Your aim is Machu Picchu and you want to reach it along the famous Inca Trail path but you also want to explore the area while meeting your goals well we propose you an unforgettable experience, the Salkantay-Machu Picchu Expedition. This trekking expedition will take you at the base of the sacred Salkantay snow peak (6,271 meters; 20,700 feet), considered by the local natives to be the "Guardian Spirit of the Jungle" and will provide you with the opportunity to experience remote native communities before joining the famous Inca Trail path to Machu Picchu. This is one of the most picturesque trip offered in the Cusco area, so bring your camera to snap the landscape changes as you hike along. The trip is supported with horses for part of the journey. We provide you with top quality camping equipment and a very balanced and energetic diet. This is a trip that you will never forget!!!
Early morning pick up from your hotel, following a 2:30 hours drive in a private bus to Mollepata (breakfast stop), optional stop in Limatambo town, here we visit Tarawasi very important religious Inca remains. We rejoin the bus journey to Soraypampa (3,800mt) trailhead, and after an orientation we start the walk in the direction of Salkantay pampa (LUNCH SPOT), which has a great view of the ice caped Humantay Mountain (5902 m.), and later on a spectacular view of Apu Salkantay at dawn to appreciate it. The mountain range is crossed to the right of Salkantay; walking up to the pass we have Humantay on the left, Rayusca on the right and in front the imposing Salkantay. Campsite at Ichupata.
Early wakeup call and hot drinks in bed. We start the ascend very gradually to Inka Chiriasca (where the Inca colds down) pass which is the highest point of the trip (4,950mts/16,236feet) from there you can see the magnificent views of Salkantay snow peak and Humantay mountain and different natural lake Turker color after this view we will go gradual down towards Pampacahuana small community which exist an original Inka channel we will camp and have at this place.
After breakfast we hike in the direction of the ‘Paucarcancha’ Inca remains, and then towards the village of Wayllabamba lunch spot. Here we will join the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and our mule drivers and mules will be replaced by porters. We continue on the trail to Yuncachimpa , where we will spend the night.
The fourth day is a day of hard trekking. The distances are great and we climb 900 m. to the top of the first pass, descend and then ascend the second pass 400 m before we camp. The fourth day is a day of pure trekking we start early to make it to a designated campsite. We ascend through cloud forest still following the river. The path is steep and relentless and as you gets nearer the top the vegetation changes to barren grassland. The main problem with this day is the lack of oxygen as you near the DEATH WOMAN PASS (WARMIWAÑUSCA), and also the path towards the end gets increasingly steeper. However once at the top, if it is clear, you are rewarded by beautiful views. Then the descent; this is very steep and the differences in temperature are noticeable as the altitude gets lower. Lunch stop at PACAYMAYO
We stay fairly high as we make our way to RUNKURAKAY Inca remains. These are the first ruins that we actually encounter on the trail. The name means "Egg-shaped building" due to its form. It was probably a guard post or lodge (Tambo in Quechua) for the trail but it also could have had other uses. From the ruins it is a short climb up and over the second pass. There are three beautiful black lakes here and magnificent views. We descend along the first section of the original Inca Trail using huge steps that can be quite slippery when wet. The major ruins along the Trail are here. Firstly we come to SAYACMARCA Inca remains or "dominant town". This is situated on a spur jutting out into a valley. It has magnificent views but due to its altitude these are often obscured by the presence of clouds. We descend slightly and approach our second campsite at CHAQUICOCHA, a flat plain looking over the same valley.
Wake up to the call of bird songs, you will be offered a consistent breakfast. The hike to the Wiñay Wayna campsite will take you to the lunch vegetation of the cloud forest where exotic birds (Andean Guan, Gray-Breasted mountain toucam, red crested cotinga, etc.) will salute your passing: enjoy the scenic views of the Cordillera Oriental with the stunning snow-peaks of Salkantay (6.271m), Humantay (5.735m) and Pumasillo (5686 m). Walk around the Inca remains of Phuyutamarca before descending to our campsite at Wiñay Wayna. Enjoy the sunset above the Urubamba River perched amongst the many Andean terraces of this marvelous Inca site.
This day is arguably the most beautiful with the vegetation changing from high altitude stunted bushes and grasses to thick rich cloud forest. Also on this day we encounter the most beautiful ruins on the trail. Thus the long second day enables us to enjoy the third day at a more leisurely pace. On the morning of the fifth day we start ascending again for the third pass. This is a long pass but is not as steep as the first one. We make our way around the valley through a tunnel cut by the Incas; all the time on the original paving slabs of the Incas. When the third pass is reached we can see the next Inca remains on the trail, those of PHUYUPATAMARCA (town in the clouds). This is perched on the side of a valley with typical terraces trailing down the hillside. This was probably a religious site as there are numerous water fountains. However it was almost certainly agricultural as well. The trekking from here is probably the most beautiful part of the trail. We descend all the way from here to WIÑAYWAYNA. We go through cloud forest that is humid and fairly warm. It is here that the majority of the 3000 steps down are - so watch your knees! Eventually we reach the remains of WIÑAYWAYNA (forever young). Again this beautiful complex probably had religious and agricultural significance. Campsite at WIÑAYWAYNA.
Today is a short walk to Machu Picchu. We start early so we can arrive at Inti Punku (sun gate) above Machu Picchu as day breaks. This is a short undulating 5 kilometers walk. From the sun gate, it is a short walk down Machu Picchu Inca remains. And the guide will give you a few minutes to rest after the walk and soak up the view after which he will give you a guided tour of the remains. Make your own way down to Machupicchu town for lunch and chill out in town until train departure time.