SORAYPAMPA | CROSSING THE SALKANTAY PASS
Day five is the longest and most strenuous day, but arguably the most magical day of the trek. After an early start, you hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak. As you gradually make your way up these mountain trails, you will encounter expansive plateaus dotted with boulders of varying sizes, the remnants of a valley that was once bisected by a fast-flowing river.
The final and most challenging part of your ascent is conquering the mountain switchbacks that take you to the Salkantay Pass, the highest point on the trek (4,636 m/15,213 ft). What follows is a dramatic descent through fields of giant boulders, often shrouded in fog.
After a very welcome hot picnic lunch, you will continue down through bucolic rolling hills and marsh-like plateaus as you take your final steps to the Wayra Lodge at Wayraccmachay. The most remote of our lodges, Wayra sits on a promontory that offers a spectacular view of the “other” side of Mt. Humantay, a reminder of how far you have journeyed that day.
Trekking Time: 6–8 hours (including lunch).
Hiking Level: Challenging, crossing a 4,638m (15,213 ft) mountain pass.
Overnight: Wayra Lodge at 3,906 m/12,812 ft.