This trek takes you around Mount Salkantay, the second largest mountain in the Cusco region (6271m/20,568ft), On the first night, you’ll camp within clear sight of the snow capped peak of Salkantay mountain. The second day will be the longest day of the tour, and while you work a bit harder to get there, the views at the top are even more rewarding. The walk to reach the famous Apacheta Pass at 4,600m/15,088ft) (the Inca Trail’s ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ is only 4,200m/13,776ft)) is not strenuous neither very steep, afterward it is mainly descent into a more tropical area passing Andenes and Chaullay on the far side of the mountain.
We`ll take the forty five minute train ride from the famous Hydro Electric Dam and then spend the rest of the 4th evening relaxing in the town and hotsprings of Aguas Calientes. Early in the morning you take the bus (or walk if desired) up to Machu Picchu for your guided tour, a well deserved reward but many say the trek is a prize in itself!
Day 1: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SAYLLAPATA – SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAYPAMPA camp.
06.00 am. Departure by our private transport to Mollepata town at 2,850 mts. A beautiful 3 hour scenic journey through Izcuchaca and Limatambo, with a stop for breakfast and panoramic views of the “Mountain of Salkantay” in the Cordillera of Vilcanota. We can see spectacular views of the chains of snow capped Vilcabamba, the colorful village of Mollepata and the lush Apurimac River Valley. At this point due to the dirty and rocky road conditions we transfer into another truck or minibus. After passing Cruzpata 3200 mts, then Challacancha, we arrive to our trailhead in Sayllapata at 3,600 masl where we meet our Arrieros “horsemen“ and trekking staff (Cook and Assistants). We commence treking with a gradual climb of 250 meters for about 2 and a half hours through a pristine Andean valley landscape before arriving to Soraypampa. There after visiting a spectacular glacial lake we have lunch. We continue after lunch with a gentle climb for approximately 2 and a half to 3 hours through more unspoiled Andean valley to Salkantaypampa. This first Camp is located at 3,950 masl. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner + Camping facilities.
- Meals: LD
- Accommodation: camping
- Maximum Altitude: 3950 masl
- Minimum Altitude: 2850 masl
- Distance Travelled: 12km approx
Day 2: SALKANTAYPAMPA – COLLPAPAMPA
After an early breakfast we start trekking a moderate climb from approx 07:00am for 3 hours to reach the Apacheta Pass at 4,590 masl. From this point we can appreciate spectacular views of Cusco’s second highest peak, the stunning snow capped Mount Salkantay (6,264 mts) and also the snow capped mountains Humantay and Huayanay, white river, small lakes and moraines. In the Apacheta Pass you can leave a piece of rock carried from the bottom as a present from you to the Apacheta. (In Inca times the walkers used to leave at the top their shoes, clothes, jewels or simply a piece of rock as an offering.) There is an option to take a nice walk from the Pass for 40 minutes to see an amazing lake of Soraycocha located just off the trail.
We continue 2 hrs downhill to lunch in Huayracmachay, and then, depending on the group ability, weather and walking conditions, the guide will decide whether to camp 2-3 hrs downhill walk in Rayan-niyoc at 3100 mts or travel a further 2km to camp at Collpapampa 2920 mts for experienced trekkers. Very nice camping near a natural hot spring pools.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner + Camping facilities.
- Meals: BLD
- Accommodation: camping
- Maximum Altitude: 4590 masl
- Minimum Altitude: 2920 masl
- Distance Travelled: 16km to Rayan-niyoc or 20km to Chaullay
Day 3: COLLPAPAMPA – LLUSCAMAYO – LA PLAYA
After Breakfast, we say goodbye and thanks to our arrieros, horse/donkey herders. They will get to La Playa way before us, leaving the equipment for the other staff and make their return back to Soraypampa. We start the trek 07:00am with 3 hours easy hiking from Collpapampa, where we will be introduced to a high Jungle zone called Ceja de Selva. Here we will see different kinds of plants, fruits, flowers, birds ectetera plus coca and banana crops can be observed. You will have time to shower in a waterfall, take amazing pictures, and with luck we can observe the famous Peruvian National Bird “Gallito de las Rocas”. We stop at Lluscamayo 2,400m for lunch and free time to rest before the 3 hour walk to our last campsite in La Playa 2,350 masl. A small village is located here with electricity and a shop Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner + Camping facilities.
- Meals: BLD
- Accommodation: camping
- Maximum Altitude: 2920 masl
- Minimum Altitude: 2350 masl
- Distance Travelled: 16km from Rayan-niyoc or 11km from Chaullay
Day 4: LA PLAYA – LUCMABAMBA – LLAQTAPATA – HIDROELECTRICA / AGUAS CALIENTES
Approx 07:30 am we begin our trek to the village Lucmabamba where we see the remains of an Inka trail. We follow this rising trail, from which we will see coffee, banana and passion fruit plantations and a lovely view of the Santa Teresa Valley. After climbing for 3-4 hrs to reach Llaqtapata 2,700 masl we can enjoy some free time to rest and observe the mountain of Machupicchu (Inca city) and some of this arqueological site from afar. Then 2 hours continuous downhill to the Hydroelectric Plant at 1,870m where we have the last lunch with our staff. The cook and staff will leave us after lunch and we only continue on to Aguas Calientes town with our guides. So here is our chance to say goodbye and express our appreciation.
At 16:30pm we will take a 45 minute train journey to Aguas Calientes town 2,000 masl where a Special Dinner and finally a comfy bed in the “Hostal Viajeros” await us.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner + Accomodation in Hostal Viajeros.
* Walking poles recommended for the 2 final hours downhill. Optional evening bathe in the hotsprings 10 minutes walk from the town.
- Meals: BLD
- Accommodation: Viajeros Hostel
- Maximum Altitude: 2350 masl
- Minimum Altitude: 2000 masl
- Distance Travelled: 12 km approx
Day 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHUPICCHU – CUSCO
Early walk (approximately 1.5 hours uphill from Aquas Calientes) or bus for 25 minutes to the Citadel of Machupicchu, guided tour for 3 hours and plenty of free time for further exploring, photos and optional climb of the mountain Huayna Picchu, Temple of the Moon, or the Gate of the Sun. Generally around 1pm people walk down the steps back to Aguas Calientes for the Buffet lunch and at approx 16:00 hrs we take our return train to Ollantaytambo with bus connection arriving to Cusco city around 9:00 pm. Breakfast, Lunch.
What is Included:
- Collection from your hotel at 05:45 am
- Private vehicle to Mollepata-Cruzpata (starting of the trek)
- 2 person Igloo tents (large and comfortable) and a roll pad mattress
- English speaking professional guide experienced in mountains
- 6 kilos of your personal items ie extra clothes, sleeping bag to be carried by mules so you just need to carry your daypack with everything you will need during the day. Full board meals 5 Breakfast, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
- Horses/donkeys to carry tents, food, cooking equipment
- Hot water for washing purposes
- Boiled water to fill in your bottles
- Train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes
- Expedition Tourist Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollanta and private transport to Cusco
- Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
- Guided tour in Machu Picchu, time to explore on your own, Climbing to Huaynapicchu
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes Double or Triple Accommodation
- Dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs
- Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent:
- Free storage in Cusco for your belongings at Hotel Marqueses.
What is not Included:
- Sleeping bag (minus 8 ºC) US$ 25
- Energy snacks will be very useful as chocolate bars, dried fruits
- Dinner on the 5 th day
- Drinks, bottle water
- The bus down from Machupicchu to Aguas Calientes US$8
- (45 minutes down-hill walk to Aguas Calientes) to Hotel Viajeros.
- OPTIONAL UP-GRADES:
- VISTADOME Train to Cusco instead of Expedition Train, Please add US$40 per person
- Tips for your crew guides cooks, horse herders US$20-25 approx (Every QORIANKA TOURS`s staff receive a fair and decent payment immediately after they end their trip, tips are
- optional also are a great gesture of esteem to them)
We recommend that you bring
- sleeping bag (Minus 8ºC – can be rented at QORIANKA TOURS office for US$20 )
- Sturdy Hiking boots
- Warm clothes and trekking pants. not jeans
- layers for variable temperatures specially at night
- Flash light with extra batteries
- Camera, extra film & batteries
- Sunprotection : sunscreen : sun hat : sunglasses
- Thermals : wool socks : Gloves / scarf and woolen hat for cold nights
- Insect repellent
- Rain poncho : a good rain jacket
- extra plastic bags especially in wet season and plastic garbage bags to line your back pack
- Toiletries / toilet paper / small towel
- Bathing clothes for the hot springs
- Water bottle : water purifying tablets optional
- Personal medical kit with a simple whistle
- Original passport and ISIC student card if applicable
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks
- Trekking poles