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INCA ALTERNATIVE

Code:FCUZ02
Tour:INCA ALTERNATIVE
Duration:6 Days
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The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu consists of three overlapping trails. Concern about overuse leading to erosion has led the Peruvian government to place a limit on the number of people who may hike this trail per season. As a result, advance booking is mandatory.

The Salkantay Trek was named among the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine and is an equally breathtaking alternative to the Inca Trail.

Salkantay is the highest peak of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, part of the Peruvian Andes. Directly to the north of Salkantay lies Machu Picchu, Viewed from Machu Picchu's main sundial, the Southern Cross is above Salkantay's summit when at its highest point in the sky during the rainy season. The Incas associated this alignment with concepts of rain and fertility, and considered Salkantay to be one of the principal deities controlling weather and fertility in the region west of Cuzco.


For more information about this tour, or for information about other tour options available, please CONTACT US.
DAY 1: LIMA / CUSCO
Transfer is waiting for you upon your arrival to the airport. Our representative will point out the city's landmarks and brief you on some of its many attractions along the way to your selected hotel.

Accommodation at Wasi Hotel – Standard twin room

DAY 2: CUSCO TO ANDENES 4D/3N SALKANTAY
Breakfast at hotel.
Depart hotel private transport and start a scenic morning bus-drive to our trek starting point at Soraypampa. Along the four-hour drive, we’ll pass through the town of Limatambo (2100m/6888ft), an important point of access to the city of Cusco during the time of the Inca Empire, where the archaeological remains of Tarawasi are located. The road continues up a beaten track along the right shore of the Apurimac River and crosses the town of Mollepata (2800m/9184ft) and the small community of Cruzpata (2750m/9020ft) to finally reach Soraypampa (3800m/12464ft), the starting point of the trek, where we meet our wranglers and horses. After a short introduction and a quick breakfast, we start our hike towards the base of Mt. Salkantay (6271m/20569ft), crossing Salkantay pampa, and then starting a 2 hrs steep ascent to Soyroccocha, just next to the impressive glacier of Salkantay (4200m/13776ft). Continuing uphill, we reach the Abra Huayracmachay (4600m/15088ft), the highest mountain pass in the program where, besides enjoying stunning views of the surrounding glaciers and the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range with the south face of Salkantay towering above us, we may also observe chinchillas and condors in their natural habitat. From this point, we start descending towards a more tropical climate and into the so-called cloud forest. Along the route, we can see the remains of an ancient Inca path, which is approximately 6 meters wide. A long, easy descent brings us late afternoon to our first campsite at Andenes (3,500m/11480ft)

Total distance: 18 km (11,25 miles)
Estimated walking time: 8-9 hours
Maximum altitude point: 4,600 m (15,088 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)

DAY 3: ANDENES / LUCMABAMBA

Wake up at 6 am for breakfast and start walking with the first rays of sun.
Today we continue our hike with an easy downhill walk along the Salkantay River, enjoying the increasingly lush vegetation, passing waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. The arid highland landscape begins to transform into a cloud forest filled with trees and bromeliads. After 1,5-2 hours we arrive at the settlement of Chaullay, and after another 45 minutes to the town of Collpapampa. From Collpapampa, the Salkantay River becomes the Santa Teresa River. After a rest, we continue our descent to the banks of the Totora River, then passing the waterfalls at Coripacchi, the settlement at Wiñaypoko, the bustling small town of La Playa and finally our second camp at Lucmabamba (2,100m/6888ft). On the way we can see plantations of banana, coffee, and avocado, as well as exuberant local flora. We enter spectacled-bear territory and we will probably be accompanied by flocks of parrots as we descend. At dinner we can enjoy a glass of wine by the light of the camp-fire.

Total distance: 20 km (12.50 miles)
Estimated walking time: 8-9 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,100 m (6,888 ft


DAY 4: LUCMABAMBA / AGUAS CALIENTES

After breakfast, we start climbing for 2-3 hours up to El Mirador or Abra Q'elloqasa (2860m/9381ft) from where we have an exceptional view of the Lost City of the Incas, the legendary Machu Picchu, from a different angle. We enjoy a last lunch in nature at the lookout point of Llaqtapata (2650m/8692ft) from where we can view both Machu Picchu and the Salkantay Mountain and take a good rest, enjoying the added value of the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. A 2-hour descent towards the Aobamba River crossing lush bamboo forests and more orchards and coffee plantations brings us to the hydroelectric plant of Machu Picchu from where we board a train that takes us to Aguas Calientes (short, scenic 40-minutes train ride).

Total distance: 12 km (7, 50 miles)
Estimated walking time: 5-6 hours
Maximum altitude point: 2,650 m (8,692 ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,000 m (6,560 ft)

Accommodation at El MAPI Hotel – Standard Twin Room

DAY 5: AGUAS CALIENTES / MACHU PICCHU / CUZCO
We wake up early and board a bus to Machu Picchu where we begin a guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. You will then have free time to walk around, climb up the Huayna Picchu Mountain, where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it (please note that there are only 400 visitors allowed per day), or visit the Temple of the Moon or the impressive Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where, if you like, you can visit and relax in its hot springs. From here we take the train back to the city of Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall.

Lunch at Santuary Lodge.

Vistadome train to Ollanta Station.

Accommodation at Munay Wasi Hotel – Standard twin room

DAY 6: CUSCO / LIMA

Breakfast at hotel.
You will be picked up from your hotel at the appointed time and transferred to the airport, accompanied by our representative.

Rates Include:

- Private transfers
- Accommodation and meals mentioned in the itinerary
- Salkantay Package 4D/3N (PC)
- Private services with English/Spanish speaking local guide

Not Included:
- Air tickets to Peru.
- Cuzco Tourist tax
- International departure tax
- Meals not mentioned in itinerary.
- Personal expenses (laundry, beverages, etc)


For more information about this tour, or for information about other tour options available, please CONTACT US.
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