salkantay trek to machu picchu salkantay trek salkantay machu picchu
Trip Style:select what fits you better
Destination A-Z:from northern to southern Peru
Our Treks:the best treks in peru
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Inca Trail – The Amazon – Lake Titicaca

Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu which is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be amongst the top 5 treks in the world. Hit the streets of lively Cusco and soak up its culture and charm. Explore deep into the Amazon and its beauty; finally explore the Lake Titicaca with its floating islands.

Note. For those who cannot get spaces on the Inca Trail there options such as: Lares trek/Salcantay trek or another short hikes

Day 1: Arrive Lima City Tour
DAY 2: Lima / Sandoval Lake Lodge
Day 3: Jungle Exploration
Day 4: Sandoval Lake Lodge / Cusco
Day 5: Sacred Valley Tour
DAY 6: Start of the Trek: Cusco – Wayllabamba
DAY 7: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayu
DAY 8: Pacaymayu – Wiñaywayna
DAY 9: Wiñaywayna - Cusco
DAY 10: Cusco – Day at Leisure
DAY 11: Bus ride from Cusco to Puno
DAY 12: Uros- Amantani
DAY 13: Taquile – Puno
DAY 14: Flight to Lima

Note: Walking and journey times are approximate

DAY 1: Arrive to Lima
Arrive in Lima and transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good shopping and restaurants and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight.

  • Overnight in Lima – Hotel

DAY 2: Lima / Sandoval Lake Lodge
Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, our representative will welcome you at the airport and transfer ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters office. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.We’ll then transfer to Madre de Dios River port. We’ll board our motorized canoe for a 45-minute journey down the Madre de Dios River arriving at the riverside trailhead to Sandoval Lake Lodge. From here the trail takes you on a 2-mile (3,2-kilometers) walk through secondary forest, until we reach a small canal where we board canoes and are paddled about 200 meters through a flooded Mauritia Palm forest. As the canal opens onto the shimmering surface of the lake, we transfer to a catamaran and are leisurely paddled across half the lake to the lodge.
After lunch and a short siesta to avoid the early afternoon heat, we will learn about the history of the lodge and the philosophy of its founders. In the afternoon, we’ll again board the catamaran and set off to explore the entire west end of the lake. Here, again in the flooded palm forest we drift to the sounds of hundreds of Red-Bellied Macaws as they return to the palm forest for the night. This macaw species is found locally in parts of the Amazon, always living in flooded palm forests like what we find at Sandoval Lake. At 500-800 birds, this flock of Macaws at Sandoval Lake is currently the largest reported in the world for this highly specialized macaw.
As night falls we’ll board canoes in search of the large and extremely rare Black Caimans. If it is a clear starlit night, we will also be able to float in the middle of the lake to marvel at the intensity of the sky and listen in on the sounds of the forest. We return to the lodge for a short video or slide presentation and dinner. At any point, you may perhaps step out from the bar to marvel at the wide variety of nocturnal moths, beetles and praying mantis attracted to our black light in the lodge clearing. For those with excess of energy, our guide will take us on a short night-walk into the forest surrounding the lodge. (B, L, D)

  • Overnight at Sandoval Lake Lodge

Day 3: Sandoval Lake Lodge
A pre-dawn wake-up call will enable us to be on the lake for sunrise and a hopeful encounter with the family of Giant Otters who frequent the lake and are most active at this time of day. Sandoval Lake offers abundant wildlife including over 40 species of birds resident to its lake borders, most of the fish-eating water birds around the lake actively fish in the early morning as well, and this outing should provide excellent views of the prehistoric looking Hoatzins, which are easy to observe and photograph at close distance from the canoe or catamaran.
After returning for a late breakfast we’ll set off into the cool under story of the tall virgin forest near the lake to see some towering wild Brazil Nut trees and a demonstration of how our hosts collect, open and commercialize this important natural product.
After lunch and an hour or so to relax we once again board the catamaran to explore the eastern part of the lake, where we might see one or more of the five species of monkeys who live in the forest near the lake, such as the Brown Capuchin Monkey and Squirrel Monkey. Before dinner we will again enjoy an informative natural history video or slide presentation. We will leave after dinner to try and spot some Black Caimans on the lake, or to go on a short night walk through the primary forest. (B, L, D)

  • Overnight at Sandoval Lake Lodge

Day 4: Sandoval Lake Lodge / Cusco
Today is departure day. After breakfast we’ll make the short paddle around the west end of the lake to try and glimpse the Giant Otters before crossing the Lake to our footpath, short hike and motor canoe back to our Puerto Maldonado Headquarters. We’ll make a quick stop by the office to pick up your personal belongings and large luggage before continuing on to the Puerto Maldonado airport. Adventures to Peru services end upon arrival at the Puerto Maldonado airport. Please note that the program may vary slightly so as to maximize your wildlife sightings, depending on the reports of our researchers and experienced naturalist guides based at the lodge. (B)

  • Overnight in Cusco.

DAY 5: Sacred Valley Tour
Travel through the Sacred Valley and visit the towns and Inca ruins of Pisaq and Ollantaytambo. Get a chance to learn a little about the local people, their way of life and their traditional weaving techniques and then we go to explore chincheros and back to Cusco. (B)

  • Overnight in Cusco – Hotel

DAY 6: Start of the Trek: Cusco - Wayllabamba
After breakfast we transfer you from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley to Piscaycucho (first check point and the start of the trail). Here you start hiking through the Urubamba river valley, After two hours, you will reach the first archaeological site called Patallacta, where we will appreciate the impressive landscapes and see the importance of this valley in the context of Incan history, later we will stop at Tarachayoq for lunch and then continue up the Cusichaca Valley passing houses of settlers to finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba, our first campsite. (L, D)

  • (6 miles hiking, 4 - 5 hours) – Camping

DAY 7: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayu
After breakfast, today we will start hiking early in the morning, here the trail ascends steeply to a large Pampa below the first pass, Llulluchapampa (the last chance to buy snacks or energy drinks) Here we have a breathtaking view of valley down and the Mt. Huayanay, along the trail up this narrow hanging valley we begin to see a cloud forest with abundant vegetation of various types of trees including the Queuña tree (polilepis), a rare forest to be found in the Andes. From here we continue a steady ascent on an Inca Trail up to the Warmiwañusqa pass (Dead Woman’s Pass) at 4,200m (13,692ft) which affords a magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us. Here we will take a well-deserved break and observe the beauty of the deep valleys. After the break we descend on a restored Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayo River, our 2nd campsite. (B, L, D)

  • ( 8 miles hiking, 6 – 8 hours ) – Camping

DAY 8: Pacaymayu – Wiñaywayna
Today we ascend again to the second pass, about halfway up lies an Inca ruins of Runkuraqay (small, round, roofless stone building and thought to have been an astrological site and a sort of checkpoint for couriers following the trail to Machupicchu), after a short tour, we will continue to ascend to the second pass at 4,050m (13,200ft). From here we walk down on the original Inca Trail, passing a small lake and the first signs of the cloud forest then we reach the second larger Inca site called Sayacmarca “Town in a Steep Place” at 3,850m (12,551ft) This Incan ruin was built on a rock overlooking the trail and is accessible only via a single narrow stone staircase. A beautiful location overlooking the Aobamba Valley, it affords a respite for a leisurely walk through its imposing structures. After touring we continue along the ridge through amazing landscapes, viewing Mt. Salkantay from the western side and Mt. Pumasillo, a silhouette to the north on the horizon. We will stop at this valley to enjoy lunch. After lunch we continue walking through a rolling flag stoned trail and a tunnel; then we arrive to next Incan site called Phuyupatamarca “the village on the edge of the clouds” We will learn about the ritual functions that the Incas used this site for. Here we will see water fountains that Incas bathed in before they reached Machupicchu. From here the flag stoned trail winds sharply down into the cloud forest to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna “Forever Young” located below the ridge on the same water course as the previous site; it has also well restored Inca Ruins. Our campsite is here. (B, L, D)

  • ( 11 miles hiking, 9 – 10 hours ) – Camping

DAY 9: Wiñaywayna - Cusco
On the last day of the trek, we will wake up early and follow a relatively flat path. After about an hour walk through a cloud forest covered Inca Trail we arrive to Intipunku “the sun gate” we have a well-deserved break watching the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu at our feet, our final destination. From here we continue hiking for one more hour to finally arrive to Machu Picchu in the same way the Incas used to come. Once you get there you will have a guided tour after that you are free to explore city on your own, take pictures, or take any of the extra hikes
Later in the mid-afternoon you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes town to take the train back to Ollantaytambo then transfer to your hotel. (B)

  • (4 miles hiking, 2 hours). Overnight in Cusco – Hotel

DAY 10: Cusco – Day at Leisure
Today is a free day in the Incan Imperial Capital. We’ll do our best to discover Cusco’s enchanting network of narrow streets and white wash mud-brick walls, all built atop Incan stone foundations. A true amalgamation of cultures! Explore the many markets, churches, museums, plazas and first-rate restaurants, all at your fingertips while exploring the city center on foot. Or, visit nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay on horseback. More active options include river rafting, motorcycle tours and mountain biking.
Also recommended is stop by the Incan Archaeological Museum located a block from the Plaza de Armas. Then, time permitting, visit the recently opened ‘Casa Concha’, which houses hundreds of pieces removed from Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham in 1912 and recently returned in 2011 (Centennial Anniversary of Machu Picchu’s scientific discovery) to Peru by Yale University in the United States.
Also worth a visit is the colorful local market at San Pedro and the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, full of artists, craftsmen and street vendors, both only minutes from the hotel. (B)

  • Overnight in Cusco

DAY 11: Bus ride from Cusco to Puno
Leaving Cusco at 7:00 am arriving to Puno at 5:00 pm) and exploring places which are shown below.
ANDAHUAYLILLAS: It is named the "Sixtine Chapel of America" and in some sense the comparison examples of the Andean popular religious art. The church of Andahuayliaas is a jewerly of the mestizo baroque architecture that developed in Cusco. Its nave presents profuse decoration, especially in the celling decorated with carved panels which is a recover with pan de oro (type of gold decoration).
RAQCHI (Temple of Wiracocha God): To 121 Km of Cusco, it was an Inca church of monumental dimensions: 100 meters of length by 26 meters of wide and 14 meters of height; the temple is divided in two naves and each nave shows basics of 11 giant columns. The bases of the church are bulit perfectly carving stones continued with adobe. It is aprpreciated besides qolqas or granary places of military order, religious, Inka between others.
LA RAYA: Media point in the rout of Cusco - Puno. It is the highest part, it has 4335 meters above sea level, we can appreciate beautiful landscapes, llamas and vivuñas, geographic union between two cultures quechua and aymara, we can see the Altiplano arid and dry union with the quechua zone with rivers and valleys.
PUKARA: It is the most important and oldest ceremonial center of the Altiplano, preceding to tiahunaco, characterized by a series oh echelon platforms ceremonial center. It's also possible to appreciate interesting litosculptures, trails or tomb stone of intriguing personage that seems to show evidence of a brave civilization. here is where it was discovered the origins of the Andean culture in the Altiplano. (B, L)

  • Overnight at Puno – Hotel

DAY 12: Uros- Amantani
After breakfast, we will take a two-hour motor boat excursion on the waters of Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border of Peru and Bolivia, to the unique floating "islands" of the Uros. These ancient inhabitants of the lake, known as the Water Tribe, have built their own "islands" by periodically adding new layers of a type of reed unique to the area called "totora". Their homes and boats are also made of this material. There are over forty of these islands, which have strategic defenses such as watch towers just in case!
Then it is on to Amantani Island, which is inhabited by over 3,000 Quechua-speaking natives, still governed by their ancient traditions, whose main occupations are the production of ceramics and textiles. You can explore the Inca and Tiahuanco archaeological remains on the island. The positive energy here is so powerful, you have an almost panoramic view of the lake and you will not want to miss the sunset and sunrise either.
Lunch is a simple affair provided by us before staying overnight at the house of a local islander, to enjoy the hospitality of a typical Amantani home. (B, L, D)

  • Overnight at Amantani Islands – Homestay

DAY 13: Taquile – Puno
After a good breakfast, you will visit Taquile island, a narrow, long and quite hilly island, of approximately 15 square kilometers, which was once used as a prison when it belonged to the Spanish. You will meet its inhabitants and admire their colorful textile fabrics, which has been their staple trade since time immemorial. Here you can also enjoy a highly scenic trek, followed by lunch in a local restaurant. Then you will back to Puno port at 5:00pm. (B, L)

  • Overnight at Puno – Hotel

DAY 14: Flight to Lima
We have a short drive to the Juliaca airport before a flight to Lima. Our services end today after a quick flight back to Lima and transfer to the airport for your ongoing international connection. International flights may depart any time after midday. We can arrange an additional post tour accommodation in Lima or Cusco upon client request. (B)

End of the Service
Add on this Trip: Nazca Lines, Colca Canyon, and other extension tours or treks. Let us know.

What’s Included

  • 3 Domestic flights (Lima - Puerto Maldonado – Cusco; Juliaca – Lima)
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodations, Camping and Homestay as per itinerary
  • All land transport along the route (bus, van and train)
  • Guide service throughout as per itinerary
  • All entrance fees for included excursions (Inca Trail permit, Machupicchu, Titicaca, etc.)
  • All the camping equipment (two man tents, camp gear; dining and kitchen tents; kitchen crew)
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast /BL: Boxed Lunch / L: Lunch / D: Dinner)
  • Drinking water and snacks for the hiking days
  • Chef and porters on the Inca Trail
  • Oxygen tank and First aid kit.

What’s Not Included

  • International Flights
  • Visa and passport fees
  • Insurance
  • Meals (see above)
  • Alcohol, Drinks
  • Sleeping bags on the Inca Trail (can be rented at CHAT Office)
  • Optional activities/day-tours/excursions
  • Tips