The Salkantay trek offers a great alternative to the heavily trodden and overhyped Inca Trail leading to Machu Picchu. Unlike the Inca Trail, a permit is not required for the Salkantay trek. This off the beaten path will take you through varying ecological zones and landscapes from snowcapped mountains to jungle terrain. It was one of the ancient trade routes for transporting coca and potatoes and passes some interesting Inca ruins like Llactapata which offers a good view of Manchu Picchu. At El Passo Pass– highest point of the trek – you will enjoy a close-up view of the glacier-capped Salkantay also known as “Savage Mountain” in the local Quechua language. Other than the stunning mountain scenery, the trek also allows you to observe unique flora and fauna of the Andean habitats and a chance to take a dip in waterfalls and hot springs.
CUSCO – MOLLAPATA – MARCOCASA – SORAYPAMPA
In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel to Mollapata (2900m) located at the upper limit of the jungle (approx. 4 hrs. drive). After a refreshing local breakfast, you will continue on to Marcocasa (3500m) where the trek begins (approx. 45 min drive). The initial part of the trail follows an old Inca aqueduct that is still used to transport water from the mountains to the lower valleys. The awe-inspiring Andean range slowly comes into view as you ascend up the trail towards Checchicancha (3650m) where you will stop for lunch (approx. 4 hrs. trek). After lunch, you will continue for another 3 hours uphill trek to Soraypampa (3850m) where you will set up camp for the night. If you make it to camp early, you can do a side trek (approx. 2 hrs. return journey) to the beautiful turquoise Umantay Lake (4150) at the base of a glacier. (Approx. total trekking distance and duration: 12km, 7 hrs.)
Overnight: Tent with sleeping bag
SORAYPAMPA – El PISCO – HUARACMACHAY – CHUALLAY
Today’s trek is the longest and toughest but arguably the most magical day of the trek. The most challenging part of the ascent is conquering the Siete Culebras (7-Snakes) a series of 7 steep switchbacks which takes you up to El Pisco Pass (4600m) – the highest point of the trek. At the pass, you will be rewarded with amazing views of Salkantay (6271m) to your right and Huamantay (5917m) to your left and snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every other direction. Look out for the cute chinchillas hiding among the rocks and the majestic Andean condors gilding in the sky. After catching your breath and admiring the stunning landscape, you will begin your descent to Huaracmachay (3750) for a picnic lunch. Thereafter, you will descend along the banks of the Sunchuccata River to your campsite at Chaullay (2850m). (Approx. total trekking distance and duration: 15km, 9 hrs.)
Overnight: Tent with sleeping bag
CHUALLAY – LA PLAYA
Wake up to the chirping of birds and catch the beautiful sunrise over the stunning Chuallay Valley. Embark on an easy downhill trek through cloud forest from the temperate zone into the high jungle zone Ceja de Selva (“Eyebrow of the Jungle”) where coffee, cocoa passion fruit plantations can be seen. Along the way, we will pass by Collpapampa (2800m) and Lluscamayo (2600m) where you can interact with the friendly Quechua villagers or enjoy a refreshing dip in the beautiful cascading waterfalls to soothe your aching muscles. Ceja de Selva also offers great bird-watching opportunities as many tropical birds inhabit this area. You will camp overnight at the pit stop village of La Playa (2200m) where you can get some cold drinks and snacks. (Approx. total trekking distance and duration: 10km, 6 hrs.)
Overnight: Tent with sleeping bag
DAY 4: LA PLAYA – LLACTAPATA – HIDROELECTRICA – AGUA CALIENTES
Today’s trek consists of some up and down hill. You will ascend uphill for 2.5 hrs. to Llactapata (2700m), an Inca ruin, which was discovered by Hiram Bingham on the same journey that he discovered Machu Picchu in 1911. From here, you can have a bird’s eye view of Machu Picchu and its two towering companions Huayna Picchu and Montana Picchu as well as part of the Inca Trail. The site is still covered by thick vegetation so it gives a good sense of what Machu Picchu must have look like when Bingham first stumbled upon it. Thereafter, you will descend back into the cloud forest to the Hydroelectric Station where you can either trek for 2-3 hours or take a 45 min train ride to Aguas Calientes (2000m) – the gateway town to Machu Picchu. (Approx. total trekking distance and duration: 15km, 7hrs)
Alternative program: Hot Springs in Colcamayu
For a more relaxing day, you can opt for a visit to the hot springs in Colcamayu which is accessible via vehicle from La Playa. After an invigorating dip in the hot spring, you will be transferred via vehicle to Hydroelectric Station where you can either trek or take a train ride to Aguas Calientes.
Overnight: Tent with sleeping bag
- All meals and drinks (boiled water, coffee and tea) during the trek
- All camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, sleeping bags)
- Local Peruvian trekking guide (English speaking)
- Porters for tents, sleeping bags, food and communal equipment
- Return international air ticket
- Travel insurance
- All meals not indicated
- Tips for guide and porters
- All expenses of a personal nature
TESTIMONIALSThe whole organisation was prepared smoothly prior to the trip. The ample of times attending to the enquiries and the notes given had definitely been useful. For transport, guide (and driver), food, activities, accommodation - they were pleasant. The van provided was spacious especially the legroom, and even had enough room to store our bag packs. The guide and driver were very accommodative, for an instance, stopping the van to allow us take some photos before proceeding to the trail head. Additionally, both tried their best to attempt to make conversations in English. As per food and activities, it was great. The food complimented the next activity well, an example, we were provided rice instead of noodles on the day before our summit push and back to the trail head. It was essential since we had to have plenty carbohydrates for the long trek ahead.
– SR (Group of 5 on a 2D2N Xueshan trip in Oct 2017)
First, we would like to thank hs for coming up with the itinerary of the places that we wanted to visit and always being prompt and patient in answering our queries. This trip turned out to be one of the best trips ever! Our guide, Bayu, was simply wonderful. He speaks good English and we enjoyed our conversations with him. During the hike, he frequently stopped to ask if we were okay and if we needed a rest. He would also ask if we had any other places in mind that we would like to visit around the vicinity. In all, we felt very well-taken of throughout the entire trip. Our fondest memory was the day when we had cup noodles around a campfire together with him during the early hours of dawn at King Kong Hill. It was truly unforgettable. Bayu also offered to help us take photos during the trip and we were really thankful for that. Our driver, Bayu (same name as our guide) had superb driving skills. We were really amazed at how he was able to navigate and drive through narrow and winding roads under foggy weather conditions. Throughout the trip, both of them made us feel very safe and comfortable. We did not have to worry about anything. It was really such an enjoyable trip. A big thank you to our guide, Bayu, and our driver, Bayu! 🙂
– Eunice (Group of 2 on an 5D4N Ijen, Mt Bromo, Batu in June 2017)
We always have a wish that to have a wonderful trip with a lot of fun and laugh, and so we stop dreaming and start planning. No doubt IWT is our best choice with no regretted. First of all, we wanna thank you to our tour guide Ms Vinda, a young lady with always have a cute smiling. She is very friendly, knowledgeable, understanding and patience lady. She care a lot of us, and make sure we are not injure while hiking, but manage to reach to the top. Due to some of my friends is lack of exercise and felt exhausted, especially Ijen and Mt Bromo, she keep accompanied us and make sure 4 of us are in good condition to continue. She keep reminding us some sleepy area, and hold our hand if needed to ensure we are not fell down. She also giving us a lot of info about some interest places were going and we'll communication. She always standby to be our photographer, even some time our pose is funny. She willing to share her photos and videos with us. Thanks ya. And most importantly that she notice 1 of my friend didn't wear a suitable shoe to waterfall, she immediately take off her shoe and let my friend to wear, and help to carry my friend shoe and walk with no shoe herself...so embarrassing. She treat us ginger tea while we feel cold, Indomee after hiking and dragon fruit along the way to Surabaya. Bring us to minimart to buy our secret stuff. Lastly, we should say that~Ms Vinda, thank you so much. We are enjoyable the trip and this is really amazing. We highly recommend her as a tour guide and wish her all the best. Thumb up 👍
– May (Group of 4 on a 4D3N Ijen Crater, Mount Bromo & Batu in May 2017)
Guide Syami was amazing! Very patient and extremely helpful towards my parents (55 and 50 year old folks) . His guidance really helped my parents with their hike. Shared his knowledge on the mountain and the wildlife there. Perfect.
– Farhana (Group of 6 on an 2D1N Mt Ophir Camping Trip in Apr 2017)
Very nice group, glad I made some good friends. Thanks to the organisers who took us for dinner near a vegetarian friendly place.
– Rajan (Group of 12 on an Open Mt Ophir Trip in Mar 2017)
Coordination with IWT was a breeze. Ying was quick in responding to queries and very helpful, giving tips according to her own experience climbing Pelapah Falls. Prasanth, the driver, was on-time, friendly and skillful. Despite the hours of driving and waiting for us, he always wore a smile on his face. Nan, our guide, was very experienced. He was like a fatherly figure who knew exactly what he was doing and that brought a lot of assurance to us. Pelapah Falls has its challenges but it was such a good experience for my friends and I. We had to tread through cooling rivers, climb using ropes, avoid giant ants and manage a few leeches but the amazing and therapeutic waterfalls made it all worth it. All of us were counted as beginner hikers and we all made it. So don't worry. Just do it!
– Xiuqing (Group of 5 on a Pelepah Falls & Kota Tinggi Trip in Feb 2017)
Everything was great! From planning til the end of the trip, everything was organised. The activities were fun and itinerary was well planned. We did not feel that we were rushed at all and we get to enjoy Borobudur and Mount Bromo in our own pace. Our guide, Bayu, was very friendly and helped us a lot especially when it comes to ordering food :). This is the most relaxing, hassle-free trip I've ever had! Thanks Iwannatravel 🙂
– Sunshine (Group of 7 on a 4D3N trip to Bromo & Borobudur in Aug 2016)
I really enjoy the whole travel experience. The driver is always contactable and prompt, and transport it’s quite comfortable. The mountain guide is friendly, and is knowledgeable and ensures that the last person is not left behind, and there are 2 guides provided to us for a group of 10 which I think is quite good. The accommodation at Melaka is quite clean and it’s within the tourist attraction; Jonker Street and there’s also some free and easy time to explore with driver provided.
– Xian Ying (Group of 10 on a 2D1N trip to Mt Ophir in May 2016)
I liked how fast HS was able to plan the itinerary for our group, making it flexible to suit our preferences and how he was very prompt to answer our questions and give suggestions on things that we can do. We only ask assistance for bookings on our Vietnam trip (Mt. Fansipan trek, Lao Cai- Hanoi train tickets and Halong Bay Day Cruise). However, upon knowing that we are also traveling to Laos, HS has gone an extra mile and help us map out our Laos itinerary too. Transport provided both for Fansipan trek and Halong Bay Day Cruise were awesome as they picked us up from our hostel right on time. Our Fansipan guide was very helpful and patient and ensured everyone's safety during the trek. While our Halong Bay Cruise guide was quite informative and very entertaining as she makes us laugh without even trying. Our group was very much satisfied with the food served to us both during the Fansipan trek and Halong Bay cruise. And of course, we definitely enjoyed all the activities we did: trekking up to the summit of Fansipan, riding a sleeper train from Lao Cai to Hanoi and kayaking in Halong Bay. Organization of our trip is superb knowing that we were IWT's first customers to book for their Fansipan trek and Halong Bay Cruise trip. *^_^*
– Michelle (Group of 3 on a 4D3N trip to Mt Fansipan & Halong Bay in Apr 2016)
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