We leave the city of Cuzco en route to Mollepata, a town located at 2803 m, and continue the journey on a packed dirt road until reaching Challacancha. Awaiting us there are the pack horses that will carry our baggage and their drivers. From here, we begin our ascent to Salcantaypampa, arriving first at Soroycocha (4491m), which is the campsite and where we catch our first glimpses of Mount Salcantay.
We begin a long trek towards Qollpapampa, our second campsite. The first section leads us to the Salcantay Pass (4535 m.), the highest point on the route, where the incredible views of glaciers hanging from the Vilcabamba Cordillera and south face of Mount Salcantay will amaze us. Continuing onwards, we will reach our lunch site: Huayracmachay, and shortly thereafter descend to a cloud forest, following the Salcantay River.
We will continue descending along a narrow trail next to the Cachora River. We will soon take note of a change in the weather and the scenery: hotter, more humid, and greener. In the afternoon, we will continue trekking to Sahuayaco, a small community of 20 families, and set up camp rather close by at Lucmabamba.
We will cross the river and ascend to the Q’elloqasa Lookout or Pass (2860 m), where we catch our first exceptional view of Machu Picchu, the world famous Lost City of the Incas, and partake of our last outdoor lunch on the trip. Our next stop is Llactapata, a place with an amazing system of terraced hillsides. Afterwards, we continue our descent to the Aobamba River and stop at the Machu Picchu Hydroelectric Plant to board the train to the town of Aguas Calientes.
Today, we will catch the first bus to Machu Picchu, one of the new 7 Wonder of the World, and you will have free time to explore the complex; then, it’s back to Aguas Calientes to reboard the train that will take us to Ollantaytambo, where a bus awaits to transport you to your hotel. End of route.