Travel ▻ South America ▻ Peru6-Day Hidden Valleys and Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu
6-Day Hidden Valleys and Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu

6-Day Hidden Valleys and Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu

6 days

6-Day Hidden Valleys and Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu
from $1560 USD

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This exclusive trek is one we have put together in order to capture the beauty, remoteness, and solitude of the Andes. It is a different, unique, and pristine version of the Classic Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. Discover the southern face of this spectacular Apu Salkantay, "Wild Mountain Spirit", which is the highest peak in the Vilcabamba Mountain Range. Andean mountain dwellers hold a strong belief that mountains are powerful deities, which guard and protect the communities that live on and near them. The magic and power of the Andes mountains will

This is truly the "road less travelled". You will absorb the remoteness and solitude of the area, striding across Andean valleys and encountering Inca stone ruins, seemingly a part of the natural landscape. We'll hike near remote communities and run into the women and children who live their lives in this isolated region, as they watch over their herds. We'll challenge our endurance by hiking over a spectacular pass to face snow-capped Mt. Salkantay, and finally descend along the edge of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Marvel at the remains of ancient homes, walls, and Inca stairs at the little-known ruins of Huayna Q ́ente and Machu Q ́ente, apparently one with their natural surroundings. Both sites have been recently restored and get very few visitors.

The fifth day includes taking the train to km 104 and hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, arriving through the sun gate. Shuttle to Aguas Calientes and overnight in a hotel. The sixth day includes shuttle, entrance and a guided tour of Machu Picchu. You will return to Cusco on the train at the end of the day.

NEW for 2020! The set departure days for this trek is Sundays and Tuesdays. Also available as a private trek any day of the week.


Day 1: Private car to trailhead, hike Limatambo to Tinco, camp overnight

Note: The evening before the trek, you will have a briefing with your guide.

From Cusco, we drive toward Limatambo, past the Tika Tika Pass where we will a􏰀ain our first views of majestic Mount Salkantay and Humantay on the horizon, before crossing the Anta plateau. Driving past breathtaking panoramas of this vibrant agricultural region with views of rugged snowcapped peaks in the background, we will arrive at the ruins of Tarawasi. A􏰁er a visit to this important Inca ceremonial center, with its long asymmetrical stone walls, we will continue our drive toward the trailhead at the village of Tomacaya, where we'll begin our trek.

This day's hiking is all uphill. As we are approaching the heights, we'll observe how the ecosystem changes with the altitude, starting in a relatively warm, sheltered valley where crops of fruits and vegetables thrive, then onto higher plateaus where native potatoes are grown. Finally, as we reach our campsite, we'll observe herds of sheep and camelids grazing the high meadows.

Sleep surrounded by a stream and side valleys in our campsite at Tinco (4154 masl / 13,628 fasl).

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Camping on Trek

Day 2: Hike to Tocto pass and to Pampacahuana, camp overnight

Leaving Tinco, we will head up the valley and take the le􏰁ward trail to begin a long uphill climb toward the pass. As the day warms up during our climb, we may see some Andean bird species, including endangered Andean Condors, as they soar majestically above the mountains. A􏰁er 3-4 hours of steady climbing, we'll arrive at the Tocto Pass (4900 masl / 16,072 fasl) where we'll marvel at the incredible and dramatic views of the south face of Mt. Salkantay, while enjoying the special feeling of solitude that comes with knowing there are few other humans in the vicinity. We begin our descent along the Pampacahuana Valley toward our campsite at Mirador Pampacahuana at 3902 masl (12,801 fasl) all the while accompanied by amazing mountain views. On a clear day, we can see both the eastern face of Mt. Salkantay up the valley to our le􏰁, and Mt. Veronica down the valley to our right.

Sleep surrounded by mountains and stars in our Pampacahuana campsite (3902 masl / 12,801 fasl)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Camping on Trek

Day 3: Hike to Chamana, camp overnight

We'll take our leave of imposing Mt. Salkantay and continue our hike downhill along an ancient Inca canal flowing down the center of the Pampacahuana Valley, passing through a landscape do􏰀ed with small farm se􏰀lements. At the end of the valley, we'll once more begin to observe a greater variety of vegetation as we descend past the tree line before arriving in Paucarcancha, a remote Inca site at the confluence of the Pampacahuana and Q'esca valleys, where we'll optionally stop for lunch. (We may, instead, have lunch on reaching Chamana, which is a couple of hours down the road.) The choice depends on the pace of the group and whether everyone is hungry yet - today ́s itinerary is flexible!

A􏰁er a short visit to explore the Inca stone walls and remnants of ancient houses at the site, we'll continue our journey downhill and join the first stretch of the famed Inca Trail, descending toward Chamana.

Chamana is located just outside the Llactapata ruins, and we will have a chance to explore these ruins a􏰁er enjoying a hearty lunch (if we were not yet hungry in Paucarca ncha). These ruins were once an important rest stop for the Inca on the way to Machu Picchu, and this site will also be our private "rest stop" for the evening. We are the only company that uses this campsite, and we have equipped it with a hot shower for you to cleanse and refresh a􏰁er the strenuous activity of the previous few days.

Campsite at Chamana (2585 masl / 8480 fasl)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Camping on Trek

Day 4: Hike to Huayna Q'ente, Piscacucho and Ollantaytambo, overnight hotel

At this point, we will be on the edge of the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary. A􏰁er visiting the ruins of Huayna Q'ente, with its amazing Inca terraces and impressive landscaping, we will leave the National Sanctuary through the town of Qoriwairachina and head towards Piscacucho, where the main entrance to the Inca Trail is located. The trail will take us alongside the Vilcanota River and through several more ancient archaeological sites. In fact, this is the same path that Hiram Bingham used when he was first led to Machu Picchu by local people living here in 1911. From here, we'll travel by car to Ollantaytambo, and check in to our hotel. Dinner on your own.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Train to km 104, hike to Machu Picchu, overnight Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, we meet our guide and walk to the train station for the Expedition train to km 104. Your guided hike will take you to Winay Wayna (lunch stop) and on to Inti Punku (sun gate), where you will see Machu Picchu for the first time. A short walk to the ruins and take the shuttle to Aguas Calientes. Overnight at a hotel in Aguas Calientes. Dinner on your own.


Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Guided tour of Machu Picchu, climb Huayna Picchu (optional), return to Cusco

The day is spent at Machu Picchu: Early shuttle, entrance and guided tour of the ruins. You may climb Huayna Picchu at 10 a.m. (ticket to climb is not included in the price, and must be ordered at least 60 days in advance). You will return to Aguas Calientes for the late afternoon Expedition train returning to Cusco. Transfer to your hotel.


Meals included: Breakfast


6-Day Hidden Valleys and Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu
from $1560 USD
*** Contact Us for other itinerary and lodging options! ***

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • Pre-trek briefing with guide for trek
  • Inca Trail permits for km 104
  • Transportation to the trailhead and from end of trek to Cusco
  • Bi-lingual guide
  • All meals on trek, lunch on day 5
  • Two man tents
  • Dining and kitchen tents, table and seats
  • Pack animals and muleteer
  • Kitchen crew
  • Portable toilet
  • Expedition train to km 104 and from Machu Picchu return to Cusco
  • Overnight accommodation in Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes
  • Shuttle, entrance and guided tour to Machu Picchu (tour is in trek group)
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Tips for your guides, muleteer, cook and camp crew
  • Additional tours not listed in the itinerary
  • Ticket to climb Huayna Picchu (add US$90 per person; you must order these at least 90 days in advance of your trek)
  • Hotel in Cusco
  • Personal expenses, e.g., travel insurance, alcoholic beverages, airport taxes, laundry, internet, extras
  • Personal gear e.g., sleeping bag, duffle, day pack, hiking poles
  • Single supplement (solo tent and single hotel room) is US$150

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