Alternative Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – 5 Days
Cuzco – Mollepata – Salcantay – Santa Teresa – Machupicchu – Cusco
The alternative route to Machu Picchu is a great idea for those looking for a trek off the beaten path, or if the Inca trail is fully booked when you would like to go. This amazing journey takes you through breathtaking scenes of local flora, plantations, and dramatic mountains sloping into steep valleys.
- Altitude: 1950 – 4600m. / 6398 – 15092 f.
- High Season: April – November
- Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
- Level of Difficulty: Moderate
- Route: Closed in February *A minimum of 2 people are needed for this trek
DAY 1: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA (MARCOCCASA) – SORAYPAMPA
At 5:30am you will leave Cusco with your trekking group where you will go through the quaint village of Mollepata (3000m/9842ft) before heady towards Marcoccasa (3400m/11154ft). Here we will meet your horsemen, porters, and guide and begin a trek you will never forget. We will begin by walking through the amazing valley that is surrounded by dramatic snow-capped peaks such as Humantay (5217m/17116ft) and Salkantay (6264m/20551ft) that we will continue to see through out the trek. We will arrive at the scenic campsite of Soraypampa (3700m/12139ft) in the late afternoon where you can rest and enjoy the beautiful view.
- Climate: cold
- Transport time: 4 hours
- Hiking time: 6 hours
DAY 2: SORAYAPAMPA – SALKANTAY PASS – CHALLWAY
After a hearty breakfast to prepare you for this challenging day, we will begin hiking towards Salkantay Pass (4600m/15092ft). Throughout the day we will have gorgeous views of the snow-capped Salkantay (6264m/20555ft). On the descent you will be immersed in the diverse local vegetation in this lush cloud forest. Finally, we will reach our campsite of Challway (3000m/9842ft) in the heat of the tropical forest, with plenty of mosquitoes.
- Hiking time: 8-9 hours
DAY 3: CHALLWAY – WIÑAYPOCO – LA PLAYA
Today you will be exposed to amazng beauty on the Alternative Inca Trail, as the path today showcases the region’s gorgeous plant life and plantations. We will descend to a thick, humid forest, where will view a great variety of orchids, bromelains, and other exotic plants. Continuing on, we will trek past coffee, cacao, and fruit plantations that make up this fertile land proving produce for Peru. In the villages of Wiñaypoco (2650m/8694ft) you will have plenty of opportunities to meet local families and witness their simplistic way of life. The campsite today will be in the small village of La Playa in the warm cloud forest.
- Hiking time: 6 hours
- Climate: Warm during the day with insects
- Note: If your group would like, it is possible to change the itinerary in order to visit the hot springs in Santa Teresa (1830m/6004ft) today.
4TH DAY: LA PLAYA – LLACTAPATA – AGUAS CALIENTES TOWN
After breakfast, we have a slightly uphill hike towards the ruins of Llactapata (2650m/8694ft) that are located in a gorgeous forest rich with greenery and colorful flowers. Here, we have our first distant view of the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu! After a rest to take in this amazing site, we continue downhill to the hydroelectric station (1950m/6398ft) where the train en-route to Aguas Calientes stops. Here you have the option of continuing to walk to Aguas Calientes with the group or to take the train (for an extra cost), where we will spend the night in a hotel to recover from the trek.
- Climate: Warm with some insects
- Hiking time: 6 hours
5TH DAY: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
At 5:30am we will leave the hotel to reach Machu Picchu (2400m/7874ft) by 6:00am after the short bus ride to the top of the hill. Here you have reached the highlight of your trip to South America at one of the top tourist destinations in the world. You will get a guided tour of about two hours followed by the rest of the day to explore the lost city of the Incas at your leisure. Hours can be lost exploring the gorgeous streets of Machu Picchu, or you could climb Huayna Picchu for the best panoramic view of Machu Picchu. Once you have had your fill of the ruins, take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes where you will have time to refresh your body in the hot springs before boarding the train to return to Cusco.
- Hiking time: 2 hours
End of our Services.
|Hotel Category||Basic||2 Stars||3 Stars||3 Stars +||4 Stars||5 Stars||5 Stars Lux|
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Include / Not Include
- 4 nights camping with equipment
- Porters to carry equipment and personal bags
- Transfer from Cusco hotel to trek starting point
- Standard train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
- Meals indicated: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
- Cooking equipment and staff for meals on the trail
- Tea and snacks
- First aid and oxygen bottle
- English speaking guide for trek and Machu Picchu
- All entrance fees
Price Does Not Include
- International flights and airport taxes
- Domestic flights
- Meals not indicated
- Additional expenses, such as laundry, telephone calls, snacks, etc.
- Travel insurance