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SALKANTAY TO MACHU PICCHU
PRIVATE AND POOLED SERVICE - (5 Days / 4 Nights)
A true Andean odyssey, this 4-day trek through the dramatic Cordillera Vilcabamba offers a wonderful alternative for those who want to take a less-traveled and exceptionally beautiful route to Machu Picchu.
Crossing a pass between the peaks of Salkantay (6270m.) and Humantay (6070m.) with spectacular glacial vistas, we visit hot thermal springs and descend through a stunning progression of ecological zones ranging from sparsely vegetated alpine meadows to lush sub-tropical valleys. Arriving to the “Ceja de Selva,” or the “Eyebrow of the Jungle,” we encounter numerous tropical fruit and coffee plantations as well as an abundance of flower and bird species.
On day four, we take an original Inca trail up through a cloud forest of Quehuna trees, orchids, and moss climb to the remains of Patallacta.. At the top, we enjoy a spectacular and uncommon view of the Machu Picchu ruins nestle between the mountains. From here we walk down to the hydroelectric plant and take the train to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in a comfortable hostal. Our last day is spent with the guide visiting the magnificent Inca citadel of Machu Picchu before returning to Cusco.
Daily Itinerary, Services, Information, and Prices.
Cusco / Soraypampa
Leaving Cusco early in the morning, we take a scenic drive of approximately 6 hours to the small village of Marcocasa, located high above the Apurimac River. Here, we meet up with the mules, horses, and arrieros (wranglers) that will carry our gear during the trek. We begin our gentle hike into the green river valley of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, hiking steadily upwards to the high plateau. Along the way, we get our first incredible view of Huamantay (6070 m a s l). As we approach our campsite at Soraypampa, the enormous Salcantay peak (6270m. and the highest in the Vilcabamba range) dominates our skyline.
Soraypampa to Chaullay
Following a series of switchbacks (Siete Culebras) our path leads up the side of a mountain and levels out beneath the shadows of the grandiose Mount Salcantay. With Salcantay looming above, we come to a summit marked by small piles of stones, or apachetas, left by locals and travelers to honor the mountain gods. From this high pass (4750m.) flanked by Salcantay and Huamantay, we make our way towards the valley below to camp for the night at Chaullay.
Chaullay to Playa
Our trail leads us down the eastern slope of the Andes into a sub-tropical valley, where the temperature is warmer and we see a variety of orchids, flowers, and hummingbirds. After a morning of downhill walking, we arrive to the natural hot springs of Ccolpapampa. Continuing through the “Ceja de Selva,” or “Eyebrow of the Jungle,” we encounter bright flowers, butterflies, parrots, and lush groves of tropical fruit, cocoa, and coffee. At the small village of Playa, we set up camp for the night.
Playa to Aguas Calientes
Today we continue through sub-tropical vegetation to the village of Lucmabamba, where an original Inca trail remains. A gradual uphill climb brings us to Llactapata (2700m.), from where we enjoy a brilliant backside view of Machu Picchu and vistas of the surrounding peaks. Then we have to walk until to get Hydroelectric train station to go to Machupicchu (Aguas Calientes)
Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu
We take the early bus up to the stunning archaeological complex of Machu Picchu for a tour of these mysterious remains. Then we have time to explore on our own before returning to Cusco by train in the afternoon.
Reservation details: All trek reservations must be made at least 7 days in advance (however 15 days in advance is recommended especially during the months of June, July and August)
Departures: To suit group requirements March - November
What is Included:
• Private transportation to head of trail
• Professional, English-speaking guide and camp staff
• Plentiful, nutritious meals and snacks (Vegetarian option available)
• Drinking water throughout trek / Water for washing in the morning
• Double-occupancy tents and camping equipment (includes dining tent, kitchen tent,and latrine tent)
• Pack animals to carry personal gear and equipment
• Overnight hostal stay in Aguas Calientes
• Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
• Officially-guided tour of Machu Picchu
• Bus Round trip from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
• Train ticket back to Cusco
• Transfer from train station to hotel in Cusco
What is not Included:
• Entrance fees for the hot springs
• Extra Horse for riding along the trail.
• Lunch on the last day
• Tips for the Tour Guide, Cook and Porters
• Personal equipment
What you should bring:
• Backpack or duffle bag
• Sleeping bag
• Warm clothing/thermals
• Insect repellent
• Trekking shoes/wool socks
• Water bottle
• Rain gear
• Day pack
• Sunscreen and hat
• Personal medical kit
• Bathing suit and towel
We can offer $15 of discount to students with a valid International Student Identity Card ISIC.
You won’t share the group with other people.
* Minimum 2 persons. Departures all year except December to February
Where others may join your group. Departures all year except December to February.