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 made two excursion with InkaTime: Raimbow Mountain and Sacred Valley. Both of them where super.
At the Raimbow Mountiain we had Grimaldo as a Guide. He was super,... read more patient ‘cause we are not use to hike at almost 5000 mt and he bring us to the Valley Roja also.
A wonderful experience connected with Nature where Grimaldo explain us lot of things and take also a lot of picture with us.
Sacred Valley was with other guide: Miha, and also him where super!
We spend all the day long moving from one site to the other (also Maras that is open just on Sunday in this period) and with a great and enthusiastic group we spend a super day.
Thanks a lot for both of this experience: tour well organized, guide professional and good food during the breakfast-lunch time.
We booked for the Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Group tour, but it ended being a private tour since my husband and I were the only ones that booked the... read more Red Valley part of the tour. This was the only tour we saw that offered a combination of the Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley tour on thesame day trip and at a very reasonable price. Booking and communication were seamless. We were picked up around 4AM and transportation as well as breakfast and lunch were great as well. The rainbow mountain was a sight to see but a little crowded . Make sure you acclimate in Cusco for a few days, stay hydrated, take deep breaths, and small baby steps and it won’t be too difficult to reach the top of the mountain. After the Rainbow mountain, we took the Red Valley route , and wooow!! It was like being in another planet. It was quiet, serene, beautiful and not crowded. While we were there we probably saw 4 other people. Our tour guide Grimaldo made this experience even more memorable. He was very patient, knowledgeable, and friendly. Thank you Grimaldo!! We personally loved the Red Valley more than the rainbow mountain. Both were unique and beautiful in their own ways. Book this tour with Inka Time! It was a day well spent. Muchas Gracias!!
*** This was actually a group tour -- We booked a group tour but was not a selection in the trip advisor review***
This was a great day trip.... read more It was well organized and the lunch and bus were satisfactory. The big 5 start add was the red valley. The rainbow mountain was great, but it was a bit crowded. We finished down the red valley and there was virtually no one there. It was more breath taking than the rainbow mountain from my perspective. We didn't find many tour groups that did the Red Valley, but Inka time did, and this was awesome!>
We have done three different activities with Inka Times and we highly recomend booking with them!! Grimaldo walked us through the Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley and he showed lots... read more of dedication and support towards the group, helping some of the people who were having some troubles with altitude. He was one of the best guides we had on this trip!!! Besides that Inka Times is one of the few travel agencies that takes you to Red Valley which is much more worth it than Rainbow Mountain.
We hike a lot, so I had not planned to hire a guide for our day at Rainbow Mountain and the Red Valley. Once we got to Cusco and... read more started experiencing issues with the altitude, I changed my mind. I am so glad that I did. Our guide, Josue, really made a difference in the whole day. The hike was no joke with the altitude- and Josue was encouraging and so very helpful. He was also informative and engaging. It was easy to work with Inka Time to schedule the tour. Pick up and transportation was easy. We stopped on the way to Rainbow Mountain for breakfast and again on the way back for lunch. The transport shuttle was clean and comfortable. Other people on our shuttle only toured Rainbow Mountain.... big mistake. If you plan to go to Rainbow Mountain- which is absolutely amazing to see!!!, be sure to take the extended tour and hike back through the Red Valley. It is beautiful- plus I always prefer loop hikes vs out and back, so we see something different on the return. Highly recommend hiring a guide for the day. Highly recommend Inka Time. And cannot say enough great things about Josue!!
We booked a two day tour to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu through Inka Time and had a fantastic experience. They were so well organised, easy to communicate with,... read more and took all the hassle out of our travel for us. We joined different groups each day for the sacred valley tour on day 1 and Machu Picchu day 2. Both tour guides (Janet and Ulysses) were excellent. Inka Time booked our train tickets to and from Machu Picchu, our overnight accommodation (which was clean and comfortable) and all our monument entrance tickets. Every step of the way there was someone there to guide us to our next destination and everything ran very smoothly. I’m so glad we booked with Inka Time and would recommend them without hesitation.
We did the Rainbow mountain tour together with the Red Valley. I would definitely recommend to do the red valley also. Hike is not too hard but really worth it!... read more The tour was well organized. Grimaldo was a really nice guide!!
Great tour - can totally recommend doing this tour with them! Service, itinerary, guide and food was excellent.
Inka Time Tours helped me have an absolutely amazing trip in Cusco! As a solo female traveler I felt safe and accommodated. Every tour guide was bilingual so it was... read more easy to communicate and they were able to translate for me throughout the day. The tours covered all of the main highlights, they responded quickly via WhatsApp and too k great pictures! Would highly recommend
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.