Experience the beauty of the Sacred Valley on a path few travelers take. The Salkantay Trail is a less crowded, off-the-beaten-path alternative to the classic Inca Trail. In this challenging, yet rewarding, 5-day trek you will hike to the peak of one of the Sacred Valley’s highest mountains, experience spectacular scenery, and witness unique, hidden Inca ruins.
This historic and breathtaking trail will then culminate in the ultimate reward: a well-deserved visit to Machu Picchu, one of the Seven New World Wonders. Step away from the typical tourist route to witness nature’s beauty and ancient history like never before on this once-in-a-lifetime trek.
Day 1: The trek begins
Starting from Cusco, today will be the first day of your challenging but exciting trek. The day will start bright and early, as you have a two-hour drive ahead before your first day of hiking. Arriving at the Apurímac Valley, you will meet your team, which consists of a horseman, chef, and porters, and begin your ascent. Warming up slowly, you will hike for about two hours to get a first look at the incredible natural marvels you will see in the days to come.
Day 2: Apu Salkantay
Waking up bright and early, today you will witness the immense beauty and spiritual energy of one of the most sacred mountains in the valley, the Apu Salkantay. This day is the most challenging of all, yet it will be worth it once you reach the peak. You will start the hike with a three-hour uphill climb to Apacheta Pass, where you will be so extremely close to Apu Salkantay. The views here are absolutely incomparable and will leave you speechless. After you will hike about two hours downhill to enjoy lunch at an ancient Inca site. After three more hours of moderate hiking, you will arrive at your campsite for a well-deserved rest.
Day 3: Continue along the trail
As you pass through the high jungle, you'll discover completely new flora and fauna as well as more fascinating ancient sites. After leisurely hiking, you will get the chance to rest in a small village where you can enjoy electricity, a local store, and spend some time meeting locals.
Day 4: Arrive in Aguas Calientes
Today you'll arrive at Aguas Calientes, the charming town just beneath Machu Picchu. Along the way, you will witness magnificent views of the Huayna Picchu mountain and gain a fascinating insight into the Ancient Inca history.
Day 5: Machu Picchu!
The grand finale to your rewarding 5-day journey, today you will witness firsthand the magic and mystery of Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven World Wonders. Enjoy a private, two-hour tour with an expert local, who will share with you the incredible stores and legends of this marvel. After your tour, you will be given plenty of free time to explore on your own. Visit the Sun Gate, or if you are up for it after all your hiking, climb Huayna Picchu. Today is the ultimate reward for all your hiking, so take it in, embrace the feeling of this incredible landmark, and don't forget to take pictures!
Born and raised in the city Cusco, Peru, I grew up learning about traditional Andean customs, like how to speak Quechua, from my grandparents. Spending time with them taught me to cherish my culture and jumpstarted my love for ancient history. After high school, I decided to turn this passion into my career and went on to study tourism. I started out by helping lead treks on the Inca Trail. I loved being outside every day and sharing my love of history with people from all over the world. I quickly became a lead guide on the Inca Trail and even started leading other treks and tours around the area.
I’ve been guiding now for about 18 years and have led well over 500 treks in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, yet it never gets old. Join me, and I can show you the secrets and wonders of my ancestors. Let me take you off the beaten path, away from the typical tourist track, and show you what it really means to connect with nature. Through my tours, I want to take you back in time to the days of the Incan Empire. Step into my time machine and let’s explore!