• Overview
  • Trip Outline
  • Trip Includes
  • Trip Excludes
  • FAQ

The Salkantay Ahobamba Trek is for the stronger trekkers who want a more adventurous route to Machu Picchu. It passes the east side of Nevado Salkantay instead of the west like the normal Salkantay Trek. The route crosses two passes, one at Abra Inkachillaska (5,000mts) and the other at Abra Palqay (4,700m). The trail then descends into the wild Ahobamba Valley, where we have a cabin in a beautiful place above the jungle.  There are very few people who get to travel by this face of Salkantay with spectacular views; it offers the perfect way to avoid the crowds on the way to Machu Picchu.

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Itineraries

Day 1

Cusco – Soray Pampa (3,888m/12,752ft)

We take private transport to the town of Mollepata and have breakfast. Afterwards we arrive to Soray Pampa (3888m) below the south face of Nevado Salkantay. There we will stay in cabins for the night.

Day 2

Soray Pampa (3,888m/12,752ft) - Inkachillaska Pass (4,900m/16,072ft) - Sisaypampa (4,200m/13,776ft) – Abra Palqay (4,700m/15,416ft) – Palqaycasa (4,200m/13,776ft)

We will have breakfast at 6:30am and start our trek up to the highest pass at 4,900m which should take around 4 hours. After descending to Sisaypampa (4,200m) two more hours we will have lunch. Then we will make the final push to cross the Palqay pass to our camp for the night.

Day 3

Palqaycasa (4,200m/13,776ft) – Ahobamba House (3,600m/11,808ft)

After a long day, we get a shorter one, having only to travel a few hours down the valley during the day. This gives us time to soak in the views as the landscape changes from alpine, puna to cloud forest. At the junction of two rivers we arrive to the ruins of a Pre Inca/Inca settlement nestled deep in the valley. Close to the ruins is our farm where we will arrive with plenty of time to relax and explore a highlight of the trip. Pre-Inca ruins, a nearby waterfall 400ft high, hummingbirds everywhere, at the base of the great Apu, surrounded by high mountain walls, this is the heart of Salkantay.

Day 4

Ahobamba House (3,600m/11,808ft) – Fortunatos House (2,100m/6,822ft)

For the next two days it is necessary to carry our personal clothing and camping gear down the valley, the Inca trail is too rugged for the horses to go. There are several switch backs as it traverses for the first hour and a half. Then after a small bridge the trail mainly goes down through thick bamboo for 3 to 4 hours more. After lunch at the river we make our way down to a local house among coffee and banana plantations.

Day 5

Fortunatos House (2,100m/6,822ft) – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes (2,000m)

The morning brings the bird calls as the jungle wakes up around us. From the farmhouse we have an hour hike down the valley, this is where the route joins one of the entrances to the Machu Picchu area at Hydroelectric. From there it is a 2.5 hour hike along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes.

Day 6

Machu Picchu - Return to Cusco

We awake at the hour of your choosing and go by bus to Machu Picchu. In the afternoon or evening we will go by train to Ollantaytambo and then by collective transport to Cusco.
  • Transportation
  • All group camping equipment
  • Licensed Official Tourism Guide
  • Cargo Horses & Arrieros (will carry all expedition and personal gear to the Ahobamba house)
  • Food from Lunch Day 1 until Lunch Day 5. (Dinner Day 5 and Lunch +Dinner Day 6 Not Included)
  • Roundtrip Bus Tickets Aguas Calientes to MAchu Picchu Citadel
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets
  • Dinner day 5 and Lunch & Dinner day 6

- Trekking Boots (Waterproof)
- Clothing for hiking (light, breathable, quick drying)
- Clothing for cold and rain (down jacket and rain jacket/pants)
- Gloves (light or fingerless)
- Brimmed hat and winter beanie
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Sleeping Bag (0F / -18C) or (20F / -7C)
- Air or foam mattress
- Water bottle (Nalgene or similar)
- Backpack
- Duffel Bag

It is very important to acclimatize properly. If you are just arriving to Cusco, I recommend at least 3 full nights in Cusco (3,300mts/10,824ft) before sleeping higher than 4,000mts (13,120ft).

It is recommendable to climb a peak of 5,500 meters, before a 6,000 meter peak if you have the time. If you are already well acclimated, it is possible to go directly to climb an easier 6,000mts peak like Ausangate, Chumpe or Yayamari. These guidelines should be regarded as the minimums. Often people have a tight schedule and want to do as much as possible with their time, but acclimatization is important for you to be able to accomplish your goals.