Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
8 days / 7 nights
Challenge yourself and follow the road less traveled to Machu Picchu on one of the top 25 treks in the world, according to National Geographic. Immerse yourself in the spectacular natural beauty of the Peruvian Andes from the turquoise blue waters of Humantay Lake, to the stunning Salkantay peak, and the Cloud Forest, coffee plantations and orchids of the Santa Teresa River valley, before arriving at Machu Picchu. Learn about Andean culture and the extraordinary legacy that they left for generations to come, while enjoying the luxury of our deluxe lodges along the route.
Day one : Explore Cusco
Day two : Journey to Soraypampa and Salkantay Lodge
7:30 AM : Drive to Quillarumiyoc archaelogical site
9:00 AM : Explore the Quillarumiyoc archaelogical site
12:00 PM : Lunch at El Pedregal
1:00 PM : Drive on the winding mountain road to Challacancha
1:30 PM : Trek to Soraypampa (Easy to Moderate)
5:00 PM : Arrive at Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m / 12,690 ft)
Day three : Explore Soraypampa and Humantay Lake
Day four : Cross the Salkantay Pass
8:30 AM : Trek across the Salkantay Pass (Challenging)
3:00 PM : Arrive at Wayra Lodge (3,906 m / 12,812 ft)
Day five : Descend into the Cloud Forest
8:00 AM : Trek to Colpa Lodge (Easy to Moderate)
12:00 PM : Traditional Peruvian lunch at Colpa Lodge (2,870 m / 9,414 ft)
Day six : Follow the Santa Teresa River Valley
8:30 AM : Trek to Lucma Lodge (Moderate to Challenging)
2:30 PM : Arrive at Lucma Lodge (2,135 m / 7,003 ft)
Day seven : Arrive in Aguas Calientes (first glimpse of Machu Picchu)
8:30 AM : Trek to Hidroelectrica train station (Moderate to Challenging)
2:30 PM : Train to Aguas Calientes
3:30 PM : Arrive at the Inkaterra Pueblo Machu Picchu Hotel (2,040 m / 6,693 ft)
Day eight : Explore the Citadel of Machu Picchu
7:30 AM : Tour of Machu Picchu
12:30 PM : Lunch at Aguas Calientes
2:00 PM : Vistadome train ride to Ollantaytambo
4:00 PM : Drive back to Cusco
Key sights to see
Cusco, often spelled as Cuzco, is located at an elevation of 3,400 meters or 11,200 feet in southeastern Peru. This historic city served as the capital of the Inca empire from the 13th century, until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Cusco is the gateway to the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu.
Located at 4,200 m, right near the Salkantay Glacier and the Inca Trail, Humantay Lake can only be accessed by a moderately strenuous hike. The turquoise blue waters of Humantay Lake were sacred to the Incas. Even today, the area is considered sacred by many shamans and spiritual travelers.
The Salkantay Pass offers unobstructed views of Salkantay peak (“Savage Mountain” in Quechua). With a height of 6,271 m (20,574 ft), Salkantay is the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range of the Peruvian Andes. The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, which traverses the Salkantay Pass, is a common alternative to the Inca trail.
The Santa Teresa Valley lies between Salkantay and the town of Santa Teresa, about 6.5 km northwest of Machu Picchu. The area is known for a cloud forest, with low-lying clouds, colorful butterflies and striking orchids. It is also famous for numerous coffee plantations that produce some of the best organic coffees in the world.
One of the seven wonders of the world, and the most iconic symbol of the Inca civilization, Machu Picchu is an Inca citadel that was constructed around 1450, but abandoned a century later. Until American archaeologist Hiram Bingham III located it in 1911, the citadel’s existence and location was a secret.
Exciting and memorable things to do
Great places to stay
El Mercado is a 4 star property located three and a half blocks from the Plaza de Armas, the heart of picturesque Cisco. Formerly part of the city’s old farmer’s market, the hotel has 32 rooms with eye-catching interiors, massage service, an original breakfast lounge and restaurant, and a cozy courtyard with live music.
Located at 3,869 m (12,690 ft) above sea level, Salkantay Lodge is built on the flatlands of the Rio Blanco river valley, with a stunning, unobstructed view of the majestic Salkantay mountain peak. The lodge has a contemporary, eco-conscious design, and an outdoor jacuzzi with Salkantay peak in the background.
Located at 3,906 m (12,812 ft) above sea level, Wayra Lodge is a cozy mountain refuge after a long day of trekking over the Salkantay Pass. It offers unique Andean style rooms, a spa, an excellent dining room, and dramatic views of Mt. Humantay.
Located 2,870 m (9,414 ft) above sea level, Colpa Lodge is situated on a promontory at the confluence of three rivers, surrounded by lush green mountains in a cloud forest. Sun-drenched in the afternoons, it is the perfect spot to relax or soak in the outdoor hot tub.
Located at 2,135 m (7,003 ft) above sea level, Lucma Lodge is situated in a lush avocado orchard at the edge of the Amazon jungle. The architecture resembles a contemporary treehouse, and the view through the multi-pane windows that almost stretch to the ceiling gives guests the sensation of living amidst the beautiful foliage that surrounds the lodge.
A member of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate Andean village on a 12 acre property with terraced hills, waterfalls, 83 whitewashed adobe casitas, a classic Andean spa, and a first-class restaurant.
- Ground transportation from Cusco
- Flights to and from Peru
- Ground transportation to and from Cusco airport