Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days
Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days
This amazing trek runs beneath the sacred Salcantay Mountain (6271m/20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes, passing through Quechua communities and lesser-known Inca ruins, to finally reach Aguas Calientes on the fourth day afternoon. The impressive Sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu is visited on the last day of the program. This itinerary is an interesting alternative for those not having found spaces on the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. Salcantay Trek deservingly named one of the 25 Best Treks in the World by National Geographic Travel Magazine
One of the most incredible ways to visit Machu Picchu is through the Salkantay trek. This hiking route of 5 days and 4 nights crosses the imposing snow-capped Salkantay to then reach the Wonder of the World. Would you like to get to know Machu Picchu with this adventure surrounded by amazing landscapes? Learn everything you need to know about the Salkantay trek.
Day 1 – Cusco – Soraypampa.
Pick up from the Hotel at 5:00am; leaving Cusco by car on the route to Sayllapata 4 ½ hrs, until arriving to Mollepata town, from where we continue on to Sayllapata (3600m/11808ft), where we meet our horsemen and horses. From this point we start the ascent on foot towards Soraypampa (3800m/12464ft), where we take the lunch; following a climbing trail to Salcantaypampa with many level variations and along which we encounter little groups of houses, hike up for around 2 hrs ascent to our camp at Soyroccocha (4200m/13776ft), just next to the impressive glacier of Salcantay. Camping
Meals Included: Lunch, and Dinner
Total distance: 8 km (4, 99 miles)
Estimated walking time: 5-6 hours
Maximum altitude point: (4200m/13776ft)
Day 2 – Soraypampa – Collpapampa.
Breakfast; we start a 1 ½ hour ascent; we reach the highest point of the trek Huayracmachay Pass (4525m/14846ft). From this point, we start descending towards into the so-called cloud forest. Then descending to the cloud forest along the route, it can see the remains of an ancient Inca path, a long easy descent along the Salcantay River; lunch at Huayracmachay (3850m/12628ft) arriving late afternoon to our second camp at Collpapampa (2890m/9479ft), a beautiful spot with some natural hot springs to relax in. Camping
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Total distance: 12 km (7, 45 miles)
Estimated walking time: 6-7 hours
Maximum altitude point: (4525m/14846ft)
Day 3 - Collpapampa – Lucmabamba.
Breakfast; continue our hike with an easy downhill walk along the Sta. Teresa River, enjoying the increasingly lush vegetation, passing waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. The arid highland landscape begins to transform into a cloud forest filled with trees and bromeliads. Following the Santa Teresa River, we pass the waterfalls at Coripacchi, the settlement at Wiñaypoko then we pass from La Playa where we have our lunch and finally arrive to Lucmabamba (2100m/6888ft). Camping
- Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
- Total distance: 10 km (6, 21 miles)
- Estimated walking time: 5-6 hours
- Maximum altitude point: (2890m/9479ft)
Day 4 - Lucmabamba - Llactapata - Aguas Calientes.
Breakfast, walk up to Llactapata (2650m/8692ft) on the way we can see plantations of banana, coffee, and avocado. We enter spectacled-bear territory and we will probably be accompanied by flocks of parrots. Start climbing for 2-3 hrs up to Q’elloqasa Pass (2860m/9381ft) from where we have an exceptional view of Machu Picchu, Salcantay and Llaqtapata archeological site, which have recently been restored; descent towards the Aobamba River crossing lush bamboo forests and more orchards brings us to the Hydroelectric (lunch) from where we board a train that take us to Aguas Calientes (40 minutes train ride).
Overnight at Aguas Calientes Hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Total distance: 7 km (4, 35 miles)
Estimated walking time: 4-5 hours
Maximum altitude point: (2860m/9381ft)
Day 5 - Full Day Machu Picchu & Back to Cusco
Breakfast at the hotel; full day Excursion to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes, early transfer at 5:30am to the Bus Stop for the short ride (25 minutes) up to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, you will participate in a guided tour of the Citadel, visiting the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial (the most important preserved Intihuatana), the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, houses, warehouses, a large central square; and all connected by narrow roads and steps that are surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side. After the tour you’ll have time to stroll around the Archaeological Site at your leisure.
Then, you will have time to perform some of the following activities by yourself (not included in the price):
Climb to Wayna Picchu; for the most adventurous people, we suggest to go up the Wayna Picchu from where you can appreciate the immensity of Machu Picchu, even more amazing being high and distant.
Train back to Cusco: In the afternoon you’ll return to the train station in Aguas Calientes for the trip back to Cusco – train departure to Cusco; upon arrival to Cusco reception and transfer to the Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast
Depart Cusco – Our representative will assist you and transfer to the airport and say goodbye.
2 Airport Transfers
• Pre-departure briefing
• Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
• Transportation to Sayllapata, head of the Trek
• English Speaking Professional Guide (two guides for groups over 8 persons)
• 4 Season tents, 2 people in each 3-people-capacity tent
• Therma-Rest self-inflating mattress
• Horses to carry the group equipment (food, tents, tables, etc.)
• Your personal luggage allowance to put on the horses (Max. 6 kgs / 13 lbs per person) – days 1 to 3
• Chef and cooking equipment
• Dining tent with tables, chairs and Kitchen tent
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food without extra cost)
• Toilet tent
• Accommodation for all our staff
• First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
• Bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
• Train tickets from Hidroelectrica to Aguas calientes (day 4)
• Return Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Poroy
• One night accommodation in Aguas Calientes selected hotel Category (last night)
• Transfer from Poroy Train Station to your Cusco hotel
• Domestic flights
• Excess baggage charges
• Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations
• Alcoholic beverages or bottled water
• Insurance of any kind
• Phone calls
• Personal equipment
• Wayna Picchu Mountain
• Sleeping bag
• Tips for the guide, cook and porters
The Salkantay trek reaches up to 4,630 meters above sea level at its highest point, which is located at the foot of the Salkantay mountain. It begins in Soraypampa at 3,950 meters above sea level. and ends in Aguascalientes at 2,050 meters above sea level to go up to Machu Picchu.
In the mountains, the strongest is not the one with the biggest muscles or the best condition, but the one that adapts most easily to change. The body works in a different way at height, the atmospheric pressure decreases the higher you are and the air is less dense, so oxygen does not reach the brain as easily as being on a beach at sea level. That is why those who conquer the highest mountains in the world can even spend months in a process of acclimatization in the mountains.
As part of the training to be able to climb and acclimatize correctly when being at high altitude, it is important that before going on the expedition, you spend a few nights at a minimum of more than 2,500 meters above sea level, so that, when you sleep in the height, let us know the reactions of our body and it will get to know what it is to be several hours at height and develop a greater quantity of red blood cells, which are the blood particles that transport the body’s oxygen.
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- Entrance fee to Wayna Picchu Mountain; add US$
- Sleeping bag rental for the trek add US$
- Walking stick rental for the trek add US$
- Hotel night after or before trek in Cusco;