Day 1. Cusco-Sorapampa – Huayacmachay: 6 hour walk
Your Salkantay experience begins early in the morning after a 4 hour drive to Soraypampa. Along the way you will see snow covered mountains and the Apurimac River valley. After hiking for 3 hours, you will reach Soroycocha where lunch will be served. Be sure to walk slowly and tell your guide if you start feeling the negative effects of the altitude as the route becomes demanding. Also dress in layers as you will feel both the cold air in the high passes and warmer air lower down.
After lunch you will continue uphill and will reach an altitude of 4700 meters (15,419 feet.). The views over the Salkantay mountain range are stunning. Then it’s 3 hours downhill to your first camp at Huayraqmachay and dinner.
Day 2. Huayraqmachay – Chaullay – Colpachaca – Playa Sahuayaco: 7 hour walk
Early morning breakfast. Most of today’s trek is downhill through a variety of landscapes including the tropical cloud forest. Waterfalls, fruit-bearing trees, strawberries, wild orchids, bromeliads, bamboo forests and perhaps even the elusive “Cock of the Rocks” bird can be observed. After a 3 hour hike you will arrive at Collpachaca village for lunch.
Another 3 hour hike will take you through lush and warmer temperatures, coffee plantations, banana trees, avocado trees, before you arrive at your campsite in Playa Sahuayaco for dinner.
Day 3. Playa Sahuayaco – Llactapata – Hydroelectric – Aguas Callientes: 8 hour walk
Hatun Inti Classic
Today the trekking arrives at the bottom of Machu Picchu.
After another early breakfast, a 3 hour walk will bring you to Patallacta. Possibly used for ceremonial purposes and a large agricultural area, the ruins of the town, stone walls and ancient doorways can be found along steep terraces and are still visible in the hillside. Here you will see Macchu Picchu for the first time and a view of the ruins that most tourists never see.
After a 3 hour downhill walk through thick vegetation and tall trees you will reach the Hydroelectric power plant where lunch will be served. Then, 2 hours later you will reach Aguas Calientes and the hostel/hotel (with private bathrooms) for your last night on the trail. Dinner is included.
Day 4. Machu Picchu – Cusco
End of the Tour
The first bus of the day will take you to Macchu Picchu after breakfast. Enjoy the magic of the Inti Punku (sunrise) and during your guided tour you will learn about the Machu Picchu archaeological complex. You will have plenty of time for wandering on your own and soaking up the mystical atmosphere. Don’t miss the Inti Punko, “Sun Gate”, and the Huayna Picchu, (optional extra at USD$ 12 per person). From the peak of the Wayna Picchu, you will enjoy the most spectacular view of the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Only 400 tickets are available each day, and should there be no tickets available, you will be able to enjoy a stunning view of the complex by climbing the Machu Picchu Mountain (extra USD$7 per person).
You can walk or take a bus back to Aguas Calientes. In the afternoon, after a train ride back to Poroy or Ollantaytambo, you will be transferred to Cusco and back to your hotel in the evening.