Experience the sacred Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu while traversing lagoons, snow capped mountains, cloud forests and Andean communities.
This sacred Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a magical pilgrimage and unique hiking experience that clears your mind and soul. We integrate spiritual, physical and mindful activities, so you get the most out of this life-changing adventure. During your spiritual hiking trek to Machu Picchu, you will learn more about the ancient Inca culture, the local communities of the Andes Mountains, and embrace your inner connection to yourself. This spiritual trekking adventure combines different healing therapies and activities such as yoga and Peruvian shamanic teaching techniques. Learn more about yourself on a deeper level while exploring the Andean communities, fascinating mountain landscape and cloud forests of Peru!
Very early in the morning you will be picked up at the hotel in Cusco and drive towards Lake Humantay, which is known for its clear water and imposing views of the snowy mountains.You will drive to Soraypampa, located at 3,800m above sea level. After approximately 2 hours, the ride will stop in Mollepata (290m) for breakfast (not included) and you have the chance to make your last purchases needed for your hike. You will follow the route for another hour until you reach Challacancha (3,675m) where our team is ready to welcome you (Andean healer, yoga teacher, cook, muleteers, mules) and give you detailed instructions about your spiritual trekking adventure for the next five days. You then reach the camp at Soraypampa and will have a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, you will ascend to Lake Humantay (approx. 2h) and be able to witness the clear water of the lake, its vibrant energy and impressive views of the mountain on top. It is the perfect place for meditating and practicing yoga! There will be time to enjoy the wonderful views, soak the energy of the mountains with your spiritual healer, take pictures and breathe the purest air of all. After returning to the campsite, you will have dinner and experience an offering to Mother Earth. You will learn how to do a ceremony of gratitude to the mountains (Apus) and how to ask for their protection.
Transport from Cusco to the start point of the trek
Overnight stay at campsite
Lunch & dinner
Sacred offering to Mother Earth & ceremony of gratitude
Introduction of yoga & meditation
Early in the morning, you will enjoy breakfast and do a yoga session to start your day with a lot of energy. Our spiritual healer will show you more about the ancient Andes culture and perform a Spiritual Mama Coca Leaf Ceremony with you. Later, the true challenge of the journey begins, going uphill until you reach the 4,650m at the Salkantay pass. The path is steep and rocky and will go on for 7 km (approx. 3h). This section will require physical resistance as well as a good acclimatization. Depending on the weather and the physical condition of the group, there is also the option to visit the second glacial lagoon near the base of Salkantay. From Salkantay Pass you will hike up Huayra Machay where you will enjoy lunch and go on until you reach the exotic rainforest. As you travel, the vegetation changes from the sparse grasses and high mountains to lush cloud forest, being home to butterflies, hummingbirds, and a wide variety of flora. This part of the trail is less demanding with generally warm weather, you will enjoy the exuberant landscape with its small rivers, wonderful views of waterfalls, native plants, wild orchids, colorful birds and tropical fruits such as coffee, banana, avocado, passion fruit, and much more. After lunch, you head down to the river before climbing the ridge on the other side. It will take around 5 hours to reach the camp Chaullay where you will enjoy yoga, dinner and snacks. Your camping equipment and food will be transported by pack horses. The purpose of the yoga session on this day is to explore your body and perform some asanas.
Overnight stay at campsite
Lessons about Apus & Pachamama
3-phase breathwork & Ghatasta yoga
Today you will wake up early, starting your day with meditation, energetic yoga and breathing techniques. After a large breakfast you will take a transport to Lucmabamba. On the campsite of Lucmabamba you will start your hike to Llactapata. Llactapata is a well preserved Inca road which once ran all the way up to Quito, Ecuador. You will be able to appreciate a great variety of crops such as coffee, banana, avocado, pineapple and even coca leaves, considered the sacred leaf of the Incas. You will ascend to the archaeological site of Llactapata, where you will be able to see part of famous Machu Picchu and the entire valley that surrounds it. You will explore the archeological site, still covered in vines and jungle vegetation. After your box lunch you will hike back to the campsite. Upon arrival you will have a yoga session and then rest before dinner.
Overnight stay at campsite
Breathwork & Mother Earth Offering
Energetic yoga, hatha yoga & shanghai yoga
Transportation to Lucmabamba
On this day, you will enjoy an energetic breakfast and start your day with another yoga session. You will continue your spiritual hiking experience from Lucmabamba to Hidroelectrica. After having a delicious box lunch, you will resume your walking for 2-3 more hours until you arrive at Aguas Calientes, also called Machupicchu Pueblo, the town on the bottom of the magnificent Wonder of the World. The rest of the day you have time to relax in your hotel after your long journey or explore the village of Aguas Calientes by yourself.
Accommodation at 3* hotel in Aguas Calientes
Meditation & observation of sensations, raja yoga
Early in the morning, you will leave your hotel to take the bus up to Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas“. This complex is considered a jewel of the Inca architecture. It is a complete town with different quarters, squares, alleys, buildings, astronomical observatories and terraces. The city was rediscovered on July 24, 1911 by the US researcher Hiram Bingham. After a guided tour, you can explore this magical place a bit more on your own. There is also the option to take a short hike to the Inca Bridge or to the “Intipunku”, the sun gate. In the afternoon, you will return to Aguas Calientes by bus and take the train to Poroy/Ollantaytambo. On the way back, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley. Upon arrival at the train station, you will be taken to your hotel in Cusco.
Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
Entrance to Machu Picchu site
Train ride from Aguas Calientes to Poroy/Ollantaytambo
Transportation from train station to your hotel in Cusco
You will try local superfoods like quinoa, maca, amaranto, yellow potato, passion fruit, and many more things! Everything will be provided by our local mountain chef and his cooking team, who are happy to share our Andean and Amazonian fusion cuisine. Our meals are crafted for sustaining energy throughout the day. Meals can be accommodated for any dietary requirements such as vegetarian or vegan. We’ll provide you the experience to try food products with non chemical composition and non transgenic transformation from the Andean communities and local markets.
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with shamanic teachings helps you connect to Mother Earth on a deeper level. Besides the wonderful landscape during your trekking adventure, you will learn more about shamanic healing, sacred ceremonies, shamanic breathwork, offering to Mother Earth (Pachamama), and spiritual blessings. Our shamanic healers will teach and share their ancient knowledge with you.
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with shamanic teachings, spiritual activities and meditation sessions helps you connect to Mother Earth and to yourself on a deeper level. Besides the wonderful landscape during your trekking adventure, you will cleanse your physical and mental health and embrace your emotional balance and personal growth. You will learn more about shamanic healing, sacred ceremonies, shamanic breathwork, offering to Mother Earth (Pachamama), blessings, yoga and meditation.
Shamans (or Paqo in Quechua) are highly respected spiritual healers in the Andean community. They are very wise people who have access to the link between them, the spirit world and Mother Earth. The role of the shaman is essential for their community because they are the ones who guide the people, by providing sacred ceremonies, oracle readings and spiritual offerings.
Our guides know the whole region, shortcuts and best views to take you through. All of our guides are very spiritual people, growing up with the influences of ancient Inca and Andes cultures. They are professional certified guides and speak Spanish and English. Our local staff is in charge of the food preparation, organization and maintenance of the campsites. They are led by our professional mountain chef and the horsemen.
Our Yoga teachings are here to help ground you and connect you to the deeper side of your journey. Our yoga lessons range from light teachings to more advanced depending on the group. The professional yoga teachers are very experienced and will travel with the group during the entire trek to help make your experience more enriched. You will learn a lot about different types of yoga and their benefits.
Meals, accommodation and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
Bus tickets for the route Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo/Poroy
Shared transportation according to the itinerary (last transport only included if returning on day 5)
2-man personal sleeping tents and the last night in a 3 star hotel in Aguas Calientes
Dining and kitchen tent with tables and cooking equipment, cooking staff
A foam mattress per person
Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
Boiled water to fill in your water bottle
Local, English-speaking guides during your excursion
Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes
First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
Horses to carry tent with tables & cooking equipment
Sleeping bag (available for rent)
Tip for guides and drivers
Breakfast on the first day and lunch on Day 5
Meals and beverages not mentioned in the program
Other activities or excursions that are indicated as optional or not mentioned in the itinerary
Learn more about the ancient Inca culture, the local communities of the Andes Mountains, and embrace your inner connection to yourself.
I would highly recommend Travel and Healing for any of your travel needs. They are extremely punctual, well coordinated and pair themselves with staff that have deep cultural insight. We asked for an adventurous, spiritual, cultural, non-commercialized experience and we got that exactly. I was really impressed by their professionalism and attention to detail....
Amazing organized and well coordinated
We were so happy with the lovely healing experience. My husband and our two friends all participated and thoroughly enjoyed it. They provided translators for the shamans and accommodated us by coming to our hotel. I recommend this for anyone wanting to have a beautiful experience while in Peru.
Beautiful experience (Ryan)
Gorgeous trek, the landscape is breathtaking. Very well organized. Ruty was our coordinator in Cusco and took great care of all the needs and requests. We are very thankful to our guide, Gaby Jaimes Puma, so attentive and kind. Gaby’s love for her culture and country is contagious. She made us feel like at home and as a family.
Unique Experience: Salkantay Trek (Natalia)
To prepare your mind and spirit for this spiritual retreat, we recommend you to do any discipline familiar to you from your own faith, such as meditation, prayer, and yoga. If you do not have a specific practice, you can send your intentions and wishes instead to all creatures in the morning and at night. Getting in the right mindset can help you to embrace your spiritual connection during this sacred trek. You can have the best shamans in the universe (Christ, Buddha, Krishna,) conducting ceremonies for you, but if your heart does not want to change nothing will happen. Only you have the power to change your destiny. Your own heart is in fact the best shaman for yourself in this universe. The best attitude is one of positivity; the right attitude includes honesty, love, patience, humility, respect, courage and a strong mental and spiritual determination. Approaching with these values will result in a fruitful experience. When you pray do not ask for miracles to mysteriously occur. Instead, ask for opportunities to create miracles with your own hands.
The weather is very unpredictable and changes quickly in the Andes Mountains. Even though it is almost impossible to predict the weather during your trekking adventure, we can say that the first nights will be quite cold due to the altitude and weather conditions in the high mountains. It can get down to 5 degrees Celsius, which feels even colder on windy nights. Towards the end of your Salkantay Trek, you will be in the Peruvian jungle, which means that the climate will be more tropical and warm (25 degrees Celsius).
The best time to book your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is during the dry season in the Andes Mountains, which is usually from early April to late October. During the dry season, there is almost no rain and the hike is more comfortable and a lot safer because the terrain is dry, steep and rocky. During the rainy season from November to late March, the temperatures are lower, it can get very windy and there are many heavy rainfalls. Sometimes you will even have some parts of your trek covered in snow due to the raining conditions and cold climate. We recommend you to do any type of hiking adventure during the dry season, so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery to the maximum.
You can take a small day backpack with you with the items you might need throughout the day (bug spray, jacket, snacks, water, sunscreen, etc.). We will provide you a duffel bag during the five days of your Salkantay Trek, which can carry about 7 kilograms and will be carried by the horses.
The Inca Trail is more crowded than the Salkantay Trek because it is an original trail of the Incas and one of the most famous hikes in the world, attracting thousands of trekkers every year. It is the only trek that leads directly to Machu Picchu, but is therefore a lot more expensive than the Salkantay Trek. On the Salkantay Trek you will spend the last night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes before visiting Machu Picchu the next day. During the Inca Trail you will discover ancient Inca ruins, whereas the Salkantay offers more wildlife and high mountain sceneries. Many trekkers consider the Salkantay Trek to be a bit more strenuous than the Inca Trail because the general altitude is higher. The Salkantay Trek offers the best alternative to the Inca Trail for everybody who doesn't like crowded paths and enjoys different landscapes during the trek.
Our professional guides are trained in case you get sick. There are many ways to make you feel better and treat altitude sickness. For example, chewing coca leaves or drinking coca tea helps you and the leaves don’t have any negative effects. Our guides always carry oxygen bottles with them that you can use in emergencies. If you feel bad you also have the option of coming back to Cusco and then go to Aguas Calientes by yourself to meet up with your trekking group to visit Machu Picchu on your last day.
Flying to Cusco can be tricky because delays often occur and due to the special conditions at the airport of Cusco, it is not uncommon for flights to be cancelled. Please be sure to arrive in the city of Cusco at least two days before your trek to Machu Picchu starts. The most reliable airline is LATAM because they offer you many re-booking options in case of a flight cancellation. On your last day you will come back to Cusco around 9pm, which means that you should always book your flight the next day when leaving Cusco.
Tipping is always appreciated and should completely be based on your satisfaction. Although tipping may not be usual to you, it is important to the people who’ll take care of you during your trip (drivers, guides, teachers, shamans, etc.).