trip
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5
Moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 7 day trek
Accommodation
  • 8 nights hotel
  • 6 nights camping
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 14 Breakfasts

SPECIAL OFFER

15 Days$2570USD

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Enjoy $0 Deposit
on new bookings for a number of our trips

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: AAD

Trip highlights


  • Enjoy the lesser-trekked route to Mount Salcantay before walking the last day of the classic Inca Trail
  • Explore the iconic ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu at the best time of day
  • Trek among the lush valleys, alpine lakes and rugged snow-capped peaks of the Peruvian Andes
  • Experience historic Cusco along with world class restaurants, museums and galleries in the bustling capital of Lima
  • Be immersed in stunning landscapes and cultural encounters providing endless photo opportunities

Why Book With Us

  • Walk the remote Salkantay Base Camp Trek and the last day of the classic Inca Trail (KM104) - all combined in one trip.
  • Visit Machu Picchu on two occasions, in the morning and the afternoon.
  • Receive a duffle bag for the time of the trek and save money by using our gear pack while trekking including sleeping bag, fibre filled jacket, thermarest and more.
  • Stay energised with three hearty meals a day during the trek freshly prepared by our trained cooks. Water on trek also included.
  • Carry a day pack only during the trek. Personal gear and camping equipment will be carried by our crew and trek animals.
  • Safety is our foremost priority and we carry a portable altitude chamber, satellite phone and group medical kit on the trek.
  • Extra acclimatisation days built in while exploring Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of the trip included.

The soaring peaks of the Andes and the cultural legacies of the Incas are two of Peru’s most compelling attractions. We discover both and much more on this amazing two-week adventure. After savouring the historical and cultural highlights of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas while we take our time acclimatising, we commence our trek. This little-visited trail takes us through breathtaking mountain scenery as we make our way to the foothills of the majestic snow-capped peaks of Salcantay, Humantay and Huayanay. For a week we explore the stunning wilderness of the Peruvian Andes, following trails to 5,000 m in the Cordillera Vilcabamba and establishing camp beneath the spectacular 6,220m Mount Salcantay. This stunning trail is much quieter than the busier Inca Trail and is highly regarded by past trekkers. On the final day we join the classic Inca Trail for the unforgettable sight of Machu Picchu from the ‘Sun Gate’. Rather than rushing back to Cusco, we spend a night in nearby Aguas Calientes for a well-deserved soak in the local hot springs before heading back to Machu Picchu the next day at the best time, as the sun is rising over these dramatic ruins. If you’re looking for an unforgettable encounter with Peruvian culture, history and wilderness—one that gets you off the beaten track but takes in the must-see sights of Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu—then this is the adventure for you!


You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel where you are free to rest in the hotel or just wander around Miraflores, the area of Lima where our hotel is located. Some of Lima’s best galleries and shops and restaurants are located in this area. Founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, Lima is the oldest capital in South America, with a superb combination of Spanish Colonial and 19th century European architecture. If you have time to visit a museum we would recommend the brilliant Larco Herrera Museum which also has an excellent onsite restaurant or the Museo de La Nacion or the Larco Herrera Museum. Overnight: Casa Andina Standard Miraflores Centro or similar.

Meals:  Nil

Transfer to Lima airport and fly to Cusco (if you organise your own flights, please ask us for the group flight details before you book flights, otherwise additional airport transfer costs will apply). Try to get a seat on the left side of the aircraft for the best views of stunning snow peaks. After your transfer to our hotel located in the historic centre you will have some time to explore the city and also enjoy a few hours of rest, essential to initiate successful acclimatisation to the altitude. In the evening you will meet with your guide at 6pm at your hotel for an initial trip briefing and receive your kitbags and jackets for your trek. Overnight: Casa Andina Standard Cathedral or similar.

Meals:  B

Today we have a guided tour of Cusco and its nearby ruins. The city, once capital of the extensive Inca Empire, has seen many changes since Francisco Pizarro's men took the city with such apparent ease in November 1533. We explore the city by foot to appreciate its superbly constructed Inca walls and architecturally extravagant colonial churches and palaces. This also includes a visit of Koricancha, the Golden Temple of the Sun, in ancient times. After this we take a short drive to visit the monolithic walls of Sacsayhuaman along with Tambomachay, better known as ‘the bath of the Inca. Both sites are spectacularly set above the city. In the afternoon you may have time to explore some of the central parts of the city and a chance to look at some of the great varieties of local craft work on sale in open-air artisan markets and shops. Overnight: Casa Andina Standard Cathedral or similar.

Meals:  B

We leave Cusco and head to the Chinchero Plateau to explore Chinchero, an important town in Inca times. The most striking remnant of this period is the massive stone wall in the main plaza which has ten trapezoidal niches. There are beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the snow-capped peak of Salcantay dominating the western horizon. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. Next we visit the mysterious concentric circular terraces of Moray which, according to some scholars, could have been an agricultural research centre. From here we head to the salt mines of Maras. This village is a salt-producing centre that dates back all the way to pre-Inca times. There are thousands of salt pools all carved into the mountain side. Due to a change in regulations, visitors are not allowed to walk through the salt mine anymore to avoid contamination of the salt. We will go to a lookout point from where we have stunning views of the salt pools. From here we will walk for about 1 hour mainly downhill to Pichingoto. Enjoy this rarely walked path and soak up the incredible setting of the Sacred Valley. Our car will be waiting for us in Pichingoto and we drive to our hotel in Ollantaytambo. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the beauty of this famous town. Overnight: Tika Wasi Hotel or similar.

Meals:  B

Today we enjoy another day in this beautiful place. The valley actually follows the course of the famous Urubamba River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River. During our time in Ollantaytambo we visit its remarkable temple/fortress set high on a ridge above the village. The village itself is a fascinating mixture of Inca and Colonial architecture. If the weather is good and we have time we can enjoy some short walks in the valley - a good way to prepare for the trek ahead. This evening we have a pre-trek briefing with our trekking guide at our hotel and prepare for the trek. Overnight: Tika Wasi Hotel or similar.

Meals:  B

Today we have an early start as we begin our scenic 5-hour drive north to our trailhead at Challacancha, where we will meet up with our team of muleskinners and their pack animals to start our 7-day trek towards Salcantay and Machu Picchu! After a picnic lunch we start hiking steadily uphill towards our first night’s campsite close to Soraypampa at approximately 3,700m. Today we’ll get our first glimpse of Salcantay’s sister peak, Humantay (5,950 m / 19,700 ft). Overnight: Campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we’ll be woken early with hot tea brought to our tents and after breakfast we’ll get an early start on our day’s hiking. Depending on weather conditions and the group's preference, we'll hike up to beautiful Humantay Lake early in the morning (4,221m). We will return to Soraypampa and from here, we’ll hike for about 3 hours, steadily gaining altitude, before stopping for a lunch break at Salcantaypampa (4,150 m / 13,600 ft), set in front of an enormous mass of glacial moraine. After a rest we continue on for 2-3 hours of steady hiking towards at our next camp of Ichupata (4,400 m / 14,400 ft), set on the flanks of the majestic peak of Mt Salcantay (6,271m / 20,574 ft), which dominates the skyline for most of our trekking days. The camp at Ichupata is cold due to its proximity to the Salcantay massif, but since our cooks and pack animals will have set out earlier, we should find the camp already set up and a fresh pot of hot tea awaiting our arrival! Overnight: Campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hearty cooked breakfast we set off to hike across one of Salcantay’s ridges and over the mountain pass of Incachiriasca. At an elevation of 4,870 m / 15,970, Incachiriasca is the highest pass of our trek, offering us spectacular views of our dramatic surroundings. After a stop at the pass to rest and take photos, we head down to follow the ancient trail to our next camp at Acobamba, set on a lovely little plateau above Sisaypampa. Overnight: Campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Acobamba we descend into the scenic Pampacahuana valley, passing simple shepherd’s homes and scattered communities, and stopping to visit the extensive Incan ruins of Paucarcancha (3,350 m / 11,000 ft). From here we trek up the valley towards the Ancascocha Pass. Tonight we camp just above the small village of Q’esca, home to shepherds and potato farmers. (We might also consider staying higher up and taking an alternative route to Q’esca). Overnight: Campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

Another early morning today as we begin our climb up to the second high mountain pass of our trek, the Ancascocha Pass (4,695 m / 15,400 ft). From here we begin a steady descent, hiking through dramatic mountain scenery and passing two pretty alpine lakes known for their large trout. Tonight we camp near the small farming village of Ancascocha. Overnight: Campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Ancascocha we head down a narrow valley whose rivers run right down into the mighty Amazon. As we descend, the sparse alpine vegetation begins to change and we start to encounter larger trees—a good chance to spot some of the most common Andean birds in this region: the black-throated flowerpiercer, great sapphirewing, rusty-fronted canastero, creamy-crested spinetail, and, if we remember to look up, the endangered Andean condor—among the largest and heaviest flying birds in the world. Near the end of our day’s trek, we reach Hatunrumiyoq from where we’ll have incredible views of the rugged snow-capped peak of Mt Veronica (5,980 m / 19,500 ft). Tonight we camp near the large village of Chilca, and if time permits, our cooks will prepare a special ‘Pachamanca’—a traditional Peruvian feast of meat and vegetables cooked in the ground using hot stones. A good night’s sleep at this lower altitude will put us in good stead for tomorrow’s trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Overnight: Campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast we hike down to the railway at Chilca (4km) for a short drive to Ollantaytambo to take the tourist train to Km 104 from were we start our steep hike up to the important site of Wiñay Wayna. At this we continue the last section of the Inca Trail via Inti Punku where we get our first awe-inspiring views of the ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu. After a brief look at the site from above we head down by bus to our hotel in Aguas Calientes for a well-deserved soak in the nearby hot springs (optional). Overnight: El Mapi Hotel or similar. *Important: Peruvian authorities have implemented entry restrictions to protect Machu Picchu from the impact of its immense popularity. There are three time slots in which patrons can enter Machu Picchu for a maximum of four hours and must follow one of three predetermined routes. Admission is not allowed after 4pm. Additionally, all visitors must be accompanied by a guide at all times. These changes have been made to improve the visitor experience and in an effort to deal with overcrowding. World Expeditions endeavours to ensure you get the most of your Machu Picchu experience regardless of these restrictions. PLEASE NOTE: All trekking distances and walking hours per day are approximate and the length, distance per day, start and finish time can vary depending on the group size, ability and weather conditions.

Meals:  B,L

Today we start early to explore these remarkable and truly enigmatic ruins. We will enjoy a guided tour of the sanctuary followed by time to explore this fascinating site at your own pace (with the accompaniment of the guide). In the afternoon or early evening we depart from Machu Picchu for the train ride back to Ollantaytambo where we transfer to our vehicle for the drive back to Cusco. Here we transfer to our hotel for two nights. Overnight: Casa Andina Cathedral Hotel or similar. NB: Depending on train schedules, we may arrive into Cusco very late at night. OPTIONAL HUAYNA PICCHU CLIMB OR MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN CLIMB - For the more adventurous, you can purchase an additional Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain permit (ask us for costs), and forego the guided tour of Machu Picchu which is non-refundable and non-transferable. Please be aware that this is NOT a guided climb, and it takes a minimum of 3 hours return. Both climbs are very steep (including many small and narrow steps) and can be slippery and are very exposed with vertiginous drops. Before purchasing the permit on your behalf (non-refundable and non-transferable), we require any passengers to sign a waiver form. Note - there are limited Huayna Picchu permits and they sell out fast, if you are interested in this option, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.

Meals:  B

Today we have a free day in Cusco to relax and repack after our trek, or to enjoy a spot of souvenir shopping, choosing from a huge variety of expertly made Peruvian craft work—including alpaca sweaters and hats, vibrant textiles and weavings, ceramics and traditional Andean instruments. Overnight: Casa Andina Cathedral Hotel or similar.

Meals:  B

After breakfast we are transferred to the airport in Cusco where our trip concludes.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 14 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Airport transfers if arriving/departing on first or last day
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu on two occasions
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Group medical kit
  • Comfortable and central hotels primarily Casa Andina Classic hotels
  • Private internal transportation
  • The use of a gear pack including sleeping bag, fibre filled jacket, thermarest and headtorch
  • Group camping equipment & porters to carry personal gear
  • Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed (including Machu Picchu entrance fee)

  • International flights and taxes
  • Internal flights Flights Lima/Cusco/Lima are not included. The domestic flights in Peru will be quoted separately as they can often change considerably and depends on the international airline that you fly with to Peru. Certain airlines flying to Peru offer special discounted fares for domestic flights if booked in conjunction with the international ticket. Domestic flights have become increasingly expensive, and rather than charge everyone a set amount, our intention is to find you the best possible domestic flight deal in conjunction with your international ticket. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more details and a flight quote. If you are booking the internal flights yourself, please contact us so we can advise which flights are suitable.
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Visas
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Excess baggage costs
  • Medical treatment
  • Cost of laundry and alcoholic beverages (except wine on last trek day)

Accommodation


Departure dates


Notes

Note:
Flights Lima/Cusco/Lima are not included
1
This trip has been confirmed below our normal minimum group size. There may be a small surcharge to pay if you join this departure, which will be removed if minimum numbers are met. Please ask us for details regarding the additional cost.

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Total Priceper person from

$2570USD

Your trip price includes:

  • Park Fees valued at USD$122
Options & Supplements*
  • Tent only Single SupplementUSD$90
  • Single SupplementUSD$520
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Salcantay Base Camp to Machu Picchu Trek trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Videos

Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu - The Best Alternative to the Inca Trail

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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