Day 1: CUSCO, SORAYPAMPA HUMANTAY LAGOON TO SALKANTAYPAMPA
Kickstarting your adventure, our experienced team, led by your knowledgeable guide, will pick you up early from your hotel. We’ll embark on a private transfer to the trek’s starting point, a journey of approximately three and a half hours. Along the way, we’ll pass charming farm villages like Izcuchaca in the Anta province and venture into the renowned Limatambo Valley, known for its avocado plantations.
A stop at Mollepata allows for an optional and peaceful breakfast before we head to Soraypampa at an elevation of 3,900 meters (12,084 feet). This is our launching point for the remarkable Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. Prepare to be awe-inspired by the panoramic vistas of the snow-capped Salkantay and Humantay mountains as we embark on an ascent to the captivating Humantay Lagoon. This stunning natural wonder, nestled at the base of the Humantay glacier, boasts turquoise waters and ranks among the most picturesque lakes of its kind.
After enjoying some free time here, we’ll return to Soraypampa for a well-deserved lunch. Our trek continues with a two-hour hike to our base camp, Salkantaypampa, at an elevation of 4,000 meters (12,720 feet).
This unique camp offers an uncrowded and tranquil setting, perfect for stargazing at night and witnessing the captivating sunset and sunrise over the Salkantay glacier.
Distance: 10.00 km (6.21 miles), Time: 5 to 6 hours, Elevation: from 3,900 to 4,000 meters (12,084 to 13,123 feet) above sea level.
Day 2: SALKANTAY PAMPA BY SALKANTAY PASS TO COLPAPAMPA
On day two, we’ll rise early to embark on our journey. After a nourishing breakfast, we’ll resume our hike, treated to breathtaking views of the imposing Salkantay mountain as we traverse through a rocky valley for approximately 2.30 hours, reaching the highest point of the trek: Salkantay Pass, towering at an elevation of 4,600 meters (14,628 feet).
Revered as the second-highest glacier in the Cusco region, Salkantay Mountain held great significance as a sacred deity and protector during the Inca era. Take some time to absorb the stunning vistas, including the magnificent Pumasillo mountain. We’ll descend for two hours along a stone path and reach our lunch spot, Wayracmachay. Afterward, we’ll continue our descent for three hours, ultimately arriving at our campsite in Colpapampa, situated at an elevation of 2,900 meters (9,222 feet).
This leg of the trek unveils the remarkable transition from high altitudes to the enchanting cloud forest, where you’ll encounter ancient medicinal plants, vibrant flowers, and a variety of avian species, including hummingbirds.
Distance: 16 km (9.94 miles), Time: 8 to 9 hours, Highest point: 4,600 meters (14,628 feet), Elevation: from 4,000 to 2,900 meters (13,123 to 9,222 feet) above sea level.
Day 3: COLPAPAMPA TO LUCMABAMBA
After a hearty breakfast, we’ll continue our trek amidst lush green vegetation, meandering alongside the Santa Teresa River. As we traverse this picturesque landscape, you’ll encounter a rich array of flora and fauna, including native orchids that bloom in abundance. Along the way, we’ll pass mesmerizing waterfalls and Granadilla farms (known for their passion fruit), and you’ll have the opportunity to observe banana, avocado, Yaca, and coffee plantations.
Our path will lead us through charming farm villages such as Wiñaypocco, Lluscamayo, and Playa Sahuayaco before reaching our campsite in Lucmabamba at an elevation of 2,100 meters (6,678 feet). This farm village is renowned for its coffee production and provides an opportunity to explore a tropical forest. Coffee enthusiasts will be delighted to sample some of Peru’s finest organic coffee.
If you wish to relax, visiting the soothing Hot Springs of Cocalmayo is an optional activity.
Distance: 15 km (9.32 miles), Time: 5 to 6 hours, Highest point: 2,900 meters (9,222 feet), Elevation: from 2,900 to 2,000 meters (9,222 to 6,678 feet) above sea level.
Day 4: LUCMABAMBA, LLACTAPATA TO AGUAS CALIENTES TOWN
After breakfast, we’ll begin our ascent for three hours toward Qelloqasa at an elevation of 2,700 meters (8,586 feet). From this vantage point, prepare to behold a spectacular view of the legendary Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.
We’ll then descend to the Llaptapata archaeological site, where you can marvel at both Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu mountains while enjoying a well-deserved break and a guided explanation. Continuing our descent, we’ll reach the Aobamba River, passing through the lush green forest that occasionally offers sightings of the vibrant Peruvian national bird, the cock-of-the-rock. Orchards and coffee plantations will accompany us as we make our way to the Machupicchu hydroelectric plant, where we’ll enjoy lunch and bid farewell to our dedicated trekking crew.
Afterward, we’ll embark on a three-hour trek through the stunning cloud forest alongside the railway to reach the town of Aguas Calientes.
Alternatively, there is an option to take a 45-minute train ride to Aguas Calientes. If you opt for the train, please inform us in advance to secure your ticket, which incurs an additional cost of $35. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, our guide will escort you to the hotel where you’ll spend the night.
Distance: 18 km (11.18 miles), Time: 7 to 8 hours, Highest point: 2,700 meters (8,586 feet), Elevation: from 2,000 to 2,000 meters (6,678 to 6,678 feet) above sea level.
Day 5: EXPLORE MACHUPICCHU, AFTERNOON RETURN TO CUSCO
Following a satisfying breakfast, your guide will accompany you on a short bus journey to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Prepare to immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of this magical Inca city as you embark on a guided exploration, delving into its fascinating history, construction, and discovery for approximately three hours. Afterward, you’ll have ample free time to explore the site at your own pace. If you obtain a ticket for Wayna Picchu, you can climb this iconic peak.
Please note that only 400 visitors are permitted daily, so it’s essential to pre-book your entrance ticket with us to secure your permit. In the afternoon, we’ll reconvene in Aguas Calientes. From there, we’ll board a train back to either Ollantaytambo or Poroy, depending on availability, and then proceed with private transportation back to your hotel in Cusco.