FIRST SALKANTAY TREK DAY: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SAYLLAPATA – SORAYPAMPA (3,800 M/12,500 FT)
After an early breakfast, we will come to pick you up at 6:00 am at your hotel in Cusco by your salkantay guide and an drive to mollepata but before we take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hrs from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where we stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called sayllapata (1 hour from Mollepata by van).
Here, we will begin our trek to Soraypampa, on an old route called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for guests to acclimate and enjoy a mild & beautiful 4 hour trek on their first day. (Hiking level: moderate the “Salkantay”) the 2 nd most sacred mountain in Inca mythology and, at 20,600 ft (6,270 m), the highest in the region.soraypampa is where we camp the first night
SECOND SALKANTAY TREK DAY: SORAYPAMPA – HUMANTAY SNOW MOUNTAIN – SALKANTAYPAMPA
This day is spent at leisure for rest or activities, depending upon guests’ level of acclimatization. The most popular activity at Soraypampa is a half-day hike
(3-4 hours. Hiking level: moderate to challenging) to a glacial lake of Humantay where the more adventurous might take a very short swim! This activity is excellent for acclimatization and a first immersion into high-mountain trekking! In the afternoon after ou lunch we keep going 2 more hours to get salkantay pampa where we camp seconda night with a nice view of salkantay snow capped mountain.
THIRD SALKANTAY TREK DAY: SALKANTAY PAMPA HUAYRACCMACHAY (3,850M/12,600 FT) DAY
This is the big day: the start of the four-day trek to Machu Picchu. After an early start we will hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from the Salkantay. The highest point on the trek is a pass at 4,600 m (15,000 ft). At the pass we stop to take in views of snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the south face of Salkantay towering above us. We will keep our eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass we continue our descent toward the HUAYRACMACHAY or HUAYRACPAMPA (“Wayra”: wind; ‘the place where the wind lives’)
FOURTH SALKANTAY TREK DAY: HUAYRACCMACHAY – COLLPAPAMPA(2,800M/9,200 FT)
Following the long first day we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra campsite. We then begin our trek by hiking downhill above the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. Our arrival at the next lodge encounters a “Pachamanca”-style lunch (subject to availability; traditional underground stone cooking). The Colpapampa campsite is located in an open promontory at the confluence of three rivers
FIFTH SALKANTAY TREK DAY :COLLPAPAMPA – LUCMABAMBA (2,100M/6,900 FT).
After an early breakfast we head down the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas with coffee plantations (said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world!), bananas, ‘granadillas’, and orchards. We stop along the river for a hot picnic lunch. After another hour of trekking a private local bus arrives to take us to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail” (30-minute drive). From the head of the trail it is a short climb (30 min.) to the Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. We arrive in time to allow for exploration of the small village of Lucmabamba and possible meeting with members of the local community.
SIXTH SALKANTAY DAY :LUCMABAMBA LLACTAPATA HYDROELECTRIC TRAIN STATION – AGUAS CALIENTES (1,900 M/6,200 FT). DAY
After an early start and a hearty breakfast, we tackle the last day of our trek. We head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata pass (2,700 m/8,900ft), where we come upon a distant but quite special view of Machu Picchu from the southwest, a view few tourists ever glimpse; an added value are the Llactapata quechuan site, which have recently been restored. Lunch is provided at the observatory, in view of Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests and more orchards and coffee plantations (2-3 hour descent). then after lunch we will walk for 2 and half hours from Hydroelectrica to Aguas calientes and do overnight in aguas calientes town.
SEVENTH SALKANTAY TREK DAY: MACHU PICCHU(2,450M/8,000 FT) BACK TO OLLANTAYTAMBO AND CUSCO
We wake up early to have breakfast at the hotel and then make our way up by foot or by bus for the ride up to Machu Picchu (30 min). A complete guided tour of Machu Picchu will be provided (2 hours). Guests will have about 4 additional hours to explore the site on their own (there is a lot to do and see). Afterwards, we will return by walking down or by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch and to go to the train station for the afternoon departure. The train takes us to Ollantaytambo (1½ hrs), where a private van will be waiting for you to take us to Cusco (1 ½ hrs). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 10 pm) we will drop guests off at the hotel of their choice.