Hiking through the highlands and canyons of eastern peru. salkantay is the center piece of this hike, (6270 meters, 20,570.9 ft sea level), with glaciers spilling from its jagged peak, snow capped mountains and green valleys make of this hike unforgettable. the highest point of this trek is (4626 meters 15,157 ft sea level) call thesalkantay pass. this sakantay trek is considered now as the best alternative tour to hike machu picchu and one of the best treks for hiking in peru. this trek ends in aguas calientes the town just below machu picchu. the last morning after we ended our salkatay trek and made the 4-mile hike straight up the inca stairs to machu picchu, there will be a guided tour around the citadel of machu picchu.
early in the morning we collect the passengers from their hotels for a nice four hours bus ride towards soraypampa, which is the beginning of the salkantay trek. once there, we will pack all the gear on the horses and set off for our trek. during the first hours we start a steep ascend towards the highest point of the trek, the apacheta path (4590 m 15059 ft above sea level). vegetation, is not common at this altitude mostly grass and one king of tree (queuña) who has perfectly adapted to this environment. the apacheta pass, is the perfect place to have a nice view of the salkantay mountain that means (wild mountain) located at 6271 m 20574 ft. we continue on with the trek and we descending to the first camp, while we are walking we can appreciate that nature changes from arid cold terrain to warmer areas with more vegetation. the first camp is call andenes located at 2890 meters. (1 breakfast - 1 lunch - 1 dinner).
for most of our hikers today is easy, the trail ahead takes us down until a nice waterfall so we can relax and take some pictures. nature changes with each step, vegetation is more abundant, small waterfalls, rivers and birds are part of this hiking day, after lunch and descending for a couple of ours more, we arrive to our second camp call la playa. during our hike we can see variety of wild life, many birds and maybe we can see the peruvian national bird call gallito de las rocas. (1 breakfast - 1 lunch - 1 dinner).
today we will say good bye to our porters and cooker, they will go back to cusco with all the gear, sleeping bags and sleeping pads so, porters won't n be available any more, they are not allowed to go on the trek the third day, so you will have to carry your own bag pack, but the sleeping bags and mattress will go back to cusco so you just need to carry a light bag pack. the scenery changes as you wander through coco bean plants, banana trees, oranges and avocados. after three hours walking up hill we arrive to the archaeological complex of llactapata, known also as patallacta that means town of hill side, originally discover by hiram bingham as the same time as machu picchu. some explorers say that this place could be bigger and more important than it was. here you can have the first view of machu picchu, descending for two more hours we arrive to machu picchu hydroelectric. after lunch, we will walk for two to three more hours until aguas calientes (town below machu picchu). some clients take the train from hydroelectric to aguas calientes that takes 20 to 30 minutes, but the train ticket is not included in the price (18 $ train ticket from hydroelectric to aguas calientes). in aguas calientes we will check in a lovely hostel for a nice evening. (1 breakfast - 1 lunch - 1 dinner).
we recommend starting the trek early in the morning. the idea is to hike machu picchu to see the sun rise, that for many of our clients this is a wonderful natural spectacle. from aguas calientes take one hours and a half aprox., until machu picchu. once there, we will have two hours guided tour around machu picchu, also plenty of time to take pictures and walk around. later we meet with the rest of the group to go by bus down to aguas calientes, and then take the train to go back to cusco. depending on the train service the departure from aguas calientes can be late in the evening, and you might go until ollantaytambo or cusco, if will stop at ollantaytambo there will be a bus waiting for us to take the group back to cusco and with that the end of the salkantay trek. (1 breakfast).
personal porter: we can hire an extra horse for 25 dollars to help you carrying up your personal things such a sleeping bag and rain coat.
salkantay trek regulations:
the price 419 usd does not included the entrance fees to salkantay trek (141 soles) in 2008 the inc (national institute of culture) introduced a 141 peruvian soles (42 $) entrance fees to salkantay. we felt that this was an excessive charge, as the government doesn't´t offer any service or infrastructure. after many strikes and protest the inc currently is not charging this fee, and appears that in some days the inc charges and in some other days they don´t. in charging people who then have a lucky day we decided do not include this fee in the price, but you must be prepared to paid the fees if the inc request it on route. we apologize for this inconvenient.
all prices are subjects to any changes according to government regulations.
this tour can combine with our 15 and 21 days trips or with rafting trips to apurimac
private transportation, train tickets to go back to cusco, bilingual speaking guide, horses as porters, extra horse in case of emergency, horsemen to look after the horses, kitchen, dinner and toilet tents, first aid kit, mattress to sleep on, all camping gear, hostel in aguas calientes the last night, meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches , 3 dinners, entrance fees to machu picchu, bus ticket to aguas calientes , transfers.
sleeping bag (may rent in our office for $ 4 a day), lunch on the last day, entrance fees to hot springs, tips and entrance fees to salkantay trek, bus tickets en stead of hiking machu picchu on the last day.
*we recommend bringing pills for altitude sickness, this is the most frequent trouble for travelers during hiking machu picchu.
sleeping bag (menus 15 degrees) you can rent this for 12 usd at the office, mosquito repellent, hiking shoes or trainers, hat, socks, worm clothes, gloves, woolen hat to cover the ears, rain coat, sun block pfd 40, flashlight, bottle water to fill the bottle up with water. personal medical kit and items that you consider very important during the salkantay trek.
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