SALKANTAY CONDOR TREK & MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS
SALKANTAY CONDOR TREK & MACHU PICCHU
- This five-day adventure trek combines Chonta with Machu Picchu making the perfect alternative for those unable to book the Inca Trail. Travel to the Chonta Viewpoint to catch spectacular views of the soaring mighty condors in flight. The trail traverses the high Andean plateau, crossing passes as high as 4,750mt-15,585ft for an up-close view of the sacred Inca peak, Salkantay (6,280mt-20,598ft) that is the highest peak in the Vilcabamba Mountain Range. The route then descends into the beautiful Aobamba Valley with its tropical climate and vegetation. Taste fresh roasted coffee at Lucmabama and learn the process of roasting coffee. Finally, we will visit the magical Machu Picchu for a never to be forgotten guided-tour of this architectural marvel. Hidden under the dense foliage of a highland jungle, forgotten by the Incas themselves, Machu Picchu escaped the conquistadors and eluded treasure hunters until Hiram Bingham brought the “Lost City of the Incas” to the world’s attention in 1911. The intricate stonework of these enigmatic ruins is one of the finest examples of Inca masonry. To this day, scholars are in disagreement as to its function and why it was eventually abandoned. Be that as it may, it remains the crown jewel of Inca architecture.
Itinerary at a Glance
|Day 1||Cusco to Soraypampa||See the condor and the sacred mountains of Salkantay|
|Day 2||Soraypampa to Collpapampa||Salkantay pass Hike through the arid highland to the tropical jungle|
|Day 3||Collpapampa to Lucmabamba||Scenary of vegetation, small waterfalls, coffee plantations, spectacled-bird|
|Day 4||Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes||Scenary of orchids and green surroundings|
|Day 5||Machu Picchu||Hike the legendary Huayna Picchu (OPTIONAL) and make a tour over the citadel and then enjoy a scenic train ride back to Cusco|
Day 1: Cusco – Chonta Soaring Condors – Mollepata (Cruz Pata) –Sorayapampa
Early morning drive from Cusco in direction to Chonta, a 2-hour scenic route passing Killarumiyoq the Inca Temple of the Moon and Temple of Fertility and Tarawasi a temple of the Incas. We continue to the Limatambo Valley (2577m/8,455ft.), where most of Peru´s Avocados are grown. After 15 minutes we ascend up the hill to the Chonta Community (3400m/11,155ft.) where the inhabitants are poor and dedicated to the agriculture of potatoes. From here we begin our hike for approximately 1.5 hours reaching the viewpoint of Hahuacco where you will see a stunning vision of the Sacred mountains of Salkantay (6264m/20,551ft), Humantay (5473m/17,956ft.), Apurimac Canyon and the eye popping views of the gliding Condors in the sky over the Apurimac Canyon. This makes for a perfect picture session to treasure a lifetime. Enjoy a box lunch amidst the beautiful landscapes. Retrace our route back to our transport and drive to the village of Mollepata (3,000mt/9,843ft) and continue to Sorapampa (3,922m/12,867ft), where we will camp for the night. Observe the impressive Vilcabamba Mountain range, an incredible vista.
Meals: BL, D
Driving: 5 hours
Hiking: 3 Hours
Day 2: Adventure hiking Sorayapampa – Salkantay pass – Collpapampa
In the morning we will walk the most difficult part of the trek to the highest point, the Salkantay Pass (4,600m/15,092ft) to catch stunning views of the Salkantay glacier, the flowing Salkantay River below in the valley, the lively vizcacha (Andean rabbit), perhaps a Condor in flight and the green vegetation. From here we will start our descent seeing small farms, orchids, humming birds, flight catcher and more. Look at the constant change of the landscape from the arid highlands to the tropical jungle. As we continue we will see where the two streams meet to form the Santa Teresa River. Finally we reach our campsite of Collpapampa (2850m/6350ft) which is alongside the flowing Salkantay River.
Meals: B, L, D
Trek distance: 16km/10m
Hiking: 8 to 9 hours
Day 3: Collpapampa – La Playa – Lucmabamba Fruit and Coffee Delight
After a delicious breakfast, we begin our easy hike along the Santa Teresa River. Admire the lovely scenery of vegetation, pristine small waterfalls, coffee plantations and more. Continue hiking passing the small town of La Playa (2,100mt/ 6890ft) and finally reaching our campsite at Lucmabamba (2,100m/6888ft). En route see the plantations of banana, coffee, avocado, and an abundance of local flora. We enter spectacled-bear territory and possibly be accompanied by flocks of parrots as we descend. Once settled in our campsite we will visit a coffee farm and learn how to roast the aromatic coffee beans and drink a fabulous fresh cup of brew. Return to our campsite and relax in nature.
Meals: B, L, D
Trek distance: 15km/9m
Hiking: 6-7 hours
Note: Most travel agencies go to Santa Teresa for the night which has a hot springs but there is too much noise and partying so we no longer do this route.
Day 4: Lucmabamba – – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
This morning after breakfast, hike to the Llactapata Ruins (2700m/8907ft). Walk up for about 3 hours admiring the beautiful scenery of orchids and green surroundings until reaching the ruins for a visit. Fix your eyes on the mesmerizing sight of the back of Machu Picchu from a far distance. Definitely makes for a picture moment. Afterwards, we descend for approximately 2 hours to the Hydroelectric Station (1950m/6398ft) where we will wait for our train and travel for 45 minutes. From here we will walk to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) (2050m/6726ft) along the Urubamba River enjoying the beautiful vegetation. We arrive in town and walk to our hotel and check in. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Optional extra cost: take the train from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes instead of walking (must be booked in advance).
Overnight in Aguas Calientes
Meals: B, L
Trek distance: 12km/7m
Hiking: 7 -8 hours
Day 5 Mysterious Machu Picchu – Train Ride – Cusco
Early rise and have breakfast before taking the bus for a 25-minute ride to the magical Machu Picchu one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Take pleasure in a professional guided walking tour, visiting the citadel once lost in time. Our first visit will be of the guard house to observe the agricultural farming terraces, Funerary Rock where the Incas were mummified and catch spectacular views of Sungate up above and Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu below. Stroll to the extraordinary Temple of the Sun with exceptionally carved stones, The Sacred Plaza with the Temple of the Three Windows which features the huge trapezoidal windows. Walk up to the Intihuatana the solar clock and finally visit the temple of the Condor. After a mesmerizing experience, feeling the energy of the past, exit the park with your guide and return to town to have lunch on your own. After lunch board the train to the Ollantaytambo or Poroy station where our private transportation will be waiting to whisk us to your hotel in Cusco.
Hotel in Cusco
End of Adventure!
Optional extra cost: Huayna Picchu if available or Machu Picchu Mountain Peak
UPGRADE extra cost: Hiram Bingham luxury train with dinner.
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