Salkantay Trek 4 Days Machu Picchu

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4 Days – 3 Nights

Max Guests: 10

Max. Altitude: 1950 – 4600m

Act. Level: Challenging

Overview

Salkantay is a sacred mountain and the tallest in the Vilcabamba range at 6271m/20570f. You will awaken to the spirits of the mountains such as Nevado Tucarhuay and Nevado Humantay, enjoying beautiful scenery from snowy peaks to lush rainforests, high-altitude vegetation, and flowers of all shapes and colors.

Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Mollepata – Marcoccasa – Soray Pampa

We leave Cusco at 5:30am by private transport to reach Marcoccasa (3400m/11150f), and the village of Mollepata where we’ll have breakfast. There we’ll meet the muleteers, and begin hiking in a beautiful valley surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains, such as Nevado Humantay (5217m/17116f) and the towering peak of Salkantay.

We’ll cross different valleys, seeing a bit of the life of local farmers, before reaching our first campsite in Soray Pampa (3900m/12795f).  Our chef will await you with hot drinks, snacks, and dinner. The night will be cold due to the elevation.

  • Transport time: 5 hours
  • Hiking time: 6-7 hours
  • Climate: Mild during the day and cold at night
  • Atitude: Cusco (3400m) – Mollepata (2800m) – Marcoccasa (3400m) – Soray Pampa (3900m)

 

Optional: On the way to Soray Pampa, we strongly recommend making a 2-hour detour to see Humantay Lake and the snow-covered peak of Humantay.  You’ll have to ascend from Soray Pampa (3900m/12800F) to Humantay (4220m/12800f).

Day 2Soray Pampa- Salkantay Pass – Rayampata

After an early breakfAfter an early breakfast, we hike to Col du Salkantay (4600m/15090f), which offers an exceptional view of the snowy peak of Salkantay. This morning is the most challenging of the trek – and well worth it. We’ll take a break at the summit, weather-permitting.
Then we’ll hike downhill through a different ecosystem with lush vegetation. We’ll arrive in Rayampata, our next campsite, for a snack and dinner. This night will be warmer than the previous one.

  • Climate: Warm with mosquitoes
  • Hiking time: 8 hours
  • Atitude: Soray Pampa (3900 m) – Salkantay pass (4600 m) – Chaullay (2950 m)

Day 3Andenes – Lucmabamba – Hydroelectric Station – Aguas Calientes town

After breakfast, we walk 01 hour get  Chaullay to continue to Lucmabamba (2000m/5651f),where we have our lunch before to take our car to Santa Teresa where we have time for the hot spring before to continue  down to Hydroelectric train station (1950m/6398f), where you are able to take the train to Aguas Calientes town (2050m/6726f). Overnight in Hotel of Aguas Calientes town.

  • Climate: Warm during the day with mosquitoes
  • Hiking time: 6 hours
  • Transport time: 1 hours

Day 4Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

We’ll leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30am, and ascend to Machu Picchu (2400m/7874) by tourist bus. We’ll arrive at the citadel around 6:00am to enjoy the sunrise. After a guided tour, including information about the life and customs of the Incas, you’ll have time to explore Machu Picchu, and climb Wayna Picchu if you have advanced reservations (2750m/9022f).
We’ll leave Aguas Calientes by train in the afternoon. While waiting for the train, you’ll have time for lunch and to soak in the natural springs before your departure.

  • Visiting time: from 6:00 am to 12:00pm
  • Transport time: 02 hours by train and 02 hours by bus to get Cusco
  • Atitude: Aguas Calientes (2005 m) – Machu Picchu (2400 m) – Cusco (3400 m)
Gallery
Inclusions

Includes

  • Orientation meeting in our offices with your guide 1 or 2 days before the start of the trek at 19:00h, to be confirmed when booking.
  • Shuttle from the hotel office to the village of Mollepata (Marcoccasa)
  • Shuttle from Chaullay to Lucmabamba (Day 3)
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, then shuttle to your hotel in Cusco
  • Overnight in a private room in a hotel in Aguas Calientes (Marco Wasi, Inka Tower or similar depending on availability)
  • Entrance to the Machu Picchu site
  • Bilingual Spanish-English professional guide (for a French-speaking guide, please contact us in advance!)
  • Private campsites domes on the first night, with toilet and showers
  • High-quality camping equipment (Professional Tents Eureka! Timberline 4 or Doite Himalaya, for 2 people with mattresses).
  • Camping equipment, dining tent, kitchen, with tent shelters and toilets
  • Meals during the trek (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). Please notify the agency in case of allergies or special diet such as vegetarian.
  • Cook and cooking equipment.
  • Muleteers and mules for transporting camping equipment and your personal belongings (maximum 7 kg/15lb per person).
  • Rescue horse (2 people).
  • First-aid kit and oxygen bottle.
  • Cold, boiled water during the all trek.

Excludes

  • Breakfast of the 1st day and lunch of the 4th day in Aguas Calientes.
  • Sleeping bag (if you don’t have one, you can rent one from our agency).
  • Bus down Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes (cost $12.00USD). You can also descend on foot which takes about 1 hour.
Travel Info

Briefings

All briefings are done at our office at 7:00 PM one or two nights before your trek. If you are unable to make this time, you need to coordinate another time with a member of the Xtreme Tourbulencia office team. Briefings are approximately 40 minutes long.

Pickups

Xtreme Tourbulencia is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. As long as your hotel is in the center of Cusco city, we will coordinate this pickup based on a time that your guide will discuss at the briefing. Pick up times may vary 30 – 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pickups.

Cusco is an old city with cobblestoned streets and very narrow passageways. Smaller hotels and Airbnbs are often located on streets that cars can´t pass through. They also are frequently on hillsides with long steep climbs, making it difficult to carry luggage. We highly recommend that you book accommodations with better access. We have a list of hotels that are all comfortable with easy access to pick up and drop off. HOTEL LIST HERE.

Some treks will allow for pickups in the Sacred Valley, which is outlined below.

Huaynapicchu/Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu is most beautiful when seen from above, which is why hiking one of the mountains next to the ruins is very popular to do after your tour.

Huaynapicchu is the most popular and must be booked in advance since it sells out very quickly. This hike takes approximately 1 hour to the top, and another 45 minutes back down. Tickets are sold in time sessions stating when you can start this hike. The first session is from 7-8 AM, and the 2nd session is from 10-11 AM. Again, this refers to the timeframe when you can start your hike. We usually book the second session so you can enjoy your tour with your guide first. You will do this hike on your own, but your guide will show you where to begin.

Machu Picchu Mountain is a bit longer and a bit less popular. It takes 2 hours to the top and another 1 hours to the bottom. Again there are two time windows – from 7-8 AM and 9-10 AM and we usually purchase the second time window. 4 Day treks, the Trekkers CAN NOT do this hike and enjoy a tour of the ruins. Time will not allow for this.

Hiking either mountain will allow you to have some extra time at the ruins once you complete, as listed above.

Machu Picchu Entrance Times

Machu Picchu now has two different time windows of when you can visit: either morning or afternoon. Your entrance ticket will be for only one session, morning session, and when your time window is over, the Rangers will ask you to leave.

MORNING SESSION: 6AM – 12PM

AFTERNOON SESSION: 12PM – 15:00PM

** If you have tickets to hike either Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will need extra time 3:00 hours.

Health Concerns

You must be honest with your guide about any health conditions or concerns you might have. While our guides are not medical professionals, they do have first aid training. We also work with a clinic in Cusco that can help assist our team.

You are responsible for assessing whether a Tour is suitable for you. You should consult your physician to confirm your fitness for travel and participation in any planned activities. You should seek your physician’s advice on vaccinations and medical precautions. Xtreme TourBulencia will not provide medical advice. It is your responsibility to assess the risks and requirements of each aspect of the Tour based on your unique circumstances, limitations, fitness level, and medical requirements.

If you develop extreme altitude sickness or any other illness that prevents you from hiking, and you still wish to visit Machu Picchu by train, we will work with you to coordinate this trip. Since this will be a new trip, it may require additional fees. We will use as much of the original itinerary to keep costs low.

If you experience issues while hiking and can not continue, a porter will accompany you to the closest road and wait while a car comes to pick you up and bring you to the nearest health clinic.

Group Tours

Group tours are made up of all different types of people, with various hiking skills and ages. By agreeing to a group tour, you agree that some people might be slower or faster than you are. Everyone can go at their own pace for the trek, and the guide will work with the group to spend time with everyone. Groups might request some modifications to the tour, and the guide will work with everyone to make the best decision for the group.

Strikes

Unfortunately, strikes are frequent in Peru and can disrupt our tours. Roads are often blocked, and trains stopped. We will make sure your trek continues as planned, even if that means leaving the night before your start date. Under these circumstances, tours might need to be canceled. But our operations department will coordinate with you in this situation. Your safety is always our top concern and will dictate how we decide.

Lost Items

You are responsible for your items throughout the Tour. Please be diligent about where you leave your things and remember to remove all items from our vans, your tents, restaurant, etc. Do not leave anything unintended during your hike. Other trekkers or teams might pick it up not knowing whos it is.

Tips

Tipping is part of the tradition of any trek to Machu Picchu. While we pay good wages to our entire team, anything extra is always appreciated. Please know that this is not obligatory and that you should never feel pressured into this.

Typically the participants in a group pool their tipping money together for the porters and chef. The amount recommended is different per trek and listed below. For the guide, this is more personal and needs to be decided based on your relationship with them and done separately from the group. Porters and Chefs prefer soles if possible. Guides are happy with U.S. dollars, Peruvian Soles, or even your credit card ????

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is inexpensive and strongly recommended. With trips being planned months ahead of time, you never can predict what could happen. Adventure travel includes more risk than the average trip. Insurance is a way to protect the investment you have made on this journey. We can help recommend an agent to walk you through this type of insurance if needed.

Weather

Of course, the weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December so just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant.

Also, prepare for four seasons. Several of the treks through the Andes involve various microclimates and you will need to be prepared. Layers are always key since they are easy to adjust to different temperature changes. Be prepared with a warm packable down jacket since the evening will be cold.

It’s also important to note that the weather can change a listed itinerary. There are times that routes become impassable, and our guides will be forced for your safety to rework your tour.

Altitude Sickness

As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. For this reason, we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek in the Andes. Cusco is a marvelous city with lots to do, so if you have more time to acclimate you won´t be bored.

With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office, and we will help you get to a doctor.

Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids that help bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.

Remember the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness if they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slow, and it will give your body time to adjust to the elevation.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.

You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly and drink lots of water, and enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you, unfortunately, get sick, let your guide know right away. Xtreme Tourbulencia guides are trained to help you get through it.

Getting To Cusco

The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.

The best way to get to Cusco is by air, and there are several options in airlines. LAN tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land, and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available, and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.

Packing List

What Do I Need To Bring?

  • Backpack with rain cover (35- or 45-liter capacity is sufficient).
  • Clothing for both warm and cold climates.
  • Original passport, original ISIC student card (to receive the student discount
  • Sun hat to protect neck and face (01)
  • Woolly hat for the cold (01)
  • Long- and short-sleeved T-shirts.(04)
  • Fleece jacket (01)
  • Hard shell jacket (01)
  • Trekking pants and shorts pants (03)
  • Pajama pants (01)
  • Under wears (04)
  • Trekking shoes/boots.(01)
  • Slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs). (01)
  • Woolen/synthetic socks.(04)
  • Flashlight or Headlamp(02)
  • Water bottle or camel back (01)
  • Trekking towels (01)
  • Toilet paper (01)
  • Bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes). (01)
  • Sunscreen with UV protecction, insect repellent, toilet paper, hand cleaner/disinfecting alcohol gel.
  • Camera (with rain protection), a flash light/headlamp and extra batteries.
  • Snacks (e.g. chocolate bars and dried fruit)
  • Money cash in soles / approx. 400 soles (100 dollars)
  • Small lock and plastic bags
  • Rain Poncho
  • Since the weather can be very cold and rainy, your clothes – once wet – won’t dry at night. It’s best to take some clothes to change.
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