This fantastic Salkantay Machu Picchu trek is considered the best alternative trekking trail to Machu Picchu, where you will see a wide amount of landscapes and ecosystems, that makes it even more special. The Salkantay hike is a famous trekking tour that is offered by almost all tour companies, they have set campsites, and more than 90% of them, has the same itinerary. With this issue on the mind, we have decided to modify our itinerary, which will allow us to run away from the crowds, and enjoy the Salkantay trail without the crowds.
Hike this fascinating Salkantay trek, with authentic Salkantay trek operator company, our tours are leaded by expert professional local tour guides. We are 100% local tours operator located in Cusco – Peru, an expert in small groups and private tours.
Day 01: Cusco – Marco Ccasa – Salkantay Pampa: Our Salkantay trek, starts with early departure from your hotel in Cusco city “05:00 hrs”, and drive to the trail start point, we will pass by several towns and villages before arriving in Mollepata “the last town before the hike” the drive to here, takes about 2 hours, then we continue to Marco Ccasa, a place where we begin our fantastic Salkantay to Machu Picchu, the site has an impressive landscape views (only a few people start at this point, 99% of hikers will start at Mollepata and follow different path), at the beginning the trail leads by a slight climb. It will be very common to see various plants and native birds along the way, then the trail arrives in to a section where we will hike by a gentle path, with flat and gentle ups beside an irrigation canal, the viewpoints amaze always to our hikers, at 13:00 hours we arrive at Soraypampa where we lunch. After lunch, the trail continues by a valley and up to Salkantay pampa, it is a quiet campground where we set up our tents and spend the 1st-night aver 4,000 masl. After dinner, we spend the night in the quietest camp where there may not be other trekkers
Day 02: Salkantay pampa – summit – Collpapampa: Early morning, after breakfast we re-start our trek at approximately 07:00 hrs, the trail goes an uphill zigzagging path right in front of the Salkantay mount. After 03 hour we finally summit the Salkantay pass 4657m, at the summit “right i front of salñkantay” we celebrate by sharing hugs and taking pictures for the memory (we may be one of the first groups arriving at the summit because other hikers will camp an hour far), from here we descend by an Inca trail, then arrive on a small plateau where we’ll stop for our snacks, then continue banking a white water river and stop at Wayracpampa for lunch. From lunch we keep descending the trail that will soon arrive into the cloud forest, this is the nicest section for those who love plants, the lush forest will make our walk more pleasant, after approximately 3 hours from lunch we will arrive at Collpapampa 2,980 m. which is the union of 03 rivers, this will be the longest day of Salkantay trek (camp in a village with nice views and weather).
Day 03: Collpapampa – La playa – Lucmabamba. We will wake up with the natural alarm clock “birds and roosters from the village”, have breakfast and walk an interesting section banking the Santa Teresa River, the area offers dense vegetation, numerous birds on the trees, flowers, orchids and also the local fruits. We continue the walk and we may see the Peruvian national bird (gallito de Las Rocas, rupicola Peruviana) then arrive at la playa 2200m (river beach), where our trekking chef will provide us with the delicious lunch to recover our energy, then we will continue one hour far, and spend the night at Lucmabamba in the middle of coffee plantation, we can make our coffee degustation, then have dinner in a quiet private campground at 2100m.
Day 4: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Hidro – Aguas Calientes. (Salkantay trek last section) After breakfast, we re-start our hike, by an Inca trail, up to the archaeological site named Llactapata, “a fascinating Inca city right at the mountain in front of Machu Picchu”, this site is rarely included by the Salkantay trek operators”, this is located at 2 hours from the camp on uphill trail. From here we can have a nice view of Urubamba river, Machu Picchu city, and the Salkantay mountain from another angle, here we will see the site covered by trees and vines. From this point, a large switch-back trail will take us down to the riverbank, in about 6 hours of walk, we will reach the hydroelectric power plant. after lunch, we take the local trail to Aguas Calientes at around 5.00 pm.
As an optional alternative if you do not want to climb up the mountain, we take a local van and drive to hydroelectric, place from where we walk by a trail next to train tracks to Aguas Calientes, it is an easy path that takes about 3 hours, we will arrive earlier to Machu Picchu Town, our guide will take you to your hotel, where you can take a shower and relax. At dinner time our guide will meet you and take you to a restaurant where we have dinner.
Day 05: Machu Picchu – Cusco. Take a bus for 30 minutes, once we enter into the archaeological park, then our guide will bring you for a nice gentle hike to the Inca bridge, then return to the Machu Picchu city and do the guided tour, where you will visit all the most important sectors. While the usual guided tour takes 2 hours, in a rush time, our guides will do it in 03 hours, we’ll learn about the importance, religious and historical of the place, place to appreciate the fine architecture of the Incas. After a great tour, it is time to catch a bus to town, in order to catch the train back to Ollantaytambo where we catch a bus to Cusco. where our fantastic Salkantay trek ends.
Average General Estimation: (Trek Difficulty: Medium. Distance: 15kms, walking time: 6 – 7 hours).
Your adventure awaits!