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Our 5 days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the best alternatives to Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We believe, Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is even better. It offers the trekkers to become personally a part of the changing ecosystem every single day on this five days trek.
National Geography travel magazine has listed the trek as one of the best 25 treks in South America.
The trek goes through the picturesque landscapes with snow capped mountains to the tropical jungle. It rewards the trekkers with sights of wide range of flora and fauns those are typical to the region.
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu also gives an overview of the culture and traditions in remote Andean villages. These are not so well trodden paths by travellers.
Cordillera Vilcabamba is one of the impressive sights in this five days trek. The snow capped Salkantay Cusco Peru raises to 6271 meters in height.
To complete the Salkantay Trek, you need to be reasonably fit. The most important factor is getting acclimatised in Cusco before starting the tour to avoid altitude sickness. We highly recommend you to get your feet wet with one of the smaller trips. Preferably to Sacred Valley of Incas or Cusco City Tour.
The highest point in Salkantay Trek is the Salkantay Pass at 4650 meters above sea level.
It is highly recommended that you book the trek atleast two days in advance.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
At early in the morning we will be picking you up from your hotel. We will then travel for three hours to the base camp, Mollepata. At Mollepata, we will stop for breakfast. After relishing on a nutritious breakfast, we will travel further to Challacancha where we would start the 5 Days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. We will do a three hours uphill hike to Sorayapampa.
At Sorayapampa we will have lunch with a stunning sight of Mount Humantay at 4120 meters and Mount Salkantay at 6271 meters. We will continue further to our first campsite in Sorayapampa at 3800 meters.
This the highest and the coldest campsite on 5 days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. After settling here, we will hike for an hour to see the picturesque Humantay Lagoon and return to the campsite for dinner.
At 0530 in the morning a freshly prepared nutritive breakfast will be served. We will then start trekking to the highest point of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu named Salkantay Pass at 4650m ( 15255 feet).
Although the ascent to Salkantay Pass is just seven kilometres, it is somewhat challenging but scenic route with a sight of snow capped peaks of Mt.Salkantay, Mt.Humantay among others that form the Andes Mountain Range. Just as Ausangate, Salkantay Mountain too is considered as sacred by many locals.
From Salkantay Pass, we will commence a 5 kilometres downhill hike for lunch. The route down to Huayracmachay lunch site is a serpent-shaped gravel path. After relishing on a freshly prepared meal for lunch, we will continue the trek towards the Amazon cloud forest.
On this section of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu you will witness dramatic change in climate and landscape as we will be travelling from Andes Mountain to Amazon Rain Forest. The route is quite scenic and hills around project native plantations.
We will then reach Chaullay Village where we will have dinner and stop for the night.
After having breakfast, we will start our trek at around 0600 AM. We will be trekking through Santa Teresa Valley to a remote village called “La Playa”. On this six hours trek to La Playa, you would see coffee plantations, wild orchids, banana and avocado plantations, rivers and waterfalls.
We will stop at some farms on the way where you could savour some tropical passion fruit and Granadilla fruit which are quite popular here.
Once we would reach a village called Colpapampa you could possibly get a glimpse of the Peruvian national bird, “The Cock of the Rocks”. We will stop for lunch at La Playa. After a hearty lunch, we will hike to our base camp in Lucmabamba. Here we will visit the coffee farms.
This place is considered to be a paradise to coffee lovers. Coffee farming and exportation is the main source of income to the people here.
A huge amount of coffee is exported widely to North America, Europe and Asia from here. To wind up the activity of the day, we will be visiting some Orange and Avocado farms. We will then return to the campsite and have dinner before calling this a day.
Our crew would wake you up to a hot cup of coca tea. After freshening up our chef would serve a freshly cooked breakfast. We will start hiking up hill for two hours through Santa Teresa Valley to Llaqtapata. Llaqtapata is an Incan site right in front of Machu Picchu.
This will be the first archaeological site that we would visit within the lost city of Incas. We will stop in Llaqtapata for sometime. From here you would get a perfect view of Machu Picchu and two iconic mountains, Huyana Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain.
Our guide would talk with you in detail about the significance of each part of the site which would give you a better understanding of the culture and Incan civilisation.
From Llaqtapata, we will continue a downhill hike to Hidroeletrica. You will be able to see Machu Picchu on the way. At Hidroeletrica, we will stop for lunch. After lunch we will visit a renowned ancient Incan rock called Intiwana. Intiwana was used as a sundial by Incas.
We will then hike along the railway lines retracing the trail used by the renowned American professor, Hiram Bingham who rediscovered the Incan citadel Machu Picchu.
Once we reach Aguas Calientes town, we will allocate you in your private ensuite room. At night we will meet for dinner where our guide would explain the itinerary of the following day where you will be visiting Machu Picchu.
Entrance to Machu Picchu is from at 0600 AM till 05:00 PM. After having breakfast at the hotel, we will hike up to Machu Picchu between 04:00 – 04:30 AM. We will try to beat the crowd and be among the first ones to enter the Incan citadel to see the golden rays of the morning sun glowing on the ancient mortar walls of the renowned Incan site.
Our guide would give you a complete guided tour covering the main areas of Machu Picchu. You will be visiting the temple, house of the priest, agriculture terraces and farming fields on this guided tour. After the tour, you will have some free time to walk around the citadel and feel the vibes of the lost city of Incas.
You will also have an option to climb the Huyana Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (a pre booking and prior intimation is needed). It takes approximately 3 hours to climb up to Huyana Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu mountain.
Alternatively, you can visit the sun gate, no pre booking is needed to visit the Sun Gate. It takes 2 – 2 and a half hours round trip to Sun Gate from Machu Picchu. Sungate is the entrance to the Incan Citadel on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You may also visit the Incan Bridge.
After the tour we will meet at Aguas Calientes town at decided hour to take a train back to Ollantaytambo. Once in Ollantaytambo, we will pick you up from the train station and drop you to your hotel in Cusco.
The highest point of Salkantay Trek is Salkantay Pass at 4650m ( 15255 feet).
Was an amazing 5 day hiking experience. My guide Jose Luis was extremely knowledgeable and funny. Cooking staff prepared amazing meals. And ofcourse Beautiful views and comfortable accommodations. Went late October and got a lucky five days straight of perfect weather. Definitely stay in Cusco two days before hike.
I highly reccomend this your company and tour guide.