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The Salcantay trek is one of the most famous treks in the Cusco region and is a great alternative hike which will take you to sacred Incan city, Machupicchu. On this great hike, you will be able to see the second highest snowcapped mountain, Salcantay (6270 m) and his neighbor, Umantay 5700m. On these four days of hiking you will also have opportunity to see beautiful landscapes with a biodiversity of flora and fauna and sleep in the middle of the sacred mountains. In case you couldn’t find a way to do the traditional Inca trail, this is your second option for realizing your dream as well as you have the opportunity to get to know Salcantay (it means savage mountain, or wild mountain) because for nobody is it possible to climb up to the summit. It is a sacred mountain but in the time of Inca civilization, this mountain was considered one of their Andean gods. It is a challenge for you every day. Hiking, the culture and history are different, and especially the landscape the nature along the Salcantay trek surrounds you all the way to the historical national park of Machupicchu.
This option offers a view of two important mountain ranges located in the Cusco area, and also this is the time to learn some quechua language expressions after we meet with a local people who are going to be with us for 3 days hiking as our (muleteers). Here you have the complete Itinerary, 5 days and 4 nights as follows in the vilcabamba mountain range and vilcanota mountain range, and in the afternoon before we arrive to the campsite, we will have a nice and beautiful landscape compound of cloud forest, and flora and fauna, on the 3rd day and fourth day we will enjoy a lot.
TRAIN SERVICE FROM MACHUPICCHU TO OLLANTA 1 HOUR AND 45 MINUTES. BUS SERVICE FROM OLLANTA TO CUSCO AROUND 2 HOURS. THE WHOLE DISTANCE IN SALCANTAY TREK, FROM FIRST DAY TO THE FOURTH DAY IS 70 KMS…, CONGRATULATIONS
4:30 to 5:00 am we pick-up our guests from your hotel, and we introduce you to your guide who is going to be with you on your whole journey from the beginning to the end.
5:00am we leave from Cusco, to Mollepata, with a travel time of two and two and a half hours in our bus, before arriving at the Mollepata village, where we will have breakfast in one of the local restaurants. We will make sure we have provisions for our trek, because this is the only one place to buy extra snacks, walking polls or just walking sticks, and rain plastic ponchos, in case it rains on the way. After that will still have about 40 more minutes continue in our bus to get to the beginning of our hike, called Marqoqasa (3200m), where our horse men are going to wait for us. Make sure to repackage your backpack, because our horses will help us with five to seven kilos weight of your luggage free of tax. Our tour guide also will introduce them and our cook and then it will be time to take the first family picture in group around 10:00am or 10:30am. We will begin our hike. The first 30 or 40 minute is quite soft walking, and then in just 2 and a half hours we will enjoy lunch in a place called Cruzqasa. 3800msnm. From this point, we can enjoy the beautiful landscape, and beautiful inner Andean valleys, and as well as the second highest snow cap mountain of the Cusco region called Salkantay, (6270msnm above sea level and also the neighbor of this, which is called Umantay 5700 above sea level. The view is gorgeous and stunning from this point, and afterwards we will take a siesta or nap for half an hour to relax our digestion. Around 13:00pm we will begin again with our hike but this time, our hike is going to be nice and quiet because we will walk following the ancient water channel probably built during the reign of the Inca empire. The hike is at the same elevation of our camp site we will take 2 and a half hours max. After arriving at the Soraypampa camp site we drop will drop off our luggage and then have one or one hour and a half hour up extra hiking to get to the Umantay small lake (4300msnm) which is so beautiful and very colorful. The color is like blue sky, and unique in the route of our hike, because the water comes from the Umantay snow cap mountain and for sure is very enjoyable, and then we will come back to come down, again to the camp site is will take like one more hour, just is coming down at once immediately we will enjoy the tea time or popcorn time and later around 8pm, we also enjoy the dinner and finally it’s time to sleep.
DISTANCE: 12km around 6 hours hiking MAXIMUN ALTITUDE: 3850 ms MINIMUN ALTITUDE:3200ms TRAILHEAD: 3200 m. HOURS: Between 6 and 7 hours.
Today our wake up is going to be very early in the morning. This wake up is very traditional, with coca and tea that our horsemen and the assistant cook will offer us. We will enjoy breakfast, and then around 7:00 am we will start with our hike. The trek is long and cold. It’s a moment to rent any horse, for riding to the top of the summit, or simply to send your luggage to the top (4600msnm). You coordinate with your guide, first we will have one and a half hour of hiking from the campsite, to salkantaypampa, where we stop for a few minutes break, and also have time to enjoy the snow cap mountain. Then we continue going up for seven upward curves, and we will be close to the summit. Then from Salkantaypampa we have the second stretch, to get to Soyroqocha (4300msnm) which will be about one and a half hours of hiking, where we also stop to recharge our energy, and finally we will have one more hour, or a little bit more, to get to the summit approximately around 11 am. We are going to be on top of the mountain 4600 msnm good standing like salkantay mountain, we don’t need to stop for so much time because it’s cold and windy, finally we take a family picture and we start going down. From the summit, we have like two hours to get at the lunch spot, Wayraqmachay (3900 m). After lunch, of course we have a siesta time for a few minutes, then we continue going down for another 3 more hours, this stretch is very beautiful, because immediately we are introduced to the cloud forest or (Bosque nebulous) and time to enjoy the beautiful rainforest. So many things to see: the vegetation, birds, and orchid flowers. Finally, we arrive to the second campsite (2900msnm) around 18:00 or 6:00m. Here the cold is more moderate because we are already at the beginning of the high jungle or selva alta.
NOTA. -If you don’t feel in a good physically condition for the second day, don’t worry, you can hire an extra horse to help you in some parts on the way, or in case if you feel very sick, you have change to comeback to Cusco city any time during the day, ridden on the horse till Mollepata from there, by bus to Cusco City, these is an additional cost for each tourist is not included in the package, and to visit to Machupicchu by train service DISTANCE: 16KM MAXIMUM ALTITUDE: 4600MSNM MINIMUM ALTITUDE: 2900MSNM HOURS: BETWEEN 9 AND 10 HOURS.
Our hike starts with 6:00am breakfast, and then we will say at 7:30am after breakfast. Today is a flexible day as we go just up and down, following the same direction of Santa Teresa river, and crossing some streams and a number of small rivers, crossing bridges built from simple tree logs and branches. The scenery is beautiful, and the weather is completely different that the last 2 days. The temperature here is higher and so is the humidity, but today is the day to enjoy the dense vegetation, especially two hours before we reach to the campsite, when we will see some coffee plantations, bananas, avocado and passion fruit. Finally, we arrive between 1:00 and 1:30pm to the playa 2300msnm. The lunch spot and campsite after lunch you have change to go to Santa Teresa which is the first actual town and hot spring. This service is optional, it’s not part of the package but you can coordinate with your guide and you can take a local bus for one hour, and the entrance ticket is s/10.00 soles (Peruvian money) for the hot spring.
MAXIMUN ALTITUDE: 2900msnm MINIMUN ALTITUDE: 2300msnm DISTANCE: 16km HOUR: Approx. 7 hours.
Today is time to thank our horsemen, from here they will take everything down to la playa, the lunch spot, from there to go back home, which is located in Soraypampa (the first campsite). Therefore, we won´t see them again, and it would be a nice time to give them a tip.
We have breakfast around 6:00am and will start the last challenging day. From la playa, we will walk on the highway like for 30 minutes, and them another 20 minutes on part of an original Inca trail to get to another trail which will take us the summit which is located at 2700 msnm and then in just 15minutes walk down we reach Llaqtapata Inca archeological site. Immediately we enjoy the gorgeous scenery, and in the distance, we can enjoy a small part of Machupicchu Incan city, and the ancient Inca trail it was connected, from Llaqtapata to Machupicchu after we took a good rest we continue going down for 2 and a half more hours to hydroelectrically plan where there is the train service. Finally, we will arrive to Aguas Calientes around 6:00pm where we have accommodation in a hostel, and dinner service at night.
MAXIMUN ALTITUDE: 2700msnm MINIMUN ALTITUDE: 2000msnm DISTANCE: 34 kms HOURS: between 8 to 9 hours.
We wake up 4:30 to take the first bus at 5:30am just in 30minutes we are already in Machupicchu enjoying the sun rise, and you will have for two and a half hours of guided tour afterwhich, you can enjoy by yourself in case you have ticket to climb up to Huaynapicchu talk with you guide in the afternoon you catch your train service, from Machupicchu train station to bring you up to Ollantaytambo.