SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 7D/6N
Condors in their natural habitat
Apurimac Canyon & Vilcabamba Range
Cloud forest eco system
The historic Inca City of Machu Picchu
Salkantay Pass 4,664m / 15,300ft
Our 7 day long tour is the perfect trip for the adventurous spirits who want to discover the rich geography and history of Peru. Experience backpacking along the infamous Salkantay Trek passing glacial lakes, snowcapped mountains, and cloud forests blooming with orchid species and unique birds. On day 5, you will get the chance to see how highland coffee beans are picked, processed, and roasted through a visit with a local coffee plantation. Ending at Machu Picchu, you will also step into the incredible history of the rise and fall of the Incas, the most advanced civilization of the Americas. Our in-depth private walking tour allows you to discover the secrets and history of this legendary city, a site that has been fascinating and enchanting visitors for more than a century.
Staying at all 4 of our ecocamps and 1 ecolodge, you will experience different altitudes, landscapes, and fine dining created with only fresh and natural ingredients. Our chefs take great pride in creating meals that accommodate any dietary restrictions our guests may have. Our elaborate yet local dishes are without doubt a highlight of the tour.
The comforts at the camps extend from luxurious geodesic domes that measure 28 square meters (301 square feet) in size, to the exquisite food which ranges from the simplest to the most elaborate dishes. You’ll end at our Ecolodge in Santa Teresa which is located by the Colcamayo hot springs.
This trip is the perfect combination of both adventure and luxury. Come join this week long adventure with our professional guides who possess an unparalleled knowledge of local history, geography, and culture and hold the skills to create safe and quality trips!
Start and finish:
7 days/6 nights
April – December
Seasonal (see FAQ)
2-8 (per guide)
WHAT IS INCLUDED
✔ Include 4 nights in ecocamps and 1 night in an ecolodge
✔ 1 nights in Inkaterra or similar
✔ Entrance to Machu Picchu (2 tickets)
✔ All in-tour ground transportation
✔ Transfers and train tickets
✔ All meals during tour
✔ Specialized guides
✔ Drinking water
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
✘ Flights to Peru and Cusco
✘ Optional activities
✘ Laundry services
✘ Alcoholic beverages
✘ Accommodation in Cusco (see FAQ)
DAY TO DAY PROGRAM
DAY 1: CUSCO - CHONTA - PINCOPATA ECOCAMP
Our day begins with an 8am pick up from your hotel. Our first stop is the archaeological site of Kuillarumiyoc, a ritual site during the height of the Inca Empire that still holds great significance to Quechua society today. We will stop here and explore Kuillarumiyoc before continuing to the Condor Viewing Point in Chonta, our second stop. During the drive to Chonta you will enjoy views of the Limatambo valley. Once in Chonta, we begin our 1 hour hike to the condor viewing point. We will walk along a narrow trail that offers spectacular views of the Apurimac Canyon below. At the viewing point, there will be time to relax and observe the condors soaring over the canyon. We are almost certain to have the site completely to ourselves as most tourists tend to visit the area later in the afternoon. Here, we will be served a specially prepared boxed lunch before heading back to our vehicle to continue to our final destination, Pincopata Ecocamp.
At Pincopata, you will be greeted with refreshing drinks prepared from locally sourced fruits before being escorted to your heated sleeping dome. There will be plenty of time to rest and take a hot shower before dinner, or perhaps enjoy the optional therapeutic massage service. If resting is not your thing, you can explore the ecocamp’s beautiful natural surroundings. If time allows, we can also arrange additional activities including horseback riding and mountain biking. Our day will end with a delicious three course dinner of typical Peruvian cuisine made from the finest natural ingredients.
Driving Distance: 132.5 km / 82.8 mi
Driving Time: 3,5 hrs
Altitude Chonta: 3,400 m
Altitude Pincopata: 2,850 m / 9,348 ft
Option - (Rainy season or Condor nesting)
This second option also leaves Cusco at 8:30am and takes us along the same road from Cusco to Mollepata, where we will stop and explore the archaeological site of Killarumiyoq. The lunar cycle was charted here and fertility rites honoring Mother Earth were performed during the height of the Inca civilization. Incredibly, the moon stone remains untouched and the peaceful site offers the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the Inca culture.
Following this visit, we continue along the road for an hour and a half to the community of Marcahuaylla, from where we start a short walk to access the archaeological remains of Choquechurco (Place where Gold is placed). This sacred place, unknown to many, is on our list of remote sites we like to visit. Situated among a forest of native Polylepis trees, this abandoned site will make you feel like a true explorer. We will discover remains of religious sites and settlements; carved boulders, small squares, and Inca walls covered with moss and vegetation.
From this place, we will have views of Humantay Mountain, the Valley of Limatambo, Apurimac, and the town of Mollepata. Surrounded by remarkable scenery, we will stop to have lunch at this site before continuing the descent to our Pincopata Ecocamp.
Driving Distance: 98.5 km / 61.5 mi
Driving Time: 2.5 hrs
Hiking distance: 6 km / 3.75 mi
Hiking time: 3.5 hrs
Altitude Choquechurco: 3,200 m / 10,500 ft.
Altitude Pincopata: 2,850 m / 9,348 ft.
Upon arrival at Pincopata Ecocamp, we will be greeted with a lovely refreshment made from seasonal fruits and taken to our respective domes to enjoy a hot shower and a deserved rest. If rest is not your thing, you may prefer to walk around the camp or participate in the various extra activities available at the Ecocamp, such as horse-riding and biking. We will end the day with a superb dinner consisting of fresh and locally sourced foods typical of Peruvian-cuisine
DAY 2: PINCOPATA ECOCAMP - HUMANTAY LAKE - SORAY ECOCAMP
Day two you will wake up to the natural sounds at our Pincopata Ecocamp. We will enjoy a fresh and nutritious breakfast before heading out to our second ecocamp, Soray. Soray Ecocamp will serve as our starting point for our day hike to Lake Humantay. We will walk along our private and tranquil route to the lake. The hike takes approximately 3 to 4 hours round trip depending on our pace. At the lake, we will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the turquoise lake with snowcapped mountains towering behind it. Here, we will have time to take photos, explore, and enjoy a boxed lunch before hiking back down.
Upon returning to Soray, you will have time to get situated in your dome, relax, and shower before enjoying yet another exquisite dinner. We will spend one night at Soray Ecocamp.
Driving time to trail head: 15 min
Distance to trailhead: 8 km /5 mim
Trekking distance: 10 km/6 min
Trekking time: 4 hrs 30 min
Altitude Soray: 3,883m / 12,737ft
Hiking Level: Moderate
DAY 3: SORAY ECOCAMP - SALKANTAY PASS - HUMANTAY ECOCAMP
Today, we experience one of the highlights of our trip, crossing the Salkantay Pass (4,664 m/15,300 ft). After breakfast, we begin our hike along the valley floor gradually starting to ascend while crossing several small pampas. Although the final climb to the pass can be strenuous, the dramatic views of Mount Salkantay’s rocky southern face at the top makes the challenge worth it. It can be cold and windy at the pass, so make sure to bring a warm jacket and a hat.
At the pass, we’ll have time to celebrate our accomplishment with a delicious picnic lunch before descending down the Salkantay Valley. We finish the day and spend the night at our high Ecocamp in Huayracmachay that will also offer excellent views of Mount Humantay and Salkantay.
Hiking distance: 13.44 km/8.4 mi
Trekking time: 6 - 7 hrs. Approx.
Altitude Huayra: 3,900m / 12,792ft
Hiking Level: Challenging
DAY 4: HUMANTAY ECOCAMP - MILPO ECOCAMP
We start day 4 with a trek downhill that lasts approximately an hour before heading uphill to a new trail. This new trail offers impressive views of the Vilcabamba mountain range and the peaks of Pumacillo and Choquetacarpo. The trail then continues up into the high grassy planes as far as the Abra Pass, from which we will be able to gaze upon the impressive northwest face of Mount Humantay. Here, we will enjoy lunch with views of the Salkantay and the Manchayhuayco valleys, as well as the mountains Camas, Abuela, and Yanama.
After lunch, we begin our hike down the Humantay River Valley to our next Ecocamp that is situated along the banks of the river. You can use the afternoon to relax at the comfortable Milpo Ecocamp where we will also have dinner and spend the night.
Hiking distance: 10 km/6 mi Approx.
Trekking Time: 5 – 6 hrs.
Altitude Milpo: 3,100m / 9,840 ft
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
DAY 5: MILPO ECOCAMP - ECOLODGE
After a nutritious breakfast, we will hike down the valley as far as Totora. The first part of our hike is along a country road before crossing the Santa Teresa River. We will then continue along the left side of the valley. This section takes us through the cloud forest where we will have plenty of opportunities to observe unique birds and orchid species. When we arrive at Huiñaypocco, our transport will be awaiting to drive us to Ecolodge. Upon arrival, we will enjoy a special lunch to celebrate our successful trek.
In the afternoon, we will visit a local coffee plantation where our local guide will show us how highland coffee beans are picked, processed, and roasted. You will have the opportunity to savor some freshly roasted coffee and even buy coffee directly from the local farmer.
Since Ecolodge is located in the jungle, the climate is warm and humid. Don’t forget to bring shorts and insect repellent. We will have dinner and spend the night here.
Trekking distance: 10 km/6 mi Approx.
Trekking Time: 5 - 6 hrs.
Driving time: 30 minutes
Altitude: 1,850m / 6,068ft
Hiking Level: Easy to moderate
DAY 6: ECOLODGE- AGUAS CALIENTES
Today, we will wake up to a cup of local coffee and a tropical breakfast. We provide three options for the morning´s activities. Depending on your interests, you can choose to either hike, zip line, or visit hot springs. Whichever activity you select in the morning, we will all regroup afterwards in the afternoon to board the train for the scenic ride to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town). Upon arrival, you will have plenty of time to settle into your hotel and explore the small charming town. You will spend the night at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.
Train ride: 35 minutes
Altitude: 2,000m / 6,560ft
Option A: Hike
We depart from the Ecolodge to the trail head and hike along an Incan trail to the Llactapata Pass (2,865 m/9,400 ft) before descending down to Llaqtapata; a site with an impressive view of Machu Picchu across the river valley. We'll stop here for lunch and then continue to the bottom of the Aobamba River Valley. We will arrive at the train station to meet the rest of the group.
Hiking distance: 12 km/7.5 mi Approx.
Time Hike: 6 hrs.
Option B: Zip Line
We begin with a drive through the Santa Teresa Valley passing verdant plantations of coffee, bananas, and other tropical fruit. We'll arrive at the Zipline Park where experts will be waiting to “show us the ropes". Following the safety talk and instructions, we will be ready to soar across the Sacsara River Valley. After lunch, we will continue to the train station to join the rest of the group.
Option C: Hot spring
For a more relaxing morning, we’ll drive to the Cocalmayo hot springs located just outside the small town of Santa Teresa. Here, you will find clear steaming hot water flows coming out of the rock into the Urubamba River. We will have plenty of time to relax in these thermal pools before meeting the rest of the group at the train station.
DAY 7: AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO
After breakfast, our local guide will accompany us to the Machu Picchu archaeological site by bus. After checking in at the park entrance, we will explore the unique Inca ruins and uncover the mysteries of this sacred city with an in-depth guided walking tour.
Other options during this visit include climbing Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu Mountain. These climbs are physically challenging, but the magnificent views from the peak of both mountains make the effort worthwhile. Please notify us in advance if you’d like to climb one of these mountains as we must book this prior to your arrival at Machu Picchu.
After our tour, we will enjoy lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. We will reconnect you with your luggage, take the train to Ollantaytambo, and then transfer to our vehicle for the remaining journey back to Cusco.
RATES - Minimum 2 People
Tour cost 2019 - Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
Single supplement Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
*when a traveller takes a dome or a hotel alone