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 SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 5-DAYS

Number one alternative to the Inca Trail

From glaciers to jungle on ancient Inca pathways

Apus Salkantay-highest mountain in the Andes

Rated Excellent

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Overview

This 5-day Salkantay Trek allows you to hike on one of the most popular alternative routes into Machu Picchu. Throughout the trek you will have amazing views of Apu Salkantay, Pumasillo Mountain and Humantay Mountain, three of the most stunning peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba Mountain range. Salkantay Trek was recently named by National Geographic as a top 20 Ultimate Adventure Bucket List Trek.

  • Multi-Day Adventure
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Zip-lining and Cocalmayu option
  • Deluxe camping and hotel accommodations included
  • Nutritious meals and snacks
  • Mount Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu climb included
  • Start any day

Tour Price

Pricing: $725.00/person

  • 25% deposit required at time of booking
  • Student (only with active green ISIC card): $695.00

 

Soraypampa Peru Village Sign Salkantay Trek
Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek,

Tour Details

Guiding Peru’s “traditional” 5-day Salkantay trek is unique, as our guides will allow you to explore areas seldom visited by other tour companies. The Salkantay trek is widely considered by many hikers around the world, as the best alternative hike leading into Machu Picchu. Perfect for those looking to experience the region’s archaeological and natural treasures, this adventure is a five-day trek along original  Inca trail through Llactapata, allowing you to feel the powerful highlands, amazing cloud forests, and exotic high jungle. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff of Horseman, cooks and guides will work hard to insure your memories of Salkantay and Machu Picchu will last a lifetime.

*One day before the trek: Guide briefing in your hotel lobby. Time to be determined at time of booking.

Day 1: CUSCO – SORAYPAMPA – SOYROCOCHA – SALKANTAY PASS – WAYRACMACHAY

  • Walking Hours: 7-8 hours/challenging
  • Walking Distance: 15km
  • High Altitude 4650m
  • Accommodation: Deluxe Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner with snacks

Guiding Peru’s van with guide, cooks and porters will pick you up from your Cusco hotel at 4.30 am to begin our expedition driving for 3 hours in our private transport to Soraypampa. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a nice breakfast where the views are truly breathtaking over-looking two mountains, Humantay 5900m and Salkantay 6215m. We will introduce the team supporting you over the next 5 days and then get ready to hike. Initially we will be gradually hiking uphill for around 1.5 hours, along the Salkantay valley, until we arrive at Salkantay Pampa 4100m. Here you will have a short rest to catch your breath with spectacular views of Salkantay. Next section is a 1 hour uphill hike by switchback, to our lunch spot at Soyrococha lake located at 4430m. Food and drinks are superb as your chef, porters, and horses will be there before you arrive. Here we will enjoy views of Salkantay mountain, while feeling avalanches falling from the glaciers high above. After this break, we keep hiking for about 45 minutes to the top of Salkantay pass 4650m, here will be the best view, without any other tourists. If time allows, we will do a short walk to enjoy a small colorful lake located in the foot of the glaciers. We then hike for 2 hours downhill, to our first campsite called Wayracmachay, located in the middle of the high glaciers and cloud forest at 3850m, where you will enjoy the back side views of the mountain. After this first day of our trek to Machu Picchu, your tents, duffel bags and hot drinks will be ready and waiting for you. Before dinner we will have as an appetizer and happy hour with lots of hot drinks and tasty popcorn. We will go to bed early tonight as tomorrow will be another long day.

Day 2: WAYRACMACHAY – CCOLLPAPAMPA – LA PLAYA SAHUAYAKU

  • Walking Hours: 8-9 hours
  • Walking Distance: 20km/moderate
  • High Altitude: 3850m
  • Accommodation: Deluxe Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks

The porters will provide early tent-service, waking you up with a hot coca tea or coffee. You will get the opportunity to view the sunrise over the glacier peaks, illuminating the surrounding cloud forest. You will have time to pack your gear and enjoy a hot breakfast prepared by the chef, refilling your camelback and day-pack with water and snacks. Today’s hike begins with 4 hours downhill until you arrive to Ccollpapampa, the lunch spot located at 2850m. Along all this way you will notice that the micro-climate changes immediately from cold and glacier views to the warmer cloud forest with thick vegetation that makes you feel you are in the jungle among beautiful flora and fauna. This region contains, different species of orchids, amazing tree ferns, begonias and lots of wild-flowers. After lunch it will be 4.5 hours of gradual downhill hiking, exploring beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and amazing flora and fauna. Here in the forest, is where local people farm coffee, passion fruit, papayas, oranges and avocados. Sahuayacku, is our 2nd campsite located at 2100m. Upon your arrival you will be welcomed by your new family of cooks and porters that will be there waiting for you with refreshing drinks and our delicious meal prepared for us, set up in our protected dining tent.

Day 3: LA PLAYA SAHUAYAKU – LUCAMABAMBA – ZIP-LINE SANTA TERESA – COCALMAYU HOT SPRINGS

  • Walking Hours: 1-2 hours/easy
  • Walking Distance: Veritable
  • High Altitude: 2100m
  • Accommodation: Deluxe Camping
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks

After a nice sleep and delicious chef-prepared breakfast, we will start an adrenaline-filled day. Beginning by walking for about 45 minutes to a local coffee farm, where our next campsite will be located. Coffee is a very important farming industry in Peru and the local people here farm large hectares of coffee that Peru exports to USA, Asia, Europe and surprisingly even to Colombia. Coffee here is of very good quality, and has been a a crop since the time that Spanish people invaded Cusco and brought it to this region. This is a land also rich in avocados and lemons, that’s another important business for locals. After we tour the local farm, we have an early relaxing lunch. We then take our van to Santa Teresa valley into the middle of the canyon, where we will find the highest lines for zip lining in South America, which lead from one mountain to another among the river of Santa Teresa Valley. This activity is included but you are obligated to participate, if you choose not to, you can still enjoy the views of the mountains and the valley while others zip. After this incredible adventure, we have time for relaxing at the local hot springs of Cocalmayu, considered by many as the most beautiful of the entire Cusco region, with a clean water source coming from a volcanic granite rock in the middle of the valley, perfect place to purchase a cold beer too. We will arrive back to the Lucmabamba camp at 6 PM, where our cook is preparing a wonderful surprise for our dinner.

***You will choose the option of enjoying the Santa Teresa Zip-lining and Cocalmayu Hot Springs or to hike through and visit the Llactapata Inca archaeological site. Your selection may be based on current weather and trail conditions.

Day 4: LUCMABAMBA – LLACTATAPATA MIRADOR – HIDROELECTRIC FALLS – AGUAS CALIENTES

  • Meals: Breakfast,  lunch, dinner with snacks
  • Walking distance: 18kms
  • Walking Hours: 8-9 hrs/moderate
  • High Elevation: 2500m
  • Accommodation: Deluxe lodging, Aguas Calientes

Early wake up call,  as we get ready for today’s activity and enjoy your last prepared breakfast with our chef. This part of the trail is the best preserved incan paved trail in the Region and leads up to the Llactapata Inca archaeological site. We hike for 3 hours over the mountain side with the best views of the of Santa Teresa valley, Sahuayaco and Santa Teresa river.  Once we reach the top, we will be surrounded by plenty of Unkas trees, and many endemic plants of the area.  If lucky, we can find a spectacle bear or see the national Peruvian bird, the Cook of the Rocks or locally call as Tunki in Quechua or Gallito de las rocas in Spanish, both animals are in danger, as there are only few left remaining. Finally we start exploring Llactapata an amazing Incan military sector of Machu Picchu, that according to archaeologists, was about same size or bigger than Machu Picchu. Here we get our first view of Machu Picchu Citadel and the famous mountains of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. Following the tour we start descending to Hidroelectrica with views of nice waterfalls during the next 2 hours. For today’s lunch we enjoy a box lunch in the middle of the river Aobamba, very clean water where you can jump in for a refreshing swim. Next is a path to walk on near the rail road and will take approximately 3 hours until you arrive to Aguas Calientes, by the foot of Machu Picchu, where we get views of the city from the Urubamba River. This section is very interesting because it is a trail that was used by the American Professor Hiram Bingham, who rediscovered Machu Picchu after centuries of it being lost. He walked along this valley looking for the lost city of the Incas, called Vitcus Vilcabamba and luckily he fell into  Machu Picchu. You will pass by the farm of Melochor Artaega one of the guides of Mr Bingham. Finally upon your arrival to Aguas Calientes, you will enjoy a nice hot shower at your hotel, the dinner is booked already by us in one of Aguas Caliente’s local restaurants, where the guide will discuss with you tomorrow’s visit of Machu Picchu.

Day 5: MACHU PICCHU – MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN OR HUAYANA PICCHU – INCA BRIDGE – CUSCO

  • Meals: Breakfast, with snacks
  • Walking distance: Veritable
  • Walking Hours: 3-4 hrs/easy-moderate
  • High Elevation: 2500m

The best time to go to visit Machu Picchu is by taking the first bus available and it will depart at 5:30am. The the tour in Machu Picchu will start along the Inca trail that ends in Machu Picchu on flat stones on the edges of cliffs in the highland jungle that is well known as the Inca bridge trail; this is a fascinating walk where not many people go. This walk will take us about 35 minutes, round trip, and is the best way to start the tour around the whole Incan complex. After the Inca Bridge you will continue to the best view point of Machu Picchu and the guide will start explaining about the its history and mystery. Once you finish the 3 hour guided tour, Then you will get ready for the 1030am, Huayna Picchu Mountain OR Mount Machu Picchu climb. Once you finish you will have some time to walk around on your own for the pictures then go for an early dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants located at Aguas Calientes. Lastly, we take the late train for our travel back to Cusco city, where our driver will take you back by van to your Cusco Hotel.

When to Travel

  • High Season (June – August): Dry season in the Andean highlands. Best time for dry conditions for hiking in the Sacred Valley and on Inca Trail.
  • Shoulder Season (September-November and March-May): Occasional rainstorms Trails are less crowded, making for ideal visits with more solitude.
  • Low Season (December to February): Rainy season. Expect persistent daily rains.
  • The Inca Trail is closed in February for trail maintenance and campsite clean up.

Suggested Packing List

  • Original passport.
  • ISIC international student card if applicable.
  • Backpack to carry your personal items
  • Comfortable trekking boots with good ankle support
  • Warm clothes, layers for variable temperatures
  • Thermal underwear for cold conditions
  • Gloves or mittens, wool socks, beanie for cold conditions
  • T-shirts and trekking pants that zip off to short pants for comfort
  • Personal medications, insect repellant
  • Flash light, head lamp and extra batteries
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Sun hat, Sunscreen, and sunglasses
  • Rain jacket/pants or high quality rain poncho
  • Personal Toiletries, toilet paper, small towel, moist towelettes
  • 2 x1 litre water bottle
  • Bathing suit for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
  • Extra money for drinks & tips, souvenirs etc in soles

What’s Included

  • Expert English/Spanish speaking Indigenous guides.
  • Pre trek briefing with lead guide
  • Private transfers to and from the Cusco hotel
  • 3 Nights deluxe camping on Inca trail
  • 1 Nights deluxe lodging at Aguas Calientes Hotel
  • Cooks, assistants, horseman
  • Packhorses (to carry the tents, food, cooking equipment, and all your personal belongings, 8 kilos per person)
  • Dining tent with chairs, toilet tent
  • Private hot shower tent 
  • Tents for trail (2 person shared 4 man tent)
  • Sleeping bag and deluxe foam mattress
  • Trekking poles
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Private van transport
  • Emergency riding horse
  • First aid kit and oxygen
  • Duffle bag
  • Trekking permits
  • Hot springs of Cocalmayu and Santa Teresa Zip-lining
  • Private guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Expedition Train Tickets, bus tickets
  • Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.
  • Huayna Picchu or Mount Machu Picchu climb permits

Options

  • Cusco Hotel
  • Travel insurance
  • Solo fee – private tent and hotel room ($75.00)
  • Tips