This lovely and varied hike (about 50km) is the “soft option” from Soray since the pass is lower (though still a tough 4,750m (15,580ft) and then it is mostly downhill through forested valleys, above deep ravines, ending at 1,500m.
The trek on the second day from Soray goes steeply uphill for half an hour, then comes to a series of zigzags (Siete Culebras is the local name of this strech). At the top of the seventh switchback the terrain levels out under Salkantay´s lateral moraine, and drops gently down to the small laguna Soirococha. The pass you see above is, alas, a false one; the main pass is a little further on, but the view of Salkantay looming above you more than compensates for the effort. The real pass at 4,750m is reached after 3-4 hours from the moraine, and is marked by a pile of stones , “well know as Apacheta by th locals”, which grows daily as each traveller adds his pebble to thank the APUS for a safe trip.
Then the trail descends to the left –hand side of the valley, becoming indistinct in swampy areas. And then comes a place named Huayrajmachay “eye of the wind”, from here we will have a great chance to see the beautiful Pyramid-shape of Humantay behind as you drop below the tree line, know as LA CEJA DE SELVA (“Eyebrow of the Jungle”), and walk through groves of bamboo with many orchids and other flowers and lots of hummingbirds, spectacular waterfalls, a small hot spring at Collpapampa the right place to lock out for the parakeets that abound in this area as well.
Then on the 4th day we will climb 500m. up From Lucma to Llactapata to enjoy a great lookout point and get a first view of Machu Picchu, then we will go down to Hydroelectric in order to take the local train to Aguas Calientes town where we will spend the night.
Then next morning we will enjoy Machu Picchu ( please read our full itinerary below, thanks).
To get further Itinerary information mails us back we mail it day by day route
DAY 01.- Cusco (3400 m.a.s.l.) – Mollepata – Soraypampa. ( 05.30 hours aprox. Time of hike) We pick you up from the hotel at around ( 7 am ) and travel by private Bus or by Car to Mollepata District ( 2800m ). which is a small community located down along the main road from Cusco to Abancay, then we keep travelling to Cruzpata ( 3050m ) arriving approximately at 10:00 am, and here we start our trip and meet our arrieros “horsemen” and trek crew to help us to make easy our hike.
During the morning we walk approximately 2.30 hours going up appreciating the diversity of the flora and fauna typical from this ecological site, and then we stop to enjoy our delicious lunch at Chuñuna which is a quiet spot.
And then in the afternoon we will hike for about 3 hours and after a funny and relaxing hiking we arrive to our first campsite which is at Soraypampa ( 3800m ) , where we have our dinner and pass the first night.
DAY 02.- Soraypampa – 7 snakes Pass – Challhuay.
( 08.30 hours aprox. Time of hike)
We wake up very early then after a good breakfast, we leave from Soraypampa ( altitude 3800 m.s.n.m. ) this is the harder day because we have to climb to the 07 snakes PASS ( in this point we get 4600 m.s.n.m. of altitude), the highest part in our trip to MACHU PICCHU, where we can see the spectacular view of the second highest peak Named Salkantay a stunning snow covered mountain ( 6,271 m ) and great views of Humantay and Huayanay mountains as well, small lakes and morraines too and of course the flora and fauna typical from this region ( 05 hours aprox.).
Later going downhill we will find some streams and many kind of birds, in the afternoon finishing our hard walking we arrive to CHALLHUAY. Where we have dinner and pass the night in ours tents, from this point starts the cloud forest region where the mosquitos exist, besides the semitropical weather and native people.
DAY 03 .- Challhuay – La Playa. ( 06.00 hours aprox. Time of hike)
After and early breakfast approximately at 6:00 am. We begin our third day hiking until Wiñay Poqo. Where we have our lunch. Hiking down hill is pretty easy and here you will be introduced to a high jungle niche very well know as Ceja de Selva where you will have the chance to find coca, coffee and several native fruits plantations. In the afternoon walking more than two hours again down hill and we arrive to LA PLAYA village, we have dinner and the night in tents.
- Option for shower at the creek of Santa Teresa River, good One.
DAY 04 .- La Playa - Aguas CalientesTown.( 06.30 hours aprox. Time of hike)
From La Playa we take a local transportation for approximately 20 minutes to Lucma ( or just hike if not local transport is available ), from here we start our climb of about 03 hours to Llactapata ( newly discovery Inca Site ) which is famous for a “great condor view of Machu Picchu”, then we enjoy our picnic box lunch then we hike down hill for about 2.30 hours to the Hydroelectric Station by 3:00 pm. Aprox. We will take the local train to Aguas Calientes which will lasted 45 minutes, You may also wish to pay a visit to the town's famous thermal springs which feel great after finishing the trail. Entrance to the springs is a small fee of $US 3.00. Allow 3 hours to really enjoy them, which is open Until 9.00 p.m.
In the evening we have dinner at Gringo Feliz Restaurant, Accommodation in a Hotel in Aguas Calientes. Accommodation based in a DWB or TWB.
The Fabled City
For centuries the Lost City has been the most durable of myths about ancient Peru. Hundreds of gold-hungry Spaniards died looking, all in vain. The irony was that there were lost cities buried in the forested regions of the Andes. The 20th century has seen the discovery of more than one but none more famous and awe-inspiring as the fabled Machu Picchu.
DAY 05 .- Machu Picchu – Cusco.
Early wake Up ( by 05: 30 a.m.), Breakfast and after to leave our Luggage at the Hotel, we will take the early Tourist bus Up to Machu Picchu, of Course with a guide English speaking, Usually we use to get Machu Picchu by 6: 50 a.m., so from this time we will be able to visit Machu Picchu of course at this time Machu Picchu is pretty empty and we will have the best chance to enjoy the beauty and the magic of Machu Picchu, because at this time is quiet. A guided tour of about 2: 30 hours, and then you will have " happy hour time ", to explore by yourself the whole site for about 3 hours and there is time as well to climb Huayna Picchu mountain and get the best view over Machu Picchu it takes 1: 40 minutes round trip time, or option to go to the temple of the moon which is located behind Huayna Picchu Mountain.
Then We suggest that after visiting Machu Picchu that you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes by 13:00 p.m. at the latest ( assuming train departs at 15:00 ). Buses depart every 15 minutes. Check with the guide for actual times.
Getting Cusco city by 19:20 p.m aprox, there we will provide transfer to Your Hostel, End of the services.
What is Included: ( in both options,1,2 )
- Collection from your hotel in the morning
- Transportation to the start of the trail ( Mollepata - Cruzpata )
- English speaking professional guide
- Igloo tents
- 2 persons in each 4-person capacity tent with plenty of space for your backpacks
- Double thickness foam mattress
- Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes (while hiking)
- Accommodations: 3 nights camping, 1 night hotel
- Cook and Cooking equipment
- Excellent Meals ( 04B, 04L, 04D )
- Food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking, hot drinks including coca leaf tea which is excellent for the altitude
- We supply boiled water to fill in your water bottle all the time, if requested with enough time ahead ( while hiking )
- Teatime the first three days (tea, coffee, biscuits, popcorn)
- Horses days 1-4 ( for equipment and personal items ) including horsemen
- Dining tent with camp tables and chairs
- Kitchen tent
- Accommodation for our crew
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Local train from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes town
- accommodation in a hostel at Aguas Calientes town on the 4th night
- Bus from Machu Picchu ruins up and down to the village of Aguas Calientes
- Machu Picchu entrance fee
- Train ticket ( Backpackers service ) from Aguas Calientes to Cusco, subject to availability of spots
- Transfer from the train station to your hotel.
What is Not Included: (in both options,1,2)
- Breakfast on the first morning.
- Lunch and Dinner in restaurant in Aguas Calientes on day 5 of the program.
- Entrance to the thermal springs in Aguas Calientes US$4.00
- Sleeping bags (4 season) can be hired in our office for US$15 for the 5 day trek.
- Tips for the guide, cook and porters
- Personal equipment
- The INC, the officials in Peru decided to charge from 15 July entree fee to the Salkantay trail , 127 soles adult price and 64 Sol for students with an ISIC studentcard ! These are not our rules but from INC , they start charging without notice in advance . This entree price is not included in the price of the 5 days Salkantay trail. so you have to pay this seperatly at the entrance !
What you need to bring/carry:
- Sleeping bag 4 season suitable for temperatures down to -5C (can be hired from our office for US$15 for the 5 day trek)
- Sleeping mattress (we will provide you with this)
- Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco for a few dollars )
- Strong, comfortable footwear
- One complete change of clothing ( you can afford to carry more changes of clothing if you hire a personal porters, see options below )
- Sweater and jacket ( something warm )
- Water bottle, ideally non disposable canteen ( boiled drinking water will be provided )
- Torch / Flashlight and batteries
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun
- Sun block ( sun protection cream )
- Insect repellent
- Toiletries, towel and toilet paper
- Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits, energy bars etc,
- Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries, cash in soles and US$
- Swimsuit (if you plan on visiting the hot springs at Aguas Calientes after the trek )
- Optional: walking Poles /sticks ( rubber covers necessary )
- You also need to bring your original passport on the trail.
(1) Personal horse for riding while on the trek with and extra cost of US$45, you can have a personal horse to ride any time you may need.
(2) Single room at Aguas Calientes town (evening on day 4) the accommodations at Aguas Calientes on the 4th night is based on double or triple occupancy
( DWB or TWB ). If a client would like to have a single room, need to add US$15.00 to the base price of the tour. You must decide if you want to have a single room in advance and let Us know when making your trek reservation since we need to purchase the hotel booking in advance as well. You cannot decide it at a later date or once you arrive in Cusco.
(3) An extra night in Aguas Calientes can easily be arranged for you if required. Hotels costs and costs associated with returning to Machu Picchu the following day are additional to trek costs. It is best to make your hotel reservation directly.
(4) Vegetarian Meals. We can provide vegetarian meals or cater for special diets with no extra cost. Just let us know at least 2 days prior to trek departure.
(5) Sleeping bag hire. If you haven't got a sleeping bag or you don't want the hassle of bringing one all the the to Peru with you then we have sleeping bags in our office for rent. The price is US$15 per person for the 5 day trek.
(1) Luggage storage. When you go on the trek it is best to leave any luggage that you are not going to need behind in Cusco. Nearly all the hotels in Cusco provide a secure luggage deposit. Put any valuables in their safe. Very rarely do hotels charge for this service especially if you are returning to the same hotel after the trek. If there are any problems with your hotel we can arrange to store your luggage at our office.
(2) Time of arrival in Cusco. Unless you plan to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes, you will return to your hotel in Cusco for approximately 8:30pm on the 4th day of the trek. This tickets are subject to availability and at times of high demand we may have to change your departure to an alternative service / departure time without prior notice departing on the someday as stated in your service voucher. This alternative service may run only as far as Ollantaytambo, in which case we will provide transport for you back to your hotel in Cusco. If the service is more expensive Axel Tours will pay additional cost. This applies to return by train only and Axel Tours will not be responsible for additional costs associated wit returning to Cusco in any other form. If it is your decision to change to a different service or different date you must inform us at the time of purchasing the trek and pay any additional cost yourselves.
(3) Very Important: Exchange Rate. The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu price of US$ is based on an exchange rate on the 01 January 2008 was 1 USD = 2.95 Peruvian Soles. Although we accept payment for the trek in US dollars the majority of our expenses are in Peruvian Soles ( trek permits, wages, food, taxes ). Axel Tours will absorb any change in costs up to 15 points difference from 2.95. i.e. if the exchange rate falls to 2.80 we will not ask you to pay any additional surcharge. If however the value of the US dollar falls below 2.80 we will ask you to pay a US$15 surcharge, if the value falls below 2.70 we will ask you to pay a US$20 surcharge, below 2.60 we will ask you to pay a US$25 surcharge etc etc. Of course exchange rates can go both up and down so if the value of the US dollar increases against the Peruvian Sole we will refund you the following amounts: exchange rate greater than 3.10 we will refund US$10, greater than 3.20 we will refund US$15, greater than 3.30 we will refund US$20 etc etc. Axel Tours will have to show any calculations to clearly justify such surcharges