Wonderful Salkantay Expedition 4D / 3N
This is an alternative expedition to Machu Picchu, which will take you through incredible landscapes and natural beauty with flora and fauna of the region. The adventure will include crossing valleys and mountains before arriving at the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu.
Connecting the city of Mollepata, Cusco with Machu Picchu, the Salkantay Trek is an ancient and remote trail located in the same region as the Inca Trail, where huge snow-capped mountains collide with lush rainforest.
Day 1.- Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa
Departing early in the morning from the magic city of Cusco, we drive through gorgeous valleys and mountains until we reach Mollepata, a colonial farming village. Continuing the expedition, we start the adventure in Challacancha, a viewpoint where we can appreciate the valleys and mountains from. This first day is going to be an easy hike through Soraypampa Valley enjoying the view of Humantay and Salkantay Mountains. After lunch, we make a short hike to one of the most pristine body of water there, the Humantay Lake. Overnight at Sky Camp Soraypampa (3920 masl – 12860 ft.) camping site.
Day 2.- Soraypampa – Chaullay
Early in the morning, after our energizing breakfast, we will start trekking up to the highest point of the trail: The Salkantay Pass (4650 masl – 15255 ft.). The distance is a 7 km (4.34 miles) of difficult ascent in 3 hours between the rocky valley base and the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6271 masl– 20574 ft.). When we reach the top of the pass, we will appreciate the spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and the imposing snowy peaks of Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo mountains. Continuing from this climax of today’s expedition, there is a 5 km (3.1 mile) downhill walk to the lunch place. The walk downwards is on a serpent-shaped, rocky, gravel path which leads to the Huayracmachay. To rest on the way down, there is a perfect valley outlook that is absolutely stunning!
In the afternoon after our meal, we will enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle, which is also called “the cloud forest”. This is a 10 km (6.2 mile) hike completed in 3 hours on a wide trail in the thick and magical tropical forest. During this part of the trek, you will notice a dramatic change in landscape and the earth’s energy as we move from Andes to Amazon! This hike is truly beautiful; the hills are decorated with colorful scenery, wildlife, and native plants. The forests are warm and tropical most of the year with temperate climates. At the end of this outstanding hike, we arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 masl – 9514 ft.) for a much-deserved reward of rest from our long day of trekking! This is our base camp in the jungle as we continue to make our way to Machu Picchu.
Day 3.- Chaullay – Playa Sahuayaco – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
At 06:00, we will start our trek to the small town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley. You will be able to soak up this new, lush landscape during our 6 hours of hiking today! During the hike we will see rivers, waterfalls, wild orchids, and plantations of coffee, banana, and avocado. You can taste the famous passion fruit and granadilla fruit along the way! We will see a village called Colpapampa, also called the “brow of the cloud forest,” where waterfalls, birds, hot springs, fruit-bearing trees, and flora and fauna can be observed. If we are lucky, we will even be able to see the beautiful bird called “The Cock of the Rock”, the Peru´s National Bird.
After a hearty lunch at La Playa, we will take our van to the Hydroelectric train station, where you decide taking a train if you feel exhausted ($33.00 extra) or keep hiking for about 3 more hours along the train track. There is a nice path next to the tracks through the warm paradise of the cloud forest. This is the same trail used by the American professor Hiram Bingham who rediscovered Machu Picchu after centuries of it being lost to the outside world!
Day 4. Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Cusco
Your excitement for our rendezvous at Machu Picchu will rise as we are driving early in the morning through the forest to reach the site before most other tourists – even the Inca Trail trekkers!! You will have plenty of time to explore this truly magnificent World Wonder while you enjoy the beautiful sunrise from this once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint. Your group will learn about this mystical place in a two-hour guided tour of the ruins. Afterwards, you can opt to climb Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Mountain (if you have pre-booked tickets) or walk to the Sun Gate (without extra tickets). Lunch in Aguas Calientes and in the afternoon, we take the train back to Cusco.
- Transport from/to Cusco
- Bus ticket to/from Aguas Calientes
- Professional outdoor Bilingual Guide
- Entrance ticket to Salkantay Mountain and Machupicchu site
- All the food (except the first breakfast and last dinner)
- Duffel bag
- Sleeping bag
- Trekking poles
- Travel Insurance
- Entrance ticket to Waynapicchu or Machupicchu mountains (optional hikes – ask for availability)
- Tips (optional)
- Acclimatization is necessary in Cusco, two days before starting the tour. For a good acclimatization it is necessary to rest as much as possible, eat little, drink plenty of liquid; especially the mate de coca that has medicinal properties. Adequate acclimatization prevents affecting the “soroche” or altitude sickness, which could cause numerous health problems.
Take a -5° Celsius sleeping bag for the expedition
- Do not drink alcoholic drinks before the expedition