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Salkantay / Inca Trail Trek 6 days / 5 nights

Trip Overview

  • Tour Type: Hiking, adventure, history, culture. ecology
  • Tour Distance: We will walk approximately 75 kilometres total.
  • Tour Difficulty: You need to be quite fit as it is a 6-day trek and can be quite strenous.
  • Permit required: The trek combines with the Inca Trail on the third day in Wayllabamba village.
  • Hiking Season:From March 1st to January 31st.
  • Inca Trail is closed: February for maintenance.

Price:

$1100 USD

Best Seller per person

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Summary

This trek is for adventurous people who are looking for a challenge. During this trek, you will witness the beauty of the second largest mountain in the Cusco region: Salkantay. You will also have the unique cultural experience that goes along with hiking the famous Inca Trail.

The 6 days combination of Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail offers tourists the chance to enjoy a mix of both treks. Starting on the Salkantay Trek, 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 Inca Trail and continue on to Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate. This is one of the most picturesque trip offered in the Cusco area and will offer you photo opportunities of a lifetime.

Day 1: SorayPampa – Pampa Japonesa (4500m/14850ft)

Day 2: Pampa Japonesa – Inkachiriaska Pass (4700m/15510ft) – Pampacawana (4000m/13123ft)

Day 3: Pampacawa – Inca Canal – Wayllabamba (3000m/9843ft)

Day 4: Wayllabamba – Warmiwañusca (4200m/13780ft)– Pacaymayu (3500m/11483ft)

Day 5: Pacaymayu – Wiñayhuayna

Day 6: Wiñayhuayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

Itinerary


Day 1 SorayPampa – Pampa Japonesa

We will pick you up at 5:00 a.m. from your hotel in Cusco and travel by private van to SorayPampa. After getting ready, we will hike 4 hours uphill to Pampa Japonesa, located at (4500m/14850ft), where we will camp for the night.

Day 2: Pampa Japonesa – Pampacawana

After breakfast, we will start hiking through a valley until we reach the Inkachiriaska pass. At an elevation of (4700m/15510ft), this is the highest point of the trek. Tonight we will camp at the Pampacawana campsite, (4000m/13123ft), which, due to the high altitude, will be the coldest night of the trek.

Day 3: Pampacawa – Inca Canal – Wayllabamba

After breakfast, we will continue our hike, passing across some streams and visiting small archeological sites near the village of Wayllabamba, located at (3000m/9843ft). This is the starting point of the Classic Inca Trail which we will start the folowing morning. We will set up camp here for the night.

Day 4: Wayllabamba – Warmiwañusca – Pacaymayu

To enjoy the beautiful panorama and mystical atmosphere, our day will start early in the morning. The trek takes us to the valleys of Yuncachimpa, located at (3300m/10827ft), and Lulluchapampa, at (3850m/12631ft), before finally leading us to the Warmiwañusca pass, at an elevation of (4200m/13780ft). From here, you will take in an impressive view of the snow-capped mountain Wayanay. After a short rest at the summit, we will continue walking down to our camping place: Pacaymayu, located at (3500m/11483ft).

Day 5: Pacaymayu – Wiñayhuayna

We will begin the most beautiful day of the trek after a delicious breakfast. The first ruin we will explore on this day is Runkurakay, at an elevation of (3050m/10065ft). Perched on a rocky outcrop, this site was built to be a Tambo, a small country Inn. We will continue our ascent to a pass, at an altitude of (3950m/13035ft). On our way to the campsite, we will pass through the Sayacmarca ruins, at (3600m/11880ft). This is an ancient city composed of winding, narrow streets. Later, we will pass through an Incan tunnel and walk through a forest before reaching the last pass. Below, you will see the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, meaning: “City above the clouds”. This is an impressive site composed of circular walls and an ingenious system of aqueducts that still function today. As we decend, we will pass through a thick canopy of bamboo. The last campsite is in Wiñayhuayna, where we will spend our last night in tents.

Day 6: Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

On our final day, we will wake up between 3:00 and 3:30 am in the morning, pack our bags, and set out for our final day of trekking to Peru’s most iconic landmark! Since our porters will leave us after Wiñay Wayna to descend by a different trail to the train station, we will take our breakfast to go. After a ten-minute walk, we will arrive at the Inca Trail’s final checkpoint, where we will queue with all of the other trekkers to wait for the park rangers to open the last section of the trail at 5:30 am. Our early wake-up time will ensure both that we get a forward spot in the line at the checkpoint and that our porters are able to catch the 5:30 am train.

Once the trail opens, we will hike in the early morning darkness for approximately ninety minutes until we arrive at Inti Punku, the “Sun Gate” (2730m/8792ft), just as the sun’s first rays appear over the rooftops at Machu Picchu—this first dramatic view of the sunrise over Machu Picchu will make for a memory you will never forget!

After soaking in the view, we will walk down the final part of the trail and approach the ancient city, where we will be able to celebrate our accomplishment and pose for photos together before the steep peaks and mist-filled ruins of this amazing place!

We will descend to the main entrance, where we can leave our backpacks, use the restroom, and enjoy a quick coffee. After our break, we will re-enter Machu Picchu for a walking tour of the mysterious city, followed by four hours of free time for your own exploration of the Inca site.

After enjoying our final hours at Machu Picchu, you will take the bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes, where we will meet for lunch. You will then be given your train tickets for the return trip to Cusco.

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Price

Price: US $1,100  per person
Group Size: 2-8 people

Prices are the same for private or group treks!

We also offer a US $50 per person discount for group bookings of 4 people or more.

Returning train Included in the cost of this tour/trek is the Expedition train, which departs either at 6:20 pm or 7:00 pm  DEPENDING ON AVAILABILITY.

Can I get an early train ticket?
We can also book an afternoon train that departs 2:55 p.m. or 4:22 p.m. at an extra cost of US $35 per person the train we will book DEPENDS ON AVAILABILITY.
Please, notice that 35 dollars extra you will pay also will cover your private transportation to bring you back from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco

There is also an option to upgrade your train to the Vistadome train which is the extra US $75 per person. Please let us know your preference at the time of booking the tour. Unfortunately, none of the trains go straight to Cusco—they run either to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. In either case, we will transfer you back by bus to Cusco.

Can I change my return train ticket by myself?
At the time of your tour, it may be possible to make changes to your return train ticket if you don’t want to take the 18:20 p.m train. You will have to take your train ticket personally to the train station in Aguas Calientes and ask them to change the return ticket for an early one. You will probably be asked to pay an extra administration fee, which will depend on the train service and departure time. Please notice that once you will change your returning train you will responsible to cover your own transportation back to Cusco

How long is the journey back to Cusco?
You will be traveling for approximately 3 hours before you arrive back in Cusco. First, you will travel for 1.5 hours by train to the Ollantaytambo train station. Then you will be picked up by your driver outside of the train station. The driver will be holding a sign with your name on it so that there will be no confusion. If you do not see the driver initially, wait for them outside of the train station. Once the driver has picked you up, you will travel for another 1.5 hours in a private van/car to your hotel/hostel in Cusco. Arrival time in Cusco will depend on train availability. You will receive your return train tickets once your guide has finished your walking tour of Machu Picchu.

Important Notice Regarding Student Discounts: 

The ISIC card is no longer valid for purchasing Machu Picchu or Inca Trail tickets with a student discount.

Students can still obtain this discount with their student identification card issued by the university where they study, which is the only valid document for this end at this time. For more information, please visit the following link: http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/items/estudiantes.html

Additional Options

Huayna Picchu

Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu and can be seen in most photos of the ruins. It is a 45-minute hike to the top. While this hike is done on your own, your guide will direct you to where this hike begins. This requires a separate entrance ticket that we can secure for you with advance notice, for an additional $80 per person.

Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu Mountain is the other mountain that stands above the Machu Picchu ruins. It offers even more stunning views than Huayna Picchu, but takes an hour and a half of steep climbing to reach the top. This also requires a separate entrance ticket that we can secure for you with advance notice, for an additional $80 per person.

Inclusions

What is included in the price?

A professional tour guide who is fluent in English

Porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.
Private bus to Soraypampa
Two-person tents with plenty of room for your backpacks
Sleeping mattress
Meals cooked by an experienced chef: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks!
Delicious food rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking
All our food is prepared from organic vegetables and fresh ingredients
Water storage: we strongly recommend to bring your Camel Back and water canteen due to that government of Peru will not allow disposable plastic bottles anymore on the Inca trail and in Machu Picchu.
Vegetarian/special diet options available with no extra cost
Horse  (to carry Tents and cooking  equipments) for the first two days of the trek
Dining and kitchen tents
First aid kit including an emergency oxygen bottle
Inca Trail entrance fees, Porters to carry the tents, food, and cooking equipment
Porter’s and Wranglers health insurance paid for by INTI SUN TREK
Dining and kitchen tents
Bus ticket from Machu Picchu down to the village of Aguas Calientes
Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco

Not included:

Breakfast on the first morning
Lunch in Aguas Calientes on the final day
Entrance to the thermal springs in Aguas Calientes (10 soles)
Sleeping bags. These can be rented in our office for the entire trek (US $20) every sleeping bag is washed prior to each use
Tips for the guide, cooks and wranglers

packing list

What you need to bring:

  • Original passport
  • Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack ( smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: we strongly recommend to bring your Camel Back and water canteen due to that government of Peru will not allow disposable plastic bottles anymore on the Inca trail and in Machu Picchu.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)

FOR YOUR DUFFEL:
Porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.

  •  2-3 wicking t-shirts
  • 2-3 hiking pants
  • 4 sets of undergarments.
  • 4 sets of hiking socks
  • 1 Fleece
  • 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
  • 1 Rain jacket and pants
  • 1 sun hat
  • 1 wool hat
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
  • Quick-dry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean – might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
  • Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
  • Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.

TOILETRIES:

  • Sunscreen
  • Face moisturizer
  • Bug spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medication
  • First aid kit: band-aids, moleskin, etc.

INSIDE YOUR DAYPACKS:

Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside citadel gates.

  • Water beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast will supply all the water needed. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributing. You must supply your own water bottles or Camel Back. We recommend carrying about 2L worth. We will refill our waters at each meal
  • Sunhat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Camera
  • Music (iPhone)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and a small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
  • Earplugs

before you go

Pre-Trek Briefing

All briefings are done at our office at 6:00 PM the night before your trek. If you are unable to make this time, you need to coordinate another time with a member of the Inti Sun Trek office team. Briefings are approximately 30 -45 minutes long.

Renewal or change passport number?

If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you must send us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them. We can then make the change with the government before you arrive. The extra cost to make the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and train.)

If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one). You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or train. If you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!

PICKUPS

Inti Sun Trek is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. As long as your hotel is in the center of Cusco city,we will coordinate this pickup based on a time that your guide will discuss at the briefing. Pick up times may vary 30 – 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pickups.

Cusco is an old city with cobblestoned streets and very narrow passageways. Very small hotels and Air BNBs are often located on streets that cars can not pass through. They also are often located up on the hillside, with long steep climbs to the property, difficult to maneuver with luggage. We highly recommend that you do not stay at one of these places.

Hiking in the Andes: Is something that everyone can do no matter their age, but it is never easy. You will need some level of fitness to be able to complete it comfortably. Each trial involves inclines that can take your breath away if you are not in shape and downhill hiking that can be tough on one’s knees. Walking sticks are recommended for everyone. Please remember the group treks are open to everyone, all abilities, so be patient and help those struggling with some kind words.

Getting to Cusco: The airport in Cusco is currently only for domestic flights, so all international travelers who arrive by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.

The best way to get to Cusco is by air and there are several options in airlines. LATAM tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights.

Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.

Storage during your trek to Machu Picchu: Most of our trekkers leave their belongings that they do not want to bring on the trek in the hostel they were previously staying in. These hostels/hotels usually have a secure, locked room where you can securely store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to store your belongings for you in our office. Make sure your bags have some kind of identification on them so they are easy to locate.

Your Safety is our first concern: Trekking the Andes is not your typical vacation. And most of the people who hike with us have little to no experience with hiking in altitude. We understand the large responsibility we have in ensuring that you are well taken care of every step of the way.

First Aid: Each year, Inti Sun Trek guides receive training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February to which every single guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts/scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They know how to make you feel better. It is important to be very honest with your guide as soon as you are experiencing any discomfort. If you suffer from any medical conditions, please let your guide know during the briefing so he is prepared to give you extra attention, if needed.

In case something unexpected happens and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, they will figure out the safest and quickest way to bring you to a clinic. You will never be left alone and will have a member of the team escorting you during every step until you are safely brought to a doctor. When you are feeling better, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and re-connect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.

Travel Insurance: To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Obtaining travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and very easy. This is a great way to protect yourself while visiting Peru.

Altitude: Altitude sickness is serious and has the potential to ruin your trip. The biggest mistake you can make is to fly directly to Cusco and expect to hike the next day. Give yourself several days to adjust to the altitude first. You will thank yourself for this during the trek.

The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. This is why we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek. If you have more time, it is even better. Cusco is an amazing city with a lot to do, so you won’t be bored.

With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may experience a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping or trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office and we will help you get to a doctor. Altitude sickness must be taken seriously.

Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids, which helps bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.

You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly. Drink lots of water. And enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you, unfortunately, get sick, let your guide know right away – all guides are trained in how to help you get through it.

Weather: Of course the weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the Sun from coming out in December – just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, please make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant. You will notice that there is a large variation between the minimum and maximum temperatures on the trek. In general, when the sun is out it will be very hot. In this heat, you need to drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated. The early hours of the morning and night can be very cold. As a result, you need to be prepared for just about every weather condition.

What to wear for the trek: One of the most important investments for this trek is a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Your feet will thank you after the long trek if your shoes are well worn in and waterproof. The temperature varies throughout the trek, so it is best to dress in layers. Avoid cotton, as cotton does not dry quickly and wet clothing will be a problem when the temperatures drop pack for four seasons. Many of the treks through the Andes involve many micro-climates and you will need to be prepared for all seasons. A t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater/microfleece, and a waterproof jacket. These items will provide you with enough warmth and will allow you to “peel off” layers as it gets warmer or your body temperature increases. Layers are always key as they are easy to adjust to the different temperatures. And evenings will always be cold, so please be prepared with a warm winter-weight jacket.

During the rainy season: Rain pants are a good idea as we will encounter a lot of mud, rivers, and rain. A plastic poncho is also great because it will keep you and your pack dry. You can also pack your belongings inside of plastic bags to ensure that your belongings stay dry.

Do I need to bring hiking boots? Hiking boots are recommended, as they provide ankle support to reduce the risk of injury, especially when trekking in the wet season (December – March). However, it is important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in. Many people prefer to trek in tennis shoes but extra care should be taken. We do not recommend trekking in sandals, using new boots, or renting boots prior to the trek. Make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for the duration of the trek and will not fall apart.

Can I use walking sticks on the Inca Trail? Many people like to hike with trekking poles or walking sticks. This is fine as long as the poles will not cause damage to the stone paving along the Inca Trail. If the trekking poles have metal spikes, then these must be protected by rubber tips. We recommend bringing some spare rubber tips with you. These rubber protectors can be purchased in Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Wooden walking sticks are fine as long as you bring them with you from home.
Recently, government authorities have stopped trekkers from using wooden sticks that could have come from local forests to prevent deforestation of the protected Andean region.

Strikes in Peru: A popular way for the people in Peru to communicate unhappiness with the government is to strike. This area sees quite a few strikes a year that can sometimes affect the logistics involved in our tours. Most strikes are well organized and planned in advance so the office will have at least a few hours to make arrangements if needed.

Changes for logistics: Often this involves leaving for your trek the night before. Please understand we will do everything we can to get you to and from the trail and will give you the information you need as soon as we have it. We will always get you to and from the trail very safely.

Environmental Impact: We use biodegradable soap and transport all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste from other groups as well. We also use environmentally-friendly chemical portable toilets that allow us to pack waste out. We believe in leaving no footprint behind.

 

FAQ

How fit do you need to be for this tour?
You need to be quite fit as it is a 6-day trek and can be quite strenous.

Is there pick up and drop off from hotel?
Yes there is.

When should I book this tour?
You should book this tour at least 4/5months in advance. This trek combines the Salkantay Trek with the Inca Trail, therefore it is under the same restrictions as the Inca Trail Trek. The Inca Trail is strictly limited to a certian number of trekkers per year. You can check to availability of the Trek on our website.

When does the trek combine with the Inca Trail?
The trek combines with the Inca Trail on the third day in Wayllabamba village.

At what point do we meet the porters?
We meet the porters in Wayllabamba on the third day.

How many hours do we walk per day?
All times are estimated and will depend on the speed of the group. On the first day, we will walk for approximately 6 hours. On the second day, 9 hours. On the third day, 4 hours. On the fourth day, 8 hours. On the fifth day, 6 hours. On the sixth day, only 2 hours.

How many kilometres will we walk?
We will walk approximately 75 kilometres total.

What time does the tour start and finish?
On the first day, the tour begins at 5 a.m. On the last day, your return to Cusco will depend on the time of your train.

What is the highest point on the trek?
The highest point is at an elevation of (4600m/15,180ft).

What happens if I suffer from altitude sickness?
We are well prepared for this with a fully equipped first aid kit including an oxygen tank.

Will it be cold on the trek?
Yes, due to the altitude, the second night will be the coldest. Bring warm clothes.

How many days in advance should I arrive in Cusco?
As a result of the altitudes that we will reach on this trek, we highly recommend that hikers be in Cusco for at least 5 days before commencing on the trek.

Do I need to bring my own sleeping bag?
You can bring your own or we have an option to rent a sleeping bag for US $20 dollars.

 

 

What To Bring

Take these recommendations into account in order to better enjoy your walk.

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