CACHICATA TREK 5 DAYS/ 4 NIGTHS

The Cachicata Trek is one of the newest trekking routes on offer in the Cusco region. Based in the area around Ollantaytambo the Cachicata trek takes you past high waterfalls, Inca ruins and beautiful scenery.The highlight of this trek is a visit to the Inca site of Cachicata, the quarry that supplied the stones used in Ollantaytambo’s construction. With mummies, chullpas and well preserved Inca buildings this is one of the most interesting sites in the Cusco region.

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Day 1 – Quillarumiyoq to Chiripahua

We pick you up at your Cuzco hotel and transfer by van west across the high Anta plain, following the route of the royal Inca Road which led from the capital toward the northern quarter of the empire. We stop first at the sacred Inca shrine known as Quillarumi (Moonstone in the Quechua language of the Incas), one of the finest of the carved rock huacas in the vicinity of Cuzco. We continue to our trailhead by the Huaracondo River where it drains the western edge of the plain, and meet our trail crew, who arrive from nearby communities. We commence trekking on a broad trail northward, above the west bank of the Huaracondo River. After an easy two-hour hike, we reach Huatta, a substantial pre-Inca fortress dominating the crest of a ridge at 3,855m/12,645’. Archeologists currently excavating the site are revealing burials and occupation levels from the Formative Period (2,500 years ago) on through the enormous fortifications of the 4th century Regional Development period; a scattering of late-period Inca structures seems like an afterthought on the top of the highest hill. The site is classic: a defensible ridge with dominating three-way views along intersecting valleys. After lunch we continue on our way westward into the range, and camp at 3,750m/s/n/m next to a rural school in the hamlet of Chiripahua.( L,D)

Day 2 – Chancachuco

We climb gradually through fields and glades of the indigenous Chachacomo tree, in a landscape of pastures and small fields clinging to the steep mountainsides. Wherever there is water, we find an Andean family compound of adobe and straw. But there is little water in this mountain range – we are reminded hour by hour of how precious a commodity water was and is to the Andean people. We climb to a small knoll at 4,400 m/s/n/m for delicious lunch, then continue up to the col. From our location a top Accoccasa Pass we enjoy breathtaking views to immense snowpeaks: the Huayanays to our west, the Urubamba range to the north. We enjoy an easy descent, to camp at 4,350 m/s/n/m in the broad valley of Chancachuco, facing the glaciers of the Huayanay Range. ( B,L,D)

Day 3 – Huayrapunku/Cachiqata Quarry

We trek westward, gradually descending the high valley, to the headworks of a now-abandoned Inca aqueduct which transported water from the Chancachuco valley north to supply the otherwise-arid north-facing slopes above Ollantaytambo. This aqueduct once transported water across a sheer cliff face high above the Silque River. While we descend through a flower-filled notch in the valley wall, on the mountainside above us we can glimpse traces of the original stonework, testimony to the extraordinary engineering in the project. We reach our final pass (3,940m/12,923’) and visit a spectacular ridge-top Inca shrine called Huayrapunku (Gate of the Wind), with an astonishing view towards Nevado Veronica (5,682m/s7N7m) directly across the valley. The site offers unsurpassed views to the terraces and temple site of the royal town of Ollantaytambo, over 4,000 feet below us. Constructed in the 15th century by the Inca emperor Pachacutec, the town was an important administrative and religious center. We descend, past the curious Inca administrative site of Llaqtallaqtayoq, to our camp on a broad terrace at 3,525m. at the edge of the enormous Cachiqata quarry. In the afternoon we explore the intricate quarry workings. From this steep talus slope beneath the sheer face of Cerro Yanaorco, immense red granite building stones were carved onsite and then skidded down to the valley floor, across the river, and then up to the sun temple site on the far side of the valley. We explore the ramps and work platforms around the largest of the stones. Orchids and other flowers are abundant in and around the quarry site, set high on the mountainside above the valley floor. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Ollantaytambo/Machu Picchu

We descend on a broad Inca road down through the lower quarry zone, and stop at a key hilltop, from where the worked stones were skidded down the steep slope to the Vilcanota River below us. On the far bank, between the river and the Sun Temple, we can see several of these piedras cansadas (“Tired Stones”), which were abandoned half-way between quarry and temple. Chroniclers tell us that work on the temple site was suddenly halted when the Colla masons fled back toward their homes in the Lake Tiahuanaco area, just prior to the arrival of the Spanish invaders. We continue down, cross the river, and arrive finally at the famous Sun Temple in Ollantaytambo. We have time to explore the temple and the adjacent village, before catching a late afternoon train to Aguas Calientes. We check into a hotel for the night. (B,L)

Day 5 – Machu Picchu

We enter the site early in the morn­ing for an in-depth guided tour of the ridge-top citadel of Machu Picchu. We descend to Aguas Calientes for return to Ollan­taytambo, continuing by chartered bus to Cuzco in late after­noon, arriving around 9.30PM. Transfer to your hotel. (B)

DURATION OF TOUR
5 Days
IncludedNot IncludedWhat do you need to take
  • Trek briefing the nigth beforet of your trek
  • Tourist transportation
  • Professional tour guide
  • Chef, Assistant chef and horseman
  • Horses to carry camping equipament & duffles bag
  • Emergency horse in case anyone gets tired
  • Haphy hour( Warm drink every afternoon)
  • Pick up from your hotel
  • Train fron ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Return transportation by train and bus to Cusco
  • Meals( 4 B, 4 L, 4 D, and snacks every day
  • Camping equipament
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes ( Doble room)
  • Entrance to Machupicchu
  • Bus ticket to Machupicchu ( up and down)
  • First aid kit, oxigen
  • Drinking water to fill up your water botle every day
  • Entrance fees to Ollantaytambo
  • Sleeping bag ( $ 30.00 for all trip)
  • Firt breakfast
  • Last lunch in Aguas Calientes
  • Treking poles ( $ 15.00 for a pair)
  • Original passport
  • Sunhat
  • Sun Cream
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Confortable walkimg shoes
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Water botle
  • Head lamp
  • Personal medical kit
  • Rain gear
  • Extra toilet paper or tissues
  • Extra money
  • Sun block
  • clothes for cold and warm weather