A 5-day trip where you will experience camping in a private ecological campsite
Ranked as one of the most beautiful and scenic treks in the world
Experienced, bilingual guides assisting you
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All year round except for February
Cuzco hotel and hostel pickup
Cuzco hotel and hostel drop off
ONLINE BOOKING NOT AVAILABLE
DAY 1: SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAYTAMPA – SALKANTAY PASS – WAYRACMACHAY:
We will pick you up from your hotel (Must to be located in Cusco) at 4:30 a.m. to begin our expedition to Machu Picchu. You will be met at your hotel by your trekking guide, cook and porters to drive three hours in our private van to the trailhead, Soraypampa. You will enjoy your first breakfast, prepared by your trekking chef, and then you will start preparing for your journey. If the weather allows, the views from this area are breathtaking. You will be looking at two big mountains, called Humantay (5,900 meters above sea level) and Salkantay (6,215 meters above sea level). Your guide will introduce the team, take a group photo and at around 8:30 a.m., you should be hiking, on your way to Machu Picchu. During the day's hike, you will explore the Andes with alpine views, the entire time. For two hours, you will partake in gradual, uphill hiking along the Salkantay valley, until we arrive in Salkantay Pampa, located at 4,000 meters, for a break and some beautiful views of the Salkantay glacier peak and the Salkantay river. After your break, you will continue the last one hour uphill, by switchback, to our lunch spot at Laguna Suyroccocha, located at 4,200 meters high. You will be impressed with the view along the way, as you pass by streams, waterfalls from the hillsides and views of both mountains (Salkantay and Huamantay). Meals are always something to look forward to when you hike with Alpaca Expeditions. For your first lunch, you will be met by your trekking chef and porters, who will be ready with hot beverages, followed by an amazing family-style meal for you to enjoy. This spot is located close to the mountain of Salkantay, so you will be able to see and hear some avalanches falling from the hill of the Salkantay glacier peak. You can have a small nap after lunch until its time to continue your expedition. It will begin with the last uphill portion of the day, towards Salkantay Pass at 4,650 meters high, the highest point of the trek. This will take about an hour, We will reward your hard work with some hot drinks, or coca tea. As the sky starts changing colors, you will be able to enjoy these amazing views without any other tourists. The views will surround you. You will be looking out at Salkantay peak, valleys, waterfalls, clouds lifting over the valleys and the beginning of the sunset, over the mountains. If there is enough time, you will take a short walk to enjoy the small, colorful lake, located at the foot of the glaciers. Finally, your last two hours will be downhill to our first campsite, called Wayracmachay, located at 3,800 meters high. Again, you will experience some impressive views. You will enjoy the back side of the mountain, which always has snow on the roof, and the cloud forest at the bottom of the valley. Hopefully, the weather will allow you to watch the sunset over this magical location, and see the condors flying above. At around 5:30 p.m., you will get to your campsite, located at the foot of Salkantay mountain, and your trekking staff will have your tents set up and with your duffel bags ready. They will provide you with warm water to get washed up and change into something warm. We will have a happy hour with hot chocolate and coffee, followed by dinner. If the weather allows, you will get to enjoy the blue sky, as your tour guide will show you the Inca constellations.
DAY 2: WAYRACMACHAY – CHAULLAY – COLLPAPAMPA – LA PLAYA SAHUAYAKU:
Your trekking team will wake you up early with a hot drink to help you start the day. Hopefully, as you open your tent, you will see the sunrise over glacier peaks and clouds, lifting from the green cloud forest. You will have time to pack up and enjoy a nice breakfast prepared by your trekking chef. Around 7 a.m., you will begin the hike which will be four hours downhill until you arrive at your lunch spot, Ccollpapampa at 2,700 meters high. Shortly after you begin to walk from breakfast, you will notice that the micro-climate changes from cold glacier views to a warmer forest with green, lush jungle and beautiful flora and fauna. There will be many different species of orchids to see, as well as ferns and begonia flowers. Hummingbirds will be above you, a difference from the day before. After lunch, you will take a short siesta and then begin the hike for four more hours, on a gradual downhill, to our private campsite called La Loreta at 2400 m. Along the way, you will explore beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and again, flora and fauna. This will be another micro-climate called tropical forest, where local people farm coffee, passion fruit, papayas, oranges and avocados. Upon your arrival to the campsite, you will be welcomed by your trekking staff and have time to enjoy the free hot shower, hot Jacuzzi and perhaps swim in our swimming pool. There will also be time to walk around our ecological garden to see some our garden of coffee, avocado, chillis, tomatoes. and pineapples. Dinner tonight will be at our building with views to the Salkantay river which you will hear below to help you fall asleep at night.
DAY 3: LORETA - LA PLAYA SAHUAYAKU – LUCMABAMBA COFFEE FARM – INKA TRAIL – LLACTAPATA – CAMP IN FRONT OF MACHU PICCHU:
After a delicious breakfast, you will get started on your shortest, but most interesting day. You will experience the most beautiful sights along your trekking route to Machu Picchu. You will explore the tropical forest and have a visit at an organic coffee farm, where you will be able to taste the coffee, prepared by the local people. Coffee is the main farming industry for the local people. They farm big hectares of coffee to export to the United States, Asia and Europe. Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, but it wasn't until the Spanish invaded Cusco, that it was brought to this region. You will also explore some orange and avocado farms. When you are finished, you will get the opportunity to climb part of the Inca trail for two and a half hours. You will see amazing views of the Santa Teresa valley, until you arrive at the Llactapata Inca site, right in front of Machu Picchu. This will be the first site you see, of the Lost City of the Incas. You will be able to see the Machu Picchu ruins, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountain from this spot. You will explore and learn about the Inca site with your tour guide. There will be plenty of time to take photos. It will then be 15 minutes downhill, to your lunch and campsite area. This campsite is owned by a local family, and only Alpaca Expeditions has permission to stay there. This is a great place to enjoy the sunset and sunrise over Machu Picchu. After lunch, you will have some free time to enjoy the views and relax from the hiking. Again, we will serve a lovely happy hour, with tea and coffee, and your chef will prepare a delicious meal for dinner. Once the stars come out, you can enjoy the Milky Way and the Inca constellations. This is where Incan astronomers studied the sky to predict the weather.
DAY 4: LLACTAPATA MIRADOR – HYDROELECTRIC WATER FALLS, MANDOR HIRAM BINGHAMS FARM – AGUAS CALIENTES HOTEL:
There will be an early wake up, with a hot glass of coca tea. You will get ready for today’s activities and enjoy your last breakfast prepared by your trekking chef. You will begin your hike on a two hour, downhill path, with views of Machu Picchu, until you arrive at the hydroelectric station. The impressive part of this area, is the natural waterfall, at 300 meters high, which generates the electricity for the region of Cusco. You will then arrive at the famous Intiwatana (sun dial rock). According to history, this Inca stone used to work with the famous sun dial rock in Machu Picchu, during the winter solstice, which was the beginning of a new farming season for the Incas. After you pass this small Inca site, you will reach the train rain road, which has a nice path to walk on. It will take approximately three hours to arrive in Aguas Calientes, located at the foot of the valley of Machu Picchu. This section is interesting because it is a trail used by the American Professor, Hiram Bingham, who rediscovered Machu Picchu after centuries of it being lost. He walked along this valley looking for the lost city of Vilcabamba. He met the farmer Melochor Artaega, who guided him to Machu Picchu. You will get to pass by the farm of Melochor Artaega, where you will see many species of flora and fauna, including the famous Peruvian national bird called cock of the rock, tucanets, propendolas, parrots and orchids. Finally, upon your arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will enjoy a packed lunch. You will then go to your hotel to enjoy a hot shower and a visit to the famous, hot springs (10 soles, not included), of Aguas Calientes. In the evening, you will enjoy your final dinner with your trekking chef and say good bye to him.
DAY 5: MACHU PICCHU (THE SACRED CITY OF THE INKAS) – RETURN TO CUSCO:
Today is the most important day of your expedition. To get the most out of the day, we encourage every group to have an early breakfast before catching one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (starting at 5:30 a.m.). The hotel will hold your bags for you until you return from your tour. The bus will take 30 minutes to get to the top. Once you arrive, your guide will introduce you to Machu Picchu. You will head directly to a beautiful place to watch the sunrise and to take pictures. Your guide will walk you around the citadel, for two and a half hours, teaching you more about the history and culture of the Incas. At the end of the tour, you will have some time to yourself or, if you arranged to hike Huayna Picchu (must be booked in advance, as it sells out and costs $35 per person), your guide will show you where to begin this hike, which will take no more than two hours round-trip. You should start heading to the bus line to head back to Aguas Calientes around 3 p.m., as your train will typically leave at 4:20 p.m. (your guide will inform you if the train time is earlier). You take a two-hour train back to Ollantaytambo, followed by a two-hour car ride, back to your hotel for drop off.
Machu Picchu mountain can be climbed instead of Huayna Picchu for $35 per person. This hike is more challenging and takes three hours minimum, round-trip. You always have the opportunity to climb to the Sun Gate for free. This is a much easier walk of two hours, round-trip.
*Note: This arrangement must be done in advance, as it sells out and costs $25 per person.
DAY 1: 04:30 – 05:00
Pick up from your hotel
DAY 1: 05:00 – 08:00
Transfer from Cuzco to Soraypampa
DAY 1: 08:00 - 08:30
DAY 1: 08:30 - 14:00
Hike to Salkantay Pampa; lunch
DAY 1: 14:00 – 17:00
Trekking; arrival to the campsite “Wayracmachay”
DAY 1: 18:00 – 19:00
Dinner and overnight
DAY 2: 06:00 – 07:00
DAY 2: 07:00 – 11:00
Trekking to Colpapampa
DAY 2: 12:00 – 13:00
DAY 2: 13:00 – 18:00
Downhill to “ La Playa” or Sahuayacku
DAY 2: 18:00 – 18:30
Arrival at the second camp site
DAY 2: 18:30 – 19:00
Dinner and overnight
DAY 3: 06:00 – 06:30
DAY 3: 06:30 – 13:00
Trek to Santa Teresa; lunch
DAY 3: 13:00 – 18:00
Downhill to llactapata
DAY 3: 18:00 – 17:30
Arrival at the third camp site (optional: hot springs)
DAY 3: 18:00 – 19:00
Dinner and overnight
DAY 4: 06:00 – 07:00
Breakfast (Coca tea)
DAY 4: 10:00 – 12:00
Donwhill to the Hydroelectric Plant
DAY 4: 14:00 – 17:00
Trek from Hydroelectric Plant to Machu Picchu town
DAY 4: 18:00 – 19:00
Dinner and overnight in Machu Picchu town
DAY 5: 05:30 – 06:00
Bus from Machu Picchu town to Machu Picchu
DAY 5: 07:00 – 14:00
Tour of Machu Picchu, relax and free time
DAY 5: 15:00 – 15:30
Return to Machu Picchu town (time depends on the train's schedule)
DAY 5: 16:00 – 18:00
Return by train from Machu Picchu town to Ollantaytambo (time depends on the train's schedule)
DAY 5: 18:00 – 20:00
Back to the Cusco city (time depends on the train's schedule)
- Professional Guides
- Briefing: The night before your trek, you will come to our office for your briefing.
- Porters & Horsemen: We include a personal porter, who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag containing your personal items.
- Emergency Horse: All of our Alternative Treks include an extra horse for our clients to use if they need a break from trekking.
- Hotel: The trek will include three nights of camping and one night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.
- Transportation: All your transportation is included in this trek. You will be picked up directly from your hotel around 4:30 a.m. (unless you are staying in Ollantaytambo before the trek) and brought to the trail head to begin your trek.
- Equipment: Alpaca Expeditions has the best equipment. We use Eureka Timberline 4 person tents that are shared by only two people. You will have a spacious dining tent to enjoy your meals in.
Food: The Alpaca Expeditions chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have raved about. We honor all food restrictions. Be sure to remind your tour guide of any food restrictions at the beginning of your trek. Lunch the last day is not included.
- Water: Beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast, Alpaca Expeditions will supply all the water needed.
- First Aid: Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen.
- Extras: Every trekker receives a small pillow to sleep with, a foam mattress for insulation, a day pack cover to protect their things while hiking and a rain poncho. We will work hard to create your best vacation.
- Satellite Phones: Our top priority will always be the safety of our clients and our team. While we are prepared and all our guides are trained for most of the issues clients have on the mountain, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital or friend helps everyone feel assured that they are safe.
- Sleeping bag: USD $25
- Inflatable air mat: USD $20
- Walking sticks (pair): USD $20
- Huayna Picchu Mountain $ 35
- Machu picchu Mountain $ 35
- Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
FOR YOUR DUFFEL:
Porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.
- 2-3 wicking t-shirts
- 2-3 hiking pants
- 4 sets of undergarments and 4 sets of hiking socks,1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
- 1 Rain jacket, pants,1 sun hat,1 wool hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Walking boots, waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean - might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap
- Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty
- Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least
- Sunscreen, face moisturizer, bug spray, handsanitizer,wet wipes, toothbrush and paste,toiletpaper
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc
INSIDE YOUR DAYPACKS:
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside citadel gates.
- Water: we supply clean water at each meal. You are responsible for your first morning of water only as we won't have time to filter water until your first lunch
- Sunhat, rain gear, fleece, camera, music (IPhone),handsanitizer
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
No booking available at the time.
I cannot find my accommodation listed in the operator pick up locations when making my booking. What should I select?
This operator only offers pick-ups from the hotel and hostel accommodation listed, this covers over 90% of the accommodation providers in the area. They do not provide pick-ups or drop-offs at private residences, Airbnbs, bus terminals etc. Select an alternative close by and be ready there for pick-up at the time on your booking confirmation
What is the difference between Salkantay and the Inca Jungle Trek?
Salkantay is full-on trekking, whereas the Inca Jungle mixes trekking, rafting, mountain biking and other activities.
How physically fit do I need to be?
The Salkantay Trek can range in difficulty, however most are classified as a moderate level. The Machu Picchu complex itself is not difficult, and most people do not have any problems.
How do I avoid altitude sickness?
Take Soroche (Diamox) pills, eat small meals, drink coca tea, drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol (it’s a dehydrator). The best way to avoid altitude sickness is to acclimatize yourself. The recommended approach for acclimatization is to ascend gradually, spending at least 24 hours at every 2,000ft increase in altitude.
What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?
Common symptoms of altitude sickness (sometimes called acute mountain sickness) can be similar to a bad hangover, and may include headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite and shortness of breath. A severe headache (that is not relieved by medication), nausea and vomiting, and increasing fatigue or shortness of breath may indicate more serious problems – seek medical attention.
Are there any student discounts?
Yes, there is a student discount. These discounts are only valid if you have an ISIC card and it matches your passport. They are very strict with this. You must bring your original I.D. to enter Machu Picchu.
Where is Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is near a town called Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Town. From there, it is a 1.5 hour hike up steps, or a 20-minute bus ride to the complex itself.
Where is Huayna (Wayna) Picchu?
Huayna Picchu Mountain is the peak located to the north of Machu Picchu citadel. It is the backdrop to the classic image of Machu Picchu. The peak offers inspiring views of the ruins and 360° views of the area. The climb to the summit takes 45 minutes, it is a challenging trek and is very steep in parts. Limited to 400 a day, tickets must be purchased as a combo ticket at the same time as your entrance to Machu Picchu. This ticket cannot be purchased separately and is always in high demand. It costs approximately $10 extra.
What is Machu Picchu Mountain?
Machu Picchu Mountain is the peak located to the south-west of Machu Picchu citadel. The trek offers unparalleled sights of the ruins and panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. The trek is wide and well-marked. It is a moderate/challenging trek and takes 90 minutes to ascend. Limited to 800 a day, tickets must be purchased as a combo ticket at the same time as your entrance to Machu Picchu. This ticket cannot be purchased separately. It costs around $5 extra.
What are the hours of operation?
The site is open daily from 6am until 5pm. It’s open every day of the year, including public holidays, Christmas and New Year.
Why is the train so expensive?
Peru Rail and Inca Rail are the two operators which have a duopoly on the route, so they can maintain very high prices.
Where can I leave my bags?
You can leave your bags at your Cusco hostel/hotel. Note, if you take the train there are bag restrictions.
Is the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu worth it?
The walk up to Machu Picchu can be seen as part of the experience. However, the bus is an option for those who are tired after a long trek, or who just want to save their energy for all the walking at the top.
What kind of weather can we find in Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is at a lower altitude level than Cusco. It contains part of the jungle, and the rains are present during all seasons. During the hottest days, the temperature can reach approximately 26° Celsius (79ºF), and during the cool, early mornings, the temperature can drop to -2° C (-36ºF). The best months to visit Machu Picchu are May and June, since they are the mildest ones.
Will I have problems with altitude sickness on this tour?
Altitude sickness can catch many travellers a little bit off guard. Not everyone gets sick in high altitudes, and it is difficult to predict who is likely to be badly affected by it. For most people, it is nothing more than a headache and a dizzy sensation that diminishes over a short period of time, 1 to 2 days for most people. If you want to limit your chances of getting sick, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, do not fly directly into high altitude - proceed slowly, allowing your body time to acclimatise as you ascend gradually. However, for many that is not possible, so it’s important to drink lots of water, and to slow down! This sounds simple, but both of these things are very important. Your body is struggling because you don’t have enough oxygen, so avoiding any strenuous activity is a good idea. Chew some coca leaves - the native people of South America have been chewing coca for centuries, thanks to its ability to alleviate mild altitude sickness symptoms. Coca leaves can be bought in any supermarket, and even souvenir shops or street stalls. Take altitude sickness pills (Soroche): these are sold over the counter all over Peru and Bolivia, and are just a few dollars. If you are flying straight into altitude over 2500metres without spending any time at an intermediate elevation, and you’re worried about getting sick, you can ask your doctor for more specific and stronger altitude sickness medication in advance. In the rare case that your symptoms are more severe than a headache and mild dizziness, you should descend in altitude and seek medical assistance.