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The Salkantay Trek Machu Picchu is the best option for those who wish to be in contact with great Andean nature and visit remote villages less known and seldom visited by tourist. By taking this excursion, visitors will really get off the beating track, avoiding less crowded environments and we will enjoy along the way wonderful landscapes and fine Inca buildings. Without a doubt the trek of Salkantay is the best alternative to reach the great Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, after the famous Inca Trail. Walk back in time and feel the magic of Machu Picchu exploring its temples and don’t leave Machu Picchu without climbing the popular Wayna Picchu Mountain, a gigantic rock that appears in every classic photo of Machu Picchu.
Archaeological, cultural, ecological, hiking and camping
05 Days – 04 Nights
GROUP SERVICE: (2 to 12 people MAX): Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It is recommended for everybody who likes the adventure, families, honeymooners and couples.
PRIVATE SERVICE: All inclusive for families with children, honeymooners and couples. Special trek programme just for you, and you can depart any day you wish and choose the group size, we don’t add any people, is arranged just for you. All private groups include additional services, such as: extra porters, horses to ride and to carry your personal gear (for alternate treks), First class Vistadome train, luxury hotels if required.
We will come to pick you up from your hotels at 04:30 a.m., and then you’ll be conducted for about 3 hours northwest towards the Apurimac Valley, till we reach the little village of Mollepata, located at 2,800 meters above sea level. During the ride, visitors will have the chance to see the sunrise over the Salkantay snow mountain (6,271 masl), an impressive view you will never forget. Once we reached Mollepata zone, hikers will have breakfast and then we will get ready to start this unique journey towards the Lost City of Machu Picchu. The drive will then continue until Challacancha (the starting point of our hike). Here we will meet with our support staff, organize all the equipment, and have introductory meeting. At approximately 9:30am we start our trek to Soraypampa (3900m). After about 3 hours of hiking (9km) we reach our lunch location and the basecamp for the evening. We will have a full lunch and take a break before trekking up to the breathtaking Humantay Lake (4200m). This is an additional 5km hike that will take 3 hours round trip- but trust us, it’s worth it! Once we reach the lake, we can observe the Humantay glacier and the stunning sunset. Soraypampa is located on the middle of the glacier valleys where at night, it is so dark it is a perfect spot to appreciate the constellations and the milky way.
Soon after breakfast, we’ll leave the campsite of Soraypampa and continue our hike. On this day, we will walk up hill for a few hours, seeing along the way the impressive Humantay snow-capped mountain and a beautiful lagoon called Yanacocha. Eventually, we will reach the highest pass of the trail, at 4,600 meters above sea level, located between the Salkantay Mountain and the Tukarhuay Mountain. From this point, we will be able to see the Andean Mountain Range, with a series of glaciers around. Afterwards, we will descend for stopping along the trail for lunch, and later we will continue descending towards Chaullay, an area with a tropical climate, located at 2,850 meters above sea level. At this point, we will pitch again our tents, and afterwards we will have dinner. Overnight in Chaullay.
Early in the morning, our porters will wake you up, and then you will have breakfast. Later, we’ll carry on our hike towards Lluscamayu. The scenery on this section of the trail offers lush vegetation, passing native communities, beautiful waterfalls, agricultural fields of coffee, and some fruits, typical of these regions. After at the place called “La Playa”, where visitors will have some free time to refresh at the shore of the river. Later, we will take a truck that will take us from “La Playa” to Santa Teresa. Overnight at the campsite of Santa Teresa.
After breakfast, we will start with a short walk of approximately one hour till the zone called “La Oroya”, where we will cross the Urubamba River. On the other side of the river, there will be a truck waiting for our group; this truck will take to the hydroelectric station of Machu Picchu modern town, also called “Aguas Calientes” (a town located beneath the ancient Sanctuary of Machu Picchu). At this tropical spot, our group will have lunch, and afterwards we will head to the rail road to wait for the train that will take us to “Aguas Calientes”. This is a popular resting place for those who do the Salkantay Trek, here you may recover in the hotel provided by our agency or go up to relax at the Hot Springs (thus its name “Aguas Calientes”) located on the upper section of the town. “Aguas Calientes” has developed quite well in the last years, thus, today you can find here internet access, bunch of restaurants and pubs, ATM machines and souvenirs shops utterly everywhere. Overnight at the designated hostel at “Aguas Calientes”.
At around 05:30 a.m., soon after breakfast, we will take the local bus that will take us up to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. In a matter of 20 minutes, we will be arrived in Machu Picchu. Once here, our guide will show us the most important sectors of this great Inca City, such as the Intiwatana (Solar Clock), the Sun Temple, the urban sector, the agricultural sector, among others. Machu Picchu stands 2,430 meters above sea level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna. The guided tour in Machu Picchu will last about 2 hours, and afterwards you will have free time to explore the ruins on your own, if you have booked any additional hikes such as Huaynapicchu you will also have the time to hike these. you might climb the Wayna Picchu Mountain, the huge mountain that appears on the background in every classic picture of Machu Picchu.
Finally, you will return to Aguas Calientes, take a train back to Ollantaytambo, and bus back to Cusco. Once in Cusco, we transfer you back to your hotel.
Entrances Tickets to Machu Picchu – Wayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu Mountain are limited, check the availability: www.machupicchu.gob.pe
Please note that you must book and pay a deposit in advance, so we can secure your spots. For high season (May to October, 4-5 months in advance, low season: November to April, 2-3 months in advance). Student price for people under the age of 24, you need to indicate in the comments section of the booking.
Note: Horses will carry the heavy gear; you will hike carrying only your personal pack, sleeping bag and pad.
If you are considering to bring special photography equipment or other heavy accessories, or just simply don’t want to carry anything, please request an additional horse ($95 USD) to carry your personal belongings, this way you will freely enjoy the hike (this is highly recommended if you have never hiked over 10,000 ft.). Chefs will deal with all the kitchen chores.
You just need to remember that you are able to go at a speed that is comfortable for you. Take your time, pace yourself, and enjoy. Lares Trek is considered as a moderate hike; not a technical hike but high altitude may affect some people.
We recommend the use of trekking poles, especially for those passengers with known knee problems. There are multiple times during the trek that trekking poles are handy, be it ascending a mountain or walking along the rough trails.
It’s impossible to predict who will be affected by altitude. Your ability to adapt to high altitude is determined by your genetic makeup and has little to do with fitness or health. Most people will have no problems as long as they take the time to acclimatize properly. A full 2-day trip spent in Cusco (3,399 masl), taking it very easy and drinking plenty of water is enough for some people but if you can arrange to have minimum 2 days in case of any travel disruptions as well then this is what we recommend as there is also so much to do here! The highest point, you will reach while hiking the Lares Trek reaches 4,590 masl on the 2nd day.
We recommend that you purchase a 1.5 – 2liter bottle of water to take with you on the first day. If you are planning to drink from any streams or waterfalls, we strongly suggest you bring water purification tablets or filters. You will also be able to buy water along the way on Day 1, for the first few hours of Day 2, then again on the afternoon of Day 3, 4 and of course at Machu Picchu.
Some people actually like to go during the rainy season because there are fewer tourists but we say please be prepared for wet weather and have suitable clothes and equipment.
You first encounter Machu Picchu as the sun rises over the high mountains encircling it. It is already dawn but this impressive moment of Machu Picchu coming out of the shadows of the looming mountains is awesome.
As long as you book and pay in advance for certain dates in high season it may be necessary to pay 3-4 months in advance, last minute bookings of this trek will possibly miss out on permits in high season so, we can include the Machu Picchu Mountain permit instead, the trail to Wayna Picchu is safe, very steep with use of chains and not recommended for those with vertigo. It is about an hour and a half round-trip. And there are only 2 times during the day, it can be climbed with a sign in and out security system.
FOREIGN OR CAN** UNDER GRADUATED UNIVERSITY STUDENT Student discounts: This discount is made to the Machupicchu Entrance ticket by the Peruvian Government. If you are claiming a student discount you must email us a scanned copy of your Student ID card (containing photo, complete name, college name and expiration date) after proceeding with the booking form. If you cannot provide us with a scanned copy of the card we will charge you the standard adult trek price. Recent Government policy for getting this discount also includes: Student must be under 26 years old, student card expiration date must be no later than one year after the start of your trek, it does not have to be linked to a credit card (e.g. showing Visa, MasterCard, etc.), Graduated student Cards and ISIC cards are not valid. Only Student ID cards with these features are acceptable. You must take the Student ID card with you on the Salkantay Trek as it will be checked. Unfortunately, no other form of student id is acceptable. Child discounts: Children under 16 years old receive the same discount as a student. If you are claiming a child discount you must email us a scanned copy of your child’s passport (page containing photo and date of birth) after proceeding with the booking form. If you cannot provide us with a scan of your child’s passport we will charge you the standard adult trek price for your child.
It is indispensable such as the natural hot springs in “Aguas Calientes” (10 soles), and/or Cocalmayo hot springs in Santa Teresa town and tips for the trekking staff, souvenirs, snacks in Machu Picchu, bottled water, drinks, etc. You should take at least 300 soles as emergency money.
Completely fluent in English. Our guides are also one of the most popular aspects of our tours some of them being historians and archaeologists and all demonstrate a great passion for their culture and heritage.