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Salkantay and Short Inca Trail

Salkantay Trek with Short Inca Trail – 5D/4N

Salkantay Trek with Short Inca Trail - 5D/4NSalkantay Trek with Short Inca Trail used to be an alternative trek to the Inca Trail when it was sold out. Now, it has become a top choice in itself, as it should be – it’s one of the top 20 treks in the world.

And because we know it would be a hard choice between these too, we have carefully designed an amazing trekking tour that gets you the best parts of both: the 5-day, 4-night Salkantay Trek with Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

With this trek, you will enjoy the stunning scenery offered by the Salkantay trek the first 2 days, get off the beaten track on the third day onto a path that will connect you with the Inca Trail, which you will then follow on the fourth day to reach one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu.

The Salkatanay part of the trek comes with the whole package: stunning glaciers, crystal clear lakes, cloud forest and rain forest, which on the last part transforms into rich vegetation and enigmatic ruins, giving you the best of nature and culture.

With this trek, only offered by Action Peru Treks, you get to camp in the middle of nature, surrounded by the majesty of the mountains for two nights, while on the other two you will sleep in hotels in Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes, respectively.

You also get a very pleasant train ride on day 4 from Ollantaytambo to KM 104, dinner in a nice restaurant on the fourth day in Aguas Calientes, horses that carry 8kg of your personal belongings, the permit to hike the short Inca Trail and much more.

Join our incredible 5 day Salkantay Trek with Short Inca Trail experience and uncover the off the beaten path to one of the iconic cities on earth”Machu Picchu”.


Pre-trek briefing (required): We provide a full pre-trek briefing at our office in Cusco. This gives you the chance to ask questions about the trek itinerary. Briefings are scheduled for the day before your trek starts.

Please take this into consideration when booking your travel plans to Cusco, to ensure you arrive in time for the briefing.

Day 1:  Cusco – Soraypampa – Ichupata

We will pick you up early in the morning at your Cusco hotel and have a pleasant, 3-hour drive to Mollepata, where we will have breakfast in one of the rustic houses. Along the way, you most certainly will not get bored, as you can observe the sumptuous Salkantay and Humantay Mountains, plenty of vegetation, and farmers working on their potatoes, quinoa and lima beans fields.

Once we arrive at Soraypampa (3,800 m/12,467 ft), we will get off the van and you can leave everything in the hands of our professional staff who will pack all your belongings onto horses; all you need to do is get ready to start the amazing trek.

To start with a bang, we will hike up to the stunning Humantay Lake, where we can take in the beauty, take the pictures to remember and then go back to Soraypampa, where we begin the trek.

The part done today will be from Soraypampa to Ichupata (4,300 m/14,104 ft), which will take around 5 to 6 hours and along which we will pass through Salkantaypampa, where we will have a delicious and nutritious lunch. Before getting ready to sleep in Ichupata, our camping site for the night, we will have dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodations: Camping
  • Distance Covered: 12 km/7.5 miles
  • Approximate Walking Time: 6-7 hours
  • Lowest elevation: 3,800 m/12,467 ft
  • Highest elevation: 4,300 m/14,104 ft
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Day 2:  Ichupata – Incachiriasca – Pampacahuana

In order to get ready for a challenging and steep hike up to Incachiriasca Pass (4,850 m/15,908 ft), we will have a delicious breakfast.

On the way we will be able to marvel at the amazing Apu Salkantay and appreciate the unique glacier moraines in this area.

After all this encounter with heights, we will descend to a flat area, where we will have lunch and we can observe the Salkantay Valleys; if we are lucky, we might see the Andean condor.

Next, it is time to get a taste of the local life, as we will head down to the Pampacahuana community (3,700 m/12,136 ft), where we will camp for the night.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodations: Camping
  • Distance Covered: 14 km/8 ½ miles
  • Approximate Walking Time: 8–9 hours
  • Lowest elevation: 3,700 m/12,136 ft
  • Highest elevation: 4,850 m/15,908 ft
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: Pampacahuana – Paucarcancha – Huayllabamba – KM 82 – Ollantaytambo

On this day, we will switch things up a bit, as we walk downhill, in order to join the Classic Inca Trail.

We will get from Pampacahuana to Paucarcancha (3,133 m/10,276 ft) in about 2 hours. Here we will visit the Inca site that bears the same name.

In order to finally link up with the Inca Trail, we will walk downhill for 5 hours, to KM 82. Here we will be rewarded with a lovely view of the Inca ruin of Llactapata.

After seeing this first site of the Classic Inca Trail, our professional chef will cook us a delicious lunch at the end of our trekking day at KM 82.

After lunch, a local transportation will take us from KM 82 to Ollantaytambo (2,792 m/9,158 ft), where you will sleep in the comfort of your hotel room. You will have dinner at a local restaurant in town.

  • Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodations: Hotel
  • Distance Covered: 16 km/ 10 miles
  • Approximate Walking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 2,792 m/9,158 ft
  • Highest Elevation: 3,700 m/12,136 ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate

DAY 4: Ollantaytambo – Chachabamba – WiñayWayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes

We will pick you up at your Ollantaytambo hotel around 7 a.m. and have a short, 10-minute walk to Ollantaytambo train station. Enjoy the views from the train, down to KM 104, where the train will make a special stop, just for you, where we will start our Inca Trail trekking.

After passing the Inca Trail checkpoint, we can admire the first ruins on this path, the Chachabamba ruins.

You will hear from the guide its fascinating story; how they were the last shelters used by the Inca before reaching Machu Picchu; how they were used for centuries as a religious and administrative center.

All the while you will be able to appreciate its enigmatic buildings. Further on, while we ascend for 3 hours, you will be in awe at the different ecosystems you encounter during such a short period of time, while you learn and observe the specific local flora and fauna.

Since this is the Inca Trail, magnificent ruins will keep appearing. The next ones will be the ruins of Winay Wayna, which means “Forever Young”. Up there we will enjoy the stunning views of the Andes while we have a nutritious lunch.

You will see for yourself that Winay Wayna has different experimental terraces for the growth of different types of crops. Although you might have heard of the Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon, here you will get to experience a temple dedicated to the rainbow, with 7 windows.

Further on, we will walk for 1-2 hours, until we reach the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) of Machu Picchu. From here you will already feel the amazing energy that only Machu Picchu gives you, by having a first glimpse of this wonder of the world.

Afterwards, we will take you to Aguas Calientes, where you can enjoy this colorful and busy city. A great way to spend the evening would be to visit the hot springs, where you can get well-deserved rest and relaxation.

We will then enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant, filled with excitement for the great day to come.

  • Meals: Box Lunch / Dinner
  • Accommodations: Hotel
  • Distance Covered: 13 km/8 miles
  • Approximate walking time: 5-6 hours
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,040 m/6,691 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 2,720 m/8,920 ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate

DAY 5:
Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

After a hearty breakfast early in the morning, around 5:30 a.m., we will pick you up by bus to head to the enigmatic Machu Picchu. On the way we will see the glorious sunrise over the Lost City of the Incas.

You can be sure that our expert local professional and knowledgeable guide will transport you into the Inca times with their exciting stories, during which you will get to know all about the history and importance of Machu Picchu.

Of course, you will have enough time to take the photos of a lifetime. If you have chosen to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain, you will do so at 10 a.m. Kindly remember that Huayna Picchu tickets are not included in this tour and you must book them well in advance.

If you´d rather not climb the mountain, there is nothing to lose, as you will have some time to freely be at Machu Picchu on your own. After coming back to Aguas Calientes, you will board the return train to either Poroy or to Ollantaytambo, from where we will transfer you in our van to your hotel in Cusco.

Depending on your train ticket, you will arrive in Cusco more or less between 8-9 p.m.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/6,691 ft
  • Highest Elevation: 2,440 m/8,052 ft


  • Pre-Departure Briefing at our office
  • Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Sorayapampa (start of trek)
  • Bilingual English-speaking tour guide (additional tour guide for groups of nine people or more)
  • High quality, 4-person tent for every 2 people
  • Mattress and pillow
  • Kitchen tent
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Eco-Friendly portable toilet and toilet tent
  • Professional Chef and assistant chef
  • Wranglers and horses to carry all equipment
  • Horse to transport up to 8 kg of your personal gear
  • Duffle bag for your personal gear
  • Emergency horse (in case we need it!)
  • 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners
  • Hot water for washing twice daily
  • Daily morning boiled and cold water to fill the water bottles
  • Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit
  • Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to KM 104
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy
  • Private van transportation from Ollantaytambo or Poroy to your Cusco hotel
  • 1-night hotel accommodation in Ollantaytambo (double occupancy)
  • 1-night hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)
  • Round trip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu

NOT included

  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
  • Trekking poles (can be rented from us
  • Ticket for Huayna Picchu mountain (can be purchased for an extra USD $75 per person)
  • Day 5 Lunch in Aguas Calientes
  • Tips for the trek crew (tipping optional and guidelines provided)
  • Travel  Insurance

Items to bring with you:

  • Original passport (if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking you MUST bring both)
  • Down or synthetic feather sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
  • Clothes (trekking boots, warm fleece jacket, tops, a few T-shirts, socks, sun hat, thermal underwear, light long pants, gloves, poncho, rain jacket)
  • Toiletries (toilet paper, wet wipes, personal towel)
  • Binoculars, Camera + batteries*
  • Head lamp and batteries*
  • Sun protection: Sunglasses, sun hat, sunblock (SPF 35+ recommended)
  • Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us) MUST have rubber tips
  • Insect repellent (15% DEET)
  • Snacks (while your crew will prepare the most amazing meals, everyone’s energy needs are different, particularly at high altitude, so pack some suitable snacks to make sure you are always fully energized)
  • NOTE: *Batteries run down faster at high altitudes


Group: USD $980
Private: USD $1060

Group versus Private Treks: What’s the difference?

  • Depending on the number of people in your booking, additional people may join the trek to make a full group.
  • If you choose “private”, no additional people will be joining your group, no matter the size.
  • Minimum booking size is two people; one person may book a group trek if Action Peru Treks is able to join that person with additional groups.


  • Under 18 years discount: USD $20
  • Under 7 years discount: USD $35


  • Hiking poles – USD $20 (pair)
  • Sleeping bag – USD $25 per person.


  • Hotel Upgrades
    • Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel (5-star hotel) – USD $245 per person per night (double occupancy)
    • Tierra Viva Machu Picchu (3+ star hotel) – USD $50 per person per night (double occupancy)
  • Train Upgrades
    • Return Vistadome train -USD $60 per person for trip from Aguas Calientes to either Poroy or to Ollantaytambo
    • Return Hiram Bingham train – USD $400 per person for trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy
  • Private lodging
    • Private hotel room in Aguas Calientes – USD $45 (Prices for upgraded hotels will be higher)
    • Private tent – USD $30 per person.
  • Machu Picchu
    • Buffet lunch at the Tinkuy restaurant in the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu – USD $45 per person.
Group: $980
Private: $1060
5 Days / 4 Nights


  • Hiking poles – USD $25 (pair)
  • Sleeping bag – USD $30 per person

  • Hotel Upgrades
    • Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel (5-star hotel) – USD $255 per person  per night (double occupancy)
    • Tierra Viva Machu Picchu (3+ star hotel) – USD $50 per person per night (double occupancy)
  • Train Upgrades
    • Vistadome Train -USD $60 for trip from Aguas Calientes to either Poroy or to Ollantaytambo
    • Hiram Bingham Train – USD $420 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy
  • Private lodging
    • Private Single Hotel room in Aguas Calientes – USD $45 (Prices for upgraded hotels will be higher)
    • Private tent – USD $40 per person
  • Machu Picchu
    • Buffet lunch at the Tinkuy restaurant in the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu – USD $50 per person.




  • Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Ichupata
  • Day 2: Ichupata – Incachiriasca – Pampacahuana
  • Day 3: Pampacahuana – Paucarcancha – Huayllabamba – KM 82 – Ollantaytambo
  • Day 4: Ollantaytambo – Chachabamba – WiñayWayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
  • DAY 2: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
  • DistanceTrekked: 55 km/37 miles
  • Beginning altitude: 3,800 m/12,467 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 4,850 m/15,908 ft
  • Overall trek Difficulty: Challenging


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