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We leave Cusco at 5:30 AM in private transport to reach Marcoccasa (3400m / 11150 ft), and the town of Mollepata where we will have breakfast. There we will meet the muleteers and start walking in a beautiful valley surrounded by majestic mountains covered with snow, such as Nevado Humantay (5217m / 17116 ft) and the imposing peak of Salkantay. We will cross different valleys, seeing a little of the life of local farmers, before reaching our first camp in Soray Pampa (3900m / 12795 ft). Our chef will wait for you with hot drinks, sandwiches and dinner. The night will be cold due to the elevation.
Transport time: 5 hours.
Walking time: 6 – 7 hours.
Climate: Warm during the day and cold at night.
Altitude difference: Cusco (3400m) – Mollepata (2800m) – Marcoccasa (3,400 m) – Soray Pampa (3,900 m)
** Optional: On the way to Soray Pampa, we recommend making a 2-hour detour to see Lake Humantay and the snowy peak of Humantay. You will have to ascend from Soray Pampa (3,900 m / 12,800 ft) to Humantay (4,220 m / 12,800 ft).
After an early breakfast, we walk towards Col du Salkantay (4600m / 15090 ft), which offers an exceptional view of the snow-capped Salkantay peak. This morning has the most challenging hike, but it is worth it. We will take a break at the summit, weather permitting. Then we will walk downhill through a different ecosystem with lush vegetation. We will arrive at Rayampata, our next camp, for a snack and dinner. The night will be warmer than the last.
Walking time: approximately 8 hours.
Climate: Warm with mosquitoes.
Altitude difference: Soray Pampa (3,900 m) – Salkantay pass (4,600 m) – Chaullay (2,950 m)
The third day is dedicated to the flora of the region and its plantations. After going down and visiting the forest and its diversity of species of orchids, bromeliads and many other plants, we will see plants such as coffee, cocoa and fruit plantations. In addition, we will have the pleasure of meeting the local families of Wiñaypoco (2,650 m / 8,694 ft), La Playa (2,100 m / 6,890 ft) and Lucmabamba (2,000 m / 6,561 ft).
Our second camp will be in Lucmabamba. That afternoon you will stay in contact with a local rural family from the site where you will have the opportunity to participate in the cultivation and treatment of coffee. Depending on the variety, the growth of coffee takes approximately 3 to 4 years as of when it’s planted to begin to bear fruit. The coffee called “the cherry is bright” has a deep red color when ripe and ready to be harvested. Due to the botanical characteristics of coffee and the fact that it is often grown in mountainous areas, the widespread use of mechanical harvesters is not possible and they are usually handpicked, a labor-intensive and difficult process. We will show and explain the complete process to prepare the coffee. You will also have the opportunity to ask your own questions of the neighbors about the cultivation process.
Climate: Hot during the day with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 6 hours
After breakfast, we will go on an excursion and pass through the Inca trail. We will locate the archaeological site of Llactapata at 2650m / 8694 ft. It is a beautiful landscape to discover the flora and monuments of Inca culture. From here we will have an exceptional view over Machu Picchu the Mountain and the Vilcanota Canyon.
The place of Hidroeléctrica (1,950 m / 6,398 ft), where you will take the train to Aguas Calientes (2,050 m / 6,726 ft). We will spend the night in the city of Aguas Calientes.
Climate: Hot with some insects.
Hiking time: 6 hours
We will leave our hotel at 5:30 AM after breakfast and go to Machu Picchu (2,400 m / 7,874 ft) in a tourist bus. We will arrive at the citadel around 6:00 AM. After a guided tour around the archaeological site, including information on the life and culture of the Incas, you will have plenty of time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (2,750 m / 9,022 ft) on your own if you have advance reservations. After the visit to Machu Picchu, we will go down by bus to Aguas Calientes at the train schedule at 2:15 PM. or at 6:20 PM.
Until then, you will have the time to have lunch in one of the most pleasant restaurants. Also, you can visit the hot waters in the city to relax a bit.
Walking time: 2 hours
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