For travelers who cannot get enough of the great outdoors and truly want to challenge themselves, the Salkantay Trek is a magnificent alternative to the Inca Trail. This challenging five-day hike will take you through some of the most difficult peaks in the Cusco region, where you will witness unprecedented views and discover why the Incas believed the mountains to be spiritual.
The final reward for a tough, but incredible trek will be your final trip to Machu Picchu. After immersing yourself in the beauty of the Sacred Valley, you will truly appreciate the marvel and gain a deeper understanding of its significance.
Day 1: Cusco to Challa’canccha and Suirococha
Today, you will begin the first day of your hike. Starting bright and early, your guide will take you to the small, remote village of Challa’cancha, where you will witness incredible views of the snowcapped mountains you will soon climb. Starting easy, this day of hiking is meant to help you warm up to the altitidue, all while e enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Day 2: The highest point of the trek
Today your hike will reach its highest point, the famous Salkantay Pass. After some challenging climbing, you will be rewarded with incredible views unlike any in the entire Sacred Valley. Witness the magnificent glaciers of the Valcanota Mountain Range and truly congratulate yourself for a job well done. Your hike today will take about eight hours total.
Day 3: Trekking through the high jungle
Continuing through the high jungle, you will pass dramatic waterfalls and beautiful flora and fauna as well as small banana, coffee, and avocado farms. Today's hike will be long but leisurely, allowing you to truly take in the natural beauty of the jungle. After about eight hours of hiking, you will then arrive at your very special camp for the night, a family-owned coffee farm.
Day 4: Spend the day with coffee farmers
A well-deserved break from hiking, today you will learn about local culture and coffee farming. Your local host family will give you a special tour around the farm, and teach you the ins and outs of this crop. You will even get a chance to roast and grind your own coffee. Experience coffee like never before by enjoying an organic, and extremely fresh cup right on the farm. Feeling adventurous? You will also get the chance to zipline through the jungle to experience thrills paried with wonderful views. After this fun, and comparatively relaxing, day within the community, you will continue on foot to Aguas Calientes, where you will get to stay in a comfortable hotel, take a nice hot show, and get some well deserved rest before your big trip to Machu Picchu!
Day 5: Machu Picchu!
Today is the exciting day where you will finally get to witness the incredible world wonder. Today you will learn all you need to know about the Inca Citadel with a knowledgeable local guide. Through a private tour, you’ll discover the mystery and beauty of Machu Picchu like you’ve always dreamed. With enough time to explore and ask as many questions as you like, you will end this tour not only having checked Machu Picchu off your bucket list, but also really appreciating the marvel itself.
Born in the beautiful province of Acomayo, right in the Andes Mountains, my love of the great outdoors began at a young age. When I was just a kid, my family moved to Cusco, where I discovered my love of tourism. I first began working in tourism as a porter on the Inca Trail. It was really hard work, but working with the guides inspired me to become one as well. I went to school to study tourism. I remember the day I received my license as an official tour guide like it was yesterday! It was such an exciting moment to be able to lead people on the trail, and now 16 years later, I still get that same excitement every time I host a tour. A few years ago, I decided to take my passion and begin my own tour company. My hope that through my tours, I can show travelers not only the beauty and history of the region but also teach them about the rich Andean culture.
Growing up in a small town in the Sacred Valley, I was raised to always respect and love Mother Nature. As a kid, I always admired the tour guides passing through my town. Not only did they get to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the country, but they got to meet people from all over the world. I became determined that I too would become a tour guide. As soon as I was old enough, I moved to Cusco to study tourism and become a certified Inca Trail guide. For about 14 years now, I have been leading tours, and discovered that, beyond taking my guests on the “typical” paths, I wanted to be a unique guide and take them to the unique interesting spots other guides weren’t going to. I also have studied medicinal plants and love teaching my travelers about the many fascinating benefits these plants can have.
I was born in the Apurimac region of Peru in an indigenous community with rich agricultural land. As a kid, I learned from my parents how to work on the field and the importance of maintaining our culture’s age-old traditions. Although I left my small town at a very young age to go to elementary school in Cusco, I’ve carried this appreciation for ancient culture my whole life. Living in the magical city of Cusco, I was able to expand upon my knowledge of my ancestors even more and was inspired to take this knowledge and share it with others. After studying tourism in school, I became a tour guide, specializing in ancient cultures. Having been born in a village in an indigenous village and as a native speaker of the Quechua language, teaching travelers from all over the world about the history and land has been an absolute dream.