Programs in Cusco
THE SACRED INKA TRAIL SALKANTAY TO
MACHUPICCHU ( 6 DAYS AND 5 NIGHTS)
This is the most difficult and most dramatic of
the hikes in the Andes. It is really a marvelous
trek, combining the challenge of high altitude
trekking on remote trails around Salkantay with
walking along the classic Inka trail.
This trek takes you through the shadow of the
wild one, the Salkantay snow mountain (Spiritual
God) over the high pass of Inkachiriasq’a ( 5000
meters above sea level ) and down to the remote
farms and steep valleys to Wayllabamba. Then it
follows the Urubamba river along the little
known path decorated with exotic flowers and
plants, mostly orchids, bromeliads and begonias,
and goes to the spiritual home of the Incas,
This hike takes six days and is quite gruelling.
However, it is a wonderful walk combining both
the physical and spiritual aspects.
Day 1.- Cusco – Mollepata – Salkantaypampa
We pick you up at your hotel at 5:30 a.m. We
arrive in the town of Mollepata and around 8:00
a.m. continue to Soraypampa ( 3950 m.a.s.l.). At
approximately 10:30 a.m. we are going to start
climbing. On the way up the valley you can catch
your breath and prepare for the difficult bit to
come. From here you can see the first view of
the snow covered peaks: Mt. Umantay (5917
m.a.s.l.) on the left side, and in front of you
Mount Salkantay ( 6270 m..a.s.l.), the Sacred
Mountain of the Inkas. We continue following the
stream going in the north-east direction.
You are now underneath a massive wall of scree
at the end of the valley; it is the terminal
moraine of a glacier. Around 1:00 p.m. we will
have our lunch, then we will continue ascending
to Japanese Base camp.
Day 2.- Japanese Base Camp – Inkachiriasqa –
After breakfast we follow the path which
switches back steeply up to the right. From here
it takes 1 hr. and 30 minutes to the pass
Inkachiriasqa “Eternal Inka King” ( 5000m.a.s.l.).
Here we start to go down. It is a very steep
descent. Far away you can see the Inka canal
glistening in the sun. This area is called
Pampaqhawana. Here you may encounter herders
with their alpacas and llamas. This is our
Day 3.- Pampaqhawana – Paukarkancha - Q’ente
We cross the bridge near the primary school to
the right bank of the river. The valley descends
gently here and the flora changes from high puna
to scrub; it is warm and you can see many
species of butterflies and insects.
Two hours later we arrive at the Inka site of
Paukarkancha, small Inkatambo (lodge and storage).
Half an hour later we will have our lunch in the
main village at the Inka trail, Wayllabamba, and
here the muleteers finish and the porters start
In the afternoon we continue descending and
about one hour later we visit the second largest
Inka site, Patallaqta (the town with the
terraces) after Machupicchu. Before arriving at
our campsite of Q’ente we will walk through the
eucalyptus forest and also we will see
agricultural Inka terraces. From our campsite
you can see two Inka sites: Machu Q’ente is the
closer one, there is a large building which
possibly was a resting place, it was
agriculturally self sufficient (corn, quinua,
potatoes). The other site, Wayna Q’ente, was the
most important one. It was built in a different
style and a Sacred Cavern was waka (shrine
place), built with fine stonework.
Day 4.- Q’ente – Chachabamba ( Km.104 )
It is a 15 km (9 miles) walk alongside Urubamba
river and adjacent railway track, where trains
bound to Machupicchu pass.
At this altitude there is a marked change in the
flora and fauna. Our trek will take aproximatly
7 hours, this is the longest day. Most of the
terrain is flat but sometimes it also goes
uphill and downhill; most of the time we are
walking through the cloud forest with its sub-tropical
foliage. After our tea time we will visit the
Inka ruins of Chachabamba, which were restored
only a few years ago.
Day 5.- Chachabamba - Wiñaywayna - Machupicchu
We are going to walk uphill for almost three
hours and later we visit the amazing Inka site
of Wiñaywayna, “forever young”. It’s the last
before Inka Site on the trail before Machupicchu.
The last couple of hours are mostly flat.
Staircases bring us to the Inti Punku, “Sungate“,
with the Inka city of Machupicchu spread out
before us. We head down to the lost city and
there we have time for panoramic pictures.
Afterwards we will take our bus to the hot
springs town of Aguas Calientes where we go
straight to the hotel for the hot shower.
Day 6 – Machupicchu.
We will take the first bus at 6:00 a.m. We begin
with archeological city tour around 6:30 and
continue for about two hours. Later you can
enjoy the site by yourself. At the midday we
come back to the Hot Spring’s town for lunch and
shopping. We return by 4:00 p.m. train.
Tickets to Machupicchu.
Meals ( 5b,5l,5d ).
Mule drivers ( horses, mules).
First aid kid.
WHAT ´S NOT INCLUDED
Breakfast ( day 1, lunch day 6 and dinner day 6