If you suddenly decide to take a trip to Peru and have left it too late to book the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, don’t worry. Don´t put off your trip to Peru because you didn’t reserve your Inca Trail spot because the Salkantay Trail is just as beautiful, if not more so, and is available at short notice. You’ll pass by snowy mountains and a sacred Inca Mountain, find a pristine, turquoise glacial lake, and then descend into the coffee-growing region and the cloud forest, taking in some of the most beautiful landscapes you will ever see. You can even add on a ziplining expedition and a visit to the hot springs; The Salkantay Trail is full of surprises!
The 8-day Salkantay trekking tour allows you to balance acclimatization time and free time to explore the majestic Inca Capital of Cusco with its architectural masterpieces and narrow cobbled streets.
It is arrival day to Cusco, found at a whopping 3400m elevation. Depending on your flight time, you can explore this magical city and sample its exquisite cuisine. In the evening, you will meet up with your guide, who will offer a detailed pre-trek briefing to answer any questions you may have and explain to you all about the beautiful trekking experience of The Salkantay Trek.
It is a free day to explore in-depth the city of Cusco. Choose between a visit to the local archaeological sites of Saqsaywaman, Qenqo, and Tambomachay or even head out on a visit to the magnificent Sacred Valley of The Incas.
Bright and early, we will depart from Cusco to the Salkantay Trailhead in Mollepata. We will begin our hike to the village of Soraypampa, and there will be time to visit the spectacular glacial lake of Humantay in the afternoon.
This day is an epic adventure, and you’ll most likely be shown on as you ascend to the highest pass on the trek at 4,630 meters elevation. Here, you will have a mesmerizing view of the sacred Salkantay mountain standing at 6,271 m elevation. You will then descend into a valley where you’ll have lunch. After lunch, the trail continues descending into the jungle to Chaullay, where you will spend the night.
This is a much easier trekking day as you have passed the snow and cold and will find yourself hiking through jungle terrain on your way to Santa Teresa. You will arrive in Santa Teresa after lunch, and from there, you can visit the impressive hot springs of Colcamayo. You can relax there for most of the afternoon until dinner, enjoying the warm waters and a beautiful view of the Peruvian mountains. The thermal baths make for the best way to recharge your body after trekking and before heading to Machu Picchu.
Today is our final day of trekking as we visit the magnificent Llactapata ruins and can see the stunning Machu Picchu in the distance for the first time. We will descend into the jungle and through impressive coffee plantations as we make our way to Hydro Electric. After lunch, we will follow the train tracks on a hot hike through the jungle to Aguas Calientes, where you’ll spend the night before going to Machu Picchu.
Today is all about Machu Picchu. You’ll want to be in line for the bus to Machu Picchu bright and early when the gate opens at 6 am. Your guide will be there waiting and will show you the famous ruins for a 2-hour tour of the principal sights inside the impressive Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. After the visit, you can have lunch in Aguas Calientes before you take the train to Ollantaytambo, where our transfer will be waiting to take you back to Cusco.
We will ensure you are at the airport in time for your flight back home as you wonder and marvel at the diversity of the trek you have just experienced. You’ll have passed from Cusco to a pristine lake high in the mountains, through a snowy mountain pass, before descending into the jungle to arrive at the most desirable site in all of South America, Machu Picchu.