Inca Trek via Salkantay – 7 Days

 

This challenging Inca Trek via Salkantay passes ecological zones, alpine meadows, spectacular glaciated peaks, down through subtropical forest and onto the Classic Inca Trail. Arrive through the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu!

Duration – 7 Days
Difficulty – Challenging

Description

  • Guided by Professional English-speaking mountain guide
  • Trek through beautiful mountain scenery and meet up with the Inca Trail
  • Arrive at Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate
  • Challenging and rewarding for hikers

Short Itinerary

Day 1 Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa
Day 2 Soraypampa – Pampajaponesa
Day 3 Pampajaponesa – Sisaypampa
Day 4 Sisaypampa – Huayllabamba
Day 5 Huayllabamba – Pacaymayu
Day 6 Pacaymayu – Wiñay Wayna
Day 7 Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco

* We can arrange a customised itinerary for you to include the Inca Trail Trek, contact us for more information.

Tour Itinerary

The Inca Trek via Salkantay is ideal for travellers wishing to get off the beaten track but still join onto the original Inca Trail. It is a wonderful trek taking you right from the watershed of the Apurimac to the Urubamba. We traverse through beautiful green valleys and camp next to turquoise glacial lakes. We also come across many Inca archaeological sites and enjoy a wide variety of flora, fauna and wildlife.

Voted by National Geographic Travel Magazine – as one of the best 25 treks in the world to do.

DAY 1

Cusco (3,350m) – Mollepata (2,909m) – Soraypampa (3,400m)

We drive from Cusco by bus for approximately 4 hours to Mollepata from where our trek begins. Mollepata is a small village situated in the Apurimac Valley which is well known for its citrus produce. Here we meet up with our wranglers and their mules and horses that will carry our equipment during the trek. The trail climbs for approximately 1 hour before reaching Cruzpata, from where we get our first view of the magnificent snow mountain of Humantay (5,917m).

We pass many rivers continuing on our trek for about another 3 hours before reaching the small community and picturesque spot of Checchicancha. We stop here to take a break and have our lunch. In the afternoon we continue walking for about 3-4 hours to reach Soraypampa, which is nestled in-between the snow mountains. We camp here overnight.

DAY 2

Soraypampa (3,400m) – Pampajaponesa (4,300m)

We continue walking today on a flat plain for about 3 hours. We stop to take lunch along the way and continue our trek for 3-4 hours. We have magnificent vistas today of the snow mountains. We reach our campsite which is approximately 1km away from the snow mountain, Salkantay. Here at our campsite we find many streams and two glacial lakes. At night we can hear the crashing of the glaciers.

DAY 3

Pampajaponesa (4,300m) – Sisaypampa

Our day begins with a slow uphill climb of approximately 4 hours to reach the Incachiriaska Pass (4,880m) which translates as ‘the place where the Inca cools down’. Around this area, in the rocky crags, lives the Andean Condor, the world’s largest bird. From here the trail levels off downhill and we reach our campsite for the night at Sisaypampa.

DAY 4[

Sisaypampa – Huayllabamba (3,000m)

We continue to the end of the valley, which then enters a wider valley named Pampacahua, where we find an Inca canal that is still in full use by the local farming settlements. At the end of the pampa we find our first Inca archaeological site named Paucarcancha. We set up our campsite in the village of Huayllabamba where we leave our pack animals behind and relieve our porters for a new crew. We enjoy dinner and rest for the evening.

We continue to the end of the valley, which then enters a wider valley named Pampacahua, where we find an Inca canal that is still in full use by the local farming settlements. At the end of the pampa we find our first Inca archaeological site named Paucarcancha. We set up our campsite in the village of Huayllabamba where we leave our pack animals behind and relieve our porters for a new crew. We enjoy dinner and rest for the evening.

DAY 5

Huayllabamba (3,000m) – Pacaymayu (3,600m)

We take our breakfast and afterwards start our climb for about 2 hours to Yunkachimpa, where we take a short break. We then cross over to the Llullucha gorge and pass through a unique forest of Unca trees, a native species, which nowadays is hard to find except in isolated areas. We have now entered the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.

Once out of the forest we reach Llulluchapampa where we take lunch. We continue walking following an original Inca stone path and trek up to the Warmiwañusqa Pass (4,200m) where we have a magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us. We descend on a reconstructed Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayu River where we find our campsite for the night.

DAY 6

Pacaymayu (3,600m) – Wiñay Wayna (2,700m)

Today is one of the longest days on our trek and also one of the most beautiful. We start ascending until we come to Runkuraqay Inca archeological site from where we then continue ascending to Runkuraqay pass (4,000m). From here we walk down to the site at Sayacmarca (approx. 1 hour), a scenic location overlooking the Aobamba Valley on the original Inca Trail.

We stop here to take our lunch. We then continue along the trail through marvellous landscapes, viewing Mt. Salkantay and Mt. Pumacsillo. We arrive at Puyapatamarca ‘the village on the edge of the clouds’ which is our last viewpoint of the valleys and the tops of the snow mountains. From here we start descending down the Inca steps (approx. 3 hours) to our campsite at Wiñay Wayna.

DAY 7

Wiñay Wayna (2,700m) – Machu Picchu (2,500m) – Cusco (3,350m)

This is our last day on the Inca Trail. We rise early, have breakfast, and start walking. We navigate a ridge that affords us magnificent vistas of the surrounding cloud forest below.

Continuing along the original Inca Trail we arrive at the Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), with a spectacular view of Machu Picchu. Our guide will help us understand the importance and functions of all the temples, and the history behind the Incas and the majestic Machu Picchu! You can wonder down to Aguas Calientes for lunch where you will find an array of restaurants to choose from. In the afternoon you head back to Cusco by train.

 

CAMPSITES ON THE INCA TRAIL

Please note that we are not in control of the campsites we are issued with from the Institute of National Culture.  Your campsite allocation is dependent on how early you book and how many spaces are left in each campsite.  The first 250 spaces are generally given to Winay Wayna (Day 6) and thereafter you will have a longer walk to Machupicchu on the last day and it could mean you do not make it for sunrise.  Do not let this disappoint you as Machupicchu is a beautiful site no matter what time you arrive.  Winay Wayna ruins are also some of the most beautiful ruins on the Inca Trail and you will enjoy these crowd free if having to camp in Phuyupatamarka.

HUAYNAPICCHU or MACHUPICCHU MOUNTAINS

Permits are required for either of these hikes – you must book in advance!

Huaynapicchu: Currently the more popular hike as it’s a little shorter.  This hike is around 1hr steep ascent – there are sheer drops on the side, so if you are afraid of heights, this is not for you!  Coming down will also be around 1hr approx. There are 400 permits available per day and split into the following departure times:

  • 7am-8am slot (you will need to forfeit your guided tour of Machupicchu with this option)
  • 10-11am slot (this is our preferred time slot for our passengers as it means you can have your tour of Machupicchu first followed by the hike)

Machupicchu Mountain:  Less known than Huaynapicchu but certainly not to be ignored.  This hike is slightly longer taking around 1.5hrs up and same down.  From the top you will also get a birds eye view of Machupicchu. Many of our guides prefer this hike as its less crowded.  There are 400 permits available and there is one entrance time slot:

  • 7-8am (you will need to forfeit your guided tour of Machupicchu with this option)
  • 9-10am (this is our preferred time slot for our passengers as it means you can have your tour of Machupicchu first followed by the hike)

The cost to add on either excursion is US$ 80 per person payable in advance.  Please note your permits are with your name and passport details and are non- transferable and non-refundable.

Tour Photographs

Tour Prices

PRICES
All rates include transaction fees with Paypal

  • 2-3 Persons : $ 1,500 per person
  • 4-5 Persons : $ 1,300 per person
  • 6-7 Persons : $ 1,150per person
  • 8+Persons : $ 1,050 per person

We operate this trek as a Private Service with Personal Porters included to carry your personal luggage.

DISCOUNTS

Children – 1 to 17yrs of age : US$ 40 (copy of passport front page required for discount to apply)

INCLUDED

  • Pre-departure briefing in our office
  • Collection from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley and return in Private Transportation
  • Private transport from Hotel to start of Inca Trail and return
  • Professional English speaking Guide (two guides for groups over 8 persons)
  • Personal Porters to carry your luggage – 7kg weight allowance per person included as well as duffle bags to put your luggage into
  • Experienced Cook preparing delicious meals 3x a day
  • Meals: 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners (we provide generous amounts of nutritious meals and beverages and have vegetarian, gluten, wheat options available at no extra cost)
  • Snacks enroute and tea time daily
  • Horses to carry your Duffel bags on Salkantay Section of trail
  • Boiled water to replenish your supply from Day 1 – Lunch time onwards
  • Entrance fee onto Inca Trail and into Machupicchu Sanctuary
  • Bus from Machupicchu to Aguas Calientes
  • Porters to carry the camping equipment, ie tents, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Spacious 4 man tents, but we put only 2 persons per tent
  • Comfortable thermarest sleeping mats (can request delux mat at extra charge)
  • Hot water for washing in your tent every day
  • Biodegradable soap and hand cleansing gel
  • Emergency Oxygen bottle and first aid kit
  • IncaRail or Expedition train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transfer from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco

 NOT INCLUDED

  • Breakfast on the first day and Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
  • Horse to ride from Salkantay to Huayllabamba (start of Inca Trail) including horseman – $135 per person
  • Sleeping Bags – $55 per bag
  • Walking Poles – $18 per pole
  • Inflatable Mattresses – $40 per mattress (if not hiring we provide foam mats free of charge)
  • Inflatable Pillows – $14 per pillow
  • Entrance to Huaynapicchu/Machupicchu Mnt – $80 per person (permits are limited and must be booked in advance)
  • Single Tents (for persons not happy to share) – $90 per tent
  • Personal Insurance – We highly recommend that you take out your own Travel & Medical Insurance before you leave your country!

Holiday or Election Increments 

  • An increment of $55 per person is applicable leaving on or over these holiday periods or during election periods:  Christmas (Dec 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th) New Year (Dec 29th, 30th, 31st, Jan 1st).

 

Do you have any questions?

Our approach to travel is defined by our motto “Constantly in Pursuit of Excellence”, as we strive to provide top quality tour or trek options.

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