This trek takes you around the impressive Mount Salkantay, which is the second largest mountain in Cusco region (6,277m / 20,577ft). On your first night, you will camp within the clear sight of the snow capped peak of Salkantay Mountain. Second day will be the longest day of the trek, the most challenging, and you will climb a bit harder. However, the view at the top is stunning and unique.
The walk to the famous Apacheta pass which is at 4650m/15,088ft is not strenuous nor very steep. Afterward, it is mainly a descent into a more tropical area passing terraces and Chaullay. On your third night, you will camp at LLACTAPATA VESTIGES (2,700m/9,157ft) while enjoying the gorgeous views of Machu picchu and Wayna Picchu mountains as well as the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu (Inca city); ending at the most important mystic center of the world: Machu Picchu.
At 5:am, we pick you up at your hotel, then we drive in our private bus to Soraypampa (3850mt) for 3.5 hours. Along the way there are spectacular views of villages such as: Iscuchaca and Limatambo, beautiful valleys and snow-capped mountains such as: Salkantay Mt. There we will have breakfast and meet our horsemen and pack all our equipment onto the horses. Afterwards we start the gradual climb of 527 meters through pristine andean valley landscapes for about 1.5 hours before arriving to Umantay Lake. Once here, we enjoy the amazing views of the lake and glaciers, then we head back to Soraypampa for lunch. After that, we continue a gentle climb for 2 hours through more unspoiled andean valley to our first campsite at Soroccoccha located at 4400mts above sea level.
After an early delicious breakfast, we start hiking up for 1 hour to reach the Apacheta pass (4,650m/15,367ft). From here, we can enjoy the great views of snowcapped mountains such as: Salkantay (6,277m/20,717ft), Humantay and Huayanay, the white rivers and the small lakes. Then we do an extra hike to see the glacial Salkantay lake which is located by the bottom of the Salkantay Mt. We continue walking for 2 hours downhill for lunch at Rayanniyoc. Then we hike down for 2 more hours till Chaullay where we will catch our local transportation for 30mn to Lucmabamba Coffee farm (2100mt). There we will spend the night having the oportunity to interact with the local farmers.
On this day we walk for 3 hours through the beginnings of the rainforest, enjoying a myriad of flora and fauna including orchids, birds, coffee, cacao and fruit plantations. We arrive at La Playa (2,060m/6,797ft) for lunch with free time to rest before climbing uphill for 3 hours through the andean cloud forest to the Puncuyoc pass and then onto LLACTAPATA which is located at 2,700m/8,907ft which is our third evening´s campsite. From there the view is unique over the citadel of Machu Picchu).
The panoramic view from our campsite is breathtaking; you can enjoy a different angles view of Machu Picchu and Huanay Picchu Mountains, the citadel of Machu Picchu and the Aobamba canyon. We trek off the beaten track exploring places that no one else does and we are the ONLY one camping at LLACTAPATA.
After a late breakfast enjoying the spectacular views of Huaynapicchu, Machu Picchu Mountains and the citadel of Machu Picchu, we start walking downhill for 2 hours to the hidroelectric platform for lunch. After that we walk to Aguas Calientes through the National Sanctuary, enjoying the surroundings of the iconic Machu Picchu and the wall which surrounds the Inca Citadel.
We rise very early to take advantage of viewing Machu Picchu at dawn. This is the best time to view the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. We will join our local guide for a detailed interpretation of the citadel and Inca history without the pressure of other tour groups that arrive at midday. Then we will get a lot of time for further exploring, taking photos and eventualy climbing the Huanaypicchu or going up to the Sun Gate. Afterwards we will head back to Aguas Calientes to have lunch and later in the afternoon we will return by train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy and will then be transferred by van to Cuzco, arriving in the evening.
The time stated within this program is approximate and walking time may differ dependent upon the group´s capability and progress and as such, the guide may change the lunch spot and campsite if it is required. Each guide has his or her own preferred route and it may not follow exactly the schedule described here. However all items listed within the above schedule will be covered.
Trek conditions also vary according to the season. In the dry season ( May – September) the trail can be very dusty and hot in the day time; in the wet season (October – March), it can be slippery and muddy and during the shoulder season the conditions may be variable. All year round in the mountains stone slidings can happen at any time, particularly after heavy rains. SAM Travel Peru takes no responsibility for trail condition.
This Trek is adventurous and a challenging experience, crossing several high passes and some rivers which do not have a substantial bridge and therefore it can be dangerous to cross in periods of heavy rain. This region is not frequently visited by tourists, therefore tourist infrastructure is limited. Visitors should be aware that things change, or may not go according to the plan. This is all part of the adventure! We can change the date of your train ticket to the following day. Hotels costs and costs associated with returning to Machu Picchu the following day are additional to trek costs. Please also note that your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is valid for one day only, if you wish to visit the ruins on a second consecutive day you will need to purchase the ticket again. Please bring an open mind, flexibility and a good sense of humor.
We strongly recommend this trek for experienced trekkers.
“This unique Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu can be done on any date that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 hikers”
**** This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kgs, we will provide you with a duffle bag, to put your things.
“Please read carefully the following informations; it will help you clarify all your queries and questions about our services and the treks to Machu Picchu”
WELCOME TO CUSCO: You will be welcomed at Cuzco airport, please ensure that you advise your full flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to trip start. Look out for our representative holding an orange board with your name at the arrival terminal.
The rest of the day is at your leisure until 6pm, when your SAM Travel Peru representative will meet you at the lobby of the hotel, who will give you all the information about your trek or tour.
DEPARTURE: Any day that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 trekkers
GROUP SIZE: Small Groups from 2 – 8 people (could be 2, 4, 5 …), a small group will make your experience different with a personalized attention from the whole team, where you can also enjoy the route according to its rate hike.
NOTE: Big group can be organized by request.
TRAIN SCHEDULES: At the end of the Trek or Tour we will take the 2:55pm or 6:35pm train leaving Aguas Calientes. It takes 2 hours till Ollantaytambo and then we will transfer you back to Cusco and your hotel. Train tickets depends on availability.
HOTEL: For treks that include accommodation at Aguas Calientes, we stay at “Hostal Machu Picchu or El Presidente Hotel” which is a very nice place to rest after several days of walking! In comparison to other companies, we will not be staying in basic shared rooms or sharing showers. Our hotels depend on availability.
However, if you would like to have a better accommodation just let us know the accommodation of your preference and we will let you know how much the extra fee will be.
HUAYNAPICCHU MOUNTAIN: Please, if you are thinking of climbing Huayna Picchu mountain you must book this at the same time as your trek or tour to Machu Picchu. Only 400 people can hike Huayna Picchu per day. You will climb it on your own after the tour in Machu Picchu around 10 .00 am. The price is $25 per person.
Note: For the Inca Trail trek hikers, the Huayna Picchu mountain entrance tickets cost US$67 per person and it has to be booked in advance.
HORSES, COOK & ASSISTANT COOK: On this trek we provide horses and mules to carry the food, the camping equipment and your belongings up to 7 kilos.
NOTE: We included an emergency horse for the group, which can be ridden if you’re feeling exhausted or are ill (only for alternative treks)
OUR GUIDES: They each speak English fluently and of course all of them speak Spanish and Quechua (the Inca Language). They are all able to communicate with natives from around the area and of course they will have lots of history to share with you.
MEALS: The food provided by the porters and cook is nothing short of amazing. Trekkers can expect a breakfast of omelettes or pancakes, a ‘takeaway’ snack pack of fruit or chocolate to eat mid morning, a two course lunch of soup and meat with pasta or rice, afternoon tea on arrival at camp with biscuits and popcorn and a three course dinner. Breakfast and dinner is accompanied by hot drinks (tea, coffee, chocolate) and lunch usually by cordial (other drinks e.g. soft drinks or beer are at your own expense and can be pricey on the trail). All food is prepared, served and cleared away by the cook and porters and the quality of the meals is quite something when you consider that all the ingredients and basic cooking equipment has been carried in. Trekkers will certainly not go hungry and special dietary requirements can be catered for if specified in advance. You will be able to buy bottled water on day 1 and 2 of the trek at various points along the way, after this you will refill your empty bottles from boiled water provided by the porters. Boiled water will be provided during the trek when it is possible to make camp.
OUR EQUIPMENT: We provide 4 man tents for only 2 people and INFLATABLE MATTRESS for everyone. Our dining equipment includes a spacious dining tent, tables and chairs, plates and utensils.
Please note that if you are over 1.95 meters / 6´4″ tall then you won´t be able to rent a sleeping bag in Cusco. In this case it is recommended to bring your own.
CULTURE SHOCK RATING: The comforts of home are more of a rarity. English isn’t common and the food will be quite different to home. It’s important to observe some of the local customs to not cause offence. Many of the locals’ standards of living may be confronting.
SPENDING MONEY: Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
TIPPING: If you’re happy with the services provided a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across manySAM Travel Peru destinations.
Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
WEATHER: The wet season in this region is from December to March when heavy rains can cause disruptions to ground transport. SAM Travel Peru will monitor any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to natural weather occurrences.
TRANSPORT: Train, Minibus
Telephone: (+51) (84) 630690, Telefax: (+51) (84) 630690 Cell Phone:(+51) (84) 992 126 224 (in english and spanish)
Address in Cusco: Luis Vallejo Santoni (Manco Ccapac H-9), 3er Piso – Santiago – Cusco – Peru
Business Hours: Monday to Sunday: (From 9:00am to 12:00pm) – ( From 15:00 – 20:00):
HIKING TO MACHU PICCHU: The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is 7kg/15p max. While you hike, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel in Cuzco.
Your team of porters will carry your duffle bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group.
For during the trek, you need a day pack big enough to carry personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sun cream, snacks, water, etc. Usually a 30 to 50 litres capacity back pack is big enough.
FITNESS: The Inca Trail is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it. Fitness is naturally important but the Inca Trail is the kind of trek that anyone with a positive attitude and determination can do. Obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail and the more chance you will have to take in the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do some extra walking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip.
Many people worry whether they will be able to cope physically but complete failure is rare and would usually only result from severe altitude sickness or a person lacking even a basic level of fitness. People of all ages (from teenagers to pensioners) complete the trek and age itself is no barrier if you are positive minded and live an active lifestyle. Before departing for your tour, we recommend visiting your doctor who will be able to provide you with more information.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won’t be permitted to join the trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.
If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the bank’s name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
ARE WE SUSTAINABLE? Yes, We are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator for that we incorporate the universal principle of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. To this end, we have trained all our local staff that know, understand, feel and respect the place and the people.
ARE WE RESPONSIBLE?: Yes, We try to treat our hikers, our porters and all the local people from the villages with the upmost respect. We travel in small groups to give personalized tours to each traveller, we pay good salaries to our porters and follow the porters law. We provide all our porters with their hiking gear such as shoes, pants, jackets, t-shirts, hats, sleeping bags and most importantly, with health insurance.
STORAGE DURING THE TREK: During the trek to Machu Picchu your main luggage will be stored in Cuzco and you will receive a small duffle bag at your Inca Trail briefing (briefings are normally set for the evening before you start the trek) to pack clothes for 3-4 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group, you should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water and sun screen etc. By Peruvian law the duffle bag carried by the porters must not weigh more than 7kg (14pounds). You can either store your luggage at your hotel or you can leave it with us.
BOOKING: The Salkantay Trek is available every day as long as we have 2 participants. Nevertheless, you must book in advance especially for Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu.