Salkantay Trek

Salkantay Trek

7 Days / 6 Nights

Price fromRequest

Follow in the footsteps of the Inca on this once in a lifetime physical, cultural, and spiritual journey that will take you through the magnificent Salkantay Inca Trail to the legendary ruins at Machu Picchu. Challenge yourself as you hike through nine different bio-zones, changing altitudes and varied terrain. The route winds through the Cordillera Vilcabamba, a spectacular Andean mountain range, before plunging into forested canyons. Be inspired by the majesty of your surroundings and marvel at the exquisite beauty of the Salkantay Peak and Humantay Glacier Lake.

On the way you'll discover the culture and customs of local Andean families who maintain centuries-old traditions. Witness environmental and social initiatives to maintain the natural integrity and improve quality of life in the region. A real highlight will be the warmth of the people!

At the end of your days, you'll indulge in the comfort of enchanting mountain lodges and innovative gourmet cuisine for recovery of mind and body. You'll spend two nights at the Salkantay Lodge, and one night at each of three other lodges located along the trail: Wayra Lodge, Colpa Lodge and Lucma Lodge. The last night of the journey is spent in an award-winning hotel in the town of Machu Picchu in anticipation of the grand finale: a visit to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.

There is an Equestrian focused version of the Salkantay Trek available on selected dates. Additional charges will apply for this program. Please enquire with us for departure dates and pricing.

Salkantay Trek map

Day 1: Cusco to Salkantay Lodge After an early breakfast, you will be picked up at 7am at your Cusco hotel by a guide. En route you will take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hrs from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where you stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to Marcoccasa (30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle). Here, we begin our trek to Soraypampa, on an old route called the "Camino Real" (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for everyone to acclimate, while enjoying a beautiful six hour trek.

After a warm welcome to Salkantay Lodge by friendly staff, you will be shown to your room and have time to freshen-up, before tea and cookies. The trip leader will hold a briefing by the fireplace, followed by aperitifs and dinner. Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley - Mt. Salkantay, the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at 6,270m, the highest in the region.

Trekking Time: Approximately 6 hours (including picnic lunch en route) Hiking Level: Moderate Option: Guests who do not wish to trek may be transported to the lodge by vehicle.

Day 2 : A Hike to Humantay Lake Today we take an acclimatisation hike on the slopes above the lodge to Lake Humantay, fed by the hanging glaciers of Mt. Humantay. The hike is optional, but the views are amazing, and those brave enough can even go for a dip. We return to Salkantay lodge for lunch with your afternoon at leisure, after which you may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in our outdoor jacuzzi. Spend the night at the Salkantay Lodge with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds. In the evening, the guide briefs you on your gear and the itinerary for the following day. All meals are served at the Lodge.

Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging Option: Horseback Riding

Day 3 : Crossing the Salkantay Pass This is the big day! After an early start, you hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point on the trek is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638m. At the pass stop to take in views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us. Keep your eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass descend towards Wayra Lodge ("Wayra": wind; from the name of the location "Wayracmachay": 'the cave where the wind lives') our destination for the evening. A hot lunch is served en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge.

Trekking Time: 6 - 8 hours (including lunch) Hiking Level: Challenging, crossing a 4,638m mountain pass Option: Horseback Riding

Day 4 : Descending into the Cloud Forest On this day you will enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge. Then descend along the left bank of the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. You will feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge you are greeted with a Pachamanca, a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones. Everything is then covered with hot stones, plantain leaves, high Andean grass and local herbs and the contents are baked in this underground oven.

Your accommodation this evening is at Colpa Lodge, located on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor jacuzzi has panoramic views of lush green mountains. Spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the nearby orchid trail. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Trekking Time: 3 - 4 hours Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate

Day 5: Following the Santa Teresa River Valley Today hike along the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas. Pass through banana, granadilla, avocado orchards and coffee plantations (said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world). A hot picnic lunch is served by the river. After lunch, hike another hour before a private vehicle meets us for a short drive to the beginning of the "Llactapata Inca Trail" (aprox. 30 minutes). From the head of the newly restored Inca trail make your way to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. On the way visit an organic coffee plantation where you join the owner on a short tour of the farm and learn how coffee is grown, harvested, dried and processed. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Overnight at Lucma Lodge at 2,135m

Trekking Time: 5 - 6 hours (including lunch) Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging (because of distance, not terrain) Option: Canopy Zip Line Tour (Please see page 10 for detailed information).

Day 6 : First Views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass After a hearty breakfast, tackle the last day of our trek. Head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,736 m), where we come upon a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers ever get a chance to admire. We take a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is served at a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. After which we begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Board a train for a scenic ride (approx. 1 hour) to Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, we check into an award-wining hotel for a celebration dinner with our guide and one last briefing! Overnight in Aguas Calientes at 1,900m.

Trekking Time: 4 - 6 hours Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging

Day 7: Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary Return to Cusco at 3,360m

After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, make your way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). Your trip leader will give an introductory 2 hour guided tour of the ruins, after which you have the option of climbing the steep staircase of Huayna Picchu, a steep and vertically quite challenging hike that takes about 2 hours which affords great views of Machu Picchu. Afterwards, meet up with your guide again and return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch and to catch our train. The ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1 and a half hours, and then a private vehicle will drive you back to Cusco (an additional 1.5 hours). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 8pm), you are dropped off at your hotel.

• All services and transportation (vehicles and trains) from pick up in Cusco on Day 1 to drop off in Cusco on Day 7 • 6 nights accommodation (5 nights in lodges, 1 night in Aguas Calientes in a 4-star hotel) • All meals except breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on Day 7 • Service of a bilingual guide (English/Spanish) from Day 1 to Day 7 (private English speaking guide available at additional cost) • Transportation of personal belongings on the trek by pack horses/mules and/or porters • Guided visit of Machu Picchu Sanctuary (includes entrance, transportation to and from the site and Huayna Picchu climbing permit) • Wifi at all lodges and hotels • US$50 gratuities for service staff (lodge staff, mule drivers and route chefs), excluding guides • Water, tea, coffee, soft drinks and fresh fruit juices are free of charge at the lodges. Only filtered water and tea are available free of charge at the hotel in Aguas Calientes

Pricing (per person) $USD


Please enquire for dates and rates

Booking conditions

Preparing for the trip We recommend that guests spend a minimum 2 nights in Cusco prior to departure and World Journeys can assist you in booking this. This helps with acclimatization to the altitude and also provides an opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Cusco. Travelers can feel the effects of higher altitudes as low as 2000 metres above sea level. Therefore we encourage guests to undergo appropriate preparation by regular cardio-vascular exercise and to adopt a healthy, balanced diet prior to the trip. The best type of training includes aerobic activities like walking, running, swimming or cycling. The lodge-to-lodge trek itinerary is designed to allow everyone to hike at their own pace, with plenty of breaks throughout the day. The trek climbs steadily over the first three days and the highest point reached is on Day 3 when crossing the Soyrococha - Salkantay Pass which reached 4,638 metres. The highest overnight stop is 3,906 metres. Please contact your physician before booking on the trek to assess your physical conditions and for their advice on how best to prepare to fully enjoy your trekking experience.

Additional Day at Machu Picchu: Even though guests have enough time to see the core of Machu Picchu Sanctuary during the regular guided tour, many guests realize that they would have liked to stay a little longer since there is so much more to explore, such as climbing Machu Picchu Mountain (permit to be purchased in advance) or hiking to the Inca Bridge or the Sun Gate. Please contact World Journeys for detailed information and extension rates.

Mandatory Insurance: The Salkantay Journey to Machu Picchu is an Adventure Travel activity which takes place in remote locations and at certain times at high altitudes. As such, it contains a certain level of risk. In order to ensure a safe experience for every guest, we require valid proof of insurance coverage as a minimum for Medical Emergency Treatment and Evacuation. Please note that some insurance policies exclude Adventure Travel activity or similar from the coverage, so please be careful when assessing and/or purchasing your insurance policy and please make sure that the insurance policy includes Adventure Travel Activities or similar.

Definition of "Valid Proof of Insurance" Mountain Lodges of Peru requires presentation of the following information at least 60 days prior to trip start date: • Name of Insurance Company and Name of Specific Policy (if applicable) • Coverage registration number or code • 24hr emergency telephone numbers provided by the insurance company

Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions.

Not included

• Massage and Spa services • Laundry service • Optional activities: Chakana Inca Cross Excursion (for the Trekking Program only), Canopy Zipline, Horseback Riding • Alcoholic beverages • Bottled water and sports drinks are not included. In an effort to reduce plastic waste on the trail and at the lodges we encourage guests to use refillable water bottles. For this purpose the lodges provide an ample supply of the highest - quality filtered water, available at multiple water stations at the lodges