Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

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Travel Program

After a good night’s rest, you’ll wake up early to enjoy your breakfast before your trek. During the morning there’ll be a short team introduction between all Salkantay trekkers and the Expeditions Staff to ensure a positive family-like experience.
Following the introduction, you’ll give your duffel bag to the muleteers to carry to the next campsite.

The day’s hike will begin with a 1.5 hour steady uphill hike to the renowned Humantay Lagoon. The serene views of the crystalline-blue water of Humantay Lagoon are absolutely incredible. If the skies are clear you’ll see the first sun rays peeking through the snow-covered peaks.
And… If you’re brave, you’ll have the chance to touch the almost-frozen water that locals believe can help you stay young forever! The advantage of visiting Humantay Lagoon in the early morning hours is the quiet surroundings with no other Salkantay trekkers besides those in your group. Due to the popularity of this location, this isn’t something everyone can enjoy!
After breathing it all in you’ll begin your way back to the starting point to continue to the lunch spot in Soyroccocha. This portion of the Salkantay hike will be approximately 3 hours on gradually ascending terrain. On your way, you’ll pass breathtaking places such as Salkantay Pampa, which means outstanding views of the surrounding snow-covered mountains. These views are what make the journey the destination.
After lunch made by your Alpaca Expeditions local chef and a well-deserved rest, you’ll continue with you’re the next leg of your Salkantay hike. This next portion continues on for about 1 hour until you arrive at Salkantay Pass at 4,650 meters above sea level. This is the highest point of the trek. The group will rest there and you’ll be served hot drinks while you enjoy the views.
From Salkantay Pass, you’ll be on the last leg of the hike for the day, which is a 3 hour downhill trek to the evening’s campsite, Wayracmachay. When you arrive at the campsite the Salkantay trekking staff will have your tents all set up and your duffel bags ready.
Alpaca Expeditions’ team will provide you with warm water to get washed up from the day so you can change into some fresh warmer clothes for the night. Then there is a happy hour with hot chocolate and coffee followed by dinner. If the weather allows, you’ll get to enjoy the unbroken views of the sky along with a brief introduction to the visible Inca constellations.
Walking Distance: 18km
Elevation Gained: 850 meters
Elevation Descended: 850 meters
Weather: Cold, windy, rainy in the wet season

Your Alpaca Expeditions trekking team will wake you up early with a hot drink to help you start the day. Hopefully as you open your tent, you’ll be welcomed by the sunrise over majestic glacier peaks and clouds lifting from the green cloud forest. You’ll have time to pack up and enjoy a nice breakfast prepared by your local Salkantay trekking chef.
At around 7 a.m. you’ll hike for approximately 4 hours downhill until reaching the lunch spot at Ccollpapampa (2,700 meters above sea level). During this part of the Salkantay hike you’ll begin to notice the micro-climate as well as fauna and flora changes. You’ll go from cold glacier views to warm green jungle surroundings. There’ll be many different species of orchids to see as well as
ferns, begonia flowers, and even hummingbirds.
After lunch and a well-deserved rest, you’ll continue your trek to the next private campsite called La Loreta (2400 meters above sea level). This hike will be approximately 4 hours on gradually downhill terrain.
Along the way, you’ll be able to explore beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and more new flora and fauna.
You’ll be able to experience another tropical forest micro-climate where local people farm coffee,passion fruit, papayas, oranges, and avocados. When you arrive at the evening’s campsite your Salkantay trekking staff will be there to welcome you.
You’ll have time to enjoy a nice hot shower, hot Jacuzzi and perhaps even swim in our swimming pool. There’ll also be plenty of time to walk around our ecological garden to see some of the local coffee, avocado, chilies, tomatoes, and pineapples. Dinner tonight will be at our building with views of the Salkantay River. Then when you retire for sleep, you’ll be able to hear the Salkantay River.
Walking Distance: 18 km
Night Elevation: 2,400 meters
Elevation Descended: 1,400 meters
Weather: Warm and hot

After a delicious homemade breakfast cooked by Alpaca Expeditions’ renown local chef, you’ll start the shortest but most exciting day of your Salkantay adventure. Today you’ll experience the most beautiful sights along your Salkantay trekking route to Machu Picchu.
You’ll explore the tropical forest and will visit a local organic coffee farm where you’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the orange and avocado plantations as well as taste some of the freshly-brewed coffee. During your visit to the coffee farm you’ll get a brief informational introduction to the region’s coffee history as well as its importance to the area.
Then you’ll continue with your Salkantay trek to Llactapata by hiking along a section of the Inca trail for approximately 2.5 hours. On your way to the Llactapata Inca site you’ll see amazing views of the Santa Teresa valley. The views you’ll be seeing along your hike today are impossible to put into words.
At Llactapata you’ll get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu. This includes the main archaeological sites Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the Llactapata Inca site and take unforgettable photographs.
From here you’ll enjoy the last leg of your day’s hike with a 15 minutes downhill walk to your lunch and campsite area. This campsite is owned by a local family that only Alpaca Expeditions has permission to stay at so you’ll enjoy more privacy than other Salkantay trekkers could.
You’ll find the campsite to be a great place to enjoy the sunset and sunrise over Machu Picchu. After lunch you’ll have some free time to enjoy the views and relax from hiking.
Before your Alpaca Expeditions local chef serves you dinner, you’ll enjoy another lovely happy hour with tea and coffee. Once the sun has set then prepare yourself for another evening of unforgettable stargazing. You’ll see the Milky Way as well as the Inca constellations much in the same way as the Incan astronomers did to predict the weather.
Walking Distance: 12 km
Campsite Elevation: 2,700 meters
Elevation Gained: 400 meters
Weather: Hot and humid during the day, chilly at night

Your Expeditions trekking team will wake you up early with a hot drink to help you start the day. You’ll get ready for the day’s activities and then enjoy your last breakfast prepared by your local trekking chef.
The day’s hike will begin with a 2 hour downhill path with unbeatable views of Machu Picchu until the Hydroelectrical Station that was built to harness the natural 300-meter high waterfall, which generates electricity for the region of Cusco. This waterfall is one of the most impressive features of this area.
From the Hydroelectrical Station you’ll continue to the famous Intiwatana (sundial rock). According to history, this Inca stone once worked with the legendary sundial rock in Machu Picchu to signal the winter solstice, which meant the beginning of a new farming season for the Incas.
Once you’ve seen the famous Intiwatana, you’ll continue on the path that runs alongside the train tracks for approximately 3 hours. This leads to the town of Aguas Calientes located at the foot of the valley of Machu Picchu. This part of the hike will be interesting as it was the trail used by the American professor Hiram Bingham when rediscovering Machu Picchu.
On his way to discovering Machu Picchu Hiram Bingham met with local farmer Melchor Arteaga who eventually guided him to Machu Picchu. On your trek, you’ll hike past Melchor Artaega’s farm. Here you’ll see many species of flora and fauna and amazing local birds such as Peru’s national bird (called cock of the rock), Toucans, Oropendolas and Parrots. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes you’ll relax and enjoy your packed lunch.
Then you’ll go to your hotel to enjoy a hot shower and then take the opportunity to visit the famous hot springs (10 soles, not included) of Aguas Calientes. In the evening you’ll be served your final dinner prepared by your Alpaca Expeditions’ local trekking chef and you’ll have a chance to say.

Walking Distance: 14 km
Aguas Calientes Elevation: 2,000 meters
Weather: Hot
Accommodations: Inti Punku Hotel (or similar)

Today will be all about Machu Picchu. To get the most out of the day we encourage every group to have an early breakfast before catching one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (starting at 5:30 a.m.). This allows you to get ahead of the crowds.
The hotel will hold your bags for you while in Machu Picchu. This way you’ll only need to take your backpack with all essentials up to Machu Picchu. The bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu takes approximately 30 minutes.
Once in Machu Picchu your guide will take you directly to the best place to watch the sunrise and take photographs. Your local guide will then show you around the main sectors of the citadel for a total of 2.5 hours. During this guided tour you’ll learn more about the history and culture of the Inca Empire.
At the end of the guided tour you’ll have some time to yourself to relax and wander around. That is unless you arranged to hike Huayna Picchu* (must be booked in advance, as it sells out and costs $75 per person) your guide will show you where to begin this hike. The hike will take no more than 2 hours round-trip.
For your return from Machu Picchu we recommend heading back to Aguas Calientes no later than 2 hours before your train departure. The return train rode from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo will take approximately 2 hours. In Ollantaytambo our Alpaca Expeditions’ staff will be waiting for you right by the station’s exit door. They’ll be ready to bring you back to Cusco by car. The car ride to Cusco will be approximately 2 hours and will have you dropped off at your hotel in Cusco.
Machu Picchu Mountain may be hiked as well instead of Huayna Picchu Mountain. This hike is more challenging and takes three hours minimum round-trip (at an extra cost of USD $75 per person).

Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner

What's Included

Services included in the prices:

  • Briefing:
  • Professional Guides
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes (4th night)
  • Transportation
  • Expeditions has the best equipment. We use Eureka Timberline 4 tents that are
    shared by only two people.
  • Food, The Alpaca Expeditions chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have
    loved. We honor all food restrictions so be sure to add any that you have on your booking
    form. You can also inform your guide at your briefing. Food is typically all served family-style.
  • You’ll enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day for the trek along with a happy hour of tea,
    coffee and snacks. A snack will be provided each morning for you to enjoy along the hike.
    Your last meal with your chef will be after breakfast on day four.
  • Lunch on the last day is not included.
  • Water
  • First Aid
  • Satellite Phones

Not included:

  • Rentals:
    1) Sleeping Bag: $25
    2) Inflatable Air Mattress: $20
    3) Walking Sticks (Pair): $20.
  • Day packs: Day packs aren’t provided . You must bring your own. Be sure you don’t bring anything too large, as you don’t want it to be too heavy while you’re
    trekking. Plus, Machu Picchu will not allow you to bring in a bag larger than 25L. If you have a large backpack it will need to be stored before your tour. Only essentials are needed while trekking. That includes water, snacks, camera, sunhat, warm layers, waterproof rain layers, insect spray, sunscreen and a first-aid kit.
  • Headlamps
  • Flights: Flying to Cusco can be tricky.
  • Gratuities: Tipping is always appreciated and should be based completely on your
    satisfaction.
  • Travel Insurance

Prices & Dates

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» Additional dates available upon request
» Rates may vary from July 26th to 31th for the national holidays

Prices (per person):

1 PAX 2 -3 PAX 4 – 5 PAX 6 – 7  PAX 8 PAX 10 PAX 12 PAX 14 PAX
2900 USD 1450 USD 1350 USD 1250 USD 1150 USD 1050 USD 950 USD 920 USD

Deposit for reservations: — USD (– EUR) ✓ Full payment 40 days before. No refund if you cancel less than 30 days!

Places: 🟢 *Available
Trip-code: Number ►PER-
Duration: 05 days
Participants: Minimal: 4 Maximal: 12
Members: We don’t have an open group to join – We can open a new group – Contact us!
Country / Location: Peru
Mountain Guide: Eric Albino Lliuya
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

3% early bird discount when booking 6 months prior to departure 2023

Legend Booking-information:
EZZ Single room supplement
🟢 On this trip, places are still available.
🟡 On this trip, only a few places left.
🔴 This trip is sold out / closed.

Eric Albino Lliuya

Expert guide certified by AGOMP
Tour-guide of Peru Expeditions

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