Difficulty level: Medium- High. We do recommend you to be in good shape, and to acclimatize yourself by staying in Cusco for at least 2 days prior to the trek.
This trek takes you along the impressive Salcantay snow peak and descends into the cloud forest until we reach Machu Picchu. It combines beautiful landscapes, exuberant vegetation, great variety of flora and fauna and hot springs
DAY 1: CUSCO - MOLLEPATA - SORAYPAMPA - SALCANTAYPAMPA (L + D)
Early in the morning, our private transport will take us to Soraypampa community, passing through Izcuchaca, Limatambo and Mollepata villages. After loading our mules with all the equipment we will start by walking uphill alongside a beautiful Andean valley, set at the foot of the Humantay snow-capped mountain (5,910 masl / 19,390 ft). The views to the valleys of Curahuasi and Apurímac are truly spectacular.
We continue walking up, enjoying the impressive views to the west side of the Salcantay snow-capped mountain (6,264 masl / 20,551 ft), until we reach Salcantaypampa, our first campsite on the foot of the mountain.
DAY 2: SALCANTAYPAMPA - THE TERRACES (B + L + D)
After breakfast we’ll start our second day hiking up towards Soyrococha (4,400 masl / 14,436 ft), and cross the mountain pass (4,650 masl / 15,256 ft), with a constant view of the glaciar. With some luck, we may have the pleasure of spotting condors. We’ll continue walking downhill and soon after, we will see the remains of an Inca trail (6 meter/ 19 ft wide). The arid landscape starts to convert into a cloud forest with trees covered by bromelids until reach our second campsite The Terraces (3,400 masl / 11,152 ft).
DAY 3: FROM THE TERRACES TO SANTA TERESA (B + L + D)
After a delicious breakfast we will start the descent towards Salcantay canyon in the cloud forest. Soon we will reach the settlement of Challway and another hour and a half to reach the town of Colpapampa, from where the Salcantay river turns into the Santa Teresa river.
After a short rest, we will continue our descent to the shores of Totora river, were we can enjoy the medicinal hot springs. Following the Santa Teresa river we will pass the Coripacchi waterfall, and hike by the north side of Santa Teresa river where you can see banana, coffee and avocado plantations, as well as an exuberant flora. We will enter the territory of the Andean spectacle bear and have the possibility of being accompanied by a flock of parrots. Then we reach our van to take us to Cola de Mono camping site , close to Santa Teresa.
DAY 4: FROM SANTA TERESA TO AGUAS CALIENTES (B + L)
In the morning we’ll be able to do Cola de Mono Canopy (Zipline/Flying Fox). This is an adventure activity in which participants are harnessed and attached by pulley to a cable anchored to two different mountains. They slide from one mountain to the other fast enough to feel like they are flying. This Canopy is Peru’s first, and South America’s highest. There are 2500 m of cables in six sections. The longest ride or section is 400m long, and the highest is 150m high. The maximum speed reached on the cables is 60 km/h. The tour takes approximately 2 hours. The take-off and arrival points are platforms of earth and rock.
Then, we will drive for 10 minutes to Cocalmayo for a pleasant and relaxing hot springs . After lunch, the transport will drive us for another 30 minutes to Hidroeléctrica in order to take the train to Aguas Calientes, where we will arrive in about an hour. Once in Aguas Calientes our guide will take us to our hotel to rest.
DAY 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO
After breakfast at the hotel, we will take the bus to Machu Picchu. There will be a guided tour featuring the most important attractions of the citadel: the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Moon Temple, the terraces, the ceremonial fountains and the Sun Gate, to name a few. In the afternoon, we will take the bus returning to Aguas Calientes and from here board the train back to Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Private transport is provided to take all persons back to their hotels.
All our equipment will be carried by horses. Each person must bring a daypack with a camera, a light jacket and a water container.
There will be spare horses provided for anyone who gets tired.
The night before the trekking we’ll provide you with one duffle bag per person for your belongings must not exceed 9 Kg, including sleeping bag and sleeping pad
You may find this trek quite challenging since it covers both up and downhill, so we do recommend you to be in good shape.
It is always a good idea to wear-in your shoes before heading out on any trek to avoid discomfort and nasty blisters.
Throughout the day the temperature doesn’t go below 8°C (46°F), during the night it can drop until -5°C (23°F). Depending of the time of the year, it could also rain.