Salkantay Trek Cheap 4 days is the best alternative to the Inca Trail. On this 4 day hike you overcome the highest point of the trek, On the first day it is easy hike, you walk between the Challacancha to Soraypampa (3700 meters). On the second is hard day, you will walk up between Soraypampa 3700 meters to Salkantay Mountain.4,550 meters above sea level! also enjoy amazing mountain sceneries with snowy peaks, mountain lagoons and remote Andean villages to later experience a subtropical area of Cusco with its warm climate! The icing on the cake is obviously a guided tour of Machu Picchu in the end!
Forget the Inca Trail and hike to Machu Picchu along the higher, more beautiful and less touristy Salkantay Trail! Discover a different side of the great Andes mountain range and get the most amazing views of the mountains by taking this alternative route to Machu Picchu. Ascend to the highest pass at 4,550 meters above sea level for up-close-and-personal views of the massive Salkantay and Humantay mountain peaks in the Vilcanota mountain range, which are among the highest in Peru. This pristine high altitude trail is the perfect opportunity to get away from the crowds and get into the nature to see abandoned Inca sites not very visited by tourists. This is the most challenging hike but you’ll get to walk very close to the glaciers and get revel with the wondrous mountain peaks towering overhead as you breathe fresh mountain air. The famous Salkantay Trek is top 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine
Day 01: Cusco - Challacancha - Soraypampa
Day 02: Soraypampa - Salkantay Mountain - Huayracmachay - Chaullay
Day 03: Chaullay - Playa Sahuayaco - Local Bus to - Hidrolectrica - Aguas Calientes
Day 04: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Crew: A IncaTrail Hiking Tours Representative in Cusco and a professional Tour Guide, Cook and Horseman.
Accommodation: Campsites (2 nights), Hostel (1 night).
Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 2x afternoon hot beverage.
Transportation: Tourist transportation to the hear trail, 1x train (Expedition Class).
We rise about 5 am and go from Cusco on bus for about 4 hours to Mollepata village (2900 meters above sea level). You will arrive around 7.30 am, we stop for 45 minutes and have breakfast in a restaurant if the group wants (not included in cost) and can buy some last minute supplies. (not included)Then we continue our ride uphill, for 1 more hour until we reach Challacancha (the trail head).
There we meet our support staff, who will pack the equipment on the horses and mules. We need to have 2 backpacks. One which will carry all our personal items(up to 5kg) that will go on the horses and a daypack with just necesities that you will carry. From there we hike for about four hours to Soraypampa, which is burrowed between the snowy mountains (3850 meters above sea level), on a trail which is a mixture of uphill, downhill and flat path, during which we will have sweeping views of the impressive Salkantay, other snowy mountains and the valley of the Apurimac River. We reach our campsite, where we have 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.
An early start, we have a fine breakfast and prepare ourselves for the longest and most difficult day of the excursion. We start on a moderate pace for 1 hour till we get to Soyrococha. Then we hike uphill for around 3 hours more till we reach the high pass, at 4,800m close to the wonderful frosty peaks of Salkantay (6,271m) and Humantay (6,100m), the second highest peak in the Cusco region.
Here we enjoy the stunning scenery, you will also see heaps of stones called Apachetas. From here we descend for 1 hour to Wayracmachay (3,800m) where we have lunch and a rest. Then follows a 3 hour hike to our campsite in Chaullay.
After a healthy breakfast, we keep descending through a valley deeper into the forest following increasingly tall trees and bamboo groves providing some bird-watching opportunities without missing views of the chaotic Santa Teresa River. We follow an incredibly untouched path where wild strawberries grow at our feet while passion fruits can be found above our heads. This everything is decorated by begonias and purple orchids! Finally, we arrive to La Playa where have a lunch.We take a local bus for an hour long bus ride wich will bring us to the town of Santa Teresa, which is the first actually town that you’ll encounter along the trek, and is also famous for the Santa Teresa hot spring that bubble up right outside of town.
Optional: Santa Teresa Hot Springs U$ 5 or S/ 15 soles extra.
After a rest, we will go to the hot springs and enjoy the well-deserved soothing water!
After breakfast you will walk for four hours until you reach the Urubamba River and have lunch by the hydro-electric station there.
Hydrolectrica is actually farther than Machu Picchu town on the train. It is mainly used by locals. There we follow trails leading us to Aguas Calientes town located at the foothill of Machu Picchu Mountain!. Walking along the train line is much more enjoyable than we anticipated as a wide path undulates beside the tracks. Almost the entire distance is shaded by jungle foliage, trees and flowers, the incline is very gradual. Arrived to Aguas Calientes and basic hostel.
After an early morning breakfast, we continue for about 2 hours up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu that we enter for the early morning best photos opportunities! Then our Tour Guide shows us around the Incan city and explains us about its history and purposes. After the guided tour, we can enjoy hiking Machu Picchu Mountain(1 and half and hour up and the same time down) or Huayna Picchu(45 minute climb), these are peaks above Machu Picchu that are used to take some panoramic pictures of the Incan city! Then, we are given time off to spend and explore Machu Picchu on our own.
In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo, from where we are taken by van back to Cusco.