Salkantay Trail Trek
Salkantay Trail Trek is the best alternative trek to Machu Picchu; for now this trek is the less trodden route with stunning landscape; where you´ll see high mountains, deep valleys, cloud forest, Inca ruins and traditional farm. The Salkantay Trail Trek involves walking three days of approximately 7-8 hours per day; and one day we’ll explore Machu Picchu.
The Salkantay Trail Trek is one of the most energetic mountains trekking in Peru. You being one of the crazy backpackers; who seek to capture the cascade of mountain ranges atop from a lofty height of 4,600 meters; then you can’t escape the Salkantay Trail Trek. Well, the mountainous trek in the Salkantay region is every trekker’s dream; but only few people are able to undertake the challenge. It is one of the high altitude treks in Peru; that requires some serious acclimatization. No doubt, the Salkantay Trail Trek also offers a beautiful journey through the countryside that is dotted with several small villages, cattle farms and colorful meadows crisscrossed by small gushing streams. In contrast, the undulated terrain, jagged ridges, coloured layers of peaks and deep canyons throughout the trek seem to be another breathtaking part of the journey.
The Salkantay Trail Trek commences from the zone of Soraypampa, which is at an elevation of 3,800 meters. Then the trail follows through the bank of Salkantay River and heads to the Apacheta pass at 4,600m. From here the trail slowly descents onto the countryside passing through the Huayrocmachay valley followed by a pasture area before descending to a pristine forest. Thereafter, be prepared for some serious uphill and downhill trails till you arrive to Machu Picchu at 2,400m.
Salkantay Trail Trek Overview
Four-day Salkantay Trail Trek To Machu Picchu is a custom-designed alternative trek to the traditional Inca Trail; off the beaten path, it´s a cutting edge experience for adventure travelers looking for a little more privacy and authenticity, With more spectacular views, the Salkantay Trail Trek offers the loneliness and quiet contemplation such a sacred path deserves. This is a very special trip because at the end you will explore the lost city of the Incas – MACHU PICCHU.
Salkantay is the name of the snow mountain (6,372m) located to the south of Machu Picchu; This is a less beating track that offers you to enjoy the trek beside the splendid snow mountain where you will see how ecosystems transform rapidly from the variance of environmental factors (sun, water, temperature, soil, etc.) Salkantay means wild, it´s the highest snow mountain in the Vilcanota Mountain range. The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu joins the two deepest canyon of Cusco regions: Apurimac canyon and Urubamba canyon.
Day 1: Huayrocmachay
Early start and travel 3:30 hours from Cusco to Soraypampa; here we start the hike for7 -8 hours and 14km approximately.
Day 2: Playa Sawayaco.
Today we will hike 16km; we start in the base of the Salkantay Mountain and we end in the cloud forest.
Day 3: Aguas Calientes.
We will trek 13km through stunning mountain scenery include Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains, today we will have accommodation in the hotel
Day 4: Machu Picchu
Full day can be dedicated to explore the Stunning Machu Picchu; and in the afternoon we´ll return to Cusco; arriving there in the evening.
Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa – Huayrocmachay
The Salkantay Trail Trek To Machu Picchu begins at 5:00am when we pick you up from your Cusco hotel and transfer you to Soraypampa by bus; the bus journey will be 3:30 hours approximately; Along the trip we’ll see many small picturesque towns like: Izcuchaca, Limatambo and Mollepata; in Mollepata we will stop to have breakfast and for last minute supplies like snacks, water, some coca leafs for the altitude, etc. At Soraypampa we´ll meet our trek crew: Arrieros “horsemen” and trekking staff (Cook and Assistants) who will carry the majority of our staff.
We commence the hike with a gradual climb until salkantaypampa from where the trail continues zigzag up to Salkantay pass (4,600m/15088ft) the highest pass of the Salkantay Trail Trek where in addition we will enjoying stunning views of the surrounding glaciers and the snow-capped peaks of the .Vilcabamba range with the south face of Salkantay mountain towering above us, we may also observe chinchillas and condors overflying in their natural habitat. From this point, we descend 2:30 hours to Huarocmachay camp.
- Meals: L – D
- Accommodation: Camping
- Maximum Altitude: 4,600m
- Minimum Altitude: 3,800m
- Distance Travelled: approx. 14km
- Approximate Walking Time: 7 – 8 hours
Huayrocmachay – Playa Sawayaco.
We begin the trek at 7:00am descending until the community of Ccollpapampa; one hour after we commence the trek you will see how the vegetation change which is indicating the beginning of the high Jungle zone or Cloud forest and we often will see humming birds and varieties of orchids. We continue through the Ceja de Selva with gradual descent and enjoying level areas of “pampa” for approximately 2 .5 hours to Challhuay 2,920masl observing different kinds of plants, fruits, flowers , birds and hummingbirds; continuing the trek parallel to the Santa Teresa River observing plenty of wild live. We arrive to playa Sawayaco camp and here the guide will resolve to camp here or continue to Santa Teresa town by car where you can enjoy the natural an medicinal hot spring (public transport and entrance to the hot spring Not Included US$ 10 per person aporx.)
- Meals: D – L – D
- Accommodation: Camping
- Maximum Altitude: 3,900m
- Minimum Altitude: 2,300m
- Distance Travelled: approx. 16km
- Approximate Walking Time: 7 – 8 hours
Playa Sawayaco – Aguas Calientes town.
After breakfast, we will continue half hour down to Lucmabamba and then climb up toward the second pass of LLactapata from here is visible Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu Mountain; here you can take a good rest and enjoying the added value of the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. After that, we continue for 2 hours descent towards the Aobamba valley and cross Aobamba River crossing lush bamboo forests and coffee plantations brings us to the hydroelectric station, from where we trek following the railway until Aguas Calientes town to have dinner and accommodation in the hotel. In the evening you can go to relax to the natural hot spring which is placed to 15 minutes out of the town relax and be ready for the next day.
- Meals: B – L – D
- Accommodation: Hotel
- Maximum Altitude: 2,750m
- Minimum Altitude: 2,000m
- Distance of trekking: approx. 13km
- Approximate Walking Time: 5 – 6 hours
Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu tour – Cusco
Not good news because we must wake up at 04.45 am for an early breakfast and take the bus at approximately 05.30 am and arrive at Machu Picchu´s gate before 06.00 am when the Park is open. This time is still not so crowded yet so we take advantage of the tranquility of this sacred site; Guided Tour of Machu Picchu will be for 2 hours approximately at his enigmatic and mysterious site, during this time we will visit the agricultural sector and mainly the urban sector where we will visit the temple of the water, temple of the Mother earth, Temple of the sun, the main temple or Wiracocha´s temple, the temple of the tree windows or the Andean cosmology temple, The Inti watana or sun dial, the Temple of the Mountain and the Temple of the condor and other interesting places.
After the tour you will have extra free time to explore by yourself or climbing to Huayna Picchu (see additional information if you want to purchase a permit for this). Around 1-2 pm take the bus down to Aguas Calientes for your Train return. (Bus tickets will cost you $9 not included, most people like to walk this old Inca trail down to Aguas Calientes).
The train departs Aguas Calientes late in the afternoon at 5:00 pm to Ollantaytambo, and then 1:45 minutes transfer to Cusco and to your hotel arriving at 9:00 pm approximately.
- Meals: B
SALKANTAY TRAIL TREK INCLUDES
- Transportation: Tourist bus from Cusco to Soraypampa (starting point of the trek) and Tourist train Expeditions class from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo; bus up from Aguas Calientes to Machupicchu; transfer to you Hotel.
- Camping equipments: We provide four people capacity tent for two persons, brand new four season tents, Therm-a-rest, dining room tent, kitchen tent, toiled tent, seats, tables, tent for Guides and helpers, kitchen gears.
- Accommodations: 01 night hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes town based in double occupancy.
- Entracefees: To Machu Picchu.
- Meals; 3 breakfast; 3 hot lunches; 3 hot dinners delicious meals prepared by professional chef food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking, hot drinks including coca leaf tea which is excellent for the altitude. Teatime everyday (tea, coffee, biscuits, popcorn), we offer vegetarian option if you request; we provide available boil water each mourning for your water bottles.
- Guides: English speaking professional guides, 2 guides over 8 people
- Cook: Professional chef and Chef Assistants.
- Horses: For camping equipment, food and kitchen gears as well to carry your personal items (6kls per person) in duffel bags that we provide; Muleteers.
- Others: First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Sleeping bag: can be rented in our office for US$ 20 for the entire trek (every sleeping bag is washed prior to each use).
- Breakfast: on the first morning. Some hotels offer early morning breakfast service. If not, we stop at Mollepata for your breakfast and also you can buy some items for the trek.
- Lunch: in Aguas Calientes town on the final day you must consider a bugged of US$ 15 to 20 in average restaurant.
- Entrance: to the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes (optional) US$ 3.
- Tips: for the staff.
For Salkantay Trail Trek, we require a non-refundable trek deposit of US$150 per person. The deposit can be sent by a WESTERN UNION or to our BANK ACCOUNT money transfer or through payment on Line. The money transfer should be in the name of SUNRISE PERU TREK OPERATOR E.I.R.L. Once you arrive in Cusco you must pay the remaining balance in cash prior to beginning your tour. We accept both US Dollars and Peruvian Soles (local currency).
For Salkantay Trail Trek the night before your trek there will be a pre-trek talk (briefing) in our office or in your hotel at either 6 or 7pm (exact time will be confirmed on arrival to Cusco).