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HomeTours to Central and South AmericaPeruPeru, including Salkantay Trek
16 days

Peru, including Salkantay Trek

Experience the Andes on a stunning trek to Salkantay mountain ending at Machu Picchu. You will also visit Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and the ancient capital of the Incas, Cusco.

We support sustainability development in Latin America. For every tour booked with us, we plant 10 trees in Brazil. Read more about the sustainability project here.

Peru, including Salkantay Trek Peru, including Salkantay Trek
16 days

Peru, including Salkantay Trek

Experience the Andes on a stunning trek to Salkantay mountain ending at Machu Picchu. You will also visit Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and the ancient capital of the Incas, Cusco.

We support sustainability development in Latin America. For every tour booked with us, we plant 10 trees in Brazil. Read more about the sustainability project here.

What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flight from the UK to Lima and return from Cusco (enquire regarding direct flights)
  • 1 domestic flight: Lima – Arequipa
  • Transfers to and from airports (in small international groups)
  • Bus: Arequipa – Colca Canyon – Puno – Cusco
  • 11 nights’ accommodation in good hotels incl. breakfast
  • The Salkantay Trek with 2 nights in a tent and 1 night at a hotel in Aguas Calientes. Transport to and from Cusco, English-speaking guide, full board and guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • 6 x lunch (days 4, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 12)
  • 3 x dinner (days 10, 11 and 12)
  • Individual tour; however, all excursions are in small, international groups with local, English-speaking guides
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • The following excursion packages are included:
  • Half-day city tour in Lima incl. visit to the Lima Art Museum
  • Half-day city tour in Arequipa incl. visit to the Monastery of Santa Catalina
  • Guided excursion to Colca Canyon with thermal baths, agricultural terraces and condors
  • Full-day excursion to Lake Titicaca and visit to the Uros people and Taquile Island
  • Half-day tour in Cusco and surrounding Inca complexes
  • Full-day excursion to the Inca Sacred Valley, incl. the open-air museum town Ollantaytambo
  • Admission to all attractions mentioned

The tour in short

This tour lets you experience the highlights of Peru, including Peru’s capital Lima, the beautiful white city of Arequipa, the deep Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and the Uros people, the beautiful old Inca capital of Cusco and a fantastic trek around Mt. Salkantay to the legendary ruin complex Machu Picchu.

The route to Salkantay is a fantastically beautiful route through the Andes Mountains with views of several snow-capped peaks, including Salkantay at 6271 metres. This is a good alternative to the popular Inca trek, when it’s sold out, but many choose the Salkantay trek, precisely because there are fewer trekkers on the route, making the experience more unique and authentic.

Look forward to a tour that lets you experience Peru’s exciting culture and history, welcoming population and breath-taking nature.

Why choose this tour

  • Go on an adventure in the Andes Mountains on a challenging 4-day trek around the snow-capped Salkantay peak, and finish up with a visit to the Inca ruin of Machu Picchu
  • See wild llamas graze on the high plains of the Andes Mountains on the way to Colca Canyon
  • Meet the colourful native society on a boat ride across beautiful Lake Titicaca
  • See the remnants of the Spanish colonial powers with lavish plazas and cathedrals in Lima, Arequipa and Cusco

Our prices always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All destination transfers
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • All accommodations
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Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in Lima

Today the tour goes from the UK to Peru with connecting flights along the way. On arrival at Lima’s airport, you are met by a representative from our partner company in Peru, who will transport you to your hotel. It takes about 1 hour to get from the airport to the hotel. On the way, you can get answers to any questions you may have about your tour. Once you arrive at the hotel, the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Day 2: City tour in Lima

Today you are going on a half-day city tour in Lima to get a look into the Peruvian capital, which was founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro. You visit the central, spectacular and vibrant Plaza Mayor, which is surrounded by photogenic colonial buildings and adorned with rose gardens, tall palm trees and a fountain featuring the city’s guardian angel at the top. The colonial buildings include the Presidential palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and Lima’s fantastic cathedral from 1555, where the earthly remains of the city’s founder, PIzarro, are interred.

You visit the San Francisco Monastery and its church from 1674, which is said to be the most beautiful Baroque church in the city. In the monastery are fine mosaic tiles from Seville, as well as frescoes that were discovered after sections of the façade were destroyed by an earthquake. The entire complex, with the monastery and the church, is built over the catacombs, which were used as a burial site during the war. The complex notably also houses a museum of religious art and a library with over 25,000 books.

From here, the tour continues to the San Isidro district, where you find attractive parks and the modern neighbourhood of Miraflores. This neighbourhood consists of beaches, beautiful gardens and plazas with pleasant cafés and restaurants. The city tour concludes with a visit to the Lima Art Museum, which is famous for its wide-ranging collection of pre-Columbian handicrafts and jewellery.

The rest of the afternoon and evening are at your disposal.

Day 3: Flight from Lima to Arequipa – City tour in Arequipa

You are picked up at your hotel in Lima in the morning and driven to the airport, from which you fly to the beautiful white city of Arequipa. The city is situated 2400 metres above sea level, giving it a wholly unique atmosphere as it is surrounded by the snow-capped volcanoes Misti (5822 m), Chachani (6057 m) and Pichu-Pichu (5669 m). On arrival at the Arequipa airport, you are received and driven to your hotel. Afterwards, you head out on a city tour.

On the city tour, you can see many attractive mansions and colonial buildings from the 1700s, the majority of which feature French windows with grates, carved doors and spacious courtyards. You visit the central, beautiful Plaza de Armas with its old glass street lights, fountains, palm trees, as well as the city’s enormous cathedral. Arequipa is also known as “The White City”, as nearly all of the buildings are built almost exclusively from white volcanic stone.

You visit Arequipa’s most renowned attraction, the Monastery of Santa Catalina, which once housed over 400 nuns. The monastery was founded in 1580 by Maria de Guzmán, a rich widow, and was expanded in the 1600s as it continued to only deal with the local upper classes. This was due to a custom during the colonial era, which held that the second daughter in wealthy families had to become a nun. These girls were taken to the monastery already at the age of three, and were never allowed to leave the monastery afterwards. It wasn’t until 1970, when the monastery was opened, that the nuns could freely receive visitors and come and go as they pleased. Today, about 20 nuns live in the Monastery of Santa Catalina.

Before the tour takes you back to your hotel, you visit the Yanahuara plaza, where you can take a few nice shots of the city with the beautiful conical volcanoes looming in the background.

Day 4: Bus ride from Arequipa to Chivay in Colca Canyon

The day starts early with a departure for the fascinating Colca Canyon. Colca Canyon is 3,191 metres deep, more than twice the depth of the famous Grand Canyon in the USA.

The trip to Colca Canyon passes through the spectacular Altiplano region, a dry and barren landscape with wide open fields. You also pass by several small villages on the trip, and get a chance to see local shepherds with their alpacas and llamas. You are spending the night in the town of Chivay, located 3633 metres above sea level. The town serves as an entrance to Colca Canyon, and is beautifully situated with the two volcanoes Sabancaya (5976 m) and Ampato (6288 m) as a backdrop.

On arrival in Chivay, there is time for some relaxation after the long bus ride. You therefore visit the hot, thermal baths, where you can unwind and soften up your muscles.

Day 5: Experiences in Colca Canyon and bus ride to Puno

Today you are experiencing Colca Canyon up close from Cruz del Condor, a lookout point over one of the deepest sections of the canyon. From here you can be fascinated by the magnificent view, and get a fantastic experience by simply standing and looking down over the canyon. You may be lucky enough to see condors, who are among the biggest flying birds in the world, with a wingspan of up to 3 metres.

After this fascinating experience, you take a short walk through the valley before heading back to Chivay for lunch. The walk lets you study the old agricultural terraces used by locals for many centuries.

After lunch, the tour continues to Puno, a city located at 4000 metres above sea level at the banks of the world’s largest and highest-situated navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca. It was in Puno that the first Inca, Manco Capac, went up the waters of Lake Titicaca to start the Inca Empire, becoming the first king of Cusco. The city is therefore of great historical importance to the Inca, and is today an agricultural town particularly used for raising llamas and alpacas. We therefore recommend you purchase some wool products here.

Day 6: Lake Titicaca

Today is all about a full-day trip to Lake Titicaca Although the lake is at the borders of Peru and Bolivia, the countries share it peacefully. On each of their stretches of the lake are Quechua and Aymara-speaking natives.

You visit the Uros people and get a glimpse of their daily lives and exciting culture. The Uros people live on swaying reed islands in the Puno Bay and live off a combination of hunting and fishing. After visiting the Uros, you travel across Lake Titicaca and reach the peaceful Taquile Island. You spend some time here with the locals and experience how different the two island societies are. Afterwards, the guide takes you on a walk up to the island’s highest point, from which you can enjoy the breath-taking view it offers of this immense lake.

In the middle of the afternoon, the tour takes you back to Puno, where you can spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.

Day 7: Bus ride from Puno to Cusco

Today the trip continues with a long, but eventful, bus ride to the formal capital of the Inca empire, Cusco. You are picked up at your hotel in Puno and driven to the bus station, where the bus is waiting to drive you to the beautiful historical town of Cusco.

On this trip, you again cross the impressive Altiplano landscape, where you have a chance to spot vicuñas, which are most reminiscent of llamas and alpacas, but which is a relative of the camel.
Many stops are made along the way at old ruins and monuments, and you get guided tours here. The first stop is at the impressive pyramid Pukara, which is 3500 years old, and which itself built by the inhabitants of Pukara. Afterwards, the trip continues past the La Raya mountain chain, the highest point of the trip at 4319 metres. From here, the trip goes down through a gorgeous valley full of crops like potatoes and maize. At the next stop, you see one of the Inca’s most sacred places, Raqchi and the ruins of the Viracocha temple. The last stop before the end of the trip is the famous colonial church Andahuaylillas. The church is better known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas” due to its incredible ceiling murals.

On arrival in Cusco you are picked up and driven to your hotel. Afterwards, you can explore the city and its inviting restaurants in the evening.

Day 8: Cusco

The morning is at your disposal to explore the town or get some well-deserved rest before you go on a tour in and around Cusco in the afternoon.

You visit the city’s central plaza, the Plaza de Armas, where many important events in Cusco’s history have taken place, and which was known as Hucaypata or “the Warriors’ Plaza” in the Inca era. This is also the site of Cusco Cathedral, which was built during the colonial era on top of one of the Incas’ palaces and is a beautiful mix of Spanish Renaissance architecture and the wonderful Inca masonry. From the cathedral, the tour continues to what was once one of the Inca’s most important temples, Koricancha, the sun temple. This once magnificent sun temple was built without mortar, and each individual stone fits perfectly into its structure.

Afterwards, the trip moves on to the ruins north of Cusco, where the first stop is Kenko, an Inca shrine with a five-metre high stone block that is said to resemble a puma. Among the water canals carved into a massive cliff and the underground sanctum, the entire site is dedicated to the worship of Mother Earth. Next on your trip, you visit the smaller fortifications at Puka Pukara, where you can find stairs, tunnels, towers and terraces carved into the mountainside. These fortifications are said to have guarded the way to and from the Inca Sacred Valley. The second-to-last stop is the sacred baths for Inca rulers and royal women, Tambomachay, which is still able to supply water to this day.

The final stop is the military complex Sacsayhuaman, an exciting example of Inca architectural brilliance with a beautiful location overlooking Cusco. This complex is quite impressive with its double walls built from carved granite stones, some of which weigh more than 125 tonnes.

Your tour takes you back to Cusco, where the evening is at your disposal.

Day 9: Cusco – Excursion to the Sacred Valley

The day revolves around an excursion to the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Here you visit the town of Pisac, which is renowned for its colourful indigenous markets and the impressive ruins over the city. At the markets, you can buy anything from Peruvian wool sweaters and musical instruments to jewellery, paintings and woven goods. The ruins over the city are built with less stone than those in Sacsayhuaman, but with the same precision in carving and fitting. A truly incredible construction with an equally incredible view.

After lunch, the trip continues to the town of Ollantaytambo, which is situated at the heart of the valley. This town functions as an open museum city, as its inhabitants hold onto the old traditions and laws that were passed down by their ancestors. This is an unbelievably charming village, which aside from its museum condition is also known for the complex of the same name, which consists of temples, baths and impressive military installations.

Afterwards, the rest of your day is at your disposal in Cusco.

Day 10: Cusco – Marcoccasa – Soraypampa (3900 metres)

Look forward to lacing your hiking boots, because today you are starting the Salkantay trek. Salkantay is an old Quechua word, meaning “the wild mountain”. And what awaits you in the Andes Mountains over the next 4 days is a truly wild and utterly breath-taking nature experience. The trek concludes with a visit to Machu Picchu, the legendary ruin city of the Inca.

You are picked up at the hotel early in the morning and drive to the town of Marcoccasa, where the trek begins. Here you meet the rest of your trekking group and the team of porters, riders, chefs, and of course your guide, who will be helping through the days of trekking in the Andes Mountains.

In clear weather, it is possible to get a glimpse of La Veronica (5750 metres), one of the highest mountains in the Urubamba mountain range, as well as several Vilcabamba peaks in the distance. You pass small mountain villages and cloud forests packed with rare flowers and orchids. There is a chance to spot the little hummingbird here as well. You wander on towards the snowy peak of Tucarhuay (5910 metres). Here the forest and dense vegetation begins to chance, and you reach the grassy valley of Soraypampa, where you eat lunch and set up camp for the night.
After lunch, you have the opportunity to hike up to the beautiful Lake Humantay, which sits at 4220 metres above sea level. The trip takes about 1 hour each way.

Dinner is served in spectacular surroundings, and when the darkness sets in, a truly peerless starry sky shines above you. Make sure you get some good rest, as the next day’s trek is the hardest of the trip.

Transport time from Cusco to Marcoccasa: approx. 3.5 hours
Distance: Approx. 16 km
Hike duration: Approx. 6–8 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate

Day 11: Soraypampa – the Salkantay Pass– Andenes (3300 metres)

Today will be the hardest day of the trek. You therefore start with a nourishing breakfast, giving you energy to hike the steep route up to the Salkantay Pass, situated at 4600 metres above sea level. This is the highest point of the trek, and the hike to the top is tough. Remember to walk at your own pace, and take any breaks you need on the way. From the top of the pass, your reward is an indescribable view including the beautiful snow-capped peak of Mt. Salkantay, at 6271 metres. After a hard-earned rest, the descent begins, and you can again enjoy the change in vegetation as it slowly goes from barren to lush cloud forest.

After lunch, you continue to Andenes (3300 metres), where you set up camp for the night. Enjoy your last night in a tent in the enchanting nature and amazing silence of the Andes Mountains.

Distance: Approx. 19 km
Hike duration: Approx. 7–8 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate to hard

Day 12: Andenes – Chaullay – Lucmabamba – Aguas Calientes (2050 metres)

Once you’ve had breakfast and the camp is packed up, you hike to the town of Lucmabamba. You walk along old Inca trails, passing several coffee plantations and orchards along the way.
After lunch at Lucmabamba, you will be picked up by a car that drives you down to the Urubamba River and the hydroelectric plant, from which you will take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes. Transport time is approx. 2 hours.

Aguas Calientes is located at the foot of Machu Picchu, and this is where you’ll be sleeping tonight. Having checked into your hotel, the rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to do as you please in this small town. It’s a good idea to get an early night, as you’ll be getting up early in the morning.

Distance: Approx. 17 km
Hike duration: Approx. 6-7 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate

Day 13: Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

Today, your tour goes on to the fantastic ruin complex Machu Picchu, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and one of the tour’s absolute highlights. Machu Picchu sits on a steep green mountainside surrounded by cloud forest, green mountaintops and further out in the horizon, snow-capped peaks. You spend the entire morning and afternoon in this enchanting area, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983.

Here you get a guided tour and experience the intelligent Inca architecture with narrow terraces on the steep sides of the mountain, as well as areas with graveyards, prisons, small residences and temples. This is a particularly impressive ruin complex, where the Inca construction techniques were truly put to the test.

Machu Picchu was built during the golden age of the Inca, around the year 1462, but was abandoned less than 100 years later, likely due to a chicken pox epidemic. On 24 July 1911, the American explorer Hiram Bingham rediscovered the structures that today are Peru’s most popular attraction and one of the world’s best-known archaeological areas.

After the guided tour, you have some time to explore the area on your own.

The afternoon is spent at your leisure in the town of Aguas Calientes. You can relax and enjoy lunch in one of the town’s many restaurants. Need to loosen up your muscles after the last few days of trekking? We recommend you visit the town’s thermal baths – the hot springs, after which the town is named, Aguas Calientes meaning hot water.

Late in the afternoon/early in the evening, the tour goes back to Cusco by train and bus. The exact time will be given by your guide after the tour at Machu Picchu. On arrival in Cusco, you are driven to your hotel.

Transport time from Aguas Calientes back to Cusco: approx. 3.5 hours

Day 14: Cusco on your own

Today, there are no planned excursions, so the day is at your disposal. Perhaps you would like to head out and buy some final souvenirs, or just take a stroll around this gorgeous, historical city.

If you would like to experience even more of the magical Andes Mountains, we recommend purchasing an excursion to the magnificent Rainbow Mountain. This mountain is just one of the many beautiful, rainbow-coloured mountains just outside of Cusco, whose colours are due to the mountains’ combination of colourful minerals. It is a truly unique experience to see a mountain in so many wonderful colours.

Day 15: Return flight

Today it’s time to return home with connecting flights along the way. You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport. The time depends on your flight connection home.

Day 16: Arrival back home

You arrive in the UK after an eventful holiday.

Single room supplement £430
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