The most challenging alternative trek to Inca Trail

The Salkantay Trek route is one of the most complete that the mountain range Vilcabamba has to offer, as well as one of the most beautiful. One passes by the snowy-mountain peak of Salkantay, with camping close to the Andean lakes and a final descent that arrives to a dense tropical jungle. The trek ends in Machu Picchu. During the hike one can enjoy the local flora and fauna typical to the Andean jungle zone, that also offers thermal lakes and remote valleys. In this program, our team is in charge of providing all the necessary facilities and requirements so that one may enjoy the hike with security and pleasure.


Nevada Salkantay
Salkantay Trek Itinerary
Salkantay / Inca Trail Combo
Route Map and Altitude Profile
Best time to do the Salkantay Trek
Acclimatisation and Altitude Sickness
Equipment Packing List
Costs and Recommended Tour Operators


Activity: Trek in the Cordillera Vilcabamba, bound for the lost city of Machupicchu.
Duration: 5 days of trek + 1 day tour-excursion.
Time of Year: May – November
Departures: Upon request.
Prices and Rates: For person in U.S.A. Dollars on the basis of double accommodations. Group rates available upon request.
Minimum Number of passengers: 2
Location: In the department of Cusco, in the Cordillera Vilcabamba.
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Salkantay Trek Itinerary

The Salkantay trek set out below is for a typical 5D/4N itinerary using an official tour company and arrieros (horsemen), who will carry gear. You may see variations on this route from tour company to tour company, but this route is by far the most common. Where appropriate we have included information for readers who are interested in doing a unsupported trek

Day 1: Cusco  – Soraypampa  – Soyroccocha 
– Early in the morning we set forth on a scenic trip of approximately 5 hours to Soraypampa (3,500m // 11.482feet) where meet up with our crew of arrieros (muleteers) and their mules and horses and begin our trek.
– We follow the local trails through beautiful landscapes heading toward the base of the majestic Mt. Salkantay (6271m // 20,574feet).
– After lunch in Salkantaypampa (3,900m // 12,795feet) we begin to climb for approximately 2 hours to our campsite in Soyroccocha, situated in close proximity of the spectacular glacier of Salkantay (4,200m // 13,779feet).
– Number of hours of trekking: 3h to 4h
– Ascent:
– Descent:
– Lodging: Overnight in camping site.
– LD

Day 2: Soyroccocha – Salkantay Pass  – Qollpapampa
– After breakfast, in a unique Andean environment, we continue with an ascent of approximately ½ hour to the summit of the pass of Salkantay (4525m // 14,845feet).
– Here we can observe Vizcachas and Condors in their natural habitat and enjoy unparalleled views of the glacier. From this point we begin our descent, gradually penetrating deeper into a more tropical environment. Soon we begin to walk amidst cloud forest with its rich flora and fauna.
– A long but easy descent brings us at mid-afternoon to our campsite in Qollpapampa (2890m // 14,845feet) a lovely site situated close to hot springs where all can bathe and relax.
– Number of hours of trek: 5h to 6h
– Ascent:
– Descent:
– Lodging: Overnight in camping site.

Day 3: Qollpapampa – La Playa
– Today we follow the course of the Salkamayo River, passing through orchards of Passion fruit (Granadilla) trees and other characteristic flora of the area.
– We descend to the town of La Playa (2,155m // 7,070feet)
– Where we shall camp tonight.
– Number of hours of the trek: 5h to 6h.
– Ascent:
– Descent:
– Lodging: Overnight in camping site.
Day 4: La Playa – Llaqtapata  – Aguas Calientes
– We cross the river over to the right margin and ascend – through coffee plantations – to El Mirador (2860 m) from where we can observe marvelous Machupicchu from an exceptional angle.
– We enjoy one last lunch within the natural environment of Llaqtapata (2650 m) where we can observe a variety of Birds. A 2-hour hike brings us to the train station at the Hydroelectric Plant of Machupicchu from where we reach the town of Aguas Calientes in the afternoon. Here, in Aguas Calientes, we can relax in the Hot Springs (optional).
– Number of hours of the trek: 6h
– Ascent:
– Descent:
– Lodging: Overnight in Hotel in Aguas Calientes.
– B/Box Lunch

Day 5: Machupicchu – Cusco
– We board the first bus up to Machupicchu to enjoy the sunrise before the arrival of the tourist groups from Cusco and visit this marvelous site led by our Guide. The rest of the morning is free to explore the site on our own. In the afternoon we descend to Aguas Calientes and return by train to Cusco.
– Train from town of Aguas Calientes – to Cusco.
– Transfer from Train Station of San Pedro Cusco – to Hotel.
– B/Box Lunch