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Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail

Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail

Salkantay to Inca Trail (7 days) translated as "Wind Mountain" in Quechua is a complete hike that has a different path until meeting again on Inca Trail.


Walking around from Sacred Mountain of Salkantay with a varied weather but the panoramic views will be amazing, Urubamba and Apurimac Rivers don't stay behind talking about beautiful landscapes, also these Rivers are found during Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu. Along the mountain range northern you'll see abundant tropical rain forests located on beautiful snow summits.


The mt Salkantay situated northwest of Cusco is found the highest summit of all mountain ranges and reaches 6, 271m it's incredible. The trek is well known because is a peaceful road and for in Inca Trail trek alternatives; if you want another peaceful path is recommended the Lares trek which is more of a social hike taking the possibility to interact with people and be shocked by rituals.


The Salkantay Trek, linking Machu Picchu with the Sacred Valley has the most beautiful views about animals and orchids as well as the landscapes from Llactapata, Runcurakay, Sayacmarka, Phuypatamarka, and Wiñayhuayna which are very important sites with archeological monuments each one along the tour. So, the Inca hike available is not found if you don't book with months of anticipation, in other hand, Salkantay permits are frequently found without problems but are better to have all things done before planning your trek.


Salkantay to Inca Trail Overview

Group Size: Min 2 and Max. 8 trekkers.

Sustainable Tourism: Inca Trail Machu is very keen and happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities

Physical Activity: 4 - Demanding -  Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers

Service Level: All Inclusive.

Age Requirement: 4+. Please note: all participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Permits: Included the Inca Trail permits, Salkantay, and Machu Picchu tickets. 

Inca Trail Machu Staff: Professional Tour Guide, Trekking chef and Super Porters during the hike, and an Inca Trail Machu representative who visits you at your hotel to brief you about the trail.

Personal Porters: Our Super porters will carry your personal belongings up to 7 kg per person!

Accommodation: 6x campsite.

Meals: 6x breakfast, 6x lunch, 6x dinner, 6x afternoon tea.

Transportation: Transportation by private vehicle, 1x train ticket return;

Camping equipment: A double tent, therm-A-Rest mattress, and a sleeping bag;


Quick Itinerary:

Day 01: Cusco - Soraypampa

Day 02: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pampa

Day 03: Salkantay Pampa - Pampacahuarina

Day 04: Pampacahuarina - Llullucha Pampa

Day 05: Llucha Pampa - Chaquicocha

Day 06: Chaquicocha - Wiñayhuayna

Day 07: Wiñayhuayna - Machu Picchu


Highlights of the Salkantay to Inca Trail Trek:

  • 7 Day Inca Trail accompanied by explanations of a professional bilingual Tour Guide, trekking chef, super porters and muleteer.
  • Opportunity for experienced trekkers to enjoy a challenging Inca Hike
  • Trek and trail to the sacred mountain of Salkantay
  • Enjoying the Sacred Mountain Salkantay
  • Explore the scenary trail of the Inca Trail
  • Hiking the Original Inca Trail
  • Admire and discover beautiful scenaries
  • Amazing mountains landscapes observation
  • Discover Incan sites
  • Guided tour of the amazing Inca citadel - Machu Picchu

Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu


Packing List:

  • Passport: Carry it is very important
  • Inmigration Card
  • ISIC card: If you booked as a student
  • A good hiking shoes: Comfortable and useful on all terrain
  • Waterproof: Especially in rainy seasons
  • Sunscreen: Avoid the ultraviolet ray
  • Coca leaf

Departures 100% guaranteed!!

Do I need to book it in advance? The Inca Trail Salkantay Trek has departures guaranteed, but Inca Trail permits, train tickets and entrances to Huayna Picchu Mountain are subjet to availability! For that reason, we HIGHLY recommend booking it well in advance to ensure you receive exactly what you want!!

PLEASE NOTE: May, June and July are peak months of a HIGH TOURIST SEASON in Cusco. It means that Inca Trail permits are SELL OUT MANY MONTHS IN ADVANCE!!


How to Book and Send Payment

To complete your booking, we will require your personal details, full name, passport, nationality and day of birthday. Once sent, our booking department will require the 50% pre-payment for your book your entrance fee and train ticket. Booking and payment you will find the next step to book and payment.


Why to book with Inca Trail Machu

  • A licensed tour guide for 8 trekkers, two licensed tour guides from 9 up to 16 trekkers.
  • Specialist operators for international tour companies.
  • Tour operator since 2009
  • Highly experienced english speaking guide.
  • Eureka Camping tents for 4 season
  • All Inclusive (sleeping bag, thermarest mattress, hiking poles, etc.)
  • Nutritious, well-balanced, hearty and healthy buffet meals with fresh, high quality ingredients, high in energy value and prepared carefully to avoid illness.
  • Drinking water since the second day to fill up your water container for the day hike
  • Daily afternoon tea
  • Gentle wake up each morning! with a hot drink (coca tea, chocolate, coffee, etc)
  • We catter for any food restriction
  • Private bus to head trail
  • Comfortable sleeping foam roll matts (Therma a rest mattress)
  • Inca Trail Machu hires peruvian professional staff like guides, assistant guides, chefs, and porters and pay them with good wages far lots better than other tour companies do.

Resposinble Travel

Inca Trail Treks Porters

Inca Trail Machu DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! There is still a long way to go when it comes to a reserve of adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation.


Interesting Information

Day 01: Cusco - Soraypampa
Inca Trail Machu

We pick you up from your hotel at 6 am to take you by private transport for a 3 hour ride from Cusco (3,400 m) to Mollepata (2,803m/9,196 ft).On the way, we stop in Limatambo (a small town) to visit Tarawasi - very important religious Incan remains! Then, we continue our ride to a one and  half an hour far away town of Mollepata where we have breakfast. There we start hiking up to Soraypampa (3,500 m/11,482 ft) and we take then wide gradually ascend to passing various Andean forests and steppes on the route giving us many opportunities to take fantastic photos of birds, flowers and various plants! In Soraypampa, we are given stunning views of the snow-capped peak of Rayuska (5,350 m/17,552 ft). In the end of the day, we get to a place of our first campsite at Soraypampa (3,600 m/10,200 ft).

Estimated trekking time: 7 hours
Trekking distance: 14 km
Max. elevation: 3,600 m (10,200 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,803 m (9,196 ft)
Difficulty: Easy

Day 02: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pampa
Inca Trail Machu

After an early breakfast, we start our today´s trek. First, we get to Salkantaypampa (4,100 m/13,451 ft) where we join the main route of the Salkantay Trek. From there, it takes approximately an 2 hour to reach Salkantay Pampa, a place of our campsite for lunch. Before we do so, we are given an opportunity to observe a breathtaking scenery of the sacred mountains of Humantay (5,917 m/19,412 ft) and Salkantay (6,271 m/20,574 ft)!! Especially, the Salkantay Mountain is considered by Andean cultures to be "Apus" (a mountain god) of a great importance!! So we continue first through a lovely valley with native flowers and impresive views of the Mountain in front of us at the left side passing through the indigenous villages. Then, we ascend to the Incachiriaska Pass (Frozen Inca Pass; 5,100 m/16,700 ft), the highest point on the entire trek. From this point, we can admire the closest view of Salkantay and whole this area dotted with small mountain lagoons and old glaciers of diverse shades of blue! If we are lucky, we can see a variety of viscachas (chinchillas) and white-tailed deer and hopefully some rare animals such as a condor, guanaco and vicunha!. After the pass we will be hiking down for 20 minutes until Ichupata ( Andean grass place) where we have a stop for a break and pictures, afterward we will descend until Sisay pampa Camp (3790m), at this section we will be able to fully appreciate and take in the imposing Andean topography, quiet and cozy place where you can see Llamas, Alpacas and with luck we might see a condor. Camp near the local kids school. ( 7-8 hours walking ). When in Sisaypampa, we set a campsite to be later served dinner. The night might be a bit colder due to its altitude so do not forget to pack a sufficient number of warm cloths please.

Estimated trekking time: 6 hours
Trekking distance:10 km

Salcantay elevation: 6,271 m (20,574 ftT

Max. elevation:4,100 m (13,451 ft)
Min. elevation:3,600 m (10,200 ft)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate


Day 03: Sisaypampa - Pampacahuarina
Inca Trail Machu

Today, we leave the main route of the Salkantay Trek to change for the route of Inca Trail. So we continue first through a lovely valley with native flowers and impresive views of the Salkantay Mountain in front of us at the left side passing through the indigenous villages of Qhesqa and Paucarcancha. Then, we ascend to the Incachiriaska Pass (Frozen Inca Pass;  5,100 m/16,700 ft), the highest point on the entire trek. From this point, we can admire the closest view of Salkantay and whole this area dotted with small mountain lagoons and old glaciers of diverse shades of blue! If we are lucky, we can see a variety of viscachas (chinchillas) and white-tailed deer and hopefully some rare animals such as a condor, guanaco and vicunha! Afterwards, we start descending to the Cusichaca Valley until the small village of Pampacawana (4,000 m/13,123 ft), a place where we can appreciate old Incan channels! We set a next campsite nearby and after dinner, we go to sleep. 

Estimated trekking time: 7 hours
Trekking distance: 14 km
Max. elevation: 5,100 m/16,700 ft
Min. elevation: 4,000 m/13,123 ft
Difficulty: Difficult

Day 04: Pampacahuarina - Llullucha Pampa
Inca Trail Machu

Hard trekking expects us today so we finish our breakfast to gain more energy and get ready for the trek. First, we hike for 3 hours to get to  Paucarcancha (3,205 m/10,515 ft). There, our Tour Guide shows you around antique Inca´s ruins called Inkaracay! Then we descend for a couple of minutes to the town of Wayllabamba (3,000 m/9,842 ft). There, we say good-bye to our horseman and horses and welcome our Porters as we join the route of Inca Trail elevation gain where only Porters are permited. Before we continue climbing, we enjoy lunch. During hiking, we can appreciate a cloud forest with its native trees, orchids, mosses, ferns as well as birds. Finally we get to our next campsite at Llullucha Pampa (3,855 m/12,650 ft)

Estimated trekking time: 7 hours
Trekking distance: 13 km
Max. elevation: 3,855 m/12,650 ft
Min. elevation: 3,000 m/9,842 ft
Difficulty: Difficult


Day 05: Llucha Pampa - Chaquicocha
Inca Trail Machu

Early after breakfast, you start ascending towards the highest point of the trail - Abra Warmiwañusqa (Dead Woman´s Pass) at 4,200 metres passing through the cloud forests of Yunkachimpa and Corral Punku offering excellent views of surrounding snowcapped peaks. From Warmiwañusqa, you descend to the Pacaymayo Valley (3,300 m), where you have a lunch break. Then you continue hiking through the valley to the Inca´s ruins of Runkuracay where a guided tour follows. Afterwards, you climb up and get over the second pass - Abra Runkurakay (3,860m) walking on this "Royal Inca´s Highway" down to the next Incan site - Sayacmarca. On the way, you pass the Yanacocha Lake. In the end, we get to our second campsite - Chaquicocha (3,670 m).

Estimated trekking time: 7-8 hours
Trekking distance: 12 km
Max. elevation: 4,200 m (12,630 ft)
Min. elevation: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)
Difficulty: Challenging


Day 06: Chaquicocha - Winayhuayna
Inca Trail Machu

Today, we start hiking passing through lovely subtropical vegetation and many important archaeological sites. Before we reach the first site, we get over Phuyupatamarca Pass (3,670 m) and just behind it, we can see the Phuyupatamarca Incan complex (3,600 m), one of the best preserved and most completed sites of the trek. The complex is located on the top of a mountain and it corresponds with its Quechuan name that means the "Town above the Clouds". After a guided tour, we have lunch there. Then, we start a steep descent via a cloud forest offering an opportunity to see beautiful orchids and different bird species on the way to our last campsite at Wiñay Wayna (2,700 m). There we have a guided tour of the same-named impressive archaeological complex consisting of a religious sector, urban sector and an agricultural center with lots of stepped terraces. Afterwards, we are served dinner and then we go to sleep to get ready for the "icing on the cake" of the trail - Machu Picchu!!

Estimated trekking time: 5-6 hours
Trekking distance: 10 km
Max. elevation: 3,670 m (12,040 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
Difficulty: Moderate


Day 07: Winayhuayna - Machu Picchu
Inca Trail Machu

Early morning of the last day, we climb antique steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to see the sunrise above the long-expected citadel of Machu Picchu!! Then, you enjoy a 2 and half an hour guided visit of the so called "Lost City of the Incas"!! Afterwards, you have an opportunity to climb the peak of Wayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time back) on your own to take some panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu!! In the afternoon, you descend to the town of Aguas Calientes to take a train back to Cusco. Arrival in the evening. 

Estimated trekking time: 3 hours
Trekking distance: 4 km
Max. elevation: 2,700 m (8,860 ft)
Min. elevation: 2,400 m (7,875 ft)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

What is Included in the Salkantay and Inca Trail?
Inca Trail Machu

  • Pre-trek briefing with your Tour Guide (our guide will visit your hotel a day before);
  • Transfer by private vehicle to Soraypampa to the initial point of the trek;
  • Accommodation: Camping (6 nights);
  • Entrance fees to Salkantay and Machu Picchu;
  • Inca Trail Permits
  • Meals: 6x breakfast, 6x lunch, 6x dinner, and 6x afternoon hot beverages (please advise us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost);
  • Professional English-speaking Tour Guide (for groups larger than 10 participants 2 Tour Guides);
  • Trekking Chef;
  • Horseman;
  • Super Horses and Porters to carry food, camping and cooking equipment, and your personal belongings (7 kg);
  • Camping equipment: Personal double tents (4-person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks);
  • Inflatable mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress); 
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
  • A blanket per person
  • A pillow
  • Day Pack Rain Covers;
  • Rain Ponchos;
  • Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
  • A T-shirt of the Salkantay Trail to Inca Trail;
  • Water every day (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own);
  • Tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining, toilet tents, and bottled gas;
  • A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu citadel to Aguas Calientes Town;
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo (Expedition Service);
  • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.


Not Included:
Inca Trail Machu

  • Breakfast on day 1 and lunch on the last day;
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu ($80);
  • Extra porter and horses to carry your personal belonging (USD 130)
  • Travel insurance;
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
  • Other extras are not mentioned.

Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-30 for meals not included.

Solo Traveler: Please note that if you have booked the "Solo Traveler" option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.

Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price. If you need a local flight, contact us info@incatrailmachu.com 

Highlights by Archaeological Sites
Inca Trail Machu

  • Explore the Machu Picchu citadel
  • Visit Limatambo and Mollepata
  • Visit Salkantaypampa
  • Visit the Wiñaywayna town
  • Cherish the beautiful views from Salkantay Mountain


Best moment from the Trek

  • The landing at Machu Picchu citadel after visiting the Sun Gate


Encampment Equipment:
Inca Trail Machu

Inca Trail Machu Tour operator will provide the double tent. Our tents are of the brand  TIMBERLINE SQ 4XT designated for 4 seasons. We provide with 3 person-capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you with more space and comfort. In case of a single traveler, we provide with a 2-person capacity tent. After each trek, we carefully check our tents and fix them if necessary.

Inca Trail tents


Inca Trail Machu will provide the clean Sleeping bag, Inflatable pillow and blanket. Our porters will leave inside your tent. Once arrived to the camping, you will find inside your all camping equipment.



  • Daypack for your hike U$ 10
  • There are emergency porters available for rent along this trek if you are unsure you will be able to complete the hike, cost $75.

Doubts and Frequent Questions about Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail
Inca Trail Machu

Here is everything you need to know about Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail, one of our most impressive routes.


Where is located Salkantay?

The "Salkantay" snowy is the highest peak of the Vilcabamba mountain range, part of the Peruvian Andes. It is located 60 km at northwest of Cusco city. It is the 38th highest peak of the Andes and the 12th highest peak in Peru.


Altitudes in Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail

During the Salkantay Trek - Inca Trail - Machu Picchu, we will find the following altitudes:

  • Starting Elevation “Mollepata” 2,803 m.a.s.l.
  • "Marcocasa" at 3,500 m.a.s.l.
  • "Rayuska" at 5,350 m.a.s.l.
  • "Sayllapata" at 3,600 m.a.s.l.
  • “Soraypampa” at 3,750 m.a.s.l. 
  • "Humantay" at 5,917 m.a.s.l.
  • "Salkantay" at 6,271 m.a.s.l.
  • "Salkantay Pampa" at 4,100 m.a.s.l.
  • "Frozen Inca Pass" at 5,100 m.a.s.l.
  • "Pampacawana" at 4,000 m.a.s.l.
  • "Paucarcancha" at 3,205 m.a.s.l.
  • "Wayllabamba" at 3,000 m.a.s.l.
  • "Llullucha Pampa" at 3,855 m.a.s.l.
  • "Dead Woman´s Pass" at 4,200 m.a.s.l.
  • "Pacaymayo Valley" at 3,300 m.a.s.l.
  • "Abra Runkurakay" at 3,860 m.a.s.l.
  • "Chaquicocha" at 3,670 m.a.s.l.
  • "Phuyupatamarca Pass" at 3,670 m.a.s.l.
  • "Phuyupatamarca Incan Complex" at 3,600 m.a.s.l.
  • "Wiñayhuayna" at 2,700 m.a.s.l.

How many kilometers is walked during the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu and how many hours do we walk per day?

The total distance involves about 74 km, climbing about 1 800m through glaciers, snow, and some rock; that´s why accessing the route typically involves three days of travel from Cusco.

  • Mollepata to Sayllapata: 14 Km (Trekking time: 7 hours)
  • Sayllapata to Salkantay Pampa: 10 Km (Trekking time: 6 hours)
  • Salkantay Pampa to Pampacahuarina: 14 Km (Trekking time: 7 hours)
  • Pampacahuarina to Llullucha Pampa: 13 Km (Trekking time: 7 hours)
  • Llullucha Pampa to Chaquicocha: 12 Km (Trekking time: 7 - 8 hours)
  • Chaquicocha to Wiñayhuayna: 10 Km (Trekking time: 5 - 6 hours)
  • Wiñayhuayna to Machu Picchu: 4 Km (Trekking time: 3 hours)

What does "Salkantay" and "Machu Picchu" mean?

The name "Salkantay" comes from "Salka", a Quechua word meaning "wild", uncivilized. So, the name is often translated as "wild mountain".


"Machu Picchu" means 'Old Mountain' in the indigenous Quechua language. "Machu Picchu", the lost city of the Incas, is an unprecedented historical, natural and architectural complex, a tourist destination that has earned the category of inescapable.


How difficult is the Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail?

This path has a moderate to strong difficulty, it is recommended to have good physical preparation, and arrive in Cusco at least 2 days before starting the tour for acclimatization.


Is it possible to do the Salkantay Trek on my own?

The trekking of Salkantay unlike the traditional Inca Trail, in which it is mandatory to hire an agency and is difficult to adquire a ticket for entrance, the Salkantay trek allows its realization on your own. The trekking begins in the village of Mollepata, where you have a registration at the checkpoint in the main square, then we continue to driving to Soraypampa campsite, where start to hike to Humantay Lake and Salkantay to Inca Trail. During the next days you will walk to Machu Picchu Inca city.

Salkantay to Inca Trail Alternative hike
Inca Trail Machu

Inca Trail Machu offers six Inca Trail tours. but the most popular hike is the classic 4-day Inca Trail. There are other short versions where you can enjoy the classic trail.

If you want to hike the Salkantay trek to Inca Trail, we recommend you book in advance, there are only 500 spaces available every day for the Inca Trail, these spots available are divided the travelers, guides, trekking chefs, and super porters.


In case it is sold out, don´t worry, we recommend the following Inca Trail alternative treks:

Peru Adventure and Treks


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