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Rickshaw Travel
Peru & Bolivia
Salkantay trail

Salkantay Trek – Through Faraway Peaks

Bite-sized trip
  • Itinerary:
    Cusco - Salkantay Trek - Machu Picchu - Cusco
  • Duration:
    4 days / 3 nights
  • Price:
    From £ 945.- pp (excluding flights)
High on beauty, low on crowds - the Salkantay Trek is the ‘other’ Inca Trail. It may not be the traditional route to Machu Picchu, but it’s every bit as stunning. Trekking for three days through remote landscape, you’ll see the lesser explored Andes and feel almost alone in the mountains. Unlike the classic Inca Trail, camp for just two nights and you’ll make the final journey to Machu Picchu by bus, in time to see dawn break over the Lost City.
Salkantay trek people at summit

Day 1 – Cusco – Salkantaypampa (6 hour trek)

Today you’ll take the bus to the Soraypampa, the starting point of the Salkantay Trek, passing small villages and beautiful scenery along the way. You’ll start by hiking past several mountain settlements to a viewpoint with panoramas across Tucarway Lake to the glacier beyond.

After lunch, you’ll climb for another two hours to your campsite at Salkantaypampa, overlooking the valley at 4,100 metres. When you arrive, the kettle will be boiling, the camp will be set up and you can watch the sunset with a steaming cup of coca tea before crawling into your sleeping bag.

Day 2 – Soraypampa – Colpachacha (9 hour trek)

This is a challenging day, so be sure to grab a hearty breakfast. You’ll spend the morning climbing steeply uphill to 4,700 metres, the highest point of your trek. From the pass, you’ll begin to descend through lush countryside. After lunch, the trail will begin zig-zagging up hill again to your next camp at 2,930 metres. It’s a wonderful place to lie back and gaze into starry mountain skies.

Day 3 – Colpapampa – Aguas Calientes (5 hour trek)

Today you’ll be relieved to hear is a far easier day. After breakfast you’ll set off on a scenic 5 hour descent through coca fields and forests thick with ferns and wild orchids. At the end of the trail, you’ll stroll the final couple of hours alongside the train tracks to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. It’s a small and touristy town, but there’s an excitement in the air and lots of lively bars.

Day 4 – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Today you’ll be up before dawn and head to Machu Picchu in the twilight. At the viewpoint, settle on a rock and watch as the Lost City of the Incas suddenly appears from the mist when sunlight floods the valley. Wandering past temples and between houses, you’ll be swallowed up by a sense of wonder. You’ll explore the Lost City as part of a group, along with an official guide, in keeping with Peruvian Law introduced to protect the site.  At the end of the day, you’ll hop on the bus back to Aguas Calientes to connect with the train to Cusco.


Salkantay trek tents

This bite-sized trip combines well with

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