The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is an alternative to the Inca Trail and considered by most to be the best alternative route (and maybe even better!). This magnificent trail is perfect for adventurers who wish to become personally integrated in changing ecosystems from one day to the next. You will walk through sweeping, magical landscapes of a snowy mountain paradise to a tropical jungle where you will find a wide range of animals and medicinal plants and flower varieties. Witness with your own eyes a living, but ancient, culture in remote villages hardly ever seen by foreigners! The Cordillera Vilcabamba is an impressive mountain range extending over 260 km. The snow-capped mountain Salkantay rises to 6271 MASL– 20574 FASL in height. It is an outstanding snowy peak, located less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cusco in south-central Peru. Because of its proximity to the city, it is easily accessible by car and it has been climbed by professional mountaineers since 1952. In order to complete the Salkantay Trek, you need to have a reasonable level of fitness, but age shouldn't be a barrier. The most important thing is to be well-acclimatized to the altitude. The highest you will trek the entire time is (4650 MASL – 15092 FASL). Two days of acclimatization before the trek is ideal for visiting the city of Cusco, plus the four the nearby Incan ruin sites and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a great alternative for the Inca Trail trek and better suited for more adventurous trekkers who are able to handle higher altitude and longer distances. Ascending to reach the famous Apacheta Pass at 4650 MASL - 15088 FASL is not too strenuous since it is at the beginning of the trek, neither is it very steep, but it does require stamina and a little time in Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude before beginning the trek.
Welcome to the imperial, Andean city of Cusco, the cultural capital of Peru! Upon arrival, we will take you to your hotel (included in the price of your tour) to drop off your luggage and freshen up. When you are ready, we will take a leisurely half-day tour of this amazing place as you acclimatize to the high altitude (3399 MASL – 11151 FASL). Cusco has a long history and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in all the Americas! Since about 1000B.C. people have lived in Cusco and regarded it as a center of the surrounding culture (then called Qosqo). It has been an important part of every civilization that has lived in the area throughout history, starting with the native people of Peru long before the famous Incan people. On arrival of the Incan Empire to Peru and beyond, Cusco (then called Cuzco) became of the naval of their far-reaching and powerful empire! Of course the Incans were thenconquered by Spaniards who also used Cusco as a colonial, regal capital for the area.
The attractions visited on this tour include:
1 Cusco´s Cathedral
2 Koricancha Temple and Santo Domingo Convent
5 Puca Pucara
Today, you will have the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful and historically rich towns of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We begin the day by picking you up from your hotel in Cusco at 8:30 AM and heading toward the town of Pisac. Before reaching Pisac, we will stop at both the Qorao and Taray lookouts so you can admire the beauty of the Sacred Valley from afar and take pictures. Once in Pisac, we will visit both Pisac´s archaeological site and famous market. For lunch, we will drive to the town of Urubamba, where you will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch of traditional Peruvian dishes.
Continuing on, we will drive to the classic Incan town of Ollantaytambo and visit the town´s amazing and extensive archaeological site with its royal baths, high terraces, temples, etc. surrounded towering mountain peaks and colorful valleys (plus a view of a faraway glacier)! This town is the most well-preserved layout of a typical, Incan-built city with its narrow, cobbled streets and stone walls. Its conservation allows for the enduring legacy of the Incan people to live on for us today! .
The attractions visited on this tour include:
2 mirador taray
5 Hollantay tambo
We will depart from Cusco to Soraypampa in the morning and drive through beautiful Andean landscapes for approximately 3 hours. When we arrive, we will have the first view of the impressive snow-capped Huamantay and Salkantay mountains. Salkantay is the second highest mountain in the Cusco vicinity (6264 m / 20551 ft) We will eat a delicious lunch at Soraypampa before we start the 3 hours hike to our base camp at Soyrococha. At this secluded site we will set up the tents, put on warm clothes, eat dinner and look at the stars.
We have an early breakfast and begin hiking for 1km to the Salkantay pass (4650 m) where we most likely will be the first people to arrive. This is also the highest point of the trek. From here we walk for 15 minutes to get a view of bright turquoise Salkantay Lake. From here we descend in to the cloudforest. After 3-4 hours we arrive at Andenes and have a long, relaxing lunch. When we feel ready, we continue to descend for another 1-2 hours to reach our camp site in the village of Colpapampa. Here we have plenty of time to relax, have dinner and enjoy the warmer temperatures of the cloudforest.
Again we start early to get a head start. Today’s hike goes up and down through lush forest – the entrance to the Amazonas. We have plenty of stops along the way to spot hummingbirds or eat exotic fruits straight from the trees. After approximately 4 hours we arrive in La Playa where we will have lunch. Close to La Playa is our camp site for the evening: Lucmabamba. There are several organic coffee plantations in the area, and we will have a demonstration of how the local coffee is produced. After a little relaxation time, dinner is served!
After an energizing breakfast, we get ready to hike a part of the Royal Inca Trail. We will be walking 2-3 hours upwards until we reach Llaqtapata, an ancient inka construction. From here we will have spectacular views of Machu Picchu city, Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain. After taking it all in, we descend for 2-3 hours until we reach Hydroelectric. Here we have our lunch and wait for the train that will take us through amazing green hillscape to Aguas Calientes. We will check in to our hotel, relax and go to a restaurant to enjoy a traditional Peruvian.
Today is the day! We will get up very early in the morning, have a light breakfast and wait for the bus to take us up to the main gate of Machu Picchu. The bus ride takes 25 minutes, and we will try to be first in line when the gates open at 6am. For around two hours, one of our passionate guides will show you around the city of Machu Picchu and talk about its fascinating history and significance. After the tour you have time to explore Machu Picchu at your own leisure before returning to Aguas Calientes by bus. From here you will take the train to Ollantaytambo where a bus to Cusco will be waiting for you.
Transfer from your hotel in Cusco to the airport or bus station
|01 PERSON||PRIVATE||$1200 PER PERSON||7 DAYS|
|2-12 PERSON||IN A GROUP||$600 PER PERSON||7 DAYS|
Our Imperial 8D/7N Salkantay Trek includes extra horse to carry up to 7kg/16lbs of your belongings. The last night of this trek is spent in a hotel in Aguas Calientes and we do include a 2 star hotel called KANTU Inn or Vista Machu Picchu depends of the availabiltity.
We are the only Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu that works exclusively with specialists and experts.
The Salkantay Trek is our passion and customer satisfaction our success!”
The most popular treks in Cusco at the best price