Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

 Day 01: Embark on the Salkantay Trek with a hotel pick-up around 4:30 am, heading to the trailhead for a scenic drive lasting 3 hours. Arrive around 8:30 am and relish a hearty breakfast prepared by our chef before meeting our dedicated team of porters and horsemen to commence your Salkantay experience!

The journey kicks off with a 3-hour hike to Soraypampa (3600 m/11811 ft), tracing the path of an ancient Inca aqueduct. Lunch awaits at Soraypampa, featuring delectable dishes crafted from local ingredients by our skilled chef.

Afterward, embark on a 2-hour ascent to the breathtaking Humantay glacial lake (4200 m/13779 ft). Take in the stunning turquoise waters and surrounding vistas, then trek another 2 hours to reach our first campsite nestled at the base of Salkantay Mountain. Along the way, encounter diverse flora and fauna, including Andean geese, deer, and vizcachas.

Settle into our campsite at Salkantay Pampa (3900 m/12795 ft), offering uninterrupted views of Salkantay Mountain and a mesmerizing night sky. Enjoy dinner, marvel at the stars, and drift off to sleep amidst nature’s grandeur.

Campsite Altitude: 3900 m/12795 ft
Highest Altitude: 4200 m/13779 ft
Distance: 12 km/7.4 miles
Duration: 6 hours

Day 02: Rise and shine to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or coca tea, gazing upon the majestic snow-covered peaks. Following breakfast, embark on a two-hour ascent to the apex of the Salkantay Trek, reaching 4630 m (15190 ft) above sea level. Take a moment to explore and soak in the beauty, perhaps even visiting a serene lake nestled beneath Salkantay Mountain. Descend for three hours to Wayracmachay (3900 m/12795 ft) for a well-deserved lunch, where you may catch a glimpse of the elusive Vizcachas, unique to Peru.

After replenishing your energy, prepare for the final leg of the day: a three-hour descent from the highlands’ dry, chilly air to the warm, humid embrace of the cloud forest. It’s a swift and dramatic transition in both temperature and scenery. Set up camp near Collpapampa village at 2770m (9087ft).

Campsite Altitude: 2770 m / 9087 ft
Highest Altitude: 4630 m / 15190 ft
Distance: 18 km / 11.1 miles
Duration: 9 hours

Day 03: Experience the tranquility of village life while marveling at the mountain scenery you’ve left behind. Following a hearty breakfast, gear up for the highlight of your journey to Machu Picchu: a picturesque hike through rugged terrain, passing by quaint wooden bridges, cascading waterfalls, and lush fruit plantations until you reach Lucmabamba (2000 m/6600 ft) for a delightful lunch.

Today’s meal is no ordinary affair; it’s a Pachamanca Barbecue, a time-honored tradition involving an underground stone barbecue. After burying the ingredients, you’ll visit organic coffee farms and brew your cup. Following a 45-minute cooking session, savor a variety of local delicacies like cuy (Guinea pig), assorted potatoes, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Once refueled, embark on a final 3-hour ascent along the ancient Inca Trail to Llaqtapata, a historic citadel perched atop a mountain at 2750m (9022ft), offering a distant glimpse of Machu Picchu. Set up camp with Machu Picchu in sight, anticipating the breathtaking sunrise and sunset, weather permitting.

Camp Altitude: 2,750 m / 9022ft
Distance: 16 km / 9.9 miles
Hiking Duration: 6 hours
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Day 04: Unfurl your tent to reveal Machu Picchu perched on a distant peak, as your trekking companions offer steaming cups of coffee or coca tea. Following breakfast, enjoy a leisurely two-hour descent to the hydroelectric station for a final brunch prepared by our trekking chef. Bid farewell and embark on the concluding leg of the Salkantay TreXperience toward Aguas Calientes.

This segment entails a three-hour hike along the railway, tracing the Urubamba River upstream and brimming with historical significance. Pause at the Mandor Botanical Gardens, once explored by Hiram Bingham alongside a local farmer named Arteaga, who led the first American expedition to Machu Picchu in 1911. Explore Arteaga’s farm, teeming with endemic birdlife and vibrant orchids. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, settle into your hotel, refresh with a shower, and venture out to explore the city and its soothing hot springs. As evening falls, indulge in a delightful dinner at a local eatery while strategizing for the pivotal day ahead on the Salkantay trek.

Aguas Calientes: 2,000 m/ 6561 ft
Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles
Duration: 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Day 05: Embark on the pinnacle of the Salkantay journey today as we explore Machu Picchu, a marvel abandoned by the ancient Inca Empire. Rise early, dine, and board the first buses to witness the sunrise. Your guide will unravel the city’s mysteries as you tour its temples and plazas. Afterward, wander freely or opt to climb Huayna Picchu or Montaña. Returning to Aguas Calientes, enjoy lunch before departing on our panoramic train journey to Ollantaytambo, then back to Cusco in our private van. TreXperience Team ensures your safe return home by 7:30 PM.

Tour Duration: 3 – 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy

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