Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu & Rainbow Mt (Independence day 2022)

Karina Safari
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37 reviews
Jun 30 - Jul 9, 2022
Group size: 6 - 12
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu & Rainbow Mt (Independence day 2022)

Karina Safari
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
37 reviews

Jun 30 - Jul 9, 2022
Group size: 6 - 12

About this trip


Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is rated in the list of the best hikes in the world by National Geographic traveller.  This epic trek includes a portion of the historic Inca Trail, but gives a unique opportunity to hike without crowds and enjoy the Andean wilderness 

This trek rewards you with variety of stunning mountain landscapes, glaciers and lakes, cascades, wildlife and tropical cloud-forest. We will follow the Inca steps through the ancient archeological sites 🇵🇪 🥾 🏔


🌟 See the sunrise at the Lost City of Machu Picchu

🌟 Visit the most significant Inca temples and ruins in Cusco and Sacred Valley

🌟 Day-hIke to astonishing natural wonder - RAINBOW MOUNTAIN. Away from the beaten path and hard to reach, Rainbow mountain was ranked by National geographic as one of the 100 unique places on Earth! 

🌟  Travel in our small group (up to 12 hikers) assisted by professional Peruvian team-leader and mountain guide, porters and professional chef.

🌟  Our trip will be organized in the PREMIUM category, it means that we will be traveling as a PRIVATE GROUP without mixing up with others. We will have our privately reserved camping locations, with the best views and facilities. You stay in sky-roof huts on the first night and in the tents on the second night of the trek. Our porters will carry our personal luggage and set up the campsites for us. We will have the best delicious food cooked from scratch by professional local chef.



👍  We provide personal equipment to each trekker at no additional cost: a duffel bag (for luggage), rain poncho, basic mat, insulated pillow, daypack cover protection, small hand towel & sanitizer.

👍 Clean drinking water at each campsite will be provided for your bottle/hydration pack

👍 Porters carry up to 7kg/14lbs of your personal belongings (duffel bag)

👍 On the first night on a trek travelers stay at our privately owned campground in dbl sharing huts with sky roof, that is a significant highlight on a trek!

👍 Second night travelers stay in tents. Our tents are spacious, clean and of high quality. Eureka Timberline 4 person tents will be provided for 2 persons sharing. 

👍 Best dining experience. Delicious meals. Plenty of homemade hot food cooked every time from scratch by our chef. We don't use preserved or dry food. We also cater for vegetarians and gluten-free.

👍 We stay overnight at privately owned campgrounds separately from other hiking groups.  Our campsites are clean and stay away from noise. We have private toilets there. No need to wait in line with other hikers (public toilets are normally badly maintained and far away from campsites)


Salkantay trek is a moderate difficulty with some challenging parts

Previous hiking/camping experience and being in a good physical shape is required from all participants. You must be able to walk ~12-14mi/day at the high altitude up/downhill and keep up with the group. You don't need professional climbing skills. No glacier/snow hiking is planned 

Kids 12+ are allowed for this hike assisted by their parents

Total hiking days: 

3 days of Salkantay trek 

1 day Rainbow Mt hike (day-hike from Cusco)

Total walking Distance (Salkantay trek): 47km (31miles)

Salkantay trailhead elevation (start): 3400m (11000')

Salkantay Pass (highest point): 4650m (15255')

Rainbow Mt elevation: 5020 m (16470")

Lodging : 

7 nights in comfortable hotels, twin rooms with private shower & hot wateer

1 night in the sky-roof huts on the trek 

1 night in tents on the trek

Professional assistance: Bilingual team leader & certified mountain guide, porters & chef

Meals on the Salkantay trek are included, full board. 

Camping gear included, except for your personal hiking gear (trekking poles, sleeping bag etc)

What you carry: only your light-weight personal day-pack with essentials for the day hike, your personal  luggage and camping gear will be carries by porters


$800 non-refundable deposit for each traveler is required to keep your spot in a group

Trip price is based on double-sharing accommodations in hotels and camping tents

Single accommodation is possible on request, with extra-charge

Trip Cancellation Policy

In if the Trip departure is canceled by Organizer, the amount paid by Participant will be fully refundable;

If the trip is cancelled by Participant due to any personal reason, the following penalties will be applied: 

Cancellation 89 to 45 calendar days before departure - up to 50% of the trip cost, including registration deposit 

Cancellation 44 to 0 calendar days before departure – non refundable

Travel entry requirements in Peru

Last updated Jun 10th, 2022

🇵🇪 International flights. A full vaccination from COVID-19 is required from all travelers older than 18 years entering the country (3 shots) at least 14 days before departure.  Not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated passengers need a proof of negative Covid test result not earlier than 48hrs before the flight departure.

🇵🇪 National flights in Peru.  All foreign passengers over the age of 18 years  who don't reside in Peru must be vaccinated with minimum of 2 shots. Non-vaccinated travelers need a proof of negative covid-test result not earlier than 48hrs before departure of national flight.

🇵🇪 All passengers have to wear either double masks or a single KN95/FFP2 mask when entering the country and inside the airport; face shields aren't obligatory anymore.

Note: Above requirements may change, so we highly recommend contacting your airline a few days before your flight to Peru

Geat & Packing list


• Camping gear: tents, kitchen tent, dishes/cups/silverware etc.

• Small pillow for sleeping

• Basic foam mat for sleeping (thin)

• Waterproof cover for your daypack

• Small hand-towels

• Rain poncho

• Duffel bag (size 66 x 36cm / 26’ x 14’) for your luggage and gear for hiking days. Please make sure the weight of your personal luggage for a duffel bag doesn’t exceed 21lbs (15 lbs for your own stuff, plus 6lbs for rentals). Your duffel bag will be carried by porters. During the day, you won’t have access to your duffel until you arrive to the campsite in the evening.  Duffel will be provided to you in Cusco the day before the start of the trek (at team briefing with local guide).


- Sleeping Bag (comfort -10C): $25 for entire trip / 

- Inflatable Air Mattress: $20 for entire trip /A basic foam mat will be provided for sleeping, but 

- Trekking poles (pair): $20 for entire trip / Very recommended to have for downhill hikes. Good protection for your knees. 


- Suitcase (yes, you can fly&travel in Peru with your suitcase, but you have to leave it at Cusco hotel's storage room for 5 days while you are hiking Salkantay trek hiking and visit Machu Picchu.  For these days you will be given a duffel bag for your luggage.

- Daypack for hiking & day-tours (small or medium size 20-35L).  

Your daypack should have enough room for the following items for hiking:  Hydration reservoir (2L), Rain poncho – will be provided,  Extra layer (fleece jacket, beanie, gloves), snacks you might want to bring from home (such as chocolate, nuts etc), camera, first-aid kit (just essentials), sunscreen... 

- Hand sanitizer, Lip balm, sunscreen / Insect repellent, Personal first Aid kit (only essential medications you can’t do without, for quick reach), Toilet paper & Small plastic bag for waste

- Hydration reservoir/camelback/water bottle (2-3L) 

- Hiking shoes: comfortable, light-weight but sturdy (good for muddy trails), with ankle support - - Worn well before departure! Please don’t take brand new shoes to avoid blisters.

- Sleeping bag (winter, comfort -10C) & liner – you can rent in Cusco or bring your own 

- Hiking poles – you can rent in Cusco or bring your own (NOTE: hiking poles are not allowed into carry-on luggage on the flights)

- Sleeping mattress (optional) – you can rent in Cusco or bring your own 

- Headlamp (no lights at the camping sites at night )

- Sunglasses (UVF 300+) 

- Windproof hiking pants 

- Fleece/softshell jacket 

- Warm down-jacket (700+ down fill): this trek includes 2 cold nights of camping 

- Light wind- & waterproof jacket (active sport) 

- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them) 

- Change of T-shirts (1 long sleeved, 2-3 short-sleeved) synthetic/smart wool breathable. Cotton is not recommended 

- Beanie (wool/fleece) 

- Sun hat 

- Thermal long underwear set for sleeping in a tent

- A change of smart wool mid-weight hiking socks, + 1 pair of thick socks for sleeping 

- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty 

- Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, Wet wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, lip balm 

- Sunscreen (UVF 50+)

- Insect repellent (essential for the 3rd day of hiking and Machu Picchu)

- Your personal first-aid kit:  please bring your personal medications you can't do without. Suggested medications: aspirin (with vitamin C) against headache, Diamox against high altitude sickness, pain killer (ibuprofen), band aids, fever reducer, allergy treatment, Imodium or similar to treat mild cases of diarrhea, eye drops, nasal drops, cough relief

- Battery charger for your devices (for hiking days, no electricity , phone reception & wifi) 

Suggested Optionals: 

- Money  pouch (neck wallet or waist belt)  

- Ear plugs 

- Spare boot laces 

- Tennis shoes as a change for trekking boots

- Hiking gaiters (protection from mud/snow/dust)

- Buff (protects face and neck from wind/dust) 

- Thermo-bottle (to keep the drinking water warm at night) 

- Bathing suit & flip flops (if you wish to visit hot springs in Aguas Calientes)

Electricity, WiFi & Phone reception

• Electricity is available in hotels: 220V/60Hz (110V less common). PLEASE Bring your own plug adapter

• Wi-Fi is normally available at hotels and public places, but can be slow

• Electricity, Phone reception and WIFi:  NOT AVAILABLE on Salkantay trek (3 days/2nights). Bring a battery to recharge your devices. Remember, electronic devices get discharged faster when when it’s cold.

• Trekking guide will have a satellite phone to be used for emergencies

Money & Currency

• The local currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (1USD = 3-4 Soles)

• You can exchange currency at the airports (the rate is not good), or in Cusco Old town in certified money exchange offices (cambio de moneda). Remember , in South America they like crispy new banknotes, $100 USD banknote are better accepted for exchange 

• You can find ATMs at the airports of Lima and Cusco, and in the old town Cusco. There’s

no ATMs in the rural areas. 

• Payments by Visa/MasterCard are accepted in Lima and Cusco airports, restaurants, grocery stores and hotels. AmEx is not accepted in Peru.

• Small gift shops and cafeterias are normally cash only. Payments in small USD bills can be accepted ($1/5/10/20) - make sure bills are crispy and new, otherwise they are not accepted. If you pay in USD, the change will be given in the Peruvian currency.


Mountain weather is unpredictable. Typically, the dry season in Cusco region is from late May through early October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June – just be prepared.  Treks through the Andes involve many micro-climates and you will need to be prepared for 4 seasons (seriously!). Layers are always a key as they are easy to adjust to the different temperatures. Evenings and nights are cold, so please be prepared with a warm down-jacket (700+ Down fill). 

Average temperatures: 

  • Cusco & Sacred Valley: 15-17C day; 2-5C night
  • Andes & Salkantay trek: 15-20C day; 0+1C night
  • Machu Picchu: 20-25C day; 5-7C night

Acclimatizing & Altitudes

Starting from the elevation of the city of Cusco (3400m/ 11152’) many people feel symptoms of altitude sickness. That's normal. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over the couple of days in Cusco that we allow in our itinerary for acclimatizing at high altitude, your body will adjust to the lower amount of oxygen in the air.  With altitude sickness, you may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or even vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping.  If you have those symptoms in Cusco, just ask for oxygen tank at hotel's reception desk or let the Team Leader know and assist you.Most of the time, these symptoms are mild.  For safe travels and better acclimatizing we don't plan any physical activities on the first days of our itinerary in Cusco.


1) Drink plenty of fluids such as water , herbal and coca teas Coca tea is always available at no additional cost at hotels reception desk. Coca has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the coca plant contain alkaloids which helps bring oxygen into your blood 

2) Avoid drinking alcohol and coffee. It will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated


3) Avoid smoking 

4) Try not to use sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep. Try to sleep on side, not on your back


5) While on Salkantay trek: remember the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the  best shape will suffer from altitude sickness when they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slowly, it will give your body time to adjust to the mountain  

6)  Optional medications such as dexamethasone (Diamox) might be helpful for preventing altitude sickness. See your doctor for prescription. If you decide to take these medicines, you should start the medicine a day before your departure or at least on the day of arrival to the altitude, not later. Continue taking it daily while you are at high altitude. 


Cusco – 3400m/ 11152’

Salkantay trailhead – 3800m/ 12467’ 

Salkantay pass – 4650m/ 15091’ 

Machu Picchu – 2430m/ 7972’ 

Aguas Calientes – 2040 m/ 6700’ 

Urubamba (Sacred Valley of Incas) – 3000m/ 9842’ 

Rainbow Mt. – trailhead starts at 4300m, summit 5020m/ 16469’


 If you feel sick on the trek, let a team leader & tour guide know right away – our local guides are trained in the first aid and they will do their best to help you feel better. Our guide will also have an oxygen and first aid kit for basic medical issues. 

If you feel exhausted and sick at some point, you can continue on a horse (can be rented at additional cost). 

In case something unexpected happens and you are no longer able to complete the trek, we will figure out the safest and quickest way off the course and to a nearest medical post. You will never be left alone; you will have a member of the team escorting you every step of the way. When you are feeling up to it, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and rejoin your teammates traveling by train comfortably. 

Meals & Water

Drinking water. General suggestions:

Use bottled or boiled water for drinking. Don’t drink tap water. This water is good for brushing your teeth. Please don’t order ice in your drinks. Ice is usually made out of the tap water. Tap water is not bad, but bacterial content is different from the water you used to drink at home and this may can cause upset stomach and diarrhea.

Drinking water on Salkantay trek: 

You need to have your drinking water for the 1st hiking day enough till lunchtime.

Starting from our first lunch and until our last breakfast on a trek, the drinking water will be supplied. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, then distributed for refilling our reservoirs at each meal. Prepare your own bottles (Nalgene or camelback). Carrying about 2-3L worth is recommended for the day hike.

How meals will be organized on Salkantay trek:

Our professional chefs can cook delicious meals in the camping conditions! Be sure to remind of any food restrictions you have in advance. Food is typically served family-style. Only fresh locally grown produce is used for cooking during the trek. Canned or dehydrated food is never used. 

Food will be provided five times a day, beginning with a hot breakfast, a hiking snack to enjoy along the way, a tremendous lunch, an afternoon tea (happy hour), and finally dinner. 

Sample menu:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, pancakes, omelette, porridge, cereal, fruit salad, toast, orange juice,

milk, tea, coffee, hot chocolate

Snack: Fruit, cookies, cereal, chocolate, candies (Note: You can bring your favorite snacks from home if you wish, as you won’t find certain U.S brands in Peru like protein energy bars, dried fruit trek mix, meat jerky etc).

Lunch: Corn or mushroom soup, chicken and rice, sausage, fried fish, ceviche, steak, beans, fried rice, French fries, boiled potatoes, vegetables, salad

Happy Hour: cookies, tea, coffee

Dinner: Stuffed chicken, vegetable tortillas, pizza, spaghetti, pork cutlet, sautéed vegetables, salad

What’s included

  • Domestic flights in Peru
  • Salkantay trek
    all arrangements, trek permit, private campgrounds, trekking crew (guide, porters, chef), all meals, private van, camping gear (tents, kitchen &appliances) etc.
  • Rainbow Mt. day-hike
    all trek arrangements, professional assistance (guide, assistant, chef), 2 meals, private van from Cusco
  • Professional assistance
    Certified english-speaking guide and tri-lingual Team Leader
  • Train tickets
    Expedition category (comfortable seats), 2 rides
  • Ground Transportation
    Private van for airport transfers, Cusco and around,
  • Guided historical tours
    Cusco, Sacred Valley of Incas, Machu Picchu
  • Lodging
    7 nights in standard hotels 3* (2 people sharing a twin room). On Salkantay trek 1 night in sky-roof huts , 1 night in tents
  • Meal plan
    Breakfasts in hotels, Full board on Salkantay trek (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners), 2 meals on Rainbow Mt trek (1 breakfast, 1 lunch)
  • Admissions
    Archeological sites and museums of Cusco, Sacred Valley of Inkas, Machu Picchu tkt & shuttle rides
  • International flights
    $800-1200 USD for international flights
  • Travel insurance
    Required. Should cover high altitude hiking and Covid cases
  • Meals in towns
    Lunches and dinners in towns
  • Optional tours
    Activities & tours on request, not mentioned in the trip itinerary
  • Extra nights at hotels
    In Lima or Cusco, in case of your early arrival/ late departure separately from a group
  • Gear rentals in Cusco
    Optional. Trekking poles, camping mat, sleeping bag
  • Tips
    Optional. Suggested for the trekking crew. Allow a budget of $50-60USD per traveller for entire hike
  • Single lodging
    Optiona. If you would like to stay in your own hotel room and tent. On request, depending on availability
  • Covid tests
    Required on the way back home: Antigen or PCR (pls check USA travel requirements)

Available Packages

Early bird
Available until May 1, 2022Sold Out
Deposit: $850
Count me in!
Available until June 6, 2022only 1 left

Available options


Day 1 . Jun 30, Thu
Arrival to Peru. Lima > Cusco

Arrival to Lima from United States on the morning flights.

Take an ongoing domestic flight to Cusco at 9:50AM (LA2013) - Meet with your english-speaking Team Leader at the departure gate.

On arrival to Cusco drive to hotel in the Old Town.

Overnight in hotel Rumi Punku. 

Altitude of Cusco:  11200" /3400m

Your Organizer

Karina Safari
37 reviews
Professional adventure travel organizer and team leader since 2006. Originally from Moscow, Russia. Lived and worked as a tour guide and destination expert in South American countries (Ecuador and Colombia) in 2009-2012. Moved to the U.S. in 2012. Resident of San Francisco bay area. Founder of Safarika Adventure Club, CA since 2013 (CST # 2112795-40). Join our tribe of active travelers! Experience epic bucket list destinations and world best trails you have only dreamed of in our unbeatable team adventures to South America and beyond


Amazing experience! Very well organized, awesome group of people. Lifetime memories are guaranteed!
By Andriy G for Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu & Rainbow Mt (Memorial day 2022) on 06 Jun, 2022
The best part of any trip is to meet new people and get to know everyone in a group. You can't find a better place to do this then gorgeous Hawaii. The food was diverse and delicious, abundance of fruit will surprise anyone. Accomodations were comfortable and spacious. I can't wait for the next adventure to meet new and old friends
By Larysa Z for Hawaii Big Island Encompassed: Best Hikes & Beaches on 12 Nov, 2021
Another amazing trip with Safarika! My husband and I came back home rested, energized, and with new wonderful friends. Collecting our vacation time for another adventures with Safarika. Looking forward for new travels with beginner and medium level hikes.
By Olga K for Hawaii Big Island Encompassed: Best Hikes & Beaches on 09 Nov, 2021
Thank you very much Karina and Alex for fantastic views, great company and delicious food!
By Victoria M for All Shades of Fall in Colorado Hiking Trip on 14 Oct, 2021
It's my second trip with Karina. As the previous time everything was well organized: accommodations, transportation, permits, passes, dining.. All we have to care about - is to have fun! What I like the most about trips with Karina is a balance between challenging and interesting hikes - if you have to push yourself to get somewhere - be sure you'll be rewarded. Several trip highlights: - One of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Rocky Mountain NP - Sunrise hike with spectacular views over the park. Each picture taken there worth National Geographics cover - Variety of restaurants reserved ahead of time - And of course people!
By Valerii T for All Shades of Fall in Colorado Hiking Trip on 12 Oct, 2021
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One of the best trips I've done! I am mainly either a solo traveler or prefer to go with my family But 4 days hiking trip to Montana Glacier NP has changed my preferences :) Thank you very much, it's been a pleasure and FUN Met so many interesting intelligent people, would highly recommend if you enjoy active vacations
By Yelena M on 10 Sep, 2020
I traveled with Karina to Patagonia in 2020 and it was awesome! Perfect planning & organization throughout the trip, including dealing with the unexpected (e.g. lost luggage). I really liked other folks in the group and made several new friends in this trip. I highly recommend Karina's trips to casual and semi-serious hikers, and plan to be a return customer myself.
By Grigory L on 14 Mar, 2020
Thank you, Karina, for a wonderful first time experience of active adventure trip! Everything is well thought and organized. Would recommend to anyone!
By Aizhan T on 20 Jun, 2019