The term quarry says it all. It is a 3-day hike over the mountains of Ollantaytambo, intending to visit the sun gate or Inti punku, and of course the Inca quarries on the mountainside overlooking the Urubamba River. But apart from visiting the quarries, there is also a visit to a waterfall and other small Inca sites on the way.
It is advisable to choose the dry season or the Peruvian Winter, which runs roughly from May to September. The night temperature in the Andes is cold. During the day, there is a high chance to have almost the entire day sunny. Sometimes the rays of the sun can be strong and days hot, but with a proper dress, hats, and sunscreen, it will turn out more enjoyable, seeing distant landscapes and everything else around.
There is no need to be a trailblazer to undertake the Inca Quarry trail, but it will require a moderate level of fitness because the second-day hike takes a long way and presents two mountain passes over 4 000 m. From the first mountain pass, the footpath leads with some ups and downs to the second and highest pass, and that doesn´t mean there is another big valley between the mountain passes on the second day. No!
Yes, trekking poles are going to be a great help, mainly for the uphill hikes and the steep descent on the second day afternoon heading to Inti Punku.
If you wish you book it in advance, you can do it, but it is not necessary for here there is no entry limit. On its contrary, it is unlimited. Yes, foreplan without despairing because dates are movable too, as long as you arrive in Machu Picchu on the right date.
There is no way to guarantee no altitude sickness with only a day or two days in Cusco. It is a big mistake to rush over the mountain hikes without being not even slightly acclimatized. Instead, take some time on short Cusco city tours and walking at a slow pace. However, a slow and gradual ascent is not always possible, so certain medication can help it to prevent such as acetazolamide or others under doctors’ medication. Tour guides and the companies carry an oxygen bottle for helping the lack of oxygen as well as a basic first aid kid.
For a more enjoyable walk to the Inca quarry trail, the best option is to pick up a tour operator. It is a 4-day package including Machu Picchu and is available year-round. Also, this is your second chance to hike if you missed the classic Inca trail hike and Inca trail ruins.
The first big difference is that you won´t see as many people as on the famous Inca trail walking the same route. It may be you will be the only group and have the landscape all to yourself.
Socma village is home to the Peruvian natives, direct descendants of the Inca, whom still the Inca blood runs through their veins; so there they will be to talk or at least to greet if you wish to. They farm all types of grains, corn, and crops, raise their animals, and make their life somehow.
From the beginning at Socma Village, in a sixty-minute walk through a rural track and connecting an original Inca trail, the waterfall of Perolniyoq comes into view. It is a pretty nice two-level drop waterfall with water plummeting down and the breeze setting down. Located in a small humid valley below a huge rock cliff.
Right Above the waterfall, the ancient Inca settled a set of big houses, shrines, and temples that nowadays is named also the Perolniyoq Inca site. And, following the original Inca trail with its unique lookouts one after the other along, in a 40-minute walk up from the waterfall, this Inca site finally will be reached.