Type of Tour : Adventure

Activity(s) Hiking, Trekking, Rafting, Zipline, Biking

The Salkantay Trek is an alternative to the traditional Inca Trail for reaching Machu Picchu. The trek crosses the Salkantay Pass at 4600m, descends into the cloud forest and passes the Inca ruins Llactapata, with a view of Machu Picchu. The trail starts in Mollepata/Markocasa or Soraypampa, a couple of hours away from Cuzco and ends in Santa Teresa or Hidroelectricagiving access to Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu. The trek is not as popular as the overbooked Inca Trail but many find it just as beautiful. This trek (also sometimes called the Salcantay Trek), was named among the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine. The part around Mount Salkantay has some outstanding views and the descent later down to 1,000 m above sea level is quite gorgeous and not too steep. . The purpose of the Salkantay Inca Trail To Machupícchu was religious and ceremonial, a pilgrimage that included rituals to honor the mountains and peaks of the route, like Salkantay Mts.



DAY 1: DAY 1 | Cusco to Soraypampa “Sky Perú Lodge”

Humantay Lake trek and The Moon Temple “Quillarumiyoc”

Overnight at Soraypampa Sky Lodge “Sky Perú Lodge” at 3,869 m/12,690 ft

Note: On the evening before this day there will be a briefing with your guide in Cusco. After an early breakfast, we are picked up starting at 5:00 am at your Cusco hotel by a ITEP guide and vehicle. En route we take a short trail to Killarumiyoc, This place was a religious construction in representation of the “Mama Killa” , killarumiyoc means “The Stone of the Moon” where there is also an andean system, Hornacinas, is an ancient temple of the divinity of femininity. We continue our Excursion and later  a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hrs from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where we stop for a short break before ascending to Soraypampa.

After Lunch time , Our excursion takes us to Humantay Lake, fed by glaciers far above on the slopes of the impressive Mt. Humantay. Our 1-hour walk there is followed by another short 20-minute, which is necessary in order to reach the lake, but the view is well worth it and those brave enough can go for a swim!, performed by our local Tour Guide, in full view of the awe-inspiring Mt. Salkantay, tops off this unique  experience. Return to the Lodge

DAY 2: DAY 2 | Crossing the Salkantay Pass

Overnight at Collpa pampa Sky Perú Lodge at 2,870 m/9,414 ft

Today we continue our journey towards Machu Picchu, walking up the Rio Blanco valley and circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point of the ride is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638 meters (15,213 ft). At the pass we stop to take in views of snow-capped peaks of the Vilca- bamba Range in every direction, with the glaciated south face of Salkantay  towering  above  us.  We will keep our eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass we de-  scend towards the Wayra, (“Wayra”: wind; from the name of the location “Wayrac- machay”: ‘the cave where the wind lives’) where we going to enjoy a delicious lunch, later we continue a 03 hours trek downhill until we reach our Campsite  en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge.

Trekking  Time: Approximately 10 hours (including picnic lunch en route)                              Approximately 10 hours

Walk and Terrain: Walk, on mostly steep trails, and some open slopes.


The name Salkantay or Salcantay is coming from the Ink´as word Sallqa, a Quechua word meaning wild, uncivilized, savage, or invincible, and was recorded as early as 1583.The name is thus often translated as "Savage Mountain".

Directly to the north of Salkantay lies Machu Picchu, which is at the end of a ridge that extends down from this mountain. Viewed from Machu Picchu's main sundial, the Southern Cross is above Salkantay's summit when at its highest point in the sky during the rainy season. The Incas associated this alignment with concepts of rain and fertility, and considered Salkantay to be one of the principal deities controlling weather and fertility in the region west of Cuzco.

DAY 3: DAY 3 | Descending into the Cloud Forest

Overnight at Lucma Bamba Sky Perú Lodge at 2,870 m/9,414 ft

This day we walk along the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas. We pass through banana, passion fruit, avocado orchards and coffee plantations. The coffee grown here is said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world. Our ride takes us to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail”, which is where we say goodbye to our horses and equestrian staff. A short 30-minute walk through an avocado orchard brings us to Lucma Lodge. Dinner and overnight at the lodge

Trekking  Time:       Approximately 5 hours

Walk  and Terrain:  Walk on narrow trails



Peru is quickly building a global reputation for producing traditionally cultivated, shade grown, high quality coffee beans.

Coffee production came to Peru in the 1700s. After two centuries, the heirloom typical variety still comprises 60 percent of the country's exports. There are more than 110,000 coffee growers in Peru, most of whom are indigenous to these landscapes and speak Spanish as a second language.

The 'Flor de Cafe' (Coffee Flower) Rural Community Tourism Association from Lucmabamba-Bayona, is located in the Inca Trail (Lucmabamba-Llactapata-Ahobamba), with a final destination in Machupicchu, at a height of 2026 a.s.l. is an idea of 15 families.

These families found an opportunity to improve their quality of life through touristic activities, sharing their ancient knowledge inviting tourists to live the experience of flavours and knowledge of the Coffee Tour (Ruta del Cafe).

DAY 4: DAY 4 | Inca Trail by Llactapata “1st view Machupicchu”

Overnight in Aguas Calientes at 1,900 m/6,232 ft

After a hearty breakfast, we tackle the last day of our trek. We head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974ft), where we come upon a distant but spec- tacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers ever get a chance to admire. We take a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is served at a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. After which we begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. We then board a train for a scenic ride (approx. 1 hour) to Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, we check into an award-wining hotel for a celebration dinner with our guide and one last briefing!

Note - Those who prefer not to hike can go to the train station by van after a leisurely morning including breakfast at the lodge. They will meet the rest of the group at the train station for the ride to Aguas Calientes together. (The guide confirms your preferences the night before.)

Hiking Time: 4–6 hours

Hiking Level: Moderate to challenging


Bingham first discovered Llaqtapata in 1912. "We found evidence that some Inca chieftain had built his home here and had included in the plan ten or a dozen buildings. Bingham locates the site "on top of a ridge between the valleys of the Aobamba and the Salcantay, about 5,000 feet above the estate of Huaquina." "Here we discovered a number of ruins and two or three modern huts. The Indians said that the place was called Llacta Pata." Bingham did not investigate the ruins thoroughly, however, and they were not studied again for another 70 years.

A mid-2003 study of the site conducted by Hugh Thomson and Gary Ziegler concluded that the location of Llaqtapata along the Inca trail suggested that it was an important rest stop and roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu. This and subsequent investigations have revealed an extensive complex of structures and features related to and connected with Machu Picchu by a continuation of the Inca Trail leading onward into the Vilcabamba. Llaqtapata may have been a member of the network of interrelated administrative and ceremonial sites which supported the regional center at Machu Picchu. It probably played an important astronomical function during the solstices and equinoxes.

DAY 5: DAY 5 | Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary

Return to Cusco at 3,360 m/11,021 ft

After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, we make our way to the bus station     for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). Our trip leader will give an introductory 2 hour guided tour of the ruins, after which we have the option of climbing    the steep staircase of Huayna Picchu, a steep and vertically quite challenging hike that takes about 2 hours which affords great views of Machu Picchu. You will also have time to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own if you choose (not included in the price)

Climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu from there. Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or bathe in the hot springs.

Back to Cusco: You will descend to Aguas Calientes by bus (included) and later board the Expedition train by 4:22pm to the Ollantaytambo Train Station where you will meet our private van and be transferred to your hotel in Cusco arriving around 8:30pm.

Meals: Breakfast
Distance: 6kms/3.7mls
Difficulty: Easy

*** Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountains hike depends on availability; please let us know if you want to add one of these extra hikes at the time of your booking.

*** We only take ITEP EcoTravel clients in our vans / cars – We do not use public transport.

More Information

Transportation Cusco - Mollepata. (Start to walk)
Professional guide.
Tour guide assistant (for groups of 8 or more people).
Entrance to Machu Picchu.
4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 snacks, 4 dinners. Vegetarian (vegan) lunch on request at no additional cost!
Cook. (Professional)
Drinking water along the Salkantay trail, only at meals.
Dining tent with tables and chairs.
First aid box
01 oxygen ball
Horses (to carry tents, food and kitchen equipment).
03 nights in Andean Sky camp lodge "02 people only"
01 Sleeping mattress per person "Therma Rest".
01 night accommodation in tourist hotel in Aguas Calientes "Machupicchu Village".
Return tickets to the expedition service (Machupicchu - Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco) are transferred to the hotel.

1st breakfast, last lunch
Extra porters or horses for carry personal belongies 
Others not mentioned

You must bring your original passport
Hiking boots
Waterproof jacket / waterproof
Warm jacket, hat and gloves.
Sleeping bag
Comfortable pants
Sun hat
Sunscreen cream (factor 35 recommended)
Reusable plastic or metal water container or camel bags
Water for the first day, but on the way it is possible to buy bottles of water from local families.
Insect repellent
Personal medication
Camera and movies.

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