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Inca Quarry Trail
Inca Quarry Trail

Inca Quarry Trail

Calle Principal beside KB Tambo Hotel at the junction of the street that leads to the train station, Cuzco, Peru

The Basics

Over the course of this 16-mile (9-.6-kilometer) trek, hikers pass through small villages and little-known Inca ruins off the typical tourist map. The highest pass is 14,685 feet (4.5 kilometers), which is attainable for hikers in moderate fitness levels. At the end of this lovely sojourn through the Andes,hop on the train to Aguas Calientes, the last stop before Machu Picchu. Most guided treks for the Quarry Trail depart from Ollantaytambo and drive into the countryside to the small town of Rafqa, where horses are loaded with camp gear and supplies.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Moderate fitness is required for hiking this trail; bring appropriate clothing and gear.
  • Considering the elevation, acclimatize in Cusco for a couple of days before hiking.
  • Because of the high altitude, be sure to stay hydrated and take it slow.
  • Many tours include ground transportation, transfers, entrance fees, camping and hotel accommodations, and guides. Check individual tours for precise arrangements.
  • Tours operate in all weather conditions.
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How to Get There

Quarry Trail tours start at Ollantaytambo, which is about 12 miles (19.2 kilometers) from Urubamba, and 37 miles (60 kilometers)from Cusco. Trains running between Cusco and Aguas Calientes (for Machu Picchu) stop at Ollantaytambo, which is the halfway mark along the route.

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When to Get There

June through September are the driest months (and also the coldest and most popular), rainy season is generally from January through April. The Quarry trail is never very crowded, and there are plenty of times when groups won’t encounter another group for long stretches.

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Wildcard

Ollantaytambo Fortress Perched at the northern end of the Sacred Valley of the Inca, Ollantaytambo was once the administrative center of the Inca Empire. Learn the secrets of Inca urban planning at its finest in this well-preserved archeological park, much of which has been rebuilt according to its original construction. The massive Inca fortress soars above the village’s cobbled streets and the monolithic stones of the Temple of the Sun built by Pachacuti in the 1400s.

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