Hiking to Machu Picchu: The Salkantay Trek | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998

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Hiking to Machu Picchu: The Salkantay Trek

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PRIVATE TOUR - 11 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM £$ 4785

Private Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers get the chance to admire.
  • Horse riding against a backdrop of surrounding glaciers and snow-capped mountains.
  • Witnessing the Andean Condors circling the skies in their natural habitat.
  • Stumbling upon ancient Incan ruins along a pathway formed centuries ago.
  • Getting up close to polished stone works of the Cusco Imperial style at Machu Picchu.
  • Get to know the locals and their way of life with a coffee tasting demonstration from a local family.
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

This amazing adventure takes travelers hiking to Machu Picchu with the Salkantay Trek. The trek runs beneath the sacred Salkantay mountain (6.271m/20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes. You will pass through Quechua communities and lesser-known Inca ruins, to finally reach Aguas Calientes on the third day of the trek. Ride horses against the backdrop of glaciers and snow-capped peaks, observe Andean Condors in their natural habitat and stumble across ancient Inca ruins. This tour will bring you up close to polished stone works of the Cusco Imperial style at Machu Picchu. The Salkantay trek is a great alternative for those who are unable to obtain the permit required to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Recently, following UNESCO recommendations, Peruvian authorities have placed restrictions on the visitation of Machu Picchu, the lost Incan ruins. Currently, no more than 2,500 people daily will be allowed to visit the ruins. While these new restrictions are great for the preservation of the ruins, they may cause some difficulties in your ability to visit them, so we recommend booking with plenty of notice.

Inclusions
Prices include round-trip airfare from Lima to Cusco; all hotel accommodation including continental or buffet breakfast; transfers between train station or airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling; guided tours in English including all entrance fees; and meals where specified. Your trek includes transportation to Challacancha (beginning of trek); all meals; filtered and boiled water; Chef and supporting staff; Porters for your duffle and camping equipment; horses and mules with horseman; camping gear including tent (North Face tent Four Season Mountain 25); inflatable Therma-rest mattress; sleeping bag; personal duffle bag (15.43lbs); dining tent, cook tent and bathroom tent; kitchen supplies; first aid and oxygen; and walkie-talkies for communication.

Note:
*Cost includes Expedition train for 3-star category, and Vistadome train for 4-star category and above. Expedition train features comfortable seats, fixed tables, backpack storage, panoramic windows as well as heating and air conditioning. Vistadome is ideal for travelers who want a personalized immersion of the Andean culture with traditional dances and music along the way. This train features panoramic windows, leather seats, new table design as well as heating and air conditioning. Upgrades available from Expedition to Vistadome; please add $46 per person.

*Deluxe service Hiram Bingham train features an observation wagon with a bar and two dining cars. In addition, this train includes a gourmet brunch on board, exclusive bus return to Machu Picchu, entrance to Machu Picchu as well as a guided tour. Afternoon tea in the Sanctuary Lodge, pre-dinner cocktails and a 4-course, a la carte dinner is also included. Please note this train does not operate on Sundays. Upgrades available from Vistadome to Hiram Bingham Deluxe; please add $575 per person.

*The Salkantay trail is closed during the months of January, February and March; during that time this tour is not available. This itinerary has Group Departures every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday making the best days of departure Sunday, Wednesday or Friday. If these dates do not work for your schedule we are able to customize your itinerary or confirm group departures on other dates, subject to availability. Please contact your Yampu Travel Consultant.

*For the Salkantay trek you must bring hiking boots, long pants, raingear, warm clothes, camera and flashlight, day pack, canteen or Nalgene bottle, insect repellent and sunblock.
Exclusions

Local airport taxes that are payable in the country of destination are not included. Taxes and security fees that can be paid at time of ticketing are already included in the quote (if airfare has been included in the quote)

*For the Salkantay trek you must bring hiking boots, long pants, raingear, warm clothes, camera and flashlight, day pack, canteen or Nalgene bottle, insect repellent and sunblock.

Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Pricing Details
  3-Star 4-Star 5-Star Luxury
Double N/A £$4785 £$5553 £$5553
Single N/A £$8148 £$9522 £$9522

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

Overnight Flight to Peru

Upon arrival, you will be met by a Yampu guide who will assist you with the check in at the airport hotel.

Upon arrival, you will be met by a Yampu guide who will assist you with the check in at the airport hotel.

Day
2

Flight to Cusco

At the appropriate time, you will walk back to the airport to check in for your flight to Cusco.

Domestic Flight from Lima to Cusco

Upon arrival to Cusco, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
The elevation in Cusco is approximately 3400 meters (11200 feet), so we highly recommend resting as soon as you arrive for a few hours, and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, or heavy meals. Please consult with your physician for additional details.
Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins of the old Inca city became the foundation for the Spanish architecture you see today, and many of the stone walls that line the streets were built by the Incas.

Rest of the day will be at your leisure to acclimate.
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Cusco_Peru
Day
3

Walking Tour of Cusco

This morning, enjoy a private walking tour of Cusco where you will visit the Korikancha Temple, or Temple of the Sun, and the Cathedral and its Art Museum. During your tour today you have the option to visit the Casa Concha museum or the San Pedro Market. The Casa Concha museum was recently renovated and houses over 360 archaeological pieces from Machu Picchu, recently returned by Yale University. San Pedro Market is a lively, local market where you will receive a briefing about the local Andean ingredients and have an opportunity to purchase them. This market visit is a great opportunity to interact with the locals either selling or purchasing items from the market.

This afternoon there will be time for lunch (lunch not included) before continuing to the nearby water shrine of Tambomachay (the Inca Fountains), Puca Pucara (the Red Fortress), the amphitheater of Kenko and finally the Sacsayhuaman Fortress. Later in the afternoon, return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.

Note: For more adventurous travelers, Yampu suggests an optional sunset horseback riding tour through the Sacsayhuaman Ruins. Please ask a Yampu Travel Consultant for more information.
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Cusco_Market_Fruit_Peru
Day
4

Cusco – Challacancha – Soroycocha

After an early breakfast, be picked up from the hotel and leave the city of Cusco. On the route take a short break to visit Tarawasi Archaeological Site near the town of Limatambo (1.5 hrs. approx. from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, pass through the mountain village of Mollepata and stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called Challacancha (12,690 ft.). Here meet the mule driver and emergency horse and begin the trek to Soraypampa (3,900m/ 14,730ft.). Here eat lunch and after a short rest continue to climb toward Humantay Lake (3,869 m). Then go back to Soraypampa, which will be the first campsite, and enjoy a magnificent view of the Salkantay Mountain (20,571ft.) the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology. ...read less

Inca trail_Peru
Day
5

Soroycocha – Andenes

This is the main day! After an early breakfast, hike up to the highest point on the trek which is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638m (15,213ft.). There, stop to enjoy the amazing views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range in every direction, and the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above where Andean condors can be seen. From the pass, descend towards Wayracmachay to lunch and then continue the descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River. Observe the landscape become increasingly green, changing from highland to jungle or cloud forest. Feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids, while arriving to the second camp at Andenes (9,481ft.), a beautiful spot surrounded with vegetation. ...read less

Andean_Mountains_Peru
Day
6

Andenes – Lucmabamba

Today hike along the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas. Pass through banana, granadilla, avocado and coffee plantations. A hot picnic lunch is served along the way. After lunch, hike 2 hours approximately before meeting a private vehicle for a short drive to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail (30 minutes approx.). From the head of the newly restored Inca Trail easily make way to the last campsite at Lucmabamba. In the evening have a coffee taste demonstration with the host, a local family. Dinner will be served and then spend the night in the camp. ...read less

inca-trail_Peru
Day
7

Lucmabamba – Hydro – Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes)

After breakfast, head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (8,974ft.) and descend to the archaeological complex of the same name. Besides, enjoy a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers get the chance to admire. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. After that, begin the final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Finally, get to the Hydroelectric Power Station, to board the train to Aguas Calientes and spend the night. There one can stay in the hotel of choice. ...read less

Hiram_Bingham_Train_Peru
Day
8

Machu Picchu

After an early breakfast, make way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu. The guided tour of the sanctuary lasts two hours and at the end, have free time to explore the place at leisure, or simply relax and meditate. Return by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch.

Note: Government regulations limit the number of visitors to Machu Picchu daily. Entrance is subject to availability. Please book with plenty of notice to confirm your entrance to the ruins. Machu Picchu entrance tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
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Machu_Picchu_Peru
Day
9

Morning at Leisure & Vistadome Train to Cusco

Today is at leisure. One may choose to relax in the village of Aguas Calientes and its hot springs. In the afternoon board the train to return to Cusco. Note: Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu on this day are not included. Please contact a Yampu travel consultant to go back to the ruins or hike the Huayna Picchu at time of booking (subject to availability).

Upon arrival, be greeted for the train station reception and transferred to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

Today is at leisure. One may choose to relax in the village of Aguas Calientes and its hot springs. In the afternoon board the train to return to Cusco. Note: Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu on this day are not included. Please contact a Yampu travel consultant to go back to the ruins or hike the Huayna Picchu at time of booking (subject to availability).

Upon arrival, be greeted for the train station reception and transferred to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

inca_walls_cusco_peru
Day
10

Cusco-Lima

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima.

Upon arrival to Lima, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

This afternoon, enjoy a private city tour of Lima, one of the most important cities in South America since its founding in 1535. As you journey through the historic center of the city, admire the beauty of San Martin and its major squares, the Cathedral, and the Government Palace. Visit San Francisco Convent, a religious building from the late 16th century, and its catacombs. This tour also includes a drive through the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores. Please note that the Cathedral is open Monday through Saturday.

During your tour you will also visit the Museo Larco. Founded in 1926, the Museo Larco chronologically showcases the past 3,000 years of Peruvian history and culture, including its pre-Colombian history. The museum is located in a beautiful 18th century vice-royal mansion built atop a 7th century pre-Colombian tomb. After exploring the Museo Larco, enjoy complimentary cocktails and appetizers at the onsite Larco Cafe overlooking the beautiful, surrounding gardens.
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Museo_Larco_Lima_Peru
Day
11

Flight Home

Transfer to the airport to take the flight back home, or overlap with the add-on of choice.

Note: If the departing flight is in the evening, Yampu recommends adding a tour to Pachacamac with an introduction to the Peruvian Paso horse.

Transfer to the airport to take the flight back home, or overlap with the add-on of choice.

Note: If the departing flight is in the evening, Yampu recommends adding a tour to Pachacamac with an introduction to the Peruvian Paso horse.

Lima, Peru

Cusco, Peru

Machupicchu, Cusco, Peru

Places You'll See

  • Peru_Lima_city

    Lima

    Bursting with architectural history and culture, Lima has an eclectic array of attractions. Visit the Santo Domingo Convent, a religious and artistic staple of the city’s historic center. Take a walk along the cliffs of the Miraflores district, showcasing the beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, and after, enjoy some shopping at the Larcomar Mall.

  • Peru_Cusco_city

    Cusco

    Once a powerful Incan city, Cusco is filled to the brim with relics of its grand history. Visit the ruins of the ancient Incan Koricancha Temple, where the Church of Santo Domingo now stands atop. Behold the many beautiful, colonial buildings in the Main Square, including the Cathedral and Church of La Compania de Jesus (Society of Christ).

  • Machu Picchu

    Recently, following UNESCO recommendations, Peruvian authorities have placed restrictions on the visitation of Machu Picchu, the lost Incan ruins. Currently, no more than 2,500 people daily will be allowed to visit the ruins. While these new restrictions are great for the preservation of the ruins, they may cause some difficulties in your ability to visit them, so we recommend booking with plenty of notice.

Hotel Options

4 Star Properties

Cusco : El Mercado

Cusco : Palacio Manco Capac 

Machu Picchu : El MaPi

Machu Picchu : Casa del Sol

Lima : Doubletree El Pardo, Lima

Lima : Innside by Meliá Lima Miraflores

5 Star Properties

Cusco : Inkaterra La Casona

Cusco : Palacio del Inka by Libertador, Cusco

Machu Picchu : Sumaq Hotel

Machu Picchu : Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

Lima : Hilton Lima Miraflores

Lima : Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima

Luxury Properties

Cusco : Belmond Palacio Nazarenas

Cusco : Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Machu Picchu : Sanctuary Lodge (standard Room)

Machu Picchu : Sanctuary Lodge (Mountain View With Terrace)

Lima : Miraflores Park Plaza (Ocean View)

Lima : JW Marriott, Lima

Testimonials

Buddy P.

Traveled September, 2014

All and all it was wonderful and would recommend you

The trip was great and all of the Yampu people met us on time and were there for every aspect of the trip. No flight delays at all and the airport transfers were really easy. Peru was wonderful and we have a few hundred pictures. Weather was great and it only rained for about an hour the entire time. Of course that one hour was when we were hiking on the Inca trail but then it turned sunny. We loved our guide in Cusco and on the Inca trail. He was great and would suggest you reserve him as often as you can. According to him, we have the record of doing the 6-7 hour Inca trail one day hike in 4 hours and 10 minutes. In hindsight he said we could have probably done the entire 3 day hike in one day. So in the future if you have anyone wanting to really push it and get up really early, they can probably hike more of the trail. It was really fun. Our guide in Puna was nice and full of history as the one in Cusco. Our guide in Lima was knowledgeable about the history of Peru. The river cruise (Aria) was nice and there were only 16 people on board so everyone became friends. The general feedback of the group was that there was a bit too much down time. The group was fairly active and on the younger side so wanted more activities. We saw quite a few animals but it being the dry season and hit or miss with animals, we knew it would be a crap shoot. The guides on the ship were excellent and the food was very good (not amazing but above average). But we averaged 4-5 hours a day on the skiffs so I would let people know that there is a lot of time spent sitting and looking and looking. I am glad we did it and the visit to the jungle village was quite interesting. Who knew you could have 4 kids by the age of 17? All in all we loved Peru and it was a very different trip for us. The altitude did affect Pam way more than me especially at the Lake. All and all it was wonderful and would recommend you. Thanks for putting this together for us.

Traveled To

Kevin R.

Traveled November, 2014

Our whole trip to Cuzco and Machu Picchu was fantastic.

I just wanted to drop you a quick note thanking you again for the excellent package you put together for Nancy and myself last week. Our whole trip to Cuzco and Machu Picchu was fantastic. Our Machu Picchu tour guide deserves special thanks. She was extremely knowledgeable and we had a lot of fun with her. Were it not for her coaching me, step by step, all the way down the death stairs on Huayna Picchu, I might still be up there looking for a place to live. She really went over and above the call of duty and is a fantastic lady. Thanks for putting together such a great trip for us!

Traveled To

Caswell & Teresa

Traveled December, 2014

I don’t know where to start but just let me say this was the BEST TRIP we have EVER taken.

I don’t know where to start but just let me say this was the BEST TRIP we have EVER taken. You thought of everything. I must admit I know you said everything would be taken care of but I thought yea, RIGHT, no way. Boy was I wrong, gosh you didn’t miss a thing. All the tour guides, the tours, the hotels were just outstanding. The tour guides took us to airports got our tickets to board flights geeze we were treated like royals. Machu Picchu was outstanding; we did the hike. I have to say I was a little apprehensive about it at first, but once we got started realized we would have no problem. We made it all the way to the top. The hotel there was just wonderful, the weather was nice also NO RAIN!! Galapagos!!! WOW it was JUST AWESOME!!! OMG the snorkeling was incredible. We got to go twice a day and honey we sure did not miss one trip. The hikes were great, we could not believe how close you can get to all the animals. I Really don’t have the vocabulary to express to you just how amazing this whole trip was. All the tours were outstanding loved having the private tours. All the guides were very knowledgeable, and I know this is true cause Caswell knows his history. I am recommending this trip to all my friends. Again thank you so much for preparing the trip of a life time.We were married 30 years January 2 and this was our gift to each other. Thank You,

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