The Salkantay, Condors & Machu Picchu Tour is for the adventurous tourist who wants to enjoy the scenery and experience one of the greatest attractions of the Cusco region during their limited time in Peru. Taking different paths and avoiding the more crowded trekking trails, this route offers breathtaking natural scenery combined with historical and archaeological sites
This tour offers two levels of hiking: easy/moderate and moderate/challenging. You will be able to choose either option at any time.
We will observe the flight of the Condor, behold the majesty of the sacred Salkantay and Humantay mountains, and visit the Humantay Lake and the Salkantay Pass at 4,664m/15,300ft.
Our adventure continues at Machu Picchu; the ancient Inca site unknown to the outside world until 1911 when Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention. Situated in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, the citadel is surrounded by lush cloud forest and is a remarkable vestige of the Inca Empire at the pinnacle of its glory.
This first day will give participants time to adapt to the altitude and begin to prepare physically for the following days’ hiking. We will pick you up from your hotel at 8am for the trip to the Condor Viewing Point at Chonta. Along the way, we will stop and explore one of two archaeological sites: Kuillarumiyoc or Tarahuasi. These sites were important ritual sites during the height of the Inca Empire and still hold great significance today in Quechua society. While driving further, you will enjoy the landscape of the Limatambo valley and spot small farming communities nestled among the valley. Upon reaching Chonta, we will walk for approximately an hour along a narrow track with spectacular views of the Apurimac Canyon. We are almost certain to have the site completely to ourselves as most tourists tend to visit the area later in the afternoon. At the viewing point, there will be time to relax and observe the condors soaring over the canyon, while a specially prepared boxed lunch will be served. After lunch, we will return to our vehicle and continue to our final destination, Pincopata Ecocamp.
Upon arrival at Pincopata Ecocamp, we will be greeted with a lovely refreshment made from seasonal fruits and taken to our domes to enjoy a hot shower and a deserved rest. If rest is not your thing, you may prefer to walk around the camp or participate in the various extra activities available at the Ecocamp, such as horse-riding and biking. We will end the day with a superb dinner consisting of fresh and locally sourced foods typical of Peruvian-cuisine.
Driving Distance: 132.5 km / 82,8 mi
Driving Time: 3,5 hrs
Altitude Chonta: 3,400 m
Altitude Pincopata: 2,850 m / 9,348 ft
Option – (Rainy season or Condor nesting)
This second option also leaves Cusco at 8:30am and takes us along the same road from Cusco to Mollepata, where we will stop and explore the archaeological site of Killarumiyoq. The lunar cycle was charted here and fertility rites honoring Mother Earth were performed during the height of the Inca civilization. Incredibly, the moon stone remains untouched and the peaceful site offers the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the Inca culture.
Following this visit, we continue along the road for an hour and a half to the community of Marcahuaylla, from where we start a short walk to access the archaeological remains of Choquechurco (Place where Gold is placed). This sacred place, unknown to many, is on our list of remote sites we like to visit. Situated among a forest of native Polylepis trees, this abandoned site will make you feel like a true explorer. We will discover remains of religious sites and settlements; carved boulders, small squares, and Inca walls covered with moss and vegetation.
From this place, we will have views of Humantay Mountain, the Valley of Limatambo, Apurimac, and the town of Mollepata. Surrounded by remarkable scenery, we will stop to have lunch at this site before continuing the descent to our Pincopata Ecocamp.
Driving Distance: 98.5 km / 61.5 mi
Driving Time: 2.5 hrs
Hiking distance: 6 km / 3.75 mi
Hiking time: 3.5 hrs
Altitude Choquechurco: 3,200 m / 10,500 ft.
Altitude Pincopata: 2,850 m / 9,348 ft.
Upon arrival at Pincopata Ecocamp, we will be greeted with a lovely refreshment made from seasonal fruits and taken to our respective domes to enjoy a hot shower and a deserved rest. If rest is not your thing, you may prefer to walk around the camp or participate in the various extra activities available at the Ecocamp, such as horse-riding and biking. We will end the day with a superb dinner consisting of fresh and locally sourced foods typical of Peruvian-cuisine
After breakfast, we will drive 15 minutes to the start of our trail in Marcoccasa. From here, we begin with a short uphill walk before continuing our hike along an aqueduct overlooking the spectacular Río Blanco Valley and the snowy peaks of Salkantay and Humantay. We will end at Soray Ecocamp in time for lunch.
In the afternoon, you can schedule a relaxing massage, a horseback ride, or simply choose to stroll around and enjoy the breath-taking views that surround our camp.
Hiking distance: 13 km / 8.12 mi
Hiking time: 4.5 – 5.5 hrs.
Altitude, Soray: 3,883 m / 12,737 ft.
Hiking Level: easy/moderate
If you are up for a more active afternoon, however, you can choose to hike to the Humantay Lake nestled at the base of the southern side of Mount Humantay. We will descend to the lake to touch its gleaming waters and take some incredible photos. When we return to camp, there will be enough time to take a hot shower before enjoying the delicious dinner prepared for us.
Hiking distance: 6.4 km / 4 mi round trip
Hiking time: 3 hrs. round trip
Altitude Humantay Glacier Lake: 4,298 m / 14,100 ft.
After breakfast, we will begin our trek from the bottom of the valley gradually starting to ascend while crossing several small pampas. The challenging final climb to the Abra Pass will be rewarded with spectacular views of Salkantay’s snowy and wild south face. At the pass we will have time to celebrate our accomplishment before descending to a warmer spot to enjoy our lunch. After we will return to Soray.
We will then board our transport back to our comfortable Ecocamp Pincopata. Here, we will enjoy a marvellous dinner to bid farewell to our days of hiking and end the day stargazing around a cozy bonfire.
Hiking distance: 12 km / 7.5 mi
Hiking time: 7-8 hrs. round trip
Altitude Abra Salkantay: 4,664 m / 15,300 ft.
Hiking level: challenging
We begin with breakfast at the camp and then travel through small Quechua villages in the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo. Here, we board a train that will take us to the village of Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo). We will enjoy the train ride while eating a freshly prepared packed lunch. Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes, we will travel by bus up to Machu Picchu with our guide to discover the impressive historical citadel for the afternoon. Having explored the site, we will descend to our wonderful hotel where we can rest or explore the village of Aguas Calientes until dinner.
Transfer distance: 130 km / 81.25mi
Transfer time: 2.5-3 hrs.
Train travel distance: 36 km / 22.5 mi
Train travel time: 1.5 hrs.
Machu Picchu Altitude: 2,000m / 6,560ft
After breakfast in Machu Picchu Pueblo, we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo where we will have our own private transport awaiting to take us back to Cusco.
For those planning to spend more time in Cusco, we will be happy to arrange a hotel and drop off.
Train Ride: 1.5 hrs.
Transfer distance: 110 km/68.4 mi.
Transfer time: 2 hrs.