'Salkantay trek'

What makes this trip special?

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Absolutely unmissable. One of the most world's evocative sites, an Incan sanctuary beautifully set among seemingly impenetrable mountains, lost for centuries. Approach it by the Inca Trail, or by rail. Truly wonderful.

Itinerary map for Peru 'Salkantay trek' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Salkantay Lodge
  • 2 Salkantay Lodge
  • 3 Wayra Lodge
  • 4 Colpa Lodge
  • 5 Lucma Lodge
  • 6 Machu Picchu
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Designer's notes

This alternative to the Inca Trail is much quieter, extremely scenic (even more so than the Inca Trail itself), and with impressive views of the Machu Picchu citadel as you approach.

Best of all, there are good lodges each night, so when your legs have done their work for the day you can get a proper shower, tuck into a hearty dinner, and curl up in a warm bed.

There is also a very good value camping version.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Salkantay trek'


Cusco to Salkantay Lodge

After an early breakfast, your guide collects you from your hotel in Cusco. En route you take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi. You take a winding mountain road to Marcoccasa, where you begin a beautiful 6hr trek to Soraypampa on the old ‘Camino Real’ to Salkantay Lodge, whose name comes from Mt Salkantay’s majestic peak (6270m), sacred to the Incas and the highest in the region. Your guide holds a briefing by the fireside followed by aperitifs and dinner.


Humantay Lake

Today you take an optional acclimatisation hike above the lodge to Lake Humantay, fed by the hanging glaciers of Mt Humantay with amazing views. Lunch at the lodge with the afternoon at leisure, perhaps in the outdoor Jacuzzi. Overnight at Salkantay Lodge with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds.


Salkantay Pass

The big day! After an early start, you hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. At Salkantay Pass (4638m) we stop to take in dramatic views of the Vilcabamba Range, with the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us. Andean Condor are often seen. Hot lunch en route. Descend to overnight at Wayra Lodge.


Descending into the Cloud Forest

After a leisurely breakfast you continue your descent along the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery with warm air from the jungle below, colourful butterflies and orchids. At Colpa Lodge you are greeted with a pachamanca, festive meal baked in an earth oven. Colpa Lodge lies at the junction of 3 rivers, with panoramic views of lush green mountains. Afternoon to relax or explore trails. Overnight at the lodge.


Santa Teresa Valley

Today you hike along the valley of the Santa Teresa river through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations with excellent organic coffees (we visit one en route). A hot picnic lunch is served by the river, then it’s an hour’s hike to arrive at a support vehicle for a short drive (30min) to the start of the Llactapata Inca trail to Lucma Lodge, in an avocado orchard. Overnight at the lodge.


Llactapata Pass

After a hearty breakfast, you tackle the last day of your trek. You head uphill for 2-3h towards Llactapata Pass (2736m), where you come upon a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu: a view few travellers ever see. A short break to explore the Llactapata ruins, then lunch is served at a viewpoint looking to Machu Picchu. You begin your final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee, boarding a train for a scenic ride (1h) to Machu Picchu Pueblo. Check in at an award-wining hotel for a celebratory dinner with your guide.


Machu Picchu

After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, you make your way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Your guide will give an introductory 2h tour of the ruins, after which you have the option of climbing the steep staircase of Huayna Picchu (about 2h) which affords great views of Machu Picchu. You meet up with your guide and return by bus to Machu Picchu Pueblo for a late lunch and your train to Ollantaytambo (1½h), where a private vehicle drives you back to your hotel in Cusco (1½h more), arriving in the early evening.

Guide prices for 'Salkantay trek'

Choose your style of trek: either shared trekking on fixed dates (staying in lodges or camping), or private trekking (with camping). Most details given here apply to the shared trekking option staying in lodges, details of other options are available on request. Low season: 01-31 Mar, 01 Nov-14 Dec High season: 01 Apr-31 Oct, 15-31 Dec

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Shared trekking, staying in lodges 2 people sharing £2,750 £3,665
Shared trekking, camping (fixed dates) 2 people sharing £1,060
Shared trekking, camping (fixed dates) 3 people sharing £1,060
Shared trekking, camping (fixed dates) 4 people sharing £1,060
Private guided trekking, camping 2 people sharing £1,490
Private guided trekking, camping 3 people sharing £1,270
Private guided trekking, camping 4 people sharing £1,175
Prices are per person and include:
  • accommodation on each night of the trek (lodge or camping, as chosen)
  • transport from Cusco and return
  • shared services of an English-speaking guide
  • all meals as indicated
  • transportation of personal kit during the trek (by porters and/or pack horses or mules)
  • guided visit to Machu Picchu, including entrance fee
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • domestic flights
  • travel insurance
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally
  • tips and gratuities
  • additional permits for Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (optional)

Customer reviews for 'Salkantay trek'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.


Seasonal information for 'Salkantay trek'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Salkantay Lodge 12°C rainfall 154mm
2 Salkantay Lodge 12°C rainfall 154mm
3 Wayra Lodge 13°C rainfall 155mm
4 Colpa Lodge 18°C rainfall 166mm
5 Lucma Lodge 22°C rainfall 188mm
6 Machu Picchu 22°C rainfall 187mm

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Salkantay trek'

Days 1 - 2

Salkantay Lodge

Salkantay route, Machu Picchu

Average rating 5.0 (1 ratings)

Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley, the second sacred peak in Inca mythology.

The lodge has 12 rooms warmly presented in an eco-minded architecture combining traditional heritage with contemporary design.

Salkantay Lodge
Day 3

Wayra Lodge

Salkantay route, Machu Picchu

Average rating 5.0 (1 ratings)

Wayra Lodge, (Wayra meaning: 'wind') is located in a windslept valley called Wayraccmachay, meaning "the cave where the wind lives".

The lodge has 6 spacious rooms situated in a charming Andean style structure build of stone and thatch.




Wayra Lodge
Day 4

Colpa Lodge

Salkantay route, Machu Picchu

Average rating 5.0 (1 ratings)

Colpa Lodge is located on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers.

The lodge has 6 rooms, situated in a stunning location with a splendid outdoor jacuzzi that enjoys panoramic views of lush green mountains.

Here you will enjoy a welcome traditional Pachamanca meal.

Colpa Lodge
Day 5

Lucma Lodge

Salkantay route, Machu Picchu

Average rating 5.0 (1 ratings)

Situated in a remote area near to the Lucmabamba area known for the coffee plantation and the avocado orchards.

Lucma Lodge is built between mountains and has 6 comfortable rooms with private bathrooms.

Lucma Lodge