trip
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3
Introductory

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 4 day trek
Accommodation
  • 3 nights hotel
  • 3 nights camping
Meals
  • 3 Dinners
  • 4 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days$1799USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

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: STM

Trip highlights


  • Trek the picturesque Salcantay region with dramatic mountain scenery & enjoy 3 hearty meals a day on trek prepared by our cooks
  • Hike up the Salcantay Pass (4,638m) and admire the amazing views
  • Discover the enigmatic ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Journey to the beautiful Sacred Valley and the village of Ollantaytambo
  • Undertake a trek through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations, enjoying scenic lunch stops

Arguably the best short trek alternative to the classic Inca Trail. Our Salcantay Trek follows an ancient Inca trail located in the same region as the Inca Trail where dramatic mountain scenery is complemented with lush sub tropical jungle. There are also two very interesting Inca sites on this route one on the drive to the trailhead and another on the last day of the trail. These add a further dimension to this trek which also includes spectacular close up views of Mount Salcantay regarded by the locals as sacred and certainly one of the most stunning snowpeaks in the Peruvian Andes. The highest point on this alternative trek is the Salcantay Pass at 4,638m which is slightly higher than the highest point on the classic Inca Trail at Warmihuañusca Pass at 4,200m. Discover the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu before returning to Cusco.


This morning you will be collected from your hotel in central Cusco at 9am (please ensure you advise your reservations consultant of your pre tour hotel details if you have not booked this with World Expeditions). A first trip briefing will be conducted during the drive to the Sacred Valley. 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 discover 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 over 3000 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: Tikawasi Hotel

Meals:  Nil

Today we enjoy another day in the beautiful Sacred Valley with a tour of Ollantaytambo. During our time in Ollantaytambo we visit its remarkable temple/fortress set high on a ridge above the village. We also explore the quaint village itself with a fascinating mixture of Inca and Colonial architecture. This evening we have a pre-trek briefing with our trekking guide and prepare for our trek. Overnight: Tikawasi Hotel or similar.

Meals:  B

After an early breakfast we visit the Tarawasi Archaeological Site near the town of Limatambo. Pass through the mountain village of Mollepata, where we stop for coffee before ascending a winding mountain road to Challacancha (3,870m). Here we will meet our mule driver and begin our trek to Soraypampa (3,900m) where we have lunch. Continue the climb towards the stunning Humantay Lake (4,221m). Return back to Soraypampa, which will be the first campsite, and from where we enjoy magnificent views of Salcantay Mountain (6,270m). One of the most sacred peaks in Inca mythology. Overnight: camp

Meals:  B,L,D

This is the main day! After an early breakfast, we hike up to the highest point on the trek which is the Salcantay Pass (4,638m). There we will stop to enjoy the amazing views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range in every direction, and the glaciated south face of Salcantay towering above us, where Andean condors can be seen. From the pass we descend towards Wayracmachay to lunch and then continue our descent along the left bank of the Salcantay River. Observe the landscape become increasingly green, changing from highland to jungle or cloud forest. Feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colourful butterflies and striking orchids, while arriving to the second camp at Andenes (2,890m), a beautiful spot surrounded with vegetation. Overnight: camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will hike along the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas. We pass through banana, granadilla, avocado and coffee plantations. A hot picnic lunch is served along the way. After lunch, we hike for about 2 hours before a private vehicle meets us for a short drive to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail (30min approx). From the head of the newly restored Inca Trail we easily make our way to the last campsite at Lucmabamba. In the evening we try some of the local coffee with our host, a local family. Dinner will be served and then spend the night in the camp. Overnight: camp

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we will head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,735m) and descend to the archaeological complex of the same name. Enjoy a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers get the chance to admire. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. Later we begin the final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Finally, we will get to the Hydroelectric Power Station, to board the train to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night. Overnight: El Mapi hotel or similar.

Meals:  B,L

This morning we get up early to savour the views and atmosphere of the mystical morning light over Machu Picchu. 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 where the trip concludes. 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. *Important: Peruvian authorities have implemented entry restrictions to protect Machu Picchu from the impact of its immense popularity. As of 1st July 2017 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.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

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


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Pick up from Cusco hotel on day 1
  • Comfortable and central hotels
  • Expert bilingual guide for each section
  • Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed (including Machu Picchu entrance fee)
  • The use of a gear pack including sleeping bag, fibre filled jacket, thermarest and headtorch
  • Group camping equipment
  • Pack animals or Porters to carry personal gear
  • Private internal transportation
  • Group medical kit

  • International flights and taxes
  • Airport transfers
  • Cost of laundry and alcoholic beverages
  • Excess baggage costs
  • Medical treatment
  • Visa costs
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)

About Your Leader

Our Salcantay Trek guides are bilingual and many of our treks are conducted in English as well as Spanish.


Departure dates

Weekly every Wednesday from March to December

Notes

Note:
As our journey will commence early on day one, it is imperative you arrive the day before the trip commences. We can assist with hotel bookings, ask us for details.

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$1799USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement Tent Only - Salcantay TrekUSD$90
  • Single SupplementUSD$190
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Salcantay Trek & Machu Picchu 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


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

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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