Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a wonderful adventure that will take you to this magical place. The trek goes through various types of landscapes. You will experience the Peruvian junggle, go through grassy areas, and see the high mountains.
At the end of the trek you will get to the wonderful Machu Picchu
The experience will begin with a pre-departure briefing in your hotel at (19:00 pm) one day before the start.
. Entry to Salkantay
. Entry to Machupicchu
. Professional and bilingual tour leader.
. Horses that will carry 5 kilograms of your equipment
. Accomodation for one night of accomodation for one night in Aguas Calientes.
. Tents for three nights (two people per tent), dining tent, kitchen tent.
. 4 times breakfast, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners.
. First aid kit.
. Oxygen bottle.
1st. Bus ticket from Aguas calientes – Machu picchu – Aguas calientes. 2nd. Transfer from Ollantaytambo – Cusco (main square of Cusco). Train ticket from Aguas calientes – to Ollantaytambo.
. First breakfast.
. Last lunch.
. Canopy (USD.30.00).
. Entry to thermal baths.
. The horses are able to carry only 5 kilograms of your equipment
. Sleeping bag.
DAY 1: CUSCO – SALKANTAYPAMPA
Private transport will collect you from your Cusco hotel for a departure time of approximately 6:00am to Mollepata 2900 m/9,500 ft, where we have breakfast in a local restaurant. After breakfast we continue on a beautiful scenic journey through the Limatambo Valley, with stops for panoramic views of the “Apu or Mountain Salkantay.” One can see awesome chains of magnificent snow capped mountains and the lush Apurimac River Valley. After we arrive at the trailhead called Sayllapata 3,500 m/11,480 ft. we meet our Arrieros “horsemen” and trekking staff, (cook and assistants). You will need to apply insect repellent for the start of the trek to lunch. We will trek for about 3 hours before lunch through traditional Andean communities such as Challacancha and Soraypampa where we stop for lunch. We will continue walking for approximately 2 hours through small Andean villages to Salkantaypampa 4,000 m/13,120 ft, at the base of Salkantay Mountain, our first campsite.
DAY 2: SALKANTAYPAMPA – CHAULLAY
After an early breakfast we start trekking at approximately 7:00am ascending for 3 hours to the Apacheta pass 4,600 m/15,090 ft. From this point we can enjoy a spectacular view of the Mountain Salkantay, a stunning snow capped mountain (6,264 m/20,500 ft) and the second highest peak in Cusco’s region. We will also see the snow capped mountains Humantay (5,850 m/ 19,192 ft) and Pumasillo (5,800 m/ 19,028 ft), as well as the Salkantay river, small lakes and moraines (terminal point of glaciers). After enjoying the view at the pass we will continue 2 hours downhill to our lunch camp in Huayracpunku (3,800 m/12,467 ft). After lunch we walk 3 more hours downhill and you will notice the marked change in scenery along the way from Andean plateau to high jungle where the landscape is warmer, more humid, and quite lush. As we enter the high jungle you will need to apply insect repellent. We end our 3 hour hike at our campsite Chaullay (2,920 m/9,580 ft). Because this campsite is at lower elevation it will be warmer at night here.
DAY 3: CHAULLAY – LA PLAYA
After breakfast you will be given snacks and cooled, boiled water for your bottles and you will need to apply insect repellent and continue to reapply the repellent throughout the day. It will usually be warm out in this location so you can hike in shorts if you like. We start at 7:00am with an easy 6 hour hike through the Totora Valley which is part of the high jungle or Ceja de Selva. We will see a wide variety of plants including different fruit, flowers, birds and other various crops (e.g. coca, coffee, avocado, and bananas). Along this trail we will pass a beautiful waterfall and several streams. With luck we can observe the famous Peruvian national bird, “Gallito de las Rocas.” We continue hiking straight to our campsite at La Playa (2,350 m/7,612 ft) where we will enjoy lunch and some time to rest before having happy hour and dinner later in the evening. At this campsite you will be able to take a cold shower if you wish and can also purchase various drinks, avocados, grenadines, and other snacks and fruit.
DAY 4: LA PLAYA – AGUAS CALIENTES
After breakfast, around 7:00am we begin our trek to the village Lucmabamba where we will see the remains of an original Inca trail. We are fortunate enough to trek on this rising trail along which we will see plantations of coffee, banana, passion fruit, avocado, and we will have a lovely view of the lush Santa Teresa Valley. We follow the Inca trail climbing up for 3 hours to Llactapata (2,700 m/8,858 ft) an Inca ruin. From here we can see Machu Picchu from a distance and enjoy some free time to rest, use the restroom (1 sol), and buy drinks or snacks if you wish. After visiting Llactapata we walk 2 hours downhill to the hydroelectric plant 1,870 m/6,135 ft and have lunch in a local restaurant near the hydroelectric train. At 4:45pm we will take the 45 minute train journey to Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu (2,000 m/6,561 ft). Once in town you will be taken to a hotel for the night to have a hot shower, put your stuff down, and you can visit the local hot springs (open until 9pm, 10 soles per person, bring your own towel and sandals) if you wish before or after our dinner in a local restaurant.
Wake up call and breakfast is very early (Approx 4am) in order for us to take one of the first (5:30am, 25 min ride) buses directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft). Once we arrive at Machu Picchu you will show your entrance ticket and passport. If you are a student you must bring your ISIC card to the entrance or you will not be permitted entrance. From the entrance, it is a 15-minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Enjoy watching the sun rise over the ruin site and the fascinating tour of Machu Picchu with your guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, explaining the history and flora/fauna. Your guide will spend about 2 1/2 hours relating interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors. Your tour of Machu Picchu will finish between 9 and 9:30am after which you will have a little free time to take photos and explore. The new rules for 2019 have split the entrance times into three slots per day. Our tour includes the first ticket (6-10am) so at 10am you would need to exit the ruin site unless you choose to purchase an extra time slot (or two). If you wish to do one of the extra hikes within Machu Picchu (Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain) you would need to prepurchase a permit as well as an extra time slot in Machu Picchu (these new rules are dictated by the Peruvian government and we are sorry for the inconvenience). After you are done exploring the ruin site, either at 10am or later if you’ve booked more time, take one of the many, frequent buses down to Aguas Calientes. There are many restaurants to choose from and your guide can also help suggest a nice place to eat. After grabbing a bite to eat you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo where private transport will drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.