Salkantay & Inca Trail was created for those trekkers who wish to get off the beaten track, experience a wilderness trek like the Salkantay trek and also have the privilege of hiking on the original Inca Trail. It is a wonderful trek that takes you, through the watershed of the Apurimac to the Urubamba. Travel to mountain glaciered lakes, and around the stunning Mount Salkantay, which is the second largest mountain in the Cusco region (6,277m /20,577ft).
You’ll trek through beautiful green valleys and camp next to turquoise lakes. As you trek, you’ll encounter many fascinating Inca archaeological sites and enjoy a wide variety of flora, fauna and wildlife. When you connect with the Inca Trail you will experience what it was like for the Inca people to enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate and you will be rewarded with magnificent views of Machu Picchu. Finally, you get to explore the corners and surprises of the Citadel of Machu Picchu. This trek is truly an Andean odyssey you cannot miss!
We drive from Cusco by bus for approximately 4 hours to Mollepata for breakfast. We begin our trek at Marccoccasa. Here we meet up with our wranglers, their mules and horses that will carry our equipment during the trek. The trail climbs for approximately 2 hour before reaching Pajonales, from where we get our first view of the magnificent snow-capped mountain of Humantay (5,917m/19,412ft). We pass many glacial rivers as we continue our trek for about another 2 hours before reaching the small indigenous community and picturesque spot of Soraypampa. We stop here to take a break and have our lunch. In the afternoon we continue walking for about 2 more hours to reach Soraypampa, which is nestled in-between the Snow Mountains. We will camp within a perfect viewpoint to enjoy the snow-capped peak of Salkantay Mountain (6,277mt/20,593ft).
We continue walking off the beaten track for about 3 hours uphill. We stop to take lunch along the way and continue our trek for 3 more hours to reach our campsite which is approximately 1km/.6mls away from the snow-capped mountain Salkantay. On the way we will enjoy the breath taking views of all the surrounding snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and amazing valleys. We have afternoon tea and hot toddy at the camp.
Our day begins with a slow uphill climb of approximately 4 hours to reach the Incachiriaska Pass (4,880m) which translates as “the place where the Inca cools down.” Around this area, in the rocky crags, lives the Andean Condor, the world’s largest bird. If we are lucky we may get to view this magnificent bird flying. From here the trail levels off downhill and we reach our campsite for the night at Sisaypampa.
We continue to the end of the valley, which then enters a wider valley named Pampacahua. Here we find an Inca canal that is still in full use by the local farming settlements. At the end of the Pampa we find our first Inca archaeological site named Paucarcancha and take time to explore it. Arriving to Wayllabamba we have lunch, and then continue for another 3 hours through the Llullucha Valley to reach our campsite in Llullucha Pampa, where we enjoy our dinner and afternoon tea while taking in all of the incredible views.
Early in the morning we have our breakfast and afterwards start our climb for about 2 hours following an original Inca stone path and trek up to the Warmiwañusqa Pass (4,217m/14,047ft). Here, we can take in the magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us. We descend on the Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayu River where we have lunch. After lunch we walk uphill for 2 more hours towards the Runcurakay Pass. From here we enjoy the unbelievable views of all the surrounding mountains. Afterwards we descent for 3 more hours to Phuyupatamarca, where we spend the night.
Today is one of most beautiful on our trek. We have our breakfast early in the morning enjoying the sun rise, Urubamba Canyon, Machu Picchu Mountain and the stunning Inca sites. After some time enjoying all the enchanting sights, we descend for 2 hours through the Peruvian cloud forest to Wiñaywayna for lunch, then we continue for another hour to the Sun Gate. On arrival at the Sun Gate be enthralled by the breath-taking views of Machu Picchu and all the surrounding mountains. Afterwards we continue to Machu Picchu, and we take our bus to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night in a hotel.
We leave our hotel after a very early breakfast to take the bus for the journey up to Machu Picchu ruins to enjoy the sunrise. Once inside the Machu Picchu ruins we enjoy a guided 2 hour tour with plenty of free time for further exploring, taking photos and the option to climb Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain at an extra fee. Then back to Aguas Calientes, we make a stop for lunch and take the 4:22pm train to Ollantaytambo with a van connection to Cusco, arriving at your hotel around 8.00pm
If permits are sold out for the Classic Inca Trail on your preferred date,” don’t get stressed out,” you have so many options that will still allow you to trek and enjoy the Andes on the way to MACHU PICCHU. Alternative treks are just as beautiful as the Inca Trail. They are less crowded because we take you OFF the beaten track” in the Andes and we make sure you don’t miss anything on your trek to MACHU PICCHU.
INCA TRAIL HIKE Requires only a 2 participant minimum for our departures! “You can choose any day that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 trekkers.”
If you are a single traveler and are flexible with your start date, we will make sure you have a group to travel with and you won’t miss out on any of the fun.
Important Note: We will buy your Inca Trail trek permit using the names and passport numbers that you send us with your trek booking application (It must be completed in full and accurately)
You must bring the same passport with you to Cusco and take it with you on the Inca Trail.
Very Important Note: If the name or number on your passport does not match the name and number on the trek permit, the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund.
If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you mustsend us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them. We can then make the change with the government before you arrive. The extra cost to do the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change of number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and Train.)
If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring both passports originals (the old and new one). You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trial, Machu Picchu or Train. “If you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by government officials. All names and numbers must match!
“Please read the following information carefully; it will help answer most of your questions about our services and the alternative trek to Machu Picchu”
You will be welcomed at the airport in Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to your trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board with INCA TRAIL HIKE at the arrivals terminal. You must exit the terminal in order to find our representative (they cannot enter inside). Pick ups are available on any day of the week.
It will take place the night before the trekking departure at 6pm in our office which is located at Garcilaso Street 210 , Office Nº:213 (2nd Floor) in the la CASA DEL ABUELO shopping center.
Of course! During the Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both are free. Please don´t pack anything in your stored luggage that you will need during your hike.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase an Inca Trail permit without the following information:
SECOND, we require a deposit of US$200.00 per person in order to purchase a permit for the Salkantay – Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu. You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page or booking page.
It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of email@example.com.
Unfortunately the answer is “No”. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the ticket has been bought. Tickets are also not transferable nor refundable.
If you cancel your Salkantay – Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu Trek, the deposit is non-refundable!
Yes for sure! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu permit. The rangers will check every day and when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train. In case you are renewing your passport, go ahead and send us your old number to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number…if so, please send the new passport number as soon as possible.
First I would say that the weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. BUT you will have many different varieties of weather as you pass through the numerous microclimates and will depend on the location. We highly recommend you to bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack. Think dressing in layers.
In general if you have regular exercise and spend a couple of days in Cusco, or in the Sacred Valley for acclimatisation to the altitude, you may be fine.
The recommended medicine for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. See our detailed information about Altitude Sickness under FAQS.
We offer the Cusco City Tour or Sacred Valley Tour that you can book while you are acclimatizing. Check out our Day Tours on our Home Page.
The maximum group size is 8 people. Usually our groups are between 2-6 people. INCA TRAIL HIKE specializes in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provides personalized service
You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, there will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.
The evening before you start your Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/15lbs. Your team of porters will carry your duffle bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually a 30 to 50 litre backpack is sufficient.
The Salkantay – Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu is a 76km (47.2 mile) hike through the Andes in the Cusco region. You will reach a maximum altitude of 4,880m/16,010ft. This Trail is fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and exercise regularly.
In preparation: try walking 15kms a day or go to a fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.
It has been highlighted by most of our clients, especially by females who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet! INCA TRAIL HIKE toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.” Check out the picture, which illustrates how we set up our camping toilet on the trek by using this link: picture of toilet tent. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite. At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean, unlike the dirty facilities supplied by the government.
In the event that you are unable to finish the trek due to health reasons, INCA TRAIL HIKE will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the trek.
Generally those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to Ollantaytambo and if they recover quickly they continue the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to the original plan.
Absolutely! Included in our packages is dropping you off at your hotel on the return from your trek or tour. If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you off there too!
If you spend the night in Ollantaytambo before the trek, we will pick you up from there.
It will depend on train availability but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and a chance to enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. Therefore you will take the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu.
For sure you may upgrade to Vistadome train which has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceilings. You will be offered some snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price is US$67 per person which includes the transfer from Poroy (Cusco) train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to the Vistadome Train, the trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy (Cusco), takes 3.5 hours, and then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Usually our clients are back at their hotel by 8pm. If you plan to take the bus to Puno on the same night, that is totally possible.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many INCA TRAIL HIKE destinations. Of course you are free to tip what you feel is sufficient, depending on your perception on the quality of service and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator in that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand and respect the local places and it´s people.
As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 15 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.
We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40Litres for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.