Get off the beaten path to Machu Picchu during this 4-day, 3-night trip along the higher, more scenic and less-traveled Salkantay trekking route. Over the course of this 4-day trip you’ll enjoy incredible vistas of snow-capped Andean peaks, and cross a mountain pass at 15,200 feet (4,650 meters) before eventually descending back into the jungle landscapes at lower altitude. Cap it all off with your final day at Machu Picchu, the unforgettable 'Lost City of the Incas', with a 2-hour tour of the site and time to explore on your own. Your Salkantay trekking experience also features hotel pickup, two nights of camping and one night of hotel accommodations, bus and train transfers, three days of meals and two snacks, entrance fees and a horseman and mules to help carry gear.
Day 1: Cuzco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Soraypampa Camp (14 kms) (L/D)
Be picked-up between 5:00 - 6:00 am and travel by tourist-class bus to Mollepata (2,900m) where you can stretch your legs and buy snacks. Continue by car to Challacancha where we will make final preparations and double check our equipment. Embark on a 3-hour walk that will take us to Soraypampa (3,920m) where you will have lunch with panoramic views of beautiful snow-capped mountains. Hike up to Laguna de Humantay (approx. 1.5 hours each way) for more incredible views of the Andes mountains and then return to camp for the night. The first campsite is located at 3,920m and is the highest and coldest campsite of the trip. Take some time to rest up, and enjoy your first night immersed in nature. Have dinner and go to sleep early.
Day 2: Challhuay - Colcapampa Camp (22 kms) (B/L/D)
Have breakfast at 6:00am and begin a 4-hour walk to the highest pass on this trek (4,650m) located halfway between 2 huge mountains; Salkantay on the right and Humantay on the left. (Optional horse rental available to reach high pass for 100 - 120 soles). From the pass, the views of the 2 snow-capped mountains are incredible with a possibility of snow here. After a 2-hour downhill hike, a well-deserved lunch will be served at Huayracpampa, followed by another 3-hour trek to the campsite at Challhuay or Colcapampa as you near the beginning of the high jungle region at 2,900 meters.
Day 3: La Playa - Hydroelectric Station - Aguas Calientes (15 kms) (B/L/D)
After breakfast at 6:30 am, you will trek through the upper jungle crossing the Santa Teresa River and a variety of little brooks. Pass through valleys and enjoy the views of waterfalls, tropical fruits and plants. Have lunch at La Playa (2,200m) and continue by car to Santa Teresa town. Then, drive to Hydroelectric Station (40 minutes) and hike for 3 hours to Aguas Calientes (Optional train ride to Aguas Calientes).
Day 4: Machu Picchu - Cuzco (B)
After breakfast, you will take one of the first buses to Machu Picchu so you can see the Lost City of the Incas in the early morning light. Enjoy a guided 2-hour tour and then explore the site on your own. You may want to climb Huayna Picchu (has to be booked in advance). Then, you will head back to Ollantaytambo by train and catch a bus back to Cusco to be dropped-off at Plaza San Francisco.
Click on 'View Additional Info' for a detailed map of the trek.