Salkantay Trek / The Unknown Inca Route, 5 days
One of the greatest legacies left to modern man by the Incan Civilization is the network of trails. Many travelers focus on the classic "Inca Trail" to Machu Picchu, but there are other equally exciting trails which take us to this destination. Starting in Mollepata, we enjoy impressive views of high mountains, including Salkantay, before we descend to the cloud forest along Santa Teresa River. Walking on remnants of an ancient Inca trail, you'll be surrounded by native trees known as queuñas and a variety of birds and insects. Trek through plantations bearing fruits, cassava, coca, coffee and cacao. A small part of the trek will be done by train up to Aguas Calientes, a town nestled near the base of Machu Picchu. Overnight at a comfortable hotel and after an early morning breakfast, make your final ascent to Machu Picchu for a private, guided tour followed by free time to wander and explore the ruins on your own.
Day 1: Cusco / Soraypampa
Drive about 3 hours to the village of Mollepata where we'll stop at a local restaurant for breakfast. Our food and camping equipment are prepared and loaded on horseback in preparation for our 8 hour hike. After 4 hours of hiking, we stop in Cruspata for lunch and rest. The remaining 4 hours ends at the Soraypampa campsite.
Day 2: Soraypampa / Qollpapampa campsite
We will trek about the same time as the previous day (8 hours). During the first 4 hours, striking views of the snowy peaks of Salkantay and Humantay keep us occupied. Then we cross the highest point of the trek at 4,600 m (15,091 ft) above sea level. We descend to Qollpapampa, with a lunch stop along the way. Once at the campsite, we can relax and soak our bones in the local hot springs.
Day 3: Qollpapampa / Lucmabamba
We continue our trek to the village of Lucmabamba. During the journey, admire the undisturbed flora and fauna, including giant hummingbirds and wild orchids. Also, enjoy the dramatic waterfalls and taste the local passion fruits and oranges.
Day 4: Lucmabamba / Aguas Calientes
Hike through coffee plantations to Llactapata at 2,650 m (8,694 ft) where we'll see the ruins of Machu Picchu in the distance. After lunch we will hike for 2 hours to the hydroelectric station and in the afternoon, we will board the train to the town of Aguas Calientes (45 min.). Dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu / Cusco
A bountiful Peruvian buffet breakfast will start the day before we board the early bus to Machu Picchu. Your guide will offer a private tour and then you will have private time to wander and explore the ruins. In the afternoon, we will take the bus back to Aguas Calientes and then return to Cusco by train.
Camping beneath Salkantay
Highest point in the trail
Hiker in action
– Transportation to beginning of trek.
– All the meals during the hike.
– Camping equipment.
– Horses for carrying the equipment and luggage
(5 kg limit per person for personal gear;
excess luggage will be stored in secure hotels).
– Professional English-speaking guide.
– First-aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle.
– Hotel in Aguas Calientes with private bathroom and hot water.
– Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu National Park.
– Shuttle bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back.
– Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
Does not include:
– International and domestic flights.
– Personal equipment for trekking (sleeping bag, daypack).
– First breakfast and last lunch.
– Travel insurance.
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