Stunning Salkantay – Inka Trail Expedition 7D / 6N
This expedition, offers travelers the chance to enjoy a mix of both the Salkantay trail and the Inca Trail combined. Starting on the Salkantay valley, the route diverges just before Salkantay Pass and instead goes over the Incachiriaska Pass (Frozen Inca Pass) which leads down to the village of Wayllabamba where you join the Inka Trail and continue on to Machupicchu via the Sun Gate.
Day 1. Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa
Departing early in the morning from the magic city of Cusco, we drive through gorgeous valleys and mountains until we reach Mollepata, a colonial farming village. Continuing the expedition, we start the adventure in Challacancha, a viewpoint where we can appreciate the valleys and mountains from. This first day is going to be an easy hike through Soraypampa Valley enjoying the view of Humantay and Salkantay Mountains. After lunch, we make a short hike to one of the most pristine body of water there, the Humantay Lake. Overnight at Sky Camp Soraypampa (3920 masl – 12860 ft.) camping site.
Day 2. Soraypampa – Salkantaypampa – Pampa Japonesa
After an early wake up and hearty breakfast, we start on a gentle uphill to Salkantaypampa as we enjoy the views of this imposing mountain in front of our eyes all morning! Salkantay Mountain is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region and one of the Inca gods called “Apu”. As we ascend, we will make stops along the way to enjoy the outstanding mountain scenery of the Vilcabamba range. After lunch, we will gradually continue ascending to our campsite in Pampa Japonesa (4000 masl – 13123 ft.).
Day 3. Pampa Japonesa – Sisaypampa – Canal Inka
Today, we will conquer the last stretch to the pass (Incachiriasca, 5338 masl – 17513 ft.). Be amazed about the incredible forthcoming views of Salkantay! From the pass, we will make our way down to our lunch camp in Sisaypampa, where the highest-living Andean rodent, the Vizcacha, can be seen. After lunch, we continue heading downhill and, as we near the campsite, the valley narrows and the river becomes a canal. Our campsite this night is at the Inca canal (3750 masl – 12303 ft.).
Day 4. Canal Inka – Huayllabamba – Ayapata
Today, we will start with a 3-hour steep downhill trek to the Incan ruins at Inkaracay (also known as Paucarcancha). It is an archeological site well worth exploring! Afterward, we will continue hiking down to the small village of Huayllabamba where we join the traditional Inca Trail. After making a lunch stop, we will head up to our campsite, through a steep, but very scenic, climb. Our campsite tonight is at Ayapata (3000 masl – 9842 ft.).
Day 5. Ayapata – Pacaymayo – Chaquicocha
Today, we will reach the highest point on the Inca Trail, the Warmihuañusca or dead woman pass (4200 masl – 13776 ft.). After a two-hour descent, we will arrive at Pacaymayo Valley (3600 masl – 11808 ft.) where we lunch. We then continue up to the second pass, Runkurakay (3970 masl – 13022 ft.), stopping halfway to visit the impressive archaeological site of Runkurakay. Going over the pass, we descend toward Lake Yanacocha and enter into the cloud forest to arrive at the Sayaqmarca Inca site. Our campsite is at Chaquicocha (3400 masl – 11154 ft.).
Day 6. Chaquicocha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñayhuayna
Today, we will take an easy climb in the morning to the last pass with its Incan ruins of the same name, Phuyupatamarca (3700 masl – 12136 ft.). Here, we will also have remarkable views of the Urubamba River Valley and the Andes mountain range. Afterward, we descend to the Wiñaywayna campsite (2650 masl – 8692 ft.) and visit another archeological site there after lunch.
Day 7. Wiñayhuayna – Sungate – Machupicchu
Today we arrive at the long-awaited finale of our trek, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Machu Picchu! After an early start to our day, we arrive at the campsite exit gate where we must wait in line until 5:30 am. The Machu Picchu entrance check point is open from 06:00 until 17:00. Subsequently, we will hike one hour until we arrive at the Sun Gate (Intipunku) which looks down onto Machu Picchu. Arriving here, we will feel so jubilant that we have finally arrived! We will arrive early to beat the crowds to this viewpoint and enjoy its serenity in the soft morning light. From there, we will walk downhill on a stone path to enter the hidden Royal Citadel of the Incas with impressive panoramic views all the way down.
After a two hours guided tour, you are free to climb up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). We take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, have the lunch and travel for about 2 hours to Ollantaytambo by train and by van back to Cusco.
- Transport from/to Cusco
- Bus ticket from Machupicchu to Aguas Calientes
- Experienced Bilingual Outdoor Guide
- Duffle bag
- All food included (except the first breakfast and last dinner)
- Entrance ticket to the Inka Trail and Machupicchu
- Sleeping bag
- Trekking poles
- Travel Insurance
- Tips for the staff (optional)
- Acclimatization is necessary in Cusco, two days before starting the tour. For a good acclimatization it is necessary to rest as much as possible, eat little, drink plenty of liquid; especially the mate de coca that has medicinal properties. Adequate acclimatization prevents affecting the “soroche” or altitude sickness, which could cause numerous health problems.
- Take a -10° Celsius sleeping bag for the expedition
- Do not drink alcoholic drinks before the expedition