Cusco & Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

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The Inca Trail ¨Salkantay to Machu Picchu¨ is becoming more popular as an alternative to the commercial Inca Trail due to their beautiful snow peaks that will astonish you down the route. If you are looking for an alternative to the Inca Trail, this one is the best. Departing from Cusco and the Sacred Valley drive north across Antapampa into the Apurimac watershed. Mollepata is the starting point of our five-day trek across the Cordillera Vilcabamba, past Mt. Humantay and Salkantay into the headwaters of the Santa Teresa valley. Hiking down this cloud forest area we ascend to the Pass of Paltallacta, great views of Machu Picchu from a different perspective. Hike into the Aobamba Valley and arrive near the hydroelectric works, downriver from the citadel, spend the night in Aguas Calientes. Next morning we will visit Machu Picchu ruins before heading back to Cusco.



5 Days / 4 Nights


March – December


Every wednesday


Day 1Cusco

Once you arrive in Cusco you will be transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon a City tour will be available visiting the imperial city of Cusco and it´s charming attractions. An Informative gathering will be held after the tour for briefing purposes, to see more info about the hotels, click here. (No meals)

Day 2Cusco / Ollantayambo

This is a Full day in the Sacred Valle of the Incas, where you will visit local markets surrounding the city of Pisaq, artisans and products. After the lunch, you will proceed to visit the Famous Archeological site of Ollantaytambo. The night will be spent in C village. Cusco City (B/L)

Day 3Ollantaytambo / Mollepata / Soraypampa / Salkantaypampa

Leaving Cusco, we go cross the plateau of Anta (Antapampa), an area that’s considered the breadbasket of Cusco, important for grains and cattle. We reach the pass of Limatambo with an amazing view of mountains Salkantay and Humantay and the panorama of the lush agricultural valley below. We visit the ruins of Tarawasi with its long asymmetric Inca stonewall. Continue on the paved road for a short while and turn off on a winding road which zigzag’s uphill until reaching Mollepata at 2,900m (9,454ft). We continue on a narrower track for another hour passing Cruzpata, Oncopata and Checchicancha getting our first view of Mt. Humantay close up, with a view of Mt. Yanantay. The last part of the track brings us to 3,900m (12,815ft) at Soraypampa where there are small settlements of cattle herders. We´ll continue up to the Pampa, below Mt. Salkantay where we camp at 4,145m (13,599ft). (B/L/D) Distance: Trek time: 3 hours

Day 4Salkantaypampa / Apacheta / Collpapampa

Leaving our campsite we head towards the terminal moraine, from here the trail begins to ascend past boulders, reaching a scree slope which we traverse to reach the Apacheta Pass at 4,636m (15,210ft), a great opportunity to look towards the other pass at Incachiriaska, into a small lake below Mt. Salkantay’s ice flute and the huge expanse of the moraine. The trail winds its way through the landscape downhill towards a large Pampa called Wayrahmachay (3,919m / 12,858ft). We begin our descent all the way to the Sta. Teresa River and arrive at our campsite (2,950m / 9,678ft). (B/L/D) Distance: 12 kms Trek time: Aprox 8 hours

Day 5Collpapampa / Lucmabamba

From our campsite we start the descent to Lucmabamba, through the Sta. Teresa river valley. In this section of the adventure, vegetation begins to be lusher because we are getting to the cloud forest. We will descent through the left side of the valley, in the middle of the forest. We will see a small road on the opposite side of the valley. After 2 hours walking, we will arrive to Playa Sahuayaco, and from there 2 more hours down to Lucmabamba, where we reach our campsite site. 2,048 m / 6,719 ft). (B/L/D) Distance: 7kms Trek time: Aprox. 4 hours

Day 6Lucmabamba / Hidroelectrica/ Machu Picchu Village

Today we begin our ascent to the pass of Q’elloqasa at an attitude of 2,875m/9,430ft. Traversing dense cloud forest with a chance to hear birdcalls, we pass a pre-Inca site. From here we get the first view from the distance of the southern face of Machu Picchu. We continue our descent to the junction of the Aobamba and Urubamba valleys and arrive at the hydroelectric station, from where we will take a short train ride to Machu Picchu Village where we spend the night at a local hotel (not included), dinner on your own. (B/L) Distance: 10kms Trek time: 7 hours

Day 7Machu Picchu/Cusco

A half hour bus ride will bring you to the citadel for a guided visit which on average takes three hours as your official guide walks you through the different sectors of the hill-top citadel, with astonishing views, learning about the aspects of Andean life, taking you back in time. Afternoon return to the village where the train will take you to back to Ollantaytambo or Cusco. (B/L)

Día 8Cusco / Destiny

You will be taken to the Airport and Destination.


– Tours as detailed

– Entrance tickets to sites mentioned

– Transportation by vehicle as described

– Overnights at hotels (Day 1, 2, 6 & 7)

– Double occupancy tents

– Thermarest sleeping pads

– Packed Animals to carry luggage and Equipment

– Kitchen crew

– Necessary camping gear (No Sleeping Bags)

– Meals included as detailed

– Bilingual guide

– Transfer from Ollantaytambo or Poroy station back to Cusco

– First aid kit

B- Breakfast / BL- Boxed Lunch / L- Lunch / D- Dinner

– Alcoholic beverages

– Tips

– Taxes

– Laundry service

– Additional tours

– Personal Insurance

– Airline tickets (where applicable)

– Sleeping bags (we can rent)

– Hiking boots and other personal gear.

– Extras

– Cotton short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts

– Long-sleeved shirts

– Fleece or Wool sweater and/or trousers

– Lightweight pants

– Regular and long underwear (at over 13,000 ft./4,000 masl)

– Medium weight parka with fibber fill or down

– Light cap and wool hat

– Rain poncho (or rain gear)

– Water bottle

– Light gloves

– Medium weight socks

– Hiking boots

– Sleeping bag (-5º to 0ºC)

– Small daypack

– Strong waterproof duffel bag

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