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Cordillera Vilcabamba, Perú

Salkantay & Machu Picchu

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Where: Perú

Length: 6 days

Level: Intermediate

From: $590


An epic trek alternative that takes you all the way to Machu Picchu.

The Salkantay Trek passes through the iconic layers Peru’s tropical sierras.

The Salkantay trek is often considered an alternative to the often heavily reserved Inca trail.

The Salkantay trail is a nature lover’s paradise. The trek puts you face-to-face with Peru’s famous biodiversity and jaw-dropping plant life.

The cloud forests are littered with vibrant and colorful orchids. Furthermore, These forests make way for dense jungle and coffee plantations.

The trek’s lush valleys and forests are home to many tropical fruit orchards. They contain delicious fruits that are native to Peru.

During the Salkantay trek, you’ll camp adjacent to alpine glaciers and cascading waterfalls.

On top of that, the altitude consistently decreases throughout the 5-day-trek. From the highest pass at Huaracpampa to the bustling town of Aguas Calientes, the trek becomes more manageable throughout.

One of the most breathtaking moments of the Salkantay trek is when you reach the archeological site of Llactapata and the silhouette of Machu Picchu graces the horizon. As a result, this view of the Incan citadel gives you that final burst of energy required to finish your journey.

There are a number of options for this trek. You can either camp or stay in locally owned cabins. Furthermore, you can enter Aguas Calientes by an abandoned railway line, too.

You can also combine this trip with a number of local mountain climbs or other hikes around Cusco. We hope to see you there!

Read more about your upcoming adventure on the Salkantay trail.

"One of the joys of this trek was seeing how much our local team revered and respected the awesome environment we were surrounded by."

- Cindy Fisher

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 -

Early pickup and travel by bus to Mollepata, a small town situated on the slopes of the Apurimac River. A three hour hike to Cruzpata for lunch will provide panoramic views of snow-capped Humantay and Salkantay (6271m/20575ft). Head towards your first campsite at Soraypampa, the highest and coldest campsite of the trip, situated at 4000m/12750ft.

Day 2 -

Start the day climbing for the highest pass on the trek, located at 4650m/15200ft and nestled halfway between two looming giants: Salkantay and Tucarhuay. After marveling at these high altitude spectacles, you will witness a rapid environmental transition from high mountain landscapes to tropical jungle. After lunching at Huayracmachay, hike approximately three hours more to your second campsite, Colcapampa.

Day 3 -

Pass through valleys with wonderful views of waterfalls, tropical fruits and plants. Set up camp in the warmth of La Playa (2500m/8202ft), and after some rest, head to the nearby hot springs and enjoy a well-deserved soak in its soothing waters (Optional).

Day 4 -

A three hour steady climb through lush sub-tropical forest brings you to Llactapata, an incredible Incan fort from which you will see the backside of Machu Picchu against the surrounding mountain tops. Arrival at Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night (optional hot spring in town).

Day 5 -

Enjoy an early morning visit to the fabled ruins, witnessing Machu Picchu awake with the sunrise, and spend the day in both guided and individual exploration. Optional climb of Huayna Picchu (2720m/8890ft). Meet with your guide in Aguas Calientes for lunch and receive your train tickets back to Cusco.

What's Included

Can be included

  • All in-country transport during trip
  • First class bus tickets
  • Hotel accommodations for specified time
  • Professional, certified English-speaking guides
  • Professional outdoor cook, 3 healthy meals a day plus snacks during the wilderness components of the trip
  • All national park entrance fees
  • All camping and cooking equipment
  • Donkeys or llamas and porters where applicable
  • Sleeping tents
  • Sleeping mats
  • Cook tent, eating tent, tables, chairs, and bathroom tent
  • First aid kit stocked for wilderness expeditions

Not usually included:

  • International flights and applicable airport taxes
  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • All food during in-town days except the Celebration Banquet
  • Incidental personal expenditures, including emergency evacuations and medical expenditures
  • Insurance: personal travel, high mountain and/or medical insurance

Enquiry Form

Expedition Enquiry

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