An alternative to the traditional Inca trail trek, Salkantay trekking is a new route that takes you through fantastic landscapes, until you reach the unique Inca city of Machu Picchu.
This route, which was recently highlighted by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine as one of the best 25 trekking routes in the world, is marked by the impressive Mt. Salkantay, one of the biggest mountains of the Peruvian Andes.
You will go through different landscapes, starting at dry high altitude Andean plateau, and going down to mountain rainforest before reaching Aguas Calientes, the small town at the foot of Machu Picchu.
Before starting the trekking in itself, the program includes a couple of days to discover the fascinating city of Cusco and the hidden jewels of the Sacred Valley
Day 1: Arrival to Cuscco
Arrive in Cusco Peru (elev. 10,000’) transfer to the hotel. After you settle in, relax at the hotel or take a tour of the ruins around the city. Before dinner we will have a welcome briefing and gear check to make sure everyone is prepared for our adventure. That evening we will have a guided walk through Cusco on the way to dinner and enjoy the evening lights and energy of this amazing city.
Day 2: Sacred Valley Tour
Today we will load our tour bus and head out for the day. Our local tour guide will tell us about the sacred valley along the way. We will spend the day exploring the towns, markets and ruins scattered about the valley. This is a very colorful way to start to learn about the history and local culture of the Incas and Peruvian lifestyle.
Day 3: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa
The Salkantay trek starts with the transfer from your hotel in cusco. It starts at 05:00 by bus, and drive to Mollepata (only town in salkantay hike) approximately 2 hours and a half drive, site where salkantay trek starts. After breakfast the trek starts by ascending walking towards Cruzpata (3200 masl) along a slight climb there is appreciated various plants, native birds, and a communitarian irrigation canal. Sayllapata is the place for lunch a nice look out im this salkantay trek, after lunch we depart around 2:00 p.m in the direction to Soraypampa by a climbing trail with many level variations the salkantay trek, shows little settlements, flora, small wild birds and spectacular views of the Humantay snow peak (5902 masl), the salkantay trek in this part takes about 4 hours where Salkantay mount is possible to see. Notice this is the only cold camp site of the salkantay trek, salkantay to machu picchu.
Day 4: Soraypampa – Abra Salkantay – Andenes
Today we will trek over a 15,000’ mountain pass. This is the highest point of our journey. After an early start we hike up the Rio Blanco Valley. At the pass we stop to take in the views of the snow-capped peaks of the Valcabamba Range in every direction, the south face of the Salkantay towering above us.
This day the views are stunning. We will work our way up and take a break on the pass. Afterwards we will enjoy a hot lunch the descend down to our camp at 12,600’
Hiking time 4 – 6 hours. Total excursion time 5 -7 hours. Hiking level moderate to challenging: 15,000’ mountain pass. Horseback support available for anyone who needs assistance.
Day 5: Andenes – Santa Teresa or Hot Spring
Following our long day we enjoy a leisurely breakfast. We then begin our hike downhill above the Salkantay River.
* Hiking time 3-4 hours. Hiking level moderate
Day 6: Hot Spring – Hidroeletrica – Aguas Calientes
After breakfast, we re-start our salkantay hike at early morning at around 06.00 hrs if we decide the panoramic walking option means we will have our salkantay hike hard section, about 3.5 hrs of extreme trek takes us to summit llactapata, an inca site, in this part the salkantay hike gives opportunity to see from a far way the view of machu picchu, then a large switch-back trail takes down to river bank, in about 7 hours total walking we get hydroelectric, place for lunch and take local trail to arrive in aguas calientes at around 8.00 pm, the other option of the salkantay hike in this day is to take a minivan and drive to hydro electric, place to start walking by a trail next to train tracks, it is an easy and nice walk for about 3 hours, still possibility to see machu picchu form the back site, early arrival to aguas calientes and take shower and relax for the last final day. It can be full day walk or half day walk of the salkantay.
Day 7: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Wake up at around 4.30 am and bus ride to machu picchu, where we’ll have a complete guided tour. The visit to the Inca citadel will take approximately 2 hours. After guiding, if you got the ticket for huayna picchu Mountain you can climb up, to experience an spectacular view of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surrounds it, visit the temple of the moon, or the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes from where we take the train back to Cusco. Where finally our salkantay hike ends.
Please contact me if you are interested in doing this trekking in Peru!