Salkantay Trek, Peru

Description

While visiting Peru, there are all kinds of ways to experience the stunning 'lost' city of Machu Picchu - but nothing comes close to this seven day lodge to lodge trek from Cusco. The Salkantay Trek adventure will take you on a historic section of Inca trail through 15 different eco-systems, and you will traverse a mountain pass, explore villages where locals still maintain age-old traditions and re-discover the mystical beauty of the crown jewel of the Inca Empire. Each day’s trek ends with a hot shower in a cozy lodge, complemented by a massage or a dip in an outdoor jacuzzi, followed by a gourmet meal with select wines, in the company of new friends and like-minded souls.

Day 1
Cusco to Soraypampa

After an early breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco. First visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo, then stop in the mountain village of Mollepata before climbing a winding mountain road to Marcoccasa, where you begin your hike to Soraypampa along a picturesque path called the Camino Real to the Salkantay Lodge which stands in front of the glacier peak of Mt. Salkantay. After a warm welcome, settle in then meet your guide in the lounge for refreshments and a briefing of tomorrow's activities.

Day 2
Hike to Lake Humantay

Today is another opportunity to gauge your altitude-acclimatisation with a morning hike to Lake Humantay. After breakfast, you begin an ascent up the slopes that border the plateau behind the lodge. An hour and a half later, after making your way over the final hill, you will be stunned to see the turquoise water of the lake, made even more spectacular by the sight of the Humantay glacier looming behind it. Here you have a snack, before taking a kayak ride on the lake. Back at the lodge later you can soak in an outdoor jacuzzi or have a massage.

Day 3
Crossing the Salkantay Pass

Day three is the longest and most strenuous day, but one of the most magical of the trek. After an early start, hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak. As you make your way up these mountain trails, you see expansive plateaus dotted with boulders. The last and most challenging part of your ascent is conquering the mountain switchbacks that take you to the Salkantay Pass, the highest point on the trek, before a dramatic descent. After a hot picnic lunch, continue down through rolling hills to the Wayra Lodge at Wayraccmachay.

Day 4
Into the Cloud Forest

After a leisurely breakfast at the Wayra Lodge, continue the descent along the banks of the Salkantay River. The warm air begins to rise from the edge of the jungle, accompanied by colourful butterflies and striking orchids. Today you will see more of the local people as the trail takes you past their simple homes. Arrive at Colpa Lodge by an amazing zip-line, on a promontory at the confluence of three rivers and enjoy a Pachamanca lunch, a traditional meal cooked in an underground oven. Then relax in the sun or outdoor jacuzzi.

Day 5
Following the Santa Teresa River Valley

Today you hike in the Santa Teresa River valley hopping over small streams fed by waterfalls descending from the glaciers and cross through orchards. After breaking for a hot picnic lunch by the river, walk for an hour before being picked up for a short drive to the Llactapata Inca Trail that leads to Lucma Lodge. On the way visit an organic coffee plantation, one of many in that area that produces some of the best coffee in the world. In Lucmabamba, the increased humidity signals that you are even closer to the edge of the Amazon Jungle.

Day 6
Exploring Llactapata Pass

During a climb up a path mostly made of original Inca steps, you get a real sense of what hiking through the rainforest is like. At the ruins of Llactapata you see the “back” of the Machu Picchu ruins, a sight few travellers ever get a chance to admire. Explore Llactapata, then have lunch down the trail in a meadow. The final descent towards the roaring Aobamba River takes you through lush bamboo forests to the station for an hour's scenic train ride to your final stop, the town of Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.

Day 7
Machu Picchu

At dawn begin your journey to Machu Picchu with a short and memorable uphill bus ride. As you enter the “Sanctuary”, as it is called, the sun rises over the iconic site. Be amazed by the imposing architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca homes and sit and absorb the mystical energy of this magical place. The more energetic can hike up to Huayna Picchu, the iconic towering mountain often seen in photographs, for dramatic views. Later have lunch in Aguas Calientes before catching the train back to Cusco.

Tour details 7 days

Standard Trekking fr £2033pp
Horse Riding Trek fr £2199pp

Tour Highlights

  • Cusco
  • Soraypampa
  • Lake Humantay
  • Salkantay Pass
  • Cloud Forest
  • Santa Teresa River Valley
  • Llactapata Pass
  • Machu Picchu

Included:

  • Return Transfers from Cusco
  • 6 nights lodging
  • All Meals
  • Bilingual Guide
  • Transportation of personal belongings on the trek
  • Guided visit & Entrance Fee at Machu Picchu
  • Soft Drinks
  • US$50 gratuities for service staff

Not included:

  • Bottled Water
  • Domestic Flights

What 81 customers thought of Peru

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