Peru

Machu Picchu - Salkantay Trek

21

Trek through dense rainforest and spectacular mountain terrain - from the old colonial city of Cusco to the breathtaking Inca ruins!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cusco (3399m)

Your guides will be waiting for you at the airport in Cusco, to take you to your hotel. Then you have a free afternoon to explore the historic town of Cusco.

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Today you will visit the Sacred Valley, your guide will pick you up 7,30am from the hotel, gaining some insight into the Inca history. Setting the scene for the days ahead, the Sacred Valley was one of the main Inca settlements with many remains left behind. In the afternoon you will continue to the ruins of Pisac, learning about Inca culture and explore the local handcraft market along the way. It's a great place to get your souvenirs! Finally, you will visit the Ollantaytambo ruins, built during the Inca’s heydays. Accommodation is in glass-roofed cabins, so that you can star gaze from the luxury of a proper bed.

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Start your hike towards the incredible Hamantay Blue Lagoon nearby. In the afternoon you will continue your hike down the Salkantay pass.

After lunch made by your Alpaca Expeditions local chef and a well-deserved rest, you’ll continue with you’re the next leg of your Salkantay hike. This next portion continues on for about 1 hour until you arrive at Salkantay Pass at 4,650 meters above sea level. This is the highest point of the trek. The group will rest there and you’ll be served hot drinks while you enjoy the views.

From Salkantay Pass, the trail becomes much easier as you head downhill for three hours towards your wild camping spot in Wayracmachay. It is here that you will start to see the beautiful jungle views. Your trek porters will have arrived a little before you and started preparing the camp. In the evening, if the weather allows, your guides will show you the Inca constellations.

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A nice warm breakfast will begin your day and then hiking downhill watching the scenery change. Today will be full of waterfalls, rivers and amazing vibrant flowers.

You will make it to your campsite with enough sunlight to enjoy the hot tubs and pools and spend the night in Hobbit-inspired cabins.

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After a warm breakfast, you will get started on this shorter day through rich tropical rainforest and a couple of remote coffee farms and avocado plantations. Your guides know the local farmers well, who will treat you to a few tasters along the journey.

Continuing on to the Llactapata Inca site, you will see amazing views of the Santa Teresa Valley. At Llactapata, you will get the first glance of Machu Picchu.

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Day six's hike will begin with a 2-hour downhill path overlooking Machu Picchu, bringing you back into civilisation with the Hidroelectrica Station. The most impressive part of this area is the natural 300 meters high waterfall which generates the electricity for the region of Cusco. From Hidroelectrica Station, you will then continue to the famous Intiwatana (sun dial rock). According to history, this Inca stone used to work with the sun-dial rock in Machu Picchu, during the winter solstice, which was the beginning of a new farming season for the Incas.

The next section of the hike was the trail used by the American professor, Hiram Bingham, when rediscovering Machu Picchu. On his way to Machu Picchu, Hiram Bingham met with local farmer Melochor Artaega, who eventually guided him to Machu Picchu.

Finally, upon your arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will lunch before heading to your cabin to enjoy a hot shower and a visit to the hot springs of Aguas Calientes.

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Waking up early you will take a 30 minute bus ride up to the gates at Machu Pichu. You will see the sunrise over the ruins, and then have a guided a tour of Machu Pichu as well as some time to explore the lost city on your own. In the afternoon, you’ll catch a two hour train back to Ollantaytambo, followed by a bus back to Cusco, where we will transfer you to your hotel.

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Today your guides will say goodbye and wish you safe travels. Airport drop-offs are included. 2hours before of your flight departure we pick you up and transfer you back to the Cusco airport

21 verified reviews

Rated 5.0
Kirk
Kirk

Traveled Sep 2022

To start, SIMPLY AMAZING!!! This was my wife and I's second Skyhook Adventure and like the first, it did not disappoint! Previously we had done Everest Base Camp which was epic. So naturally we compared. While each were very different there were also many similarities. The primary similarity being just awesome lifelong memories! Our first takeaway was that we thought the first two days of the Salkantay Trek were more difficult than any two consecutive days for Everest Base Camp. Those first two days had a lot of km's / miles with significant elevation changes. Three from our group had to bite the bullet and get a horse to get up the mountain and we saw many others from other groups getting horses too. Mostly folks who had not prepared for that type of physical exertion. With that said, Everest Base Camp was overall much more challenging. Humantay Lake as well as Salkantay Pass were each exceptional. Many great pictures. One incredible highlight was the impeccable expertise and service of the local Alpaca Expeditions Team and Guides! Wow! Their knowledge and focus on creating the best experience for everyone was second to none. Awesome awesome awseome jobs by our "Generals & Professors" Ivan Ccorahua and Carlos Rayme! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! And when they say you have a chef.... well, you get a chef and three sous chefs making you three incredibly delicious meals every day in the field. Including baking a delicious vanilla cinnamon cake in the middle of nowhere!!! Who does that?!? And it isn't just the quality of the food, it is the attention to detail and care they also put into every meal presentation. Each morning our guide and a sous chef wake you up with a knock and hot coca tea! :-) Can't not include a mention of the very diverse make-up of our group nationalities; Peruvians, United States, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Australia, and England. That mix made it even more enjoyable and international. The overall itinerary was very accurate and probably somewhat understated at how amazing it all was. Finally, the breathtaking final day conclusion at Machu Picchu!!! Words alone can't describe the experience, the historical teaching from the guides and the pictures that will last a lifetime. We saw with our own eyes why this was named one of the new seven wonders of the world!!! Overall, a fantastic five-star experience! Prepare yourself properly with fitness, cardio and weight training and to deal with the altitude (talk with your physician). Do that and your experience will give you lifelong memories that keep giving back dividends for years to come! Logistically, plan for a couple days either side to enjoy Lima. STAY IN THE MIRAFLORES AREA. Make sure you try the Ceviche! We recommend La Mar in Lima! We would also recommend arriving at Cusco a few days early to acclimate to the altitude. The added bonus is that there is so much to see and do right in Cusco with great restaurants, etc. We recommend Organika at Ataud 154, Cusco 08000. Conclude all this with a recommendation to use the "Quick Lllama" Shuttle service from and to the Lima Airport. Reserve online. Fast, clean, reliable, great Whats App communication and only 20 Soles one way per person. That's like $6 US. Also recommend LATAM Airlines for flights to and from Cusco. Many flights daily and more reliable, etc. Enjoy and book your adventure now! DREAM BIG! NEVER QUIT! ----Kirk & Simone

Anna
Anna

Traveled Sep 2022

What an incredible experience! I just completed the Salkantay Trek (Sep 1-8, 2022) with an amazing group of people, including our fantastic guides Saul G. and Gregorio M. I can’t say enough about how awesome the experience was. Sure some parts were physically challenging (but I expected them to be) but the entire experience was so well planned and executed. The Alpaca Expeditions staff (especially Saul G. and Gregorio M.) were extremely knowledgeable, professional, caring, and fun. They were careful to explain each day’s itinerary, emphasized safety, answered all of our questions, and accommodated our individual needs. They were kind and fun and it is obvious they are passionate about their jobs. I also want to give a special shout-out to Chef Walter and his team (Gourmet meals at the foot of Salkantay Pass? Hot coca tea and a warm breakfast at the beginning of each day? Why, yes and yes.) Julio and his porters (the true “green machines” and iron men) were also awe-inspiring. I had a light day pack and struggled on some parts of the trail and the porters carried enormous loads and ran past us!! I can’t recommend Skyhook Adventure and Alpaca Expeditions enough and will encourage anyone who wants to trek in Peru to check them out. They are truly an outstanding company!

Matthew
Matthew

Traveled Aug 2022

This trek was the best part of our trip to Peru. It was made extra special by our guides Rolando and Jooel. I would recommend this trip and the tour company to anyone visiting the Cusco region. They took care of us and really went above and beyond to make sure we had an unforgettable experience.

Sarah
Sarah

Traveled Aug 2022

I can’t express what an amazing time I had on this trip. It was such a great mix of being a challenge, while having the most amazing surprises along the way. Rolando our tour guide was phenomenal. He’s knowledge was fantastic, and made everything just so magical. Assistant guide Yool was great fun to have on the trip, and was such a great mix with Rolando. The food by Gregorio was so good, and all the porters took care of us so well, even down to the smallest detail. 5 stars doesn’t do one of the best experiences I’ve ever had justice! Thank you Alpaca tours and sky hook, I would go again tomorrow if I could!

Nicolette
Nicolette

Traveled Aug 2022

This trip was truly amazing and far exceeded my expectations. Our guides, Rolando and Joel, were awesome and very knowledgeable about the region. I would 100% recommend this trek to anyone who enjoys hiking and learning about local cultures.

Marco
Marco

Traveled Jun 2022

This trip exceeded my expectations!! Rolando was above excellent being my guide!! He was not only knowledgeable about Machu Picchu but also about the plants, animals, any other questions I had for him!! If I come back for the Inca trail, I want Rolando as my guide!!

Natasha
Natasha

Traveled Jun 2022

Was a life changing trip! I was lucky to only have 2 other people on my trek. Alpaca Expeditions organised everything so perfectly with the help of skyhook

Dipesh
Dipesh

Traveled May 2022

Had an amazing trip through Skyhook. We did Salkantay trek. Highly recommend it!!!

Vicentiu
Vicentiu

Traveled Apr 2022

Haven of trekking Review of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile Well, this is one in a million exoerience. I just want to say 5 things about 5 people. 1. The cheff, Willy Armando. Excellent cheff , full of surprises and extremely helpful person he help me a lot when I was struggling 2. Catalina, one of the most strongest and in the same time sensible women I ever meet. She is a good cooker as well and very helpful 3. SAUL GUERRA, our guide. If you have a question about nature, history of Peru, Machu Picchu, animals, or about anything else, ask Saul. He is like an encyclopedia and can be your best friend. I love him, but please don't tell him that, my wife will kill me. 4. Raul, the owner of Alpaca expedition. I never meet him, I spoke with him once, but looks like he is the man who knows how to organise an expedition. 5. Last but not in the last place Damien, the owner of Skyhook Adventure, the man who made possible this adventure. This is my second adventure with Skyhook but I promise, won't be the last one. Thank you everyone, we had an amazing experience.

Mona
Mona

Traveled Oct 2021

Great experience! Rodrigo was an excellent guide, very organized, and informative. The Chef and his team were very professional with lots of healthy, delicious food!

Omid
Omid

Traveled Oct 2021

Amazing nature, companions, organizers, and all. This one was the best out of all. Thanks to Rodrigo (guide), Alberto/Tongo (chef), Nasario, Agapito, Jacinto (Horseman).

Julie
Julie

Traveled Oct 2021

What a fantastic trip. Our group was the perfect size. We had to most amazing tour guide, Rodrigo. The food was phenomenal . It was so well organized and everything went perfectly as scheduled. Thank you so much.

Stephanie
Stephanie

Traveled Oct 2021

This was such an amazing adventure. The guides were phenomenal. Rossel Was so knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The guides were professional and a joy to travel with. I'm so glad we did this. It was a once in a lifetime experience made better by the guides. Thank you Skyhook!

Catherine
Catherine

Traveled Oct 2021

Thanks you so mutch for this Amazing treck. Thanks you so mutch for this Humains expérience. And thanks you ❤️ to thé porters, cookers, guides Russel and Jimmy. From Alpaga Expédition.

Klein
Klein

Traveled Aug 2021

Everything was very well planed ! We had a cooker and porters who were very kind and the food was excellent ! The tour was awesome ! Humantay Lake, Salkantay Pass, Jungle, coffee farm and Machu Pichu, everything was awesome ! Go it !

Chloe
Chloe

Traveled Oct 2019

This was fantastic trip. The guides were helpful, knowledgeable and flexible.

Paul
Paul

Traveled Aug 2019

It was amazing. Skyhook was super easy to follow and the company we went through was amazing. Highly recommend and will continue to use skyhook for trips

Yvette
Yvette

Traveled Jun 2019

This was a great adventure guided west very friendly and jolly which made for a fab trip wud highly recommend

Rachel
Rachel

Traveled May 2019

Incredible experience! Thank you!

Debby
Debby

Traveled May 2019

I booked Salkantay Trek with Skyhook earlier in the year, and arrived in Peru in May. From the booking, the pick up at the airport, to the dropping off, everything was top notch. I knew what was expected of me, and what they were providing, clear and constant communications that flowed well. During the trek we were treated so well, we were fed like royalty, the guides gave us so much knowledge, and responded to our group so well. It was my first trip of a lifetime, and I look forward to more using Damien and team at Skyhook!

Kathleen
Kathleen

Traveled May 2019

This was an amazing trip. The guides were knowledgeable and had a passion for sharing that knowledge with us. It was a challenging hike but a trip that will never be forgotten.

FAQs

Included: - Guides and porters - Food & purified water on the trek - Permits - Accommodation - Transfers from Cusco Airport - Air mats and pillow for camping - Duffel bag for all your things Excluded: - International flights - Food in Cusco - Personal travel/rescue insurance - Tips

The trek requires a good level of fitness - you will be hiking for around six hours each day. We recommend that you train by doing any sports or exercise (e.g. jogging) twice a week in the run-up to your trip.

The hostels have good standard toilets. There will be a portable toilet at each campsite you stay at. They are regularly maintained by the staff.

You will be given a duffel bag when you arrive. You can put all of your things in this, for the porters to carry. You will also need a small day bag, which you will carry yourself. Expect to carry about 5kg of weight in this bag e.g. water, suncream, waterproofs, phone, passport etc.

You will average around 10 miles per day.

We recommend you check at the Fit for Travel website.

The average group size is 12 people, with a maximum of 14.

The winter season and driest time of year in Peru are May - Sept. The summer season is Nov - Mar, which is the warmest, but wettest time. During the summer season, it does not rain every day, but can often have a downpour in the afternoons. Apr and Oct can sometimes see some small rain showers.

Cusco is at 3400m / 11,150ft, so you will feel some of the effects of altitude straight away. If you can arrive a few days earlier, then this will give your body more time to adapt. You will need to book any extra nights accommodation.

You stay in hostels in Cusco, tents whilst on the trek, with 1 night in a glass cabana and 1 night in a hobbit inspired house. The hostel is quite cosy with twin shared rooms, Wifi and pleasant communal areas. The tents are 4 person tents which are shared by 2 trekkers. Rooms are on a twin shared basis. Single supplement is available for $120. This will give you a single room and your own tent on this trip.

You will arrive at the gates just before sunrise, then enjoy a guided tour which lasts around 2 hours. After this, you will have some free time inside the grounds before heading back to your accommodation in Cusco.

The minimum age for this trek is 18, or 16 with a parent/guardian.

It is worth checking on your government's website. British citizens can check here.

Porters will carry up to 7.5 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt. You can rent a sleeping mat, pillow, poncho for free when you arrive in Peru. Just ask one of your guides! You will be provided with a duffel bag, for all your things upon arrival. Documents • Passport • Travel insurance details • Boarding passes for flights • Driver’s license (if needed) • Cash • Credit/Debit Card Sleeping • Sleeping bag • Sleeping bag liner (optional) Footwear • Trekking boots: 3 or 4 season lightweight • City footwear: Sandals • Shoes for the plane (Optional) Clothing Please make sure that you have non-cotton clothing for trekking. • 2 base-layer t-shirts (e.g. running t-shirts) • Fleece/soft-shell jacket • Waterproof jacket • Down jacket for warmth (Optional) • Travel clothes and City Wear • Underwear • Base-layer trousers (optional) • Waterproof trousers • Trekking trousers • Trekking shorts (Optional) • 2 thick wool hiking socks • Lightweight and breathable hiking socks • Gloves and wool hat • Swimwear Other • A daysack: 35 litres • Dry Liner or Dry Bag • Water bottle/thermos: At least 2L. Nalgene bottles best. • Sunglasses • Suncream • Personal medication – Inhaler, Blister pads etc • General Toiletries, Contact lenses, Glasses (if needed) • Towel • Electronics - travel adaptor, phone & charger • Headtorch (Essential) • Lipsil • Book • MP3/Music and headphones • Travel wash • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes

It is customary in Peru to tip guides and porters. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. A good rule of thumb is between $50 - $100 at the end of your trip. You can give this to the lead guide.

While the itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatisation you are likely to feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation whilst on this trek. Please be aware that your guide may deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time and arrange for you to descend to a lower altitude. When you go above altitudes of 2,500m, you need to allow your body time to acclimatise properly. We advise that you move slowly, don’t rush and ensure you protect yourself from the weather. Ensure you stay hydrated and eat plenty to keep your energy levels up.

You can use a drone in areas around Machu Picchu, but not when you are inside the grounds.

The currency used in Peru is Nuevo Sol (PEN) You will need to ensure that you withdraw enough PEN for your trip to the airport or in Cusco.

We will send some professionally trained chefs on the trek with you. They will prepare fresh food each day. Most dietary requirements are catered for e.g. vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, food allergies etc. Our guides will provide you with clean water throughout the whole trek. This water is collected from each campsite, boiled and filtered. When travelling in countries such as Peru, it's important to maintain vigilance with hygiene and food safety. Bring plenty of hand sanitiser.

Start: You will be met at the airport at any time, and taken to your accommodation. Depending on the time you arrive, you will have some free time to explore Cusco. In the evening, you will meet with the rest of the group and have a team briefing. End: You will be taken back to the airport at any time on the last day of your itinerary.

You can be picked up from Cusco Airport at any time on the first day of the trip, and dropped off at any time on the last day. Airport transfers are included for free, and take about 15 minutes.

Yes - there will be a group of trained chefs joining you. Just let us know your requirements before you arrive.

Your head guide is Bonnie

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Alpaca Expeditions, based in Cusco.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Bonnie