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Salkantay Trekking & Inca Trail Hike

This trek is for those travellers who wish to get off the typical path but still experience a wilderness trek and the original Inca Trail. It is a fabulous trek taking you right from the watershed of the Apurimac River to the Urubamba River and around the stunning Mount Salkantay, which is the second largest mountain in Cusco region (6,277m/20,577ft). This spectacular trail twists and turns, ascends through high mountain ranges descends down steep cliffs and ridges passing intimately through misty cloud forest. The wildest landscapes and distallation of the oldest traditions and finest buildings on the planet, a number of diverse ecological zones filled with an enormous variety of plants and bird life. The ancient and remote foot path passes through archaeological sites which lead you to the ethnic and cultural exchanges of Machu Picchu itself.

Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Lake – Salkantaypampa

At 5am, we pick you up at your hotel and we drive you in our private van to Soraypampa for 3.5 hours. Along the way  you can enjoy some spectacular views of villages such as: Iscuchaca and Limatambo, stunning valleys and snow-capped mountains such as Salkantay. At the trailhead (Soraypampa), we have a hot breakfast and enjoy the amazing views of Humantay (5,900m/19,356ft) and Salkantay (6,217m/20,396ft) Mountain glaciers.  We take a 2.5 hour roundtrip hike up to see the turquoise colored Humantay Lake and later on,  we gently ascend to Salkantaypampa, where we will camp. We enjoy our afternoon tea time,  coffee, or hot chocolate. The views on this day are truly breathtaking.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea Time & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 13kms/8.1 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Salkantaypampa – Pampajaponesa

Today, 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 away from the snowcapped mountain Salkantay. On the way, we will enjoy the magnificent views of all the surrounding snowcapped mountains, glacial lakes and amazing valleys. We have afternoon tea or coffee at our campsite.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea Time & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 14kms/8.7 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 3: Pampajaponesa – Sisaypampa

Our day begins with a slow uphill climb of approximately 4 hours to reach the Incachiriaska Pass (4,880m/16,010ft) which translates to (the place where the Inca cools down).  Around this area in the rocky crags, lives the Andean Condorthe world’s largest flying bird. From here the trail levels off downhill and we reach our campsite for the night at Sisaypampa.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea Time & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 10kms/6.2 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4: Sisaypampa – Wayllabamba – Llulluchapampa

After a tasty breakfast we start hiking to the end of the valley, which then enters a wider valley called Pampacahua. There, 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 that we explore before arriving to Wayllabamba for lunch. Then, we walk for 3 more hours through the Llullucha Valley to reach our campsite at Llulluchapampa where we enjoy our afternoon tea in front of all the great views.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 11kms/6.8 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 5: Lluluchapampa – Pacaymayu – Phuyupatamarca

Early in the morning we take our breakfast and we start our climb for about 2 hours following an original Inca stone path and trek up to the Warmiwañusqa Pass (4,217m/14,047ft), where we have a magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us. We descend on a reconstructed Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayu River and have lunch. Afterwards, we walk uphill for 2 more hours towards Runcurakay Pass (3,977m/13,127ft).  From this vantage point, we enjoy the unbelievable views of all the surrounding mountains.  Then, we descend  for 3 more hours to Phuyupatamarca (3,650m/12,047ft), where we spend the night.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 16kms/9.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Challenge

Day 6: Phuyupatamarca – Wiñay wayna – Aguas Calientes

Today is the most beautiful day of our trek. We have our breakfast early in the morning enjoying the sun rise, the Urubamba Canyon,the Machu Picchu Mountain and the stunning Inca sites.  After that, we descend for 2 hours through the cloud forest to Wiñay wayna for lunch. Then, we walk for 1 hour to the Sun Gate, from here you can enjoy your first breathtaking view of Machu Picchu and all the surrounding mountains. Afterwards, we descend to the citadel and take our shuttle to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in a hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel or Andean Terra Hotel
  • Distance: 12kms/7.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 7: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

We leave our hotel after a very early breakfast, around 5:30am to take the bus up to Machu Picchu ruins in time for sunrise. Once inside the citadel, we are provided a  2 hour guided tour with plenty of free time for further exploring, taking photos and the option to climb Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain or hike up to the Sun Gate. Then, back to Aguas Calientes, to enjoy a late lunch and at 4:22pm we take our return Expedition train to Ollantaytambo with a van connection to Cusco arriving at your hotel in the evening around 8PM.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy

Inclusions

WHAT IS INCLUDED

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel for free
  • Pick up at your hotel in the morning of the trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to Soraypampa (starting point of the trek)
  • Entrance fee to the Inca Trail
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu
  • English-speaking, experienced professional guide
  • Private guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Comfortable tents (sleeping 2 people in a 4 person tent)
  • All camping equipment such as: dining tent, table, chairs, kitchen tent and toilet tent
  • All the gear for our porters and cook
  • 3 Bus tickets Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
  • First Aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Expedition Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco
  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes on the last day
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes with private room and bathroom
  • Horseman and mules, to carry all camping and personal equipment (7 kilos of your personal items such as extra clothes, you need to include the sleeping bag in the 7kgs, carried by our mules)
  • Provision of a horse in case of emergency such as illness, to ensure trek can be completed by all participants
  • Thick Foam Mattress
  • Boiled water for drinking and washing purposes
  • Taxes
  • Survivor T-shirt

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED   

  • Sleeping bag 15°C –$25 USD
  • Air Mattress –$25 USD
  • Walking Poles –$20 USD
  • Dinner on the last day
  • Entry to Huaynapicchu –$75 USD
  • Entry to Machu Picchu Mountain –$70 USD
  • Extra activities such as zip line and barbecues
  • Additional horse for extra personal luggage in addition of the one for personal item allowance
  • Optional upgrade (train and hotel)
  • Tips for the cook, horsemen and guide (SAM TRAVEL PERU´s staff receive decent wages immediately after they end their trip. However tips are  of great appreciation for them)

Price

The 7 day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is available on any date that suits you. We just require a minimum of 2 persons to book.

No. OF PEOPLE PRICE
2 to 8 people $ 997 USD per person

Personal porter included!

***This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kgs, we will provide you a duffel bag, you may put your things.

***We provide large Eureka 4 man tents for each 2 trekkers.

DISCOUNTS

  • 18 to 25 years old:$30 USD. Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
  • Under 18 years old:$30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old:$40 USD.  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.

EXTRAS

  • Sleeping Bag –$20 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
  • Air Mattress –$20 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles –$15 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal tent- $30 USD – (Tent for single trekkers only)
  • Additional Night in Aguas Calientes – From $60 USD  (depending on availability)
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade  – $57 USD per person (For the return to Poroy at 4:43 pm)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain  –$75 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Machu Picchu  Mountain – $70 USD per person  (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Single supplement – $30 USD per night (for solo travellers with single room)

ADDED VALUE WITH SAM TRAVEL PERU

  • EXTRA PORTER: you will receive a small duffel bag at your trek briefing held the evening before you start the trek to pack your clothes and sleeping bag for 3-4 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trail
  • HOT SHOWER – only at the 3rd campsite (Wiñay wayna)
  • BOILED WATER – for drinking  included along the Inca Trail.
  • PLASTIC RAIN PONCHO  –made by SAM Travel Peru is included
  • SMALL GROUPS  – average group 4 to 6 with a maximum of 8 hikers
  • FLUENT ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE
  • DUFFEL BAG – for your belongings

IF THE CLASSIC INCA TRAIL SOLD OUT

FOR YOUR DESIRED DATES?

If permits are sold out for the Classic Inca Trail on your preferred date, 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.

***Sam Travel Peru Requires only a 2 participant minimum for our departures! “You can Chose any day that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 trekkers.

***If you are a single traveller 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.

ALTERNATIVE TREK OPTIONS: 

  • LARES TREK 4D/3N
  • SALKANTAY TREK 5D/4N
  • HUCHUY QOSQO 3D/2N
  • CHOQUEKIRAW TREK 8D/7N or 4D/3N
  • AUSANGATE RAINBOW TREK 6D/5N or 4D/3N 

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 (they must to complete and accurate)
You must bring the same passport with you to Cusco and take it with you on the Inca Trail. 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.

RENEWAL OR CHANGE OF NAME ON PASSPORT

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 $25 USD per person. (This will cover the change in 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 the original of both passports (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 the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!

Important Info

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Please read the following information carefully; it will help answer all of your questions about our services and the trek to Machu Picchu

ARRIVAL TO CUSCO

You will be welcomed at 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 arrival. Look out for our representative holding an orange board reading SAM Travel Peru at the arrival terminal. It can be done on any date that is best suited to you!

THE BRIEFING

It will take place the night before the trekking departure at 6pm in our office which is located at Calle Santa Teresa  Nº383; 303 (first floor), we are next to SUBWAY restaurant.

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE:

Absolutely! During the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are free.

HOW TO BOOK:

FIRST, to book your Salkantay to Machu Picchu trek, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our home page or click here on the link BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase an Inca Trail permit without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of $286.00 USD per person in order to purchase a permit for the Trek.  You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA, MASTERCARD, DINER´S CLUB, AMERICAN EXPRESS or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA, MASTERCARD, DINER´S CLUB, AMERICAN EXPRESS or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.

WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?

It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many ATMs within the historical center to withdraw money.  You can also pay by VISA, MASTERCARD, DINER´S CLUB, AMERICAN EXPRESS or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA, MASTERCARD, DINER´S CLUB, AMERICAN EXPRESS and PAYPAL.  To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of samtravelperu@gmail.com. 

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?

  1. According to Peruvian Law, you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need student cards). For example: if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
  2. All students from 11 to 17 years, the discount is $30.
  3. For children from the age of 2 to 11 the discount is $40.
  4. Children under the age of 2 are free.
  5. All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
  6. Send us a copy at info@samtravelperu.com

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?

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 transferrable nor refundable.  If you cancel your Inca Trail Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN THE SALKANTAY TREKKING TO MACHU PICCHU?

Weather on Salkantay trek is very varied, due to the fact that it winds its way through wildly different terrain at different altitudes. The only place where weather is a serious concern is the Salkantay Pass, and the nearby areas. Temperatures here, and at the nearby Soraypampa campsite, can fall below freezing. The other camps are much warmer, due to their proximity to the cloud forest.

  • The months September, October, November and December have a nice average temperature.
  • On average, the warmest month is September.
  • On average, the coolest month is January.

We highly recommend you to bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS ON SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS?

For some visitors, the first hours in Cusco can be summarized as: shortness of breath, a discomfort in the body, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, even vomiting. As great connoisseurs of natural medicine, the Incas used coca leaves to counteract soroche, quechua for high-altitude sickness.

Don’t do anything other than rest

If you travel from Lima to Cusco, the effect can be immediate. This lack of oxygen, scientifically known as hypoxia, begins to manifest itself at 7,874 ft (2,399 m) above sea level. That’s why right after landing in Cusco, visitors can feel fatigued and have difficulty walking. Walking one block could feel like walking ten blocks carrying a backpack full of rocks. It is advisable to take it really easy on the first day and, if possible, rest the first few hours to help the body acclimatize to the altitude.

Stay hydrated

How do people feel after a night of drinking? Thirsty. That’s how you’ll feel when you arrive in Cusco. As already stated, the body dehydrates quickly in high altitudes. It is recommended you drink lots of water before and during your trip to Cusco. Also, avoid heavy meals since your stomach takes longer to digest food at high altitudes. A diet of low proteins and high carbs is advisable.

Discovering coca

No one knew better the effects of high altitude than indigenous peoples. Coca is the best natural medicine to combat altitude sickness. It was even considered sacred because of its curative powers and is still used in the same way now as it was in the time of the Incas. It contains iron, vitamins A, B1, B2 and calcium, among other nutrients. Coca makes it easier for your bloodstream to absorb oxygen, suppresses hunger, combats fatigue, headaches and can ease your stomach. If you do not feel like chewing leaves (which can be bitter, apart from numbing your mouth), you can try drinking coca tea, which is most commonly found in the lobby of hotels in Cusco.

DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ?

DEFINITELY! 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 1 day  Inca Trail Machu Picchu permit.  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.

IS THE TREK DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?

In preparation: try walking 15kms in a day or go to the 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 (3,350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.

ARE WE DROPPED OFF AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE TREK?

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 there too!
If you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, we wil pick you up there.

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. 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 SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you feel, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip.

ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?

Yes, we are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator for 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 its people.

Packing list

WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Valid University card (if you booked as a student)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage:  2-3L (Camelbaks are encouraged)
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from SAM Travel)
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Toilet paper

WHAT TO PUT IN THE DUFFEL BAG

As a Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffel bag at your briefing and  INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14lbs including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.

  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants at least
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Couple Fleece / Thermals
  • Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º C
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash
  • Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them
  • Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us for $20 USD

TOILETRIES

  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal medications
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc

WHAT TO PUT IN THE DAY BACKPACK

We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40L 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.

  • Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water  at every meal time. Please bring your canteens
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Wool Hat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Coca leaves
  • Rain plastic poncho (provided by SAM)
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
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