Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
Trek to Machu Picchu by going “off the beaten Inca Trail” on the exotic Salkantay Trek. Described by National Geographic as “the cool way” to get to the ancient Incan citadel, this challenging hike takes you through Andean peaks, cloud forests, Incan ruins and small villages where people still live as they have for hundreds of years. You’ll camp in style, beat the crowds to Machu Picchu, and visit cosmopolitan Lima and charming Cuzco, the erstwhile capital of the Incas.
Starting from $2,590 per person
Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners.
HOW IT WORKS
- Start with a free day to acclimatize to the altitude and explore Cuzco at your leisure.
- Take a fascinating tour of Cuzco, comparing the differences between Native American and European Architecture.
- Camp in ultimate comfort and warmth, with quality sleeping bags and Therm-a-Rest sleeping mats in your spacious two-man tent. Porters will carry your kit, and you'll even have the use of a private tented bathroom in the campsite.
- Visit Andean villages and ancient Incan sites including Killarumiyoc and Mollepata.
- Make camp on Salkantaypampa, the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range, 13,100 feet above sea level.
- Witness the majestic Soyrococha glacier lake and take in views of the peaks of Salkantay and Humantay from a high mountain pass of 15,100 feet.
- Hike through gorgeous scenery from tropical cloud forests to bamboo groves, tiny Andean villages, valleys of rich vegetation and waterfalls.
- Trek along the challenging trail to the terraced Incan site of Llactapata.
- Stay overnight in comfort in Aguas Calientes, to beat the crowds to Machu Pichhu the next morning.
- Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu, with free time to explore the citadel for yourself.
- Time allowing, take in a fascinating tour of Lima, with stops at the Larco Archaeological Museum, the San Francisco Monastery and the waterfront district of Miraflores.
Travelling from Lima to Cuzco, you will have gone from sea level to 11,500 feet, so we keep your first day free to relax and acclimatize to the altitude. If you're feeling up to it, the city center is pedestrian-friendly and makes for a great stroll. We're happy to recommend the city's best options for dining and shopping, in line with your interests and preferences.
Experience first-hand the remnants of the great Incan capital. At Sacsayhuaman you will see the largest and most impressive stonework of Pre-Columbian America. Your visits to the Koricancha and the main cathedral will highlight the differences between Native American and European architecture.
Your trekking adventure begins with an early departure from Cuzco and a drive to the trailhead. In the morning you'll visit Andean villages and Incan sites, such as Killarumiyoc. After exploring Mollepata village and taking a relaxing lunch break, you'll head to your campsite at Salkantaypampa, located at 13,100 feet above sea level.
The day begins early with a steep, zigzagged ascent to the glacier lake Soyrococha. After a short rest, you'll hike to the highest pass at 15,100 feet where you're rewarded with superb views of the nearby towering glacial peaks of Salkantay and Humantay. The day continues with a descent to Huayracpampa for lunch. In the afternoon, a four-hour descent takes you through tropical cloud forests, bamboo groves and tiny Andean villages to your campsite at Collpapampa at 9,500 feet.
Today, as you descend further, you’ll pass through a valley of rich vegetation, ranging from various species of orchids to fields of corn and fruit. Several waterfalls flow from the cliffs above. In the afternoon you'll arrive at La Playa where you will have lunch and camp for the night. The area is near a small village where you can use shower facilities and interact with the friendly locals.
Early in the morning you'll set off on a difficult climb to the Llactapata pass at 8,900 feet. From here you'll see the terraced Incan site at Llactapata before descending through the dense jungle to the hydro-electric station near the Urubamba River. From here, you will take the train to Aguas Calientes, where you will settle into your accommodation for the evening and enjoy a hearty dinner.
Awake early to avoid the crowds at Machu Picchu, the great Inca citadel. During the morning, your guide will walk you through the details of the site's construction and examine how a city survived perched atop this mountain. The afternoon is free for you to continue to explore the ruins on your own before taking a scenic train ride back to Cuzco.
You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Cuzco airport for your flight to Lima. Depending on the time of your international flight out a private tour of Lima's key sites can be arranged. You will visit the Larco Archaeological Museum, the San Francisco Monastery and its catacombs, Lima's historic colonial squares, and the picturesque waterfront district Miraflores.
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