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A Guide to Hiking Huchuy Qosqo

hiking Huchuy Qosqo
View from Huchuy Qosqo

Huchuy Qosqo is one of the best off-the-beaten-path hikes near Cusco, Peru. It doesn’t draw crowds like Rainbow Mountain or Laguna Humantay, but this is only because the Huchuy Qosqo ruins are only accesible by hiking 25 km. I only saw 3 other tourists throughout the whole hike and it was the perfect break from the crowds.

The scenery is spectacular, and you will even get the chance to walk along Inca roads. It’s also incredibly budget-friendly and the entrance to the ruins plus the transportation only costs 14 soles total.

Related: The Best 1 Month Backpacking Itinerary for Peru

How Do I Get to the Huchuy Qosqo Trailhead?

The 25 km hike starts at Tambomachay, an archeological site included on the Cusco Tourist Ticket. I told the man at the Tambomachay ticket office that I was here for the Huchuy Qosqo hike, and he let me through without paying.

To get to Tambomachay, you can take a bus from Mercado Rosaspata or walk up to Av. Circunvalación to catch the bus en route. The bus will have a sign for Tambomachay in the front window.

View of Lamay

What’s the Hike Like?

The hike is mostly flat and the trail is easy to follow using the maps.me app. It starts with a brief ascent that rewards you with views of Cusco. For the next couple of hours, you are surrounded by lush green scenery. Then, you’ll reach the abandoned village of Pucamarca and can follow the Inca trails to Huchuy Qosqo.

The valley views with snow-capped peaks in the background are fantastic. From the ruins, you descend for an hour to reach Lamay, the end of the hike. In Lamay, there are frequent colectivos that will take you back to Cusco.

Related: 5 Important Rules to Riding a Colectivo

How Long Does the Hike Take?

The hike to Huchuy Qosqo is a long day. The hike itself is 7-8 hours, and the transportation to and from the trailhead is close to 90 minutes total. I recommend starting by 8 AM to ensure you’ll finish before the sunset.

Related: The 6 Best Day Hikes in Cusco

What Should I Bring?

You need to bring enough food and water for the day because there is nowhere to buy anything along the trail. I recommend bringing a winter jacket because the hike is mostly around 4,000 meters. The descent to Lamay is very steep, so it’s best to wear proper hiking footwear.

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