The Salkantay circuit is arguably Peru’s second most famous hike after the Inca Trail. The dizzying path takes you high into the Andes across the majestic, snow-capped face of Mount Salkantay before dropping you down through lush cloud-forest to reach Aguas Calientes, gateway to Machu Picchu.
Original Inca paths offer views of snow-capped mountains and glaciers, winding their way to waterfalls, rivers and turquoise lakes while local inhabitants live isolated in simple houses, much as their ancestors have done for centuries.
The standard trail involves 3-4 night wild camping but for those not keen to tent in temperatures that can drop close to zero at night, there is a wonderful alternative.
Mountain Lodges of Peru (MLP) has created a unique 7 day lodge to lodge trek to offer guests the height of hiking luxury - comfortable rooms with en-suite hot showers, excellent cuisine, attentive hotel service and even heated outdoor tubs. Why finish your day huddling in the tent when you can spend it watching the sun set over the mountains from the warmth of a jacuzzi, wine in hand…?
There are 4 small Mountain lodges in all along the trail – Salkantay, Wayra, Colpa and Lucma Lodge – each built using natural local materials from adobe bricks and high wooden beams to thatched roofs, designed to blend in with the environment.
Each lodge (with the exception of Salkantay) features 6 rustic yet comfortable rooms catering to a maximum group size of 12 and delivers wonderful gourmet cuisine, a perfect end to each day!
The 63km trek goes as high as 4800m above sea-level and it is vital to allow plenty of time to acclimatise beforehand. A minimum 3 nights in Cusco is suggested though we highly recommend that you leave this until the end of your trip and travel up to Lake Titicaca beforehand. The more time you allow, the less you endure, the more you enjoy! A certain level of fitness is also required and if you would like to discuss these issues, please feel free to contact us.
A brief itinerary is as follows:-
Day 1: Driven to Marcoccasa via the Inca ruins of Tarawasi and hike 4 hours along the “Camino Real” trail to reach Salkantay Lodge at 3800m with spectacular views of Mount Salkantay.
Day 2: Day to acclimatise. Optional hike to the glacier-fed Lake Humantay high above the lodge at 4200m.
Day 3: A long day hike up the Rio Blanco Valley to reach the pass at 4638m directly under the face of the Mount Salkantay. From there, you descend 700m to reach Wayra Lodge.
Day 4: From Wayra Lodge, it is all downhill. Descend the Salkantay valley through lush humid cloud-forested to reach Colpa Lodge and enjoy a Pachamanca meal, a traditional Peruvian pit-bake.
Day 5: A long day’s hike (some 6 hours) along the verdant Santa Teresa River Valley to reach Lucma lodge at the foot of the newly restored “Llactapata Inca Trail”.
Day 6: Final day of the trek. Join the Llactapata trail and hike 2-3 hours up to the top of the pass where you catch your first tantalizing glimpses of Machu Picchu. Enjoy lunch at the ruins of Llactapata before the steep descent to Aobamba River to reach Aguas Calientes.
Day 7: Head up to the ruins of Machu Picchu for a guided tour. In the afternoon, you return catch a train back to the Sacred Valley and continue on to Cusco. End of arrangements.
Please call 1300 720 443 for more information on prices and departure dates.