This amazing alternative hike tour to Machu Picchu has been designed for adventure travelers whose loves the nature and with a tight budget.
What you need to take/ Carry.
Today is the final stretch of the trek before we reach Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. The focus of today is a visit to the Inca site of Llactapata sat on the mountainside high above. Following an original Inca Trail, we will arrive to Llactapata by early to mid-morning and can enjoy the fantastic views of Machu Picchu that we get from here. After a tour of Llactapata in which we will learn about the Inca people and their culture we, will head back down the mountainside to the Hydroelectric Station from where we will walk to Aguas Calientes and spend the night here.
Our destination today is the village of La Playa about 12km down the valley from Colpapampa. Our route takes us along the Lluskamayo River through an area that is teeming with life and that has various coffee and fruit plantations. The scenery in this area is not as stunning as the previous day but the warmth and lush vegetation are a welcome respite from the high mountains we have left behind. Tonight we will stay at the village of La Playa (2400m / 7874ft.) which is well connected and there are plenty of places where you can buy snacks and refreshments, you can also try some of the locally grown coffee. If you are interested there is the option to visit, some hot springs that are close by, let your guide know in advance so that he can organize this for you.
Today is the longest and hardest day of the trek but also the most beautiful. The scenery throughout the day goes from one extreme to another; starting from the high Puna covered in Ichu grass we make our way up and over Salkantay pass where everything is rock and ice and then descend the far side down to the warm and lush cloud forest below. Along the way we will see a variety of wildlife from the small finches that scrape by at the higher altitudes to hummingbirds and toucans in the cloud forest, there is also a chance to see Andean Fox, White Tailed Deer and Viscacha (rabbit-like Chinchillas). Our campsite for tonight is at Colpapampa (2900m / 9514ft), it is recommended you put on insect repellant from this point on as the mosquitoes in the area have a nasty bite.
Early in the morning, we will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. Today’s trek begins at the small village of Challacancha high above the Rio Blanco Valley. Following a wide, well established track we will gently make our way up the side of the valley covering a distance of about 16km /9.9 miles and climbing 1200m /3937ft. The views throughout the day are fantastic, all around us are verdant green mountains, along the path are a wide variety of native plants and flowers with birds flitting in and out and towards the end of the day we’ll see the snow-capped peaks of Humantay and Salkantay (the Savage) looming high above us. Our campsite for tonight is at Soraypampa (4000m / 12750ft.), the nights can get chilly here so it’s a good idea to put on your hat and gloves before you go to sleep.
Waking up early, we will take the first bus back up to Machupicchu to enter the site as it opens. We will have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you will learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour, you will have free time to explore the site by yourself and if you have, permits to climb either Huaynapicchu or Machupicchu Mountain. At 11:30 am we will return to Hydroelectric (2 hours walking) to take the return VAN 3:00 pm to Cusco, arriving 9:30 pm.
Cuzco is a city in southeastern Peru, near