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The Salkantay trek from Cusco, the less traveled path to Machu Picchu (9 days)

Salkantay, Peru
Salkantay, Peru
Salkantay, Peru
Salkantay, Peru

Join Alejo, experienced local Guide from Mountain Madness, on this journey to the spectacular Inca ruins of Machu Picchu along the amazing and less travaled Salkantay trek.



9 Days

May, Sep




* Trek to Machu Picchu along the less traveled Salkantay trail

* Discover scenic rural villages along the way and archaeological sites

* Enjoy a challenging trek over high mountain passes and subtropical highlands


Join Alejo, experienced local Guide from Mountain Madness, on this journey to the spectacular Inca ruins of Machu Picchu along the amazing and less travaled Salkantay trek.

Meaning “savage” or “wild” in traditional Quechua, Salkantay is indeed a wilder experience than the popular, touristy Inca Trail – here we’ll be encountering fewer people and we’ll be able to take in dramatic views, and rich history. Enjoy increased solitude as we climb to and cross the 4,600 m/15,091 ft. Salkantay Pass, which gets us breathtakingly close to the towering peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba range, particularly the spectacular Nevado de Salkantay with its 6,271 m.

From the pass the trail descends into the Santa Teresa Valley, passing through small farms and villages, eventually reaching the Urabamba River. There are also numerous interesting archaeological sites along the way. A short but very scenic train ride takes us to the town of Aguas Calientes where we’ll spend the night before our early rise the next morning for Machu Picchu. This trek, and the Santa Teresa Valley, is thoroughly described in the NY Times bestseller “Turn Right at Machu Picchu” by author Mark Adams.

The Salkantay Trek combines the colourful and interesting city of Cusco, the beauty of the Sacred Valley, and a “road less traveled” trail to Machu Picchu.

Don’t miss out on this chance to experience a different kind of adventure in this ancient Andean landscape. Request to book now and i’ll be delighted to guide you on this trek along the spectacular Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu!

To see all the other amazing trips I’m offering in this area, be sure to check out my profile page!

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transportation start and back

- Transport during the trip

- Luggage transfer

- Permit and entrance fees

- Group porters

- Clean drinkable water

- Mountain guide expenses


Day 1: Departure to Perú

Fly to Lima. Flights from North America usually arrive late night or very early morning. Take early morning flight to Cusco (10,909 ft).

Day 2: Arrive in Cusco

A Mountain Madness representative will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the our hotel. Most flights arrive in early morning so you will have some time to shop for local Quechuan Indian handicrafts and getting familiar with Cusco’s fine restaurants, cobblestone streets, and relaxing courtyards. In the afternoon we will tour the city, visiting old cathedrals and Inca temples, and explore the famous Sacsayhuaman ruins.

Day 3: Sacred Valley

Today we will visit the beautiful Vilcanota/Urubamba River Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley, 10.335 ft. Our explorations will take us through Andean villages, local markets and the very important ruins of Pisac and/or Ollantaytambo. Return to Cusco for overnight. Many great options for Dinner.

Day 4: Soraypampa

Drive to village of Mollapata, (9,350ft). Trailhead is 11,000 ft and we will meet our trekking staff and the pack horses. Hike through beautiful valley, ascending slowly to campsite at Soraypampa, (12,631ft). Views of Humantay and Salkantay Peaks.

Day 5: Collpapampa

Following early breakfast hike uphill for several hours to reach high point of trek, Apacheta Pass at 15,091 ft. Incredible views of Mount Salkantay, Humantay and Huayanay. Hike downhill 2+ hours to campsite at Collpapampa, approximately 10,000 ft. This is the longest hiking day or the trip, approx. 8 hours of hiking.

Day 6: Santa Teresa

Walking from our camp at the village of Collpapamba you pass the farms of the villagers and pleasant terrain of the high jungle zone. Many species of birds, fruit, flowers as well as crops of coca and banana. Many waterfalls along the way. Campsite at village of Santa Teresa, 4,500ft.

Day 7: Aguas Calientes

Hike about 4 hours to eventually catch local train to town of Aguas Calientes. Interesting hike with views of beautiful Santa Teresa valley. Ride train (30 minutes) to Aguas Calientes and spend night in hotel.

Day 8: Machu Picchu

Early wake up and breakfast so you can get to Machu Picchu at daybreak. 2 hour guided tour. After the tour you have several hours on your own to enjoy the incredible ruins of Machu Picchu. Afternoon bus to Aguas Calientes and catch the train to Ollantaytambo where you will be picked up for ride back to Cusco. Evening at hotel.

Day 9: Travel home

Fly to Lima to connect with flight home.



More info

Not included in Price:

Airfare Personal equipment Staff/guide gratuities Items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, room service, etc.) Trip cancellation insurance Medical rescue insurance Alcoholic beverages

Meeting point

Cusco International Airport

Equipment you will need to bring

Basic trekking clothing and boots

About the guide

Guide profile image


Mountain Leader

UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide from Ecuador.

Alejo fell in love with the mountains in his early years as a boy scout, and became a proficient rock climber in his youth. Through these activities, he met the friends that helped him summit Ecuador's famed peak Cotopaxi at age 14. Since then, Alejo has spent countless days in the mountains and has shared this love with many aspiring climbers.

He has climbed in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and recently did some serious alpine climbing in the Alps as part of his training to obtain his UIAGM certification. Alejo is the second Ecuadorian guide to achieve full UIAGM certification, one of very few US-certified Wilderness Emergency Medical Technicians (WEMT), and a certified member of the ASEGUIM.

He also works as a climbing, rescue, and outdoor medicine instructor. He enjoys traveling, hiking, scuba diving, running and is a pretty darned good cook.





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