Salkantay trekking

Salktantay & Inca Trail to Machu Picchu



Perfect for adventure-seekers, this hike combines the Salkantay Trek with the Classic Inca Trail!

Hikers enjoy a path that winds around the base of the sacred Mt. Salkantay (6271 m / 20569 ft), which is one of the highest and magnificent snow-capped peaks in the Peruvian Andes. The Salkantay Trek was even chosen as one of the “World’s 25 best Hikes” by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.


Day 1: The real journey begins | Soraypampa to Pampa Japonesa
  • Today we start with a five-hour bus ride traveling through small villages, quinoa plantations and herds of cattle. At the trailhead we meet up with our horsemen and horses that will support you on this excursion to Machu Picchu.
  • Learn about Tarawasi (Inca religious center) while exploring the area.
  • Passports or ID have to be shown at check points.
  • Today we hike up to Salkantaypampa and around the glacial moraines; our first campsite offers you outstanding views of Mt. Salkantay (6271 meters / 20,694 feet) and the Vilcabamba mountain range.
  • Tonight’s campsite is the coldest so this is a good time for down jackets, warm clothing, and baby alpaca sweaters. And you can enjoy a cup of coca tea or a glass of hot wine.
  • Hiking time: 4.5 hours
  • Distance covered: 9 km / 5.5 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Challenging
Day 2: Conquering the Frozen Inca Pass | Pampa Japonesa to Pampacahuana
  • Today is the most challenging day, a two-hour climb to reach the hike’s highest point on Incachiriasca or The Frozen Inca Pass (5028 meters / 16,592 feet).
  • Snow-capped mountains of the Vilcabamba mountain range appear in the clouds — a perfect photo opportunity.
  • Leaving Salkantay behind, we start descending (four-hour walk) into the Paucarcancha valley where we can appreciate the progression of the diverse types of ecological zones, llamas and alpacas as we go.
  • Tonight’s campsite is at 3700 meters / 12,210 feet.
  • Hiking time: 7 hours
  • Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Challenging
Day 3: Joining the Inca Trail | Pampacahuana to Wayllabamba
  • The hike leads down to Wayllabamba village where we join the classic Inca trail and continue on to Machu Picchu.
  • Today we have a nice gentle downhill walk along the Wayllabamba riverside.
  • Passports or ID have to be shown at check points.
  • Learn about Paucarcancha (Inca administrative complex).
  • We meet up with our porters who will be in charge of taking care of us and the camping gear for the rest of the hike. This is also the end of the trip for our horses and horsemen since just porters are allowed to work on the Inca trail due to government regulations and trail preservation.
  • Hiking time: 3 hours
  • Distance covered: 5 km / 3 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Easy
Day 4: Overcoming the Dead Woman’s Pass | Wayllabamba to Paqaymayo
  • Today is our second most challenging day.
  • We have a nice four-hour walk up to the Dead Woman’s Pass following the ancient Inca Trail used as a pilgrimage 500 years ago.
  • We reach the Inca Trail’s highest point on the Dead Woman’s Pass “Warmiwañusca”, 4215 meters / 13,909 feet, and enjoy the view of snow-capped peaks.
  • Hiking time: 6 hours
  • Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Challenging
Day 5: Into the cloud forest | Paqaymayo to Phuyupatamarca
  • Today the hike goes through the cloud forest — home to hummingbirds, the Cock of the Rock (Peruvian national bird) and exotic orchids.
  • You’ll learn about the Inca civilization while exploring the Inca sites along the way.
  • Enjoy stunning scenery and dramatic views of the Peruvian Andes.
  • Hiking time: 5 hours
  • Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Moderate to challenging
Day 6: Reaching the Sun Gate | Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu
  • Start with a visit to Wiñaywayna (little Machu Picchu) only accessible on the Inca Trail.
  • Reach the Sun Gate and have the first glimpse of the iconic Machu Picchu — a view only few travelers ever get a chance to admire. We will save the tour of Machu Picchu ruins for the following day (Day 7).
  • Head down to Aguas Calientes town (25-minute ride).
  • Hiking time: 4 hours
  • Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Moderate
Day 7: Visiting the Citadel of Machu Picchu
  • Early shuttle bus up to Machu Picchu (25-minute ride)
  • Today you can relax and enjoy the Machu Picchu tour and take in all the beautiful sites.
  • We will have an early start in the morning before it gets too crowded. We begin with an introductory two-hour guided tour of the Inca site, learn all about this wonder of the world while exploring it with your guide.
  • Option to climb up Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain known as “Montaña” (ADVANCED BOOKING REQUIRED – Check availability)
  • Bus back down to Aguas Calientes town.
  • Board the train and bus to your hotel.


  • Pre-departure briefing of your tour.
  • Transfer to the hike’s trailhead & to hotel on final day.
  • Support staff (professional cooks, horsemen and porters), horses to carry our camping gear and a riding horse for emergencies. Additional horses can be provided for an additional charge.
  • Camping equipment (tents, stools, tables, etc).
  • Sleeping pad.
  • Machu Picchu entrance fee and Inca trail permits.
  • Bus tickets up (x1) to Machu Picchu and down (x2) to Aguas Calientes.
  • Train tickets back to either Ollantaytambo or Poroy town depending on train availability.
  • English-speaking tour guide (Additional tour guide for groups of 9+).
  • Duffle bag (8 kilograms or 17 pounds).
  • Hotel accommodation for a night in Aguas Calientes (at chosen hotel).
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners (If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian or gluten free, PLEASE let us know).
  • Emergency First-Aid kit and oxygen bottle.

BRIEFING: Before the hike, you will meet your hiking guide and the other members of your group. Your guide will explain the details about the hike route and the necessary recommendations will be provided to you for a great hiking experience.

×Not Included

  • Backpacks.
  • Sleeping Bag (You can bring your own from home or rent them locally in Cusco city).
  • Hiking poles (You can bring your own from home or rent them locally in Cusco city).
  • Breakfast on Day 1, lunch and dinner on Day 7.
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain known as “Montaña” (ADVANCED BOOKING REQUIRED – Check availability).
  • Tips for guides, cooks, horsemen and porters.
  • Travel Insurance (you are strongly recommended to take out a travel insurance for the duration of your trip).

NOTE: The itinerary above is a sample. Hiking times, campsites and lunch spots are subject to change according to our guides’ criteria, weather conditions, availability, evolution of the group and on restrictions undertaken for safety reasons by the Peruvian Government.

Ξ Packing List:

  • Original Passport
  • ISIC card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
  • Hiking boots
  • Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
  • Warm jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable trousers
  • Sun cream (SPF 35 or higher)
  • Insect repellant
  • Toiletries and hand sanitizer
  • Towels and sandals
  • Personal medication
  • Spare coins
  • Camera and chargers
  • Headlamp with spare batteries


  • It is absolutely advised that hikers acclimate by spending few days at Cusco city (3400 meters / 11,154 feet) or similar before attempting the hike.
  • Hikers should be in a very good physical condition and be experienced hikers, since much of the hike’s terrain is rugged and challenging.
  • Weather conditions may vary. Temperatures range from below freezing to 22°C / 72°F warm and humid.
  • Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain known as “Montaña” or Huayna Picchu Mountain is a terrific add-on experience since they both offer outstanding views of the Inca citadel, but the entrance fees are limited (400 people a day) and at scheduled times. If you consider climbing either of them YOU MUST SIGN UP FOR A SPOT IN ADVANCE.
  • Inca Trail permits are required for this hike. BOOK IT ASAP SINCE THE PERMITS CAN BE SOLD OUT MONTHS IN ADVANCE.


Peru Machupicchu Tours S.A. is committed to traveling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. With your participation we can help conserving the area we visit and bring positive benefits to our host communities.

What you need to know on how to be a responsible traveler:

  • The natural environment is very important. If in nature you need to go to the bathroom, be sure it is buried away from waterways. Burying or carrying out used toilet paper is a must. Tampons and sanitary pads must also be taken out of the area and disposed of appropriately. Minimize use of soap or shampoos in rivers and lakes – your local guide will let you know when using soap is unsuitable.
  • When hiking, many travelers take an extra plastic bag to pick up any rubbish that they see to improve the area and for their own rubbish. Rubbish may have to be carried until a suitable disposal opportunity in the next town.
  • Please try and minimize the waste of plastic water bottles. Consider using a water filter, camelbacks or canteens.

Types of Service:

Our trekking programs are available in 2 types of services:

Group Service: This is a high quality, shared service with a maximum of twelve people (hikers) in the group. Groups up to eight people will have one guide, whilst over eight will have two — a great opportunity to have fun and make new friends. Our GROUP SERVICES have set departure dates.

Private Service: These services are arranged just for you and your party, and offer the possibility to choose the departure date, the group size and the duration of the trek. This not only has the advantage of adapting the pace to your physical condition, but also usually means enjoying quieter campsites and meeting fewer travelers along the route. All private groups include additional services, such as extra porters/wranglers to carry your personal gear, among other benefits.

Hike duration7 days / 6 nights
Hike levelModerate to challenging
Hike styleActive
Type of hikeArchaeological, cultural and adventure
Distance59 kilometers / 36.5 miles
Hiking timeDay 1: 4.5 hours / Day 2: 7 hours / Day 3: 3 hours / Day 4: 6 hours / Day 5: 5 hours / Day 6: 4 hours / Day 7: Machu Picchu
ElevationLowest point 2400 meters (7900 feet) – highest point 5028m (16496 feet) at Salkantay pass
Accommodation5 nights in camping tent / 1 night at hotel
Group sizeGroup service up to 12 hikers maximum – Private service (as requested)
Trip Advisor Peru Machupichu Travel

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