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Salcantay Trek & Machu Picchu

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 WarmihuaƱusca Pass at 4,200m. Discover the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu before returning to Cusco.


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
Porters to carry personal gear
Private internal transportation
Group medical kit
Hike up the Salcantay Pass (4,638m) and admire the amazing views
Trek the picturesque Salcantay region with dramatic mountain scenery & enjoy 3 hearty meals a day on trek prepared by our cooks
Discover the enigmatic ruins of Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive
Undertake a trek through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations, enjoying scenic lunch stops
Journey to the beautiful Sacred Valley and the village of Ollantaytambo
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
Price From
AUD $2,550
Start Location
Cusco, Peru
End Location
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
2 to 16
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
14 Aug 201920 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
21 Aug 201927 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
28 Aug 201903 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
04 Sep 201910 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
11 Sep 201917 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
18 Sep 201924 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
25 Sep 201901 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
02 Oct 201908 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
09 Oct 201915 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
16 Oct 201922 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
23 Oct 201929 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
30 Oct 201905 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
06 Nov 201912 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
13 Nov 201919 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
20 Nov 201926 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
27 Nov 201903 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
04 Dec 201910 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
11 Dec 201917 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
18 Dec 201924 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $2,550
04 Mar 202010 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
11 Mar 202017 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
18 Mar 202024 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
25 Mar 202031 Mar 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
01 Apr 202007 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
08 Apr 202014 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
15 Apr 202021 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
22 Apr 202028 Apr 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
29 Apr 202005 May 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
06 May 202012 May 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
13 May 202019 May 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
20 May 202026 May 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
27 May 202002 Jun 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
03 Jun 202009 Jun 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
10 Jun 202016 Jun 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
17 Jun 202023 Jun 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
24 Jun 202030 Jun 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
01 Jul 202007 Jul 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
08 Jul 202014 Jul 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
15 Jul 202021 Jul 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
22 Jul 202028 Jul 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
29 Jul 202004 Aug 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
05 Aug 202011 Aug 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
12 Aug 202018 Aug 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
19 Aug 202025 Aug 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
26 Aug 202001 Sep 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
02 Sep 202008 Sep 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
09 Sep 202015 Sep 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
16 Sep 202022 Sep 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
23 Sep 202029 Sep 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
30 Sep 202006 Oct 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
07 Oct 202013 Oct 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
14 Oct 202020 Oct 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
21 Oct 202027 Oct 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
28 Oct 202003 Nov 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
04 Nov 202010 Nov 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
11 Nov 202017 Nov 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
18 Nov 202024 Nov 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
25 Nov 202001 Dec 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
02 Dec 202008 Dec 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
09 Dec 202015 Dec 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
16 Dec 202022 Dec 2020AvailableAUD $2,630
Day 1
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
Day 2
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.
Day 3
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 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
Day 4
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
Day 5
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
Day 6
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 Hydrlectric Power Station, to board the train to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night. Overnight: El Mapi hotel or similar.
Day 7
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.