Epic Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail 6 Days
Route of Hidden Treasures: Salkantay and Inca Trail
Salkantay and Inca Trail is a unique trekking experience that combines the natural beauty of the Peruvian Andes with the rich history of the ancient Inca civilization. During this unforgettable journey, you will immerse yourself in breathtaking landscapes, from majestic snow-capped mountains to lush valleys and tropical forests. As you travel along ancestral trails, you will discover hidden Inca ruins and fascinating archaeological sites, all culminating in your arrival at the impressive citadel of Machu Picchu.
Places you will visit
This 6-day trek to Machu Picchu combines the Salkantay route and the Inca Trail to offer a unique and exciting experience.
Without a doubt, the Salkantay to Inca Trail 6 Days is an unmissable trekking adventure in Peru and in all of South America!
Hikers will enjoy rustic bridges, waterfalls, glaciers, colorful valleys and an incredible variety of flora and fauna in the fascinating cloud forest.
Explore the exciting world of the ancient Inca culture and discover their life in the mountains centuries ago.
Culminate your trip with an unforgettable visit to the renowned Machu Picchu, an experience that will take your breath away!
Cusco- Challacancha-Soraypampa-Humantay Lake
Hike to the Hidden Jewel in the Mountains
Start your day early and rested. We will pick you up around 4:00 a.m. You will travel in our comfortable transportation with blankets to rest on the way.
After 2 hours, we will make a brief stop in Mollepata where you can enjoy an optional breakfast. Then, we will head to Challacancha to start the hike. We will walk approximately 3 hours to Soraypampa (3,900 m.a.s.l.), where we will spend the night in our exclusive Sky Camp. You will have time to rest after enjoying lunch in the mountains.
Absolutely Stunning Humantay Lake
Enjoy the hike to the beautiful Humantay Lake (4,200 m.a.s.l.). The round trip will take about 3 hours, covering a distance of 3 km. Marvel at the turquoise waters and the Humantay glacier. Upon returning to the camp, enjoy a delicious dinner and sunset. Relax in your Sky Camp igloo under the stars and wake up to the presence of the majestic Apu Salkantay.
Hike to the Majestic Salkantay Mountains
"Exploring the Majestic Salkantay: A Demanding but Rewarding Day Hike".
Wake up energized and enjoy a nutritious breakfast before embarking on our hike to the Salkantay Pass, the highest point on our route. Along 7 km and 3 hours of uphill trekking on the challenging "the 7 snakes" trail, you will witness spectacular scenery and the imposing Salkantay mountain. We will descend another 7 km to Huayracmachay, where you will enjoy a well-deserved lunch with breathtaking views.
Exploring the Cloud Forest
The next stage of the hike will take you through the edge of the Amazon rainforest, also known as the cloud forest. For approximately 3 hours and 8 km, you will admire the magical rainforest and observe how the landscape changes dramatically from the Andes to the Amazon. You will enjoy colorful landscapes, unique wildlife and native plants, while experiencing a warmer climate. At the end of the day, you will arrive at our camp in Chaullay (2,900 m.a.s.l), where you will be greeted with a hearty meal and can rest in your cozy Andean hut. Get ready for a good night's sleep in this charming village!
Jungle adventure and organic coffee tour
Today you will wake up at 6:00 am to enjoy tea and a delicious breakfast before leaving camp. Our destination will be La Playa, through the beautiful Santa Teresa Valley. You will enjoy a more relaxed hike today, immersing yourself in the lush landscape of rivers, waterfalls, orchids and diverse plantations.
We will pass through the picturesque village of Colpapampa and descend through a valley, admiring waterfalls, birds, hot springs and abundant flora and fauna. At La Playa, we will enjoy a delicious lunch before heading to Lucmabamba, our campsite for the night. You will have the afternoon free to explore the tropical surroundings, visit an organic coffee farm and enjoy the aroma of coffee in the air. You can also visit avocado and orange plantations. After dinner, you will settle in where you can listen to the sounds of nature and connect with the earth.
Enjoy your first glimpse of Machu Picchu
Get ready for an exciting day on the Inca Trail! On your last day of trekking, an adventure full of wonders awaits you. After a delicious breakfast, you will head to Llactapata, an impressive Inca archaeological site that faces the majesty of Machu Picchu. Here you will be able to immerse yourself in the Inca culture and capture incredible photographs.
Disfruta de las vistas de Machu Picchu en el camino
You will then descend for 1 hour and 30 minutes, enjoying views of Machu Picchu along the way. You will stop for lunch in Aobamba and then continue on to Hidroeléctrica. At this point, you will have two options: take a train to Aguas Calientes for an additional cost or enjoy a flat hike of approximately 3 hours to Aguas Calientes.
On the way, you will see the Intihuatana rock, used by the Incas as a sundial. You will then reach the train tracks that will take you to Aguas Calientes, where you will have dinner and spend the night.
Note: During the rainy season, the Llactapata trail can be dangerous and is not guaranteed.
Aguas calientes-KM 104-Chachabamba-Inti Punku-Machu Picchu
See breathtaking landscapes while visiting archaeological sites
Your adventure starts nice and early. You will be picked up from your accommodation at 5:00 am. You will walk for 1 hour and a half until you reach KM 104, the starting point of the hike. During the hike, we will provide you with a box lunch and a snack.
You will enjoy lush vegetation and majestic mountains as you immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery. You will visit the first Inca archaeological site of the trek, Chachabamba, where you will learn about its history.
Exploring the treasures of Wiñay Wayna
After 3 more hours, you will arrive at Wiñay Wayna, which means "forever young". You will explore its impressive natural temples, agricultural platforms and a ritual water fountain. Immerse yourself in the history of the Incas while enjoying your lunch. Then, head to the Puerta del Sol to contemplate the breathtaking views of Machu Picchu.
From there, you will take an alternate route to the exit, where you will board a bus that will take you to the charming town of Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night in a comfortable hotel. Before resting, you will enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the best restaurants in town. Be sure to sleep early, as you will be up before dawn to make the most of the day.
Aguas Calientes-Machu Picchu-Ollantaytambo-Cusco
Exploring the majesty of Machu Picchu
You wake up excited after a good night's rest. Today you will explore the streets of Machu Picchu. You will wake up early and take a bus from your hotel, a short 25-minute ride. You will enter the Inca sanctuary just before sunrise, illuminating the site with a golden hue.
Inside, you will enjoy the beauty and take your first photos. Afterwards, you will take a one and a half hour guided tour to explore the most important points and learn about the history of Machu Picchu. If you have booked in advance, you will have the option to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, with breathtaking views.
At the end, you will return to Aguas Calientes. You will have time to choose a restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal before taking the train back to Ollantaytambo. From there, a private bus will take you back to your accommodation in Cusco.
Now it's time to relax and unwind. Although your trip is over, the memories of this incredible adventure will remain in your heart for many years to come.
Huayna Picchu Mountain
Huayna Picchu is an impressive mountain that stands out for its imposing presence and its proximity to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.Ver mas$75
Machu Picchu Mountain
Machu Picchu Mountain, also called "Old Mountain", offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Inca citadel and the landscapes of the Andes.Ver mas$75
Before to Go
We are excited to provide you with the best experience on your trip to Peru! We want it to be unforgettable and worry-free. Here you will find all the answers to any questions you may have about traveling with us, all in one place! We recommend you to read the following information carefully, as it will be of great help to solve any doubts you may have about our services. Do you have any other questions that we have not addressed here? Don't hesitate to contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
How many days do I need to acclimatize in Cusco before the trek?
It is very important that you acclimatize properly to the altitude before embarking on a trek. To ensure your well-being, we recommend arriving in Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before starting the trek. This will give you time to adapt and avoid possible altitude-related problems during the trek.
If you have already been to other areas of Peru at high altitude before arriving in Cusco, we suggest spending a full day in the city to rest, recover from the trip and enjoy the wonders that Cusco has to offer before starting the trek.
Briefing or Informative Meeting
We want to make sure you are well informed about all the details of your tour. That's why all our informational meetings are held at our main office in Cusco or, if you prefer, at your own hotel. The meetings take place at 5:00 pm, the night before the tour begins. Don't worry, they don't last long! Typically, they last between 30 to 45 minutes, which is enough time to cover all the important information.
If for any reason you are unable to attend the meeting, don't worry. You can coordinate another time that is convenient for you through email, phone call, or by visiting our office. We are here to ensure you receive all the necessary information and can fully enjoy your experience. Feel free to get in touch with us!
Remaining payment for the hike (in Cusco)
Remember that it is important to pay the outstanding balance 2 days before your tour/trip to confirm your reservation. You can pay in cash at our office in Cusco in dollars or local currency. We also accept payment by credit/debit card or PayPal, with a 5% service charge. Unfortunately, we do not accept bank or traveler's checks as forms of payment.
We are committed to providing you with convenient options to complete your payment and make sure your reservation is confirmed. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Duffel Bag or Canvas Case
The night before your trek, we will provide you with a duffel bag to pack your clothes for the thrilling 6-day adventure on the Salkantay and Inca Trail. The weight allowance is up to 7 kg. Our horses will carry them during the first three days of the trek, and then our porters will take over and deliver the bag to you at each campsite. The dimensions of the bag are 60 x 24 x 22 cm.
We want to ensure you have everything you need to fully enjoy your experience, which is why we offer this special bag for your convenience. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure!
Can I store my luggage at your office?
Of course! During your trip, you can store your main luggage for free in our office (you can arrange this with us during the briefing or by email) or at your hotel.
If there are things you will not need during the route, you can store them at your hotel. Most hotels offer this service. Remember not to leave valuables in your luggage; it is better to keep them in the hotel safe and get a detailed receipt (in case of theft, many insurance companies require a copy of the receipt for claims). For added peace of mind, you can place items such as credit cards in a sealed, signed envelope.
We want you to feel safe and secure during your trip, that's why we provide you with these options for the care of your luggage. Enjoy your adventure without worries!
We can pick you up at your hotel as long as it is located in the Historic Center of Cusco. Our friendly guide will coordinate the pick-up time during the briefing. However, we ask you to keep in mind that due to traffic, the waiting time can vary between 30 and 45 minutes.
Cusco is an ancient city with charm, which means it has many narrow cobblestone streets. Some hotels and Airbnb can be located on streets with no vehicle access or on long, steep slopes, which can make it difficult to transport luggage. Therefore, we recommend that you book accommodation with good access to avoid inconveniences.
Return to Cusco
Returning from Machu Picchu requires careful planning, but don't worry! On your tour, everything is included to make your experience smooth and comfortable.
- Once in Machu Picchu, you will board a bus that will take you on a pleasant 25-minute ride to the charming town of Aguas Calientes. Buses are available as visitors arrive, so you won't have to wait long.
- In Aguas Calientes, you will board a train that will take you to Ollantaytambo (or Poroy). Your guide will give you the train tickets, where you will find the boarding time. We recommend arriving 30 minutes in advance. The train ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes approximately 2 hours.
- Once you arrive at the station, our representative will be waiting to take you back to Cusco or directly to your hotel. The trip from Ollantaytambo to Cusco takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- We will make sure that your return is comfortable and safe, providing you with a reliable transportation service.
Group tours bring together people of different characteristics, including different physical conditions and ages. When joining a group tour, it is important to understand that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each individual can follow his or her own pace on the tour.
It is possible that the group may wish to make modifications to the route at some point. However, it will be the guide who, after consultation with all participants, will make the decision as to whether such modifications are possible. The opinion and consensus of all members will be considered.
We understand that everyone has different abilities and preferences, so our goal is to provide a rewarding experience for everyone in the group. Our guide will strive to find the right balance and ensure that everyone enjoys the excursion in the best possible way.
Strikes and demonstrations
Strikes and demonstrations are common events in Peru, and may cause disruptions to some of our tours. Roads may be blocked and train tracks may be occupied. However, we will do our best to keep your trip as originally planned, even if this means leaving the night before the scheduled date.
In these circumstances, trips may also need to be cancelled. In the event of changes or cancellations, our operations department will coordinate all details with you. We want to assure you that your safety is our top priority, and we will make decisions to protect it at all times.
We kindly ask that you pay attention to where you place your belongings and remember to take everything with you when you leave our transportation, campsites, tents, or restaurants. You are solely responsible for your belongings during the tour. Your attention and care are essential to ensure the safety of your belongings.
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Frequently asked questions about the Tours
How difficult is this hike?
All of our hikes are designed to accommodate hikers of different skill levels. Some sections of the trail present challenges, while others are easier. Remember that nothing is impossible. Our guides have extensive experience and are accustomed to catering to groups of mixed abilities. Of course, they will be there to help you. We recommend that you exercise regularly before your trip and that you arrive in Cusco at least 2 days before the trek to acclimatize to the altitude.
How is the food?
We pride ourselves on having highly talented chefs who never fail to prepare a delightful culinary experience, even in the middle of the Andean mountains. Our chefs are specialists in Andean cuisine and can cater to all your dietary needs. Please inform us in advance of any special requirements you may have.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner (except lunch on the last day) are offered daily, and we guarantee that the food will be delicious and plentiful. We aim to impress even the most discerning foodies. In addition, we will make sure to keep your energy levels high by providing you with daily snacks. We will also provide you with tea or coffee every morning and afternoon to help you relax.
How much water do I need to bring?
We will provide all the water you need from the first lunch to the last breakfast. The water we provide is boiled, filtered and cooled, making it perfectly safe to drink. However, it is important that you bring your own water storage system, either a Camelbak-type hydration pack or a water bottle, large enough to hold at least two liters of water. We also ask that you start the trek on the first morning with your containers full of drinking water so that you have enough liquid until lunchtime. This is because our porters do not have enough time to get to the first breakfast spot and prepare the drinking water before you start the trek.
What are the absolute essential elements?
- Valid and original passport (a copy will not be accepted).
- Valid student card (if you booked as a student).
- Immigration card (which was given to you on the plane when you entered Peru).
- Hiking boots (light, comfortable and already worn).
- A good quality backpack (light, small and comfortable).
- Water storage of at least 2 liters, either a Camelbak type hydration bag or a water bottle.
What should I bring in my backpack?
Here is a list of important items that we recommend you to carry in your backpack throughout the hike. It is essential that you choose a good quality, lightweight and comfortable backpack, as you will be carrying it with you every day. Please note that, due to local regulations, your backpack should not exceed 25 liters. Larger backpacks are not allowed in Machu Picchu and should be stored outside the gates.
- Hat and sunglasses.
- Rain gear.
- Warm layers (fleece or long sleeved clothing).
- Sunscreen and insect repellent.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Toilet paper.
- Personal medication.
- Band aids and bandages.
- Camera and extra batteries.
- Extra snacks, energy bars and chocolate.
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks and tips (small change will be useful to pay for the use of the toilets in the villages on the first day).
Any advice on what to bring in my duffel bag?
We will provide you with a travel bag in which you can put the items you do not need during the day. Our porters will carry it for you. Remember that the bag should weigh a maximum of 7 kg, including sleeping bag and sleeping pad (optional). During the Inca Trail, temperatures vary, so bring layers of clothing.
- Sleeping bag (optional).
- Mattress (optional).
- Light and comfortable shoes.
- Warm jacket, hat and gloves.
- 2-3 quick-drying T-shirts.
- 1-2 hiking pants.
- Underwear and hiking socks.
- Fleece lining.
- Warm jacket for cold nights.
- Quick drying towel.
- Personal hygiene items.
- Portable charger.
- Plastic bags for dirty/wet clothes.
Will I have altitude sickness?
Cusco is at 3300 meters above sea level, where the air is thinner and altitude sickness can occur. We recommend that all hikers arrive at least two days before their trek so that they can acclimatize. Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes are at a lower altitude, around 2000 meters, which reduces the risk of altitude sickness. Here are some tips:
- Breathe deeply and relax upon arrival.
- Drink plenty of water to help you adapt faster.
- Try coca or muña tea to alleviate altitude sickness.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs if you have problems with altitude.
- Consult your doctor about medications such as Diamox or Acetazolamide.
- If you need supplemental oxygen, hotels in Cusco offer it. If you don't have it, contact us and we will provide it free of charge.