Things to do in La Playa

Our most recommended things to do in La Playa

Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

1. Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas and hike along the same paths they used to trek through the mountains centuries ago. Get back to nature and experience amazing views of the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Andes. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Markhuq’asa - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake - Salkantaypampa (L, D) Depart Cusco and journey to Markhuq’asa for the start of your trek to Soraypampa, 3,850 meters above sea level. Stop for lunch at the base camp and then go on a round-trip hike to Humantay Lake. Then continue to the Salkantaypampa base camp to spend the night. Day 2: Salkantaypampa - Salkantay Pass - Collpapampa (B, L, D) Hike to the highest point of the trail at Salkantay Pass and get spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains before a 2-hour downhill hike to the camp for lunch. Then, enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle on a hike through what is know as the cloud forest. Look for native wildlife on the way to the village of Collpapampa, where you will spend the night. Day 3: Collpapampa - La Playa (B, L, D) After breakfast, take an easy hike to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley and marvel at the waterfalls and wild orchids. Encounter coffee, banana, and avocado plantations, and get the chance to sample the local coffee at an organic coffee farm. After a typical lunch in La Playa, here you will have the option (at an extra cost payable onsite) to visit the hot thermal springs and abundant birdlife. Return to the campsite for an overnight stay. Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D) On this day, in Santa Teresa, you can choose to visit the zipline, rafting, or canopy at an extra cost payable directly on-site. Then, you will head to Hidroelectrica, passing through waterfalls coming from the glaciers and fields of cocoa and coffee. After a nourishing lunch, begin a 2-hour walk to Machu Picchu Pueblo, known as Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you can go to your hotel to shower and relax before dinner. After dinner, get some rest before the early morning climb up to Machu Picchu the following morning. Day 5: Machu Picchu (B) Explore Machu Picchu in the early morning before the crowds arrive. You can choose to hike uphill to the ruins or take the bus for an additional charge. Benefit from a 2-hour guided tour on arrival and learn more about the temples, palaces, priest houses, and more. Take the train to Ollantaytambo in the afternoon and then catch the bus back to Cusco for drop-off at your hotel or hostel on arrival.

From Cusco: Classic Salkantay Trek with Return by Train

2. From Cusco: Classic Salkantay Trek with Return by Train

Make the most of your time in Peru with a 4 or 5-day hike along the famous Salkantay Trek. Take in panoramic views of Humantay Mountain, enjoy an optional visit to the Cocalmayo Hot Springs, and watch the sunrise at Macchu Picchu. Campsite accommodation and transfers are included. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Laguna Humantay - Soraypampa After getting picked up from your accommodation in Cusco, drive through the towns of Izcuchaca and Limatambo before arriving at Mollepata, where you can buy a light breakfast and water. Continue to Challacancha, where the 3-hour walk to Soraypampa begins. Stop for lunch and then walk around 1-2 hours to the Humantay Lagoon. Return to Soraypampa and overnight at camp with tent and dinner. Day 2: Soraypampa - Soyrococha - Salkantay - Huayracmachay - Chaullay Wake up with the first light of the day at 5:30 AM and have a quick breakfast. Start your walk to the highest point of the trail: the Salkantay Pass (4650 meters/15255 feet), where you can appreciate the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay, and Pumasillo mountains. The downward hike is snake-shaped, leading to the Huayracmachay camp, where you will stop for lunch. At the end of this exceptional hike, arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 meters/9514 feet) for a break from a long day of hiking. Enjoy dinner at the camp before heading to your tent for the night. Day 3: Chaullay - Playa Sahuayaco - Lucmabamba - Santa Teresa (optional Cocalmayo) After breakfast, hike to the small town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa Valley where you will stop for lunch. After lunch, board a bus to the camp in Santa Teresa, where you can enjoy an optional visit to the Cocalmayo Hot Springs, which have medicinal and therapeutic waters. Enjoy dinner at the camp before heading to your tent for the night. If you choose the 4-day option, you will be taken by bus to Hydroelectric right after your lunch. From there, start a walk on the train tracks through the native jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3-hour trek. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, enjoy free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. Day 4 for 5-day option: Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes After breakfast, start the 3-hour walk to the Hydroelectric through the valley floor. Upon arrival, recharge with lunch. You can add on a zip line adventure after breakfast; in this case, after the activity, you will be taken to the beginning of the trail to Aguas Calientes at Hydroelectric. From Hydroelectric, hike on the train tracks through the jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3-hour trek. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. Day 4 for 4-day option / Day 5 for 5-day option: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco Get up early to start the trek to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. After a steep 1.5-hour walk, be rewarded with views of the sunrise from the Inca citadel before the crowds arrive (you can replace the hike with a bus ride for an additional cost if required). Enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu and the surrounding sites. Enjoy free time to take photos and look around the citadel. If you choose one of the add-on hikes to the mountains, you will split ways with the group to go by yourself to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. Leave Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes (walking or by bus, depending on what you choose). Once in Aguas Calientes, board your train to Ollantaytambo, and take a minivan from there to Cusco. Arrive back in Cusco around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. The drop-off will be in Plaza San Francisco in the historic center, near the Plaza de Armas.

From Cusco: 5-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

3. From Cusco: 5-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Day 1 Cusco – Mollepata – Challacancha – Soraypampa Take an early ride from Cusco to Mollepata. Wake up to the panoramic views of Salkantay, and the magestic mountains of the Apurimac River Valley. Hike up the tall Sayllapata, and ascend ever higher towards the small Soraypampa villages reaching up to 3 850 meters above sea level. Day 2 Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Huayracpunku - Chaullay Lose yourself in the majestic Peruvian Highlands. As you pass the snow capped Salkantay take a better look at it and its adjacent mountains Humantay and Huayanay. The valleys here are laced with rivers, lakes, and moraines. After a long day, take a much needed lunch break in Huayrachpunku, and then head down to  Collpapampa where you will be camping. Day 3 Chaullay – Collpapampa – La Playa – Santa Teresa (Cocalmayo Hot Spring) Cross the path from Chaullay to Playa Sahuayaco. On your way pass Collpabamba, a paradise complete with waterfalls, thermal hot springs, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora and many magnificent birds. Finish a long day of walking with a leisurely evening in Santa Teresa, and its luxurious hot springs. Day 4 Santa Teresa – Hidroelectryc – Aguas Calientes Follow the trail to the small village of Colpani. As you walk you will see the luscious coffee, banana, and passion fruit plantations. Trace the banks of the Vilcanota River until you arrive at a break in the woods. Hike the rest of the way, or take a small car to Hidroelectirca. From Hidroelectrica you will be able to see views of the Machu Picchu sanctuary. Spend the night at Aguas Calientes, dipping in the famous hot springs, or taking a stroll around the town. Day 5 Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco Arrive at Machu Picchu early in the morning and enjoy an intimate tour of the ruins with your professional guide. Explore the citadel on your own. If you have a sense of adventure you may go up the Huaynapicchu mountain or climb the taller face of Machu Picchu. You will return to Cusco late in the evening.

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What people are saying about La Playa

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 20 reviews

The trek itself really well organized, unfortunately bad briefing beforehand.

The trek itself was an incredible experience. Everything very well organized, food excellent, also for vegetarians. Raul, our guide, is a super personable person who was very concerned that we are all well. He accompanied us during the days and also provided very interesting information about the country and its people. The camps were more comfortable than I expected in advance. Unfortunately, the briefing did not work well in advance. The guide, who was supposed to give me the information about the trek on the spot, was 2 hours late and did not tell me anything that could not be read in the online description. Optionally you can visit hot springs and zip linen on the route, I did not have this information in advance. Furthermore, I was not given a bag / backpack for the second luggage.

The 5-day hike on the Salcantay, stopping at Lake Huamantay and ending at Machu Picchu, is a must for every Peru visitor. Best of all, however, is the guide (and the cook), who take you straight to their hearts and take you into the family. If you are lucky Big Willy will be your guide and Manzanita (Sergio) your cook and you will spend the best 5 days of the year.

Great experience!

The guides were great and helped with whatever problem, plenty of food (and good!), good camps and fun activities. the trek itself is beautiful, although the second day can be hard and long.

The tour was tough, but every step was worth it. The nature is fabulous!

It was a great tour, the accommodation was better as I thought