Do you like trekking and maybe your idea was to get to Machu Picchu doing the Inca Trail in 4 days, but you couldn’t find entrance tickets available? Don’t worry, Salkantay is the right alternative for those who could not find a space on the Inca Trail. It is a spectacular 5-day trek that also goes to Machu Picchu. Salkantay, a Quechua word that means ¨Wild Mountain¨, is the second highest snow-capped peak in Cusco, located in the Andean mountain range of Vilcabamba. It is a sacred mountain from ancient times whose mystique is still famous in the present, where the early people of the Andes made offerings to the Pachamama (Mother Earth).
We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. to go by tourist bus to the town of Mollepata (9,513 feet above sea level), where we will arrive at approximately 9:00 a.m. for breakfast. This day we will make a beautiful and scenic drive to Limatambo, during which we will have panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay mountain. We will also see a chain of impressive snow-capped mountains and the valley of the Apurimac River. We will meet our organization staff and load the equipment on the mules to start our trek to Cruz Pata (10,498 feet above sea level). The hike of approximately 3 hours will take us through Andean and traditional communities such as Challacancha, where we will stop for lunch at approx. 12:00 p.m. . After a short rest, we will continue walking through various villages until arriving at Soraypampa (12,631 feet above sea level), arriving at approximately 5:00 p.m. to have dinner and to complete our first night of camping.
After an early breakfast, we will start the most difficult trek of the trip. We will leave at 7:00 a.m. and we will hike through a site called Pampa Salkantay and then we will go to the left side of the snowcapped mountain Humantay, located next to the snowcapped mountain Salkantay. At 12:00 p.m. we will reach the single highest point (Abra de Salkantay, 15,091 feet above sea level) of our odyssey. There, we will appreciate spectacular views of the mountains, including the imposing snowcapped mountain of Salkantay (20,551 feet about sea level), the second highest peak in the region of Cusco, as well as the mountains of Humantay and Huayanay. After 1 hour of rest, we will have lunch for the day in an area called Huayracmachay (12,139 feet above sea level) and continue walking for about 3 hours to the camp of Rayanniyoc or to the camp of Chaullay (9,580 feet above sea level). Here we will do our second night of camping.
After breakfast we will resume our hike at 7:00 am. We will walk for 5 hours, on the way getting to do some sightseeing in the village of Collpabamba (10,170 feet above sea level), which is immersed in the cloud forest. On the way we will also see waterfalls, fruit trees, and a variety of flora, coca and birds. If we are lucky we will be able to see the famous “Cock of the Rock” (the national bird of Peru). Then we will have lunch in Wiñaypoqo and enjoy an hour of free time to rest before continuing the walk of approximately 3 hours to reach an area called La Playa (7381 feet above sea level), appreciating the great variety of orchids along the way. We will continue our hike to the village of Santa Teresa (6528 feet above sea level), arriving approximately at 4:30 p.m. . Optional: Local transportation from La Playa/Santa Teresa to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo (10 minutes from the village of Santa Teresa). Dinner and camping in Santa Teresa.
After breakfast at 7.30 a.m. we will start our 2.5 hour hike to the hydroelectric plant (6,135 feet above sea level), observing along the way plantations that grow bananas, passion fruit, coffee, etc.. We will also have our first sneak peak from a distance of the lost city of the Incas: the majestic Machu Picchu. After lunch at hydroelectric plant with all the staff, we will leave for the town of Aguas Calientes. This section can be traversed on foot in approximately 2.5 hours or by boarding the train that leaves at 4:30 p.m. and that could take you to the town of Aguas Calientes in just 45 minutes (6,725 feet above sea level). In Aguas Calientes, we will have the option to go to the thermal baths, which are at a walkable distance of only a little over a mile from the town. We will then return to the hotel for dinner and a much deserved overnight stay.
Early in the morning, we will hike up or take the first bus to Machu Picchu to enjoy the sunrise in this magical place, before the arrival of other tourists from the Cusco city. We will enjoy the tranquility of the lost city of the Incas in a guided tour (Approx. 2 ½ hours), through the most important places of this great city of the Incas. It should be noted that during the tour there are established routes for your visit. In the afternoon we will go back down by bus to Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes), and board our train to Ollantaytambo. Once in Ollantaytambo, our transportation will take us to the city of Cusco.
- Transportation aboard tourist bus from the hotel to the starting point of the trek (Challacancha).
- Return train ticket from from Aguas Calientes to Cusco, using the “Expedition” tourist service or similar.
- Transportation from the Ollantaytambo train station to Cusco.
- Professional tourist guide on all tours (Spanish-English).
- Food: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners.
- Camping equipment (tent, stove, chairs, tables, sleeping mats).
- First aid kit.
- Emergency oxygen tank.
- Chef, in charge of making the food for the expedition party.
- Carriers and horses, in charge of the transportation of camping equipment.
- Accomodation for guides, chefs, and carriers.
- 01 night at a hotel/hostal of your choosing (see list below) in Aguas Calientes.
DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Entrance ticket to Salkantay (Free until further notice).
- Round trip bus tickets from the town of Machu Picchu to the citadel of Machu Picchu and vice versa (US $24.00).
- Breakfast for the first day (hotels normally offer breakfast).
- Lunch and dinner for the last day (After visiting Machu Picchu, you will have some free time to explore the Inca remains. You may choose to have lunch in either Machu Picchu or the town of Aguas Calientes).
- Entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu Hot Springs. The ticket is US $4.00. Towels and bathing suits can be rented in Aguas Calientes.
- Tips for the guides, chefs, and porters.
- Entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu mountain US $15.00 (If you choose to add this to your experience, please confirm this entry during reservation to check for availability).
- Extra horse to carry personal luggage throughout the trek. If your luggage weighs over 5 kilos, you can hire an extra carrier for transportation of personal equipment (US $80) weighing up to 25 kilos.
- First class train ride from the town of Machu Picchu, with the “VISTADOME Tourist Service”. This represents an additional cost of US $35.00 per person.
- Extra services, such as tips.
- Sleeping bag for the duration of the trek. Available in synthetic (US $15.00) and feather (US $25.00) options. Sleeping bags are available for rent at our office.
WE RECOMMEND TO BRING:
- A backpack.
- Original passport.
- 01 full change of clothes.
- Warm clothes.
- Hiking shoes.
- Reusable water bottle.
- Camera and batteries.
- Insect repellent, sunscreen, and hat.
- Toilet paper.
- Bottle of water with purification tablets.