The Salkantay trek to Machupicchu was recently named among the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine.
This five-day, four-night trek is one of the richest treks to Machupicchu in terms of natural beauty due to its unique geographical position. Salkantay is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Vilcabamba (Vilcabamba Range). Its elevation is 6271 m // 20,574 feet above sea level with climatic conditions ranging from subtropical to arctic.
Join us on this incredible excursion to Machu Picchu as it is a great alternative to the famous Inca Trail. You will have the opportunity to see beautiful landscapes with a great variety of flora and fauna, you will be able to camp in remote places under the imposing and imposing snow-capped mountain; and of course at the end of the expedition you will arrive to discover the majestic citadel of Machupicchu, still shrouded in wonders and mysteries.
Early in the morning we will be picked up at the hotel and head to the Humantay Lagoon, known for its crystal clear waters and breathtaking views of the nearby snow-capped mountains.
After approximately 2 hours, we will stop in Mollepata (2900 m // 9514 ft) to have breakfast if you have not already done so (not included in the package) and make the last necessary purchases.
We will follow the route for another hour until we reach Challacancha (3675 m // 12,057 ft.) where our team will be ready to welcome us (cook, muleteers, mules) and give instructions for the adventure.
Later, we will arrive at our campsite in Soraypampa and have lunch. From here, we will see the two beautiful snow-capped mountains, El Humantay (5917 m // 19,413 ft) and the one we will visit, El Salkantay (6271 m // 20,574 ft).
In the afternoon, we will depart to the Humantay Lagoon (approx. 2h) and will be able to witness the crystal clear water of the lake and the breathtaking mountain views at the top. There will be time to enjoy the wonderful views, take pictures and breathe the purest air of all.
Return to the camp (about 1h30) for tea and dinner. Overnight at Soraypampa camp.
Early in the morning, we will enjoy breakfast and begin the real challenge of the trek, climbing uphill to reach 4650 m or 15,255 ft. at the Salkantay Pass. The trail is steep and rocky and will extend for 7 km or 4 ½ miles (approximately 3 h). This stretch will require physical endurance as well as good acclimatization.
At that point there will be a brief rest while enjoying incredible views of the Salkantay Mountain. Then, we will start descending towards Wayraqmachay where we will have lunch.
After lunch, we will resume our hike for 2.5 hours until we reach Chaullay, where we will camp, have dinner and set up camp.
After breakfast, we begin our third day of 17 km // 10½ miles (approx. 6 hours) to the small ranch of La Playa. This part of the trail is less demanding with generally warm weather, we will enjoy the lush scenery: small rivers, wonderful views of waterfalls, native plants, wild orchids, colorful birds and tropical fruits such as coffee, banana, avocado, passion fruit, etc.
We will pass through the village of Collpapampa, also known as "the top of the cloud forest".
A few hours later we will arrive at Sahuayaco beach (Playa Sahuayaco), where we will have lunch and then continue to our campsite in Lucmabamba, where we can visit the coffee plantations and their production process.
Dinner and overnight at Lucmabamba camp.
We will start the day with an energetic breakfast and a walk through the high jungle. We will be able to appreciate a great variety of crops such as coffee, banana, avocado, pineapple and even coca leaves, considered the sacred leaf of the Incas.
We will ascend to the archaeological site of Llactapata, where we will be able to see part of Machupicchu and the entire valley that surrounds it.
After the visit we will descend to the Aobamba Valley for approximately 2 hours until we arrive at Hidroeléctrica, where we will have lunch.
We will resume our trek for 3 more hours until we reach Aguas Calientes, also called Machupicchu Pueblo, the town at the foot of the magnificent Wonder of the World.
Arrival at the hotel in Aguas Calientes, free afternoon and overnight in Aguas Calientes.
Early in the morning, we will take the shared bus to climb the most famous Inca site in the country: Machupicchu, "Old Summit" in Quechua language.
During your guided tour (about 2 hours), you will discover this architectural complex built on a narrow ridge bordered by cliffs, still shrouded in the morning mist. A breathtaking view that evolves with the progression of the sun.
Then we will walk through the alleys of the citadel, its neighborhoods, its squares, its royal houses, its agricultural areas, its trails and its observatories.
After the guided tour, we descend to Aguas Calientes to take the train to Poroy (the closest train stop to the city of Cusco).
Arrival in Poroy, transfer to your hotel and end of services to continue to another destination or excursion.
Additional activities to do on site: (not included in the package and booked in advance)
Possibility of adding the ascent to Huaynapicchu Mountain or Machupicchu Mountain according to availability (these mountains are part of the landscape of the citadel of Machupicchu and have different schedules and entrances, as they take more time to climb and visit).
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