Salkantay & Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Explore Cuzco, the erstwhile capital of the Incas, then venture off the beaten trail with this 9-day Salkantay & Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This trek will take you past Incachiriasca, an impressive peak in the Vilcabamba Range that offers an exciting twist on the regular Salkantay route and boasts the added advantage of solitude while you hike through glorious scenery. While on the trail, you’ll camp and eat in comfort, and your adventure will be supported by experienced guides. Top it all off with a private tour of magnificent Machu Picchu.
Starting from $3,690 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
- Get to know Cuzco, the one-time capital of the Incan empire, as you acclimatize to the altitude. You’ll have time to spend at your leisure, as well as a guided tour of the vibrant city’s key sites, including Sacsayhuaman, Koricancha and Cuzco’s Cathedral.
- Admire the breathtaking views of the snowy peaks of the Vilcabamba mountain range as you hike along the lesser-known trail past Humantay and Salkantay, exploring ruins, ancient canal systems and lookout points along the way.
- Hike through gorgeous scenery from tropical cloud forests to bamboo groves, tiny Andean villages, valleys of rich vegetation and waterfalls.
- Hike to the Inca Gate of the Sun, from which you will enjoy your first view of the ancient mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu.
- An early start will allow you to explore Machu Picchu in tranquility before the crowds arrive. You will be given a tour that reveals the history and mystery of the ruins.
- 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.
- 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 ascended from sea level to 11,500 feet, so the first day you will be 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’d love to recommend the city's best options for dining and shopping, depending on your preferences and interests.
During your tour of Cuzco, the capital of the Incan Empire, you'll visit Sacsayhuaman, an immense Incan complex with mind-bogglingly precise stonework, Koricancha, one of the most important Incan temples (the walls were once actually coated in gold!), and Cuzco's Cathedral where you'll learn about the Cuzco School of Art.
You will leave Cuzco by private vehicle early today and drive until Mollapata and continue your trip, arriving at Soraypampa (12713 ft.). Here, you will meet your horses and crew. After a short rest, you will start your hike in the direction of Salkantay Pampa where you will have lunch. You can enjoy great views of Humantay’s snowy peak and later on, a spectacular view of Salkantay, likewise shrouded in snow. You will arrive at Ichupata (14764 ft.) campsite at around 4 pm.
After a healthy breakfast, your day’s hike will begin. Along this route, you will have amazing views of Salkantay and its glacial moraines. You will have the opportunity to stop, take pictures and enjoy the magnificent views. You will ascend very gradually to Incachiriasca Pass (16234 ft.), the highest of the route. Then you will descend to Sisaypampa, a flat area from which you can observe the neighboring valleys, then continue towards to Pampacahua Community located next to an original Inca canal system before finally hiking down to Paucarcancha (10243 ft.), your campsite for the night.
After breakfast, you will go down an Inca trail until you reach the community of Huayllabamba (9721 ft.), where you will join the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You will start your ascent close to the Patallaqta stream, then you will continue to Km 82, where you will board your transport to Ollantaytambo. You will spend the night at your Sacred Valley Hotel, appreciating the finer things in life after days on the trail.
After breakfast at the hotel, a train will take you to km 104, from where you will start trekking for approximately two hours, up to the well-preserved remains of Wiñaywayna (8694 ft.) On the way, you will see beautiful waterfalls, native flora and mountain birds. After lunch, you will have time to rest and explore the site with its houses, terraces and towers as well as visiting Inti Punku, the Inca Gate of the Sun, where you will get your first sight of Machu Picchu. Finally, you will cross the ridge that leads to your destination, and the full expanse of the greatest archaeological discovery of modern times will be revealed. After an introduction to the city of Machu Picchu (7874 ft.), you will take the tourist bus down to Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night.
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. 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 reveal how a city survived perched atop this mountain. This afternoon you will enjoy a scenic train ride and transfer back to Cuzco.
You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Cuzco airport for your flight to Lima where you’ll connect independently to your international flight home. Depending on the time of your international flight out, a private tour of Lima's key sites can be arranged.
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