The Salkantay - Santa Teresa - Machu Picchu is often referred to as the "alternative Inca Trail". Trek permits are not required for this alternative route so reservations can easily be made upon arrival in Cusco even as late as just one day before departure.
Day 1 :Cusco - Mollepata - SoraypampaPick up time from 4:30am at your hotel then we will drive from Cusco to Mollepata where we stop for breakfast (not included) after we start our full day hiking (19 km) mostly uphill. After lunch we continue walking 3 hours to reach our first campsite Soraypampa. Needless to say, most of you will be snoring in your tents shortly after a good meal prepared by the cook and served by your guide.
Day 2 :Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - ChaullayOn this day your guide will wake you up with a coca tea served at the door of your tent to start this long day of trekking. Then we keep walking up until reaching to the highest point of Salkantay mountain at an altitude of 4600m. After taking a break at highest point of the trek it is time to leave the altitude and we will begin walking down for about 2 hours until we see the kitchen tent in order to enjoy our delicious lunch and some tea or coffee. The day is not over yet and we will continue hiking down to lower land and altitudes until we reach the second camp site, Chaullay. This campsite is very lovely because the beer tastes even better!
Day 3: Chaullay- La Playa Sayhuyaco - Santa TeresaThis day is a much easier. We will walk mostly downhill for about 4 hours until reaching Llusca mayo where we will stop for lunch. We will notice that the climate will become much warmer because we are in the high jungle cloud forest, known as Ceja de Selva. In this part there are many small plantations such as coffee beans, banana palms and coca bushes. Then we will arrive to la Playa where we are going to take a van to Santa Teresa to visiting the hot springs. After this we will have dinner and sleep (camping).
Day 4 : Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes PuebloThis day you have two options: you can either walk from Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes (11 kilometres total) or do a zip line tour in the morning (with transport to the hydroelectric station) and walk the final 7 kilometres. Whatever option you choose the group will meet again for lunch in at the hydroelectric. Then we will walk 3 hours along the train track to Aguas Calientes where we are going to spend a night at hostel.
Day 5 : Aguas Calientes Pueblo - MachuPicchu - CuscoAt 4am, the group have to wake up to be ready to hike up to Machu Picchu, having the amazing opportunity to see the sun rising after registration in the main entrance of Machu Picchu which is open at 6am. The guide will explain about the Inca history and share everything he knows. After a 2 hours tour, you will have free time to explore the site by yourself or climb Huayna Picchu mountain. By the afternoon you have to come back down to Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Ollantaytambo and then bus back to Cusco.
The tour ends in Cusco's main square.