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Huchuy Qosqo (Little Cusco): 2 Days
Huchuy Qosqo is an archeological site found at 3,600 m (11,800 ft) elevation, just north of the modern city of Cusco. It was originally a centre for administration and military operations during Inca times and now is one of the least visited but most evocative sites in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Its name is Quechua for 'Little Cusco'. It was only given this name in the 20th century and was previously known as Kakya Qawani. We will have horses to carry most of our gear, and can arrange for you to ride a horse if requested in advance.
Day 1: Cusco - Pukamarca
At 7:00am we pick you up from your Cusco hotel and bring you to Sacsayhuaman, where our pack horses for the trek are waiting for us. Our hike for the day takes around 7 hours, and includes climbing over a 4,000 m (13,123 ft) pass. On the way the view is spectacular, as we walk through the high Andean puna grassland ecoregion (of the montane grasslands and shrublands biome) where we'll also find some potato plantations.
We pass two lakes, Suyllo Cocha and Qori Cocha, where it is possible to see a variety of local wildlife including the Andean gull, neotropic cormorant, speckled teal, puna teal and mountain caracara. During the trek we will also see llama and sheep herds grazing in the mountains.
In the afternoon we follow the Vilcanota River to get to Pukamarka village (3,100 m / 10,170 ft) where we put up our camp for the night. We can visit the preserved Inca walls in the village and relax with a hearty evening meal prepared by our cook.
Day 2: Pukamarka - Lamay - Cusco
After breakfast we continue walking for approximately 1.5 hours towards Huchuy Qosqo. Just beyond Pukamarka we walk through an impressive canyon with wooden bridges. Continuing, we can already see the terraces of Huchuy Qosqo. Once there we have an explanation of the various aspects of the archeological site, bringing the great Inca culture back to life from their remaining structures. The view of the Sacred Valley below is spectacular. Afterwards we continue walking downhill to the town of Lamay for about 2 hours. Our private bus is waiting in the village to take us back to Cusco.
- All transportation as noted above
- Professional guide (fluent in English, Spanish, Quechua, German)
- Meals and snacks during the trek (day 1: lunch + dinner, day 2: breakfast + lunch)
- Camping equipment (except sleeping bag)
- Cook, horses, and horsemen for the equipment and emergency horse with a saddle
- Entrance fee to Huchuy Qosqo
- Sleeping bag
- Horse for riding (must be requested in advance)
- Discretionary spending, tips
For tips on what to bring, check our Travel Tips page.