Salkantay to Machu Picchu

The Mollepata to Machu Picchu Trek

5 Days / 4 Nights


Day 1: Cusco - Sacred Valley - Mollepata - Soraypampa
We drive from Cusco across a high plateau, descending spectacular switchbacks into the warm valley of Limatambo, where we visit the ruins of Tarawasi, a tiered Inca ceremonial platform featuring some of the most elegant and delicate Inca stonework. Continuing up a side road we come to the attractive highland village of Mollepata. A short way beyond here we reach the meadows of Cruz Pata, where we meet our trail crew and pack animals. We follow its upper slopes high above the river through diminishing shrubland until we cross the rim of Soraypampa and meet the open grasslands of the highland puna. Here, at 4,000m/13,120ft, we cross a broad plateau at the foot of the spectacular snow-capped spire of Humantay (5,910m/19,385ft). The massive ice-covered south face of Salcantay — one of the great peaks of the Andes, at 6271m/20,570ft — fills the skyline ahead of us as we make camp. (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2: Soraypampa - Huayracmachay
From Soraypampa we climb gently for about three hours to Salkantaycocha. We have lunch very close to Salkantay mountain and glaciers. We continue to climb steeply to the Salkantay pass where we will make small offerings to the apus (mountain spirits). This is the highest point of the trip (4,800 metres/ 15,744 feet). From here we descend for 20 minutes aprox and to the lunch place after a rest we go on for 2 to 3 hours to the campsite at Huayracmachay. Total hours walking: 5 - 7 hours. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3: Huayracmachay - Collpapampa - Hot Springs - Playa
We take a dramatic trail that traverses the steep south bank of the Santa Teresa river. Bird and plant life teem along the banks of tumbling side streams as we enjoy this short and easy day. We camp in a meadow at the tiny village of Collpapampa, where we can take some rest time, or descend a footpath to soak in a delicious hot spring pool by the Santa Teresa river. We cross to the north bank of the Santa Teresa and take an undulating path downriver through delightful cloud forest and then coffee plantations and tropical orchards of passion-fruit, papaya and avocado, with towering mountains to either side of us. We meet schoolchildren and the mule trains of local farmers as we approach the roadhead at the village of Playa. Here we camp by the schoolhouse and enjoy a dip in the river. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Llactapata - Hydroelectric Plant- Aguas Calientes (local train to Aguas Calientes)
After a short walk we leave the dirt road and start to climb a well preserved Inca highway to a ridgetop that divides the Santa Teresa from the next valley east, the Aobamba. The ridge is forested with tall trees, a rare example of pristine climax cloud forest, and here we encounter a broad Inca road running along the ridgeline. We take this for a short way, so that we can glimpse our first views of Machu Picchu, perched on a mountain saddle far to the east. Then we descend through the ruins of Patallacta, a site first discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1915, subsequently lost to science, and then rediscovered in the 1980s. This extensive site seems to be an outlier of the main Inca city, with ceremonial significance relating to the winter solstice sun, which rises over Machu Picchu, as seen from here. We explore these ruins as we descend towards our campsite, a grassy and secluded meadow with stupendous views toward Machu Picchu, the Urubamba river, and the snow-capped peaks of Salcantay and Wakay Willka. We take a zig-zagging trail through the forest to reach the Aobamba river, just upstream of its confluence with the Urubamba. After passing a hydro-electric power station and crossing a bridge we meet the railroad and we catch the local train to Aguas Calientes for 30 minutes aprox; arrive to Aguas Calientes and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at your choice of hotel in Aguas Calientes (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
We enjoy an early morning visit to the fabled ruins, spending the day in both guided and individual exploration. After we visit the most fascinating features of this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement, some will want to take the optional hike to an amazing overview of the site, while other may prefer to investigate Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and corners. After a full-on experience of this glorious monument to the Inca achievement, we return to Aguas Calientes and board the return train to Cusco (Poroy Station). (Breakfast, Lunch)


Salcantay to Machu Picchu      2019
5 days/4 nights     
3 nights camping, 1 night hotel
Fixed Departures
Tuesday, all months except February.
Minimum of 2 people
With your choice of
Hotel at Machu Picchu

Price per person
Single Supp
Sanctuary Lodge   $ 2160 $541
Inkaterra Machu Picchu   $ 1752 $ 275
Casa del Sol Machu Picchu   $ 1654 $ 244
Tierra Viva Machu Picchu  $ 1602 $ 202
El Mapi   $ 1567 $ 170
Hatun Inti Classic   $ 1547 $ 148
Does NOT require an Inca Trail Permit
Not Included in Price:
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu, $75 (subject to change)
- One way Train ticket Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy.
- Transfer from Ollantaytambo or Poroy to Cuzco hotel.

Private Trekking 2019
Departures: Any day all year-round.

If you have 3 or more people in your group,
you can have a PRIVATE trek for less money.
REQUEST a price!