The Salkantay trek is a great alternative option if the traditional Inca Trail has no spaces left or if you are seeking for a more remote footpath that sees far less travelers and leads to a magnificent wilderness not seen on the other routes. The trail is only slightly more difficult than the traditional route, but with amazing sights of the Nevado de Salkantay and the tallest peak of the Cordillera at 6271m. Salkantay, name in the native language, means Savage Mountain, which may refer to the swirling clouds that rise up from the lowlands of the rainforest that engulf the peak. The mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba form a jagged chain between the Urubamba and the Apurimac rivers, creating a unique landscape to the area. On the north side of the cordillera, massive snow peaks emerge from lush tropical rain forests.
6 nights in camping Premium: spacious personal tents and inflatable mattress, Dining tent with tables and chairs, Horsemen with packhorse or mule (for carrying camping equipment up to 8 kg of your personal belongings) (Day 1 to Day 3)
Transportation from Cusco Hotel to Mollepata, Bus form Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes (one way), Train Ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (one way), Transfer from Train Station in Ollantaytambo to Cusco Hotel (one way)
Porters for equipment (Day 4 to Day 7), First Aid Kit including emergency oxygen bottle.First Aid kit, Professional bilingual Tour Guide, Entrance fee to Salkantay National Park, Entrance fee to Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
We pick you up from your hotel at 5 am (Time in Peru) to begin our journey to 'Tarawasi' (2600m/8530ft) an important Inca archaeological complex, 2 hours from Cusco. We will have our breakfast in Mollepata- this is where we also meet our horseman and mules and begin our hike. We will walk for around 3 hours until we reach our 1st campsite which is called Marqocasa (3500m/11482ft). From here we will have views of the magnificent snow-capped mountain, Rayuska, which is more than 5350m/17552ft above sea level. We will spend the night here.
Day 2: Marqocasa â€“ Soraypampa â€“ Salkantay Pampa
We have breakfast and then begin a walk of about four and a half hours towards Soraypampa (3900m/12795ft). This point has impressive views of the snow-capped mountains of Humantay (5917m/19412ft), Tuckaway (5910m/19389ft), Rayuska (5350m/17552ft), and Salcantay (6271/20573ft). We have lunch and rest here. We will then climb in an easterly direction for about an hour until we arrive at Salkantay Pampa, which is located at a height of 4100m/13451ft. We stay the night here.
Day 3: Salkantay Pampa - Pampacahuana
We have breakfast and then begin our trek towards the Incachiriasca pass which is located at a height of 5028m/16495ft. This is the highest point on our hike and from here we have a magnificent view of Salkantay or the 'savage' mountain (6271m/20573ft) as well as of remarkably-coloured small lakes which are located on the sides of this imposing snow-capped mountain. There is also the possibility of seeing condors and wild rabbits as well as other typical native animals of the Peruvian Andes - llamas, guanacos, and vicuÃ±as. After arriving at the pass, we will descend to the Pampacawana community (4000m/13123ft) where we will camp.
We will have breakfast and then walk in the direction of the archaeological site of 'Paucarcancha' and then towards the village of Wayllabamba. Here we will join the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and our horseman and mules will be replaced by porters. We continue on the trail to Llulluchapampa (3850m/12631ft) where we will spend the night.
After breakfast, we will start a steep ascent towards the HuarmihuaÃ±usca pass (often called 'Dead Woman's Pass' due to its image from afar) which is at 4200m/13750ft. From here we will have an amazing view of the impressive Inca Trail. We then descend to Pacamayu where we will have lunch. After a rest, we climb again to visit the archaeological site of 'Runcuracay' and to reach the Runkurakay pass (4000m/13080ft). Views of the mountains and the surrounding area, from these points, are spectacular.
Day 6: Chaquicocha â€“ Phuyupatamarca â€“ WiÃ±ay Wayna
We have breakfast and begin walking towards WiÃ±ay Wayna. On the way, we pass the archaeological sites of 'Phuyupatamarca' ('Town in the Clouds') and 'Intipata'. We will spend the night at WiÃ±ay Wayna campsite (2680m/8792ft).
A short distance from this campsite is located the Inca site of the same name 'WiÃ±ay Wayna' ('Forever Young'). Even if you are tired after your day's trek, don't miss out on visiting the most impressive site on the trail.
Day7: WiÃ±ay Wayna â€“ Machu Picchu
We have breakfast at 4 am and leave the campsite at 5 am, walking in the direction of the city of Machu Picchu, which is about 6km away. We will arrive at 'Inti Punku' (Sun Gate) (2730m/8792ft) and wait there to observe the beautiful Andean sunrise over the spectacular city of Machu Picchu (2400m/7873ft). Then we will walk down the last part of the trail to the spot where you can take the classic photo (picture postcard shot) of this ancient city. Finally, we visit Machu Picchu itself!
A walking tour (approximately 2 hours) is given by your guide and after this, you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves. If you still have the energy, you can also climb Huayna Picchu(2720m/8923ft)! It takes 45 minutes to reach the top.
USD 625 for
Day 1: Cuscoâ€“Mollepataâ€“ Soraypampa
Our adventure begins at your hotel around 5:00 AM, from where we will pick you up and travel by local bus or car to Mollepata (2,800 m/9,186 ft). Mollepata is a small community located along the main road from Cusco to Abancay. Mollepata is where we start our hike and meet our porters (horsemen) and trek crew, who help us with our hike.
This morning we walk approximately 3 hours appreciating the diversity of the flora and fauna along the way before we stop to enjoy our delicious lunch at the quiet site of Sayllapata.
Day 2: Soraypampaâ€“Seven Snakes Passâ€“ Challhuay
We wake up very early and after a good breakfast, we depart from Soraypampa. This is a tougher day because we have to climb to Seven Snakes Pass (4,600 m/15,000 ft), the highest part of our trek. From there we get a spectacular view of Salkantay, a stunning snow-capped mountain (6,271 m/20,574 ft), the Humantay and Huayanay Mountains, small lakes, moraines, and the flora and fauna of the landscape. The first part of the day will take approximately five hours.
Day 3: Challhuayâ€“La Playaâ€“Santa Teresa
The day begins at 6:00 AM with breakfast so we can get energy for our hike to La Playa. At La Playa, we stop for lunch.
After lunch, we will have an easy downhill hike through the jungle of Ceja de Selva. In this area, you will be able to see coca, coffee, and several native fruit plantation.
Day 4: Santa Teresaâ€“Aguas Calientes
Our journey continues on day four with an hour-long bus ride after a nice breakfast. After that, we walk for two hours to get to the Hydroelectric station for lunch, next to the Urubamba River. Then we continue on our three-hour walk towards the town of Aguas Calientes. From there, we will check into our hostel, dine, and rest up before the next day in Machu Picchu!
Day 5: Machu Picchuâ€“ Cusco
On the final and most exciting day of our adventure, we wake up at 5:00 AM for breakfast. We leave our luggage at the hostel and take an early bus up to Machu Picchu, which includes an English-speaking guide. We arrive at Machu Picchu early in the morning. When we finally arrive, we will enjoy the beauty and the magic of Machu Picchu.