Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu (the Salkantay Trail). This hike to Machu Picchu is one of the most interesting and important alternative treks to Machu Picchu due to its wide range of flora and different ecosystems, and its Inca site that lies a top and at the back of Machu Picchu mountain, and the trail eventually leads to Aguas Calientes, located at the base of the historical and archeological site of Machupicchu and we also climb Huayna Picchu mountain, we take a early bus to see the sunshine and avoid crowds. Machu Picchu joined by one of our knowledgeable English speaking tour guides.
Day 01: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Soraypampa
Day 02: Soraypampa - Colcapampa
Day 03: Colcapampa - Playa
Day 04: Playa - Llactapata - Hidrolectrica - Aguas Calientes
Day 05: Machu Picchu - Cusco
Early morning pick up at your hotel to after doing a 3 hour bus ride from Cusco (3400m)- to Mollepata (2700m), and one and a half hour drive more to Soraypampa (3750mt). Briefly stop in Limatambo or Mollepata to have breakfast and then carry on our journey to the trailhead in Soraypampa.
We start a gentle hike at the head of the valley. The trail goes steep uphill and comes to a serie of zigzags. All around, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of Humantay and Salkantay. Then, to catch our breath, we will drop gently down to the small laguna Soirococha where we stop for lunch.
After walking 4 hours up, we reach the highest pass (4,550m) from where we can have a stunning scenery of the sacred mountains in the Peruvian Andes Humantay and Salkantay. That will compensate the great effort in reaching the top which is marked by a pile of stones that grows daily as each traveler adds his pebble to thank the Apus (mountain spirits) for a safe trip and good luck. Then we descend to our First campsite at Huayracmachay (3750m).
After an early breakfast, we will leave the beautiful pyramid shaped peak of Salkantay behind us. From now, the fauna and flora change as we enter the tropical cloud forest and discover its lush vegetation of wild orchids, bromilias and also beautiful birds. This level is known as a cloud forest. Continuing our descent through the groves of bamboos; don't forget to keep looking back at the snow-peaks behind you, framed by bamboo fronds.
After 4 hours of heading down we arrive in the tiny settlement of Collpapampa where you set up our camp site, and have lunch and afterwards take a relaxing bath at the natural hot springs and take the same way back up to the camp site at Collpapampa.
After a healthy breakfast, the trail continues down the valley into the forest, from increasingly tall trees and groves of bamboos, providing some bird watching opportunities without missing the view on the chaotic river.
You will be going across some amazing untouched path where strawberries grow at your feet and passion fruit are above your head in a decor of begonias and purple orchids! To finally arrive to our Camp site in La Playa.
We wake up early this day to start a nice way up hill which will give us some amazing views on the valley. After 3 hours, we will enjoy a break in a Pampa overlooking one of the main highlights in South America Machu Picchu. It s a magical view given to us that the main part of tourists will never see!
A 3 hours going down the path easily leads the hikers to the bamboos groves and into a forest of increasingly thick vegetation and tall trees. Some excellent bird watching opportunities!
Reaching to la hidreoelectrica we follow the rail tracks heading up the Urubamba valley to our last camp site in Puentes Ruinas (Aguas Calientes).
After an early morning breakfast we will walk up to Machu Picchu sanctuary and enter early for the best photos opportunities and then spend the rest of the morning visiting and exploring the ruins. Before leaving, let s take the time to climb up to Huaynapicchu (45 min) before heading down to Aguas Calientes to aboard the train back to Cusco.