New station! From San Pedro (Cusco) to Machu Picchu in a single train
We keep improving to make the journey to Machu Picchu an incredible experience! Starting from May, Inca Rail has a new route available: from San Pedro (just 10 minutes walking...
Every year there are more and more different routes to reach Machu Picchu. The typical train trip to the base of the Inca Citadel can be complemented with impressive hikings of several days through different parts of the region. One of them is Ancascocha, a demanding 5-day trek of 56 kilometers and in which you almost reach the 5,000 meters above sea level. After this, the wonderful goal: Machu Picchu.
If you like adventure, explore practically unspoiled corners and enjoy a few days surrounded by nature, this trekking is for you! Keep reading and know all the details.
Where does the Ancascocha trek start?
Most tourist agencies begin the Ancascocha trek in Socma, a small town located in the Sacred Valley and less than two hours away from the city of Cusco. Socma is located 3205 meters above sea level, so from the first day you will be in contact with the altitude, which you can fight with coca leaves or pills for the altitude sickness.
What are the stages of the Ancascocha trek?
The agencies that offer this hike divide the tour into five stages that may vary slightly. You will travel through landscapes that will remain in your memory for life and you will explore Inca ruins that have been preserved for more than 500 years. Here, a summary of what awaits you during these days.
DAY 1: SOCMA – RAYÁN
On this first day you will have to travel 8 km and you will reach 3,700 meters above sea level. One of the great surprises that await you on the way is the Perolniyoc, a waterfall located in the Sacred Valley perfect to cool off on hot days. You will also find some culture around here! Just a few minutes walking from the waterfall is the archaeological site of Perolniyoc, a legacy of the Inca culture.
After four or five hours of route you will arrive at Rayan, the place where you will spend the first night and where you can recharge energy for the next day.
DAY 2: RAYAN – ANCASCOCHA
The second day is presented as one of the hardest of all the Ancascocha trek. The route from Rayan to Ancascocha is 16 kilometers and the highest point, Puka Kasa, is 4,450 meters above sea level. But do not worry, we assure you that the views from here are exciting!
During the rest of the way, the peaks will be your traveling companions and, after approximately 10 hours of walking, you will arrive at the lagoon of Ancascocha, where you will spend the second and coldest night of the whole trekking.
DAY 3: ANCASCOCHA – QESQUA
After two days of walking without stopping, the body begins to feel tired, but the landscapes of the third day will make you want see more and more. During this 14-km journey you will reach the highest point of the entire route, 4,650 meters above sea level.
In addition to dreamed landscapes, you will be able to appreciate the famous Inca Trail, a trekking world-wide known by all the trekking lovers that crosses one of the routes created by the Incas to arrive at Machu Picchu.
On this third day you will spend the night in Qesqua, a small community who inhabitants live in the middle of the Andes and with which you can learn the customs and traditions of the area.
DAY 4: QESQUA – OLLANTAYTAMBO – AGUAS CALIENTES
After three days practically isolated and surrounded by nothing but nature, on the fourth day of the trek from Ancasocha to Machu Picchu you will return to civilization. The first stop of this road of 14 km will be in the striking Inca fortress of Paucar Cancha and later you will find the ruins of Willcaraqay. Take advantage of every minute to explore all its corners!
After seven hours you will arrive at Ollantaytambo. If you have time, you can not miss visiting its majestic ruins and its cobbled streets, survivors since Inca times. In Ollantaytambo, you will also take the Inca Rail train that takes you to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo, the last stop before arriving at our Wonder of the World.
If you still have energy, we recommend you to take a walk through this beautiful city, accompanied by rivers and mountains.
DAY 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU
What better reward after four exhausting days of walking than knowing one of the 7 Wonders of the World? Machu Picchu awaits you on your fifth day with Inca history hidden in each of its buildings. Now is the time to open your eyes wide and enjoy the imposing Inca Citadel. Enjoy!
To return to Cusco in the most comfortable and in the faster way, we recommend you to hire our bimodal service, with which we take you by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and from here to the center of Cusco. Get all the details here!