The 7 Day Salkantay – Inca Trail offers tourists the chance to enjoy a mix of both the Salkantay Trek and the Inca Trail combined. Starting on the Salkantay Trek, the route diverges just before Salkantay Pass. It instead goes over the Incachiriaska Pass (Frozen Inca Pass), which leads down to the village of Huayllabamba, where you join the Inca Trail and continue to Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate
You’re about to start a magical adventure that combines the two best routes to walk to Machu Picchu: the Salkantay Trek and the Inca Trail. Our journey begins very early. We’ll pick you up from your hotel’s door in the city of Cusco at 4:30 a.m. and will take you in our private transport for 2.5 hours to the starting point of the Marccoccasa trek (3,300 masl / 10,826 fasl). There you’ll meet all the team that will accompany you while you enjoy a delicious breakfast. You’ll start the walk in the middle of fertile green valleys and under the immense Andean mountains’ watchful eye. You’ll ascend slightly for 3.5 hours to the place where we’ll have lunch. After resting for a while, we’ll continue on a less inclined terrain that’s easier to walk.Suddenly, as if he had quickly risen to his feet, the huge sacred glacier of Humantay will appear. It’s inevitable to feel your heart accelerate in front of its powerful and gigantic presence. Remember that mountains are the main gods for the Andean culture and must be worshiped and respected. The temperature will drop suddenly here, and you’ll have to keep warm, so don’t forget to take warm clothes in a backpack that you carry with you. Our camp will be a little further in Soraypampa (3,800 masl / 12,467 fasl), where our team will welcome you with exquisite hot drinks. You’ll spend the night in the middle of a glacial valley after satisfying your stomach with a fantastic dinner. Take the opportunity to contemplate the night sky’s depth and hand over your soul to the stars.Minimum altitude: 2,900 masl / 9,515 fasl
We’ll wake you up with a hot coca-leaf tea that will help you start the day in the best way. Then you can savor our delicious breakfast. Before leaving, we’ll have a short chat with our guide who’ll explain these immense mountains’ meaning for the Andean culture. With the permission of the sacred glaciers, you’ll start a 2-hour walk to a real turquoise gem of the mountains, the famous Humantay Lake born from the glacier’s snows of the same name that will appear in front of you closer than ever. Let yourself be enveloped by the brightness of the waters and the tranquillity of the place where ritual ceremonies are still performed in honor of nature.You’ll return to the main path, and then we’ll ascend slightly to Salkantay Pampa, where you will enjoy lunch at approximately 1:00 p.m. If you think the beauty of the Humantay Mountain is impressive, get ready to see the face of Apu Salkantay, a huge glacier that’s considered one of the main deities in the entire region. After lunch, we’ll ascend for 2 hours to Ichupata or Japanese Pampa (4,200 masl / 13,779 fasl). The cold will start to worsen due to the altitude, so don’t forget to take warm clothes and gloves with you. As always, we’ll welcome you with a cup of hot drink, and then you’ll enjoy dinner. Since the camp is in Salkantay Mountain’s vicinity, you may hear the thunder of avalanches, but there’s nothing to worry about, as these occur in another area. Don’t forget that this camp is the highest and that at night the temperature can reach close to 0 C.
Today you will have the feeling of having traveled back in time as you share the path of the traditional farmers of Peru who live in complete communion and respect with Mother Earth, or Pachamama, as it has been done since ancient times. Observe their lifestyle and appreciate their tranquillity. Later you’ll arrive at an Inca archaeological site to learn a little about its history and advanced architecture. Your guide will also show you how the vegetation changes as you get closer to the Amazon jungle.Finally, you’ll enter the classic Inca Trail, where you’ll have lunch. After a short break, you’ll ascend to our camp. Make sure you have your camera ready because you don’t want to miss the opportunity to photograph the impressive mountains and waterfalls that welcome you when entering the cloud forest.
Today is the most demanding day, but also one of the most amazing. We’ll visit archaeological sites and enter the mysterious cloud forest. After breakfast, we’ll ascend for 2 hours while seeing how the landscape begins to change dramatically. The vegetation will decrease as we reach a higher altitude, and Andean straw or ‘ichhu’ will begin to appear, which is the main food for the beautiful auquenids that graze peacefully in this area. We will reach 4,200 masl / 13,779 fasl at the Dead Woman’s Pass, where you’ll have time to rest while you contemplate the glaciers whose perpetual snows resist disappearing due to climate change. Later we’ll descend through a cobbled path to the point where we’ll have lunch. This part of the trail will be dotted with exotic flowers and orchids. We ask you to help us take care of them, please, as they are in danger of extinction.If your walk is calm and you manage to connect with nature, you should be accompanied by the magical flight of hummingbirds that are a sign of good luck, according to the Andean culture. After lunch, we’ll climb again for 2 hours until we reach a new pass. A little further on, you’ll discover the beautiful archaeological site of Runcuraccay.
Although there are many theories and studies about the place, Runcuraccay is said to have been a strategic vantage point to monitor the valley. Take the opportunity to take pictures and feel like you’re a bird that can take off from there to surrender to the air currents and fly beside the mountains. After a brief rest and the explanation from our guide, we’ll begin to descend for an hour to the place called Yanacocha, where rituals were performed in honor of water’s spirit. Little by little, the mist will cover the road as you enter the cloud forest and approach the Sayacmarca archaeological site. There you will be dazzled by the fine work and mastery of Inca architecture. Keep going! There are still 30 more minutes of walking to our camp located in Chaquicocha. You’ll feel the embrace of the Amazonian spirit and the energy of life that will surround you in an incredible place to observe local flora and fauna’s diversity.
The effort you made yesterday will be rewarded with the most relaxed day on the route today. Before starting the trek, ask permission from the beautiful Pumasillo glacier and fill yourself with its energy. It will only be 5 hours of walking where you will see three impressive archaeological sites before arriving at our next camp. You’ll get to know the Inca complex of Phuyupatamarca or Pueblo Sobre las Nubes. The Inca nobles used this sacred place to communicate with the stars and study astronomy. Later, you’ll see an agricultural experimentation station where you’ll find a series of platforms used to create microclimates and thus boost the production of food in the area.Finally, you’ll arrive at our last camp located in Wiñay Wayna (2,600 masl / 8,530 fasl), where you can leave your backpacks and walk for 5 minutes to see the most important archaeological site on the route, not counting Machu Picchu, of course. Again the advanced architecture of the Incas will surprise you with its aqueducts and temples. Listen carefully to our guide, who’ll reveal the mysteries of this fascinating place to you
After lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to take a hot shower, and then you need to relax as you’ll have the afternoon free. Enjoy your happy hour and your last dinner before our team of porters says goodbye to you. Thank them warmly for allowing you to have a fantastic adventure comfortably.
The day has arrived. As soon as you wake up, you’ll feel the deep beating of your heart that will be anxious for your visit to one of the most memorable and energetic places in the world: Machu Picchu. We’ll wake up much earlier than usual, as darkness is still enveloping everything, and we’ll quickly have our breakfast and start a 2-hour walk to the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu. As soon as you arrive at Puerta del Sol, you’ll see this archaeological gem in the middle of the mountains for the first time in the distance. You’ll wonder how the ancient Peruvians were able to build this wonder on almost inaccessible land. The last stretch is approximately 45 minutes. The sun’s spectacle at dawn illuminating this ancient site will leave you breathless and shake your soul. You’ll have a 2-hour guided tour where you’ll gradually discover the secrets of the Inca citadel. Then take advantage of your free time to explore the corners of this energy centre on your own. You’ll surely be surprised by how the Inca architects built these immense stone walls in perfect harmony with nature. You’ll also notice that some fountains and aqueducts still continue to function after being built more than five centuries ago.At the exit of the complex, you’ll find buses that regularly leave for Aguas Calientes, a hectic miniature metropolis where you’ll find many restaurants. Choose the one you want to enjoy your lunch in (food not included in the tour). Remember that you must be at the train station 30 minutes before your departure. The station is usually full of people which can slow you down a lot.
The Ministry of Culture of Peru is the entity in charge of regulating the use of the Inca Trail and issuing entry permits. To access the Inca Trail it’s essential that you have a permit from the Ministry of Culture that matches the information in your passport exactly: name, passport number, nationality, and age. Only officially licensed tourism agencies can secure these permits, which are not transferable under any circumstances. If you want to change the date of your excursion you have to make sure that there are spaces available on the new date and buy a new permit. They are rules of the Government of Peru that we all must follow. If there are no permits available for the date you want, there are other incredible options to walk to Machu Picchu. We’ll be happy to find the perfect excursion for you.
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Peru Hike offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.
A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. 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.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to 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 all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, 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.
Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don’t worry. Everything is included in your tour!
Group tours are made up of different types of people. 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, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent 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 excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
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We went with 7 family members, ages 8-57. Our guide, Saul, was wonderful. The food was excellent and the scenery was magnificent. This is the trip of a lifetime.