ALTERNATIVE INKA TRAIL SALKANTAY - MACHU PICCHU 4 Days / 3 Nights

 

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 Huamantay, 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 Salcantay 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). If yIf you are strong, outdoors experienced people you might be interested in our 'Expreso Salkantay' version which means that you can do the trek in three days and spend the fourth day in Machu Picchu. (Effectively its 4 day/3 nights and makes an excellent Inca Trail alernative trek.

 

ITINERARY:

 

Day 01:- Cusco Soraypampa – Huayrac.

You should have breakfast in your hotel prior to departure or take with you snacks. We will collect you at 5.00am (approximately) from your hotel and take private transport to the village of Mollepata (2.5 hours) where we will have breakfast/ or a snack (not included) and have a look around the village. This is the traditional starting point for the Salkantay trek. We also suggest if you want to buy last minute supplies you can do so in Mollepata, thus supporting the local economy. We continue in our vehicle for 1.5 hours more to Soraypampa. From here we climb gently for about three hours to Salkantaycocha. We have lunch very close to Salkantay mountain and glaciers. After lunch and a rest we continue to climb steeply to the Salkantay pass where we will make small offerings to the apus (mountain spirits). This is the highest point of the trip (4,600 metres/13451 feet). From here we descend for 2 to 3 hours to the campsite at Huayracmachay. Total hours walking: 5 - 7 hours

 

Day 02:- Huayrac - Arrayanniyoc – Challway - La Playa

After breakfast we will continue to walk downhill for about three hours to Challhuay village, and then another half an hour more to Colpapampa, another small village, all the while enjoying increasingly lush vegetation. We continue walking past some waterfalls until we arrive at Wiñaypocco where we will have lunch. After lunch we walk through the high jungle (known in Spanish as the eyebrow of the jungle) enjoying the landscapes which offer us much natural beauty. The afternoon follows a gentle descent to the small high jungle village of La Playa where we will spend the night.

 

Day 03:- La Playa - Hidroeléctrica - Aguas Calientes.

You have two options here, depending on your interest and fitness. You should discuss each with your guide. 1.In the morning we head towards Santa Theresa in a bus or truck, where we can soak in hot springs and 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. We leave early and climb for about three hours through the jungle before descending to the interesting, but largely covered ruins of Llactapacta. Orginally 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 CalientesWith 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 about 4pm 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, 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 04:- Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu - Cusco

fter breakfast we take an early bus up to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, where we have a guided visit of approximately two hours. After this you are free to explore this famous site, and if you feel energetic we recommend you to climb Huayna Picchu, however you must leave before 12 noon. This hike takes about 1 hour to climb, and less to descend and offers awesome views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding terrain. You have the option to walk down from Machu Picchu, or to take the bus. (Not included). I We 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 approximately 4 hours after your train's departure from Aguas Calientes.

 

INCLUDED:

 

• Private transport from Cusco to Soraypampa, the starting point for your trek.

• 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. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest) for $5 per day.

• 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 5 kg per person).

• 01 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower than the others in your group.

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

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

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

• 01 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in one star hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hostel with breakfast included and private bathroom. If you wish to upgrade from this hotel, please check out the options listed on our Aguas Calientes accommodation page.

• Train from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes

• 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. If there are any substantial items or backpacks, passengers will need to hire an additional mule at a cost of $ 20 per day.

 

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.

 

CUSCO WONDERS TRAVEL

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