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Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu – 4/5 days


Cost: $ 650 AUD
Flights: no flights included
Duration: 4/5 days
Departure: daily
Location: Cusco, villages in the Andes, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu

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Tour Description

The alternative trekking route to the seventh wonder of the world, Machu Picchu, is via Salkantay. Its huge advantage is that it is not sold out months in advance. This 5-day-long adventure starts not far from Cusco. The Salkantay Trek is an ancient and remote footpath located in the same region as the Inca Trail where massive snowcapped mountains collide with lush tropical rain forests. The trek offers the solitude and quiet contemplation such a sacred path deserves.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Soray Pampa (L, D)
Your 5-day-long trek to Machu Picchu starts today. A 4-hour ride will take you through beautiful landscape until you arrive at the Andean town of Mollepata and Soraypampa where you will enjoy breakfast. Then we will continue our journey to the trail head in Soray. We start a gentle hike at the head of the valley and then we cross to the left bank of a stream. The trail goes steeply uphill and comes to a series of zig-zags with breathtakingly amazing views of Salcantay and Umantay. Continuing to the top a little bit more before the route drops gently down to the small lake Soirococha where we stop for lunch. After about 4 hours you will reach the highest pass (4750m) from which you will get a spectacular view of the snowy peaks of the Andes, and sacred peaks of Salkantay and Umantay. Your efforts pay off at this very moment. A short descend and you arrive at the Huayraimachay campground, dinner will be ready waiting for you.

Day 2 - Huaracmachay/Winaypoco (B, L, D)
After an early breakfast, we will leave the beautiful pyramid shaped peak of Humantay behind as we drop below the tree line and we enter then tropical cloud forest and discover its lush vegetation of wild orchids, bromelias and other flowers. After 4 hours of heading down we arrive in the tiny settlement of Collpapampa where you can take a bath at the natural hot springs before going down to Winaypoco campsite located along the Santa Teresa River.

Day 3 - Winaypoco/Llactapata (B, L, D)
After breakfast the trail continues down the valley into tall trees forests and bamboo groves, providing some birdwatching opportunities. Get ready for flocks of colorful tropical birds. As the temperature rises you can enjoy a bath in the local cascades. You will be surrounded today by begonias, purple orchids and wild strawberries lying on the paths. After lunch we cross the Santa Teresa River to start a difficult climb to Aobamba pass (2700m). Afterwards a short descend from the pass to Llactapata follows where we can observe the sunset.

Day 4 – Llactapata/ Aguas Calientes (B, L, D)
The vegetation around is getting thicker and there are again some excellent birdwatching opportunities. We will reach a hydroelectric power-station from where we follow the rail tracks heading up the Urubamba valley to our last camp site Puente Ruinas lying by Aguas Calientes villages.

Day 5 - Aguas Calientes/Machupicchu (B, L)
After an early breakfast you will take a short bus ride up to Machupicchu. We will enter the site really early and enjoy the time without crowds of tourists. There will be plenty of time for visiting and exploring the archaeological sites and those who are not at the end of their tether can climb up to Huaynapicchu before heading down to Aguas Calientes to board the train back to Cusco. The adventure draws to an end on arrival to Cusco.

Package Inclusions

All meals during the trek (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner); Transportation by bus to Mollepata, where the trek begins; Entrance fees and entrance ticket to Machu Picchu; Professional English speaking tour guide; Equipment (tent, sleeping pad, dining and cooking tents and cooking equipment; Toilet tent; First-aid kit; Emergency oxygen bottle); Trained cook, load bearer and horseman; All campground fees and accommodation in Aquas Calientes; Bus ticket to Machu Picchu on Day 5; Train ticket back to Cusco.

Package Exclusions

Dinner last day; Bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes 7 USD; Tips; Insurance; Personal expenses; International and domestic flight tickets, sleeping bag.

Supplements

Hotel in Cusco - contact us for details

First class train transport – Vistadome - upgrade

Personal porter

Note

Average fitness required.

Best time to go April – November. An ideal alternative to Inca Trail.


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