Discovering the Ancient Path Salkantay Trek Adventure
The Salkantay Trek is considered the best alternative route to Machu Picchu. After the Inca Trail, it will take you to explore the most fascinating landscapes in the high Andes mountains, the stunning Humantay Lake, and the powerful Salkantay mountain, which is the second highest snow peak in Cusco. Then hike to Machu Picchu through the spectacular cloud forest with different local cultures. Learn the history of the Inca by visiting some archaeological sites along the way. Taste the most incredible Peruvian food prepared by our professional chef with organic ingredients, and explore Machu Picchu, the iconic Inca building, on the final day.
Day 1. Cusco – Mollepata – Challacancha – Soraypampa -Humantay Lake
The adventure in the Andes will begin in Cusco with the pick-up from your hotel in our private van, then we will drive to Mollepata town for about 2:30 hours. Here we will have a short stop to purchase the last items that you could need in this trek, and you will also have the chance to take your breakfast at some restaurant.
We continue our drive to Challacancha, 3,800 meters (12,467 feet), where our hike starts. We will meet with our trekking team and pack all the items.
The hike starts ascending gradually to reach the Inca water channel, where we’ll hike quite flat following this channel until Soraypampa, 3,900 meters (12,795 feet). Here we have our lunch and the camp. You will have incredible views of Humantay Mountain and see how the clouds move as the snow peak appears.
After lunch, we’ll have the option to hike towards the Humantay Lake; it takes about 2–20 hours round trip. From Soraypampa, the path goes up with pretty views on the way. You can see how the green valley behind it was formed by glacier erosion. Once you reach the lake, you’ll be amazed by its turquoise color, which reflects the blue sky of the Andes. At the top is the Humantay mountain, which milts the glacier water to create one of the most incredible views in the Andes.
Then, you descend the same way back to the camp, where our team will be waiting with the hot tea, followed by the delicious dinner.
Day 2. Soraypampa – Salkantaypampa – Salkantay Pass – Wayracmachay – Chaullay
This is the most challenging day on the Salkantay Trek. Our team will wake you up with a hot Coca tea, and enjoy the incredible Andean breakfast prepared by our chef. The hike will start ascending gradually through the path that follows the valley; it will take around 3 hours to reach the pass.
You’ll see how the Salkantay mountain appears at the end of the valley. You’ll reach Salkantaypampa, where you can rest and enjoy the breathtaking views around.
The hike continues, going up a switchback trail until Soyrococha, which is the next resting point. Finally, the last section to reach the pass begins, with some of the most spectacular views of the Apu Salkantay that emerge between the clouds, and you’ll see how incredible this mountain is.
Once you reach the Salkantay Trek at 4,630 meters (15,190 feet), you’ll have a well-deserved rest while enjoying the views around you. Your guide will do some offering to the apus with some coca leaves; definitely you’ll participate in it.
Then, the path starts descending along the valley to reach Wayracmachay, where you will have lunch. In the afternoon, we continue descending towards the cloud forest. You’ll see how the landscape changes from the high, dry mountain to the lush green forest.
Finally, after hiking down for a couple hours, we will arrive at Chaullay Camp, 2,900 meters (9,514 feet).
Day 3. Chaullay – La Playa – Lucmabamba
Today, we’ll explore the high-cloud forest jungle. After a delicious breakfast, we will start descending through the path that goes into the forest. You’ll see some incredible views of the valley and canyons. This day we’ll learn about the biodiversity of the area, the flora and fauna that can be found along the way. You’ll pass some clear rivers, waterfalls, and different local farms where they are growing avocados, coffee, papayas, grenadine, coca, and more plantations.
After lunch, your guide will show you all the processes involved in how the locals produce organic coffee. You’ll make your own coffee and taste it.
Then, we will drive to Lucmabamba, 2,000 meters (6,579 feet), where our campsite is located. In the afternoon, you can drive to the hot springs of Santa Teresa and relax while enjoying the views around you.
Have dinner at the campsite and spend the night.
Day 4. Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
We will wake up with a fantastic view and enjoy our organic breakfast. This day we are getting the first view of Machu Picchu. We’ll begin our hike through the original Inca Trail, which still preserves its originality. Your guide will explain to you all the history and how important this section of the Inca Trail was.
The trail will transport you through the incredible scenery with stunning views of the Santa Teresa Valley, and while you are ascending, the views turn better. Then you’ll reach the famous Inca site of Llactapata, 2,700 meters (8,858 ft), where you can get the first view of Machu Picchu in front of you.
Your guide will tell you the history of this site. After a rest, we will be hiking down to Hidroelectrica on a switchback trail. We will have our lunch in Hidrolectrica and continue hiking along the Urubamba river by following the railway, which offers different views. You will also see parts of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountain.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is located in the Peruvian Andes, close to the rain forest area, in the region of Cusco, Peru. It starts at km 82 of the railway to Aguas Calientes and gets to the most iconic Inca site, Machu Picchu.
After a couple hours of hiking, we’ll arrive in Aguas Calientes town, 2,040 meters (6,693 feet) from where we have the hotel. Your guide will accommodate you at the hotel, and you can rest or walk in this beautiful town. Around 6:30 p.m., you will enjoy dinner in a restaurant. Your guide will tell you all the details about the next day, which is the most important day in
Day 5. Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
In order to avoid the crowds and enjoy as much as possible of Machu Picchu, we will wake up early, have breakfast at the hotel, and walk to board the bus to Machu Picchu. At the main checkpoint, you need to show your passport and your entrance ticket, and then your guide will take you directly to the classic spot where you can take postcard photos. You’ll also enjoy the sunrise before the crowds arrive.
Once you have done with all the photos, we will explain the history of Machu Picchu and go to explore the most important temples. Then the tour will end at the exit of Machu Picchu.
If you booked some tickets for Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, the guide will show you how to get there.
You can hike down to Aguas Calientes and have lunch at some restaurants. In the afternoon, you’ll board the train that is going back to Ollantaytambo, followed by a bus drive to Cusco.