Inca Quarry Trek is the perfect alternative for those who like to explore much less crowded routes off the beaten path. This ancient Inca trail was built by the Incas 500 years ago, and it is still being used today by the local people.
Cachicata Quarry Trail Trek 4 days 3 nights - Overview
The Inca Quarry Trail, also known as the Cachicata Trek, is a lesser-known but equally impressive alternative to the popular Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This trek takes you through the beautiful Andean landscape, Inca ruins, and an ancient quarry that supplied stones for the construction of Ollantaytambo.
During the Cachicata Trek, you will learn about life in these isolated villages and the Inca culture while enjoying the different landscapes from the Sacred Valley to the high Andean mountains, and spend an unforgettable day exploring Machu Picchu – one of the most incredible locations on the planet.
- Book with Confidence and Flexibility
- Visit the Perrolniyoq waterfalls
- Explore the largest Inca Quarry
- Visit the Sungate in Ollantaytambo
- Participate in a Pachamanca barbecue.
- Panoramic Vistadome train to return
Inca Quarry Trek 4 days at a Glance
Day 1: Cusco – Racca – Soqma Waterfalls – Korimarca
After being collected from your hotel in Cusco at 7:00 am, we will drive to Racca’s village to start the Inca Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu. The first-day hike takes 6 hours, visiting Ñaupa Iglesia (2967m / 9734 ft), Soqma Village, Perolniyoc waterfalls, and Rayanpata Inca Site. We camp at Korimarca village (3611 m / 11847 ft).
Day 2: Korimarca – Inti Punku – Choquetacarpo
Wake up with a cup of coffee or coca tea in your tent, have breakfast, and we will begin a 4-hour ascent to Charkahuaylla pass (4450m/14599ft). After lunch, we will visit the Intipunku Inca Site (Sungate) and enjoy the snow-capped mountains' amazing views. Camp at Choquetacarpo (3600m/11811ft).
Day 3: Choquetacarpo – Inca Quarry – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we will hike down for 3 hours to Cachiccata Inca Quarry, considered one of the largest Inca quarries from Cusco. Lunch is a special Pachamanca barbecue. Then, continue to Ollantaytambo and take the train to Aguas Calientes. Spend the night in a hotel.
Day 4: Explore Machu Picchu – Return to Cusco
On the final day, wake up early and take the first bus up to Machu Picchu. The guided tour starts exploring the best of Machu Picchu; the stone Inca temples and grand palaces. You will have time to explore by yourself, then take the Vistadome panoramic train back to Cusco—arrive around 7:30 pm.
- Pre-departure safety briefing
- Pickup and drop off from the hotel
- Private exclusive transportation with AC
- Entrance tickets to Quarry Trail
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Bus tickets to Machu Picchu (Round trip)
- Professional English-speaking Tour Guide
- Second tour guide for groups 9+
- Comfortable camping equipment
- Porta-potty, tables, chairs
- Sleeping foam mattress, pillows, hot water bags, extra blankets
- Duffle bags where you can put up to 8 kilos of personal stuff
- Horses to carry food and equipment
- Emergency horse in case you struggle
- Trekking chef, porters, horsemen
- 2-nights camping in the mountains
- 1 night 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Pachamanca barbecue in Cachiccata
- 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
- Snack every day
- First aid kit, Oxygen bottle, satellite phones
- All taxes and booking fees included
- First breakfast
- Lunch on the last day
- Sleeping bag, air mattress, trekking poles (can be hired from us))
- Huayna Picchu Mountain hike (optional)
- Machu Picchu mountain hike (optional and different from Machu Picchu citadel)
- Gratuities (optional)
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
Optional hikes after the Machu Picchu tour:
- Huayna Picchu – tickets cost an additional $75 per person. To book this mountain, you need to book far in advance; climbing takes 2 hours round trip.
Inca Quarry Trek 4 days Full Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco – Racca – Socma – Korimarca
TreXperience team will pick you up from your hotel at 7:00 am and drive for 2 hours to the Racca community in the Sacred Valley (you must have breakfast in your hotel for this tour). The Quarry Trail trek starts by visiting the ancient Inca shrine of Ñaupa Iglesia (2967m / 9734 ft). This is, by far, one of the most mysterious Inca sites in the whole region. Then, continue hiking for 2 hours to the community of Socma (3188 m / 10459 ft), where lunch will be prepared by your trekking chef using fresh local products.
After lunch, explore the village, interact with the local villagers, and understand their humble lifestyles and cultures. The second part of our trek is a 2 to 3-hour hike uphill to Perolniyoc waterfall – one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Cusco, with a drop of 328 feet into the rock. The views from this location of the Socma Valley, Maras Plateau, and snow-capped mountains are spectacular. The campsite is near the archeological in Korimarca village (3611 m / 11847 ft)
- Campsite Altitude: 3611 m / 11847 ft
- Distance: 12 km / 7.5 miles
- Duration: 7 hours
- Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
- Accommodation: Camping
- Difficulty: Moderate
Day 2: Korimarca – Intipunku – Choquetacarpo
Wake up bright and early with a hot cup of coffee or coca tea. Today is the most challenging and yet the most beautiful day of your TreXperience! After breakfast, it’s a 4-hour uphill hike to Charkahuaylla pass (4450 m/14599 ft). You can take a well-earned break at the summit and enjoy the fantastic views of the Urubamba mountain range’s snow-capped peaks and the mystical Sacred Valley of the Incas. At the same time, your tour guide performs a traditional offering ceremony to the mountain Apus (mountain spirits). Afterward, continue the Quarry trek in the mountains to the Andean lake of Marcacocha (4000 m /13100 ft). This is a perfect place to break for lunch.
Next, you will hike for 2 hours to Apu Buena Negra (4370 m / 14300 ft), the second and last mountain. Upon reaching the summit, your efforts will be rewarded with one of the region’s most spectacular views. Then, continue downhill for two more hours to Intipunku (Sun Gate), a beautiful doorway that overlooks the majestic Veronica mountain (5,893 m / 19,334 ft). Our campsite is just a few minutes further at Choquetacarpo (3600m/11811ft).
- Campsite Altitude: 3600 m / 11811 ft
- Highest altitude: 4450 m / 14599 ft
- Distance: 15 km / 9.5 miles
- Duration: 8 hours
- Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
- Accommodation: Camping
- Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
DAY 3: Choquetacarpo – Cachicata Quarry – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
Choquetacarpo campsite is a perfect place to enjoy the sunrise with a cup of coffee. After breakfast, hike for 3 hours to the Cachiccata Quarry: the Inca Empire’s biggest quarry. Here your tour guide will teach you all about the incredible techniques of the ancient Inca stone masons as well as about their lives and customs. You’ll be amazed by the enormous rocks that the Incas would transport and carve without the help of modern technology. This quarry was abandoned together with Machu Picchu and many other Inca sites during the Spanish invasion.
As we follow the ancient Inca route used to transfer the rocks to Ollantaytambo, we’ll stop for a Pachamanca Barbecue lunch and interact with local villagers in the Cachiccata community. Here our private bus will be waiting to take us to Ollantaytambo to explore these ancient streets and the water channel that has been in use since Inca times. After dinner, take the 7:00 pm train to Aguas Calientes to spend the night in a hotel.
- Aguas Calientes: 2040m/6692ft
- Hiking Distance: 7 km / 4.5 miles
- Duration: 5 hours
- Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
- Accommodation: Hotel
- Difficulty: Easy
DAY 4: Discover Machu Picchu - Return to Cusco
On our final day, get up early and prepare for the highlight of your tour. After breakfast in the hotel, we will take the first bus to Machu Picchu. You will explore the temples, palaces, and streets. After the guided tour, take some time to explore your own or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets must be booked as far as possible).
Once you finish exploring Machu Picchu, you’ll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, and enjoy lunch (Not Included). In the afternoon, take the Vistadome Panoramic train back to Ollantaytambo and a private van back to Cusco. Drop off at your hotel around 7:30 pm.
- Duration of Guided tour: 3 – 4 hours
- Meals: Breakfast (hotel)
- Difficulty: Easy
Cachiccata Quarry Trek packing list
When packing for the Cachiccata (Inca Quarry) Trek, it is crucial to bring the right clothing, gear, and equipment to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. Here is a suggested packing list for the trek:
- Hiking boots with good ankle support
- Breathable, moisture-wicking clothing (e.g., quick-dry shirts and pants)
- Thermal or wool base layers for colder temperatures
- Fleece or down jacket for insulation
- Waterproof rain jacket and pants
- Underwear and sports bras (quick-drying)
- Hiking socks (moisture-wicking or wool)
- Hat for sun protection
- Beanie or warm hat for cold nights
- Gloves or mittens
- Sandals or comfortable shoes for evenings at camp
Gear and equipment:
- Backpack (30-40L) for day use (with rain cover)
- Trekking poles (optional but helpful for steep sections)
- Water bottle or hydration system (2-3 liters capacity)
- Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
- Dry bags or plastic bags to keep belongings dry
- Camera or smartphone with extra batteries or a portable charger
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
- Lip balm with SPF
- Insect repellent
- Basic first-aid kit (including personal medications, adhesive bandages, pain relievers, blister treatment, and any necessary prescription medications)
- Altitude sickness medication (consult your doctor)
- Travel towel (quick-drying)
- Biodegradable wet wipes or toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Reusable or biodegradable plastic bags for trash
- Passport (with a photocopy)
- Machu Picchu entrance tickets
- Cash (in Peruvian soles) for tips, souvenirs, and any additional expenses
- Travel insurance information
- Snacks and energy bars
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc.)
- Earplugs and eye mask for better sleep at camp
Remember to pack light and prioritize essentials, as you will be carrying your daypack while hiking, and porters or pack animals will have limited capacity for carrying additional items.
Price for the Cachicata Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu
Price per person:
- 640. USD for adults
- 600. USD for children and students
To book the Cachicata Quarry Trek to Machu Picchu, you need to make an initial payment of 200.USD per person, the remaining balance can be paid online, in installments, or Cusco with any credit card or PayPal with no booking fees at all.
- 40$ off per person
All travelers under 17 will have a $40 discount.
Valid Student ID for Machu Picchu
To get the student discount, travelers should have a Valid ID with the following:
- 25 years or less at the time of entering Machu Picchu. Older than 25 can not enter as a student
- The ID must have the Name of the university, name, and photo of the student
- The ID must have a valid expiration date
Invalid Student IDs
Student IDs are not eligible for a discount when:
- Traveler is older than 25
- Expired ID
- Student Id without expiration date
- ISIC cards are not valid.
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Cachiccata (Inca Quarry) Trek Frequently Asked Questions!
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the 4-day Cachiccata (Inca Quarry Trail) Trek:
How difficult is the Cachiccata Trek?
The Cachiccata Trek is considered moderate in difficulty. While it involves steep ascents, descents, and high-altitude conditions, it is not as physically demanding as the Classic Inca Trail. A reasonable level of fitness and some experience with high-altitude trekking are recommended.
When is the best time to hike?
The best time to hike the Cachiccata Trek is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. The weather is generally sunny and dry during these months, making for more favorable trekking conditions. From November to March, this trail is available, and you can also book as long as you come prepared for rainy days.
Do I need a guide for the Cachiccata Quarry Trek?
While a guide is not mandatory for the Cachiccata Trek, it is highly recommended. A professional guide will provide valuable historical context, ensure your safety, and help you navigate the trails. Many trekkers book the trek through a tour operator, which typically includes a guide, transportation, camping equipment, and meals. You need a professional tour guide to enter Machu Picchu.
TreXperience will provide a professional English-speaking tour guide for the entire tour.
Are permits required for the Cachiccata Trek?
Permits are not required for the Cachiccata Trek. However, booking your trek in advance is still essential, especially during the peak trekking season, to secure your spot with a reputable tour operator and ensure entrance tickets to Machu Picchu are available.
What is the highest altitude on the Cachiccata Trek?
The highest altitude on the Cachiccata Trek is the Kuychicassa Pass, at approximately 4450 m (14599 ft) above sea level.
How do I get from the Cachiccata Trek to Machu Picchu?
At the end of the Cachiccata Trek, you will reach the town of Ollantaytambo. From there, you will take a train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. The following day, you will visit the famous site of Machu Picchu, either by bus or hiking up the m