Salkantay Inca Trail 7 Days
Salkantay Inca Trail 7 Days is good for those looking to combine the best of our two most popular treks in Cusco, Salkantay, and Inca Trail. You will enjoy the rain forest with its beautiful views of the Salcantay glacier (6200 m/20341 feet) You also have a chance to enjoy Inca ruins along the way.
SALKANTAY INCA TRAIL 7 DAYS ITINERARY
Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Marcocasa
Today is a fairly easy day to help us ease into the trek. Our tour begins by visiting the important Inca site of Tarawasi which lies about 2 hours drive from Cusco. After our tour of the site, we’ll carry on to Mollepata where we’ll begin our trek. Following a different path to most groups, we will see a variety of native plants, flowers, and birds along the way and have fantastic views of the valley spread out before us.
Our campsite for the night is at Marcocasa (3500m / 11482ft) from where we will have fantastic views of the snow-capped peak Rayuska (5350m / 17552 ft.). Hardly anyone camps here so we will be able to enjoy this beautiful spot in complete peace and tranquility.
Day 2: Marcocasa – Salkantaypampa
Leaving Marcocasa we’ll carry on along the trail heading for Soraypampa where we will join the main Salkantay trekking route. Once again today is fairly easy going without too much distance to cover. The views today are fantastic and we will see several high peaks looming above us. By the time we get to Soraypampa the 3 main peaks of the region, Humantay (5917m / 19412 ft.), Tucurway (5910m / 19389 ft.) and Salkantay (6217m / 20573ft.) will all be in view.
From Soraypampa it’s about another hour’s walk to Salkantaypampa (4100m / 13451 ft.) where we will camp for the night. Due to the high altitude, it can get cold at night here so you are recommended to put on your hat and gloves before going to sleep.
Day 3: Salkantaypampa – Pampacawana
Today we once again leave the main trekking route as we head for the Inca Trail. Continuing up the valley towards Salkantay we take a side path that leads us up and over the Incachiriaska Pass (Frozen Inca Pass, 5028m / 16495 ft.) which is the highest point on the trek. From the pass, we carry on down to the small community of Pampacawana (4000m / 13123 ft.) where we will camp for the night.
The views today are once again amazing. Climbing up over the shoulder of Salkantay you feel completely dwarfed by the sheer size of the mountain and can get a sense of why the Incas worshipped it as a god. The whole area is dotted with small mountain lakes of varying hues and colors and we will also hopefully see a variety of wildlife such as Viscachas (rabbit-like Chinchillas) and White-Tailed Deer and possibly some of the rarer Andean animals like Condors, Guanacos and Vicunas.
Day 4: Pampacawana – Llulluchapampa
Setting off from Pampacawana we’ll make our way down the valley to join the Inca Trail at Wayllabamba, along the way we’ll pass by our first Inca site of the trek ‘Paucarcancha’. At Wayllabamba we’ll switch from using mules to carry our gear to porters – this is to prevent damage to the Inca Trail.
Our campsite for tonight is at Llulluchapampa (3800m / 12460ft.) which is the closest campsite to Dead Woman’s Pass. As we climb up to Llulluchapampa we’ll pass through various biozones including the low sierra, cloud forest, and the high puna. There are many opportunities to see a variety of plant and birdlife and if we are lucky we may spot White-Tailed Deer again.
Day 5: Llulluchapampa – Chaquicocha
Today is fairly hard going as we have to make our way over 2 passes, luckily we’ve camped fairly close to the first so it’s not as hard as for most Inca Trailers who are camped in the valley far below.
The views today are fantastic, we see the high mountain ranges as we cross the 2 passes and will have the chance to visit 2 Inca sites (Runcuraccay and Sayacmarca). We will also see a variety of plants and wildlife as we are now arriving at the area known as the cloud forest. Our campsite tonight is at Chaquicocha (3600m / 11800ft) which is one of the quieter campsites and affords beautiful views of the sun setting over the mountains in the distance.
Day 6: Chaquicocha – Winay Wayna
Having made it over the 2 passes yesterday we’re now treated to a relaxing day through some of the most beautiful scenery the Inca Trail has to offer. With a relatively short distance to cover along what is known as Inca Flat (gentle ascents and descents), we get to enjoy the lush and verdant cloud forest around us and the spectacular views of the Andes in the distance.
With visits to 2 Inca sites (Phuyupatamarca and Winay Wayna), this is by far one of the most impressive days of the trek. Our campsite for tonight is at Winay Wayna (2680m / 8792ft) which we will arrive to be early afternoon and get to have an extended guided tour of once we have settled in.
Day 7: Winay Wayna – Machu Picchu
After having our breakfast, we begin the final leg of the Salkantay Inca Trail 7 days to the lost city of Machu Picchu. First, we will hike to Inti Punku (“Sun Gate”), Gate of the Inca Trail where we will take in an inspiring and panoramic view of the Machu Picchu citadel. After a short hike down to Machu Picchu, we will register and then enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of the sanctuary-city. After the tour of Machupicchu, we will take the bus down or walk Part of the Inca Trail to Aguas Calientes where we will enjoy lunch and free time to enjoy the town before returning to Ollantaytambo by train and then bus back to Cusco.