Salkantay Inca Trail Trek – Inca Trail Salkantay Trek
Salkantay Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu or Inca Trail Salkantay Trek as it is popularly known as, offers an experience of both prominent trails to Machu Picchu. Both Inca Trail and Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu are recognised as among the 25 best treks around the world by National Geographic Travel Magazine.
This seven day high altitude experience begins with a hike through the prominent segment of the Salkantay Trek, high up in the Peruvian Andes. You will be hiking around the Salkantay Mountain and descend to the cloud forest where you will join the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
You will be hiking to the highest point of both treks. Incachiriaska Pass of Salkantay Trek at 5028m / 16495 ft. and the infamous Dead Woman’s Pass of Inca Trail at 4215m / 13828ft.
On your trek along the Salkantay route, you will get to see the views of the Peruvian Andes. This includes snow capped peaks and colourful lakes like Humantay Lake. On Inca Trail, you will be hiking mostly through some notable Inca sites, including Wiñay Wayna and Intipunku or the sun gate before entering the Incas lost city, Machu Picchu.
Why Peruvian Highland Trek?
Peruvian Highland Trek is a fully locally owned tour operating company based in Cusco. We are licensed Salkantay Trek 4 Days tour operators. All our tour guides are locals. They have extensive knowledge about trekking and local culture.
Please take a moment to check out our reviews on Tripadvisor.
Please note this is a high altitude experience. We highly recommend you to spend at least 4 days in Cusco before the trek to acclimatise and avoid altitude sickness.
The best time to experience Salkantay Inca Trail Trek is during the dry season (between March and November). During the rainy season (December to February) the trail gets slippery and holds risk.
Inca Trail is closed in February every year for maintenance.
Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Marcocasa
This is the easiest day of the Salkantay Inca Trail Trek. After picking you up from your hotel in Cusco, we will be driving you to Tarawasi. It is an Inca Site about two hours away from the city of Cusco. We will give you a guided tour here.
After the tour, we will continue driving to Mollepata. This is the starting point of our Inca Trail Salkantay Trek. Along the trek you will get to see some distinct flora and fauna. The trekking guide will be sharing information about different plants and birds of the region.
For the night, we will be camping at Marcocasa (3500 metres /11482 feet). You will get a spectacular view of snow capped Salkantay Peak from here.
Day 2: Marco Casa – Salkantay Pampa
Early in the morning, after an Andean breakfast, we will be hiking to Sooraypampa. Here we will be joining the actual Salkantay Trekking route. The views today are fantastic and we will see several high peaks looming above us.
By the time we get to Soraypampa the three main peaks of the region, Humantay (5917m / 19412 ft.), Tucurway (5910m / 19389 ft.) and Salkantay (6217m / 20573ft.) will all be in view.
From Soraypampa it’s about another hour’s walk to Salkantay Pampa (Salkantay Pass) (4100m / 13451 ft.) where we will camp for the night.
Due to the high altitude it can get cold at night here so you are recommended to put on your hat and gloves before going to sleep.
Day 3: Salkantay Pampa – Pampa Kawana
After breakfast, we will start hiking towards the Inca Trail. Continuing up the valley towards Salkantay we will take a side path that leads us up and over the Incachiriaska Pass (Frozen Inca Pass, 5028m / 16495 ft.). This is the highest point on the trek.
We will then carry on down to the small community of Pampacawana (4000m / 13123 ft.) where we will camp for the night.
The views today are once again amazing. Climbing up over the shoulder of Salkantay you will feel completely dwarfed by the sheer size of the mountain and can get a sense of why the Incas worshipped it as a god.
The whole area is dotted with small mountain lakes of varying hues and colours and we will also hopefully see a variety of wildlife such as Viscachas (rabbit-like Chinchillas) and White Tailed Deer and possibly some of the rarer Andean animals like Condors, Guanacos and Vicunas.
Day 4: Pampacawana – Llulluchapampa
Setting off from Pampacawana we will make our way down the valley to join the Inca Trail at Wayllabamba. Along the way we’ll pass by our first Inca site of the trek ‘Paucarcancha’. At Wayllabamba we’ll switch from using mules to carry our gear to porters – this is to prevent damage to the Inca Trail.
Our campsite for tonight is at Llulluchapampa (3800m / 12460ft.). This is the closest campsite to Dead Woman’s Pass. As we climb up to Llulluchapampa we’ll pass through various biozones including the low jungle, cloud forest and the high puna.
There are many opportunities to see a variety of plant and birdlife and if we are lucky we may spot White Tailed Deer again.
Day 5: Llulluchapampa – Chaquicocha
This is the most challenging day of the seven day Salkantay Inca Trail Trek. We will be hiking up to two high mountain passes. As we will be camping at our exclusive campsite, closer to the summit of the first pass, it won’t be much of a difficult trek.
Most Inca Trail operators have their campsites in the valley far below.
The views today are fantastic, we will see the high mountain ranges as we cross the 2 passes and will have the chance to visit 2 Inca sites (Runkurakay and Sayacmarca). We will also see a variety of plants and life as we are now arriving in the area known as the cloud forest.
Our campsite tonight is at Chaquicocha (3600m / 11800ft) which is one of the quieter campsites and affords beautiful views of the sun setting over the mountains in the distance.
Day 6: Chaquicocha – Wiñay Wayna
After a challenging day hiking through two high mountain passes we will have a relaxing day to immerse in the beautiful scenery the Inca Trail has to offer. With a relatively short distance to cover along what is known as Inca Flat (gentle ascents and descents) we get to enjoy the lush and verdant cloud forest around us and the spectacular views of the Andes in the distance.
With will be visiting two Inca sites (Phuyupatamarca and Wiñay Wayna) this is by far one of the most impressive days of the trek.
Our campsite for tonight is at Wiñay Wayna (2680m / 8792ft) which we will arrive in early afternoon and get to have an extended guided tour once we have settled in.
Day 7: Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu
We will be leaving the campsite at dawn. We will hike to the ‘Sun gate’ (Inti Punku– 2730masl/8792ft) before sunrise. This early morning hike is the final part of the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
From the Sun Gate, you will get a first view ans will see sunrise in Machu Picchu. After some time there, we will walk down the last part of the trail to the citadel. Here you can take the classic photo (picture as postcard shot) of this ancient city.
Finally, we will explore the lost city of the Incas itself! A walking tour (approximately 2 and ½ hours) is given by your guide. After the tour you will have some free time to explore the citadel on your own.
If you have booked in advance, you can hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. Please note, this requires a separate permit which is often booked months in advance.
After your visit to Machu Picchu, you will be taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes town. Here you will have some free time to stop for lunch (not included).
We will then take the train back to Ollantaytambo in Sacred Valley from Aguas Calientes. Here, our representative will be meeting you and will be driving you back to the city of Cusco. You will be reaching Cusco by 09:00 PM.
- Pre-departure briefing, presented by your tour guides
- Private bus to Mollepata -Cruzpata (trek starting point)
- Permit to the Inca Trail Trek National Park
- Entrance fee for Machu Picchu Archaeological Sanctuary
- Excellent highly recommended top leaders guides
- Oxygen assistance and first aid kit en route
- 2 person per tent (new spacious tents)
- Thick, comfortable sleeping mattress, (Pillows by request)
- Dining tent with camping tables, stools and gas lamps, Kitchen tent.
- Nutritious, delicious buffet meals with fresh, high quality ingredients, high in energy value and prepared carefully to avoid illness by our excellent cooks(Vegetarian food and specialized diets
- by request) Combination of International and Peruvian Cuisine.
- Boiled purified water after breakfast to refill your bottles.
- Fairly treated staff carries the equipment, tents, food, cooking gear and dining tents.
- Health Insurance for our porters, cooks, assistants, field crew.
- Accommodation, food, transport, permits and entrance fees for our porters and cooks.
- A gentle start to the day with a wake up coca tea kindly brought to your tent.
- Plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu and a guided tour,
- Visit and guided tours in the Inca archaeological sites en route
- Tourist train return on Day 7th to “Ollantaytambo” then a bus to Cusco.
- 7 Kg personal porter per person. We provides a duffle bag for the porter )
- Sleeping bag (-Minus 8ºC) US$45 for 5 nights
- Single tent US$ 90 for 5 nights trek.
- Single room in Aguas Calientes additional $20 or you can share for no additional cost.
- Trekking poles US$30 each for the entire trek.
- Thermarest US$45 for 5 nights
- Hot shower on 5th campnight (10 soles).
- Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes (10 soles).
- Energy snacks will be very useful as chocolate bars, dried fruits.
- Extra drinks in camps, Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes.
- Tips for the trekking crew, guides, cooks,and porters. It`s a tradition.