The Salkantay Trek is what we think is the best alternative to the Inca Trail. With high snow-capped mountains to look at (not summit!), 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 Trek allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of the Andes. This will allow time for greater reflection, and the opportunity to have nights around the campfire with your team-mates, in greater isolation.
The chance to trek to Macchu Picchu on a trail less well trodden, experiencing more of what this amazing location has to offer without the crowds;
Camping in remote locations, under huge skies;
Experiencing the local culture and cuisine in Cusco;
Exploring a variety of different climates – from icy peaks to lowland jungle, as well as the beautiful wildlife;
Being exposed to local culture along the route;
Enjoying a final night celebration to salute the group’s impressive achievement.
Day One - London to Cusco
You will meet your Tribal Tracks leader at the airport and then travel on to Cusco, via Lima.
Day 2 – Arrive Cusco
You will meet our local team at the airport and they will transfer you to the hotel, which will be a very comfortable 3 star hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure to recover from the flight before having a welcome supper in a local restaurant.
Overnight in twin share 3*hotel, dinner.
Day 3 – Cusco
This is the day to explore the main sites and get used to the altitude. We suggest that you take it easy, and make sure that you hydrate adequately. Altitude can cause dehydration very quickly, so drink often!!!
After breakfast in the hotel, explore under your own steam, or join your leader for a walk around the main sites. Cusco has many great restaurants so we have deliberately allowed you to choose where you want to eat lunch and try the local cuisine! You may want to rest in the afternoon, or continue your exploration of the sites, before joining the rest of the team for another supper in a local restaurant.
Overnight in twin share 3 *hotel, breakfast, dinner.
Day 4 – Cusco
This is your final day in Cusco before the trek! We suggest that you continue your exploration of Cusco, getting used to the altitude and getting your legs moving. Your leader will co-ordinate some destinations, or you can simply explore on your own. This evening at supper we will have a pre-trek briefing and you should get an early night!
Overnight in twin share 3 *hotel, breakfast, dinner.
Day 5 – Trek Day!!! Cusco - Mollepata - Soraypampa
After breakfast, our trek begins at the small village of Challacancha high above the Rio Blanco Valley. Following a wide, well established track we will gently make our way up the side of the valley covering a distance of about 16km /9.9 miles and climbing 1200m /3937ft. The views throughout the day are fantastic, all around us are verdant green mountains, along the path are a wide variety of native plants and flowers with birds flitting in and out and towards the end of the day we'll see the snow-capped peaks of Humantay and Salkantay (the Savage) looming high above us. Our campsite for tonight is at Soraypampa (4000m / 12750ft.), the nights can get pretty chilly here so it's a good idea to put on your hat and gloves before you go to sleep.
Trekking 9.5 miles/16km, roughly 8 hrs. Overnight camping, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.
Day 6: Soraypampa - Colcapampa
Today is the hardest day of the trek but also the most beautiful. The scenery throughout the day goes from one extreme to another; starting from the high Puna covered in Ichu grass we make our way up and over the Salkantay pass (4650m/15255ft) where everything is rock and ice and then descend the far side down to the warm and lush cloud forest below. Along the way we'll see a variety of wildlife from the small finches that scrape by at the higher altitudes to hummingbirds and toucans in the cloud forest, there is also a chance to see Andean Fox, White Tailed Deer and Viscacha (rabbit-like Chinchillas).
Our campsite for tonight is at Colpapampa (2900m / 9514ft).
Trekking 13.5 miles/21.2km, roughly 11 hrs. Overnight camping, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.
Day 7: Colpapampa - La Playa
Our destination today is the village of La Playa, which is a welcome mostly downhill descent down the valley from Colpapampa. Our route takes us along the Lluskamayo River through an area that is teeming with life and that has various coffee and fruit plantations. The scenery in this area is not as varied as the previous day but the warmth and lush vegetation are a welcome respite from the high mountains we've left behind. Tonight we will stay at the village of La Playa (2400m / 7874ft.) where you can try some of the locally grown coffee. If you are interested there is the option to visit some hot springs that are close by – you can let the team know if you want to do this.
Trekking 9.7 miles/15.6km, roughly 7 hrs. Overnight camping, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.
Day 8: La Playa - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes
Today is the final stretch of the trek before we reach Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. The main focus of today is a visit to the Inca site of Llactapata sat on the mountainside high above (2650m/8694ft). Following an original Inca Trail we'll arrive in Llactapata by early to mid-morning and can enjoy the fantastic first views of Machu Picchu that we will get from here. After a tour of Llactapata in which we'll learn about the Inca people and their culture, we'll head back down the mountainside to the Hydroelectric Station from where we'll walk to Aguas Calientes (2040m/6692ft).
Trekking 15 miles/24km, roughly 8 hrs. Overnight 3* twin share hotel Aguas Calientes, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.
Day 9: Machu Picchu!
Waking up early we'll walk up to Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens (NB if feet are sore, there is the option to take the bus). We'll have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you'll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you'll have free time to explore the site by yourself and if you have permits to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.
Overnight in twin share 3* hotel, breakfast, dinner.
Day 10: Relaxing in Cusco
Relax, recover and reflect on your achievement! Today is a day for final sightseeing, a bit of shopping, or importantly, a day for you to reflect on what you have achieved together as a group.
This evening there will be a celebration meal in a local restaurant, allowing you to let your hair down after a tremendous effort.
Overnight in twin share 3*hotel, breakfast, dinner.
Day 11: Return home
Today we say a fond farewell to Cusco and Peru, as you are transferred to the airport after breakfast, ready for your flight home.
Starting Altitude - 2900m / 9515ft.
Highest Altitude - 4650m / 15,200ft
Walking Distance - 60.5 km / 37.5 miles
Longest Day - Day 2, approximately 18 km/11 miles
Coldest Night - Day 1 around 0º celsius
Overall Difficulty - Difficult (depends on your level of fitness).
Contact Us - Let’s get you on the right track…