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10 days

Located northwest of Cusco, Nevado de Salkantay, the cordillera's tallest peak rises to 6271 meters above sea level. The name Salkantay means 'Savage Mountain' and it is a strikingly beautiful single peak providing a great focal point for this route. The Salkantay to Machu Picchu trek normally takes 7 days walking and has become popular with trekkers wanting to combine a quieter, less trodden route with a visit to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. For the first 4 days you will be surrounded by magnificent scenery and rarely see other groups of trekkers. On the fifth day you join up with the Inca Trail at Wayllabamba and continue to Machu Picchu, arriving at the Sun Gate.

The trek is only a little more difficult than the Inca Trail, and horses can be used for the first 4 days to carry food and equipment. Since horses are not allowed on the Inca Trail, you'll swap over to using human porters for this final section.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1Arrive Cuzco

Our Kandoo representative will meet you at Cuzco airport and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free to recover from the journey and to start to explore Cuzco.

Day 2Acclimatisation day in Cuzco

A day to acclimatise in Cuzco (3500m) and let your body adapt to the altitude. Full and half day tours of Cuzco are available.

Day 3Trek to Markokasa

You will be collected from your hotel and travel by bus to the town of Mollepata. Along the way, you will pass through the picturesque towns of Pampa de Anta (Izcuchaca, Zurite, and Ancahuasi). Your journey will take us into the Limatambo Valley, where we will see the ruins of Tarawasi, and then toward Mollepata, where you will begin our expedition. At Mollepata, you will complete the arrangements for your trek and then hike to our first camp at Markokasa.

Day 4Trek to Soraypampa

We will begin the second day of the trek heading to Choquekiclla, where we will view the majestic Salkantay Humantay, a sacred mountain capped with snow peaks and on whose skirts we will make camp (4,000 meters/13,123 feet above sea level) at Soraypampa.

Day 5Trek to the Inca Canal

Day 5 will be a spectacular day, hiking through the pass of Salkantay, close to the mountain's snowline. Afterwards, we will descend toward the Inca Canal. 

Day 6Trek to Llulluchapampa

You begin day 6 by hiking through the Inca Canal, which leads you to Paucarcancha. At Paucarcancha, we will enter the Cusichaca Valley and hike onward to Llulluchapampa (Incaracay).

Day 7Trek to Sayacmarca

At the start of day 7, we ascend the pass of Warmiwañuska (Dead Woman's Pass) at 4,200 meters/13,780 feet above sea level. This is the highest point on the Inca Trail. From here, we descend toward the Pakaymayu Valley and continue our journey onward to Sayacmarka.

Day 8Trek to Agua Calientes

Day 8 will bring a noticeable change in climate (warmer), flora, and fauna, as we move close to Peru's cloud forest. During the course of the day, we will visit several archaeological sites. You finally arrive at the ruins of Winawayna from where it is a short walk to the Sun Gate for your first view of the incredible ruins of Machu Picchu. Overnight in a hotel in Agua Calientes.

Day 9Tour of Machu Picchu

After a night in a proper bed and a hot shower you will return to Machu Picchu for a full tour with the option to climb Huayna Picchu with a private guide. We will then take the bus back down to Agua Calientes, where we will catch the train back to Cusco. We will transport you from the train station in Cusco to your hotel.  

Day 10Depart Cuzco

Depart Cuzco for your flight home.

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Rachael Bode

Destination expert

Phone: + 44 (0) 1283 499982

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Sharon King

Destination expert

Phone: +44 (0) 1283 499981

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