marca peru Cusco

Machula expeditions alternative trek to machu picchu

Moonstone Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu, 5 days experience

The Moonstone Trail is a fantastic alternative tour hiking a road that is part of  the Inca Quarry Trail and reaches Machu Picchu. This option, like others, has been popularized due to the limited permissions of the famous Inca Trail that run out very quickly. Those who are looking for an authentic peruvian experience, this will be a beautiful and unforgettable adventure

The Moonstone Trail

The Moonstone Trail is named  after an ancient and mysterious stone carving called in quechua “Quillarumiyuc” (Moonstone). This route  runs through original rough seldom-visited Andean villages, explore ancient Inca ruins and be surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.

Moonstone - Quillarumiyoc

“Quillarumiyoc” (Moonstone)

However, this alternative through a remote route of the Moonstone Trail is also part of the Inca Trail (Inca Trail is an extensive network of roads from Ecuador to Chile in South America)

Andean landscapes, a steep mountain range, stone quarries used by the Incas (Cachiccata quarry), temples and royal residences await you along the way.

The Inca Quarry Trail is the most important road in the area and the Moonstone Trail is part of this road.

This trail is an alternative with few visitors, does not require permits and connects you with the nature of the Andes to never forget it.

The best season for hike the Moonstone Trail

The “standard” time for the vast majority of travelers to walk the Moonstone Trail is from April to October because it corresponds to the dry season (with some rains and cloudy days in April and October).

From November to March, the route is complicated, the roads are difficult, most of the day is cloudy. However, there are travelers who love this type of extreme circumstances, if you like  contact us.

The landscapes change completely, if you clear the day you can see another type of nature around with brushstrokes of green tones, snowy mountain ranges and smells of fresh and renewed land.

Most of the times in rainy season, Machu Picchu ruins has a thick mist, and is not possible to watch the Huana Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain.

Best dates to do the Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu

Between May and August the weather is dry, temperatures are warm in the day and frigid at night (21 ° C and 3 ° C on average). The landscape is between green and yellow, the sky is blue and the sun shines bright almost every day.

Moonstone Trek Map

Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu MAP

(Download Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu Map in PDF here)

The 5-day hike covers a total of 25 miles. It begins with a bus trip to the “Pampas de Anta”, and the walk starts at 10,700 feet and ends at 9150 feet in Ollantaytambo (30 km from Machu Picchu). From Ollantaytambo you boarding the train to Aguas Calientes. The highest part of the road is at 15,200 feet.

Moonstone Trek - Chillipahua

Valley view from Chillipahua

From Quillarumiyoc to Chillipahua 12 km walk the first day, the second day you walk 8 km from Chilliphahua to Chancachuco. From Chancachuco to Cachiccata (Inca Quarry Trail) an 8 km walk is made on the third day. The fourth day is the final walk of 7 km to Ollantaytambo. Finally you take the train to “Aguas Calientes” (Machu Picchu town), the next day on the fifth day you visit the ancient citadel.

Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu, 5 Days | Tour Package

Prior to the trek adventure, you need to know all extensive information about this tour. You will meet with your guide who will give you  the activities you will be engaging in and will clarify any existing concerns you may have.


DAY 1: Cusco – Quillarumiyoc – Chillipahua

Breakfast / Lunch  / dinner

After your breakfast, our guide will come pick you up at your hotel with our touristic bus for a ride that will last about an hour.

Then, we will arrive to the “pampa de Anta” where you will appreciate the work of the Incas and the carved stones in the center of Quillarumiyoc .

The Incas used to own this place for many reasons: its views, its position and its connection with the mother Earth.


Quillarumiyoc Archaeological Area

We will then take a bus for 25 minutes to go to the village of Huarocondo, and start walking for about 2 hours to get to the Watta archaeological center (3700m), which is a pre-inca construction.

Lunch will be taken after an other 20 minutes walk. The last 2 hours walk will lead us to our campsite in the Chillipahua valley (3700m).

Chillipahua camp site first day Moonstone Trek

Chillipahua campsite

  • Distance : 12 Km
  • Walking time : 8 hours
  • Low elevation : 3331 m / 10928 ft
  • High elevation : 3700 m / 12300 ft
  • Campsite : 3700 m / 12300 ft

Day 2: Chillipahua – Chancachuco

Tent / Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Warm coffee, nice food… You will be ready after a delicious breakfast to start your day which will be completely different than the previous one.

Along the way, we will go through several local communities and have a look at their daily lives. You will see that it is as if the Incas have not left the place, the people there are still living following the traditions.

We will then go further and further away from the civilization and be in the middle of colored mountains at an elevation reaching 4400 m.

We will go to the top of a reddish mountain and appreciate the view over the other mountains around covered by snow, and finally head to our campsite, Chancachuco (4325 m).

Chancachuco view - Moonstone Trek to Machu Pichu

Chancachuco view

  • Distance : 7 km
  • Walking time : 8 hours
  • Low elevation : 3700 m/ 12300 ft
  • High elevation : 4400 m/ 13857 ft
  • Campsite : 4325 m / 13677 ft

DAY 3: Chancachuco – Sun Gate – Cachiccata

Tent / Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Today we will go down little by little to a valley where you can appreciate the work of the Inca and their engineering.

They knew how to bring the water from other far away places and how to use the earth to grow their own food like potatoes, quinua, quiwicha and corn.

Moonstone trek

Incas Aqueduct View

We will then keep going down to the Chilca Valley to get a wonderful view over the Veronica mountain, where no agencies and no tourist go because we created the route ourselves.

After a 3 hours walk, we will be in front of the Inti Punku (Inca Sungate) which is at the top of the “Buena Negra” mountain. Later on we will go down to the Inca pits where we will stay overnight at our campsite.

Sun Gate - Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu

Sun Gate (“Inti Punku”) , behind Veronica mountain

  • Distance : 8 km
  • Walking time : 9 hours
  • Low elevation : 3525 m / 11564 ft
  • High elevation : 3940 m / 12926 ft
  • Campsite : 3525 m / 11564 ft

DAY 4:  Cachiccata – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Tent / Breakfast / Box Lunch / Dinner

After having breakfast we will go explore the Inca pits where we will discover and appreciate their stone carving, which is the only place to enjoy this type of work.

This ancient Inca quarry gives the name to main road: Inca Quarry Trail.

Cacchiccata Inca´s Quarry Area - Moonstone Trek

Cacchiccata Inca´s Quarry Area

The best architects of the time chose this place to convert it in a stone mine, where they were carved and then lifted down to Ollantaytambo.

We can nowadays follow the same way and look at the stones left aside all along the path, which we will do in order to reach the village.

Ollantaytambo Town - View from Inca´s archaeological site

Ollantaytambo Town – View from Inca´s archaeological site

There, you will have a 20 minutes guided tour in Ollantaytambo to have a look at many Inca constructions before boarding the train and head to Aguas Calientes. We will have dinner together and stay overnight in a hotel.

  • Distance : 7 km
  • Walking time : 6 hours
  • Low elevation : 2792 m / 9160 ft
  • High elevation : 2040 m / 6692 ft
  • Accommodation: Hotel

DAY 5  Aguas Calientes (Machu Pichu town) – Machu Picchu Ruins – Cusco

Hotel/ Breakfast

Breakfast will be taken early in order to take the bus and arrive at Machu Pichu before the rush. The tour with our guide inside the ruins will not last more than 2 hours, but you will have free time afterwards to explore the city on your own.

Machu Picchu

Later on, we will go back down to Aguas Calientes to take the train and go to Ollantaytambo. There, our bus will bring us back to Cusco and then directly to your hotel.



  • Tourist guide fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua
  • Transport to bring you to the start of the trek
  • Comfortable tent for 4 persons
  • Mattresses
  • Bathroom tent
  • Kitchen tent
  • Dinning room tent
  • Tables and chairs
  • Cooks
  • Muleteers
  • Horses carrying 8 kg of luggage per each person
  • Emergency horse
  • 4 breakfasts/ 5 lunches/ 5 dinners
  • Drinking water
  • Oxygen tank
  • Round train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Machu Pichu
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance ticket for Machu Pichu
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu citadel – Machu Picchu citadel to Aguas Calientes

Not Included

  • Sleeping bag you can rent some directly at the agency  $15
  • Lunch for the 5th day
  • Tips for the Crew, cook and muleteers
  • Walking stick

What To Bring for Moonstone Trek

  • Original passport (it is to bring to Show at the check point)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Raincoat
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera with external battery
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat for the sun and for the cold
  • Hiking sticks
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Flashlight
  • Hiking shoes, trousers and jumpers
  • Gloves
  • Wet wipes
  • Toilet paper

Departures & Price

Departure dates 2021 – 2022

Every Day.


Number of people                      Prices per person

1-2 People                                    $ 620 USD Per Person

3-5 People                                    $ 580 USD Per Person

6-8 People                                    $ 550 USD Per Person

Note: A minimum of two people is required to run the trek, and there is a maximum of eight people per group.

  • Students: discount of $20, but you have to supply us with a copy of your ISIC card when you make the booking.
  • Children up to 15 years of age: Will be charged as students, under the condition that you supply us with a copy of the passport at the time of booking time.

Packing list


  • Original passport
  • Valid student card (if booked as a student with Machula Expeditions)
  • Immigration card  (as you enter Peru)
  • Comfortable day pack (hiking day pack)
  • Camelback (or water bottle)
  • Comfortable hiking boots

Gear inside your day packs

  • Sunhat
  • Rain poncho
  • Fleece
  • The best music in you mobile
  • Hand sanitize
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Wet wipes
  • Bug spray
  • Personal medications
  • Toilet paper (plastic bag for waste too!)
  • Your duffel
  • 2 hiking pants
  • 4 sets s-shirt
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Sets of undergarments
  • Water proof jacket
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Headlamp  essential
  • Quick dry towel
  • Sleeping bag recommend down bags for – 100 cc at least
  • Toothbrush and paste

Book Now

You can contact us for any question by our WhatsApp: +51974238609, by our Chat , by email: or by our Contact Form. Also you can fill our booking form:

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