Salkantay Independent trek to Machu Picchu
On the Salkantay independent trek you will eschew the customary guide who does everything for you and you will go it alone. In this way you’ll put the adventure in your hands, give to and sustain the local community and get closer to what it means to walk with the Inka.
All food and accommodation will be pre-arranged with local families that live along the Salkantay route. You’ll be given a map and directions and it will be up to you to follow the route and make it to each upcoming family.
The first day will be mostly about acclimatisation, meeting your host family and seeing some of the natural beauty that the Andes can offer. The second day will test you much more as you ascend the Salkantay Pass and trek the Andes mountains without a guide. Day three will take you to Amazonian cloud jungle and some awe-inspiring Inca ruins, and on day four you will crown it all with a visit to Machu Picchu.
- With our Salkantay independent trek, you can hike completely at your own pace and lose yourself in the beautiful landscapes of the Sacred Valley.
- Hike up to the beautiful Tukarhuay lake, and be blown away by the majestic Tukarhuay glacier.
- The Salkantay trail will take you through a wide range of microclimates and discover a myriad of diverse flora and fauna over the course of your three day hike.
- Walk along authentic Inca trails, and explore some of the “hidden cities” that surround Machu Picchu.
- Top it all off with a once in a lifetime visit to Machu Picchu, a wonder of the world!
Salkantay Independent trek Itinerary Overview:
Click through to “Tour Plan” to see the full itinerary
Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa Family Lodge – Laguna Tukarway
You’ll head to the Sacred Valley for breakfast and your trip briefing, before beginning your first hike from Challacancha to Soraypampa Lodge, which will be your accommodation for tonight. After checking in, you will leave on your next hike: a beautiful three-hour trek to Tukarhuay Lake, which boats a spectacular view of Tukarhuay glacier.
Day 2: Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Challway – Lucmabamba
Today, you’ll climb Salkantay Pass. The ascent is challenging, but you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Vilcabamba mountain range, the last refuge of the Incas! Descend to Huayracmachay for lunch, before heading into the cloud forest. You’ll spend the night in Lucmabamba Lodge, and will have the opportunity to visit the nearby tropical fruit plantations.
Day 3: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
Today, you will hike along an authentic Inca trail, towards your very first Inca ruin: the beautiful archaeological site at Llactapata. From here, you’ll be able to get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu! You’ll finish your hike at Hidroelectrica, and after a quick rest you’ll take the train to Aguas Calientes. Here, you’ll check into your hotel and get an early night ahead of your sunrise visit to Machu Picchu!
Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
Catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu to see the sunrise and beat the crowds! Nothing beats the feeling of walking through the gates of this wonder of the world for the first time. Spend the morning exploring the highlights of the awe-inspiring citadel. Those who still have the energy can hike up Huayna Picchu for breathtaking views of Machu Picchu itself, and of the surrounding mountains. Travel back to Cusco in the afternoon, full of wonderful memories of your Salkantay independent trek!
We recommend you book this tour at least 3 weeks in advance.
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IncludeActivities described in the itineraryMealsTour guideAccommodationEntriesTransport
Not IncludedDomestic flightsTravel InsuranceTips
Day One : Cusco – Mollepata - Soraypampa Family Lodge – Laguna Tukarway
- Accommodation: private rooms at the lodge.
- Meals : Lunch, dinner and afternoon tea
- Walking time: 4-5 hours.
- Fresh towels face towels, and soap provided.
- 2 litres of bottled water.
- Difficulty level: Moderate.
Day Two: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass – Challway – Lucmabamba
- Meals : Breakfast, lunch, dinner and an afternoon tea.
- Available rooms at the lodge: private rooms with private bathrooms.
- Fresh towels.
- Walking time: 8 -9 hours.
- Private transfer: (Chalway – Lucmabamba).
- Transfer of personal ítems by mule: to Huyraqmachay ( 70% of the day ).
- Difficulty level: Challenging – difficult.
Day Three: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Hydroelectric Plant – Machu Picchu
- Distance Walked: 18 km / 11.2 miles.
- Elevation: 2,450 metres / 8,038 feet.
- Elevation in Aguas Calientes: 1900 metres /6233 feet.
- Transfer of your personal item by mules: (Lucmabamba - Hidroelectric) 80% of the total distance.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch.
- Train service Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes
- Accommodation in a hotel in Aguas Calientes with private bathroom and hot water
- Dificulty level: Moderate
Day Four: Aguas Calientes -Machu Picchu –Ollantaytambo – Cusco
- Hiking Time: Approximately 3 hours
- Hiking Level: Easy
- Entrances to Machu Picchu
- Bus up & down to Machu Picchu
- Professional tour guide in Machu Picchu
- Train service Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo
- Transfer Ollantaytambo - Cusco