IN A FEW WORDS
Machu Picchu is tucked within the mystical corridors of Peru's Andes Mountain Range. Despite the seclusion of this ancient ruin, Machu Picchu has become one of the most famous seven wonders of the world, hosting thousands of visitors each year- and rightfully so. However, at Beyond the Map, we believe the journey is half of the experience and getting to Machu Picchu is the perfect example of this. The Enchanted Peru trip is perfect for travelers that want to skip the overcrowded Inca Trail, and instead opt for the more secluded, lesser-known Salkantay trail. This trail was named among the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine. Similar to the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trail is an ancient and remote footpath meandering through massive snowcapped mountains that collide with lush tropical rain forests.
WHY THIS TRIP IS UNFORGETTABLE
Backpack along a remote, off-the-beaten-path trail towards Machu Picchu
Skirt the edge of the shifting Salkantay Glacier
Soak in secluded hot springs tucked within the tropical forests
Hike across stunning mountain ranges, pass through lush jungles and turquoise lakes
Camp beneath the stars along a path that was used by the Incans
Discover the colonial city of Cusco and experience the local culture
Explore the ancient ruins of the world famous Machu Picchu!
Day 1. South American Flare
Our trip begins from Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport. Today you will relax and take in the sounds and sights of South America in the charming town of Cusco. This is day one of two for acclimating to the high altitudes of the region. Cusco sits at 11,152 feet! Tonight we stay in a local hotel and feast on the flavors of the local cuisine! After our first group dinner, we will have an orientation to the adventures ahead!
Day 2: Exploring Cusco
Cusco was once the former capital of the Inca Empire. There's no better place to explore the colonial city streets before heading into the wilderness in search of Machu Picchu! Take it easy today and acclimate to the elevation. Tomorrow we begin the trek towards Machu Picchu!
Day 3: The Journey Begins
Today we start early as we travel to the start of the trail, stopping along the way for some breakfas. At the trailhead we’ll load our gear onto our packhorses then start hiking. The afternoon’s 3-4 hour hike up to Soyrococha is all uphill. Along the way we stop at local villages and we spend the night in the shadow of the impressive Salkantay Glacier.
Day 4: Views on Top of the World
After breakfast we begin our steep ascent to Abra Huayracmachay (15,100 feet/4,600m), the highest point in the hike where we’ll enjoy magnificent views of the high glacier of Salkantay. Converse with locals as we pass through rural villages. From here it’s a long, easy descent to our second campsite. Total trekking time is about 8 hours.
Day 5: Wildlife & Relaxation
Today’s first section is a lovely descent alongside the Salkantay River. You’ll notice the changing environment as we move down from arid highlands into a tropical ecosystem, with waterfalls, lush vegetation, and eventually coffee, avocado, and banana plantations. In the afternoon we’ll likely be accompanied by flocks of colorful parrots, and if we’re lucky we’ll see the bespectacled bears that were the inspiration for Paddington Bear! From the end of the trail, our vehicle will take us to the Cocalmayo hot springs where we’ll camp the night – what better place to soak away the tiredness and bask in our achievements on the rugged Salkantay trail?
Day 6: Another Step Closer
After another soak in the springs in the morning, we’ll pack up, wave goodbye to our cooks, and drive to the beginning of our very pleasant 10km stroll to Aguas Calientes, through a winding rainforest gorge around the base of Huayna Picchu. Here we’ll enjoy a shower and an early night – we’ll be up early tomorrow to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu!
Day 7: The Grand Finale
An early start rewards us with sunrise at Machu Picchu – a peak moment for anyone. A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Your trip leader will take you on a guided tour – a necessary start to orient you in this massive site – then you’ll have plenty of time to explore the site and some of the surrounding peaks on your own before we catch the train back to Cusco.
Day 8: The End of the Journey
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end...or do they! Although we head home today, the sights and experiences from Peru will be forever a part of your life!
All inclusive convenience meets Beyond the Map adventure! We've thought of it all so you don't have to once you leave home!
Local, private transportation. No random drivers, no cattle-herding tour buses!
Rustic & modern options available, depending on your style and budget.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner each day. Hangry-free guaranteed!
All activities outlined in the itinerary are included in your cost before you ever leave!
From start to finish, we're with you! Unlike many companies, our expert guides are there 24/7 to provide unique information, answer questions and even deliver the occasional joke!
Why Travel With Us
I would recommend BTM for any trip you and your friends want to go on, or to any organization interested in planning a trip... especially if you are interested in "getting out there" and not just stopping at the common tourist spots everyone goes to.
This was hands-down one of the the most exciting, rewarding, and memorable trips I've ever been on! The peace of mind to know that I didn't have to worry about anything was worth every penny. All I had to do was show up. Cody and Lystina took it from there. No stress, no anxiety, no rushing around or wasting time trying to find an activity or a place to eat. I got to sit back, relax, and experience a whole new world that was far beyond my map.
Since I've been back I have recommended these trips to so many people because this company creates these remarkable journeys that allow people to experience the world in a unique way. I can't wait to go on my next expedition with Beyond the Map!