The Salkantay Base Camp Trek is for the stronger trekkers who want a more adventurous route to Machu Picchu. It passes the east side of Nevado Salkantay instead of the west like the Normal Salkantay Trek. The route crosses two passes, one at Abra Inkachillaska (5,000mts) and the other at Abra Palqay (4,700m). Just across Abra Palqay is the actual Base Camp to climb the great Apu Salkantay. The trail then descends the wild, uninhabited Ahobamba Valley passing Pre Inca ruins on the way north to Machu Picchu. The route offers spectacular views, flora, fauna and places that are still truly wild compared to the normal over-populated route.  There are very few people who get to travel by this face of Salkantay; it offers the perfect way to avoid the crowds on the way to Machu Picchu.

Highlights:

  • Escape the crowds and push your limits
  • Hike around Salkantay mountain
  • Explore the amazing Ahobamba Valley
  • End at the Incan Citadel Machu Picchu.

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Soray Pampa (3,888m)

We take private transport to the town of Mollepata and have breakfast. Afterwards we arrive to Soray Pampa (3888m) below the south face of Nevado Salkantay. There we will stay in cabins for the night.

Day 2: Soray Pampa - Abra Inkachillaska (5,100m) - Sisaypampa (4,200m) – Abra Palqay (4,700m) – Palqaycasa (4,200m)

We will have breakfast at 6:30am and start our trek up to the pass at 5,100m which should take around 4 hours. After descending two more hours to Sisaypampa (4,200m) we will have lunch. Then we will make the final push to cross the Palqay pass approximately 1.5 hours up and 1.5 down the other side.

Day 3: Palqaycasa – Rayancancha (3,600m)

After a long day, we are treated to a shorter one, having only to travel a few hours down the valley during the day.  This gives us time to soak in the views as the landscape changes from alpine, puna to cloudforest. At the junction of two rivers we arrive to the ruins of a Pre Inca/Inca settlement nestled deep in the valley.  Close to the ruins is our farm where we will arrive with plenty of time to relax and explore a highlight of the trip. Pre-Inca ruins, a nearby waterfall 400ft high, hummingbirds everywhere, at the base of the great Apu, surrounded by high mountain walls, this is the heart of Salkantay.

Day 4: Rayancancha – Rio Ahobamba (2,900m)

For the next two days it is necessary to carry our personal clothing and camping gear down the valley, the Inca trail is too rugged for the horses to go. There are several switch backs as it traverses for the first hour and a half. Then after a small bridge the trail mainly goes down through thick bamboo for 3 to 4 hours more. A little more than halfway down the valley we will camp close to the river in the cloud forest.

Day 5: Rio Ahobamba – Hydroelectric (2,000m) – Aguas Calientes (2,050m)

The morning brings the bird calls as the jungle wakes up around us. From the camp we have a 4-5 hour hike down the valley which becomes more tropical as we descend in altitude. This is where the route joins one of the entrances to the Machu Picchu area at Hydroelectric and is also the end of the trek. Here we will take the train 40 minutes to Aguas Calientes and check in to our hotel.

Day 6: Machu Picchu – Return to Cusco

We awake at the hour of your choosing and go by bus to Machu Picchu. In the afternoon or night we will go by train to Ollantaytambo and then by collective transport to Cusco.

Included in the package:

  • Transportation (Cusco to Soray Pampa, Hydro to AC and Aguas Calientes to Cusco)
  • All group camping equipment
  • Guide
  • Arriero and horse service (will carry all expedition and personal gear to Rayancancha)
  • Food from Lunch Day 1 until Lunch Day 5. (Dinner Day 5 and Lunch +Dinner  Day 6 Not Included)
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance and Guide in Machu Picchu

Not Included in the package:

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Mattress
  • Dinner day 5
  • Lunch & Dinner day 6

 

You will need:

•               clothing for trekking, cold and rain

•               waterproof hiking boots

•               headlamp

•               sleeping bag

•               backpack 35-45 L

•               sunglasses

•               sunscreen

A client should be acclimatized (at least 3 days in Cusco) and in good physical condition. You must have a good backpack and pair of waterproof trekking boots, along with clothing for rain, cold and hot climates. There are no climbing elements involved but dangerous terrain is crossed and unnecessary risks should not be taken.