Salkantay or Apu Salkantay is a snowy peak belonging to the Vilcabamba mountain range which is a part of the Peruvian Andes. It measures 6,271 meters above sea level. There is a mountain pass as well as a fluvial course that springs at the mountain and both are called Salkantay too. The course pours its waters into the Urubamba River on its left bank. Salkantay´s proximity to Machu Picchu makes it a perfect alternative to the often crowded traditional Inca Trail.
This 5-day hike leads below the monumental Salkantay Mountain before it takes you to the New Wonder of the World. It is one of loveliest way of how to visit Machu Picchu offering many amazing natural views and connection with the nature. It takes you through diverse climates starting from mountainous sceneries and continuing to a subtropical cloud forest and large fruit and coffee plantations. In addition, you can enjoy a great adventure on the track and make new friends among your fellow hikers.
Day 01: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha -Soraypampa
Day 02: Soraypampa - Salkantay Mountain - Collpapampa
Day 03: Collpapampa - La Playa
Day 04: La Playa - Llactapata Mountain - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes
Day 05: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
This trek has departures 100% guaranteed, security measures and above all Tierras Vivas wants you to have the best experience and memories of your trip. Please note that train tickets and entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain are subjet to availability. For that reason, Tierras Vivas recommend book in advance, in the High trekkers season, it is very difficult find spaces available the train ticket and entrance to the lost city!
;If you’re looking for adventure and a challenge but also want privacy and authenticity, this is the trek for you! You need to know that making this trek is extremely difficult, but in reality anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can do it. The overall trail distance is around 40 miles from the start to the finish point, which allows you to have the opportunity to see more of this fantastic region than you would see on the Inca Trail.
Our adventure begins by early morning at 5 am by travelling from Cusco to the village of Mollepata (2,900 m.a.s.l.) which takes about 4 hours. We arrive at around 7.30 am to Mollepata where we make a 45-minute stop. You can have a delicious breakfast at a restaurant if you like (not included in tour´s price). Also, you might buy some last-minute necessities there. Afterwards, we continue the ride for over an hour until we arrive at Challacancha - a trailhead. We meet our Cook, Horseman, horses and mules there. So, you hand over one of your two backpacks to a Horseman to be carried by a horse/mule (max. 5kg!). While your another backpack with your daily necessities is to be carried by you.
From Challacancha, we hike for around four hours till the village of Soraypampa (3,850 m.a.s.l.) which is located among snowy mountains. This part of the route is a mixture of downhill, uphill and flat paths. On the way, we enjoy sweeping views of the majestic Mt Salkantay and the overwhelming Apurimac Canyon. Later on, we get to our first campsite at Soraypampa where we are served lunch. After lunch, we climb up for 2 hours to the Humantay Lake (4,200 m.a.s.l.) lying at the foothil of the Humantay Mountain. There, you might admire the fascinating shades of turquoise colour of the lake and take some awesome pictures of this hidden jewel.
In the end, we descend back to the campsite to find that our staff prepared us dinner in between. You overnight in a comfortable quad tent (with only one more person in it) wrapped in a warm and new feather sleeping bag (you can rent it from Tierras Vivas if you like).
This day demands more effort as it is the longest and most difficult day. For that reason, we wake up and have a nutritive breakfast very early in the morning. First off, we begin hiking in a moderate pace for an hour until we reach Soyrococha. Secondly, we climb uphill for about 3 hours (small stops including) till we get to the highest point of the hike – Salkantay Pass (4,800 m). At this point, we get very close to the majestic frosty peaks of Salkantay (6,271 m) and Humantay (6,100 m). Salkantay is the 2nd highest peak of the Cusco Region.
The pass offers us stunning view of awesome scenery. We also can see there many heaps of stones called “apachetas” which our offerings to the natural deity “Apu Salkantay”. After a break, we start descending towards Wayracmachay (3,800 m) reaching it after an hour. There, we are served lunch and we rest for a while. The last section of the hike consists of descending only. After 3 hours, we arrive at our campsite in Collpapampa.
After early breakfast, we start hiking firstly on a narrow mountainside trail. Later, the climate changes so we are able to discover various orchid kinds as well as other plant species. The lower we descend the more abundant the vegetation becomes. We might see some fields of corn and fruit plantations. Also, we get a chance to pass along a fantastic waterfall on the way.
After 5 hours of walking, we arrive at La Playa. There, we take a bus (45-minute ride) to the Santa Teresa Town. Upon arrival, we pitch a campsite. Afterwards, we might visit the best thermal baths of Peru which are located only 45 minutes by foot of the town (optional). In the evening, we are served dinner and then, we go to rest.
Please note: There is another option of how to continue from La Playa, it means hiking towards Aobamba for two hours. This place would serve as a campsite in case you would like to visit the nearby Inca complex called Llactapata. Please discuss this option beforehand.
At Santa Teresa, we have breakfast to later continue by private vehicle for an hour. Then, we start hiking for 2 hours passing over Urubamba River and onwards till the railway station of “Hidroelectrica” (Hydro-electric plant). *Near the station, we enjoy lunch. Afterwards, we continue along the railway for 3 hours until getting to the town of Aguas Calientes. Once there, we check ourselves in a hostel. In the evening, we are served dinner and go to sleep afterwards.
If you chose the second option of visiting the Llactapata complex, you begin hiking from Aobamba for 4 hours. Once in Llactapata (2,860 m), your Guide explains you about these renovated Inca remains, from which you can overlook both, Machu Picchu and Mt Salkantay! After that, we begin descending to the Aobamba River getting through exuberant bamboo groves, coffee plantations and orchards. These places give us perfect opportunities for bird watching. After 4 hours, we arrive at the “Hidroelectrica” (hydroelectric plant) railway station. *From this point the continuation is the same as described above.
After another early breakfast, we take a bus taking us uphill to the entrance of Machu Picchu. (Optional: instead of taking the bus, you can climb 9 km uphill.) Once there, we enjoy a guided tour of the New Wonder of the World. Later, we are given free time to be able to relax there, take more pictures or climb up to Huayna Picchu/Machu Picchu Mountain (Optional. It needs to be booked in advance.) In the afternoon, we take a return train to Ollantaytambo and there we change for a private vehicle bringing us to Cusco.
Days are usually very sunny, but nights tent to be cold. However, the night´s temperature rarely falls below 0 °C (only between June and September). From the mid December to the early March, it is the high peak of a rainy reason. For that reason, it is recommended to not trek at this season. The best time to hike is from the mid March till September.
RECOMMENDED MONTHS TO HIKE:
If you like to undertake the private service, the prices are the following:
2 trekkers: USD 755 per person
3 trekkers: USD 730 per person
4 trekkers: USD 680 per person
5 trekkers: USD 655 per person
6 trekkers: USD 625 per person
7 trekkers: USD 615 per person
8+ trekkers: USD 595 per person
If you are a student or an ISIC card holder or if you are aged 17 or less, you can apply for a student discount. Please note that we require a copy of your ISIC and your passport to be able to book your Machu Picchu entrance for a discounted price. Please send all documents at email@example.com.
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Please note! It is very important to fill in all required details correctly in order to obtain your Machu Picchu and train tickets! Apart of that, please do not forget to read through and accept the service policies before you click on the "Registration & Payment" button.
We require a 50% deposit of the total amount in order to complete your booking! The remaining balance may be settled in cash (or in another way) upon your arrival to Cusco, Peru.
To pay your deposit, you may choose one of the next options:
All bookings are made with Responsible People (RUC: 20603955618 / Peruvian Government) (us/we). and Responsible People will contact and book your trip with Tierras Vivas tour operator. By booking a trip with us you are deemed to have agreed to these Booking Conditions (which constitutes the entire agreement between you and us) and your booking will be accepted by us on this basis. The services to be provided are those referred to in your booking confirmation invoice.
Book your trip with Responsible People and send us your personal information required by email. Once confirmed our staff will send a email for the next step to payment and it issue a confirmation invoice. A contract will exist between us from the date we issue the confirmation invoice or if you book within 2 days of departure the contract will exist when we accept your payment.
Please refer to your booking confirmation invoice for details regarding payments. If this balance is not paid on or before the due date we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled.
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The remaining balance you can pay in our office in Cusco at least 2 days or 1 day before your hike. However, it can also be paid in advance through PayPal with a 5.5% fee paid by the traveller or you can deposit our account bank. Please notify us if paying by wire transfer.
You can pay in cash in our office in Dollars or Peruvian soles. We do not accept any torn bills. If you are not arriving to Cusco 2 days before your tour begins, please arrange your payment with the Responsible People team before your arrival.
If you deposited, we needed to book any trips with Tierras Vivas. For all full itineraries which include hotels, the needed deposit is 50%. The deposit can be made through PayPal or Bank Account. All deposits are fully non-refundable and non-transferable. In the event that you need to cancel your trip, cancellation fees will be assessed as outlined below under our cancellation policy. If canceling, you may not transfer your deposit to another person’s trek.
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Please note that the program deposit is non-refundable. The deposit is used to purchase the space within the group and once a space is purchased it cannot be resold afterwards.
Cancellations regarding custom itineraries and mountain climbing programs will depend on each specific program and will therefore be agreed upon between Responsible People and the client by e-mail accordingly. Responsible People reserves the right to modify the above-mentioned cancellations and refund policies. All modifications will be immediately informed to the affected client through written communication.
The client must be in possession of a valid passport and all visas required for the whole of the journey and the client accepts responsibility for obtaining the same. Any information or advice given by the company on visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, etc is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
The company shall not be liable for any damage or loss if the failure to carry out the contract is:
1) Attributable to the client
2) Attributable to a third party unconnected with the provision of the services contracted for and the event is unforeseeable or unavoidable
3) Due to unforeseen and unusual circumstances beyond the company's control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had to be exercised
4) Due to political disputes, industrial action, climate or other matters of a similar nature and any other force majeure
5) Due to an event, which the company, even with all due care could not foresee or forestall. Any liability is limited to the full price paid for the tour. In all cases the company specifically excludes all liability for indirect or consequential loss or expense including loss of profits.
If a client has a complaint against the company the client must first inform the trek guide or company representative while on the tour in order that the guide/representative can attempt to rectify the matter. Any further complaint must be put in writing to the company within 7 days of the end of the tour. I have had sufficient opportunity to read this entire document. I have read and understood it, and I agree to be bound by its terms.
Optional activities not included in the trip price do not form part of the trip or this contract. You accept that any assistance given by your group leader or local representative in arranging optional activities does not render us liable for them in any way. The contract for the provision of that activity will be between you and activity provider.
Travel insurance is mandatory for all our travellers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US$200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it. If you obtain travel insurance through us you acknowledge that you are satisfied with the level of insurance we have arranged.
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