• Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu

A Scenic Mountain Trek to Machu Picchu

Days: 12 | Contact us for pricing

Enjoy world class cuisine and museums in Lima, then renew your sense of wonder exploring lost Incan cities and contemporary Peruvian culture. Journey for several days through the Salkantay Region, a remarkably beautiful and less-touristed Andean region. End your trek at iconic Machu Picchu.

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
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Talk to a Vaya Travel

(800) 342-1796

We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

We consistently receive 5 star reviews from our discerning clients.

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At a glance

  • Lima
    1 night: renowned cuisine and world class museums
  • Sacred Valley
    3 nights: Andean life and ancient ruins in this magnificent river valley
  • Salkantay Trek
    3 nights: hike and camp among breathtaking mountain scenery
  • Machu Picchu
    2 nights: time to explore this stunning icon in depth & at non-peak hours
  • Cusco
    2 nights: walk the streets of the captivating former Incan capital

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

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Sample itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Lima

Miraflores Beach, Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel in Miraflores, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is a great area for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants.

Private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged; we can also arrange culinary tours focusing on Peru’s increasingly renowned cuisine, or art tours for those with special interests.

Accommodations: Atemporal

Housed in a renovated 1940s townhouse in the chic Miraflores district, this new nine-room hotel provides a relaxed atmosphere with impeccable service. Atemporal offers its guests an alternative lodging experience: The personalized attention to detail includes a Maître de maison, concierge on duty around the clock, house car and chauffeur for short excursions, 24/7 menu created with locally-sourced natural ingredients, and full connectivity. Atemporal is entirely private, meaning only guests and those they invite can use its exclusive spaces, with their offbeat but functional collector’s aesthetic, including a veranda, salon and private garden.

Upgrades and alternatives: Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others
Day 2

Fly to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Road into the mountains of the Sacred Valley

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.

Your time here will help you acclimatize to the high altitude of the region before beginning your hike.

Visit Chinchero, a traditional small town situated on a plateau overlooking the Sacred Valley. Explore a colonial church with remarkable paintings and frescoes, which was constructed over the ruins of an Incan temple and is surrounded by impressive Incan terracing. Chinchero is also home to several highly-regarded weaving cooperatives known for their high-quality textiles. Peru is known for its intricate traditional weavings, many of which use symbols to tell stories or depictions of daily life.

Afterward enjoy 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.

Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna

The Sol y Luna Lodge is located in Peru's Sacred Valley of the Incas, not far from the town of Urubamba. Peruvian art adorns each of the first class, comfortable adobe cottages, whose terraces offer spectacular views of the mountains. A place that does things the right way, this hotel has long been among our traveler favorites due to the superb accommodations, location, and service. The property offers two outstanding restaurants. There is also a stable with beautiful horses that can be taken out into the surrounding mountains on horseback riding excursions. This is a Relais & Chateaux property.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Alternative lodging options: Albergue Ollantaytambo: for those who want to stay right in Ollantaytambo
Day 3

Incan Sites and Ancient Villages: Moray, Maras, and Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo View

Spend the day exploring more of the Sacred Valley, seeing less-visited sites that will deepen your understanding of the local culture. You’ll get out and see the Sacred Valley on your own two feet, with the chance to do some acclimatization walking (your private guide will be there to accommodate whatever level of additional hiking you want to do; additional days of acclimatization can also be added as desired/needed).

Discover the unique Incan site of Moray and the nearby town and ancient salt pans of Maras. After a scenic picnic lunch, visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times.

Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Free Day in the Sacred Valley

Sol y Luna - Exterior

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.

Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 5

Begin Salkantay Trek: Mollepata, Soraypampa, and Salkantaypampa

Enjoy the scenic drive over Tika-Tika pass, with your first views of Mount Salkantay and Humantay on the horizon. 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.

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 9,454 feet. From here, 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 12,815 feet, where there are small settlements of cattle herders. Continue up to the Pampa, below Mount Salkantay, where you will camp for the night.

About 4 hours of hiking; overnight at elevation of 13,599 feet.

Accommodations: Camp at Salkantaypampa

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Apacheta Pass and Collpapampa

Head toward the terminal moraine, where the trail begins to ascend until you reach a scree slope leading to Apacheta Pass, at an elevation of 15,210 feet. 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 downhill toward a large Pampa called Wayrahmachay, at 12,858 feet. You will descend all the way to the Santa Teresa River and arrive at Collpapampa, where you will camp for the night.

About 8 hours of hiking; about 7.5 miles; overnight at elevation of 9,678 feet.

Accommodations: Camp at Collpapampa

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Raynapata and Lucmabamba

Start a slow ascent to Raynapata Pass, from which you will have an outstanding view of Mount Quiswar and the Valley of Totora before beginning your descent to Wiñaypoqo and Unuyoc. When you reach the road, a vehicle will meet you and transfer you through the scenic countryside to your campsite at Lucmabamba.

About 4 hours of hiking; about 4.3 miles; overnight at elevation of 6,719 feet.

Accommodations: Camp at Lucmabamba

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Lucmabamba, Hidroelectrica, and Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu from afar

Begin your ascent to the Q’elloqasa Pass, at an elevation of 9,430 feet. Traversing dense cloud forest, you will pass a pre-Inca site surrounded by the immense avocado trees that give the area its name. Enjoy a magnificent view of Machu Picchu’s southern face.

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.

About 7 hours of hiking; about 6 miles.

Accommodations: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

This hotel sits on its own 12 secluded acres in Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base of Machu Picchu. The hotel is ideally located in natural surroundings, a short walk to the train station and the shuttles that take visitors to the ruins, but just outside the town, which is quite touristy. Guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas. Unlike the other hotels in Aguas Calientes, the Pueblo is set in a natural cloud forest, allowing you to experience the beauty of this unique ecosystem during your stay.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Machu Picchu

Sun behind the ruins at Machu Picchu

Visit Machu Picchu with your private guide in the early morning to explore the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu (about 2 hours round trip).

Accommodations: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Head to the Cusco, a Former Incan City in the Mountains


Catch the late-morning 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.

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.

Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

A Relais & Chateaux property, La Casona is set in a restored 16th-century colonial manor house, which was built over an Inca complex and later occupied by the conquistadors of Peru. Its 11 suites surround an elegant courtyard, and the hotel offers a dining room, dining terrace, lounge and sitting area. La Casona graciously preserves the site's historic details while offering modern comfort and amenities. An exclusive boutique hotel experience, and one of the top options in Cusco.

*Includes: Breakfast

Upgrades and alternatives: Palacio Nazarenas, Palacio del Inka, and others
Day 11

Private Tour of Cusco: History, Culture, Architecture, and more

Sacsahuaman Fortress

Get to know Cusco with your knowledgeable private guide, visiting the historical highlights of this fascinating city. Visit Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you can enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area. Afterward enjoy the afternoon to explore more of the city on your own.

Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 12

Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Today you will say goodbye to your local guide and head to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

*Includes: Breakfast

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Take part in a Pachamanca, a traditional Andean cooking ceremony on the shores of Lake Piuray.

  • Add a few nights at Lake Titicaca, easily accessible from Cusco.

  • Add extra days in Lima or Cusco: Both are worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to ruins and historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

  • Include some downtime for rest and relaxation! Some free time to unwind or have a massage will allow you to feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of your trip. Many of our properties include excellent spas or wellness centers. We can help arrange these services or include properties that offer health & wellness amenities.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Reviews From This Trip

5 stars

  • We just loved everything about our Salkantay trek.
    Lucy Tremols
  • The third night, we camped at a sight which had breathtaking views of the mountains and a peek at Machu Picchu.
    Diane Saber
  • Just excellent - saw and learned so much!!
    Margaret Cheatle

Call us to start planning your journey today:


Inquire About This Trip

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