The hike from Salkantay to Machu Picchu. Salkantay Refuges is a team of families living along the Salkantay Route. An incredible hike to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu will show you how our culture, traditions and ancestral history work in harmony with the flora and fauna of the area. Hike to Salkantay.




You will be picked up from your hotel from 5:00 to 5:30 a.m. in a private vehicle, which will take you to the community of Mollepata, this is a journey of approximately 2 and a half hours. In Mollepata, you will be greeted by my family, where you will have breakfast (Marino, my husband and /or my children- Flor or Edwin), who will give you all the necessary information about the trek, the map of the route you will take plus some water and snacks for the day. We also have a store to buy any last minute items that you may need for the trek.

After breakfast, you will be driven in our private vehicle to Challacancha, which is approximately a 1-hour journey. From here, you will start to hike to our first lodge in Soraypampa, which is approximately a 2 hour walk. Here, you will be greeted with a coca tea and you will be shown your rooms, when you will have time to get settled into the first night’s accommodation. Our lodges are fully equipped with private bathrooms, a hot shower, and we have a choice of rooms with double beds, twin rooms or triple rooms with 3 beds, for bigger groups. After you are settled -in, you will be able to try some delicious and nutritious local cuisine. Vegetarians or anyone with food allergies are also welcome, we cater for all dietary needs.

After a hearty lunch, you will have a short, acclimatisation trek to the spectacular Tukarhuay Lake with the stunning backdrop of the Tukarhuay glacier, also more commonly known as the Humantay glacier. You will also have spectacular views of the Salkantay glacier, one of the most sacred mountains in Inca mythology (Apu Salkantay). This excursion will take approximately 3 hours in total and will help you to acclimatise for the rest of the trek. When you get back to the lodge there will be an appetizer waiting for you and then a delicious dinner.

Total distance: 12km / 7.45 miles. Starting elevation: 3,380 metres / 11,089 feet. Highest elevation: 4,300 metres / 14,107 feet. Altitude of the lodge: 3,850 metres / 12,631 feet. Approximate night- time (outside) temperature at the lodge: 0 - 5°C.

  • Accommodation: private rooms at the lodge.
  • Meals : Lunch, dinner and afternoon tea and snacks.
  • Walking time: 4-5 hours.
  • WIFI signal.
  • Fresh towels face towels, and soap provided.
  • Transfer of your personal items for the duration of the trek.
  • Dificulty level: Moderate.
  • Adventure level: Satisfactory.
  • We have renewable energy to charge your cell phones.


Today is the big day!

You will wake up and have a coca tea at 5am. At 5:30am our host Marino, will serve a delicious breakfast. A horseman (arriero) will carry your personal item’s with mules to your lunch stop (Huayracmachay). This distance is an ascent of 7km (4.34 miles) in approximately 3 hours, between the rocky valley and the magnificent Salkantay Mountain at (4,660 metres / 1,5288 feet).

When we reach the pass, you will be able to appreciate the spectacular views of the mountains and glaciers of Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay y Pumasillo where we will be greeted with some coca tea. The Salkantay peak is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region and revered as an important God of the Incas. These were called “Apus” or Sacred mountains. After you arrive at the highest pass, you will then descend for approximately 2 hours until you arrive at Huayracmachay, where you will have your lunch. This is also when the horsemen will give you your personal items.

In the afternoon, you will enter into the high part of the Amazon jungle, which is also known as a cloud forest. It is approximately a 10 km (6.2 miles) downhill walk, taking approximately 3 hours. The path is a wide track through thick woodland areas. This part of the trek is really beautiful and has stunningly, decorated hillsides, with natural scenic views and a great amount of wildlife, native plants and flowers. The woodlands throughout most of the year are relatively warm, with higher temperatures at certain times of the year. After finishing this stage of the hike, we will arrive at our lodge in CHALWAY (2,900 metres / 9,514 feet).

On arrival, there will be a private vehicle to take us on the 1 hour journey to Lucmabamba. This is where we experience the tropical jungle area. You will arrive at the Lucmabamba lodge where the local family will welcome you and allow you to settle in to your rooms. They have private bathrooms and hot or cold showers. You have the option to participate in a cultural experience with the native people of the area, including farmers who organically cultivate their coffee plantations and is considered one of the best organic coffees in the world. The organic coffee plantations still use traditional methods to toast and grind the coffee beans. We will then continue through banana plantations where they also cultivate “granadilla” a member of the passion fruit family, yucca and avocados. We will finish the day with a delicious dinner after the day’s activities.

If for any reason you don’t have the time to visit the coffee plantations (due to time constraints or tiredness) you will have the opportunity to visit before breakfast the following morning.

Distance walked: 22km /13.67 miles. Starting elevation: 3850 metres /12631 feet. Highest altitude reached: 4660 metres / 15,288 feet. Altitude of the lodge in Lucmabamba: 2400 metres / 7874 feet.

  • Meals : Breakfast, lunch, dinner and an afternoon snack
  • Available rooms at the lodge: private rooms with private bathrooms.
  • Fresh towels.
  • Walking time: 8 -9 hours.
  • Private transfer: (Chalway – Lucmabamba).
  • Transfer of personal items: to Huyraqmachay ( 70% of the day ).
  • Difficulty level: Challenging – difficult.
  • Adventure: Satisfactory
  • Refugio Lucmablamba has renewable energy to charge your cell phones.


The local family will wake you early in the morning with a hot cup of coffee, served in bed. You will be able to prepare yourself for the day’s activities and enjoy a hearty breakfast. You will start to hike quite early in the day and you will have the opportunity to hike on part of an original Inca trail.

After a 3 hour ascent with incredible views of the Santa Teresa valley, we will arrive at the Inca site of LLACTAPATA, just in front of Machu Picchu. This will be the first archaeological site, which you will see on the trek, and you will be able to visit this lost city of the Incas, which is an amazing and very special place, with spectacular views. Not only can you catch your first glimpse of the Machu Picchu archaeological site, but also the stunning view of the Huayna Picchu and the Machu Picchu Mountain. We will explore this amazing site and a local family will bring us a refreshing drink of bottled water before you continue on the hike. After the ruins of Llactapata, we will continue to descend for 2 hours, all the time appreciating the stunning views of Machu Picchu on route, until we arrive at a small family home where the family will be waiting for us with fresh water (bottled) to rehydrate and show us around this impressive place.

We will then continue to the hydroelectric train station which is our lunch spot for the day and where your personal items will be waiting for you from Lucmabamba.

After lunch and the delivery of your personal items at the hydroelectric train station, this is where we say GOODBYE and where the services of “Refugios Salkantay” end.

You may then continue for another 2 and a half hours walk until you reach the town of Aguas Calientes. This is a very popular route along the train tracks to get to Machu Picchu and it is virtually impossible to get lost.

  • Distance Walked: 18 km / 11.2 miles.
  • Elevation: 2,450 metres / 8,038 feet.
  • Elevation in Aguas Calientes: 1900 metres /6233 feet.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch.
  • Aventure level: Absolutely!
  • Dificulty level: Easy.


The most outstanding experience today: Arrive early in the morning to Machu Picchu, for which you will have to wake up really early in your hotel. The entrance to Machu Picchu is open from 6am until 5pm. You may want to walk up to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu or you can take the shuttle bus to the entrance (for $ 12.00 usd ) This will give you more time to experience the amazing site before the trains start to arrive from Cusco. In addition, arriving before the trekkers from the Inca trail get to Machu Picchu plus you have the bonus of the amazing sunrise. If you would like the services of a guide, there are many at the entrance to the site. The cost is usually around s/20 per person for a group tour and around s/150 soles for a private tour. A guided tour usually lasts 2 hours for this mystical site. There is also the option to climb the Huayna Picchu mountain or the Machu Picchu mountain (be aware that you need to reserve permits with anticipation to climb these mountains). Both mountains take around 3 hours to climb up and down. Also for the more adventurous you can hike to the “Inti Punku “ or Sun gate which is where the Inca trail trekkers see their first view of Machu Picchu.

You may stay and enjoy this magnificent site for 7 hours more, until 5pm.



  1. Hotel Pick up in Cusco.
  2. Private transport (Cusco – Mollepata / Mollepata – Challacancha.)(Chalway - Lucmabamba)
  3. Hot shower at all lodges.
  4. Fresh towels and soap provided at all lodges.
  5. Rooms in private cabins: Soraypampa, Lucmabamba.
  6. Mules And horsemen to carry your personal items for 70 % of the route with the exception of (Huayracmachay - Chalway ) and (Hidroelectric – Aguas calientes).
  7. First Aid kit in all lodges.
  8. All meals included during the hike with until the last day when we reach Hydro electric.
  9. Sleeping bags are NOT required as we provide plenty of blankets at each lodge.
  10. We also provide a natural walking stick for the hike at no extra cost- one stick per person.
  11. All drinking water is provided. (Bottled).
  12. WiFi Free
  13. We have renewable energy to charge your cell phones.
  14. Coffee tour
  15. 16: ZIP LINE + The MOST EXTREME SWING IN SOUTH AMERICA! (optional, As long as they want to make it.


  1. First breakfast in Mollepata
  2. Entrance fee to Salkantay Trail (S/.10 per person)
  3. Machu Picchu entrance ticket. ( )
  4. Return train: (Machu Picchu - Ollanta) /
  5. Return to Cusco (Ollanta - Cusco) (There are “collectivos” for s/15.00 soles per person /Private transport: S/ 100 for 4 people, as you leave the train station).
  6. No services in Aguas Calientes
  7. No services inside Machu Picchu

+ 2 OPTIONS to return to Cusco from Aguas Calientes

  1. Train: (AGUAS CALIENTES – OLLANTAYTAMBO) There are many different train times for trains back to Cusco. Then from Ollantaytambo – Cusco, Buses all day until 8pm approx, which will leave you in the Plaza San Francisco -2 blocks from the Plaza de Armas.
  2. Bus. A 3 hour walk along the train tracks (Aguas Calientes - Hydroelectric) then a public bus /minibus - 6 hours Approx. (hydroelectric - Cusco)

Any additional information on how to book your entrance to Machu Picchu, hotel in Aguas Calientes, options how to return to Cusco (by train - by bus) we are very happy to help you.

+ What to Bring:

  1. A change of clothes for each day – please be prepared for every type of weather from cold and hot, to wet and dry.
  2. Rain gear (waterproof jacket and trousers) or a rain poncho. You can buy a rain poncho almost everywhere but best to do so in Mollepata for around $1.50 usd.
  3. Good walking boots, preferably with ankle support and waterproof. Spare, dry socks are a necessity.
  4. Sandals to allow your feet to rest.
  5. Torch and batteries (Very Important) Extra spare batteries – *PLEASE DISPOSE OF IN SPECIAL RECYCLING FACILITIES
  6. HATS! A hat to protect you from the cold, to protect against sun, and the rain.
  7. Sunblock.
  8. After sun /hydration creams.
  9. Insect Repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although there is no recorded malaria in the area, bites can be itchy.
  10. Snacks: cookies, energy bars, chocolate, dry fruits, trail mix, etc.
  11. We recommend bringing water sterilisation tablets if you want to drink water, which you can collect along the way.Your own basic medical kit /first aid kit, which you may need along the route – with any prescription medication, plasters/band aids, painkillers, anti-diarrhoea tablets etc.
  12. Swimsuit (if you want to enjoy the thermal springs).
  13. Cash! – Enough for snacks, tips, souvenirs, - bring in small denominations - no large notes.
  14. Original Passport and student cards .
  15. Please bear in mind that knives or anything with a Sharp metal point, will be confiscated in Machu Picchu.

+ Optional Extras:

A horse for riding in case of emergencies (Soraypampa – abra Salkantay),$ 20 U.S.A. per person if you need to hire a horse.

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* A group tour means that it is open for other trekkers to join you. This means that your group will have varying hiking and fitness abilities.

Private Tour:

Private tours are available and priced by party size.

2 Trekkers  $ 200 per person

* All our tours are priced in US Dollar.