The Inca Quarry Trek, is one of the best alternate routes to Machu Picchu. On the Inca Quarry trek, you will visit some little-known Inca ruins and trek through amazing landscapes as you make your way to Machu Picchu. This trek will also take you to an amazing Inca temple above Ollantatambo that was built as a shrine to the snow-capped mountian Veronica. The quarry itself will give you an insight into the incredible craftsmanship and engineering skills of the Incas. If you dare, you will even get to peer inside Incan tombs which still contain the human skeletal remains of those who chose to sacrifice themselves to the sacred mountain. You will be impressed by the history and panoramic views that this tour has to offer.
Day 1: CUSCO – RAF´QA – SOQMA – Q´ORIMARCA
The trek begins early at 5:00 a.m. when we will pick you up from your hotel/hostel in Cusco. We will drive in a private van for one and a half hours to the peaceful village of Huarocondo where we will stop for breakfast and enjoy the early morning tranquility. We will then continue for 10 minutes to Parbopiso where we will meet our horsemen and begin our trek. We will start hiking up a moderate slope for two hours until we reach the little-known Inca ruin of Watt’a, perched at mid-altitude on a shelf high above the Anapahua valley. After visiting this sacred Inca site and taking in the 360° views of the landscape below, we will desend to our campsite in the small village of Marcuray, settled in a lush valley.
Day 2:: Q´ORIMARCA – INTI PUNKU – CHOQUETACARPO
This will be the most challenging and beautiful day of the trek. In the morning, we will have a gentle downhill walk in order to see a tall waterfall where we can pause to refresh ourselves amidst the cool spray or enjoy an alfresco shower and dip beneath the falls. We will then continue hiking for another hour to visit the Inca ruin of Qorimarca, similarly perched at mid-altitude on a shelf high above the Soccma Valley.
Day 3: Ancient Quarry- Veronica Temple – Ollantaytambo-Train to Aguas Calientes.
After breakfast, we will have one hour to hike a gentle path until we reach the mountain of Yana Orco, where we will begin to climb narrow zig-zags and steep trails which offer spectacular views of the sacred valley far below. We will explore different sections of the Inca quarries and natural rock falls. The Incas used the rocks from this quarry to build a sacred temple in Ollantaytambo. After exploring the quarry, we will descend to Ollantaytambo where you will have some time to rest and explore the historic town. In the evening, we will take the train to Aguas Calientes and enjoy a nice dinner and a night in a hostel.
Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
After breakfast, our guide will pick you up from your hostel/hotel and lead you to the bus station where you will board a bus to Machu Picchu. At Machu Picchu, you will have a 2 hour walking tour of this mysterious city, followed by free time for your own exploration. In this time you can also choose to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain if you have reserved a spot. Once you have completed your tour of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus to Aguas Calientes, where you can stop for lunch. Finally, after an amazing trek, you will go to the train station to take the train for your return trip to Cusco.
Day 1: CUSCO – RAF´QA – SOQMA – Q´ORIMARCA
We leave Cusco early in the morning and drive for 2 hours to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where the Incas historically would honor the moon. A short drive from here takes us to Rafq’a, time to lace up your boots at the starting point of our trek where we meet the horsemen for our hike. We hike for about 1 hour to reach the small transverse and typical community of Socma. Just a hop, step and jump ahead, takes us to the hypnotizing Perolniyoc Cascade, a wonderful opportunity to stop, take photos and have a snack. Our goal is to reach our campsite at 3700m or 2139ft at about lunch time. After lunch we set off to explore the Q’orimarca archeological site, which was used to serve as a check point during the times of the Incas.
Meals: Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time -Dinner
Accommodation: Camping with 4 season tents
Distance: 12kms/7.5 miles
Time: 6 hours approximately
PLEASE NOTE: Many alternative treks to Machu Picchu only offer beautiful landscapes along the way, but this trek also offers tours of many Inca sites!
Day 2: Q´ORIMARCA – INTI PUNKU – CHOQUETACARPO
This is the most challenging but most rewarding day of the hike. A 3 hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass, known as Puccaqasa (4370mts). After enjoying the picturesque views of the undulating valleys below, we descend down for 30 minutes, just in time for lunch.
Rested and full of energy again, we head onward and upward for about 2 hour to the highest pass of the trek: Kuychicassa (4450m/14599ft). From here, we head down for 2 hours to the site that the Incas called Inti Punku, (meaning Sun Gate) with its imposing views over the valley and the horizon is engulfed by the Veronica Mountain. Our campsite is a short distance away at Choquetacarpo (3600m/11811ft)
Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
Accommodation: Camping Facilities with 4 season tents
Distance: 15kms/9.5 miles
Time: 7 hours approximately
Day 3: Ancient Quarry- Veronica Temple – Ollantaytambo-Train to Aguas Calientes.
Day 3 is all downhill hiking, with our first stop at the Kachiqata Quarry where we can personally witness the workmanship of the Incas, which they could not complete due to the Spanish Conquest. Midday we arrive at the town of Kachiqata, the end of this challenging and fascinating trek. From here we visit the original Inca settlement Ollantaytambo and in the afternoon we travel by train to Aguas Calientes where we stay overnight at our private hotel.
Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Accommodation: in Aguas Calientes
Distance: 8kms/5 miles
Time: 6 hours approximately
Day 4: Aguas Caliente- Machu Picchu- Cusco
After breakfast, our guide will pick you up from your hostel/hotel and lead you to the bus station where you will board a bus to Machu Picchu. At Machu Picchu, you will have a 2 hour walking tour of this mysterious city, followed by free time for your own exploration. In this time, you may also choose to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain if you have reserved a spot. Once you have completed your tour of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus to Aguas Calientes, where you can stop for lunch. Finally, after an amazing journey, you will head to the train station to take the train for your return trip to Cusco.
Special Offers: Don’t miss out on this amazing trek to Machu Picchu!
2 people : US $600 per person
3 people : US $580 per person
5-8 people : US $550 per person
Group Size: 2-8 people
Please notice: Our Trek service begins and ends in your hotel in Cusco
For the Inca Quarry trail, ,we will provide you with a duffel bag at the briefing for the Trek the night before we depart. to put all of your belongings in. By using standardized bags, we will ensure that all of your belongings will fit properly on the horses. The duffel bags easily fit 8 Kilograms /16 pounds per person including your sleeping bags.
However, You will still need to carry your day pack with all of your essentials like water, sunscreen, passport, etc
We offer a discount of US $20 to students with a valid International Student Identity Card (ISIC) and to children under the age of 16 years old. Scanned copies of your ISIC card or child’s passport must be provided at the time of payment of the deposit for the trek in order to qualify for the international discount.
Storage during your trek: Most of our trekkers leave their belongings that they do not want to bring on the trek in the hostel they were previously staying in. These hostels/hotels usually have a secure, locked room where you can store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to store you belongings for you.
Train for the end of your Trek
The most common departure times that we book for our tourists is 2:30 p.m. or the 2:55 p.m. train.
The 2:30 p.m. train will arrive in Ollantaytambo train station at 4:05 p.m.,and the 2:55 train will arrive a bit later at 4:30 p.m. You will be picked up by your driver outside of the train station. The driver will be holding a sign with your name on it so that there is no confusion. If you do not see the driver initially, just wait for them outside of the train station. Once the driver has picked you up, you will travel for 1 1/2 hours in a van before you arrive back at your hotel/hostel. Arrival time in Cusco is approximately 6:30 p.m., or 7:00 p.m.
You may also choose to update your train ticket to the Vistadome train, for an extra cost of (US $60).
Important: We guarantee these early Expedition departures, as per the itinerary, only if you book your tours 2 months in advance. Otherwise, we may be forced to offer Expedition train that departs at 6:45 p.m. only.
What is included in the price?
Professional guide who is fluent in English
8 kg /17 lb luggage allowance to be carried by our horses (you will trek only with your day pack which is way more confortable than carrying a big bag!)
Private bus to the start of the trail
Machu Picchu entrance fees
Two-person tents with plenty of room for your backpacks
Meals cooked by an experienced chef: breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks!
Delicious food rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking
All our food is prepared from organic vegetables and fresh ingredients
Vegetarian/special diet options available
Water (We will provide you with boiled and filtered cold water during the trek after lunch on the first day). You will need to bring a container to carry your water in. Also, you need to ensure that you pack a sufficient amount of water for the first half-day of the trek
Horse ( to carry the tents and cooking equipment)
Wrangler’s health insurance paid for by INTI SUN TREK
First aid kit including an oxygen bottle and an extra horse for you to ride if the altitude has a strong effect on your strength
Expedition Train From Ollantaytambo to Aguas Clientes
Hostal in Aguas Calientes double or triple rooms, private bathrooms, hot showers, wifi, and storage while you visit Machu Picchu.
Round-trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
Expedition train from Aguas Calientes Ollantaytambo
Bus from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco
Breakfast on the first morning. Some hotels offer an early morning breakfast service.
Bathing suit for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes (not included in the price )
Sleeping bags. (These can be rented in our office for US $20 for the entire trek. Every sleeping bag is washed prior to each use)
Tips for the guide, cooks, and wranglers
What you need to bring:
For students: ISIC card
Walking stick ( Highly Recomemded )
Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
Hat and gloves
2 pairs of pants (1 for hiking, 1 for camp)
Long underwear for sleeping
Sun hat or cap
Toiletries/ Toilet paper
Flashlight or headlamp
Extra money for tips/snacks/beer. (We recommend at least 200-350 extra soles).(US $120)
Optional items to take:
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Bathing suit for hot springs
Is the Inca Quarry Trail difficult?
Not at all, on the first two days we will visit some Incan sites and hike up a moderate slope to a high mountain pass. You will be able to walk at your own pace and take plenty of breaks to catch your breath and enjoy the stunning views of the mountains and valley around you. Our chef will provide you with snacks and water to keep you strong during your hike.
However, we recommend that you prepare for the trek by trying to walk 10km a day, or start going to the gym a month before the trek. We will cover a lot of distance during the second day. But do not worry, if you are really struggling, we have emergency horses that you can ride if you are not fit for the trek.
Do I need to make a trek reservation?
Yes, on July 15, 2011, the National Institute of Culture in Cusco announced that the number of visitors allowed into Machu Picchu will be restricted to 2,500 per day. Given this limit, we highly recommend that you book your tour far in advance, especially if you are interested in going during the peak toursit season (May to September). Machu Picchu entrance tickets and train tickets are often sold out weeks in advance.
How do I book This trek?
If you are interested in booking the Inca Quarry Trail, please go to our website and fill out all the information under the “Book It” tab in the top right corner of the page. Please follow the instructions for placing the deposit. Once we have received your deposit, we will be able to purchase your tickets and reserve a spot for you on the tour. Also, to avoid any trouble, make sure that the passport number you book the trek with will still be valid when you arrive in Peru. Officals at Machu Picchu will check to make sure that the passport number on you ticket matches the number on your passport.
Can I get a discount with My ISIC card?
Yes, if you are a student you will need to scan your ISIC card and email it to us because we need to present a copy of your card to buy your entrance ticket. Also, you will be required to show your original ISIC card at the enterence of Machu Picchu.
If for any reason, you do not have your original card when you enter Machu Picchu, please let us know as soon as possible. The Machu Picchu authorities are extremely strict and will not allow you to enter Machu Picchu if you are registered as a student and you do not have your original card.
Note: Scans of your ISIC card must be provided at the time of payment of the trek deposit in order to qualify for the discount. International Youth Travel Cards (IYTC) or other forms of student identification are not acceptable.
How cold are the Inca Quarry Trail campsites?
All of our former trekkers agree that the 2nd we use on this trek is fairly cold. During the nighttime, temperatures can drop to below freezing. This is especially true during the months of June, July, and August. We rocommend that you keep these temperatures in mind while packing for the trek.
Are there toilets on the Inca Quarry Trail?
There are no permanent toilets available along the trail, However, the good news is that we carry a portable toilet that we will set up at each lunch stop and Campsite. We will also provide you with biodegradable soap to wash up with as part of our effort to make a positive impact on our local environment.
We recommend that you pack your own toilet paper and bring hand-sanitizer to use after visiting the toilets.
Do I need to bring hiking boots and walking sticks?
Hiking boots are highly recommended, as they provide ankle support that reduces the risk of injury, especially when trekking through the mud and rocks which are common in the wet season (December to March). It is also important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in.
Many people prefer to trek in tennis shoes but extra care should be taken. We do not recommend trekking in sandals, using new boots, or renting boots prior to the trek. Make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for the duration of the trek and will not fall apart.
Can I use trekking poles on the Inca Quarry Trail?
Yes, We highly recommend you to bring trekking poles or walking sticks for this trek as they provide stability and support when trekking during the second day. Recently, government authorities have stopped trekkers from using wooden sticks that could have come from local forests to prevent deforestation of the protected Andean region.
What type of hostal does Inti Sun Trek use for Inca Quarry Trail?
At Inti Sun Trek, we always book through the Continental, El Tambo or Machu Picchu hostals which offer private, double rooms. These hostals offer comfortable beds, hot water for showering, WiFi, and breakfast.
NOTE: We guarantee these hostals will be reserved as per the itinerary if you book your trek 2 months in advance, otherwise we may be forced to offer substitutes.
Can I upgrade the hostal to a hotel in Aguas Calientes?
Every traveller has their own expectations for accommodation and that is why we offer you the option to book your own hostel independently.
The three hostels that Inti Sun Trek books are considered basic and so if you wish to upgrade to a hotel you need to:
1) Do this yourself or,
2) Ask Inti Sun Trek to do it for you.
If you wish to book a hostel independently, a $15 discount is given per person off the tour price and you can use this money to pay for an alternative hostel.