If you are thinking you won’t be able to do the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu because of its difficulty, you are totally wrong! This tour is made for any hiker in search of adventure as an alternative to the inca trail, but remember it’s not an easy one but if you accept the challenge we can assure you won’t regret it.
Often translated as the ‘Savage Mountain’, Salkantay (6271m / 20569ft) is located northwest from Cusco city, and the highest peak of the stunning Vilcabamba mountain range. The Salkantay pass is the hardest part of the trek and the highest point with 4630m above sea level.
In the rainy season we are able to watch the Southern Cross constellation above the Salkantay Mountain’s top. The Incas used to consider this Apu as one of the deities that controlled weather, and associate fertility with this astrological event.
During the dry season, it is one of the best times to experience the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.
On the Salkantay trekking you will enjoy unforgettable places such as the majestic lost Inca city ‘Machu Picchu’, incredible mountain landscapes, passes to the high mountains, quiet trails, exuberant tropical forests, native quechua communities and not so known Inca ruins.
Machu Picchu Kingdom of the Inca Empire will offer you a complete Salkantay Trek Private tour, you will be assisted by our professional hike team who will be accompanying you during the road.
Optionally you can even visit the iconic, Lake Humantay on the first day of this trek.
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Cusco Airport Transfer
We will pick you from your hotel at 5:00 AM in the morning to drive you in a private vehicle. We will be riding on the road to Sayllapata for about 4 ½ hours, until we reach the city of Mollepata. From there we will continue to Sayllapata (3600m / 11808ft).
Here we will meet our team who will be accompanying us on our road. While they prepare the horses, we will be able to make last minute shops and share some coca tea with you to help avoid altitude sickness.
From this point, once we are ready we will start the ascent on foot towards Soraypampa (3800m / 12464ft), where we will have our first lunch together.
Next, we will follow a path that goes up to Salkantaypampa where we will be experimenting with many variations of the levels. Through this path we will find small groups of local houses and will catch sight of the first look of the Salkantay mountain.
Now, we will ascend for about 2 hours until we reach our campsite in Soyroccocha (4200m / 13776ft) right next to the imposing glacier of the Salkantay trail.
After we finish breakfast, we will start a 1 ½ hour climb; we finally have made it to the highest point of the Huayra Machay Pass trek with a high altitude of 4525m (14846ft).
From here, we begin to descend towards the so-called cloud forest. After descending to the cloud forest, we will contemplate remains of the old Incan trail, a long easy descent across the Salkantay River.
We will have a quick stop to rest and eat lunch in Huayramachay (3850m / 12628ft), to arrive late to our second camp spot in Collpapampa (2890m / 9479ft), a beautiful place with some hot springs to enjoy and relax before we set up our camping equipment.
Today we will continue our hike (after a proper breakfast), making a quick downhill walk along the Santa Teresa river. During the trail we will be able to enjoy the increasingly abundant vegetation as well as wild fruits, passing through waterfalls and coffee plantations.
The arid highland landscape begins to change into a cloud forest full of trees and bromeliads.
Next, we will pass the Santa Teresa river, the waterfalls at Coripacchi, the settlement in Wiñaypoko to finally get to La Playa, where we will have our lunch.
At the end we will arrive at Lucmabamba (2100m / 6888ft) where we will be passing the night.
As usual we will have breakfast, on this day we will start walking to Llactapata (2650m / 8692ft) . On the way we can see banana, coffee and avocado plantations. At this part, we are inside at the Andean-bear territory, we will observe flocks of parrots as well.
Now it’s time to climb for the next 2 or 3 hours up to Q’elloqasa Pass (2860m / 9381ft) from where we will have an exceptional panoramic view of the magnificent recently restored archaeological sites.
Descending towards the Aobamba River, we will be crossing lush bamboo forests and several orchid sows that will take us to the Hydroelectric plant to have a well deserved lunch once more.
From here we will board a train that will take us to Aguas Calientes (40 minutes).
We can finally leave the sleeping bags aside, you will be spending the night at an Aguas Calientes hotel.
Today we will have breakfast at the hotel very early. We will be transferring you at 5:30 am to the bus stop for the short trip (25 minutes) to the citadel of Machu Picchu to have a full day tour from Aguas Calientes.
Upon arrival you will receive a guided tour of the Archaeological site, with a complete explanation of the Inca Empire and where you will explore different places of the Citadel such as the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Solar Clock (the most important preserved Intihuatana), the royal rooms, the Temple of the Three Windows, warehouses, houses, a large central square.
Once we finish the tour, you can feel free to walk around the site.
You also will have time to do the Ascent to Huayna Picchu if you want (this is not included in the price). From here you will appreciate a panoramic and breathtaking view of the majestic Machu Picchu.
Remember that for you to climb this spectacular mountain, you will have had to separate your ticket months in advance, because of its popularity, Huayna Picchu receives several tourists per day.
We will have our last lunch together, a buffet at the Lodge Restaurant Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. After this, we will have to prepare our luggage to take our train back to Cusco.
In the afternoon you will direct from the Aguas Calientes train station to Ollantaytambo (located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas) from where we will return to Cusco.
Once you arrive, someone will wait for you to transfer to your Hotel in Cusco, this is where we said goodbye!