Alternative Inca Trail Group Salkantay Trek | Discover South America

Alternative Inca Trail Group Salkantay Trek

Cusco Map
5 days / 4 nights from £655 per person Based on two people sharing double or twin rooms in standard accommodation. Flights are available separately.
Pick & Mix tour in Peru

Trek the challenging but spectacular Salktantay trail to Machu Picchu.  This 5 day / 4 night trek takes you past glacial lakes and snow capped peaks, then down through the cloud forest filled with lush green plantlife, hummingbirds and orchids before arriving to Puente Ruinas at the base of Machu Picchu mountain. On the final day you will explore the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu before returning to Cusco.  One of the best alternative Inca Trails!

Date

City

Activity

Overnight

Meals*

Day 1

Cusco

Mollepata to Soraypampa

Soraypampa

L, D

Day 2

Cusco

Mighty Salkantay and surrounding mountains

Colcapampa

B, L, D

Day 3

Cusco

Cloud Forest to La Playa

La Playa

B, L, D

Day 4

Cusco

Llactapata

Aguas Calientes

B, L

Day 5

Aguas Calientes

Machu Picchu guided tour

 

B

* B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner


This is a very challenging trek – you will need to be fit enough to walk for 6-8 hours per day and be acclimatised to the altitude.

Day 1: Mollepata to Soraypampa

Today you will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco at 5am to travel by bus to Mollepata.  You will then walk for 3 hours until arriving at Cruzpata where you will have lunch with panoramic views of beautiful snow-capped mountains (Humantay; 4120m/13500ft and Salkantay; 6271m/20575ft) – just the start!  You will continue trekking towards Soraypampa, your first campsite (4000m/12750ft; the highest and coldest campsite of the trip) taking in the beautiful landscape along the way.

Day 2: Mighty Salkantay and surrounding mountains

You will have breakfast at around 5.30am and begin your walk to the highest pass on this trek (4650m/15200ft) located halfway between two huge mountains; Salkantay on the right and Tucarhuay on the left.  From the pass, the views of the two snow-capped mountains are incredible. There is a possibility of snow here.  After a rest, you will continue your walk (downhill) through a dramatic cloud forest towards Huayracpunku (also known as Huayracmachay), where you will have lunch.  After lunch you will set off again towards the jungle until you reach (in 3 hours+/-) your second campsite, Colcapampa (3000m/9800ft).  Other possible campsites are Challway and Andenes (depends on the group pace/person's pace).

Day 3: Cloud Forest to La Playa

After breakfast at 6.30am, you start trekking for the day through the upper jungle crossing the Lluskamayo River and a variety of little brooks. Today you will pass through valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls, tropical fruits and plants.  You will camp in La Playa (2500m/8200ft) with a warm climate.  After a rest, you will (optionally) go to the hot springs and enjoy the well-deserved soothing water, a real treat after finishing the trek!

Day 4: Llactapata

You will have breakfast at 6.30am and then head for Llactapata (3 hours of steady climbing).  Llactapata is an incredible Inca fort from which you will see Machu Picchu!  After some photos and a rest you will continue walking downhill (2 more hours) passing a variety of crop plantations, coca, banana etc. until you reach the hydroelectric station.  At about 4pm, you will go by train to Aguas Calientes town where you will spend the night.

Optional: In Aguas Calientes, you can take advantage of the thermal springs in the town (entrance 10 soles).

Day 5: Machu Picchu

You will have breakfast at 5am then catch one of the first buses (5.30am) to Machu Picchu (25-minute ride) in order to appreciate the magnificent city as the sun is rising.  A walking tour (approximately 2 hours) is given by your Guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves.  If you still have energy you can also climb Huayna Picchu (2720m/8890ft).  It takes 45 minutes to reach the top (this is an extra walk and must be booked in advance; please tell us at the time of booking if you would like to climb this mountain).

You will meet your guide back in Aguas Calientes (reached by bus or on foot) for lunch and to be given your train tickets back to Cusco.  The train usually leaves at around 4pm and you will arrive back in Cusco at about 8pm.


Included:
  • Professional, bilingual Tour Guide 
  • Collection from hotel
  • Return transportation from Cusco
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Single bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 afternoon snacks (hot drinks, biscuits and popcorn) and 3 dinners
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Cook
  • 4 man tent is provided for every 2 people
  • Sleeping mattresses (foam)
  • Horseman and mules (they carry cooking and camping equipment and up to 7 kilos of tourists’ belongings)
  • Extra oxygen
  • First Aid kit
  • Vegetarian/special diet options available (please advise us at time of making your booking)
  • Spare blanket per tent
Not Included:
  • Sleeping bag (can be hired locally)
  • Unspecified meals and services
  • Optional tips for Guides and/ or Drivers
  • International and domestic flights
  • Airport taxes

Click on image to enlarge
Packing List
  • Original passport (and valid ISIC card if applicable)
  • Insurance details
  • Sleeping bag
  • Walking boots
  • Sandals (for the campsites)
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Thermal & fleece layers
  • Body warmer or down jacket
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable trousers and shorts
  • Bathing suit for optional hot springs visits
  • Sun hat
  • Small day backpack
  • Sun cream (factor 30+ recommended)
  • Insect repellant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Personal toiletries and medication
  • Camera, memory card and batteries
  • Torch and batteries (head torch best)
  • Cash for snacks and optional tips
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Water purification tablets (micropur)
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Plasters (optional - full first aid kit will be carried)
All our tours are fully customisable - please ask us about any changes you would like to make to this itinerary.