The Incas built thousands of miles of trails along the Andean Mountain Range. Amongst the many Inca Trails to Machu Picchu, Salkantay is a scenic and dramatic route. It traverses along with the Salkantay mountain range, offering breathtaking views. To give an authentic expedition flavour, horses bring the necessary supplies for your camping. You visit local communities and plantations along this trail. Once you conquer this trek and visit the fabled site of Machu Picchu, you have some free time to explore the Cusco Valley. Salkantay Trek is a great way to discover the wonders of the Peruvian Andes.
|Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu|
|Cuzco, Aguas Calientes|
Variety of Transport:
|bus/van, walk, hike and train|
Moderate to Difficult
Hiking along the Salkanty Trek can be a challenging walk and requires a good level of physical fitness.
|Unique Local Experiences:||Explore the land and history of the Incas and what resulted in the rise and fall of its most important site in the history of South America.|
|D-02||Rest and Briefing Day||B||Hotel|
|D-03||Trek Day 1: Salkantay Trek||B+L+D||Camp|
|D-04||Trek Day-2: Salkantay Trail||B+L+D||Camp|
|D-05||Trek Day-3: Salkantay Trail||B+L+D||Camp|
|D-06||Trek Day-4: Salkantay Trail – Aguas Calientes||B+L+D||Hostel/Lodge|
|D-07||Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cuzco||B+L||Hotel|
|D-08||Rest Day – Optional tour/Sacred Valley||B||Hotel|
|D-09||Cusco – Departure||B|
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Day 01 Arrive at Lima/Cusco (00:45 am)
Fly Lima – Cuzco
Arrive at Lima airport. Depending on the time of your next flight you will connect with your flight to Cusco. Once in Cusco, you will be transferred to your hotel where you will rest for the remainder of your day.
Day 02 Cusco: Walking Tour & Briefing Day
After breakfast today, you can rest and give your body a chance to acclimatize. You will have the opportunity to meet with your trekking guide for a short briefing about your Trek.
Optional: Walking Tour of Cusco
You also have the option to take a short walking tour of Cusco: Once the capital of the Inca Empire. The city was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1983. Since then it has seen a tremendous number of tourists increasing every year. Cuzco sits at an altitude of 3400 meters, which means that it is actually a thousand meters higher in elevation than Machu Picchu (2430 m). Our tour today starts with a visit to the famous Basilica Cathedral, built-in 1560 by the Spaniards. It is a Baroque-style jewel of colonial architecture, with its ten chapels, largest altar and a collection of more than 400 paintings. Later we will visit Koricancha the main Inca temple dedicated to the supreme sun god. The name Koricancha in the Quechua language means “a gold enclosure”, probably named after its inside wall that was exquisitely decorated in gold.
Day 03 CUSCO – MARCCOCASA – SAYLLAPATA- SALKANTAY PAMPA- ANDENES
Early in the morning, we will depart from Cusco to the town of Mollepata. This four-hour drive takes us over the Pampas or Yawar Anta Pampa (Pampa de la Sangre). The pass is historically remembered for a fierce battle between the Incas and Chancas for control of Cusco city. We will continue our journey to Mollepata, where we will stop for breakfast and take a short break. We will continue our journey through Cruz Pata at 3200 meters to reach Soraypampa at 3800 meters, the starting point of the trek. Here we will meet our wranglers and horses. After a short introduction, we start our hike towards the base of Mt. Salkantay 6271 meters. From here a steep ascent for the next two hours to Soyroccocha. The walk rewards you with wonderful views along the magnificent Salkantay Glacier. Continuing uphill, we reach Abra Huayracmachay, at 4600 meters the highest mountain pass along this trek. From here you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding glaciers and the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range. While the south face of the towering Salkantay looks right down at you, there is a good chance to spot chinchillas and condors in their natural habitat. From this point, we start descending towards a more tropical climate and into the so-called cloud forest. A long though easy descent brings us to our first campsite at Andenes 3500 meters. Your camp staff is ready to serve a freshly cooked dinner.
Day 04 SALKANTAY PAMPA – HUAYRACMACHAY – COLLPA PAMPA
Early in the morning, our guide will wake us up with hot coca tea. After having breakfast we will start our trek with a steep ascent for the next two hours to Soyroccocha. The walk rewards you with wonderful views along the magnificent Salkantay Glacier. Continuing uphill, we reach Abra Huayracmachay, at 4600 meters the highest mountain pass along this trek. From here you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding glaciers and the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range. While the south face of the towering Salkantay looks right down at you, there is a good chance to spot chinchillas and condors in their natural habitat. Another three hours trekking downhill will bring us to our second campsite at Lick Pampa 2890 m. Your camp staff is ready to serve you a freshly cooked dinner.
– Maximum Altitude: 4600 M
– Mínimum Altitude: 2890 M
– Distance traveled: 16 km
– Approximate time of walk: 7 to 8 hours.
Day 05 COLLPAPAMPA – LA PLAYA
After breakfast, we will begin this day with an unforgettable walk that will allow us to see the changing landscapes of snowclad peaks surrounding us. Along the trail, we can see a variety of flora and fauna of the Andes. If luck prevails we should be able to spot the famous Peruvian National Bird, the “Cock of the Rock”. Here if the weather permits we can try out a bath in the falls, take a short break and enjoy the picturesque surrounding. Continue walking towards our campsite, where we have lunch and spend relax for the rest of the day.
– Maximum altitude: 2890 M
– Minimum Altitude: 2100 M
– Distance traveled: 12 km
– Approximate time of walk: 5 to 6 hours.
Day 6 LA PLAYA – LLACTAPATA – HIDROELECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES
After breakfast, we will begin our walk. Along the way, we will see the remains of another Inca trail. Continuing our walk east along an ascending path to Llactapata, we will pass through the coffee, bananas, and avocado plantations. From here we can see a beautiful view of the valley of Santa Teresa. From here we ascend for the next few hours to the highest point of Llactapata at 2700 meters. We will stop for a short rest and enjoy the splendid views of the mountain of Machu Picchu. For the next two hours, we will descend into the valley to reach the Hydroelectric Power Station (1870 m). Here we will have our last camp lunch with our camp team and staff. From here we will take our short train ride to Aguas Calientes, the base camp of Machu Picchu. Here you will be staying at a local hotel or hostel. You will have the time to explore this bustling town, which offers many bars, cafes, and local souvenir shopping.
– Maximum altitude: 2700 M
– Minimum Altitude: 1870 M
– Distance traveled: 12 km
– Approximate time of walk: 6 to 7 hours.
Day 07 AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHUPICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO
Early morning, we will arrive at the bus station of Aguas Calientes where we take our bus to the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. This short bus ride takes only 20 minutes and drives along an unpaved, steep and winding road. Finally, we will arrive at Machu Picchu. Here you will meet your local guide who accompanies you on an informative tour of this beautiful citadel. The walkers will have free time to explore the city on their own. You will have enough time to walk up to the Sun Gate for some amazing views of the Machu Picchu complex and its surroundings. In the afternoon we return to the station to catch the train to Ollantaytambo. From here our transport will bring you back to Cusco.
Day 08 Rest Day – Optional tour/Sacred Valley
You can take one of our optional tours to explore the Sacred Valley or just rest and relax and do some last-minute shopping.
Day 09 Cusco – Departure
We will transfer you to the airport for your return international flight or join one of our extension programs.