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Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu is one of the best options for those who love adventure and are looking for a short trek. You will be hiking through challenging terrains towards the majestic Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Without any doubt arriving at this impressive site will be the most rewarding experience of the Huchuy Qosqo Hike.

Although the 3 day / 2 night Huchuy Qosqo trek is not very popular, it has amazing views of the landscapes that surround the area. Since it is located in the Sacred Valley, Vilcanota Mountain range and the sacred snow capped mountains that protect the city of Calca, everything is natural.

During the hike, you will have the chance to interact with the locals. It will allow you to learn more about their daily life and customs that they keep alive proudly. Furthermore, they are eager to share with you their experience in a charming way with the visitors.

huchuy qosqo trek

Credits: Edwin Bellota


Where is located Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

The Archeological Center of Huchuy Qosqo is located in the district of Lamay in the province of Calca, in the region of Cusco. To be precise, it is on a plateau and near the important and well-known snow-capped mountains of the Sacred Valley, Pitusiray and Sahuasiray.

Ubicacion Huchuy Qosqo

Credits: Google.com/maps


What is the altitude in Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

The Archeological Center of Huchuy Qosqo is located at 3600 masl. In addition, it is in an area named Humid Montane Subtropical Forest. The route will take you to the warmest areas of the town of Aguas Calientes.

Along the Huchuy Qosqo hike, we will experience the different altitudes of the Quechua and Suni region. On the other hand, on the last day of the hike, we will be at an altitude of 2000 masl.

  • The lowest altitude is 2050m / 6725 ft – (last day) Aguas Calientes
  • Highest altitude 5020m / 16470 ft – (first day) Qoriccocha Pass
terrazas de huchuy qosqo urubamba

Credits: cuscoexplorer.com


What is the climate like in Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

The district of Lamay is located in the Sacred Valley. Therefore, the weather is not as cold as it is in the city of Cusco. Most of the time, the weather is cool and warm, except during the rainy season.

While we are on the route to Machu Picchu, we will pass through different climates. Therefore, we need to be prepared for changing climates.

Rainy Season:

  • This season is from November to March. The temperatures vary from 0 °C to 18 °C. There will be cloudy days, especially in January and February. In addition, the amount of rainfall is 108 millimeters.

Dry season:

  • This season is from May to September and the temperature drops to -2 °C and reaches 21 °C in June and July. In addition, during this season there is less presence of rain and days are always sunny. However, it is worth mentioning that nights and early mornings are very cold and frozen months. Furthermore, the amount of rainfall is 3 millimeters.
  • The humidity level doesn’t vary throughout the year. Most times of the year it remains in 0%.
huchuy qosqo

Credits: McKay Savage

Attractions in Huchuy Qosqo

Attractions to see in Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu

The 3 day / 2 night Huchuy Qosqo hike is a short and not popular trek to get to Machu Picchu. During the 3 hiking days, you will notice the change of different altitudinal zonations.  Most of the natural landscapes are part of the archeological center that you will visit.

  • Tambomachay – 4100m / 13451 ft:

It is an archeological site built by the Incas. Its name comes from the Quechua words which means ‘resting place’.  In addition, it was considered a resting place where they worship water. Furthermore, the site has a big room with niches and a room that looks like a bathroom with an aqueduct system, waterfall and stone channels that are still working up until now.

  • Qoriccocha Pass – 5020m / 16470 ft:

This point is a natural pass at the highest part of the mountain. It is situated near Qoriccocha lagoon (from the Quechua word that means Golden Lagoon) and the community of Qenqo. Note that this is the highest point of the route. From this part you can enjoy the great view of the mountains and Qoriccocha lagoon.

  • Qenqo town – 3600m / 11811 ft:

The community of Qenqo or Qoriccocha is the first resting point along the route. It is a traditional town with a charming environment. In addition, the town keeps its customs and traditions alive until now. Locals main activities are to raise llamas and alpacas and the manufacture of textiles using llama or camelid wool.

  • Siwar Pass – 4000m / 13123 ft:

This mountain pass is the next high point of altitude. In addition, this point allows you to get into a beautiful valley. You will find native flowers and plants and a great variety of birds. Siwar Pass is near the community of Siwar. In this small valley the landscapes are a bit different from the others since it has a particular microclimate.

  • Huchuy Qosqo – 3600m / 11811 ft:

Huchuy Qosqo was built by the Incas and is located in a plateau over the rock wall of Lamay. The complex presents stone and clay constructions such as a kallanka, terraces, houses and irrigation channels. In addition, from the site, you have an awesome view of the Sacred Valley and the surrounding mountains. It is believed to be the retreat and resting place of the last years of Wiracocha. Furthermore, there is information that confirms that it is one of the important archeological precincts as it is Pisac and Ollantaytambo; however, it is older than both of them. It was an extraordinary construction for the time it was built.

huchuy qosqo trek 3 days

Credits: Edwin Bellota

  • Lamay – 2941m / 9649 ft:

The small town of Lamay belongs to the district with the same name. It is located in the Sacred Valley on the banks of the Vilcanota River. This town dates from colonial times. Therefore, you can visit the colonial temple Saint James Apostle of Lamay or the thermo medicinal hot springs of Qaqato or Ccaccato.

  • Ollantaytambo – 2750m / 8950 ft:

Old, but important Inca town, not only in the past but also in the present for being the main point to get to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. Here you can find the archeological site of Ollantaytambo that presents exquisite Inca architecture and design such as the temple of the sun, ñusta bath, the precincts in the Pinkuylluna hill and impressive terraces. Furthermore, there is a handicraft market and the train station to Aguas Calientes.

  • Aguas Calientes – 2050m / 6725 ft:

The town of Aguas Calientes is located in the province of Urubamba, district of Machu Picchu. This town serves as the main entrance to the Citadel of Machu Picchu. In addition, the railway passes through this town. Furthermore, you can go to the tourist hot springs. On the other hand, its warm climate proper of the eyebrow of the jungle creates surrounding lush vegetation.

  • Machu Picchu – 2400m / 7873 ft:

Old Inca citadel, located in the eastern cordillera of the South. The architecture and engineering of the place is unique since there are two important areas. In the Urban Area you can visit the religious precincts, precincts for the Inca and the residential zone. On the other hand, in the agricultural area you can find a web of terraces on the mountainside that also offer support. There is also an irrigation system that runs throughout the citadel. Likewise, the natural beauty and the landscapes are amazing.  All the factors mentioned earlier make Machu Picchu one of the 7 Wonders of the modern world.


Itinerary 3 day / 2 night Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu 


From all the secrets and archeological remains of the Inca Empire in the sacred city of Cusco and the area known as Tawantinsuyu, we find a special gem. Located in the high area of the Sacred Valley, the archeological site of ‘Huchuy Qosqo’ seems to be an administrative and religious place for the Incas.

The ‘small Cusco’, or Huchuy Qosqo in Quechua, served as a surveillance place of the Sacred Valley. In addition, it was the refuge of the Inca when they fought against the Chancas. Among the clay and stone constructions that it has, we have houses, agricultural terraces, and a rectangular construction. It is also believed that all of these have served as a resting place of the Royal Inca.

If you are a history lover, don’t hesitate on doing the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu. We will take you on an exciting adventure towards one of the wonders of the modern world, ‘Machu Picchu’.

map huchuy qosqo trek to machu picchu

Day 1: Cusco - Tambomachay – Qenko

We depart early in the morning from the site of Tambomachay, located outside Cusco. Then, we will hike through mountains, valleys, small communities and beautiful mountain lakes. Along the road, we will observe a great extent of pastures and lakes of great size. This place is home to a great variety of birds that include Andean geese (Wallatas) and partridge. Likewise, you will observe a great variety of birds of prey that are seen during the day.

Furthermore, in the afternoon after lunch, we will take a break with the beautiful view of the landscape of the Qoriccocha lagoon. After that, we will arrive in the town of Qenko. Our first campsite is located some kilometers near the Qoriccocha lagoon (Golden lagoon).

Qenko is a traditional Andean community, located at a higher altitude than Cusco or Sacred Valley. Most importantly, the people there keep their traditions and customs alive. Furthermore, most locals raise llamas and alpacas to support their families.

As this place is not frequently visited, locals are always curious to meet visitors. When they see new faces, they will approach and welcome them with open arms.

  • Lodging: Qenqo campsite 

Hiking Distance – 12km / 7.45 miles

  • From Tambomachay to Qoriccocha Lagoon (site for lunch), it takes 4 hours and 3 minutes.
  • From Qoriccocha Lagoon to Qenqo (1st campsite), it takes 2 hours.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Qenko – Huchuy Qosqo – Lamay – Aguas Calientes

On this day, our 2 main objectives are to learn more about the customs and culture of the Andean people and to visit the Inca site of Huchuy Qosqo hike. First, we will get up very early in the morning to have breakfast and to drink hot beverages. Then our guide will take us to one of the houses of the site to meet a local family.

People in the area are very charming, friendly and are eager to learn from the visitor and want to share their experiences with you as well. After that, you will have the chance to give the locals gifts you have brought. Or you can buy the handicraft they have made.

Then, we will go to Huchuy Qosqo. The route takes us to an original Inca Trail through a beautiful and isolated valley filled with native plants, flowers and birds. Actually, you will feel as if you were in another world, leaving behind high meadows. In total, it will take around 2 hours and a half to get to Huchuy Qosqo.

After a brief break to enjoy the beautiful view of the Sacred Valley, you will have a guided tour inside the site to learn more about the Inca town and its culture. Furthermore, in the afternoon, we will head to the Sacred Valley until the town of Lamay where we will have lunch. Finally, we will go to Ollantaytambo by bus and then to Aguas Calientes by train.

  • Lodging: Hotel in Aguas Calientes

Hiking Distance – 20km / 12.42 miles

  • Qenqo – Huchuy Qosqo: It takes 3 hours and 30 minutes
  • Huchuy Qosqo – Lamay (site for lunch): It takes 2 hours
  • Lamay – Aguas Calientes: It takes 3 hours, first by bus and then by train

Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: ¡Machu Picchu!

Early in the morning, and after breakfast in the lodging, we will go to the bus station to take the first bus to Machu Picchu. Once at the entrance we will wait to enter at the first shift (6:00 am). We will have a 2-hour guided tour of the site. During the tour, we will learn more about the life of the Incas by visiting the most important areas of the citadel.

After the guided tour, you will have time to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain which are optional (to hike any of those mountains, you need to buy the tickets in advance). At sunset, we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Then we will continue to the city of Cusco in our private van.

Hiking Distance – 9km / 5.59 miles

  • From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, it takes 25 minutes

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Fauna and Flora

Flora and Fauna in Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu


The flora in the Huchuy Qosqo hike is unique to the Andean highland or Quechua and Puna altitudinal tiers. On the route, there is a variety of flora, but it is not lush. Likewise, we will observe the traditionally cultivated fields.

There is a list of the flora that you can find along the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu:

  • Jarava ichu – Stipa ichu
  • Maguey or American aloe – Agave americana
  • Achupalla – Puya herrerae
  • Spanish moss – Tillandsia usneoides
  • Molle – Schinus molle
  • Lady’s purse – Calceolaria Chrysosphaera.
  • Kantu – Eustephia
  • Cactus – Corryocactus squarrosus
  • Potato – Solanum tuberosum
  • Faba bean – Vicia faba

In the zone of Machu Picchu, you can find another type of flora that is unique to the eyebrow of the jungle. This means that it is lush and more surprisingly, there is a great variety of orchids such as:

  • Queuña trees – Plylepis
  • Floripondio – Brugmansia arborea
  • Rose evening primrose – oenothera rosea
  • Nightshades – Khamato Solanaceae
  • Fern tree – Cyathea Caracasana
  • Lady’s purse – Calceolaria Chrysosphaera
  • White garland-lily or white ginger lily – Hedychium coronarium
  • Achanqaray – Begonia Veitchii
  • Begonia – Begonia bracteosa
  • Tillandsia – Tillandsia Fendleri
  • Chimpu Chimpu – Fuchsia boliviana
  • Morning Glory – Cobaea scandens

In the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, there are more than 500 species of orchids registered. Below, we have a list of some of them:

  • Anguloa Virginalis.
  • Sobralia Dichotoma.
  • Choclo Choclo (Elleanthus Capitatus).
  • Waqanki (Masdevallia Veitchiana).
  • Wiñaywayna (Epidendrum Secundum).
  • Sobralia Virginalis.
  • Trichopilia Frayans.
  • Odontoglossum.
flora huchuy qosqo hike

Credits: Respuestas.tips


The fauna that we find is not as diverse as it is on the huchuy qosqo hike, a place that shows the difference between the Andean area and the eyebrow of the jungle. 

On the route of Huchuy Qosqo, you will observe typical animals of the Andes such as:

  • Llama – Lama glama
  • Alpaca – Vicugna pacos
  • Sheep – Ovis orientalis aries
  • Andean goose – Chloephaga melanoptera
  • Northern lapwing – Vanellus vanellus
  • Andean tinamou – Nothoprocta pentlandii
  • Giant Hummingbird – Patagona gigas
  • Cuzco brush finch – Atlapetes canigenis.
  • White-collared swift – Streptoprocne zonaris
  • Chiguanco Thrush – Turdus Chiguanco
  • Rufous-collared sparrow – Zonotrichia capensis

In the citadel of Machu Picchu, we will observe the diverse wildlife:

  • Spectacled bear – Tremarctos ornatus
  • Llamas – Lama glama
  • Alpacas – Vicugna pacos
  • Neotropical otter – Lontra longicaudis
  • Butterflies
  • Giant Hummingbird – Patagona Gigas
  • Andean Condor – Vultur Gryphus
  • Black Backed Grosbeak – Pheucticus aureoventris
  • Blue-and-yellow Tanager – Thraupis bonariensis
  • Lyre-tailed nightjar – Uropsalis lyra
  • Torrent Duck – Merganetta armata
  • Royal Cinclodes – Cinclodes aricomae
fauna huchuy qosqo hike

Credits: María del Carmen Samamé

About Machu Picchu

Visit in Machu Picchu – Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu 

huchuy qosqo trek to machu picchu

Credits: Alberto Benini

Does the 3 day / 2 night Huchuy Qosqo hike include the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu?

The entrance ticket to the citadel of Machu Picchu is included in the cost of the tour. However, it does not include the additional hikes that allow seeing the citadel from above. 

These additional mountains are Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. Each mountain has an extra cost of USD $35.00 per person. Therefore, to get the additional tickets, you need to buy them in advance.

Required Documentation for Machu Picchu - Huchuy Qosqo hike

It is very important to have your documents to enter Machu Picchu, as it is also to board the train. Bring the documents you have provided the agency to book your tour since that is the information that has to be on the permits. There must be no mistakes:

  • Valid original passport
  • Identity card
  • National Identity card
  • Student card (if you are requesting for a discount)

Remember that if the information in the permits doesn’t match with the personal documents, you won’t enter the citadel nor board the trains.

Note: If you have renewed your passport, you have to send the new information to the agency as soon as possible. The agency will require a copy of both the old and new passports.

How long can you stay in Machu Picchu - Huchuy Qosqo hike?

The visiting time in Machu Picchu citadel is an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. This is enough time to visit the main circuit that includes the most important sites of the historical sanctuary.

Once the guided tour is over, you won’t have much time to visit the site on your own. However, if you have bought the entrance tickets for either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, the extra hikes, you will have the chance to enter the site a second time.

  • Huayna Picchu: Average time of the hike is 1 hour and 45 minutes roundtrip. The climb is steep and has small stairs. Therefore, this extra hike is not recommendable for children. It is risky and not recommended for people who have heart problems or vertigo. In addition, once you reach the top, you will have only 1 or 2 minutes to take pictures and keep walking. 
  • Machu Picchu Montaña: Average time of the hike is 2 hours and a half roundtrip. This extra hike is more recommendable for people who travel with children. The path is wider and not risky as it is the previous one. In addition, you will have more time to take pictures when you reach the top.

Where can I leave my belongings while I do the tour of Machu Picchu?

Keep in mind the restrictions to enter Machu Picchu. Among them, we can mention one that prohibits backpacks weighing more than 8 kg or exceeding the maximum dimensions of 40 x 35 x 20 cm. 

You can leave your things at the storage room of the hotel you stay in Aguas Calientes. Ask the receptionist for this service and make the arrangements needed in order to leave your things there. This way you will only take with you the most essential things to this great adventure.

On the other hand, at the entrance door of Machu Picchu, the government has established a place where you can store your belongings without paying for this service. Also, there is another place where you can leave your belongings, but it has a cost of S/ 5.00 per person. 

Most visitors prefer the second option. They feel that paying guarantees more security than the free option. However, both places are adequate for leaving your belongings.

Regulations in Machu Picchu - Huchuy Qosqo Hike

As any other archeological site, Machu Picchu has certain restrictions that visitors have to follow. Otherwise, they will be punished by the security or park rangers of the Historical Sanctuary.

  • Bags with dimensions over 40 x 35 x 20 cm are not allowed. Therefore, if you have a big bag, you can leave it at the storage room that is situated near the entrance door.
  • It is not permitted to climb over the wall or cross the safety fringe.
  • Don’t bring an umbrella.
  • Drones and tripods aren’t allowed.
  • You can’t bring musical instruments or speakers..
  • Only hiking shoes are allowed.
  • Baby carriages aren’t permitted. 
  • If you are using trekking poles, they have to have rubber tips, not metal.
  • Food and alcoholic drinks are not allowed.

About the hike

What you need to know about the Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu

Age Restrictions to do the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu

There is no age limit to do the trek. The only thing you have to consider is the different altitudinal zonation that you hike through. They vary from 2500m to 5000m.

Therefore, the Huchuy Qosqo trek hike would be perfect for people who are older than 14 years old to a maximum age of 55. If there is a child younger than 14, we recommend hiring a horse so you can ride at the challenging parts. On the other hand, if there is a person older than 55, he has to have a good physical condition and must not have respiratory problems. He will also need to bring a medical certificate that guarantees your good physical condition to do the trek.

How long before should I book the huchuy qosqo trek to machu picchu?

As we have mentioned earlier, the Huchuy Qosqo hike is not frequently visited. Therefore, there are no limited spots to do it. However, if we talk about all the things that have to be arranged such as the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu and train tickets, it is very important to book the trek with enough time in advance.

Furthermore, if you decide to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you have to book it months in advance. You should do so since there are limited spots for both mountains, being  Huayna Picchu sold out faster. Consequently, it is better to buy the tickets at least 3 or 4 months in advance. This also depends on the time of the year you come.

Physical Training for the Huchuy Qosqo hike (Physical condition)

You should be in good physical and mental condition since the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu is from Tambomachay to Machu Picchu and we will hike through different ecosystems and altitudes.

 Therefore, training in advance is the key to success in hiking. You should do breathing exercises and strengthen your muscles. In addition, a balanced diet is a very important factor during your training. We recommend training at least 2 months in advance. Note that you will hike through places where the altitude is around 4000 masl.

How long before the Huchuy Qosqo hike should I arrive in Cusco? (Acclimatization)

We highly recommend arriving some days before you start the trek to acclimate to the altitude of Cusco. If you prefer you can stay in Lima for a couple of days. This will depend on your availability.

Otherwise, you can arrive 2 or three days in advance in Cusco. And take advantage of these days visiting sites around the city as long as they are not challenging.

How to prevent altitude sickness - Huchuy Qosqo Hike?

Most likely, you will experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness in Cusco. If you live in a place that’s located at a moderately high altitude, you get used to the air pressure. But, if you travel to a place at a higher altitude, say above 2,500 meters (8,000 ft), your body will need time to adjust to the change in pressure. Some tourists usually have headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, among other symptoms. 

There is no need to worry since symptoms usually come on within 12 to 24 hours of reaching a higher elevation and then get better within a day or two as your body adjusts to the change in altitude.

Note the following tips that can help you cope with altitude sickness:

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Abstain from drinking alcohol on the first day in Cusco.
  • Don’t eat red meat the first days.
  • Eat fruits or mild soups.
  • Coca tea is completely safe to drink and a cup or two each day can ease altitude symptoms. Just remember coca is a mild stimulant so don’t go over the top and drink cup loads.

What is the condition of the bathrooms and showers in the campsites of Huchuy Qosqo Hike?

The 3 day / 2 night Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu has one campsite which is for the first night. On the second night, we will stay in a hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Therefore, on the first night at the Qenqo campsite, you can use the latrines that belong to the locals. Unfortunately, there are no bathrooms there.

It will be the same when you arrive in Huchuy Qosqo. In the archeological site there are only latrines that the government put, but they are not well maintained.

Fortunately, when you travel with a reliable tourist agency, they will carry portable toilets that you can use along the huchuy qosqo trek to Machu Picchu.


Actually not. There is no drinking water on the route to Huchuy Qosqo during the first and second day. It is usually the agency which provides boiled water at the campsite. They will refill your bottle or Camelbak so you have water for the hike.

Otherwise, we recommend bringing your own bottle with water for the huchuy qosqo trek to machu picchu.

Can I buy bottled water or snacks in the Huchuy Qosqo hike?

You won’t find any store during the Huchuy Qosqo hike. Therefore, we recommend buying all the essential things in the city of Cusco and avoid any inconvenience.

In the town of Tambomachay, on the first day of the hike, you will find some small stores where you can buy last-minute snacks such as cookies, sweets, or bottled water among others.

Tips to book Huchuy Qosqo

How to book the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

Choosing the right tour operator

In the city of Cusco, there are many tourist agencies that offer diverse tours at different rates. It is essential that you hire a well-known and reliable tourist agency that offers high-quality service.

Therefore, we recommend doing some research about the best tour operators in Cusco. In addition, you can visit the website of the agency they recommend and email or call them for further details. 

One way to find the perfect agency for you is by visiting some online platforms. These platforms are very interactive and you can read the travelers recommendations. 

Here we have a list of some of the most important platforms worldwide:

Most of these platforms usually offer accessible prices and good deals by well-known different tour operators. In addition, you can find itineraries and packages that suit your traveling needs and plans.

What is the Huchuy Qosqo trek Rate?

You should be aware that since there are many tour operators, many offer appealing prices that can call your attention. This may be in a group service that includes a lot of people.

The cost of this hike that you may find goes from USD$500 to USD$600. However, the most recommendable agencies that guarantee a high-quality service cost from USD$450 – USD$600 which guarantee fair treatment for the staff and tourists.

Consequently, if you opt for a cheaper agency, not only you won’t have a good quality service, but also the staff won’t be receiving a fair salary. Don’t forget to ask in advance what is or not included in the package.

Machu Picchu ticket Discounts

There is a small discount that the Culture Ministry gives to minors or students who have a valid student card. In other words, a student card is considered valid if it shows the following features:

  • PVC Material 
  • Name of the university
  • Full name
  • Student photo
  • Birthdate
  • Expiration date, which has to be the year that the student visits Machu Picchu (NOT a year early or later to the visit date)

Note: To apply for the student’s discount, you shouldn’t be over 25 years old.

Chefs and Porters

Staff – Chefs and Porters: Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu

porters huchuy qosqo trek to machu picchu

Credits: Ivan Caorsi

Who are the muleteers or porters?

They are people who come from the Andean highland communities. We will hike through most of the areas where they live. Therefore, they are very familiarized with the route.

The Muleteers are in charge of guiding the horses that carry the equipment, and food supplies that will be used on the Huchuy Qosqo hike.

Most of them are farmers. Therefore, hiring their service through a reliable agency contributes to generating a new source of income.

Who carries the camping equipment and cooking utensils during the Huchuy Qosqo trek?

Most reliable agencies provide all the camping equipment for the hike. The muleteers or porters are in charge of carrying the equipment that will be used while we are on the trek. For instance, they will carry the kitchen utensils, tents, food supplies, chairs, among other things.

Furthermore, the tents will be set by the supporting staff. This way when you arrive at the campsites, everything will be ready for you to enjoy and relax.

Why is the role of the porters or muleteer important during the Huchuy Qosqo hike?

They play an important role since they will carry all the camping equipment as well as part of our belongings. Therefore, we won’t struggle during the hike since our burden will be light. This way we will enjoy the natural view and the traditional flora and fauna of the Puna and Quechua region.

Note that the only thing you will carry is your personal backpack in which you will have the most essential things such as water, snacks, a hat, beanie, etc.

Porters Law - huchuy qosqo hike

As time went by, the respective authorities as the Peruvian government have been implementing new regulations on the porters rights. These regulations were established due to the constant mistreatment of porters by tour operators which made porters work under outrageous conditions.

In 2019 some changes were applied to articles of the Nº 27607 porters law, article 6 to be precise. This article states that the minimum payment that a porter receives must be equivalent to 1.6% of a UIT for 8 working hours.

The porter of huchuy qosqo hike who also is the chef should receive 25% more of the minimum payment. Tour operators that don’t follow these regulations will be fined.

Porter weight limit - huchuy qosqo trek

According to the Porters Law – Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Nº 27607, article 3rd, the weight has been limited to 20kg. This includes a 5kg personal allowance. 

When the porter is a woman, the weight limit will be reduced according to the regulations, including the 5kg of personal belongings.

All the supplies must be provided by the agency and guarantee their use. Of course, in case there is any change, it must be informed and agreed by both the employer and employee. The following are the things that each porter should receive.

  • Food supplies
  • Clothing 
  • Camping equipment
  • Transportation
  • Life insurance

Food and camping equipment for porters

Most importantly, Not all agencies offer porters dignified treatment. This means that they don’t provide food and good camping conditions for porters. Some agencies give porters the tourists’ leftovers.

Many porters and chefs carry all the camping equipment and cooking utensils and just look forward to resting at the end of the day. Fortunately,  thanks to the support and complaints of the visitors, this has been changing and improving over the years.

How can you help the porters or muleteers?

The most important is to hire the service of tour agencies that look after their porters. You can testify how the agency you have chosen treats their porters since the first day and along the hike. So, check if they have proper outfit and if at campsites they receive quality meals.

A good way to interact with them is by engaging in a conversation. Likewise, You can ask about their history and legend of the town or the importance of coca in their culture.

Don’t wait for them to start the conversation since they are shy and speak Quechua and Spanish. Some tourists also give some personal help for the porters such as clothes, shoes, or any kind of support. Porters will definitely appreciate the kind gesture.

How much should you tip porters or muleteers?

This is a common question tourists often ask. They want to be sure they are giving a fair tip and take enough money with them. Most tourists would like to show their gratitude for the effort porters and guide make on the strenuous hike.

Usually the tips collected from the tourists are given to the chef who will distribute them among the porters. The chef receives double since he has to carry food ingredients and prepare the meals, which are well elaborated and marvel tourists.

If you feel a certain porter has worked harder or has done something special for you, you can tip him personally. This way you can make sure he receives what he deserves. Sometimes the distributed tips are not equitable. Another thing you have to consider is giving a reasonable tip for the hike. If you give more than expected, the risk is that porters would splurge it. Therefore, resist the urge to over-tip.

Note that tips are NOT mandatory. The amount of money you are willing to give should be based on the service you have received along the trek. It can be classified as bad, regular or good. Each person in the group can contribute between S/40 and S/50 for the porter. 

Likewise, Something that encourages porters to go ahead with their hard work are the words of gratitude and motivation that tourists give them. So, feel free to say something positive.

Recommended Equipment

Recommended Equipment for the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu

Agencies that offer you a complete service provide certain equipment facilities. On the briefing day, you will be given a duffel. The duffel is specially designed to carry up to 5 or 6 kg of your personal items. Therefore, Note that the duffels should include the weight of the sleeping bag, thermal insulation, and personal items for the 3-day huchuy qosqo trek to machu picchu. That is to say, We recommend packing light, only the most essential things.

What should you pack for the Huchuy Qosqo hike?

We can say that this is one of the most frequently asked questions among travelers. Therefore, we will share some tips with you. Note that since your personal items will be carried by the porters, you will have access to them at the campsites. 

  • 3 or 5 short or long sleeved polo shirts
  • 2 or 3 trekking pants
  • 3 sets of underwear
  • 3 or 4 pairs of socks
  • Windbreak
  • 1 warm jacket
  • 1 rain jacket  or rain poncho
  • Gloves, scarf and a beanie
  • Hats for the sun
  • Trekking shoes / An extra pair of shoes (if they get wet)
  • Toiletries
  • Some snacks
  • Airtight Plastic bags (to organize your clothes)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Portable device battery charger

What should I carry inside my backpack

Moreover, inside your backpack you should carry the following items that are essential for the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu:

  • Pocket flashlight with spare batteries
  • Snacks (dried fruits, candy, chocolate, etc.)
  • Bandana 
  • Rain Poncho (NOT an umbrella)
  • Hat for the sun
  • Ear plugs
  • Some cash
  • Personal Documentation
  • Plastic bag for waste

What toiletries should you bring?

Most importantly, You need to bring the following items since you won’t find them along the Huchuy Qosqo hike:

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Alcohol gel
  • Toilet paper
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Sanitary pads or tampons.
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen (FPS 60+)
  • Face moisturizer (face and hands)

How to know if you have the exact weight for Huchuy Qosqo hike?

Above all, It is important to know the allowed weight for the hike not only to avoid an extra payment but also to help porters carry an adequate amount of weight.

Likewise, We recommend weighing your things before taking them to the trek. Most hotels have scales to weigh your backpack. You can ask your tourist agency to lend you a scale and weigh your backpack.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu

What is the best time to do the Huchuy Qosqo hike?

The best season to do the Huchuy Qosqo hike is during the dry season, from May to August. However, you can also travel in September and October since those are quiet months and the weather is pleasant..

Tips: It is important to pack light and consider the climate of the time of the year you are coming to do the trek. If it is during the rainy season, you need to buy a rain poncho and bring a raincoat. Wear always sunscreen no matter the time of the year. You should know that no matter the time of the year you come, the weather in Cusco is unpredictable.

Do you need travel insurance to do the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

Although it is not mandatory to have travel insurance, we highly recommend getting one. This way you can prevent any inconvenience that can happen during your trip such as a flight delay, strikes in the country or city, a natural disaster, or getting sick during the huchuy qosqo hike.

To sum up, You should know that getting sick in Peru may be a bit more expensive than in other countries. So, Getting travel insurance will make you feel more secure. Insurance companies normally charge you from 100 to 150 US dollars. Here you have a list of some insurance companies:

  • Assist card
  • World nomads
  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc (a leading company in the U.S)
  • Allianz (the biggest insurance company in Germany and Europe)
  • Ping An (a leading company in China)
  • Metlife (well known in Europe and Spain)
  • Berkley International
  • Liberty Insurance

Is there Internet connection or electricity at the campsites or during the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

During the first 2 days of the Huchuy Qosqo hike, you will not have Internet connection and phone signal. At least not until the afternoon of day 2.

To keep in contact with the administrators of the tourist agency and inform them in case of a problem, or to check something important, we use radios or satellite phones.

  • First day: there is no internet and phone connection.
  • Second day: there is internet and phone connection afternoon. 
  • Third day: There is internet and phone connection.

Can I take all my luggage with me for Huchuy Qosqo Hike?

There is no need to bring all your luggage to the Huchuy Qosqo – Perú. You should only take the most essential things you will use during the 3 days of hiking. You should pack light and organize the clothes you will wear each day of the hike. Don’t forget to bring an extra pair of shoes, raincoat, a hat, among others.

Packing light allows porters to follow the weight limit regulation. It also shows you are considerate of the effort they will do carrying all your staff. You will be given a duffel where you will put all your belongings.

Can I hire a personal porter for Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

Porters play an important role in the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu. They carry all the necessary implements to make your tour as pleasant as possible. Therefore, without porters, it won’t be possible to get to Machu Picchu. 

Likewise, some Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu tour operators includes the service of a personal porter in the total cost of the trek. If you hire an agency that doesn’t include a porter in the cost of the trek, you will have to pay to have one. Next, we will describe how much you will have to pay for the service of a porter. Note the two services of porters we offer you:

  • Personal Porter: They carry from 5kg to 8kg, the extra cost is USD$ 80.00 per person.
  • Full Porter: They carry from 10kg to 16kg, the extra cost is USD$ 160.00 per person.

What are the meals like in the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

Most agencies include food in the total cost of Huchuy Qosqo hike. They offer a buffet menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Therefore, Each meal consists of a 3 menu selection that each tourist can choose from.

If you have any dietary restrictions, you have to inform the travel agent, or the guide on your briefing day at the latest. This way, the chef can make any adjustment on the menu for you. We cater to vegetarians, vegans, and any food allergies.

However, we recommend asking the tourist agencies what it includes or not includes. This way, you will avoid any inconvenient situation.

How much extra money do I need to take for the Huchuy Qosqo hike?

For any additional expenses that you may have, you need to have some extra cash in the local currency which is Soles Peruanos. For example, you may need to buy bottled water, cookies, or other snacks, toilet paper, etc. Note that locals-only accept Soles Peruanos.

We recommend bringing between S/ 400 per person. You may wonder why you need to bring more money if everything is included.

If that is your case, you need to read the services you have hired carefully, what is or is not included for the huchuy qosqo hike. Certainly, some agencies don’t provide water on the first and second day, or lunch on the fourth day and tips for the porters.

Do I need to bring trekking poles for Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

You will find the trekking poles very useful since they provide 2 more points of support that will help you walk safely, especially on steep and rocky slopes or when going downhill.

This trekking equipment used properly will help you keep the balance of your body. That is why we recommend asking your guide for using the trekking poles according to the different types of terrain you will hike through.

If you don’t have trekking poles for the huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu, you can rent them from the agency. The cost is USD 10 per person.

Where can you leave the extra luggage that won’t be needed along the Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machu Picchu?

All the extra luggage that you have can be stored in the storage room of the hotel that you are staying at. Firstly, You should ask the receptionist. In case, the hotel doesn’t have a storage room, you can leave your luggage in the storage room of our agency at no additional cost.


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