HUCHUY QOSQO TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 

There are countless Incan old towns spread across the Cusco region and beyond but mainly in Cusco. One of these ancient ruins is located above the Vilcanota river overlooking Lamay district in the sacred valley and is called Huchuy Qosqo or the “little Cusco”. Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu is a nice hike amid the Andean mountain scenery, traversing the hights from Cusco valley to Sacred Valley. Here we come up with some essential and general information for travelers who are looking for this hike.

How to get to Huchuy Qosqo?

In brief, there are several ways to get to Huchuy Qosqo, and to not making it too long, we will describe the first three routes. 

Huchuy qosqo route options 

1.- Umasbamba – Huchuy Qosqo – Lamay

Cusco city is a  perfect base for any mountain hike or tours, and so it is for the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu as well. For an adventure in the mountains of Sacred valley and Huchuy Qosqo, it begins with a road trip from Cusco to Umasbamba hamlet near Lake Piuray in Chinchero, where the starting point of the hike is located. On average, it is a 2-hour hike uphill until the mountain pass at 4 400 m. thereafter, the descent begins downhill for 1 hour, and just then, the Huchuy Qosco ancient site comes into view, settled at 3 600 m.

Once at the site, you can stroll around, admiring the stone masonry of the astonishing Incan structures and large terraces built by the ancient Andean men. Also, scanning the incredible snow-covered peaks in the background over the lofty mountains surrounding the sacred valley in front.

After the little exploration of the site, a zigzagging path leads you down to Lamay. You will be taking the second portion of the hike for 2 hours, hiking the last 4 km. There the walk ends, and you will be picked up back to Cusco late in the afternoon. From the beginning to the end, in total, it is a 13 km hike.

2.- Tambomachay – Huchuy Qosqo – Lamay

This is perhaps a strenuous and demanding hike amongst all the existing Huchuy Qosqo treks, for here you cover nearly 19 km for seven hours. Although you can do it in a day hike, you can also split it into a 2-day hike if you wish not to hike a very long way. It usually begins at the Tambomachay site near Cusco, a small stunning archeological site due to its water fountains emanating who knows from where. 

The hike goes up to Sicllajasa pass, at 4 100 m and, there you have sweeping views when looking back to Cusco city. The mountain footpath continues with ups and down towards Qewllaqocha lake, a small lake where to see Huallatas and Andean lapwings chirping around. After passing the small lake, you get to Challu Challu pass at 4 250 m where you have views of lakes on both sides: Lake Piuray and the Golden Lake, but the path still goes further to the next and last Rumi Cruz pass reaching a  height of  4 320 m. Then the footpath descends to the Pucamarca sector. If you hired a 2-day hike then, you stay here at Pucamarca sector for the overnight rest. On the following day, without great effort, entering through the Leon Punku canyon, a pretty spectacular entrance to a humid valley and following the original Inca trail, you finally get to see the Huchuy Qosqo in 1 hour. 

If you are used to a bit of hiking, and your stamina is ok, this hike shouldn’t be a problem. After visiting the site, the hike continues down to Lamay district in the sacred valley, through a bending path for 2 hours covering 4 km, and there the hike wounds up. Then you will be taken to the train station in Ollantaytambo for a train ride to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, or if you are not going to Machu Picchu, you will be back to Cusco.

3.- Corao – Patabamba – Huchuy Qosqo – Lamay

Firstly, know that this is very common to hike in regards to get to Huchuy Qosqo, and it offers a different hiking experience with little effort taxing, available in a 2-day hike. The way you get to the trailhead is by a road trip from Cusco to Corao village and then taking a dirt road towards another village which is called Siwa, located over the mountains of Sacred Valley. Here the hike begins up until Apacheta pass at 3 850 m for 2 hours, thereafter a hike down for 1-hour to Pucamarca camping site, mentioned in route option 2 as well. On the second day, following the Inca path and through the Leon punku canyon, you reach the Huchoy Qosqo ancient site in an easy 1-hour hike.After visiting the little Cusco in perhaps a couple of hours, the exit is through a bending path down to Lamay district town, and there, either you head to the train station in Ollantaytambo for a one-hour car drive or just back to Cusco city.

huchuy qosqo trek to machu picchu

Huchuy Qosqo Trek Difficulty

Depending on which route you choose it is determined as follows:

  • Route 1: Moderate
  • Route 2: Strenuous
  • Route 3: Easy

Are There Age Restrictions?

There is no age restriction for this particular hike, but there are some aspects to take into account: First, elder people have to be aware of how their bodies respond to a mountain hike. In any case, don´t choose the long route, instead, look for the easy way. If you are going with kids, the key is to stay well-hydrated, have snacks for them, and take breaks. It all depends if the kid has previous experience, then route 3 would be recommended for kids over 7 years old. 

Do You Need Hiking Poles?

If you are used to hiking with poles, bring them. while it is true that you won´t need too much for the first portion of the hike, but the hike down on zigzag descending to Lamay can hurt your knees, so this is where you are going to use them. It is a steep descent and could become a slick trail due to some downpour.

Is There Internet On Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu?

No, for most of the hike, there is no Internet in route 2 until the Huchuy Qosqo site. While on routes 1 and 3, you can expect an internet connection from time to time on the way. Now, at the Huchu Qosqo site, sure there you can count on the Internet signal.

Is There Any Drinking Water?

No, the river streams running on the trail are not reliable, therefore bring your own bottled water or filled on your camel bag. 

What About Medications?

This is just a reminder because not everyone can take the same drug. According to specialists and pharmacists, it is essential to have some Paracetamol and ibuprofen as pain killers. The next thing that could get annoying on a trek is diarrhea, so to help it halt, consider including Imodium pills, and of course, Acetazolamide for altitude sickness. 

No tour guide nor a tour agent is allowed to prescribe any recipe or pills of any kind. What they do is to carry a basic first aid kit with pharmacy medicines where if the tourist agrees to take it because it is the same as the doctor´s suggestion, so they take it. 

Huchuy Qosqo Trek And Short Inca Trail 

Not very popular, but it would be a very nice plan, yes! And it is possible to arrange a Huchuy Qosqo trek connecting the short Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Ask more about it here. 

Entry costs

Foreigners 

  • Adults : 22 soles orUSD 06
  • Children : 11 soles or USD 03

Peruvians

  • Adults: 07 soles.
  • Children: 04 soles