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"!
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
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:
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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 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.