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Salkantay Hike

US $
Per person
Tour Type:
Highest Altitude:
Group Size:
Phisycal Level:
1:1 / 5
Recommended Departures:
/ 5

DESCRIPTION: Experience the “Deep Peru,” hiking one of Peru’s most breathtaking landscapes. This 5-day hike takes you up to the base of the snow-peaked mountain, Salkantay, one of the most sacred mountains in the region. The mountain is considered by locals as the “guardian spirit of the jungle.” The hike starts at the base of Salkantay at 12,730 feet or 3,880 meters and brings you down through five ecological zones to Machu Picchu at 8,040 feet or 2,450 meters, making this hike perfect for those who wish to experience a variety of flora and fauna and once-in-a-lifetime views. We’ll also interact with local families along the way to get a sense of how Andean people from this region live. We might even get to try some natural honey, fresh avocados and guinea pig!

Acclimatization: The highest point is 15,200 feet or 4,635 meters, so it is essential that you are well acclimatized to the altitude before beginning the hike. If you are arriving from sea level, plan on spending at least 3 days in Cusco and the surrounding area before starting

* Note: We need a minimum of two people to book the tour.

DAY 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Soyrococha

salkantay03On the first day, we will pick you up very early at your hotel and drive 4 hours from Cusco. On our way, we will stop at a quiet Andean village and archaeological site called Killarumiyoq, and your tour guide will give a short history lesson. Then, we will have breakfast before continuing to the starting point of the trail, called Soraypampa at 12,740 feet or 3,883 meters. We will have lunch before hiking to Soyrococha, our campsite. This part of the trip will take about 3 hours for walking gradually uphill and we will camp in front of the Salkantay Mountain at 14,435 feet, or 4,400 meters, one of the highest campsites in Cusco region.

DAY 2: Soyrococha – Huayraqmachay – Collpapampa

salkantay04On the second day, we will continue hiking steeply uphill until we reach the Salkantay pass at 15,200 feet or 4,635 meters. We will see breathtaking views of Salkantay and the highest peak of the area, around 20,551 feet, or 6,264 meters. We might see condors or other rare species of animals. We will then descend to a site called Huayraqmachay, where we will stop for lunch. We will continue to descend until we enter the tropical cloud forest. Here, we will see wild orchids and other flowers, as well as hummingbirds. We will continue our descent through the bamboo groves, until we arrive at Collpapampa, where we will have dinner and camp for the evening.

DAY 3: Collpapampa – La Playa

The next morning, we will continue down the valley into a forest that contains bamboo groves and great bird watching opportunities. Flocks of colorful tropical birds roam the forest and warm water cascades down cliffs. The stretch also has begonias, purple orchids and strawberries. We will hike for about 4 or 5 hours in the morning. Our campsite is in “la playa,” the beach, as locals call it. After lunch we will do some farming activities like collecting coffee beans, avocados, passion fruit, etc. We will also have the option to eat guinea pig!

DAY 4: La playa – Llaqtapata – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes

salkantay02On the fourth day, we will start our hike over the Llaqtapata Mountain, which is about three hours. The first hours are flat, but then we will walk steeply up for about two hours to the pass at 2,700 meters, or 8,910 feet. We will then descend for 15 minutes to the archeological site of Llaqtapata. We will stop here for snacks and your guide will tell you about the historical importance of the site. There is also a beautiful view of Machu Picchu from this site. Then we will walk two and a half hours down to the hydroelectric station, where we will have lunch. There, we will learn about another important Incan site called Inti Wuatana, which was a sun dial, similar to the famous sun dial in Machu Picchu. We will continue walking for three hours around the Machu Picchu Mountain to Aguas Calientes. You will see Machu Picchu from afar from different angles and will also see Incan ruins and terraces. We will spend the night in Aguas Calientes, where you will have some free time to visit the hot springs before dinner.

DAY 5: Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Cusco

After an early-morning breakfast the next morning, we will take the bus to Machu Picchu, where your guide will give you a thorough three-hour tour. After your tour, you will have some downtime to explore the site on your own or free time to climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain (if you reserve your ticket in advance), before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, where we will have our last meal together. From there, we will send you on the train back to Cusco.

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