SALKANTAY VIA ANCASCOCHA TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 6D/5N
The Ancascocha version of the Salkantay trek takes us past the impressive mountains of the southern Andes in Cusco. This is an adventure specially prepared for people who love nature, Andean high places, quiet paths and contact with the Quechua speaking inhabitants who even keep many Inca customs. It’s one of the most intact routes, and in a comparison with the famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu is not frequented by many travelers.
This hike is offered only by a few companies, that gives us the advantage of exploring well preserved landscapes with wild fauna and flora. Ancascocha offers visitors the chance to discover beautiful high valleys, snow-covered peaks such as Salkantay, Humantay and Huayanay, as well as colorful lakes such as Salkantay and Ancashcocha. During this adventure we will see original Inca trails lost to the mountains and covered by the passing of time; this trail formerly connected to Limatambo Mollepata, Machu Picchu, Choqueqirao, Tumibamba and Chinchaysuyo regions. Condors can be seen in this hike, as well as other Andean birds and animals such as: the Andean fox, deer, and many more.
This is THE BEST INCA TREK according to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
See link: https://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/trips/best-trails/worlds-best-hikes-dream-trails/#/ancascocha-trail-peru-best-hikes_68706_600x450.jpg
Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa – Pampa Japonesa
Our private car will pick you up and drive you to Mollepata 2870m (approx. 3 hours) where we will buy our supplies. From Mollepata we continue for another hour by car until we reach Soraypampa (3840m). We’ll hike from the pastures of the village of Soraypampa. Later, we will lunch in Salkantaypampa. After several hours of trekking we’ll arrive at our camping place. Our campsite for the night is at the base of the most majestic and impressive mountains of this area: Salkantay (6264m) and Humantay (5217m). The campsite is called Pampa Japonesa (Japanese Plain) and is located at 4600m. (This is a high campsite so you should be well acclimatised). (L / D)
Day 2: Pampa Japonesa – Inka Chiriaska – Millpo
After breakfast, with muleteers and an emergency horse we will start the long hike which will cross various high passes. First is Inca Chiriaska (4959m), from where where we will have views over the amazing landscapes of the area. From here you will walk along an original Inca Trail until you arrive to the Tocto pass (4821m) where the Inca trail then heads towards Salkantay. We will continue on for another 2 hours to the Calacocha pass (4667m). From here it is another 1 hour of walking to reach the pass of Cruz Casa (4600m) and then within another hour we will be Millpo Pass, where we will descend to our campsite Millpo (4399m). (B / L / D)
Day 3: Millpo – Ancascocha
We will leave our camp very early, walking for about 1 hour towards the Chusqenay pass (4630m). After about 50 minutes we will start to descend to the pass of Rumi Inca before continuing on upwards to the narrow valley of Yahuarmaky, another 40 minutes of walking. From there we start climbing again, for about an 1.5 hours until we reach the pass of Aqocasa (4686m). This mountain is an interesting reddish sandy mountain and from the top of this pass (with the help of binoculars) we will appreciate the famous Inca trail which leads to Machu Picchu. We can also see the mountains of Salkantay, Humantay and Huayanay and on the horizon we can observe Huacaywillka (Sacred Tears). On the way we will be able to see a small archaeological site called Inka-Rakay. From here its 3 hours of descent to Inka Rakay, and then another 1. 5 hours of ascent to the pass of Huayanay (4630m). The last 3 hours are downhill to our campsite at Ancascocha. (Campsite Ancascocha or Ancascocha Lagoon 3700m) (B / L / D)
Day 4: Ancasqocha – Kachiqata Quarry
After breakfast we will hike uphill all the way to Chancachuco, following the contours of a now-abandoned Inca aqueduct which transported water from the Chancachuco valley north to supply the otherwise-arid north-facing slopes above Ollantaytambo. This aqueduct once transported water across a sheer cliff face high above the Silque River. Today, on the mountainside above us we can glimpse traces of the original stonework, testimony to the extraordinary engineering of the project.
We reach our final pass (3,940m/12,923ft) and visit a spectacular ridge-top Inca shrine called Huayrapunku (Gate of the Wind), with an astonishing view towards Nevado Veronica (5,682m/18,637ft) directly across the valley. The site offers unsurpassed views of the terraces and temple site of the royal town of Ollantaytambo, over 4,000 feet below us. Constructed in the 15th century by the Inca emperor Pachacutec, the town was an important administrative and religious center.
We descend, past the curious Inca administrative site of Llaqtallaqtayoq, to our camp on a broad terrace at 3,525m/11,562ft, at the edge of the enormous Kachiqata quarry. In the afternoon we explore the intricate quarry workings. From this steep talus slope beneath the sheer face of Cerro Yanaorco, immense red granite building stones were carved onsite and then skidded down to the valley floor, across the river, and then up to the Sun Temple site on the far side of the valley. We explore the ramps and work platforms around the largest of the stones. Orchids and other flowers are abundant in and around the quarry site, set high on the mountainside above the valley floor. (B / L / D)
Day 5: Kachiqata Quarry – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
We descend on a broad Inca trail down through the lower quarry zone, and stop at a key hilltop, from where the worked stones were skidded down the steep slope to the Vilcanota River below. On the far bank, between the river and the Sun Temple, we can see several of these “Tired Stones”, which were abandoned half-way between quarry and temple. Chroniclers tell us that work on the temple site was suddenly halted when the Colla masons fled back toward their homes in the Lake Tiahuanaco area, just prior to the arrival of the Spanish invaders. We continue down, cross the river, and arrive finally at the famous Sun Temple in Ollantaytambo. We have time to explore the temple and the adjacent village, before catching a late afternoon train to Aguas Calientes. We check into a hotel for the night, and you have free time for dinner and a dip in the hot springs! (B / L are included; dinner is left to you in Aguas Calientes)
Day 6: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Early in the morning (before dawn) we will take a bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu, so that you can appreciate sunrise from the Watchman’s Hut (or Intipunku if you get up very early!). You will then have a three hour guided tour of Machu Picchu. After your tour you can further explore the ruins by yourself or climb Huayna Picchu for that classic photo of Machu Picchu. You can also try to fit in a visit to the Temple of the Moon or the fabulous Inca Bridge. We highly recommend walking down from Machu Picchu to get a feeling for the vegetation and also the audacity of its builders. Its a 1-2 hour walk back to Aguas Calientes or you can take the bus which is included in your ticket. We return to Cusco in the afternoon on the backpacker train and are met by a driver at Ollantaytambo who will transfer you directly back to your hotel. You will arrive in Cusco approximately 4 hours after your train’s departure from Aguas Calientes. (B / L)
* People who want to visit Huayna Picchu must let us know as soon as they can, because according to new rules, there is a limit of people (400) per day that can climb it.
– 1st Turn 07:00 am : 200 people.
– 2nd Turn 10:00 am : 200 people.
- Private Transport to trail head
- Horses (for equipment and personal items and 1 emergency horse) + horsemen.
- Entrance fee to the Trail & Machu Picchu
- Tents, High quality camping equipment (including toilet tent, tables, chairs)
- Meals (Vegetarian food available on request)
- LAST LUNCH AT INDIO FELIZ RESTAURANT: https://www.indiofeliz.com/en/restaurant.html
- Water Supply
- Professional bilingual guide.
- Round trip train to Aguas Calientes
- Bus tickets to Machu Picchu
- 1 night hotel
- Return bus to Cusco in a private transport
What is not included?
- Sleeping bag (can be hired from us)
- Travel insurance
- Entrance to hot springs
We recommend that you 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
- 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)
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Camera, films and batteries (batteries are consumed more quickly in cold conditions)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
- Sun block cream
- 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, energybars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please beware that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. This recommendation applies for all clients being used to a specific snack, as it may happen that it is not included in our selection.
- Non-disposable canteen and water for the first morning
- Optional: 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
- Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage the Trail)
Considering an extra night in Aguas Calientes? We can change the date of your train ticket to the following day. Hotel and other costs associated with returning to Machu Picchu the following day are additional to trek costs. Please also note that your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is valid for one day only, if you wish to visit the ruins on a second consecutive day you will need to purchase another ticket.
Aguas Calientes Extra Day Upgrade Package (optional)
With hikes that trek the traditional Inca Trail, the standard package has clients returning to Cusco at the end of the trek, and they don’t spend a night in Aguas Calientes. This package provides clients the opportunity to stay in Aguas Calientes for an extra night, visit Machu Picchu for a second day and then return to Cusco by the comfortable Vistadome train.
- Cost: $195 per person on twin share basis. This price doesn’t change depending on the number of people in the group.
- Second day’s entry to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, valued at $75
- Bus up and down to ruins on extra day, valued at $124
- 1 night in a 3 star hotel, like Killa Inn Plaza Andina. These are nice hotels, well decorated, and clean.
- With limited eating choices at Machu Picchu hunger tends to send clients to Aguas Calientes; by including the buffet lunch we find that clients can visit Machu Picchu early, then go to the buffet to try lots of different Peruvian (and Western) dishes, rest and go back for a second look at Machu Picchu.
- Return in Vistadome train rather than Expedition train, which gives you the opportunity for a more varied timetable and to return in a nicer train, with big windows in the roof.
** Please contact us for a price for the same package but with 2 star accomodation and return in Expedition Train service **
Joing a group sign-up and save costs
Prices:Per Person 2021
- 1 person US$1450.00 per person
- 2 people : US$1050.00 per person
- 4 people : US$1000.00 per person
- 6 people : US$950.00 per person
STUDENT DISCOUNT: $35 off per personStudent Discounts apply to anyone who has a valid GREEN ISIC card at the time of the trek or is 16 years old or younger. For those using an ISIC card to receive the discount, we do need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 16 years old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to [email protected]
- Under 15 years will pay as student: US$35.00
- Under 7 years Discount: US$50.00
ADDITIONAL ITEMS:As you see in our Additional Items under Trip Overview, there are several optional upgrades you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices, but check our Overview section for more details.
Huaynapicchu: $75 per person
Vistadome Train (One Way): $80 per person
Vistadome Train (One Way): $80 per person
Sacred Valley Tour:
City Tour: $
Maras Moray Tour: