Salkantay Trek


After an early breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and leave the city of Cusco in the morning. En route, take a short break in Mollepata before ascending a winding mountain road to Soraypampa (12,690 ft / 3,870 m). After Lunch we meet our mule drivers and begin the trek. Afterwards it’s a three hour walk to our first campsite at Soyrococha.

Overnight in camp tent on a full-board basis.


We will have breakfast eraly in the morning. After that we will begin the trek to the Salkantaypass (15,213 ft / 4,638 m). We stop at the pass enjoy the views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range in every direction, with the south face of the Salkantay glacier rising over us. Keep an eye out for Andean condors, which can be seen gliding in the skies here. Descend towards Wayracmachay (‘the cave where the wind lives’ in Quechua) breaking for lunch before continuing the descent along the left bank of the River Salkantay as the landscape becomes increasingly greener, changing from highland to jungle or cloud forest. Feel the air warming up, too, thanks to the jungle, which also brings butterflies and orchids before reaching base camp at Challway (9,481 ft / 2,890 m), which is surrounded by lush vegetation.

Overnight in camp tent on a full-board basis.

Day 3  | CHALWAY – LUCMABAMBA (19km – 7.5hrs)

Prepare for the hike with breakfast at the camp before heading along the Santa Teresa River Valley through more densely populated areas. Pass by orchards and plantations of banana, grenadine, avocado and coffee (the local bean is considered one of the best organic coffees in the world). Enjoy a hotpicnic lunch en route. After the break, hike for two hours before pick-up by a private vehicle for a 30-minute tour to the starting point of the Llaqtapata Inca Trail. From here, it is an easy hike to the camp in Lucmabamba. In the evening, attend a coffee tasting demonstration presented by a local family.

Overnight in camp tent on a full-board basis.


After breakfast, take to the trail again with a two to three-hour climb to the Llaqtapata pass (2,735 m / 8,974 ft) from where a distant but spectacular glimpse of Machu Picchu can be seen to the southeast – a view that few other visitors to the citadel ever see. Enjoy a brief break to explore the archaeological site of Llaqtapata (‘High Town’ in Quechua) which was a produce warehouse complex during Inka times. Lunch is served at the lookout, with a view of Machu Picchu. After the break, start the final descent to the Aobamba RiverValley through bamboo woods, orchards and coffee plantations. Finally, reach the train station at the Machu Picchu hydroelectric power plant and board the train to Aguas Calientes.

Overnight at the selected hotel in Aguas Calientes on bed and breakfast basis. Lunch included.


Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before boarding a coach for a 25-minute ride to Machu Picchu. The ‘Lost City of the Incas’ had lain abandoned in the heavens for four centuries until American explorer Hiram Bingham happened upon it in 1911. Machu Picchu is believed to have been built in the 1450s by Inca emperor Pachacuti as a holiday retreat yet within a century the city would be abandoned following the Spanish conquest. The Spaniards never found it so it was spared the destruction they wrought on other Inca sites. Instead, it was slowly swallowed up by the jungle and hidden from harm. A two-hour guided tour explains the origins behind this awe-inspiring citadel and the most prominent landmarks among the 200 or so buildings such as the monumental Main Square, the Royal Quarters, and the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial and the Burial Grounds. After the tour, take some time to explore on your own or simply meditate. Return to AguasCalientes for lunch at the famous Café Inkaterra, a beautiful thatched-roof restaurant hemmed in between the railway and a mountain. In the afternoon, catch a train to Ollantaytambo and, on arrival in the evening, transfer to your selected hotel in Cusco.

Overnight at the selected hotel in Cusco on bed and breakfast basis. Lunch included.

Salkantay Trek Route Profile