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Machu Picchu is a treasure to discover, like the icing on the cake after a trek in the footsteps of this mysterious civilization. An excellent alternative to the Inca Trail is the Salkantay trek. This unforgettable expedition dominated by the Salkantay (6264 meters), sacred mountain located in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, will take us back to the time of the Incas and will awaken to the spirits of the mountains such as Nevado Tucarhuay and Nevado Humantay which culminate at more than 5000 meters . We can enjoy snowy peaks and rainforest, high altitude vegetation and breathtaking flora.
We will leave the city of Cusco at 5:30 am by private transport to reach Marcoccasa (3400m), through the village of Mollepata (3000m) where we will have breakfast. There, we will join the muleteers, then we will start hiking in a beautiful valley surrounded by impressive snow-capped mountains, like the Nevado Humantay (5217m) and the peak of Salkantay (6264m). We will cross valleys and green plateaus and on the way to our first camp, your guide will tell you everything about the local people, their traditions, the agriculture practiced in the region. In Soray Pampa (3900m), the cook will wait for you with hot drinks and an aperitif, before attacking the dinner. This first night is quite fresh at 3900 m altitude – good sleeping bag strongly recommended (rentable at the agency).
Time of transport: 3h30
Time of walking: 6 to 7 hours
Climate: mild during the day, cold during the night
Elevation : Cusco (3400 m) – Mollepata (2800 m) – Marcoccasa (3400 m) – Soray Pampa (3900 m)
On the way to Soray Pampa, we will make a detour to the lake of Humantay to discover the magnificent sight on the lake and the snowy peak of Humantay (ascent from Soraypampa at 3900m to Humantay at 4220m). Hiking time 2 hours.
However, if you are tired, do not hesitate to contact your guide, the goal is to take full advantage of each step, not to reach exhaustion.
After breakfast we head back to the Col du Salkantay (4600m), which offers an exceptional view of the snowy peak of Salkantay (6264m). This morning will be the most difficult of the trek – but the reward will not be the least. if the weather permits, we will stop at the top. The hike will then continue downhill and we will leave the groundhogs to enter an ecosystem with lush vegetation. Arrived at Chaullay (2950m), we will dine copiously, and we will spend our second night in this camp.
Time of walking : About 8 hours
Time of transport: 1h30
Climate : hot with mosquitos
Elevation : Soray Pampa (3900 m) – Salkantay pass (4600 m) – Chaullay (2950 m)
The third day will be devoted to the observation of the flora and the agricultural plantations of the region. We will first descend into a dense forest where we will be able to appreciate the incredible diversity of orchids, Bromeliads and many other plants. We will then pass by plantations of coffee, cocoa and fruits of the region. We will also have the pleasure of meeting families of peasants on the road including Wiñaypoco (2650m), La Playa (2100m) and finally Lucmabamba (2000m). We will arrive at our Lucmabamba camp at lunchtime. This will also be the place of our camp for the night, so you will have this afternoon to relax and discover the local life.
Peruvian coffee culture : In Lucmabamba we will meet a family who grows coffee. With them, we will discover the secrets of coffee production, from harvest to tasting. Depending on the variety, it takes 3-4 years for newly planted shrubs to start producing fruit. The fruit, called cherry, turns dark red when ripe and ready for harvest. Since coffee is grown in a mountainous area, widespread use of mechanical harvesters is not possible and ripe cherries are picked by hand, a laborious and difficult process, but yielding better quality coffee. With the peasants of Lucmabamba we will visit the plantation and follow the artisanal manufacture of coffee. The tour will end with a tasting and you can buy coffee directly from the producer, a bio and local souvenir.
Time of walking : 6 hours
Climate : Hot during the day, presence of mosquitoes
Elevation: Collpapampa (2900 m) – Wiñapoco (2650m)- La Playa (2100 m) – Lucmabamba (2000 m)
We will start the day hiking on the remains of the Inca Trail to reach the archaeological site of Llactapata (2650m), privileged place to discover the richness of the Inca culture and local flora. In addition, you will enjoy an extraordinary view of the city of Machu Picchu and the canyon of Vilcanota if the weather allows us. You will begin to learn more about the Inca pilgrimage and the remains to be discovered in Llactapata. We will descend, along the river, then to arrive at the Hydro Station (1950m), from where we will take the train until our stage of the day, the village of Aguas Calientes (2050m), located at the feet of Machu Picchu .
Time of walking : 6 hours
Climate : Hot with the presence of insects
Elevation: Lucmabamba (2000 m) – Llactapata (2600 m) – Hydroelectrica (1950 m) – Aguas Calientes (2005m)
We will leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30, and we will go to Machu Picchu (2400m) by tourist bus. We will enter the Inca citadel around 6:00 am, just in time to enjoy the sunrise on the site. After a guided tour of the archaeological area, including information about the life and customs of the Incas, we will have enough time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (2750m) (optional). We will leave Aguas Calientes by train. While waiting for the train, you will have the time to have lunch in one of the restaurants of the city. In addition, you can enjoy the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax before your departure.
Time of visiting : 2 heures
Time of transport : 4h (Aguas Calientes – Cusco) and 30 minutes (Bus Machu Picchu)
Elevation : Aguas Calientes (2005 m) – Machu Picchu (2400 m) – Cusco (3400 m)
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BRING
HOTEL & RESTAURANT
During the high season (May to August), we are subject to restrictions set by the Ministry of Culture, which provides us with passes for Mach Picchu, so the trek departure dates could be changed to one or two days past, we will then adapt the program so that you can make the most of it.
(1) Huayna Picchu mountain tour or Machu Picchu: To climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu, this requires a good time in advance. We take care of the booking and guarantee your entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu. With, of course, an additional charge of $ 70.00 in addition to the entrance to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, according to the regulation of the Ministry of Culture (this new law came into force on July 18, 2011).
(2) Additional carrier : According to the law (26702) of the Ministry of Employment, the collaboration of an additional bearer will be granted at the request of the customer. However, the customer’s luggage must not exceed 12 kilograms. The service costs USD 140 and includes transportation, entrance to the Inca Trail, food and camping equipment.
(3) Gratuities : For guides (and possible porters) are always welcome.
(4) Student card : To qualify for the $ 20.00 student discount, you must have a valid ISIC student card when booking – not just when you arrive in Cusco! The validity must correspond to the whole year in progress. When booking, we will need a copy of your card. The Ministry of Culture is strict when regulating student cards.
(5) CANCELLATION : For any last minute cancellation, the expenses already made by the agency will be at your expense. (See the terms and conditions)