Salkantay Trek – Humatay Lagoon – Machu Picchu 5Days/4Nights USD 280

The wonderful trek, around snowcapped Mount Salkantay (6,271 m.a.s.l. – 20,754 ft.), is the best way to get to Machu Picchu. It starts on the asphalted Cusco-Lima road, towards the Southern Oriental Cordillera, and then, it goes on by the District of Mollepata, in the Province of Anta, Department of Cusco, to give way to a transitable dirt road that leads to Soraypampa.

There, we´ll contemplate beautiful landscapes and, standing-out, among them, are the Humantay Lagoon and snowcapped Mount Salkantay that presently belong to the La Convención Province.

The trek begins on a horsepath, to cross the Salkantay Mountain Range, and get to Machu Picchu. On your way, you´ll pass by several ecological levels, walking through high jungle cloud forests, where you´ll have chances to observe varieties of orchids, birds, fruit trees, etc. So, this is a trek for adventurers and nature lovers.

OVERVIEW

DAY 1: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – CHALLACANCHA – HUMANTAY LAGOON – SORAYPAMPA

ACTIVITIES: Hike to Soraypampa, Humantay Lagoon, and camping in huts.

DAY 2: SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAY MOUNTAIN PASS – HUAYRACMACHAY – QOLLPAPAMPA

ACTIVITIES: Uphill hike, Salkantay Mountain Pass, downhill to Huayracmachay, and camping in huts, in Qollpapampa.

DAY 3: COLLPAPAMPA – PLAYA – SANTA TERESA – COCALMAYO´S THERMO-MEDICINAL BATHS

ACTIVITIES: Downhill hike to Playa, alongside the Sayahuaco River, thermo-medicinal baths, in Cocalmayo, and camping in Santa Teresa.

DAY 4: SANTA TERESA – HIDROELÉCTRICA – MACHUPICCHU PUEBLO

ACTIVITIES: Hike to Hidroeléctrica, and hike to Machupicchu Pueblo.

DAY 5: MACHUPICCHU PUEBLO – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO

ACTIVITIES: Guided visit of Machu Picchu, and train trip to Ollantaytambo.

ITINERARY

DAY 1: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – CHALLACANCHA – HUMANTAY LAGOON – SORAYPAMPA

Very early, in the morning, we´ll depart from the city of Cusco, aboard a vehicle, on the asphalted Cusco-Lima road, to get to the District of Mollepata and, after a short stopover, we´ll continue, on a compacted dirt road, to Challacancha, where our hike starts.

The first part of the way is a 1-hour ascent, and then, we´ll hike on flat ground, for about two hours and a half, on the mountain´s foothills, bordering an Incan canal. In the afternoon, we´ll go up, to explore the Humantay Lagoon, where we´ll enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Afterwards, we´ll hike through forests with queuñas that are native shrubs of the area, ´till we get to Soraypampa (4,491 m.a.s.l. – 14,734 ft.), where we´ll get settled at the campsite, to have dinner, and spend the night in huts.

DAY 2: SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAY MOUNTAIN PASS – HUAYRACMACHAY – QOLLPAPAMPA

After a delicious breakfast, we´ll start hiking on a horsepath. Today, we´ll face the longest hike of the whole trek, with a 3-hour ascent, to the Salkantay Mountain Pass (4.650 m.a.s.l. – 15,190 ft.).

Then,  we´ll go on, downhill, to Huayracmachay, where we´ll enjoy a nutritious lunch, to recuperate strength and, afterwards, proceed, downhill, through beautiful woods, with waterfalls, while we observe orchids, birds, etc. Finally, we´ll reach our campsite, in Qollpapampa, to have dinner, and sleep in huts.

DAY 3: QOLLPAPAMPA – PLAYA – SANTA TERESA – COCALMAYO´S THERMO-MEDICINAL BATHS

We´ll start the day´s hike, walking, downhill, on the mountains´ foothills, and along the Sahuayaco River´s bank. From there on, the climate is subtropical and, in that area, there is no malaria. However, the mosquito bites are quite bothersome.

On the way, we´ll walk through beautiful forests and fruit-tree plantations, with avocados, oranges, pacay, bananas, coffee and cacao. Then, towards midday, we´ll get to a place called ‘Playa’, where we´ll have lunch.

Afterwards, we´ll take a local transportation to Santa Teresa, where we´ll get settled at the campsite. In the afternoon, we´ll have free time and, in an optional way, we´ll enjoy Cocalmayo´s thermo-medicinal baths, given that these are just a 30-minute walking distance from the campground.

DAY 4: SANTA TERESA – HIDROELÉCTRICA – MACHUPICCHU PUEBLO

After breakfast, we´ll go on hiking, to get to Hidroeléctrica´s railway station, where we´ll have lunch. Then, we´ll move on, walking between the railroad tracks and Vilcanota River.

During the hike, we´ll have opportunities to contemplate Mount Wayna Picchu, passing through the Mandor Valley, to get to Machupicchu Pueblo (ex Aguas Calientes), where we´ll settle at a hostel, with private bathroom and hot shower, in each room.

DAY 5: MACHUPICCHU PUEBLO – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO

Very early in the morning, we´ll walk up to Machu Picchu, and will go on the guided visit of the Incan City, for about 2 hours, as a group. Then, you´ll have some free time, to explore the site, on our own, and take pictures, before walking down to the village, to have lunch, and take the train to Ollantaytambo, where our staff will be awaiting you, at the railway station´s main exit gate, to take you back to your hotel, in Cusco.

INCLUDED - NOT INCLUDED

Included:

  • Group tourism transportation vehicle, from Cusco to Challacancha.
  • 2 nights in huts, 1 night in tents and 1 night at a hostel, with private bathroom and hot shower.
  • Professional guide.
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners.
  • Entrance ticket to the Incan City of Machu Picchu.
  • Return train, from Machupicchu Pueblo to Ollantaytambo.
  • Transfer, from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • Horses to take the camping equipment, and 6 kg (13 pds.) of luggage per participant.

Not included:

  • Sleeping bag.
  • Entrance ticket to Mount Machu Picchu or Wayna Picchu.
  • Bus up to Machu Picchu, or down to Machupicchu Pueblo.
  • Entrance ticket to the Humantay Lagoon (S/. 10.00 Nuevos Soles – PEN).
  • Entrance ticket to the thermal baths, in Machupicchu Pueblo (S/. 20.00 Nuevos Soles – PEN).

INDIVIDUAL PRICE: S/. 880.00 (NUEVOS SOLES – PEN)

RECOMMENDATIONS

What to bring:

  • Medium-size backpack.
  • Canteen, to carry water.
  • Snacks.
  • 1 full change of clothes, per hiking day.
  • Personal hygiene kit and towel.
  • Mountain hiking shoes.
  • Wide-brim hat, sunglasses and sunblock lotion.
  • Wool bonnet, scarf and gloves.
  • Thermic clothes, for cold nights.
  • Rain gear.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Hiking sticks, with rubber tips.
  • Photo/video camera, with extra batteries.
  • Light binoculars.
  • Flashlight, with extra batteries.
  • Extra cash, in Nuevos Soles (PEN).

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