This is an alternative hike to the Inca Trail, considered as one of the best 50 Hikes in South America by National Geographic.
This for its well-known natural beauty, on the way you will find splendid landscapes, high mountains, lagoons and snowy peaks like the majestic Salkantay, the second highest of Cusco.
The trail passes through different altitudinal levels typical of the region, from the frigid zone of the Andes to the high jungle that is the mixture between the Andes and the jungle,
where you will also find plantations of bananas, orange, coffee and the sacred plant of coca, the last day you will arrive at Machu Picchu.
This is the best trail for those tourists who love to be in contact with nature; Get ready for this adventure.
The Salkantay trek starts and finishes in Cusco city, for this reason, the passenger must arrive at least a day before the trek (recommended 2 days) to be well-acclimatized to the altitude.
The highest point in the whole trail is located at 4650 meters above sea level (15255.91 feet), also to perform this trek with ease the passenger must have a reasonable physical condition.
DAY 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa – Humantay Lake – Soraypampa.
DAY 2: Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Chaullay.
DAY 3: Chaullay – Playa Sahuayaco – Santa Teresa.
DAY 4: Santa Teresa – Hidroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes.
DAY 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco.
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Map
👇 Take a look at all the information down here 👇
For this Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, we pick you up at 4:30 a.m. from your accommodation, then we’ll leave by bus (two and a half hours) to Mollepata Village (2800 m.a.s.l.) in this place you will have time for breakfast,
while we are getting ready our staff to put on the horses (the horses will carry the camping equipment, food supplies, and 06 more kilos per passenger),
then we continue in a car for one extra hour to arrive in Challancancha (3650 m.a.s.l/ 11975 feet), from here we will start to hike 3 hours to arrive in SORAYPAMPA (3920 m.a.s.l./12861 feet).
At this place will be our first camping site, after lunch, we have the option to go up to the upper part of the camping site to see the beautiful HUMANTAY lake with its unparalleled view(4200 meters/13780 feet).
This will be an extra 3 hours hike (up and down), then we’ll go back to our camping site where we’ll spend the first night.
Walking Distance: 12 km (7.46 Miles) – 5 and 1/2 Hours.
Height at the start of the hiking: 3600 masl. (11811 ft)
Max. Altitude: 4200 masl. (13779 ft)
Meals provided: Lunch and Dinner.
Accommodation: Andean Hut.
We will get up early to have a consistent breakfast, then we start to hike uphill 3 hours to arrive at the Salkantay Pass (4650 m.a.s.l./15256 feet).
Up there, you will find a beautiful landscape with huge snow-capped mountains like Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay, and Pumasillo.
Also, we will see a small lake around Soyrococha, then we will continue our route downhill for 3 hours to arrive in Huayracmachay where we will have a well-deserved lunch.
After taking a short rest, we start to descend to the high jungle for 3 hours, the scenery change around this section because we will find more vegetation proper in this area,
Then we arrive in CHAULLAY (2900 m.a.s.l./9514 feet), our second campsite to rest this second night.
Walking Distance: 22 km (14 Miles) – 9 Hours.
Height at the start of the hiking: 3920 masl. (12861 ft)
Max. Altitude: 4650 masl. (15256 ft.)
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Accommodation: Tents (4-season tent), the tent is fixed inside a thatched roof.
On this 3rd day of Salkantay trekking, after breakfast we will continue the trek, this day we will enter a zone known as EYEBROW OF JUNGLE,
which is like a high jungle, where we will find different plantations of fruits, such as bananas, oranges, pineapples, cocoa, tangerines, plantations of coffee, coca, and other plants.
Also, we will pass for a small waterfall of pure water from the mountains, arriving at SAHUAYACO, low part that is located near the river,
it will be the perfect place to have lunch and take a rest, then we will take you 30 minutes by minibus to arrive at SANTA TERESA (1600 m.a.s.l./5249 f.a.s.l.)(the Passengers can walk, but this hike would be by the bus route).
At this place we will rest this night; after have walked six hours, in the afternoon we will have the option to go to the hot spring “Cocalmayu” to take a bath in the warm and clean water.
To go there, we have to walk 45 minutes, or we have the option to take a minibus – colectivos we can pay 7 or 10 soles, after that we’ll return to the campsite to rest this night.
Walking Distance: 14 km (8 Miles) – 5 Hours.
Height at the start of the hiking: 3920 masl. (12861 ft)
Max. Altitude: 2900 masl. (9514 ft.)
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Accommodation: Tents (4-season tent).
This day, we will continue the trek to arrive in the village of Machu Picchu, the hike will be 5 to 6 hours.
After 3 hours walking we will arrive at hydroelectric, where we will have lunch and then continue our course to the village of Machu Picchu AGUAS CALIENTES (2050 m.a.s.l./6726 f.a.s.l.).
Here will have the afternoon off to rest or also have the option to visit the hot springs, these are located in the upper part of the village.
After dinner, we’ll go to rest early thinking of the tour of the next day, MACHU PICCHU. (NIGHT IN HOSTEL).
(*) In the morning (before hiking) you have the option to go on the ZIP LINE tour, this is pretty fun, it has an extra price.
Walking Distance: 20 km (12.5 Miles) – 6 Hours.
Height at the start of the hiking: 1600 masl. (5249 ft.)
Max. Altitude: 2050 masl. (6726 ft.)
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Accommodation: Hostel (Private rooms with bathroom).
On this last day of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, We’ll get up early in the morning (4:30 a.m.), to start to go up to the archaeological site.
Passengers have the option to take a bus instead of walk, this has an extra price, can be paid there, this is to have the option to see the sunrise up there.
Once you arrive, you will have free time to use the restroom, then we join the group and the guide to get into the Inca Site.
After taking the first pictures our guide will give you information about the history and architecture (this guided tour will last two hours approximately),
then you’ll have free time to walk around and take pictures yourself, also if you want, also, you will have the option to climb up to Waynapicchu or Machu Picchu mountain (Optional with an extra cost).
In the afternoon we have to go down again to Aguas Calientes, where you’ll have time to have lunch, then we’ll take our train to return to Ollantaytambo.
In this place, our staff will be waiting for you to bring you back by bus to CUSCO (22:30 hrs.). You can ask for an earlier train departure to be back in Cusco before, this has an extra price.
OPTIONAL: Hike to Waynapicchu or Machu Picchu mountain, NOTICE To have the classic view that appears on the postcards you don’t need to climb any of these mountains,
these are extra hikes that you have as an option to have panoramic views from the top of the mountains, Waynapicchu, this is a hike of two and a half hours (Up and Down) approximately,
and the Machu Picchu Mountain, this is a hike of three and a half hours (Up and Down) approximately.
Walking Distance: 5 km (3.11 Miles) – 2 Hours.
Height at the start of the hiking: 2050 masl. (6726 ft)
Max. Altitude: 2450 masl. (6726 ft.)
Meals provided: Breakfast.
To start this tour, you have to be at least one day before in Cusco (02 days recommended).
This service in a GROUP TOUR means that you will do the tour with other people, This standard service has 10 to 15 participants, that doesn’t mean you have to get that quantity of people to do the tour, we have confirmed departures every day, so, If you are only one or two people do not worry, you can join some of our groups.
“BEST PRICE PER PERSON: US$ 299.00”
This service is an exclusive way to make this trip, where the service is very much where the service is much more personalized, prices vary according to the number of people in your group:
2 PEOPLE: US$ 735 PER PERSON
3 PEOPLE: US$ 650 PER PERSON
4 PEOPLE: US$ 580 PER PERSON
5 PEOPLE: US$ 530 PER PERSON
6 PEOPLE: US$ 480 PER PERSON
7 PEOPLE and +: US$ 450 PER PERSON
STEP 1: SEND YOUR INFORMATION
Complete the booking form down here or send data of all the travelers to firstname.lastname@example.org like full name, passport number, nationality, date of birth, or a copy of passports, indicating the exact date of travel; Our privacy policies are strict, INKA TIME will use this information exclusively to nominate the reservation tickets, we never share this information with third parties.
STEP 2: MAKE A DEPOSIT
You can book and pay for the tour from our website if you are booking via email, you must choose the best way to pay and make a deposit, for this hike the payment at least is 50%; There are 03 ways to pay: payments via “PayPal“, with debit or credit card Visa or Mastercard (these last two options have an 8% fee), or wire money by Western Union any extra commissions or fees charged must be assumed by the customer; when you send your information you have to specify the payment method you would like to use, then when we mail you back We will send you a request for payment through the platform you chose.
STEP 3: TOUR CONFIRMATION
If you make the reservation on our website the confirmation will be automatic, if you do via email, upon receipt of all passenger(S) data and once we received information of your payment, we will send you your receipt (VOUCHER OF RESERVATION), at this moment your reservation will be guaranteed 100%. (this will be sent at most in the next 8 hours, considering our business hours GMT – 5).
We took the 3 days tour with all tickets and transporte included. Our tour coordinator, Elisabeth, was super good! Always taking care of us all the days of our trip.... read more This was definetely a plus! We loved the tour to the Sacred Valley and the day in Machu Picchu. The tours were given also in english which was good for my belgian boyfriend. All touristic guides very well prepared and enthousiastic for giving us the best experience. Definetely recommendable!!!
From the start, Beto was fast and great at communicating with us while my friends and I were planning our trip. He answered our many questions about the different tours... read more and even remembered details about our trip since one of my friends took on the communicator role with him after I initially reached out. Beto and Inkatime customized our tour so that we saw the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Rainbow Mountain in 3 days. Our whole time in Cusco we were taken care of with organized taxi rides from our drop off points to our accommodations. Elizabeth was great at organizing these details and communicating with us the details of our tour a day in advance. She even rode in the taxi with us to one our accommodations in Cusco when we were concerned about its location. Inkatime, Beto, and Elizabeth really took care of my friends and I during our trip to Peru. 🇵🇪 We would highly recommend booking your tours with them and have already recommended them to our friends. When we go back to Peru, we’ll definitely be using this tour agency again.
We did the full day of mountain biking with Jose. This was amazing and challenging at the same time. Mara’s salt mines and Moray were spectacular. Make sure you have... read more the stamina as you bike in around 3600m e
Inka Time was so organized & helpful from the minute we booked the day tour to Machu Picchu. We received a precise agenda of how the day would go.... read more We also received very helpful advice on what to expect when we traveled to Cusco since we were coming from a much lower altitude and unfamiliar with the country. The day before our tour, a representative visited with us to ensure we understood how to travel and when to get to Machu Picchu. They had a transfer associate meet us at one point, again to make sure we did not get lost & stayed on schedule. At Machu Picchu, Elvis was an amazing guide! He allowed us to take all the time we wanted to view each area & take as many pictures as we wanted. He had a great sense of humor & kept the tour incredibly interesting with his knowledge of Inca history and of Machu Picchu. We couldn't have asked for more from this tour. I picked Inca Time because their prices were so reasonable compared to other companies. I was worried we wouldn't get the best experience since we were paying less, but this is one of the best experiences of all our travels! We HIGHLY recommend this tour to anyone visiting Peru!
We are very happy we hiked Rainbow Mountain & Red Valley with Inka Time (August 2021)! Our tour guides were professional, informative, helpful and caring. The food was very good!... read more We loved every minute of our day! Would definitely recommend them to a friend! T
The red valley is really worth seeing. I loved this experience. The guides are very nice and it was one of the rare agencies to offer this service.
1.- I am just one person, can I join some group tour?
Yes, you can, we have departures every day, feel free to decide when to go.
2.- We don’t like to go in a big group, can we arrange a private tour?
Yes, you can, in the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, our group tours go with 12 or 15 people, but if you want, you can also arrange a private tour, we have different rates for it depending on how many people you are.
3.- I will travel with my family, we have two 55 YO people, do you think, can they make it?
We had people on this trek of 60 and 65 YO, but they were in good shape to walk, they were well custom to walk, the difficulty is more for the altitude.
If that is the case of your family, everything will run normally. If you think they are not too fit to do it, we recommend taking a Private tour, that will be a perfect plan to do the tour quite easily and smoothly.
4.- We want to take the tour included Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, do we have enough time to do it on the same day tour of Machu Picchu?
Yes, On this tour you will sleep in Aguas Calientes (Town of Machu Picchu) so you can take some of the first busses, the park opens at 6:00 am. Suppose that you will get in at 7:00 am.
First, you can climb the Mountain (2 or 3 and 1/2 hours hike) until 10:30 am. Then, you can go out to use the restroom or eat something and rest, then you can start the guided tour around the citadel (Around 2 hours) until 14:00 hrs.
Then you will have free time to continue exploring on your own, the park is open until 5 pm. You will have like 10 hours to be there, the train departure to return is at 19:00 hrs.
5.- How about my luggage, I know I can’t take all my stuff?, where can I store it?
All stuff you will not use on the trek can be store at your hotel, all accommodations in Cusco have storage, so if you book the night when you can back from Machu Picchu, you can leave there.
Also, if you want you can leave your stuff in our office, for that you can write to our email.
6.- How about the altitude, Are going to pass by other places higher than Cusco?
Cusco city is located in 3350 masl. (10990 Ft.), on this trek on 1st and 2nd day you will pass by higher places like Humantay (4200 m. / 13780 ft.) and Salkantay Pass (4630 m. / 15190 ft).
Then all the rest is lower altitude than Cusco, Aguas Calientes 2050 masl. Machu Picchu is located in 2450 masl (8038 Ft.).
We always recommend having at least one or 2 days in Cusco to acclimatize; altitude sickness is very different for everyone, sometimes you don’t have any problem.