Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Inca trial Hiking-Peru-2989123-p

Ausangate Lodge to Lodge Trek

Active Adventures
Not yet rated
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: High intensity hiking, trekking, mountain climbing, cycling. May experience dramatic changes in altitude. Extreme activities included. Extreme
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
10 days
From: $ 5,399 $ 540 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Hike Sacsayhuamán fortress
  • Explore Pisac ruins and artesan market
  • Explore Chinchero, hike to Huchuy Qosqo
  • Hike the ‘Camino del Apu Ausangate’ including ‘Rainbow Mountain’
  • Hike short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Enter Machu Picchu via Sun Gate and explore the ancient citadel
  • Explore Cuzco
  • Ollantaytambo archaeology tour

Short Description

The ‘Alpaca’ is 10 days of bucket list hikes and cultural sites in Peru. It captures everything this beautiful country has to offer, from the towering peaks of the Andes and Machu Picchu, down to the thriving town of Aguas Calientes (meaning ‘hot waters’ or ‘hot springs’), once a small railway workers’ camp.

You’ll have a blast in this land of geographical and cultural wonders. We start our trip in the heart of the Inca empire where we explore fortresses and surrounding valleys. We’ll hike over stunning mountain passes from lodge to lodge, and on to Machu Picchu via a short version of the Inca Trail. The variety of landscapes on this trip will give you a Peruvian adventure like no other – and an experience you’ll never forget!

For a great way to see Lake Titicaca and the Bolivian salt flats too, combine this trip with our Titicaca and Bolivia 'Chinchilla' - chat to our team to learn how!

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Cuzco
End City Cuzco

Trip Includes

All guiding services

  • You’ll have an experienced trip leader with you for the entire duration, as well as specialist local guides in select locations.

All accommodations

  • Cosy mountain lodges along the lodge to lodge trail.
  • Charming hotels in the cities.

All meals

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days.

All activities

  • Hiking, market visits, Inca ruins (including Machu Picchu), and gear transport on the lodge to lodge trek.

All domestic transport

  • From the moment we meet you in Cuzco, we'll take care of all transport until you depart for home on day 10.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cuzco, hike Sacsayhuamán fortress

 Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Inca I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco

Our trip starts in Cuzco, the heart of the Inca empire. Your trip leader will greet you with a cup of hot coca tea – a local speciality. After lunch, we’ll set off for a walk around this amazing ancient city and up to Sacsayhuamán fortress overlooking the main Plaza and Cuzco Valley. The fortress, meaning ‘House of the Sun’, is a magnificent archaeological site representing a set of jaguar’s teeth with massive, perfectly fitted stones, each weighing up to 130 tonnes (143 tons). The fortress is the place where the Incas made their final stand against the Spanish conquistadores. No one really knows what the Incas used Sacsayhuamán for – some say it was a sanctuary and temple of the sun, others say it was a granary. No matter who is right, you’ll have a lot of fun hearing all the stories this amazing area inspires. Later we’ll take a walk through the colourful Cuzco street markets. If you prefer, you can take some time to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Cuzco’s lively town square and meet up again later for an evening meal.

Day 2: Visit Pisac ruins, explore Pisac market

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: La Casa de Barro, Chinchero

After breakfast we’ll take a short drive to the small town of Pisac where we’ll have a chance to check out the colourful mercado artesanal. Once we’re done admiring all the beautiful arts and crafts on sale at the market we’ll begin a spectacular hike up to the Pisac ruins. These Inca terraces rise 610metres (2000feet) up from the river below. It’s a heart-pumping walk up through ancient agricultural terraces - you’ll never forget the views of Pisac and the Urubamba Valley! After exploring the ancient complex we’ll descend the original Inca stairways and head for Chinchero. This typical Andean village is known by the Incas as the birthplace of the rainbow, and it’s where we’ll be spending the night.

Day 3: Explore Chinchero, hike to Huchuy Qosqo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Inca I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco

This morning we’ll explore Chinchero, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time 500 years as you walk the cobbled alleyways and visit the beautiful town square – still the main trading centre of the Incas after more than half a millennium. From Chinchero, we’ll drive past the Piuray Lagoon and on to the Andean village of Tauca, where we’ll begin our hike to Huchuy Qosqo. The dramatic mountain views of the Urubamba range and deep valleys below are off the charts! As we make our way over the Pucajasa Mountain Pass, we’ll pass through high mountain meadows, lagoons and indigenous communities that have little contact with the outside world. Shortly before lunch we’ll arrive at the spectacular ruins of Huchuy Qosqo (Little Cuzco), thought to be the remnants of an Inca hideaway village. After lunch we’ll hike down to Lamay village and then make our way back to Cuzco. There’s some time this afternoon to get any final hiking supplies you may need for your lodge to lodge trek starting tomorrow!

Day 4: Start Ausangate Lodge to Lodge Trek, hike to Anantapata

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Anantapata Lodge

Today we start our breath-taking three day trek in the Vilcanota’s Cordillera, on a route called the ‘Camino del Apu Ausangate’. Apus are the spirits of the mountains, and this hike is nearby the highest sacred mountain in the Cuzco region, Ausangate at 6384 metres (20,945 feet). This mountain is considered to be the bearer of life and the guardian of one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world. On this trek we’ll be accompanied by llamas and horses which belong to the Chillca community, and will be carrying our gear! From Cuzco it’s a short journey along the fertile Vilcanota River Valley, and on to the town of Checacupe. After a visit to its Colonial Church of the Immaculate Conception, why not check out the old Inca rope bridge? It exemplifies Inca innovation and engineering, spanning the river flowing through town. Afterwards we´ll start ascending the Pitumarca Valley, through the spectacular Japura Gorge that leads to Chillca. The trek starts near the Ausangate Community; we’ll see the south face of the sacred Ausangate Mountain as we continue towards the red sandstone formations of the “Nevado del Inca”. Tonight is our first ‘Tambo’ or Andean Lodge experience - prepare yourself for delicious Peruvian cuisine accompanied by authentic Peruvian music from members of the local community.

Day 5: Hike to Huampococha via Rainbow Mountain

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Huampococha Lodge

This morning you’ll wake up refreshed and revitalised, with wide panoramic views from your bedroom windows. The lodges on this trail are set in natural surroundings - and due to their remote nature there is no electricity. The interior is warmed by an inviting fireplace, and propane gas is used for hot water. Candles and lanterns create a unique atmosphere indoors, whilst outdoors you can enjoy the magic of the Andean sky and the myriad of stars and constellations visible on a clear night. After breakfast, we cross over a mountain pass, and descend to Lake Kayrawiri, surrounded by rugged mountain peaks and the great valley below. As we near Cerro Laya Grande via the massive glacier del Inca, we’ll see striking colours of red, ochre and blue strata embedded in the hillsides. This area is called ‘montana arcoiris’ by the locals, and often referred to as ‘rainbow mountain’ by visitors, the spectacular colours make for amazing photography. After lunch in this unique landscape we’ll continue on the trail, likely passing by hundreds of Andean geese (‘huallatas’) nesting in the cliffs of Anta, groups of gracious vicunas, and the flatiron formations of Apu Labrayani. Tonight, we’ll rest in Huampococha Tambo, in the heart of large rock formations near a lagoon.

Day 6: Hike to Ollantaytambo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: El Albergue Hotel, Ollantaytambo

After another hearty Peruvian breakfast, we’ll head off for our last climb, over the Anta pass, before a gradual descent back towards civilisation.  As the first crops and houses come into view, the landscape changes quickly, the red sandstone formations give way to the carsten erosion of limestone. This transformation forms a one-of-a-kind stone forest, and a perfect habitat for ‘vizcacha’ (members of the chinchilla family). Back down in the valley we’ll be staying in Ollantaytambo, a town that was once the royal estate of the Inca Pachacutec, the conqueror of the region during the Inca Empire. You’ll appreciate the relatively rich oxygen this evening as Ollantaytambo is at 2792 metres (9160 feet) above sea level, compared with the Andean lodges around 2000 metres higher.

Day 7: Hike short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Hatun Inti, Aguas Calientes

This morning we’ll take the train from Ollantaytambo to Km 104, where our hike on the Inca Trail starts. On the train ride you’ll notice the valley turn into a canyon and the scenery begin to change as the cloud forests appear on our approach to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. This short ascending trail is not for the faint hearted! The ancient cobbled path takes us up to the magnificent archaeological complex of Wiñay Wayna. With a fabulous sense of peace far from the crowds, this is the perfect spot to enjoy our delicious picnic lunch, with superb views of the massive green mountains and native orchids. The trail becomes gentler from here and continues all the way to the Sun Gate, where we arrive at Machu Picchu through its intended entrance. It is from here that we will have our first glimpse of Machu Picchu! We’ll make our way back down to Aguas Calientes and check into our hotel to rest and relax, in anticipation of our visit tomorrow.

Day 8: Visit Machu Picchu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: El Albergue Hotel, Ollantaytambo

Today, as it gets light, we’ll catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu, to appreciate the ruins in the beautiful morning light. Your guide will lead you in your exploration and discovery of the many curious corners of the enigmatic Citadel of Machu Picchu. Later there’ll be time to explore the many nooks and crannies on your own. For example, heading west from the centre of Machu Picchu, the Inca bridge is a 30 minute walk along a narrow path. At the end of our visit we will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and then board the train to Ollantaytambo.

Day 9: Ollantaytambo archaeology tour, free afternoon in Cuzco

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Inca I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco

Ollantaytambo is dominated by two large ruins and is the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been inhabited since the 13th Century! The Ollantaytambo ruins offer a fascinating insight into Inca archaeology, so we’ll spend the morning with a local guide discovering the site, and giving some context to our travels. The afternoon today is yours to discover Cuzco, the archaeological capital of the Americas. Walk along the central streets, lined with massive Inca-built stone walls. These walls form the foundation of the city and blend into the colonial and modern architecture that has been added over the years. One option is to explore Cuzco’s most popular temples, museums, churches and fortresses. Alternatively, we’ll help you arrange one of the many optional guided activities available including mountain biking, hiking, or horseback riding. This evening we’ll get back together for a final farewell meal, to celebrate our lodge to lodge trekking adventure.

Day 10: Depart for home

Meals: Breakfast

This is the end of your ‘Alpaca’ trip and you’ll go home knowing you’ve hiked your way around one of the most spectacular alpine regions on Earth. If you have time to spare after the trip, we’re happy to give you suggestions on how to make the most of it. On the other hand, if you’re heading straight home, we’ll send you back refreshed and invigorated by the great food, exercise, rest and adventures you’ll have had with us in Peru!

Availability

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Price Per Day: $ 540 per day
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 14

Solo Notes

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.

Accomodations

The ‘Alpaca’ is primarily a lodge to lodge trekking trip. We’ve chosen to stay in incredible, locally run lodges in wilderness locations. These lodges are warm and comfortable, with hot water and private bathrooms. On the nights where we stay in towns such as Cuzco and Ollantaytambo, we have chosen good lodgings, ideally situated close to the main attractions without being too central, in order to avoid the most touristy and noisy areas. It’s worth keeping in mind that Peruvian towns can be noisy – people here have a festive way of looking at life and often enjoy beeping their horns and playing loud music! We have chosen the quietest areas in order for people to get the best sleep possible (although after hiking the ‘Camino del Apu Ausangate’ most people find they have no trouble sleeping!), and earplugs are recommended in this energetic and lively part of the world. In contrast, the Andean lodges in the mountainous wilderness are very tranquil and quiet.

Trip ID#:

AusLodAct

Meals Included:

9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches and 9 Dinners

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