This is a new alternative hike to Machu Picchu and most complete of the Inca trail, involves 7 day hike to the Classic Salkantay to Inca Trail and includes to view of the traditional Andean birds - Condors, Driver to Chonta and hike on a mountain trail through breath taking sceneries led us to the panoramic viewpoint where we were more than rewarded with even more spectacular views of the deep gorge and the mountains around. Some eight individual condors were soon soaring upwards, coming closer and closer, some gliding only a few meters over our heads. An authentic Andean journey to "Savage Mountain", which is the translation for Salkantay, which may be attributed to the clouds which hang from the jungle lowlands and encompass the peak. At a height of 6271 MAMSL (20,573 ft) Nevado Salkantay the tallest summit in the Cordillera and one of the tallest in the Andes, is the starting point for the hike. This has become popular with hikers who want a more peaceful, less walked path and includes a visit to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. For the first 4 days you will be surrounded by glorious landscapes and won’t see many other groups and. On the third day you will connect to the Inca Trail and continue towards Machu Picchu where you will be arriving early on the seventh day. This hike is just a little more challenging than the Inca Trail. Horses are used for the first 4 days to carry food and equipment until you join the Inca Trail where you swap horses for porters (horses are not allowed on the Inca Trail). Trek permits are necessary for this tour so it’s important to reserve months in advance.
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Condor + Salkantay trail
Day 01: Cusco - Chonta - Condor Sight - Sayllapata
Day 02: Sayllapata - Salkantay Pampa
Day 03: Salkantay Pampa - Pampacahuarina
Day 04: Pampacahuarina - Llullucha Pampa
Day 05: Llucha Pampa - Chaquicocha
Day 06: Chaquicocha - Wiñayhuayna
Day 07: Wiñayhuayna - Machu Picchu
Crew: A Tierras Vivas Representative in Cusco and a professional Tour Guige, a Cook, a Horseman and Porters for the Salkantay Trek vs Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Accommodation: Campsites (6 nights).
Meals: 6x breakfast, 6x lunch, 6x dinner, 6x afternoon tea.
Transportation: Transportation by private van, 1x train
Group Availiable: Mix: 2 Max: 8 Trekkers
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.
Estimated Trekking Time: 7 hours
Condor Sight: 2 Hrs
Trekking Distance: 14 Km
Max. Elevation: 3,600 m (10,200ft)
Min. Elevation: 2,803 m (9, 196 ft)
After an early breakfast we start hiking. We get to Soyrapampa (3, 850m/12,600 ft) where we join the main Salkantay Trek. From there it takes about an hour to reach Salkantay Pampa, the place of our second campsite. Before that we have the chance to take in the stunning sight of the sacred mountains of Huamantay (5,917 m/19,412 ft) and Salkantay (6,271 m/20,574 ft). In the Andean culture these mountains are considered to be `Apus´ (mountain spirits)of great significance. When in Salkantay Pampa (4,100 m/13,451 ft) we set up camp and are later served dinner. We are in high altitude so the night will be cold, don’t forget to bring lots of warm clothes.
Estimated Trekking Time: 6 hours
Trekking Distance: 10 km
Max. elevation: 4,100 m/13,451 ft
Min. elevation: 3,600 m/10,200 ft
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Today we leave the path of the Salkantay Trek and join the Inca Trail route. First we go through a charming valley with domestic flowers and dramatic vistas of the Salkantay mountain to our left as we pass the indigenous villages of Qhesqa and Paucarcancha. We then ascend to the Incachiriaska Pass (4,880m) (the highest point of the trek), which translates as `the place where the Inca cools down´. From here we get the closest view of Salkantay, this whole area is dotted with small mountain lagoons and old glaciers of diverse shades of blue! Around this region, in the rocky cliffs, dwells the Andean Condor, the world’s largest bird. If we are lucky we might also see some viscachas (chinchillas), white tailed deer and also some rare animals such as guanaco, and vicunha. After we descend to the Cusichaca Valley until the tiny village of Pampacawana (4,000m/13,123 ft), here we can observe some old Incan channels. We set up camp nearby and have our dinner.
Estimated Trekking Time: 7 hours
Trekking Distance: 13 km
Max. Elevation: 3,855 m/12,650ft
Min. Elevation: 3,000 m/9,842 ft
A hard day of trekking awaits us today. We hike for 3 hours to get to Paucarcancha (3,205 m/10, 515 ft). There you have a guided tour of the Inkaracay ruins. After that you will descend for a couple of minutes to the town of Wayllabamba (3,000m/9,842 ft) where we say goodbye to our horses and horsemen and welcome our porters. We enjoy lunch before we continue climbing. During the hike we pass a cloud forest with native trees, orchids, mosses, ferns and birds. We finally get to the next campsite, Llullucha Pampa (3,855m/12,650 ft)
Estimated Trekking Time: 7 hours
Trekking Distance: 13km
Max. elevation: 3,855 m/12,650 ft
Min. elevation: 3,000 m/9, 842 ft
Early after breakfast you start descending to Abra Warmiwañusca (dead woman’s pass) at 4,200 metres passing through cloud forests of Yunkachimpa and Corral Punku which offers some wonderful views the surrounding snowcapped summits. From Warmiwañusqa you descend to the Pacamayo Valley (3,300 m) where you have a lunch break. You then continue the hike through the valley to the Inca ruins of Runkuracay where a guided tour follows. Then you get over the second pass – Abra Runkuracay (3,860 m) and follow the Royal Inkas Highway down to the Inka ruins of Saycamarca passing Lake Yanacocha. Camp in Chaquicocha (3,670).
Estimated Trekking Time: 7-8 hours
Trekking distance: 12 km
Max. elevation: 4,200 m (12,630 ft)
Min. elevation: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)
We continue on the trail and pass through charming semi tropical vegetation and many archaeological sites. Before reaching the first site we get over the Phuyupatamarca Pass (3,670) and just behind it we can see the Phuyupatamarca Inka complex (3,600m), one of the best preserved and completed sites of the Inca Trail. It is located on top of a mountain and corresponds with its Quechua name that means `the town above the clouds´. After a guided tour we have lunch there. We then begin a steep descent via cloud forest where we can see delightful orchids and different bird species on the way to our last campsite at Wiñay Wayna (2700 m). A guided tour of the Winaywayna archaeological site follows. After that we have dinner and camp there.
Estimated Trekking time: 5-6 hours time
Trekking distance: 10 km
Max.elevation: 3,670 m (12,040 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
Another early start. We climb the prehistoric steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to see the sunrise over the long awaited sight of Machu Picchu. We enter the site in the early morning, where you have the best photo opportunities. You then enjoy your 2 and a half hour guided tour of the `Lost City of the Incas´. After that you can explore the ruins by yourself. When you’re finished you can meet the other from the group in Aguas Calientes for lunch or visit the hot springs. In the afternoon we return to Cusco by tourist train from Aguas Calientes.
Estimated trekking time: 3 hours
Trekking distance: 4 km
Max. elevation: 2700 m/8,850 ft
Min. elevation: 2, 400m/7,875 ft
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
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!
Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Soraypampa (1st day) to Huayllabamba (3th day). 4 day Inca Trail hike our porter carry your luggage from Huayllabamba to Wiñayhuayna. Our porter takes your luggage to the Aguas Calientes town. They will leave in a restaurant your luggage and that finishing the trek, you can meet. We recommend keeping the weight under 7 kg/15lb. If very important your take best cover backpacker, because the weather in Classic Salkantay to Inca Trail is change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended to put your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside the plastic bag.
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
Nowadays, the Condor Sight is an excellent place to observe the condor, which is the largest bird that flies and in the time of the Incas was a sacred bird also considered an Andean spiritual messenger. The viewpoint is the new tourist circuit for those who want to get out of the ordinary, more than anything else, for those who love observing birds especially Cóndores. At the same time you can see: eagles, hawks, kestrels, hummingbirds among others and also in the tour you will visit the small and beautiful archaeological remains such as: Killarumiyoq and Tarawasi.
The Salkantay Trek is an old and remote alternative path to the Inca Trail, it has much more spectacular views and with different ecological levels we will walk among lagoons, impressive snow-capped mountains such as Salkantay and Humantay, crossing rivers and subtropical areas of abundant vegetation and fauna. This road is an excellent option for those who want to escape from the most congested routes and in a faster way, or for those who are looking for an alternative when the spaces of the traditional Inca Trail are occupied. Condor Sight to Salkantay Trek
The Apu Salkantay, also known as the warrior and protective apu of the Inca Empire. Center guiding the road to their own, in its imposing majesty you see all the savagery of the virgin snow can show us rising up to 6,271 m.s.n.m. of height, which breaks the chain of Vilcabamba, where it joins the fantasy of the Andes, where the sunrises and sunsets create a spectacle of greatness and mystery, taking different nuances in each of its four perfectly oriented and defined faces that produce progressive changes of flora, and typical fauna of the Andes. Book now the Salkantay Inca trail
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