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southern crossings peru Salkantay Trek south america

All Salkantay Treks include: airport transfers, domestic flights, porters, camping gear and entrances to sites.

Salkantay Trek

10 days, 4 trekking
US$3200 per person

Discount for groups

Ask about our Econoclass Salkantay Trek starting at $2575 per person

The Salkantay Trek is an unforgettable trek to the famous Mountain Salcantay, part of the Vilcanota mountain range, which was worshipped by the Incas as a deity of guidance and protection. Take in the beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley, and the spectacular Vilcanota Mountains. The majestic natural landscapes and attractive Inca archaeological site provides a great journey to the jewel in the Inca’s crown the famous lost city of Machu Picchu.

Day 1: Arrive Lima.

Day 2: City Tour Cusco.

Day 3: Free Day Cusco.

Day 4-7: Salkantay Trek.

Day 8-9: Machu Picchu Tour, then free day to climb Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.

Day 10: Flight to Lima/departure day.

What’s included in the trip

  • Private airport pickup at the beginning of trip and drop off at end of the trip
  • Southern Crossings bilingual guides
  • All other internal transport – (excluding transport to optional restaurants, bars, sights and excursions)
  • Domestic flights – Lima-Cusco, Cusco-Lima
  • Six nights of hotel accommodation, three nights camping
  • Private Salkantay Trek – including bilingual guide, mules, cook, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat
  • All meals whilst on the Salkantay trek
  • Breakfast – included every morning with your hotel stay
  • Private Machu Picchu excursion – including bilingual guide, round trip Vistadome or Expedition train fare, transportation to/from ruins/Aguas Calientes, and two-day entrance to the Machu Picchu sanctuary including Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • The Cuzco Visitor’s Ticket – which includes entrance to the ruins in and around Cuzco and the Sacred Valley, and many churches and museums in Cuzco
  • Private Cusco city tour including entrance fees, private vehicle, driver and professional guide
  • Private Lima city tour including entrance fees, private vehicle, driver and professional guide
  • 24-hour customer support line while on tour

What’s not included

International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings, cancellation insurance is advisable.

Detailed trip itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lima anytime today and private transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artisan markets and restaurants, and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital, you visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor.

Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing!

The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.

The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an Administrative and Ceremonial Center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllana” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.

If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.

Day 2

A short morning flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into your hotel, we set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Coricancha church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cuzco in the late afternoon.

Day 3

Free day in Cusco there is plenty to do in the Incan capital. There is the opportunity to visit Cuzco’s excellent Inca Museum, retrace the steps of the conquistador Pizarro and the Inca rebellion that almost retook Cuzco, take walks to little known Inca sites above town, and generally take in the splendor and beauty of this fascinating region. You will spend the night in Cusco.

Day 4

Today we start out on our Salkantay trek, a beautiful scenic journey through Limatambo, with panoramic views of the Apurímac Valley. We have breakfast in a typical restaurant before setting off starting point Sayllapata, there we’ll meet our arrieros “horsemen“and trek staff, and begin our hike through traditional Andean communities Cruz Pata, Challacancha two traditional, unspoiled Andean villages to Soraypampa, where we will have the lunch. After another four hours of hiking we head to Soyrococha, where we will spend the night.

Distance to hike 12 km/7m.
Estimated hike time 6-8 hrs.
Min altitude 2,850m/8,790ft
Max altitude 3,950m/10,824ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 5

Today we will ascent to the highest point of our trek, to Salkantay Pass. From this point we can take in the truly stunning views of the Salkantay Mountain, coated in a white coat of snow 19,440 ft / 6,271 m above sea level. The incredible views don’t stop there, and we pass the mountains Humantay and Huayanay, several small lakes and moraines.

Distance to hike 12 km/7m.
Estimated hike time 6-8 hrs.
Min altitude 2,850m/8,790ft
Max altitude 3,950m/10,824ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 6

Today is more relaxed as we go downhill for a moderate hike, we will be introduced to a high jungle niche called Ceja de Selva where coffee, coca and fruits plantations can be seen. We have time to bathe in a waterfall, take some amazing pictures, and with luck we might be able to observe the famous Peruvian National Bird “Gallito de las Rocas.”

Distance to hike 15km/9m.
Estimated hike time 5-6 hrs.
Min altitude 2,350m/8,790ft
Max altitude 2,920m/10,824ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 7

We will start our hike early morning, hiking on an almost completely flat terrain to Lucmabamba, where we will head up to Llactapata, a small yet beautiful archeological site. After a well-deserved rest we start the descend towards Hidroelectrica, where our lunch will be waiting for us, and then we continue onwards to Aguas Calientes for a hot shower and a hotel bed.

Distance to hike 12 km/7m.
Estimated hike time 7-8 hrs.
Min altitude 2,000m/8,790ft
Max altitude 2,350m/10,824ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.

Day 8

Sunrise at majestic Machu Picchu! Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven manmade wonders of the world. After a guided Machu Picchu tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. After your tour you might like to visit the local hot spring. Overnight in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu tour

Day 9

The extra day at Machu Picchu can be dedicated to hiking the many miles of Inca road surrounding the site or just relaxing and taking in the views. During peak visiting hours (10-2), try a hike on one of the surrounding Inca trails on Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for fantastic panoramic views of the archeological site. Return by train and car to Cusco in the evening.

Day 10

Morning flight from Cusco to Lima, have a city tour if you didn’t get the chance to do so on the first day. Later you’ll have a private transfer to the airport to catch your departure flight. International flight can depart any time after 3pm.

Extra activities

Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, zip lining, paragliding, surfing and free days to your custom itinerary. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote. If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore please let us know!

Accommodation upgrades/ Extra accommodation

This tour includes 3-star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to four- or five-star and work it into your custom itinerary. We can also arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip.

Is this trip for me?

The Salkantay trek is a ten-day tour which includes a four day intermediate trek, including hiking at high altitudes, some public transport and walking around on city tours and various Inca ruins. No trekking experience is required, but one should be in average physical shape and not suffer from any heart or respiratory conditions. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and delays of developing-world travel.

Joining the tour

On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being swindled by airport taxis.

Pre-trip planner

Required documents

All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.

Required immunizations

No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Peru. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. There is no yellow fever or malaria in the areas you will be visiting. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.

Things to bring

During our trek, mules will accompany us to carry most of our things, including all the camping gear. Each passenger is allowed 15 pounds / 7 kilos of personal items which will be carried by the mules. Such items would include warm clothing for camping, toiletries, etc. During the day you’ll be using your daypack and will just need to carry water, snacks, rain gear, and a layer for changing weather conditions. Of course, most people also carry a camera.


Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared for temperatures ranging from 35° to 85° Fahrenheit / 2° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows: Cuzco: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold in Cuzco. Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain. Machu Picchu: similar to Cuzco, but warmer and with more chance of rain. Salkantay Trek: Days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold and there is always the chance of rain.

Money guide

The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks are difficult to cash (American Express is best, but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it unchangeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country. Expect to spend about US$4-11 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru. Artisan market prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters, for example, run between $5 and $30. Currency ConverterSaveSave