Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu

Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu
Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu
Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu
Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu
Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu
Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu

Moonstone Trek to Machu Picchu


5 Days / 4 Nights

Package Type


Activity Level

Activity Level


Travel specialist

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Travel specialist

Carla Esquivel
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Trip Overview

The Moonstone Trek is one of the more recent alternative treks to Machu Picchu, and it’s an option well worth considering, especially if you want to avoid the crowds on the Inca Trail. This five-day trek also takes you to sites not included on other trails. 

As you follow this trail, you’ll pass through spectacular landscapes, stop off at remote rural communities, and see some important archaeological ruins that few tourists ever visit. The trek itself is named after Quillarumiyoc, which in Quechua means the “Moonstone” or “a stone that has a moon.” This is a reference to the beautiful moon symbol carved into a rock at the site, which served as a place of moon worship. 

Our Moonstone trek to Machu Picchu takes us along an old Inca route that passed from Cusco to the mountains. On our way, we’ll discover a fascinating quarry where rock was mined to build Inca settlements such as that of Ollantaytambo. We’ll also see an Inca canal or aqueduct, possibly the longest they ever built. And during out trek, we’ll stop at colorful Andean villages surrounded by fields of quinoa, corn and potatoes, and herds of alpacas and llamas. The natural landscape, meanwhile, is varied and awe-inspiring, encompassing deep canyons, towering mountains and rugged Andean vistas.

Day by day schedule

The first day of our adventure begins early in the morning when we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. From Cusco we drive for one hour to Quillarumiyoc (the Moonstone). Dedicated to the Inca moon god, this site has a truly mystical feel, with large rocks engraved with drawings, symbols and strange patterns, the most famous being the intricate half-moon carved in bas-relief into a large rock. After exploring this intriguing ruin, we’ll have a tasty breakfast at the site before...

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  • Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

We will begin Day 2 with a cup of coca tea or wonderful local coffee. Then we’ll have a hearty Andean breakfast to build up our energy for the day ahead. Setting off, we’ll first tackle an uphill trek for about 3.5 hours. After that, we’ll stop at a picturesque glade where we’ll have lunch. We are now reaching some serious elevation, at around 4,438 m (14,557 ft). 

After lunch it’s another uphill climb for about an hour, where we’ll rea...

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  • Meals Included: All Included

Our trek on Day 3 takes us through the most beautiful landscapes we’ll see, as we follow a section of an old Inca Trail. We’re also unlikely to see any other people along this route, as it is relatively unknown. 

After breakfast, we begin our trek with a walk through the enchanting Puncuyoc canyon, where we will be surrounded by lush green vegetation and polylepis trees as we follow a stream that flows through the canyon. This section through the canyon and th...

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  • Meals Included: All Included

After another tasty breakfast, we’ll begin a relaxing day of exploration as we trek from the Inca Quarry to Ollantaytambo. This area is rarely visited and we’re unlikely to encounter many other trekkers (if any) as we descend along a wide Inca road, passing through an area of Inca quarries and chullpas (old Inca cemeteries), seeing ruins that few others have ever explored. The ...

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  • Meals Included: All Included

To best appreciated Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning so we can get to the citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 5:40 a.m. We’ll then walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu. 

We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here you’ll begin your guided walking ...

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  • Meals Included: Breakfast

What's included

  • Accommodation: Chillipawa Camp (1night), Chancachuco Camp (1 night), Inca Quarry Camp (1night), 
  • Meals: 3 breakfasts, 4 lunch, 4 dinner
  • Transport: Private or share
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Moonstone and Machupicchu 
  • Arrival and departure transfer 
  • Briefing to the tour one day before the trek at 19h00
  • An assistant guide for groups of more than 7 people
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities 
  • Professional guide who speaks English
  • Snacks appropriate for all hours and hot and cold beverages 
  • Complete set of kitchen equipment and utensils
  • Dining room equipment which includes tables, chairs, and a dining tents
  • Water (you need to bring water for the first morning then we will provide you with drinking - previously boiled - water)
  • Pack horses that will carry the camping equipment, the cooking equipment and the food
  • Another packhorse to carry your personal gear that weighs up to 7 kilos
  • Entrances fees
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Train ticket from Ollantaytambo Aguas Calientes
  • First aid kit
  • Round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu 
  • 24/7 support and emergency line available throughout the itinerary

What's not included

  • Airfare to and from destination
  • Minimum medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Evacuation: in the event of a serious medical injury, we will coordinate with your travel insurance company to arrange evacuation
  • Visas
  • Accommodation in Aguas Calientes
  • Any activity not described in What's Included
  • Meals on your own
  • Gratuities
  • Optional excursions
  • Personal equipment such as trekking equipment
  • Camping equipment such as sleeping bag or walking stick
  • Damages caused by the client to the bus or to the camping equipment



Now featuring our exclusive Atmos Foam to further reduce weight and boost compressibility, the ProLite is the lightest and most compact three-season mattress available. Self-inflation keeps set-up super-easy and its die-cut foam packs small, easily fitting inside the most ultralight packs. It's ideal for high-mileage, high-speed journeys where every gram counts. Stuff sack included.


  • Lightweight: The lightest self-inflating mattress available.
  • Compact Warmth: Diagonal-cut foam and tapered shape provides efficient warmth withlimited bulk.
  • Highly Packable: Our exclusive Atmos Foam and a tapered shape keep the ProLite mattressextremely pack friendly.
  • Self-Inflating: Expanding foam core self-inflates; top off with just a few breaths forpersonalized firmness.
  • Lightweight: The lightest self-inflating mattress available
  • Compact Warmth: Diagonal-cut foam and tapered shape provides efficient warmth with


  • 20 x 72 x 1.5 in

Packed Size:

  • 11 x 4.8 in

Claimed Weight:

  • 1 lb 4 oz

Are you planning to hike the Lares Trek but worried about carrying too much weight? Renting horses can be a convenient option to lighten your load and make your trekking experience stress-free.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Extra Horses for Belongings:

If you want to rent extra horses to carry your belongings, it’s important to plan ahead and book them in advance, especially during peak trekking season when demand is high. Each horse can carry up to 10 kg (22 lbs) of gear, so make sure to pack carefully and within the weight limit to avoid overloading the horse.


  • Size: LZ to RZ
  • Total Weight: 1,8kg/65oz
  • Fill Weight: 280g/10oz
  • Packed Size: 16cm x 25cm

Temperature Specifications:

  • Extreme: -15°C/5°F
  • Comfort Limit: 2°C/36°F
  • Comfort: 6°C/43°F
  • Good Nights Sleep: 0°C/-5&32;F

Important Note:

Note that our sleeping bags are feather for those that are allergic


These poles are designed to help you endure long treks into rugged, remote areas with a heavy pack. If you need a little extra support when walking, an adjustable folding walking stick is ideal. It has an aluminium body with plastic handles and base, it folds away neatly for easy storage when not in use.


  • Material: Aluminium
  • Length: 67–135cm
  • Shaft diameter: 16/14/12mm
  • SpeedLock Adjustment System
  • Flextip with interchangeable basket
  • Weight: 528g-650g (Pair)


Inca Trail Porters Protection Law No. 27607(Dec 6th 2001). Decreed Laws Numbers 19990 and 25897 Article 3 Conditions of work:

  • Transport up to the point of departure to the end of the trip.
  • Limit of load up of 20 kilograms.
  • Warm equipment and accommodation
  • Special belts to protect their backs from injuries
  • Appropriate rest and sleep during the trip
  • Provision of sufficient food, and appropriate clothing
  • (warm jacket, rain ponchos, walking boots and backpacks)
  • Fair and decent Payment on time on Day 4 at 10am
  • Life / Accident Insurance the Social Security of Health
  • Social Assistance to our Porter`s families not only in Christmas.



Porters are indigenous Cusqueñian people who have lived in Cusco, at 4,000 meters high, all of their lives relying on the land of the Andes. Due to economic problems, it is important for these local indigenous people to continue working in the mountains they know so well, rather than give up their jobs in the country to move to the city. They prefer to stay in their local villages and support the education of their children by working as porters on tours.

Sadly, many tour operators don't give them the recognition they deserve. Often tour operators do NOT provide porters with adequate clothing or gear for carrying things while paying them very low salaries. Because of this, you will see thirsty, hungry porters with a low morale along the Inca Trail. Our government has created the Law of the Porter, which requires tour agencies to treat porters better and provide necessary resources for them, but sadly, many of these regulations are not met. Please make sure that the agency you book through respects the Porter Law and be sure to ask for proof of this. Otherwise you could be contributing to the ill treatment of these hard-working porters.


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