12 Day Andean Highlights: Cusco & Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu & Puno
DAY 1: CUSCO NAVEL OF THE WORLD – MUSEO INKA Y KORICANCHA (D)
Upon your arrival in Cusco, a representative of Inkayni Peru tours will wait for you at the airport to assist you with transportation to your respective hotel. Free morning and afternoon to acclimatize to the altitude (3,400 meters). In the evening there will be a welcome buffet dinner, with Typical music and dances and an introduction to your guides and the epic journey we are beginning.
Lodging: Cusco – Tandapata Boutique hotel *** or Similar.
DAY 2: CHINCHERO (TEXTILE INTERPRETATION CENTER)- -MORAY-MARAS (SOLD MINES)
Chinchero: the rainbow village, home of the ruins of the royal palace of the Inka Túpac Inca Yupanqui. Here we can admire the well-preserved Inka walls of the main square as well as the many altars. We will also visit the beautiful colonial church, unique for its interior artwork and imagery. Moving on we will participate in a wonderful introduction and learning experience of the art of Andean textiles; will become acquainted with the wisdom of Andean weavings as maintained since long before Inka times.
In the afternoon we will visit Moray, an ancient construction designed for agricultural investigations and studies of different crops in a range of altitudes. Here the many concentric “rings” of terraces produce a fine gradient of micro-climates; the warmth of the lowest central ring slowly dissapates as the rings ascend outward and upward, creating reductions in temperatures until reaching the ground-level norm.
Lodging: Cusco-Tandapata Boutique hotel *** or Similar
DAY 03 TO 07 : SALKANTAY TREK
DAY 03 FIRST DAY TREK: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SORAYPAMPA (L)(D)
We will leave from Cusco approximately between 4:30a.m. and 5:00a.m. A bus will take us to the town of Mollepata (2900 meters above sea level) where we will arrive approximately at 8:00 in the morning, we will stop for last minute supplies, leg-stretching or to use the restrooms. We will continue to our trek starting point, Sayapata.
We will meet with our support staff, and they will load the equipment on horses and mules. Around 9:00 a.m., we will begin our walk toward Soraypampa (3850 meters above sea level). During the trip we will have panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay, other mountains covered with snow, and the Valley of Apurimac River. About 1:00p.m., we will have a Peruvian lunch. After lunch, we will continue hiking toward Humantay Lake for 3 hours aproximately, this is a beautiful lake in the mountains. We will come back to our camp where the tents will be ready for you as well as your dinner.
DAY 4: SECOND DAY TREK: SORAYPAMPA – CHALLWAY (B)(L)(D)
Today, nature will change drastically from dry sceneries to snowy peaks and tropical areas. After a nutritious breakfast, we will start the most difficult part of the trek. We will start the hike around 7:00 in the morning. We will hike to a place called Pampas Salkantay, then go toward the left side of the snowy peaks of Umantay located next to the Apu Salkantay. At midday, we will be on the highest point ( 4600 meters above sea level).
We will appreciate spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay (6264 meters above sea level) which is known as the second highest point of the Cusco region. Around 1:00 p.m., we will have our lunch, in the area called Huayracmachay. After a trek of approximately 3 hours, we will arrive to our camp in Challway (2920 meters above sea level). Around 7:00p.m., we will recuperate from the trek and eat dinner.
DAY 5: THIRD DAY TREK: CHALLWAY – LA PLAYA – LUCMABAMBA (B)(L)(D)
Around 7:00a.m., we will start our trek and we will enjoy the beautiful sunrise. We will walk for about 5 hours toward Playa Sahuayaco and during this period; we will observe a town called Collpabamba, also called the “Forest Cloudy Brow” where waterfalls, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora, and birds can be observed. If we are lucky, we will be able to observe the famous bird called the “Cock of the Rocks’.the national bird of peru Once at Playa Sahuayaco lunch. After lunch we are going to hike couples hours more to get at lucmabamba which is our last camp site also the beginning of the inca trail of Llacta pata.
DAY 6: FOURTH DAY TREK: LUCMABAMBA – LLAPTAPATA -HIDROELECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES (16KM , HOURS 9)
Around 8.00am. we will gradually hike up for about 2 hours to finally get to Llapta Pata a beautiful archeological site which has connections to the Inca sites Machupicchu and Sayacmarka. We will have plenty of time to explore this nice Inca site and will then start our descent to Hydro-Electrica (power plant) which will take us about 1 ½ hours. A pleasant 3 hours walk will bring us to Aguas Calientes where we will stay in a hostal for the night. After having stored our baggage we will go out and have dinner together in one of the many restaurants.
Lodging: Aguas Calientes -Waman Hotel *** or similar
DAY 7: FIFTH DAY TREK: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO (B)
This last day starts very early. We will wake you up at around 5.00 am have breakfast and then take one of the first buses to Machu Picchu. There are two good reasons to be at the entrance of Machu Picchu very early:
1.- It is well worth the effort to get up early as the Inca city is quietest in the early morning and you will have plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the sun rise over Machu Picchu.
2.- Our guide will give you a tour around Machu Picchu telling you about the history of Machu Picchu and the most important temples and altars. Of course he will also take you to the classical view point (sacred Rock Hut), this vantage point offers a terrifc view of the whole inkan city. After that you will have free time to explore the site on your own again or if you still have plenty of energy you should climb Huayna Picchu Mountain. This is the steep mountain dominating the background of Machu Picchu.
From the top of Waynapichu you have an absolutely stunning and breathtaking view of the complete Machupicchu area. It takes 1 hour to climb Waynapichu and 1 to 1 ½ hours (depending if you want to make a detour to the great cavern) to return down. Once you feel that you have seen every corner of Machupicchu you will take a bus down to the village of Aguas Calientes to have lunch.
Usually we take the bus at around 1:00 pm. The bus ride takes around 25 minutes and your guides will give you the ticket. Make sure that, before you leave Machu Picchu by bus, the guides give you time and location of the restaurant where the group meets in Aguas Calientes. You will get your train and bus tickets back to Cusco in the restaurant in Aguas Calientes.
Lodging: Cusco-Tandapata Boutique hotel *** or Similar
DAY 8: FREE DAY.
Free day to explore the old capital of the Inca Empire, the legendary navel of the world. Colonial churches, mutiple parks and squares, and colonial mansions built atop perfectly constructed original Inca walls. Artesian stores full of souvenirs of all kinds – weavings, jewelry, stonework and more! And of course, local restaurants with the best of Andean cuisine!.
Lodging: Cusco Tandapata Boutique hotel *** or Similar
DAY 9 : DEPARTURE TO PUNO (ROUTE OF THE SUN) (L)
In the morning we will depart from the bus terminal and head towards Puno. This is a special journey by bus which allows us to visit the many diverse locations along the way on the route of the sun. There will we planned stops to visit the following:
- Andahuaylillas (the sistine chapel of the Americas; this temple is one of the best examples of the fusion between Catholic and Andean religions)
- Raqchi: A Inka temple dedicated to the god Wiracocha, construction of monumental dimensions, an estimated 100 meters long, 26m wide, 14m high. This is the only known temple dedicated to the God Wiracocha, creator of the Universe.
- La Raya: Midway point on our journey and highest point on the road – 4335 m.s.n.m. The impressive views here allow us to admire the rugged high altitude, full of tall peaks, many of which are snow-capped, and herds of llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. This is the geografic border between two cultures, the Quechua of Cusco and the Aymara of Puno.
- Pucara: This ceremonial center is one of the oldest and most important of the high plains, well known for its lithic structures and tombs.
Lodging: Puno-QALASAYA HOTEL **** or similar.
DAY 10: UROS (FLOATING ISLANDS) – AMANTANI ISLAND (L) (D)
A full day of boat excursion afloat Lake Titicaca. We will visit the ancient culture of the Uros and step foot on their floating islands. The islanders will give us a presentation about their lifestyle upon their man-made islands, built using the totora reed which grows among the shores of the lake. We will learn about their existence on these small islands and how they have adapted to its conditions.
Continuing across the lake we will arrive to the island of Amantani. Here we will meet the Quechua families that will offer us a cosy home-stay style lodging and prepare us traditional food for lunch. After lunch we will make the short ascent to the two hilltops of the island while observing the daily lifestyle of the local people. Atop of the island we will visit two ancient pre-Inka temples, Pachatata and Pachamama (father & mother cosmos). In the evening after dinner the community members will hold a small welcoming party for us.
Lodging: Amantani (HOME STAY)
DAY 11: TAQUILE – PUNO
After breakfast on Amantani we will board the boat again to make the short trip to the neighboring island of Taquile. Here we will ascend the beautiful stone paths to the community, a small and quite shy population, not to mention very hard-working and wise, a culture full of art and tradition. Taquiles’ people are cheerful and proud of their origen and culture, happy to share with us the beautiful atmosphere of island life upon the immense lake Titicaca.
Lodging: Puno-QALASAYA HOTEL or similar.
DAY 12: PUNO – JULIACA – FINISH THE TOUR
A brief transfer from Puno to the neighboring city of Juliaca (End the tour).
INCLUDES BEFORE AND AFTER THE TREK.
- 07 night’s accommodations in.(05 night 03 stars hotels, Cusco and Machupicchu, 02 night 04 stars hotel-Puno) 01 night Home
- stay in Amantani
- 11 breakfast included in the accommodations.
- Bus to Puno.(Route of the sun)
- Uros,Amantani,Takile tours.(Puno)
- Tour leader during whole tripAll transfers.
- All transportation.
- All tours.
- Professional English Speaking Tour Guide.
- All entrances
- 02 Dinner (01 Buffet dinner, 01 home stay dinner)
- 02 Lunch ( 01 Buffet Lunch, 01 home stay Lunch)
INCLUDES FOR THE TREK:
- Professional English Speaking Tour Guide.
- Assistant Tour Guide for groups of 9+.
- Mules to carry cooking and camping equipment
- Mules to carry cooking your personal items for 07kg.
- Pick-up and transportation from your hotel to the start of the trail.
- Water (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own).
- 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Afternoon Snacks and 4 Dinners.
- Dining tent with tables and chairs.
- 4 man tent for every 2 trekkers.
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes, Day 4.
- Inflatable mattress.
- Oxygen bottle.
- First aid kit.
- Entrance to Machu Picchu.
- Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip)
- Train ticket Aguas Calientes-Ollantaytambo
- transportation Ollantaytambo-Cusco.
- International and Intra flights.
- Meals where are not stated
- Huayna Picchu entrance fee. Extra US$45.
- Sleeping Bag (Can be hired from us US$35).
- Single Supplement US$450 (solo travelers)
- Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trip.
- Last lunch at Aguas Calientes.(During the Trek)
- Meals where not otherwise stated as included.
- Gratitude or tips for your crew (cooks, horse herders, guides)
Things to Bring
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING FOR THE TREK:
- Original Passport
- ISIC card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
- Warm jacket
- Hat and gloves
- Comfortable Trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
- Insect repellant
- Toiletries and hand sanitiser
- Personal medication
- Camera and film
- Torch with spare batteries