Trek through the 2nd largest mountain in Cusco and see spectacular views
Experienced and trained tour guides fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua
Witness the drastic change in weather
Explore Mount Salkantay, the 2nd largest mountain in the entire Cusco area (second only to the mighty Mount Ausangate), and said to be the “guardian” that stands between the mountains and the jungle. Crossing over a pass between the peaks of the immense mountains, Salkantay and Humantay, you will get to see some spectacular views of the glacial monsters and the sprawling valleys that they stand over.
All year round except for February
Cuzco hotel and hostel pickup
San Francisco Square
Day 01 : CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SAYAPATA – HUMANTAY LAKE – SALKANTAY PAMA
We will leave Cusco approximately at 5:00 a.m. A bus will take us to the town of Mollepata (2900 meters above sea level) where we will arrive approximately at 7:30 a.m, we will stop for last minute supplies, leg-stretching or to use the restrooms at a local restaurant. We will continue our journey to Soraypampa, our starting point for the trek. We will meet with our support staff, who will load the equipment on horses and mules. Around 10:00 a.m., we will begin our hike toward Umantay Lake. During the hike we will have panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay, other mountains covered with snow, and the Valley of Apurimac River. Around 1:00p.m., we will have a Peruvian lunch. After lunch, we will hike for 2 hours to our first camp at Salkantaypampa.
Day 02 : SALKANTAYPAMPA – SALKANTAY PASS – COLPAPAMPA
Today, nature will change drastically from dry sceneries to snowy peaks and tropical areas. After a nutritious breakfast, we will start the most difficult part of the trek. We will start the hike around 7:00 a.m. We will hike to a place called Soyrococha, then go toward the left side of the snowy peaks of Umantay located next to the Apu Salkantay. At midday, we will be on the highest point (4650 meters above sea level). We will appreciate spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay (6264 meters above sea level) which is known as the second highest point of the Cusco region. Around 1:00 p.m., we will have our lunch, in the area called Huayracmachay. After a trek of approximately 3 hours, we will arrive to our camp in Colpapampa (2920 meters above sea level). Around 7:00p.m., we will recuperate from the trek and eat dinner.
Day 03 : COLPAPAMPA – PLAYA SAHUAYACO – SANTA TERESA HOT SPRINGS
Around 7:00a.m., we will start our trek. We will walk for about 6 hours toward Playa Sahuayaco and during this period; we will observe small communities, the “Forest Cloudy Brow” where there are waterfalls, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora, and birds can be observed. If we are lucky, we will be able to observe the famous bird called the “Cock of the Rocks”. Here we will have lunch. At 2:00 p.m. a local bus will take us to Santa Teresa Hot Springs, where you will enjoy and relax at the hot pools. You will have dinner and camping there.
Days 4: SANTA TERESA – HIDROELECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES
At 7:00 a.m. time to stand up to start a new day. Over all, the hiking distance is 18 km, around 6 hours straight to Aguas calientes crossing by Hydroelectric station. We follow along the riverside of Vilcanota River, through the hydroelectric plant. The weather is warm and temperate in the beginning, the last 10 km the vegetation becomes denser reaching Machupicchu city. We walk along the train tracks close to the bank of Urubamba river where we’ll appreciate the holy mountains of Huaynapicchu and Machupicchu Mountains, and finally arrive to Aguas calientes, town of Machupicchu for an overnight stay in the hotel and dinner at the tourist restaurant. On this day you may enjoy the biggest Zip Line tour before heading to Aguas Calientes – not included in the price.
Day 05: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Rise early to take advantage of viewing Machu Picchu in the early morning light. This is the best time to view the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. Join our local guide for a detailed interpretation of the site and Inca history without the pressure of other tour groups that arrive at midday with a lot of time for further exploring, photos and climb to Huanaypicchu or up to the Sun Gate. Then we head back to Aguas Calientes. Later in the afternoon we return by train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy and will then be transferred by van to Cuzco, arriving in the evening.
Arrival time in Cusco:
Train return 2:55 pm - Arrival at 6:55 pm
Train return 4:22 pm - Arrival at 8:22 pm
Train return 6:20 pm - Arrival at 10:20 pm
Train return 9:50 pm - Arrival at 2:00 am (next day)
-Starting Altitude – 4650m / 15,200ft
-Highest Altitude – 4217m / 13,780ft.
-Walking Distance – 60.5 km / 37.5 miles
-Longest Day – Day 2, approximately 18 km/11 miles
-Coldest Night – Day 1 around 0º celsius
-Overall Difficulty – Difficult
Note: If you want to include Zipline in your tour, you should inform the guide on the first day of your trek. Each activity costs 30 dollars.
You must email us a scanned copy or photograph of your passport immediately after you have booked your tour. This is to enable the purchase of your Machu Picchu entrance ticket. It must be the passport you will use to enter Machu Picchu itself. This is a requirement when booking any tour of Machu Picchu from any operator.
Note: If you are staying at a different location than the one you select as your pick up location, it is explicitly your responsibility to be at the main entrance of the hotel or hostel selected as your pick up location for the duration of the pick up time range on your tour date. You must be in a visible place easy to see for the operator and be alert for their vehicle/guide when they go to pick you up for the tour.
DAY 1: 04:30 - 05:00
Pick up from your hotel/hostel
DAY 1: 05:00 - 07:30
Transfer to the town of Mollepata
DAY 1: 10:00 - 13:00
Start the hiking from Soraypampa
DAY 1: 13:00 - 14:00
DAY 1: 16:00 - 17:00
Arrive the first camp Salkantaypampa
DAY 1: 19:00 - 20:00
Dinner and overnight
DAY 2: 07:00 - 13:00
Hiking to a place called Soyrococha and go to highest point
DAY 2: 13:00 - 14:00
Lunch in Huayracmachay
DAY 2: 14:00 - 17:00
Go to the second camp Colpapampa
DAY 2: 19:00 - 20:00
Dinner and overnight
DAY 3: 07:00 - 13:00
Start the treking and observe waterfalls, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora, and birds
DAY 3: 13:00 - 14:00
DAY 3: 14:00 - 16:00
Bus to Santa Teresa Hot Springs, relax
DAY 3: 19:00 - 20:00
Camp in Santa Teresa, dinner and overnight
DAY 4: 07:00 -15:00
Go to Aguas Calientes. Optional: Zipline
DAY 4: 15:00 - 18:00
Overnight in a hotel and dinner
DAY 5: 05:00 - 13:00
Start the walking to Machu Picchu sanctuary
DAY 5: 19:00 - 20:00
Return by train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy and will then be transferred by van to Cuzc
- Transportation from your hotel in Cusco to the start of the hike and back to your hotel at the end
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes back to Cusco at the end of the journey
- Hostal in Aguas Calientes
- North Face Mountain 25 tents for maximum comfort
- Therm-a-Rest mattress and pillow provided for free
- Duffle bag that you can fill with up to 5 kg of your personal gear that the horses will carry
- Other camping equipment, such as a kitchen tent manned by a professional cooking staff, a dining tent with table and chairs, and a bathroom tent
- Experienced tour guide fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua. Our guides are equipped and trained to practice First-Aid, administer oxygen if needed, and conduct radio communication.
- Professional chef who grew up in the countryside and a horseman with horses/mules to carry all of our gear
- One extra horse in the case of an emergency
- Sleeping bag rent: $ 20 USD. Our sleeping bags are –20ºC-comfort (0ºF) and mummy form and include a sleeping liner.
- Entrance ticket to Salkantay (10 soles)
- Lunch on the last day after the guided tour at Machu Picchu.
- Entrance to the Hot Springs in Cocalmayo and Aguas Calientes (10 soles)
- Optional night in Aguas Calientes can be arranged easily.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu.
- Breakfast on the first day.
- Bus tickets up and down Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu $ 24.00
- Entrance ticket to Laguna Humantay 10 soles
- A lightweight, waterproof day pack with change of clothes for the whole period of the trek (must not exceed 5 kilos)
- Sleeping bag adequate for temperature of minus 10°c (rentable for $20 for duration of the trek)
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Warm clothes and trekking pants (trousers)
- Layers of clothes, include thermals, for variable temperatures especially at night
- Head torch with spare batteries
- Camera with extra film and batteries
- Sun protection: sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses
- Woolen socks, gloves, scarf, woolen hat for cold nights
- Insect repellent
- Extra plastic bags, especially in the wet season
- Waterproof clothing or a rain poncho
- Water bottles and water purifying tablets – Optional
- Personal medical kit with a simple whistle
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, tips
- Walking sticks (rentable)
- Favorite snacks
- Inflatable mattress
- Toilet paper
- Sandals or flip-flop
- Swimming costume
- Original passport and ISIC card if is applicable.
Note: You must email us a scanned copy or photograph of your passport immediately after you have booked your tour. This is to enable the purchase of your Machu Picchu entrance ticket. It must be the passport you will use to enter Machu Picchu itself. This is a requirement when booking any tour of Machu Picchu from any operator.
Cancellation or changes to this tour:
CHANGES: Any changes to the tour date needs to be done before 6:00 pm (Lima time) 30 days before the tour begins and will also receive a 60% administration fee. After this time there is a 100% change fee. Subject to availability.
NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel 30 days prior to the tour before 6:00 pm (Lima time), a 60% administration fee will (+ the card fee). After this time, there is a 100% no-show or cancellation fee.
You must email firstname.lastname@example.org (include the name of the tour and the reservation number) to cancel this tour or to make any changes.
I cannot find my accommodation listed in the operator pick up locations when making my booking. What should I select?
This operator only offers pick-ups from the hotel and hostel accommodation listed, this covers over 90% of the accommodation providers in the area. They do not provide pick-ups or drop-offs at private residences, Airbnbs, bus terminals etc. Select an alternative close by and be ready there for pick-up at the time on your booking confirmation.
What is the difference between Salkantay and the Inca Jungle Trek?
Salkantay is full-on trekking, whereas the Inca Jungle mixes trekking, rafting, mountain biking and other activities.
How physically fit do I need to be?
The Salkantay Trek can range in difficulty however, most are classified as a moderate level. The Machu Picchu complex itself is not difficult, and most people do not have any problems.
How do I avoid altitude sickness?
Take Soroche (Diamox) pills, eat small meals, drink coca tea, drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol (it’s a dehydrator). The best way to avoid altitude sickness is to acclimatize yourself. The recommended approach for acclimatization is to ascend gradually, spending at least 24 hours at every 2,000ft increase in altitude.
Where is Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is near a town called Agua Calientes or Machu Picchu Town. From there, it is a 1.5 hour hike up steps or a 20 minutes bus ride to the complex itself.
What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?
Common symptoms of altitude sickness (sometimes called acute mountain sickness) can be similar to a bad hangover and may include headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite and shortness of breath. A severe headache that is not relieved by medications, nausea and vomiting and increasing fatigue or shortness of breath may indicate more serious problems – seek medical attention.
Is the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu worth it?
The walk up to Machu Picchu can be seen as part of the experience. However, the bus is an option for those who are tired after a long trek, or who just want to save their energy for all the walking at the top.
What kind of weather can we find in Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is at a lower altitude level than Cusco. It contains part of the jungle, and the rains are present during all seasons. During the hottest days, the temperature can reach approximately 26° Celsius (79ºF), and during the cool, early mornings, the temperature can drop to -2° C (-36ºF). The best months to visit Machu Picchu are May and June, since they are the mildest ones.
Will I have problems with altitude sickness on this tour?
Altitude sickness can catch many travellers a little bit off guard. Not everyone gets sick in high altitudes, and it is difficult to predict who is likely to be badly affected by it. For most people, it is nothing more than a headache and a dizzy sensation that diminishes over a short period of time, 1 to 2 days for most people. If you want to limit your chances of getting sick, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, do not fly directly into high altitude - proceed slowly, allowing your body time to acclimatise as you ascend gradually. However, for many that is not possible, so it’s important to drink lots of water, and to slow down! This sounds simple, but both of these things are very important. Your body is struggling because you don’t have enough oxygen, so avoiding any strenuous activity is a good idea. Chew some coca leaves - the native people of South America have been chewing coca for centuries, thanks to its ability to alleviate mild altitude sickness symptoms. Coca leaves can be bought in any supermarket, and even souvenir shops or street stalls. Take altitude sickness pills (Soroche): these are sold over the counter all over Peru and Bolivia, and are just a few dollars. If you are flying straight into altitude over 2500metres without spending any time at an intermediate elevation, and you’re worried about getting sick, you can ask your doctor for more specific and stronger altitude sickness medication in advance. In the rare case that your symptoms are more severe than a headache and mild dizziness, you should descend in altitude and seek medical assistance.
Where can I leave my bags?
You can leave your bags at your Cusco hostel/hotel. Note, if you take the train there are bag restrictions.
Where is Huayna (Wayna) Picchu?
Huayna Picchu Mountain is the peak located to the north of Machu Picchu citadel. It is the backdrop to the classic image of Machu Picchu. The peak offers inspiring views of the ruins and 360° views of the area. The climb to the summit takes 45 minutes, it is a challenging trek and is very steep in parts. Limited to 400 a day, tickets must be purchased as a combo ticket at the same time as your entrance to Machu Picchu. This ticket cannot be purchased separately and is always in high demand. It costs approximately $20 extra.
What is Machu Picchu Mountain?
Machu Picchu Mountain is the peak located to the south-west of Machu Picchu citadel. The trek offers unparalleled sights of the ruins and panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. The trek is wide and well-marked. It is a moderate/challenging trek and takes 90 minutes to ascend. Limited to 800 a day, tickets must be purchased as a combo ticket at the same time as your entrance to Machu Picchu. This ticket cannot be purchased separately. It costs around $20 extra.
Why is the train so expensive?
Peru Rail and Inca Rail are the two operators which have a duopoly on the route, so they can maintain very high prices.
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