SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU & CONDOR LOOKOUT 7D/6N
$ 350.00 USD
It is an ancient and remote alternative path to the Inca Trail, it has much more spectacular views and with various ecological floors we will walk between lagoons, impressive snowfalls like Salkantay and Humantay, crossing the rivers and subtropical areas of abundant vegetation and fauna. This road is an excellent option for those who wish to escape the most congested routes and in a faster way, or for those who are looking for an alternative when the spaces of the traditional Inca Trail are occupied.
Day 1: Cusco (3.35om) – Chonta (2800 m)- Condor Sight – Umantay (3900m) Soyrapampa (3.700m)
We drive from Cusco by bus to Chonta, we travel through the highlands of Anta. A dirt road will take us over the Puna highlands to the scenic mountain hamlet of Chonta near the Apurimaq Canyon. A 3km trek along the mountainside brought us to the Condor viewing platforms and the view of the canyon (double the depth of the Grand Canyon in places) and Apurimac river way down below is extraordinary. We will be 2 hours to see the condors and – some flying right overhead! Continuing our tour, we drive to head trail, Challacancha, where our hike begins. We start trekking up to Tillka from where we take the road to Marcocasa (3,500 m/11, 482 ft) passing forests and steppes on the route. We can enjoy beautiful vistas of the snow capped peak of Rayuska (5,350 m/17,552 ft). Finally we get to our first campsite at Soraypampa (3,600m/10,200 ft), lunch. After lunch we will climb the Humantay Mountain for 2 hours to visit the Humantay Lake, a superb lake in the mountains and we then descend back to camp at Soraypampa. There you will find the dining tent set up for afternoon tea with tea, mate de coca, coffee, chocolate etc. You can rest and later are served dinner.
- Estimated Trekking Time: 7 hours
- Condor Sight: 2 Hrs
- Trekking Distance: 14 Km
- Max. Elevation: 3,600 m (10,200ft)
- Min. Elevation: 2,803 m (9, 196 ft)
- Difficulty: Easy
Day 2: Soraypampa – Salkantay Pampa
After an early breakfast we start hiking. We get to Soyrapampa (3, 850m/12,600 ft) where we join the main Salkantay Trek. From there it takes about an hour to reach Salkantay Pampa, the place of our second campsite. Before that we have the chance to take in the stunning sight of the sacred mountains of Huamantay (5,917 m/19,412 ft) and Salkantay (6,271 m/20,574 ft). In the Andean culture these mountains are considered to be `Apus´ (mountain spirits)of great significance. When in Salkantay Pampa (4,100 m/13,451 ft) we set up camp and are later served dinner. We are in high altitude so the night will be cold, don’t forget to bring lots of warm clothes.
- Estimated Trekking Time: 6 hours
- Trekking Distance: 10 km
- Max. elevation: 4,100 m/13,451 ft
- Min. elevation: 3,600 m/10,200 ft
- Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Day 3: Salkantay Pampa – Pampacawana
Today we leave the path of the Salkantay Trek and join the Inca Trail route. First we go through a charming valley with domestic flowers and dramatic vistas of the Salkantay mountain to our left as we pass the indigenous villages of Qhesqa and Paucarcancha. We then ascend to the Incachiriaska Pass (4,880m) (the highest point of the trek), which translates as `the place where the Inca cools down´. From here we get the closest view of Salkantay, this whole area is dotted with small mountain lagoons and old glaciers of diverse shades of blue! Around this region, in the rocky cliffs, dwells the Andean Condor, the world’s largest bird. If we are lucky we might also see some viscachas (chinchillas), white tailed deer and also some rare animals such as guanaco, and vicunha. After we descend to the Cusichaca Valley until the tiny village of Pampacawana (4,000m/13,123 ft), here we can observe some old Incan channels. We set up camp nearby and have our dinner.
- Estimated Trekking Time: 7 hours
- Trekking Distance: 13 km
- Max. Elevation: 3,855 m/12,650ft
- Min. Elevation: 3,000 m/9,842 ft
- Difficulty: Difficult
Day 6: Wiñay wayna
We continue on the trail and pass through charming semi tropical vegetation and many archaeological sites. Before reaching the first site we get over the Phuyupatamarca Pass (3,670) and just behind it we can see the Phuyupatamarca Inka complex (3,600m), one of the best preserved and completed sites of the Inca Trail. It is located on top of a mountain and corresponds with its Quechua name that means `the town above the clouds´. After a guided tour we have lunch there. We then begin a steep descent via cloud forest where we can see delightful orchids and different bird species on the way to our last campsite at Wiñay Wayna (2700 m). A guided tour of the Winaywayna archaeological site follows. After that we have dinner and camp there.
- Estimated Trekking time: 5-6 hours time
- Trekking distance: 10 km
- Max.elevation: 3,670 m (12,040 ft)
- Min. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
- Difficulty: Moderate
Day 7: Machu Picchu
Another early start. We climb the prehistoric steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to see the sunrise over the long awaited sight of Machu Picchu. We enter the site in the early morning, where you have the best photo opportunities. You then enjoy your 2 and a half hour guided tour of the `Lost City of the Incas´. After that you can explore the ruins by yourself. When you’re finished you can meet the other from the group in Aguas Calientes for lunch or visit the hot springs. In the afternoon we return to Cusco by tourist train from Aguas Calientes.
- Estimated trekking time: 3 hours
- Trekking distance: 4 km
- Max. elevation: 2700 m/8,850 ft
- Min. elevation: 2, 400m/7,875 ft
- Difficulty: Easy to moderate
- Pre-trek briefing with your Tour Guide (our guide will visit your hotel a day before);
- Transfer by private vehicle to Soraypampa – the initial point of the trek;
- Accommodation: Campsites (6 nights);
- Entrance fees to the red of Salkantay, an Inca Trail Permit and Machu Picchu fee;
- Meals: 6x breakfast, 6x lunch, 6x dinner and 6x afternoon hot beverages (please advice us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost);
- Professional bilingual Tour Guide (a group of up to 10 participants receives 1 Guide, a group over 10 persons receives 2 Guides);
- Professional Cook;
- Horses and Porters to carry food, camping equp,cooking equipment and personal belonging (7 kg), Porters to do so in the second part (due to very strict Inca Trail regulations;
- Camping equipment: Eureka Mountain Personal double tents (4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks);
- Inflatable mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress);
- A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
- A blanket per person
- A pillow
- Day Pack Rain Covers;
- Rain Ponchos;
- Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
- A T-shirt of the Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail Map;
- Water every day (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own);
- Tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas;
- A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town;
- A Tourist train from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo (Expedition Service);
- Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day;
- A shuttle bus between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes Town ($12- one way, $24 – a round trip);
- Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu ($65) or Machu Picchu Mountain ($55);
- Extra porter and horses to carry your personal belonging (USD 130)
- International and domestic flights nor airport departure taxes;
- Travel insurance;
- Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
- Other extras not mentioned.
What is the best time of the year to do the Salkantay Trek?
It is difficult to determine an exact time to visit Peru and make the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu; for the variety of weather conditions it offers; It is possible to say that travelers can come at any season of the year. The Peruvian highlands have two seasons: the dry season (without rains) runs from April to October and is commonly recommended. At the same time it is the coldest season of the year, due to the frigid winds typical of this region during these months, at night temperatures drop to 4º C – 5º C and some nights it is possible to have temperatures of up to 0º C. June , July and August are the most popular months to visit Cusco due to the different festivities that occur throughout these months.
On the other hand, the rainy season begins in November and lasts until March, which also has a lot to offer since during this time the Salkantay trek can observe biodiversity in all its splendor, greener landscapes, wild flowers and more than 100 species of orchids in the flowering season, with rains that can last for hours but at the same time with warmer temperatures, it is possible to observe some travelers and walkers who do not mind filling themselves with mud and experience a slightly more extreme and different adventure than the one that is lived in the dry season.
Is the entrance to Machu Picchu included in the Salkantay trek?
Yes, the entrance to Machu Picchu is included in the Salkantay trekking package.
Is there an oxygen balloon available during the walk?
Yes, all our guides carry an oxygen balloon with them along the way and will be provided as needed.
Is medical assistance available during the walk?
Unfortunately not, for this reason we recommend that you spend at least 2 to 3 days acclimatization in Cusco before starting the trek to Salkantay / Inca Trail.
How long do the Walk from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu last?
The walk from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu takes approximately 1 hour and a half round trip and one hour back
Do I have to bring extra money to the Walk?
Yes, in order to cover some extra expenses that are not included in the Salkantay Walk package for example: the first breakfast, buy water, lunch on the last day and tips for porters, cooks and guides or any other expenses that may arise during the walk etc. Take preferably Peruvian soles and in denomination of 50, 20 or 10 soles since the major tickets are not easy to obtain change in the route. We also recommend you have coins.
Is it possible to recharge the batteries during the walk, and if so, how often?
Yes, they can recharge their batteries at the Chaullay camp but it will cost 15 soles per battery.
Are there bathrooms on the Salkantay trek? Do I have to pay to use them?
Many toilets have been built on the Salkantay road, including in the camps for a small fee. This has helped a lot to improve sanitary conditions on the trail although the conditions are not always perfect. The owner of each washable toilet will ask you to pay 1 soles. We recommend that you carry the hand sanitizer gel after using public toilets.
Are there showers in the camps?
We do not have showers in the first camps, however there are showers in the second camp, for an additional cost of 15 soles, the water temperature is not very hot but it will help you to clean up, in the third camp if there are showers with additional cost, On the fourth night you will have the shower at your disposal in the basic hot water hotel
If I am traveling.can I only have my own tent?
If you travel alone and are willing to share a tent with a member of the same sex, then there is no additional cost. If, however, you would like your own tent, it will have an additional cost of $ 25.
How much should I give tips to guides and porters?
Tips are for porters, cooks and guides, they are always welcome and are organized by the group on different days. They will also be very grateful to the small gifts that may be for them or their children. The suggested amount for tips is 40 to 50 soles for each carrier and 80 to 90 soles for the cook and his guide. We clarify that this amount is a suggestion and is not an obligation. Tips are collected among all the members of the group and it is not an individual contribution.