Peaceful, pretty Huancacalle is best known as the jumping-off point for treks to Vilcabamba, but many more hikes from three to 10 days long are possible from here, including to Puncuyo, Inca Tambo, Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. The town’s biggest building is Hostal Manco Sixpac, run by the Cobos family of local guides. It’s the only lodging with hot water. You can organize mules and guides here.
Manco Inca’s huge palace fortress of Vitcos (also known as Rosaspata) is an hour’s walk up the hill, and from there you can continue to the amazing, sacred white rock of Yurac Rumi. The whole easy-to-follow circuit, which starts just over the bridge at the end of the road, takes a leisurely three hours, including plenty of time for photos and admiration of both scenery and ruins.