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Located in the Andean Vilcabamba mountain range is the Salkantay Nevada, passing through stunning landscapes from the cloud forest to high mountains

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The Apu Salkantay (6,264 masl / 20551 ft) is a sacred mountain in the Vilcabamba range, located to the south of the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu.

This mountain, together with the Southern Cross, served as a point of reference for astrological observation developed by the Incas (from Machu Picchu), especially during the June and December solstices. Its location supports the concept of “sacred geography”, under which the Incas developed Andean civilisation.

The best time of year to visit the Apu Salkantay is during the Winter, from April to October. Temperatures range from -5º C / 41 ºF to 23º C / 73 ºF; with a scarce chance of rain. The maximum altitude we will reach is 4643 masl / 15233 ft at the Salkantay pass, with the minimum altitude being 2000 masl / 6562 ft in the town of Aguas Calientes.

The ecological levels we will experience will vary from Quechua, Suni, Puna and Janca (inter-Andean valleys and rainforest) with all their characteristic flora and fauna. All of this amid spectacular geography.


Day 1: Cuzco – Soyroqocha

We leave Cuzco early in the morning towards the town of Mollepata by private transport for the trip of approximately 4 hours.  We will travel to the north west, crossing the Pampas de Anta or Yawar Pampa (Blood Pampa), named for the ferocious battle which took place here between the Incas and the Chancas, for the control of the city of Cuzco. We continue to the town of Limatambo, where we can visit the archaeological site of Tarawasi.

Upon arrival at Mollepata, we will have a short break, and then continue our journey for approximately another 2 hours to Soraypampa (3268 masl / 10722 ft)  where we will have lunch.
Our walk begins with a moderate climb to SALKANTAYPAMPA (4153 masl / 13625 ft), where we will have a spectacular view of the Apu Salkantay.  We begin our steep climb with a wonderful view of the snow-capped peak, and arrive at our campsite at Soyroqocha (4485 masl / 14715 ft).  At this campsite we can expect a very cold night (0º C / 32 ºF or below). The gradient of the climb is moderate.  Overnight.

Meals: lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 4485 masl / 14715 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 3268 masl / 10722 ft 
Distance Travelled: 5 km / 3.10 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 3 hrs

Day 2: Soyroqocha – Colpapampa

We can get up later this morning to avoid the freezing cold early morning.  We will climb uphill for about 45 minutes to the Salkantay pass, where we can build apachetas (stone towers), to later begin our descent towards Wayrajmachay (3932 masl / 12900 ft).  We then continue towards the Humantay valley and arrive at our campsite at Colpapampa about 5 hours later.  The gradient is moderate.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 4650 masl / 15340 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 2840 masl / 9372 ft 
Distance Travelled: 11 km / 6.83 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 7 hrs

Day 3: Colpapampa – Playa Santa Teresa

An easy trek today of about 4 hours.  We walk along the Banks of the Santa Teresa river crossing a forest of native trees.  We will pass a beautiful water fall and coffee and fruit tree plantations.  Our campsite at La Playa has some facilities and we can refresh ourselves in the river.  The gradient is moderate.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 2840 masl / 9372 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 2088 masl / 6850 ft 
Distance Travelled: 10 km / 6.21 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 7 hrs

Day 4: Playa Santa Teresa – Aguas Calientes

Leaving early, we walk along the road for about 45 minutes and then turn off onto the footpath leading to the Aobamba valley.  The climb will take approximately 2 hours, through a forest of native trees to the archaeological site of Llactapata, where we will have views of Machu Picchu and of the Apu Salkantay.  We continue downhill to cross the Aobamba river and arrive at the train station at the Hidroélectica (hydro-electric plant).
Here we take our train, with the possibility of travelling to Aguas Calientes, Ollantaytambo, or Cuzco.

For those who want to visit Machu Picchu we can stay overnight in a hotel in Aguas Calientes or use the municipal campsite just outside the town.

Meals: breakfast

Maximum Altitude: 2800 masl / 9240 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 1900 masl / 6233 ft 
Distance Travelled: 9 km / 5.59 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 7 hrs  


Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cuzco

Early in the morning we take the bus from the town of Aguas Calientes to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.  We have the opportunity to climb the difficult path to the top of the Huayna Picchu mountain, which offers spectacular and different views, it is even possible to see the Apu Salkantay.
The tour of Machu Picchu allows us to appreciate the high level of development achieved by Andean civilisation through the Incas.

A supremely religious site, Machu Picchu demonstrates the superior knowledge achieved in astronomy and astrology.  This knowledge of measuring the rainy and dry seasons through the solstices is indispensable for the development of agriculture; the life-source of the Andes.  We will try to spend as long as possible in the archaeological complex, depending on what time our train back to the city of Cuzco leaves.

Meals: —

Maximum Altitude: 2437 masl / 7995 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 2070 masl / 6791 ft 
Distance Travelled: 1.50 km / 0.93 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 3 hrs


Group Service – Price per Person
1234 – 10
Private Service – Price per Person

Services included

  • Private transportation Cuzco – Soraypampa
  • Guide service in Spanish/ English
  • Sleeping bag per person (-10 ºC – Eureka – Cimarron – mummy form, our sleeping bags are cleaned after every use) – available in private service
  • Sleeping liner – available in private service
  • Pillow – available in private service
  • Inflatable sleeping pad (Therm A Rest) – available in private service
  • Cook and assistant
  • Cooking equipment
  • Snacks
  • Daily tea service
  • Dining equipment including chairs and tables (Travel Chair)
  • Cooking, eating and bathroom (The Pett) tents
  • Portable environmental toilet (The Pett)
  • Food (4 breakfast, 4 lunch, 4 dinner)
  • Lunch at 5th day at Machu Picchu – available in private service
  • Vegetarian menu at no extra cost
  • Two person tents (3-people capacity tent used as doubles – 4 seasons)
  • Single tents available for extra cost – USD$ 15.00 per night
  • Mule-handlers
  • Mules – for transportation of our camping equipment and transportation of personal belongings (available in private service)
  • Saddled horse (for every 6 passengers there is one saddled horse)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • One Pachatusantrek kit of 100% biodegradable products (toiletries) – available in private service
  • Pachatusantrek water resistant duffel bag for carrying personal stuff (on loan)
  • Pre departure briefing
  • Train ticket Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Round trip bus ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket Aguas Calientes – Poroy – Expedition
  • Transportation from Poroy station to the hotel in Cuzco

Services not included

  • Extra food
  • Optional tip for field staff
  • Extra costs
  • Evacuation costs
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes


We recommend that you bring

  • Water-resistant trekking shoes and sandals
  • Warm clothing (thermal underwear, fleece, hat, gloves, socks)
  • Waterproof clothing (poncho)
  • Synthetic or cotton clothing (socks, trousers, shorts, t-shirts)
  • Sunhat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream and insect repellent
  • Water bottles such as Nalgene
  • Basic medications
  • Walking sticks
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Personal items
  • Personal snacks
  • Previous acclimatization in Cuzco city, for at least 2 days and general good health. Pachatusantrek offers easy one day and half day routes which can be completed before the main trek
  • DNI / Original Passport

Please note

  • For the group prices
  • We apply the 4 – 10 range price when we open a group
  • We need 4 persons to open one group
  • In case you are less number of persons and there is no any group open we will apply the price according to the number of persons.

Camping equipment for rent

  • Please check the difference between a group and a private service
  • Group service does not include the following services
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping liner
  • Pillow
  • Inflatable sleeping pad
  • Transportation of your personal belongings
  • Pachatusantrek biodegradable toiletries, please ask for our camping equipment and extra services to rent.

Important Environmental Note

Pachatusantrek is committed to following the principles of ecotourism in our operations, and request the understanding and cooperation of trekkers, especially by not contaminating the waters and in the adequate disposal of non-biodegradable waste.  We must also respect the customs and traditions of the local people.

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