This trekking circuit goes around the Salcantay Range and offers impressive views of the Andean valleys and the snow-capped mountains of the Vilcabamba range. Some 700 - 500 years ago, the Incas joined these remote valleys with amazing stone trails, one of them being the trail which passes at the foothills of the impressive Mount Salcantay, climbing down to the beautiful cloud forest of the Santa Teresa River, passing small farming villages such us Collpapampa and Santa Teresa, and finally arriving at the town of Aguas Calientes from where we will be touring the fabulous Machu Picchu Citadel.
Day 1: Lima
At your arrival in Lima, you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to the hotel of your choice. At the hotel, you will find an envelope with all the information about the activities of the next days.
Day 2: Lima Shared City Tour (3 hours)
Our morning tour begins with a panoramic view to the Huaca Puccllana pre-Inca remains where we learn about the cultural past of Lima, and the ancient civilization that inhabited this place. Later, we head towards the colonial part of town visiting the Plaza de Armas, and to enjoy a panoramic view of the Cathedral, San Francisco Church and its impressive ''Catacombs''. Afterwards we will head towards modern Lima, to visit the districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, finally ending our tour at Larco Mar, a modern entertaining center with a splendid view of the Pacific Ocean. You will be transferred back to the hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Breakfast included.
Day 3: Lima - Cusco. Shared City Tour
We will have an early transfer to the airport in Lima to head to Cusco. After your arrival in Cusco, you will be welcomed and transferred to the hotel. After your check in, we will have some time to settle in, and adapt to the high altitude of the city. In the afternoon, we will head to visit (shared tour) the city of Cusco. The tour starts with a walk to visit the Plaza de Armas with its beautiful colonial buildings and churches including the Cathedral. Then we walk to Santo Domingo Church where we find the impressive Koricancha Temple with exquisite stone work and carvings, to finally visit the nearby ruins of Cusco: the impressive Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, Quenko, and the Inca bath of Tambo Machay. Our transport will drop us off at the hotel in the late afternoon. Breakfast included.
Day 4: Cusco – Urubamba Valley - Cusco. Shared Tour
In this full day trip, we will visit Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where we begin with a visit to the Pisac ruins: well-preserved Inca remains with beautiful traditional style buildings. Here we can observe an Inca tunnel carved from pure rock and enjoy great views of the valley. Later, will head down into the Pisac Indian market (a great place for shopping), followed by a visit to the impressive fortress of Ollantaytambo, a village where people are still living in houses built 500 years ago, during the Inca time. On our way, back to Cusco, we will also visit the colorful Chinchero Indian market ending a fun day at our Hotel back in Cusco. Breakfast included.
Day 5: Cusco – Mollepata – Salcantaypampa (trek time: 3 hours)
At 07:00 a.m. starts our expedition with a private transport from the city of Cusco. We will pass the localities of Izcuchaca and Limatambo, and after a 3-hour drive, we will arrive at Mollepata town (2950m/9676ft) where we stop for a short rest and coffee. Afterwards we continue our drive (2 hours) towards the area known as Soraypampa (3850m/12628ft), a beautiful Andean valley located at the foothills of the impressive Mount Tucarhuay (5910m/19385ft), from where we start our first day trek (3 hours) to our camp at 4000m (13120ft) at the place known as Salcantaypampa. Here we can enjoy the first views of the impressive Mount Salcantay. Lunch Box and Dinner included.
Day 6: Salcantaypampa – Huayracmachay – Chaullay (7 hours)
From Salcantaypampa we start our trek towards Soroycocha at 4400m/14432. From here, we will enjoy great views of the impressive west face of Mount Salcantay (6264m/20546ft). Our hike will then continue to take us to reach the Salcantay pass at 4750m/15580ft, with a permanent view of the amazing Mount Salcantay. With luck, we can also observe the flight of the amazing Condor, known as the “King of the Andes”. During our descent from Salcantay pass, we also can observe the remains of an ancient Inca Trail, and the beautiful Salcantaycocha Lagoon. We continue our hike down to the place known as Huayracmachay, and then descending into the deep canyon of the Salcantay River on our way to the small village of Chaullay where we set up our camp at 3500m (11480ft). Breakfast, Lunch Box and Dinner included
Day 7: Chaullay camp – Lucmabamba Camp (trek time: 7 hours)
After a hearty breakfast, at 08:00 a.m. we will begin our 7-hour trek. We start with a downhill for about 1 hour until we reach the Collpapampa Valley (3200m/10496ft). The highland landscape suddenly turns into an amazing cloud forest with typical grass, bushes and trees covered with beautiful bromeliads. From Collpapampa the Salcantay River turns into the Santa Teresa River. After a rest, we will continue our descent down to the shores of the Totora River where we can enjoy a fun dip in the nearby hot water springs. Following the north side of the Santa Teresa River we will continue (3 hours) until we reach the settlement known as Wiñaypoko (2800m/5904ft), where we will have lunch. After a nice meal, we continue our descent (3 hours) down to the place known as La Playa. On the way, down, we will observe plantations of banana, coffee, granadillas (a typical fruit from the area), avocado trees, etc. The sound of flocking parrots will accompany us during the hike, and above the river perhaps we can observe the fast flight of the king fisher. After our arrival at La Playa, we cross the river and we make our last hike until we reach the small settlement known as Lucmabamba where we will set up our last camp (1700m/5576ft). In the evening at our camp, we will enjoy a good meal with some wine around a campfire. Breakfast, Lunch Box and Dinner included
Day 8: Lucmabamba – Llactapacta – Aguas Calientes (trek time: 5 hours)
Our last trek day will take us following an Inca road, (3 hours) from Lucmabamba towards the Inca Ruins of Llactapacta (2800m/ 9184ft) where we will spend about 1 hour visiting this interesting archaeological site with terraces, agriculture storage areas, etc. From here and weather permitting, we can observe the northwestern side of the Machu Picchu citadel and the summit of Huayna Picchu hill. After having our box lunch and following a steep mountainside trail, we will continue our trek (2 hours) down to the place known as La Hidroelectrica (operation area of the hydroelectric power plant). Here we will have time to rest and board the local train to the town of Aguas Calientes (2012m/6600ft) where we will arrive after a 1-hour ride. Then our guide will take you to your hotel for a well-deserved rest. Breakfast and Lunch Box included.
Day 9: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
In our last day, after breakfast in the hotel, we will board a public bus transport which will take you up to the main entrance of the city of Machu Picchu. A guided tour will show you this beautiful Inca City, one of the most famous in the world. You will visit the Intihuatana, the temple of the 3 windows, temple of the moon, the terraces, the ceremonial fountains, the sun gate and other sectors of the impressive citadel. In the afternoon, we take the public bus down to Aguas Calientes and by train, you will return to Ollantaytambo from where our transport will take you back to Cusco and a transfer to your hotel after your arrival. Breakfast included.
Day 10: Cusco – Lima
Our tour ends with a morning transfer to the airport, bus station or train station. Breakfast included
Transfer from Cusco to trek start point, professional English/Spanish speaking guide, noted meals, complete camping equipment (tents for 2 persons, dining tent, kitchen tent), complete food services while on the trek, cook, helpers, horses, horse keepers, first aid kit, entrance fee to Machu Picchu, one way back packer train ticket Aguas Calientes – Cusco, good quality 3* hotel accommodations (in twin or double bed room).
International and domestic flights; entrance fee (approx. us$ 60 per person); one-way train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco Poroy Station (estimated prices: Vista Dome Class Train: us$ 125.-), extra personal horse (us$ 100. – carry up to 30 kgs), tips, personal trekking gear, extras, personal travel insurance.
During the trek, baggage weight allowance per passenger is 5 kgs (horses will carry this)
Departures are guaranteed with minimum 8 participants.