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Explore the Alternative Route to Machu Picchu: Salkantay Trekking Tour with Rap Travel Peru

Salkantay Trek

5 days and 4 nights Tour: Hiking and Adventure Min: 2 persons
Carol B
2024-03-20
Breathtaking views beyond describable lifetime adventure Very informitive and beautiful views wonderful pictures. I have already sent word to family they MUST come see!! The guides were friendly and helpful!!!
Heath A
2024-03-19
Amazing Experience!! An absolute once in a lifetime experience I will never forget! We were met by our guide immediately when stepping out of the train station and he was very friendly, funny, and very knowledgeable. Highly recommend anyone coming to Peru to book through Rap Travel Peru!!!
John V
2024-03-19
Totally unforgettable!! I was an amazing experience from start to finish. Every checkpoint was smooth and efficient. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone!!!
nick d
2024-03-19
Amazing time at Machu Picchu!!!!!👏👏👏👏👏 Had amazing time with some amazing people from rap travel the guide was amazing and very knowledgeable and attentive of everything that he was showing us had great insight and information and made it to where we can understand and enjoy what we were looking at in the history of the site!!!!!👏👏👏📣📣📣📣
Adriano M
2024-03-15
Passeios Maravilhosos e equipe receptiva Equipe super prestativa, desde a reserva até os guias turísticos. Fomos atendidos pelo brasileiro Luis, que estava sempre a disposição para ajudar com quaisquer dúvidas ou problemas. Os guias também foram super receptivos e bem dispostos a ajudar. Recomendo 100%
Yoselin A
2024-03-15
Mejores Días en Perú Desde el primer día la atención y servicio fueron excelentes, muy buenas recomendaciones sobre lugares donde comer, conocer y los mejores guías/fotógrafos. Gracias por recibirnos!
Castro Díaz D
2024-03-15
Experiencia increíble en Perú Mi estancia en Cusco con la agencia RAP Travel fue increíble, nos hicieron sentir como en casa desde que llegamos a la ciudad, los tours, guías, atención, todo fue demasiada buena. Recomendable para que vengan a conocer Perú de la mejor manera.
Marco F
2024-02-24
Nuestro viaje a Perú. Todo fantástico!! Nos encantó las atenciones de RAP Travel Perú y de todo su personal. Los tours bien planificados, puntuales. Todo A1, nos vamos súper contentos con el servicio. Los recomendamos al 1000%, el cooking class traditional fue excelente. El ceviche de trucha y lomo de alpaca para chuparse los dedos.
Madrily D
2024-02-24
Experiencias en Cusco. La experiencia en Perú, fue muy placentera. Nos encantó todo nuestro viaje, la compañía RAP Travel Perú. Nos ayudó muchísimo con la planificación con este viaje. 100% recomendado.
Silvia R
2024-02-23
Viaje mágico Excelente experiencia con la agencia rap travel , todos fueron muy amables y nos ayudaron a armar nuestro paquete turístico de acuerdo a nuestras necesidades

DESCRIPTION

Description Salkantay Trek Tour

With the “Salkantay Trek Tour”, you will enjoy an excellent option to escape from the congested routes like the traditional Inca Trail. This impressive excursion passes under the snowy Salkantay, the climate of the first part of the trail is dry and cold, the second part is warmer and more humid. This hike has a difficulty of moderate to strong, it is recommended to have good physical preparation, arrive in Cusco at least 2 days before starting the tour for acclimatization.

SALKANTAY, is a Peruvian snow-capped mountain located in the Cordillera Vilcabamba in Cusco. The snowy Salkantay Cusco is an alternative route to reach the citadel of Machu Picchu, this route runs along the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, this is an ancient and remote alternative to the Inca Trail, has much more spectacular views, crystal clear lagoons and turquoise, impressive snow-capped mountains like the Apu Salkantay and Humantay, rivers and subtropical areas of abundant vegetation and fauna.

The Salkantay Trek is an alternative route to the traditional Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu. The trek crosses the Salkantay Pass at 4600m.a.s.l., descends into the cloud forest. The trail starts in Mollepata / Markocasa or Soraypampa, a couple of hours from Cusco and ends in the town of Aguas Calientes. This hike was nominated among the 25 best hikes in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine.

Salkantay has exceptional views and at the same time, the diversity of ecological floors makes this hike an absolutely interesting journey with temperatures dropping to 1,000 meters above sea level, it is an incredible experience and the trail is not too steep.

The purpose of the Salkantay Trek to Machupicchu Tour was religious and ceremonial which included rituals to honor the snow-capped peaks along the route, such as Salkantay as well as the Humantay Lake. Active travel style, unique trekking experience with lots of adventure for outdoor activities lovers. The required age is from 12 years old and those travelers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

SALKANTAY is an excellent option for those who wish to escape the crowded trails and for those who are looking for an alternative to the traditional Inca Trail. This impressive excursion passes under the snowy Salkantay, the climate of the first part of the trail is dry and cold, the second part is warmer and more humid. This hike has a moderate to hard difficulty, it is recommended to have good physical preparation, arrive in Cusco at least 2 days before starting the tour for acclimatization.

MAIN POINTS OF VISIT

  • Cusco (3,399 masl)
  • Mollepata (2,976 masl / 9,976 fasl)
  • Soraypampa (3,912 masl / 11,912 fasl)
  • Humantay Lagoon (4,200 masl)
  • Ausangate (6,271 masl)
  • Chaullay (2,350 masl)
  • Llactapata (1,550 masl)
  • Santa Teresa (1,550 masl)
  • Aguas Calientes (2,040 masl)
  • Machupicchu (2,430 masl)

SHORT ITINERARY

TOUR SUMMARY:

  • Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Humantay Lake: 13 Km – Moderate Day.
  • Day 2: Soraypampa – Collpapampa: 26 km – Challenging day.
  • Day 3: Collpapampa – Lucmabamba: 16 km – Moderate day”.
  • Day 4: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes: 19 km – Challenging day.
  • Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu: 4 Km – Easy day.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1 : Pick up from Hotel – Mollepata – Cruzpata- Sayllapata Soraypampa – Laguna Humantay (16 Km)

  • 06.00 – 06.30 hrs, the guide will pick you up at the hotel. We will pass through the town of Mollepata by the Cusco – Abancay road where we will arrive in approximately 2 h 30 min.
  • Here we will make a brief rest stop before ascending to Soraypampa.
  • We will arrive to Cruzpata – Beautiful viewpoint where we will be able to appreciate the snowy Humantay.
  • Later we will arrive to Sayllapata, another natural viewpoint where we can appreciate the valley of Limatambo. And finally to Soraypampa, the icy wind of the area forces us to wrap up warm.
  • Here our first camp will be “Lodge del Cielo”. After lunch, our hike will take us to Humantay Lake, fed by glaciers high up on the slopes of the impressive mountain.
  • The hike will take 4 hours to reach the lake, but the view is beautiful and the brave can swim. Our local tour guide will tell us about the fauna, flora and traditions inherent to this beautiful lake, in view of the imposing mountain. Salkantay, will top off this unique experience.
  • Return to the Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Camping – SORAYPAMPA

Breakfast – Hotel / Lunch & Dinner – Agency

Day 2: Soraypampa – El Paso – Collpapampa (22 Km)

  • 04.00 hrs Very early in the morning we will wake up with a very hot tea, after a good breakfast.
  • 05.00 hrs We will start our hike to reach the Salkantay pass, we will take the opportunity to walk early in the morning and before the sun rises.
  • We will continue our journey to Machu Picchu, walking through the valley of the Blanco River and around the Humantay peak through the Salkantay peak. The highest point of the trip is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638 masl.
  • At the pass we stop for a beautiful view of the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba in all directions, with the south face of Salkantay towering above us. We will be on the lookout for Andean condors, often visible in this area.
  • From the pass we descend to Wayracmachay (the cave where the wind lives), here we will enjoy a delicious lunch. Then we will continue walking for 03 hours downhill until we reach our campsite in Colpapampa; dinner and overnight at the Sky Lodge.
  • Our Sky Camp has a 360 degree panoramic view of the Salkantay Valley, it is also a perfect place, away from the crowds and where we can get to know a little more of the local families.
  • Approximately this day we will hike 10 hours at a gentle walking style, enjoy the scenery and talk with our tour guide.
  • A local man can do this trail in only 3 hours. But we will do it in 10 hours, including lunch, because mostly the trails are steep and some open slopes.

Camp – COLLPAPAMPA

BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER – AGENCY

Day 3: Collpapampa – Santa Teresa – Lucmabamba

  • 04.00 hrs Very early in the morning we will wake up with a very hot tea, after a good breakfast, we will walk through the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas.
  • We will hike through narrow trails and through banana and passion fruit plantations, avocado orchards and coffee plantations. The coffee from this region is considered the best organic coffee in the world.
  • Our journey will take us to a fascinating place called “Llactapata Inca Trail”, where we say goodbye to our horses and equestrian staff.
  • A short 30 minute walk through an avocado orchard takes us to our “Sky Lodge” in Lucmabamba. Dinner and overnight at our Sky Lodge.
  • The Sky Camp in Lucmabamba is located in a perfect place, away from the crowded groups and where we will be in contact with the local families, whose economic activity is based on the coffee plantations and it is our responsibility to help them and we can also learn a little more about coffee.
  • OPTIONAL: If you request a private service, we can have a local coffee experience.
  • Peru is rapidly building a worldwide reputation for producing high quality, traditionally grown, shade-grown coffee beans. Coffee production arrived in Peru in the 1700s. After two centuries, the typical heirloom variety still comprises 60 percent of the country’s exports.
  • There are more than 110,000 coffee growers in Peru, most of whom are indigenous to these landscapes and speak Spanish as a second language. The Association of Tourism of the Rural Community ‘Flor de Café’ of Lucmabamba – Bayona arose as a dream of 15 families. It is located on the Inca Trail, with a final destination in
  • Machupicchu, at an altitude of 2,026 meters above sea level.
    These families found the opportunity to improve their quality of life through tourism activities, sharing their ancestral knowledge and inviting tourists to experience the flavors and knowledge of the Coffee Route.

Camp – LUCMABAMBA

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner – Agency

Day 4: Llactapata – First View Of Machupicchu – Aguas Calientes

This day will be one of the most fun days of the trek. It begins with a few kilometers walk to the Hydroelectric station and after lunch, we will continue the journey parallel to the Vilcanota River and the railroad track until we reach the town of Aguas Calientes.

  • 05.00 hrs Very early after a healthy breakfast, we board the last day of our trek to head uphill for 2-3 hours to the Llactapata Pass (2,736 masl), where we encounter a spectacular view of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.
  • From the southeast side, few travelers have the opportunity to admire the magnificence of the site, we take a short break to explore the archaeological site of Llactapata, which has been recently restored.
  • Hiram Bingham first discovered Llactapata in 1912. “We found evidence that an Inca chief had built his house here and had constructed a dozen buildings. Bingham locates the site” on top of a ridge between the Aobamba and Salcantay valleys, some 5,000 feet above the Huaquina estate. “Here we discovered a series of ruins and two or three modern huts. The Indians said the place was called Llactapata. “Bingham did not investigate the ruins thoroughly, so they were not studied again for another 70 years.
  • A mid-2,003 study of the site by Hugh Thomson and Gary Ziegler concluded that Llactapata’s location along the Inca trail suggested that it was an important rest stop and roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu. This and subsequent research has revealed an extensive complex of structures and features related and connected to Machu Picchu by the continuation of the Inca Trail leading toward Vilcabamba. Llactapata may have been a member of the network of interrelated administrative and ceremonial sites that supported the regional center at Machu Picchu. It probably played an important astronomical function during the solstices and equinoxes.
  • Lunch will be served at a scenic viewpoint overlooking Machu Picchu. After starting our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations.
  • We will arrive at the “Train Station Village” of the Hydroelectric Village, we continue our hike alongside the railroad to Aguas Calientes, also known as the Machupicchu Village (approx. 3 hours).
  • Upon arrival, we check into the hotel for a celebratory dinner with our guide and a final briefing for our next day’s experience.
  • NOTE: Those who prefer not to walk from the Hydroelectric Village to Aguas Calientes can take the train experience, the 40 minute ride, price not included. You will meet the rest of the group at the Aguas Calientes train station.

Hotel – AGUAS CALIENTES

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner – Agency

Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Cusco

MACHUPICCHU, ancient Andean Inca settlement, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru, in the Andes mountain range at 2,430 meters above sea level; it is located in the Cusco region, province of Urubamba, district of Machupicchu. Machu Picchu would have been one of the resting places of Pachacutec, ninth Inca of the Tahuantinsuyo between 1438 and 1470.

It is considered, at the same time, a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. Its peculiar architectural and landscape characteristics and the veil of mystery that has been woven around it in much of the literature published about the site, have made it one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, as well as one of the 7th wonders of the modern world.

  • 05.00 hrs After a very early breakfast at the hotel, we go to the bus station to go up to the Sanctuary and take the tour to Machu Picchu (30 minutes).
  • Our guide will give an introductory guided tour of the Inca city. Machupicchu guided tour: The Inca city of Machupicchu opens at 06.00 hrs.
  • We will be between 06.00 and 07.00 hrs. after showing our entrance ticket, we will go up to the best view point to take a picture of the guardian’s house, after 30 minutes of free time our guide will give us a detailed and extensive information about the city of the Incas for about 1 hour. After the guided explanation of the guardian’s house, you will have 02 options:
  • Climb to the Sun Gate. A one hour hike, an excellent option to get the best panoramic images of the entire Andes. Those arriving from the Inca Trail to Machupicchu arrive through the Sun Gate; later you can return to the Inca city and visit on your own and at your own discretion the Inca city.
  • Or we will continue to the Inca city for another hour, passing the middle square, the temple of the 3 windows and much more, once we arrive to the Sacred Rock very close to the entrance gate to the Sacred Mountain Huaynapicchu, The guide will give you some free time to explore the Inca city on your own.
  • After the visit, you will descend to Aguas Calientes and then board the Expedition train at 16.22 hrs to arrive at Ollantaytambo train station, where you will meet our transportation and we will transfer you to your hotel in Cusco, arriving around 20.30 hrs.

VERY IMPORTANT

  • To climb Huayna Picchu mountain or Machu Picchu mountain (not included in the price, spaces are limited, you must book minimum 6 months).
  • According to the regulation of Machupicchu, once we enter the Sacred City is not allowed to return by the same roads “there are many signs about which route we must follow, we can only stop in some places or simply our return by the place where we were before”, so we advise you to enjoy every minute you can be in each Inca place.
  • According to Machupicchu regulation, the entrance tickets can be used only once, it means that once you leave the Inca town, you will not be able to return, unless you get a new ticket.

BREAKFAST – AGENCY / LUNCH and DINNER – PASSENGER

INCLUDES

INCLUDES:

  • SORAYPAMPA – 1 night Private Campsites Lodge of the sky
  • COLLPAPAPAMPA – 1 night Private Campsites Lodge of the sky
  • LUCMABAMBA – 1 night Private campsites Lodge del cielo
  • AGUAS CALIENTES – 1 night Hotel Encanto
  • Transfers In/ Out
  • Transportation Cusco/Mollepata
  • Professional bilingual Salkantay guide with adventure experience
  • Professional bilingual cultural guide with Machupicchu experience
  • Entrance ticket to the Salkantay / Humantay Lake
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Inca site
  • 1 duffel bag: personal luggage, up to (5 kgs).
  • Load of mules / horses on days 1, 2 and 3,
  • On day 4, your luggage will be transported by car or train to Aguas Calientes.
  • Dining tents and kitchen
  • Professional trekking chef with an assistant
  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, lunches, 4 dinners (vegetarian, vegan or special menus available at no extra cost)
  • Boiled water: From your first lunch to your last breakfast, you will be able to fill our waters at every meal.
  • Wake up with tea: Every morning at the camp,
  • Tea time every day during the trek: Every evening before dinner, the cooks will provide you with our tea time
  • popcorn, cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, tea, hot water, etc.
  • Hygiene products: You will be provided with a small towel before each meal to wash your hands and every
  • morning there will also be a bucket of warm water to wash your personal hygiene.
  • Medical kit and oxygen bottle
  • Train tickets: Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo
  • Transfer back to Cusco: Private tourist transportation.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Sleeping bags
  • Consettur bus to the Inca city of Machupicchu
  • Walking sticks
  • First breakfast and last lunch after Machupicchu.
  • Clothes and personal equipment.
  • Travel insurance
  • Please note that our agency staff is well paid, so feel free to tip or not as you wish “Recommendation 6 – 8 USD per day per traveler for all trek staff” – Again it is optional and May vary according to your satisfaction.
  • Train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes. USD $ 34.00
  • Additional costs or delays beyond the control of the administration (scenery, bad weather, itinerary modification due to security problem, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.).
  • Visit to the hot springs in Machupicchu town S/.10.00
  • Entrance ticket to Machupicchu Mountain or Waynapicchu.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Original passport
  • Small backpack
  • Complete rain gear or poncho
  • Gloves (warm)
  • Trekking pants
  • Long sleeve breathable polo shirts
  • Flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Swimwear
  • Sandals
  • Cold weather jacket
  • Long sleeve sweater
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sun hat and bandana
  • Casual mountain clothing
  • Water purification tablets
  • Personal toiletries
  • Camera and video camera
  • Binoculars
  • Refillable water bottle (Hydration bags are recommended).
  • Snacks: cereal bars, chocolates, cookies, dried fruits.
  • Cash: coins and small bills in soles.

PRICES

GROUP SERVICE TOUR

Salkantay Trek Tour

PRICE PER PERSON

Minimum 02 people

GROUP SERVICE TOUR

Photo Gallery The best of the Tour!

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

The difficulty level of the trek ranges from moderate to strenuous. It is recommended to have good physical fitness to undertake this tour.

The first part of the trek is dry and cold, while the second part is warmer and humid.

You can do the Salkantay Trek without prior trekking experience. The route offers various difficulty levels, and many people with no experience have successfully completed the trek. Although some parts can be challenging, it’s important to be in good physical shape and prepare before the tour. Here are some recommendations:

  • Physical preparation: Do cardio and strength training exercises to improve your endurance. Practicing long walks will help you prepare.
  • Acclimatization: Arrive in Cusco at least two days before the tour to acclimatize to the altitude and reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
  • Proper gear: Wear comfortable trekking boots, weather-appropriate clothing, and a lightweight backpack.
  • Steady pace: Walk at a consistent pace, take breaks, and drink enough water during the trek.
  • Follow the guides: They will provide guidance and support. Feel free to ask them questions if needed.
  • Positive attitude: Enjoy the views and maintain a positive attitude.

If you have concerns, consult with us for further guidance before the adventure.

Tipping on our trekking tours is entirely optional but greatly appreciated. If you are satisfied with the service provided, it is customary to thank the guide and porters with a tip. A general suggestion is to consider an amount around 10-15% of the total tour price, though this is merely a recommendation, and the final decision is entirely yours. We appreciate any show of gratitude you choose to offer to our team.

Some of the highlights of the Salkantay Trek include Soraypampa, Laguna Humantay, Salkantay Pass, Villa Hidroeléctrica, Aguas Calientes, and, of course, the crown jewel, Machu Picchu.

The Salkantay Trek can be done year-round, but it’s important to plan considering the season and weather conditions. It is recommended to avoid February, as the Inca Trail is usually closed for maintenance.

On the Salkantay Trek, there are bathrooms at some locations, but their quality may vary. It is advisable to inquire with the travel agency and bring personal hygiene items for a more comfortable experience.

Yes, it is highly recommended to acclimatize before embarking on the Salkantay Trek. Since the route reaches significant altitudes, it’s important for your body to gradually adapt to altitude changes to avoid altitude-related health issues such as altitude sickness. It is suggested to arrive in Cusco at least two days before the tour and take medical precautions if necessary to minimize risks and fully enjoy the Salkantay Trek experience. Pre-acclimatization is an important measure for your health and comfort during the trek.

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