Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days

from NOV 2021 to DEC 2022 Price from $ 780 USD pp
Trip Type Walking & Treking
Difficulty Level Challenging/Tough
Group Size 2-8 people
BOOK NOW ONLINE Or call +51 981488207
Call us +51 981488207

The Salkantay Trek is named for Mount Salkantay (6,271 m / 20,574 feet). This Sacred Mountain is higher than any mountain in North America. On this  trek you will see gorgeous blue lakes, stunning glaciers, cloud forest with green vegetation and many archeological ruins. This trek is a great blend of the two very popular hikes, with an incomparable variety of flora and fauna. So, anyone who knows anything about Peru knows about the Inca Trail, and with good reason. It is an amazing way to get to Machu Picchu, while making the most of what this ancient path has to offer: fascinating Inca ruins, cloud forests, subtropical jungle, not to mention the amazing llamas and alpacas you will meet on the way and the local flora you will marvel at.

As far as Salkantay goes, it used to be only an alternative to the Inca Trail when this was sold out, but nowadays it has become a choice in itself. The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu runs beneath the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6,271 m/ 20,569 ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Andes.  The Salkantay Trek was recently named on the National Geographic Ultimate Adventure bucket list – defined as “The 20 most extreme, hair-raising, legendary adventures on the planet. And because we know it would be a hard choice between these too, we have carefully designed an amazing trekking tour, that gets you the best parts of both: the 5-day, 4-night Salkantay Trek with Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. With this trek, you will enjoy the stunning scenery offered by the Salkantay trek the first 2 days, and on the third day you will get off the beaten track, on a path that will connect you with the Inca Trail, which you will then follow on the fourth day, in order to reach one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, on foot. The Salkantay part of the trek comes with the whole package: stunning glaciers, crystal clear lakes, cloud forest and rain forest, which on the last part transforms into rich vegetation and enigmatic ruins, this way giving you the best of nature and culture. With this trek, only offered by Andean Path Trek, you get to camp in the middle of nature, surrounded by the majesty of the mountains, for 3 nights, while on the other  you will sleep in hotel, in Aguas Calientes Town. You also get a very pleasant train ride, on day 4, from Ollantaytambo to km 104, dinner in a nice restaurant on the fourth day in Aguas Calientes, horses that carry 8kg of your personal belongings during the Salkantay Trek, the permit to hike the short Inca Trail and much more.

This is a very unique version of the Classic Salkantay Trek and short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The first two days follow one of the common Salkantay trails, but on the 3rd day we depart the Salkantay trails to enjoy  the first day  section of the Classic Inca Trail, and the 4th day is the hiking of the short inca trail to Machu Picchu.


  • Bilingual English/Spanish speaking tour guide
  • Pre-Departure Briefing 1 or 2 days before your trek
  • Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Soraypampa
  • Four person tent for each 2 persons.
  • Mattress
  • Kitchen tent
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Toilet tent
  • Professional chef and assistant chef
  • Horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc) and 5 kg (9 lbs) per hiker for your own belongings
  • Duffle bag for your personal gear
  • Emergency horse in case we need it
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Daily morning boiled and cold water to fill the water bottles.
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo round trip
  • Private van transportation from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco
  • Emergency oxygen bottle, medical kit
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu and Inca Trail
  • Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas calientes


  • Sleeping bag – you can rent one from us
  • Day 5 Lunch in Aguas Calientes
  • Tips for the crew (guides, porters, cooks, wranglers)
  • Ticket for Huayna Picchu Mountain $ 80 usd
  • Sleeping Bag – US$20 per person per trek (you can rent in our office)
  • Air Mattress – US$20 per person per trek (you can rent in our office)
  • Trekking Poles – US$15 per pair per trek (you can rent in our office)
  • Discover a new path that is little traveled, and full of beautiful landscapes, magnificent snow mountains, turquoise lakes, waterfalls and cloud forests that hide Inca citadels.
  • Explore in a single tour the three best treks to Machu Picchu (salkantay trek, classic inca trail, short inca trail)
  • Visit the network of roads of the Incas, and during the journey you will connect to the first section of the classic Inca trail, you can also contemplate this incredible marvel of the construction of more than 600 years, even in full use.
  • Experience a walk through the wild mountains of Cusco, only traveled by the mountain muleteers, who will share their customs and cultural traditions.
  • Understand in depth about the culture, astronomy, and history of the Incas, with the best local guides.
  • Delight your palate with the best typical dishes of PERU prepared by our chefs.
  • Feel the harmony and energetic force of our mountains, which will leave you without stress or worry, just disconnect from the noise of the cities.

This route of Salkantay + Short Inca Trail is considered  with the level that goes from moderate to difficult. Thus, the first and second day are sections in which we are going to ascend more than 4000 meters. The second day we will have to overcome the highest pass at 4800 meters, and from there everything will be descent to the Paucarcancha valley, and finally to the sacred valley of the Incas. On the fourth day we will climb the cloud forests along the ancient Inca road to the citadel of Machu Picchu. That is why we recommend that you be in good physical condition for this route. Prepare before the trip, maybe doing morning jogging, or riding a bike, the gym also helps a lot. The weather is very changing, in the Andes there are temperatures from -2 C ° to 25 C °. But nothing is impossible just have the best want to enjoy and you will see that everything becomes easier.

Camping Tents during Salkantay Trek: 3 nights

The overnight stays during the Inca Trail are made in double-roofed tents, which are installed by the accompanying team. The tents are equipped with thick foam mattresses that are carried by the porters. Sleeping bags can be rented on site for a fee prior to the start of the trek. The camps have permanent sanitary facilities, some have toilets, but most of them are of the “squat” variety. They may not be the most hygienic, but try to use them instead of nature, remember you are in one of the most amazing natural environments in the world. Please bring toilet paper with you. A dining tent offers enough space to eat together and end the evening in peace.


The Hotel Hotel Retama Machupicchu is located, 700 meters from the hot springs of Machu Picchu, it is the most beautiful and quiet area of ​​the town, in the Wiñaywayna Park located three blocks from the Peru Rail station, overlooking the river and the moutains; It offers free WiFi and a tour desk. The accommodation offers luggage storage and a currency exchange service. Room service, 45-inch plasma AOC TV, 24-hour hot water, Hair dryer, Towels for thermal baths, Buffet breakfast.

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 4300 m
Hiking Distance 12 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

We will pick you up from your hotel early in the morning and have a beautiful scenic drive of 3 hours duration to Mollepata. At Mollepata we will have breakfast at one of the local houses. During this portion of the drive we will have our first views of the magnificent Salkantay and Humantay Mountains, as well as observe lush vegetation and the fields of local families growing potatoes, quinua, lima beans, etc.

At this point we will arrive at Soraypampa (3,800 m/12,467 ft), the trailhead for the Salkantay trek, and meet our support staff, who will pack everything for the trek and load the equipment onto horses. The first thing we will do is hike up to the magnificent Humantay Lake. After enjoying the beauty and taking pictures, we will hike back down to Soraypampa and “officially” begin the trek.

The hike today is uphill from Soraypampa to Ichupata (4,300 m / 14,104 ft) in the upper valley. This is a 5 to 6 hour hike. Along the way we will pass Salkantaypampa, which is our lunch spot. Ichupata is our camp for the night. When we arrive, we will settle in, have happy hour and a hearty dinner.

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 4850 m
Hiking Distance 14 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

After a savory breakfast, we will begin the 3 to 4 hour steep climb to towards the Incachiriasca pass (4850m/15908ft), the highest of the entire route. We will have amazing views of Apu Salkantay and glacial moraines during this portion. We will pause at the top of the pass to take pictures and enjoy the magnificent view.

We will then descend towards our lunch spot at Sisaypampa, a flat area from which one can observe the neighboring Salkantay Valleys. This is a place where we might see Andean condors.

After lunch we continue towards the Pampacahuana community (3,700 m / 12,136 ft), located next to an original Inca canal. This is our camp for the night.

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 3700 m
Hiking Distance 16 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

We begin by hiking downhill for 2 hours from Pampacahuana to Paucarcancha (3133 m / 10,276 ft)). We will visit the Inca site of the same name.

After to explore we will hike downhill for 3 hours until we reach Huayllabamba village, there we will have our lunch. Afterwards, we will descend to the Urubamba River, following the first section of the Inca Trail, this day we will be able to appreciate the archaeological complex of Patallacta, which is famous for its semicircular constructions, and near there is another Inca compound named Willcaraqay. At dusk we will arrive at Km 82, where we will spend the night.

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2700 m
Hiking Distance 12 km
Approximate walking time 10 hrs

Early in the morning we go to the train station. One hour free flowing train ride to 104 kms (2,100m/6,927ft) will take us to the beginning our trek, where we cruise past the first checkpoint with easy. Afterwards we initiate a moderate climb for three hours to the chiselled remnants and remote archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna . (2,650m/8747ft). As we view out with an open mind and heart, we embrace the spectacular plunging views of the Urubamba Canyon, and the ethnic wonder of ancient Inca sites, we make our connection into the traditional four day Inca Trail. After being at one with this beautiful sight, we continue onward towards the Sun Gate (2,730mts/9,007ft). Following the ancient remote footpath we grasp onto our first spectacular view of Machu Picchu in all its brilliance and majestic monumentality. As we move closer to the Citadel of Machu Picchu, you will feel the reasoning of her energetic vibration. Then we take our bus to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in our hotel.

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2400 m
Hiking Distance 6 km
Approximate walking time 6 hrs

Bursting with excitement on your final surreal day, we take the first bus to Machu Picchu archeological site, making sure we tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The Citadel of the Incas, machu picchu, what an unforgettable experience. Your guide will expertly direct you through the energetic ruins and its diverse main streets. Then on your own, you can wander around the town squares of the world’s spiritual center of esoteric wisdom, as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made of stone. Or you can stay still and find the peace within as you sit in the pure delight of the moment.  Finally, climb Huayna Picchu to appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu and the valleys below.

When you are ready, you will descend to Aguas Calientes, have a leisurely lunch on your own, and later on board the train at  14:30 pm or 14:55 pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo Station, where our transfer will pick up you to come back to Cusco. The drop off is your hotel in Cusco.


When packing for your Salkantay Trek, you should keep in mind that it is best to dress in layers due to the weather variation. The variety of clothes that you must pack to dress in layers is key to your walk, from the morning when it is quite cold until mid afternoon when the temperatures rise and reach their peak and then freeze again at night. Stratification is also useful as you ascend high passages that are exposed to winds or descend into shady valleys.

Effective stratification only works if each layer allows moisture to pass and escape into the external environment. In fact, the best layered clothing, such as wool, promotes moisture transfer through its absorbent properties. Cotton and denim absorb moisture and, therefore, should be avoided.

warm jackets
Hydration bladder
wool socks
first aid kit
hiking shoes
Dry bags
Trekking Poles
sun cream
sun hat
bathing suite
rain coat
insect repellent
Down Jackets
toilet paper
Wool cap
head lamp
sun glasses
extra cash
Trekking pants


  1. This Alternate Route of Salkantay + Inca Trail; do you go through the same path as the traditional route?

No, we are only going to coincide on the first day of the excursion, where we walk along the classic route of the Salkantay Trek, and visit the Humantay lagoon. After lunch, our trekking group should ascend to the base camp of Ichupata, which is higher than the other camps, and we still continue to practice the true adventurous spirit of trekking, where they spend the night in tents.

  1. Why should you choose this Salkantay + Short Inca Trail tour?

Of all the hiking options to Machu Picchu, this is undoubtedly the most complete in every way, unique landscapes, blue and turquoise lakes. Inter-Andean valleys, traditional local populations, etc.

This tour connects the best trekking trails, the majestic Salkantay, the Inca trail that passes through Paucarcancha, Hatunchaka, Patallaqta Archaeological Site, Kanabamba, Salonpunko. And the short Inca trail that begins in the ruins of Chachabamba, the Wiñaywayna palace, and as a step before discovering Machu Picchu the famous Puerta del Sol. As you will realize, this is the perfect route for those who are looking for adventure, culture. , history, archeology and pure nature.

  1. How difficult is the Salkantay Trek connection to the Inca Trail?

Don’t worry, it isn’t. You will not be climbing mountains like Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro. None of the itineraries of the tours to Machu Picchu are designed for mountaineers. They are designed for tourism, which means that all people with a moderate physical condition are capable of doing them. The same applies to the Salkantay trek. It is not easy, but it is not very difficult to achieve either. When considering doing the Salkantay trek, you just need to be aware of a few things.

  • Spend at least one additional day in Cusco to get used to the altitude.
  • The second day of the Salkantay trek is the hardest.
  • Do not rush. Enjoy.
  • Once you cross the Salkantay pass, it gets easier.

To get the most out of your trip, you should always take it as calmly as possible. It is not a mountain race, so it is better that you take the time to enjoy the scenery. You don’t spend every weekend in the Andes. Bring plenty of snacks and hydrate yourself properly. At higher altitude, more water is needed and one of the benefits of trekking is that a lot of calories are burned. If you have difficulties on the first day of the Salkantay trek, you have to know that you can rent a horse for the second day. This can help you relax when climbing the Salkantay pass. You will not need any help during the rest of the trip.

  1. When should I do the Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

If you are thinking of doing the Salkantay + Inca Trail trek, it is good to know what weather conditions you are in. The Cusco area in Peru has two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season lasts from April to October and the driest months are June, July and August. The latter is also the season with the highest number of visitors. Don’t worry, it’s not like the classic Inca Trail so you don’t have to worry too much about permits.

The rainy season is from November to March and the worst months to trek to Machu Picchu are December, January and February. It’s not impossible, but you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Do you like rain? Then go ahead! At least the Salkantay trail, unlike the classic Inca Trail, is not closed in February.

  1. How high is the Incachiriyasqa pass?

The Incachiriyasqa pass is your biggest obstacle during the Salkantay trek. The pass has an altitude of 4800 meters (15,748 feet). On a typical Salkantay + Inca Trail trek, you are more likely to cross the pass on the second day. It is essential to take things slowly. If you are prone to altitude sickness, then this is where it can occur. Luckily once you cross it, you will descend quite quickly. This will aid acclimatization and should resolve the worst symptoms of altitude sickness.

  1. Altitude sickness during the Salkantay Trek + Short Inca Trail

Altitude sickness (AMS) can ruin your trip to Machu Picchu. Often people who want to do the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek are in a hurry and fly from Lima, which is at sea level. Then they are in Cusco at an altitude of 3399 meters above sea level. To give you perspective, mountaineers like to ascend the so-called “three thousand” mountains at 3,000 meters above sea level. You can understand that Cusco is high and from there it goes even higher because the Salkantay trek + Inca Trail crosses the Incachiriyasqa pass (4800 m). There are a good “four thousand”. Keep in mind that there are treks that go much higher than that, such as the ascent to Huayna Potosi in Bolivia, which reaches 6000 meters above sea level. However, at 3000 meters, symptoms can appear and the dangers of altitude sickness must be taken seriously. Our trekking experts always advise those interested in the Salkantay + Inca Trail trek, spend at least one day in Cusco. The ideal is to spend two days. And why not? There is so much to do. It is a great city and spending some time there will help you get used to the altitude. Our experts are well aware of the dangers of altitude sickness. They have blogged about MAM while trekking in Nepal and know not to rush up Mount Kilimanjaro. There is a golden rule that applies during altitude trekking: Listen to your body.

Listen to your body

When the body needs to rest, it tells you. Listen carefully to your body. You should be vigilant and talk about the symptoms of altitude sickness. Let your friends, the guide and the porters know how you feel and take a break. Don’t let it get worse. Eat all you can. Don’t skip meals, even if you don’t like what you have on your plate. Trust us, you will enjoy food in Peru. The body works hard and needs a lot of carbohydrates to go further and overcome altitude. Forget about the diet and buy extra nutrition bars. Trekking is hard work and you can easily burn over 4,000 calories a day. In fact, perhaps it is one of the reasons why you like trekking. Eat, the body will thank you.

Alcohol and Coca Leaves

If you drink alcohol, you will surely also drink during the Salkantay + Inca Trail trek. Drink 3-5 liters a day and a little tea when you can. You’re out on a hike and not partying, so save (most of it) the alcohol for after the trip. Alcohol stimulates mountain sickness and it’s not just because it dehydrates you.

The Incas used coca leaves as a remedy for illnesses and physical problems. Today, coca leaves are still used to suppress the effects of altitude sickness. Don’t tell your mother we told you this, but prove it. Last but not least: Choose a longer itinerary. You can do the Salkantay trek, but doing it in 5 days will not only make you enjoy it more, but it will also help you acclimatize. The longer the better.

  1. What type of Mountain Equipment do I have to bring?

As you know, this trek is one of the strongest and the highest of all in Cusco, together with the Ausangate treks. For what you really are going to feel the icy cold of the Andes. We recommend you wear the best trekking clothing, we talked about the three layers of protection:

  • First line of coverage, it can be a cotton polo shirt, plus a fleece that covers very well.
  • Second line of coverage, normally it is the down jacket or a synthetic one that insulates the cold.
  • Third line of coverage is a good rain jacket, eye this must at least carry a certification to repel water enough so as not to spoil your other coverage.
  • For your hands you should wear good gloves to isolate the cold, a thermal cap that warms you at night.
  • Footwear is also very important, since it is one of our main equipment for this highly demanding route, do not forget that it must have a rigid sole and resistant to rain, with ankle protection, in order to avoid dislocations. Trekking socks, the normal ones do not support more than 3 hours of walking, they are damaged or will cause blisters on your feet.
  • A small backpack for the route, so you can take your jacket, snacks, water; always with its rain cover.
  • Your sunscreen in cream or spray, sunglasses.
  • Personal medication is very important to carry, since in these towns it is very difficult to find health posts.
  1. Are trekking poles very necessary?

Yes, since this team has the two most important functions for every adventurer.

1.- During the ascents, it will propel you towards the mountain and it will reduce a little muscle fatigue in your feet.

2.- During the descents, it is super necessary, since the Andes of Peru are well inclined and full of gravel or sometimes small streams of water that moisten the ground where you walk, slipping often occurs, in case you do not have a cane walking, you could surely fall. But in addition to this, these equipment will protect your knees, balancing your body weight.

  1. Who will carry the other trekking equipment?

On this route we work with mules and horses, who help us in the transfer of our tents, food and personal 5 kg suitcases. Our company is very committed to the protection and care of animals, we will never allow the abuse of these docile animals. That is why we organize this tour with as many mules  as possible, and if you would like to use a horse in any part of the route, please indicate at the time of morning talks the first two days, and thus our guide of Route can organize one for you, but that will have an extra cost that you must pay to the owner of the horse.

  1. Explain to me more about the types of climates and their temperature of the Salkantay + Inca Trail 5 days tour?

This tour is considered, as a high mountain trekking. Therefore the climate during the first two days is very cold at night (average of -8 Cº). And during the day if it is going to be sunny you will have an average of 10 Cº.

As for the short Inca trail and Machu Picchu, it is more tropical, its climate during the day reaches temperatures of 20ºC.

  1. Are there hygienic services on the route?

Because it is a very little traveled route, there are still no physical toilets. That is why our company will always carry portable toilets, which are more private and comfortable. Please always respect the environment, if by chance you feel like urinating in the middle of the route, you are advised to have a somewhat remote space and avoid the use of plastic or wipes that are not degradable, use toilet paper.

12.How many people make up my travel group?

This tour is organized exclusively in small groups, from 02 people to a maximum of 8. If there are more people we will assign another leader guide, with their respective cook and route assistants.

  1. Will the daily walks be very arduous?

The first two days will be arduous and of a lot of perseverance, because there is a trekking with inclines of up to 15º 20º, the terrain is very rough.

The other days the degree of difficulty will be less, since you descend to the Paucarcancha valley, finally it culminates with the trekking of the short Inca trail to Machu Picchu which is very easy, if you survived the Incachiriasqa pass (4,800 m ).

  1. How much time in advance, do I need to make the reservation of Salkantay Trek?

We recommend booking at least 4 or 5 months in advance. The government has strictly limited the number of people allowed in Machu Picchu (permits are issued at around 2,500 per day). Therefore, we recommend that you try to make your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu reservation as soon as you know the dates of your international flights.

Since January 2019, the visit tickets to Machu Picchu have been divided into several schedules, obviously the most requested is at 6:00 a.m., because there are not many visitors, and also in the dry season you have the opportunity to appreciate the dawn.

March, April, May to October: Salkantay Trek departure dates during these months sold out as soon as the trek went on sale in early January, so we recommend making a reservation in advance.

  1. Why should I make a reservation deposit?

In all the tours that take place to the citadel of Machu Picchu it is necessary to make a reservation deposit, which will be used for the immediate purchase of your entrance tickets to the Machu Picchu sanctuary, also for the purchase of your train tickets. Once the reservation is made, our team will confirm your reservation by mail.

The balance of the tour will be paid upon arrival in Cusco, for that you must come to our office, where everything about the trek will be explained in detail, and if you have any other questions, it will also be clarified.

To make the payment of the preferential balance in cash, if you do it through a visa or mastercad card, there is a charge of 5.5%.

  1. What happens after making the reservation deposit?

First, we will send you an email to confirm your payment. Two weeks before your tour date, we will contact you by email to request final payment. We will also ask you where you will be staying in Cusco, so we can pick you up on the day of your trek.

Is the informational section important for my trip to Salkantay Trek?

The informative session is important because it will have details of the trek to Salkantay Trek, you will be given a canvas bag for your luggage, you will also pay the remaining balance and we will give you a map with the developed route.

  1. How are the guides?

Having a good guide is an essential part of having a good Salkantay Trek. Because of this, Andean Path Trek works with some of the best guides in the business. Our guides speak English, Quechua and Spanish fluently, have knowledge in the areas of history, archeology, ecology and are native to the Cusco area.

To continue working with our guides, we pay them a higher salary than most agencies and make sure they are treated well.

  1. Where can I leave my luggage before my hike to salkantay trek?

Andean Path Trek, establishes that for security reasons you must leave your luggage, which will not be taken to the trek, to your hotel or hostel in the city of Cusco. Since we do not have luggage storage.

  1. Can I rent a sleeping bag at the office for salkantay trek?

You can definitely rent sleeping bags from our office, for the Salkantay Trek route. Our sleeping bags are designed to withstand extreme temperatures. The cost is $ 20 usd for the entire trip.

  1. How is the food in salkantay trek + short inca trail?

One of our strengths is the food we provide on Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail, which is why our company has been working with high mountain cooks for more than 10 years. They will bring you the best gastronomy of Cusco and Peru. At breakfast there will be scrambled eggs, omelettes, pancakes, coffee, milk, butter, etc. The lunches are very nutritious (quinoa chaufa, steak, chicken stew, sautéed tenderloin, stuffed avocado, etc.). And dinner is designed according to the type of weather, for example, the first night you will have a refreshing soup for cold and altitude sickness. On the last day we will have dinner at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes. If you have any dietary restrictions, don’t worry, as our chefs are prepared for all kinds of food restrictions, such as vegetarian, vegan or gluten allergies and others. All food is prepared with fresh and organic ingredients, produced by the farmers of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

  1. Is water included in the Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail?

If water is included in the Salkantay Trek, you only need to buy water for the first day. Then our cooks will fill it with clean and safe drinking water, we take the water from the cleanest sources and then it is boiled and filtered. If possible, avoid drinking water from springs, rivers or lagoons, as we do not certify the quality of the water, even if you carry the purification tablets, maybe those water bodies are contaminated with heavy minerals, which come from the mountains, which it can cause poisoning to your body. If you are drinking a lot of water, don’t worry as there will always be women selling bottles of water in all the towns we pass through. If possible, avoid carrying many plastic bottles, prefer to bring a canteen or a camel back, so you will contribute to the care and responsible use of environmental resources.

  1. Should I bring additional money for Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail?

Yes. This is very important !!! . We recommend that you bring 300 to 400 Peruvian soles. You may not need any of this money, but in an emergency, you need to make sure you have plenty of cash. If you have difficulties on the route, you can use the money to buy alternative forms of transportation, such as: car, horse and train. If you participate in the 5-day hike, there are a couple of additional activities along the way that include hot springs.

Will I have a chance to charge my devices during the trek and will I have wi-fi?

No, on this trekking route you will not be able to have showers until the fourth day you arrive at the town of Aguas Calientes. That is why our support staff will provide you with small tubs of warm water every day, with which you can wash your face, armpits and feet.

  1. If I can’t walk very fast, can I rent a horse?

In Salkantay Trek it is only necessary to rent a horse for the uphill section, after the entire route is downhill. You can rent a horse from any of the community members who will offer you this service, the cost According to each horse owner, remember that Andean Path Trek is not the owner of the animals, and if an incident occurs on the route of The climb, it will not be our fault, also note that these riders do not speak English, and you will be most of the tour separate from the group. And you will meet your group again at lunchtime.

  1. What happens if I have altitude sickness or deafness?

Our guides are trained in case you get sick. Unfortunately, in Peru it is illegal for us to provide you with medicine as long as they are not medical, but we do our best to help you feel better in other ways. For example, we often make coca tea and the guides carry oxygen bottles with them. If you feel bad, you have the option to return to Cusco and then meet your group in Aguas Calientes so as not to miss Machu Picchu. However, this will entail significant additional charges, which will be paid by you or your insurance.

  1. Can I change the start date of the salkantay trek?

No, once we have purchased your tickets for the Salkantay Trek + Inca Trail (Machu Picchu Ticket and Train Ticket) with your security deposit, you can only change your start date if you pay an additional amount. This amount is usually around $ 150 USD.

  1. If I decide to cancel my salkantay trek, will I be reimbursed?

No. Unfortunately, our company does not have a refund policy. All deposits of $ 200.00 are non-refundable and non-transferable. We understand that unexpected things happen that are beyond your control, but we cannot make exceptions. For more information, see our terms and conditions. Nor can you be reimbursed any amount if in case you have already completed the total payment of your tour, be it due to natural, social or personal causes. This is because we are a serious company that hires the services of porters, muleteers, cooks and guides, who must be paid for their services that have been hired, since they have their valuable time, when working. with our company.

  1. What happens if I leave the trek on the first or second day, or any other day?

In this case, if you abandon the tour for health reasons such as soroche or others, you will be provided with horse assistance so that you arrive as quickly as possible at the vehicular access point, and can be evacuated to a hospital, and remain until you reestablish your Health. Therefore, you will be asked for your travel or health insurance so that you can make use of this service, with which you can pay the expenses that are incurred. As you know, our company will not be able to return any amount of the tour that you have paid, it will only be able to help you in organizing your train tickets so that you visit at least Machu Picchu and do not lose your reserved tickets. Keep in mind that the reconnection of your trip to Machu Picchu will have additional costs, which must be covered by your own account.

  1. Can I use my mobile / cell phone in the mountains?

You will get sporadic phone coverage during the hike and there will be nowhere during the hike to charge your phone.

  1. What should I bring to the salkantay trek?
  • Original passport
  • A backpack with a change of clothes for the entire period of the trek.
  • Rainwear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (you can buy plastic ponchos in Cusco)
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots are recommended
  • Sandals or running shoes for greater comfort in the camp.
  • Warm clothing, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
  • Flashlight / headlamp and batteries.
  • Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly in cold conditions)
  • Hat or cap to protect yourself from the sun, rain and cold.
  • Sunscreen
  • After-sun cream or moisturizer for face and body.
  • Insect repellent: minimum recommended 20% DEET: no risk of malaria has been reported
  • Toilet paper
  • Snacks: cookies, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • Container of water and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed in Machu Picchu. Plastic (i.e. Nalgene) or metal water containers are recommended.
  • Small towel
  • Swimsuit (if you want to go to the hot springs in Santa Teresa)
  • Cash in soles and / or US $
  1. How are tips on the salkantay trek?

Tips are at your discretion but are always greatly appreciated


The main starting point of the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days Network for the conventional journey of 5 days and 4 night. It is located at the Chachabamba checkpoint km 104, Machu Picchu district, Urubamba province, Cusco region.


The Inca Trail, Inca Trail or Capaq Ñan, is one of the most classic treks in the world. It was built by the Inca emperor Pachacuti to connect Cusco, capital of the Inca empire or Tawantinsuyo with the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. Hiram Bingham, archaeologist and Yale professor who discovered Machu Picchu in 1911, was also the one who discovered the Inca Trail, as well as all the archaeological sites along its length. This route opened for trekking in 1970, by the Peruvian archaeologist Victor Ángles.
Every year, thousands of visitors from all over the world arrive in Peru to travel this famous road.


Through the 2 day inca trail hike you will realize that you will go through different microclimates and heights. That will allow you to appreciate the biological diversity of nature in its greatest splendor.

The Short Inca Trail starts at 2,000 metres and ascends to 2,700 metres at the Sun Gate, before descending to Machu Picchu which sits at an altitude of 2,400 metres. The guides carry basic medical supplies, but as you will be in remote mountain areas, more advanced medical facilities are not available.


The permit or entrance for the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days includes the entrance to the citadel of Machu Picchu. But, not to the additional hikes that can be found outside the main esplanade.

For example, the entrance to Huayna Picchu has an extra cost of USD $ 80.00 per person. As we mentioned earlier, the permit includes the entrance to Machupicchu. Therefore, to obtain one of these additional tickets it is necessary to buy new entrance tickets.


The visiting time in the citadel of Machu Picchu is an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. This time is the maximum that is used to be able to make the main circuit that contains the most outstanding sites of the Historic Sanctuary.

You should know that there is no free time to visit on your own after the guide. Unless you buy one of the extra hiking tickets (Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Montaña) so you can re-enter the attraction.

Huayna Picchu: The average time is 1 hour up and 45 minutes down. The path is steep and has small steps, so traveling with minors is not a good idea.

Machu Picchu Mountain: The average time is 1 hour and 30 minutes up, and about 1 hour down. It is more recommended for people traveling with minors. This option is not so recommended, since on the first day of hiking you will walk along part of the path that leads to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain.


Also, once arrived at the town of Aguas Calientes on the first day. You will have the opportunity to leave your belongings at the hotel reception or storage before going to Machu Picchu on the second day. And on your return to Aguas Calientes, before taking the train back to Ollantaytambo, you must pick it up.

You should not forget the restrictions that exist for entering Machu Picchu. Among them is the prohibition of luggage or backpacks that exceed 8 kilos or measures 40 x 35 x 20 cm.

The state provides a place where you can store your belongings at no cost. There is also another place, but it has a cost of S / 5.00 per person. Most visitors prefer to store in this second option, since they think that if they pay, it is because there will be much more security than the one that is free. However, both places are suitable for storing your things.

NOTE: Both Storages are located at the entrance to Machu Picchu.


Above all, one of the things that every traveler should know and pay attention to on the Inca Trail route is the ‘regulations’. That the entities in charge such as SERNANP and DDC-Cusco provide us with. In this understanding, we will mention some of the main ones:

  • The Inca trail cannot be done on your own. You should always have the organization of a travel agency and the corresponding staff.
  • You cannot obtain Inca trail permits on your own. Only authorized travel agencies are those that can provide these entrance tickets.
  • Visiting groups must not exceed 16, and if more than 10 people pass, they must have an assistant.
  • The reservation and purchase of permits are made in advance. You cannot pay at the front door.
  • Camping in unauthorized areas is prohibited.
  • Waste will be thrown away at the end of the walks.
  • Drones and tripods are not authorized.
  • Firearms or hunting animals are not allowed.
  • Do not carry drugs and alcoholic beverages.
    Most importantly, any of these and other rules that are not obeyed or respected will be detected by park rangers. Who will be responsible for applying a punishment or penalty for the damage caused.


Huayna Picchu is one of the most requested tourist attractions by visitors from all over the world. The entrance ticket to this place includes the entrance to the Inca Citadel. This ticket allows you to know both tourist attractions in just one day.


If possible. The Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu ticket is designed so that the visitor has enough time to visit ‘Machu’ and ‘Wayna’ in 1 day.

The ticket has 3 shifts that give the tourist time to fully enjoy the Wonder of the World.

The first group enters Machu Picchu at 6 a.m. The second, at 7 a.m. The third, at 8 a.m.

All schedules allow a maximum of 6 hours to visit Machu Picchu and Waynapicchu. If you visit the so-called Temple of the Moon of Huayna Picchu, the time is 7 hours.


Both the ascent and descent through the Huayna Picchu mountain take an average of 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The ascent time depends on the physical condition of the tourist.

In Huayna Picchu you can visit the Temple of the Moon and have an incredible experience at the top.

This is the ideal place to get the best photographs of the Inca City. A suitable visit takes 3 hours.


The tour of Machu Picchu delays the time of the tourist guide. This takes 2 hours on average. Today it is mandatory to enter the Inca City with a guide.

The visit includes a tour of the main tourist attractions of the place, such as: the Temple of the Condor, the Temple of the Sun, the Main Temple, the Intihuatana and more.

The visit will also leave time for the tourist to appreciate the Wonder of the World on their own.


There are 3 entry times where the 400 daily tourists who enter Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu are distributed:

Group 1:

  • The schedule allows you to enter Machu Picchu from 6 in the morning.
  • The entrance to Huayna Picchu is between 7 and 8 in the morning.
  • The schedule is ideal for climbing in a cool environment.
  • Once at the top, you can enjoy the landscape that represents the sunrise at Machu Picchu.
  • You can stay up to 7 hours in Machu Picchu and Waynapicchu.

Group 2:

  • The schedule allows you to enter Machu Picchu from 7 in the morning.
  • The entrance to Huayna Picchu is between 7 and 8 in the morning.
  • With this schedule the tourist must go to Waynapicchu at the same time of entering Machu Picchu.
  • The tour of Waynapicchu is together with Group 1 tourists.
  • You can stay up to 7 hours in Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu.

Group number 3:

  • The schedule allows you to enter Machu Picchu from 8 in the morning.
  • The entrance to the Waynapicchu is between 10:30 and 11:30 in the morning.
  • With this schedule, the visitor can ascend the Waynapicchu surrounded by fewer tourists.
  • The tour is in broad daylight.
  • You can stay in Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu for a maximum time of 6 hours.
  • The entrance to Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu is the ticket with the most demand in the Inca City. Buy your ticket online up to 3 months in advance.



  • Acquire the tickets to Huayna Picchu months in advance, especially during the high tourist season (from April to October).
  • Stay the night before the visit in the town of Aguas Calientes. If you travel from Cusco that same day, you will not arrive on time (from 6 a.m.).
  • Do not go up on foot to the entrance gate to Machu Picchu. It is preferable to do it by bus, since you must save your energy to visit Waynapicchu.
  • Take only the necessary clothes and objects: a rain poncho, a hat, a canteen with water, light clothing suitable for the tour, repellent against mosquitoes and a backpack.


  • Acquire tickets to Huayna Picchu up to 3 months in advance.
  • Stay the night before in the town of Aguas Calientes. So you can be early at the entrance door to the Inca Citadel.
  • The entrance to Machu Picchu and Waynapicchu is from 7 a.m. The tourist must approach the door of Huayna Picchu on time.
  • Huayna Picchu in Group 2 does accept the visit to the Temple of the Moon.
  • Try to descend from the top of Waynapicchu at 11:30 a.m.
  • Do not forget to bring water in a canteen and some snacks. Also do not forget the camera.


  • This schedule allows you to visit the Huayna Picchu mountain from 10.30 a.m. so it is the only one that allows a visit from the city of Cusco.
  • Don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen. At those hours the sun is usually in full swing so precautions should be taken.
  • Huayna Picchu in Group 3 does not allow the visit to the Temple of the Moon.
  • The ascent is with fewer tourists around. However, beware of visitors descending from the Waynapicchu.
  • Tour the Inca City of Machu Picchu as soon as you enter (8 a.m.). The rest of the time, dedicate it to ascend the Huayna Picchu mountain.


  • Safety in Huayna Picchu has a lot to do with the tourist. Do not look for unmarked paths or try to take photos on the edge of cliffs.
  • On Waynapicchu Mountain, teenagers must be closely watched by parents. Older adults should check with their doctor before hiking.
  • Calculate the visit time to Machu Picchu based on the time in Huayna Picchu and vice versa. The ticket allows enough time to visit both places.
  • The entrance to Huayna Picchu is only allowed to people over 12 years old. Parents take care of minors.
  • Climbing the Waynapicchu is not recommended for people who suffer from vertigo or fear of heights.
  • If you did not get the tickets to visit Huayna Picchu, another option is to book the Machu Picchu + Mountain ticket.
  • At the entrance to the Waynapicchu mountain there is a control booth where the tourist must register. This procedure is to monitor the number of tourists entering and leaving the place.


The Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days has a moderate difficulty level and we classify as difficulty in # 3 from #1 to #5. It demands a good physical condition since it starts early from Cusco and also you can start from Ollantaytambo, then a train trip to Kilometer 104 on the way Cusco – “Aguas Calientes” route.

The travelers will start the hike for approximately 5 to 6 hours on ascending Inca roads and then on Inca steps surrounded by abundant flora and fauna until reach the 400 steps that cross the archeologic site of Wiñayhuayna which demands good physical condition.

Then from there continue with the last part of the Classic Inca trail of 4 days for about 1 hour then will reach the sun gate (Intipunku) and finally the next day we visit Machu Picchu and finish with the guided tour in the citadel of Machu Picchu and enjoy the sunset in your Machu Picchu tour.


Andean Great Treks is rating our level of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 5 by placing Our tours in the box:

Difficulty level from: 1 to 2

It is that tour that does not require any preparation and does not demand physical activity, in general, the entire tour is done by transport and there are very few walks and any tourist could do the tour. We can suggest the following tours:

  • City Tour in Cusco.
  • Sacred Valley Tour
  • Full day tour to Machu Picchu from Cusco
  • Sacred Valley tour to Machu Picchu by train 2 days

Difficulty level: 3

They are those routes that demand a moderate degree of difficulty since they demand physical activity, they are usually 1 day of walking at heights that exceed 8000 feet above sea level, generally this level of difficulty is found on the 1-day Inca Trail, the 2 -Day Inca Trail, the hike to Huayna Picchu, the hike to the Machu Picchu mountain.

That is because they have many steps of different sizes that were built by the rugged geography, we also have some trekking destinations in the Peruvian Andes, so we suggest having a moderate preparation or an active life to have a great experience on your trip to your holidays.

We can suggest the following tours:

  • One day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • 2 Day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu 2 Days
  • Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu and Huaynapicchu.
  • Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain,
  • Full day tour to the rainbow mountain
  • Full day tour to Humantay lagoon

Difficulty level: 4 and 5

Those routes that demand a lot of physical activity and adequate preparation and require a very good physical condition. These routes are usually walks that go from 3 days to 7 days, where you walk every day between 6 and 7 hours where it is done for more than 1000 meters and also descends hundreds of meters down very steep steps.

It is suggested to have a preparation at least 2 months in advance with activities that help to strengthen the muscles of the legs with a good technique to hold your breath as these tours generally cover heights of more than 14,000 feet above the mountains in very rough terrain and very low. temperatures as well as very high temperatures. Generally, these tours are the 4-day Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, Choquequirao Trek and others.

We can suggest the following tours:

  • Classic Inca Trail 4 days to Machu Picchu
  • Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu 4 days
  • Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu 5 days
  • Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 days
  • Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 3 days


In reality, there are no age restrictions to do this magnificent hike. But, according to the type of terrain that can be seen on the route, we can say that the best is from 15 years old to 55 years old. As long as you are in good physical condition.

On the other hand, if you travel with a minor, you may be forced to hire a personal porter. So you can walk along with him and help him carry the weight of his backpack. This additional service will have an additional cost, which you can consult with your travel agent. Remember to ask about this on the day of your briefing.


This point is going to be an important factor that will help you decide if you are really ready to take the hike. Or if you need to do some previous training. To face normally the types of terrain that you will find on the way to Machupicchu.

Being able to take a few sessions of activities that work your legs, arms, heart, and back will be good. The wisest thing to do is to get into physical preparation an average of 2 or 3 months before your travel date. Performing exercises that improve our breathing is also essential. It will allow altitude sickness to not affect us so much on the trip.


It is advisable to arrive days before the starting day of the trek to be able to adapt in a better way to the climate of Cusco (3400 masl). You can start by arriving in the city of Lima, staying a day or a few more, depending on your availability.

Otherwise, arriving two or three days in the city of Cusco before your trip will be enough for you to acclimatize. And get to know some places in the surroundings of Cusco, in this way you will avoid altitude sickness.


Most likely, you may have altitude sickness upon arrival in Cusco. If you are not used to being in places that are located at more than 3000 meters above sea level. Most people have a headache, shortness of breath, nausea, among other symptoms of soroche.

This is certainly not something you shouldn’t worry too much about, as it is a common thing for travelers. And obviously it has a solution if you pay great attention to the recommendations to solve your ills.

Here we will mention some tips that will help you avoid altitude sickness:

  • Drink considerable amounts of water.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages before or after your arrival. At least wait a couple of days to adapt.
  • Do not eat red meat the first days
  • Eat fruit or light soups
  • Coca tea is good, but you should not drink it at night as it causes insomnia. And also not in many amounts during the day, because it accelerates the heart rate.


Yes,  there are bathrooms during the 2 day Inca trail hike. But you should keep in mind that you will only find in the following points:

  • At the entrance gate Km 104
  • Wiñay Huayna
  • At the entrance gate of Machu Picchu

However, in the first two mentioned places of the Inca trail Cusco. They have no entry cost, they are free. But, at the entrance gate of the citadel of Machu Picchu you will  pay.


There is no drinking water on the first day of the 2 day Inca trail hike. On the other hand, some agencies provide bottled water. There are others that do not provide this extra. Therefore, it is recommended that each person bring their bottled water or a canteen with water.

But, on the second day of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, you can find stores where you can buy bottled water. And you can also get it at the hotel you stay.


Remember that even though this tour is two days, you are only hiking for one day for six hours total, including some stops. The morning is mostly gradually uphill the entire time, so it will be tiring but well worth it when you get to Wiñay Wayna for lunch-time. Just remember its one foot in front of the other, look up at the spectacular views and enjoy it. After lunch, its an easy going hour to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). Then another easy hike to the bus that will tak you down to Aguas Calientes.


We always recommend light hiking boots, but if you prefer sneakers, especially for the one day hike, this is ok as well. Please make sure they have good soles.


It will depend a lot on the conditions that the Ministry of Culture sends us each month in the rainy seasons where the operations of the Inca trail of 2 days will be carried out, we refer to the months of (December and January). Since there are years in which greater rainfall occurs. In these events the access to the Inca trail of 2 days can be closed.
Another very important fact is if you would feel very comfortable doing the walks under a rainy storm, or you should also evaluate that in the guided circuit in the citadel of Machu Picchu, there will be days when you cannot see much, due to to the mists. For all this we recommend avoiding doing the Inca Trail in the rainy months (December, January and March), because you will not have a fabulous experience of the best attraction in Peru.


The Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days is a great option for those who are short on time, money or don’t have the fitness/stamina levels to hike the full Inca Trail. You still get to enjoy all the best bits of the classic Inca Trail: catching your first glimpse of Machu Picchu from the sun gate, spectacular Andean scenery, Inca ruins and a feeling of accomplishment when you arrive at Machu Picchu for the first time. But you don’t have to hike for four days or spend the night camping.


The Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days involves an early bus and train ride from Cusco, followed by a three-four hour uphill hike to the spectacular Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna. From there, you have a packed lunch before continuing for around two hours to reach the Intipunku (Sun Gate) where you get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu. The trail then descends for about an hour and a half to reach the ruins. Rather than visiting Machu Picchu straight away, you take a bus to the nearby town of Aguas Calientes where you spend the night in a hotel, then return to the ruins the following morning for a guided tour. In the afternoon of the second day, take the train and coach back to Cusco, arriving in the evening.


It’s a lot of walking to cover in a day, and at high altitude, but it is achievable if you have a good level of fitness. There will always be slower and faster walkers in your group but your guide will adjust his or her walking pace to make sure that everyone in your group is happy. The toughest part of the day is the three-hour walk uphill at the start, climbing rapidly from the Urubamba River to the Wiñay Wayna ruins. The Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days may not be suitable for those who suffer from vertigo.


The Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days stretches from Chachabamba at km 104 on the Urubamba River to Machu Picchu, over a distance of nine miles. The total walking time on the first day is around seven hours, split up into three main sections with lots of rest breaks. On the second day, you have most of the day to explore the ruins, before catching a train and coach back to Cusco in the afternoon.


Entrance fees to the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary and the Short Inca Trail are included, as are the transfers. The transfer to the start point of the trail is by bus and train. The bus trip down from Machu Picchu to the train station and the journey back to Cusco in the Expeditioner train is included. In Cusco you will be transferred to your hotel. A packed lunch is provided for the hike. If you want other snacks during the trail, these can be bought in Cusco. Lunch on the second day is not included and you can buy this in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes.


From April to October, it is usually warm and humid during the day (around 20-25ºC) and night time temperatures are around 15ºC. The dry season lasts from March to November, when the weather is more changeable. During the wet season, from December to February, it can rain heavily, although it can also rain year round.


If you like the idea of arriving at Machu Picchu on foot but do not want to walk for four days to get there, our Short Inca Trail is a great option for you. Alternatively, if you want the full experience of camping and hiking through jaw dropping scenery for four days, opt for the bucket list Classic Inca Trail.

Of course, there are other ways of getting to Machu Picchu too. Take the train through the Andes, with stunning views of the snowy peaks as you descend the beautiful Urubamba Valley, or upgrade to the luxurious Sacred Valley train, a charming period train with an observation car, outdoor deck area and elegant dining carriage where three-course meals are served. Less well-trodden than the Inca Trail, the five-day Salkantay Trail is a fantastic option for those seeking a more ‘off the beaten track’ experience, with mountain passes and high altitude jungles taking you to the backdoor of Machu Picchu


The climate in Cusco is well known for its two seasons of climates during the 365 days of the year. Obviously within these two, you can appreciate the microclimates that exist in each place depending on the altitude where you are.

Also, in this understanding, the climate in Machu Pichu that will be witnessed during the journey, will be varied. Since we will go from 2200m.s.n.m. up to 2680m.s.n.m.

It includes from the month of November to April. It reaches temperatures on average, a maximum of 23 ° C and at least around 6 ° C. With average annual rainfall of 160mm. In these months, the skies are cloudy due to humidity, which reaches 91%. Also, the presence of the sun is unpredictable.

It includes from the month of May to October. Its minimum temperature is -1 ° C, reaching a maximum temperature of 22 ° C. There is an average annual rainfall of 60mm. In addition, the skies are clear and the percentage of humidity that reaches is 70%.


The high-mountain region of Cusco has well-defined winter and summer seasons. Winter days (June – August) are very sunny, dry, and warm, but the temperature drops to near freezing at night. Summer (January to March) is characterized by rain. December and January are two of the nicest months for trekking with only occasional rain shower while observing blooming flowers.

The heaviest rainfalls usually occur between January and March

October is still dry, but colder, with temperatures dropping to 0 degrees at night.

2 Day Inca Trail Hike Weather

The rainy season from November to April gives the feeling of a tropical downpour. Heavy rain, but rain showers usually do not last long or rain is often at night.

From May to September (which is the high tourist season), temperatures alongside the 2 day  Inca Trail to Machu Picchu range from 20 – 35º C during the day when is sunny to 10 – 20º C during the day if it is cloudy and 5 – 15º C at night (either spend in the Aguas Calientes Town or the Puente Ruinas campsite). At Wiñaywayna and Machu Picchu, where altitudes are lower, temperatures are usually warmer (warm clothes are still recommended at night, anyway).

February – the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days  is closed due to maintenance all the month which falls into the so-called “low season”. At that time, you can still enjoy hiking to Machu Picchu though. For instance, you might do the Salkantay Trek, Short Salkantay trek, or the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu without struggling with crowds of hikers.

Landslides are an occasional problem. Although this was rare, it happened that visitors got stuck on Machu Picchu or between Aguas Calientes and Cusco, because a driver blocked the road. However, the mud was quickly removed and travel continues without further problems.


The Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu presents a great biological diversity that can be found along the 2 day  Inca Trail hike. In the Inca Trail Hike, you will go through different forests such as tropical rainforest, pluvial tundra, montane forest, subtropical rainforest, very humid forest, tropical páramo.

Regarding the flora, you can find more than 300 different species along the inca trail to machu picchu. For instance, there are more than 300 species. Wildlife in the sanctuary is as wide as the flora since there are more than 400 different species living in distinct altitudes.


The extraordinary ruins of Machu Picchu, at an elevation above 2400 m, were among the most amazing creations of the Inca Empire at its height: its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem to have been cut out of continuous rock escarpments. This remote site lies on the eastern slope of the Andes on the upper reaches of the Amazon basin in a region exhibiting a rich diversity of flora and fauna.

There is an abundance of diverse and unique Inca Trail Wildlife in the Andean Mountains of Peru.  More importantly the final destination of the Inca Trail tour brings you to Machu Picchu, which happens to be one of the most protected and preserved sanctuaries in all of Peru.  The Inca Trail covers many different climates and topographies which in turn yields a variety of different ecosystems for wildlife to thrive in.  This 26 mile stretch of the Classic 4 Days Inca Trail has more than 370 different bird species many in which can´t be found anywhere else on the planet.  There is also about 50 different mammal species found here along with over 700 known different butterfly species.  Chances are you will have a chance to glimpse some unique and beautiful wildlife while trekking on your 2 day  Inca Trail tour.

A few of the most commonly observed bird species in these parts consist of the White-tipped Swift, the Versicoloured Barbet, and the amazing Collared Trogan.  There is a section of the Classic Inca Trail as well that is known specifically as the “Zona de Osos,” or the Bear Zone.  Along this section of the Inca Trail tour, although very rare, you may have the chance to observe the elusive and very peaceful Spectacled Bear.  These bears are the last known species of short faced bears known to exist in the world today and are the only native species of bears known to exist in South America.  Seeing one of these on the 2 day inca trail hike would be an amazingly rare gift.

Upon your arrival to the sacred Inca site of Machu Picchu you will notice a funny looking mammal wandering around the Inca site.  These furry and long necked curious creatures are the famous Andean Llamas.

While hiking along your 2 day inca trail hike, make it a habit to look upwards towards the sky.  Known as a symbol of good luck amongst trekkers, if you are lucky you will observe the largest known bird species on the planet, the Andean Condor.  This bird has a wingspan of ten feet ten inches and can weigh anywhere from 17-33lbs.  The Condor is an important symbol in the Inca ideology, representing the heavens.  Since it is only found soaring over the highest peaks of the largest mountains, it was known to the Inca as the messenger of the gods.  The Andean Condor nests at a breathtaking elevation of over 16,000 feet usually and only lays up to two eggs at a time.  Along with being the largest bird species in the world, it also holds the record of having one of the longest life spans.  The Condor will often time live up to 70 years or more.  The majestic Condor is the national symbol of many South America countries including Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile.

The 2 day inca trail hike to Machu Picchu offers many unique chances to not only learn and explore human history and culture, but to observe some of the most beautiful wildlife on Earth.  While trekking have your camera ready and make sure to be very aware of your surroundings.  You never know what may be observing you!


The Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary contains an impressive diversity of avifauna for such a compact area. This is due to the rapid succession of climatic zones in the Sanctuary. In Machu Picchu we find altitudes ranging from above 6,000 meters to 1,725 meters, from high puna grassland to humid subtropical cloud forest. Many bird species in the Andes have relatively small altitudinal ranges, and each habitat has species found in no other zone. Coupled with the microclimate created by the Urubamba Gorge, this creates great diversity—and a paradise for the birdwatcher.

As of 1995 approximately 375 species of birds are known in the sanctuary, of which around 200 can be readily observed while walking the Inca Trail. Without doubt further observations in remoter corners will add yet more species to this impressive list.

While doing the 2 day inca trail hike, stay alert for sightings whenever crossing subtropical woods, for there is where birds mainly fly, hunt, build their nests, flock and so on. Those woods house a wide variety of species, surely a great adventure for everybody with a penchant for natural exploration!

Also, birds can be found along the paths, unexpectedly. One insider advice is trying to walk not so fast, in silence and paying attention, thus not scaring them, they of course will take off as their instincts signal possible danger of being hunt and eaten. Biological evolution of course always goes on the direction of preserving life and multiplying it.

Bird-watching can be so wonderful indeed! Spotting one standing on a branch, seeing its colors, shape, size, listening to its tweets, understanding its behavior, taking pictures and so on can be such an added reward for an already great experience the 2 day inca trail hike.

Along this top tour, ornithology lovers can find several kinds of parrots, doves, hawks, motmots, hummingbirds, the national bird of Peru called the rock rooster (of an intense red and black plumage) and more. The 2 day inca trail hike offers you this wonderful experience.

Many species of Finches flit amidst the bushes and cacti, and Scarlet-fronted Parakeets wheel noisily overhead, easily visible with their bright green plumes, until they alight on a tree and seem to disappear, perfectly camouflaged in the foliage. Brightly-colored Hummingbirds compete for nectar where cacti and shrubs are flowering—Sparkling Violetears, Green-tailed Trainbearers, .Bearded Mountaineers and the world’s largest Hummingbird, the Giant Hummingbird. Be sure to get out early to see the birds, because there are few to see by 11:00 a.m., except for a brief pre­roosting flurry before dark.

Moving to higher altitudes we reach the bleak grasslands known as the puna. At dawn it is cold and as the sun rises it is easy to see many birds feeding as the temperature rises. Terrestrial Flycatchers known as Ground-tyrants fly from rock to rock in search of flying insects, and flocks of brightly-colored Yellow-finches spring out of the ichu grass as the shadow of a Mountain Caracara passes.

A short walk here will produce encounters with strangely named birds such as Cinclodes, Puna Ibis, Sierra-finches and Canasteros. Due to the abundance of diurnal rodents at this altitude (it is too cold for them to be nocturnal) there are many birds of prey, including the Puna Hawk, Cinereous Harrier, and Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle. Master of his environment, the Andean Condor soars majestically on wind currents, often traversing many miles without a single flap of his wings. Despite its grandeur the Condor is strictly a carrion eater; it is incapable of grasping prey with its chicken-like feet.

On sheltered slopes, usually above 3,800 meters, grows polylepis woodland. This habitat is extremely endangered due to cutting for firewood, yet contains some of the world’s rarest birds. These forests are usually isolated from other forest types and surrounded by puna grassland. Birds in this habitat include the White-browed Tit-spinetail, Tawny Tit-spinetail, Royal Cinclodes, Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant, Giant Conebill and an assortment of high-altitude Hummingbirds. Line-cheeked spinetails probe the mossy trunks and d’Orbigny’s Chat-tyrants flit from tree to tree. Polylepis forest is hard to get to, but rewarding once reached.

But it is in the cloud forest that the birdlife reaches its greatest diversity. This is the forest found in the lower Urubamba Gorge (where not deforested) and the final two days of the Inca Trail. Here birds can be seen in mixed feeding flocks, as many as thirty species together. A morning of birdwatching in the misty cloud forest may produce many of the following: Cock- of-the-Rock, Brown Tinamou, White-rumped Hawk, Andean Guan, White-throated Quail- Dove, Andean Parakeet, Scaly-naped Parrot, Collared Inca, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Great Sapphirewing, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Tyrian Metal-tail, Rufous-capped Thombill, Golden-headed Quetzal, Crested Quetzal, Masked Trogon, Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan, Ocellated Piculet, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Crimson-bellied Woodpecker, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Azara’s Spinetail, Marcapata Spinetail, Scribble-tailed Canastero, Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Montane Foliage-gleaner, Buff-throated Treehunter, Variable Antshrike, Undulated Antpitta, Rufous Antpitta, Unicolored Tapaculo, Green and Black Fruiteater, Barred Fruiteater, Red-crested Cotinga, tyrannulets too numerous to list, flycatchers, tanagers, Green Jay, Mountain Wren, Inca Wren, Blue and White Swallow, Great Thrush, Andean Solitaire, Brown-capped Vireo, Dusky-green Oropendola, Mountain Cacique, Spectacled Redstart, and Slate-throated Redstart.


During the tour of the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days we will see different types of roads (cobbled roads and dirt trails). Likewise, they cross the scattered forests of native trees, streams and mountain passes. For this reason, we must be very careful with our movement. Since, a misstep can mean a fall between low, intermediate and high risk.
Therefore, when moving, if we get to see a bird, we must first stop. After that, take our binoculars and quickly observe it, trying to remember the most striking characteristics of the bird. Finally, once that information is collected, we continue with our journey.


One of the biggest reasons why travelers on the Inca trail often have accidents. It is because they try to take pictures while walking. For this reason, they suffer injuries and falls, although it is not constant, some bird watchers tend to do the same. Therefore, we remind you to stop every time you want to birdwatch. First, stay in safe areas without blocking the passage of other travelers and above all avoid being distracted.


Binoculars are highly recommended equipment for bird watching on the Inca trail. However, if we do not have some, we can only use our eyes to help us. Also, to recognize the birds of the Inca trail. Maybe not with the same detail as if we used a pair of binoculars but it can be functional. Also, the recommended measure in case they have binoculars or can buy one is 10 * 42 or the closest to this measure. Since, his visual field and sight approach are ideal.


For our cloting (clothes). We must consider that most of them are subdued or muted colors. Because, using intense and / or flashy colors scare away birds such as: red, yellow, phosphorescent green.


If you are going on the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days, you may be surprised to stumble upon so many varieties of orchids along the inca trail trek!

There are a great diversity of orchids species in Perú, some restricted to their natural regions. They are epiphytic or terrestrial. They grow between 100 and 4,600 meters above sea level. Many of orchids species of Perú are in danger of extinction due to illegal trade and deforestation of their habitat.

There are literally thousands of orchid species in Peru, many of which are located in the low cloud forest eco-regions around Machu Picchu and along the famed Inca Trail Hike. It is estimated that as many as 50% of Peru’s more than 3,000 orchid species remain unidentified by science.

The diversity of microclimates in Peru allows a great variety of orchids. They have been appreciated since pre-Columbian times by the native cultures of Peru.


The Orchidaceae family is one of the largest among the superior plants and its distribution is worldwide; the described species are estimated at 25,000, distributed in 750 genera.

Their growth habits are very varied and can be separated into two large groups: epiphytes and terrestrial (within this group are lithophytes), including even an underground species (Rhizanthella gardneri), which grows in Australia. In the tropics most of the orchids are epiphytes and very showy flowers, while those of temperate zones are terrestrial and of little attractive flowers.

The orchid flowers are generally hermaphrodite and bilaterally symmetrical. In the vast majority of the flowers are made up of three external elements called sepals, two lateral and one dorsal, and three internal elements called petals, the lower one modified on a lip or lip, larger and more intense in color than the remaining.

The lip is often trilobed with fleshy ridges or a basal spur, and often with a completely different color pattern than the other two petals.

Orchids are a well-distributed and extremely varied plant family, often with fragrant, colorful and bizarrely shaped blooms. The Orchid family is one of the largest families of flowering plants, containing around 600 genera, and comprising approximately 10% of all seed plants. All orchids are myco-heterotrophic, meaning they form a relationship with fungi in the soil in order to get their nutrients. Because of their vibrantly colorful, often strange and perfumed blooms, orchids seem to possess a certain mystique that has captured the imaginations of humans from time immemorial. In fact, dedicated orchid horticulturists and enthusiasts have been known to compete, fight over and even commit crimes in the service of their obsession.


Its flowers have great diversity in color, shape, size and smell, with the sole purpose of attracting pollinators, most of which are insects, which in many cases are specific to certain species. The flower has evolved to such a degree that some take the shape and smell of the female of the pollinating insect, in order to “attract” the male of the same species. Another developed strategy is to take on the appearance of a male insect, which, when “detected” by another male of the same species within its territory, is attacked and fertilization of the flower is achieved.

The seeds are very small and are produced by thousands and even millions for each fruit. This high production compensates the difficulties for germination, such as the lack of reserve substances in the seeds, its low viability and the need for germination of a type of fungus that provides nutrients until the plant is autonomous.

97% of the orchid species need a pollinator to carry out the transfer of the pollen grains from one plant to the pistils of another, in order to produce fertilization and seed formation. The pollen of orchids is grouped into compact masses called polynyas, in such a way that by itself, or by the action of the wind, the pollen cannot get from one flower to another, so pollinators are essential to ensure their reproduction.

These pollinators are very varied and, depending on the species, they can be flies, mosquitoes, bees, wasps, butterflies, beetles and birds, especially hummingbirds, which are in charge of collaborating with the reproduction of this beautiful flower.

Orchids are normally pollinated by bees, birds, wasps, moths, beetles, flies, etc. When the orchid opens, it emits aromatic essences, inviting and seducing some pollinators to land on the flower. In Machu Picchu there is a fascinating pollination, as it is a refuge for exotic birds, and more than 300 species of Butterflies, which makes pollination an incredible multi-colored spectacle, in one of the most impressive ecosystems on the planet, made up of covered mountains of abundant vegetation that in turn is home to numerous species of birds and mammals in danger of extinction, such as the spectacled bear and the sachacabra or pudú, the smallest deer in the world.

It takes three to seven months to mature, after this time it opens. Depending on the orchids species of Perú, each fruit can release up to four million seeds that, when released and dragged by air currents or transported by pollinators, manage to germinate if they reach a trunk or branch, giving way to symbiosis with the fungus of the germination, the first leaves appearing. After 5 or 6 years the orchid will reach its adult state, stage from which beautiful flowers will sprout for several years.


Another peculiarity of orchids is found in the roots, which are completely covered by a fluffy, creamy white tissue, called a canopy, which allows it a high uptake and moisture retention.

Orchids are mistakenly thought to be parasitic because they grow on other plants. In reality, the only thing they seek is to reach a maximum of light by locating themselves in the upper parts of the trees; In addition, the orchid feeds on the humus produced by the decomposition of the leaves of the trees and on the nutrients it can collect from the rainwater, never from its host.


The regions where orchids species of Perú can be found are those that have the cloud forest ecosystem, such as San Martín, Amazonas, Piura, Huánuco, Junín, Pasco and Cusco, according to Bravo Urtecho. “Where we find orchids most frequently are regions of the central jungle due to the cloud forest ecosystem.

Contrary to popular belief, orchids are not found in the predominantly hot places. Epiphytes and lithophytes grow on trees and stones, including many of the most spectacular species, which tend to concentrate where there is constant and strong rainfall and humidity during the growing season, allowing the forest to allow light to pass through. Diversity tends to peak almost everywhere at around 1500 meters in the tropical and sub-tropical world. Typically, the environment these species need is normally rocky and mountainous, and this is exactly the case in Peru.

The main center for orchids species of Perú is the mountain cloud forest, the point where the Andes end and the jungle begins. These areas of Peru can receive more than 5 meters of rain per year. In these areas diverse valleys unite, some more humid and others drier, as well as the climate itself, where the changes move from North to South. As a result, plants vary greatly, with altitude and valley.


Peru probably has the greatest diversity of orchids worldwide, because we have a wide range of microclimates, which circumscribe species in highly restricted areas with very specific climatic characteristics, making it difficult for many species to grow outside their environment. natural.

Currently in Peru, the Orchidaceae family is highly threatened and with many species in danger of extinction, mainly due to two factors:

Selective depreciation of species, carried out for export purposes by commercial collectors

The massive destruction of habitats due to logging and migratory agriculture, which deforest about 300,000 hectares per year, thus exterminating not only orchids, but also the native flora and fauna of the place.


Obviously, the rainy season (November to March) is the best time to see orchids in Cusco Perú, especially in the cloud forest; which is an area outside the Inca Trail tour between 1,800 masl and 3,000 masl.

There are 425 varieties of orchids in Machu Picchu Cusco, including several new species for science.

There are more than 400 species of orchids in Machu Picchu Cusco, some of them originating from this natural area protected by the State and several are new to science.

The prestigious international magazine “Icones Orchidacearum” published in 2015 an article about the discovery of three new species unknown to science: “Epidendrum ochoar”, “Epidendrum inca huamani” and “Epidendrum mormontoy”.

Treks to see orchids in Perú:

  • 4 day Inca Trail Tour
  • 2 day Inca Trail
  • Machu Picchu 3 day hike
  • 2 day Inca Trail with camping
  • One day Inca Trail
  • Lares Trek to Machu Picchu
  • Choquequirao Trek 5 Days.
  • Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek
  • Choquequirao Trek 4 Days


Wiñay Wayna Orchid: (Epidendrum Secundum) found at Machu Picchu and along the Inca Trail, this is an orchid with multiple white to fuchsia blooms. Each flower is around an inch in width. Wiñay Wayna means “Forever Young”; Wiñay Wayna Pass on the Inca Trail takes its name from this flower. The orchid is pollinated by both butterflies and birds. Flower essences made from this orchid are said to preserve youth and vitality.

Paradise Orchid: (Sobralia Dichotoma) is one of the most common orchids in the region on the inca trail to Machu Picchu. This orchid has 5-8 flowers per stem, and is deep pink and white in color. It’s an ephemeral orchid, lasting for only a few days and blooming between February and April. Its essence is said to have a calming and grounding effect.

Waqanki Orchid (Masdevallia Veitchiana) This orchid’s common name in Quechua, Waqanki, means “ You will Cry.” This is a single-flower orchid that grows in crevices on rocks. It has orange sepals with purple spots on the sides. A Quechua legend recounts that an Inca princess’ forbidden love for a common soldier led to the creation of this orchid.

With beautiful petals in litmus; The great variability in the color and shape of its flowers means that no camera can capture it in all its splendor, being highly appreciated by growers around the world, which has earned it many international awards. Finding a beauty like this in its natural environment is part of the experience offered by the sanctuary of Machu Picchu and Inca Trail hike. It develops between 2,100 and 3,310 meters of altitude, of terrestrial habit and rarely epiphyte. It is used a lot for the creation of hybrid species. It can measure up to 20 cm long by 6 cm wide. The Waqanki orchid is considered a national treasure of Peru.

Cryptocentrum Inaequisepalum C. Schweinf.

This tiny species measures just 8 mm, its strange shape provides its name, which derives from the Greek meaning pointed tongue, it extends from Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia, it develops in rainforests and humid forests with temperatures from warm to cold, from sea level up to 2,600 meters of altitude.

Kefersteinia Koechlinorum Christenson.

It is an epiphytic, medium, uniflora plant, like the tulip or magnolia, with 2.8 x 2.8 cm flowers. It can be perceived by its aroma similar to coriander. Its flowering lasts for 15 days. Discovered by the late gardener Moisés Quispe, (dragged by a huayco years ago) and can be found from sea level.

Odontoglossum Praestans Christenson.

Epiphytic orchid that spreads through countries such as Ecuador, Colombia, Peru (Cusco and Cajamarca) and Bolivia, we can find it between 1,700 and 2,100 meters of altitude. So simply beautiful that it inspires peace. It is found in the humid subtropical jungle and the humid sub-tropical jungle of the sanctuary. It can be found in bouquets of up to a dozen, with a scent between jasmine and roses.


Maxillaria Alpestris Lindl.

This little girl is found growing as an epiphyte and lithophyte, in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru (Amazonas, Cajamarca, Pasco, Cusco, Puno) and Bolivia. In the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu it is found from 2,060 to 4,150 meters of altitude, it develops in humid mountainous forests, growing in the form of a vine.

Cyrtochilum Minax

Endemic to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, it blooms between August and October, it is found from 1,500 to 3,600 meters of altitude, especially in cloud forests with cold climates, it presents long-stemmed bouquets of few flowers, of 5 cm. long by 4 cm. Wide.

Chondrorhyncha Aurantiaca Senghas 

Epiphytic plant from warm to cold areas, which extends from 500 to 2,400 meters of altitude, it is found in Peru and Bolivia, easy to find in the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. It develops in the humid subtropical forest and the humid sub-tropical premountain forest, it presents a single flower of about 10 cm. long, sprouting from the base of the plant simultaneously.

Bletia Catenulata

Variable in size with two to four lanceolate leaves. Formosa plant (presents spheroidal bulge), its flower varies from 4 to 5 cm. long, it has stems with about a dozen purple-pink to fuchsia flowers. The highest flowering is from January to February.

Oncidium Scansor

Epiphyte. Pseudobulbs: It has impressive bright yellow flowers with red-brown spots, they are 2 to 5 cm in size. long. Lip prominent, discoidal, unifoliate. Its flowering time goes from February to May.

Phragmipedium Caudatum

Terrestrial and Epiphyte, with leathery leaves. Petals brownish-purple, large, some of them reach 20 to 80 cm. long. Two blooms a year have been reported, May, June and February. This is the largest orchid flower that exists.

Prosthechea Vespa

Terrestrial, it has creamy red-brown speckled flowers with elongated pseudobulbs, two to three leaves; It has a size of 2 to 3 cm. long. The largest flowering is from November to April.

Pleurothallis sp

Epiphyte and terrestrial, quite smooth leathery leaves. With 1.5 cm long flowers, and creamy green to yellow on sepals and petals. Flowers from October to December.

Ida Macrophylla ( Lycaste macrophylla)

Terrestrial and Epiphyte. Presents cavities, which give the sensation of grooves. Generally 2 to 3 leaves; flowers 6 to 9 cm. wide, dark brown sepals, petals and creamy white lip, its flowers are long lasting. Flowers from November to January.

Anguloa Virginalis

Terrestrial, it has dark green pseudobulbs, ovoid, with two to three leaves. With a flower that measures 7 cm. long, white with purple-pink spots on the lip, sepals and petals. Flowers from October to November.

Telipogon Papilio

Clearly epiphytic. Short stem and oval leaves. It has a flower 4 cm long. Yellow-green sepals and yellow petals, with purple veins. Column with purple brown mushrooms. Flowers from April to June.

Masdevallia Karineae

Epiphyte or lithophyte. Sepals light purple to pale pink with purple spots. Large leathery leaves, up to 12 cm. long, white petals, with a flower that measures approximately 7 cm. long. New species for science. Flowers from December to January.

Hofmeisterella Eumicroscopica

Epiphyte. Inflorescence flattened, in racemes, acuminate linear leaves. It has a flower up to 2 cm long. Sepals and yellow petals. Yellow lip with purple veins. Its flowering stage goes from January to February.

Comparettia Falcata

Epiphyte with cylindrical pseudobulbs, unifoliate leathery. With flowers up to 2 cm, with purple-pink to fuchsia sepals, petals and lip (with a noticeable spur). Flowers from December to March.

Masdevallia Marizae

Epiphyte. Leaves with prominent petiole, uniflora. With flowers of 6 to 7 cm. long; Whitish sepals with red-purple dots and veins. This species is new to science. It has beautiful white petals.


Also called “flower of a day” for its short duration and delicacy; It generally grows in the open or under very little shade, in rich, loose soil, somewhat damp. Restricted habitat. 8 cm.


It grows in open places in rocky and mossy soil, with a somewhat restricted habitat, the flower is about 2 cm. Paqaymayu 2,300 masl.


It grows in sunny open places or under little shade; in moist and rich soil, forming considerable colonies; wide habitat; the plant exceeds one meter in height; the floral ear measures 10 cm. Wiñaywayna 2,500 masl.


It grows under the shade of sparse forest; on slightly mossy branches. Gives off an unpleasant odor; it is not very common in the Sanctuary. Restricted habitat. 2 cm. Patallacta 2,800 masl.


In the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, more than 700 species of butterflies have been registered (300 diurnal and 400 nocturnal). Many of these species are endemic and others migratory. Along the Inca Trail they can be seen through their fragile flights. These are very colorful: there are blue, yellow, white, red and even transparent wings.

The mysterious world of butterflies was present in the time of the Incas. These magical insects were present in his ideology since they were related to the “Hanan Pacha”, that is to say, the world above where the tutelary gods lived (the sun, the moon, the stars). Butterflies were related to the soul and longevity. A sample of this are some ceremonial plates, found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham.

The butterflies of Machu Picchu date back more than 100 million years, and have adapted to the environment to survive. These butterflies are very important in Machu Picchu and along the Inca Trail as they help pollination of flowers.

Butterflies are both diurnal and nocturnal insects, they have extremely colorful wings. Their antennas allow them to pick up smells, sounds, and vibrations. Their eyes are made up of ommatidia that allow them to see at great distances. So they capture many colors. His eyes are green, blue and white.

Their long legs have joints through whose plants they capture different flavors. They are fed by their tongue, which has two tubes that function as taste sensors. These tubes wrap them around their head when they are not used.

At Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, butterflies have many predators, of which the most dangerous are birds. However, butterflies have been able to develop a defense mechanism, through their flight, that they do so quickly that they disorient the birds, at the same time that they secrete liquid substances with an unpleasant odor.


The spectacled bear is also called Andean bear because it inhabits the eastern region of the Andes Mountains in South America. In the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (an area protected by the Peruvian State) there is a population of approximately 70 bears. These are not easily seen, although sometimes they even roam the Inca city of Machu Picchu. The best occasion to visit their habitat is by doing the 4-day Inca Trail.

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu takes 4 days in which visitors walk 39 kilometers. In the last two days of the hike you can see humid tropical landscapes where the spectacled bear lives. This peculiar animal is not aggressive. Likewise, if you spot one, it is recommended to keep a safe distance. In 2021 two spectacled bears walked through the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. In the town of Aguas Calientes there is a conservation center where you can observe these animals.


The spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is one of the eight species of bear in the world (the others are the giant panda, the Malayan, the black from Asia, the bezudo, the polar, the brown and the black from America).

It is known as ‘ukuko’ by the inhabitants of Cusco. It lives in a tropical Andean geography, between 500 meters to 4,500 meters of altitude. This animal prefers to live in the humid forests of the high jungle where there is a lot of rainfall (and fruits with which to feed).

In Peru there is a population of approximately 18 thousand spectacled bears. It is considered to be an animal in a ‘vulnerable situation’. In 1,800 square kilometers of land area, only 5,000 bears have been registered. Yet Peru has the largest spectacled bear population in South America.


The spectacled bear can measure between 1.30 and 1.90 meters tall (standing on its two legs). It has a large head disproportionate to its body. Its tail is small (it measures approximately 8 centimeters). Males are larger than females. They can weigh from 80 to 125 kilos.

It is considered a plantigrade because it supports the soles of its legs on the ground. It has five fingers, with very sharp claws, which allow it to climb trees with ease. It has a short brown muzzle.

The Machu Picchu Spectacled Bear has long, thick black fur. He has a few yellowish, circle-shaped spots on his face near his eyes. Because of this it has been given the popular name of the spectacled bear.

  • Habitat: High humid forests on the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains.
  • Distribution: Andes Mountains of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia.
  • Males: They reach 100 to 200 kilos in weight. Black fur with white spots on the eyes, face, neck and chest (varies according to each individual).
  • Female: They only reach between 30 and 85 kilos in weight. They usually give birth to two cubs.
  • Feeding: Omnivores (especially wild fruits).
  • Behaviour: It has solitary and diurnal habits.
  • Danger: Vulnerable.


He is a vegetarian bear (only 5% of his diet is of animal origin). It feeds preferably on fruits, roots, cuts, leaves and fungi, insects, honey, eggs, rodents, among others.

It has solitary habits. They walk through wooded areas, climb trees, and mark their territory with scratches and scent. Trees are very important to them. It is there where they find their food and specific places to rest.

The female usually gives birth to two cubs. It is considered as a seed disperser and pollinator. He is a sullen bear. Scared easily. The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is one of the places where ‘ukuku’ can roam freely, although the possibility of being hunted illegally is not ruled out.

Although it is not frequent, on the route of the Inca Trail spectacled bears can be seen. If you see one of these animals, keep your distance with your group. Remember that bears are only looking for food. Don’t scare them away because they can act in self-defense. Follow the directions of the guide who will accompany you.

During the third and last day of the Inca Trail there are more possibilities to know the habitat of the spectacled bear. With a bit of luck, you can even see it walking through the trees of the place. Remember that these animals are protected by the Peruvian State. Therefore, their hunting is a crime.

Threats to the Spectacled Bear in Machu Picchu

In the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu there is probably a population of 70 bears.

One threat is deforestation caused by forest fires and forest clearing. Another problem is poaching. The spectacled bear is considered a threat to livestock. They are hunted and taken into captivity as a circus attraction where they are mistreated.

How to protect it?

In 2009, amid the Inca walls of Machu Picchu, a spectacled bear and its calf could be seen. This came as a surprise to the visitors. Since the 1980s, up to four entries of these bears have been recorded in the park. Spectacled bears prefer to do it very early in the morning or after five in the afternoon.

During the Inca Trail it is advisable not to leave food on the route. This helps not alter your diet and eating routine. If you want to see spectacled bears up close in the town of Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town), there is a “Spectacled Bear Conservation Project” at the Inkaterra hotel.

This private conservation project together with the National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA) rescued three bears: one that lived in a Cusco zoo for almost 21 years. The other was saved from a forest fire. The third was brought by a farmer who kept it as a pet.

Currently there are five rescued bears that are in custody and in the process of re-insertion to their natural habitat. The project accepts voluntary donations for the protection of the Spectacled Bear.


The spectacled bear, Ukuku or Ukumari, is present in oral traditions that tell that there was once a hairy young man who was the son of a bear’s love affair with a beautiful peasant woman.

The hairy young man is the Ukuku (a typical Cusco dancer who is especially related to the Qoyllur Riti festival). This festival takes place in the snowy Ausangate, near the city of Cusco. Today this religious festival is the largest pilgrimage in the Andes Mountains (it brings together more than 10 thousand people).

The Ukuku wears a suit made of black wool, a white balaclava and emits sounds similar to that of an animal because it is a mythical character. This dancer is also present in other traditional festivities of Cusco.


The birds of the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days km 104 are very picturesque and showy birds. Since, we can find many species of low jungle and high jungle of Peru. For this reason, they are mostly birds of beautiful colors and shapes.

After having enjoyed a relaxing train journey. We arrive at kilometer 104 of the Cusco – Machu Picchu  railway. After disembarking from the train we start the walk towards the Inca citadel of Machupicchu through the “Cloud Forest” of the Inca trail. However, let us remember that this area has a considerable concentration of clouds and fogs. As a consequence, we will find ecosystems with a lot of epiphytism and climbing.

Along these 11 km of route on the short Inca trail to machu picchu we will find a large number of species. However, now we will mention the birds of the Inca trail km 104 that can be observed more frequently and we will include some iconic species.

Merganetta armata
We will find it at the beginning of our trek of the Inca trail km 82 when crossing the Urubamba river in the mighty areas. Probably alone or in pairs swimming against the current or standing on the rocks. Meanwhile, the male has a black and white striped plumage for the lower part of its body. Also ribbed in brown with black for the top. On the other hand, the female is dark scarlet in the lower part and striated in the upper part. In fact, it is easy to recognize since it is the only duck that we will find in this sector of the Urubamba River.

Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Also, known as Cushuri, it can be seen quite frequently in the Urubamba River. Above all, in the lower current areas of the Inca trail, swimming or perching on the rocks. In addition, its plumage is black with a slender silhouette that is easy to recognize. On the other hand, there is no difference between the plumage of the male and the female (chromatic dimorphism). Rather, the juvenile is dull brown in color and is the only freshwater cormorant on the Inca trail.


Tigrisoma fasciatum
It is located on the banks of the river or on the rocks. In addition, it is unmistakable for the design of its plumage. Since, it is brindle with a white line that goes from the chin to the chest in the central part in adults. Meanwhile, juveniles are brindle brown. It is one of the few herons that climbs to these heights and is almost always seen alone.

Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus
It is located in the upper parts of the humid montane forests of the short Inca trail. Also, go solo and couples. It measures only 13 centimeters. Consequently, we will see it in the surroundings of the Wiñaywayna camp. Probably perched visibly at the top of bushy areas. Thanks to its brownish color, it is unlikely to be mistaken.

Myioborus miniatus
It is a very active and attractive highland tealight. Above all, it prefers evergreen pine-oak forests and borders. Most of the time, it walks in pairs foraging mostly at low to medium levels, sometimes even on the ground. Also, forage with mixed flocks. Consequently, they keep the tail fanned by waving it from side to side. Also, both sexes have gray heads and upperparts with a dull crimson tuft as a crest. Also, we find this species in Mexico, Central America and Costa Rica.

Myioborus melanocephalus
Frequently integrates mixed flocks. It is found from the extreme south of Colombia and south to Bolivia. Mostly cloud forests. It has pale gray upperparts. As well as yellow underparts and yellow lens-like feathers around the eye with an orange crest. In addition, it tends to actively feed along the branches, spreading its tail.

Odontophorus stellatus
Almost always, it moves at ground level in groups, pairs or alone. Its diameter ranges from 24 to 26.5 cm. While the male’s crown is reddish, the female’s is brown. Consequently, we will hear it at the Puerta del Sol and Machupicchu and they usually cross the paved road without fear of travelers.

birds on the inca trail to machu picchu by andean great treks

Pheugopedius eisenmanni
Above all, it lives in the bamboo areas (Chusquea) that are behind the last Wiñayhuayna checkpoint. Also, throughout the descent of the Intipunku (door of the sun) in the direction of Machupicchu. On the other hand, if we follow his song we will have a better chance of observing him. Almost always, this is a duo since it travels mostly in pairs. However, he is reddish-brown in color, with a black and white striped face with a white eyebrow. Similarly, its diameter ranges from 14.5 to 15.5 cm.

Penelope montagnii
Widely distributed in humid mountainous forests ranging from 1700 to 3450 m. However, they walk in groups or alone. Dull brown in color with a small ridge. Also, at first glance it resembles in shape a hen with a slender silhouette. In addition, it is fruitful; It is located in the surroundings of the citadel of Machupichu. Consequently, he is observed on the descent section of the Puerta del Sol. Above all, walking in the sloping branches of medium to large trees where it looks for its food. It is almost always very social if one approaches cautiously otherwise they tend to fly away.


Aulacorhynchus atrogularis

The Emerald Toucanet is all green with chestnut undertail coverts and chestnut tail tip. The lower mandible is always black. The amount of yellow in the upper mandible is variable and color of throat varies according to the sub-species. It can be blue, dusky, or pale. It is similar to Chestnut-tipped Toucanet but is distinguished by having chestnut undertail coverts and yellow in upper mandible. Also similar to Blue-banded Toucanet, but it is distinguished by having a blue or black throat, no red uppertail coverts, and black and yellow bill.


Tangara punctata zamorae

Spotted Tanager is mostly green above and whitish below with dense dusky specks on the upperparts and underparts. It forages in the canopy of montane forests. It is similar to the Yellow-bellied Tanager but is distinguished by having speckled underparts without yellow on the belly.


Momotus aequatorialis

The Andean Motmot has green upperparts that shade into blue towards the wings. The underparts are greenish tawny. The crown is bright blue with a  black center. It has a black mask fringed with blue and a long tail with a bare-shafted racket tip. Andean Motmot is larger, overall greener, and range at higher elevations than closely related Amazonian Motmot.

Rupicola peruvianus
Male has elegant crimson plumage with black and white wing feathers. It is also easy to recognize as it moves through the treetops. On the other hand, the female has a small crest and is brown in color that helps protect her from predators. In addition, it is hidden under the shelter of the achupallas (reddish tree plants).
It is a very rare bird to observe. Since, it is found in cloud forests located at a lower altitude. However, if there is an opportunity to observe it, it will be at the beginning of the walk in the rocky area of ​​the Urubamba river. Because it was previously reported.
It should be noted that normally this bird moves in the canopy and canopy area of ​​the cloud forest.

Anisognatus igniventris
Very striking at first glance for its scarlet red and black colors, it measures 18.5 cm in length. Meanwhile, the juveniles have the same color as the adults. However, this one is more opaque. Consequently, it is observed in the descent of the second and third mountain passes that are covered on the second day, they alight quite frequently among the upper part of the bushes.

Iridosornis jelskii
One of the most striking tanagers for the Inca trail. Due to its golden necklace located towards the back of the head that makes it very attractive. Also, both genera have the same plumage color. Above all, its habitat is dwarf forests, humid scrub between 2,900 – 3,700 m and can descend to 2,500 m. Consequently, it moves with mixed flocks (a combined group of birds that move through the cloud forest hunting for insects). Also, there is the entire descent of the third mountain pass “Phuyupatamarca” along the entire length. Above all, it moves in the middle and upper part of trees and bushes.

Tyrannus melancholicus
Consequently, it is found in the upper part of the bushes near the banks of the river. However, it can be seen accompanying the mixed flocks that we can hear all the way to the Puerta del Sol. Since it measures 22 cm, it is a medium-sized bird. In addition, it has a gray crest and chin with an inconspicuous black stripe at eye level. Next, the chest and abdomen are pale yellow.

Trogon personatus
It is located in high montane forests (1100 to 3300 m). Almost always we can find it perched on the branches of medium and large trees in the wooded area of ​​the Wiñaywayna camp. In addition, it should be noted that it is one of the most beautiful birds on this route, it measures between 25 and 26 cm. Likewise, it presents chromatic dimorphism. The male is bright black, green and red in color. Meanwhile, the female has a black mask around the eye, a red abdomen and the rest is brown.

Psarocolius atrovirens
The male measures between 41 to 43 cm. Meanwhile, the female is smaller in size 33 cm. Also, both genera have the same plumage color. It is located in humid montamos forests that are located between 800 to 2600 m. During the first three hours of Inca Trail 104 we can easily locate it. Because their nests are built like gray pendulums that are very striking. In addition, they present a lot of activity. Since, parents are observed entering and leaving them frequently. His song is loud and very loud.

Thraupis episcopus
Despite the fact that they are normally distributed at 2000 m it can be found on the Inca trail. On the other hand, the juvenile has almost the same colors as the adult. However, it is of a duller shade and without a white marking on the brim. Meanwhile, it moves in the cloud forest, we will place it in the lower layer of the canopy. Also, we can observe it perched on cables and trees found in the town of Aguas Calientes.




Day 01: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Km 104 – Aguas Calientes

Day 02: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Highlights of the 2-Day Inca Trail:

  • A hike passing through the cloud forest around the Lost City of the Incas.
  • Enjoyment of the surrounding landscapes, flora, and fauna.
  • Trekking the Inca Trail for 2 days only.
  • Explanations of a professional Tour Guide.
  • Visit of Wiñay Wayna Inca site.
  • Walking through the Sun Gate.
  • Exploration of the mystical Machu Picchu

The Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days consists on a hike for the entirity of day 1, and day 2 is the guided tour to the Machu Picchu citadel.

Pick up is very early in the morning at your hotel for a private transportation ride until the Ollantaytambo train station, traveling along beautiful sights on a very comfortable ride. In Ollantaytambo you will board a train until km 104 of the old Cusco city-Machu Picchu railroad. The hike begins right there on km 104.

From km 104 the hike goes until the archaeological Inca site of Chachabamba, passing through the wonderful Andean mountainside and along the Urubamba river, a priceless, majestic landscape. The Inca site of Chachabamba displays the amazing Inca building style, and is a quite interesting place to visit, with a complete explanation by our professional guide.

From Chachabamba the inca  trail turns uphill, and after 2 hours approximately, you will reach the impressive Inca site of Winaywayna, a very skilled construction adapted on a slope, with many of the typical Inca terraces on the mountainside which were used for cultivation and also administrative buildings where Inca workers could control the production of crops. This site is located at an adventurous 2.650 meters above sea level.

After leaving Winaywayna, we’re back on the trail again, along unforgettable landscapes and the beautiful Urubamba river flowing at the bottom of the valley. This section of the trail actually begins to enter the Peruvian western jungle, and you will arrive at the famous Inti Punku (Sun Gate), which is the entrance to the city of Machu Picchu; from there you can have a striking panoramic view of the citadel from a distance, and afterward a downhill hike begins until the surroundings of the Machu Picchu site, for a closer look. And then, after you have thoroughly enjoyed the view from this nearby spot, you will take the bus from the citadel to the nearby village of Aguas Calientes.

The 2 day inca trail hike is a very enjoyable and light one, indeed it can be done by people aged from 8 to 65 years. There’s no need to set camping nights the final destination is in Aguas Calientes with the possibility of staying at a very comfortable hotel.

This option is also the best for people who want to have a good taste of the Classic 4-day Inca Trail, but don’t have much time available for travelling or are not well-prepared for longer hikes.

You will have plenty of time to take pictures of the Machu Picchu citadel first from the Sun Gate and then closer outside the site; besides, since the arrival is in the afternoon, you will find fewer people and thus it will be a calmer and less crowded place.

This 2 day inca trail hike also offers the great advantage of its everyday availability, since it is not as demanding as the Classic 4-day Inca Trail. We offer it on a very accessible daily basis.

So, if you don’t have much time available for your vacation and are a little bit intimidated by long hikes and altitude mountain camping, but still want to experience a touristic adventure, the 2 day inca trail hike to machu picchu surely is your best choice!


Sustainable Tourism: At Andean Great Treks, we are happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities

2 Day Inca Trail Operator: Andean Great Treks

Service Level: Comfortable, tourist-class accommodation, tourist-class train, and private transport.

Trek’s Difficulty: 2 – moderate; a low-altitude hike, accessible to healthy travelers.

Age Requirement: 4+. Please note: all participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Inca Trail Permits: It is included in your hike. Please note: the trail is fully booked months in advance during the high season.

Crew: A professional Tour Guide.

Meals: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x dinner, 1x bag of snacks.

Transportation: Private van, 2x train (Inka Rail train service).

Accommodation: Hotel, 1 night. During the 2-day Inca Trail tour, you will spend a night in a comfortable hotel with a private bathroom.

Departure Point: We pick you up from your hotel (please check the Starting Point & Pick-Up section under the Essential Info bookmark).

Return Point: Cusco – our driver will drop-off at your hotel/hostel/Airbnb apartment.

2 Day Inca Trail Permits 2022

You might check the 2 day Inca Trail Permits Real-Time Availability for 2022 by yourself. It is very important that you complete all details correctly to obtain your Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu tickets! Once arrived at the trailhead, you need to present your original passport and Inca Trail permits. In case, any details are incorrect, you must book and buy a new ticket to the trail!

Short Inca Trail Camping

If you would like to experience more adventure, you can book the 2 Day Inca Trail Hike with Camping, and spend the night observing stars at the campsite “Puente Ruinas”.


First of all, you start from your hotel in Cusco in our transport. Then we go to the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Later, we take the train that will take us through impressive Andean landscapes. After just over an hour we will arrive at the starting point, kilometer 104. Our adventure will begin on the banks of the Urubamba River and after a slow ascent we will arrive at the Original 4 day Inca Trail. That begins in the Wiñay Huayna area, before continuing to the “Puerta del Sol” (Inti Punku) and later to Machu Picchu.

Similarly, along our journey through Cloud Forest, we will cross its lush and green landscapes of cloud forests. That completely cover the mountains, where we will appreciate an immense variety of plants, flowers and birds. We will also be able to appreciate some mammals such as the Vizcachas (rabbit similar to the chinchilla) and the spectacled bear (if we are lucky).

Continuing the walk, we will reach the Puerta del Sol (Inti Punku), where in the evening we will get our first views of Machu Picchu. Then, we begin the descent along the beautiful stone paved path to the citadel of Machu Picchu. But, only up to the famous “Mirador” at the top of the citadel. From this point, we descend again towards the town of Aguas Calientes to make our check-in at the hotel and for dinner.

  • Accommodation: Hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes
  • Distance Traveled – 10km / 6.21 miles
  • From Km 104 to Wiñay Huayna (lunch place) it is 4 hours
  • From Wiñaywayna to Machu Picchu (visiting point) it is 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate


This day is the most important, after having woken up very early, we will take the first bus to go up to Machu Picchu. To enter the site while it is opening and start the first visit shift. Here we will have a tour guide of approximately 2 hours “in-situ”. During which we will learn about the Incas and visit the most important areas of the citadel.

After that, if you have the permit and / or entrance tickets, you can ascend to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the afternoon we will take the train that will take us back to Ollantaytambo. From where we will continue in the car for the return to the city of Cusco.

  • Distance Traveled – 9km / 5.59 miles
  • The guided tour in Machupicchu lasts approximately 2 hours
  • From Aguas Calientes to Machupicchu it is 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy


The Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days includes beautiful places. Among them, archaeological remains and natural areas that are located at different heights throughout the entire journey.

CHACHABAMBA 2200 M / 7218FT:

This archaeological site was probably a point of control and access to Machu Picchu. It is mentioned that he fulfilled religious and surveillance functions. It has stone buildings, there are some enclosures with preserved infrastructure. Possibly, its name derives from 2 words in Quechua. “Chacha” which means welts and / or bites, and “Bamba” which means valley or place. Which would mean Valley where mosquitoes bite you.

WIÑAY HUAYNA 2680M / 8792FT:

Magnificent archaeological site that covers the entire slope of the mountain, its name comes from Quechua and means “Eternally Young.” This site was a small town which can be appreciated by the constructions in a central courtyard and is surrounded by platforms that were used for agriculture and possibly also as containment. Simply a magical and historical place.

INTI PUNKU 2730M / 8956FT:

Site that was the gateway to the Citadel of Machu Picchu in Inca times. Its name comes from Quechua and means “Sun Gate”. It is made up of enclosures with windows and a door by which its name is attributed. At this point, you have an incredible view to the citadel of Machu Picchu.

MACHU PICCHU 2400M / 7873FT:

The name of the impressive Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, comes from the Quechua “Old Mountain” and is the end point of the walk for tourists. Surprise anyone with its greatness, architecture and engineering. The architecture and engineering of this place is unique, here you can appreciate the urban area that shows: the religious precincts, enclosures for the Inca and the residential part. The other area is the agricultural area, where an incredible network of platforms can be seen on the slope of the hill and which also serve as retaining walls. There is also an irrigation system and aqueducts throughout the citadel.



Town located on the banks of the Urubamba River, it serves as the main route of entry to the Citadel of Machu Picchu. The train tracks pass through here and you can also find the hot springs of Aguas Calientes. There is also an artisan market. Its climate is hot and humid, because it is located in the jungle.


Ancient Inca town, very important before and now, for being the main point of passage to get to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. Here is the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, which features exquisite Inca architecture. Like the temple of the sun, the bath of the ñusta, the enclosures on the Pinkuylluna hill and an impressive terraces. In addition, there is a typical handicraft market and the train station to Aguas Calientes.


The network of Inca trails, known in the Quechua language as ‘qhapac’ (main road or path of the powerful), is an immense connection of Inca trails built for the most part by Emperor Pachacutec in the 15th century.
These roads linked the main cities of the empire with Cusco, the capital of the empire. The Inca himself was led from the ‘sacred city’ to the various points of the empire through the qhapac ñan.
The network of Inca roads covered part of the territories of the current countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. Due to their historical importance, they are currently considered ‘Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by Unesco. Because of this they are protected and preserved for the future.

What was the importance of the Inca Trails?
The Qhapaq ñan is the word that defines the road system of the Inca civilization. It is the best proof of the development reached by the Incas in civil engineering. It is worth mentioning that this network of roads was built on one of the most rugged territories in the world. He managed to cross the rugged Andes Mountains and the arid deserts of the South American coast.
This network of Inca roads crossed the empire of the Incas by routes drawn from north to south (from end to end) along the coast and through the Andes Mountains. There were small sections for the common population. There were also wide sections dedicated to Inca royalty. The Inca roads of the sierra had sections completely paved while those of the coast were built simply of earth.
The world famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is just one part of this complex network of roads. Go up the Urubamba river basin to the Inca city, after winding difficult mountains. At present it is considered the best hiking route in Peru. You can visit it in four days through a perfectly planned tour.
The roads of the Incas were built with the main purpose of keeping a huge territory communicated. This made it possible to mobilize armies very quickly. It also served as a trade route in a civilization prone to redistribution and exchange. Another extremely important purpose was the culturalization of the newly conquered peoples. It should be noted that these roads were built in the expansionist time of the Incas.

What is the length of the Inca trails?
At present, more than 60 thousand kilometers of roads that formed this enormous network have been identified. But studies carried out reveal that the Qhapaq ñan would be made up of more than double that identified throughout the South American territory.

What was its function?
The route of the Inca roads, in addition to connecting one town with another, served to connect the culture of the peoples of the time. Likewise, its function was that of a trade route and strategic routes of cultural connection between the different towns of the immense Inca empire. This is how Inca cities were integrated such as: Vilcashuaman, Pumpu, Hatun Xauxa, Huánuco Pampa, Cajamarca, Quito, etc.
The Qhapaq ñan shows many sections in which there are two parallel roads in a trunk route. It is known that the Inca, his court and his armies would go through one of them, while the other was destined for the people.
Likewise, this road network had a commercial function as it supplied different cities with products that were harvested at different altitudes. For example, the city of Cusco was able to supply itself with: chili, cotton, coca, corn, fish, mullu and even the famous spondylus shell.

How is it designed?
The Inca trails are designed in response to the coastal and mountain geography. There are stretches in immense arid plains up to the most rugged mountains of the Andes mountain range. There are also countless slopes, cliffs, mountains, pampas, swamps, gorges, and canyons. In many cases, the most difficult sections were solved with bridges and uneven roads.

Main Inca trails
The Inca roads were made up of several longitudinal and transversal sections. However, the longest and most important sections were two: the longitudinal route that crossed the Andes Mountains and the longitudinal route that crossed the desert coast:
The coastal roads: As its name indicates, this longitudinal route ran along the coastline of the empire, from the south of Ecuador to the north of Chile. The roads reached 3,943 kilometers. It is calculated that the minimum width measured 3.5 meters while the maximum width reached 20 meters. It crossed up to 52 Cusco valleys including important religious centers such as Tambo Inga, Armatambo and Pachacamac. The Inca Huayna Cápac had these roads built after conquering Quito (Ecuador) in the 15th century.

The roads of the mountains: This road was initially built by Emperor Pachacutec and finished by his successors Túpac Inca Yupanqui and Huayna Cápac. This route connects the current cities of Quito (Ecuador) with Santiago (Chile), crossing the difficult geography of the Andes Mountains. In total it has an area of ​​5,658 kilometers. Due to the mountainous slopes, this road was built with stone pavers, bridges, as well as administrative centers, tambos (rest centers for walkers) and colcas (food centers for walkers). The narrowest sections were 3 meters wide. The widest sections, eighteen meters.

Constructions along the roads
The difficult South American geography and the immense distances that the Inca roads traveled forced the Incas to build certain structures necessary for the proper functioning of the roads.

The bridges: There were several bridges that allowed crossing rivers or spaces with abysses. These bridges could be woven of straw (the icchu or wild straw of the Andes) and were characterized by being hanging. And there were other bridges that were built of tree trunks, supported by abutments of huge stone blocks. Also noteworthy are the ‘oroyas’, wooden rafts that were used to flow through the lakes. Currently the Queswachaka bridge in Cusco is an example of the tradition of the Andean peoples in the construction and maintenance of Inca bridges.
The tambos: These constructions had the function of shelters and deposits of food, wool, firewood, clothes. These products were stored both for people who traveled and for emergencies. It is estimated that on the main roads there were dairy farms every 20 or 30 kilometers. These housed the “chasquis” or emissaries who were young runners who went from tambo to tambo carrying the Inca’s messages through a relay system. Through this system it is said that a message could reach from Cusco to Ecuador in 10 days (approximately 2,000 kilometers).

The Inca Trails to Machu Picchu
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the small network of roads that connects the towns of Cusco with the Inca city of Machu Picchu. With the discovery of this archaeological site in 1911, part of this section of the Qhapac ñan was unearthed. Since then these trails have been valued.
Due to its location on the slopes of mountain ranges, this section of the Inca Trail was built following the characteristics of the mountain roads. The Incas first made the layout of the road, then the foundation of the soil with several layers of stone and earth. Next the paving and the drainage system were made. Due to their complex construction, these trails are kept in good condition.
This section of the Inca Trail was not discovered by the Spanish. It is also believed that they did not give it the necessary importance. In any case, the Spanish did not reach Machu Picchu, which, after being abandoned, was hidden in the thick vegetation over the years. The section from qhapac ñan to the Inca city also suffered the same fate.

The Inca Trail today
Currently, the section of qhapac ñan that connects Cusco with Machu Picchu was valued and adapted to be traveled by tourists. It is a route of almost 40 kilometers that is crossed in 3 days and 3 nights. The fourth day is dedicated to visiting Machu Picchu.
Unlike other hiking trails in Cusco, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is protected by the Peruvian State. This is due to the historical value of the sections of qhapac ñan that it runs through. Therefore, no unauthorized person can walk its ways.
The only way to get this authorization and travel the Inca Trail is to hire a tour through an authorized tourism agency. Tourism agencies manage permits with the Ministry of Culture of Peru and add a tour guide service, camping equipment, food, tickets to Machu Picchu and more services for the visitor.

Currently there are many tourists who want to make the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Due to the high demand of visitors, tours must be purchased online 6 or 7 months in advance. It is the best hiking trail in Peru.


For anyone who wants to reserve their space in advance, the most prudent thing is to do it with a minimum of 4 – 5 months in advance. These permits are usually sold quickly in a matter of seconds and minutes, of course, which depends on which month you choose.

The best sellers are May, June, July, then comes April, March, August, then September and October. February is the exception, it is NOT operational for reasons of maintenance of the Inca trail network.


Usually, the capacity of spaces available on the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days per day is 200. Among this number of limited capacity, tourists and guides are considered.

Before making your reservation with any authorized travel agency, you should always ask for the availability of spaces on the date you want to make it. Since it gets sold out quickly due to high demand.

You can book in any of the months that go from March to January. But, the entire month of February remains closed due to the maintenance that is given to the entire Inca Trail Network. This organized by the competent authorities.


To explore the fantastic Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days, it is required to carry the main identification documents. That can be corroborated with those reflected in the permits purchased in your name. That is why you should always provide accurate information to the organizers of your trip. Because at the time of data corroboration there should be no errors:

  • Valid original passport
  • Identity card
  • National identity document
  • Student card (if you are applying for the discount)

Any of these that you have used for your registration in the purchase of your tickets, you must bring them yes or yes. Otherwise, you will not be able to access the walk, so you must keep it very well before and during the walk.

Note: In case of having renewed the passport days prior to the trip, it must be updated in advance of the first day of the trek. For this you must send a copy of your old and new passport to the corresponding agency that will make the arrangements.


There is a slight discount that the Ministry of Culture offers to those who carry a student card or for minors. In case of applying to the student discount, you must present a copy of the card with the following characteristics:

  • Material PVC
  • Name of the corresponding university
  • Full names and surnames
  • Student photo
  • Date of birth
  • Current year / expiration of the year in which you will make the entry (NOT one year before or year of expiration one year after the trip)

Note: The student must not be more than 25 years old to apply for the discount.


We try to make booking as easy as possible at Andean Great Treks We need a booking form that is completed and includes all details for the entire party on one form, and then a $200 deposit per person. The deposits can be paid separately, as long as we have one booking form that we can use to track payments. Once we have all deposits and details, we will then book your permits. When permits are in our hands, we will send you your invoice and confirmation that everything is 100% set. All start dates, once confirmed, are guaranteed.


Only licensed Inca Trail tour operators, like Andean Great Treks, can secure permits from the government. Once we have secured your permit, the name and start date can not be changed under any circumstance. The only information that the government allows us to change is passport numbers.


If you like to go ahead and book the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days, you will need to send us your passport details such as full name, passport number, nationality, and date of birth in order to be able to process it. Once you arrive at the trailhead, the archaeological park rangers check your Inca Trail permit along with your original passport and compare your personal details.

Important notice: if you fail to send correct details, you will be denied entrance to the 2 day  Inca Trail hike!!!

If you still like to get on the 2 day  Inca Trail hike and Machu Picchu, you would need to pay a new permit (US$ 100.00). So, we would like to kindly ask you to be very careful when sending us your personal information.

Can you use your old passport to book the permit and then exchange it with your new passport?

Yes, it is possible, BUT it is very important to bring a copy of your old passport with you too! When on the Inca Trail, you can present your current passport along with a copy of your old passport.

The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new passport and old passport. If you no longer have your old passport, any government issue ID will be accepted, as long as the name is the same.


FIRST, to book our day tours and Machu Picchu Tours, we need you to fill out our booking form with your personal information by clicking on BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the next information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase an entrance to Machu Picchu or the train without the following information:

Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):

  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • full name
  • D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of US $ 200.00 per person in order to purchase your entrance to Machu Picchu and train ticket.


It could be greatly appreciated if our clients pay in cash at your briefing time in our travel office  (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money.


At the time of your information session, the guide will provide you with all the information about what to bring in your travel backpack. Therefore, we recommend that you pack only the essentials.

This trek does NOT include porters. You will be carrying all your own things yourself while hiking. Because of this, it is imperative to pack as light as possible. A light backpack is key to feeling great.

  • Passport
  • Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks or bottles are good for this trek.
  • Water for the beginning of your hike. We will resupply you at lunch.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
  • 1 Wicking/Hiking Shirt & hiking pants
  • Nice shirt and pants for Machu Picchu day – remember you will always treasure these photos, wear something you love
  • 2 sets of undergarments including one pair of hiking socks
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
  • Sun hat
  • Bathing suits for the hot springs (Optional on your own in Aguas Calientes)
  • Sun protection cream
  • Insect Repellent
  • Personal medication
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Camera
  • IPhone/IPod for music
  • Flashlight with spare batteries
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips



It is good to bring all the cleaning supplies that we will need. Here we mention some:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Gel alcohol
  • Toilet paper
  • Wet wipes
  • Cleaning supplies (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, deodorant)
  • Sanitary pads or tampons
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen (SPF 60+)
  • Moisturizing cream (hands and face)


It is important to take into account the weight of the luggage that will be carried on the walk, because in case it exceeds this amount. You yourself will have to deal with the weight you carry during the first day of the Inca trail. Above all, keep in mind that the train accepts luggage no more than 6 to 8 kilos. That is why you should take only what is necessary.


It is not necessary to carry all the luggage that you brought with you for your trip to Peru on the 2 day inca trail hike. Only, you should pack only what is necessary for the 2 days of walking. The changes of clothes for each day must be well organized. Also, complementary clothing. For example, extra slipper, jacket, cap, hat, among others. The luggage will be able to fit in the backpack or duffel bag that has an exact measurement.


Of course! During the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both are for free. Please don´t pack anything you will need for your hike.


The airport in Cusco is currently only for domestic flights. All international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier. You still must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.

The best way to get to Cusco is by flying and there are several airlines to choose from. LAN tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco it tends to be difficult to land. Bus travel is always available, while the trip can be long the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.


Every Andean Great Treks  guide has received first aid training from a physician. We also conduct mandatory training every February that every Andean Great Treks guide is required to attend. Each of your guides will have a first aid kit for basic medical problems on the trail.

In case something happens on the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days and you feel you can no longer continue they also know the safest and quickest way off the trail. You’ll always have someone with you. A member of the team will escort you every step of the way. When you’re feeling up to it, we can even make sure you have the chance to visit Machu Picchu. You’ll be able to re-connect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.


As in all trips, it is not mandatory to obtain travel insurance, but it is highly recommended to purchase any of these. Since, you never know what might happen during your trip. Maybe a delayed flight does not allow you to arrive on time for your walk, maybe strikes, some natural disaster or it gets bad during the walk.

You should know that medical expenses in Peru are more expensive than in other countries. That is why it is convenient to obtain some insurance that covers these types of situations. Insurers generally have an approximate cost of $ 100 to $ 150 depending on the type of insurance you choose. Here are some insurance companies:

  • Assit card
  • World nomads
  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc (leader in the United States)
  • Allianz (the largest in Germany and Europe)
  • Ping An (leader in china)
  • Metlife (known in Europe and Spain)
  • Berkley International
  • Liberty Insurance


The best season to  walk is during the dry season. However, whether you do it in either season, they will have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you do it between the months of November and January, the presence of visitors is less than in the other months. And as is known, the rainy season begins in November.
If you do it between the months of May to August, you will notice the high demand of visitors, so there is more crowding. But the climate is pleasant and with a slight presence of drizzles.
Recommendations: It is very important to carry the correct luggage for any of the seasons in which you decide to travel. Whether you go in the rainy season or the dry season. You should always be warned of rain, wearing waterproof jackets or rain ponchos and sunscreen.


During the 2 day inca trail hike, you will not always find internet availability. Therefore, the use of cell phones or other electronic devices is not convenient in some parts. But, to maintain communication on the part of the personnel with the clients or with the administrators of the contracted agency. Radios or satellite phones are used.

The first day you will find the internet in some parts. As long as you have a mobile line from the CLARO or BITEL operators.
The second day  you will find a telephone and internet signal.


We offer a box lunch service for the first day of the tour. In case you have any dietary restrictions, it is important that you inform your sales agent or the guide during the information session. In order for them to communicate this in advance to the cook, he must consider other types of food for you.

The dinner that you have included in your travel package will be in a tourist restaurant in the town of Aguas Calientes, with a choice of à la carte dishes, it is also included a buffet breakfast at your hotel for day 2 for the morning.


For any additional expenes that you may have over the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days. Whether in the purchase of water, cookies, candy, toilet paper, etc. You must have cash in Peruvian soles, remember that the residents do not accept any other type of currency.

The average amount per person is S / 150 – S / 200, but the question may arise: Why do I have to pay for extras if I pay for the full service? For that you must be careful when reading the inclusions and non-inclusions of the contracted tour.


Trekking poles are necessary during the Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days as they provide enough support to continue walking. Be it in the steep, rocky places or on the descents.

These instruments will help us with the weight of some parts of our body if we use them properly. Therefore, in case you do not know how to use them well, you can consult your guide to explain the correct use in each different terrain that you encounter.


While you can stay at any hotel in Cusco, the city is becoming more challenging to navigate by car. Many roads, especially near the main square, are open to pedestrian traffic only. We will notify you if it is not possible to pick you up by car and arrange another meeting point for pick up / drop off. For a list of recommended hotels, please ask your Andean Great Treks sales rep.


Ollantaytambo is the best place to stay other than Cusco. By staying in Ollantaytambo, you get a little more sleep, because we will pick you up about 1.5 hours after the Cusco pick up time (at 6:10 am). You can only have your briefing in Cusco. So please arrange a time that works for you and our office team with your Andean Great Treks sales rep.


Of course, if you are ok with taking the same train out of Aguas Calientes that is part of your original itinerary, which is typically at 14:00 pm,  that evening than there is no additional charge to move the train back a day. If you need us to secure your hotel or another visit to Machu Picchu, this will be an additional cost. If you do choose to spend one more night in Aguas Calientes, make sure you tell the Andean Great Treks office at least one month in advance, so your train ticket is purchased for the right day.


You can choose any hotel to stay in Aguas Calientes. It’s a small town, and you absolutely can book on your own. It will reduce the price of your trek $40 per person. If you choose to book your hotel, make sure you tell us where you plan on staying so we can get you there safely.


Andean Great Treks is a very responsible and ethical tour operator in the organization of trekking circuits to Machu Picchu. We pay an adequate salary according to the norms of the unions and the Ministry of Labor of Peru to all our personnel, our guides feel very happy with the job with this great work team.
Therefore, if you felt very comfortable and you liked the work of each of our guides on the 2-day Inca trail route, it is your wish that you can provide a tip, regardless of the amount. They will welcome this very nice gesture from you.


Andean Great Treks  uses biodegradable soap and transports all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste. We also use environmentally-friendly portable chemical toilets that allow us to carry waste out. Andean Great Treks  believes in leaving no footprint behind.


Andean Great Treks  is proud of the work we do for our community, as this is the main focus of our company. We’ve worked with villages directly to help supply them with the needs their families were missing. We have supported local schools by giving them computers and books. Andean Great Treks also sponsors a teacher at the village where most of our porters come from.

We buy all our food from local farmers and markets and serve the freshest ingredients. We provide English classes for all our team: guides, porters, chefs, and drivers. We’re building our porters a safe and comfortable house to stay at before and after our treks.

And twice every year we bring our porters and their families to Machu Picchu. The men and women who work tirelessly have never visited the Lost Citadel of the Incas. So that makes this trip our favorite to-do. It is an honor to show them this place.

Andean Great Treks also develops social projects to help the most outstanding students of each community with a study scholarship at the universities of Cusco-
Our company has a high concern for the well-being and health of children and adolescents in the communities of our porters. For this reason, every semester we take them health campaigns where the doctors check their teeth, and reduce the standards of anemia. We also believe that as a great gesture of social projection we commit ourselves to offer baskets of basic food to the poorest families.


Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.

JANUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
FEBUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
MARCH Warm - Heavy Rain
APRIL Warm - Light Rain
OCTOBER Hot - Warm
NOVEMBER Warm - Light Rain
DECEMBER Warm - Heavy Rain


from NOV 2021 to DEC 2022 Price from $ 780 USD Per Person
Tour for 2 - 4 person $ 780USD Per Person
Tour for 5 person $ 740USD Per Person
Choose your preferred departure date to proceed.
Avalible Dates

Why travel with Andean Great Treks

There is something magical about artisanal farming in the Andes. The rich soils and unique climate give products an otherwise unattainable flavor. Our chefs serve local and international food. With unparalleled views of the fabulous Andean Mountains, amid the highland forests from your table, you’ll enjoy delicious gourmet food and new spins on classic Peruvian favorites. We use only local produce and fresh ingredients.
Unlock the secrets of Peru’s most iconic adventure destination. Our team is passionate about making sure your experiences are unique —some thrilling, some relaxing, all awe-inspiring. Our private guides will let you explore the Andes and rainforest at your own pace, stopping for a snack if you’re hungry, or racing to the top of a hill if you’re up to it.
We work with certified guides, the latest high-tech equipment and satellite communication, to guarantee your safety every step on the trail. Each year we do the course of rescue and first aid with all our hiking team (guides, cooks, horsemen, drivers). The course is comprehensive and practical, including all of the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments.
We have deep love and respect for our Mother Earth or Pachamama since we are a 100% Cusco company. We know the importance of our Andean culture, and like good children of the earth, we do everything possible to avoid contamination.
It’s essential to have the best equipment when you’re walking in the mountains. Due to the constant climate changes in the region, we use tents suitable for all four seasons.
With a maximum group size is 8 on most tours, it feels more like traveling with friends than being on an organized tour. You'll meet like-minded people where everyone is guaranteed to share a passion for travel.


Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail  to Machu Picchu 5 Days

Salkantay Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days

The salkantay trek with the short Inca trail to Machu Picchu, amazing trek with beautiful landscapes of mountains and forests, explore the original Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

Walking & Treking
Activity level: Challenging/Tough Size Group 2-8 People
Price from $ 780 US PP


This trekking is designed for those who want to do the traditional Inca trail trek in a short time, without losing any attraction. We work only with two to four people per guide. It is a private tour for the quality of service that will be offered.

Walking & Treking
Activity level: Challenging/Tough Size Group 2-8 People
Price from $ 820 US PP


The  Inca Trail Express to machu picchu is the stunning cultural show of inca ruins, exotic side by side mountains, primitive lush vegetation and extraordinary ecological varieties

Walking & Treking
Activity level: Leisurely/Moderate Size Group 2-8 People
Price from $ 360 US PP
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