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Sacred Mountains High Trail

This stunning adventure combines time in the Incan royal city of Cusco with an exhilarating trek along the remote high trails of Peru's sacred mountains. After a few days discovering the architecture and history of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas crucial to our acclimatisation for the high altitude trekking ahead we head to the Chinchero Plateau to discover the rich tradition of back-strap loom weaving and visit the Inca salt pans of Maras. We'll get to explore the ancient village of Ollantaytambo, before joining up with our trekking crew and pack animals to begin our trek through Peru's sacred mountains. Over the course of the next seven days we trek beneath the flanks of two imposing peaks Humantay (5,950 m) and Salcantay (6,270 m) with excellent views of their sister peaks Pumasillo (5,991 m), Veronica (5,820 m) and Ausangate (6,384 m). We take a remote route over a number of high passes and through a handful of wonderful traditional Quechua villages. Our last days are spent exploring the enigmatic ruins of Machu Picchu and soaking in the hot springs at Aguas Calientes, before returning to Cusco to continue exploring its Spanish taverns, cathedrals and colourful Quechua markets. If you're a keen trekker and you want to trek away from the main tourist tracks along remote and stunning trails, and gain a real insight into the traditional lifestyle of the Andean people, then this is the trek for you!


13 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
Airport transfers if arriving/departing on first or last day
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)
Splendid churches, cathedrals and vibrant markets of Cusco, the royal capital of the Inca Empire
Visiting ancient ruins and salt pans in the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas
Trekking among the dramatic Andean wilderness and rugged snowcapped peaks of Peru's sacred mountains
Exploring the mind-boggling 'lost city' of Machu Picchu on two occasions, and at the best times of day
Supported wilderness camping and 3 hearty meals a day while on trek
Stunning landscapes and cultural encounters providing endless photo opportunities
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
Price From
AUD $3,340
Start Location
Cusco, Peru
End Location
Age Range
Avg. 100+
Group Size
4 to 16
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Adventure, Cycling/Trekking
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
08 Jul 201821 Jul 2018AvailableAUD $3,340
05 Aug 201818 Aug 2018AvailableAUD $3,340
09 Sep 201822 Sep 2018AvailableAUD $3,340
07 Apr 201920 Apr 2019AvailableAUD $3,340
05 May 201918 May 2019AvailableAUD $3,340
09 Jun 201922 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $3,340
07 Jul 201920 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $3,340
04 Aug 201917 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $3,340
08 Sep 201921 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $3,340
Day 1
You'll be met at the airport and transferred from Cusco airport to our hotel located in the historic centre where 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.
Day 2
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.
Day 3
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. We walk down through the salt pans to the Sacred valley for a lunch break before heading to our hotel in Ollantaytambo. The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy beauty of this famous valley. This evening we have a pre-trek briefing with our trekking guide and prepare for our trek. Overnight: Tika Wasi Hotel or similar.
Day 4
Today we drive along the narrow Pacchar valley to Huarocondo on the Pampa de Anta, and continue on to Limatambo where we'll stop to explore an Incan archaeological site. We then continue on to the village of Mollepata (3,400 m / 11,155 ft), where we will meet up with our team of muleskinners and their pack animals and join our trekking trailhead. After a picnic lunch we start hiking steadily uphill (3-4 hours) towards our first night's campsite below Soraypampa (3,750 m / 12,300 ft) and Salcantay's sister peak, Humantay (5,950 m / 19,700 ft). Overnight at campsite.
Day 5
Today's exhilarating trek leads us up the valley between the towering peaks of Salcantay and Humantay! We wake early with hot tea brought to our tents, and after breakfast we'll get an early start on our day's hiking. 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 another 2-3 hours of steady hiking towards our next camp of Ichupata (4,400 m / 14,400 ft), set on the flanks of Salcantay (6,271m / 20,574 ft). The camp at Ichupata is cold due to its proximity to the Salcantay massif, but since our crew and pack animals will have set out earlier, we should find the camp already set up and a fresh pot of tea awaiting our arrival! Overnight at campsite.
Day 6
After a hearty cooked breakfast we set off to hike across one of Salcantay's ridges and over our first mountain pass, 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 start to head down to follow the ancient trail to our next camp, set on a pretty plateau at Toqto. Overnight at campsite.
Day 7
After a very early morning wake up call we have an early breakfast and start the longest day of our trek, which takes us over three high alpine passes - Ollantaytambocasa (4,780 m / 15,682 ft), Cruzcasa (4,400 m / 14,436 ft) and finally, Qellocasa (4,350 m / 14,272 ft). During this long day we find ourselves looking back at the ever-changing views of Salcantay that dominate the skyline. We end the day at our campsite at Milpo, set above the lovely village of Qesqa. In the far distance we see views of the passes on the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Overnight at campsite.
Day 8
From Milpo we start another day of high Andean hiking and spectacular scenery as we make our way up into the Huayanay mountains to the Huayanay Pass (4,640 m / 15,223 ft), where we'll have incredible views of the nearby alpine lakes and snowcapped peaks. From here we traverse along the side of a vast glaciated valley and onto a high rock-covered plateau, where we cross the Aqocasa Pass (4,660 m / 15,289 ft) to our next camp above Chancachuco. Overnight at campsite.
Day 9
Today we don't have a huge distance to hike, so we can afford to take our time and savour the views of the mountain ranges and distant forested hills that surround us. Today we have the chance to see one of the most impressive snowcapped peaks in the area Mount Veronica, set high above the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Tonight we spend our final night of camping on a small pampa with Huayraspuncu (Wayra Punku), the Gateway of the Wind, set high on a ridgeline above us. Overnight at campsite.
Day 10
Our last day of trekking is all downhill and takes us through the famous Inca quarries above Cachicata, where the Incas cut the huge stone blocks used to build the terraced archaeological site of Ollantaytambo. From here we continue across the great Urubamba River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon, on a bridge whose foundations date back to time of the great Inca builders. We spend the night at our hotel in the fascinating ancient village of Ollantaytambo before the next stage of our adventure the journey to Machu Picchu! Overnight in Ollantaytambo.
Day 11
Today we take an early morning train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, where we'll transfer to a bus for the short drive up to the incredible 'lost city' of the Incas, Machu Picchu! A dazzling architectural achievement set in the midst of lush jungle-clad mountains, your first view of the ruins will take your breath away! After a professionally led tour of the site we're free to keep exploring, before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for the night, where we can enjoy a well-deserved soak in the nearby hot springs (optional). Overnight: El Mapi Hotel or similar.
Day 12
Today we have a free morning with the option of either exploring the local markets in Aguas Calientes or heading back to Machu Picchu (for an additional cost) to continue exploring the ruins. 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. Overnight: Casa Andina Cathedral Hotel or similar. NB - depending on train schedules, we may arrive into Cusco very late at night.
Day 13
Today we have a free day in Cusco to relax, do our washing and repack after our trek, or to enjoy a spot of souvenir shopping, choosing from a huge variety of beautiful Peruvian craft work including alpaca sweaters and hats, vibrant textiles and weavings, ceramics and traditional Andean instruments. Tonight we celebrate our last night together with a farewell dinner at a restaurant in Cusco's main square, where we can enjoy live traditional music and dancing. Overnight: Casa Andina Cathedral Hotel or similar.
Day 14
Our trip concludes after breakfast. If you are flying home today you will be transferred to the airport in time for your departure.