This Inka Trail Alternative is the best-combined trek, Visiting Machu Picchu, the Inka Trail Classic, and the Salkantay Trail. In the first 3 days you will be trekking the great Salkantay Trail, full of snow-capped mountains and lakes like the Humantay Lake, all this in the high Andean mountains. You will cross over the Andes range, and the highest place you will be is at 4600 masl (15100 FASL). On the next side of the Andes mountains, you will find the Jungle and in the Jungle the classic Inka Trail. The last 2 days of this trek is to do the last and best part of the Inka Trail and Machu Picchu.
But the greatest part of this is that it is all-inclusive. 2 nights hostel, 2 nights camping, meals, camping gear, transportation, the Machu Picchu, and the Inka Trail tickets.
The Inka Trail Alternative is perfect for those people who didn’t book the Inka Trail Classic in advance, and cannot find available tickets. However, if you are planning your trip in advance, you could find a place for the Inka Trail Classic, Click to check The Inka Trail Classic to Machu Picchu. But, if you are in a hurry, this tour can be done in 2 days, click to check The Inka Trail Short to Machu Picchu in 2 Days.
We will pick you up at 4:30 am from your hotel in Cusco, before embarking on a 4-hour bus ride, our first stop would be in Mollepata at an altitude of 2900meters (9514 FASL) for about 30 minutes break, then continue directly to the last bus stop in Challacancha where we will meet our porters and horses who will carry the equipment and were we start our hiking for 4 hours toward Soraypampa at 3900meters (12795 FASL) beside the Inka water irrigation channels, there we will set-up our first base camp from where we can enjoy the beautiful views of Salkantay´s snowy peak where the temperature oscillates in 10°C during the day and 2°C during the night. And where we will have a break for lunch.
After lunch, we will visit The Humantay Lake at 4200 meters (13779 FASL) for about 1Hour and 30min walking from the camping area which is conditioned with a four seasons tent coated with an additional roof made of straw at an altitude of 3900mters (12800 FASL).
Early in the morning, our assistant will wake up the whole expeditionary to give them a coca tea. So they can be better acclimatized for the height, and then we will take our breakfast, to be ready to start a 3 hours hike, until reaching the highest point of our expedition, the Salkantay Pass 4600meters (15091 FASL). This place is full of wonderful sceneries, with powerful and intimidating Andean mountains. Once at the top we will do what the Inkas used to do in the past, we will pray and ask the Apus (Mountain Gods) the permit to pass. From there, we walk down towards Wayracpunku (windy valley), to have lunch.
Afterward, the trip will continue going to the high jungle where we will observe large trees with their arms extended
over the streams, surrounded by bromeliads and orchids. This walk will take us around 5 hours to reach our base camp in Chaullay 2900meters (9514 FASL), Where we will have dinner and rest.
After having breakfast around 6:30 am, we will head towards Sahuyaco (La Playa) 2000meters (6824 FASL) in a jungle trekking of 3hours, where the temperature oscillates in 25°C during the day and 14°C during the night. Hereafter the short hike, we will take transport to go to the hydroelectric station (2-hours ride), where we will have lunch. afterward, we continue our trip walking for 3 hours flat to reach Aguas Calientes 1550meters (5085 FASL). Once there you have free time in the town, to visit the butterfly sanctuary, the hot springs, or the local handicrafts markets.
Around 7:00 pm, we will enjoy a delicious dinner with the group, we will introduce the new guide specialized in the
Inka Trail and he will explain how will be the next 2 days in the Inka Trail and Machu Picchu, later you will sleep at our hostel provided with hot shower, electricity, wifi, and TV, the rooms are private for couples or groups and shared for solo travelers.
Our trek this day takes us along the most impressive stretch of the Inca Trail. We’ll visit beautiful Inca sites, see a variety of flora and fauna, and enjoy the fantastic views of the Andes mountains. Covering 16km way up, along an original Inca Trail that passes by the Inca site of Winay Wayna, Machu Picchu, and the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). As we make our way to Machu Picchu, we’ll pass through the lush and green cloud forest covering the mountain. Perfect place to see a variety of plants, flowers, and birds along the way. We may also see some larger mammals such as Viscachas (rabbit-like Chinchillas) and Spectacled Bears (if we are very lucky).
After a full day trekking (6-hours), we’ll arrive at the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) in the late afternoon, and get our first views of Machu Picchu spread out on the mountain below. The light at this time of day is great, and with few tourists on the site, it makes a perfect time to take some pictures of the site. After we’ve passed through the Sun Gate, we’ll enjoy Machu Picchu for a while. Then walk down for 1 hour more to Aguas Calientes Town, where we will have dinner and will sleep now again in the same room.
On this day we will wake up really early at 4:00 am, in order to start the trek to Machu Picchu, where the guide will be waiting for you at the entrance. The purpose is to see the beautiful sunrise in the Macchu Picchu. This section of ascent to the citadel will take an approximate of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Once we get Machu Picchu we will have a 2 hours tour along with the most important places of this site, to illuminate you especially of the rich history of the ancient ruins. You will learn about its importance, its religions, and its history, and we will also be able to appreciate its beautiful architecture done by the Incas. After the 2 hours with the guide, you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu by yourself until you want.
There are 2 mountains to climb, if you are planning to add it you have to do it in advance. You can do only one, and the price is $70USD no matter which one you add, the Machu Picchu mountain, or the Huaynapicchu mountain.
After Machu Picchu, we will meet up in Aguas Calientes in the afternoon, to take the train back to Cusco. When you click in the button “Book this Tour” you will have many additions to add, and also the return train schedule you prefer.
We have Daily departures for this tour. The weather is dry all year. However, between December and April, there are a few rain spots, but it is not a big deal. Machu Picchu and the Inka Trail are on the other side of the Andes Mountains and in a lower place, the temperature can be around 25°C during the day and 13°C During the night. Nevertheless, Salkantay is so cold 12°C during the day and 2°C during the night. That is why on this tour you need summer and winter clothes. Click to check the Peruvian wheater.
There are many destinations into Machu Picchu like the Machu Picchu Mountain, Huayna Picchu Mountain, the Inka Bridge, and the Sun Gate, the first 2 have to be booked on time and the last 2 are for free. Click to know more about The Destination inside of Machupicchu.
Maybe you know that Machu Picchu was not the principal city of the Inka empire. However, was a sacred temple to receive the new year. If you are interested to know the timeline of the Inka history, I recommend you to visit Cusco (the capital of the Inka Empire), Click to see The Destinations in Cusco. After Cusco, the Inkas built the Sacred valley, Click to see The Destinations in the Sacred Valley, and then they built Machu Picchu and the great Inka Trail. if you visit those destinations first, you will be an Inka History expert when you reach Machu Picchu.
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