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4-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu -- Trip Photo of Peru trek  Peru map

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Day 1 : Drive to trailhead and hike to Andenes, camp overnight.

Visiting: Cusco, Andenes

We leave Cusco at 04.00 am in a private transport and start a scenic morning bus-ride to our trek starting point at Soraypampa. Along the four-hour drive, we drive through the town of Limatambo (2100m/6888ft), an important point of access to the city of Cusco during the time of the Inca Empire, where the archaeological remains of Tarawasi are located. The road continues up a beaten track along the right shore of the Apurimac River and crosses the town of Mollepata (2800m/9184ft) and the small community of Cruzpata (2750m/9020ft) to finally reach Soraypampa (3800m/12464ft), the starting point of the trek, where we meet our wranglers and horses. After a short introduction and a quick breakfast, we start our hike towards the base of Mt. Salkantay (6271m/20569ft), crossing Salkantaypampa, and then starting a 2 hrs steep ascent to Soyroccocha, just next to the impressive glacier of Salkantay (4200m/13776ft). Continuing uphill, we reach the Abra Huayracmachay (4600m/15088ft), the highest mountain pass in the program where, besides enjoying stunning views of the surrounding glaciers and the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range with the south face of Salkantay towering above us, we may also observe chinchillas and condors in their natural habitat. From this point, we start descending towards a more tropical climate and into the so-called cloud forest. Along the route, we can see the remains of an ancient Inca path, which is approximately 6 meters wide. A long though easy descent brings us late afternoon to our first campsite at Andenes (3,500m/11480ft). Distance: 18 km; time 8-9 hours; maximum altitude 4600 m (15,088 ft).

  • Meals: LD
  • Budget Lodging: camping

Day 2 : Hike to Lucmabamba, camp overnight.

Visiting: Andendes to Lucmabamba

Today we continue our hike with an easy downhill walk along the Salkantay River, enjoying the increasingly lush vegetation, passing waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. The arid highland landscape begins to transform into a cloud forest filled with trees and bromeliads. After 1.5-2 hours we arrive at the settlement of Chaullay, and after another 45 minutes to the town of Collpapampa. From Colpapampa, the Salkantay River becomes the Santa Teresa River. After a rest, we continue our descent to the banks of the Totora River, then passing the waterfalls at Coripacchi, the settlement at Wi˝aypoko, the bustling small town of La Playa and finally our second camp at Lucmabamba (2,100m/6888ft). On the way we can see plantations of banana, coffee, and avocado, as well as exuberant local flora. We enter spectacled-bear territory and we will probably be accompanied by flocks of parrots as we descend. At dinner we can enjoy a glass of wine by the light of the camp-fire. Distance 20 km; time 8-9 hours; maximum altitude 3500m (11,480 ft)

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: camping

Day 3 : Hike to Hydroelectric Station, train to Aguas Calientes, hotel overnight.

Visiting: Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, you start climbing for 2-3 hours ups to El Mirador or Abra Q'elloqasa (2860m/9381ft), from where you have an exceptional view of the Lost City of the Incas, the legendary Machu Picchu, from a different angle. You enjoy a last lunch in nature at the lookout point of Llaqtapata (2650m/8692ft) from where you can view both Machu Picchu and the Salcantay Mountain, and take a good rest, enjoying the added value of the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. A 2-hour decent towards the Aobamba River crossing lush bamboo forests and more orchards and coffee plantations brings you to the hydroelectric plant of Machu Picchu from where you board a train that brings you to the hydroelectric plant of Machu Picchu from where you board a train that takes you to Aguas Calientes (short, scenic 40-minute train ride). Accommodations at your hotel in Aguas Calientes. Distance 12 km; time 5-6 hours; maximum altitude 2650 m (8,692 ft).

  • Meals: BL
  • Budget Lodging: 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes

Day 4 : Shuttle, entrance and guided tour of the famous citadel, return by train to Cusco.

Visiting: Machu Picchu, Cusco

We wake up early and board a bus to Machupicchu where we begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. You will then have free time to walk around, optional climb up the Huayna Picchu Mountain, where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machupicchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it (please note that there are only 400 visitors allowed per day), or visit the Temple of the Moon or the impressive Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where, if you like, you can visit the outdoor market. From here we take the Expedition train back to the city of Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall.

  • Meals: B

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