8 Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu (Land Only)
The Salkantay Trek is an alternative route to get to Machu Picchu and it offers hikers an absolutely diverse trekking experience, and unlike the Classic Inca Trail, there are no permit limitations. During your initial 8 days in Cusco, you will engage in activities to know more about the Inca Valleys.
Mount Salkantay is one of the most iconic mountains in the Cusco region and the highest mountain on the Vilcabamba mountain range. The Salkantay Pass, which at 4,600m provides amazing vistas into the valley below. Salkantay which stands at 6,271m, is the 12th highest mountain in Peru and the 38th highest in the Andes. For trekkers, Salkantay means a very tough summit to get on. Indeed, the Quechua name, Sallqantay, means ‘Savage’ or ‘Wild’. Although it was first successfully climbed in 1952 by a French-American expedition, the mountain is not often conquered.
Thanks to our well deserve trekking experience in exploring a high variety of valleys in Cusco, we will lead you to the end to achieve the challenge in doing the Salkantay Trek. The reward in doing this trek, will be all the way up as you will be surrounded by full Andean nature.
Passing the snow capped peaks and reach the famous Apacheta Pass at 4,600m /15,088ft and descend into a tropical area passing Andenes and Chaullay on the far side of the mountain.
The breathtaking views throughout the entire Salkantay trek to machu picchu 8 days will lead us to hiking the ancient Machu Picchu, and experience one in a lifetime memory in which we are looking forward to welcome you.
Price per person
Itinerary at a Glance
Arrive in Cusco
Open day at leisure
The Salkantay trek adventure begins
Llactapata – Aguas calientes
Machu Picchu in its all its glory
Bye bye Cusco
Welcome to our Salkantay trek to machu picchu 8 days tour.
As soon as you arrive to the local Cusco airport, a Valencia Cusco representative will take care of you and transfer you to your hotel in the city centre.
At this stage, either you can enjoy the Inca city and colonial heritage on your own and provide you some tips to eat at some local restaurants. Or you might want to rest and wait until later on in the evening, when Cusco city shows off its night live. At night time, there is several places to have a delightful night and eat too.
On this day, we will embark on a trip to the Sacred Valley. The Salkantay trek to machu picchu 8 days, tour has considered second day to show you the Sacred valley because is one of the most representative and beautiful landscapes of Cusco. As you know The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous routes worldwide and begins at some point within this Sacred Valley.
We need to leave Cusco during the morning time at around 08:00 am and head towards Pisac village. We have choose this location as part of our Salkantay trek to machu picchu 8 days, tour because Pisac offers you a fantastic artisans market and a well preserved Inca architecture of the same name as the village. The artisans market is worthy to visit as all the hand made products are using organic materials, very well made and designed too.
After been in Pisac market, the Inca ruins in this valley of Pisac is awaiting our visit. We will head up on a private transport and to have also a panoramic view of this impressive and beautiful Sacred valley.
If visiting Pisac did charm you, then Ollantaytambo will not be less. We are leaving Pisac in direccion to Urubamba towards Ollantaytambo but before getting to our final destination, we will have a lunch break (not included) on the way.
Our Salkantay trek to machu picchu 8 days, to Ollantaytambo Inca site, shows you the magnificent temple of the sun. This Inca tour shows you also the enormous blocks of rock perfectly carved and polished, stone water fountains, stairs and terraces similar in a way to Machu Picchu.
Looking at the people of Ollantaytambo, you will notice, their pride in keeping their traditions reflected in their beautifully wearing of typical dresses. This village is surrounded by their local sacred mountains and Valleys.
Finished our journey to Ollantaytambo, we will be visiting Chinchero market and then return to Cusco at about 18:30-19:00 hours.
Today your Salkantay Trek 8 days to Machu Picchu begins. Our private transport will leave Cusco city around 05:00 am and travel to the town of Mollepata (2,850m). Once we get to Mollepata, we will get ready to start our walking the road is a little rough but we will take things slowly for your comfort. This Salkantay trek is all about discovering day by day the Andean landscape we have in front of us which eventually we will be reaching some of its high passes.
Our 3 hours hike will eventually take us to the Cruzpata point and have a lunch mean while enjoying the panoramic views of the snow capped mountains of Humantay (4120m/13,500ft) and Salkantay (6271m/20575ft). Finished our break, we will carry on our Salkantay trekking towards our first campsite Soraypampa, gest us prepared to pass the night.
Soraypampa is the highest and coldest campsite of the trip, sitting at 4000m / 12750ft.
Another day to look forward and after having an early breakfast at around 5:30 am we will continue our Salkantay Trek 8 days to Machu Picchu. We will be trekking in direction to the third pass which half way between two big mountains, Salkantay on the right and Tucarhuay on the left at 4, 650m/15, 200 ft above the sea level. You will have a feeling of immense satisfaction at the top of the pass, and on a clear day will get amazing views of Salkantay.
Being on the top of two snowcap mountains, give us also a great spectacle to see from which might even enjoy further and get some snow meanwhile we are hiking this location. At some point, we will feel the this trekking will demand a bit of our energy thus, we will find a spo to rest for while. Lateron on we will continue our hike to Machu Picchu through a cloud forest in direction to Huayracpunku and have lunch and take another break.
Carry on our Salkantay Trek 8 days to Machu Picchu adventure, will walk around 3 hours and you will notice that the landscape changes dramatically from high mountain terrain to lush tropical forest. At some point of our Salkantay hike, we will reach our second campsite at Colcapampa (3000m/9800ft). We may encounter other campsites at Challway or Andenes to welcome than but it all depending on the pace of the group. So far our days are getting more interesting and it will be until we complete our 8 days tour.
Our cook will do his best to charm us with a breakfast so we can keep focus on our Salkantay Trek 8 days to Machu Picchu. Meanwhile camping, we will be aiming to leave very early, this time around 06:30 am. Our trail will lead us to through the upper jungle, crossing the Lluskamayo River through a series of small brooks and creeks. Around us are the valleys delighting us with their waterfalls, tropical fruits and plants. As we are getting more into a tropical area do wear insect repellent.
Later on, and after hiking some time, the trail ascends slightly before descending for the rest of the day towards La Playa. A this spot we will set up our campsite in this warm climate of La Playa (2500m/8202ft) and have a break there.
We will have the chance to go to the hot springs, and smooth our bodies after all the journey we had during the day. At the campsite, we will relax until next morning to continue our Salkantay Trek 8 days to Machu Picchu.
Today on our Salkantay Trek 8 days to Machu Picchu, you will need all your energy because ahead of us are few hours of steady up hill climbing.
We will leave La Playa to trek 30-minutes to Lucmabamba and are aiming to reach Llactapata site, an incredible Inca fort from which we will see at distance Machu Picchu.
Llactapata fortress, was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham ( locals at the time knew about this fort but keep for themselves) on the same journey that he rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911. The Inca site, has a lot vegetation around it so it will give you a good idea of what Machu Picchu at first glimpse would look like when Hiram Bingham observed the citadele in front of it.
At LLactapata fortress, we will spend some time enjoying the landscape views from its top. Afterwards, will be descending downhill for another three hours. On our way downhill will be passing a variety of plantations of coca, bananas, and more until we reach the Hydroelectric dam to take our lunch.
From hydroelectric we will following the railway system until we get to Aguas Calientes town. Finally, we made it! We almost near Machu Picchu and almost completing our Salkantay Trek 8 days to Machu Picchu. We will check in at our hotel have a nice hot shower and spend the night. For those who would like to try the local hot springs, this is an available option to go get at this town.
To get in time for the sunrise over Machu Picchu we need to leave the hotel at least by 05:30 am, before that you all need to take your breakfast too. There will be a bus to catch to get to the ancient city, the ride takes less than half hour, as it is a up hill, it could take us a couple of hours climbing it.
The royal residence of the Inca seems to be last bastion before the spaniards took the whole Empire. In time this ancient city will be abandoned and get lost in an eternal dream, the same for the Empire and their Incas.
The citadele Inca, gives us a mixed feeling on the one side its glamour of its construction on the other an absolute peace of being in harmony with nature. Our guide will give us a tour, and show us the most significative locations within the construction. You'll learn about the Incas ways of living and after, have time to explore Machu Picchu by your own.
The famous mountain which overlooks Machu Picchu ruins is called Huayna Picchu at an altitude of 2, 720m or 8,890 ft. If you got the permit in time, you can climb this mountain following the rock steps done by the Incas and it will take you about 45 minutes to get to the top. From the top of Huayna Picchu you will enjoy a spectacular and panoramic view of the whole valley. This is an unique experience.
Once your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu has finished, we will meet up in Aguas Calientes and get the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.
At your request we can arrange, an extra night in Aguas Calientes. Please, let us know whether you would like to stay an extra night when booking your tour.
It was a fantastic time in having you with us and we do appreciate in choosing our service during this Salkantay Trek 8 days to Machu Picchu. After you have finished your breakfast, our private transport will arrive to your hotel and get you to the local airport according your flight itinerary.
- All pick-ups from the airport to the hotel and vice versa
- All hotel accommodations (the 3 star Casa Andina Cusco classic or similar standard)
- All breakfast in the accommodations Salkantay Trek 5 days includes:
- Professional bilingual tour guide
- Pick up from your hotel
- Private transportation to the start of the trail, along the sacred valley with nice views
- One night accommodation at Aguas Calientes
- Round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
- Transportation by train back to Ollantaytambo train station
- Transfer from Ollantaytambo train station back to Cusco
- Entrance fee to Salkantay trek
- 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 afternoon snacks (hot drinks, biscuits and popcorn) and 3 dinners
- Water (You will only need water for the first morning then we will provide you hot or cold boiled water)
- Dining tent with table and chairs
- Professional chef
- Horsemen and mules (they carry cooking and camping equipment and up to 7 kilos of tourists' belongings)
- 3-man tent (per 2 people)
- Foam mattress (carried by the horses)
- Oxygen bottle
- First Aid kit VEGETARIAN OPTION IS AVAILABLE AT NO EXTRA COST in the Salkantay trek !!!
Price Not Includes
- Single Supplement $400 USD(solo travelers)
- Excess baggage charges
- Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Laundry services
- Sleeping bag (can be rented)
- Walking stick (can be rented)
- Entrance ticket to the hot springs (15 soles)
- First breakfast and last lunch at Aguas Calientes.
- Meals that are not stated otherwise
- Sacred valley tour and entrance fees
- Gratitude for your crew (cooks, horsemen, guides, etc)