. Imagine the bustling city that once thrived here, the ceremonies held in its sacred plazas, and the daily lives of the Inca people who called this place home.

After the tour, the rest of the day is yours to explore!  Feeling adventurous?  If you’ve booked your ticket in advance, you can hike up Huayna Picchu for even more breathtaking views. Or, you can wander through the ruins at your own pace, soaking in the atmosphere and discovering hidden corners.

In the afternoon, you’ll descend back to Aguas Calientes for lunch and board the train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. From there, a private van will whisk you back to Cusco, where your Peruvian adventure began.

What’s Included in The Hidden Valley Trek Package?

  • Your personal trekking gurus! Our professional, licensed guides are fluent in English, Spanish, and even Quechua (the ancient Inca language). They’ll not only lead you safely but also share fascinating stories and insights about the region’s history and culture. Larger groups? We’ll add an assistant guide to make sure everyone’s well-looked-after.
  • We’ll cover everything you need to know: the itinerary, essential gear, safety tips, and answer all your burning questions. This can happen at our office or your hotel, whichever is more convenient for you.
  • From the moment you touch down in Cusco to your final departure, we’ve got your transportation covered. Think comfortable private vans for those scenic drives through the Andes and train tickets for the journey back to Cusco after Machu Picchu.
  • No need to worry about tickets – we’ll take care of all the entrance fees for the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, and any other sites we visit along the way.
  • Our talented chefs will whip up hearty breakfasts and dinners that’ll fuel your adventures. Expect fresh, local ingredients and a taste of authentic Peruvian cuisine. Lunches will be boxed lunches to enjoy during your hikes.
  • We’ll provide everything you need for a comfortable night’s rest under the stars. Think spacious tents, warm sleeping bags, and even inflatable mattresses for extra comfort.
  • After conquering the Inca Trail, you’ll spend a night in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes, located just steps from the entrance to Machu Picchu.
  • Your safety is our top priority. We carry a comprehensive first-aid kit, including emergency oxygen, on every trek.

FAQs

When’s the best time to trek the Hidden Valley?

Machu Picchu’s got a unique climate, thanks to its location near the Amazon rainforest and high in the Andes.  It’s split between dry and rainy seasons, but the best times to trek are April-September and November-March.

What about transportation?

No worries there! All transportation during your trip is included, whether it’s a private van, public bus, or train ride. We’ve got you covered from start to finish.

Where will I be sleeping?

Get ready for a mix of comfy hotels in Cusco and cozy mountain campsites. We always aim for accommodations with local character, though some might not meet Western standards (hey, it’s part of the adventure!). In Aguas Calientes, you’ll rest up at the Hatun Inti Classic or a similar hotel.

Do I need a permit for the Hidden Valley Trek?

Nope! Unlike the Classic Inca Trail, there are no limits on the number of hikers on the Hidden Valley Trek.  But you’ll still need a ticket to enter Machu Picchu, so book in advance, especially if you’re traveling during peak season (May-September).

Is the Machu Picchu entrance ticket included?

Absolutely! It’s all part of the package. We’ll take care of securing your ticket and hand it to you when you enter the site.

What if Machu Picchu tickets are sold out?

There’s no waiting list for Machu Picchu tickets, so it’s best to book early.  Remember, these tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable, so double-check those dates!

Can I enter Machu Picchu with a different name on my ticket?

Nope, you’ll need your valid passport to enter, and the name on your ticket must match.

How tough is the Hidden Valley Trek?

This is a challenging trek, covering around 48km over five days.  Expect 6+ hours of hiking each day through varied terrain, with plenty of uphill and downhill sections.  But if you’re in good shape and enjoy hiking, you’ll be just fine!  Our guides carry oxygen for anyone who needs it, and we’ll take plenty of breaks to soak in the views.

What should I pack?

Pack light! You’ll only need to carry essentials like water, snacks, and your camera. We’ll provide a duffel bag for your personal gear (up to 8kg), which will be transported by our trusty horses.

Where can I store my extra luggage?

Your Cusco hotel can store your luggage for free while you’re on the trek. We can also store extra bags at our office in Cusco at no additional cost.

How big are the groups?

Our groups are small and intimate, typically ranging from 3 to 5 people, with a maximum of 16.

Is the Hidden Valley Trek always open?

You can trek the Hidden Valley year-round, but for the best conditions and clearest views at Machu Picchu, aim for the dry season (April-September and November-March).

What about bathrooms and showers?

We provide clean, sanitary pop-up toilet tents at each campsite. Showers are not available during the trek, but you’ll have a chance to freshen up at your hotel in Aguas Calientes.

How do I deal with the altitude?

Spend a few days in Cusco before the trek to acclimatize. Cusco’s higher elevation is a better starting point than the Sacred Valley for adjusting to the altitude.  Remember, altitude sickness can affect anyone, so listen to your body, stay hydrated, and let your guide know if you experience any symptoms.

What’s the food like on the trek?

Get ready for a culinary adventure! A skilled cook accompanies each group, preparing delicious breakfasts, three-course lunches, and dinners using fresh, local ingredients. We cater to vegetarians, vegans, and other dietary needs with advanced notice.

Will drinking water be provided?

Absolutely! We’ll provide drinking water every morning and at each meal. We collect water from nearby streams, boil it, and let it cool overnight. Bring a reusable water bottle or hydration pack to help reduce plastic waste.

What gear does Action Peru Treks provide?

We’ve got you covered! We provide sleeping tents (4-person tents for every 2 trekkers), dining tents, tables, chairs, toilet tents, cooking equipment, water purifiers, sleeping pads, and other essential camping gear. We invest in high-quality equipment and regularly replace older gear to ensure your comfort and safety.

What are the guides like?

Our guides are the best in the business! They’re locals from the Cusco and Sacred Valley areas, fluent in English, Spanish, and Quechua. With years of experience leading treks to Machu Picchu, they’re experts in the region’s history, culture, and ecology.

How can I prepare for the trek?

The fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy the trek! We recommend 30 minutes of cardio 3-4 times a week in the months leading up to your trip.  Focus on leg strength and aerobic fitness by walking up and down stairs or hills.

What if I have a medical emergency on the trek?

Our guides are trained in first aid and carry a kit for basic medical issues. In the rare event of a serious emergency, we have evacuation procedures in place to get you to the nearest medical facility in Cusco.

PRICE PER PERSON IN USD:
Group: $770
Private: $830
DURATION:
5 Days / 4 Nights

AVAILABLE ADD-ONS

  • Hiking poles – USD $25 (pair)
  • Sleeping bag – USD $30 per person
  • Huayna Picchu Permit – USD $75 per person
  • Return Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo– USD $60 per person
  • Return Hiram Bingham train– USD $420 per person
  • Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel (5-star hotel) – USD $255 Per person per night (double occupancy)
  • Inkaterra El Pueblo Machu Picchu hotel (5-star hotel) – USD $250 Per person per night (double occupancy)
  • El Mapi hotel by Inkaterra (4-star hotel) – USD $115 Per person per night (double occupancy)
  • Tierra viva Machu Picchu (3+ star hotel) – USD $50 Per person per night (double occupancy)
  • Private Tent – USD $45 per person

 

OVERVIEW

  • Day 1: Cusco – Trailhead (Tomacaya) – Tinko
  • Day 2: Tinko – Tocto Pass – Pampacahuana
  • Day 3: Pampacahuana – Paucarcancha – Chamana
  • Day 4: Paucarcancha – Kilometer 82 – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
  • Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
  • Hike Total Distance: 49 km/30 miles
  • Overall trek difficulty: Challenging

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