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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days

Trek through the quiet and remote Salkantay valley, featured in National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the Top 25 Hikes in the World.

Salkantay Trekking is the most popular of the alternative treks to Machu Picchu. The trek is located in the Vilcabamba mountain range and passes through stunning landscapes varying from the cloud forest to the high mountains. Along the way are fantastic views of second highest mountain in the Cusco area, Salkantay (“Savage Mountain”) standing at 6,271m/19.685ft. It passes through little visited areas and combines culture and tradition with the incredible flora and fauna offered by Peru. You will be in the real Andes and the perfect conditions to get a sense of the life in the area.

FROM
$580

Day 1 : Cusco – Soraypampa – Huayracpunko

Begin at 4:00am where we will pick you up directly from your hotel and drive 3 hours to the trailhead called Soraypampa (3800 meters). Before heading off on your trek, you will meet your horses and your horsesman (Arrieros). Breakfast will be prepared and served before you start hiking and the team will be introduced at that time. After breakfast you will get ready to begin the trek towards Machu Picchu. The first 3.5 hours will be gradual uphill until lunch. The views are amazing of the Salkantay Valley and Salkantay Mountain and they only get better! Lunch will be served at the foot of the mountain. After lunch we will continue climbing for 1 more hour, again gradually uphill, until the highest point of your trek,Salkantay Pass at 4650 meters. While the trekking will be difficult, you can take many breaks and the views are defintely worth the hike: two different valleys and Salkantay Mountain is right in front of you. You might even see some avalanches from the Salkantay glacier (not at all close enough to cause you any danger). We won’t have much time to enjoy the views though, its still another 3 hours downhill to reach our first campsite called Wayracammachay at 3800 meters. The downhill part can be slippery so trekking poles are very handy to have for this part. As you walk down you will get to enjoy the sunset and the magnificent silence of the valleys. It will be just you and the background of the roaring river behind you. Upon your arrival at the campsite, our guides and porters will welcome you to your camp and show you to your tents, which will be already set up for you. You will have some time to relax, enjoy our social/happy hour and then dinner.

Walking distance: 15 km

Trailhead Elevation: 3800 meters

Maximun Altitude Gained: 850 meters

Campsite Elevation: 3800 meters

Weather: Cold

Trail Conditions: Rocky , dusty and slippery (trekking shoes required)

Day 2. Wayracpunko – Chaullay – Cocalmayu

After an early breakfast with amazing views of the snow-capped peaks of Salkantay and Humantay mountains, you will get ready for the day and begin your expedition. After about 30 minutes of walking downhill, the microclimate will change and you will be entering the cloud forest. You will be walking downhill through this area for 4 hours until the lunch spot at Chawllay (2900 m). Along the way the views are spectacular looking out at the lush green valley, waterfalls, rivers, and of course, snow-capped peaks. Its a beautiful are ato inspect the flora and fauna. Lunch is always fresh and served family style (large dishes for you to enjoy as much as you like). After a short siesta you will jump in the small van to drive 2 hours to our campsite called  Cocalmayu-hot springs (2600 m). The views while going by bus are of course amazing and you will be able to see the beautiful Santa Teresa valley. There will be farms along the way growing coffe, passion fruits, avocados, bananas – even a chocolate farm. Upon your arrival at the campsite, your porters will welcome you and give you the opportunity to enjoy the magical views of the mountains. You will have time for happy hour with hot drinks and jump any time to natural hot springs before and affter dinner.

Walkign distance: 11 km
Weather: warm / hot
Campsite elevation: 2600 m

Day 3: Ccollpapampa – Playa – cocalmayo

After a delicious breakfast, you will get started on your shortest. You will explore the tropical forest, Along the way you will explore beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and again, flora and fauna. This will be another micro-climate, called a tropical forest, where local people farm coffee, passion fruit, papayas, oranges and avocados. where you will be able to taste the coffee, prepared by the local people. Coffee is the main farming industry for the local people. They farm big hectares of coffee to export to the United States, Asia and Europe. Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, but it wasn’t until the Spanish invaded Cusco, that it was brought to this region. Lunch is always fresh and served family style (large dishes for you to enjoy as much as you like). After a short siesta you will jump in the small van to drive 30 minunts to our campsite called  Cocalmayu-hot springs (2400 m). The views while going by bus are of course amazing and you will be able to see the beautiful Santa Teresa valley. Upon your arrival at the campsite, your porters will welcome you and give you the opportunity to enjoy the magical views of the mountains. You will have time for happy hour with hot, cold drinks and jump any time to natural hot springs before and affter dinner.

Elevation: 2700 – 2200 meters
Distance: 12km / 7 miles
Considered: moderate 
Weather: warm, himid

Day 4: Cocalmayo – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes – Hotel

Our porters will gently wake you up with a hot glass of coca tea, coffee. Once you are ready for the day, you will have breakfast with amazing views of the valley, Also you can be able to do Zip Line on that valley (not included). After breakfast you will hike rolling hill until you arrive to Hidroelectrica where you will enjoy your lunch. You will have a fabulous meal and rehydrate and then continue for 3 hours until you arrive to Aguas Calientes along the railway which in 1915 was explored by Professor Hiram Bingham when he was looking for the lost city of the incas. Along the way you may see some flora and fauna that are very authentic from the area such as the bird gallito de las rocas (cock of the rock). Gallito de las rocas is considered to be the national peruvian bird. Hopefully tyou will see some woodpeckers, oropéndolas, avocado plantations and also pass by the farm that is owned by the family who guided Hiram Bingham in 1915 to Machu Picchu. You will have some beautiful views of Machu Picchu from different angles as you approach as well. Finally you will arrive to Aguas Calientes where your guide will take you to your hotel and give you some time to settle in and enjoy a well deserved hot shower. After dinner, we recommend going to bed early to make the most of the next day.

 Walkign distance: 16 km                                                                                                                       Aguas Calientes elevation: 2000 metters 
 Weather: warm, Hot, humid

Day 5: Machu Picchu one of the 7 wonders of world

We will wake up early in the morning in order to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu. You will have a two hour guided tour by your private English speaking guide. After that, you will have time to explore Machu Picchu by yourself. Those who have tickets to huayna picchu will have time to climb the mountain, which takes approximately an hour and a half, round-trip. When you are done exploring, you can either take a bus, or walk, down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Following, you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy, and then a bus to Cusco, where you will be brought back to your hotel.

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