7 Day Salkantay Adventure

Overview

  • Hike up the Salkantay Pass (4,638m / 15210 fee) and admire the amazing views.
  • Trek the picturesque Salkantay region with dramatic mountain scenery & enjoy 3 hearty meals a day prepared by our chef.
  • Discover the enigmatic ruins of Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive.
  • Undertake a trek through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations, enjoying scenic lunch stops.
  • Journey to the beautiful Sacred Valley and the village of Ollantaytambo.

Arguably the best short trek alternative to the classic Inca Trail. Our Salkantay Trek follows an ancient Inca trail located in the same region as the classic one, where dramatic mountain scenery is complemented with lush subtropical jungle. There are also two very interesting Inca sites on this route one on the drive to the trailhead and another on the last day of the trail. These add a further dimension to this trek which also includes spectacular close up views of Mount Salkantay, regarded by the locals as sacred and certainly one of the most stunning snow peaks in the Peruvian Andes. The highest point on this alternative trek is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638m (15 216 feet) which is slightly higher than the highest point on the classic Inca Trail at Warmihuañusca Pass at 4,200m (13780 feet). Discover the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu before returning to Cuzco.

Itinerary

We leave Cuzco and head to the Chinchero Plateau to explore Chinchero, an important town in Inca times. The most striking remnant of this period is the massive stone wall in the main plaza which has ten trapezoidal niches. There are beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with the Cordillera Urubamba and the snow-capped peak of Salkantay dominating the western horizon. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow.

Visit the salt mines of Maras, a salt-producing center that dates back all the way to pre-Inca times where over 3000 salt pools all carved into the mountain side. Discover Moray’s mysterious concentric circular terraces which, according to some scholars, was an agricultural research center. Enjoy lunch in the Sacred Valley where we can savor dishes made with locally grown produce. After a leisurely lunch we head for our hotel in the valley. The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy the beauty of this famous region.

Meals: B, L, D

Another day in the beautiful Sacred Valley, which follows the course of the famous Urubamba River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River. During our time in the valley we visit its enthralling citadels, fortresses and temple ruins, including the site at Ollantaytambo. The village itself is a fascinating mixture of Inca and colonial architecture. If the weather is good and we have time we can enjoy some short walks in the valley – a good way to prepare for the trek ahead. The evening is spent preparing for the trek at our hotel.

Meals: B, L, D

After an early breakfast we visit the Tarawasi Archaeological Site near the town of Limatambo. Passing through the mountain village of Mollepata, where we stop for coffee, we ascend a winding mountain road to Challacancha (3,870m /12696 feet). Here we will meet our mule drivers and begin our trek to Soraypampa (3,900m / 12795 feet) where we have lunch. Following our meal, we’ll climb to appreciate Humantay Lake (3,869m / 12693 feet)) before heading back down to Soraypampa, which will be the first campsite, and from which we enjoy magnificent views of Salkantay Mountain (6,270m / 20570 feet ), one of the area’s most sacred peaks.

Meals: B, L, D

This is the main day! After an early breakfast, we hike up to the highest point on the trek which is the Salkantay Pass 4,638m (15216 feet). There we will stop to enjoy the amazing views of snow capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range and the glaciated southern face of Salkantay towering above us, where Andean condors often can be seen. From the pass, we descend towards Wayracmachay for lunch and then continue our descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River. Observe the landscape become increasingly green, changing from highland to jungle or cloud forest. Feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids, while arriving at the second camp at Andenes 2,890m (9481 feet).

Meals: B, L, D

Today we will hike along the Santa Teresa River Valley through more populated rural areas. We pass through banana, granadilla, avocado and coffee plantations. A hot picnic lunch is served along the way. After lunch, we hike for about 2 hours before a private vehicle meets us for a short drive to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail (30 min approx). From the head of the newly restored Inca Trail, we easily make our way to the last campsite at Lucmabamba. In the evening we try some of the local coffee with our host, a local family. Dinner will be served and then we spend the night in the camp.

Meals: B, L, D

After breakfast, we will head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass 2,735m (8973 feet) and descend to the archaeological complex of the same name. Enjoy a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers get the chance to admire. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out toward Machu Picchu. Later, we begin the final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Finally, we will get to the Hydroelectric Power Station to board the train to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night.

Meals: B, L

After an early breakfast, we make our way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu. The guided tour of the sanctuary lasts 2 hours and, at the end, you will have another 2 hours in the company of the guide to explore this fascinating site. In the afternoon or early evening we depart from Machu Picchu for the train ride to Ollantaytambo where we transfer to our vehicle for the drive back to Cuzco where the trip concludes. Note: depending on train schedules, we may arrive into Cuzco very late at night.

Meals: B, L

Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners.
  • Pick up from Cuzco hotel on day 1.
  • Expert bilingual guide for each section.
  • Comfortable and central hotels.
  • Private internal transportation.
  • Use of a gear pack including a fiber-filled sleeping bag.
  • Group camping equipment.
  • Mules to carry equipment and personal gear.
  • Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed (including Machu Picchu entrance fee)
  • International and domestic flights and taxes.
  • Gratuities.
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)

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from

$1650


Duration

7 Days


Activities

4 Days trek


Accommodations

3 nights hotel
3 nights camping

Meals

6 Dinners
7 Lunchs
7 Breakfasts

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