The Salkantay Trek and Condor Sight is a best alternative hike to Machu Picchu. Not on the usual gringo trail path, this is a new innovating adventure for action travelers who want a little more solitude and creadibility. This hike involves a Condor Canyon sight, it is a great place to bird watch from with fabulous scenery, great nature hike and stunning views the Salkantay Mountain, the magisterial feature is the huge mountain, regionally known as “Apu Salcantay”. If you adore nature and action, this is a chance to encounter this region’s different ecosystems: the Andes, with frost-topped mountains that reach up to 6271 meters into the sky and cloud forest where plant life becomes denser. Take advantage of this unique opportunity!. The legendary trek has been chosen as one of the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
It is one of the most interesting and important Inca Trail´s alternatives due to its wide range of flora diversity, various ecosystems, remote Andean villages, view of the snow-capped and Condor over flight. Salkantay Mountain as well as for the Llactapata site laid on top of a mountain, just behind the Machu Pichu Mountain. This trail finally reaches Aguas Calientes, located at the foothill of the historical and archaeological site of Machu Picchu, from where we hike in early morning up to lost city of the Incas to see the sunrise above it. Then our English speaking tour guide takes us around this incredible Incan citadel.
Day 1: Cusco - Condor sight - Umantay mountain - Soraypampa.
Day 2: Soraypampa - Collpapampa
Day 3: Collpapampa - La Playa
Day 4: La Playa - Llactapata - Aguas Calientes
Day 5: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu
Crew: A Tierras Vivas Representative in Cusco and a profesional Tour Guide, Cook and Horseman during the trek. Our guide will visit you hotel a day before the trek for your briefing
Accommodation: 3x campsite, 1x Hotel
Meals: 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, 3x afternoon tea
Transportation: A private transportation, a return train EXPEDITION (14:30)
Specialist operators for international tour companies.
Highly experienced english speaking guide.
Inclusion all equipment for your trek (sleeping bag, thermarest mattress, etc)
If you reserve this trip, you will be making a donation to the school for special needs children.
Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters and horses carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! There is still a long way to go when it comes to a reserve of adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation.BOOK ONLINE
We drive from Cusco by bus to Chonta, we travel through the highlands of Anta. A dirt road will take us over the Puna highlands to the scenic mountain hamlet of Chonta near the Apurimaq Canyon. A 3km trek along the mountainside brought us to the Condor viewing platforms and the view of the canyon (double the depth of the Grand Canyon in places) and Apurimac river way down below is extraordinary. We will be 2 hours to see the condors and - some flying right overhead!. Continuing our tour, we drive to head trail, Challacancha, where our hike begins. We start trekking up to Tillka from where we take the road to Marcocasa (3,500 m/11, 482 ft) passing forests and steppes on the route. We can enjoy beautiful vistas of the snow capped peak of Rayuska (5,350 m/17,552 ft). Finally we get to our first campsite at Soraypampa (3,600m/10,200 ft), lunch. After lunch we will climb the Humantay Mountain for 2 hours to visit the Humantay Lake, a superb lake in the mountains and we then descend back to camp at Soraypampa. There you will find the dining tent set up for afternoon tea with tea, mate de coca, coffee, chocolate etc. You can rest and later are served dinner.
An early start, we have a fine breakfast and prepare ourselves for the longest and most difficult day of the excursion. We start on a moderate pace for 1 hour till we get to Soyrococha. Then we hike uphill for around 3 hours more till we reach the high pass, at 4,800m close to the wonderful frosty peaks of Salkantay (6,271m) and Humantay (6,100m), the second highest peak in the Cusco region.
Here we enjoy the stunning scenery, you will also see heaps of stones called Apachetas. From here we descend for 1 hour to Wayracmachay (3,800m) where we have lunch and a rest. Then follows a 3 hour hike to our campsite in Collpapampa.
Another early start after breakfast, on this part of the hike we walk on a narrow trail on the mountainside, discovering various types of orchids and species of plants, some cornfields and fields of fruits. We also get the chance to pass an exquisite waterfall on the path.
After walking for around 5 hours we reach La Playa. From here you have 2 options, if you choose the Santa Teresa option, we take a bus to Santa Teresa town. That will take about 45 minutes. Upon arrival we set up camp and have the opportunity to go to the hot springs nearby - about 45 minutes from town. (optional). In the evening we have dinner and rest at camp.
The other option, if you want to see the Llactapata ruins is a two hour hike to Aobamba, where you camp for the night.
If you chose to go via the Llactapata ruins, you start the day with breakfast and then a 4 hour hike to the restored ruins (2,860m) from where you can view both Machu Picchu and Salkantay Mountain! Our tour guide shows us around the ruins. After that, we start descending for about 4 hour to Aobamba River through lush bamboo groves, orchards and coffee plantations providing us some excellent bird-watching opportunities. This way brings us to the Hydroelectric Plant (Hidroelectrica), a place where we have lunch to later and continue along trails leading us to our hotel in Aguas Calientes town!
If you chose the Santa Teresa option, we have breakfast and after a short bus trip (1hour) we hike for about 2 hours past the Urubamba River and onward to the Hydro Electric Station, where we have lunch nearby. We then continue to the town of Aguas Calientes crossing the bottom of the valley for about 3 hours along the train tracks until reaching the town. Once ther we go to our hostal. We have dinner and rest for our next day at Machu Picchu.
An early start to continue hiking to Machu Picchu and see the sunrise over this glorious old city! We walk for about 2 hours to the ruins of Machu Picchu and have a full guided tour that takes about 2 hours.
After you have plenty of time to traverse the fortress on your own, and maybe climb Huayna Picchu (if you have a permit) or the Inca Bridge.
Afterwards you can take the bus to Aguas Calientes. You can have lunch at Aguas Calientes (not included in the cost).
In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to Cusco.
Machu Picchu is both, the best and the least known site of the Incas as it is not mentioned in any Spanish conquistador´s chronicle so that contemporary archaeologists can not do anything more than just speculate on its functions. Local Quechuan farmers had known about Machu Picchu for centuries before an 11-year-old boy showed the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in a search of Vilcabamba) this site on the 24th of July 1911. At that time, all the rest of the world became aware of its existence. However, the site was covered with thick vegetation so Hiram Bingham along with his team returned and within the years of 1912 and 1915 cleared its surface. Over the years, plenty of work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain!
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.
Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price!
During the Salkantay trek we spend three nights full-service camping, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents, cook, and do all camp chores for you: you need only carry your day pack. There will also be dining and toilet tents and bowls of warm water are provided both morning and evening for washing with. and last night you spend a small hotel.
Please Note: Hotel in Aguas Calientes town is not a 3 star hotel but it is clean, safe and comfortable with a friendly and very helpfully staff. They have private Twin, Double and Triple rooms, with small private bathrooms and hot gas water system. Hotel has one of the best locations in town, only few blocks from Train and Bus Station and you don't have to do anymore long uphill hikes to get to your room! It is about 10 minutes from the hot spring pools. We try to include an economical accommodation option for this trek to make it accessible for everyone but recommend that if you are wanting better accommodation in Aguas Calientes to celebrate your accomplishment of the trek.
UP-GRADING HOTELS in Aguas Calientes town: If you would like to stay in a Hotel 3 star or more, you have to pay extra. Please request this at the time of booking.
Single Supplement: If you are traveling on your own, and would prefer to share a tent, we'll pair you with another trekker of the same gender and there will not be an extra cost. If you prefer to have a tent to yourself a surcharge of USD 50 will have to be paid. If you want an upgrade any service to the train or accommodation or do you want to stay extra night in Machu Picchu, contact us directly to firstname.lastname@example.org for this to be done and confirmed to you.
IMPORTANT TO ACCOMMODATION: You must present your passport with the TAM immigration slip (copy) to all hotel accommodations. The national sales tax (18%) is charged to all Peruvian citizens and foreigners staying 60 consecutive days or more. In case the room is shared by both a taxable and non-taxable guest at the same time, the sales tax will be applied to the whole room. So please take every caution to not lose this piece of paper. You need to bring it to the Cusco office for your checking.
In this trek is included the train Expedition the return is 18:20 from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, then you will take the tourist bus to Cusco, you will arrive between 22 hrs to 23 hrs to Main square or Plaza Armas.
If you prefer Vistadome train or Luxury train for this trek, the extra price is U$ 45 dollars. let us know before your booking your service.
Our Representative and our guide will visit your hotel two or a day before the trek for your briefing.
All Salkantay Trek group tours are accompanied by a Tierras Vivas Tour Guide, a Representative or an expedition team. The aim of our Tour Guides is to take a hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip possible. The Tour Guides provide information on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat and introduce to his/her colleagues. The Guides have a broad general knowledge of each country visited during a tour, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local Tour Guides where we think that more specific knowledge could add more enjoyment to visited places.
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machu Picchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machu Picchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.
1. Trekking shoes/hiking boots to walk on trails, Inca trails, mountains, glaciers, it is very important to wear hiking shoes that offer support, anti-slide, grid and shock absorption so that you can focus on a beautiful scenery of your trek and not on your feet. The shoes also should be waterproof and have got a cartage tongue and ankle cuffs that provide comfort and protection. Rubber sole as an impact protection is also recommended.
2. Small rucksack to carry your personal items during daily travels when all your baggage is not necessary.
3. Travel insurance (+ copies in a case of lost).
4. Jacket needs to be light, waterproof, windproog, especially designed for adventure and preferably made of bright colours to make you visible from far.
5. Trekking trousers should be convertible (trousers - shorts), should have pockets of a big capacity as well as satisfy your comfort during weather changes. It is suitable to be made of resistant and waterproof fabrics.
6. Walking sticks/poles enable you to walk with ease providing you with support on each step. They should be light, compact, preferably made of aluminum alloy and have an antishock system that absorb impacts before they reach your hand wrists.
7. Sandals for a better comfort whilst at a campsite.
8. Warm clothes such as a jacket, a fleece (thermal clothing is also recommended for cold nights during camping).
9. Hat or a cap as a protection against the Sun, rain as well as cold).
10. Sun cream or sun block
11. After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.
12. Insect repellent when in area with insect occurrence.
13. Camera and its charger/batteries (please note that batteries are consumed quickly under cold conditions).
14. Flashlight/headlamp + batteries
15. Handkerchiefs and toilet paper
16. Small towel and toiletries
18. Sufficient reserve of underwear and extra socks
19. Swimsuits when you pass through warm areas with lagoons, rivers, hot springs in Agua Calientes and Lares or other water sources.
20. Snacks such as biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
21. Bottled water and a water bottle to be refilled. Metallic (alternatively Nalgene) bottles are ideal.
22. Water-purifying tablets if you like to use water from streams along a trail.
23. Cash in a local currency