This camping trek is a favourite amongst Chimu guides and provides a great alternative to the Inca Trail. Start your journey in Cusco in the Peruvian Andes before setting off on your journey which will take you through a variety of stunning backdrops. In Andean religion, mountains are worshipped as apus, and this trek makes it clear why, as we experience the majesty of the mighty ApuSalkantay; then descend through ever-changing microsystems to the high jungle of the Urubamba Valley and its ever-impressive citadel of Machu Picchu.
This evening the trek operator will hold a pre-trek briefing at your hotel. Time will be reconfirmed with you directly on arrival. Please note your sleeping bag which is included will be provided to you at this briefing.
Cusco, set at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Peruvian Andes, was once the capital of the Inca Empire. It is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Incan remains. Narrow, cobble-stoned streets lined by Inca walls stretch out from the main plaza in every direction. Many of the colonial buildings were built on top of Incan foundations and the stonework is unparalleled in its precision and beauty.
Depart early from Cusco to make the spectacular two-hour drive to Mollepata, with panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay Mountain and the Apurimac Valley. The hike begins by walking to Sayllapata at an altitude of 3,200m.
After lunch, trek on a slight gradient to the Soraypampa villages at 3,850m for your overnight camp.
Today, the hike takes you along the flanks of Salkantay Mountain, with stunning views of the glacier and the peaks of the Vilcabamba range. Take a steep switchback trail up to Salkantay Pass, the highest point of the trek at 4,600m.
Continue downhill after lunch to your camp at Chaullay at 2,920m.
Today's hike is mainly downhill, passing spectacular waterfalls, as the Andes gradually enter the Amazon jungle. As you descend, the ecosystems will change, offering plenty of opportunities to observe the myriad of flora and fauna - if you are very lucky, you will be able to spot the national bird of Peru, the beautiful Cock of the Rock. Passing the community of Collpabamba, head to Playa Sahuayaco, a 'beach' on the banks of the River Urubamba, and arrive at your campsite located in Santa Teresa at 1,900m.
Begin the day trekking to the ruins of Patallacta, passing coffee and banana plantations, in a beautiful landscape with diverse flora and fauna. Patallacta offers an amazing view of Machu Picchu, which you can savour before descending to the Hydroelectric plant that harnesses some of the power of the Urubamba River. From here, follow the train track to Aguas Calientes, located 400m below Machu Picchu.
As the name suggests, there are thermal baths to be sampled in Aguas Calientes in the evening.
In the morning, take the bus to Machu Picchu for an unforgettable guided tour of the ruins and monuments such as the Main Square, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Solar Clock, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Cemeteries. This is the highlight of any trip to Peru and a fantastic reward at the end of the trek. You have the morning to explore Machu Picchu before returning to Aguas Calientes for the train back to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco in the evening, transfer to your accommodation.
Please be aware that your tour of Machu Picchu does not include an entry permit to Huayna Picchu (the iconic hill behind the Machu Picchu ruins). If you want to climb Huayna Picchu then you need to pre-book your permit. Please contact your sales consultant if you would like to do this.
We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Upmarket properties with above average facilities and service.
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.
SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST
Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.
Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:
1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.
2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.
3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.
4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.
5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.