SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU
Machu Picchu is a treasure to discover, like the icing on the cake after a trek in the footsteps of this mysterious civilization. An excellent alternative to the Inca Trail is the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. This unforgettable expedition dominated by the Salkantay (6264 meters), sacred mountain located in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, will take us back to the time of the Incas and will awaken to the spirits of the mountains such as Nevado Tucarhuay and Nevado Humantay which culminate at more than 5000 meters . We can enjoy snowy peaks and rainforest, high altitude vegetation and breathtaking flora.
- Stunning views of the snow-capped mountains and a dive into the rainforest.
- Discoveries about the culture and history of this fascinating civilization.
- Meet coffee producers and follow the production from grain to cup, tasting and meeting with a family of small producers.
- Machu Picchu, wonder of the world
DAY 1: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – MARCOCCASA – SORAY PAMPA
We will leave the city of Cusco at 5:30 am by private transport to reach Marcoccasa (3400m), through the village of Mollepata (3000m) where we will have breakfast. There, we will join the muleteers, then we will start hiking in a beautiful valley surrounded by impressive snow-capped mountains, like the Nevado Humantay (5217m) and the peak of Salkantay (6264m).
We will cross several valleys, and on the way to our first camp, your guide will tell you everything about the Inca civilization, its history and the customs and anecdotes of local people today.
In Soray Pampa (3900m), the cook will wait for you with hot drinks and aperitifs to wait until dinner. This first night is quite cool being at 3900 m altitude – good bag of beds strongly recommended (commendable to the agency).
Time of transport: 3h30
Time of walking: 6 to 7 hours
Climate: mild during the day and cold during the night
Elevation: Cusco (3400 m) – Mollepata (2800 m) – Marcoccasa (3400 m) – Soray Pampa (3900 m)
On the way to Soray Pampa, we will make a detour to the lake of Humantay to discover the magnificent sight on the lake and the snowy peak of Humantay (ascent from Soraypampa at 3900m to Humantay at 4220m). Hiking time 2 hours.
However, if you are tired, do not hesitate to talk to your guide. The goal is to take full advantage of each step, without being exhausted.
DAY 2: SORAY PAMPA – SALKANTAY PASS – CHAULLAY
After breakfast we head back to the Col du Salkantay (4600m), which offers an exceptional view of the snowy peak of Salkantay (6264m). This morning will be the most difficult of the trek – but the reward will not be the least. if the weather permits, we will stop at the top. The hike will then continue downhill and we will leave the groundhogs to enter an ecosystem with lush vegetation. Arrived at Chaullay (2950m), we will dine copiously, and we will spend our second night in this camp.
Time of walking : About 8 hours
Time of transport: 1h30
Climate : hot with mosquitos
Elevation : Soray Pampa (3900 m) – Salkantay pass (4600 m) – Chaullay (2950 m)
DAY 3: CHAULLAY – WIÑAY POCO – LA PLAYA – LUCMABAMBA
The third day will be devoted to the observation of the flora and the agricultural plantations of the region. We will first descend into a dense forest where we will be able to appreciate the incredible diversity of orchids, Bromeliads and many other plants. We will then pass by plantations of coffee, cocoa and fruits of the region. We will also have the pleasure of meeting families of peasants on the road including Wiñaypoco (2650m), La Playa (2100m) and finally Lucmabamba (2000m). We will arrive at our Lucmabamba camp at lunchtime. This will also be the place of our camp for the night, so you will have this afternoon to relax and discover the local life.
Peruvian coffee culture : In Lucmabamba we will meet a family who grows coffee. With them, we will discover the secrets of coffee production, from harvest to tasting. Depending on the variety, it takes 3-4 years for newly planted shrubs to start producing fruit. The fruit, called cherry, turns dark red when ripe and ready for harvest. Since coffee is grown in a mountainous area, widespread use of mechanical harvesters is not possible and ripe cherries are picked by hand, a laborious and difficult process, but yielding better quality coffee. With the peasants of Lucmabamba we will visit the plantation and follow the artisanal manufacture of coffee. The tour will end with a tasting and you can buy coffee directly from the producer, a bio and local souvenir.
Time of walking : 6 hours
Climate : Hot during the day, presence of mosquitoes
Elevation: Collpapampa (2900 m) – Wiñapoco (2650m)- La Playa (2100 m) – Lucmabamba (2000 m)
DAY 4: LUCMABAMBA – LLAQTAPATA – AGUAS CALIENTES
We will start the day hiking on the remains of the Inca Trail to reach the archaeological site of Llactapata (2650m), privileged place to discover the richness of the Inca culture and local flora. In addition, you will enjoy an extraordinary view of the city of Machu Picchu and the canyon of Vilcanota if the weather allows us. You will begin to learn more about the Inca pilgrimage and the remains to be discovered in Llactapata. We will descend, along the river, then to arrive at the Hydro Station (1950m), from where we will take the train until our stage of the day, the village of Aguas Calientes (2050m), located at the feet of Machu Picchu .
Time of walking : 6 hours
Climate : Hot with the presence of insects
Elevation: Lucmabamba (2000 m) – Llactapata (2600 m) – Hydroelectrica (1950 m) – Aguas Calientes (2005m)
DAY 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
We will leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30, and we will go to Machu Picchu (2400m) by tourist bus. We will enter the Inca citadel around 6:00 am, just in time to enjoy the sunrise on the site. After a guided tour of the archaeological area, including information about the life and customs of the Incas, we will have enough time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (2750m) (optional). We will leave Aguas Calientes by train. While waiting for the train, you will have the time to have lunch in one of the restaurants of the city. In addition, you can enjoy the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax before your departure.
Time of visiting : 2 hours
Time of transport : 4h (Aguas Calientes – Cusco) and 30 minutes (Bus Machu Picchu)
Elevation : Aguas Calientes (2005 m) – Machu Picchu (2400 m) – Cusco (3400 m)
Huayna Picchu: The visit to Huayna Picchu needs to be booked long time in advance as there are only limited spaces. We charge an additional USD. 70.00
• Information meeting in our offices with your guide 1 or 2 days before the start of the trek at 19h, to be confirmed when booking
Transfer from your hotel in Cusco (where the shuttle to access) to the village of Mollepata (Marcoccasa)
• Hydroelectric Station Train at Aguas Calientes
• Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
• Train Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
• Shuttle from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco (where the shuttle has access)
• Night in a private room in a hotel in Aguas Calientes (Marco Wasi, Inka Tower or similar depending on availability)
• Entrance to the Machu Picchu site
• Bilingual Spanish-English professional guide (for a French-speaking guide, contact us in advance! With additional fees)
• Good quality camping equipment (professional Eureka! Timberline 4 or Doite Himalaya tents, for 2 people with mattresses)
• New fixed camp, with tent shelters and hard kitchens.
• Meals during the stay (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, warn the agency in case of allergies or special diet: vegetarian, etc.)
• Cook and cooking equipment
• Muleteers and mules in charge of camping equipment and your personal belongings (max 7 kg per person)
• Emergency horse (2 people)
• First aid kit and oxygen bottle
• International and/or domestic tickets
• Personal expenses
• Lunch on the 5th day in Aguas Calientes
• Sleeping bag (if you do not have one, possibility to rent from our agency)
• Machu Picchu downhill bus to Aguas Calientes (US $ 12.00). You can also walk down, about 1 hour walk.
• Ergonomic backpack with waterproof cover (30 or 40 liters will be sufficient)
• Sleeping bag
• Clothing for cold and hot weather
• Waterproof jacket, rain pants and light pants, rain poncho, hat or cap.
• Hiking boots
• Flip flops or sandals (for showers and hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
• Wool or cotton socks
• T-shirts with short and long sleeves.
• Swimsuit and towel (for hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
• Sun block
• Anti-mosquito spray (non-toxic)
• Anti-itch cream
• Disinfectant hand gel
• Toilet paper
• Bottles of water and sterilization tablets
• Camera (wrapped in a plastic pouch)
• Flashlight and spare batteries
• Snacks, like chocolate bars and dried fruits
• Original passport
• Original ISIC Student Card
• Extra money in soles
During the high season (May to August), we are subject to restrictions set by the Ministry of Culture, which provides us with passes for Mach Picchu, so the trek departure dates could be changed to one or two days past, we will then adapt the program so that you can make the most of it.
(1) Huayna Picchu mountain tour or Machu Picchu: To climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu, this requires a good time in advance. We take care of the booking and guarantee your entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu. With, of course, an additional charge of $ 70.00 in addition to the entrance to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, according to the regulation of the Ministry of Culture (this new law came into force on July 18, 2011).
(2) Additional carrier : According to the law (26702) of the Ministry of Employment, the collaboration of an additional bearer will be granted at the request of the customer. However, the customer’s luggage must not exceed 12 kilograms. The service costs USD 140 and includes transportation, entrance to the Inca Trail, food and camping equipment.
(3) Gratuities : For guides (and possible porters) are always welcome.
(4) Student card : To qualify for the $ 20.00 student discount, you must have a valid ISIC student card when booking – not just when you arrive in Cusco! The validity must correspond to the whole year in progress. When booking, we will need a copy of your card. The Ministry of Culture is strict when regulating student cards.
(5) CANCELLATION : For any last minute cancellation, the expenses already made by the agency will be at your expense. (See the terms and conditions)
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