CLASSIC SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 9 Days/8 Nights

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hike through cloud forests, highlands, and alpine valleys
  • Traverse the stunning and mystical Mount Salkantay, a 20,574 Andean giant
  • Top out at over 15,000 feet in elevation
  • Enjoy our premier camping accommodations
  • Feast on authentic, Peruvian dishes
  • Learn about the charming mountain culture of the Quechua
  • Spend a day exploring Machu Picchu

DESCRIPTION

The Salkantay Trek is considered one of the “25 Best Treks in the World” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine. This trek will take you through unique and varying landscapes, from cloud forests to grassy highlands and where sub-alpine passes meet colossal snow-capped mountains. This trek is for the adventurous.

Since the ancient Incan times, Mountain Salcantay has been considered sacred and the protector of the Quechua people. The name Salkantay derives from the Quechua language and means “Savage Mountain”. Mount Salkantay (20,574 ft.) is the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range and in the Cusco area of the Southern Peruvian Andes.

The Salkantay trek begins on the south side of Mt. Salkantay and Machu Picchu and circumnavigates the mountain and ancient ruin to the town of Agua Calientes. The Salkantay trek contains parts of the original Inca trail and provides mysterious and magical feelings associated with the history of the Inca and conquest of the Spanish empire. This trek is simply Amazing!

TRIP ITINERARY : SALKANTAY TREK 9 DAYS

Day 1: Arrive Cusco

Arrive in Cusco airport and transfer to your centrally located hotel. Fascinating museums, art galleries, and restaurants offering delicious local specialties all make Cusco a fantastic place to start your Peruvian adventure!

In the afternoon, relax and take it easy giving yourself time to get used to the high altitude (Cusco is located 3400m above sea level.

Overnight: Hotel Garcilaso II, Cusco

Day 2: Half Day City Tour of Cusco and Nearby Ruins

Enjoy a guided, in-depth tour exploring the city of Cusco and the nearby ruins including the vast fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the worship site of Kenqo, and the main sites around the Plaza de Arms including the Cathedral, Inca walls and Santa Domingo Temple. In the afternoon relax and take it easy, giving yourself time to adjust to the high altitude.

Overnight: Hotel Garcilaso II, Cusco

Day 3: Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, visit the Pisac Inca ruins, some of the finest in the area, and colorful Pisac market. Following a tasty lunch at a local restaurant, continue down the Urubamba valley to reach the small town of Ollantaytambo. The Inca ruins situated on a hill-top landscape with dramatic terracing below are quite a sight!

Overnight: Hotel Garcilaso II, Cusco

Day 4:  Classic Salkantay trek

  • Hiking Mileage: 3.1 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 12,467 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 14,435 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours

Today we will wake up early and enjoy a light breakfast before departing Cusco around 6am. We will drive roughly 3.5 hours to our trailhead at Soraypampa (12,467ft). In route to Soraypampa, we will stop in the quaint town of Mollepata to use the toilet, have a snack and grab a cup of coffee or tea. Once we arrive we will meet our horses (gear porters) and have a thorough brief on the pertinent aspects of trekking in the Andes. We will immediately be over shadowed by the giant, Mt. Salkantay.

We will go on a 1.5 hour day hike to aide in acclimatization and return to Soraypampa where a delicious lunch will be prepared by our chef. After lunch, we will begin to slowly ascend a mild incline for roughly 3.5 hours to the village of Soyroqocha (13,779 ft.). Upon arrival at camp, you will find your tents ready and waiting, as well as hot drinks and popcorn. We will have some down time to change clothes, get warm and rehydrate until our delicious dinner is served. This camp is especially beautiful at night, when the Milky Way exposes itself. Photographers, this is the perfect place to take long exposures of the stars!

Day 5: Classic Salkantay trek

  • Hiking Mileage: 9.9 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 10,170 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 15,091 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 8-9 hours

Today we will wake up with a nice cup of coca tea and gaze upon the stunning, snow-covered Salkantay Mountain. After a nutritious breakfast we will begin to trek slowly towards the Salkantay Pass (15,091 ft.), which takes roughly 1 hour. At the pass we will have a break to drink water, eat snacks and take in the spectacular views of Mt. Salkantay. Subsequently, we will hike down to Huayraqmachay village, where we will have a delicious lunch prepared for us by our kitchen crew. After lunch we will hike down to Qollpapampa village (10,170 ft.) where we will camp for the night. Today we will travel through a diverse range of climatic zones, from golden grasslands to sub-alpine zones to cloud forests.

Day 6: Classic Salkantay trek

  • Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 6,725 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 12,540 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 5-6 hours

Today we will primarily be trekking through the tranquil cloud forest. We will hike for about five hours following the Lluskamayo River, with the prospect of seeing a variety of orchids, birds, and a magnificent waterfall. Today’s trek ends at La Playa town (6,725 ft.) where we will have lunch and camp for the night. After we relax for a while, we will go meet Freddy the owner of our camp and a local coffee plantation. Here we will be able to pick our own coffee beans, roast them and make our own coffee. In addition, Freddy will teach us many local traditions of the Quechua people and you can potentially buy some souvenir coffee from him.

Day 7: Classic Salkantay trek

  • Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 5,905 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 10,107 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours

After an early breakfast accompanied by Freddie’s local coffee from the farm, we will begin our hike which ascends to the Llaqtapata Inca ruins. This section of the trail is part of the Inca trail, used in the past to connect Machu Picchu with the city of Vilcabamba. Once we arrive at Llaqtapata we will have our first glimpse at the ancient city of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Our local guide and interpreter will introduce us to the history and culture of the Inca and Quechua people. After the lessons we will descend, roughly three hours to the hydroelectric power station.

From the power station, we will take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes, where we will take showers, change clothes and meet up for dinner in town. We will be staying at our favorite hotel for the night, Aguas Calientes.

Overnight: Hotel Home like home, Aguas Calientes town

Day 8:   Ancient city of Machu Picchu

  • Hiking Mileage: 4-8
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,972 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 10,111 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 6-8 hours

This morning we will wake up early and take the tourist bus to Machu Picchu for the sunrise. Our expert Quechua guide will conduct a thorough guided tour of the ancient Inca city. We will learn about the amazing cultural history of the Inca and Machu Picchu, and delve into some of the mysteries that surround the remote, mountain city.

After our Machu Picchu tour we’ll relax over a scenic picnic lunch on the same grounds the Inca enjoyed for centuries. Then we’ll embark on a very special hike to Mount Machu Picchu (10,111 feet). This relatively seldom-traveled trail leads us to the top of Mount Machu Picchu, where we’ll take in stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You will have additional free time to explore the Sun Gate, Inca Bridge or relax on the grassy terraces around the ruin before we head back to Aguas Calientes town and a good night’s sleep.

Overnight: Hotel  Aguas Calientes town

Day 9:  Aguas Calientes town – Cusco

This morning we will have our last Peruvian breakfast and depart on the train back to Cusco. Once we arrive back in Cusco, we will say our goodbyes. From here it’s of course your option to continue exploring Peru on your own or have a flight booked to return home (please book outbound flights departing after 3pm.

INCLUSIONS

  • Welcome at the airport in Cusco and transfer to your hotel
  • City tour around Cusco + Fees
  • Sacred Valley Tour + Fees + Buffet lunch
  • 03 night’s hotel in Cusco
  • 03 night’s Camping on Salkantay trek
  • 02 Night´s hotel in Aguas Calientes town
  • English speaking tour guide
  • All Camping gear, tent, mats, mules
  • Andean chef during the trek
  • 04 Breakfast, 04 Lunches, 04 Dinners, snacks – Available vegetarian food
  • Entrance fee to citadel of Machu Picchu
  • Train services Aguas Calientes town – Ollantaytambo
  • Bus service Ollantaytambo – Cusco

EXCLUSIONS

  • Sleeping bag, Walking poles, available for hire we us
  • Personal medication, insurances
  • Gratuities