Lima - Cuzco- Machu Picchu - Cuzco - Lima (9 days )
Salkantay Trek (Alternative route to Inca Trail)
Dates: Sat April 12 - Sun Apr 20, 2014
Salkantay is a popular alternative, more scenic and less crowded Inca Trail. It offers more distance, more mountains, more scenery, and a wider variety of landscapes, but still concludes with a visit to the iconic city of Machu Picchu. This new itinerary includes many of the highlights of other Salkantay treks, but avoids many of the areas that are becoming crowded with other trekkers.
Duration: 5 days/4 nights
Distance trekked: about 50km
Elevation: 6233ft - 15091ft
Regular Price $1549
Early Bird Special ( Register by Feb 1, 2014) - $1449
All Accommodations ( 1 night in Lima, 2 nights in Cuzco)
Local Flight: Lima-Cusco-Lima
Guided visit to Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins
Licensed trekking guide fluent in English, Spanish, and Quechua
Support staff including professional cooks and wranglers for the mules and horses. Horses and mules to carry group gear as well as large duffels provided at the briefing, for personal items. (no weight limit)
All meals on trek, which incorporate traditional Peruvian dishes as well as modern fusion cuisine and special dietary needs
Drinking water and snacks
Dining tent with table, stools, and all dining implements, toilet tent, and kitchen tent
Sleeping tents, and Thermarest. Three-person tents are provided for single occupancy and four-person tents for double occupancy to allow plenty of room for personal gear.
One riding horse for emergencies. Additional riding horses can be provided for an additional charge.
First aid kit, including oxygen
All group entrance fees, including Machupicchu
Optional climb to Huaynapicchu or Machupicchu Mountain
Hotel in Aguas Calientes (3 star hotel)
Train Ticket (Expedition Trains Service)
All transfers, including private van from your hotel in Cusco to trailhead at Soraypampa, train to Aguas Calientes, bus to and from Machu Picchu, and private transfer back to your hotel in Cusco
Dinner on the 4th day at Aguas Calientes. Lunch and dinner on the 5th day.
Tips for guides, cooks, and wranglers.
Entrance to hot springs or other entertainments in Aguas Calientes
Personal riding horse. Additional horses may be hired according to the needs of the individual and group.
Food in Lima and Cusco
Day 1 Arrive to Lima. Airport Pick up and Hotel Check in. Welcome Dinner
Day 2 Early flight to Cuzco. Hotel checkin. Cusco was the site of the historic
capital of the Inca Empire and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. Since its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft) Acclimatization walk in the city center, visit to a Pre-Columbian Art Museum (OPTIONAL)
Day 3 Acclimatization day. Guided visit to Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins by private transportation
Day 4 TREK BEGINS HERE: Cusco-Soraypampa-Soyroccocha
We leave Cusco early in the morning and take the Panamerican Highway through the province of Anta, Cusco’s dairy region. Following steep-sided river canyons, we descend into the rich and fertile valley of Limatambo before climbing again to the town of Mollepata, where we will stop for breakfast. We continue on to Soraypampa (3700m) where we meet our wranglers and pack animals and begin our trek. After an hour’s walk our first stop will be Laguna Umantay where we will have lunch. From here we continue across Salkantaypampa, just below glacial morains, before starting a fairly steep section of switchbacks known as the the 7 vueltas , which will take us up to 4300m. From here the path is almost flat to Soyroccocha, where we will camp just below Salkantay mountain. This campsite offers spectacular views of the glacier and, if the weather is clear, an unparalled view of the southern sky, but is high and usually very cold.
3 hours walking,[masked]m
Day 5 Soyroccocha-Unuyuq
After an early breakfast we will conquer the Salkantay Pass at 4600. As you take in the panorama you will be able to see not only Salkantay but also the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, Pumasillo, and the Huayracmachay valley. There is also the option to do some alpine scrambling and to visit a second lake near the base of the Salkantay glacier. From the pass we start our descent into the valley alongside a stream. As we travel, the vegetation changes from the sparse grasses of the puna and mountain passes to lush cloud-forest home to butterflies, hummingbirds, and a wide-variety of flora. After lunch we will veer away from the standard trekking route and head down to the river before climbing the ridge on the other side. From here we can look down on the Santa Teresa valley before an easy walk to our campsite at Unuyuq.
Day 6 Unuyuq-Sahuayaco (La Playa)
Today is a relaxing day. We start with a small descent and then walk along a newly built road to the house of Don Paulino. Here we will get a look at rural life in the valley, and, if in season, we can harvest some granadilla, a member of the passion fruit family, or maybe some of the region's incredible avocados. If we are lucky, Doña Presentacion will prepare a local specialty for lunch. After lunch, we cross the river and head through the upper edges of the rainforest. After about a 2 hour walk we will arrive at the town of Sahuayaco, also known as La Playa. We will either camp here or further down the trail at Lucmabamba.
Day 7 La Playa-Aguas Calientes
We start early to avoid the mid-day heat with a walk through coffee plantations and past an artisan coffee mill on the way to Lucmabamba. Here we follow a wide, well-preserved Inca road which once ran to Quito. Following the trail up the side of the ridge, we may see a multitude of butterflies, citronella, rocky streams, and stunning vistas of the Santa Teresa valley. From the pass there is a view of Machu Picchu just a fabulous as that from Intipunko, the famed Sungate. From the pass it is a short walk to Llactapata. We will explore the site, still covered in vines and jungle vegetation, before descending to the Rio Aobamba and on to the train station at Hidroelectrica. From there, we will catch the train to Aguas Calientes and check into our hotel. In the evening, there are plenty of restaurants, markets, and the hot springs to enjoy, or simply relax in your hotel. 5 hours walking,[masked]m
Day 8 Aguas Calientes-Machu Picchu-Cusco
We will get up early in order to catch the bus up to Machu Picchu in time to watch the sunrise over the mountains. After enjoying the views, we will have a two hour tour of the city. Afterwards, you have free time to explore the ruins, hike Huayna Picchu, climb to the Sungate, go to the Temple of the Moon and Inca Bridge, or simply relax and soak in the atmosphere. In the afternoon we will return to Aguas Calientes to catch the train to return to Cusco. TREK FINISHES HERE
Day 9 Fly back to Lima, fly back home