|Royal Inca : 7D||09/13/2018||09/19/2018||Book now|
|The Best Of Southern Peru : 20D||09/06/2018||09/25/2018||Book now|
|Salkantay & Inca Trail To Machu Picchu : 8D||09/12/2018||09/19/2018||Book now|
|SEASON||March to December|
|DURATION||8 days / 7 nights (Cusco - Cusco)|
|FITNESS LEVEL||Very active (high altitude, long distances, occasional narrow paths with sheer drops)|
|DEPARTURE DATES||Subject to availability|
|ACTIVITIES||Horse supported hiking, camping, culture, nature exploration & history|
This is an outstanding hiking trip for people looking to get off the beaten track but who don’t want to miss out on one of the world’s most iconic travel destinations. The program combines two of the most spectacular trekking routes in the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. The extraordinary altitudinal range (from 1725 to 6271 meters, or 5,700 to 20,700 feet) makes this protected area one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. Our adventure begins on the slopes of Mount Salkantay, crossing a pass at 5000 meters (16,500 feet). This area of highland lakes is home to the majestic condor and Andean chinchillas, and we will hike over high plateaus grazed by herds of alpacas. And after trekking a section of the world famous Inca Trail, we will reach the lost city of the Incas: legendary Machu Picchu. Incredible biological diversity, ranging from snow peaks to fauna-rich cloud forest, and dozens of Inca archaeological sites, combine to make this a truly unforgettable experience.
An early morning panoramic bus journey of approximately three hours will bring us to the village of Mollepata. Here we will meet our mule drivers. Our hike will start with a gentle climb along rural paths towards Mount Marcoccasa (3450 meters / 11,400 feet). After lunch we will continue uphill for another hour or so to our first camp at Mount Hornadapata (3500 meters / 11,550 feet), where we will be met by fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Camp at Marcoccasa (3500 meters / 11,550 feet)
After a hearty breakfast, a short ascent awaits us towards Pakiswaraka Ridge (3665 meters / 12,100 feet). From here, we will continue on an easy path towards the irrigation channel built by the local community. The hike from this point will provide us with beautiful views down into the valley and towards majestic Mount Humantay. We will continue on a flat path through the valley, following the course of the irrigation channel until lunchtime. In the afternoon, we will have another 1- or 2-hour gentle climb to our camp at Salkantay Pampa (3900 meters / 12,900 feet), right below Mount Salkantay. The views will be breathtaking, but prepare for a cold night!
Camp at Salkantay Pampa (3900 meters / 12,900 feet)
After breakfast, we will start our climb up to Salkantay Pass (5000 meters / 16,500 feet), the highest point of our hike. We will pass beautiful glaciers and lakes on the way that will take your breath away. Once at the summit, there will be plenty of time to rest and admire the magical scenery around us, before beginning the three-hour descent into the valley, where we will camp close to the Inca water channel of Accobamba. This area is famous for its alpaca breeding and with luck we may be able to observe large flocks of these animals in their natural habitat. Weather permitting, we will have spectacular views of Mount Salkantay.
Camp at Accobamba (4000 meters / 13,123 feet)
Today we will leave the cold heights of Salkantay behind us and descend into warmer regions. Following the Inca irrigation channel and later the Cusichaca creek, we will pass local farms. We will stop and explore the restored archaeological site of Paucarcancha, where we will also take lunch and a well-deserved rest. After lunch, we will say goodbye to our mule drivers and meet up with the Quechua porters who will accompany us for the rest of our adventure. Around mid-afternoon, a short hike will bring us to the start of the Inca Trail, at the village of Huayllabamba.
Camp at Huayllabamba (3000 meters / 9840 feet)
After an early breakfast, we will start the long and steep climb up to Warmiwañusca Pass (4200 meters / 13,900 feet). This is the highest point on the Inca Trail. The ascent will lead us through different ecological areas offering great opportunities to observe several varieties of orchids in the forest as well as outstanding birdwatching, including many endemic species.
From the summit, we will see the next pass on the Inca Trail and the ruins of Runcuracay. Our camp for the night is located in the valley below, a two-hour descent from the high pass. On a clear day the camp offers fantastic views of the glaciers of Mount Veronica.
Camp at Pacasmayo (3600 meters / 11,811 feet)
We will start the day with the climb up to the third pass at Runcuracay (3900 meters / 12,900 feet). This ascent will provide us with superb views of the Vilcabamba range and surrounding glaciers. A two-hour descent from the pass will take us to the fascinating archaeological site of Sayacmarca. After exploring these beautiful structures, we will continue our trek through the high cloud forest, following an original paved Inca highway and surrounded by lush vegetation, with frequent glimpses of waterfalls, valleys, canyons and the glaciers of Mount Salkantay. In the afternoon, we will arrive at our camp located on the fourth and last high pass, from where we will get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. Weather permitting, we will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding snow peaks from here, as well as the Urubamba River, far below.
Camp at Phuyupatamarca (3600 meters / 11,811 feet)
After breakfast, we will say goodbye to our Quechua porters and start the long and steep descent along the Inca Trail to the archaeological site of Wiñaywayna, considered one of the most beautiful sites in the area, due to its stunning location and excellent architecture. We will visit this magnificent site and enjoy lunch surrounded by breathtaking views. After lunch, we will continue our hike through the high cloud forest, enjoying the diverse flora and fauna of this fascinating ecosystem. The trail will lead us to the famous Sun Gate, or Intipunku, where we will be greeted by our first, unforgettable view of the Lost City of the Incas: legendary Machu Picchu (2400 meters / 8,000 feet). A short walk will bring us down to the main entrance to the site, from where we will continue by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here we will have the option to relax in the natural hot springs or just wander the streets of this peaceful community.
Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes
After an early breakfast, we will take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu to enjoy the morning at this magical place. At the most famous archaeological site in South America, you will be escorted by an expert guide who will explain the significance of this unique legacy of the great empire of the Incas. In the afternoon we will return Aguas Calientes to take the train to Cusco, where upon arrival in the city you will be escorted to your hotel.
|TRANSPORT||Private transport Cusco - Mollepata, Bus and Train tickets.|
|HOTEL||Hotel ***1 / Camping 6 / Total Nights 7|
|TOURS||According to program, including the daily activities|
|ENTRANCE FEE / PERMITS||Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary|
|STAFF||Bilingual guide / cook / porters / wranglers / mules & emergency saddlehorses|
|EXTRAS||Travel insurance, sleeping bags, tips, tours & meals not mentioned in the itinerary.|
|SERVICE||1 Pax||2-3 Paxs||4-5 Paxs||6 + Paxs|