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), 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 higher than 5000 meters (16404 feet).
Salkantay and Machupicchu Itinerary:
1st Day: Cusco - Mollepata (Marcoccasa) – Salkantay Pampa
We will leave Cusco at 5:00 am and head forwards 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. From Marcoccasa we start hiking into a magnificent valley surrounded by impressive snow-capped mountains, such as the Humantay (5217m/17116f) and the Salkantay snow-covered (6264m/20551f). Our campsite will be at Salkantay pampa (3900m/12795f).
Transporting time: 3hrs 30
Climate: moderate and cold during the night
Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours
2nd Day: Salkantay Pampa – Salkantay Pass – Challway
After breakfast, we will set off towards the Salkantay pass (4600m/15092f) which offers an exceptional view of the snow-capped Salkantay (6264m). Thereafter, we will descend again and will have time to enjoy the increasing vegetation of the ecosystem. Our camp site for this day will be in Challway, in the middle of the tropical forest.
Hiking time: 7 hours
Transporting time: 1hr 30
OptionalThe hot springs nearby Collpapampa community is optional and it can be arranged with an extra cost.
3rd Day: Challway – Wiñaypoco – La Playa - Lucmabamba
This day is a perfect day to stay in contact with the local flora and its plantations. We will descent further to see the marvelous plantations of coffee, cacao and fruit. The way to this plantations lies in a beautiful forest, dominated by orchids, bromelias and other plants. Here we will also meet the local families, in Wiñaypoco (2650m/8694f) and La Playa (2100m/6890f).
Even more interaction with the local people we will have in Lucmabamba, where we will learn how the local people harvest their crops such as coffee and cacao. 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.
4th Day: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes Town
Early in the morning we will visit the archaeological complex of Llactapata (2650m/8694f) which is located in the midst of a marvelous forest. Here we have the time to enjoy the magnificent view over Machupicchu and take a lot of pictures. Hereafter we head towards the hydroelectrical station (1950m/6398f) where we will take the train to Aguas Calientes Town. In this town we will enjoy our lunch and have a good rest because tomorrow we have to get up early.
5th Day: Aguas Calientes Town – Machupicchu – Cusco
We will leave our hotel early in the morning to go to Machupicchu by tourist bus. In Machupicchu, we will have a guided visit of aprox. 2 hours whereafter you will have the time to visit the site at your own pace, as well as Wayna Picchu (additionial). After the visit of Machupicchu, you can go back to Aguas Calientes, where you can rest in the hot springs (additional cost of s./ 10). From here we have a train at 2pm and at 6pm to Cusco.
What do I need to bring?
Backpack with rain shelter, sleeping back, clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket, rain trousers and lightweight trousers, trekking shoes, slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs), woolen or synthetic socks, a sweater, long- and short-sleeved polo's/t-shirts, a rain poncho, a hat, bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes), sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and gel, water bottle and sterilizing tablets, toiletries and toilet paper, photo camera (wrapped in plastic bag), a flash light and batteries, some snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruit, original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money in soles.
Note: Since the weather can be very cold and misty, your clothes - once gotten wet - won't dry at night. So take some clothes to change.
What do I need to bring?
- - Backpack with rain shelter.
- - Sleeping back.
- - Clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket.
- - Rain pants and lightweight pants.
- - Trekking shoes.
- - Slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs).
- - Woolen or synthetic socksand a sweater.
- - Long- and short-sleeved polo's/T-Shirts.
- - Rainponcho and a hat.
- - Bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes).
- - Sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and gel, water bottle and sterilizing
- - tablets, toiletries and toilet paper.
- - Camera (wrapped in plastic bag), a flash light and batteries.
- - Some snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruit.
- - Original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money in soles.
- - Since the weather can be very cold and moistly, your clothes - once gotten wet - won't
- - dry at night. So take some clothes to change.
- - Transport
- - Private transfer from your hotel in Cusco to km 82.
- - Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Poroy)/or Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco.
- - Bus going downhill from Machupicchu to Aguas Calientes where the train station is
- - situated Transfer from the train station in Cusco to your hotel in Cusco.
- - Entrance fees to the Inca trail and Machupicchu.
- - Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English).
- - Camping equipment (professional two-persons tents: Doite, model Cima 4, extra light/4kg,
- - Doite, model Kailas 3, extra light/4.5kg and Doite, model Himalaya, extra light/4.5kg;
- - sleeping mats, dining tent equipped with a table and chairs, a sanitary tent).
- - Cook, cooking equipment, meals (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners). Food includes pancakes, omelettes, soups, fresh fruit and spaghetti, chicken, fish, meat and rice, all rich in carbohydrates and very suitable for trekking, hot drinks including coca leafs tea which is excellent for the altitude.
- - Tea and snack time everyday (tea, coffee, wantan, popcorn, cracker).
- - Porters to carry the main luggage (all the equipment and cooking stock).
- - First-aid kit and oxygen bottle.
- - Porters to carry the mattress and sleeping bag.
- * Breakfast on day first and lunch on the last day in Machupicchu town
- * Tourist Bus from Machupicchu to Machupicchu town (After Machupicchu guiding you can discover more about Machupicchu park then on the way back to Aguas Calientes or Machupicchu town you can do it hiking otherwise you can take a bus at an extra cost $ 10.00 per person)
- * Sleeping bag (If you don't have a sleeping bag, there is the possibility of renting a good quality – 10° for $ 6.00 per day).