This trek is spectacular for those travellers who wish to get off the beaten track but still experience a wilderness trek and the original Inca Trail. It is a wonderful trek taking you right from the watershed of the Apurimac River to the Urubamba River and around the stunning Mount Salkantay, which is the second largest mountain in Cusco region (6,277m/20,577ft). This spectacular trail twists and turns, ascends through high mountain ranges descends down steep enscarpments passing intimately through shrewdly placed misty cloud forest. The wildest landscapes and distallation of the oldest traditions and finest buildings on the planet, a number of diverse ecological zones filled with an enormous variety of plants and bird life. The ancient and remote foot path passes you through archaeological sites which lead you to the ethnic and cultural exchanges of Machu Picchu itself.
Our experience; Salkantay/Inka Trail ! July 14th to 20th 2016
At 5am we pick you up at your hotel and we drive you in our private van to Soraypampa for 3.5 hours. Along the way you can enjoy some spectacular views of villages such as: Iscuchaca and Limatambo, stunning valleys and snow-capped mountains such as Salkantay. At the trailhead (Soraypampa) we have breakfast and enjoy the amazing views of Humantay (5900m/19,356ft) and Salkantay (6217m/20,396ft) Mountain glaciers. We take a 2.5 hour roundtrip hike up to see the turquoise Umantay Lake and later on we gently ascend to Salkantaypampa where we will camp. We enjoy our afternoon tea time, coffee, or hot chocolate. The views on this day are truly breathtaking.
Today we continue walking off the beaten track for about 3 hours uphill. We stop to take lunch along the way and continue our trek for 3 more hours to reach our campsite, which is approximately 1km away from the snow-capped mountain Salkantay. On the way we will enjoy the magnificent views of all the surrounding snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and amazing valleys. We have afternoon tea or coffee at our campsite.
Our day begins with a slow uphill climb of approximately 4 hours to reach the Incachiriaska Pass (4,880m/16,010ft) which translates to “the place where the Inca cools down”. Around this area in the rocky crags, lives the Andean Condor, the world’s largest flying bird. From here the trail levels off downhill and we reach our campsite for the night at Sisaypampa.
After a delicious breakfast we start hiking to the end of the valley, which then enters a wider valley called Pampacahua. There we find an Inca Canal that is still in full use by the local farming settlements. At the end of the Pampa we find our first Inca archaeological site named Paucarcancha that we pass by and we arrive at Wayllabamba for lunch. Then we walk for 3 more hours through the Llullucha Valley to reach our campsite at Llulluchapampa where we enjoy our afternoon tea in front of all the great views.
Early in the morning we take our breakfast and we start our climb for about 2 hours following an original Inca stone path and trek up to the Warmiwañusqa Pass (4,217m/14,047ft), where we have a magnificent view of our ascent and the trail ahead of us. We descend on a reconstructed Inca Trail down to the Pacaymayu River and have lunch. Afterwards we walk uphill for 2 more hours towards Runcurakay Pass (3,977m/13,127ft). From this vantage point we enjoy the unbelievable views of all the surrounding mountains. Then we descend for 3 more hours to Phuyupatamarca (3,650m/12,047ft), where we spend the night.
Today is the most beautiful day of our trek. We have our breakfast early in the morning enjoying the sun rise, the Urubamba Canyon, the Machu Picchu Mountain and the stunning Inca sites. After that, we descend for 2 hours through the cloud forest to Wiñaywayna for lunch. Then we walk for 1 hour to the Sun Gate; from here you can enjoy your first breathtaking view of Machu Picchu and all the surrounding mountains. Afterwards we descend to the citadel and take our shuttle to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night in a hotel.
We leave our hotel after a very early breakfast, around 5:30am to take the bus up to Machu Picchu ruins in time for sunrise. Once inside the citadel, we are provided a 2 hour guided tour with plenty of free time for further exploring, taking photos and the option to climb Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain or hike up to the Sun Gate. Then back to Aguas Calientes, to enjoy a late lunch and at 4:22pm we take our return Expedition train to Ollantaytambo with a van connection to Cusco, arriving at your hotel in the evening around 8PM.
The Salkantay Trekking & Inca trail Hike to Machu Picchu is available on any date that is best suited to you as long as we have a minimum of 2 hikers
***This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kgs, we will provide you a duffle bag, you may put your things.
***We provide large Eureka 4 man tents for each 2 trekkers.
If permits are sold out for the Classic Inca Trail on your preferred date,” don’t get stressed out,” you have so many options that will still allow you to trek and enjoy the Andes on the way to MACHU PICCHU. Alternative treks are just as beautiful as the Inca Trail. They are less crowded because we take you OFF the beaten track” in the Andes and we make sure you don’t miss anything on your trek to MACHU PICCHU.
***Sam Travel Peru Requires only a 2 participant minimum for our departures! “You can Chose any day that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 trekkers.”
***If you are a single traveller and are flexible with your start date, we will make sure you have a group to travel with and you won’t miss out on any of the fun.
ALTERNATIVE TREK OPTIONS:
Important Note: We will buy your Inca Trail trek permit using the names and passport numbers that you send us with your trek booking application (they must to complete and accurate)
You must bring the same passport with you to Cusco and take it with you on the Inca Trail.
Very Important Note: If the name or number on your passport does not match the name and number on the trek permit, the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund.
If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your trek, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you mustsend us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them. We can then make the change with the government before you arrive. The extra cost to do the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and Train.)
If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one). You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trial, Machu Picchu or Train. “If you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!
SAM Travel Peru is your best choice if you truly want to enjoy your trek in Peru, especially in the Cusco Region. We are specialists in creating unique trekking routes, with our customized treks to Machu Picchu which other tour operators are not offering. We have numerous Classic Inca Trail options of 1 to 7 days and other Alternative treks to Machu Picchu! What that means for our clients is lots of unique options to choose from, more enjoyable and exciting treks, personalized service, and small groups averaging 4 to 6 trekkers and with a maximum of 8 trekkers.
Our high quality service is not about quantity, nor is it about cheap prices and large groups…. We have a fair-price while providing the best possible service and personalized attention in small groups, and providing the best trekking experience through our unique trekking paths. All you have to do is to immerse yourself in the stunning landscape around you and simply feel the magic of Mother Nature (Pachamama) and the Andes. We carry your gear, prepare your meals, set up your tents, avoid crowded campsites, and take care of all your requirements and details so you can relax and enjoy your trek or tour.
All Treks are only operated by SAM Travel Peru: The Company is owned and operated by Saul Alvarez Montalvo a native of Cusco, Peru and experienced guide himself. He is passionate about providing people the best quality service possible. What that means for you is that all our treks and tours are strictly and only operated by SAM TRAVEL PERU with our professional staff. SAM Travel Peru will never pass you onto another company; we will work with you until we get it right…. All the departures are 100% guaranteed – If you are booked and have made your deposit. ! You are going!
SAM Travel Peru also knows how important it is to trust in a reliable honest operator to create your adventure of a lifetime while in Peru. Check out our reviews and certificates of excellence on, TRIPADVISOR for yourself! Also we are highly recommended on Conde Nast Travelers, Lonely Planet and by many blogs like: Salkantay/Inka Trail ! July 14th to 20th 2016 Trek de Lares 4 hours, “It’s the journey, not the destination…”, Lares Pass – Day 3, Trekking in the Sacred Valley, Alli and Ellie hike to Machu Picchu
In an effort to provide a more personalized service to our passengers, we in SAM Travel Peru have a policy that our groups will not exceed 8 people. This fact alone sets us apart from other companies that operate departures with bigger groups.
I am very proud of my guides! Highly professional, speaking in fluent English and very knowledgeable. Passionate for the Inca heritage/ history, dedicated to a steady personal development and learning to ensure that you receive accurate and recognized theories about the Inca Andean culture. Fun loving, great sportsmen and well educated some having a degree in Archaeology, Botany, History or Anthropology. Others are great entertainers and the best “Salsa Dancers” on this side of Machu Picchu.
What a luxury to take a hot shower after 3 days of long hiking at Wiñaywayna the third camp site on the Inca Trail! Then enjoy the guided tour of this beautiful Inca City of Wiñawayna afterwards taking time to explore on your own later. For SAM Travel Peru little things make a big difference.
Our team (Guides, Cooks, Porters, Cowboys) and Our equipment are what really makes SAM Travel Peru stand out from all of our competitors…. For all our adventurous hikes we include the following items:
SAM Travel Peru has always believed that we should “give back” to the communities we pass through on our treks. Therefore, as part of our commitment in responsible tourism, we socially support and employee from these communities.
SAM Travel Peru is proud to be able to support these beautiful people, not only in hiring them for work but to bring things back to grassroots, to share in their home and families. This makes us happy to have a holistic approach with our highland employees and their families!
A beautiful reflection of our attitude in everything we do, is that we wish to make life richer and more meaningful for all involved.
“Please read carefully the following information; it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and the trek to Machu Picchu”
You will be welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to your trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board SAM Travel Peru at the arrival terminal. You must exit the terminal in order to find our representative (they cannot enter inside) It can be done on any date that is best suited to you!
It will take place the night before the trekking departure at 6pm in our office which is located at Calle Santa Teresa Nº383 ; 303 (second floor), we are next to SUBWAY restaurant.
Of course! During the Salkantay & Inca Trail Machu Picchu your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both are for free. Please don’t pack anything you will need for your hike.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase an Inca Trail permit without the following information:
SECOND, we require a deposit of US$200.00 per person in order to purchase a permit for the Salkantay – Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu. You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page or click here on the payment of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL.
It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of email@example.com.
Unfortunately the answer is “No”. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the ticket has been bought. Tickets are also not transferable nor refundable.
*** If you cancel your Salkantay – Inca Trail Machu Picchu Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!
Yes for sure! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu permit. The rangers will check every day and when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train. In case you are renewing your passport, go ahead and send us your old number to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number…if so, please send the new passport number as soon as possible.
First I would say that the weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. BUT you will have many different varieties of weather as you pass through the numerous microclimates and will depend on the location. We highly recommend you to bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.
In general if you have regular exercise and spend a couple of days in Cusco, or in the Sacred Valley for acclimatisation to the altitude, you may be fine.
The recommended medicine for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. See our detailed information about Altitude Sickness under FAQS.
We offer the Cusco City Tour or Sacred Valley Tour that you can book while you are acclimatizing. Check out our Day Tours on our Home Page.
The maximum group size is 8 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-6 persons. Sam Travel Peru specializes in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provides personalized service
You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, there will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.
The evening before you start your Classic Inca Trail Machu Picchu trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/15lbs. Your team of porters will carry your duffle bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually a 30 to 50 litre backpack is sufficient.
The Salkantay – Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu is a 76km (47.2 mile) hike through the Andes in the Cusco region. The maximum altitude reached is 4,880m/16,010ft. The Trail is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise.
In preparation: try walking 15kms in a day or go to the fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.
It has been highlighted by most of our clients, especially by the female ones who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet!! SAM Travel Peru toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.” Check out the picture, which illustrates how we set up our camping toilet on the trek by using this link: picture of toilet tent. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite. At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean, unlike the dirty facilities supplied by the government.
In the scenario that you are unable to finish the trek due to a health reasons, Sam Travel Peru will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the trek.
Generally those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to Ollantaytambo and if they recover quickly they continue the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to the original plan.
Absolutely! Included in our packages is dropping you off at your hotel on the return from your trek or tour. If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too!
If you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, we wil pick you up there.
It will depend on the train availability but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. Therefore you will take the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu
For sure you may upgrade to Vistadome train which has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will be offered some snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price is US$57 per person which includes the transfer from Poroy (Cusco) train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to the Vistadome Train, the trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy (Cusco), takes 3.5 hours, and then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Usually our clients are back at their hotel by 8pm. If you plan to take the bus to Puno on the same night, that is totally possible.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you feel, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Yes, we are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator in that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand and respect the local places and it´s people.
As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.
We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40Litres for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.