Phone: +51 974 323 730 | Email:

Salkantay Inca Trail Trek – Inca Trail Salkantay Trek

Are you confused about choosing Salkantay Trek or Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? You can have the best of both on this six-day Salkantay Inca Trail Trek. It is popularly known as the Inca Trail Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu at once.

Both Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail are among the top 25 treks in the world by National Geographic Travel Magazine. 

Salkantay Trek offers more of a high-altitude experience. You will be witnessing the beauty of the Peruvian highlands. While Inca Trail provides an insight into the Inca civilization. You will be able to see different archaeological ruins whilst retracing the footsteps of the Incas on this 500-year-old trail. 


You will get stunning views of Andean villages, landscapes, and archeological sites. You will also travel along the Salkantay Mountain’s base at 6,271 meters.

Salkantay is one of the most spectacular and highest peaks in southern Peruvian Andes. Salkantay, to the Andeans, is one of the sacred “Apus”, (Peaks In Quechua).

The route to Machu Picchu will take you through some lesser-known Inca archeological sites. You will get to see some remote Quechua communities, and before you reach the traditional Inca trail of 4 days to Machu Picchu. Enjoy the beauty and culture of this route.

This route takes you to the highest points of both trekkings. Inca Chiriasca at 5,100m and Warmi Wañusca Pass (or The Dead Woman Pass) at 4,200m.

You will travel through the mountains above the Urubamba River, which follows an ancient Inca road that leads to Machu Picchu. The trail takes you through the dense subtropical cloud forest and high-altitude mountain ranges (The Andes).

The 90-kilometer trek is one of life’s greatest experiences. This is also a great way to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco. Inca Trail requires you to have permits that are sold out at least six months in advance.

This trek is at a high altitude. To avoid altitude sickness, we recommend you spend at least three days in Cusco prior to the trek.

The best time to trek is during the dry season, from May to October. During the Rainy season, the trail gets slippery. Inca Trail is closed for maintenance every February.

Why Minka Peru Expedition?

Just like trekkers, even the tour operators need permits and licenses to operate this tour. Minka Peru Expedition is a licensed operator of the Classic Inca Trail. We are also a well-respected operator for Salkantay Trekking. We have exclusive guides, chefs, and porters for this trek.

Cusco’s tourism professionals are our guides. They are experts in English and have extensive knowledge of the history, Inca sites, flora, fauna, and more.

  • Destination

  • Departure

    Pick up from your Hotel
  • Departure Time

    5:00 AM.
  • Return Time

    Approximately 6:00 PM.
  • Dress Code

    Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk
  • Included

    First aid kit and emergency oxigen
    Pick up from your Hotel
    Professional Guide
  • Not Included

    Walking Stick

Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Ichupata (12 kilometres, approximately)

We will pick you up early in the morning from your hotel for a two-and-a-half-hour trip to Mollepata. It is a dusky village that is the trailhead of the renowned Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.  We will stop here for breakfast (breakfast is not included in the price). You can also buy any last-minute supplies you may need in Mollepata. We will then drive for another 1.5 hours to Soraypampa (3800 meters / 12,464 feet). At Soraypampa, you will get pristine views of Mount Humantay (5917 meters / 19,400 feet).  We will stop for lunch here and take the time to enjoy this fine scenery. From Soraypampa to our campsite at Ichupata in the upper valley is a 2.5-hour hike. You will need to be prepared for extreme weather conditions at this campsite which is at a higher altitude.  Given the altitudes experienced during the first section of this route. We recommend a period of at least three days in Cusco before departure, in order to fully acclimatize.

Day 2: Ichupata – Sisaypampa (12 kilometres, approximately)

After a nutritious Andean breakfast, we will embark on a four hours steep climb to Incachiriasca Pass (4965 meters / 16,285 feet).  This is the highest point of our route. From here, you will be able to contemplate the impressive views of the imposing peak of Mount Salkantay.  After resting and enjoying the scenery, we will descend from the pass to Sisaypampa (4100 meters / 13,500 feet) It is an extensive plain where we will take a break for lunch while enjoying panoramic vistas of the surrounding valleys. It is also possible to spot condors along this section of our route. If we opt to camp at Sisaypampa, it will also be possible to make a short detour to Palqay Pass. It is at 4500 meters (14,760 feet) and offers a different view of Mount Salkantay, seldom seen by travelers.

Day 3: Sisaypampa – Ayapata (14 kilometers, approximately)

After a cold night, we will continue towards the village of Pampacahuana. It is in the vicinity of an Inca irrigation canal. We will be arriving there in approximately 3.5 hours.  On this section of Inca Trail Salkantay Trek, we will descend to approximately 3300 meters (10,825 feet). The Incas used complex irrigation systems to increase the land area available for agriculture. From Pampachuana, we will hike for an hour or two down the narrow, steep valley to the Inca fortress of Inkaracay (also known as Paucarcancha). This little-known site is well worth exploring.  From here, it is another thirty minutes to an hour hike to the small village of Wayllabamba. Here we will be joining the renowned Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Mules are not allowed on the Inca Trail. This is to avoid damage to the original stone-covered Inca highway. Hence we will say goodbye to our muleteers and welcome the porters who will accompany us along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. In the afternoon, we will be leaving Wayllabamba. Then we will hike up towards Warmi Wañuska - The infamous Dead Woman’s Pass.  We will, however, stop at Ayapata (also known as Yuncachimpa, approximately 3300 meters / 10,825 meters). Here we will be camping for the night.  It depends on our Inca Trail permits and the campsites that the Ministry of Culture allocates us. We may need to hike to Llulluchapampa (3800 meters / 12,465 feet).  It is another two hours along the Inca Trail from Ayapata. In such an event, we will probably camp for the night at Pampacahuana.

Day 4: Ayapata to Chaquicocha

After breakfast, we will continue our Salkantay Inca Trail Trek up to the highest point of the Inca Trail. We will be hiking for two hours to Warmiwañuska Pass (4200 meters / 13,776 feet). As we will reach, our guide will explain to you how the pass got its name and will share some stories.   We will then begin descending from the pass. We will enter the Pacaymayo Valley (3600 meters /11,808 feet), from where we will climb to the next pass at Runkurakay (3970 meters / 13,022 feet). Halfway to the pass, we will stop to visit the interesting Inca archaeological complex of Runkurakay. This site, located at 3800 meters / 12,464 feet. It houses a small oval structure that is believed to have served as a watchtower to Incas. After crossing the pass, we will descend towards Yanacocha (“Black Lake''). We will be entering the cloud forest on our way to Sayacmarca (3624 meters / 11,887 feet). This beautiful archaeological site houses a semicircular structure.  From here it is a further 20 minutes to Chaquicocha (“Dry Lake '', in Quechua), where we will camp.

Day 5: Chaquicocha to Wiñaywayna

After breakfast, we will begin the day with an easy climb up to the next pass at Phuyupatamarca (3700 meters / 12,136 feet). It is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes on the trail. It is located on a mountain peak with fine views of forested mountains in every direction. In Quechua, Phuyupatamarca means “City in the clouds' '. From this magnificent spot, we will descend via a series of stone steps built by the Incas. We will be hiking down to the archaeological site known as Wiñaywayna (2650 meters / 8692 feet). There is a lodge at this campsite, with a small restaurant, bar, and hot showers. The campsite is named after the nearby archaeological site. It is just five minutes from the lodge, the Quechua name means “forever young”. It is an allusion to the orchid which bears this name, and which grows locally.  Wiñay Wayna is an impressive complex, composed of an agricultural sector with numerous terraces, a religious sector, and an urban sector.

Day 6: Wiñaywayna to Machu Picchu – Return to Cusco.

We will start our day early (around 4:00 am). We will try to reach the Sun Gate above Machu Picchu (2730 meters / 8792 feet) before sunrise.  This early morning hike is the final part of the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. From the Sun Gate, you will have your first view of the city of Machu Picchu.  After taking time to enjoy this spectacular sight, we will walk downhill along the final section of the trail. You can take the classic picture postcard photograph of this ancient city reproduced so often throughout the world. We will give you a 2.5 hours tour of the complex. After the guided tour, you will have time to explore this Inca city independently. Those who have the energy can opt to climb Huayna Picchu hill above the ruins (2720 meters / 8923 feet).  It takes around 45 minutes to reach the top (a permit to climb Huayna Picchu must be obtained in advance when booking your Inca Trail).  Finally, we will meet up again with the rest of the group and go down by bus or on foot to the small town of Aguas Calientes. We will have time to eat before boarding the train to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our representative will meet you on arrival and will transfer you to your hotel. 

Tour Location

Salkantay Inca Trail Trek - Inca Trail Salkantay Trek Includes:

For complete facts about many aspects of Minka Peru Expedition tours, check out our FAQs page!
  • Pre trek briefing.
  • Pick-up from your hotel on the morning of trek departure.
  • Transport from Cusco to the trailhead.
  • Inca Trail Permit. (includes entry to Machu Picchu, but not to Huayna Picchu)
  • English/Quechua/Spanish-speaking professional guide. (you will have an assistant guide for groups of over 6 people).
  • Tents – 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress. (eg. Thermarest)
  • A Toilet tent is included for the first 2 days of the trek. Toilet tent is NOT included in the Inca Trail part of the route, because we use facilities provided by the Ministry of Culture.
  • Porters & Mules (for equipment and personal items) They carry camping equipment, food, and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg per person). If you wish to take more, you can hire an extra mule or porter.
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower ONLY for the first 2 days.
  • Tents for our staff to sleep in.
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Bus down from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu.
  • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.


  • Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes).
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
  • We will serve lunch on the last day of the trek.

Salkantay Inca Trail to Machu Picchu does not Include:

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Dinner on the last night.
  • Entrance to the thermal springs.
  • Entry to Huayna Picchu. ($60)
  • Tipping is completely optional. We take good care of our team members.
  • Recommended to carry on Salkantay Inca Trail to Machupicchu Includes:
  • A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots are recommended.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf, and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
  • Camera, films, and batteries. (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold.
  • Sunblock.
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.
  • Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although no malaria risk has been reported.
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
  • We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
  • Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters, etc.
  • Small towel or sarong.
  • Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs )
  • Cash – sufficient for snacks, tips, and souvenirs.
  • Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
  • Walking sticks or poles. (we can hire these to you).


  • When calculating costs for hire of walking stick, sleeping bag, calculate using the length of the tour. Even though you won’t use the equipment on the final day it will still be ‘on the road’ and ‘occupied.’
  • If you hire equipment and break it – you are responsible for the price of replacement /or repair. (please do the right thing!)
  • AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS. (these discounts are not cumulative)
  • Students: US$ 30.00. (students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please beware that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
  • Teenagers: US$ 20.00. (up to 15 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
  • Children: US$ 45.00. (up to 10 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
  • Check Availability Here.

Optional Extras

  • Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15deg. $5.00 per trip day.
  • Walking stick lightweight aluminium $2.00 per day, per stick.
  • Inflatable Mattress $5 per day.
  • Aguas Calientes Extra Day & Upgrade.


                                                     Private                                                                                                    Group             
Person2345-67-89-12Per Person USD
$ USD1855142511951075950905X
Open chat
Welcome to Minka Perú Expedition