Salkantay Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is the best combination of two of the iconic trails to Machu Picchu. Both Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Salkantay Trek are recognised by National Geographic Travel Magazine as popular treks in South America.
The seven day Inca Trail Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu begins at a high altitude. It takes you down to the cloud forests through some renowned Inca Sites. The experience culminates at Machu Picchu citadel.
Salkantay Inca Trail Trek offers a diverse view of the Andean landscapes, archaeological sites and remote villages. It takes you around the base of the mighty Salkantay Mountain that rises to 6271 metres above sea level. It is the second tallest mountain in the region.
Inca Trail Salkantay Trek takes you through mountains high above the Sacred Valley. You will be following the course of the Urubamba river through the old Inca roadway that leads to Machu Picchu. The experience offers a blend of landscapes of high mountain ranges and dense subtropical regions.
The 90 kilometres trek is one of the best lifetime experiences to most. It is also one of the popular ways to reach Machu Picchu from Cusco. You will get to see some distinct flora and fauna.
Inca Trail Salkantay Trek gives you the opportunity to see the stunning Andean gem – Humantay Lake.
You will be conquering the highest points of both Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail. Salkantay Pass is at 5100 metres above sea level. The infamous Dead Woman’s Pass of the Inca Trail is at 4200 metres above sea level.
As Inca Trail permits get sold out months in advance, we highly recommend you to book this trek at least seven months before.
Machu Picchu Tours is a fully locally owned tour operating company based in Cusco. We are a licensed Inca Trail operator.
Our guides are passionate about the history, Inca sites and culture of Peru. They have years of experience hiking to Machu Picchu.
We offer Salkantay Inca Trail Trek both in private and as a small group tour.
Salkantay is a part of the Andean mountain range. It is subject to two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. During monsoon, the trek gets slippery. The best time to do the Inca Trail Salkantay Trek is during the dry season – April to December.
It is important that you spend a few days acclimating to Cusco before the experience to avoid altitude sickness. Here are some tips on how to train for Salkantay Trek.
Do take a moment to check our reviews on Trip Advisor.
Here’s the difference between Salkantay Trek and Lares Trek.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
At 0430 in the morning, we will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco. Then in our private transport, we will be embarking on a two and a half hours drive to Marccoccasa. It is an Andean village at 3300 metres (10826 feet). This is the starting point of this seven days Salkantay Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu.
Our team will serve you a nutritious breakfast. The guide will be introducing you to the rest of the team – porters, chef and helpers.
Al set, we will begin the hike for some three and a half hours amidst the fertile green valley snuggled between the snow capped Andean peaks. We will be reaching our lunch camp where the crew will be serving you a delicious Andean meal.
After lunch, we will be hiking through less inclined terrain. You will be getting a closer view of the Mighty Humantay Peak. Melting snow from the glacier feeds the renowned Andean turquoise lake, Lake Humantay.
Mountains or Apus are sacred entities to the Andean community. You will witness a drop in temperature. This is where you will need to unwrap your jackets from your rucksack.
We will then hike for a few minutes to our exclusive campsite in Soraypampa. It is at 3800 metres (12467 feet). Our crew will extend a warm welcome with a warm cup of tea. This will be followed by an exquisite dinner.
Our crew will be waking you up to a freshly brewed cup of Peruvian coffee of infusion. We will then serve a nutritious traditional breakfast. Our guide will be briefing you on what to expect on the route.
We will be hiking for two hours from our campsite to the shores of the picturesque Humantay Lake. Our guide will be explaining its significance to the Andean community and will demonstrate how the locals perform the ceremony of Apacheta here.
Apacheta is more of piling stones each on top of the other to express the gratitude to the Lake which is also a Sacred Andean entity.
We will then follow the main trail to Salkantay Pampa. We will be reaching our lunch camp at around 0100 PM. You will be closer to the mighty Salkantay Peak.
After lunch, we will be descending for two hours to our campsite in Ichupata. It is at 4200 metres (13779 feet). Be prepared to experience extreme cold weather here because of the altitude.
Our crew will be welcoming you with a hot cup of tea followed by dinner. We will be camping at our exclusive campsite overlooking the mighty Salkantay Peak.
After breakfast, we will begin the third day of the seven day Salkantay Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu. We will be hiking to Inca Chiriasca Pass which is at 5200 metres (16404 feet). The hike is somewhat challenging due to altitude, it is imperative that you are well acclimated.
From the top of the pass, you will get pristine views of the Andean valley. Our crew will be serving a cup of freshly brewed coca tea. After relishing this enchanting view, you will have an option of hiking up for thirty minutes to get a closer view of the glacier.
Once you have had your fill of these views, we will descend to our lunch camp where our crew will be serving a protein rich Andean meal.
After lunch, we will continue descending to our campsite amidst the Andean valley in a community of 10 families.
The fourth day of Inca Trail Salkantay Trek is designed to offer you an insight into the life and culture of Andean communities.
We will be hiking through some traditional Andean farms where the villagers have maintained their age-old traditions respecting the Andean entities like the Apus (Mountain), Lakes and Pachamama (Mother Earth).
We will then visit the Inca archaeological sites along the way. You will notice the change in weather as we will be getting closer to the Amazon Rainforest.
We will then enter the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. After a short hike, we will be reaching our lunch camp.
Be prepared to be immersed in the awe-inspiring views of the Snow capped peaks and Waterfalls as you will be entering the Cloud forest.
We will then continue hiking to our exclusive campsite in Ayapata.
The fifth day of the Salkantay Inca Trail trek is the most challenging yet a rewarding experience. We will be hiking to the infamous Dead Woman’s Pass which is the highest point of the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
After breakfast, we will be hiking for two hours up the hill. You will once again witness a drastic change in views. The lush tropical vegetation will gradually start to diminish as the sight of Andean straws (Ichu) will begin to appear.
We will be reaching the Dead Woman’s pass at 4200 metres (13779 feet). You will have some time to relax and soak in the view.
From here, we will be hiking down the hill along the cobblestone path to our lunch camp. You will be hiking through impressive Orchid plantations. We request you to respect these flowers as they are in the danger of extinction.
After relishing an Andean meal for lunch, we will begin with a gradual uphill hike to another mountain pass. From here, the impressive Inca complex of Runcuraccay is just minutes away.
This notable archaeological complex served as a place from where the Incas monitored the valley below. Our local expert will be sharing a detailed insight to the Inca ruins.
After a short rest, we will descend further for an hour to Yanacocha. The Incas performed rituals to honour the spirit of Water. You will then witness the trail covered in dense mist as we will be entering the cloud forest and hike to Sayacmarca Archaeological Complex.
Our local expert will be giving you a detailed tour of the complex here.
After the tour, we will continue the hike for some thirty minutes to our campsite in Chaquicocha. The campsite is nestled amidst the Andean peaks and is home to some distinct flora and fauna.
This is one of the most rewarding days of this seven day Salkantay Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. Overall, you will be hiking for just five hours and will also get to see three different Inca sites along the way.
We will visit the archaeological site of Phuyupatamarca. As all Inca sites, this too was a prominent farming place. Our guide will be explaining the different farming methods the Incas implemented to enhance the growth of different crops.
To Inca nobles, this site served as a place to communicate with stars and do research on astronomy.
After touring the complex, we will be hiking further to Wiñay Wayna. It is at 2600 metres (8530 feet). In Quechua the name signifies “Forever Young”. We will be stopping by our campsite where you can leave your belongings.
From the campsite, it is just a five minute hike to the impressive archaeological complex. Our guide will be giving you a detailed tour of the complex. You will be impressed with the architecture of the temples and aqueducts here.
After relishing a delicious lunch, you will have the rest of the evening free to yourself. You can also take a hot shower here.
After dinner, we will be bidding goodbye to our supportive porters without whom this high altitude hike would have been impossible.
The day you have been waiting for! We will be waking you up early in the morning. After breakfast, we will begin to hike in the dark for two hours. Please carry your flashlight.
We will be reaching the Sun gate (Intipunku) before sunrise so you will have some time to get the magical view of the citadel at dawn. Witnessing the sunrise from the Sungate is exclusive to those on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
After getting the most of this mystical view, we will be hiking for 45 minutes down the hill. This marks the last stretch of the Inca Trail Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.
On reaching the citadel of Machu Picchu, We will give you a detailed two hours guided tour. During the tour, we will take you to the most important temples and enclosures.
After the tour, you will have free time for exploring Machu Picchu on your own.
If you have booked to hike Huayna Picchu, we will direct you to the trailhead of Huayna Picchu mountain.
After the full day trip of Machu Picchu, you will be taking a bus back to Aguas Calientes. Here you will board the train to Ollantaytambo train station. Here, our representative will be meeting you and will be driving you back to Cusco. We will arrive at Cusco City at around 7:00 p.m.
We have no words to thank the Machu Picchu Tours team for such an outstanding experience. The whole Salkantay Inca Trail experience was out worldly. We had an informative guide who had plenty of knowledge about the civilization and traditions. Everything was organised well.