Salcantay .......horizon south of Cuzco, the magnificent peak of
Ausangate (6,333 meters) is the highest and most sacred mountain in Southern Peru. For centuries it
has been central to the religious beliefs of the Andean people and pilgrimages to its icy slopes -
which since the Spanish conquest have become a hybrid of indigenous and Catholic rites - are still
made by local people. The scenery of Ausangate is a spectacular with it's snow capped peaks and
glaciers that look down impassively on seemingly endless grasslands studded with turquoise lakes
and thermal pools. In the area you can see herds of llamas and alpacas that graze under the watchful
eyes of their owners, who live in the same isolated and picturesque villages that their ancestors
founded countless generations ago. This trip is culturally enriched and as well a hearty trek for
the avid outdoors person.
Day 1 - Cuzco - Mollepata
This morning we will journey west through the Anta Valley and over the Vilcaconga pass.
Descending into the warm and dry Apurimac Valley we visit the Inca temple of
Tarawasi, a fine example of Inca ceremonial stonework. A little further
along the road we climb to the village of Mollepata, where our mule drivers
will be waiting to load our things on to horses or mules. We will then walk
a short distance towards a nearby valley where we will camp at 3250m
(10,660ft), from where we will get fine views of the Apurimac Valley below
us. ( L/D )
Day 2 - Rio Blanco
We climb a summit above the Rio Blanco which is fed by Salkantay's principal
glacier. It is common to see condors along this section of the trail. From
our campsite at 3800m (12,500ft) we will have our first sight of the south
face of the Salkantay massif (6247m / 20.600ft). ( B/L/D )
Day 3 - Salkantay Base Camp
We continue our steep ascent up the enormous glacier, arriving at our most
spectacular campsite at 4600 metres (15,100ft) directly below the south face
of Salkantay. It was from here that a Japanese team successfully climbed the
knife edge ridge that begins at our camp and ends at the summit. ( B/L/D )
Day 4 - Salkantay - Qoriwayrachina
Today we will cross a pass at 4200m (14,104ft). Our trail continues along
the Paucarcancha valley, where we will observe the irrigation system built
by the Incas to carry water to the terraces in this area. We descend to the
community of Huayllabamba and continue towards Qoriwayrachina (Km88 of the
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu). Here we will make our last camp ( B/L/D )
Day 5 - Qoriwayrachina - K.104 Winay Wayna - Machu Picchu
From our camp site we will transfer to the local train station and proceed by train to Km104.
where we cross the Urubamba river and hike to the archaeological complex of Choquesuysuy.
Here the Inca trail climbs slowly to half-way up the mountain where we arrive at Wiñay Wayna,
surrounded by lush vegetation. On the way we pass a high waterfall where we can stop to relax and
cool off before we reach the Winay Wayna complex which was once inhabited by farmers who used
terraces to reclaim these steep slopes for agriculture. We will encounter about twenty constructions
which have all been recently restored, as well as an irrigation system and a splendid Inca temple.
That afternoon we will continue along the trail to Machu Picchu, enjoying along the way the spectacular
scenery, with the river far below, and the snowy peaks emerging from the surrounding cloud forest.
Following a path which is very narrow in places, we eventually arrive at the Sun Gate above Machu Picchu
from where we will get our first glimpse of the ruins below us. From here it is a forty minute walk to Machu Picchu.
( Note: lodging is not included tonight and available in the area.( B/L/D )
Day 6 - Machu Picchu - Cuzco
Early morning wake we enjoy the prepared breakfast then proceed to the mythical site of Machu Picchu.
( You can either board the tourist bus or for the hearty hiker you can proceed by foot.)
On your arrival you will get a magnificent view of the forgotten city of Machu Picchu. As you proceed
into the National Park your guide will explain the history and the
myths that surround this archaeological wonder. Several ideas or possibilities have been noted of
this massive archaeological complex of acropolis proportion. Your guide can as well take you to the
the top of Huayna Picchu or a visit to the Inti Punku Pass ( Gate of the Sun ) Time will also be
allowed for more exploration and photography of the area. Wether this site was pre Incan, a previous
leaders sanctuary for his retirement, maybe a location for the virgins to be separated from the kingdom
and used as wives for the Inca rulers or even sacrificial for the gods. It seems that the world will never know.
After a time spent visiting the more important locations, you will proceed either to your hotel of choice or
transfer by bus to Aguas Calientes to board the 3:00 p.m. auto wagon train for your return to Cuzco.
After your arrival into the Cuzco and the train station our staff will meet and transfer you to your hotel.
(6:45-7:00 p.m.)(Note: hotel not incl.( B )
INCLUDES: All treks are First Class Service (unless other wise stated at time of booking), bi-lingual guide, cook, either porters, mule or horse for
gear & personal items, all required equipment, meals where noted, entry fees into parks
and all transfers in/out.
NOT INCLUDED: Local air, meals not shown, hotel nights in Machu Picchu, departure taxes & additional incidentals.
Availability on the Inca Trail is regulated by the Peru government. You can call TAMBO TOURS - 1-888-246-7378 and we will check the Inca Trail spaces and availability.