The Epic Off-the-Beaten-Path Combo Trek
Are you looking to escape the crowds but still enjoy an epic trek to one of the New Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu? Look no further than the combined Lares Trek & Inca Trail. This 5-day tour will take you through the most stunning scenery while enjoying interactions with rural Andean communities and then retracing ancient steps on one of the best treks in the world, the Inca Trail.
You can expect to see majestic mountain glaciers, shockingly blue and green lakes, waterfalls, streams, llamas, and alpacas on this gorgeous picturesque route. Spend three days in the heights of the Andes before dipping into the Short Inca Trail for the best of both worlds. You’ll connect with nature while visiting incredible archaeological sites before ending your trip in the magical Machu Picchu.
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This package is for the adventurers out there who like to stay away from the big crowds to really get the best experience in the mountains possible. You’ll feel at one with nature and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. You can enjoy this trip by yourself, with your partner, or as part of a larger group.
The Lares section of this incredible route will take you through rural Andean communities, where you’ll get to spend time with the locals and learn more about their customs and traditions. It’s fascinating to see how they live so far away from the nearest town or city and how they live off their land, growing all their own products. These communities are all about preserving Inca traditions and keeping them alive today.
After spending time among the glaciers and chilly mountain tops, you’ll be making your way to the Short Inca Trail. You’ll hike through the warm climate of the edge of the Peruvian jungle and visit some mysterious archaeological sites to learn all about this astounding ancient culture.
Finally, your trip comes to a close with a visit to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu — a bucket list item for many travelers worldwide. You’ll enjoy a guided tour and discover the secrets of this mystical site before exploring it by yourself. Don’t forget to buy your Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain tickets in advance to get the ultimate view over the Inca citadel. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Don’t miss out and book your trek today!
Itinerary at a Glance
Cusco | Calca - Lares Hot Springs - Cuncani - Willkikasa Pass - Quiswarani
Start your trip with a visit to the Lares hot springs to relax before beginning your hike. You’ll visit the Pacchayocc waterfall and Willkikasa pass before heading to our camp in Quiswarani. There you’ll spend time with the locals before dinner and bed.
Quiswarani | Qoyalay Lake - Pachacutec Pass - Cancha Cancha
Head up to the highest point of the trek, the Pachacutec pass, before making your way down to camp in Cancha Cancha. There, you’ll learn all about the local customs and traditions and spend the night.
Cancha Cancha | Huaran - Maras Salt Mines - Ollantaytambo
Enjoy the last leg of the Lares trek to Huaran before catching our transport to the Maras Salt Mines. In the afternoon, we’ll take you to Ollantaytambo to spend the night in a hostel.
Ollantaytambo | KM 104, Chachabamba - Wiñay Wayna - Sun Gate - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes
Begin your Inca Trail journey today and visit Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna archaeological sites. See Machu Picchu for the first time from the Sun Gate and then spend the night in Aguas Calientes.
Aguas Calientes | Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo - Cusco
Spend the morning exploring the magical Machu Picchu before making your way back to Aguas Calientes for lunch. From there, you’ll catch the train to Ollantaytambo and then our private car back to your accommodation in Cusco.
What's it like
- The Lares Trek is a fantastic alternative route to Machu Picchu to escape the big crowds.
- Explore a part of the world-famous Inca Trail.
- Spend time with rural Andean communities and learn their customs and traditions.
- Witness some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
- Visit Inca archaeological sites and learn all about the fascinating history of this amazing culture.
- Enjoy a train ride through stunning landscapes beside the furious Urubamba River.
- End your epic trip with a visit to New World Wonder, Machu Picchu, and discover its best-kept secrets.
Why Travel with us
Cusco | Calca - Lares Hot Springs - Cuncani - Willkikasa Pass - Quiswarani
Highlight of the day: Taking a dip in the hot springs and starting our exciting trek.
Submerge Yourself in the Hot Springs Before Embarking On Your Hike
We begin our exciting adventure today as we collect you early and head out to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We’ll have a short stop in Calca before continuing onto the Lares hot springs. Once there, we’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast before taking a dip in the medicinal hot waters of the Lares thermal baths. Once you’re fully relaxed, we’ll drive to the starting point of our trek in Cuncani. From there, we’ll hike to the pretty Pacchayocc waterfall and then to the highest point of the day at the Willkikasa pass. Afterward, we’ll make our way down to the evening’s camp in Quiswarani to enjoy lunch.
In the afternoon, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the small community and get to know some of the locals who live there. You’ll learn about their customs and traditions and visit a local school. You’ll have your dinner in the community before stargazing and heading to bed for the night.
We'll start our epic adventure this morning when we pick you up from your hotel at 5:00 am. We’ll travel towards the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas as you watch the city of Cusco waking from a night of heavy slumber. After driving for an hour-and-a-half, we'll stop in Calca to visit the local market. There, you'll get to enjoy a wonderful experience of the local Andean culture and will be able to buy some last-minute things you might need for the trek, like snacks, fruit, water, coca leaves, etc.
We'll then continue on our way for two-and-a-half more hours till we arrive at the Lares hot springs (3,200 m / 10,499 ft). Here, we'll be spoiled with an energizing breakfast and panoramic view of the towering mountains, which make the perfect backdrop to start our adventure.
After breakfast, we'll take a relaxing dip in the warm waters of the hot springs. The recreational complex contains various pools of different sizes and temperatures for you to try out. The smallest ones are very hot, so be careful when getting in as they can really take you by surprise. The volcanic water in these pools has medicinal properties and helps treat bone and muscle illnesses. It’s also supposed to help with stress and headaches. It’s the perfect place to give your muscles some TLC before setting off on your hike.
After enjoying the hot springs and a bit of rest and relaxation, we'll get back in our transport to make our way to our hike starting point in Cuncani (3,800 m / 12,467 ft). Here, we'll meet the rest of our trekking team, who’ll accompany us, including horsemen and cooks. The horseman will load your luggage on horses and will wait for you at each campsite. The only thing you'll need to worry about is enjoying the trek! Just make sure you carry everything you’ll need for the day in your backpack, like water, snacks, and a camera.
Soon, you'll find yourself in front of the impressive and pretty Pacchayocc waterfall, a true gift from Mother Nature. From here, we'll continue until we reach an area filled with little lakes to enjoy our first delicious lunch prepared by our chef that’s sure to surprise you in the middle of the mountains.
After lunch, we'll continue with our trek and arrive at the Willkikasa Pass, the highest point of the day, at 4,400 m / 14,436 ft. Take it easy on your way up, as altitude sickness is serious and can make you feel sick if you aren’t careful. From here, we’ll head back downhill for an hour-and-a-half to the campsite in Quiswarani.
Once there, you'll have enough time to explore the small town and visit some of the quaint houses. You'll learn all about the lifestyle and traditions of the people from this rural part of the world and immerse yourself in the community. We'll visit the school where local children speak Quechua, their mother language, and what the Incas used to speak. You can bring toys, notebooks, or other school supplies to share with them if you’d like. They very much appreciate this act of giving as they rarely get the chance to go to towns or cities to buy supplies.
We'll enjoy some warming hot drinks while the sky gets darker and the stars start to show themselves. Finally, we'll indulge in a freshly cooked dinner, and you'll be able to stargaze before taking refuge in your tent to rest.
Quiswarani | Qoyalay Lake - Pachacutec Pass - Cancha Cancha
Highlight of the day: Spending time with rural Andean locals and learning about their way of life.
Immerse Yourself in Andean Culture As You Enjoy Stunning Surroundings
We’ll wake you up early with a hot drink to get ready and enjoy a nourishing breakfast before we start our hike. First, we’ll head up to the Pachacutec pass, which is the highest part of the trek. We’ll take in the astounding view all around us before heading downhill again for lunch. From there, it’s another 2 hours to our camp in Cancha Cancha.
In this small village, you’ll spend the afternoon with the local people, observe their stunning handicrafts, and learn more about their lifestyle. In the evening, you’ll have another great dinner and then settle in for a good night’s rest.
Today, we’ll wake you up around 5:30 am with a hot drink to get you going. The people from the town will already be taking their llamas and alpacas out to graze at this early hour! As soon as we finish getting the luggage ready to go, we’ll enjoy a nourishing breakfast to fill us with the energy we need for the day. We’ll fill our water bottles for the morning and get our snacks to enjoy along the trail.
To begin with, there’s a 4-5 hour ascent toward the entire trek's highest point, the Pachacutec pass at 4,700 m / 15,420 ft. We’ll hike up in a zigzag pattern to ease the strain caused by the altitude. The landscapes in this area are simply astounding. You'll see the beautiful lake of Qoyalay and the impressive Qanchispaccha (seven waterfalls) from this vantage point.
Once we get to the Pachacutec Pass, we’ll be among the clouds, from where the 360-degree view is truly breath-taking. In front of you, you’ll see the majestic glaciers of Pitusiray and Qolqe Cruz. Take advantage while you’re here to take some fantastic photos because we’ll soon start going downhill again. Once you’re ready, we’ll begin a half-hour descent down the slope to a pretty place where we’ll enjoy our lunch. Make sure you eat well to recover your energies as there are still another 2 hours to go this afternoon.
We’ll keep walking until we reach our campsite for this evening in the village of Cancha Cancha (3,950 m / 12,959 ft). Here, 85% of the houses are made using traditional techniques and materials, like stone walls and thatched roofs. Our support team will be in charge of setting up the tents, so you'll be able to spend time with the local people and immerse yourself in their culture as you learn more about their way of life. After that, your guide will take you to one of the community houses to learn about their lifestyle. You'll get to observe traditional hand-made textiles of alpaca and llama wool that the locals delicately craft with their own hands. In the evening, you'll enjoy delicious hot drinks and a tasty dinner before heading to bed.
Cancha Cancha | Huaran - Maras Salt Mines - Ollantaytambo
Highlight of the day: Visiting the fascinating Maras Salt Mines and enjoying the change of scenery.
Stop Off at Amazing Sites in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
You’ll wake up early today to embark on the last leg of our Lares trek. You’ll observe more beautiful scenery and unique flora and fauna on our way into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We’ll arrive in the small town of Huaran for some lunch and say farewell to our horsemen and cooks.
This afternoon, our transport will drive us to the Maras Salt Mines, a truly unique sight in the middle of the mountains. From there, we’ll be driven to Ollantaytambo, a quaint Inca town, to enjoy dinner in a restaurant and then spend the night in a hostel.
Just like every morning, our trekking team will wake you up with a hot drink to start the day in the best way possible and prepare you for the busy day ahead. Once you’ve enjoyed your delicious breakfast, you'll begin the last leg of the trek. We'll walk for 4 hours downhill along a pretty path where you'll be able to observe herds of sheep, llamas, and alpacas again. Watching them graze in their natural habitat is really something special. We'll pass by fields of potatoes, fava beans, and other regional products. This is a fabulous opportunity to learn more about Andean agricultural techniques and the types of produce that grow best in this region.
We'll start our descent to the warmer climate of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You'll feel the drastic changes between micro-climates, from the cold mountains to the warm valley, and see different crops to those you saw in the higher altitudes. Corn, quinoa, kiwi, peaches, avocados, and other types of fruits all thrive in the Sacred Valley. Of course, this area is full of history and Inca culture, too. You’ll see why the Incas cherished this region so much with the fruitful land and river running through the middle. We'll finish the Lares trek in a small town called Huaran (2,920 m / 9,580 ft), where you'll say goodbye to the trekking team and enjoy a delicious and nutritious lunch to recharge your energies for a busy afternoon.
In Huaran, our private transportation will be waiting for us to take us through the Sacred Valley to the Maras Salt Mines. Here, at 3,000 m / 9,843 ft, a salty spring of water flows and spills out over the mountain’s slope and fills thousands of small pools. You'll be able to see 3,000 small evaporation chambers that have been used since pre-Inca times and are still mined to this day. This salt has curing properties thanks to its minerals which also turn it a beautiful pink color, famous with locals and tourists alike. Local families own every one of these salt pools and support themselves by supplying the savory produce to the towns in this zone. There’s a small shop where you can buy some of the pink salt if you’re interested to take home as a memory or gift to friends and family. It tastes amazing to cook with!
After visiting the salt mines, our vehicle will take us another 55 minutes to Ollantaytambo (2,792 m / 9,160 ft), which is a beautifully quaint town located in the heart of the Andes. It’s the last inhabited Inca town in Peru, and it’s fascinating to wander down the tiny cobbled streets. Here we'll visit the spectacular Temple of the Sun archaeological site that was built with huge rocks, many of which were elegantly carved to create water fountains, stairs, and terraces.
You'll enjoy dinner in a restaurant in the town and then spend the night in Ollantaytambo. Remember to go to bed early, as our Inca Trail hike will start very early in the morning.
Ollantaytambo | KM 104, Chachabamba - Wiñay Wayna - Sun Gate - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes
Highlight of the day: Hiking a part of the original Inca Trail and visiting some of the most important sites in their empire.
Retrace Ancient Steps and Travel Back in Time at Historical Sites
Today our Inca adventure begins. We’ll eat breakfast, then board the train to KM 104, where we’ll start our hike. First, we’ll stop at the archaeological site of Chachabamba and enjoy a tour. You’ll see waterfalls and many wild orchids on our way to Wiñay Wayna, an extremely important Inca site. You’ll learn all about its past and observe the incredible structures before enjoying a boxed lunch.
This afternoon, we’ll keep hiking until we reach Inti Punku, the famous Sun Gate, from where you can take in your first amazing views of Machu Picchu. Then, hike to the Machu Picchu entrance to take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. Here, you’ll have dinner in a nice restaurant before spending the night in a hostel.
After a tasty breakfast, we’ll head to the train station, where you can make any last-minute purchases. When the golden sun begins to shed its light on the towering mountains, you’ll board the train to ride beside the sacred river of Urubamba to the point known as KM 104 (2,100 m / 6,890 ft), where our Inca Trail hike begins. Once there, we’ll need to descend and cross a bridge to the control point where we enter the trail. Don’t forget to bring your original passport, otherwise, you won’t be able to enter the Inca Trail.
Just a little way into our Inca Trail journey, you’ll visit the archaeological site of Chachabamba. You’ll learn all about the history of this place before we continue with an ascent up some steps while we observe waterfalls and diverse types of wild orchids. The walk will take us 3 hours until we reach Wiñay Wayna (2,650 m / 8,694 ft), one of the most important sites in Inca history. This sophisticated archaeological center shows the architectural mastery of the Incas and their great agricultural capacity, which they are so well-known for. There, the Incas were able to cultivate various products that originated in the Andes and, in turn, stabilize the hillside.
The name Wiñay Wayna comes from a special type of orchid that grows in abundance in the area and, when translated to English, means "forever young." Your guide will take you on a tour of the site, and you’ll learn more about its past.
Later, you’ll enjoy a delicious boxed lunch to recharge your batteries and continue with the last leg of the hike. Just one more hour of trekking will take us to the old main entrance of Machu Picchu: Inti Punku, the famous Sun Gate (2,720 m / 8,924 ft). From there, you’ll see the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, for the first time in a spectacular panoramic view.
Let your heart feel the powerful energy that the ancient Peruvians felt when arriving at this sacred site, and show your respect for this incredible feat of humankind. From this point, it’s only another hour to descend to the Machu Picchu entrance (2,430 m / 7,972 ft) at sunset. By this time, the crowds of tourists have already left, and the Inca fortress is at peace again. We’ll tour the stone streets of Machu Picchu the next day, at sunrise.
We’ll board a bus there that’ll take us 25 minutes to Aguas Calientes, a small town where you’ll spend the night in a comfortable hostel. We’ll eat dinner in a nice restaurant before heading to bed. We recommend you rest early tonight to make the most of the final day tomorrow.
Aguas Calientes | Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo - Cusco
Highlight of the day: Visiting the one and only Machu Picchu and exploring every corner of this World Wonder.
Explore the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu
Wake up early to beat the crowds to Machu Picchu. Once inside, take in the spectacular views and enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of the most significant sites inside. Then, you’ll have a few more hours to explore the site by yourself or hike one of the extra mountains.
You’ll head down to Aguas Calientes for lunch before catching the train to Ollantaytambo. From there, our private vehicle will bring you back to your accommodation in Cusco to rest after your 5-day adventure.
The most special day is finally here! You’ll need to wake up before dawn to beat the crowds at the Machu Picchu entrance. You’ll catch the bus from Aguas Calientes to the site to be at the entrance at 6:00 am when it opens. This way, you’ll get your first views over Machu Picchu as the morning sun glow hits the massive stones. There's nothing better than walking through the Inca citadel at dawn, almost in silence, when the soft yellow light covers everything from one side, and magical shadows are revealed. Tourists will crowd this place in a few hours so enjoy the tranquility of these moments.
After soaking up the incredible views, you’ll enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of the most important sites. We’ll make stops at temples, terraces, palaces, houses, the industrial sector, the fields of cultivation, the sacred rock of the Sun, or Intiwatana, among others.
Once the tour is up, you’ll have plenty more time to explore by yourself. If you were able to get a ticket to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain in advance, now’s the time to hike them. Otherwise, you could hike to Inca Bridge or back to the Sun Gate you visited yesterday.
You’ll need to make your way back down to Aguas Calientes for some lunch before boarding the train back to Ollantaytambo. There, our private transport will be waiting to take you back to your accommodation in Cusco to finally put your feet up and get some rest. We’re sure your heart will be beating the Andean rhythm for years to come!
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
You’ll meet your trekking guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. There, we’ll provide you with the duffle bags, which our team will carry. The meeting will be at 5:00 pm the evening before the trip begins.
Experienced Tour Guide
English and spanish speaking, professionally educated, and official tour guide. Your guide will explain the culture and surroundings along the entire route, including leading your group in ancient ceremonies! 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
You’ll have spacious dining and kitchen tents where you can enjoy your food without problems. In addition, tables, chairs, and cooking equipment (all carried by our horses).
Portable Travel Toilet
One Duffle Bag
On the trek, you can carry your personal belongings up to a maximum weight of 7 kg / 15.4 lb (this weight includes your sleeping bag).
Medical Kit or 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.
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 small sleeping pillow, a foam mattress, a cover to protect your backpack on the road, and a rain poncho.
Customer Service 24/7
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication with Salkantay Trekking leading up to your trek.
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.
Lodging in Campsites
We have a series of campsites that offer you true comfort. Besides that, just like our ancestors, we have a profound link of affection and respect for our Mother Earth. Because of this, we are insistent that our campsites don’t generate any negative environmental impact. Remember that the accommodations are double and shared.
Best Camping Tents
Salkantay Trekking uses the best equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Every 2 people will share Eureka Timberline or Mountain Hard Wear tents with a capacity for 4 people.
Hostel in Ollantaytambo
The third night of this trek is spent in a hostel in Ollantaytambo.
Comfortable Hostel in Aguas Calientes
The last night of this 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.
5 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 allergies or 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 on the trail
We’ll provide you boiled, filtered, and cooled water during your hike, from your first lunch to your last breakfast. For this, 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 hot coca tea. Our staff will bring the tea to your tent so that you will be warmed from inside out before you start your day.
Tea Time or Happy Hour
Every afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide you popcorn, biscuits/cookies, 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
Before starting your trekking, your tour guide will provide you a cloth bag with local fruits, cookies, chocolate, caramels, etc. Every morning, we’ll refill it so that you can enjoy your snacks during the walk.
One cloth snack bag per person
To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we'll 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.
- Day 1: You'll be picked up from your hotel in the morning and will travel in our private transportation to Lares Hot Springs and then to Cuncani, the trek's starting point.
- Day 3: Private transport from Huaran to Maras Salt Mines and then to Ollantaytambo.
- Day 5: Private transport from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco.
- Day 4: From Ollantaytambo to KM 104 (Starting point of the Short Inca Trail).
- Day 5: From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
Round-Trip Bus Ticket Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu
- Day 4: From Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.
- Day 5: From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
Personal Belongings Transportation
On days 1,2, and 3, cargo mules will carry all the camping equipment and your baggage allowance (7 kg / 15.4 lb). Muleteers will be responsible for your duffle bag and personal items.
Permits & Entrance Tickets
Entrance Ticket for Lares Hot Springs
Entrance Ticket for Maras Salt Mines
Permits and Ticket for Inca Trail
As soon as we receive your complete information and the deposit that secures your reservation, we’ll buy all the necessary permits (subject to availability). These permits are issued for a specific date and will be in your name. They cannot be changed under any circumstances. Change of passport number is only allowed for renewal reasons. In that case, you must bring both your old and new passport.
Entry Ticket to Machu Picchu Archaeological Site
What Is Not Included?
Extras and important equipment
All our travelers need a sleeping bag to camp. Inflatable mattresses and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional but highly recommended. If you do not have them, don’t worry, you can rent them with Salkantay Trekking.
- Sleeping bag: US$ 20.00
- Inflatable mattress: US$ 20.00
- Walking poles (pair): US$ 20.00
Huayna Picchu Mountain
You can climb the famous mountain you always see in the photos behind the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It’s 45 minutes uphill, and coming back 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, mainly due to weather conditions.
The ticket for Huayna Picchu Mountain has an extra cost of US$ 75.00 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 trails than Huayna Picchu, and it takes 1.5 hours to reach the top. This walk requires an entrance ticket which we can secure for you if we have time in advance.
The ticket for Machu Picchu Mountain has an extra cost of US$ 75.00 per person.
Lunch in Aguas Calientes and Dinner in Cusco (Day 5)
Personal Hiking Clothing and Gear
Tips for our staff
Tipping is the norm on any excursion to Machu Picchu. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering the hard work they do. 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.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you'll find speedy answers to all those questions you had about hiking in Peru with Salkantay Trekking in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services. Please read carefully the following information – it will help you with any questions you may have about our services.
Have another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line and we will get back to you asap!
How many days do I need to acclimate in Cusco before the Trek?
It’s very important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek. We recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before the trek starts to help you adjust and avoid possible problems with altitude sickness while on the trek.
You might 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:
Briefing or Informative Meeting
All information meetings and briefings are held in our main office in Cusco (or your hotel) at 5:00 pm, one night before the tour begins. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. If you’re unable to attend, you must coordinate another time by email, by phone or at the Salkantay Trekking office.
Trek Balance Payment (in Cusco)
The trek has to be paid for in full at most 7.30 pm one day before your departure (generally after the briefing).
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency at our office in Cusco. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Duffel Bag or Canvas Case
You’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. Our horses will carry them, and the horsemen will hand them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 60 x 24 x 22 cm (23.6 x 9.45 x 8.66 in).
A maximum of 7 kg / 15.4 lb is allowed for each duffel bag, including the weight of your sleeping bag, sleeping mat, clothes, and other personal items.
Can I store my luggage at your office?
Of course! During the trip, your main luggage can be stored 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 won’t 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 everything). It’s best to put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Pick up of guests
Salkantay Trekking can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historical 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, meaning 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’ll take you for 25 minutes to the small city of Aguas Calientes. The buses are boarded according to arrival.
- In Aguas Calientes, you’ll board a train to Ollantaytambo (or Poroy). 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’ll take you to a smaller car from our company (Hyundai H1) to transfer you faster to your hotel.
Note: For an extra One-Way Consettur Bus Ticket Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu, you’ll need to pay an extra of US$ 12.00.
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 trip as originally planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be canceled. In case of changes or cancellations, everything will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority, and our decisions will be made to protect it.
Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our transport, tents, or restaurants. You’re the only one responsible for your objects during the tour.
The "Lares Trek & Inca Trail" can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February because rainy season & maintenance.
2021 Land Cost
Group Price: US$ 700.00 per person.
Required Pre-payment: US$ 200.00 per person.
Balance (Cusco): US$ 500.00 (Commonly paid in Cusco after the briefing).
This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.
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 in Cusco) without charges.
Please, after your deposit, send us the transfer number to email@example.com; only after that, we'll be able to confirm your deposit and reservation.
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’d 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$ 75.00
- Machu Picchu Mountain: US$ 75.00
- 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 to your Peru Adventure.
- Rainbow Mountain: US$ 100.00 US$ 80.00
- Sacred Valley: US$ 60.00 US$ 50.00
- City Tour: US$ 30.00 US$ 20.00
There are additional items you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices.
- Sleeping bag:: US$ 20.00
- Inflattable mattress: US$ 20.00
- Walking poles (pair): US$ 20.00
Once your booking has been confirmed, we guarantee the price won’t increase, whatever the circumstances. So please, before booking, ensure you’ve read all our important tour information.
Student discounts apply to anyone 17-years-old or younger, and we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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) 958 191 179 with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone.
Note | 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!