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Salkantay Inca Trail

7 days

Salkantay Inca Trail

This exceptional trek takes hikers around the base of Mount Salkantay. To the Incas, this great peak was the home of the gods. The highest peak visible from Machu Picchu, this snow-capped giant is still central to the beliefs of the Incas’ descendants, the Quechua people of the high Andes, and it provides an absolutely stunning backdrop for this trekking route. Leaving Salkantay behind, we will join the world-famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, passing through stunning scenery and visiting archaeological sites, before ending our trek at the ruins of the Inca city of Machu Picchu.

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Day 1: Cusco / Mollepata / Soraypampa

We will pick you up from your hotel at around 6:00 am. We will journey west through the Anta Valley (stopping on the way for around 20 minutes). Descending into the warm and dry Apurimac Valley, we will visit the temple of Tarawasi (2600 meters / 8528 feet.), a fine example of Inca ceremonial stonework. A little further along the road we will climb to the village of Mollepata, from where we will continue to Cruzpata. It is here that we will meet our mule drivers, who will be waiting to load our gear onto horses or mules. We will then start walking to our campsite at Soraypampa.

Driving time:

  • Cusco – Mollepata: 99.5 kilometers / 61.8 miles (paved: 88 kilometers / 54.7 miles; dirt road: 11.5 kilometers / 7.1 miles); 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Mollepata – dirt road: 22 kilometers / 13.6 miles (1 hour)

Trekking distance: 9 kilometers / 5 miles (4 hours)

Altitudes: Cusco: 3400 meters / 11,152 feet; Mollepata: 2849 meters / 9347 feet; Soraypampa: 3908 meters /12,822 feet.

Meals: Lunch, dinner


Day 2: Soraypampa / Salkantay

From our campsite we will have our first sight of the south face of the Salkantay massif (6247 meters / 20600 feet). We will begin with a slow ascent above the Blanco River, before continuing via a steep climb to the highest point of the route (4933 meters / 16,184 feet), at Inkachiriasca Pass, from where we will see the enormous Salkantay glacier, and be greeted to the west by spectacular views of Mount Humantay (5885 meters / 19,302 feet).

We will then continue downhill to our most spectacular campsite at 4610 meters (15,125 feet), directly below the south face of Salkantay. 

 

Trekking distance: 8.7 kilometers / 5.4 miles (6-7 hours)

Altitudes: Soraypampa: 3908 meters / 12,822 feet; Salkantay Pass: 4933 meters / 16,184 feet; Camp: 4610 meters / 15,125 feet.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 3: Salkantay / Inca Raqay

Today we will hike downhill through the Pampacahuana Valley, following an irrigation system built by the Incas as we gradually descend to our camp near the ruins of Inca Raqay (3105 meters / 10,187 feet). Today we will say goodbye to our mule drivers. On our next day’s hike we will be joined by porters who will carry our gear.

 

Trekking distance: 13.7 kilometers / 8.51 miles (6-7 hours)

Altitudes: Inca Raqay: 3105 meters / 10,187 feet.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 4: Inca Raqay / Huayllabamba / Llulluchapampa

From Inca Raqay we will continue to the village of Huayllabamba, from where the trail climbs steadily through high Andean woodland to a plain called Llulluchapampa, just before the first pass. From here there are excellent views of the Huayanay range. We will camp in Llulluchapampa.

 

Trekking distance: 6 kilometers / 3 miles (7-8 hours)

Altitudes: Inca Raqay: 3105 meters / 10,187 feet; Huayllabamba: 2968 meters / 9737 feet; Llulluchapampa: 3767 meters / 12,359 feet.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 5: Llulluchapampa / Phuyupatamarca

We will start today’s hike after breakfast. After walking for around two hours we will reach Warmiwañuska Pass (4205 meters / 13,795 feet), before descending as far as the canyon of the Pacaymayo River. The trail now climbs to the second pass at Runkuraqay, from where we will be able to see the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges. After a short rest, we will descend along a paved Inca road to the restored ruins of Runkuraqay and Sayacmarca. It is here that we enter the cloud forest. In the afternoon the trail will take us down stone stairway to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, where we will make our camp.

 

Trekking distance: 11.1 kilometers / 6.89 miles (8 hours)

Altitudes: Warmiwañuska Pass: 4205 meters / 13,795 feet; Pacaymayo: 3604 meters / 11,821 feet; Phuyupatamarca: 3640 meters / 11,942 feet.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 6: Phuyupatamarca / Machu Picchu / Aguas Calientes

This morning our trail descends along vertiginous slope, as we follow a remarkable series of stone Inca steps for approximately three hours as far as the ruins of Wiñay Wayna, a beautiful Inca site set in dense forest. In the afternoon we will walk for another two hours until we reach Intipunku (Sun Gate), from where we will get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. From here it is another forty minutes to Machu Picchu, where we will board a bus down to Aguas Calientes, the small town where we will stay the night in a local hotel (price not included).

 

Trekking distance: 9.3 kilometers / 5.8 miles (5-6 hours)

Altitudes: Phuyupatamarca: 3640 meters / 11,942 feet; Wiñay Wayna: 2665 meters / 8741 feet; Intipunku: 2693 meters / 8833 feet; Machu Picchu: 2460 meters / 8071 feet.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch


Day 7: Machu Picchu

After breakfast we will walk to the bus station for the 20 to 25 minute ride up to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Known as the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu remains intact because it was never discovered by the invading Spanish. Constructed on a high, forested mountain overlooking the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu was lost in time and dense foliage until its rediscovery in 1911. 

During your three hour tour, our guide will explain in detail the history of this unique place and guide you around its agricultural terraces, temples, palaces and watercourses. You will then have time to explore the ruins independently before returning to Aguas Calientes for the return train ride to Cusco.

 

Optional: Hike up Huayna Picchu peak (2-3 hours). Subject to availability

 

Altitudes: Machu Picchu: 2460 meters / 8071 feet; Huayna Picchu: 2532 meters / 8307 feet; Aguas Calientes: 2070 meters / 6791 feet.


Included

  • All necessary land transport (private vehicle)
  • English speaking guide
  • Camp cook, pack animals and mule drivers, camp assistant(s). Mules can also carry up to 8 kg of participants’ gear (on the Salkantay section of the trek)
  • Camping equipment: Two-person tents, kitchen and/or dining tent, and toilet tent
  • Inflatable mattress
  • Food: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner as described in the itinerary
  • Snacks in the morning, including fruit, chocolate, candy, etc
  • Hot drinks in the afternoon (tea or coffee)
  • Duffle bags for personal gear
  • First-aid kit
  • Entrance fee to the Inca Trail
  • Porters to carry equipment provided, food and up to 7 kg of participants’ personal gear (on the Inca Trail section of the trek)
  • Bus ticket Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu (sixth day)
  • Round trip bus ticket to Machu Picchu (seventh day)
  • Train ticket Aguas Calientes – Cusco (Expedition Class train, we can provide upgrades to Vistadome on request)
  • Transfer from the train station in Cusco to your hotel

Not included

  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes (sixth night)
  • Sleeping bag (sleeping bags can be rented at an additional cost
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips

 


WHAT TO BRING

  • Passport
  • A daypack
  • Warm clothes (suitable for the Andean region)
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeved shirts (cotton)
  • Shorts for walking (optional)
  • Hiking boots
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun block 
  • Water bottle for the first day (we will refill your bottle with boiled water)
  • Binoculars for bird watching enthusiasts
  • Flashlight
  • Digital camera

Important detail: Participants must be in good physical condition to be part of this adventure (try to train by walking several hours each day for at least two weeks before departure).

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01 999 264087
sales@andeanadventuresperu.com
Andean Adventures Peru
Urb. Lucrepata E-13, Cusco, Peru
Telephone: (+51 84) 229911 / (+51 84) 263498