Salkantay Trek To Machu Picchu (8 Days)


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

27 verified reviews

Rated 5.0

(May 2023)

Absolutely amazing experience, surpassed all my expectations.Food was outstanding and our guides Elisban and Max were so helpful and very passionate about their culture


(May 2023)

I had an amazing trip. The Alpaca team were great. We were able to do the trek at our own pace, nothing was rushed. Food was great. An amazing experience


(May 2023)

An excellent trip with memories to treasure! Our guides were fantastic, providing lots of information and keeping everyone in good spirits. The trek was challenging in places but very rewarding and varied in terms of landscape. The food was plentiful and very tasty and accommodation was all good, with including the two campsites. We would highly recommend to anyone who likes a challenge.


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 average around 10 miles per day.

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.

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

We recommend you check at the Fit for Travel website.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!