Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days

4700 m.s.n.m

Up to 8 Trekkers

Group / Private

Van, Bus, Train

Moderate

This unique and specially designed Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu takes you around the stunning spectacular peak of Mount Salkantay! It is the second tallest mountain in the Cusco region (6,277m / 20,577ft) and a Sacred Apu of the Inca. On our route, away from other groups or crowds, you will see a gorgeous turquoise glacial lake, waterfalls and feel that you are truly out in the wilds of the Andes. Afterwards, visiting the best of the Inca archeological sites, you hike the Short Inca Trail, explore the astonishing Wiñay Wayna and visit the fabled Machu Picchu!

Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – ITINERARY

Day 1 – CUSCO – SORAYPAMPA – HUMANTAY LAGOON – SALKANTAY PAMPA – PAMPA JAPONESA

Your guide will pick you up from your Cusco hotel at 4:00am. Relax or snooze in our van, as we begin the adventure towards Mollepata and the trailhead at Soraypampa, which is about a 3 hour drive. Upon arrival at Soraypampa, your trekking chef will prepare a delicious hot breakfast. After a hearty and gourmet meal, you will give your duffel bags to your horseman to be carried by the packhorses. From here you only need to carry your small daypack! We start the trek hiking 1.5 hours up towards Humantay mountain and its sparkling lake, which reflects the stunning glacier above.

Delight in the refreshingly chill air and postcard perfect view of Humantay! We will continue our trek to Salkantaypampa, arriving at lunch time. Your chef will have hot drinks and another elaborate meal waiting for you! After lunch, we will continue hiking uphill for another 3 more hours until we reach our first campsite at Pampa Japonesa.

  • Walking distance: 14km
  • Trailhead elevation: 3,800km
  • Campsite elevation: 4,700mt
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 2 – PAMPA JAPONESA – CONDOR PASS – INCA CANAL – PAUCCARCANCHA

Rise and shine, with your early morning wake up! Your guide will bring hot tea or coffee to your tent, so you can start the day with a hot drink in the cozy comfort of your sleeping bag. Enjoy breakfast with the stunning view of Salkantay, its glaciers and surrounding peaks! From here, you begin the hike from Pampa Japonesa, going uphill for another 3 hours towards the Inca Chitiaska.

Chiriaska means “getting cold” in Quechua, the language of the Inca, which is still spoken by indigenous people today. This place is genuinely cold at most times of the year but also has one of the best views of the Salkantay peak. You will have time to appreciate the impressive peak above you, with a mug of hot chocolate to warm your hands and stomach. The next part of the hike is to Sisaypata, where we will have lunch with the incredible view of the Paltayoc peak. Continuing our trek for another 3 more hours downhill, we will reach our campsite of Paucarcancha 3,770km/ 12,370 ft.

  • Walking distance: 18km
  • Highest point of the trail: 5100m.km
  • Campsite elevation: 3,300mt
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3 – PAUCARCANCHA – LLACTAPATA – KM 82 – OLLANTAYTAMBO

Wake up with another hot drink in your tent before breakfast at the Paucarcancha campsite. After breakfast, we will begin visiting the archeological site of Paucarcancha itself. Our guide will then lead you to the section of the Classic Inca Trail where you will see the original stone that was set down hundreds years ago. You will be surrounded by beautiful views of the valleys and mountain while trekking towards the Inca Trail, where you first visit the Llactapata archeological site. This Inca village shows you so much about daily life during Inca times. Houses, water canals and farming terraces were built into the steep mountain side. From Llactapata, we will continue for another hour till lunch.

After another gourmet lunch, we will continue hiking for about two more hours to KM 82, where our private transportation will be waiting for us. It is a short drive to the beautiful Veronica View Hotel located just a few minutes from Ollantaytambo. You will have time before dinner to enjoy the heated swimming pool, sauna and luxurious spa treatments. After dinner take some time to enjoy the hummingbirds and other wildlife that come to the native flower and orchid garden at dusk.

  • Walking distance: 15km
  • Morning elevation: 3,300mt
  • Evening elevation: 2,700mt
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodations: Veronica View Hotel

DAY 4: – OLLANTAYTAMBO – KM 104– WIÑAY WAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU

Waking up fresh after a night of full relaxation, we will be making our way to the Ollantaytambo Train station where we will board the train that departs at 6:10 to KM 104. After an hour train ride, we will be starting our trek and passing through the first checkpoint at the elevation of 2,100/6,927ft.

After showing our passports and permits at the first checkpoint, we will begin a moderate climb for 3 hours to the archeological site of Wiñay Wayna at 2,650m/8747ft. Here you will get to experience the stunning view of Urubamba Canyon, with this archeological site perched on the steep canyon wall as if floating in space. After enjoying this beautiful sight, we will continue towards Sun Gate, following in the footsteps of the Inca. We will encounter our first glimpse of the spectacular view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate! You will have amazing views and many opportunities to take pictures the whole way from the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu. Entering the citadel, you will have more time to take photos of this UNESCO World Heritage Site in the afternoon light. As tourists leave for the day, you will be able to take photos without crowds in the way. Afterwards, we will take the shuttle bus to Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night at our hotel.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner
  • 2* Accommodations: Inti Punku Tambo, Wiracocha Inn

Day 5 AGUAS CALIENTES- MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

The day has finally come for you to explore the fabled Machu Picchu! We will get up early to catch the first shuttle bus this New 7 Wonder of the World! After passing through the entrance, you will get a 2.5 hours private tour of Machu Picchu. You guide will walk you through the rediscovery of these enigmatic ruins where you will visit the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, the Three Windows, The Quarry, The House of Inca and many more different types of architecture.

There are a few extra options available besides Machupicchu.  

  • Climb Huayna Picchu – appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu (additional fee).
  • Climb Machu Picchu Mt. – appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu (additional fee).
  • You will be given some time to walk to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku. ( No additional fee)
  •  Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs. (entrance fee)

***Note you get 4 extra hours at the Citadel of Machu Picchu if you choose to climb Huayna Picchu  or Machu Picchu Mountain.

After this wonderful tour, you will head back to Aguas Calientes to have a relaxing lunch on your own. You will be boarding the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo leaving at 14:55pm. We will pick you up at the train station and drive you to the Veronica View. You will arrive with time to enjoy the sauna and heated swimming pool before dinner.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Meal included: Breakfast

What is included for the Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu ?

  • Pick up at your hotel in the morning of the trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to Soraypampa (starting point of the trek)
  • Permit to the Inca Trail and entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
  • English speaking, experienced, professional guide
  • Private guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Comfortable tents (sleeping 2 people in a 4-person tent)
  • All camping equipment, including dining tent, table, chairs, kitchen tent and toilet tent.
  • Round trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • First Aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Expedition Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to KM104 and Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo Station.
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes with private room and bathroom
  • Mules and horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. A duffel to carry 7 kgs of your personal items such as extra clothes, sleeping bag etc.
  • Provision of an extra horse in case of emergency such as illness, to ensure trek can be completed by all participants
  • Comfortable foam mattress
  • Boiled water for drinking and washing purposes
  • Sauna and heated swimming pool at the Veronica View Hotel

What us not included for the Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • Sleeping bag – US $20 per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
  • Air mattress – US $20 per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Hiking poles – US $15 per pair per trek (professional poles that can be extended)
  • Personal tent: US $30 – (Tent for solo travelers only)
  • Vistadome Train upgrade – US $67 per person (return only)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain – US $75 per person (Please request when you book your trek)
  • Machu Picchu Mountain – US $75 per person (Please request when you book your trek)
  • Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
  • Tips for the crew, guide, cook and porters of VV Hotel & Tours
  • Transportation back to Cusco
  • Spa services at the Veronica View Hotel

ADDED VALUES FOR FREE

  • Transfer from the airport to hotel (Cusco only)
  • SMALL GROUPS: up to 8 hikers
  • EARLY TRAIN: for the return to Veronica View from Aguas Caliente

***The Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu tour is available on any date that its best for you (except February when the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance). This trek still takes you into Machu Picchu by walking through the Sun Gate. You will get to explore some amazing Inca ruins along the way like the Wiñay Wayna Inca city.

Price: $777 USD per person without hotels

Price: $797 USD per person with 2 nights 3* hotels

Price: $867 USD per person with 2 nights 4* hotels

***Private service is available for $100 USD more per person.

***All entrance fees are included and we operate our tours in small groups averaging 5 people with a maximum of 8!  

DISCOUNTS

  • 18 to 25 years old: $30 USD. Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card is required at booking for government approval for discount.
  • Under 18 years old: $30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old: $40 USD.  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.

EXTRAS

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person
  • Hotel single supplement: $40USD 2* and $60 USD 3*, $100 USD 4* for solo travelers
  • Vistadome Train: $67 USD per person

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Please read carefully the following information as it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and the Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Package.

THE BRIEFING

The evening before the Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you will receive a briefing at our office.

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT THE HOTEL?

Of course! During the Wilderness Salkantay & Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu, your main luggage can be stored at the Cusco office or the hotel in our secure storage.

HOW TO BOOK 

FIRST, to book your Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here the link BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase an Inca trail permit, entrance to Machu Picchu or the train without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person in order to purchase your Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu permit and entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket.  You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page..

WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?

If you would like to avoid the high credit card fees in Peru, you may pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. There are many ATMs within the historical center to withdraw money.  You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service fee, charged by VISA and PAYPAL.  To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account and use our email address veronicaviewhotel@gmail.com

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?

Unfortunately the answer is No. Once the Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu tickets have been bought, the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the tickets has been bought. Tickets are also not transferable nor refundable. If you cancel your Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the deposit is not refundable at all!

DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT?

Yes! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your entrance to Machu Picchu, train ticket, other entrances and reservations.

In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 USD per person.  We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change.

If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you.  You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to be to enter into Machu Picchu or the train.  If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter into Machu Picchu or get on the train.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON THE SALKANTAY & SHORT INCA TREK?

The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. We recommend that you always dress in layers as that makes it easier to adjust to the different climates.

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS?

For some visitors, the first hours in Cusco can be summarized as: shortness of breath, a discomfort in the body, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, even vomiting. As great connoisseurs of natural medicine, the Incas used coca leaves to counteract soroche, Quechua for high-altitude sickness.

The Veronica View Hotel, and all of the Sacred Valley, are at a lower altitude than Cusco. If you are concerned about the altitude of Cusco, you may want to spend a few days in the Sacred Valley when you first arrive.

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary in your country, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the tour.  It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many VV Hotel & Tours destinations. Of course, you are free to tip as much as you feel appropriate, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your tour. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?

Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator. We incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities by respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our local staff to know and understand, respect the places and the local people.

The Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Package includes a pack horse to carry your duffel only on the Salkantay portion of the trek. On the Short Inca Trail, you will send your duffel by train to Aguas Calientes, where you will pick it up after your hike.

What you have to take with you for the Wilderness Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Valid university card (if you booked as a student)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage:  2-3L reusable bottles (please do not bring disposable bottles)
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bags for waste
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 hiking pants at least
  • Undergarments
  • Hiking socks
  • Polar fleece or sweater
  • Jacket if cold season
  • Waterproof gloves – rainy season
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office to double protect your personal gear from moisture
  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal medications
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Wool hat if cold season
  • Rain gear  – rainy season
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruit
  • Rain poncho (provided by VV Hotel & Tours)
  • Camera and charging cords for the nights at hotels
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips