Vilcabamba comprises a geographical area of ??15 hectares where there are traces of buildings, channels, terraces, platforms and even Inca temples with some colonial influences.
There are some covers in good condition. The granite stone walls were not polished to the perfection of other sites such as Machu Picchu or Coricancha. There are also remains of an andenería system as well as roads that connect Vilcabamba with other nearby places.
In Vilcabamba Inca remains such as ceramics, textiles and tools were found. In addition, Spanish elements such as tiles were found, which would explain the fusion of both cultures during the wars of the rebel Incas.
Evidence of a fire was found in Vilcabamba, which would prove the damage caused by the Spanish when they conquered this refuge of rebel Incas. Today, there are still spaces covered by the wild vegetation of the Cusco jungle.
The important discovery of Vilcabamba
In 1911, the American explorer Hiram Bingham (in his search for Vilcabamba), arrived at Espiritu Pampa where he carried out some superficial studies. Because he did not find any significant find, he returned his march to Machu Picchu, which he believed «the lost City of the Incas.»
The significant finds in Vilcabamba were made from 1964 when the American explorer Gene Savoy arrived at Espiritu Pampa and showed that it was actually the last refuge of the rebel Incas.
Archaeological work continued slowly in Vilcabamba. Thus, the Inca sites of Vitcos, Yurak Rumi and more were excavated from the rugged vegetation.
In 2011, the last significant find was made in Vilcabamba. Several funerary tombs of Wari origin (a civilization that preceded the Incas) were found. The main tomb (which includes gold and silver objects) was named ‘The Lord of Wari’ and shows that Vilcabamba was inhabited by another civilization prior to the Incas.
The mystery of Vilcabamba
How did the Incas make these incredible stone structures? The same mystery is presented for other Inca structures such as Sacsayhuaman, Machu Picchu or Coricancha.
Many agree that it would be a technology prior to the Incas. In Vilcabamba you can see huge polished stones with great technique. Even today the tools used for the transfer and assembly of the stones are not known for sure.
How to get to Vilcabamba?
You can go to Vilcabamba on your own or through an organized tour. Most tourists prefer to do it through a tourism agency that includes transportation, food, camping and more.
If you want to travel on your own, you must take a long bus ride to the town of Vilcabamba. Then a long walk must be undertaken to the Inca archaeological site.
If you want to travel with a tourism agency, it is recommended to get a tour that includes a visit to the Inca City of Machu Picchu during the return to Cusco. You can get a tour online or directly at an agency located in the Historic Center of Cusco.
Vilcabamba Perú Tour
Vilcabamba Perú Tour to Machu Picchu is a hidden treasure for more than 500 years, since this route was not affected by civilization and tourism, this trek covers many kilometers of original and very well preserved Inca trail, landscapes, nature, snow-capped mountains, peculiar flora and fauna, it will make like 500 years back.
This walk connects Vilcabamba (the last Inca refuge) with Machu Picchu, throughout the walk you will visit the archaeological remains of Vilcabamba and its surroundings, where you can better understand the Inca and Pre-Inca Culture.
This Vilcabamba Perú Tour is designed for lovers of walking and culture, without a doubt it will be the experience of a lifetime, especially if you do not want to meet many tourists along the way, Inkas Destination recommends taking this new route to reach the new one. wonder of the world Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Abra Malaga – Santa Maria – Huancacalle – Copesco Camp
We will pick you up very early in the morning at 3:00 am and we will have a tour in our private transport for around 6 hours until we reach the town of Huanca Calle, on the way we will pass through the Sacred Valley and a small stop at Malaga at 4316m or 14160 ft. To continue with the descent to the Lucumayo valley to the town of Santa María at 1200m, 3936ft. We will have a delicious breakfast and then we will continue driving for two more hours to the town of Huanca calle 3350m 10988ft, in this place we will meet our muleteers and horses and we will prepare everything to start the walk.
We will visit the archaeological remains of Vilcabamba, Vitcos and the waca (energetic place) of Ñustahispana after this visit we will begin our walk to the Collpa camp, at 3900m, 12792ft.
Day 2: Collpa – Samarina – Choquetacarpo Pass – Lazunapampa
This second day in the morning (6:00 am), after an energetic breakfast, we will begin our walk, this day the walk will be 90% of the Original Inca Trail and very well preserved from 3900 masl (12792 ft) to 4600 masl (15088 ft) that is the Choquetacarpo pass, from this point we will have a spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains, and then begin to descend to the place of lunch, then continue for about 3 hours to our camp at Lazunapampa 3940 masl (1923ft).
Day 3: Lazunapampa – Quelcamachay – Llutupampa – Yanama – Playa – Santa Teresa
After a delicious breakfast we will begin our walk (6:00 am), this day we change the landscapes of the Puna for forests, throughout the walk we will continue to see different snow-capped mountains of the Vilcabamba mountain range, in addition to several waterfalls.
Arriving at Yanama (3850 masl or 12628ft) we will be able to see different types of birds, especially parrots. In this place we will have our lunch and our transportation to the town of Santa Teresa (1600msnm or 5248ft). In 2 hours we will arrive at the camp, and then visit the thermal baths of Qocalmayo and relax for a good time.
Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
After breakfast at 7:00 am, the walk of approximately 2 hours to the hydroelectric plant begins, where we will have lunch, after lunch we will continue the walk to the town of Aguas Calientes. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Aguas Calientes- Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
At 4:30 am we will start walking to the archaeological remains of Machu Picchu, we will have the guided tour for about 2 hours and then you will have free time to explore on your own. Return to Ollantaytambo by train and then in a transport to Cusco.
- Private transportation from the hotel to Huancacalle.
- Collective transportation from Yanatile to Hidroeléctrica train station
- Tourist train from the Hidroeléctrica train station to Aguas Calientes.
- Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu up and down.
- Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and collective tourist bus to the city.
- Accommodation in Huancacalle (Basic accommodation) and Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu, Continental or similar).
- Ticket to enter Machu Picchu.
- Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English).
- The high quality camping equipment (we use professional tents, Doite, Kailas Model 3, extra light / 4.5kgs and Doite, Himalaya Model, extra light / 4.5kgs, both for 2 people. Mattresses, dining tents with tables, chairs and sanitary facilities).
- Meals during the excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner, optional vegetarian meal).
- Cook and assistant.
- Horses and mules, for all our camping and personal client equipment (up to 7 kilograms).
- Emergency horse.
- First aid kit and oxygen bottle.
- Breakfast during the first day.
- Lunch the day before in Aguas Calientes.
- Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu down.
- Sleeping bag (If you don’t have a sleeping bag, we can rent one for you).
What to bring?
- Backpack with rain protector.
- Sleeping bag.
- Clothing for hot and cold weather such as a waterproof jacket.
- Rain pants and lightweight pants.
- High mountain shoes for a long and difficult trip.
- Shower sandals.
- Wool or synthetic socks and a sweater.
- Polo / Short sleeve T-shirts.
- Rain poncho and a hat.
- Short trusa (for the hot springs in the town of Aguas Calientes).
- Sunscreen, insect repellent, alcohol sanitizer gel, tablets, toiletries, and toilet paper.
- Photographic camera.
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Chocolate bars and dried fruit.
- Original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money for contingencies.
- Since the weather can be very cold and humid, take extra clothes for change since it is difficult for them to dry out.