Day 1. Cusco – Soraypampa – Humantay Lake
Pickup at your hotel in the morning between 4.30 and 5 AM and we start our drive to Mollepata (2900 m) where we will meet with the horsemen and horses that will carry our camping equipment (you will also pay your entrance fee of 10 soles). On the way we will also have a 30-min stop at a local restaurants in order for you to have breakfast (not included). Already it is possible to see the snowcapped peak of Salkantay mountain (6267 m) from this area. We start our trek and will walk for about 2 hours ascending up to Soraypampa (3920 m), our first campsite, passing through some wonderful mountainous scenery along the way. Here we will then take a break and have lunch to recover our energies. After lunch we will hike for about 1.5 hours up to the stunning Humantay Lake. We will stay there for about 1 hour in order to take in the views and take pictures of this incredible lagoon. We then make our way back to Soraypampa for dinner. Tonight we go to bed very early in order to wake up early on Day 2.
Day 2. Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Salkantay Lake (optional) – Chaullay
We wake up at 5 AM and start this day with a hot tea or coffee. After a good breakfast we start walking for about 3 hours to the Salkantay pass at an altitude of 4600 meters (this is the highest point of our trek). This is the toughest stretch of the whole trek and if you don’t feel like walking all the way up you can also rent a horse on site (about 90 soles). Once we arrive at the Salkantay pass we pause to take in the views and take some rest. Here our guide will also explain about the relationship that the Incas had with their mountains and we will also take part in a short ritual. We then continue our adventure descending towards Wayrapunku where we will stop to have our lunch. On our way down we might even be able to visit another lake, the Salkantay lagoon, but this entirely depends on the group speed and timing (it takes about 1 hour total to reach the lake and return back to the normal path). After eating and a break we will continue in high jungle areas populated with large trees that contain a number of bromelids and orchids. We will arrive to our camp site in Chaullay (or Colcapampa) and relax, have dinner and sleep here for the night. Total trek time for the day is about 9 ot 10 hours.
Day 3. Chaullay – Santa Teresa
On the third morning,after breakfast, we will set off along the trail passing through several different ecological zones and an abundance of flora in what is one of the most beautiful parts of the trek. We will trek for about 5 hours until we reach La Playa (2200 m) and we will stop for lunch before taking a bus to the town of Santa Teresa (1700 m) where we will camp for the night. There will also be the chance to visit the hot springs of Cocalmayo and at night time the group will have a bonfire by the campsite.
Day 4. Santa Teresa – Zipline (optional) – Aguas Calientes
We will have an early breakfast and then set off on the first part of today’s trek which will take about 3 hours until we reach Hidroelectrica (1880 m). If you want to avoid this part of walking you can decide to do the zipline near Santa Teresa (safe and fun!) for an extra price (about 30$). The zipline consists of 5 cables of different lengths and a hanging bridge in the end: perfect to add some adrenaline to your adventure! You will decide whether to do the zipline the night before, no need to book it in advance. After the zipline you will be transferred to Hidroelectrica by bus.
At Hidroelectrica we have lunch and some rest before we continue for a further 3 hours walking (a picturesque hike by the train tracks) until the town of Aguas Calientes (2010 m). Tonight we will not be camping but spend the night in a local hostel and then go out to a local restaurant for dinner that evening. We will go to bed early though because we will have a very early start the next day to visit the site of Machu Picchu.
Day 5. Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
We get ready around 4.00 am to walk up hill from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. The ticket control entrance should be passed about 6.00 am and we will enter the site to see one of the wonders of the world. At the ruins your guide will take you on a tour of the site. We will visit enclosures, plazas, sacred fountains, temples, towers and he will explain the different functions of each area such as the agricultural and urban sections. The tour lasts for approximately 2 hours and you will then have free time to explore the site yourself
After spending some hours at Machu Picchu we unfortunately have to leave and the group will make its way down to the town of Aguas Calientes (you can walk or there is also a bus service for an additional cost) before taking the train back to cusco. You must be at the train station at least 30 minutes before your train departure time and the train journey takes about 1 hour 45 mins to get to Ollantaytambo, where we will transfer to a private bus to take you back to Cusco (you will be dropped off at the main square in Cusco).