ACTIVITY ITINERARY AND DESCRIPTION:
DAY 1: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – MARCOCCASA- SORAYPAMPA
Meals: L, D
Total distance: 15 km (8 miles)
Hiking time: 6 -7 hours
Max. Altitude point: 4,200 m (13,799 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,900 m (12,795 ft)
We leave from Cusco between 4:30 and 5:00 am and take a scenic morning bus-ride to our trek starting point at Marcoccasa. Along the four-hour drive, we will pass through the town of Limatambo(2100m/6888ft), an important point of access to the city of Cusco, where the Tarawasi ruins are located. The road continues up a beaten track along the right shore of the Apurimac River and crosses the town of Mollepata (2800m/9184ft) and the small community of Cruzpata (2750m/9020ft), the starting point of the trek, where we meet our wranglers and horses. After a short introduction, we’ll start the hike up through the vegetation between the dark hills. The beginning of the trail is slopping up with some flat stretches, appropriately called the “training section” of the trek. Go at your own pace, this day is flexible. If you arrive early enough, you have the option to hike up to the small lagoon at the bottom of Humantay Mountain to come back to the campsite called Soraypampa. (3,500m/11480ft).
DAY 2: SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAY PASS – CHAULLAY
Meals: B, L, D
Total distance: 22 km (13.5 miles)
Hiking time: 8-9 hours
Max. Altitude point: 4,600 m (15,090 ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,900 m (9,514 ft)
We will wake up to beautiful morning light in the mountains, have breakfast, and start the hike to the summit of the trail. During the ascent we will have our first view of Salkantay Mountain and we will start our hike towards the base of the white peaks of Salkantay (6271m/20569ft), cross Salkantaypampa. Then we have a 2 hr steep ascent to Soyroccocha, just next to the impressive glacier views from Salkantay pass (4600m/15088ft), the highest pass in the program where, besides enjoying stunning views of the surrounding glaciers and the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range, we may also observe chinchillas and condors in their natural habitat. We break for lunch mid-trail and from this point, we start descending towards a more tropical climate, into the cloud forest. Along the route, we can see the remains of an ancient Inca path, which is approximately 6 meters wide.
As we continue, we will experience the increasingly lush vegetation, passing waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. After the last 3 hr hike we arrive at the settlement of Chaullay, the base camp (2,900 masl – 9,514 ft).
DAY 3: CHAULLAY – LA PLAYA – HYDROELECTRIC – AGUAS CALIENTES
Meals: B, L, D
Total distance: 12 km (7.50 miles)
Hike time: 5-7 hours
Max. Altitude point: 2,650 m (8,692 ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,000 m (6,560 ft)
Our early morning starts towards La Playa, crossing the small village called Collpapampa. Here, the Salkantay River becomes the Santa Teresa River. After a rest, we continue our descent to the banks of the Totora River, passing the waterfalls at Coripacchi, to the settlement at Wiñaypoko where there are passion fruit, mango, banana, avocado, and coffee. At midday, we’ll get to the bustling small town of La Playa, break for lunch, and continue the journey via a small bus (1 hour and 30 minutes) until the Hydroelectric. There you have two options: you can continue by foot 3 hrs or catch the 1 hr train (US$ 26.00) to finally arrived in Aguas Calientes where we will meet for an early dinner and stay in a hostel.
DAY 4: AGUAS CALIENTES / MACHU PICCHU TO CUSCO
We wake up early and board a bus to Machu Picchu where we begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately 2 or 3 hrs. You will then have free time to walk around or climb up the Huayna Picchu Mountain, where one can experience spectacular views of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it (please note that there are only 400 visitors allowed per day for Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountain, US$15.00, must reserve in advance). You may also visit the Temple of the Moon, Sun Gate or the impressive Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, back down to Aguas Calientes to board the train to Ollantaytambo and a 2 hr bus back to Cusco.
Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.
- Pre-departure briefing at Willka Travel Office.
- Pick-up from your hotel in the morning and transfer vias bus transport to Mollepata (starting point of the trek)
- Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks. Our tents are 3-season, highly maintained to ensure an excellence
- Accommodation as requested.
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- Kitchen tent
- English-speaking, professional, and official tourist guide (The standard group size is 8 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 11 guests and 2 guides)
- 1-night accommodation in Aguas Calientes
- Chef and cooking equipment
- Pack animals (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment) – days 1 to 4
- Pack animals to carry personal gear up to a maximum of 7 kg per person (including sleeping pad and sleeping bag) – days 1 to 3
- Accommodation for all our staff
- Meals (3B, 3L, 3D + daily morning snack + daily tea service, except for the last day). Vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost
- One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment
- Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Machu Picchu entrance fee
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (Expedition Service 18:35 pm)
- Transfer train station to hotel in Cusco
- 24 hr guest service: Please ask for the emergency number available during your time of visit
- Entrance for Salkantay, 10 soles
- Clothes, rain gear, and footwear
- Sunscreen, toiletries, and personal items
- Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
- Lunch and dinner on the last day after the guided tour at Machu Picchu
- Walking sticks
- Sleeping bags (you can rent from our company)
- Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)
From US$ 480