The Salkantay to Machu Picchu trek normally takes 7 Day and has become popular with trekkers wanting to combine a quieter less trodden route with a visit to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.
For the first 3 day you will be surrounded with magnificent scenery and rarely see other groups of trekkers.
On the fourth day you join up with the famous Inca Trail at Wayllabamba town and continue to Machu Picchu arriving on afternoon on Day 6 th so you can enjoy the beautiful and tranquil sunset and after that we head down to Aguas Calientes town to relax in the natural hot springs and find a comformatle bed after 5 nights in camp, early on Day 7th we take the first bus up to Machupicchu for our guided tour and time to explore.
The trek is only a little more difficult than the Classic Inca Trail, horses are used for the first 4 days to transport food and equipment then we will swap over to using traditional porters for this final section.
|Package Name :||Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu|
|Trek Duration :||7 Days / 6 Nights|
|Accommodation:||1 nights Hotel and 5 nights in tent|
|Type of Trek :||Archaeological, Cultural, ecological and Adventure|
|Activities :||Trekking & Walking, Cultural Tours & Sightseeing|
|Altitude :||2,000 m / 6,560 ft(Aguas Calientes) – 4, 600 m(Salkantay Pass)|
|Group Size :||To suit group requirements|
|Difficulty degree of this hike :||Challenging due to the altitude: we recommend a period of at least 2 days for acclimatization in Cusco or over 3000m/9840ft|
|Departures Day :||– Our company organize daily departures for this unforgettable trekking with the best camp staff.|
At 06.00 pick up from your hotel in our private transport from Cusco to Mollepata (2800 m) approx. 3 hours.
On the way to Mollepata we'll briefly stop off at the ruins of Tarawasi an Inca temple with one of the finest examples of Inca polygonal masonry in a long retaining wall.
From Mollepata (2800 m) we continue 40 minutes more by car until the pastures village of Cruzpata (3200 m) our start point where we meet our "arrieros" horsemen and trekking staff (Cook and Assistants) We commence our trek, we can see an spectacular views of the chains of snow capped mountains of Vilcabamba and the lush Apurimac River valley, then a gentle climb of 250 meters for about 3 to 4 hours to Soraypampa (3800 m) our spot for a rest and lunch.
After lunch we continue climbing gradually for 2 to 3 hours through the more unspoiled Andean valleys to Salkantaypampa (3980 meters) our campsite for our first night located at feet of the most majestic and impressing mountains as Salkantay (6264m) and Humantay (5217m).
This is just a spectacular day, early by 06.30 am after a hot breakfast we start with a gentle climbing to Pampa-Japonesa (Japanese Climbers Base-camp set 3 decades ago) hiking through the pass of Salkantay Mt, close to the mountain's eternal snowcaps, after 4-5 hours we reach the Incachiriaska Pass located at 4,998 meters.
This pass is a wonderful spot for sightseeing because it is surrounded by majestic snow-peaks such as Humantay (5217m), Tucarhuay (5450m) and Soray Mt (5428m), the Cusichaca valleys, lakes and moraines. After the pass we will be hiking down for 20 minutes until Ichupata ( Andean grass place) where we have a stop for lunch, afterward we will descend until Sisay pampa Camp (3790m), at this section we will be able to fully appreciate and take in the imposing Andean topography, quiet and cozy place where you can see llamas, alpacas and with luck we might see a condor. Camp near the local kids school. ( 7-8 hours walking )
From our campsite after breakfast we start our walk descending in a beautiful valley with native flowers and impresive views for 3 hour to Pampacahuana community near the Incan canals repaired few years ago by Ann Kendall Project to help local farmers and shepherds.
Tranquil day to relax and rest for the next leg of our trek, stop for our lunch then final 3 hour to Paucarcancha an old Inca ruins where we will stop for some explanations and pictures, also this is where we will set a camp for tonight.
Today we will enter into the Inca Trail Sanctuary and Park connecting our trek to the famous Inca trail to Machupicchu.
After breakfast an hour walk down to Wayllabamba (3000m) this is also where our muleteers return home with their mules and fresh porters will welcome us to continue the trek carrying our gear, equipment and food, we start our gentle climbing for 3-4 hours to Ayapata and Carralpunku.
We climb the steep-sided Llulluchayoq Valley past a rushing stream and through enchanted native polylepis woodland.
Crossing the rim of a small plateau, we abruptly find ourselves in the puna, the treeless grasslands of the high Andes. and look back to the sweeping snow peaks and valleys of the Huayanay massif, where we make camp at Llulluchapampa, spectacular campsite.
Probably we might be the unique campers at this amazing site. Time for pictures and relax because we will arrive 2 hours before dark at this point.
After breakfast a climbing for less that 2 hours to reach the highest pass of 4200 meters known as Dead Woman Pass, at this stage we start early and refresh so you won`t have difficulties with the altitude.
The trail traverses an open slope opposite mighty mountain grass as we ascend to the first and highest pass, Warmiwañusca (4,200m/13,776ft).
Here we encounter spectacular views of the trail ahead to the second pass, time to full enjoyment after we complete our second big pass also to some short ceremony at the Apacheta pass.
Then an easy slow descent for 2 hour to Pacaymayo Valley.
We pick up an Inca stairway very well preserved after centuries and ascend again past the small Inca site of Runkuracay.
As we reach the second pass at 3860 meters, the landscape opens onto spectacular new views to the snowpeaks of the Pumasillo range.
We descend to the ruins of Sayacmarca 3,650 meters (Inaccessible Town), an intricate labyrinth of houses, Plazas and Water channels, perched precariously on a rocky spur overlooking the Aobamba valley.
The Inca trail, now is a massive buttressed structure of granite paving stones, continues along the steep upper fringes of the cloud forest through a colorful riot of orchids, bromeliads, mosses and ferns.
At the third pass pinnacles topped with Inca Trail viewing platforms overlook the archaeological complex of Phuyupatamarca (Cloud-level Town).
This camp is described like the most beautiful and magic of all campsites, great views of two valleys, hundreds of Inca steps connecting enigmatic edifications used as temples at the Inca times.
Hundreds of well preserved Inca steps connecting enigmatic edifications used as temples, after 3 hours down hill we will reach the impresive complex of Wiñaywayna, rush vegetation of bambus and flowers at this cloud forest terrain, pausing to explore the amazing Inca stone towers at this complex, fountains and stairways spilling down the mountainside here, we begin a long descent through ever-changing layers of cloud forest.
An Inca stairway partly cut from living granite leads us finally to our by the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites will have time to explore and have a guided visit (some trekkers loved this place even more than Machupicchu).
After a shower at the little Hostel there we have our lunch then we will continue our last leg of the Inca Trail trail for another 2 more hours to reach the famous lookout point named Inti Punku ( the Sun Gate) this part is very beautiful for the vegetation of cloud forest with bromelias, orchids and fern trees in both sides of the trail.
From Inti punku we get the first glance of Machu Picchu where we still need to descend for 45 minutes to 1 hour, between the mountains on its saddle high over the Urubamba River.
Opportunity to enjoy of the tranquility and peaceful in the late afternoon when all the groups have run down to take the train return to Cusco, we will have at least 2 hours for full enjoyment of Machu picchu and the magical sunset.
Then we will board a bus for 25 minutes to Aguas Calientes town. Opportunity to go to the hot springs to relax and cure our sore muscles. Dinner..
Very early after breakfast at the hotel we will board the first bus to ride to Machupicchu for our official visit.
We will learn about the importance – religiously and historically – of this marvelous and magical sanctuary, and we will be able to appreciate the fine architecture of the Incas.
After our guided tour for 3 hours, you can climb to the top of Wayna Picchu mountain ( Optional ), from where one has a good overview of the whole area and the full site of Machu Picchu.
Another possibility is to visit the beautiful temple of the moon. (Packed lunch is provided)
In the afternoon after our full time in Machupicchu, we descend to Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Cusco around 16:30 pm arriving to Cusco by 9.00 pm.