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Day 1 – Salkantay Pampa: We will depart very early at around 5.00 am when we pick you up from your accommodation and drive to Mollepata and on to Cruzpata where we will organize the horses (who will carry the supplies and backpacks). From Cruzpata we start the hike – around 3 hours of walking before we stop for lunch. After lunch we walk around 4 hours more before the valley broadens and flattens out and the beautiful conical snow-capped peak of Nevado Humantay comes into view. We will have dinner and camp in Soraypamapa for our first night.
Day 2 – Colcapampa: Today is the hardest day of the trek as we climb up to a pass close to Nevado Salkantay – the highest part of the trek! Nevado Humantay (5917 m) will flood this morning’s views! From Nevado Salkantay, we descend into the ‘upper cloud forest’ where the climate becomes somewhat semi-tropical. Here, we stop for lunch. After 7 hours of hiking, we arrive at camp No.2 in Colcapampa (3,200m).
Day 3 – La Playa/ Hidroelétrica: After an early breakfast, we’ll start our third day of hiking. Today will be much easier as we will spend the majority of the walk descending. We walk for around 5 hours, descending 2,000m down through the lush, diverse vegetation to the warmer camp in the village of La Playa. Much of the path follows a small river with waterfalls, If we are lucky, we will see all manor of wildlife and vegetation; parrots, hummingbirds, orchids, bamboo and much more in the tropical forest. La Playa is the largest village on the trek and you’ll find some small shops where you can buy snacks and goodies. On arrival to La Playa, there are two options:
Option 1 – La Playa: We can spend the afternoon in La Playa and camp here. If we stay in La Playa, on the morning of Day 4 we will catch a public bus to Hidroelétrica
Option 2 – Hidroelétrica: From La Playa we can catch some local transport to Santa Teresa, an alluring village in the cloud forest. We will spend the afternoon and camp in Santa Terasa. On the morning of Day 4, we walk to Hidroelétrica on a newly discovered Inca trail! This trail was originally used to transport agricultural goods to the population on Machu Picchu, taking us through an area of coffee plantations and subtropical fruits and crops on the way. On this Trail, we get our first glimpse of the iconic Machu Picchu saddling a mountain further into the valley. We will have our lunch at Llactapata, enjoying the views of Machu Picchu and the beautiful mountains before continuing to Hidroelétrica.
*The option you take will be decided upon as a group, either at the pre-departure briefing or during the trek itself.
Day 4 – Aguas Calientes: After arriving in Hidroelétrica, the time of arrival depends on which option is chosen for Day 3, we hike from Hidroelétrica to Aguas Calientes and spend the night in a hostel there. If you are tired, it is possible to take a train from Hidroelétrica to Aguas Calientes instead of hiking, but you will have to pay for the cost of the train which is about $10.
Day 5 – Machu Picchu/ Cusco: Our final day! we get up early to take the 5.30 bus to Machu Picchu. We will have a guided tour for around two and a half hours. After the tour, you can explore the site yourself or climb up to Wayna Picchu but remember, you will need about one hour to climb up. By 2.30pm, we need to be back in Aguas Calientes to catch the train back to Cusco.
Peru is the intriguingly iconic land of the Incas and one of the most enchanting places on earth; from the astonishing and ancient city of Machu Picchu to the Amazon rainforest; from the Colca canyons to the man-made reed islands of Lake Titicaca: floating homes for an ancient culture that has remained much the same.
This programme is located in Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes at an altitude of 3,399m (11,152ft) above sea level, Cusco is the perfect setting to volunteer abroad in Peru. Cusco is a mix of ancient, old and new. The vibrant historic centre provides endless hours of exploring and the surrounding areas are perfect for those looking for adventure.
Cusco is the ideal destination to base yourself during your gap year in South America. From the city you can visit indigenous markets and Incan ruins as well as mountain biking, horse back riding and white water rafting in the Sacred Valley. Travelling further afield to the beautiful city of Arequipa, the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca on the border of Bolivia is also easy to do. Large coaches are used for long-distance travel between cities. The buses vary in level of comfort and price but most tourist class buses have reclining seats, videos, refreshments, and bathrooms.
Volunteers can fly into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, Cusco and will be met at the airport and transferred to their project location.
You can book this volunteer program online by clicking on ‘Book Now’. After filling in our online booking form you will be asked to pay a sign-up fee of $250 via PayPal, which will confirm your place on the project.
The $250 sign-up fee is not an additional cost and is taken from your total project cost. Your place is not confirmed until we receive this payment. Payments can be made online via PayPal or by bank transfer. If you have any queries regarding the booking process please get in touch by sending us a message.
If you’re not ready to book, but want to find out more about any of our volunteer opportunities, click on ‘Enquire about this trip’ and submit our online enquiry form, or send us an e-mail at [email protected] Our volunteer coordinators will be happy to answer any questions you may have and advise you on what project best suits you.
Once we have confirmed your booking we will talk you through the application process and be in regular contact as we help you plan your trip of a lifetime!