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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.

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.

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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 price is valid when at least 2 people travelling. Please ask for a price if you are travelling alone

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • The following excursion packages are included:
  • Half-day city tour in Lima incl. visit to the Larco 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


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
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 guided tour rounds off with a visit to the Larco Museum, one of Lima’s best-known museums. Dedicated to pre-Columbian art, it houses an extensive collection of intriguing objects from various pre-Columbian cultures, including Moche, Nazca, Chimú and Inca.

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

Day 3: Flight from Lima to Arequipa – guided tour of Arequipa (2,335 metres)

Arequipa is scenically situated in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of almost 2,400 metres, with the volcanoes Misti (5,822 m), Chachani (6,057 m) and Pichu-Pichu (5,669 m) as a beautiful backdrop. The city is known as “The White City” because most houses are built of volcanic rock.

You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Lima and driven to the airport, from which you will fly to the charming city. Drive: approx. 1.5 hours On your arrival in Arequipa, you’ll be picked up from the airport and driven to your hotel.

In the afternoon, you’ll go on a guided tour of the city and discover the many stately mansions and colonial buildings from the 18th century with their carved doors, French windows and cosy courtyards. You will also visit the central square, Plaza de Armas, with its palm trees, old gas lanterns, fountains and, of course, the city’s huge cathedral.

You’ll then visit Arequipa’s biggest attraction, the Santa Catalina Monastery, which once housed more than 400 nuns. Santa Catalina was founded in 1580 by a rich widow named Maria de Guzmán. It was primarily aimed at the upper classes, for whom, during colonial times, it was customary for the family’s second child to serve the church. The girls were brought to the monastery at the age of three and never ventured outside the walls again.

The monastery has been hit several times by earthquakes but has been rebuilt in its original style, and the historic buildings still stand to this day. Although the monastery is open to the public today, there is still a small religious unit living at one end of the complex. Today, however, the nuns are free to receive visits and leave the Monastery of Santa Catalina whenever they want.

The last stop on the tour is Yanahuara Plaza, where you have every opportunity to take some beautiful pictures of the city’s breathtaking volcanic surroundings.

You have the evening to yourself to explore Arequipa.

Day 4: Bus from Arequipa to Chivay in Colca Canyon (3,650 metres)

It’s an early start this morning, as you’ll be heading to Colca Canyon, which is a 3,400-metre-deep canyon and actually one of the deepest canyons in the world. By comparison, it is around twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the US.

Over the next few days, you’ll really get to experience the mighty Andes Mountains. You’ll cross the spectacular Altiplano plateau, which is characterised by its dry, barren landscape with vast open expanses where you can spot grazing llamas and alpacas. In several places, you will be driving at an altitude of over 4,000 metres. The highest pass and vantage point on the route is called Mirador de los volcanes, and on a clear day, you have a fantastic view from here of the surrounding volcanoes. The vantage point is located at an altitude of around 4,900 metres, and you’ll notice immediately that the thin air at this altitude affects your breathing. So, it will just be a brief stop to take photos before continuing down towards the town of Chivay, which serves as the entrance to Colca Canyon.

In the afternoon, it’s time for a spot of pampering in Chivay’s thermal baths, which are naturally heated by the area’s volcanic activity. Chivay is also surrounded by high volcanoes: Sabancaya at 5,976 metres and Ampato at 6,288 metres.

Distance: Approx. 167 km

Transport time: around 4 hours

Day 5: Excursion to Colca Canyon - bus to Puno (3,827 metres)

After breakfast, you’ll drive to the magnificent vantage point, Mirador Cruz del Condor, which overlooks one of the deepest sections of Colca Canyon. Standing here, looking down and out over the vast canyon, is an amazing experience. At this point, you might even be lucky enough to see condors gliding silently above your head. With a wing span of up to 3 metres, the condor is the world’s largest bird of prey. It hovers on the warm air currents that rise from the canyon.

After this breathtaking nature experience, you’ll go for a short walk in the valley, where you’ll discover the ancient agricultural terraces that have been in use for centuries. There will also be ample opportunity to buy a colourful souvenir to take home with you. You then drive back to Chivay for lunch before boarding the bus to Puno.

Puno is located on Lake Titicaca, which is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world. The city was of great historical significance to the Incas. It was here that the first Inca, Manco Capac, rose from the waters of Lake Titicaca to start the Inca Empire, becoming the first king of Cusco. Today, Puno is an agricultural city specialising in the breeding of llamas and alpacas, so wool products can be bought here at a good price.

Distance: Chivay – Cruz del Condor return + Chivay – Puno: Approx. 385 km

Transport time: around 9 hours

Day 6: Excursion at Lake Titicaca (3,810 metres)

Today, you’re going on a full day excursion to Lake Titicaca, which Peru and Bolivia share. Here, an exciting encounter with two very different highland Indian communities, where old traditions are still maintained, awaits you.

You start by sailing out of the harbour to the floating reed islands, Islas Uros, which are still inhabited by the Uros people. The Uros use the lake’s free building materials – the strong totora reeds – to build islands, houses and boats. Despite the islands having become a little commercial, it’s still fascinating to learn about the culture and ancient traditions of the Uros people and not least to see their impressive craftsmanship.

You then sail on to the peaceful island of Taquile, which is known especially for its colourful crafts and its “knitting men”. Here on the island, it’s the men who knit – and they’re good at it! The pattern on a man’s hat, called a chullo, not only shows his creativity, but his civilian status, too. It’s women’s job to spin the yarn and weave. The women weave the beautiful belts for the men’s costumes.

You’ll enjoy lunch on the beautiful hilly island, and afterwards your guide will take you on a walk up to the highest point of the island, from which there are breathtaking views of Lake Titicaca, with the high mountains in the background.

Mid-afternoon, you’ll be sailed back to Puno and the rest of the day is yours to do as you please.

Day 7: Bus ride from Puno to Cusco (3,400 metres)

Today, you have a long but adventure-filled journey ahead of you. You’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the bus station, where a bus will be waiting to take you to Cusco, the formal capital of the Inca Empire and now an elegant, thriving multi-cultural city.

You’ll cross the Altiplano, where you’re in with a chance of seeing vicuñas, which are related to the camel, but resemble the llama and the alpaca. Several stops will be made on the way, and you’ll be given a guided tour of old ruins and monuments such as those found at the Pukara Museum. Pukara, the first regional town closest to Lake Titicaca, dates back to 500BC. The museum is part of an archaeological area where impressive stone sculptures, ceramic pieces and other archaeological excavations have been found, providing an exciting insight into the history of Andean civilisation.
You will then pass La Raya, which is the highest point on the route at 4,319 metres. From here, you’ll head down through a scenic valley brimming with crops such potatoes and maize. You’ll then come to Raqchi, where you’ll see the ruins of the temple Viracocha, one of the Inca’s most sacred sites. The last stop before Cusco is the famous colonial church, Andahuaylillas, better known as under the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas” due to its beautiful ceiling paintings and other lovely art.

On your arrival in Cusco, you’ll check in at your hotel, and in the evening, you can explore the city and its good restaurants.

Distance: Approx. 390 km

Transport time: Approx. 10 hours including stops

Day 8: Guided tour of Cusco (3,400 metres)

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: Excursion to the Sacred Valley (approx. 2,800 - 3,400 metres)

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.

Distance: Approx. 160 km

Transport time: Approx. 10 hours incl. stops

Day 10: Bus from Cusco to Marcoccasa – Soraypampa (3,900 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 (2,040 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: Visit to the Inca ruin Machu Picchu – Train/bus back to Cusco (3,400 metres)

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 (train + bus) around 4 hours

Day 14: Cusco on your own (3,400 metres)

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.

We also offer an excursion to the Inca ruins at Moray and the salt mines in Maras, or how about trying your hand at a small cookery class where you gain an exciting insight into Peruvian cuisine?

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.

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Please note that the price of a single room only applies when for at least two people. Please contact us if you’re travelling alone.
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Laura Arundell Trelborg

Laura loves to travel and is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their travel dreams.

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