As an alternative to the traditional Inca trail, the Salkantay trek is a new route that takes you through fantastic landscapes and ends up in the Inca city of Machu Picchu.
This route was also highlighted by the National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine as one of the best 25 trekking routes in the world. During the way you’ll witness the immensity of the Mt. Salkantay, one of the biggest mountains of the Peruvian Andes.
This 7-day hiking adventure will take us through quite different landscapes. Before starting the trek we’ll spend a couple of days in Cusco and in the amazing Sacred Valley. We’ll then start the trek at a dry high altitude Andean plateau to go down to a mountain rainforest. Finally we’ll reach Aguas Calientes, the small town at the foot of Machu Picchu. You’ll find all the details of the itinerary at the end of this description.
It’ll be a fantastic experience! Please contact me and send your request now if you want to get surprised by the amazing Salkantay trek!
Arrival to Cuscco
Arrival in Cusco, Peru, and transfer to the hotel. After you settle in, you can relax at the hotel or take a tour of the ruins around the city. Before dinner we will have a welcome briefing and the gear check to make sure everyone is prepared for the adventure. That evening we will have a guided walk through Cusco on the way to dinner and enjoy the evening lights and the energy of this amazing city.
Sacred Valley Tour
Today we will take our tour bus and head out for the day. Our local guide will tell us about the sacred valley along the way. We will spend the day exploring the towns, markets and ruins in the valley. This is a very colorful way to start to learn more about the history and local culture of the Incas and Peruvian lifestyle.
Cusco – Mollepata - Soraypampa
The Salkantay trek starts with the transfer from your hotel in Cusco. It starts at 05 AM by bus, driving to Mollepata for approximately 2,5 hours. In that town starts the Salkantay Trek. After breakfast, we’ll begin ascending towards Cruzpata (3200m) along a slight climb. On the way you’ll admire various plants, native birds and a communitarian irrigation canal. Sayllapata is our place for lunch and after that we’ll depart in direction to Soraypampa by a climbing trail with many level variations. The Salkantay trek shows little settlements, flora, small wild birds and spectacular views of the Humantay Peak (5902 m). The trek in this part takes about 4 hours where we may see the Salkantay Mount. Notice this is the only cold campsite during the expedition to Machu Picchu.
Soraypampa – Abra Salkantay - Andenes
Today we will trek over a 4500-meter mountain pass. This is the highest point of our journey. After an early start we will hike up the Rio Blanco Valley. At the pass we’ll stop to take some pictures of the snow-capped peaks of the Valcabamba Range in every direction. The views are stunning here.
We will continue our way up and take a break on the pass. Afterwards we will enjoy a hot lunch to finally descend to our camp at 3840 meters. Hiking time: 4 – 6 hours. Level: moderate to challenging (especially in the pass). Horseback support available for anyone who needs assistance.
Andenes – Santa Teresa or Hot Spring
Today we’ll enjoy a leisurely breakfast. We will then begin our hike downhill above the Salkantay River. Hiking time: 3-4 hours. Level: moderate.
Hot Spring – Hidroeletrica – Aguas Calientes
After breakfast, we’ll re-start our hike at early morning by 6 AM. If we decide the panoramic walking option, we must take a hard section of about 3,5 hours of extreme trekking. That trail takes us to the summit of Llactapata, an Inca site. In this part we’ll also have the opportunity to see Machu Picchu from afar. Then a large switch-back trail takes us down to the river bank. In about 7 hours of total walking we’ll get to hydroelectric, a place where we’ll have some to eat and take the local train to Aguas Calientes at around 8 PM.
The other option of the day is to take a minivan and drive to hydroelectric. Here we’ll start walking along the train tracks. It is an easier and nice walk of about 3 hours with also the possibility to see Machu Picchu form the back side. Early arrival to Aguas Calientes for a relaxing shower by the last day of adventure.
Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu - Cusco
We’ll wake up at around 4:30 AM to take the bus to Machu Picchu, where we’ll have a complete guided tour. The visit to the Inca citadel will take approximately 2 hours. After or before that, if you got the ticket for Huayna Picchu Mountain, you can climb it and experience a panoramic view of all Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surrounds it, visit the temple of the moon or the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we’ll meet in Aguas Calientes again from where we’ll take the train back to Cusco. Here ends the Salkantay trek.
Price per person
- Guiding fee
Skill level required
Fitness level required