Salkantay Trek Machu
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5 Day Machu Picchu Tour

5 Day Machu Picchu Tour

Being an alternative route to the traditional Inca Trail, the Salkantay route or 5 day Machu Picchu Tour is one of the best alternative trekking routes in Cusco, surrounded by a lot of flora and fauna throughout the tour you can know directly how the people live near the mountain, their traditions and customs and also you can share your daily activities with them.Salkantay Peru has an immense value for inhabitants who consider this Mountain as one of the main  Apus, that means the god who protects the town.Also, this tour gives you the best experience of travelling the ancient Incan paths to Machu Picchu.This trek is one of the most interesting and important Inca Trail alternatives due to its wide range of flora diversity, various ecosystems, remote Andean villages, view of the snow-capped Salkantay Mountain as well as for its Incan site laid on top of a mountain, just in front of the back side of the Machu Pichu Mountain! If your goal is Machu Picchu and you want to achieve it by hiking, now you do not miss even one of them, since you can undertake the 5 Day Machu Picchu Tour with us!!! This trekking expedition takes you to the foothill of the sacred snowy peak of Salkantay Mountain (6,271 m/20,700 ft), considered by local native people to be the "Guardian Spirit of the Jungle"!

Overview
Itinerary
Includes
Before you go

Quick Itinerary:

 

Day 01: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha -Soraypampa

Day 02: Soyrapampa - Collpapampa

Day 03: Collpapampa - La Playa

Day 04: La Playa - Llactapata - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes

Day 05: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

 

Highlights of the Salkantay Tour: 

During your 5 Day Machu Picchu Tour, you will:
  • Discovery and exploration of the beautiful landspaces of the Salkantay Trek
  • 5 day trek of Salkantay to Machu Picchu with experienced local tour guide, Cook, Horseman and horses
  • Guided tour of the Incan site of Llactapata
  • Walk to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate)
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Departure Point: Cusco - We pick you up from your hotel.

Departure Time: 05:30

Briefing Point: Our guide will visit your hotel 2 or 1 day before Salkantay trek 

Briefing Time: Between 17:00 - 18:00

Return Point: Cusco - Our driver will drop-off in your hotel or Airbnb department


Salkantay Trek Elevation: 

Salkantay Trek Peru is one of the great attractions of Cusco. The Vilcabamba Mountain Range, where the Salkantay massif is located, is a beautiful and lonely area. Dominated by the same Apu Salkantay, it has numerous high elevation peaks, such as Tucarhuay (5,910 masl), Verónica (5,682 masl) and Huacayhuilca (5,361 masl), among others. All of them are visible from the Phuyupatamarca area during the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Geography is difficult and whimsical around the edge of this attractive mountain complex. Salkantay is surrounded by deep valleys and ravines, which makes its route interesting but at the same time exhausting. "Salkantay" is the Apu tutelary mountain of Cusco with 6271 m. of altitude. Our Tour Salkantay Trek Peru offers you the opportunity to enjoy natural escenes , also during the tour we will cross beautiful Andean landscapes, pass an open area of 5000 m. and we will have the possibility of observing Condors and Alpacas in their natural habitat


Best time to Hike Salkantay: 

Cusco region has two types of marked climates, rainy season and dry season, so the months from May to October are considered the best dates to make such an excursion since the rains are over and the road is firm; However, this route to Salkantay Trek can be done all year round, except for the month considered the rainiest of the year February.


Salkantay Trek Peru Difficulty:

The degree of difficulty for any walk depends a lot on the physical condition that one may have, in addition to already having experience in a similar route and in the state of health that one may have. This route is considered by many travelers of greater effort since the degree of difficulty is "High", considering it a great challenge for those who do it.For that reason, we will give you information about your physical training.The preparation for the Road to Salkantay, begins taking into consideration the physical condition that one has, that is why specialists consider having an advance preparation before making such an excursion, since in this way the muscles are strengthened and generate resistance at the time of our walk to Salkantay Trek. Gradually your physical condition will be in better conditions, since at the time of making the walk all the muscles will be prepared and in that way also our heart will pump more efficient blood that will make us have more oxygen.


Why 5 Day Machu Picchu Tour - Salkantay Trek?


The route to Salkantay trek offers privileged views of the Humantay and Salkantay peaks, since with the melting of these two lakes are formed, being the most important and visited by travelers, called Humantay Lagoon, (it is currently visited by tourists from all over the world to enjoy its beauty and leave offerings to the Pachamama, deity that represents mother Earth in the Inca culture) In addition to the snowy mountains, the route shows a variety of flora and fauna as far as the region of the jungle is concerned, since one is surrounded by a green and warm landscape that allows us to breathe pure air that does well to our body. Marvel at vestiges and constructions that our ancestors left us as a legacy. Enjoy magical nights with a starry sky, which makes you think and say that it was worth all the effort made.




 

Day 01: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha -Soraypampa

We rise about 5 am and go from Cusco on bus for about 4 hours to Mollepata village (2900 meters above sea level). You will arrive around 7.30 am, we stop for 45 minutes and have breakfast in a restaurant if the group wants (not included in cost) and can buy some last minute supplies. (not included)Then we continue our ride uphill, for 1 more hour until we reach Challacancha (the trail head).

 

There we meet our support staff, who will pack the equipment on the horses and mules. We need to have 2 backpacks. One which will carry all our personal items(up to 5kg) that will go on the horses and a daypack with just necesities that you will carry. From there we hike for about four hours to Soraypampa, which is burrowed between the snowy mountains (3850 meters above sea level), on a trail which is a mixture of uphill, downhill and flat path, during which we will have sweeping views of the impressive Salkantay, other snowy mountains and the valley of the Apurimac River. We reach our campsite, where we have lunch. After lunch we will climb the Humantay Mountain for 2 hours to visit the Humantay Lake, a superb lake in the mountains and we then descend back to camp at Soraypampa. There you will find the dining tent set up for afternoon tea  with tea, mate de coca, coffee, chocolate etc. You can rest and later are served dinner.

Day 02: Soraypampa - Collpapampa

An early start, we have a fine breakfast and prepare ourselves for the longest and most difficult day of the excursion. We start on a moderate pace for 1 hour till we get to Soyrococha. Then we hike uphill for around 3 hours more till we reach the high pass, at 4,800m close to the wonderful frosty peaks of Salkantay (6,271m) and Humantay (6,100m), the second highest peak in the Cusco region.

Here we enjoy the stunning scenery, you will also see heaps of stones called Apachetas. From here we descend for 1 hour to Wayracmachay (3,800m) where we have lunch and a rest. Then follows a 3 hour hike to our campsite in Collpapampa.

Day 03: Collpapampa - La Playa

Another early start after breakfast, on this part of the hike we walk on a narrow trail on the mountainside, discovering various types of orchids and species of plants, some cornfields and fields of fruits. We also get the chance to pass an exquisite waterfall on the path. After walking for around 5 hours we reach La Playa. From here you have 2 options, if you choose the Santa Teresa option, we take a bus to Santa Teresa town. That will take about 45 minutes.

 

Upon arrival we set up camp and have the opportunity to go to the hot springs nearby - about 45 minutes from town. (optional). In the evening we have dinner and rest at camp.

* The other option, if you want to see the Llactapata ruins is a two hour hike to Aobamba, where you camp for the night.

Day 04: La Playa - Llactapata - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes

If you chose to go via the Llactapata ruins, you start the day with breakfast and then a 3 hour hike to the restored ruins (2,860m) from where you can view both Machu Picchu and Salkantay Mountain! Our tour guide shows us around the ruins. After that, we start descending for about 3 hour to Aobamba River through lush bamboo groves, orchards and coffee plantations providing us some excellent bird-watching opportunities. This way brings us to the Hydroelectric Plant (Hidroelectrica), a place where we have lunch to later and continue along trails leading us to our last campsite in Puente Ruinas located at the foothill of Machu Picchu Mountain!

 

If you chose the Santa Teresa option, we have breakfast and after a short bus trip (1hour) we hike for about 2 hours past the Urubamba River and onward to the Hydro Electric Station, where we have lunch nearby.

We then continue to the town of Aguas Calientes crossing the bottom of the valley for about 3 hours along the train tracks until reaching the town. Once ther we go to our hotel. We have dinner and rest for our next day at Machu Picchu.

Day 05: Machu Picchu - Cusco

An early start to continue hiking to Machu Picchu and see the sunrise over this glorious old city! We walk for about 2 hours to the ruins of Machu Picchu and have a full guided tour that takes about 2 hours.

After you have plenty of time to traverse the fortress on your own, and maybe climb Huayna Picchu (if you have a permit) or the Inca Bridge. Afterwards you can walk down to Aguas Calientes or take the bus. (not included in the cost). You can have lunch at Aguas Calientes (not included in the cost).


In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy) and transfer to Cusco.

 

* Machu Picchu is both, the best and the least known site of the Incas as it is not mentioned in any Spanish conquistador´s chronicle so that contemporary archaeologists can not do anything more than just speculate on its functions. Local Quechuan farmers had known about Machu Picchu for centuries before an 11-year-old boy showed the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in a search of Vilcabamba) this site on the 24th of July 1911. At that time, all the rest of the world became aware of its existence. However, the site was covered with thick vegetation so Hiram Bingham along with his team returned and within the years of 1912 and 1915 cleared its surface. Over the years, plenty of work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain!

Included

  • Pre-trek briefing (Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing);
  • Early morning transfer by private bus to Challacancha - the initial point of the trek;
  • Accommodation: Campsites (3 nights) and a Hotel in Machu Picchu (1 night);
  • Entrance fee to the red of Salkantay and Machu Picchu;
  • Meals: 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner and 4x afternoon hot beverages (please advise us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost);
  • Snack every morning;
  • Professional bilingual Tour Guide (a group of up to 8 participants receives 1 Guide, a group over 8 persons receives 2 Guides);
  • Professional Cook;
  • Horseman;
  • Horses to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 7 kg of each passenger's stuff; 
  • An emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower;
  • Water every day (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own);
  • Camping equipment: Personal double tents (4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks);
  • Inflatable mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress); 
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
  • A blanket per person
  • A pillow
  • Day Pack Rain Covers;
  • Tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas;
  • Rain Ponchos;
  • Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
  • A T-shirt of the Salkantay Trek Map;
  • A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town;
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo;
  • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco;
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.

Not Included

  • Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day;
  • International and domestic flights nor airport departure taxes;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu (U$80) or Machu Picchu Mountain (U$80);
  • A shuttle bus between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes Town ($12 - one way, $24 - a round trip);
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
  • Other extras not mentioned.

Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.
Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price!

Inca Trail Vs Alternative Treks

Many people include Peru in their “List of places to travel” list before they depart the planet, the main reason being to Trek the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, although what most people don’t know is that there are various Inca Trails Trips to Machu Picchu to pick from in the Cusco region. The difference can be observed in what kind of an experience you want, hiking the Inca trail and how challenging you like your treks.If you want to say that you’ve hiked the famous hike to Machu Picchu, then the Classic Inca Trail is for you. But usually you will need to book in advance, in case it is fully booked, we recommend the Inca Trail alternatives:

Salkantay Tour operators

Salkantay Trek Machu Tour Operator is an experienced, established and dynamic travel company. We are a tour operator of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. We have been providing tours for more than 8 years and our reliable, friendly and personal service is why our travellers come back year after year. We count on personnel who are highly prepared and always available to offer you a personalized service in Peru. Salkantay Trek Machu Operator offers adventure trips with a wide-range of different styles to suit any person's requirements.Welcome to the Salkantay family, we will make your dream trip an unforgettable reality.

Extra Information

OPTIONAL SERVICES TO BE HIRED

  • Walking sticks or trekking poles USD 20 for both
  • You need to take 5 kilos of personal belonging included in the tour price carried by horses ...If you would like to request more porterage for personal items each extra 3 kilos requested is USD 20 additional charge but you can just request this in the office at your checking.
  • Maybe you have to doubt to walk in this trek, you can hire the extra emergency horses, the price is USD 80.

LUGGAGE AND BACKPACKER FOR YOU TREKKING

  • Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Soraypampa (1st day) to Playa camping (3th day). 4 day hike, our chef takes your luggage by bus to Hidrolectrica. From there to Aguas Calientes, you are expected to carry your own luggage (max 3 hrs)
  • We recommend keeping the weight under 5 kg/10lb. You will need to carry clothes, sleeping bag.
  • Is very important to take a good cover for your backpack, because the weather in Salkantay trek  change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended to put your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside a plastic bag.

APPROPIATE CLOTHING ALONG THIS HIKE

  • Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. 
  • At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machupicchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. 
  • Machupicchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.

PLEASE BRING WITH YOU:

  • Original passport (+ copies for a case of lost),
  • Original ISIC (an international student card if applicable)
  • Travel insurance (+ copies for a case of lost),
  • Pocket money in Nuevos Soles,
  • A backpack
  • A small rucksack,
  • Rain gear (a rain-jacket and a waterproof trousers or a rain poncho - this can be purchased in Cusco),
  • Resistible footwear, waterproof trekking shoes are recommended,
  • Sandals (for a higher comfort while at a campsite),
  • Warm clothes such as a jacket, a fleece (thermal clothing is also recommended for cold nights during camping),
  • Hat or a cap (to protect you against the Sun, rain as well as cold),
  • Sun cream or sun block,
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body,
  • Insect repellent – recommended minimum is 20% DEET (please note that no malaria cases have been reported during this trip!),
  • Camera and its charger/batteries (please note that batteries are consumed quickly under cold conditions),
  • Flashlight/headlamp + batteries,
  • Handkerchiefs and toilet paper,
  • Small towel and toiletries,
  • Sufficient reserve of underwear,
  • Swimsuit (to visit the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes),
  • Snacks (biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.)
    Please note: we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. The recommendation of taken own snack applies only for customers who like a specific snack that might not be in our menu.
  • Bottled water for the first morning and a water bottle to be refill.
  • Optional: walking sticks; you can also rent it from us,
  • Please note: we provide with filtered boiled water during the entire trek, but if you like to use water from streams along the trail, you need to take some water-purifying tablets with you.
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