Huchuy Qosqo Trek: an option from Cusco to Machu Picchu

One of the most spectacular tours is the Huchuy Qosqo Trek. Entering the Sacred Valley through the mountains that surround it is a unique event. That’s not all, since by following this path you can reach one of the seven wonders. Machu Picchu will be the final point of an extraordinary adventure through Tambomachay and Huchuy Qosqo, the latter being the third most important destination after Pisac and Ollantaytambo, due to the good condition of its buildings.

Huchuy Qosqo Trek

From the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu

To take this tour that takes you through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu, there are different alternatives from the most adventurous to the most relaxing. This time we will talk about a new route that is understood as an intermediate one. It starts from the high areas of the valley to end in the Cusco jungle. Although it has little popularity, it is an important destination for Cusco history and archeology due to the remains found in Huchuy Qosqo.

This tour includes a not very long hiking route, just 17 kilometers. It makes it essential for those who no longer have much time or wish to enjoy good views, from the heights of the valley. It is also an option for traveling with children and older adults.

The landscapes that can be seen are different, depending on the path, but all of them are spectacular. We can find panoramic views just by taking a look in the distance, as you can see the Andes Mountains and some other nearby peaks covered in snow. These natural attractions are like the icing on the cake for their majesty.

In case you decide to follow this tour, you have to keep in mind that what has been mentioned is not all you will be able to see. During the Huchuy Qosqo Trek, you can see mountain peaks, such as Pitusiray, Sawasiray, La Verónica and Chicón, archaeological remains and a great variety of animals and plants. Until, finally, ending in the Cusco jungle and then ascending to Machu Picchu.

Enjoy this adventure, managing to reach the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu like very few do. Visit places of history, culture and beautiful landscapes like only in the Sacred Valley. Let’s learn a little about the history of Huchuy Qosqo and see the itineraries for each day to recognize the different activities that make up this trek.

During another visit you can visit the Lamay district, from that point you can access different trekking activities, experiential tourism, private guides among other activities.

Huchuy Qosqo, what will we see?

This trek has its name thanks to the fact that one of the main destinations is Huchuy Qosqo. Some of the attractions that we will see in this venue are difficult to find in other places. Let’s look a little in depth at its particularities.

This enclosure is located at an altitude of 3,550 meters above sea level, exactly on a plateau, in the high areas of Lamay in the province of Calca.

According to some chroniclers, this complex was built so that the Inca Wiracocha, in his old age, would have a place to rest and could get away from political problems or from the city itself that had surely already been formed in the capital of the ancient Inca empire. These constructions date back to 1420 AD

What does Huchuy Qosqo mean? In a Spanish translation, it can be understood as “Little Cusco.” Another name it may have is due to the height at which it is located exactly 800 meters above the Sacred Valley, for this reason, some call it Qaqyaqhawana. Which can be understood as “Lightning Viewpoint” or “Place where lightning is looked at.”

Now we would be left to ask ourselves: What is the archaeological complex of Huchuy Qosqo like? Inside this complex you can see the wonderful construction they made, modifying the land, with its platforms, taking advantage of the natural edges and precipices. All this to give shape to the ceremonial esplanades. An important point is a structure with three levels and many loose enclosures located as viewpoints of the Sacred Valley.

The distribution of the buildings is quite similar to those found in the city of Cusco. Hence, the first name we mention. Most of these constructions still resist the inclement weather and telluric movements. All this makes this destination a mandatory one.

Huchuy Qosqo Archaeological Site

Huchuy Qosqo Trek 3 days

First day

  • The tour begins with the departure of Cusco in the direction of Tambomachay, where the hiking route begins.
  • The walk begins along a fairly rugged route as you can already understand the Puna landscape with a large amount of ichu or straw. Likewise, you can see some quinoa plantations.
  • We continue along the Queulloca route (4,185 meters above sea level), where you can see a lake with the same name. From this point you can already see the snow-capped peaks of Veronica, Sawasiray, Chicón and Pitusiray.
  • The walk continues and we ascend a large part of the Challu Challu mountain (4,220 meters above sea level). After a few minutes of walking we came to appreciate the Vilcanota Mountain Range. This will be the lunch point.
  • You cross a stone quarry that was used to build Huchuy Cusco. Finally, we descend to the community of Pucamarca, where we spend the night.
The snowy Veronica had quite a few names. The original would be “Waynawilca” (Sacred Young Woman). After the defeat of Manco Inca after his attempted resistance. The residents began to call the snow-capped mountain “Wakaywilca” (Sacred Tear). The Spanish, upon learning of this name and coinciding with the Spanish myth of “Llorona Verónica”, began to call her that way.

Second day

  • The second day begins by descending the Pucamarca route towards the León Punku Ravine. Here are remains of the Qhapac Ñan or “Inca Roads” and an Inca bridge.
  • After this destination, you reach the midpoint of this Trek, you reach Huchuy Cusco. Here you will take a guided tour of all the attractions of the place.
  • After lunch, we begin the walk to Lamay. Once in Lamay, continue towards Ollantaytambo, where you take the train to Aguas Calientes. Here you can enjoy the local thermal baths and some walks through the town.
  • You will spend the night in Aguas Calientes.

Third day

  • The third day of this tour begins after breakfast and heading to Machu Picchu. Let’s remember that you can optionally take a bus (12 US dollars).
  • The route to Machu Picchu on foot lasts approximately 2 hours. While by bus the time is approximately half an hour.
  • In the Inca citadel, a guided tour of all its sanctuaries is offered.
  • If you have a reservation to go to the Huayna Picchu mountain, you can visit it without any problem.
  • Finally, we return to Aguas Calientes, then to Ollantaytambo to return to the imperial city of Cusco.

What items are needed?

  • Identity document or passport.
  • Comfortable clothing for hiking.
  • A jacket.
  • Waterproof poncho.
  • Swimwear.
  • Towels
  • Toiletries.
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent.
  • Comfortable sneakers.
Huchuy Qosqo Trek

Frequently asked questions

  • How high is Huchuy Qosqo?

    Huchuy Qosqo is at an approximate height of 3,550 meters above sea level.

  • What is the weather like in Huchuy Qosqo?

    The weather in Huchuy Qosqo during the morning is temperate and cold. Reaches temperatures 22°C or 71.6°F. While at night it drops, even reaching 0°C. or 32°F.

  • Huchuy Qosqo, without tour?

    The Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machupicchu can be done without a tourist guide, taking into account the provisions of the case. However, it is recommended to access a tourist package, for safety reasons.

  • What does the Huchuy Qosqo Trek include?

    The Huchuy Qosqo Trek includes private transportation in specific places, tour guide, hiking equipment, camping equipment, muleteers to load luggage, food and entrance fees to the archaeological sites.

  • How much does it cost to do the Huchuy Qosqo Trek?

    The Huchuy Qosqo tour, 3 days and two nights, costs approximately 450 US dollars per person. The price varies depending on the services they offer.

  • When to go to Huchuy Qosqo?

    The Huchuy Qosqo trek is advisable to do during the months of April to October, due to the low probability of rain.

  • Can you take the Huchuy Qosqo tour with children?

    The Huchuy Qosqo Trek is one of the simplest. Children can access this tour without any problem. While older adults should consult with a doctor.

  • Is it necessary to acclimatize to go to Huchuy Qosqo?

    Yes, to avoid general discomfort or dizziness during the journey. It is recommended at least one day before starting the trek in Cusco.

  • What other places are close to Huchuy Qosqo?

    Near Huchuy Qosqo, there is Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

  • Does it require training prior to the Huchuy Qosqo Trek?

    Huchuy Qosqo Trek does not require specialized training, it will be enough to do previous training a week before.

  • Are there private tours for the Huchuy Qosqo Trek?

    Yes, you just have to contact your trusted tourism agency.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, February 21, 2024

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