Salkantay Trek Cheap 5 Days
Our classic Salkantay Hiking Trips 5 Days is an alternative to the traditional Inca Trail. The Sacred path is a cutting edge experience for adventure travelers looking for a little more privacy and authenticity. With more spectacular views, the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu offers a quiet and rich contemplation of nature.
In this journey you will trek from 3,900m/12,800ft to 2,100m/6,900ft, traversing across magnificent mountain passes, enjoying enormous and mystical snow-capped peaks, seeing nature in its purest form and exploring more than 15 different ecosystems from beginning to end. Moreover, the chances for ethnic and cultural exchange are omnipresentwhile meeting local natives who still remain closely attached to their heritage and are very willing to share it with open minds.
This trek is a unique opportunity to experience ancient history in the land of the Incas, contemporary manifestations of deep-founded culture, the most interesting and exotic variety of flora and fauna, culinary surprises, the determination of local people to progress while preserving their ancestral heritage, without even mentioning the opportunity to meet new friends and like-minded souls.
Highlights of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu:
- Cusco is our base for this great expedition, a wonderful place full of culture, history, good restaurants and fun nightlife: it is recommended to arrive at least one day earlier (3 days is even better as there is really plenty to do) for a better acclimatization and to enjoy some of the treats the city has to offer : nearby Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, as well as spending a day or two exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas visiting the tradition market town of Pisac and the fascinating Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo
- Trekking through the spectacular scenery of the Salkantay Valley to get off the well beaten tourist path and escape to a part of Peru that has changed little over the last 500 years
- A night is spent in the colorful town of Aguas Calientes
- Over 250 species of orchid have been counted in the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, as well as numerous birds such as hummingbirds, waterfalls and the majestic Andean Condor. You might even have the chance to get a glimpse of the spectacled bear – a shy, herbivorous animal that is extremely rare and close to extinction
- 15 different ecosystems from beginning to end
- Ethnic and cultural exchanges all along the way with inhabitants always eager to share their culture and heritage.
Overview Salkantay Trek
- Trip Length: 5 Days/4 Nights
- Destination: Salkantay Valley, Machu Picchu
- Lodging: Comfortable camping and Hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Trekking Camping: Spacious two person tents or single tents, Dining tent, Cook tent, Camp toilet & Toilet tent. All camping and cooking equipment including Therm-a-rests inflatable mattresses and camping stools, tables etc. On the Inca trail bowls of hot water are supplied in the morning and night. Clean hand washing water is available at all meal times.
Activities Trekking, Inca ruins, discovering the Peruvian Heritagethat very few outsiders have ever entered, camping in prestigious Incan sites.
Day 01: Cusco -Mollepata – Soraypampa.
We pick you up from your hotels at 4:30 a.m. by tourist bus and we travel to Mollepata, an attractive Andean villagebuilt on a hillside and overlooking the deep citrus producing valley of the Apurimac. Here, a nice and hot local breakfast is already waiting for us. At 9:00 a.m. we begin our journey, a hike up to Tres Cruces, overpassing ascending valleys filled with flowering shrubs buzzing with hummingbirds and passing isolated houses.We arehaving lunch with a spectacular view over the Limatambo Valley. We then continue our trek to Markokasaon an old route called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path), from where we can appreciate our first views of the Salkantay Mountain and at about 4:30 p.m. we arrive to Soraypampa, (3500 meters or 20.671 feet), our first campsite (4000m/12750ft; the highest and coldest campsite of the trip) enjoying the beautiful landscape along the way.
Meals included: Lunch – Dinner
Day 2: Soraypampa – Huayracpunku – Collpapampa.
We have a hot breakfast at around 5:30am and begin our walk to the highest pass on this trek (4650m/15200ft) located halfway between two huge mountains: Salkantay on the right and Humantay on the left (Humantay 4120m/13500ft and Salkantay 6271m/20575ft). From the pass, the views of the two snow-capped mountains are incredible. Beware that here might be a possibility of snow here.We keep our eyes out for Andean condors, the world’s largest bird and believed by the Incas to be a messenger between heaven and earth,often visible in this area. Nonetheless, we have a small and a short ceremony, known as Payment to Earth or Pachamama (Jaywarikuy), in which we need to leave some coca leaves into the rocksfor Mother Earth, requesting the permit to continue and have a fabulous and memorable trip.
We continue our walk downhill through a dramatic cloud forest until we arrive to Huayracpunku where we have lunch. Back on the hike again with more strength, following the time course of the river Salkantay through increasingly verdant scenery, alongside we have the opportunity to see the Andean beautiful scenery until we reach our second campsite:Colcapampa (3000m/9800ft). Another option for campsite is Challway.
Meals included: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Day 03: Colpapampa - La Playa Sahuyaco - Santa Teresa Hot Spring
After breakfast, at 6.30am, we start trekking for the day through the upper jungle crossing the Lluskamayo River and a variety of little brooks. Today we pass through valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls, tropical fruits and plants, passing through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations (said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world).With a way warmer climate that cannot hurt the soaring muscles. We stop in La Playa where, after a rest, you have the option to go to the hot springs and enjoy the well-deserved soothing water, a real treat after a trek! Lunch on the way, we have the opportunity to enjoy more of the scenery valleys, until we arrive to Lucmabamba our campsite.
Meals included: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Day 04: Lucmabamba – Archaeological Site Patallacta – Hydroelectric – Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes).
After an early breakfast, we are heading to the Llactapata entrance. Once here, we start an ascent hike towards the ruins of Llactapata, which have recently been restored.
On the way you could observe coffee plantations, beautiful landscapes as well as more diverse flora and fauna. After three hours, we arrive at Llactapata where you have an amazing view of Machu Picchu, and plenty of time to rest and enjoy the scenery. A descending trailto the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations, which takes us to the train station (Hydroelectric) of Santa Teresa where we have lunch at a local restaurant. A local train then brings us to Aguas Calientes in about 45 minutes. Upon arrival, you are accommodated at the hostel included on this package, where you later can enjoy a well-deserved dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 05: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
We enjoy our breakfast and then take the bus at 8am up to Machu Picchu. We descend to the city of Machu Picchu and start a guided tour (of approximately 2 hours where your expert guide walk with you through the main streets of these amazing ruins, telling you all about the Inca history and significance of the major sites of interest), after which you can explore the mysterious city of Machupicchu at your own pace.
Optional: Huaynapicchu Sacred Mountain, “limited to 400 spaces per day”, so we highly recommend you to book in advance -> if you still have some energy you can also climb Huayna Picchu Sacred Mountain (2720m/8923ft)! It takes 45 minutes to reach the top, the entrance fee is at extra cost and you might need to skip the Machu Picchu tour to be able to climb this mountain.
Time then for the afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco. We are in Cusco at approximately 10:30 pm.
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