Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

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.

At the start of the trip, you’ll experience Lima in all its glory. Your first taste of delicious Peruvian food, rugged coastline and even the oldest house in South America await you here!

And no trek to Machu Picchu would be complete without a couple of days spent in Cusco first; not just because it’s such a fantastic place either. At some 3399m above sea level, you’ll give your body a chance to acclimatise to the altitude ahead of the trek. 

In Cusco, you’ll drink in the culture that makes this traditional country so special, exploring enormous cathedrals, stunning temples and bustling markets too. 

But the real fun? That beings when you get to Mollepata. That’s because that’s the starting point for your magical journey to Machu Picchu along the Salkantay route. Amazing panoramic mountain views and snow-topped peaks are the name of the game towards the beginning of your trek. They’ll more than get you in the mood for what’s ahead. 

You’ll move through dramatic cloud forests and head into the jungle that encompasses the Lluskamayo River. With creeks, hot springs and waterfalls aplenty in these parts, you’ll be well and truly mesmerised – and you haven’t even reached Machu Picchu yet!

But when you do eventually get there, you’ll remember what this journey was all about. With a guided tour of the citadel complex, you’ll find out more about this ancient wonder than you can possible glean elsewhere. 

And you’ll thank your lucky stars you took the Salkantay route to get there too. Significantly less populated than the classic Inca Trail, but with equally formidable views, the value of the path less travelled is simply unquantifiable. 

It really is every bit as sacred as the Incas said it was.

Day 1

Travel to Lima

Travel from the UK to Lima, Peru.

Day 2

FREE DAY IN LIMA

Today you are free to explore and relax at your leisure. Wander the streets of Plaza Major, visit fascinating museums or even pop into Casa di Aliaga, South America’s oldest house. From walking along the rugged coastline to indulging in some delicious Peruvian food, there is plenty to see and do in Lima.

Day 3

Transfer to Cusco

Today, we transfer to Cusco, theres an optional tour and time to spend the day relaxing and acclimatising. Whether you choose to wander around the plazas, visit a salsa bar, get a massage or just drink some fantastic coffee, today is a chance to recharge before the big adventure.

Day 4

EXPLORING RUINS, TEMPLES, CATHEDRALS AND MARKETS AROUND CUSCO

Today we will explore more of what Cusco and the surrounding area has to offer. We start at the impressive site of Sacsayhuaman where huge stone ramparts surround a grass amphitheatre. Once, this was the scene of fierce battles but it is now used for traditional Inca ceremonies.

Next we move on to the Tambo Machay water temple which features intricately carved water channels thought to have been used for ritual cleansing and water worship. From here we continue down to Cusco, stopping at the Temple of the Moon en-route.

Back in Cusco we stop at the Plaza de Armas to see its impressive cathedral and Qoricancha Temple, which was once home to life sized gold statues. Time permitting, we will visit one of the town’s bustling markets and experience a taste of Peruvian life.

Day 5

Trek start

On day one of the trek, we get picked up at 7am and travel by bus to Mollepata. Then, we take a 3-hour hike to Cruzpata, where we have lunch with panoramic views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains of Humantay (4120m/13500ft) and Salkantay (6271m/20575ft). We begin our trek by heading towards our first campsite Soraypampa, taking in the beautiful landscape along the way.

Day 6

TREKKING TO COLCAPAMPA

We will have breakfast at around 5:30am and begin our hike to the highest pass on this trek. It is located at 4650m/15200ft and halfway between two huge mountains; Salkantay on the right and Tucarhuay on the left. From the pass, the views of the two snow-capped mountains are incredible. There is a possibility of snow here.

Day 7

JUNGLE TREK TO LA PLAYA AND HOT SPRINGS

After breakfast, at 6:30am, we start trekking through the upper jungle crossing the Lluskamayo River through a series of small brooks and creeks. We pass through valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls, tropical fruits and plants. We will set up camp in the warm climate of La Playa (2500m/8202ft). After a rest, we will go to the hot springs and enjoy a well-deserved soak in soothing the waters. A real treat after finishing the trek! (Optional).

Day 8

TREK TO LLACTAPATA TO SEE MACHU PICCHU

On day four, we will have breakfast at 6:30am and then head for Llactapata, a three-hour steady climb. Llactapata is an incredible Incan fort from which we will see Machu Picchu! After some photos and rest, we will continue on a two-hour downhill hike passing a variety of plantations that produce cocoa, bananas, and more until we reach the hydroelectric dam for lunch. Then, we will walk a couple of hours more until Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night. Optional: In Aguas Calientes, you can take advantage of the hot springs in the town. Entrance is 10 soles.

Day 9

GUIDED WALKING TOUR OF MACHU PICCHU CITADEL

This is it! Rise early for breakfast before our guide will pick you up from your hotel at 5:40am to begin the short bus journey to the gates of Machu Picchu where you will watch the sunrise. After entering the Citadel begin a guided walking tour (approximately two hours) of the citadel complex. This afternoon, you will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes for lunch later we will board the train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon your arrival to the train station, we will pick you up and take you back to your hotel in Cusco.

Day 10

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

fter 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 12

UK

Arrive back in the UK

    Trip Date
    Total Cost
    Monthly Payments
  • 17/06/2022 2 Spaces available
    £2200.00
    £
    Full payment required

    Booking fee: £200 Non-refundable & not included in the total cost of this trip.

    Payment options:

    Single payment: £2200.00

    Single payment: £

    Monthly payments: Full payment required

    Monthly payments: £nan x 0

    Price is per adult in a twin share room

    Want your own room?

    From an extra £600
    This applies to stays in all hotels whilst on your trip. This does not always apply whilst you are trekking. Please contact us for more details.
    This applies to stays in all hotels whilst on your trip. This does not always apply whilst you are trekking. Please contact us for more details.

    Only Pay £200 Today. Secure this base price then add your flights & extras in the Trip Builder

    Go To Trip Builder
  • 06/09/2023 6 Spaces available
    £2300.00
    £
    £153.33 x 15

    Booking fee: £200 Non-refundable & not included in the total cost of this trip.

    Payment options:

    Single payment: £2300.00

    Single payment: £

    Monthly payments: £153.33 x 15

    Monthly payments: £0.00 x 15

    Price is per adult in a twin share room

    Want your own room?

    From an extra £600
    This applies to stays in all hotels whilst on your trip. This does not always apply whilst you are trekking. Please contact us for more details.
    This applies to stays in all hotels whilst on your trip. This does not always apply whilst you are trekking. Please contact us for more details.

    Only Pay £200 Today. Secure this base price then add your flights & extras in the Trip Builder

    Go To Trip Builder
  • 01/08/2024 16 Spaces available
    £2400.00
    £
    £92.31 x 26

    Booking fee: £200 Non-refundable & not included in the total cost of this trip.

    Payment options:

    Single payment: £2400.00

    Single payment: £

    Monthly payments: £92.31 x 26

    Monthly payments: £0.00 x 26

    Price is per adult in a twin share room

    Want your own room?

    From an extra £600
    This applies to stays in all hotels whilst on your trip. This does not always apply whilst you are trekking. Please contact us for more details.
    This applies to stays in all hotels whilst on your trip. This does not always apply whilst you are trekking. Please contact us for more details.

    Only Pay £200 Today. Secure this base price then add your flights & extras in the Trip Builder

    Go To Trip Builder
 

Day 1

Twin room

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 2

Twin room

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 3

Twin room

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 4

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

Camping

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 9

Twin room

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 10

Twin room

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 11

Flight

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 12

Flight

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Here’s what some of our awesome customers had to say:

“I’ve just come back from doing the Lares trek in Peru. This was a trip that just kept giving and my mind is still catching up from everything I experienced.

This trip had everything and feel privileged with the experience that bucket list company arranged.I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of booking a trip, they are well organised and the experiences are once in a lifetime, pictures just dont do it justification, seeing it with your own eyes is a thousand times better. 

Massive thanks to Keith and his staff for sorting it all out!”

Oliver Wilson The Bucket List Company Reviews

“Having recently returned from visiting Machu Picchu with The Bucket List Company, I cannot recommend them highly enough! What a life-changing experience! The trip was exceptionally organised and Keith is the best expedition leader out there.

Even when I was struggling with the altitude, my health was closely monitored by the group and I was really well looked after. This will definitely not be my last Bucket List trip. Thank you so much Keith!”

Hannah Chalkley Inca Trail trek to Machu PIcchu The Bucket List Company Reviews

“I still can’t quite find the right word to describe my experience with The Bucket List Company. Had the most incredible time, met some amazing people, and experienced things I never thought I would. I’d recommend both Peru, Machu Picchu and The Bucket List Company to anyone – you honestly will not be disappointed. Thank you so much for a life changing 10 days.”

Matt Hemmings Lares Trek to Machu Picchu The Bucket List Company Reviews

“Thanks to The Bucket List Company, we’ve been paying a just £160 each a month for our upcoming adventure trip to Peru.

We don’t even notice the money disappearing from our accounts, and for the first time ever, we have actually looked forward to getting an invoice because it means our dream trip of trekking the Inca Trail is one less month away.”

Martin and Jacki Norbury Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu The Bucket List Company Reviews

“I just nicely got back from Peru with The Bucket List Company. It was an absolutely incredible trip – I booked it and went on my own, met some lovely people and had the experience of a lifetime. 

I also had the opportunity to go on trips outside of the main trek, which just added to the whole experience. I would highly recommend The Bucket List Company to anyone, and can’t wait to book my next trip!”

Laura Trimble Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu The Bucket List Company Reviews

“I’ve just arrived back after a trip with The Bucket List Company to Peru to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Everything went very smoothly and we were well looked after. The hotel accomodation and travel were both good.

The trek itself was really well organised, and the quality of the food provided by Chef Freddie was first class. The extra tours on the trip were well worth it. We always felt part of the group and the experience was worth every penny. Thanks Keith!”

Kenneth Bease Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu The Bucket List Company Reviews

If you’ve been considering taking a trip to Machu Picchu then you probably already know there’s more than one way to get to it. Salkantay, Lares or the Inca Trail?

To find out more information about the different routes CLICK HERE and read our full article, ‘Which Route To Machu Picchu?’

Essentially, your Machu Picchu trip cost is going to depend on a few different factors, from how much you want to do and which route you want to take to where you want to stay.

In our article, ‘How Much Does It Cost To Reach Machu Picchu?’, we break things down for you. CLICK HERE to find out more!

It’s a tough choice! Each way has different qualities and highlights that are worth considering when deciding which trek to Machu Picchu to choose.

To help you decide we wrote an article laying out the similarities and differences between the two routes to help you work out which trip is right for you. CLICK HERE to find out more!

It’s a tough choice! Each way has different qualities and highlights that are worth considering when deciding which trek to Machu Picchu to choose.

To help you decide we wrote an article laying out the similarities and differences between the two routes to help you work out which trip is right for you. CLICK HERE to find out more!

Trekking to Machu Picchu is no simple stroll in the park. Whilst it’s far from the most strenuous trek we offer, the hike still takes a few long days of mountain walking at altitude. 

To help you get the best out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, we’ve written an article with our ‘Top Tips for Trekking to Machu Picchu’

Think no more, book it!! Rainbow Mountain’s mineralogical composition results in, well, a rainbow-striped effect along the ridge, and it’s quite the sight to behold. 

To read our full article, ‘Guide to the Rainbow Mountain in Peru’, CLICK HERE!

Cusco is one of the most famous cities in South America, and for good reason. Besides being the ‘base camp’ for any trip to Machu Picchu, Cusco is a fascinating destination in its own right.

To find out more CLICK HERE and read our full article, ‘Cusco: what to do, see and eat’

Related Articles

Select an epic destination to explore further

Duration: 12 Days

From: £2200

AccomodationSelect MealsUK Guides

Challenge rating

Download Our Guide To The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Simply enter your details below to get yours now.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.