15 Day Discovering Salkantay & Inca Trail


  • Enjoy the lesser-trekked route to Mount Salkantay before joining up with the classic Inca Trail.
  • Explore the iconic ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu at the best time of day.
  • Trek among the lush valleys, alpine lakes and rugged snow-capped peaks of the Peruvian Andes.
  • Be immersed in stunning landscapes and cultural encounters providing endless photo opportunities.
  • Experience historic Cuzco and world class restaurants, museums and galleries in the bustling capital of Lima.

The soaring peaks of the Andes and the cultural legacies of the Incas are two of Peru’s most compelling attractions. We discover both and much more on this amazing two-week adventure. After savoring the historical and cultural highlights of Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas as we take our time acclimating to the altitude, we commence our trek. This little-visited trail takes us through breathtaking mountain scenery as we make our way to the foothills of the majestic snow-capped peaks of Salkantay, Humantay and Huayanay. For a week we explore the stunning wilderness of the Peruvian Andes, following trails to 5,000m in the Cordillera Vilcabamba and establishing camp beneath the spectacular 6,220m Mount Salkantay.

This stunning trail is much quieter than the busier Inca Trail and is highly regarded by past trekkers. On the final day we join the classic Inca Trail for the unforgettable sight of Machu Picchu from the ‘Sun Gate’. Rather than rushing back to Cuzco, we spend a night in nearby Aguas Calientes for a well-deserved soak in the local hot springs before heading back to Machu Picchu the next day at the best time, as the sun is rising over these dramatic ruins.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable encounter with Peruvian culture, history and wilderness—one that gets you off the beaten track but takes in the must-see sights of Cuzco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu—then this is the adventure for you!


If you’re flying into Lima today, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the group hotel, where the remainder of the day is free for you to rest or start exploring. Our hotel is in the Miraflores area, home to some of Lima’s best galleries, restaurants and shops. Steeped in fascinating history, Lima is South America’s oldest capital. It was in 1535 that the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro overthrew the Inca Empire and moved the capital from Cuzco, establishing the new city of Lima. Peru’s busy capital is now a sprawling metropolis that’s blessed with world-class restaurants, brilliant museums and galleries, and a superb combination of Spanish colonial and 19th century European architecture. If you have time to visit a museum we recommend the Museo de La Nacion or the Larco Herrera Museum.

Meals: N/A

Today we have an early morning start as we transfer to the airport for our spectacular scenic flight through the Andes to the royal Inca city of Cuzco (3,400m / 11,150ft). Upon arrival, we’ll be met by our guide and transferred to our hotel for a short initial briefing and then a few hours of rest, essential for successful acclimatization. In the evening we’ll have a longer group briefing where we can discuss aspects of the itinerary (and in particular, our trek) and meet our fellow travelers.

Meals: B

Today we explore fascinating Cuzco—the stunning royal city of the Inca Empire. Every alleyway we enter or corner we turn brings another surprise as we learn about this UNESCO World Heritage city. Cuzco was the royal capital of the extensive Inca Empire until 1533 when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro stormed the city and then established the new capital of Lima. Cuzco was a sophisticated Imperial city with a complex hierarchy of impressive stone walls, royal palaces, religious and administrative buildings and residential dwellings. The Spanish preserved the bulk of the ancient stone city, adding many handsome churches, palaces and mansions over the following centuries, most in a distinctive style blending European Baroque with local influences. Today we’ll also drive to visit the nearby Sacsayhuaman, a walled fortress set high above Cuzco. The walls of this impressive site were built by the Incas from dramatic monolithic stone slabs, cut and arranged into staggeringly accurate configurations, like colossal jigsaw puzzle pieces. After taking in the stunning views over the city, we’ll have time to head back to Cuzco to explore more of the city and browse colorful Peruvian textiles and handicrafts at the local shops and open air markets.

Meals: B, L

Today we leave Cuzco and head to the Chinchero Plateau, where we’ll have impressive views over the surrounding mountain ranges. From here we’ll walk down through the famous salt flats below Maras, where salt has been collected by locals since pre-Incan times. We’ll get to sample local produce with a leisurely lunch at a popular restaurant in the Sacred Valley, after which the rest of the afternoon will be free to relax at our hotel and enjoy the beauty of the famous Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Meals: B, L, D

Today we have another day to explore this beautiful valley, set along the Urubamba River, one of the Amazon River’s main tributaries. We’ll visit stunning Incan citadels, fortresses and temple ruins, including a stop at the iconic stone terraced city of Ollantaytambo. If time and weather permit, we can enjoy some short walks in the valley—perfect preparation for our trekking days to follow. We’ll spend this evening at our hotel, getting prepared for our trek.

Meals: B, L, D

Today we have an early start as we begin our scenic 5-hour drive north to our trailhead at Mollepata, where we will meet our team of horsemen and their pack animals to start our 7-day trek towards Salkantay and Machu Picchu! After a picnic lunch we start hiking steadily uphill toward our first night’s campsite close to Soraypampa at approximately 3,700m (12140 feet). Today we’ll get our first glimpse of Salkantay’s sister peak, Humantay (5,950 m / 19,700 feet). trekking approx 5-6 hrs., 10-12km, (6-7 miles.)

Meals: B, L, D

This morning we will be woken early with hot tea brought to our tents, and after breakfast we’ll get an early start on our day’s hiking. We’ll hike for about 3 hours, steadily gaining altitude, before stopping for a lunch break at Salkantaypampa (4,150 m / 13,600 ft.), in front of an enormous mass of glacial moraine. After a rest we continue on for 2-3 hours of steady hiking towards our next camp of Ichupata (4,400 m / 14,400 ft.), set on the flanks of the majestic peak of Mt. Salkantay (6,271m / 20,574 ft.), which dominates the skyline for most of our trekking days. The camp at Ichupata is cold due to its proximity to the Salkantay massif, but since our cooks and pack animals will have set out earlier, we should find the camp already set up and a fresh pot of hot tea awaiting our arrival! (trekking approx 6hrs,10km / 6.2 miles)

Meals: B, L, D

After a hearty cooked breakfast we set off to hike across one of Salkantay’s ridges and over the mountain pass of Incachiriasca. At an elevation of 4,870 m (15,970t), Incachiriasca is the highest pass of our trek, offering us spectacular views of our dramatic surroundings. After a stop at the pass to rest and take photos, we head down to follow the ancient trail to our next camp at Acobamba, set on a lovely little plateau above Sisaypampa. (trekking approx. 6-7 hrs., 10-12 km. / 6-7 miles)

Meals: B, L, D

From Acobamba we descend into the scenic Pampacahuana valley, passing simple shepherd’s homes and scattered communities, and stopping to visit the extensive Inca ruins of Paucarcancha (3,350 m / 11,000 ft). From here we trek up the valley towards the Ancascocha Pass. Tonight we camp just above the small village of Q’esca, home to shepherds and potato farmers. (We might also consider staying higher up and taking an alternative route to Q’esca). (trekking approx. 7-8hrs,10km / 6.2 miles)

Meals: B, L, D

Another early morning today as we begin our climb up to the second high mountain pass of our trek, the Ancascocha Pass (4,695 m / 15,400 ft.). From here we begin a steady descent, hiking through dramatic mountain scenery and passing two pretty alpine lakes known for their large trout. Tonight we camp near the small farming village of Ancascocha. (trekking approx. 6-7 hrs,10-12 km / 6-7 miles)

Meals: B, L, D

From Ancascocha, we head down a narrow valley whose rivers run right down into the mighty Amazon. As we descend, the sparse alpine vegetation begins to change and we start to encounter larger trees. We have a good chance to spot some of the most common Andean birds in this region: the black-throated flower piercer, great sapphire wing, rusty-fronted canastero, creamy-crested spinetail, and, if we remember to look up, the endangered Andean condor—among the largest and heaviest flying birds in the world.

Near the end of our day’s trek, we reach Hatunrumiyoq from where we’ll have incredible views of the rugged snow-capped peak of Mt Veronica (5,980 m / 19,500 ft.). Tonight we camp near the large village of Chilca and, if time permits, our cooks will prepare a special ‘Pachamanca’—a traditional Peruvian feast of meat and vegetables cooked in the ground using hot stones. A good night’s sleep at this lower altitude will put us in good stead for tomorrow’s trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! (trekking approx. 5-6 hrs, 10-12 km 6-7 miles)

Meals: B, L, D

After an early breakfast, we hike down to the railway at Chilca for a short drive to Ollantaytambo to take the tourist train to Km 104 from were we start our steep hike up to the important site of Wiñay Wayna. At this point after a rest and enjoying our box lunch we continue the last section of the Inca Trail via Inti Punku where we get our first awe-inspiring views of the ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu After a brief look at the site from above we head down by bus to our hotel in Aguas Calientes for a well-deserved soak in the nearby hot springs (optional). (trekking approx. 6 hrs, 10km / 6.2 miles)

Meals: B, L, D

Today we start early to explore this remarkable and truly enigmatic citadel of Machu Picchu. In the afternoon or early evening we depart from Machu Picchu for the train ride back to Ollantaytambo where we transfer to our vehicle for the drive back to Cuzco and our hotel for two nights. Depending on train schedules, we may arrive into Cuzco very late at night.

Meals: B, L, D

Today we have a free day in Cuzco to relax and repack after our trek. Optional visit to a traditional village (San Salvador).
Meals: B

Today you are transferred to the airport for your flight back to Lima, where our trip concludes.

Meals: B


  • 14 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 dinners.
  • Airport transfers if arriving/departing on first or last day.
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu on two occasions.
  • Expert bilingual guide.
  • Group medical kit.
  • Comfortable and central hotels, primarily Casa Andina Classic hotels.
  • Private ground transportation.
  • Use of a gear pack including a fiber-filled sleeping bag and sleeping mat.
  • Group camping equipment & porters to carry personal gear.
  • Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed (including Machu Picchu entrance fee)
  • International and domestic flights and taxes.
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)

Request more Information

    Starting Prices



    15 Days


    7 Days trek


    8 nights hotel
    6 nights camping


    11 Dinners
    11 Lunchs
    14 Breakfasts


    Chat to someone that’s been