Mantanay Hike 4D/3N
This hike is ideal for those who want to get off the well-beaten path and enjoy the tranquility of the Andes Mountains as well as pass through traditional villages and see how the locals live. You will cross valleys where local farmers dressed in traditional clothing shepherd their livestock and farm crops on sloping grasslands. This remote hike also offers amazing views as you cross flowing streams, camp by crystal-clear lakes, glimpse the tops of snow-capped mountains hidden by clouds, and visit ancient Inca ruins. For those looking for a secluded trail that ends in Machu Picchu and the chance to see firsthand authentic Andean Culture, we highly recommend Mantanay.
|Perfect for:||Travelers who want a remote, challenging hike that has the best of everything: stunning landscapes, picturesque Andean villages, Inca ruins, and peaceful solitude.|
|Duration:||4 days/3 nights|
|Level:||Moderate to difficult, depending on fitness level|
|Distance:||40 kilometers or 25 miles|
|Limited Spaces:||This hike does not require permits so there is always availability, however, it is best to reserve your hike in advance to secure the Machu Picchu entrances and the best train tickets.|
|Acclimatization:||There is one pass at 4,660 meters (15,290 feet), so it is essential that you are well acclimatized to the altitude before beginning the hike. We recommend that you spend at least 2 days in Cusco and the surrounding area before starting to properly acclimatize.|
Day 1 – We will pick you up from your hotel at 6:00 am and drive one hour and a half through the Sacred Valley to the town of Yanahuara. This is where the trail starts at 3,230 meters (10,597 feet) and we will gradually ascend for about 4 hours following our trail through a forest until we reach our lunch site next to a calm river. After eating, we continue our ascent through the valley where we will see small stone houses and farmyards next to the river. After hiking for about 2 and a half hours, we will arrive at our campsite which is at 4,240 meters or 13,910 feet and is next to the beautiful lake Yurac Cocha that sits below a majestic snowy mountain called Pumahuanca.
Day 2 – After breakfast we begin hiking for about 2 and a half hours to the highest pass, and on the way will see alpacas, llamas, and sheep grazing on the mountainside. We will ascend and cross a small stream until we reach another clear lake called Auroro Cocha at 4,440 meters (14,567 feet) that has white peaks rising around it. After that we will continue hiking up to our highest point, the Huayruruyok Pass at 4,660 meters (15,289 feet). After reaching this pass, we will hike for 2 hours to the lunch site. We will start by descending a little into the valley, and then will ascend up to the top of the next pass where we will have a great view of highest peaks in the area including Mount Veronica and Salkantay. We will then descend into the valley and stop to have lunch next to the Queuña Cocha lake at 4,415 meters (14,485 feet). Next, we continue descending for 2 hours while following a small stream into the village of Huilloc. We will pass by fields and stone houses until we arrive at the main part of the village. We will see locals wearing typical clothing that includes colorful ponchos and hats, and some residents will have hand sewn crafts such as belts, blankets, and bracelets to sell. We will have the chance to meet some of the locals and then we will arrive at our campsite which is located in this small village at 3,820 meters (12,532 feet).
Day 3 – The next day after eating we will take a local car for 30 minutes to Pallata, where we will hike about halfway up the mountain for about 45 minutes to the Inca ruins of Pumamarca. This site was used as an administrative center for the area, and after touring the ruins and having time to explore we will continue hiking for about 3 hours around the mountain on a path that is relatively flat. Our trail will take us through a valley and then we will follow an old Inca Trail until we reach some Inca terraces. We will then descend until we reach the bottom of the valley where we will follow a path along the river until we reach the town of Ollantaytambo, where we will have lunch. We will have some time to rest and then will say goodbye to our crew. Then in the afternoon we can visit the main plaza in the town and do a short hike to the Inca Qolqas (storehouses) which takes 1 hour in total. Then we will have supper at a local restaurant and in the evening we will take the train to Aguas Calientes which takes about 2 hours. At Aguas Calientes we will take you to your hotel where you can check in and rest for the night.
Day 4 – After having an early breakfast at your hotel, you will meet your guide and take the 25-minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu. You will have a 3-hour tour with your guide where you will see and learn about the most important sites including the Temple of the Sun, the main plaza, Intiwatana, and the Temple of the Condor. After your tour, you will have some free time to explore the ruins on your own and take more pictures of this amazing place. When you are ready you can take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, and in the afternoon you will take the train back to Cusco where we will pick you up from the train station and drop you off at your hotel.
- Transportation from your hotel in Cusco to the start of the hike and back to your hotel at the end
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Round trip train tickets in the Expedition service from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back to Cusco
- Round trip bus tickets to Machu Picchu and back to Aguas Calientes
- B&B Hotel in Aguas Calientes (Killa Inn o Panorama B&B depending on availability)
- The North Face Mountain 25 tents which are 2-person, 4 season tents designed for maximum comfort
- Therm-a-Rest mattress and pillow provided for free
- Duffle bag that you can fill with up to 8kg (18lb) of your personal gear that the horses will carry
- Other camping equipment, such as a kitchen tent manned by a professional cooking staff, a dining tent with table and chairs, and a bathroom tent
- Experienced tour guide fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua. Our guides are equipped and trained to practice First-Aid, administer oxygen if needed, and conduct radio communication.
- Complete meals and snacks during the trip starting with lunch on the first day and ending with breakfast on the fourth day at your hotel (the last lunch in Aguas Calientes is not included). Our experienced chefs make amazing meals in the middle of the mountains and are also used to preparing dishes for people with different food restrictions or lifestyles, so please let us know your preferences and we will make sure to meet your dietary needs.
- Professional chef who grew up in the countryside and a horseman with horses/mules to carry all of our gear
- One extra horse in the case of an emergency
- Breakfast on the first day and lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
- Sleeping bag or trekking poles (can be rented from us)
- Tips for guide, chef, and horseman (optional)
What to Bring
- Original passport and student ISIC card (if applicable)
- Sleeping bag (or you can rent one from us)
- A small day backpack to carry your personal belongings (the horses will carry the equipment that you do not need during the day)
- Trekking poles (or you can rent a pair from us)
- Bathing suit (if you would like to enjoy the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
- Good sneakers or light hiking boots, and one pair of flip-flops or light sandals
- Camera and extra batteries
- Rain jacket and plastic poncho (especially if traveling in the wet season, from October to March)
- Comfortable hiking clothes
- Bug repellent
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Cap for the sun
- Warm clothes for the nighttime including thermals, warm hat, and gloves
- Travel towel
- Toilet paper
- Water bottle and about 1 liter of water for the first day until lunch, and after that we will supply you with boiled water for the rest of the hike
Huayna Picchu: If you are interested in climbing Huayna Picchu, the mountain overlooking Machu Picchu, there is an additional fee of $25 USD per person for us to buy your entrance ticket. Spaces are limited, so please let us know when booking whether you would like to hike Huayna Picchu, and we will reserve it for you. For information about this hike, please visit our Huayna Picchu page.
Hotel Upgrade: Included in this tour is one night at a comfortable B&B Hotel in Aguas Calientes (Killa Inn or Panorama B&B depending on availability). However, if you would like to upgrade to a 3, 4, or 5 star hotel, we offer the following prices and options:
- 3 Stars: $40 USD total for a double/matrimonial or single room (Hotel Ferre or La Cabaña)
- 4 Stars: $220 USD total for a double/matrimonial or single room (Casa del Sol – includes dinner at the hotel restaurant)
- 5 Stars: $420 USD total for a double/matrimonial room or $360 USD for a single room (Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo or Sumaq Hotel – both include dinner at their restaurants)
*Please note that all prices listed are for standard rooms and prices will vary for room upgrades. Also, all hotels and room types are subject to availability, and during holidays prices will increase. In addition, we work with many hotels in Aguas Calientes, so if there is a specific hotel not listed that you prefer, please let us know and we can provide you with a price.
Sleeping Bags: If you would like to rent a sleeping bag from us, the price is $20 USD per person in total for the hike.
Trekking Poles: We recommend taking trekking poles on the hike especially when hiking downhill. If you would like to rent a pair for the whole hike, the price is $15 USD per person.
Private Tent: In our service we include North Face Mountain 25 tents that are 2-person tents. However, if you would like to reserve a private tent the price is $30 USD.
Vistadome Train: Our price includes a return train ticket in the Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco, however, if you would like to upgrade to the Vistadome train the price is an additional $25 USD per person.
Additional Information: For more information on rules and regulations of Machu Picchu, please see our Rules and Regulations page here. To see information on cancellations and other policies, please see our Cancellations page here.
How to Book
Since the Mantanay Hike does not require permits, there is always availability. We only require a minimum of 2 people to start this hike, so if there are at least 2 people total in your group we can organize your hike for the start date that you choose. If you are traveling by yourself, please email us to check the availability and let us know the hike(s) you are interested in and the dates when you are available to start the hike.
To reserve your hike, please email us at email@example.com with the hike you want to do, the date you want to start, and how many people are in your group. We will also need the following information for each traveler:
- Full name
- Passport number
- Date of birth
- Food restrictions (if any)
- Would you like to climb Huayna Picchu for an additional $25 USD per person?
If you would like tickets to climb Huayna Picchu after your tour of Machu Picchu, we will reserve a ticket for you as long as there is availability.
After sending your personal information, the next step is for each person in your group to make a deposit of $300 USD to reserve your hike. To make your deposit, please pay by selecting the correct amount below or by visiting our Book Now page. To receive the student discount, you must send an email at the time you reserve your spot with a scan of both sides of your student ISIC card. This is the only student card accepted by the National Park and you can find more information about this student ID on the ISIC website here. The remaining balance is due in Cusco. You may pay in cash (either in US dollars or Peruvian soles) at your briefing, or if you prefer you may pay with a Visa credit card at our office. To pay with a credit card, before your briefing please visit our office which is located at Calle Union #140 in the reception of the Cusco B&B Hotel.
Click the Amount to Deposit via Visa:
To see the original review on Trip Advisor please click here.We were the first tourists who did the Mantanay Hike! The day before our hike, we did the optional community visit. Jose really cares about his community! We visited a small alpaca wool factory, interacted with local children, and had dinner prepared by our host family. Our hike was filled with beautiful memories. The scenery was breathtaking and serene! Imagine passing by turquoise lakes and snow-capped mountains, occasionally meeting local Andean people along the way, and sleeping to the sound of a gentle river. The chef filled our tummies with world-class full course meals. Jose is incredibly knowledgeable, professional and a countryside hero! He goes the extra mile to explain Quechua culture and Peruvian history. It was our first time hiking and we experienced minor symptoms of altitude sickness, but Jose was always there to make sure that we are enjoying ourselves. He eagerly interacted with the Andean people along the way and explained their lifestyles and traditions to us. He also took plenty of great photos for us! Definitely choose Cusi Travel!
To see the original review on Trip Advisor please click here.