This trek perfectly combines cultural and natural beauty. We will enjoy the challenge of the
ecosystem and the magnificent view of the snow-capped Salkantay (6264m/20551f), which is
considered as the most representative mountain of the mountain range of Vilcabamba. The trek
takes us back to the time of the Incas and makes us aware of the
spirits of mountains such as the Tucarhuay or the Humantay
which peak is higher than 5000m (16404 feet).
Salkantay Trek Itinerary:
Code: XA – 12
Altitude: 1950 – 4600 m/6398 – 15092 f
High season: April – November
Duration: 5 days – 4 nights
Level of difficulty: Difficult
At your hotel in Cusco
We will leave Cusco at 4:30am and head towards Marcoccasa (3400m/11154f), passing the village
Mollepata (3000m/9843f). In Marcoccasa we will meet the horsemen and the rest of the group
and start our trek. We start hiking within a magnificent valley, surrounded by the most important
snow-capped mountains such as the Humantay (5217m/17116f) and the Salkantay
(6264m/20551f). Our campsite will be at Soraypampa
Transport time: 3hrs 30 hours
Hiking time: 6 hours
After breakfast we will set off towards the Salkantay Pass (4600m/15092f) which offers an exceptional view of the Salkantay snow-capped (6264m). Thereafter we will descend again and will have time to enjoy the increasing vegetation of the ecosystem. Our campsite will be in Chaullay (3000m/9842ft), amidst the tropical forest.
Climate: warm with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 8-9 hours
The third day is dedicated to the region’s flora and its plantations. After descending to a dimmed forest and enjoying the diversity of species of orchids, bromeliads and many other plants, we will see coffee-, cacao- and fruit-plantations. Moreover, we will have the pleasure to meet local families of Wiñaypoco (2650m/8694f), La Playa (2100m/6890f) and Lucmabamba (2000m/6561ft). Our campsite will be in Lucmabamba. This afternoon you stay in contact with a local rural family from the forest in which you will have the opportunity to witness the cultivation and processing of coffee. Depending on the variety, it takes approximately 3 to 4 years for newly planted coffee trees to begin to bear fruit. The fruit, called the coffee cherry, turns a bright, deep red when it is ripe and ready to be harvested. Due to the botanical characteristics of the coffee tree and the fact that coffee is often grown in mountainous areas, widespread use of mechanical harvesters is not possible and the ripe coffee cherries are usually picked by hand, a labour-intensive and difficult process. We will show and explain to you the complete process from
the tree to the cup of coffee. You will also have the opportunity to ask the locals your own questions about the process of cultivation.
Climate: warm during the day with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 6 hours
Note: According to the group’s wishes it is possible to change the itinerary a bit and visit the hot
springs in Santa Teresa (1830m/6004f) this afternoon at an extra cost.
After breakfast, we will hike up on the Inca trail to the archaeological site of Llactapata at 2650m/8694f (Beautiful scenery for discovering flora and evidence of Inca culture). From here we will have an outstanding view over Machu Picchu Mountain and Vilcanota Canyon). Afterwards we will continue down to Hydroelectric train station (1950m/6398f), where you are able to take the train to Machu Picchu town (2050m/6726f). Overnight in Machu Picchu town.
Climate: warm with some insects
Hiking time: 6 hours
We will leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30am and head for Machu Picchu (2400m/7874f) by tourist bus. We will arrive at the citadel around 6:00am. After a guided tour around the archaeological site, including information about life and culture of the Incas, you will have enough time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (2750m/9022f) on your own. We will leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 2:55pm or at 6:45pm. Until then you will have time to have lunch in one of the nice restaurants. Moreover you can visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax a bit.
Hiking time: 2 hours