Tourist inside an igloo in the private SKY CAMP

Imperial Salkantay Trek

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Duration
8 Days / 7 Nights
Prices icon
Price
from US$ 800
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Max. Altitude
4,630 m / 15255 ft
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Group Size
Up to 10 people
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Accommodation
Private Camps, Hostel and Hotel
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Difficulty
Moderate to Challenging
  • City Tour
  • Sacred Valley
  • Humantay Lake
  • Salkantay Pass
  • Rainforest
  • Machu Picchu

The Most Amazing Places to Visit in Cusco

Allow us to show you the Imperial City as you acclimatize to the altitude! Cusco sits at nearly 3,400 meters above sea level, many need a couple of days to adjust before embarking on the strenuous Salkantay Trek. We are itching to show off our and our ancestors’ home to you before we hit the trail! From Cusco, we will head to the Sacred Valley to explore ancient constructions, remote villages, and begin our trek to Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Trek is a secluded hike.

Route
City Tour - Sacred Valley - Humantay Lake - Salkantay Pass - Rainforest - Machu Picchu
Badge
The Salkantay Trek is listed as one of the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
Landscape
Hiking alongside the magnificent Salkantay glacier and arriving at the majestic Machu Picchu Inca City is one of the best experiences known to humanity.
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Before You Go
  • Accommodation
  • Pricing
  • Enquire Now
  Overview

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is an alternative to the Inca Trail and considered by most to be the best alternative route (and maybe even better!). This magnificent trail is perfect for adventurers who wish to become personally integrated into changing ecosystems from one day to the next. You will walk through sweeping, magical landscapes of a snowy mountain paradise to a tropical jungle where you will find a wide range of animals and medicinal plants, and flower varieties. Witness with your own eyes a living, but ancient, culture in remote villages hardly ever seen by foreigners!

The Cordillera Vilcabamba is an impressive mountain range extending over 260 km. The snow-capped mountain Salkantay rises to 6,271 m / 20,574 ft in height. It is an outstanding snowy peak, located less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cusco in south-central Peru.

In order to complete the Salkantay Trek, you need to have a reasonable level of fitness, and age shouldn't be a barrier. The most important thing is to be well-acclimatized to the altitude. The highest you will trek the entire time is 4,630 m / 15,190 ft. Two days of acclimatization before the trek is ideal for visiting the city of Cusco, plus the four nearby Inca sites and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1

    Arrive in the Imperial City of Cusco and Tour the Sites

    Cusco’s Cathedral Qoricancha Temple and Santo Domingo Convent Sacsayhuaman Qenqo Puka Pukara Tambomachay Cusco

  • Day 2

    Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas

    Cusco Qorao Pisac Market Pisac Archaeological Site Urubamba Ollantaytambo Archaeological Site Chinchero Cusco

  • Day 3

    Hike to the Jewel in the Mountains

    Cusco Mollepata Challacancha Soraypampa Humantay Lake Sky Camp

    • Walk from Challacancha to Soraypampa. Relish in an afternoon visit to the absolutely whimsical Humantay Lake nestled at the base of Apu Humantay mountain. Take in your first views of the enigmatic Apu Salkantay Glacier. Spend the night in our glass-topped Sky Camp, and stargaze from your bed in our exclusive campsite!
  • Day 4

    The Stunning Salkantay Pass and Descent to the Jungle

    Soraypampa Salkantay Pass Huayracmachay Chaullay Andean Huts

    • Hike along the winding Salkantay trail with the mountain’s tallest peak in front of your eyes all morning! Challenge yourself as we make our way up to some steep slopes while looking out on the valley far below until we reach the base of Apu Salkantay. Around midday, you will be standing in the middle of the Andes mountain range! In the afternoon, we make our way into the incredible cloud forest and tropical jungle around Chaullay. Spend the night in our exclusive Andean Huts. This is your most challenging day but also your most rewarding!
  • Day 5

    Jungle Adventure and Coffee Experience

    Chaullay Collpapampa La Playa Lucmabamba Jungle Domes

    • We leave our camp early today to enjoy a serene trail and appreciate landscape, scenery, and wildlife, including the roaring river below us in the valley for much of the day. While trekking through the luscious jungle, you will find countless wild fruits such as banana, avocado, passion fruit, and granadilla. There are also waterfalls and streams where you can refresh your feet and cool off! After having lunch in the small town of La Playa, we will take a short hike to our base camp at Lucmabamba and visit organic plantations of coffee, oranges, and avocados. Have a comfortable night in our private campsite Jungle Domes.
  • Day 6

    The Day of Incan Ruins and Your First Glance of Machu Picchu

    Lucmabamba Llactapata Hidroelectrica Aguas Calientes

    • Today something particularly special happens – we get to travel along part of the famous Inca Trail! On this path, we will come to the impressive archeological site of Llactapata right in front of its more well-known big brother, Machu Picchu. You will meet some of the native local people who live their day-to-day lives in the area. Along the path, you will have the opportunity to harvest several fruits while relishing one of the best views of the Urubamba valley! Don’t forget to turn around and see Apu Salkantay again in the background before you look forward to having your first glance at the glorious Machu Picchu!
  • Day 7

    Tour of the Incredible Inca Fortress: Machu Picchu

    Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu Ollantaytambo Cusco

    • Your excitement for our rendezvous at Machu Picchu will rise as we are hiking early in the morning through the forest to reach the site before most other tourists – even the Inca Trail trekkers! You will have plenty of time to explore this truly magnificent World Wonder while you enjoy the beautiful sunrise from this once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint. Your group will learn about this mystical place in a two-hour guided tour of the ruins. Afterward, you can opt to climb Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Mountain (if you have pre-booked tickets) or walk to the Sun Gate or the Inca Bridge (without extra tickets).
  • Day 8

    Bid Farewell to the Imperial City

    Cusco Cusco’s Airport (or Bus Station)

Why Take the Imperial Salkantay?

  • The Salkantay Trek is listed as one of the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
  • The Salkantay Trek is one of the very best trekking adventures you will find in Peru and South America.
  • Besides the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek is one of the most popular treks to Machu Picchu, and a lot less crowded.
  • Private camping with fewer people allows you to control your own trip and have the best views of these incredible mountains.
  • Trekkers get to observe incredible scenery like cascades, waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, colorful valleys, unique plants and wildlife, and the cloud forest.
  • Hiking alongside the magnificent Salkantay glacier and arriving at the majestic Machu Picchu Inca City is one of the best experiences known to humanity.
  Itinerary
Day 1

Arrive in the Imperial City of Cusco and Tour the Sites

Cusco´s Cathedral Qoricancha Temple and Santo Domingo Convent Saqsayhuaman Qenqo Puka Pukara Tambomachay

Welcome to the imperial, Andean Inca city of Cusco, the cultural capital of Peru! Upon arrival, we will take you to your hotel to drop off your luggage and freshen up. After a short break, we will take a leisurely half-day tour of this amazing place as you acclimatize to the high altitude (3,400 m – 11,155 ft).

Cusco has a long history and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in all the Americas! Since about 1,000 B.C. people have lived in Cusco and regarded it as a center of the surrounding culture (then called Qosqo). It has been an important part of every civilization that has lived in the area throughout history, starting with the native people of Peru long before the famous Inca people.

On the arrival of the Inca Empire to Peru and beyond, Cusco (Cuzco) became the navel of their far-reaching and powerful empire. Of course, the Incas were then conquered by Spaniards who also used Cusco as a colonial, regal capital for the area.

The attractions visited on this tour include:

  • Cathedral of Cusco

    Located in Cusco’s Main Square, the cathedral is a colonial monument of great artistic value. It was built on top of the Wiracocha Inca Palace and houses works of carved wood such as the choir, pulpit, and altars, beautiful paintings from the Cusquenian School of Art (including a Last Supper painting in which Christ and His disciples eat cuy – guinea pig!) and works of embossed silver. This cathedral flanks the grandiose Plaza de Armas – the historical and cultural heart of Cusco.

  • Qoricancha Temple and Santo Domingo Convent

    This religious center was built to worship the Sun, the most revered deity during the Inca Empire. Inside the temple, you will find smaller temples dedicated to the sun, moon, stars, etc. Outside are beautiful, regal gardens and fountains on the grounds of the monumental temple. Here, the combination of the extraordinary Inca architecture and the Spanish colonial architecture is what stands out the most. Besides, the Cusquenian School of Art’s gallery offers you the opportunity to appreciate some of their colonial art pieces.

  • Sacsayhuaman

    Located 2 km from Cusco City, this fortress was built using enormous carved rocks joined with compelling precision. It is composed of three overlapping platforms with an average length of 360 meters. In its construction, you can see stones as big as 9 meters in height! From here, you can enjoy a spectacular view of Cusco city along with the beautiful landscape formed by the surrounding mountains.

  • Q’enqo

    Located 1.4 km from Sacsayhuaman, this complex was an Inca ceremonial cult center. The most prominent feature of this complex is an open space called the amphitheater. Back in its day, you would have found Inca mummies in the 19 trapezoidal niches found here. Today, the amphitheater is half of its original height.

  • Puka Pukara

    This complex is known as the “red fortress” due to its reddish tints resulting from the vast amounts of iron in its rocks. It is thought that this fortress was perhaps an old Tambo (storage area) that served both as a resting and guarding spot to protect Tambomachay. Here you can see attractive architecture, fountains, aqueducts, and several Incan enclosures.

  • Tambomachay

    This complex is made up of a combination of finely carved stones, waterfalls, and aqueducts to carry water coming from nearby springs and hot springs. For this reason, Tambomachay is associated with the water cult. In front of this construction, there is a tower that is said to have served as a guarding post and communication tower.

Day 2

Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Cusco Qorao Pisac (Pisac) Market Pisac archaeological site Urubamba Ollantaytambo archaeological site Chinchero Cusco

Today, you will have the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful and historically rich towns of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We begin the day by picking you up from your hotel in Cusco at 8:30 am and heading toward the town of Pisac. Before reaching Pisac, we will stop at both the Qorao and Taray lookouts, so you can admire the Sacred Valley’s beauty from afar and take pictures.

Once in Pisac, we will visit both Pisac archaeological site and its famous traditional market. Then, we will drive to the town of Urubamba for lunch, where you will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch of traditional Peruvian dishes.

Continuing, we will drive to the classic Inca town of Ollantaytambo and visit its unique archaeological site with its royal sources of water, high terraces, temples, etc., surrounded by towering mountain peaks and colorful valleys plus the view of the faraway Veronica glacier.

Ollantaytambo is the most well-preserved layout of a typical, Inca-built city with its narrow, cobbled streets and stone walls. Its conservation allows for the enduring legacy of the Incan people to live on for us today.

To finish our day, we will visit Chinchero and meet some of the town’s talented women in a textile-making presentation. The Cusco region is known for its superb, colorful textiles, and here you will learn how each color of wool is naturally dyed, how the intricate cloths are woven, and the symbolism held by the traditional designs you find in their beautiful creations. Here, you will also visit an archeological site and a colonial church.

After your tour, you will be brought back to Cusco and dropped off at your hotel at 6:45 pm to rest up for tomorrow’s exciting activities!

Day 3

Hike to the Jewel in the Mountains

Cusco Mollepata Challacancha Soraypampa Humantay Lake Sky Camp

We start the day by picking you up at your hotel at approx 04:00 am. We will drive for around 3:15 hours, crossing Anta and Mollepata and ending up at Challancha. Through the windows of the bus, you can clearly see the white, snow-capped mountains of Salkantay and Humantay: two colossal gods of the Incas (Apus). You will also see the spectacular scenery of high peaks and low valleys in a colorful and contrasting panorama filling every direction you turn your eyes on!

After the first 2:15 hours of driving from Cusco, we will stop in Mollepata to take advantage of the toilet facilities, souvenir shops, and optional breakfast. We will then continue to Challacancha, the starting point for our trek. There, we will meet our support staff, and they will organize all of the equipment and cargo mules.

At around 09:30 am, we will begin trekking to Soraypampa (3,900 m / 12,795 ft), the first campsite on our journey. This section of the path takes us over a few deep valleys along the side of a mountain. Along the trail, we’ll follow an ancient Inca canal that still supplies water to farmers in the following valleys. We will hike 7 km (4.35 mi) for 3 hours to Soraypampa, where we will have our lunch at the base camp of Salkantay.

After lunch and a short rest, we will climb up to the unforgettable Humantay Lake (4,200 m / 13,780 ft). This is a 3 km (1.86 mi) round-trip hike, which will take a total of 2:30 hours. Humantay Lake is one of the most beautiful locations in all the Andes with unbelievably blue-green water, reflecting the mountain glacier of Apu Humantay. It’s truly like something out of a fairy tale! Later that day, we’ll enjoy the tea time and then the dinner at our campsite. The valley’s background at sunset creates the most peaceful scene with an energy that can only be felt and not described.

Because Soraypampa is located far from the hustle and bustle of any city lights, the pitch-black sky lights up with thousands of stars, constellations, and comets at night. Be overcome by feelings of peace and tranquility while you lay gazing at the expanse unfolding before you.

  • Meals: Lunch, and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Glass-Topped Sky Camp
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
  • Walking Distance: 10 km / 6.21 mi
  • Starting Elevation: 3,800 m / 12,467 ft
  • Highest Elevation: 4,200 m / 13,780 ft
  • Campsite Elevation: 3,900 m / 12,795 ft
Day 4

The Stunning Salkantay Pass and Descent to the Jungle

Soraypampa Salkantay Pass Huayracmachay Chaullay Andean Huts

After an early wake-up with the first daylight at 5:30 am and an energizing breakfast, we will start trekking up to the highest point of the trail, the Salkantay Pass (4,630 m / 15,190 ft). A 7 km (4.34 miles) difficult ascent awaits us for 4 hours between the rocky valley base and the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6,271 m / 20,574 ft).

When we reach the top of the pass, we will appreciate the spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and the imposing snowy peaks of Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay, and Pumasillo mountains. Salkantay is the second-highest mountain in the Cusco region and one of the Inca gods called “Apu.”

After the climax of today’s trek, there is a 7 km (4.35 mi) downhill walk on a serpent-shaped, rocky, gravel path that leads to our lunch spot in Huayracmachay (3,850 m / 12,631 ft). There is a perfect valley outlook to rest on the way down that is stunning!

In the afternoon, after our meal, we will enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle, which is also called “the cloud forest.” This is an 8 km / 4.97 mi hike completed in 3 hours on a wide trail in the thick and magical tropical forest.

During this part of the trek, you will notice a dramatic change in landscape and the earth’s energy as we move from the Andes to Amazon. This hike is truly beautiful; the hills are decorated with colorful sceneries, unique wildlife, and native plants. The forests are warm and tropical most of the year, with temperate climates.

At the end of this outstanding hike, we arrive at a small village called Chaullay (2,900 m / 9,514 ft) for a well-deserved rest from our long day of trekking in our Andean Huts. This is our camp for the night, surrounded by valleys, rushing rivers, and lots of vegetation.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Andean Huts (Wooden Camping Chozas)
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Walking Distance: 22 km / 13.67 mi
  • Starting Elevation: 3,900 m / 12,795 ft
  • Highest Elevation: 4,630 m / 15,190 ft
  • Campsite Elevation: 2,900 m / 9,514 ft
Day 5

Jungle Adventure and Coffee Experience

Chaullay Collpapampa Loreta La Playa Lucmabamba Jungle Domes

At 06:00 am, we will start our trek to the small town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley. You will be able to soak up this new, lush landscape during our 5 hours of hiking today. We will see rivers, wild orchids, and coffee, banana, and avocado plantations during the hike. You’ll also be able to taste the famous passion fruit and granadilla fruit along the way.

We will pass through a village called Collpampa, and then we’ll head to the bottom of the mountains to pass to the left side of the valley. Waterfalls, birds, fruit-bearing trees, flora, and fauna will be our mates in this tropical journey.

Arriving at La Playa, we’ll have a long time to rest. Then, thirty more minutes of walking await us to get to Lucmabamba (2,000 m /6,562 ft), our lunch place, and campsite.

We will explore the tropical forest for a little while and visit an organic coffee farm. If you are a coffee lover, this will be especially heavenly for you – you can taste coffee freshly prepared by the local people! If not, you can still enjoy the decadent aroma of freshly roasted and ground coffee wafting through the air.

Coffee is the main farming industry of the local people here in the jungle, and they farm many acres of coffee to export to the USA, Asia, and Europe. Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, and it wasn’t until the Spanish invaded Cusco that it was brought to this region. You’ll also get the opportunity to explore orange and avocado plantations this afternoon before enjoying dinner and an excellent night’s rest with the sounds of nature to send you off to sleep.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinne
  • Accommodation: Jungle Domes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Walking Distance: 18 km / 11.18 mi
  • Starting Elevation: 2,900 m / 9,514 ft
  • Highest Elevation: 2,900 m / 9,514 ft
  • Campsite Elevation: 2,000 m / 6,562 ft
Day 6

The Day of Incan Ruins and Your First Glance of Machu Picchu

Lucmabamba Llactapata Hidroelectrica Aguas Calientes

Like previous mornings, the trek’s guide will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea served in your dome. You will get ready for today’s activities while enjoying your last breakfast prepared by the talented trek chef. We will begin the hike early, and you will have the opportunity to enjoy a small part of the famous and highly-acclaimed Inca trail.

After a climb of 3 hours with amazing views of the Santa Teresa valley, we will arrive at the Llactapata Inca site (2,700 m / 8,858 ft) right in front of Machu Picchu. Llactapata is an exceptional place to enjoy together and spend time learning a bit more about this land’s roots and history. We will explore this Inca site with our guide, who will tell the Incas history who used and worshiped this land. From this spot, we will be able to see not only the Inca City of Machu Picchu but also Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. Of course, you will have plenty of time to take as many photos as you want to capture these memories and share them with your family and friends back home.

After visiting Llactapata, we will continue our trek for 1:30 hours downhill until our lunch place in Aobamba. Then, we will continue our way to our next featured spot in the hike, the Hidroelectrica train station (1,800 m / 5,906 ft). One of the most impressive sites in this area is the 250-meter-tall artificial waterfall, which generates electricity for the entire city of Cusco.

Once in Hidroelectrica, if you feel exhausted, you have the option (not included) to take a train to Aguas Calientes (US$ 34.00); otherwise, we’ll continue our walk from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes for about 3 hours along the train track.

A few minutes ahead of Hidroelectrica, we will arrive at Intihuatana, a famous ancient rock used as a ceremonial table in the Inca era. According to history, this ceremonial place worked together with the famous Intihuatana in Machu Picchu. The people used these two stones to measure and read the winter solstice, which was the beginning of the new farming season for the Incas.

Next to the railroad, there is a nice path through the warm paradise of the cloud forest. This is the same trail used by the American professor Hiram Bingham who rediscovered Machu Picchu after centuries of it being lost to the outside world!

After 3 hours of walking, we’ll arrive at Aguas Calientes town. Here, we’ll head first to our hostel. In your room, you will have a private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, breakfast in the morning, and luggage storage while you visit Machu Picchu. You can rest a bit before dinner or walk around this enchanting place that has the feel of a California Gold Rush town. There are no cars in Aguas Calientes, so it is an especially peaceful place to be.

At 7:00 pm, we´ll have dinner at a local restaurant and organize to be ready for the icing on our last adventure day: MACCHU PICCHU!

Note: During the rainy season, the hike up the Llactapata Trail is not 100% guaranteed due to safety concerns. When heavy rains are frequent, this trail becomes very dangerous.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Comfortable Hostel
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Walking Distance: 25 km / 15.53 mi
  • Starting Elevation: 2,000 m / 6,562 ft
  • Highest Elevation: 2,800 m / 9,186 ft
  • Accommodation Elevation: 2,040 m / 6,693 ft
Day 7

Tour of the Incredible Inca Fortress: Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu Ollantaytambo Cusco

Today we arrive at our trek’s long-awaited finale, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - Machu Picchu! We will wake up early after a refreshing night at our hostel to beat the crowds to the top of Machu Picchu and enjoy its serenity in the soft morning light. The Machu Picchu entrance checkpoint is open from 6:00 am until 5:00 pm.

We'll board the bus to Machupicchu and enter the Royal city of the Incas as one of the first people in the morning. We will have a 2-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city, visiting temples, terraces, palaces, priests’ houses, the Intihuatana, the industrial sector, and the farming fields. Be amazed at the Incas’ engineering ingenuity, which was so far ahead of their time and still partially a mystery today.

Without having modern tools or even steel and iron to work with, the people who built this city were genius in organizing this community sustainably and beautifully on the side of a mountain, even bringing water in canals and aqueducts through its streets for the people to use. When a Peruvian guide showed this site to Hiram Bingham, it was almost unrecognizable, covered in thick vegetation and a state of disrepair. It has since been cleaned and restored and is now protected and treasured by the world at large.

After this tour, you are free to climb up to Huayna Picchu (2,720 m / 8,924 ft) or Machu Picchu Mountain (3,000 m / 9,843 ft), each of which takes 1.5 and 3 hours to hike up and down, respectively. Be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these attractions. You can also opt to hike up to the Sun Gate (2,720 m / 8,924 ft), the main entrance to the Inca Trail or the Inca bridge (no tickets required).

We will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for more than 5 hours before hiking back down to Aguas Calientes for the train ride between 1:37 pm and 6:20 pm to Ollantaytambo (subject to availability). A private bus will pick up our group and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco at about 20:00 hrs.

Rest your feet and your body now; we can assure you your heart will still be soaring for weeks and years to come!

  • Meals: Breakfast Box
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Activity Duration: 2-5 hours exploring
  • Optional Activities: Moderate to Challenging (2-4 hours)
  • Machu Picchu Citadel Elevation: 2,430 m / 7,972 ft
  • Machu Picchu Mountain Elevation: 3,000 m / 9,843 ft
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain Elevation: 2,720 m / 8,924 ft
Day 8

Bid Farewell to the Imperial City

Cusco Cusco’s Airport (or Bus Station)

  Inclusions

At Salkantay Trekking, we specify the included and non-included services under all the tour itineraries listed on our website. We take care of all the logistics, but please pay attention to the details, so you don’t miss anything. Some items may be different for specific programs, so please read carefully before booking with us.

What Is Included?

  • High-Quality Service & Safety

  • Pre-departure briefing

    You will meet your trekking guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags, which our horses will carry. The meeting will be at 5:00 pm the evening before the trip begins.

  • Day 1: City Tour Half Day

  • Day 2: Sacred Valley Tour Full Day Tour

  • Day 3 - 7: Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

  • Day 8: Transfer to the Airport

  • Experienced Guide

    All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. We choose them for their professionalism, experience, responsibility, seriousness, unbridled passion for exploring, and sincere desire to proudly share in our culture and history. He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!

  • Private Camping Equipment

    We have dining rooms and a kitchen on each campsite. In addition, all our equipment like tables, chairs, cooking equipment, etc., will be carried by our horses.

  • Medical Kit - First Aid Kit

    All Salkantay Trekking guides have received specialized training in first aid. We hold mandatory training sessions with our guides every February. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit to face basic emergencies (altitude sickness, travelers' diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) as well as oxygen. If necessary, we’ll evacuate you from the path as quickly as possible and ensure that you arrive at a clinic for treatment.

  • Customer Service 24/7

    We have telephone service available 24 hours a day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.

  • Satellite phones

    Our main priority will always be the tranquillity of our clients. All of our guides are prepared for emergencies in the mountains; however, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps you feel more secure. For this reason, each Salkantay Trekking guide has a satellite phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to call anywhere in the world.

  • One Duffle Bag

    There, you can carry your personal belongings up to a maximum weight of 7 kg / 15 lbs (this weight includes your sleeping bag).

  • Extras Included in our Service

    We believe that attention to small details is what sets us apart from other local companies. You’ll receive a cover to protect your backpack on the road and a rain poncho.

  • Accommodation

  • Personal Accommodation in Private Campsites

    Like our ancestors, we are very considerate of the Pachamama (Mother Earth). Therefore, our campsites and lodges are adapted to the environment to avoid generating negative impacts.

  • Hotel in Cusco

    3 Hotel Nights in Cusco (2 nights before the hike and 1 night after the hike).

  • Hostel in Aguas Calientes

    The last night of the Salkantay trek is spent in a hostel in Aguas Calientes with a double or triple room, private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, breakfast, and luggage storage while you visit Machu Picchu.

  • Meals

  • Meals in Cusco

    Day 1, 2, and 8: Breakfast at your hotel in Cusco

    Day 2: Lunch in the Sacred Valley Tour

  • Meals in the Salkantay Trek

    4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 4 Dinners

    Our chef prepares the best dishes in the middle of the mountain. Our passengers love our food! We respect all diets: vegetarian, vegan, or special menus are available at no extra cost, so let us know if you have any particular restrictions on your reservation form and remind your guide during the briefing. You’ll enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to hot drinks and snacks.

  • Water

    We will provide you boiled, filtered, and cooled water during your hike, from your lunch in Soraypampa to your breakfast in Lucmabamba. For it, you need to bring a camel bag or an empty bottle (we recommend a capacity of 2 liters).

  • Wake up tea

    Every morning at the campsite, you’ll be woken up with a cup of coca tea. Our staff will bring the tea to your bed so that you’re warmed from the inside out before you start your day.

  • Tea Time or Happy Hour

    Every afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide you popcorn, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you won’t have to wait until dinner to relax, warm-up, and enjoy a bite to eat.

  • Snacks on the trail daily

    Every morning we’ll give you snacks so you can enjoy them during the walk. Your tour leader will provide you a cloth bag with local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, caramels, etc., at the beginning of each day.

  • One cloth snack bag per person

    To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we will give you a cloth bag for your snacks.

  • Products for hygiene

    You’ll be provided with a small towel and soap before each meal to clean your hands.

  • Transportation

  • Transport

    Day 1: A representative of Salkantay Trekking will be waiting for you at the Cusco Airport (or Bus Station) to take you directly to your hotel.

    Day 1: Private transport to the tour in cusco (after the lunch)

    Day 2: Private transport for the Sacred Valley Tour.

    Day 3: You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and travel by private transportation to Challacancha, the trek’s starting point.

    Day 7: Private transport from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco.

    Day 8: Private transfer from your Cusco hotel to the Airport or Bus Station.

  • Train Ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (Day 7)

  • One Way Consettur Bus Ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (Day 7)

  • Personal belongings transportation

    On days 3, 4, and 5, cargo mules carry all the camping equipment and your baggage allowance (7 kg / 15.4 lb).

    On day 6, your duffle bag will be transported by car and train.

  • Permits & Entrance Tickets

  • Entry Ticket for Salkantay Trek

  • Entrance Ticket to Machu Picchu Archaeological Site

What Is Not Included?

  • Sleeping Bag

    You can rent one from our company if you don’t have your own. Our sleeping bags are effective and durable to protect you from temperatures as low as -18ºC (0ºF). They are mummy-form and include a sleeping liner. The bags are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips.

    US$ 25.00 per person

  • Walking Sticks

    Walking Sticks (with rubber tips) can be very useful on rough terrain and for ascending and descending. You can rent a set from our company if you’d like.

    US$ 25.00 per person

  • Huayna Picchu

    You can climb the famous mountain always seen in the photos behind the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It’s 45 minutes uphill. Going down can be scary if you fear heights. You can take this excursion once your guided tour to Machu Picchu ends. The permit must be issued at least one month in advance due to high demand. Consider that there could be changes to protect your integrity, this, mainly due to weather conditions.

    The ticket for Huayna Picchu costs US$ 30.00 per person.

  • Machu Picchu Mountain

    Machu Picchu Mountain is another of the mountains that surround the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It offers less steep, wider, and visually less frightening roads than Huayna Picchu, and it takes 1.5 hours to reach the top. This walk requires an entrance ticket which we can assure for you if we have time in advance.

    The ticket for Machu Picchu Mountain costs US$ 30.00 per person.

  • Boleto Turistico or Cusco Tourist Ticket

    This ticket is necessary and allows you admission to many of the most popular attractions in Cusco and the surrounding region, including archaeological sites and museums (applies to Day 1 and 2).

    US$ 45.00 per person

  • Cusco’s Cathedral Entrance Ticket

    US$ 8.00 per adult - US$ 5.00 per child

  • Qorikancha Entrance Ticket

    S/. 10.00 per person

  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes and Dinner in Cusco (Day 7)

  • Train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes (Day 6)

    In case you feel exhausted or in bad condition after the trek from Chaullay to La Playa, you can take the train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes.

    US$ 34.00 per person.

  • Personal Clothing and Gear

  • Travel Insurance

  • Tips for our staff

    Tipping is usual on any excursion to Machu Picchu. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering their hard work. Typically, group participants collect their tips to hand out to the horsemen and chefs together.

  • Additional costs or delays beyond our control

    Landslides, bad weather conditions, itinerary modifications due to a safety concern, illness, pandemia, government policy changes, political instability, strikes, act of God, etc.

  Before You Go

We want to make your trip to Peru as unique and as easy as possible. In this section, you’ll find speedy answers to all those questions you had about trekking Salkantay in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.

Is it for me?

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is an excellent alternative for the Inca Trail trek and better suited for more adventurous trekkers who can handle higher altitudes and longer distances. Ascending to reach the famous Salkantay Pass (4,630 m / 15,190 ft) is not too strenuous nor very steep since it is at the beginning of the trek. Still, it does require stamina and a little time in Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude before beginning the trek.

How many days do I need to acclimate in Cusco before the Trek?

It is very important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek. We do recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before the trek starts to help you become acclimatized and avoid possible problems with altitude sickness while on the trek.

Suppose you have already been in another area of Peru at a high altitude before arriving in Cusco. In that case, we still recommend you have a whole day in Cusco to rest, recover from your travel, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Cusco before departing for the trek.

Here some suggestions for activities to do in the Cusco vicinity before starting your adventure trek:

The Briefing

This meeting will take place the night before the trek’s departure at 5:00 pm in our main office in Cusco at Triunfo Street 346. We are one block from the Main Square of Cusco (Plaza de Armas).

What about the balance?

It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL.

To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account and emit your payment using our email address ventas@salkantaytrekking.com.

Duffle Bag for Salkantay Imperial Trek 8 Days

The evening before you start your trek, we will provide you with a duffle bag to pack your clothes for the 5 days of your Salkantay Trek. Your weight allowance is up to 7 kg / 15.4 lb. Our horses will carry your duffle bag for you together with the food and camping gear. It is important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffel bag until the end of each day, as the horsemen and horses will always be ahead of the group.

During the trip, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, raincoat, camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually, a 30 to 50-liter backpack is sufficient.

Can I store my luggage at your office?

Of course! During the hike, you can store your main luggage at our office (you can organize it with us on the briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.

Any equipment that you will not need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags; put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (in the unlikely case of theft, many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.

Pick-ups

Salkantay Trekking can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. Your guide will coordinate the pickup time in the briefing session, but please keep in mind that the time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic.

Cusco is an old city; therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.

Return to Cusco

Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don't worry. Everything is included in your tour!

  • In Machu Picchu, you’ll board a bus that will take you for 25 minutes to the small city of Aguas Calientes. The buses are boarded according to your arrival.
  • In Aguas Calientes, you’ll board a train to Ollantaytambo or Cusco. Your guide will give you the train tickets where the boarding time will be shown. Make sure you’re on the platform 30 minutes early. The train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes 1.45 hours.
  • Once you arrive at the station, our representative, identified with the Salkantay Trekking clothing, will be waiting to transfer you to Cusco or directly to your hotel. The trip from Ollantaytambo to Cusco takes 1:30 hours.
  • In Cusco,depending on your hotel's location, we will take you to a smaller car from our company (Hyundai H1) to transfer you faster to your hotel.

Group tours

Group tours are made up of different types of people, then physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route.

It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, the guide will be the one who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if such modifications are possible.

Strikes and demonstrations

Strikes and demonstrations are usually common in Peru, and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked, and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date.

In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority, and our decisions will be made to protect it.

Lost objects

Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our buses, tents, or restaurants. You’re the only one responsible for your objects during the tour.

  Accommodation

Private & Exclusive Campsites

Sky Camp

Sky Camp

Our dazzling SKY CAMP is located in front of the impressive mountains Humantay and Salkantay. This campsite creates the perfect union of sky and earth. It allows you to sleep calmly under a clear sky starred with an exceptional view of the constellations. At the same time, you can enjoy all the comforts of a first-class vacation home.

  • Location:  Soraypampa
  • Altitude:  3,900 m / 12,795 ft
  • Igloos:  26
  • Capacity:  2 people per Igloo
  • Meals:  Lunch and Dinner

Andean Huts

Andean Huts

Like in the times of our ancestors, our commitment is to our Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the Apus (sacred Mountains). Our campsite ANDEAN HUTS is adapted to the natural environment without generating any audio-visual impact, constructed with elements found in the same area, and located in a place surrounded by tropical mountains and rocky rivers under the shining stars.

  • Location: Chaullay
  • Altitude: 2,900 m / 9,514 ft
  • Andean Huts: 20
  • Capacity: 2 people per Andean Hut
  • Meals: Dinner and Breakfast

Jungle Domes

Jungle Domes Campsite Salkantay Trek

From the comfort of our domes, you get to be in intimate contact with the surrounding nature as you hear the wind or rain and gaze at the stars through the central dome from your comfortable bed. The conceptual design of our domes invites you to see one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world from your window.

  • Location: Lucmabamba
  • Altitude: 2,000 m / 6,562 ft
  • Igloos: 16
  • Capacity: 2 people per Jungle Dome
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, and Dinner

Comfortable Accommodation in Aguas Calientes

Hostel Aguas Calientes

We offer a selection of well-located hostels & hotels in the town with very comfortable and tasteful decorated rooms. You’ll find them impeccable with clean rooms and beds as well as adequate toilets and showers. It’s a perfect place to rest before the most important day of your trip!

  • Location: Aguas Calientes
  • Altitude: 2,040 m / 6,693 ft
  • Type: Single, Double, Matrimonial, and Triple
  • Meals: Breakfast
  Pricing

The Salkantay Trek can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February because of the rainy season & maintenance of the route.

  • Group Price

  • 2020 Land Cost
    US$800
    per person
  • Pre-payment
    US$400
    (Required)
  • Balance
    US$400
  • This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.

Online Payment Imperial Salkantay 8 Days

Notice that PayPal charges a fee of 8%, which we ask the client to cover since it's due to the use of its service. This tax is just for online deposits so that you will pay the remaining in cash (the briefing day) without charges.
Paypal Payment
After your payment, please send us the transfer number to sales@salkantaytrekking.com; only after that, we'll be able to confirm your deposit and reservation.

Hostel

All the related treks to Machu Picchu end in or before Aguas Calientes, so you’ll spend the last night in a hostel in the village rather than camping (shared room included in the trek cost). If you would like to upgrade your hostel or prefer a single room, please consider that there will be an additional cost.

Extras & Upgrades

There are complementary services and upgrades you can include in this trip.

  • Huayna Picchu: US$ 30.00
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: US$ 30.00
  • Single Room at Aguas Calientes: US$ 30.00
  • Extra Night: US$ 30.00
  • Vistadome Train: US$ 75.00

Extensions & Offers

There are several extensions you can include in your adventure before or after your trek.

  • Rainbow Mountain:  $100  $80
  • Sacred Valley:  $60  $50
  • City Tour:  $30  $20

Additional Items

There are additional items you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices.

  • Sleeping bag:  US$ 25.00
  • Walking poles (pair):  US$ 25.00

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed, we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. So please, before booking, ensure you have read all our important tour information.

Student Travel Discount

US$ 20.00 off

Student discounts apply to anyone 17-years-old or younger, and we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to sales@salkantaytrekking.com.

  Enquire Now

Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Salkantay Trekking. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.

Personal Details

Trip Details

Salkantay Trek Imperial 8D
14 years and above
Below 14 years
7 + 3 =
Remember |  One of our Travel Experts will contact you soon to confirm the availability of the trip you chose, give you more information, and/or provide you alternative options. Once availability is established, we will ask for a deposit and a completed online registration to confirm your spot on the trek. Please call us at (+51) 958191179 with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone.

Our Pledge |  Your privacy is respected and protected. The Salkantay Trekking Company will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.

We give advice and recommendations that are right for you

Feel free to reach us via email at sales@salkantaytrekking.com or by calling us directly at +51 958 191 179

Triunfo Street 346, Main Square of Cusco, Peru

Monday - Friday
9:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Due to the rainy season and trail maintenance, we don't offer this trek during the whole month of february. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, we are working to provide you a better service!

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Our Focus

Guarantee you the adventure of a Lifetime

Your Safety is our priority

Salkantay Trekking organized a first aid and rescue course in which all its guides actively participated.

Expert Local Guides

Our Destination Experts aren't just trip designers, they're true explorers with experience in Peru you won't find anywhere else.

Fantastic Meals

The food is one of the most important things on the trek, we bring balance and nutritive food along the trail.

Small Groups

Travelling with us will always feel like travelling among friends and not with a group of strangers in an organized tour.

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Travel Photography

Live with us the Salkantay Experience of our Passengers

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Reviews

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