Alternative Inka Trail Salkantay - Machu Picchu 5 Days

 

This amazing trek runs beneath the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6.271m/20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes. Your first two days are dominated by the impressive "Apus" of Salkantay and Humantay, as you pass through the high puna landscape. On the third day you descend to the warm cloud forest, to reach Aguas Calientes on the fourth day. The impressive Sacred Inca city of Machupicchu is visited on the last day of the program. This tour is an interesting alternative for those not having found spaces on the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. At times referred to as "the other Inca trail" the Salkantay Trek (or Salkantay Trek),was recently named among the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine is a trek open to everybody, with no limitation on spaces or permits (for the moment).

 

ITINERARY:

 

Day 01:- Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa

You will be collected from your hotel at 5.00am in the morning in a private vehicle, and within two to three hours we will arrive the small village of Mollepata where we will have breakfast and can buy some last minute supplies. From here our private car will ascend to Sayllapata for about 1 hour where we will start to hike. ** please note if you are comparing tours - this is a PRIVATE CAR to Sayllapata, thus decreasing walking time on day one. It also makes the tour more expensive than those companies that offer a public bus to Mollepata.***It is about three hours to Soraypampa where we will have lunch while enjoying views of the mountain peak of Humantay. After lunch we will continue with a hike uphill for 1.5 to 2 hours to our first campsite at Salkantaycocha. Accommodation: Camping Salkantaycocha (5 hours hike to an altitude of 4100m)

 

Day 02:- Soraypampa - Challway

After climbing 2.5 hours on zig zagging switchback up the mountain we will arrive at a glacial moraine where we can appreciate Vizcachas (andean chinchilla) and a very small lake. You finally arrive at the pass which is the highest point of the trip (4,600 metres/13451 feet). Here you will find yourself in the middle of two great mountains - Salkantay (6271m) and Humantay (5850m). Salkantay is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region and at the Pass the mountain itself is very close to you. From here you can also see the mountain Pumasillo (5850m) opposite you, a mountain that can be seen from a different angle when you are at Machu Picchu. We descend to Huayracmachay (or Huayrapampa), approximately 2 hours from the pass, where we will have lunch. After lunch we will continue descending and we can see how the vegetation begins to change from the high andean grasses like the ichu, and we will start to see small shrubs and after we wil enter the high cloud forest and bamboos. We will camp at Challway.

Camping Challway 2850m. (8.5 hours hike to an altitude of 4,600 metres/13451 feet)

 

Day 03:- Challway – La Playa  Sahuayaco o Santa Teresa

We left early from Challway and after our breakfast at 7.00 am passing through COLLCAPAMPA. In this part of the trip will have to walk a narrow path on the mountainside, crossing some species of orchids and different kinds of plants, and some cornfields, fruit fields and we have a chance to see the most beautiful waterfall on the road. After walking for 5 hours and finally reached the beach SAHUAYACO, a place where we mobility  to reach the village of SANTA TERESA town located 1645 meters above sea level, the trip takes only 45 minutes. upon arrival we will build our stores, then take a mobility that will lead us towards the hot springs and medicinal waters, which is just 20 minutes from the village (D, A, C)

 

Day 04:- Santa Teresa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes

You have two options here, depending on your interest and fitness. You should discuss each with your guide. You should also be aware that Salkantay is the second most touristed route in the Salkantay region and ineveitably this means little wilderness camping.

1. Possibly the night before, you can descend from La Playa to Colcalmayu and spend the night in the hot springs there... and in the morning of day four you can then walk to the the impressive Machu Picchu Hydroelectric System where we will have lunch and visit a Inca ruin. After this, we will walk for 2.5 hours more along the train tracks to arrive at the village of Aguas Calientes. Please note that if you want to visit the Colcamayu hot springs the entry fee and the taxi to the springs are not included in your tour as this is an optional activity.

2. On Day 3 you have the choice to continue from your lunch spot at La Playa and continue for 40 minutes to camp at Lucumabamba. Alternatively, on day four you can leave early and climb for about three hours through the jungle before descending to the interesting, but largely covered ruins of Llactapacta. The climb to Llactapata (also known as Patallacta) gains 900m in altitude through the cloud forest to an altitude of 2850mOrginally discovered by Hiram Bingham at the same time that he discovered Machu Picchu, modern day explorers Vincent Lee and Gary Ziegler recently established that these ruins are much bigger and more important than previously thought. From here we have our first view of Machu Picchu, in the saddle of the mountain opposite. We descend for two hours to the impressive Machu Picchu Hydroelectric System where we will have lunch and visit a Inca ruin. After this, we will walk for 2.5 hours more along the train tracks to arrive at the village of Aguas Calientes

With both options (if you are very tired/or sore) you have the option of taking the train from the Hydroelectric system to Machu Picchu, which leaves at 4.30pm and costs $8 per person. (Not included in the price) We do not include the price of this train in your ticket because many people like to walk into Aguas Calientes (the closest you can get to walking to Machu Picchu!) and its also nice to walk along the tracks, looking up at the ruins of Machu Picchu. Other people prefer the train. You need to talk to your guide and decide what is the most appropriate option for you.

A soak in the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes are often the perfect respite for aching muscles!!! A celebratory dinner is included in the price of your tour in Aguas Calientes.

Accommodation: Hostel in Aguas Calientes

 

Day 05:- Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Early in the morning (before dawn) we will take a bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu. (Bus included in price) so that you can appreciate this famous city in the dawn light and before the crowds arrive. You will then have a 2.5 hour guided tour of Machu Picchu with your guide. After your tour you can further explore the ruins by yourself or climb Huayna (Waynapicchu) for that classic photo of Machu Picchu. Please note that new regulations (designed to protect the ruins and for the safety of visitors) mean that there are two entry times to Huayna Picchu - at 7am and 10am, and each time has a limit of 400 enries. Also try to fit in a visit to the Temple of the Moon or Huayna Picchu while visiting Huayna Picchu.

Return to Cusco in the afternoon by the backpacker train (leaves either at 2.30pm or 6pm) and are met by a driver at Ollantaytambo who will transfer you directly back to your hotel. You will arrive in Cusco approximately 4 hours after your train's departure from Aguas Calientes.

 

INCLUDED:

 

• Transport from Cusco to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in private car (Sayllapata)

• Entry fee to Machu Picchu

• Entry fee to Salkantay Trek

• English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 8 people).

• Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.

• Basic foam mattress.

• Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)

• Toilet tent

• Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.

• Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg per person).

• 01 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower

• Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals

• Tents for our staff to sleep

• First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle - but not blister treatments as known in western countries.

• Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco

• Train ticket (Backpacker service) from Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo.

• 01 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in one star hostel.

• Bus up and down to Machu Picchu

• Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes village

• Box lunch final day in Machu Picchu

 

NOT INCLUDED:

 

• Breakfast on the first morning.

• Entrance to the thermal springs

• Sleeping bags (can be hired from us for $ 5 per day) If you haven't got a sleeping bag or you don't want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.

• Tips for the guide, cook and porters

• Additional horses for passenger’s luggage.

 

YOU SHOULD BRING:

 

• A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature

• Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho

• Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.

• Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.

• Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.

• Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)

• Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries

• Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)

• Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold

• Sun block

• After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body

• Insect repellent - minimum recommended 20% DEET

• Toilet paper, pack in & pack out

• Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.

• Non-disposable canteen and water for the first morning.

• We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.

• Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, altitude sickness tablets (if you are taking them) as well as blister treatments. (We only have basic bandaids etc against blister treatment).

• Small towel or sarong

• Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs)

• Cash - sufficient for your final lunch in Aguas Calientes, tips and souvenirs.

• Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.

• Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day)

• Binoculars (if you have them) optional extras we can hire the following.

 

 

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