The Classic Inca Trail is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be in the top 5 treks in the world, and the Salcantay Trek (also sometimes called the Salkantay Trek), was named among the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine. The total distance is 45 miles (74km).
Highlights: Humantay lake trek “Soft trekking day” – Acclimatization day.
Overnight at Soraypampa Lodge Del Cielo “Sky Lodge” at 3,869 m/12,690 ft
Walk and Terrain: Walk, high routes, open routes, dirty roads and more.
About our Lodge del Cielo in Soraypampa: Our camp is located at 10 minutes by foot from the village of Soraypampa, this gives us a huge advantage to have a 360 panoramic view of Humantay glacier, also it’s a perfect place to escape away from the crowd, where we can appreciate the beautiful scenery of the Andean Valley and enjoy the company of our Alpacas.
Note: On the evening before of the first day, there will be a briefing with your guide in Cusco. After an early breakfast at your hotel, we are picked you up starting at 6:00 am at your Cusco hotel by ITEP guide and vehicle “Pick up time can oscillate and will be confirmed only on the day of your briefing”.
We pass through the Mollepata village where we stop for a short break before ascending to Soraypampa.
Here in Soraypampa our campsite is called Lodge del Cielo. After Lunch time, we’re going to Humantay Lake surrounded by glaciers on the slopes of the impressive Humantay Mountain.
Our 4-hours walking are necessary to reach the lake, but the view is worthy it and the braves can go for a swim at that altitude! Remember that the whole tour will be guided by a professional and experienced Tour guide.
6 hours (including a picnic lunch in the route)
Overnight at Collpapampa Sky Lodge at 2,870 m/9,414 ft.
Trekking Time: Approximately 12 hours (including picnic time). Our style is just walk slow, enjoy the landscapes and talk with our tour guide.
Walk and Terrain: Walk, on mostly steep trails, and some open slopes.
This day we will wake you up at 4:00 am and we'll give you a hot tea, then at 4:30 am we’re going to have a nice breakfast for starting our trek at 5:00 am, will be the most difficult climbing day but we are going to go directly to Salkantay Pass. Our journey continues to Machu Picchu going through the Rio Blanco valley, Humantay Peak and in front of Salkantay Peak. This part will be the highest point on the trek, called Salkantay Pass (4,638 meters or 15,213 ft).
Into this high pass we’ll stop more than 30 minutes to take photos and appreciate the snow-capped mountains of the Vilcabamba Range and the south face of Salkantay Mountain. We will keep our eyes out for condors on this area. From this high pass we’ll descend towards to Wayracmachay that means “the cave where the wind lives” where we’re going to enjoy a delicious lunch. After finished, we are going to continue by 03 hours descending by foot until we reach our next campsite; dinner and overnight at the Sky Lodge.
A LITTLE OF HISTORY:
The name Salkantay or Salcantay is coming from the Inca´s word Sallqa, a Quechua word meaning wild, uncivilized, savage, or invincible, and was recorded as early as 1583. The name is often translated as "Savage Mountain".
Directly to the north of Salkantay lies Machu Picchu, which is at the end of a ridge that extends down from this mountain. Viewed from Machu Picchu's main sundial, the Southern Cross is above Salcantay’s summit when at its highest point in the sky during the rainy season. The Incas associated this alignment with concepts of rain and fertility, and considered Salkantay to be one of the main deities who controls weather and fertility in the west region of Cuzco.
About Our Lodge del Cielo base in Collpapampa: Our camp is located 10 minutes walking from the village of Chaullay, a very crowded campsite. However, our Campsite in Collpapampa gives us a huge advantage to have a 360 panoramic view of the Salkantay Valley, it is a perfect place away from the crowd where we can know a little of the local family.
Trekking Time: Approximately 5 hours
Walk and Terrain: Walk on narrow trails
Overnight at Lucmabamba Sky Lodge “Lodge del Cielo” at 2,062 m/6,765 ft
On this day we’ll walk along the Santa Teresa valley going through rural areas, banana, passion fruit, avocado, orchards and coffee plantations. The coffee which grows here one of the best organic coffees in the world. Our ride takes us to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail”, where we’ll say goodbye to our horses and muleteers staff then we’ll continue through one of the most variety landscapes of this trek. A short 30 minutes walking through avocado plantations to reach to our Sky Lodge in Lucmabamba. Dinner and overnight at our Sky lodge
About our Lodge del Cielo base in Lucmabamba: Our camp is located in Lucmabamba it’s a perfect place away from the crowed groups where you can see the customs of the country men and farmers.
At this time their main economy is cultivate the coffee farms. Is our responsible to give them the opportunity to show themselves.
Optional: If you request a Private Service: We can have a local coffee experience
RESPONSIBLE TOURIST DEVELOPMENT FOR INCA COMMUNITY, “MACHU PICCHU’S HERITAGE”
THE INCA´S COFFE
Peru has a global reputation for producing traditionally shade grown and high-quality coffee beans.
Coffee production came to Peru in the 1700s. After two centuries, the farmers still comprise with this kind of production and the 60 percent goes outside as exportation. There are more than 110,000 coffee farms in Peru where the farmers are most indigenous.
The 'Flor de Cafe' (Coffee Flower) Rural Community Tourism Association from Lucmabamba - Bayona, is located in the Inca Trail (Lucmabamba – Llactapata - Ahobamba) with a final destination in Machu Picchu at a height of 2026 a.s.l where we can find 15 families that lives with this association.
These families found an opportunity to improve their life quality through touristic activities, sharing their ancient knowledge with tourists as well the visitors live the experience of flavors of this Coffee Tour (Ruta del Cafe).
Hiking Time: 5–6 hours
Hiking Level: Moderate to challenging.
About our overnight in Machu Picchu town: Hotel in Machu Picchu will depend according your request and expectations before starting the whole trek.
Overnight in Aguas Calientes at 1,900 m/6,232 ft
After a hearty breakfast, we will continue with the last day of our trek. We’ll trek for 2-3 hours to Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974ft), where we'll have an spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view that few travelers ever get a chance to admire. Here we take a short break to explore the Llactapata complex and then we’ll receive the lunch at this scenic viewpoint looking out Machu Picchu. After seeing the amazing landscapes we'll begin with our final part of the trek to Aobamba river and through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. We’ll arrive to Hydroelectric train station, for continue walking into the trails of the rail way until Machu Picchu town or also known as Aguas Calientes (approx. 3 hours). After this soft trek, we’re going to our hotel then we’ll have a celebration dinner with our guide and one last briefing for our next day experience!
Note - Those who prefer not to hike from Hydroelectric train station to Machu Picchu town, can take the train by 40 minutes of traveling, but remember that price isn’t included in your package or tickets. They will meet with the rest of the group at the train station in Machu Picchu town. (The guide confirms your preferences the night before.)
A LITTLE OF HISTORY:
Bingham discovered Llactapata in 1912. "We found evidence that some Inca chieftain had built his home here with ten or a dozen buildings. Bingham locates the site between the valleys of Aobamba and Salcantay with 5,000 meters of Huaquina farm." "Here we discovered Inca constructions and two or three modern huts. The people around said the place was called Llactapata, that’s why Bingham did not investigate the ruins thoroughly, however they were not studied for 70 years.
In 2003 Thomson and Gary Ziegler did an study that concluded the location of Llactapata along the Inca trail suggested that it was an important roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu. This and subsequent investigations have revealed an extensive complex of structures and features related to and connected with.
Free time to Enjoy the Sunset in Machu Picchu after we've passed the Sun Gate, we'll carry on along the trail to get Machu Picchu town where we'll check in to our hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance: 6 kms/3.7mls
Today trek takes us along the most impressive part of the Inca Trail. We'll visit beautiful Inca sites, see a variety of wildlife, exotic vegetation and get to take into fantastic landscapes of Andean mountains. Our journey begins in the Sacred Valley through the original Inca Trail of Wiñay Wayna before continuing to Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). As we make our way to Machu Picchu, we'll pass through the cloud forest that covers the mountain and see a great variety of plants, flowers and birds along the way.
Also, we’ll see mammals such as Vizcachas (rabbit-like Chinchillas) and Spectacled Bears (if we have lucky). After a full day of trekking, we'll arrive to Sun Gate (Inti Punku) here we’ll have our first views of Machu Picchu citadel. The light of sunset provides you a beautiful view, at this time there will be fewer tourists in the site and its perfect time to take some pictures of the site without people.
Return to Cusco at 3,360 m/11,021 ft
Meals: Breakfast Distance: 6kms/3.7mls
After a very early buffet breakfast at your hotel, we’ll take the bus to get to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (around 30 min). Our trip leader will give us an introductory guided tour of this place.
Machu Picchu Tour: We’re going to be in the Inca City between 6 am or 7 am. The visit on this place starts with the best views on “The Guardian House” after 30 minutes of free time, our guide will give us a lot of information about the Inca City for around 1 hour and a half.
We’ll continue into the Inca city by another 1 hour more passing the mean plaza, the temple of 03 windows and much more, then we’ll arrive to the Sacred Rock “a very close to the entrance gate for Huayna Picchu Sacred Mountain”, Our tour guide will give us some free time to explore the Inca city by our own.
Climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain is a choice that depends of you before starting the whole trek (not included in the price, spaces are limited, please let us know)
Very Important 1: According to Machu Picchu regulations, once we enter to the sacred city we aren’t allowed to get back by the same paths “there are a lot of signs about which route we should follow and is forbidden to stop in some places”, For that reason we recommend you to enjoy every minute that you will be here on each inca place.
Very Important 2: According to Machu Picchu regulations, entrance fees have only one paid; it means once you go out from the Inca city you can’t return, unless you get a new ticket.
Back to Cusco: You will descend to Machu Picchu town by bus (included) and later you’ll board the expedition train at 16:22 hrs. to arrive Ollantaytambo Train Station where you will meet our private transport to get at your hotel in Cusco.
About Salkantay and Inca Trail Campsites:
Please note: Campsites may change (be different from this itinerary) depending on booking time and availability, weather conditions or restrictions undertaken for safety reasons by Peruvian Government.
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"I had the pleasure of doing the four day, three night Inca Trail hike with this agency. The guides Primo, and Iza were wonderful. They were encouraging, knowledgeable, patient and kept us on track. The porters are super heroes. The food was phenomenal. I didn’t know it was possible to eat so well..."
"This company, especially Primo and Iza, are the ABSOLUTE BEST!!! Always engaging, always friendly, and always ensuring we were enjoying every moment while reaching our achievements. They provided their knowledge and expertise, but easily felt like part of our group and became family...."
"Primo and Iza were amazing guides. They constantly kept a positive attitude among our group and kept us laughing even during our harder moments on the trail. I appreciate how they both went above and beyond to make our experience on the Inca Trail that much more special. Thank you again!..."