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 - Salcantay 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 - Huayllabamba
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 where we will say goodbye to our mule drivers and
continue with porters to carry our gear. Camp at Huayllabamba.
where we will camp. ( B/L/D )
Day 5 - Huayllabamba - Pacaymayo
From the village of Huayllabamba the trail climbs steadily through high
Andean woodland to a plain called Llulluchapampa just before the first pass,
from where there are excellent views of the Huayanay mountain chain. After
another two hours walking we will reach the pass of Warmiwa˝uska
(4050m/13,280ft), before descending as far as the canyon of the Pacaymayo
River where we will make our second campsite. ( B/L/D )
Day 6 - Pacaymayo - Phuyupatamarca
The trail now climbs to the second pass at Runkuraqay from where we will be
able to see the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges. After a short rest
we will descend slowly along a paved Inca road to the ruins of Runkuraqay
and Sayacmarca which have been recently restored. Here we enter the cloud
forest and in the afternoon the trail descends via a stone staircase to the
ruins of Phuyupatamarca, where we will make our camp.( B/L/D )
Day 7 - Phuyupatamarca - Machu Picchu - Cuzco
The trail descends down a vertiginous slope along a remarkable set of stone Inca steps for approximately
three hours to the ruins of Wi˝ay Wayna, a beautiful Inca site in the middle of a dense forest.
In the afternoon we will walk for another two hours until we reach Intipunku, the Sun Gate, from
where we will get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu below us. On your arrival 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.
Time will also be allowed for more exploration and photography of the area. After a time spent visiting the more important locations, you will continue to Aguas Calientes to
board the by Expedition or Vistadome train (Hiram Bingham train available on request.)for your return to Cuzco.
After your arrival into the Cuzco our staff will meet and transfer you to the hotel of choice.( B ) ( NOTE: hotel night not included.)
INCLUDES: All treks are PRIVATE 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, 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.