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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

DURATION

11 days

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel & Camping

DIFFICULTY
Large amount of trekking at high altitude throughout trip

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LOCATION

South America, Peru

MEETING POINT

London or Lima Airport

BUCKET LISTER SATISFACTION RATING

When you book onto one of our trips you will receive a login to the Vamoos app. This will provide you with all the information you need including countdowns, weather, itineraries, documentation and advice for your trip. Click here for more info

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Immense mountains, cloud forests and views for days are part of the magic that makes the Salkantay Trek one of the most fabulous walks you’ll ever take. 

The most celebrated Inca settlement in the world at the end of the path doesn’t hurt either.  

If a trek to Machu Picchu is on your Bucket List, look no further than the Salkantay Trail. Less popular, more peaceful and just as stunning as its sister routes, this is one incredible way to see the very best of Peru. 

45 miles from end to end, Salkantay is the longest hike we offer to Machu Picchu. But the return you get for a little extra effort? So worth it.

Adventure round Salktanay Mountain’s imposing peak and keep an eye on those mystic glaciers that seem to follow you every step of the way, then pass through lush valleys and high jungles as you descend. It’s a world of diverse landscapes up there. 

The views? Magnificent. The tranquillity? Sublime. Machu Picchu? Out of this world.

Read our article on the Salkantay vs Lares Trek here.

What is 'Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu' like?
Gallery
What's Included
All Activities Mentioned In The Itinerary
Max 16 Travellers Per Group
3* Hotels & Tents (Twin Share)
Private Transport & 2 Domestic Flights
10 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches & 4 Dinners
Porters To Carry 7kg During The Trek
Expert Guides With You Throughout The Trip
Itinerary
  • Day 1: TRAVEL FROM UK TO LIMA, PERU

    TRAVEL FROM UK TO LIMA, PERU You will meet your Bucket List Leaders at the airport and fly out as a group for Bucket Lister + Trips. If you have booked a Bucket Lister Trip we will see you in Peru soon! If you have Transfers with us we will take to the hotel. For those making their own way - we will see you in Lima Welcome Briefing: Your welcome briefing will be at 6pm at the hotel

  • Day 2: Half Day Tour of Lima

    Half Day Tour of Lima The first stop on our Lima city tour is Huaca Pucllana, a huge archaeological site in Miraflores, one of Lima’s most popular districts. Huaca Pucllana was an important ceremonial and administrative center of the Lima culture, which developed along this part of the Peruvian coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. After exploring Huaca Pucllana, we’ll drive to the historic centre of Lima, all of which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. We’ll go to the beautiful Plaza de Armas (Lima’s main square) which is surrounded by impressive colonial and Republican-era buildings, many of which have ornate wooden balconies. Some of Peru’s most important buildings surround the square, including the Government Palace, Cathedral of Lima, Archbishop’s Palace of Lima, the Municipal Palace and the Palace of the Union. We’ll walk one block to the Convent of Santo Domingo. Founded in the 1530s and completed in 1766, it is one of the most important religious buildings in Peru, and its large bell tower is a landmark in the historic center of Lima. As we walk around the interior of the convent, we’ll see the beautiful Sevillian azulejos (ceramic tiles) that decorate the walls, dating from 1604 and 1606. There is also a series of paintings that present passages of the life of Saint Dominic, the founder of the Dominican order, which date to around 1608. At the end of the tour, we will return to your hotel.

  • Day 3: Transfer to Cusco

    Transfer to Cusco After breakfast, you will be picked you up from the hotel and take you to the airport where you will take your flight to Cusco. Once you arrive in Cusco, a member of the team will be waiting at the airport to pick you up in our private transport and take you to your hotel.

  • Day 4: EXPLORING CUSCO

    EXPLORING CUSCO Our Cusco city tour begins in the afternoon when we’ll first head to the beautiful Koricancha, next door to Santo Domingo Church. After visiting the Koricancha, we’ll head to Cusco Cathedral, located on the Plaza de Armas. Our next stop is the imposing Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, which sits on a hill above Cusco. Here you will see some of the finest examples of Inca stonework and construction, including massive rocks that were carefully cut and perfectly fitted together to form the walls. From here you’ll also have beautiful panoramic views of Cusco. After exploring Sacsayhuaman we’ll head up the hill to the Tambomachay Archeological Complex. Tambomachay is the last attraction on our city tour, after which we’ll head back down into Cusco and drop you off at your hotel.

  • Day 5: SALKANTAY TREK TO SORAYPAMPA CAMP

    SALKANTAY TREK TO SORAYPAMPA CAMP Our Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu begins when we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at around 5 a.m. We’ll then travel in our private bus to Mollepata, which takes about four hours. It’s a lengthy trip, but it’s needed to get out to this relatively remote region. On the way, you’ll be able to enjoy the wonderful scenery, including views of the Izcuchaca and Limatambo mountain ranges.  Eventually we’ll arrive at the colorful Andean village of Mollepata, where the trailhead for our Salkantay trek begins. Here we’ll met our horsemen, porters and cooks. Setting off, we’ll trek for about three hours until we reach Cruzpata, where we will have lunch with panoramic views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains of Humantay and Salkantay, and can visit Humantay Lake. Heading on, we’ll trek until we reach our first campsite at Soraypampa, taking in the beautiful landscape along the way. We’ll set up camp and later have dinner, surrounded by mesmerizing scenery. Maximum Altitude: 4,250 m / 13,943 ft Minimum Altitude: 3,850 m / 12,631 ft Distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles.

  • Day 6: SALKANTAY TREK THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS

    SALKANTAY TREK THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS We will wake early and have breakfast around 5:30 a.m. We have a long day of trekking ahead of us, through some of the most incredible scenery in Peru. This will be our most challenging day, as we ascend to the highest point on the trail.  We first make the climb to a mountain pass at 4,650 m (15,200 ft) – the highest location on the trek. From here, we’ll have sublime views of two huge snow-capped mountains: Salkantay on the right and Tucarhuay on the left. After a rest and time to enjoy the views, we will continue our walk downhill through a dramatic cloud forest towards Huayracpunku, also known as Huayracmachay, where we will have lunch. We’ll then set off again, trekking for about three hours through jungle-like scenery until we reach our second campsite, Colcapampa, at 3,000 m (9,800 ft).  We’ll set up the camp and prepare a big meal, a well-deserved reward after a hard day of trekking. Maximum Altitude: 4650 m / 13,943 ft Minimum Altitude:2920 m / 9,580 ft Distance:22 km / 13.7 miles

  • Day 7: SALKANTAY TREK THROUGH THE CLOUD FOREST

    SALKANTAY TREK THROUGH THE CLOUD FOREST Waking at 6: 30 a.m., we’ll have a hearty breakfast before setting off. Today, much of our trekking takes us through a region of jungle known as the ceja de selva: the swathe of jungle that lies between the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. We’ll cross the Lluskamayo River and find ourselves in a world of waterfalls, tropical fruits and colorful birds. We’ll stop for lunch and then continue trekking for three more hours, until we reach our last campsite at the village of La Playa, at 2,500 m (8,202 ft). At La Playa you’ll have plenty of free time to relax and enjoy the nearby hot springs: the perfect way to soothe your aching muscles! Later we’ll have dinner and then turn in for the night, relaxed and ready for our final day of trekking. Maximum Altitude: 2920 m / 9,580 ft. Minimum Altitude: 2100 m / 6,890ft Distance: 15km / 9.3 miles

  • Day 8: SALKANTAY TREK TO LLACTAPATA AND ONTO AGUAS CALIENTES

    SALKANTAY TREK TO LLACTAPATA AND ONTO AGUAS CALIENTES On our final day of trekking we’ll have breakfast at 6:30 a.m. before setting off towards Llactapata. It will be a steady three-hour climb, and as we ascend we’ll have wonderful views of the Santa Teresa Valley below us. Eventually we’ll reach Llactapata, an impressive Inca ruin that may have served as an important rest stop and roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu, which it is connected to via the Inca Trail. From here we get our very first glimpse of our final destination: Machu Picchu in the distance, an inspiring sight indeed!  After a rest and time to take photos, we will continue along a downhill trail for about two hours, passing plantations where coca, bananas and other crops are grown. Eventually we’ll reach the Hydroelectric Station, a well-known point along various routes to Machu Picchu, where we’ll have lunch. Then we will walk for a couple more hours until we reach Aguas Calientes, the lively town that sits below Machu Picchu.  After checking in to your hotel you’ll have some free time, so you can explore the town and, if you like, visit the nearby hot springs. We’ll have dinner in one of the many great restaurants in Aguas Calientes, and then you can return to your hotel for an early night before our final day -- and our tour of the magnificent Machu Picchu. Maximum Altitude: 2700 m / 8860 ft Minimum Altitude: 1800 m /5900 ft Distance: 11 km / 11.1 miles.

  • Day 9: MACHU PICCHU IN ALL ITS GLORY (AND RETURN TO CUSCO)

    MACHU PICCHU IN ALL ITS GLORY (AND RETURN TO CUSCO) To best appreciated Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning so we can get to the citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 5:40 a.m. We’ll then walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu. We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here you’ll begin your guided walking tour with an experienced and highly knowledgeable guide. Our tour of Machu Picchu will last about two hours, and will take you to all the most famous and most spectacular parts of the extensive archaeological complex. After the guided tour you’ll have time to explore Machu Picchu as you please, perhaps walking to some less visited parts such as the Inca Bridge.  Once we’ve finished our tour of Machu Picchu, we’ll take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes where you can relax and have lunch before we board the train back to Poroy and Cusco. Upon arrival at the station, we’ll be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco, where you’ll end your incredible Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.

  • Day 10: RELAXING AND EXPLORING IN CUSCO

    RELAXING AND EXPLORING IN CUSCO After breakfast, enjoy a free day to explore Cusco at leisure. The foremost city of the Inca Empire is now the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas, as well as the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Today, you will see the highlights of Cusco, from the Plaza de Armas historical centre to San Pedro Market and many archaeological sites. Those booked on to Rainbow mountain excursion will head there today.

  • Day 11: Transfer to Lima to fly home

    Transfer to Lima to fly home After breakfast enjoy your last day at leisure before transferring to Lima. We say good bye to the amazing sights of Peru and South America and begin our journey home

  • Day 1

    4* Hotel – Twin room
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 2

    4* Hotel – Twin room
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    4* Hotel – Twin room
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    4* Hotel – Twin room
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Camping
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Camping
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Camping
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    3* Hotel – Twin room
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    4* Hotel – Twin room
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    4* Hotel – Twin room
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Flight
    Breakfast Lunch Dinner

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Bucketlister trips are our standard for all our incredible trips. When you book a Bucketlister trip we will organise everything for you from the first to the last location on your adventure and you’ll have a local guide with you every step of the way. All you’ll need to organise is your own flights and transfers. (Additional Options for Land Only Transfers)

Bucketlister+ trips are a done-for-you service from start to finish. We organise everything for you. You’ll have a UK Guide with you all steps of the way and all you’ll have to do is just pack you bag. (Additional Options for UK Group Flights & Transfers)

Trailblazer trips are our first run throughs of our trips. Get the benefits of a Bucketlister+ Trip at the cost of a Bucketlister and all we’ll ask for in return is your feedback! For more information click here!

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Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do I need a sleeping mat?

    A sleeping mat will be provided and we recommend you bring your own sleeping bag or you can rent one.

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