Shared English Guide
The Salkantay hike to Machupicchu was recently named among the 25 best Treks in the world, by the National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
This journey of five days and four nights is one of the richest trails to Machupicchu in terms of natural beauty due to its unique geographical position. Salkantay is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Vilcabamba (Vilcabamba Range of Mountains). Its elevation is 6271 m // 20,574 ft. above sea level with climatic conditions ranging from subtropical to arctic.
Join us on this incredible excursion to Machu Picchu since it is a great alternative to the famous Inca Trail. You will have the opportunity to see beautiful landscapes with a great variety of flora and fauna, you will be able to camp in remote places underneath the breathtaking and imposing snowy mountain; and of course at the end of the expedition arrive to discover the majestic citadel of Machupicchu, still shrouded in wonder and mystery.
Very early in the morning we will be picked up at the Hotel and drive towards the Lake Humantay, known for its clear water and imposing views of the near snowy mountains.
After approximately 2 hours, the ride will stop in Mollepata (2900 m // 9514 ft.) to have breakfast if you haven’t yet (nor included on package) and make the last needed purchases.
We will follow the route for another hour until we reach Challacancha (3675 m // 12,057 ft.) where our team is ready to welcome us (cook, muleteers, mules) and give the proper instructions for the adventure.
We then reach our camp at Soraypampa and have lunch. From here, both of the beautiful snowy mountains are visible, The Humantay (5917 m // 19,413 ft.) and the one we are hiking, The Salkantay (6271 m // 20,574 ft.).
In the afternoon, we will ascend to the Lake Humantay (approx. 2h) and be able to witness the clear water of the lake and the impressive views of the mountain on top. There will be time to enjoy the wonderful views, take pictures and breathe the purest air of all.
Return to the camp (around 1h30) for teatime and enjoy dinner. Overnight at Soraypampa camp.
Early in the morning, we will enjoy breakfast and begin the true challenge of the journey, going uphill until we reach the 4650 m or 15,255 ft. at the Salkantay pass. The path is steep and rocky and will go on for 7 km or 4½ miles (approx. 3h). This section will require physical resistance as well as a good acclimatization.
At that point there will be a short rest while enjoying incredible views of the Salkantay Mountain. Then, we will start descending towards Wayraqmachay where we will have lunch.
After lunch, we will resume the walk for 2.5 hours until we reach Chaullay, the place for our camp, dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, we start our third day of 17 km // 10½ miles (approx. 6 hours) towards the small ranch of La Playa. This part of the trail is less demanding with generally warm weather, we will enjoy the exuberant landscape: small rivers, wonderful views of waterfalls, native plants, wild orchids, colorful birds and tropical fruits such as coffee, banana, avocado, passion fruit, etc.
We will pass through the town of Collpapampa, also known as "the top of the cloud forest."
A few hours later we will arrive to La playa Sahuayaco (Sahuayaco beach), where we will have lunch and then continue to our camp in Lucmabamba, where we can visit the coffee plantations and its process.
Dinner and overnight at Lucmabamba camp.
We will start the day with an energetic breakfast and a walk through the high jungle. We will be able to appreciate a great variety of crops such as coffee, banana, avocado, pineapple and even coca leaves, considered the sacred leaf of the Incas.
We will ascend to the archaeological site of Llactapata, where we will be able to see part of Machupicchu and the entire valley that surrounds it.
After the visit we will descend to the Aobamba Valley for approximately 2 hours until we reach Hidroelectrica, where we will have lunch.
We will resume our walking for 3 more hours until we arrive to Aguas Calientes, also called Machupicchu Pueblo, the town on the bottom of the magnificent Wonder of the World.
Arrival to the Hotel in Aguas Calientes, free evening and overnight.
Early in the morning, we will take the shared bus to go up to the most famous Inca site in the country: Machupicchu, "old summit" in Quechua’s language.
During your guided tour (around 2h), you will discover, still enveloped in the morning mist, this architectural complex built on a narrow ridge bordered by precipices. An impressive vision that evolves with the progression of the sun.
We will then walk through the alleys of the citadel, its quarters, its squares, its royal houses, its agricultural areas, its paths and its observatories.
After the guided tour, we descend in the afternoon to Aguas Calientes to take the train to Poroy. (The closest train stop to the city of Cusco)
Arrival to Poroy, transfer to your Hotel and end of services to continue to another destination or side trip.
Extra activities to do on site: (not included in package and reserved in advanced)
Possibility of adding the ascent of the Huaynapicchu Mountain or Montaña Machupicchu depending on availability. (These mountains are part of the landscape of the citadel of Machupicchu and have different times and entrances, since they take more time to climb and visit).