This amazing trek runs beneath the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6.271m/20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes. Your first two days are dominated by the impressive "Apus" of Salkantay and Huamantay, as you pass through the high puna landscape. On the third day, you descend to the warm cloud forest, to reach Aguas Calientes on the fourth day. The impressive Sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu is visited on the last day of the program. This tour is an interesting alternative for those not having found spaces on the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. At times referred to as "the other Inca trail" the Salkantay Trek (or Salcantay Trek), was recently named among the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine is a trek open to everybody, with no limitation on spaces or permits (for the moment).
Highlight: Hiking alongside the magnificent Apu Salkantay and then arriving at the ruins of Machu Picchu.
Location: The Salkantay trek begins 2 hours’ drive west of Cusco, Peru, and leaves from Soraypampa, above the village Mollepata.
Adventure rating: Given the new restrictions on the Inca Trail, Salkantay is the second most popular hike in the region and some of the campsites are less remote than on other trails.
Inca trail alternative: yes, the Salkantay trek is an excellent option.
This amazing trek runs beneath the magnificent Salkantay Mountain
Day 01: Cusco / Mollepata / Soraypampa
Early in the morning we pick you up from your hotel and transfer you in a private bus to Mollepata passing picturesque and traditional towns like Iscuchaca, Ancahuasi, and Limatambo, as well highlands plateaus and landscapes with great views of snowcapped mountains that belong to the Cordillera Vilcabamba. The bus trip will last 3.00 hours and then the hike is for 6 hours. The trail climbs up from Mollepata sharply to Marqhok'asa pass through the pastures, farming lands, afterward descending until the campsite through the high brush down to Soraypampa (3750 m.s.n.m).
Day 02: Soraypampa to Colpapampa
Early in the morning you leave Soraypampa and keep going up the beautiful valley walking just below the majestic snowcapped mountain named Salkantay (6271 m.s.n.m) after 1:1/2 hours the trek becomes steep zigzagging for a while after that we get the pass named Salkantay pass, 4600 m.s.n.m) from where you will be rewarded with superb views . The trail descends through an old moraine passing great pastures down to the camp of Huayroqmachay located at 4000masl. This campsite is subject to change according to the guide's criteria and the evolution of the group.
Day 03: Colpapampa to Lucmabamba
Wake up with lovely mountain scenery and a good morning tea. Continue to the north down to the lush jungle through different ecosystems watching birdlife like hummingbirds, trashes, finches, tanagers, sparrows, guans, parrots, etc. It will be a long descending day towards the cloud forest where people live taking advantages of nature, also you will pass great waterfalls. At the end of the day, we will see passion fruit fields. The hike will last approximately 9 hours; the campsite is at the community named "Lucmabamba "(2300 m.s.n.m).
Day 04: Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes
Leaving la playa the trek continues through plantations of coffee, banana, and tropical fruits. Afterward, the trail climbs up to Patallacta from where you descend until Hydroelectric (1800m.s.n.m) train station where we take the train straight to Aguas Calientes where we will in a hotel next to Machu Picchu sanctuary.
Day 05: Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu / Cusco
Early in the morning, we take a bus up to Machu Picchu with our expert guide to explore the full day in this Inca enigmatic treasure. In the afternoon we take the train back to Cusco and you will be transferred to your hotel.
What is included:
• We pick you up from your hotel in the morning and transfer in the bus to Mollepata, the starting point of the trek.
• English speaking professional guide
• Meals: 4 Breakfast/ 4 Lunch/ 3 Dinner
• Cook and equipment
• Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
• 1 emergency horse
• Hostel in Aguas Calientes.
• Bus ticket from Machu Picchu ruins down to the village of Aguas Calientes
• Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
• train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
• Tents: 2 people in each 3-people-capacity tents, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks.
• Mattress per person
• Dinner tent
• Toilet tent
• Kitchen tent
• Tables & seats
• Table set
• First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
• Entrance to the trekking.
What is not included:
• Breakfast on the first day
• Lunch and dinner on the last day: after the guided tour at Machu Picchu, you can enjoy free time to further visit the ruins and choose to have lunch either in Machu Picchu or in Aguas Calientes at your own expense.
What you need to bring and carry:
• A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
• Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
• Strong footwear, ideally trekking or sport shoes
• Warm clothes, including jacket, fleece and sweaters
• Flashlight and batteries
• Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
• Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain or cold
• Sun block
• Insect repellent
• Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, etc.
• Water bottle.
• Small tonel
• Swimsuit (if you intend to go to the hot springs)
• Cash in soles and US$ (no ATM machines in Aguas Calientes)
• Original passport
• Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required)
Optional services to be hired:
• Sleeping Bag