The Salkantay trek is one of Peru’s best alternatives to the Inca Trail. Trek over a beautiful mountain pass at the foot of Mt. Salkantay before stopping at a local organic coffee plantation, followed by a visit to the Llactapata ruins. Finally, get up early the last day to catch sunrise at the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Upcoming Departures

Date Duration Availability Cost per person
Apr 30, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,450 USD Inquire
May 19, 2018 5 days 3 spots left $1,450 USD Inquire
May 23, 2018 5 days 3 spots left $1,450 USD Inquire
View all departure dates

Highlights

  • Dip your feet in the beautiful glacial lake of Humantay
  • Enjoy the comfort of cabins and lodges along the way, built and run by locals
  • Cross over the 4660m Salkantay pass before descending into the cloud forest
  • Harvest, roast and enjoy your own coffee from a local coffee farm
  • Visit the lesser-known picturesque ruins of Llactapata
  • Explore the fabled sanctuary of Machu Picchu
  • Relax and enjoy the views on the train ride back from Machu Picchu

Overview

Fast facts
Min. duration 5 days
Max. elevation 4660m
Start/finish Cusco/Cusco
Difficulty Moderate
Trek style Cabins
Best season May-October

Salkantay, a 6272 m. peak in the heart of the Cusco region, is one of the most beautiful mountains in the Andes and one of Peru’s best and well-known treks. Over the course of five days, you’ll pass by a beautiful glacial lake, up and over the Salkantay pass (4660m), and descend down into the dense vegetation of the Peruvian cloud forest.

From there, you’ll trek to a local coffee farm where you can pick, harvest, roast and grind your own coffee, before joining paths with the famous Inca trail to Llactapata for views of Machu Picchu that few tourists get to see.

Finally, celebrate with a local meal at one of the best restaurants in Aguas Calientes before waking early for the final day where you get to tour the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu!

Brief itinerary

Day Activity Altitude Duration
Day 1 Glacial Lake Hike 3851m 3-4 hours
Day 2 Over the Salkantay Pass 2900m 9 hours
Day 3 Organic Coffee Fields 1950m 5 hours
Day 4 Llactapata Inca Trail 2100m 4-5 hours
Day 5 Tour of Machu Picchu 3340m / 2847m 4-5 hours

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Glacial Lake Humantay

We leave your lodging early on, and a short three hours later we arrive in Mollepata where we disembark for a warm breakfast. When ready, we hop in the back of the truck, Peruvian-style, or take a car depending on what is available that day. The road is carved along a steep hill with scenic views en route to Soray Pampa.

Soray Pampa is located at the foot of two large mountains and is where we’ll spend the night in a newly-built wood cabin. After a short rest, we grab our day packs and go on an amazing hike up to a glacier lake that will test your lungs, warm you up, and pay off with amazing views. We’ll return to camp tired yet satisfied, ready for a great dinner and a good night’s rest. Tomorrow is a big day!

Mules out to pasture
Mules used for carrying gear
Trail around Salkantay
Trail around Salkantay
Bridge over a creek
Bridge along the Salkantay trail
Lucmabamba coffee farm
Lucmabamba coffee farm

Day 2: Salkantay Pass (15,000 ft. above sea level)

Waking up early at the foot of Salkantay mountain is breathtaking. A hot breakfast awaits, which you’ll enjoy while the horses are being loaded up with your gear. The trek starts early and climbs gradually toward the pass. We’ll take breaks, when needed, and provide plenty of water and snacks. The views are dramatic, and it's a great feeling and a privilege to be so close to such beauty.

After a few hours, we arrive at the pass (4660m). The air is thin and the weather unpredictable, so we won’t linger too long. We may have the chance to witness small avalanches in the surrounding mountains, and you’ll be able to capture some great photos before beginning the descent.

The downhill is long and steady, and the views are just as stunning. It's a beautiful hike through the high Andes and the variety of vegetation, birds, and views makes it one of the best in the world.

After around 9 hours (including breaks), we’ll arrive at a camp called Chaullay. It's located at the end of the Salkantay Valley and connects us to La Playa, Santa Teresa, and our goal—Machu Picchu. Dinner is served, and the remainder of the evening is yours to relax!

Day 3: Cloud Forest to Coffee Plantations

After an early morning breakfast, we’ll head on our way. Today we hike along the Salkantay river to La Playa. The hike is through a high cloud forest, and the views, the warmth, the birds, and the plants are varied and brilliant.

The hike is between four and five hours and lunch is waiting for you at the end. After lunch, we’ll get a rest as we go by car to our lodging. Some of the best coffee in the world is grown in Peru, and you’ll have a night on a coffee plantation where you can harvest, roast and taste your own coffee. Careful: you may not sleep! After dropping off our bags we rest up and enjoy the day. Machu Picchu gets closer and closer.

Optional:

Make an evening visit to Cocalmayo hot springs (in Santa Teresa). Private transport will pick you up from your lodge and take you there and back (waiting while you're in the hot spring).

Cocalmayo hot springs
Cocalmayo hot springs
Humantay Lake
Humantay Lake
Llactapata ruins
View of Machu Picchu from Llactapata ruins
Machu Picchu ruins
Machu Picchu ruins

Day 4: Llactapata Inca Trail

Start your day with a fresh cup of coffee and enjoy a breakfast sourced from local foods in the area, such as plantains, yuca or avocados (depending on the season). Today, we hike towards Machu Picchu via a section of the ancient Inca trail.

The trail leads you up and over a pass from where you’ll have spectacular views of the ruins and the peaks of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu. The ruins of Llactapata are less visited and you will see few people here while you gaze at Machu Picchu from a distance. Enjoy the solitude, as tomorrow there may be around 2000 people with you in Machu Picchu.

After the ruins, hike twenty minutes to a small lodge where we’ll have a freshly cooked lunch. After a great meal, descend towards the river and arrive in time for the 3 pm or 4:35 train. Time to sit back and enjoy the view.

Once in Aguas Calientes, your guide will take you to your hotel before providing a quick briefing for the day ahead and your tour of Machu Picchu. Tonight, you will dine in style in one of the best local restaurants in Aguas Calientes. A full 3-course meal with an appetizer, main dish, and a dessert. Be sure to go to bed early tonight, so we can get an early start tomorrow.

Day 5: Machu Picchu

If you’re up bright and early, you’ll get to see the sun lighten up Machu Picchu. Follow a hiking trail up to the sanctuary for an early view and to avoid the crowds. You’ll have a fully guided tour, and for those who have requested it, Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain is on the list.

Enjoy your time here. Explore the ruins, have a snack, take some photos, or take a nap on the terraces. At the end of your time exploring, you can take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes and wait for your return train to either Cusco or Ollantaytambo. If you return to Cusco, transport will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel. If you arrive in Ollantaytambo, you can easily walk to your hotel from the train station.

Salkantay pass
Ascending the Salkantay Pass
Salkantay trek
Hiking down from the pass into the cloud forest
Humantay Lake
A day hike to beautiful Humantay Lake
Llactapata
Llactapata ruins, an important rest stop for the Incas on they way to Machu Picchu

Best season

The best time to trek the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is May through October. Both May and October may have a bit of rain, but in between is considered the dry (and clearest) season in Peru. However, when hiking down into the high cloud forest after the Salkantay pass there is always the chance of some rain.

You can still hike from November to December and March to April, but be prepared for rain. Since you’ll have a nice dry bed each night, it’s not a bad choice to come during the rainy season as there are far fewer tourists. It’s not advised to trek this route during January and February.

Recommended gear 

  • Headlamp
  • Water bottle or two for refilling or camelback bladder in your day pack/ hiking pack
  • Rain gear*
  • Waterproof boots, sandals/flip flops or sneakers for camp
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Warm weather gear for first night, down jacket or vest, hat, gloves, scarves
  • Hiking clothes: quick dry layers, long underwear, hiking socks, etc
  • Swimming clothes for optional hot springs
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Bug spray
  • Any medicines you may need, epi pens, inhalers etc. **
  • Cameras
  • Charging devices for phones and camera
  • Original Passport for entrance to Machu Picchu
  • Day pack or hiking pack***

*Raingear: You need to have a rain jacket or shell anytime of the year. From Oct-May, it's also good to have rain pants, as well, as a poncho will not suffice. From June-Oct, you may take your chances with the rain pants. Just keep in mind that it can rain anytime of the year in the cloud forest. 

**Medicines: We recommend you bring, ibuprofen, aspirin or something of the likes for headaches or muscle pain, blister kit, possibly something for bug bites, and doctor recommend meds for both parasites and bacterial infections should they occur after the hike begins such as Ciprofloxacin for bacteria and Metronidazole and Tinidazole or something of the likes. If you think you will want high altitude medications, it is commonly called Diamox. (Diamox and Ciprofloxacin should not be taken together.) Please talk with your doctor about dosing and usage.

***Day Pack: If there are horses to carry your gear, you will need a large pack to put on the horse with your extra gear and a small pack for the day. Each day you will need to carry your water, snacks, camera, rain gear, and layers, sunscreen and bug spray, meds.
If there are no horses to carry your gear bring only one pack large enough to carry everything you need.

You do not need to bring:
Sleeping bags, cooking gear, water purification system, tents

Thanks to local Peru experts, Nicole and William Koch, for providing their insights for this article.

Map

Map of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - 5 Days
Map of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - 5 Days

Upcoming Departures

Date Duration Availability Cost per person
Apr 30, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,450 USD Inquire
May 19, 2018 5 days 3 spots left $1,450 USD Inquire
May 23, 2018 5 days 3 spots left $1,450 USD Inquire
May 28, 2018 5 days 1 spot left $1,450 USD Inquire
Jun 1, 2018 5 days Filling up $1,000 USD Inquire
Jun 7, 2018 5 days 2 spots left $1,450 USD Inquire
Jul 5, 2018 5 days 3 spots left $1,450 USD Inquire
Sep 6, 2018 5 days Available $1,250 USD Inquire

Recent Trip Reviews

Related trips planned by kimkim specialists

Salkantay trek to machu picchu, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: John M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

I and my wife joined my sister and her fiance on a visit to Peru 4/2018.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning via phone even to make sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed: from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James!

On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our... read more

I and my wife joined my sister and her fiance on a visit to Peru 4/2018.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning via phone even to make sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed: from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James!

On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our briefing for the trip. We immediately felt at ease with him and with the entire crew, whom we were introduced to the next morning (muleteers/porters/tent men Americo and Huaman, chef Edgar, assistant cook Donato, and Ronaldino our driver). The men were all very professional but down to earth. We all came to enjoy each other's company quickly and since my wife speaks fluent Spanish, there were no problems there. However, our guide, Rolfi, was fluent in English as well, and there were no communication barriers whatsoever. We were such a small group that everyone had a blast.

The food prepared by our chefs, Edgar and assistant Donato, was out of this world, fresh, filling, healthy, and so good; there were hot drinks, fresh fruits, jams, vegetables, quinoa, bean bread, an abundance of tasty gluten free foods and snacks due to dietary restrictions, salads, potatoes of course, chicken, hearty soups, stir-fry’s, desserts, even a cupcake for my birthday made last minute; we agreed that we enjoyed our meals on the trek much more than the delicious food we tried later in Lima, said to be THE food capital. We got hot water and tea in the morning! Being used to “roughing it” on camping and backpacking trips, when I saw pictures of how our meals would be served at tables with nice table cloth, napkins, utensils, and camping chairs in a tent I thought we were going to be over-pampered but wow was I grateful for the comfort of a space like that after a long day’s trek. Edgar and Donato were with us during days 1-3 of our trek.

Ronaldino was a skilled driver, negotiating rough and narrow roads expertly, getting us to our starting point and meeting us later at different points of our adventure on day 3 and at the end on our last day to get us back to Cusco from the train. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him and loved getting to know him a little! A very sweet guy!

Americo and Huaman were our muleteers and the entire crew helped quickly and efficiently set up and break down our camps. We typically started ahead of them on our treks while they finished packing up the horses and mules but before we knew it, they were passing us up, running ahead to meet us at lunch and the end of the days. Americo and Huaman were with us during days 1-2 of our trek. They were wonderful.

Rolfi our guide was the heart of the entire group, bringing everyone together. He never stopped cracking jokes, was a wealth of history and information to our million questions, constantly pointing out things to us as we trekked, and always had the best stories to share. Our group was interested in just about everything on the trek (fauna, history, culture, etc.), and Rolfi had something to each about everything we asked about. He was unendingly patient with us as we were perpetually, “National Geographic,” stopping to take photos of the beauty around us and as we huffed and puffed during our ascents. Rolfi was nothing but encouraging and great fun. I don’t think we ever ran out of good conversation. He was there with us from start to finish, ensuring that each of us were feeling well and enjoying ourselves, extremely astute to each of our interests, and we all learned a lot from one another. We loved him and could not have asked for a better guide! It was hard for us all to say farewell to everyone in our crew and especially to Rolfi.

The sights were unforgettable. Incredible microclimates with endless kinds of flora and fauna, butterflies, waterfalls, wild strawberries, racing clouds, tree canopies. Thousands of years old aqueducts and ancient Incan ruins, meeting local people along the way. We were awed by the numerous valleys, towering mountain ranges, glaciers, and our summit views. On our 1st night of camp, our bright view of the milky-way galaxy was incredible. We loved touring the coffee plantation, zip-lining and very much enjoyed the hot springs on our 3rd day. Our camping tents were perfectly comfortable. Our train ride on Peru Rail and accommodations in Cola de Mono and Aguas Calientes were also very nice. Machu Picchu and its history was unreal and climbing Huayna Picchu was totally worth it!

Group departure - salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: Laura M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Salkantay Trek with Quechua Treks Peru to Machu Picchu, 5 Days, 4 Nights

After a couple years saving up for our dream adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu, my fiancé and I were finally able to take the time to plan our trip for the end of the rainy season in early April. My brother and his wife joined us as well and the four of us had an absolutely amazing visit to Peru! After a lot of research, we decided on booking a guided trek through KimKim with Quechua Treks Peru; this turned out to be... read more

Salkantay Trek with Quechua Treks Peru to Machu Picchu, 5 Days, 4 Nights

After a couple years saving up for our dream adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu, my fiancé and I were finally able to take the time to plan our trip for the end of the rainy season in early April. My brother and his wife joined us as well and the four of us had an absolutely amazing visit to Peru! After a lot of research, we decided on booking a guided trek through KimKim with Quechua Treks Peru; this turned out to be an experience of a lifetime, one to be so fondly remembered and that cannot be fully shared with others in words and photos. You simply had to be there.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning to end and made sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed, from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James! Mayra was also in touch with us from Quechua Treks and helped us along the way.

We arrived in Cusco in order to acclimate to the altitude for about 2 days before our trek. Cusco is located at over 11,000 ft and our Salkantay Trek would take us to almost 15,000 ft. On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our briefing for the trip. We immediately felt at ease with him and with the entire crew, whom we were introduced to the next morning (muleteers/porters/tent men Americo and Huaman, chef Edgar, assistant cook Donato, and Ronaldino our driver). As two women, my sister-in-law and I felt respected and never uncomfortable in a group of otherwise all men. My sister-in-law was the only one among us four who really spoke Spanish and while Rolfi our guide was very fluent in English, no part of the language barriers between us prevented us all from enjoying each other, constantly laughing, gesturing, translating for each other, cracking jokes, and learning from each other. I felt that everyone became family and I will never forget each of the wonderful crew members and the warmth they showed us. They took such good care of us.

The food prepared by our chefs, Edgar and assistant Donato, was out of this world, fresh, filling, healthy, and so good; there were hot drinks, fresh fruits, jams, vegetables, quinoa, bean bread, an abundance of tasty gluten free foods and snacks due to dietary restrictions, salads, potatoes of course, chicken, hearty soups, stir-fry’s, desserts, even a cupcake for my birthday made last minute; we agreed that we enjoyed our meals on the trek much more than the delicious food we tried later in Lima, said to be THE food capital. Hot water and tea in the morning! Being used to “roughing it” on camping and backpacking trips, when I saw pictures of how our meals would be served at tables with nice table cloth, napkins, utensils, and camping chairs in a tent I thought we were going to be over-pampered but wow was I grateful for the comfort of a space like that after a long day’s trek. Edgar and Donato were with us during days 1-3 of our trek.

Ronaldino was an excellent driver, negotiating rough and narrow roads expertly, getting us to our starting point and meeting us later at different points of our adventure on day 3 and at the end on our last day to get us back to Cusco from the train. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him and loved getting to know him a little!

Americo and Huaman were our muleteers and the entire crew helped quickly and efficiently set up and break down our camps. We typically started ahead of them on our treks while they finished packing up the horses and mules but before we knew it, they were passing us up, running ahead to meet us at lunch and the end of the days. Americo and Huaman were with us during days 1-2 of our trek. They were wonderful.

Rolfi :) our guide was the heart of the entire group, bringing everyone together. He never stopped cracking jokes, was a wealth of history and information to our million questions, constantly pointing out things to us as we trekked, and always had the best stories to share. He was unendingly patient with us as we were perpetually, “National Geographic,” stopping to take photos of the beauty around us and as we huffed and puffed during our ascents. Rolfi was nothing but encouraging and great fun. I don’t think we ever ran out of good conversation. He was there with us from start to finish, ensuring that each of us were feeling well and enjoying ourselves, extremely astute to each of our interests, and we all learned a lot from one another. We loved him and could not have asked for a better guide! It was hard for us all to say farewell to everyone in our crew and especially to Rolfi.

The sights were unforgettable. Incredible microclimates with endless kinds of flora and fauna, butterflies, waterfalls, wild strawberries, racing clouds, tree canopies. Thousands of years old aqueducts and ancient Incan ruins, meeting local people along the way. We were awed by the numerous valleys, towering mountain ranges, glaciers, and our summit views. On our 1st night of camp, our bright view of the milky-way galaxy was incredible. We loved touring the coffee plantation, zip-lining and very much enjoyed the hot springs on our 3rd day. Our camping tents were perfectly comfortable. Our train ride on Peru Rail and accommodations in Cola de Mono and Aguas Calientes were also very nice. Machu Picchu and its history was unreal and climbing Huayna Picchu was totally worth it!

After this extraordinary trek, I felt changed, refreshed, and encouraged in many ways related to my personal life. I returned home feeling better about myself, the extreme physical challenges I faced, and my motivation to take the time to eat healthier and take kinder care of myself re-emerged. I left Peru gaining new perspective and new friends I felt sorry to part with. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Quechua Treks Peru and KimKim family.

Tips about this trek, during the end of the rainy season in early April:
The weather for us ranged from 30’sF at highest altitudes to 60’sF. Obviously, the weather will vary from year to year but during the trek, there are MANY difference microclimates you will travel through, with weather changes occurring even from minute to minute, from rainy, windy, sunny, freezing, very comfortable temperate, to humid and hot. You will always feel different based on whether you are moving or sitting still.

Our guide provided us each with a duffel bag the day before our trek that would mostly be carried on the mules to hold our belongings that we could mostly access at the end of each day only, until the next morning when we were back on our way; at times later during the trip, we were also responsible for hanging on to our duffels ourselves (carrying them to our hotels, the train, etc). The bags are meant to hold 7kg of your belongings maximum, which is completely manageable.

- General packing: while you are away on a trek, many people find that they are able to leave some things with their hotel/air bnb in cusco. I ended up leaving my main 42 L hiking backpack and souveniers I had picked up in Cusco to this purpose and taking just my 22L REI flashpack as my day pack, the rest stored in the duffel bag that was provided. They do keep your bags covered on the mules but it was advised to store the belongings inside the duffel in a trash bag or dry sacks just in case of heavy rains, so we did so.
- Clothes: clothes with merino wool mixed or tanks of polyester fabric are the way to go to prolong your laundry and to temperature regulate. For our trek, I did fine with 2 pairs of trekking pants, 1 pair of shorts, a merino base layer top and bottom for the cold evening/days, 3 tshirts/tanks, 1 merino bra, swim suit, 2 merino toe socks, 1 regular merino pair of socks. Toe socks are amazing, I did not get one blister. Merino wool socks are double-amazing, you really can wear them for many days without developing odor. I brought extra changes of things in case of dirt and/or getting wet from rain.
- Outerwear/Raingear: Umbrella. Genius Rolfi. He gave credit to a group of Japanese trekkers he led about 15 years ago. I did not have one and being a bit of a Seattle snob about umbrellas, wish I had. The weather changes are fast and often on the trek and there already is a lot of stopping to un-layer and re-layer jackets, hats, hoods, rain covers, etc. Having an umbrella would have reduced some of that :) My trekking pants dried very quickly from body heat even after getting soaked several times, and while moving I was not cold. Others in my group brought outer rain pants and that was helpful to them as well. I had one ultralight down and one fleece in addition to a base layer if needed for warmth and that was plenty. A headband to go over the ears, beanie, and a water-proof hat for sun and rain in addition to my light rain jacket/wind breaker. Sunglasses, of course. Rain cover for my day pack. Gloves. Small dry sacks and sandwich/freezer bags for some things just in case to extra protect some items in my pack.
- Shoes: To lighten weight, I was happy I went with Saucony Peregrine trail runners; these are not water proof but dry quickly while wearing from body heat and whenever I expected rainy weather, particularly the first 2 days, I went ahead and wore water-proof Sealskinz socks. For the most part, the peregrines stayed dry anyway. I also brought a pair of LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoes and a pair of flip flops to wear around camp and also at the hot springs for the flip flops.
- Other Equipment: I brought one trekking pole and this was helpful to me during steep ascents and especially descents. At Machu Picchu itself, they may or may not let you in with a trekking pole but if so you will definitely require rubber caps. Power adapter for when there was access. My 5000mAh external battery was perfect for keeping my phone charged for photos. Headlamp.
- Snacks: snacks were actually provided to us for the trail every day but we did bring some of our own such as jerky, chocolate/candy, peanut butter.
- Backpacks: My day pack was under 10 lbs not including water, while my porter pack was about 12 lbs. In my day pack/on me, I kept personal valuables like my passport, an extra pair of socks, my baselayer top, hats, gloves, sometimes my camp towel, snacks for the day, water, external battery for my phone, jackets and fleece, rain cover, some toilet paper, pain relievers like advil, first aid basics, insect repellant, sunscreen, sunglasses, trekking pole.
- Water: Camelback pouch, 2 to 3 liters size is plenty. You will get clean water refills every evening and morning. No need to bring water purifiers.
- Altitude prophylaxis/meds: acetazolamide is essential to help protect you from altitude sickness. Start 24 hours before you arrive to Cusco and continue for 1-2 days after your highest elevation. I also acquired the typhoid vaccine.
- First aid/bug repellant/sunscreen: lip balm, sunscreen, insect repellant (we really liked the Picaridin instead of DEET; it doesn’t leave a residue and a little bit goes a long way). Quechua Treks carries a first aid kit and oxygen tank if needed but I brought my own kit as well, including ace wrap, Zofran, some basic antibiotics in case of bacterial diarrhea, bandaids, advil/Tylenol/Benadryl/antibiotic ointment, leukotape in case of blisters, among other first aid basics of choice.
- Sleeping: My thin sleeping liner plus down quilt for 20 degrees F was plenty warm for the purpose of this hike. Quechua Treks provides the inflatable sleeping pads and for the first night or two comfy sleeping liners and pillow were also provided; however, I believe these got wet during a heavy rain and so I was glad to have brought my own liner. Earplugs were very nice to have.
- Toiletries/laundry: you may laugh, but having the Pstyle for the ladies was perfect, especially when we had to use that “Incan toilet” on the trail. At camp and at rest-stops on the trail, there were toilets. Bring your own toilet paper just in case. Aside from your personal toiletries, wet wipes were nice to have for extra clean up if needed and Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (2 oz) was perfect for hand-washing a couple things along the way. I found that bringing a couple clamps/clothespins was helpful for drying out some clothes on the trail (hooked onto outside of my pack) or overnight. Camping towel.
- Money: If you have a debt card with no foreign transaction fee, withdraw money in soles at an ATM such as at the airport when you arrive in Cusco. In Cusco, while restaurants generally accepted mastercard or visa, pretty much everywhere else except for fancy stores only take soles. In Aguas Calientes, most of the shops in the market will take a credit card as well and will often accept small denominations of USD. Best to have denominations of 50 or less in soles while you are on the road and keep some 1 sole coins to use toilets at rest-stops along the trail. Set aside some soles ahead of time for tipping your crew.

Salkantay trek to machu picchu, Peru - Aug 4 - Aug 14, 2017

Traveler: Mark B. - Local specialist: Nicole Koch

Planning and booking the trip was easy. KimKim connected us with a great tour provider, and always responded quickly to questions and requests.

It's rare to find a tour organizer really dedicated to creating a perfect experience, but that's the impression we had with Nicole and Haku. It's not the cheapest option, but hearing about others who had trekked with larger groups we are happy with our decision.

Our guide Josias was experienced, patient and a great companion for the 6 days. We... read more

Planning and booking the trip was easy. KimKim connected us with a great tour provider, and always responded quickly to questions and requests.

It's rare to find a tour organizer really dedicated to creating a perfect experience, but that's the impression we had with Nicole and Haku. It's not the cheapest option, but hearing about others who had trekked with larger groups we are happy with our decision.

Our guide Josias was experienced, patient and a great companion for the 6 days. We stayed in comfortable lodges in epic locations, and really enjoyed the meal on the final night.

There were no hidden costs or surprises, and every detail was covered. This truly allowed us to enjoy one of the best hiking trails in the world.

13 days, salk, biking, horseback, Peru - Jul 14 - Jul 26, 2017

Traveler: Herman V. - Local specialist: Nicole Koch

We just came back from a hiking trip to Macchu Picchu in Peru via the Salkantay route with HakuExpeditions wich we had booked via kimkim earlier this year. Our trekking along Salkantay as well as the visit to Macchu Picchu were just awesome. Nicole from Haku Expeditions was very flexible in setting up our itinerary and upon arrival in Cusco she organized a briefing with our trekking guides.

The guides were absolutely fantastic. Both were very friendly and helpful, and had tremendous... read more

We just came back from a hiking trip to Macchu Picchu in Peru via the Salkantay route with HakuExpeditions wich we had booked via kimkim earlier this year. Our trekking along Salkantay as well as the visit to Macchu Picchu were just awesome. Nicole from Haku Expeditions was very flexible in setting up our itinerary and upon arrival in Cusco she organized a briefing with our trekking guides.

The guides were absolutely fantastic. Both were very friendly and helpful, and had tremendous knowledge about the trek, the culture and environment. We did not trek by tent but from cabin to cabin. The accommodations were basic and clean, typically for what I've expected on a trek like this (no unnecessary luxury - but a good bed and a good hot shower every day). The food was above expectations. The Peruvian cuisine at high altitude, on the beaten track, tasted so delicious that we hiked almost every day without even having to rely on our snacks during the hike in between the main meals, there was plenty of good food and great hospitality. Definitely a trip we would like to do over sometime.

Salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - May 21 - May 25, 2017

Traveler: Kimberlee C. - Local specialist: Nicole Koch

Nicole was excellent at organizing our trip. It was great to talk to a real person on the ground in Peru when I was booking from Australia. At first, our trip seemed expensive but now in hind sight considering everything it included and in comparison to other travelers we met along the way our trip was excellent value for money. Every aspect of our trip was organized we didn't have to worry about a thing. Our guide Josias was absolutely fantastic and really made the trip special. He spoke... read more

Nicole was excellent at organizing our trip. It was great to talk to a real person on the ground in Peru when I was booking from Australia. At first, our trip seemed expensive but now in hind sight considering everything it included and in comparison to other travelers we met along the way our trip was excellent value for money. Every aspect of our trip was organized we didn't have to worry about a thing. Our guide Josias was absolutely fantastic and really made the trip special. He spoke fluent English and helped us translate along the way and told us fantastic history and facts about the region. The food and accommodation were excellent. After a hard day walking it was great to come home to a real warm bed. I am a coeliac and catering along the way was fantastic! We couldn't have had a better trip. We are so happy we chose to book with KimKim.

Nicole looked after all of our needs. She was very patient and always helpful. She helped us booked our salkantay trek and gave me information about other trips and options available.