This is an alternative route to the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, which will take you through amazing landscape and natural beauty with exotic flora and fauna endemic of the region. The trek will involve crossing valleys and mountains before arriving to the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu.
Connecting the city of Mollepata, Cusco with Machu Picchu, the Salkantay Trek is an ancient and remote footpath located in the same region as the Inca Trail where massive snow-capped mountains collide with lush tropical rain forests.
Located less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cusco in south central Peru by the Cordillera Vilcabamba and rising to 6271 meters above sea level (20574 ft) Mt. Salkantay is an outstanding glacier-capped summit worshiped for thousands of years by local indigenous populations. The name Salkantay is a Quechua word meaning “Savage Mountain”. At the base of this mountain is the beginning of our four day journey to the ancient city of Machu Picchu.
Later on we will pass through the ‘cloud forest’ – an incredible naturally occurring ecosystem. Let the clouds allure your sense as you experience the majestic views as you hike your way through them. This will be one of the most unforgettable – and un-recreatable experiences (like most of your trek), surrounded by rare orchids and hummingbirds. In addition to this, our journey takes us through several communities where we will get to experience life as the locals have it – and stock up on some possibly forgotten supplies.
Our last day we will arrive to the greatest ruin of our journey – Machu Picchu! Our private guide will tour you around the city for 2 hours, then let you explore the ancient world on your own. Here, you can discover your Machu Picchu.
DAY 1 – Cusco – Soraypampa – The Pass – Huayracmachay.
- Pickup from your hotel
- Breakfast at the foot of Salkantay
- Private transfer to Soray Pampa (the trail head)
- Hiking to the pass with great views
- Camping in Huayracmachay
- Walking Distance – 15km / 9 miles
- Starting Elevation . 3800 meters / 12477 ft
- Highest Elevation – 4600 meters /15090 ft
- Campsite Elevation – 3800 meters / 12477 ft
- Considered : Moderate
- The area : The Andes
DAY 2 – Huayracmachay – Arrayanniyoc – Challhuay – La Playa
- Hiking in the cloud forest
- Walking Distance – 18km / 11 miles
- Starting Elevation . 3800 meters / 12477 ft
- Campsite Elevation – 2400 meters / 9350 ft
- Considered : Moderate
- The area : Cloud Forest
DAY 3 – La Playa – Lucmabamba – Llaqtapata – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
- llactapata, and a chance to see some ruins
- Trekking on the Inca Trail.
- Walking Distance – 12km / 7.5 miles
- Starting Elevation . 1800 meters / 5600ft
- Campsite Elevation – 2700 meters / 8858 ft
- Considered : Difficult morning
The area : Cloud Forest
DAY 4 – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
- Early wake up, breakfast
- Bus up to Machu Picchu
- Enjoy the sunrise (weather permitting)
- Guided Tour of Machu Picchu
- Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Transfer Ollantaytambo – Cusco
- Train times are at 2.55 pm , 4.45 pm , 6.45 pm depending on train availability
Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Huayracmachay
At approximately 4:30am, private transport will pick you up from your accommodation and begin the 2.5hr drive to the village of Mollepata (2,800 mts) At 7am we will have breakfast and a brief look around the village with time for you to buy any last minute provisions.
It is 1.5 hours more to Soraypampa, (3,800mts) and we aim to start hiking from here around 9am. We’ll begin with a gentle climb for 3 -4 hours to Soyrococha, (4400mts). We’ll stop for lunch at the stunning base of Salkantay Mountain with some time to visit the glaciers. From Soyrococha, we’ll climb for 1 hour to the Salkantay “Apacheta” Pass (4,600 mts) where your guide will lead you through some traditional rituals at the highest point of the trek. From here, we descend for 2-3 hours to the campsite Huayracmachay. (3,800 mts) or another 40 minutes downhill walk to the cozy “Andenes” campsite.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Maximum Altitude: 4600mts
Minimum Altitude: 3800mts
Distance Traveled: 14km approx.
Approximate Walking Time: 7-8 hours
Day 2: Huayracmachay- Arrayanniyoc – Challhuay-La Playa
After an early breakfast, we’ll depart around 6-6.30, descending approx 1 -1.5 hr to Arrayanniyoc (3,300 mts). From here we begin to see the changing vegetation- an indication of the high jungle zone, or, “Cloud forest”. It’s possible to see humming birds and varieties of orchids. We’ll continue through the Ceja de Selva with a gradual descent for approx 2 .5 hours to Challhuay (2,920mts), where we’ll observe different kinds of fruits, flowers, and birds, plus coffee and banana crops. Another 1 km gentle walk to Collpapampa (2,800mts) and then a further 40 minutes to Wiñaypoqo (2,600mts) where we will have lunch around noon near the waterfall.
In the afternoon, we’ll gently descend 300mts for approx. 4 – 4.5 hours to the small high jungle village of La Playa (2,300mts) where we will spend the night.
Maximum Altitude: 3850mts
Minimum Altitude: 3300mts
Approximate Walking Time: 8-9 hours
Day 3: LA PLAYA – LUCMABAMBA – LLAQTAPATA – HIDROELECTRICA / AGUAS CALIENTES
At 07:30 am we’ll begin our trek to the village of Lucmabamba, where we see the remains of an ancient Inca trail. We’ll follow this rising trail, where we will see coffee, banana and passion fruit plantations along with a lovely view of the Santa Teresa Valley. After climbing for 4 hours to reach Llaqtapata (2,700mts) we’ll rest and observe the mountain of Machupicchu from afar. Then, 2 hours downhill to the Hydroelectric Plant at (1,870mts) where we’ll have a final lunch with all of our staff. The arrieros, horse and donkey herders, will return to Soraypampa and we’ll continue onward to Aguas Calientes. At 16:00pm, we will take a 45 minute train journey to Aguas Calientes (2,000mts) where dinner and a comfy bed in a hostal wait for you.
* Trekking poles recommended for the entire trek and downhill. Optional evening bathe in the hot springs just 10 minutes walk from the town.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Maximum Altitude: 3300 mts
Minimum Altitude: 2000 mts
Distance Travelled:12km approx.
Approximate Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Day 4: AGUAS CALIENTES, MACHU-PICHU, CUSCO
Early walk (approximately 1.5 hours uphill from Aquas Calientes) or bus to the Citadel of Machu Picchu. A 3 hour guided tour is included, with plenty of time for solo exploration after. If you’ve booked in advance, you may climb Huayna Picchu, Temple of the Moon, or the Gate of the Sun. Around 1pm, we’ll walk back down the steps to Aguas Calientes for a buffet lunch. At approximately 4pm, we’ll take a train to Ollantaytambo with bus connections to Cusco city around 9:00 pm. Or, a direct train to Cusco departs at 4:30 from Aguas Calientes.
What is Included:
- Ceremony with your tour guide and locals
- Collection from your hotel at 04:45 am
- Private vehicle to Mollepata-Soraypampa (start of the trek)
- 2 person Igloo tents (large and comfortable) and a roll pad mattress
- English speaking professional guide experienced in mountains
- Full board meals 4 Breakfast, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
- Horses/donkeys to carry tents, food, cooking equipment
- Hot water for washing purposes
- Boiled water to fill your bottles
- Train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes
- Expedition Tourist Train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco or private transport to Ollanta
- Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
- Guided tour in Machu Picchu, time to explore on your own
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes: Double or Triple Accommodation
- Dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs
- Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent:
- Round Trip Bus Tickets
What is not Included:
- Personal Mule for 7 Kg US$ 75 (per trekker)Snacks are reccommended: chocolate bars, dried fruits, nuts, etc
- Lunch and dinner on day 4 (return to Cusco)
- Drinks, bottled water, drinks in Aguas Calientes.
- OPTIONAL UP-GRADES:
- VISTADOME: Train to Cusco instead of Expedition Train, an additional US$36 per personTips for your crew guides cooks, horse herders: suggested US$20-25. Tips are optional but they are a great gesture of
- gratitude and a wonderful source of esteem for staff.
We recommend that you bring:
- Sturdy Hiking boots
- Warm clothes and trekking pants (not jeans)
- Layers for variable temperatures, especially at night
- Flash light with extra batteries
- Camera, extra film & batteries
- Sunprotection: sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses
- Thermals : wool socks, gloves, scarf and wool hat for cold nights
- Insect repellent
- Rain poncho : a good rain jacket
- Toiletries / toilet paper / small towel
- Bathing clothes for the hot springs
- Water bottle : water purifying tablets optional
- Personal medical kit
- Original passport and ISIC student card if applicable
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks
- Trekking poles
At Puma Path, your comfort and safety are of our utmost concern. Therefore, we provide all necessary camping equipment for your trek. Included in prices are: sleeping tent, rollmat and pillow for your comfort. Please feel free to bring your own sleeping bag if you prefer.
4 Day Salkantay Including Horsemen for your gear (7kg)
- $650 per person: 2 – 3 people
- $600 per person: 4 – 5 people
- $550 per person: 6 – 7 people
- $530 per person: 8 or more people
- Student Discount (with valid ISIC card) – $20
- Sleeping Bag (4 season) – $25 (Maximum size 1.95m / 6´4″)
- Pair of Walking poles – $20
- Air Matress – $20
- Single Tent Supplement US$75
- Personal Porter (half) to carry 7kg of personal items US$75
- Full Porter to carry 14kg of personal items US$150
TRAIN TIMES: On the fifth day we will take the 2:55, 4:42 or 6:45PM train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantayatambo and then we will transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco.
HUAYNAPICCHU MOUNTAIN: If you are thinking of climbing Huaynapicchu mountain you must book this at the same time as your Salkantay trek. Only 400 people can hike Huaynapicchu per day. You will climb it on your own after the tour in Machu Picchu around 10 .00 am. The price is $25 per person.
HORSES OR PORTERS: On this trek we provide horses to carry your food and the camping equipment, but there will be one cook and his assistant, two horsemen and one porter who is picking up what other hikers throw away as they go. You will have a personal allowance of 7kg for your gear. This will not be available during the day as the horsemen will be ahead of the group.
OUR GUIDES: Most of our guides began as porters before they went to Cusco University and Institute where they learned about the Inca history. They are always learning in order to be the best guides. They each speak English beautifully, along with Spanish and Quechua, the Inca Language. They are all able to communicate with natives from around the area and have lots of history to share with you.
OUR FOOD: Definitely one of the highlights of the tour is the food. It is always fresh and most of it is organic. There is always a lot to eat and lots of options including vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and other types of protein and carbohydrates. Everyone sits down to eat together and we go out of our way to accommodation all dietary requirements including vegetarian options and any food allergies. We do not provide any alcoholic drinks on the trek but if you would like you can bring your own.
OUR EQUIPMENT: We provide 4 man tents for only 2 people and foam mattresses for everyone. Our dining equipment includes a spacious dining tent, tables and chairs, plates and utensils. We do not supply walking sticks, but they can be rented from Puma Path. We bring an extra blanket for all our hikers for those especially cold nights. Just ask and your guide will provide you with one.
Please note that if you are over 1.95 meters / 6´4″ tall then you won´t be able to rent a sleeping bag in Cusco. In this case it is recommended to bring your own.
WE ARE SUSTAINABLE: We always clean the trail as we go. We respect the local people, teach them to keep the area clean, and help the local children. We always take one extra porter who will be walking on the trail just to help clean up– picking up the bottles and plastic bags of the trekkers that came before us..
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE: We try to treat our hikers, our porters and all the local people from the villages with the utmost respect. We travel in small groups to give personalized tours to each traveler, we pay good salaries to our porters and follow the porters law. We provide all our porters with gear, such as shoes, pants, jackets, t-shirts, hats, sleeping bags, and most importantly, health insurance.
FITNESS: The Inca Trail is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it. Fitness is naturally important but the Inca Trail is the kind of trek that anyone with a positive attitude and determination can do. Obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail and the more chance you will have to take in the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do some extra walking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip.
Many people worry whether they will be able to cope physically but complete failure is rare and would usually only result from severe altitude sickness or a person lacking even a basic level of fitness. People of all ages (from teenagers to pensioners) complete the trek and age itself is no barrier if you are positive minded and live an active lifestyle. Before departing for your tour, we recommend visiting your doctor who will be able to provide you with more information.
STORAGE DURING THE TREK: During the Inca Trail trek your main luggage will be stored in Cuzco and you will receive a small duffle bag at your Inca Trail briefing (briefings are normally set for the evening before you start the trek) to pack clothes for 3-4 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group, you should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water and sun screen etc. By Peruvian law the duffel bag carried by the porters must not weigh more than 7kg (14pounds). You can either store your luggage at your hotel or you can leave it with us.
BOOKING: Salkantay is available to depart any day of the week as long as we have two people. You still need to book in advance.
Thanks for traveling with Puma Path, a 100% local company!