SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 5DAYS/4NIGHTS
Salkantay trek is the best alternative hike to the classic Inka Trail to Machu Picchu.
This route will take you through ancient trails still used by direct descendants of the Incas, who are able to take their produce to other communities and towns using llamas or carrying as their ancestors did thousands of Years ago. It will immerse you into Andean living culture; people doing their daily shores and preserving their ancestral traditions and customs.
DAY 1: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAYTAPAMPA
After breakfast, the guide will meet you at the hotel to drive toward Mollepata village (it will last 2 hours); afterwards we will continue our drive (1 hour) towards the small settlement of Marcocasa at (3300m.a.s.l/10824ft), where we will meet the trekking crew and the horses.
The hiking trail this day is simply walking on the road that runs all the way back to Soraypampa. While the views are stunning, we will follow the Andean puna toward the Andean valley of Soraypampa located at the foothills of the beautiful Mount Humantay (5910m/19385ft), here we will enjoy the lunch. After lunch we will continue with a hike uphill for 1.5 to 2 hours to our first campsite at Salkantaypampa. (4100m.a.s.l/13451ft)
- Hiking time: 6 hours
- Minimum Altitude: 2700m.a.s.l./ 8990 ft
- Maximum Altitude: 3,100m.a.s.l/ 10000ft
DAY 2: SALKANTAYPAMPA – WAYRACMACHAY – CHAULLAY
After an early breakfast, we will start the most difficult part of the trip.
We will have to climb on zigzag until get the Pampa Salkantay, from where we will turn to left side of the snowy Umantay, located next to the snow-capped Salkantay. Continuing with the trek at around noon we will reach the highest pass called ‘Abra de Salkantay’ or ‘Open Salkantay’ at (4,600 metres/15091ft). We can appreciate spectacular views over the mountains and over the imposing snow-capped Salkantay mountain (6264m.a.s.l/20552ft), which is the second highest peak in the Cusco region.
We descend to Huayracmachay, where we will have lunch.
In the afternoon we continue our hike for three hours more until get Chaullay Field (2920 m.a.s.l/9580ft), where we spend our second night on the campsite.
- Hiking time: 7 hours
- Minimum Altitude: 2920 m.a.s.l/9580ft
- Maximum Altitude: 4,600 metres/15091 ft
DAY 3: CHAULLAY – LA PLAYA – SANTA TERESA
After breakfast, we will hike for aprox. 5 hours towards La Playa – Sahuayaco; during the hiking we will visit the small village of Collpabamba (3100m.a.s.l./10170ft), also called the Cloud Forest or the Edge of the Rainforest, where we can observe waterfalls, fruit trees, a varied flora, coca and birds. Here you can spot the banana crops as well as the waterfalls.
After a short hike we arrive at Wiñaypoqo where we will enjoy the lunch and rest. We will keep on walking for three more hours more until we reach the zone called La Playa, offering a huge variety of orchids. Finally we will arrive to the village of Santa Teresa (1990m.a.s.l./6528ft), our last camping place.
- Hiking time: 8 hours
- Minimum Altitude: 1990m.a.s.l./6528ft
- Maximum Altitude: 3100m.a.s.l./10170ft
OPTIONAL: Visit the hot springs of Santa Teresa (Cocalmayo) at the end of the afternoon.
DAY 4: SANTA TERESA – AGUAS CALIENTES
After the breakfast, we will start the hike for 2 ½ hours until we reach Hydroelectric (1870 m). On our way we will pass fruit plantations such as bananas, passion fruits, coffee etc. From far away, we also have the opportunity to catch a glimpse on the Lost Cities of the Incas, Machu Picchu. After our lunch, we will make our way with all our staffs and luggage to the town of Aguas Calientes. There are two possibilities: we can walk for about 2 ½ hours or we can also board the train leaving at 4.35 pm and arriving in Aguas Calientes after 45 minutes.
Overnight in Aguas Calientes
DAY 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Today, you have a full-day to explore Machu Picchu citadel – the new seven wonder of the world; the shuttle bus service will take you for 20 minutes from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu where you will have a 2- 3 hours fully guided tour of the mysterious ruins, visiting the most important sector of the city such as the temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana, the temple of the three windows, the mausoleum, the temple of the condor, etc.
If you are in a good physical shape you can hike to the Inca Bridge, Huayna Picchu, Inti Punku sun gate, or just wander through the ruins taking pictures.
You then return to Aguas Calientes to catch the train back to Cusco (Poroy train station), arrival to Poroy and transfer to your hotel.
OPTIONAL: hike to the summit of Huayna Picchu, (Huayna Picchu now requires an extra, limited-availability permit; allowed just 400 per day. It is a 1.5-hour hike)
INCLUDED / NOT INCLUDED
- Orientation meeting in Cusco (previous to departure date).
- Professional bilingual guide
- Transfer from Cusco hotel to Mollepata (starting point of the trek)
- All balance meals during the trekking (5 days/4 nights), including snacks.
- All common camping gear: 3 men mountain tent for 2 people, mattress, kitchen dishes, kitchen tent, dinner tent, toilet tent, table, chairs.
- Horses for the whole equipment.
- Professional bilingual guideTrain from hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes (4th day)
- Round trip bus ticket Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes (5th day)
- Train service (VISTADOME – first class or EXPEDITION – tourist class) Machu Picchu to Cusco
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
- First-aid kit with oxygen.
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes