A section of the Inca trail known now as the Salkantay trek, is one of the most popular trekking routes in Peru. Going across impressive scenery, this 5-day journey will take you along the sacred Salkantay mount (6271 meters high), considered by locals the guardian of the Andes. This trekking route will give you the chance to know remote native communities, and an amazing biodiversity along the diverse ecosystems in the way to Machu Picchu. The most physically demanding part of the route, the Salkantay pass, rises up to 4570 meters and allow an spectacular view of the mountain.
This trekking route will take you 4 days and the fifth will be destined to your visit to Machu Picchu. Horses will be provided as well as the best camping gear and a balanced diet, with all the carbs you will need.
Day 1. Cusco – Soroypampa – Soyrococha
Distance: 8 km
Trekking duration: 4-5 h
Elevation range: between 3750 and 4180 masl
Camp elevation: 4180 masl
We will pick you up early in the morning from your hotel in Cusco to take you to Soroypampa, 4 hours away, where the trekking starts. Along the way we will see andean communities and visit Killarumiyoc, a place where the Incas built a stone calendar. After the visit we will take breakfast and then continue towards the Limatambo valley. We will make a brief stop at the town of Mollepata for some rest and to appreciate it before hitting the road once again to Soraypampa.
We will have two choices before starting to walk. The first one would be to climb the mountain aside to see an spectacular andean lake and then to return to the trail that will take us to camp site. The second choice is to take the trail right away, which gradually ascends giving impressive views and crossing through native settlements until arriving to Soyrococha lagoon, where we will set the camp to spend the night.
Day 2: Soyrococha – Collpapampa
Distance: 16 km
Trekking duration: 7-9 h
Elevation range: between 2950 and 4570 masl
Camp elevation: 2950 masl
After breakfast we will continue the climb up to Salkantay pass (4570 meters), from where we will have a view with no parallel of the sacred Salkantay and Umantay mounts. Will see lakes and ceremonial rock piles (apachetas) made by travellers as a thankful gesture towards the mountains for a safe journey. Then, the descend will start and we will stop for lunch at Hayracpampa. After refilling energy, we will enter the cloud forest and its exuberant vegetation full of orchids, bromelias and several other plants, and also the hummingbirds feeding from them. We will continue the descend through bamboo forests and after 4 hours we will arrive to the town of Collpapampa, where we will have dinner and tents for camping.
Day 3: Collpapampa – River beach
Distance: 15 km
Trekking duration: 6-7 h
Elevation range: between 1850 and 2950 masl
Camp elevation: 1850 masl
After breakfast, we will continue the descend through the bamboo forests, where a great diversity of species inhabit and where a series of waterfalls allow to take baths bellow them. We will walk towards camping in a river beach where we will have lunch and a free afternoon to explore the surroundings.
Day 4: River beach – Llactapata – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
Distance: 12 km
Trekking duration: 4-6 h
Elevation range: between 1850 and 2700 masl
Aguas Calientes elevation: 2050 masl
Early in the morning we will start the difficult ascend to Llactapata pass (2700 meters). This Inca site of terraces shows a glimpse of Machu Picchu and part of the main Inca trail. From there, we will descend among thick vegetation and tall trees where several species of birds thrive. Arriving to the hydroelectric, we will take the local train to Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night.
Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
After an early breakfast (5:00 am), we will take the first bus to Machu Picchu to arrive firsts. This way we will appreciate the magic and beauty of the citadel and the scenery in a larger extent. The guiding will take us along 2 hours among the main attractions and then you will have time to explore the area by yourself. Besides that you will have the opportunity to climb the Huayna Picchu mountain. Then we will go back to Aguas Calientes by bus and from there the afternoon train back to Cusco.
Book your RESPONS Salkantay trek experience emailing us at english @ responsibletravelperu.com and ask everything you want to anyof our travel specialists. Alternatively you can also fill out our questionnaire and we will take of everything.