The Salkantay Llactapata Machu Picchu Trek is the number one alternative to the Inca Trail. With high snow-capped mountains, lowland jungle and a visit to the Inca site of Llactapata the trek offers a perfect mix of trekking, culture and nature.
With fewer people on the route, the Salkantay Llactapata Machu Picchu Trek allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of the Andes without any of the distractions and disturbances you find on the Inca Trail
This express version of the Salktantay Llactapata Machu Picchu trek is available for trekkers short on time. You will arrive to Machu Picchu Trek via train from Hidroelectrica. The hardest part is on Day 2 due to our ascending at 4600 m/15090 ft
Starting Altitude - 1950m / 6398ft.
Highest Altitude - 6398m / 15,092ft.
Walking Distance - 34km / 21 miles
Longest Day - Day 1, approximately 14km / 8.7 miles
Coldest Night - Day 1 around 0º celsius
Overall Difficulty - Moderate
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The SALKANTAY LLACTAPATA MACHU PICCHU trek tour departs daily and it can be hiked year round although the months of April till October are probably more comfortable since the weather is drier. June, July and August are the high season when this tour can be fully booked so be sure to make your reservations in advance. The months of January, February and March are in the wet season so hiking the trail requires that you have a good rain jacket and waterproof tent.
The SALKANTAY LLACTAPATA MACHU PICCHU trek is rated moderate to difficult. The challenging day is Day 2, the most difficult day is day 3, while the other days are moderate. It is important to be in good health and feel comfortable walking for extended periods of time. You must also be well prepared specially because altitudes of 4600m/15092ft are reached, so ensuring that you are well acclimatized is important. If arriving from sea level, plan to spend at least 2 full days in Cusco prior to commencing the trek. This should allow plenty of time for acclimatization and give you sufficient opportunity to visit the city of Cusco and nearby Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, Q'enko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, as well as spending a day or two exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas visiting the tradition market town of Pisac and the fascinating Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo
Let’s start the adventure!!!!
2:00 am Pick up from hotel, by our tourist bus, We´ll travel through the Andes, reaching Soraypampa.
The first day is far and away the hardest day of the trek. It’s long, it’s cold, and you have to make your way over the 4,650 mts – 15,256 fts Salkantay Pass. Nonetheless, waking up at sunrise amidst the sprawling grasslands of Soraypampa, the sun illuminating the 6264 mts or 20551.18 fts Andean peaks springing up from behind you makes for an energizing and mesmerizing start to the day.
The climb to the pass takes anywhere from 3-4 hours, and it is a fairly steep grind of narrow switchbacks and steady uphills until the rock structures of the pass finally come into view. Unless hiking in June or July the trail should most likely be devoid of any snow or ice, although hail, sleet, ice, and rain are possible at any time of the year.
Though the air is thin and the trail is steep, anyone who is fairly physically fit and acclimated to the altitude can make it over the pass. We had, and probably we´ll have 60-something year old people in our group and they made it over the pass just fine. Our group carries extra oxygen, or ultimately, you can ride one of our horses only to get over the pass.
Once having crossed the pass it is the start of a long path downhill where you will eventually drop over 1,700 mts or 5577 vertical ft until you arrive to our campsite in Challway.. Along the way to Challway there are various tent encampments and small villages scattered amongst the plains, and it is incredible to think that there are a handful of local people who live permanently so far removed from modern society and amongst such harsh natural conditions. Interestingly enough, nearly every small village (example: population 4 or 5) that you pass, there is at least 1 or 2 small. The trail weaves its way down the flank of the mountain and parallels to the Salkantay river that grows exponentially as you make your way down the valley, finally making it an hour or so before sunset to the village of Challway. The camping here is ready.
Today is the Jungle!!!
From the Salkantay trail we will head to the village of Challway and have lunch at La Playa. There is a noticeable change from the mountains down into the jungle. Trickling streams amongst the sub-alpine plains give way to raging waterfalls and streams .There are a number of river crossings across bridges constructed from simple tree logs and branches, and it’s the kind of scenery that you expect a massive python or puma to lurch out at you at any given moment, although allegedly no pythons exist here and pumas are exceptionally rare. the vista of the river valley and the occasional stream crossings are enough to occupy your mind for the 4 hour trek down to lunch.
The area known as La Playa is our lunch place, here that the mosquitos and gnats start coming out in force, So the insect repellent will be our best best way to keep them away.
We continue to Lucmabamba our campsite. This is archaeological site, and will enjoy the pretty landscape.
Optional : Santa Teresa Hot Springs. We can take a local bus for an hour long bus ride wich will bring us to the town of Santa Teresa, which is the first actually town that you’ll encounter along the trek, and is also famous for the Santa Teresa hot spring that bubble up right outside of town.
After a heartwarming breakfast!!!
After a great breakfast with full energy we´ll be ready to climb to the top of the world. Although we don't quite need to go this high today, it's still a 750 vertical meter climb (2460 ft).
The path up to Llactapata is actually on a segment of an old Inca trail .It leads first through some old villages of coffee and coca plantations, and citrus tree orchards before reaching some beautiful high altitude grasslands and then entering into an old forest near the top. The scenery on the way up is by far the most diverse and beautiful so far on the entire Salcantay trek.
Near the top, the path gives way to endless stone steps as tall as park benches. We wonder how the short Inca people mastered this climb? We reach the summit in 2¼ hours but don't have any bragging rights.
Anyway we enjoy the cool and damp climate in the forest at the top for a while and suddenly we start to walk down to the Llactapata ruins.
We reach Llactapata in less than 10 minutes and are in absolute awe!!! Across the valley, we see Machu Picchu, what a sight!!! You could not get enough of this incredible view of Machu Picchu. The day will be very rewarding.
The trek from Lucmabamba to the ruins and the views across the valley to Machu Picchu are nothing less than breathtaking. After we enjoy this pretty view, we descended down to the hydroelectric plant. 913 meters (2995 ft) in 1 hour.
After having a nice lunch at the Hydroelectric, we will board the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). Other trekkers using other companies will be walking to Machu Picchu Pueblo for 12 Kilometers (7.5 miles) and the only thing they will see are train traks. But not you. You will be comfortably taking the train to Machu Picchu pueblo to get a good night rest at your hotel. There are no words to describe the joy of seeing the town of Aguas Calientes, the tired legs are quickly forgotten as we are near our hotel. Not only would we get to take a hot shower, but also sleep in a real bed... Hurra!
We all meet for dinner at a restaurant and get a plan for our next day.
Today is Machu Picchu!!!
We catch a bus from Aguas Calientes to Machupicchu, the buses start running from 5:30-6am. What does this mean? This means that all the people who took the 1st bus are most likely going to get to Macchu Picchu before others and be the first enjoying the Sunrise, also well rested and relaxed and with full of energy for climb Huayna Picchu mountain or Machupicchu mountain if you decide it.
Machu Picchu is an incredible spectacle of architecture, culture, and history. Machu Picchu is special, and watching the sun break the mountains and illuminate the city of stone is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The setting for the ancient city is absolutely stunning, and the feeling of reaching it by foot over 5 days of such intense physical exertion and the swath of rugged terrain that you’ve since left behind makes the entire moment of standing atop Macchu Picchu much more rewarding than had you simply taken a train from Cusco and then a bus to the top.
Overall this journey is highly recommended, just be sure to bring some good rain gear, some really strong bug repellent, and be prepared for an absolute madhouse on the final day of the trek “cause after 10 am thousands of tourist are coming from Cusco in a day trip to Machupicchu.
Ok, so here’s the deal with Huaynapicchu. Only 400 people who purchased the entrance tickets in advance can climb Huayna Picchu, the famous little mountain that sits inside of Macchu Picchu. 200 hundred people at 7:00 am and other 200 hundred at 10:00 am. If you want to do it, please let us know at the moment of your reservation.
At around 6:45p.m. (depending on train availability), you will be taking a train to Ollantaytambo and from there; a bus will drive you back to Cusco. Arriving approximately at 22:30 pm
• Pre trek briefing
• Transfers In / Out
• Transportation Cusco-Mollepata. (Start of trek)
• Professional bilingual tour guide English /Spanish.
• Assistant tour guide (for groups of 9 or more people)
• Entrance Fee to Machu Picchu.
• 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 afternoon snacks, 3 dinners. Vegetarian (vegan) food on request at no extra cost!
• Cook. (Professional)
• Drinking water along the Inka trail, only on meal times.
• Dining tent with tables and chairs
• 1st Aid Kit
• 01 Oxygen Ball
• Horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
• Horse men
• Quadruple & waterproof Camping tent “02 people only”
• 01 Sleeping Mattress per person “therma rest”
• 01 night in touristic hostel in Aguas Calientes “Machupicchu Village”.
• Return train tickets (Machupicchu > Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco) transfer to Hotel.
• A small backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
• Sleeping bag
• Sleeping mattress (we will provide you with this)
• Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco for a few dollars)
• Strong, comfortable footwear
• One complete change of clothing
• Sweater and jacket (something warm)
• Water bottle, ideally non disposable canteen (boiled drinking water will be provided)
• Torch / Flashlight and batteries
• Hat or cap to protect you from the sun
• Sun block (sun protection cream)
• Insect repellent
• Toiletries, towel and toilet paper
• Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits, energy bars etc,
• Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries, cash in soles and US$
• Swimsuit (if you plan on visiting the hot springs at Aguas Calientes after the trek)
• Optional: walking Poles /sticks (rubber covers necessary)
• You also need to bring your original passport on the trail.
• Breakfast on the first morning.
• Dinner on the last night.
• Sleeping bags - If you don't have a sleeping bag or you don't want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for rent.
• Tips for the guide, cook and porters
• Additional horses for passengers luggage.
• Extra mule to carry YOUR things - $10.00 per trip day
• Extra riding mule and muleteer to lead it - $18 per trip day
• Sleeping Bag suitable for – 10deg $4.00 per trip day
• Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15deg. $5.00 per trip day)
• Walking stick lightweight aluminum ($2.00 per day, per stick) Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
• Thermarest inflatable mattress - $4 per trip day
• Inflatable pillow - $2 per trip day
• Comforting Camping trek upgrade $40.00 per trip day
• Single tent supplement (ie you don’t want to share a tent) $25.00 per person
• The Salkantay Llactapata Machu Picchu Trek is non-transferable, non-reimbursable and the participant cannot change the date of departure.
• If during the length of the program the traveler abandons the excursion due to altitude, health, or for any other reason, no reimbursement will be made and no claim will be accepted. RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER does not cover the expenses made by the traveler due to abandonement such as meals, hotel, return transportation, medical expenses, etc.
• Certain Services might be interrupted or even cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disasters or other disturbances such as civil unrest, worker strikes, etc. These are out of the control of hotels, Service suppliers, RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER or its partners and therefore, no refund will be given.
• In case of force majeur, when a trek or tour cannot start or be completed, RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER will find an alternative. If this alternative is of lower value than the originally booked tour, RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER will refund the difference.
• It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. This insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage or injury occurring to the client. RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER cannot be considered responsible for any accident or loss of personal belongings the customer caused by his/her acts
The Client may cancel this tour package at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to firstname.lastname@example.org in writing. Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below calculated from the day written notification is received by email@example.com. All reservations cancelled are subject to a cancellation fee:
|Cancelation Notice Received||Cancelation Penalty %|
|16+ Days advanced notice||$20 Penalty|
|10-15 Days advanced notice||60% Penalty of total booking paid|
|7-9 Days advanced notice||80% Penalty of total booking paid|
|0-6 Days advanced notice||100% Penalty of total booking paid|