salkantay trek to machu picchu salkantay trek salkantay machu picchu
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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate to Strenuous

We hike through a little visited section of the trail crossing the Urubamba River to then reach Llaqtapata. We will continue on the classic Inca Trail, through the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, surrounded by incredible landscapes and mountain scenery, entering Machu Picchu the way the Incas did, through Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), with a guided tour of the citadel, returning to Cusco in the afternoon on the last day.

DAY 1: Cusco / Llaqtapata
DAY 2: Llaqtapata / Llulluchapampa
DAY 3: Llulluchapampa / Phuyupatamarca
DAY 4: Phuyupatamarca / Machu Picchu
DAY 5: Machu Picchu / Cusco

DAY 1: Cusco / Llaqtapata
We transfer you from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley to Piscaycucho (Km 82 of the railroad). Start hiking for about 5 hours through a little visited section of the trail. We will stop at Q’oriwayrachina for lunch and then cross the Urubamba River at Q’ente, with an option to visit Wayna Q’ente and Llaqtapata archaeological sites, in whose vicinity we will camp near Inca terracing. (L, D)

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

DAY 2: Llaqtapata / Llulluchapampa
Continue up the Cusichaca Valley passing houses of settlers to finally reach the Andean community of Huayllabamba.  From here the trail ascends steeply to a large Pampa below the first pass, where we camp.  Here we have a breathtaking view of Mt. Huayanay. Along the trail up this narrow hanging valley we begin to see a cloud forest that harbors the Queñua tree (polilepis), a rare forest to be found in the Andes.  Camp will be set up at Llulluchapampa. (B, L, D)

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

DAY 3: Llulluchapampa / Phuyupatamarca
A steady ascent on an Inca Trail up to the Warmiwañusqa pass at 4,200m (13,692ft) affords a magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us.  We descend on a restored Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayo River to then ascend again to the ruins of Runkuraqay and the second pass at 4,050m (13,200ft).  From here we walk down to the site at Sayacmarca at 3,850m (12,551ft) on the original Inca Trail, passing a dry lake and the first signs of the cloud forest.  A beautiful location overlooking the Aobamba Valley, it affords a respite for a leisurely walk through its imposing structures.  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.  Walking through a rolling flag stoned trail we arrive at Phuyupatamarca (the village on the edge of the clouds) in whose vicinity we camp. (B, L, D)

  • (9 miles hiking, 7 – 8  hours) – Camping

DAY 4: Phuyupatamarca / Machu Picchu
An early departure today will have us trekking along a buttress and passing Phuyupatamarca ruins, the flag stoned trail winds sharply down into the cloud forest to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna located below the ridge on the same water course as the previous site, it has well restored Inca Ruins.  After a two hour walk through a cloud forest covered Inca Trail we arrive to Machu Picchu the way the Incas used to come,   watching the magnificent citadel at our feet from Intipunku, the door of the sun. Bus ride to Aguas Calientes town for an overnight at a local hotel, dinner on your own (B, L)

  • (8 miles hiking, 5 – 6 hours). Overnight in Aguas Calientes – Hotel  

DAY 5: Machu Picchu / Cusco
The whole day can be dedicated to explore these extraordinary Inca remains. The mid-afternoon the train takes you back to Cusco, transfer to your hotel. (B)

  • Overnight in Cusco – Hotel


  • Private transportation from your hotel to the start point of the trail, KM 82
  • Entrance fee to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu (Does not include the Huaynapicchu Mountain).
  • Professional English speaking Tour Guide
  • Professional chef and superb porters who grew up in the countryside (Andean communities). They carry all the equipment, food, cooking gear, etc.
  • Porters, who will carry your personal belongings (up to 6kg) – at no extra fee!!!
  • Permits and entrance fees for our porters and cooks
  • All the camping equipment: including dining tents, cooking tents, cooking stuff, sleeping tents, camping table with camping chairs and air mattresses.
  • Complete meals during the trip (you’ll never be hungry!): 3 breakfasts, 4 snacks, 3 lunches, 3 happy hours, and 3 dinners. All of these meals are prepared by our cook and his assistant.
  • Coca tea served each morning in your tent. When you wake up in the morning, you will be greeted at your tent with a selection of teas.
  • Boiled water after breakfast, lunch and dinner to refill your water bottles.
  • Snacks every morning.
  • Oxygen tank and first aid kit.
  • Vegetarian food and specialized diets on request at no extra cost.
  • Two-man tents (clean, waterproof)
  • Bus from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes town on day 4.
  • Bus to Machu Picchu one way on day 5
  • Expedition Train back to Ollantaytambo at the end of your journey and the private transportation to your hotel.
  • Guided tour in Machu Picchu on day 5.
  • Hotel and dinner in Aguas Calientes on day 4


  • First day breakfast.
  • Last day Lunch
  • Sleeping Bag (you can rent from Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu office)
  • Trekking poles (you can rent from Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu office)
  • Bus ticket one way back from Machu Picchu or you can walk down a set of stairs for one hour
  • Tips for your field staff are appreciated
  • alcoholic beverages, extras