Machu Picchu via Tomacaya route - The Hidden Valley

Machu Picchu via Tomacaya route - The Hidden Valley
Moderate Moderate
4000 - 6000m
12 Days
£2,500pp

Trip Overview

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Trek through spectacular mountain scenery and remote valleys as you head to the famous Inca ruins at Machu Picchu. The Tomacaya route we have created is rarely used by trekkers and not currently used by any other company in the UK meaning you get a far less crowded and more remote experience. We will trek to Machu Picchu over the Tocto Pass (4900m) (higher than any pass in the region) with views of the spectacular Mt Salkantay (6271m). This route approaches Machu Picchu from the opposite direction to the Inca Trail as you get not one but two opportunities to see Machu Picchu. The first is where you trek up to the famous 'Sun Gate' viewing Machu Picchu from the trails and then the following day is an opportunity for you to explore the awesome Incan ruins themselves. This route is known as the quieter and more remote route without compromising the stunning surroundings. A true jewel of the Andean mountains that's for sure.

Machu Picchu is one of the awesome treks in Latin America. Trek through spectacular mountain scenery and hidden traditional village as you head to the famous Inca ruins at Machu Picchu via the Tomacaya route. You will trek on the Tomacaya route, which includes conquering the impressive Tocto pass, at 4900m, where you will get the most impressive views of the valley and see the south face of Mt. Salkantay. This route approaches Machu Picchu from the opposite direction to the Inca Trail and is little known amongst travellers. It really is the hidden valley of the region.

As with all of our treks, acclimatisation is super important and taking the longer route to Machu Picchu via the Tomacaya route and the Tocto high pass is the perfect route for better acclimatisation. As we hike towards the pass, Mt Salkantay (6270m) looms high above us as we skirt the edges of this beautiful mountain. The ultimate goal is the historic Inca settlement of Machu Picchu. We will spend time exploring this mystical place and soak up the atmosphere before we head down to Cusco and celebrate a successful trek.


Join us on the Machu Picchu Tomacaya route

  • Our Machu Picchu trek is on the little known Tomacaya route. No other company treks this route. It's also one of the longer routes above 4000m.
  • The slower route is ideal for acclimatisation
  • Our team in Peru have been leading trips to Machu Picchu for over 15 years.
  • Hike the Tocto high pass at 4900m
  • We take special care of our porters & guides. They are probably the best equipped in Peru.

What's Included?
  • Airport Pick-up and Drop-off service in a private vehicle
  • 1-night accommodation in Lima, 4 nights in Cusco - shared hotel rooms as standard across all trips
  • Internal flights Lima-Cusco-Lima
  • Hiking Permits & Entrance Permits to Machu Picchu
  • Expedition train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) on the trek
  • All accommodation whilst on trek in tent
  • Qualified guides & mountain crew
  • Boiled water on the mountain
  • Full-Day Sacred Valley tour in private services with entrance fees and lunch
  • EverTrek Trip Planner & Mobile App Access
  • Neck Buff
  • Exclusive discounts from Cotswold Outdoor, Osprey, Snow and Rock and heaps more.
  • EverTrek pre-trip support
What's Not Included?
  • International flights to Peru
  • Peru Visa
  • Meals at the hotel except for breakfast and other mentioned meals
  • Personal expenses including mineral water, and alcoholic drinks and beverages
  • Tips for guides & porters
  • Your altitude travel insurance
  • Single rooming, a single supplement can be paid for in advance of your trip if requested
  • Any other extended trips or additional accommodation
  • Gear for your climb, some equipment is available for rent at the hotel.
  • Permit to ascent to Huayna Picchu or Montaña Picchu(Not always possible) – Approx. USD 15.00 per person

Itinerary

Today you will fly into the beautiful city of Lima.

Once you land, you can walk to the airport hotel, Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport hotel which is in front of the airport, where you will spend the day and night (depending on your arrival time) before heading to Cusco the next morning, your launching point for the trek ahead.

If you arrive early, you’ll have free time to enjoy a meal with your group.

One of our team will transfer you to the Lima airport for your flight to Cusco, the former capital of the Incas. We'll then whisk you from Cusco airport to the hotel where you will meet up with the rest of your group who will be just as excited as you are to get trekking! Remember, Cusco is at altitude so you will likely be starting to feel the affects of altitude, just take your time!

You can check out San Pedro where there will be a lot of local activities and always a great photo opportunity. You could even visit San Blas (the historic & artistic neighbourhood). It's the city's most picturesque district with its narrow and steep streets, colonial houses built with walls of Incan stone. There you can find the 12 Angles Stone, Plaza la Armas and finally Qorikancha (Sun temple), the sacred centre of the Incan world.

Heaps to see depending on what time your flight arrives. But don't fret if you're short on time because tomorrow you'll be taken on a guided tour to see the best of Cusco!

Later you'll be greeted in the evening for your trip briefing about the rest of the trip and meet up with your guide!

Tonight you can relax and chill in and around Cusco.

Accommodation: hotel in Cusco (Tikka Wasi or similar)

Time to explore magical Cusco! This beautiful city has an interesting history, both from Incan and colonial times. You start this half-day tour in Cusco’s main square, which was called Huacaypata (Warriors Square) by the Incas. While the guide tells you more about the history of this special place, you can admire the city’s cathedral that was built between 1560 and 1664 with the red granite stones from the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

The cathedral is, without doubt, one of the most impressive buildings in Cusco, and not only from the outside: the historical building hosts one of the most significant collections of gold and silver work of the colonial period. Next, you continue to Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo. The convent was built on top of the most important Inca temple dedicated to the worship of the sun, with walls covered with gold leaf. Wandering through the streets of what once was the capital of the Inca Empire, you feel like you are travelling through time.

After exploring Cusco, you will head to the nearby Incan ruins, such as the Sacsayhuaman Fortress with its immense temple walls made out of huge stones. The Living Stones of Sacsayhuamana which were built by the Incas have been placed without glue or mortar of any kind, and fit so exactly, like puzzle pieces, that you can't even fit a sheet of paper between them! It's a mystery how they built these HUGE vast structures so perfectly. You think Stone Henge is a mystery?! - The stones here make our henge look like pebbles thrown on the floor. You'll also check out the red fort Puca Pucara; the Qenko Amphitheater, and Tambomachay - the Inca baths.

This is a great day to not only learn more about the Incan culture and it's history but also to explore the REAL Cusco. You'll be buzzing from your time spent in the ancient city of Cusco that you'll need to prize yourself away from conversation to make it to bed!
Accommodation: hotel in Cusco (Tikka Wasi or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Today is a real treat as we head out on our first trek of the trip to an awesome place called Huchuy Qosqo, which means “Little Cusco” in Quechua language.

We will trek from 3750m to 4400m before dropping back down to Cusco later that evening. This is part of our tried and tested by the Yeti's at HQ and follows the ‘Hike high, sleep low’ strategy that gives your body a great chance to acclimatise.

The Huchuy Qosqo trek is a stunning route, accessible only by foot, with sweeping views over the Sacred Valley and surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the snowcapped Cordillera Urubamba Mountain range. The trek takes about 6-7 hours passing mountain passes, fields, lakes and small Peruvian settlements. Once reaching the high point at 4400m, the descent is super cool heading through the recently restored Inca trail through a huge canyon crossing via the streams and rivers by bridges and entering another rarely visited Incan citadel.

After a brief rest in the shade of the Queñua (Andean oak) trees, we will grab a bite to eat before you’ll continue the trek zigzagging downhill through the fields for approximately 2 hours to Lamay at 2900 m, where you will board your transport back to Cusco.

One heck of an acclimatisation day!

Accommodation: hotel in Cusco (Tikka Wasi or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This is it, the start of the trek. We depart early from Cusco and drive towards Limatambo, past the Tika Tika Pass where we will see the first views of majestic Mt Salkantay and Mt Humantay on the horizon, before crossing the Anta plateau. Driving past breathtaking panoramas of this vibrant agricultural region with views of rugged snow capped peaks in the background, we will arrive at the ruins of Tarawasi.

After a visit to this important Inca ceremonial center we will continue our drive toward the trailhead at the village of Tomacaya, where you will begin your trek.

As you get higher, you will be able to see the change in the landscape with the altitude. Starting in a relatively warm, sheltered valley where crops of fruit and vegetables thrive you'll then trek onto higher plateaus. As we finally reach our campsite you will be rewarded with some fine views of the meadows and valleys below.

The campsite where we will stop for the night, lies next to a stream and valley wall at a beautiful place called Tinko (4154 m / 13,628 ft).

• Driving distance: 77.2 km (48 mi)

• Trekking distance: 11.1 km (6.9 mi) – Time: 6-7 hours

Overnight: tents

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you will head directly up the valley and take the left side of the trail to begin a long uphill climb toward the high pass. As the day warms up during our climb, take in the views and keep a lookout for the Andean Condor as they fly high above the Andean peaks.

After 3-4 hours of steady climbing, we will arrive at one of the highlights of this trek, the Tocto Pass (4,900m / 16,072 ft.). Enjoy the incredible views of the south face of Mt. Salkantay while enjoying the solitude that comes with knowing there are almost no other tourists around on this route.

We begin our descent along the Pampacahua Valley toward our campsite at Mirador Pampaccahuana at 4,000 m (13,120 ft.) all the time accompanied by amazing views of the eastern face of Mt Salkantay. We camp next to awesome views of Mt. Salkantay at Pampacahuana campsite (3902 masl/ 12,801ft).

• Trekking distance: 15 km (9.3 mi) – Time: 8-9 hours

Overnight: tents

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We’ll leave the imposing Mt. Salkantay behind us and continue our hike downhill along an ancient Incan canal flowing down the center of the Pampacahuana Valley, passing through a landscape dotted with small farm settlements. At the end of the valley, we’ll once more begin to observe a greater variety of vegetation as we descend past the tree line before arriving in Paucarcancha, a remote Inca site at the confluence of the Pampacahuana and Q´esca valleys, where we’ll stop for lunch. We sometimes have lunch on reaching Chamana, which is a couple of hours down the road. But our awesome guides will always check-in with the group and make the best decisions for the group at the time.

After a short visit to explore the Inca stone walls and remnants of ancient houses at the site, we’ll continue our journey downhill and join the first stretch of the famed Inca Trail, descending toward Chamana. Chamana is located just outside the Llactapata ruins. These ruins were once an important rest stop for the Inca on the way to Machu Picchu, and this site will also be our private & exclusive “rest stop” for the evening.

We are the only company that uses this campsite and the view across the valley is not to be missed!

• Trekking distance: 16.8 km (10.4 mi) – Time: 7-8 hours

Overnight: tents (Campsite at Chamana, 2585m)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At this point, we will be on the edge of the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary.

After visiting the ruins of Huayna Q’ente, with its amazing Inca terraces and impressive landscape, we will leave the National Sanctuary through the town of Qoriwairachina and head towards Piscacucho, where the main entrance to the Inca Trail is located. The trail will take us alongside the Vilcanota River and through several more ancient archaeological sites. In fact, this is the same path that Hiram Bingham used when he was first led to Machu Picchu by local people living here in 1911.

When you reach the end of the trail, you will be picked up and taken to the vibrant city of Ollantaytambo where you will spend the night.
• Trekking distance: 6km

• Driving distance: 15.6 km (9.7 mi) – Time: 30 min

Accommodation: Hotel in Ollantaytambo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Although tomorrow you’ll get to explore Machu Picchu, today is an opportunity to actually get there on foot.

We’ll get up nice and early and catch the train from Ollantaytambo down to the Urubamba River, to a special place known as ‘Km. 104’ where today’s trek starts from.

This trailhead starts at 2128m and will lead us up a nice set of zig-zagging switch-backs taking the steepness out of the ascent although I’m sure by now those tired legs will be burning but this is a challenge right?!

We then reach the last section of the Classic Inca Trail and will have the opportunity to see other archaeological sites en route to the famous citadel.

One of the BIG highlights today is when you reach the famous ‘Sun Gate (2730 m)’, where you’ll enjoy the fantastic views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains and valleys below. There’s certainly something special about reaching Machu Picchu by foot in this special place.

Once we take some pics at the Sun Gate we’ll drop back down the trail and down to Aguas Calientes passing the Machu Picchu entrance as it teases us before our exploration of it tomorrow.

Aguas Calientes is a town with a buzzing atmosphere, plenty of market stalls to collect quirky mementos and lots of nice places to eat!

Wow! How excited are you to see this place now?!

Accommodation: hotel in Aguas Calientes

Please Note: We always do our best to follow the itinerary. However, it can change occasionally due to temporary park restrictions with permits, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Visiting the awesome Machu Picchu (there's nothing quite like it!)

Although you reached Machu Picchu on foot yesterday for the first time, this time you get to explore it!

We will leave our hotel and head to Machu Picchu (2400m) by bus and take the windy route back up to the Machu Picchu citadel. We will enter the Inca citadel as early as we can depending on the permits as there's a morning or an afternoon visit time. After a guided tour of the archaeological area, including information about the life and customs of the Incas.

There should be heaps of time to enjoy Machu Picchu, normally around 3 hours that the permits allow, and find some of its nooks and hidden areas.

In addition, you can enjoy the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax before your departure train back to Ollantaytambo. From here, we walk to your hotel in Ollantaytambo and spend the night here.

BUT it's not over Yet(i)!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

After a wholesome breakfast, your guide will pick you up at your hotel in Ollantaytambo and you will head to the famous Ollantaytambo Ruins in the Sacred Valley. This is an awesome place to hike around for the day.

You'll visit Hanan Huacaypata, one of the best-preserved parts of this Inca territory as well as the colourful Pisac Andean market which offers you deeper insights into the local culture, while enjoying the traditional clothing of the people of this region which attracts thousands of visitors from remote villagers in the area.

Time of transport: 4h (Aguas Calientes - Cusco) and 30 minutes (Bus Machu Picchu)

Elevation: Aguas Calientes (2005 m) - Machu Picchu (2400 m) - Cusco (3400 m)

Accommodation: hotel in Cusco (Tikka Wasi or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

You've had an incredible journey, you've probably made some awesome new friends and you've got a bucket load of stories to tell the folks at home about your adventures!

The adventure is over but the memories will last a lifetime. On this day, we will transfer you back to Cusco airport for your departure back to Lima and your homeward journey.

Want to extend your adventure?

Once your trek is finished, why not add on our 2 day Rainbow Mountain Extension?

Want to read more about this incredible extension? View the full itinerary here!

Or if you’re looking for something more relaxing, try the serene and awe-inspiring Lake Titicaca extension.

Want to read more about this incredible extension? View the full itinerary here!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Dates & Prices

July 20 2024 - July 31 2024

£2,295pp

Sold out

August 10 2024 - August 21 2024

£2,295pp

Sold out

August 17 2024 - August 28 2024

£2,295pp

Sold out

September 14 2024 - September 25 2024

£2,500pp

Limited - 2 Available Spaces

September 21 2024 - October 02 2024

£2,500pp

Sold out

April 12 2025 - April 23 2025

£2,600pp

Or

£300 / 8 Months

12 Available Spaces

April 19 2025 - April 30 2025

£2,600pp

Or

£300 / 8 Months

5 Available Spaces

May 10 2025 - May 21 2025

£2,600pp

Or

£267 / 9 Months

Limited - 1 Available Spaces

May 17 2025 - May 28 2025

£2,600pp

Or

£267 / 9 Months

10 Available Spaces

June 14 2025 - June 25 2025

£2,600pp

Or

£240 / 10 Months

12 Available Spaces

June 21 2025 - July 02 2025

£2,600pp

Or

£240 / 10 Months

Sold out

July 12 2025 - July 23 2025

£2,600pp

Or

£218 / 11 Months

6 Available Spaces

August 02 2025 - August 13 2025

£2,600pp

Or

£200 / 12 Months

5 Available Spaces

September 06 2025 - September 17 2025

£2,600pp

Or

£185 / 13 Months

9 Available Spaces

April 18 2026 - April 29 2026

£2,700pp

Or

£125 / 20 Months

9 Available Spaces

May 09 2026 - May 20 2026

£2,700pp

Or

£119 / 21 Months

5 Available Spaces

June 20 2026 - July 01 2026

£2,700pp

Or

£114 / 22 Months

8 Available Spaces

July 11 2026 - July 22 2026

£2,700pp

Or

£109 / 23 Months

8 Available Spaces

August 01 2026 - August 12 2026

£2,700pp

Or

£104 / 24 Months

Limited - 4 Available Spaces

Trip Extensions

Panoramic view of Rainbow Mountain at Vinicunca mount in Peru - Travel and wanderlust concept exploring world nature wonders…

Rainbow Mountain Extension

£ 250

Rainbow mountain is a stunning natural wonder at an altitude of 5200 meters so if you are like us Yetis, it offers the perfect blend of altitude, scenery and adventure!

The views in the entire area are something special. Not just Rainbow Mountain but the entire surroundings are fantastic with views of the Andes as well as some of the glaciers falling down the huge mountainous valleys. You'll also get to see some of the classic Peruvian wildlife including llamas and alpacas along the trail all looking for that tongues-out selfie.

It is hard to believe that you can experience all this in a single day and be back at the hotel with a cold beverage under the stars back in Cusco.

A cracker of an extension to your Peruvian adventure!

Want to read more about this incredible extension? View the full itinerary here!

Peru, floating Uros islands on the Titicaca lake, the largest highaltitude lake in the world (3808m). Theyre built using the…

Lake Titicaca Extension

£ 695

Embark on an unforgettable journey and delve deeper into the mesmerizing beauty of Peru by extending your adventure to the serene and awe-inspiring Lake Titicaca. As the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca sits at an altitude of 3,812m and offers an experience like no other. Marvel at the crystal-clear waters and immerse yourself in the captivating cultural heritage of the Uros people, who reside on the famous floating islands made entirely from reeds harvested from the lake.

This incredible add-on is the perfect way to unwind and relax after your Machu Picchu trek. Discover a different side of the Andes as you journey to Lake Titicaca, where you'll witness stunning landscapes and enjoy a more leisurely pace of travel. Explore the fascinating Uros floating islands and interact with the welcoming locals, gaining insight into their unique way of life.

So why not enhance your Peruvian adventure and embark on this enriching extension to Lake Titicaca? You'll come away with unforgettable memories and a newfound appreciation for the natural beauty and cultural richness of this incredible country.

Want to read more about this incredible extension? View the full itinerary here!

More Info

Want to know everything you need to know about this incredible adventure? Read our beginners guide here.

Clothing and Gear

  • Hiking boots: You will need a good pair of hiking boots which are well worn in and comfortable. The EvertTrek Yeti’s are fond of the brands Meindl, Scarpa, La Sportiva, Salamon and Salewa.
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers: Be prepared for rain showers by packing lightweight waterproof outerwear. A lightweight Gore-Tex or similar jacket is essential.
  • Base layers: Moisture-wicking base layers will keep you comfortable and dry during long days on the trail.
  • Mid Layer / Outer Layer: The morning and evenings on the Peru Treks can be cold so packing a lightweight fleece or mid layer and down jacket is a smart way to keep yourself warm without add
  • Sun hat and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun's rays with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.

Essentials

  • Day Pack : You’ll need a hiking backpack to carry your daily essentials, 25l to 30l combined with a hydration bladder. We recommend the Osprey Talon 33L if you prefer a specific women’s fit pack, we like the Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail or Osprey Tempest. Please note: no bags larger than 20l are allowed at Machu Picchu
  • Duffel bag for trek (7kg weight limit)
  • Sleeping bag/mat: To reduce your packing sleeping bags and mats can be hired, an option we’d highly recommend!
  • Water bladder 2lt - 3ltr or bottle: Stay hydrated on the trail by carrying plenty of water with you.
  • Sunscreen: Don't forget to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays with a high SPF sunscreen.
  • Sun hat and sunglasses: That pesky sun!
  • Mosquito Repellent - although the route we trek has a very low risk of malaria, mosquito bites are definitely not something you want to pick up as a souvenir! A good quality mosquito repellent with a high deet content is definitely something you’ll be glad you packed.
  • Beanie Hat: For the morning and evenings when the temperature drops.
  • Neck Buff: Very versatile item, great for keeping your neck, head and face warm out away from the sun and dust.
  • Headlamp: For moving around camp at night and finding things in your tent when the sun goes down.
  • Gloves x 2: A lightweight liner pair of gloves and a thicker insulated pair of gloves.
  • Trekking Poles: These are great and very helpful for the steep trails, making the climbs easier and taking a lot of the pressure off your knees on the descents. It's worth noting to bring rubber ends to your poles for when you enter the Inca Trail section of the trek.
  • First aid kit: Be prepared for minor injuries and ailments with a compact first aid kit containing essential supplies.
  • Wet wipes: For a cheeky tent wash.
  • Small trekking towel – For a cheeky tent dry.
  • Snacks - we always recommend bringing something that will give you a boost when you are flagging, be it Haribo, energy gels or protein bars - whatever will help get you through! We especially love CLIF Bar for a proper boost of energy!

For a more comprehensive list, just get in touch at 02920 003216 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more recommendations.

Make sure you're up to date with your vaccinations before heading off on the Machu Picchu trek. These include familiar jabs like typhoid, tetanus, and diphtheria, which are recommended every 10 years. Additionally, consider optional vaccinations such as hep B and rabies, especially if you travel regularly to regions where these diseases are present.

Remember, if you book with us then you benefit from discounted vaccinations with Nomad - find more info here.

The best time to hike the Inca trail and the Tomacaya route is between May and October when the weather is dry and the trail is less crowded. Permits for the Inca Trail are slightly less hard to obtain by us at this time due to lower numbers. Permits for the Tomacaya are easier overall to acquire due to its lesser known nature.

The Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi) typically occurs towards the end of June, drawing in crowds to Cusco as people make their way to Machu Picchu. Another peak period for hikers is Peru's national holiday at the end of July, with many choosing to tackle the Inca Trail or visit Machu Picchu via train. If going during this month, choose the Tomacaya over the Inca Trail to avoid crowds on the trail, but it could be busy once you arrive at the highlight of the trip! The dry weather remains decent for tourists throughout August and carries on into September, making it a popular time to visit.

As November arrives, the rainy season kicks off, although trekking conditions can still be ok and the crowds are a little less compared to the summer months.

December brings wet weather and an influx of tourists due to the holiday time, resulting in busy accommodation and flight costs despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions. But January sees a decrease in crowds, although it remains wet, making it a quieter period to visit without the holiday rush.

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