At 20574' (6271m), Nevado de Salkantay is the tallest and most majestic mountain in the Cordillera Vilcabamba range and the backdrop for a new variation on the trek to Machu Picchu. This journey travels off the beaten track, away from the crowds found on the Inca Trail. It offers a true view of the Peruvian mountains with spectacular vistas and provides the feeling of adventure and remoteness the Inca Trail has lost. The trek starts in Cusco as per the standard trip itinerary and ends with a full day at Machu Picchu. It's a great way to see the best of both worlds.
Leader: Ania Wiktorowicz and Wilfredo Lopez - Trip leaders Peru
Price: $2,300 All inclusive (Lima to Lima)
Due to customer feedback and past experience, the itinerary now includes flight to Cusco. To secure this trip and book flight, you are required to pay $500 deposit early; any reservation less than 3 months prior to the trip might require flight-booking surcharge. Remember this is very popular destination!
Day 1 (June 21) Arrival in Lima/Overnight
Day 2 (June 22) City bus tour/Overnight
Day 3 (June 23) Flight to Cusco/City Tour/Overnight (11,200feet) After quick lunch we will walk trough Cusco City and its markets.
Day 4 (June 24) Acclimatization and Sacred Valley Tour. We will spend the day on visits to animal sanctuary-see condors up close and personal, tour Inca ruins in Ollantaytambo and Pisac, and enjoy Peruvian lunch buffet (included) On the way back to Cusco, we will stop at Chicheria and learn how chichia is made.
Day 5 (June 25) CUSCO – SALKANTAYPAMPA
We will pick you up very early from your hotel in one of our private vehicles to transport you 4 hours from Cusco. We will cross MOLLEPATA at 8,900 feet (2,700 meters) and ascend to SAYLLAPATA at 11,500 feet (3,500 meters). On the way, we will see quiet Andean villages and also visit KILLARUMIYOC, a site where the Incas constructed their calendar. After our visit, we will have breakfast and then continue to the Limatambo valley. We will briefly stop in the MOLLEPATA village to see the streets and relax for a few minutes before continuing to the trailhead. We will have lunch and from this site, we will hike until we arrive at our campsite called SALKANTAYPAMPA at 13,100 feet (4,000 meters).
Day 6 (June 26) SALKANTAYPAMPA - COLLPAPAMPA
We will cross the left bank of a stream in the morning before hiking steeply uphill. We will come to a series of zigzags with breathtaking views of SALKANTAY and UMANTAY and then continue to the top of the seventh switchback where the terrain levels out under SALKANTAY and then drops gently down to a small lake called SOYROCOCHA. Stopping at this site, we can enjoy the nature before walking uphill for approximately one hour and a half. We will then reach the highest pass at 15,100 feet (4,600 meters). Here, we will have a stunning view of the sacred mountains of UMANTAY and SALKANTAY. We will also be able to see a pile of stones that grows daily as each traveler adds one as he or she passes. When a tourist adds to this pile, he or she thanks the APUS (mountain spirits) for a safe trip. We will then descend to a site called HUAYRACMACH’AY at 12,500 feet (3,800 meters) before continuing to HUMANTAY, a pyramid-shaped peak. We will then arrive to HUAYRACPAMPA where we will have lunch. After re-energizing, we will enter the tropical cloud forest and discover its lush vegetation of wild orchids, bromelias and other flowers, as well as hummingbirds. We will then continue our descent through the bamboo groves and after 4 hours heading downhill, we will arrive to the village of COLLPAPAMPA at 9,500 feet (2,900 meters) where we will have dinner and camp for the night.
DAY 7 (June 27) COLLPAPAMPA - LA PLAYA
After a healthy breakfast, we will continue down the valley into the forest that contains groves of bamboo and great bird watching opportunities. Flocks of colorful tropical birds roam the forest and waterfalls cascade down cliffs with water warm enough for you to bathe in. The stretch also has begonias, purple orchids and strawberries lying on the path. We will then walk to our campsite, LA PLAYA. From there, we will set up camp, have lunch and have the afternoon to explore the surrounding area. There is a school where many tourists like to play soccer with local children.
DAY 8 (June 28) LA PLAYA- HIDROELECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES
In the early morning, we will begin our difficult climb to the LLACTAPATA pass at 8,900 feet (2,700 meters). From there, you will be able to see the magnificentIncan city, Machu Picchu. From LLACTAPATA, we will descend through thick vegetation, tall trees, and incredible bird diversity. After we reach the hydroelectric site, we will take a local train to AguasCalientes where we will spend the night.
Day 9 (June 29) AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHUPICCHU - CUSCO
After an early-morning breakfast, we will take the bus to MACHUPICCHU where you will have a thorough tour with your guide. You will then have the opportunity to climb HUAYNAPICCHU before heading down to AGUAS CALIENTES to board the train back to Cusco.
Day 10 (June 30) Cusco-Lima Flight and End of the trip.
The group will depart Cusco in the morning. Most flights back to the United States leave late at night or in the evening; you can book a flight on the same day.
Initially, we’ll spend a two nights in Cusco (11,200feet) and do easy city tours to further our acclimatization. Once on the trek to Machu Picchu each day after breakfast, we’ll pack our camp and hike 5-7 hrs. daily. Photo opportunities daily!
Crew Treks strongly recommends that you enroll with Global Rescue prior to embarking on this trip. Please click on the link below for details and quotes.
The prices are reasonable and the signup process is simple.
We strongly encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance, which covers trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, etc.
Travel insurance offers the best possible protection if you have a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or when traveling.
Here are some useful links:
Flight and Visa Info:
There is no visa requirement for US or EC Citizens. Plenty of flights from the United States and fairly easy to non-rev/stand by (for airline employees) Additionally, there are plenty of flights between Lima and Cusco, butduring summer months they are expensive and hard to non-rev. Therefore Crew Treks itinerary is from Lima-relax on the bus and enjoy the scenery!