The last and most challenging part of the ascent is conquering the mountain switchbacks that lead you to the pass, the highest point on the trek (15,213’ / 4,636m).
The journey continues with a dramatic descent through fields of large boulders and natural stone formations often shrouded in fog, followed by a very welcome hot picnic lunch. After lunch, you will have some time to rest before the final hike through the area’s bucolic countryside; its rolling hills will eventually lead you through marsh-like plateaus to the Wayra Lodge at Wayraccmachay.
Trekking Time: Approximately 6 hours
Hiking Level: Challenging
Today we continue our journey towards Machu Picchu, riding up the Rio Blanco valley and circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point of the ride is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638 meters (15,213 ft).
At the pass we stop to take in views of snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, with the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us.
We will keep our eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass we descend towards the Wayra Lodge, (“Wayra”: wind; from the name of the location “Wayracmachay”: ‘the cave where the wind lives’) our destination for the evening. A hot lunch is taken en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
Accommodations: Wayra Lodge