Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu
(An Off-The-Beaten Path Experience)
The Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu is a hidden treasure that has yet to be heavily impacted by tourism. The trail is remote, very beautiful and super quiet. Trekkers get to pass through snow-capped mountains on a number of original and well-preserved Inca trails.
The trek is typically completed on a 5-day itinerary, although there are variations, particularly on the route out to the trailhead.
Prior to the hike most trekkers will spend two days in Cusco acclimatising. If you have booked with a tour operator they will likely have organised your hotel and scheduled some city tours.
Remember, Cusco is situated at 3,400m / 11,150ft and you might start feeling the effects of the altitude as soon as you arrive. Try to remain well hydrated and don’t over-exert yourself by traipsing across the city – see information on acclimatisation below.
We are big fans of the Vilcabamba trek but should point out that it is one of the more challenging trails to Machu Picchu. There are a number of tough ascents and descents that require a good level of fitness, and trekking days are long and tiresome.
On this page you will find all the information you need to prepare for an amazing Vilcabamba trek experience, including a detailed overview on all route and itinerary options for the trek.
You will also find useful information on acclimatisation and altitude sickness, guidance on what to pack and when to book your trek, information on tour operators and other frequently asked questions.
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