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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days

This is an alternative route to the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, which will take you through incredible landscape and natural beauty with exotic flora and fauna endemic of the region. The trek will involve hiking through valleys and mountains before arriving to the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu. A Unique and specially designed 5 day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, with incomparable views of the snow-capped mountains of Huamantay and Salkantay, the gods of the Incas. Trek OFF the beaten track, following our unique route where you visit two incredible crystal clear glacial lakes, Humantay and Salkantay. Hike through the Andes Mountains and camp at our private sites which are more remote, less crowded and off the typical path. Hike through the extraordinary Peruvian cloud forest, and take the opportunity to try the fresh fruit grown there such as bananas, oranges, avocados, pineapple and much more.  Take the opportunity of touring a coffee bean plantation next to your campsite. Explore the fields and learn about the different varieties of beans, pick, roast, and grind your beans.  Then enjoy brewing your own coffee, a very unique experience.  You will have the opportunity to take local transportation to the highlight of the day, the Hot Springs of Cocalmayo, where you can relax your fatigued muscles after the long hike in a bit of Utopia! Hike up to LLACTAPATA Inca ruins, and explore the ancient Inca city, which was once coated with vegetation. This is the best viewpoint to have a glimpse of the Majestic Machu Picchu. Following in the footsteps of the Incas, explore the crevices and and niches of the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu, one of the 7 wonders of the world, with our expert guide. ORANGE NATION Peru is your best choice if you truly want to enjoy your Salkantay trek in Peru. We specialize in creating unique trekking routes, with our customized treks to Machu Picchu like the Salkantay trek which other tour operators are not offering. What that means for our clients is more unique, enjoyable and exciting treks, personalized service, and small groups, typically 2 – 6 trekkers with a maximum of 8 people in the group.

Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Humantay Lake – Soyroccocha

At 5am, we will pick you up from your hotel and drive in our private van for 3.5hours to Soraypampa. Along the way you will take in some eye-catching views of villages, Iscuchaca, Limatambo, valleys and the spectacular Salkantay snow-capped mountain. At the trail head (Soraypampa) we fuel up with a hot breakfast prepared by our chef while enjoying views of Humantay (5,900m/19,356ft) and Salkantay (6,217m/20,396ft) mountain glaciers. Then, we begin our trek with a 2.5 hour hike up to see the turquoise colored Humantay Lake. We continue with a gentle ascension for 1.5 hours to Salkantay Pampa where our trekking chefs have our delicious lunch waiting in front of the beautiful glacier. After lunch, we have a one hour zig-zag uphill by switchback and arrive at our first campsite at Soroccocha located at the foot of the great Salkantay Mountain. Then, you can relax with a coffee or hot chocolate while enjoying the amazing views.

  • Meals: Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 10kms/6 miles
  • Time: 6hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Soyroccocha – Salkantay Pass – Glacial lake – Colpapampa

After a delicious breakfast, get ready, let’s go.….on a moderate climb on your 2nd day, within an hour you will reach the highest point of the trek (4,650m/15,367ft). From here, we find nature at it’s purest form while in awe of the massive snowcapped mountains, Salkantay (6,217m/20,717ft)Humantay, Huayanay and the diversion of white stirring rivers, and humble lakes. We take half an hour to enjoy the panoramic and truly exquisite turquoise Salkantay Lake. Continuing down to Rayanniyoc for lunch, prepared by our chef, and toward our finish line for the day, we trek for 2 more hours to the small village of Colpapampa to camp for the night.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accomodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 16kms/10 miles
  • Time: 8hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: Colpapampa – Lucmabamaba – Hot springs

Today, we have passed our mid way point. Within 3 hours of walking, we are enjoying the beginning of the lush tropical rainforest, the bountiful fruit bearing trees, coffee and cacao trees, and the inviting fruit plantations with their flowering orchids and always plenty of birds to watch. We arrive at  fabulous Lucmabamaba for a fabulous lunch with free time to rest.

After lunch, we will experience nature at it’s purest, touring a coffee plantation adjacent to the campsite. Explore the fields and learn about the different varieties of beans, pick, roast, and grind your beans.  Then enjoy brewing your own coffee. It doesn’t end there. Engulfed in the fields of tomatoes and avocados are multiple ecosystems where we pick our fresh produce which our chef will use for our dinner.

Around 3pm, we will take the local transport for 30mins to the  natural hot springs at Cocalmayo, where we soak our fatigued bodies in the natural, medicinal Hot Springs provided by Mother Nature. Upon our return, our trekking chef willhave created his specialty with our fresh produce from the day.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 14kms
  • Time: 5 to 6 hrs approximately
  • Difficulty : Moderate

Day 4: Lucmabamba – LLAQTAPATA – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes

After our chef’s last delicious breakfast for us, we will continue along the ancient and remote Inca Trail for 3 hours uphill to the Puncuyoc Pass (2,700m/8,858ft). Along the way, you will be in awe at the amazing views and the impressively unique valleys and fruit plantations. We will arrive to Llactapata Inca Ruins, located just in front of Machu Picchu where we enjoy it’s surrounding mountains – Huyana Picchu, Machu Picchu and the Aobamba Canyon.

Next, we descend for 2 hours to the Hydroelectric plant, the primary power source for Cusco, where we have lunch. Then it’s the last leg of the journey walking to Aguas Calientes through the National Park of Machu Picchu, where we will sleep in the comfort of a real bed in a nice Hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel or Andean Terra Hotel
  • Distance: 15kms / 9 miles
  • Time: 9hrs approximately
  • Difficulty : Moderate

Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Arise early for a new day of adventure of sharing the day with the majestic Machu Picchu. Following in the ancient and remote footsteps to the Lost City of the Incas. You will have free time to explore, take photos, climb Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain or visit the Sun Gate. Afterwards, we go back to Aguas Calientes and in the afternoon at 4:22pm, we return by expedition train to Ollantaytambo train station and then back to your hotel in Cusco by van, arriving at about 8:30pm.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy

Inclusions

WHAT IS INCLUDED FOR SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU?

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel (It can be done on any date before the trek)
  • Pick up at your hotel in the morning of the trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to Soraypampa (starting point of the trek)
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • English speaking, experienced professional guide
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • 2 Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes
  • First Aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Transfer to your hotel in Cusco
  • Dinner in Aguas Calientes in a tourist restaurant
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes with private room and bathroom
  • Mules and horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen, 7 kgs of your personal items such as extra clothes, sleeping bags, etc
  • Provision of a horse in case of emergency such as illness so that to ensure the trek is completed by all participants
  • THICK FOAM MATTRESS
  • Boiled water for drinking and washing purposes

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED  FOR SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU?

  • Sleeping Bag:$20 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
  • Air Mattress:$20 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles:$15 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal tent:$30 USD – (Tent is for solo travelers only)
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade:$57 USD per person (For the return to Cusco (Poroy) at 4:43 pm)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain:$35 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Machu Picchu  Mountain:$30 USD per person  (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
  • Tips for the crew, guide, cook and porters of Orange Nation

Price

This unique Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu can be done on any date that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 hikers

No. OF PEOPLEPRICE
2 to 10 people$ 537 USD per person

Personal porter included!

**** This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kgs, we will provide you with a duffle bag, to put your things.

***We provide large Eureka 4 man tents for each 2 trekkers.

DISCOUNTS

  • Under 18 years old: $20 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old:$30 USD.  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Group of 5 or more:$20 USD. – All you need is to book the trek together at the same time.

EXTRAS

  • Sleeping Bag:$20 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
  • Air Mattress:$20 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles:$15 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal tent:$30 USD– (Tent is for single trekkers only)
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade:$57 USD per person (For the return to Poroy at 4:43 pm)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain:$35 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Machu Picchu  Mountain:$30 USD per person  (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Single supplement:$30 USD per night (for solo travellers with single room)

ADDED VALUES  FOR FREE

  • TRANSFER – from the Airport to Hotel (Cusco Only)
  • DUFFEL BAG AND TRASH BAGS – included in the trekking price!
  • EXTRA PORTER is included in the price, the porter will carry your belongings up to 7 kgs /14p like sleeping bag, mattress, clothes etc.
  • OXYGEN TANK will be available along the trek
  • EMERGENCY HORSE is included in the price which can be riden if you get tired or sick.
  • SMALL PILLOW
  • PLASTIC RAIN poncho made by Orange Nation Peru is included.

Important Info

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Please read the following information as it will answer any of the questions you may have about our services and the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.

ARRIVAL TO CUSCO

You will be welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to your arrival. Look out for our representative holding an orange board reading ‘ORANGE Nation Peru’ at the arrival terminal. It can be done on any date that is best suited to you!

THE BRIEFING

It will take place the night before the trek departure at 6pm in our office which is located at Calle Santa Teresa  Nº383; 303 (second floor), we are next to SUBWAY restaurant.

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE:

Definitely! During the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both for free.

HOW TO BOOK:

FIRST, to book your Salkantay Trekking to Machu Picchu, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our home page or click the link here – BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase any Machu Picchu permits without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport)
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person  in order to purchase a ticket for the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. You can make your deposit by clicking on  PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?

  • According to Peruvian Law, you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need student cards). For example: if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
  • All students from 11 to 17 years, the discount is $30.
  • For children from the age of 2 to 11 the discount is $40.
  • Children under the age of 2 are free.
  • All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
  • Send us a copy at orangenationperu@gmail.com

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?

Unfortunately No. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the ticket has been bought. Tickets are also not transferrable nor refundable. If you cancel your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, the deposit is not refundable at all!

DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU?

Absolutely! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu permit.  In case you are renewing your passport, go ahead and send us your old number to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number. Please send the new passport number as soon as possible.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN THE SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU?

SALKANTAY TREK WEATHER – Weather on Salkantay trek is very varied, due to the fact that it winds its way through wildly different terrain at different altitudes. The only place where weather is a serious concern is the Salkantay Pass, and the nearby areas. Temperatures here, and at the nearby Soraypampa campsite, can fall below freezing. The other camps are much warmer, due to their proximity to the cloud forest.

  • The months September, October, November and December have a nice average temperature.
  • On average, the warmest month is September.
  • On average, the coolest month is January.

We highly recommend you to bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS ON SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS?

For some visitors, the first hours in Cusco can be summarized as: shortness of breath, a discomfort in the body, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, even vomiting. As great connoisseurs of natural medicine, the Incas used coca leaves to counteract soroche, quechua for high-altitude sickness.

Don’t do anything other than rest

If you travel from Lima to Cusco, the effect can be immediate. This lack of oxygen, scientifically known as hypoxia, begins to manifest itself at 7,874 ft (2,399 m) above sea level. That’s why right after landing in Cusco, visitors can feel fatigued and have difficulty walking. Walking one block could feel like walking ten blocks carrying a backpack full of rocks. It is advisable to take it really easy on the first day and, if possible, rest the first few hours to help the body acclimatize to the altitude.

Stay hydrated

How do people feel after a night of drinking? Thirsty. That’s how you’ll feel when you arrive in Cusco. As already stated, the body dehydrates quickly in high altitudes. It is recommended you drink lots of water before and during your trip to Cusco. Also, avoid heavy meals since your stomach takes longer to digest food at high altitudes. A diet of low proteins and high carbs is advisable.

Discovering coca

No one knew better the effects of high altitude than indigenous peoples. Coca is the best natural medicine to combat altitude sickness. It was even considered sacred because of its curative powers and is still used in the same way now as it was in the time of the Incas. It contains iron, vitamins A, B1, B2 and calcium, among other nutrients. Coca makes it easier for your bloodstream to absorb oxygen, suppresses hunger, combats fatigue, headaches and can ease your stomach. If you do not feel like chewing leaves (which can be bitter, apart from numbing your mouth), you can try drinking coca tea, which is most commonly found in the lobby of hotels in Cusco.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?

The maximum group size is 8 persons.  Our groups are between 2-6 persons. ORANGE Nation Peru specializes in SMALL, PRIVATE groups and provides a personalized service.

HOW MANY COOKS/PORTERS FOR THE GROUP?

You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, they will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.

HIKING SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS

The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFEL BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/14p. Your team of porters will carry your duffel bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware, that you will not have access to your items in the duffel bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. A 30 to 50L backpack is sufficient.

IS THE SALKANTAY TREKKING DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?

The Salkantay Trek is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise.  In preparation: try walking 15kms in a day or go to the fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.

ARE THERE TOILETS ON THE SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU?

Yes, there are toilets on the Salkantay trek  to Machu Picchubut only those offered by the locals for an entrance fee of 1 sole.

There are hot water pools to soak in and relax on the 3rd day of your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu natural hot springs at Cocalmayo. Be sure to bring your bathing suit.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM UNABLE TO FINISH THE SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS?

This has not happened for years but in the scenario that you are unable to finish the trek due to a health issue, ORANGE Nation Peru will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the trek.
Generally those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to Ollantaytambo and if they recover quickly, they then continue the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to original plan.

ARE WE GOING TO BE DROPPED OFF AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE 5 Day SALKANTAY TREK?

Absolutely!! Included in the package and on the last day we will drop you at your hotel! If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too!   If you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, for sure we wil pick you up there !

AT WHAT TIME IS THE TRAIN DEPARTURE?

It will depend on the train availability (high season it could book out) but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. Therefore, you we usually book the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu.

VISTADOME TRAIN UPGRADE; HOW MUCH IS IT?

The upgrade to Vistadome train which has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will have some snacks and a dance show on board. The price is $57 USD per person which includes the transfer from Poroy train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to Vistadome, all the way back to Poroy (Cusco), the trip lasts 3.5 hours, then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Our clients are back at the hotel by 8pm.

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires them to give excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Orange Nation Peru destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you feel it, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

ARE WE SUSTAINABLE? 

Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator for that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities by respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our local staff to know and understand, respect the places and the local people.

Packing list

WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK?

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Valid University card (if you booked as a student)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage:  2-3L (Camelbaks are encouraged)
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from Orange Travel)
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Toilet paper

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR DUFFEL BAG FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK?

As a Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and  INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14lbs including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.

  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants at least
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Bathing Suit for the thermal waters
  • Couple Fleece/ Thermals
  • Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º C
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash.
  • Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them.
  • Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us
  • Swimming Suit

TOILETRIES

  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal medications
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR BACKPACK FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK?

We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40L for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.

  • Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water  at every meal time. Please bring your canteens
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Wool Hat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Coca leaves
  • Rain plastic poncho (provided by Orange)
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
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