Highlight: Machu Picchu, incredible mountain landscape, passes to the high mountains, quiet trails, Salcantay mountain, towns in the area, Llactapata
Unforgettable hike thought that the sacred mountain of Salcantay
This incredible hike runs below Salcantay Mountain (6271m / 20569ft) where massive snow capped mountains collide with lush tropical forests, passing Quechua communities and lesser known Inca ruins, finally reaching Aguas Calientes on the third day. . This itinerary is an interesting alternative for those who do not have spaces that are on the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. Salcantay Mountain is the highest peak in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, part of the Peruvian Andes.
Cusco Airport Transfer
Pick up from the hotel at 5:00 am in a private transport and start a scenic morning at our starting point on the Soraypampa trek. The path climbs a tourist circuit along the right bank of the Apurímac River and crosses the town of Mollepata (2800m / 9184ft) and Cruzpata to finally reach Soraypampa (3800m / 12464ft), the starting point of the trek. We start our hike towards the base of Mount Salcantay, crossing Salcantaypampa, and then begin a 2 hrs steep climb to Soyroccocha, right next to the impressive Salkantay glacier. Continuing uphill, we reach the highest point of the Abra Huayracmachay trek (4525m / 14846ft). From this point, we begin to descend towards the so-called cloud forest. Along the route, we can see the remains of an ancient Inca trail, which is approximately 6 meters wide. We arrive at our campsite Huayracmachay (3,850m / 12628ft). Cabins
• Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Breakfast; We will continue our walk with an easy descent on foot along the Salcantay River, enjoying the increasingly abundant vegetation, passing through waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. The arid highland landscape begins to transform into a cloud forest full of trees and bromeliads. After 3 hours we reached the Chaullay settlement, and after an hour and a half, we passed the town of Colpapampa. From Colpapampa, the Salkantay River becomes the Santa Teresa River. After a rest, we continue our descent to the banks of the Totora River, where we can enjoy a delicious bath in the thermo-medicinal waters. Following the Santa Teresa river, we pass the waterfalls in Coripacchi, the settlement in Wiñaypoko and finally we arrive at Lucmabamba (2,100 m / 6888ft) camping. Cabins
• Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
After breakfast, walk to Llactapata on the way we can see banana, coffee and avocado plantations, as well as the exuberant local flora. We enter Andean-bear territory and we will probably accompany flocks of parrots as we descend. We cross the river and begin to climb for 2-3 hours to the Abra Q’elloqasa (2860m / 9381ft) from where we have an exceptional view of Machu Picchu. We enjoy incredible view from Llaqtapata (2650m / 8692ft) from where we can see both Machu Picchu and Salkantay, enjoying the added value of the Llactapata archaeological zone, which have been recently restored. A 2-hour descent towards the Aobamba River crossing lush bamboo forests and more orchards and coffee plantations takes us to the Hydroelectric Plant from where we will board the train that takes us to Aguas Calientes (40 minutes by train)
We will spend the night in Aguas Calientes hotel
• Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Breakfast at the hotel; Full day excursion to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes, early transfer at 5:30 am to the bus stop for the short trip (25 minutes) to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, you will participate in a guided tour of the Citadel, visiting the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Solar Clock (the most important preserved Intihuatana), the royal rooms, the Temple of the Three Windows, houses, warehouses, a large central square; and all connected by narrow roads and passes that are surrounded by terraces carved into the mountainside. After the tour you will have time to wander around the archaeological site at your leisure.
Then, you will have time to do any of the following activities by yourself (not included in the price):
1. Ascent to Wayna Picchu; For the more adventurous, we suggest you climb the Wayna Picchu from where you can appreciate the immensity of Machu Picchu, being even more surprisingly high and distant.
Train back to Cusco: In the afternoon you will return to the Aguas Calientes train station for the return trip to Cusco – departure of the train to Cusco; upon arrival at the reception and transfer to the Hotel Cusco
• Food: Breakfast