FULL EXPERIENCE: CUSCO & SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 9D/8N
Condors in their natural habitat
Apurimac Canyon & Vilcabamba Range
Cloud forest eco system
The historic Inca City of Machu Picchu
Salkantay Pass 4,664m / 15,300ft
The Peru Ecocamp Full Experience Tour allows guests the comfort of an airport pick up as well as hotel arrangements in Cusco before and after the Salkantay Trek: a glamping trek from the Mollepata valley around Mount Salkantay ending at the legendary city of Machu Picchu. This sacred citadel has been fascinating and enchanting visitors for more than a century. It is a portal to the past and a step into the incredible history of the rise and fall of the Incas, the most advanced civilization of the Americas. The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu was selected by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine as one of the world’s 25 best treks.
Experience the rich geography of this part of the Peruvian Andes as you hike remote and ancient trails where enormous snowcapped mountains give way to lavish forests of tropical fruits and unique orchids. You will also have the chance to visit a traditional Peruvian coffee plantation.
Peru Ecocamps offers a unique opportunity to experience the treasures of the wild Andes whilst reveling in comfort and bliss equaling any high-end hotel. The comforts at the camp extend from luxurious geodesic domes that measure 28 square meters (301 square feet) in size, to the exquisite food which ranges from the simplest to the most elaborate dishes. The typical local dishes served on the trek showcase the fresh, natural ingredients and varied flavors of our world-renowned Peruvian cuisine. Our professional guides are trained in local history, geography, and culture, and possess an unparalleled knowledge of the regional flora and fauna. They hold the skills required to ensure your safety and well-being throughout the trip.
The Full Experience Cusco & Salkantay Trek with Peru EcoCamps offers a smooth, relaxing and unforgettable experience!
Start and finish:
9 days/8 nights
April – December
Seasonal (see FAQ)
2-8 (per guide)
WHAT IS INCLUDED
✔ 5 nights in Ecocamps
✔ 1 night in Ecolodge
✔ 2 nights in Aranwa + 1 night Inkaterra
✔ Entrance to Machu Picchu
✔ All in-tour ground transportation
✔ Transfers and train tickets
✔ All meals during tour
✔ Specialized guides
✔ Drinking water
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
✘ Flights to Peru and Cusco
✘ Optional activities
✘ Laundry services
✘ Alcoholic beverages
DAY TO DAY PROGRAM
DAY 1: CUSCO
Upon arrival to the Cusco airport, you will be personally met and transferred to your hotel. There will be welcoming drinks awaiting along with a briefing. You will spend the night at Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel, two blocks from Plaza de Armas, the main plaza in Cusco.
DAY 2: CUSCO - CHONTA - PINCOPATA ECOCAMP
This first day will give participants time to adapt to the altitude and begin to prepare physically for the following days’ hiking. We will pick you up from your hotel at 8am for the trip to the Condor Viewing Point at Chonta. Along the way, we will stop and explore one of two archaeological sites: Kuillarumiyoc or Tarahuasi. These sites were important ritual sites during the height of the Inca Empire and still hold great significance in Quechua society today. While driving further, you will enjoy the landscape of the Limatambo valley and spot small farming communities nestled among the valley. Upon reaching Chonta, we will walk for approximately an hour along a narrow track with spectacular views of the Apurimac Canyon. We are almost certain to have the site completely to ourselves as most tourists tend to visit the area later in the afternoon. At the viewing point, there will be time to relax and observe the condors soaring over the canyon, while a specially prepared lunch box will be served. After lunch, we will return to our vehicle and continue to our final destination, Pincopata Ecocamp.
Upon arrival at the Ecocamp, you will be welcomed with a refreshing drink prepared with locally sourced fruits, after which you’ll be escorted to your comfortable domes. You will have plenty of time to take a hot shower and rest until dinnertime, or perhaps enjoy the optional Ecocamp massage service. If resting is not your thing, you can explore the camp’s surroundings. Peru Ecocamp offers optional activities, including horseback riding and mountain biking. The day will end with a delicious three course dinner of typical Peruvian cuisine made from the finest natural ingredients. Overnight at Pincopata Ecocamp.
Driving Distance: 132.5 km / 82.8 mi
Driving Time: 3,5 hrs
Altitude Chonta: 3,400 m
Altitude Pincopata: 2,850 m / 9,348 ft
Option - (Rainy season or Condor nesting)
This second option also leaves Cusco at 8:30am and takes us along the same road from Cusco to Mollepata, where we will stop and explore the archaeological site of Killarumiyoq. The lunar cycle was charted here and fertility rites honoring Mother Earth were performed during the height of the Inca civilization. Incredibly, the moon stone remains untouched and the peaceful site offers the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the Inca culture.
Following this visit, we continue along the road for an hour and a half to the community of Marcahuaylla, from where we start a short walk to access the archaeological remains of Choquechurco (Place where Gold is placed). This sacred place, unknown to many, is on our list of remote sites we like to visit. Situated among a forest of native Polylepis trees, this abandoned site will make you feel like a true explorer. We will discover remains of religious sites and settlements; carved boulders, small squares, and Inca walls covered with moss and vegetation.
From this place, we will have views of Humantay Mountain, the Valley of Limatambo, Apurimac, and the town of Mollepata. Surrounded by remarkable scenery, we will stop to have lunch at this site before continuing the descent to our Pincopata Ecocamp.
Driving Distance: 98.5 km / 61.5 mi
Driving Time: 2.5 hrs
Hiking distance: 6 km / 3.75 mi
Hiking time: 3.5 hrs
Altitude Choquechurco: 3,200 m / 10,500 ft.
Altitude Pincopata: 2,850 m / 9,348 ft.
Upon arrival at Pincopata Ecocamp, we will be greeted with a lovely refreshment made from seasonal fruits and taken to our respective domes to enjoy a hot shower and a deserved rest. If rest is not your thing, you may prefer to walk around the camp or participate in the various extra activities available at the Ecocamp, such as horse-riding and biking. We will end the day with a superb dinner consisting of fresh and locally sourced foods typical of Peruvian-cuisine
DAY 3: PINCOPATA ECOCAMP -SORAY ECOCAMP
After breakfast, we’ll drive 15 minutes to the start of our trail at Marcoccasa. From here, we begin with a short uphill walk before continuing our hike along an aqueduct overlooking the spectacular Rio Blanco Valley and the snow-capped peaks of the Humantay and Salkantay Mountains. We will end at Soray Ecocamp in time for a nourishing light lunch..
During the afternoon, we offer an optional hike to Lake Humantay, a lake nestled at the base of the southern face of the mountain. This 1.5 hour hike will present breath-taking views of the glacial lake of the Humantay Mountain. If you prefer a more laid-back afternoon, however, you can schedule a soothing massage or simply take in the breath-taking views surrounding our camp. We will spend the night at Soray Ecocamp.
Driving time to trail head: 15 min
Distance to trailhead: 8 km /5 mi
Trekking distance: 10 km/6 mi
Trekking time: 4 hrs 30 min
Altitude Soray: 3,883m / 12,737ft
Hiking Level: Moderate
DAY 4: SORAY ECOCAMP - SALKANTAY PASS - HUMANTAY ECOCAMP
Today, we'll experience one of the highlights of our trip; crossing the Salkantay Pass (4,664 m / 15,300 ft). After breakfast, we’ll start our hike along the valley floor gradually starting the ascent whilst crossing several small pampas. The challenging final climb to the pass will be rewarded with dramatic views of Mount Salkantay’s rocky southern face. It can be cold and windy at the pass so make sure to bring a warm jacket and a hat.
At the pass, we’ll have time to celebrate our accomplishment with a delicious picnic lunch before descending to the Salkantay Valley. We will finish the day and spend the night at our high Ecocamp in Huayracmachay with excellent views of Humantay and Salkantay.
Hiking distance: 13.44 km/8.4 mi
Trekking time: 6 - 7 hrs. Approx.
Altitude Huayra: 3,900m / 12,792ft
Hiking Level: Challenging
DAY 5: HUMANTAY ECOCAMP -MILPO ECOCAMP
We will start today by trekking downhill for about an hour before heading gradually uphill to a new trail that offers impressive views of the Vilcabamba mountain range. Here, we will see the peaks of Pumacillo and Choquetacarpo. The trail then continues up into the high grassy planes as far as the Abra Pass, from which we will be able to gaze upon the impressive northwest face of Mount Humantay. Here, we will have lunch with views of the Salkantay and the Manchayhuayco valleys and yet more beautiful mountains, including Camas, Abuela, and Yanama.
After lunch, we’ll start our hike down to the Humantay River Valley to our next Ecocamp, which is situated along the banks of a river. You can use the afternoon to relax at the comfortable Milpo Ecocamp, where we will also have dinner and spend the night.
Hiking distance: 10 km/6 mi Approx.
Trekking Time: 5 – 6 hrs.
Altitude Milpo: 3,100m / 9,840 ft
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
DAY 6: MILPO ECOCAMP - ECOLODGE
After a nutritious breakfast, we will hike down the valley as far as Totora. Part of the hike will be along a country road before we cross the Santa Teresa River and hike along the left side of the valley. This section of our route will take us through the cloud forest where we will have plenty of opportunities to see unique birds and orchid species. When we arrive at Huiñaypocco, our transport will be awaiting to drive us to Ecolodge where we’ll have a special lunch to celebrate our successful trek.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit the local coffee plantation where the local guide will show us how highland coffee beans are picked, processed, and roasted. You will have the opportunity to savor some freshly roasted coffee and even buy some coffee directly from the local farmer.
Since Ecolodge is located in the jungle, the climate here is warm and humid. Don’t forget to bring shorts and insect repellent. We will have dinner and spend the night here.
Trekking distance: 10 km/6 mi Approx.
Trekking Time: 5 - 6 hrs.
Driving time: 30 minutes
Altitude: 1,850m / 6,068ft
Hiking Level: Easy to moderate
DAY 7: ECOLODGE - AGUAS CALIENTES
Today, we will wake up to a cup of local coffee and a tropical breakfast. We provide three options for the morning´s activities depending on your interests: hiking, zip lining, or hot springs. In the afternoon, we will regroup to board the train for the scenic ride to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town) where you’ll have plenty of time to settle into your hotel and explore the small charming town. You will spend the night at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.
Train ride: 35 minutes
Altitude: 2,000m / 6,560ft
Option A: Hike
We will depart from Ecolodge to the trail head the Ecocamp and hike along an Incan trail to the Llactapata Pass (2,865 m / 9,400 ft) before descending down to Llaqtapata; a site with an impressive view of Machu Picchu across the river valley. We'll stop here for lunch and then continue to the bottom of the Aobamba River Valley. We will arrive at the train station to meet the rest of the group.
Hiking distance: 12 km/7.5 mi Approx.
Time Hike: 6 hrs.
Option B: Zip Line
We will begin with a drive through Santa Teresa Valley amidst verdant plantations of coffee, bananas, and other tropical fruits. We'll arrive at the Zipline Park where experts will be waiting to “show us the ropes". Following the safety talk and instructions, we’ll be ready to soar across the Sacsara River Valley. After lunch, we will continue to the train station to join the rest of the group.
Option C: Hot spring
For a more relaxing morning, we’ll drive to the Cocalmayo hot springs located just outside the small town of Santa Teresa. Here, you will find clear steaming hot water flows coming out of the rock into the Urubamba River. We will have plenty of time to relax in these thermal pools before meeting the rest of the group at the train station.
DAY 8: AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO
After breakfast, our local guide will accompany us to the Machu Picchu archaeological site by bus. After checking in at the park entrance, we will be escorted by our guide through these unique Inca ruins where we will uncover the mysteries of the sacred city of Machu Picchu during an in-depth walking tour. Other options during this visit include climbing Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu Mountain. These climbs are physically challenging, but the magnificent views from the peak of both mountains make the effort worthwhile. Please tell us if you want to climb one of the mountains; we need to book this for you in advance.
We will then have lunch at Sanctuary Lodge. After, we will take the bus down to reconnect with your luggage, take the train to Ollantaytambo, and then transfer to a vehicle for the drive back to Cusco. You will enjoy a nice farewell dinner in town and toast to a fantastic adventure! Overnight at Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel.
DAY 9: DEPART
After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to the Cusco airport for your departing flight.
RATES - Minimum 2 People
Tour cost 2019 - Full Experience
Single supplement Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
*when a traveller takes a dome or a hotel alone