Salkantay trek is according to National Geographic the most spectacular route to Machu Picchu. No other route offers such diversity in topography and ecosystems. On the way you will experience rocky mountain landscape surrounded by snow-capped mountains, turquoise glacial lakes, stunning cloudforest with cascading rivers and lush rainforest. And the icing on the cake: Machu Picchu of course!
Salkantay Mountain is considered in Andean culture to be a so called Apu. This is a Quechua word that means spiritual protector, and Salkantay is one of the most important Apus.
Duration: 5 days (3 and 4 days possible)
Activity level: Moderate to hard
Season: All year
Day 1 – Cusco – Soraypampa – Soyrococha
We will depart from Cusco to Soraypampa in the morning and drive through beautiful Andean landscapes for approximately 3 hours. When we arrive, we will have the first view of the impressive snow-capped Huamantay and Salkantay mountains. Salkantay is the second highest mountain in the Cusco vicinity (6264 m / 20551 ft) We will eat a delicious lunch at Soraypampa before we start the 3 hours hike to our base camp at Soyrococha. At this secluded site we will set up the tents, put on warm clothes, eat dinner and look at the stars.
Day 2 – Soyrococha – Salkantay Pass – Andenes – Colpapampa
We have an early breakfast and begin hiking for 1km to the Salkantay pass (4650 m) where we most likely will be the first people to arrive. This is also the highest point of the trek. From here we walk for 15 minutes to get a view of bright turquoise Salkantay Lake. From here we descend in to the cloudforest. After 3-4 hours we arrive at Andenes and have a long, relaxing lunch. When we feel ready, we continue to descend for another 1-2 hours to reach our camp site in the village of Colpapampa. Here we have plenty of time to relax, have dinner and enjoy the warmer temperatures of the cloudforest.
Day 3 – Colpapampa – La Playa - Lucmabamba
Again we start early to get a head start. Today’s hike goes up and down through lush forest – the entrance to the Amazonas. We have plenty of stops along the way to spot hummingbirds or eat exotic fruits straight from the trees. After approximately 4 hours we arrive in La Playa where we will have lunch. Close to La Playa is our camp site for the evening: Lucmabamba. There are several organic coffee plantations in the area, and we will have a demonstration of how the local coffee is produced. After a little relaxation time, dinner is served!
Day 4 – Lucmabamba – Llaqtapata – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
After an energizing breakfast, we get ready to hike a part of the Royal Inca Trail. We will be walking 2-3 hours upwards until we reach Llaqtapata, an ancient inka construction. From here we will have spectacular views of Machu Picchu city, Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain. After taking it all in, we descend for 2-3 hours until we reach Hydroelectric. Here we have our lunch and wait for the train that will take us through amazing green hillscape to Aguas Calientes. We will check in to our hotel, relax and go to a restaurant to enjoy a traditional Peruvian dinner.
Day 5 – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo - Cusco
Today is the day! We will get up very early in the morning, have a light breakfast and wait for the bus to take us up to the main gate of Machu Picchu. The bus ride takes 25 minutes, and we will try to be first in line when the gates open at 6am. For around two hours, one of our passionate guides will show you around the city of Machu Picchu and talk about its fascinating history and significance. After the tour you have time to explore Machu Picchu at your own leisure before returning to Aguas Calientes by bus. From here you will take the train to Ollantaytambo where a bus to Cusco will be waiting for you.
This package is an outline of how one trip may be like. Of course we can customize this trip to match your specific needs. We are flexible during the trek, so that we may make changes to the itinerary along the way if that suits you better. Contact us for more detailed information on options and we will work together on creating the perfect experience for you!