Ancascocha Trail + Salkantay Trek 8 Days
Glaciers, Inca Sites, High Altitude lakes, Original Inca Trail paths, Solitude, Coffee Plantation Tours…this trek has all of these things and more.
We spend a lot of time discussing the merits of the Ancascocha and Salkantay treks and which is better for specific individuals. They are both incredible and it was unfortunate that a group couldn’t do both. That has changed now! This brand new trek combines our signature Ancascocha Trek with the most popular alternative trek to the Inca Trail.
Of course on the final day of the trek you visit the magnificent city of Machu Picchu to cap it all off.
We hope you will join us for this unique trek.
Distance Trekked: 94 km / 58 miles
Beginning altitude: 3,205 m/ 10,512ft.
Maximum altitude: 4850 m/ 15908 ft
Overall trek difficulty: Difficult
You will be picked up from your Cusco hotel around 5:00 am, and then drive for about 2 hours, until we reach the starting point for our expedition, at Soqma (3,205 m/ 10,512 ft),
Here is where our adventure in the Peruvian Andes begins. Our chef will prepare breakfast. Soqma is the place where we will meet the rest of our incredible team that will assist and guide us along the adventure.The first part of today’s hike will be on a gentle uphill section for 2 hours until you reach Perolniyoc, an amazing Incan site that we will take a tour of. This site has been recently excavated. Here, at the top of a beautiful waterfall, is where you will enjoy the most spectacular views of today. After this visit, we will be hiking uphill for another 1 hour, until we reach the location of our lunch spot at Rayampata (3,700 meters/9,350 ft.). After a great lunch, we will continue on the challenging part of today’s expedition, the 2 hour long, steep uphill trail that will take us to Kuychicassa pass(4,450 m /14,596 ft), and then into the Chancachuco Valley. Following a rest at the summit, we hike downhill for about 45 minutes until we arrive to our first campsite Chancachuco.
You will be woken up with a cup of hot coco tea before leaving your tent to enjoy the stunning views of these beautiful highlands. We have breakfast, and then get ready to start an amazing hiking on an original Inca trail. The first section of trail is along a flat path with a few small hills, leading down to Ancascocha village. Today, depending of the weather and clouds you will get a good chance to see the mighty condors soaring. This part of our Inca trail gets very narrow on the right side of the mountains, with spectacular views. The hike from our campsite to the Ancascocha community will be about 3 hours. After Ancascocha village, we start hiking uphill to the Ancascocha lake 3,800m. We will stop here for our lunch right next to the lake and Huayanay glacier, with outstanding views of the mountains around. After this incredible lunch, we will hike on the inca trail that used to connect Cusco and the Classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu. From our lunch location it is two hours until we reach the top of Huayanay pass (4,650 m/ 15,298 ft). After reaching the summit, we will participate in a ceremony that is going to be our offering to the mountains and Pachamama. After enjoying the views at the pass we will start descending to our next camp at Incaracay (4,250m/13,990 ft). This will be another cold night and this will be a perfect place to see the stars in the sky.
We will wake up early and have breakfast. Today´s hike starts with a moderate 40 minute climb through the highlands until we reach the Accoccasa pass (4640m/15,223 ft). This hike is close to snow-capped mountains and fascinating views of the last remaining glaciers in our region. Today, you will feel like you are Indiana Jones when you are exploring these new lands that even the indigenous communities don’t know about it. This is the real “off the beaten path”. After enjoying the amazing views from this pass, we will hike downhill for 1 hour to our lunch spot called Quelwaccocha. After lunch we will hike for 2 hours uphill until the second high point of today’s hike which is the Queraccasa pass. From the pass we will hike up and down for 1 hour until we reach our campsite at Yawarmaki (4,400m/14,435 ft).
After a delicious breakfast we will begin the challenging portion of today’s hike with up and down sections lasting 3 hours until Tocto where we will stop for lunch. We will pass through places where we might have the opportunity to see a variety of plant and birdlife and if we are lucky we might also spot the wild pig.
After lunch a 4 hour uphill hike will lead us to Inca Chiriaska pass (4850m/15908ft), This is the highest point of our entire trek from where We will have amazing views of the Salkantay, Umantay and Ausangate glaciers. After a 15 minute break we will continue on the trail.
The portion of the trail leading to our next camp site is downhill for two hours and takes you through beautiful mountains and the grasslands of the high Andes. We will pause along the way to admire the majesty of Salkantay mountain and the lakes that we can see on our way to our camp at Salkantaypampa (4100m/13451ft).
This is the day where we will join to the classic Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu and we will see hikers going in the same direction as we are. After breakfast we are going to hike for 3 hours uphill to the highest point of the regular Salkantay trek, the Salkantay pass (4,650 m / 15,252 ft). At the top we are going to enjoy the other side of the Apu Salkantay and talk about the significance of the mountain in Inca culture and why this spot is venerated. Our next task is a 2 hour downhill hike to Huayracmachay (3,800 m/12,464 ft), where we will have lunch. After lunch we will hike downhill for an additional 4 hours until we reach our camp for the night, Colpapampa (2,850 m/ 9,350 ft). During this section we are going to pass from the highlands to the cloud forest and finally into the rain forest.
After working hard in the previous days, we are rewarded with a more gentle hike today. We will have a fantastic breakfast and then hike 5 to 6 hours on gentle up and down segments. We will be hiking through the rain forest, following the path of the Santa Teresa river. We will have the opportunity to see multiple coffee plantations, banana plantations, and fields of passion fruit. Along this path you will also see the most beautiful waterfall along the trek.
We will reach Lucmabamba, our campsite for the evening, around noon. Here we will relax and enjoy a delicious lunch!
After lunch, we will do an incredible coffee tour at the plantation adjacent to the campsite. We will begin by browsing the fields, learning about the different types of beans, and picking our own beans. There are also several fields of tomatoes and avocados. We will pick vegetables that the chef will use for dinner that night.
After picking our beans, we will roast them and grind them. Finally, we will brew and drink our own coffee! It is a truly unique experience.
We will wake up early and have breakfast. Today´s hike starts with a moderate 3 ½ hour climb through the rain forest until we reach the Llactapata Inca site (2,700 m/8,856 ft), where we will have a thorough tour. This is the location where you will have your first view of Machu Picchu in the far distance. You will also have a first look at the mountain you will hike tomorrow, Huayna Picchu!
Leaving Llactapata, we begin a 2 ½ hour descent to Hydroelectric, where we will have lunch. At 3 pm we will board the train for a 40 minute trip to Aguas Calientes.
On arrival at Aguas Calientes you will check into your hotel. Dinner will be at the finest restaurant.
You will have breakfast at your hotel before we take a very early bus (5:30am) along the winding road to Machu Picchu to see the magnificent sunrise. Once there you will be given a 2 hour walking tour of the site.
You will begin your hike of Huayna Picchu at 10 AM. After the hike you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu before you return to Aguas Calientes by bus.
When you arrive in Aguas Calientes you will board the expedition train to Poroy train station. From Poroy you will travel by private van to Cusco and we will drop you off at your hotel. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of your train ticket, but is generally between 7:30 and 9 PM.
Price (Group Service)
WHAT’S IN A NAME: Action Peru Treks? Action is a word we are all familiar with and probably use on a regular basis without too much thought! However, it is worth a look at the dictionary to understand what makes the word Action in our name special. ACTION: Doing things that require physical movement and energy; something done so as to accomplish a purpose; involved in the activities of a group and organization.