Hike one of the most remarkable trails in the entire world on our gay Incan Trails tour on the Salkantay Glacier route. Experience breathtaking views while hiking and camping for four days in a land of enchanting mystery. Our reward after hiking past glaciers, tropical forests, ancient temples and small villages is our destination: Machu Picchu, Lost City of the Incas. Read The Gay Travel Blog about this Hike.
At its peak, the Inca Empire stretched for hundreds of miles up and down the spine of the Andes, with a complex web of trails connecting villages, cities, and shrines. A haven for serious hikers and explorers, the area surrounding Machu Picchu in Peru offers natural beauty, history, and enchanting mystery. Each day our gay hiking group will ascend and descend the Salkantay Inca Trail to witness new vistas, see incredible ruins (only visible by walking the trail) and live in the actual footsteps of those who built this path nearly 600 years ago. Each day the anticipation of seeing the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu itself, will pull us upward into the clouds, then down the forested slopes to the citadel. Before and after our hike we will also spend time touring Lima, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley.
July 13, 2019 to July 24, 2019 – US $5,498.00
Duration: : 11 Days
Optional Tour Choices: $1200 Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom at hotels; note that tents for the three camping nights may be 2-person tents).
Optional Tour Choices: $90 Pachacamac Ruins Excursion.
Arrival transfer from Lima Airport to Lima hotel; All accommodations in hotels and tents each night; Tents and camping gear for three nights during the trek; All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners; All group transfers and other ground transportation within Peru; Lima-Cusco-Lima flights; Departure taxes for flights within Peru; Tips for included meals, city guides, drivers, hotel luggage handling, Inca Trail cook and assistant guide; Hotel service charges and taxes. HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
International Airfare; Departure taxes for international flights (usually included in the ticket price, but occasionally charged as approximately $40USD separately); 1 lunch and 1 dinner; Tipping to main guide and porters on Inca Trail (est. $150 per traveler), and to HE Travel tour director; Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls.
The exquisite vistas and remarkable sites along the trails of the Incas have attracted intrepid trekkers for the past several decades. The Salkantay Inca Trail provides a physical challenge which rewards hikers with views of Machu Picchu from a rare vantage point. Our ten-day tour offers a taste of Peru with an emphasis on hiking the Incan Trails and discovering the history of the Incas.
Please note exact itinerary for tour days in Lima and Cusco may be subject to change.
After breakfast on Day 2, we will hop on bikes and take a cycling tour of Lima city including: the Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the Cathedral and Archbishop’s Palace. We will also enjoy a visit to a collection of Inca and Pre-Inca arts and artifacts, and tour the Larco Herrara Museum with its extensive erotic art collection. Our lunch and dinner will be at two of the restaurants that have put Lima on the international culinary map.
During our full day in Cusco, we will have a city tour featuring Santo Domingo Monastery, the Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun. We will also head a bit out of town to visit the ancient walled complex of Sacsayhuaman, known for its tightly formed walls made of massive stones, and held together without mortar.
The evening will be free to check out the hip San Blas neighborhood where you can roam the ancient streets and shop at the square that is filled with native art galleries and craft booths. Cusco’s main square also features lovely shops and tempting restaurants, where you can stop for dinner, which is on your own today.
We have an early departure today and a half-day drive toward our trailhead at Challacancha (12,690 feet). We’ll stop in Limatambo, an ancient Incan town with fascinating ruins at Tarawasi. We will also pause for coffee in the village of Mollepata before continuing up to our winding mountain road to Challacancha We’ll meet our horsemen and the horses that will carry our overnight gear, and begin our hike, gradually ascending to the base of Mount Salkantay. Our campsite tonight is at Soyrococha (13,800 feet) in a dramatic setting with a magnificent view of Salkantay Mountain, the second most sacred peak to the Incas, and its glacier (warm clothing is a must, along with a sturdy poncho in the event of rain!).
At lower altitudes we will find a more tropical climate and a cloud forest where white slips appear out of nowhere, only to dissolve like a magic handkerchief and leave us with a perfect patch of blue sky. As the air warms, we will also see more butterflies and the occasional orchid. In the late afternoon, we reach our camp at Andenes (9,481 feet). This is a beautiful spot surrounded by vegetation. We may also catch a glimpse of the very rare que-ua tree found only here in the Andes.
We enjoy a final picnic lunch here, then begin a two-hour descent to the Aobamba River valley with its bamboo forests, coffee plantations, and orchards. Our destination is the hydroelectric plant of Machu Picchu. Depending on timing, we will take a train for the last stretch of our trek, or walk along the tracks to the village of Aguas Calientes. There we will check into our hotel for the night, shake the dust off our clothes, enjoy a hot shower, and replace our sleeping bags with soft hotel beds at one of the finest hotels in the village.
Upon arrival, our guide will give us a tour of the Inca citadel for about two hours. We will then have free time to walk around or climb up the rocky pinnacle of Huayna Picchu Mountain (pending availability of tickets) where one can appreciate spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, you can visit the Temple of the Moon, the Sun Gate, and/or the famous Inca Bridge, or just relax and meditate.
In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes to collect our luggage, board our train toward the Sacred Valley then transfer in a bus to our hotel.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a beautiful stretch of villages and ancient ruins spread across a broad plain beneath the gentle mountain slopes northwest of Cusco. The area is home to several grand haciendas, Inca temples, and quaint villages. It is also a fertile valley and major center of agricultural production for the region. With the Urubamba River as its source, native Andean crops such as white corn, coca, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables flourish in expansive fields and along spectacularly terraced mountain slopes. We will have dinner at our hotel in the Urubamba Valley then get a good rest in our warm beds.
Extension: You may extend your trip with additional time in Lima or Cusco or by adding on a private tour to the Amazon or Lake Titicaca. Please check with us if you are interested in adding a post-tour expedition to your Peru adventure.
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