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Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu

Itinerary in Brief:  A Spectacular Mountain Trek to Machu Picchu

  • Acclimatize in the Sacred Valley
  • Trek the Andean countryside
  • Lesser-known Incan ruins and roads
  • Camp at beautiful remote sites
  • A first class journey from start to finish
  • Can be customized and extended
  • See below for day by day details.
  • Please call or email with questions

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

Day 1       Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel ideally located in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district.  This is the best area of town for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants. (If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged.)
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores (upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)

Day 2   Fly to Cusco / Sacred Valley of the Incas / Pisac Ruins

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire.  When you land in Cusco you will be met at the airport by a local representative who will transport you to your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.  You’ll have the chance to visit remarkable Incan sites and small towns at Pisac, and stop for a lunch at a great small restaurant founded by a renowned local chef.  Your private guide will be there to help you make the most of the entire experience.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 3      Sacred Valley (Maras / Moray / Ollantaytambo)

Today you have a full day of exploring more of the Sacred Valley, seeing less visited sites that will deepen your understanding of the local culture.  First you will make a visit to the unique Incan site of Moray, and the nearby town and ancient salt pans of Maras. After your picnic lunch, you´ll visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 4      Free Day in the Sacred Valley

If you have acclimatized prior to arriving to Peru, this day may not be necessary; however, time in the Sacred Valley is always time well spent, as there is plenty to see and do. We can arrange a variety of activities for this day, including visits to other Incan sites or traditional communities, horseback riding, culinary tours, day treks, weaving demonstrations, markets, and more.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B)

Day 5       Begin Salkantay Trek / Mollepata / Soraypampa / Salkantaypampa

Today you will be driven over Tika-Tika pass, with your first views of Mount Salkantay and Humantay on the horizon. You will cross the plateau of Antapampa, an area considered the breadbasket of Cusco for its grain and cattle, and reach the Limatambo Pass for an amazing view of both mountains and the lush agricultural valley below. You will visit the ruins of Tarawasi, with its long asymmetric Inca stone wall, before continuing to the winding road which zig-zags uphill to Mollepata, at an elevation of 2,900m (9,454 ft). From here, you will continue on a narrower track for another hour, passing Cruzpata, Oncopata and Checchicancha and getting your first view of Mount Humantay close up. The last part of the track brings you to Soraypampa, at an elevation of 3,900m (12,815 ft), where there are small settlements of cattle herders. You´ll continue up to the Pampa, below Mount Salkantay, where you will camp at 4,145m (13,599 ft). (Trekking: 4 hours).
Salkantaypampa camp (B,L,D)

Day 6       Apacheta Pass / Collpapampa

This morning you will head toward the terminal moraine, where the trail begins to ascend until you reach a scree slope that will take you to Apacheta Pass, at an elevation of 4,636m (15,210 ft). This pass offers a spectacular vantage point to view the Incachiriaska Pass, Mount Salkantay’s ice flute, and the huge expanse of the moraine. From here, the trail winds its way through the landscape downhill toward a large Pampa called Wayrahmachay (3,919m/12,858 ft). You will descend all the way to the Santa Teresa River and arrive at the campsite, at an elevation of 2,950m (9,678 ft). (Trekking: 8 hours, Distance: 12kms).
Collpapampa camp (B,L,D)

Day 7       Raynapata / Lucmabamba

This morning you will start a slow ascent to Raynapata Pass, from which you will have an astounding view of Mount Quiswar and the Valley of Totora before beginning your descent to Wiñaypoqo and Unuyoc. When you reach the roadhead, a vehicle will meet you and transfer you through the scenic countryside to your campsite at Lucmabamba, situated at 2,048m (6,719 ft). (Trekking: 4 hours, Distance: 7kms).
Lucmabamba camp (B,L,D)

Day 8      Lucmabamba / Hidroelectrica / Machu Picchu

Today you begin your ascent to the Q’elloqasa Pass, at an elevation of 2,875m (9,430 ft). Traversing dense cloud forest, you will pass a pre-Inca site surrounded by the immense avocado trees that give the area its name. From here, you will get a magnificent view of Machu Picchu´s southern face. You will continue the descent to the junction of the Aobamba and Urubamba valleys and arrive at the hydroelectric station, where you will take a short train ride to Aguas Calientes, the village at the foot of Machu Picchu, to spend the night. (Trekking: 7 hours, Distance: 10kms).
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 9      Guided Visit to Machu Picchu

Today you have a privately guided visit to Machu Picchu for an in-depth exploration of the iconic site. You will also have the option to hike Huayna Picchu today if desired.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 10       Cusco

In the late morning you will take the train back to Cusco and be dropped off at your hotel, located in the historic San Blas district.  You will arrive to Cusco by mid to late afternoon and have time to explore a bit on your own and eat out at one of the city’s excellent restaurants.  Cusco is another of the highlights of a trip to Peru, a fascinating city built on the foundations of the former Incan capital.  You can observe massive Incan walls along many of the streets of the city.  The city also has a vibrant atmosphere and many excellent restaurants.  
Inkaterra La Casona Cusco (B) (upgrade to Palacio Nazarenas is available)

Day 11       Cusco/Sacsahuaman

Today you’ll have a privately-guided exploration of Cusco, visiting the historical highlights.  Your excursion includes a visit to Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you will enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area.  You have the afternoon free to explore some more of the city on your own.
Inkaterra La Casona Cusco (B)

Day 12      Fly Home

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Cusco airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival to Lima you will have assistance at the airport in making your connecting flight home. If you have extra time before your international flight, we often arrange a driver for our travelers so they can go out to eat and see some more of Lima before their flight.