The Salkantay Camping trek is perfect for those who want a beautiful, less busy, remote region trek and the authentic adventure camping at the end of each day’s walk. The trek has amazing views of Mt Salkantay (6,2711 metres). The trek route takes you along Inca pathways (just not the famous ‘Inca Trail’) ending up at Machu Picchu.
|Day 1||Cuzco – SueroCcocha||Transfer from your Hotel in Cuzco to the beginning of your trek. Hike for 5km today|
|Day 2||SueroCcocha – Collpapampa||Trek for 16km today and cross the Salkantay Pass|
|Day 3||Collpapampa – Playa||Pass through the Santa Teresa Valley today as your hike for 14km|
|Day 4||Playa – Aguas Calientes||
Trek for 11kms on your last day of trekking. Catch the train to Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
|Day 5||Machu Picchu||Explore these fascinating historical ruins known as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’|
Be met early in the morning at your hotel for your transfer to the start of your Salkantay trek. You will be driven across a high plateau, towards South of Cusco crossing the villages of Izuchaca and Ante. Begin your descent along a spectacular trail with plenty of switchbacks into the valley of Limatambo, where you will visit the ruins of Tarawasi, a tiered Inca ceremonial platform featuring some of the most elegant and delicate Inca stonework. Continue up a side road to the attractive highland village of Mollepata (2,950m). A short way beyond here you will reach the meadows of Cruz Pata where you will follow its upper slopes high above the river through shrub land until you cross the rim of Soraypampa and meet the open grasslands of the highland puna, covered in Ichu grass. Here, at 4,000m, cross a broad plateau at the foot of the spectacular snow-capped spire of Humantay (5,910m). The massive ice-covered south face of Salkantay — one of the great peaks of the Andes, at 6,271m — fills the skyline. Here you will meet your trekking crew. Lunch can be enjoyed during this stop or you can walk a little further to Salcantaypampa.
After lunch and a short rest begin the ascent to your campsite in SueroCcoccha. On arrival make an offering to the Apus (Mountain Spirit) and set up your tent. This is the highest spot of your entire trip (4,570m).
After an early breakfast climb gently for about three hours to cross the Salkantay pass and continue on to Huayracmachay, on the west face of Salcantay snowpeak. Here enjoy the landscape whilst eating lunch. After lunch and a short rest follow an Inca trail descending towards your next campsite and observe how vegetation changes as you enter the lush cloud forest.
Set up camp in a meadow at the tiny village of Collpapampa.
After an early morning breakfast if you wish you can descend a footpath to soak in a hot spring pool by the Santa Teresa River. Continue walking along the left side of the valley through the jungle. As you walk along the river side, you will find plenty of vegetation and native birds.
Cross to the north bank of the Santa Teresa and take an undulating path downriver through delightful cloud forest and then coffee plantations, tropical orchards, fields of passion-fruit, papaya and avocado, with towering mountains to either side of you. Along the way you may meet schoolchildren and the mule trains of local farmers as you approach the road at the village of Playa. Here you will set up camp by the schoolhouse and enjoy a dip in the river.
After breakfast begin your last day of trekking. You will be able to see banana, coffee and avocado fields along the way whilst parrots may sing encouragement to you. You will then ascend Q´elloqassa pass (2,875m) where you will have your first glimpse of Machu Picchu, perched on a mountain saddle far to the east. After a short walk arrive to the pre-Inca site called Llactapata, thought to be an important rest stop and roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu. This is an extensive complex of structures that may have been a member of the network of interrelated administrative and ceremonial sites. It probably played an important astronomical function during the solstices and equinoxes.
Take a zig-zagging trail through the forest to reach the Aobamba River, just upstream of its confluence with the Urubamba and stop at Machu Picchu Hydro-electric plant for lunch. After passing a hydro-electric power station and crossing a bridge you will meet the railroad and catch the local train to Aguas Calientes. After an approx. 30 minutes train ride arrive in the little town of Aguas Calientes at the bottom of Machu Picchu Mountain. Make your way to your hotel, a short walk from the train station.
*Note: During the rainy season, the hike up the Llactapata Trail is not 100% guaranteed due to safety concerns. When heavy rains are frequent, this trail becomes very dangerous.
The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is set among lush Andean cloudforest on a private 5-hectare mountainside reserve overlooking the Urubamba River. It has been built as a pueblo (village) of cosy 1 and 2 storey, tile-roofed whitewashed cottages, and to reach their rooms, guests follow stone pathways meandering through gardens, past waterfalls and trees alive with birds and butterflies.
Early this morning travel to Machu Picchu by bus for your guided tour of the ruins. For centuries, Machu Picchu lay undiscovered in the jungle until in 1911, the American historian Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it almost by accident. Although little is known about the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, it is obvious by the quality of the stonework and the abundance of ornamental sites that Machu Picchu must have been an important ceremonial centre. Current regulations have laid out 2 circuit options your tour must follow and your guide will discuss with you which is the better option. Your guided tour will last approx. 2.5 hours and your entry is valid for a total of 4 hours so you will have some free time to explore the ruins on your own.
*Note: Your ticket does not allow re-entry, so all exits of the site are final.
If you have pre-purchased the necessary ticket (must be for the second entry at 10:00) make your way to the entrance to climb Huayna Picchu. You do need to be quite fit to make the Huayna Picchu climb but the views from the top are well worth the effort. The trail up is narrow and very steep, taking between 2-3 hours return, and a climb is not recommended if the trail is wet. You must be at the entry point on time; if you arrive later than your scheduled entry time, the ticket is automatically cancelled and there is no refund. This hike is done on your own – the guide does not accompany you.
After your free time make your way to Tinkuy Restaurant located right next to the famous Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu for a buffet lunch. In the afternoon take the shuttle bus down to the little town of Aguas Calientes at the bottom of the mountain, then walk to the station to board the train to Poroy.
Met on arrival at Poroy railway station, located a few kilometres (approx. 20 minutes) from Cuzco, for transfer to your hotel in Cuzco.
*Note: Itinerary may be subject to change due to local conditions.