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Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail

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Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail

If your goal is Machu Picchu and you want to achieve it by hiking, but you cannot decide whether to trek the famous Inca Trail or the adventurous Salkantay Trek, now you do not miss even one of them, since you can undertake the Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail with us. This trekking expedition takes you to the foothill of the sacred snowy peak of Salkantay (6,271 m/20,700 ft), considered by local native people to be the "Guardian Spirit of the Jungle". The first part of the trek provides you with an opportunity to observe remote native communities and enjoy gorgeous mountain scenaries before joining the Classic Inca Trail.  This second part enables you to dicover remote Incan ruins that are hidden to common visitors as they are not accessible by means of transport! In the end, you experience the once-in-a-lifetime atmosphere of the New Wonder of the World - Machu Picchu.

 

Salkantay to Inca Trail is one of the most complete authentical Inca's paths that you can find! On the way, you can watch quick landscape changes as going through diverse microclimates. This offers fantastic views so do not forget to have your camera ready. The trek is challenging and is designed for experienced trekkers that would like to try something new and uncommon. The first part of the trip is supported by horses and the second by Porters (due to strict Inca Trail regulations). We also provide you with a top quality camping equipment and a very balanced and energetic diet so that you do not need to be worried about any facility and just enjoy the trek, which is an unforgettable experience.

Quick Itinerary: 

Day 01: Cusco - Sayllapata

Day 02: Sayllapata - Salkantay Pampa

Day 03: Salkantay Pampa - Pampacahuarina

Day 04: Pampacahuarina - Llullucha Pampa

Day 05: Llucha Pampa - Chaquicocha

Day 06: Chaquicocha - Wiñayhuayna

Day 07: Wiñayhuayna - Machu Picchu

 

Highlights of the Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail:

  • Discovery of a more complete Incan path
  • Opportunity for experienced trekkers to enjoy a challenging hike 
  • Trekking to the sacred mountain of Salkantay
  • Hiking the Classic Inca Trail 
  • 7 day hike accompanied by explanations of a professional bilingual Tour Guide
  • Lovely moutain landscapes observation
  • Amazing and hidden Incan sites discovery
  • Guided tour of the amazing Inca citadal - Machu Picchu

Departure Point: Cusco - We pick you up from your hotel.

Departure Time: 05:30

Briefing Point: Our guide will visit your hotel 2 or 1 day before the trek 

Briefing Time: Between 17:00 - 18:00

Return Point: Cusco - Our driver will drop-off in your hotel or Airbnb department

 

Service Level: Superior service all inclusive, extra horses for your equipment and private transport.

Physical Rating: 3 - Demanding -  Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers

Age requirement: 12+ / All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Tour Operator: Tierras Vivas Travel

Crew: A Tierras Vivas Representative in Cusco and a professional Tour Guige, a Cook, a Horseman and Porters for the Salkantay Trek vs Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Accommodation: Campsites (6 nights).

Meals: 6x breakfast, 6x lunch, 6x dinner, 6x afternoon tea.

Transportation: Transportation by private van, 1x train

Group Availiable: Mix: 2  Max: 8 Trekkers

 

Salkantay Inca Trail Avalaibility

 

How to book the 7 Day Salkantay to Inca Trail

The Inca Trail starts on the fourth day of the Salkantay to Inca Trail! if you like to start the tour on the 10th of May, you need to check Inca Trail availability on May 13th!. If there is still availability of the Inca Trail on your date requested in the time of your booking.

 

Salkantay Inca Trail 7 Day Advisor

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Day 01: Cusco - Sayllapata

We pick you up from your hotel at 6 am to take you by private transport for a 3 hour ride from Cusco (3,400 m) to Mollepata (2,803 m/9,196 ft). On the way, we stop in Limatambo (a small town) to visit Tarawasi - very important religious Incan remains! Then, we continue our ride to a one and  half an hour far away town of Mollepata where we have breakfast. There we start hiking up to Tillka and we take then wide gradually ascend to Marcocasa (3,500 m/11,482 ft) passing various Andean forests and steppes on the route giving us many opportunities to take fantastic photos of birds, flowers and various plants! In Marcocasa, we are given stunning views of the snow-capped peak of Rayuska (5,350 m/17,552 ft). In the end of the day, we get to a place of our first campsite at Sayllapata (3,600 m/10,200 ft).


Estimated trekking time: 7 hours
Trekking distance: 14 km
Max. elevation: 3,600 m (10,200 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,803 m (9,196 ft)
Difficulty: Easy

Day 02: Sayllapata - Salkantay Pampa

After an early breakfast, we start our today´s trek. First, we get to Soraypampa (3,850 m/12,600 ft) where we join the main route of the Salkantay Trek. From there, it takes approximately an hour to reach Salkantay Pampa, a place of our second campsite. Before we do so, we are given an opportunity to observe a breathtaking scenery of the sacred mountains of Humantay (5,917 m/19,412 ft) and Salkantay (6,271 m/20,574 ft)!! Especially, the Salkantay Mountain is considered by Andean cultures to be "Apus" (a mountain god) of a great importance!! When in Salkantay Pampa (4,100 m/13,451 ft), we set a campsite to be later served dinner. The night might be a bit colder due to its altitude so do not forget to pack a sufficient number of warm cloths please. 


Estimated trekking time: 6 hours
Trekking distance: 10 km
Max. elevation: 4,100 m (13,451 ft)
Min. elevation: 3,600 m (10,200 ft)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Day 03: Salkantay Pampa - Pampacahuarina

Today, we leave the main route of the Salkantay Trek to change for the route of Inca Trail. So we continue first through a lovely valley with native flowers and impresive views of the Salkantay Mountain in front of us at the left side passing through the indigenous villages of Qhesqa and Paucarcancha. Then, we ascend to the Incachiriaska Pass (Frozen Inca Pass;  5,100 m/16,700 ft), the highest point on the entire trek. From this point, we can admire the closest view of Salkantay and whole this area dotted with small mountain lagoons and old glaciers of diverse shades of blue! If we are lucky, we can see a variety of viscachas (chinchillas) and white-tailed deer and hopefully some rare animals such as a condor, guanaco and vicunha! Afterwards, we start descending to the Cusichaca Valley until the small village of Pampacawana (4,000 m/13,123 ft), a place where we can appreciate old Incan channels! We set a next campsite nearby and after dinner, we go to sleep. 


Estimated trekking time: 7 hours
Trekking distance: 14 km
Max. elevation: 5,100 m/16,700 ft
Min. elevation: 4,000 m/13,123 ft
Difficulty: Difficult

Day 04: Pampacahuarina - Llullucha Pampa

Hard trekking expects us today so we finish our breakfast to gain more energy and get ready for the trek. First, we hike for 3 hours to get to  Paucarcancha (3,205 m/10,515 ft). There, our Tour Guide shows you around antique Inca´s ruins called Inkaracay! Then we descend for a couple of minutes to the town of Wayllabamba (3,000 m/9,842 ft). There, we say good-bye to our horseman and horses and welcome our Porters as we join the route of Inca Trail where only Porters are permited. Before we continue climbing, we enjoy lunch. During hiking, we can appreciate a cloud forest with its native trees, orchids, mosses, ferns as well as birds. Finally we get to our next campsite at Llullucha Pampa (3,855 m/12,650 ft)


Estimated trekking time: 7 hours
Trekking distance: 13 km
Max. elevation: 3,855 m/12,650 ft
Min. elevation: 3,000 m/9,842 ft
Difficulty: Difficult

Day 05: Llucha Pampa - Chaquicocha

Early after breakfast, you start ascending towards the highest point of the trail - Abra Warmiwañusqa (Dead Woman´s Pass) at 4,200 metres passing through the cloud forests of Yunkachimpa and Corral Punku offering excellent views of surrounding snowcapped peaks. From Warmiwañusqa, you descend to the Pacaymayo Valley (3,300 m), where you have a lunch break. Then you continue hiking through the valley to the Inca´s ruins of Runkuracay where a guided tour follows. Afterwards, you climb up and get over the second pass - Abra Runkurakay (3,860m) walking on this "Royal Inca´s Highway" down to the next Incan site - Sayacmarca. On the way, you pass the Yanacocha Lake. In the end, we get to our second campsite - Chaquicocha (3,670 m).


Estimated trekking time: 7-8 hours
Trekking distance: 12 km
Max. elevation: 4,200 m (12,630 ft)
Min. elevation: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)
Difficulty: Challenging

Day 06: Chaquicocha - Wi˝ayhuayna

Today, we start hiking passing through lovely subtropical vegetation and many important archaeological sites. Before we reach the first site, we get over Phuyupatamarca Pass (3,670 m) and just behind it, we can see the Phuyupatamarca Incan complex (3,600 m), one of the best preserved and most completed sites of the trek. The complex is located on the top of a mountain and it corresponds with its Quechuan name that means the "Town above the Clouds". After a guided tour, we have lunch there. Then, we start a steep descent via a cloud forest offering an opportunity to see beautiful orchids and different bird species on the way to our last campsite at Wiñay Wayna (2,700 m). There we have a guided tour of the same-named impressive archaeological complex consisting of a religious sector, urban sector and an agricultural center with lots of stepped terraces. Afterwards, we are served dinner and then we go to sleep to get ready for the "icing on the cake" of the trail - Machu Picchu!!

Estimated trekking time: 5-6 hours
Trekking distance: 10 km
Max. elevation: 3,670 m (12,040 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
Difficulty: Moderate

Day 07: Wi˝ayhuayna - Machu Picchu

Early morning of the last day, we climb antique steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to see the sunrise above the long-expected citadel of Machu Picchu!! Then, you enjoy a 2 and half an hour guided visit of the so called "Lost City of the Incas"!! Afterwards, you have an opportunity to climb the peak of Wayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time back) on your own to take some panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu!! In the afternoon, you descend to the town of Aguas Calientes to take a train back to Cusco. Arrival in the evening. 

Estimated trekking time: 3 hours
Trekking distance: 4 km
Max. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,400 m (7,875 ft)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

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Salkantay Inca Trial All-Inclusive

  • Pre-trek briefing with your Tour Guide (our guide will visit your hotel a day before);
  • Transfer by private vehicle to Soraypampa - the initial point of the trek;
  • Accommodation: Campsites (6 nights);
  • Entrance fees to the red of Salkantay, an Inca Trail Permit and Machu Picchu fee;
  • Meals: 6x breakfast, 6x lunch, 6x dinner and 6x afternoon hot beverages (please advice us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost);
  • Professional bilingual Tour Guide (a group of up to 10 participants receives 1 Guide, a group over 10 persons receives 2 Guides);
  • Professional Cook;
  • Horseman;
  • Horses and Porters to carry food, camping equp,cooking equipment and personal belonging (7 kg), Porters to do so in the second part (due to very strict Inca Trail regulations;
  • Camping equipment: Eureka Mountain Personal double tents (3 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks);
  • Inflatable mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress); 
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
  • A blanket per person
  • A pillow
  • Day Pack Rain Covers;
  • Rain Ponchos;
  • Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
  • A T-shirt of the Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail Map;
  • Water every day (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own);
  • Tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas;
  • Food;
  • A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town;
  • A Tourist train from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo (Expedition Service);
  • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

Not Included

  • Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day;
  • A shuttle bus between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes Town ($12- one way);
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain ($ 85);
  • Extra porter and horses to carry your personal belonging (USD 130)
  • International and domestic flights nor airport departure taxes;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
  • Other extras not mentioned.

Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.

Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek's price!

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Tipping & extra money to the hike

It’s very important to take Extra Money. You need to take at least 200-300 soles emergency money:

  • The local people built the small markets in the route and you can find the water, snack, chocolate, cola etc.
  • Your first breakfast, last lunch no included
  • Entrence fee to the hot spring
  • If you cannot walk to Salkantay trek, our guide will help to you to up the horse.
  • Tip to Salkantay Inc aTrail: If at the end of your trek you felt your trekking guide(s), and staff did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference: however as a guideline we suggest each hiker contributes USD 50 per person to a collective tipping pool, more is always appreciated.

Luggage and duffel bag for you trekking

Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Soraypampa (1st day) to Huayllabamba (3th day). 4 day Inca Trail hike our porter carry your luggage from Huayllabamba to Wiñayhuayna. Our porter takes your luggage to the Aguas Calientes town. They will leave in a restaurant your luggage and that finishing the trek, you can meet. We recommend keeping the weight under 7 kg/15lb.

 

If very important your take best cover backpacker, because the weather in Salkantay trek and Inca Trail is change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended to put your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside the plastic bag.

Inca Trail Wheather

Climate in Cusco: The highland region of Cusco has well defined winter and summer seasons. Winter days (June - August) are very sunny and warm, but the temperature drops to near freezing at night. Rainy season is from January to March. December and January are two of the nicest months for trekking with only the occasional shower and blooming flowers.

Appropriate clothing along this hike

Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the five, Six and seven day (if sunny) and in Machu Picchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machu Picchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.

What we recommend that you bring

  • Original passport,
  • Original ISIC (an international student card if applicable)
  • Travel insurance,
  • Pocket money in Nuevos Soles,
  • A small rucksack,
  • Rain gear (a rain-jacket and a waterproof trousers),
  • Resistible footwear, waterproof trekking shoes are recommended,
  • Sandals (for a higher comfort while at a campsite),
  • Warm clothes such as a jacket, a fleece (thermal clothing is also recommended for cold nights during camping),
  • Hat or a cap (to protect you against the Sun, rain as well as cold),
  • Sun cream or sun block,
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body,
  • Insect repellent – recommended minimum is 20% DEET (please note that no malaria cases have been reported during this trip!),
  • Camera and its charger/batteries (please note that batteries are consumed quickly under cold conditions),
  • Flashlight/headlamp + batteries,
  • Handkerchiefs and toilet paper,
  • Small towel and toiletries,
  • Sufficient reserve of underwear,
  • Swimsuit (to visit the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes),
  • Snacks (biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.)
    Please note: we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. The recommendation of taken own snack applies only for customers who like a specific snack that might not be in our menu.
  • Bottled water for the first morning and a water bottle to be refill.
  • Optional: walking sticks; you can also rent it from us,
  • Please note: we provide with filtered boiled water during the entire trek, but if you like to use water from streams along the trail, you need to take some water-purifying tablets with you.

Salkantay Tre and Inca Trail Map

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Salkantay Inca Trail Trek

Salkantay Inca Trail Trek

Salkantay Inca Trail Trek involves a 5 day hike on the famous Salkantay route and 2 days along the original Inca Trail. This hike is the best alternative hikes to the 7 day Salkantay to Inca Trail trek. Not along the typical tourist trail path, this is an innovating adventure for travelers who want a little more solitude and individuality on their journey. With impressive views, the Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek gives you the privacy for peaceful reflection that such a sacred path deserves. Salkantay Inca Trail Trek

Hiking the Inca trail / 5 days

Hiking the Inca trail / 5 days

The traditional, wildly popular Inca trail is hiked in completion on this trek, with three full days of hiking and two separate visits to the city of Machu Picchu, once through the Sun Gate from the Inca Trail and once from the city of Aguas Calientes. This extra time means that the last two days of the trip are completely dedicated to exploring the lost Incan city and rejuvenating from the trek, regardless of if that means napping in a hotel or relaxing in the hot springs. The Inca trail itself passes several other incredible ruins, and is a challenging experience but worth every step – due to its popularity and the government regulations, try to get one of the 500 daily slots as early as possible to take this trek.
Hiking the Inca trail

Choquequirao Trek / 5 days

Choquequirao Trek / 5 days

This trek visits one of the most underappreciated Incan cities in Peru. So few people visit this site, because it can only be reached by hiking, there is no train or bus for the hike back. The city of Choquequirao was the last fortress of the Incas against the Spanish conquistadores, and has been largely passed over in favor of the sister city of Machu Picchu. This trek is equally incredible, scenic, and rich with Incan history and culture. There are two days of hiking in each direction, and the third day is spent almost entirely at the site, where there is both a guided tour and time for individual exploration.

Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu

Salkanytay Trek and Condor Sight / 5 days

Salkanytay Trek and Condor Sight / 5 days

This trek includes a visit to Machu Picchu on the final day as well as a visit to the Condor Canyon lookout, which is a good opportunity to see the massive birds, which have a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet and can live almost as long as humans. The Salkantay trail shows examples of the different Andean ecosystems, which range from vibrant cloud forests to the snowy peaks of the towering mountains. Aside from the condors, this trip is relatively secluded, as most tourists opt for the traditional Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

Salkantay trek and Condor Sight

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu / 5 days

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu / 5 days

This incredible trek is full of breathtaking views and unique experiences. Salkantay is less popular than the Inca Trail, so the trip is more personalized and isolated, with many fewer tourists. For example, on the third day of the trip, there are options for visiting the Llactapata ruins or the hot springs of Santa Teresa. Instead of joining up with the famous Inca trail, this trip continues directly to Aguas Calientes via a different route, and then goes up to Machu Picchu on the final day. There is a wide variety of plants and animals, as well as beautiful mountains and a waterfall, to see along this trek.
Salkantay trek

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