Classic Salkantay Trek

Peru

Trip Highlights

  • New Trip Offering
  • Trek Over 15,000' Elevation
  • Stunning Trek to Machu Picchu
  • Full Tour of Machu Picchu
  • View of Glaciated Mt. Salkantay
  • Premier Camping Accommodations
  • Wonderful Peruvian Cuisine
  • Charming Quechua Culture
  • Guides Choice Trip

Description

This  classic Peru trek will take you through unique and varying landscapes, from cloud forests to grassy highlands and where sub-alpine passes meet colossal snow-capped mountains. This trek is for the adventurous. Since the ancient Incan times, Mount Salkantay has been considered sacred and the protector of the Quechua people. The name Salkantay derives from the Quechua language and means “Savage Mountain”. Mount Salkantay (20,574 feet) is the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range and in the Cusco area of the Southern Peruvian Andes.

The Salkantay trek begins on the south side of Mount Salkantay and Machu Picchu and circumnavigates the mountain and ancient ruin to the town of Agua Calientes. The Salkantay trek contains parts of the original Inca trail and provides mysterious and magical feelings associated with the history of the Inca. This trek is simply Amazing!


Required Acclimatization Days

For guest safety, due to the high elevations of this trek (16,437′), it is required that you acclimatize (at 10,000 feet or greater) for a minimum of 2 nights prior to the trip start date. This can be accomplished simply by arriving in Cusco (11,200′) 2 days prior. Acclimatizing, being well rested, staying hydrated, and eating well are important steps to helping your body adjust to the higher elevations of this trip. Being well adjusted will give you the best opportunity to have a safe and enjoyable trek.

5 Days
$2300 Per Person
$60 Single Supplement  

$60 Single Supplement

The single supplement on this trip applies to 1 night of lodging at Tierra Viva Machu Picchu before our day at Machu Picchu. If traveling solo, you will have a tent to yourself the other nights.

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Newly Added Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 2-12 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 29+MI / 47+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
10-15 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
3-10 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
5,400 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
2,100 feet
Quality of Trails:
The trails on this trip are quiet and rugged in places, but well-trodden
Additional:
This trip requires significant elevation gains and losses on rocky trails, and tops out at 15,255 feet. The higher elevations make the trekking more difficult and necessitate training for most guests to be well prepared.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. regularly exercise vigorously
  3. be comfortable hiking, biking, running, or swimming for several hours without many breaks

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Peru hike a solitude 2. You can expect to have hours of solitude at a time while hiking.

Learn More about our Rating System

For guest safety, due to the high elevations of this trek (15,255′), it is required that you acclimatize (at 10,000 feet or greater) for a minimum of 2 nights prior to the trip start date. This can be accomplished simply by arriving in Cusco (11,200′) 2 days prior. Acclimatizing, being well rested, staying hydrated, and eating well are important steps to helping your body adjust to the higher elevations of this trip. Being well adjusted will give you the best opportunity to have a safe and enjoyable trek.

Flights to and from Cusco are the guest’s responsibility. Multiple airlines operate flights into Cusco, and nearly all connect through Lima. You can reach Lima from many U.S. and European international airports. Some of the primary U.S. departure cities include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. The duration of nonstop flights to Lima is 5-9 hours. The duration of flights from Lima to Cusco is 80 minutes.

We do not recommend planning departure flights on the final day of this tour due to time constraints and the inability to guarantee when we will arrive back to Cusco.

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 6-7 People: Rate x 1.2
  • 8-10 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 11-12 People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Hiking Mileage: 3.1 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 12,631 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 14,715 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Accommodations: Premier Camping

On the first day of our trek to Machu Picchu we will wake up early and enjoy a light breakfast before departing Cusco around 6am. We will drive roughly 3.5 hours to our trail head at Soraypampa (12,631′). In route, we’ll stop in the quaint town of Mollepata to use the bathrooms, have a snack and grab a cup of coffee or tea. Once we arrive to Soraypampa, we will meet our gear porters and have a thorough brief on the pertinent aspects of trekking in the Andes and at higher elevations. We will immediately be overshadowed by the towering, glaciated Mount Salkantay (20,574′).

After a nice lunch prepared by our chef, we will begin to slowly ascend a mild incline for roughly 3-4 hours to our camp at Soyrococha (14,715′).

Upon arrival at camp, you will find your tents ready and waiting, as well as hot drinks and snacks. We’ll have some free time to change clothes, get warm and re-hydrate until our dinner is served. This camp is especially beautiful at night, when the milky way is splashed across the sky. Photographers, this is the perfect place to take long exposures of the stars from the Southern Hemisphere!

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 9.9 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 9,842′ feet
  • Highest Elevation: 15,255 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 8-9 hours
  • Accommodations: Premier Camping

Today we will wake up to a steaming cup of coca tea and gaze upon the stunning, snow-covered Salkantay Mountain. Today we will travel through a diverse range of climatic zones, from golden grasslands to sub-alpine zones to cloud forests. After a nutritious breakfast we will begin to trek slowly towards Salkantay Pass (15,255′), which takes roughly 1 hour. At the pass we will have a break to drink water, eat snacks and take in the spectacular views of Mount Salkantay. Subsequently, we’ll hike down to Huayracmachay village (12,900′), where we will have a delicious lunch prepared for us by our chef. After lunch we’ll continue hiking down to Collpapampa village (9,842′)  where we will camp for the night.

Mount Salkantay in Peru

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 6,716 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 9,842 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Accommodations: Premier Camping

Today we will be trekking through the tranquil cloud forest. We will hike for about five hours following the Lluskamayo River, with the prospect of seeing a variety of orchids, birds, and a magnificent waterfall. Today’s trek ends at La Playa (6,716′) where we will have lunch and camp for the night. After we relax for a while, we will go meet Freddy the owner of our camp and a local coffee plantation. Here we will be able to pick our own coffee beans, roast them and make our own coffee. In addition, Freddy will teach us many local traditions of the Quechua people and you can potentially buy some souvenir coffee from him.

Beautiful green Andes Mountains

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 6,233 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 8,694 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours
  • Accommodations: Tierra Vivo Machu Picchu

After an early breakfast accompanied by Freddie’s local coffee from the farm, we will begin our hike which ascends to the Llaqtapata Inca ruins (8,694′). This section of the trail is part of the Inca Trail, used in the past to connect Machu Picchu with the city of Vilcabamba. Once we arrive at Llaqtapata we will have our first glimpse of the ancient city of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Our local guide and interpreter will introduce us to the history and culture of the Inca and Quechua people. After the lessons we will descend roughly three hours to the hydroelectric power station (6,233′). From the power station, we will take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes (6,692′), where we will take showers, change clothes and go out for an amazing dinner in town. Your guides will deliver the plan for the next morning.

Machu Picchu Ancient City of the Incas

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: varies
  • Lowest Elevation: 6,692′ feet
  • Highest Elevation: 11,200 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Accommodations: Tierra Vivo Centro

This morning we have some flexibility and a couple of different options dependent on how the group is feeling. One option is to wake up early and take the tourist bus to Machu Picchu (7,972′) for the sunrise. Another option is to sleep in a bit, let the tourist crowds subside and take the bus to Machu Picchu around 10 am. We will discuss the options the night before and decide as a group which strategy we want to employ.

At Machu Picchu our local Peruvian guide will lead us on a thorough and fascinating tour of the ancient Inca city for the next 3-4 hours. We will learn about the amazing cultural history of the Inca and Machu Picchu and delve into some of the mysteries that surround the remote mountain city. After our Machu Picchu tour we will head back to Aguas Calientes for lunch. We will then board a train to the historic town of Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, we board our private van to the town of Urubamba. Depending on the time, we may have dinner in Urubamba or continue on to Cusco (11,200′) where we will have dinner and drop you off at your hotel. What a trip it’s been!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • A professional Wildland guide, trained in 1st Aid, risk management and assessment and responsibility to provide overall standard of excellence in service quality.
  • Local Peruvian guide(s), expert in cultural and natural history, the local area, fauna and flora, etc.
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending in Cusco on Day 5
  • Luxury Vistadome train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
  • Lodging the night before our day at Machu Picchu
  • All camping gear and supplies (including a dining tent and kitchen tent)
  • Porters to transport all gear, food, and most personal items
  • Professional camp chef and waiter
  • Drinking water and hot water for washing face, hands…etc.
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • Gratuity for in-country crew: Porters, Chefs, Waiters, Wranglers, and Drivers. *Please Note: Gratuities for Guide(s) are not included in trip rate.
  • All meals for the duration of the tour (lunch day 1 to dinner day 5)
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Transportation to Cusco, Peru
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Lodging before and after the trekking portion of the trip
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight (disposable plastic water bottles are prohibited; please have refillable water bottles or hydration bladders)
  • Gratuity for guide(s) (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; USD is recommended.) *Please Note: Gratuities for Porters, Chefs, Waiters, Wranglers and Drivers are included in the trip rate.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed information about what to pack.

MEALS: WHAT TO EXPECT

This Peru hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. Most meals are prepared on the trail by a professional camp chef. Some staples you may find are potatoes (papas), quinoa, rice, beans, meat, fish, various grains and vegetables.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you’re interested in.

GEAR WE PROVIDE

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone

WHAT GEAR TO BRING

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

WHAT CLOTHES TO BRING

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed information about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

WHERE DO WE MEET?

Unless we tell you otherwise, you will meet your guide and group at the Tierra Viva Centro Hotel in Cusco, Peru for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will pick you up at any hotel in Cusco the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Tours your guide will meet you at your hotel in Cusco at an agreed upon time. Your guide will be in contact approximately 45 days before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed information about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

REQUIRED ACCLIMATIZATION DAYS

For guest safety, due to the high elevations of this trek (15,255′), it is required that you acclimatize (at 10,000 feet or greater) for a minimum of 2 nights prior to the trip start date. This can be accomplished simply by arriving in Cusco (11,200′) 2 days prior. Acclimatizing, being well rested, staying hydrated, and eating well are important steps to helping your body adjust to the higher elevations of this trip. Being well adjusted will give you the best opportunity to have a safe and enjoyable trek. If your looking for acclimatization activities, check out our Cusco and Sacred Valley Acclimatization Day Tours.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Your safety is our top priority. Our Global Destination trips are led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Finally, we’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it’s important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.

GUIDES

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

GUIDE WORKING PARAMETERS

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

PORTER TEAM

Where are our Porters from?

Wildland works with a team of 15-25 porters, mainly from two different villages: Willoq and Cuyo Grande, both located in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The ages of our porter team ranges from 20 to 55 years old. Our porter team is made up of farmers, meaning their main job is farming and the porter work is to supplement income. They grow crops such as potatoes, lima beans, peas, corn and also raise livestock such as cows, sheep, llamas, and alpacas.

Why do they choose to be Porters?

Being a farmer in the mountains is difficult work, especially in the Cusco region. Each of the members of our porter team own a small plot of land that they use for farming. This work is physical, hard and in the end is often not enough to support their families, especially if they want their children to go to school.

Porters try to work 2-3 treks per month. Each trip lasts for 4 days, so they are away from their families and farm duties between 8 and 12 days each month. They prefer to visit with their families, rest, and catch up on farm duties between treks, usually for 4-5 days. They choose when they want to be available for any given trek or set of dates.

What do we provide Porter staff?

We believe that the main ingredient for any successful trip is keeping not only our guests safe and happy, but also our staff. Without one it is impossible for us to have the other. With that said, we have created a set of standards to ensure the safety and happiness of our porter team.

  • All porters are provided health insurance. It is purchased through a private company to ensure they are covered for any health-related issues while working for us. During a trek our lead guides are in close contact with all our staff to ensure safety and wellness of the entire team. Any illness or injury to our staff is treated equal to and as importantly as any illness or injury to our guests. All lead guides are trained in wilderness first aid and can properly assist any staff or guest in emergencies or in the case of illness or injury. First aid kits are carried and readily available for staff, the same as they are for guests.
  • We provide staff all the gear needed to keep them warm and safe during treks. This includes sleeping bags, sleeping pads, shelter/tent, warm fleece jackets, hiking pants, hiking shoes, hats, backpacks and a brace used for extra back support.
  • We understand that the quality work and effort provided by our porters during treks deserves to be matched by the quality of food we provide to them during treks. Porters are provided 3 warm meals a day on treks and the food is planned for them specifically. They are not fed guest leftovers; their food is planned, purchased, and cooked by our chef during a trek. Meals are always planned with physical and nutritional needs in mind.
  • Tipping rates are included in our rates to guests and the amounts given to porters are set, fair, and predictable each trip. Of course, our guests can give more if they wish, but tips are already included in their rates and we ensure our team is tipped fairly, in addition to their normal salary.
  • Also, we follow strict weight limits to not overburden our Porters. The maximum weight they can carry is 20 kilos/44 lbs.

School Project

Five years ago, Jose Condor, our partner and Peru Program Manager, started a small project called “Improving Education in the Mountains.”

This project was set up to support the schools and children in the villages around the region where our porters come from.  These small communities and villages have schools, but they are basic, and often do not have sufficient supplies.  Every year, we provide supplies for the schools to use for the school year.  We also supply some hygiene items and other gifts.  A portion of each reservation in Peru goes towards this project. The supplies are utilized by hundreds of children between the ages of 3 and 11.

GROUP SIZE AND AGE RESTRICTIONS

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 12 guests and 2 guides, with a minimum of 2 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

TRIP INSURANCE

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664

If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.

WEATHER IN PERU

Peru is home to part of the Amazon Rainforest as well as the towering Andes Mountains. Machu Picchu is at an elevation of 7,972 feet (2,430 meters), but most of our treks in the region reach elevations well above 10,000 feet, some reaching nearly 17,000 feet. Because of the significant elevation changes and alpine hiking, the temperatures and weather can also vary widely. At elevations above 10,000 feet you can expect cold temperatures.

The average temperatures and precipitation in the Machu Picchu region are:

Month Hi Low Precip
March 70° F 45° F 11 days
April 72° F 40° F 8 days
May 70° F 36° F 3 days
June 70° F 34° F 2 days
July 70° F 30° F 2 days
August 70° F 34° F 2 days
September 72° F 40° F 7 days
October 72° F 43° F 8 days

Accommodations

Accommodations

PREMIER CAMPING

3 NIGHTS

Our Peru Treks feature premier camping with comfortable sleeping tents, kitchen tents, dedicated chefs, and a team of porters to carry and set up/break down camp each day. We provide all top-of-the-line gear. Our guests regularly rave about the camping accommodations on our Peru adventures!

TIERRA VIVA MACHU PICCHU

1 NIGHT

This hotel is in the quietest area of Aguas Calientes, facing the Urubamba River and surrounded by the Forest of Clouds. Modern and stylish, it features spacious and comfortable rooms, a lounge with a fireplace, and wonderful local art hung on the walls of the lobby and rooms.

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

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