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Condor Canyon Cusco & Salkantay trek, 5 Day

Condor Canyon Cusco

Visit the Condor Canyon Cusco as part of the popular Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu in 5 day. This wonderful itinerary allows travelers to experience the extraordinary Condor Canyon Cusco on the way to the trail-head of Salkantay trek, we will be able to visit the look out of Chonta canyon and observe the Majestic flight of the Andean Condor soaring from its natural habitat above the Apurimac Canyon.

Top Peru Trips has designed this wonderful itinerary to combine the Condor sighting activity with the popular Salkantay trek as a new option of trekking  in the Peruvian Andes. But also we offer another options of Chonta Canyon tour as: Chonta Condor sighting 2 day tour and Condor sighting Cusco day tour which are shorter options, so after to visit the Chonta Condor canyon you drive back to Cusco.

Condor canyon Cusco & Salkantay Trek – Highlights:

  • The spectacular look out of Chonta
  • Amazing views of Chonta and Apurimac Canyon
  • Stunning Condor flights
  • The amazing Salkantay Mount
  • Spectacular mountain scenery
  • High Mountain passes
  • Flora & wildlife
  • Visiting local villages
  • Hiking on the famous Salkantay Trail
  • Machu Picchu the Majestic religious center of the Incas


Condor canyon Cusco & Salkantay Trek – Overview

  • First day: Cusco – Limatambo – Chonta – Soraypampa.
  • Second day: Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Chaullay .
  • Third day: Chaullay- Collpapampa – Lluscamayo – La Playa.
  • Four day: La Playa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes.
  • Five day: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco.


Condor canyon Cusco & Salkantay Trek – Itinerary

Day 1. – Cusco – Limatambo – Chonta – Soraypampa

To start this new  Condor canyon Cusco tour, travelers will be picked up from the hotels in a private van.  We then start traveling through a picturesque paved road, after 2 hours of drive we will arrive to Limatambo valley from where we will continue our trip driving uphill on the dirt road towards the Chonta community (3,400 m). Approx 1 ½ hours of walking (moderate difficulty) on the gentle path will lead us to the lookout of Hahuacco, with it is breathtaking views of the Apurimac canyon.

This  is our opportunity to enjoy the Majestic flight of the Andean Condors; here it is usual to spot the sacred condors soaring in their natural habitat and overflying the Chonta canyon. In the afternoon we walk back down to Chonta the same way we came for 1 ½ hours. We will have lunch at Chonta and then we drive for 3 hours until we reach Soraypampa for the night.

  • Meals included: lunch & dinner
  • Best time: April to November

Day 2: Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Chaullay .

We will depart from Soraypampa on the second day of Salkantay trek  after breakfast, following a small valley along the lovely stream, there will be sections with switchback uphills to the mountain; is possible to see some Vizcachas (Andean chinchilla). After approximately 3 hours of hiking, we finally arrive to the Salkantay pass, the highest point in the entire trail (4,650 meters/13451 feet).  althought is not easy  to walk there, but feels good to be so high between the two great mountains – Salkantay (6271m) and Humantay (5850m).

Salkantay is the second tallest mountain in the region of Cusco. so is a unique experience having Mt Salkantay very close to you. There is also a great views of the other mountains around as: Humantay and Pumasillo (5850m) opposite side. We then descend for approx. 2 hours until Huayracmachay for lunch.  In the afternoon we will walk down-hill to the beautiful campsite at Chaullay (Approximately 4 hours) this portion of the trail is in the cloud forest.

  • Accommodation: Camping, Chaullay 3,250m.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 3: Chaullay- Collpapampa – Lluscamayo – La Playa.

After breakfast, we will continue with the Salkantay  trekking, passing by the beautiful Collpapampa village the trail enters in the small canyon, you will walk through  the beautiful landscapes of the cloud forest, following the course of the River “Alto Salkantay”. We will be able to find some species of palms, orchids, ferns and typical flora of the cloud forest, at this section of Salkantay trail, is also possible to observe different species of birds, insects and butterflies. In comparison to the earlier days of our trek, this part is easier as we descend along the Valley to La Playa village (2050m) which has sub-tropical climate, so is very usual to see citrus fruit trees, avocados, bananas, and coffee plants along the way. (6 hours hike)

Camping options: Remember that Salkantay trail is the second most popular route that sometimes is very crowded, because is un-regulated. The third night´s camping offers some options, which you should talk to your guide about. These options are linked to your interest and wishes, and also what you plan to do the next day: La Playa is NOT a remote campsite – for those that want to get away from the crowds you should talk to your guide about finding an accouter place depending on your activities for the next day.

  • Accommodation: camping in la playa.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 4: La Playa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes.

To continue with Salkantay trek to Hydroelectric station you can take one of the following options:

  1. Relax option. After breakfast you will take a local transport to the impressive Machu Picchu Hydroelectric station (not included in the price) where our chef will provide you with a box lunch and then we will start walking for 3 more hours following the train tracks to the town of Aguas Calientes, this option allows travelers to arrive early to the hotel and take rest.
  2. Adventurer´s option. early wake up and trek uphill for about three hours by the cloud- forest until to reach the mountain top, to visit a very interesting Inca site (ruins) called Llactapata, a great  introduction to Machu Picchu! From here is possible to see Machu Picchu, in the saddle between two mountains. after to enjoy all the great views we will descend very steeply for three hours to the Hydroelectric station for lunch and later we will have the final walk for 3 hours to the town of Aguas Calientes.
  • Hostal in Aguas Calientes:
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

After breakfast at the hotel, our guide will pick you up and you will board one of the first buses that will take you to the citadel of Machu Picchu.  A complete guided tour is included as part of the program you will visit: visiting the Main Plaza, the Sun Temple, the Sacred Sun Dial (Intihuatana), and the Royal Palace, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Main Temple, Sacred Rock, and all the most importtant places. After the guided tour, you can explore the area on your own or you can take the hike options:

  1. Climb to Wayna Picchu; for the most adventurous people, we suggest goint to Wayna Picchu, where you can observe the immensity of Machu Picchu. (We suggest you book in advance).
  2. Walk to the Sun Gate; you will have an opportunity to walk (approx. 1 hour) up to the Sun Gate (IntiPunku)

After the Machupicchu exploration at the scheduled time we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, later after lunch we will take the Train back to Cusco, the journey by train takes approximately 4 hours.
In the evening, upon arrival to the Train station of Cusco, you will be received and transported to the hotel.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast


Included in Condor canyon Cusco & Salkantay Trek

  • Pick up from your hotel in the morning of trip departure.
  • Transport from Cusco to Chonta and the beginning of Salkantay trek  in private car.
  • Entrance fee for the Condor lookout at Chonta
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu.
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide.
  • 4 person tents will be used by 2 people for a greater comfort and storage of the backpacks.
  • Inflatable sleeping mattress.
  • Cook and cooking equipment.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food).
  • Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg per person). If you wish to take more, you can hire an extra mule at a cost of $20 per day.
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals.
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • Train ticket (Expedition class) from Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo.
  • One night hostel stay in Aguas Calientes in. This will be a nice, clean and safe Hostal with breakfast included and private bathroom.
  • Bus up and down to Machu Picchu (valued at $26 US).
  • Dinner in the town of Aguas Calientes .

Not included in Condor canyon Cusco & Salkantay Trek

**** Airfare is not included. You need to arrange your own flight.

  • Breakfast on the first day morning.
  • Entrance fee to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes.
  • Entrance fee to Wayna Picchu.
  • Sleeping bags (can be hired from us for US$5 per day).
  • Tips for the guide, cook and horseman.
  • Additional horses for passenger’s luggage. If there are any substantial items or backpacks, passengers will need to hire an additional mule at a cost of $20.00 US per day.

Packing list for Condor canyon Cusco & Salkantay Trek:

  •  Original Passport.
  • Original International Student Identity Card iy you have applied for a student discount
  • Walking sticks (rubber covers required in order not to damage archaeological sites).
  • Change of clothes for the whole period of Salkantay trek.
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied.
  • Optional water- sterilizing tablets for those who like to pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Usually we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not been reported as a health problem. In Salkantay trek there are many springs and streams a long the way.
  • Swimsuit (if you wish to take a bath in the Hot Springs of Machu Picchu)
  • A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $2 in Cusco.
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots are recommended for Salkantay trek.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk.
  • Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you – see below).
  • Headlamp or Flash light.
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold.
  • Sun block, Insect repellent – minimum recommended 50%.
  • Toilet paper, pack in & pack out.
  • Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
  • Cash in soles for your final lunch in Aguas Calientes, tips and souvenirs.
  • Walking sticks or poles (you can hire these from us. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day).

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