Day 1: Cusco – Soray Pampa – Soyroccocha
An early morning scenic bus ride lasting approximately five hours will take us to the trailhead at Soraypampa (3500 meters / 11,550 feet). Upon arrival we will be met by our mule drivers, with their mules and saddle horses. After a short introduction we will begin our hike by following a local trail on a gentle ascent in the direction of the base of Mount Salkantay (6271 meters / 20,700 feet). After lunch in Salkantaypampa (3900 meters / 12,900 feet) we will continue what at times will be a steep ascent for two hours, reaching our camp at Soyroccocha, where we will spend the night close to the spectacular Salkantayglacier at 4200 meters (13,900 feet), so be prepared for a cold night!
Day 2: Soyroccocha – Salkantay Pass – Qollpapampa
After a delicious breakfast at this stunning location, a thirty minute ascent will take us to Salkantay Pass (4525 meters / 15,000 feet), where as we contemplate the magnificent views we may also observe vizcachas (a rabbit-like animal related to the chinchilla) and condors in their natural habitat. From here we will descend into the hot, tropical climate of the cloud forest. A long, gradual descent will bring us around mid-afternoon to our camp at Qollpapampa (2890 meters / 9,550 feet), a beautiful spot with natural hot springs we will have plenty of time to enjoy.
Day 3: Qollpapampa – Lucmabamba
Today we will enjoy a relaxing walk along the banks of the Salkamayo River, passing volcanic formations, waterfalls and increasingly lush vegetation, as well as passion fruit and coffee plantations. In the afternoon we will arrive at our campsite at the village of Lucmabamba (2155 meters / 7,150 feet). You will have plenty of time to bathe in the river before dinner.
Day 4: Qollpapampa – Llaqtapata – Aguas Calientes
After breakfast we will pass through coffee plantations as we climb up to El Mirador (2860 meters / 9,450 feet), from where there is an exceptional view of Machu Picchu, the legendary Lost City of the Incas. You will have ample time to appreciate the scenery while we eat lunch at the Llaqtapata vantage point (2650 meters / 8,750 feet), with both Machu Picchu and MountSalkantay dominating the landscape. After a brief rest we will begin the two hour descent to the Machu Picchu hydroelectric station, from where it is not far to the village of Aguas Calientes. Arriving in the late afternoon, there will be time to relax in the natural hot springs before dinner, or simply enjoy a good rest in the hotel.
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cusco
After an early breakfast we will take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu to enjoy the sunrise in this magical setting. Your expert guide will provide you with information regarding the history of this unique archaeological site, and you will have time for independent exploration, or to hike the trails around the ruins, before we return to Aguas Calientes in the afternoon in time for the train that will take us to Cusco. Arriving in the city, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Private transport Cusco-Soraypampa, bilingual guide, cook, mule drivers, mules and support saddle horses, camping equipment (double-, dining-, kitchen- and toilet tents, mats, etc.), meals (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners and snacks), 1 night’s hotel in Aguas Calientes (3 star twin rooms), bus tickets MachuPicchu-Aguas Calientes (roundtrip), entrance fee to Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu, train tickets Aguas Calientes-Ollantaytambo and transfer to Cusco.
Sleeping bag, meals not mentioned in itinerary, extra services such as tips and entrance fees to hot springs in Aguas Calientes