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SALKANTAY TREK-background image

SALKANTAY TREK

cusco
5 days

We begin the Salkantay trek from a little-known valley near Limatambo, ascending gradually over two days past ancient forests and varied Andean landscapes toward the Cruzjasa Pass at 4,683 meters / 15,360 feet above sea level. Here we will experience the best views of the south and east faces Mount Salkantay, away from the crowds. We descend along a gradual decline toward Mirador Pampaccahuana, accompanied by views of Mount Salkantay and its morraine until we reach Cusichaca Valley, which marks the eastern boundary of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. As we approach the Sacred Valley, we will begin to see trekkers embarking on the first stretch of the famous Inca Trail as we continue our hike downhill toward our private campsite at Chamana. Before finally reaching the Valley floor, we will take a detour to explore Huayna Q’ente and Machu Q’ente, two majestic Inca sites recently restored by the Ministry of Culture which showcase some of the finest Inca terracing and landscaping in the region. The Salkantay trek ends at the valley floor where we will be picked up and transported to Ollantaytambo in time to catch the afternoon train to Machu Picchu.

5 day salkantay trek

During the 5 day Salkantay Trek, experience stupendous views of Mt. Salkantay far from the crowds. Explore two recently restored Inca sites before visiting the mystical Machu Picchu.

seasonMarch - December
group departuresEvery Wednesday
mininum: 2 passengers
maximum: 12 passengers
Trekking
Camping
shared plan
private plan
shared plan:You will travel with other adventurers heading to the same destination.

From Cusco, we drive toward Limatambo, past the Tika Tika Pass where we will attain our first views of majestic Mount Salkantay and Humantay on the horizon, before crossing the Anta plateau. Driving past breathtaking panoramas of this vibrant agricultural region with views of rugged snowcapped peaks in the background, we will arrive at the trailhead just beyond the village of Misquiyaco where we’ll begin our trek through one of Peru’s newest private conservation areas signed into law in 2021. We begin our uphill hike through an old growth Meso-Andean Relict Forest, a rare type of inter-Andean cloud forest that exists in less than 0.02% of Peru’s vast territory. Among the species that inhabit this forest are the Tasta (Escallonia myrtilloides) and Chachacomo (Escallonia resinosa) tree species, which protected by Peruvian law. As we approach the heights, we will observe how the ecosystem changes with the altitude, leaving behind the tree line to enter the high grasslands to reach our campsite at Acopía (4154 masl / 13,628 fasl).

Bus ride: 95 km (59.03 mi)
Time: 2:45 hours
Trekking distance: 10.5 km (6.52 mi)
Time: 5-6 hours

Leaving Acopía, we will continue our uphill climb toward the first pass at Tambomachay (4367 masl/ 14,323 fasl). As the day warms up, we may see some Andean bird species, including Condors, as they soar majestically above the mountains. After 4-5 hours of gentle uphill climbing, we will reach our lunch spot Uspaccasa (4,559 masl/ 14,953 fasl), a sheltered area just beyond the pass with majestic views of Mt. Salkantay and Mt. Humantay. After lunch, we’ll continue along the high ridge and veer right toward Cruzjasa Pass (4,683 masl / 15,360 fasl) where we will have fantastic views of the South face of Mt. Palcay, the south face of Mt. Salkantay and the Pampacahuana Valley and enjoy the special feeling of solitude that comes with knowing there are few other humans in the vicinity. From here, we descend on a steep trail to our campsite where we will sleep surrounded by mountains and stars at Mirador de Pampacahuana (3902 masl / 12,801 fasl).

Trekking distance: 14.5 km (9.01 mi)
Time: 7-8 hours

We’ll take our leave of imposing Mt. Salkantay and continue our hike downhill along an ancient Inca canal flowing down the center of the Pampacahuana Valley, passing through a landscape dotted with small farm settlements. At the end of the valley, we’ll once more begin to observe a greater variety of vegetation as we descend past the tree line before arriving in Paucarcancha, a remote Inca site at the confluence of the Pampacahuana and Q´esca valleys. After a short visit to explore the Inca stone walls and remnants of ancient houses at the site, we will have lunch. Then we’ll continue our journey downhill and join the first stretch of the famed Inca Trail, descending toward the Patallacta ruins. This site was once an important rest stop for the Inca on the way to Machu Picchu. After a brief visit, we will continue to our campiste at Chamana, which is a private campsite that we have equipped with a hot shower for you to cleanse and refresh after the strenuous activity of the previous few days. Camp at Chamana (2585 masl / 8480 fasl).

Trekking distance: 16.8 km (10.44 mi)
Time: 6-7 hours

At this point, we will be on the edge of the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, where we will explore the secluded archaeological cite called Machu Q'ente. Depending on the pace of the group and the amount of time available, we may also have the opportunity to visit Huayna Q'ente, another remarkable cite located nearby. After the visit, we will leave the Sanctuary through the town of Q’oriwairachina and head towards Piscacucho, where the main entrance to the Inca Trail is located. The trail will take us alongside the Vilcanota River and through several more ancient archaeological sites. In fact, this is the same path that Hiram Bingham used when he was first led to Machu Picchu by local people living here in 1911. From here, we’ll travel by car to Ollantaytambo, in time to take the afternoon train to Machu Picchu Village, where we’ll spend the night before visiting the magical citadel of Machu Picchu on Day 5. Dinner on your own.

Bus ride: 15.6 km (9.69 mi)
Time: 0:30 hours
Trekking distance: 15.1 km (9.38 mi)
Time: 7-8 hours
Train ride: 43 km (26.72 mi)
Time: 1:45 hours

After an early breakfast, a quick, half-hour bus ride brings us up the road to the gates of Machu Picchu where we’ll enjoy a guided three-hour tour of this ancient hilltop citadel. Exploring the various sectors and entering some of the houses and temples will bring these iconic ruins to life for us. As we immerse in this mystical place, we’ll feel that we’ve entered a dream of ancient times. Wandering among these ancient manmade structures blended seamlessly into natural surroundings, will leave us with a sense of wonder and reverence, and gift us with memories to savor for years to come. In the afternoon, we’ll return to the village where a train will take us back to Ollantaytambo. On-board entertainment, snacks, and hot and cold refreshments are available. Arrive in the Ollantaytambo train station, where we will be picked up and driven back to the city of Cusco.

Bus ride: 12.4 km (7.71 mi)
Time: 1 hour
Train ride: 43 km (26.72 mi)
Time: 1:45 hours
Our safety standards are the best in the business
included
  • Transportation
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Bus ticket Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu Village (round trip)
  • Train to and from Machu Picchu Village to Ollantaytambo
  • Double occupancy tents with Thermarest sleeping pads... keep reading
no included
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Dinner in Machu Picchu Village on Day 4
  • Laundry service
  • Airline tickets
  • Sleeping bags (rent available)... keep reading
what to take
  • Regular and long wicking first layer for cold weather, like polyester, nylon, or merino wool
  • Short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, breathable fabrics, like nylon and polyester
  • Light-colored long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts
  • QuickDry Pants, trekking pants, and shorts
  • Insulated long-sleeve jacket (fleece, synthetic, down, merino wool)... keep reading
Personal First-Aid Kit
On each trip we carry a medical kit, but we suggest you bring a small personal First-Aid Kit for bruises and blisters. Knee and ankle braces are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.

Book salkantay trek

$1,190.00/5 days and 4 nights
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