Hiking the Salkantay Trek through Santa Teresa to Machupicchu in 5 days / 4 nights. The Vilcanota is an impressive mountain range that includes the massive Salkantay snow capped mountain (6,264m) and three other over 6000m. Salkantay is an outstanding snow peak, located less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in south central Peru. It is the highest mountain of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. It's easily accessible due to its proximity to the city and is climbed frequently. An attractive trek made for tough trekkers with a changeable landscape, while other tourist circuits have gotten famous in the last few years, the trek is totally different than the others, it's not dirty, nor too popular, so therefore it's not full of tourists, you may see different ecosystems spreaded across its different altitude areas and climates. This trail runs from a high valley up to the mountains and descends into a lush valley. The ecosystem is transformed rapidly. Day 01: Cusco - Soraypampa We will leave Cusco at 05:00am by bus, and ride to Mollepata. For approximately 2 and a half hours. After breakfast we will start climbing towards Cruzpata (3100 masl) along a slight climb where we'll appreciate various plants, native birds, the Apurimac canyon (which is one of the deepest in Peru), and a communitarian irrigation channel. In Cruzpata we will have our lunch and depart around 1:30 p.m towards Soraypampa along a climbing trail with many level variations and along which we will see little groups of huts, flora, small wild birds and spectacular landscapes views of the Humantay snow peak (5902 masl). After approximately 4 hours hiking, we will arrive at our campsite in Soraypampa (3900 masl). From here we can appreciate a fantastic view of the Apu Salkantay (6264 masl). Day 02: Soraypampa - Collpapampa After an early breakfast we'll start trekking from Soraypampa at 7:30 a.m. and continue our hike to the peruvian highland. From this point we can appreciate the spectacular view of the Salkantay, a stunning snow capped mountain (6,264 m) the second highest peak in Cusco region, and also the Humantay and Huayanay mountains, white rivers, small lakes and moraines. At our lunch spot after a five-hour hike, downhill for lunch in Huayracpunku, and then a further 2-3 hours downhill walk to camp in Collpapampa 2,920 m. (B+L+D). 20 Km. approximately. Day 03: Collpapampa - Santa Teresa Wake up with a lovely mountain scenery and a good morning coca tea. We will start the trek at 07:00a.m. 3 hours easy hiking to Lluscamayu, where we will be introduced to a high Jungle niche called "Ceja de Selva" (jungle's edge), we'll see different kinds of plants, fruits, flowers, birds etc... here banana trees coffee and other crops can be observed, take amazing pictures, with a little luck we can observe the famous Peruvian National Bird the "Gallito de las Rocas" (Cockrel of the Rocks) we'll make a stop at Wiñaypoq’o for lunch and time for resting. At the end of the day we will see passion fruit fields. The hike will last approximately 9 hours; the campsite is located inside a community named "La Playa "(2400 masl). from here we'll board a bus or truck that'll take us to Santa Teresa village (approximately 45 minutes ride) where we will have a chance to bath at the hot springs (optional) and also where we will spend the night. (B+L+D). Walking distance approximately 15 Km. Day 04: Santa Teresa - Aguas Calientes After a delicious breakfast we're hiking to the Colpani village, we follow this rising trail from which we will see coffee plantations, banana trees, passion fruit crops and a lovely view of the Santa Teresa Valley. We'll follow along the riverside of Vilcanota River until arriving to the oroya (canopy brich). From here we have an option to hike to hidroeléctrica or to catch transportation that will take us to Hidroelectrica (25 minutes), from this place we can observe the back of Machupicchu Sanctuary, and where we'll have the last lunch with all the staff from here we will continue hiking until we arrive to Aguas Calientes around 4:30 p.m. we'll stay in a hostel the last night. (B+L+D). Walking distance approximately 10 Km. Day 05: Aguas Calientes - Machupicchu We'll go to Machupicchu climbing the steps or in a bus (optional) to explore the city and enjoy this ancient place in the peaceful early morning hours, we'll begin a complete guided tour of the Inca city that will take approximately two hours. After the guide's explanation about the site you can climb up the Huaynapicchu Mountain, where you can have some spectacular views of all the Machupicchu citadel, the valleys and mountains that surround it, or we can visit the Temple of the Moon or the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we'll meet in Aguas Calientes village where if you like, you can visit and relax in the hot springs. Later on we'll board the train back to Cusco, arriving at 8:30 p.m. (B) Meals provided: B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner Group Size: (min. 4 participants, max. 16 participants). Departures: Daily departures Our Services Included: Transfer from your hotel to the bus stop, transportation from Cusco to Mollepata (head of the trail). Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tents to allow for better comfort and safety of your backpacks and equipment. Our tents are 3-season new highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance in the field. Dining tent, tables and chairs. Kitchen tent Toilet tent English speaking professional guide (2 guides for groups over 8 people) Cook and cooking equipment Horse driver and horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment) – days 1 to 3 1 Emergency horse with saddle. Accommodation for our guides, cook and porters / horsemen Meals (04B, 04L, 04D + wake – up tea) First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (economy tourist class). Not included: Sleeping bag Lunch on the last day: after the guided tour at Machupicchu, you can enjoy free time to further visit the ruins and choose to have lunch either in Machupicchu or in Aguas Calientes Optional train from Hidroelectrica to Machupicchu town (Aguas Calientes) Tips: Please beware that our agency staff are paid, so please feel free to tip or not according to your wish. YOU SHOULD BRING: A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping Sleeping bag (it can be hired at our agency for US$ 4.00 / day) Mattress: will be provided by the agency but is to be carried by you Flashlight and batteries Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions) Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold Sun block After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported Toilet paper Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning. Optionally: water sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far Small towel Swimming suit (if you intend to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes) Cash in soles and/or US$ (no ATM machines in Aguas Calientes) Original passport Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage the Trail)