Heart of the Incas + Sankantay Trail Peru to Machu Picchu 9D/8N

  • Salt mines of Maras
  • Salt mines of Maras

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Heart of the Incas & Sankantay Trail Peru 

Lodge based and camping based package perfect for your  comfort for a perfect trip, you  will be exploring the main tour  attactions in Cusco including the Colonial Cathedral, Temple of the Sun – Qoricancha; Saysayhuaman, Salt mines of Moras, Sacread Valley, the incredible Salkantay trek  journey to the Inca city of Machu Picchu and the new natural wonder or RAINBOW MOUNTAIN in a day hike, Peru by Locals will put everything together from the airport to airport, we arrange entrance tickets to all attraction to be visited, transportation, hotels, train tickets, meals, guides and full 24 hours support with our 24/7 number (WhatsApp) +51 989585967

Cusco was the heart of the Inca Empire and the most important place for the Incas. It is nowadays considered one of the two most beautiful cities in South America. Inca and Spanish architecture are intermixed in its narrow streets that survived several earthquakes.

The Inca empire was stretched out as far as Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina and Chile from 12th hundreds to 15th hundreds, but when a handful of Spanish arrived in the heart of the Inca Empire, many of the amazing work was destroyed including temples and palaces of the Inca kings, where on top of them they built Catholic churches, but the history still lives and it is on display in the outdoor museum of Cusco.

The Sacred Valley itself is unique with many Incan sites along the valley, offering to travellers spectacular views of snowcapped mountains and the Urubamba river (the main river of Cusco area).

Machu Picchu has always been the mysterious place in the Peruvian history. When visiting the place, it is amazing to see the high quality of the architecture, hydraulic engineering and astronomical observatories.

Perfect for: This tour is very recommended in small groups of friends, family with kids, couples, honey moneys.

High lights 


  • Type of tour: Lodge based, camping, historical, van transport and  train ride, one day hike to Rainbow mountain
  • Type of transport: Private van in every tour from the start to the end, trekking and train ride
  • Duration: 10 days / 9 nights (3 nihgts camping and 6  nights at hotel)
  • Level of difficulty: This tour includes a lot of activities and almost every site we tour requires or about one hour and half walking and about 60% of it is history lessons, in case the Rainbow mountain hike may be challenging because the altitude thats over 15,000ft but short and Salkantay trek itself is challeging because the distance and elevation.
  • Group size: Our tour group sizes are very important to guaranty the quality of our service of giving you a personalized service thats the reason we run with an average of 7 guests .  This is not only to guaranty the quality of your service but make you feel as our family. Can you imagine having 20 people in a groups and trying to hear or see your guide? not the same than having close to you all the time and learning about this amazing country.
  • Accomodation: The hotels we use are 3 start and highly recommended by travelers and during the camping nights our tents will be espacious.

Our guides: PERU BY LOCALS was a dream  that came thuth on 2015 for Jose Condor who guided tours in Peru and especially Cusco from 2014 un till today and have been to Machu Picchu for over  1000 times, now Peru by Locals has a group of top guides around among men and women that had a proffessional degree and get refresh trainning every year these folks had been to USA training with NOLS (National Oudoor Leadership Shool) training about WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER since you health is very important to us and our guides are totally trained to assist in all your needs while on you are vacationing, we invest on our guides because we believe they are the main ingredient of any trip.

Peru by Locals is not only a travel company but a group of great staff and tour leaders that love sharing their passion with you and love being  with travelers.

YOUR BOOK WITH US YOU GO WITH US, Peru by Locals  does not re-arrange tours with other companies since we are based in Cusco and we operate all our tours.


Heart of the Incas + Sankantay Trail Peru

Day 1: Arrival to Cusco

At your arrival time to Cusco you will be wellcome by one of our representatives and be trasnported to your hotel that is located in the old downtown and historical area of the city. On the way he/she will show you some samples of Inca and colonial constructions and the historic center, at the same time give some guidelines of your stay

After you are cheacked in in the hotel you will have a meeting with your choosen guide for a detailed briefing for your travel, then you will go for a lunch or dinner depending on the time of your arrival.

Overnight in Cusco.

Includes: Pick up from airpor to hotel, briefing with your guide, lunch or dinner

Day 2: Cusco City Tour

Today your experience on this Amazing Incva land begings, You will tour the Colonial  Cathedral of Cusco, where you can view colonial paintings by the Cusco school of painting at the time, including a painting of the Last Supper with the local specialty, cuy (guinea pig) as the main dish. The local painters managed to capture the culture and history in uniquely historical way in the art work such  paintings.

The following place will be Qoricancha or the Temple of the Sun that still keeps amazing architecture  on its walls that stood up earthquakes for centuries, it is one of the greatest examples of the Inca civilization.

Next you will visit Saqsayhuaman, where you will have a guided tour of this incredible site, built with stones that weigh up to 120 tons and amazingly fit together without the help of a mortar! There is probably not a place in the world that can beat the architecture of this place. Afterwards you will tour the Inca archaeological site of Qenqo, considered to be the Temple of the Mother Earth and also once probably the tomb of the most important king of the Incan empire Pachakuteq.

Finally, you will visit the Incan sites of Pukapukara and Tambomachay that used to be ceremonial places in past times.

Over night: Cusco

Includes. Pick from airport, lunch, entrance tickest to attractions to be visited, tour guide, trasnport during the tour

Day 3: Sacred Valley tour

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is an incomparably beautiful stretch of small villages and ancient sites spread across a broad plain and rugged mountain slopes northwest of Cusco. It is the main valley of Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire. It was the best place for maize production in Peru as well as a great source of natural wealth.

The first Incan site you will visit will be Chinchero, a beautiful site with its Temple of the Sun, ancient Inca cemetery, terraces that still remains from Inca civilization and  unbelievably views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Leaving Chinchero the drive journey will offer you great views to Sacred valley and farm fields then you will have a guided tour to Salt mines an espectacular places wher you will encounter over 3000 salt ponds where the locals procces the salt by hand the way thier ancestors did. The tour will be followed by visiting Moray. Also you will visit Moray, the agriculture experimentation place of the Incas where later archeologists found evidences of coca leaves and cotton, which impressed them because that place very high in elevation but the Incas managed to grow almost everything.

Our lunch today will be at Tunupa resturant  one of the top restaurants in the Sacred Valley for sure its  a treat.

Ollantaytambo Inca site is the last place to be visited with it’s majestic Inca architecture, terraces, Sun temple, princess bath; this tour may take about 1.5 hours and will be the last place  before you get back to Cusco to pack your belongings.

Overnight in Cusco.

Includes. Breackfast at the hotel, Entrance tickest to attractions to be visited, tour guide, trasnport during the tour, lunch, hotel in Cusco

Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

The Salkantay Trail Peru will take you through unique and varying landscapes with the scenery nothing short of breathtaking! Photographers will experience sheer ecstasy as we walk along ancient and solitary footpaths: from picturesque grassy highlands to flourishing cloud forests, where luxuriant tropical rainforests meet colossal snowcapped mountains, the Salkantay Trail is off-the-beaten path and authentic. You will be spirited away into a world of phenomenal beauty and abundance of nature, with sacred solitude and hours of deliciously quiet contemplation.

Since the ancient Incan times, the spectacular glacier-capped peak of Mount Salkantay has been considered as sacred and the protector of the local people and their crops. The name Salkantay or Salcantay is a Quechua word meaning «invencible, wild or savage».

Day 4: Short trek to Soyroccocha (first day of trek)

We will pick you from your hotel at 5:00 am and transport you to Mollepata, a town en route to the starting point of the Salkantay Trail Peru. Here you have some time to relax, stretch your legs, get last-minute supplies and sit down for a nice cup of coffee in one of the local restaurants. We will also meet our support staff here, who will pack everything for the trek and load the equipment onto horses. At about 9:00 am we will continue on to Soraypampa, the starting point of the trek.

From Soraypampa (3,800 m / 12,467 ft) we trek to Soyroqocha (4,200 m / 13,779 ft). The trek takes about four hours along a gentle incline. During the hike you will have breathtaking views of the «invincible» and majestic Salkantay and other snowcapped mountain peaks. Lunch will be at noon and afterwards we will hike three more hours to our camp at Soyroqocha, a beautiful small lake in the mountains. Your tents will be ready and waiting as well as a delicious dinner that will round off an amazing first day on the Salkantay Trail Peru.

Distance covered: 5 km (3.1 miles)
Time: 3 to 4 hours
Lowest elevation: 3,800m (12,467 feet)
Highest elevation: 4,400m (14,435 feet)
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Sights: Mount Salkantay, Apurimac River Valley, Humantay Lake

Day 5: views of mount Salkantay and a long downhill trek  (second day of trek)

On day 2 you wake up to a stunning view of the gleaming snow-covered Salkantay Mountain. After a hearty and nutritious breakfast, we will start our trek towards the Salkantay Pass (4,600 m / 15,091 ft), which takes 40 minutes.  The Salkantay Pass is the source of two rivers which flow into the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. After spectacular views of the peaks of Mount Salkantay and Mount Umantay, we will hike down to Huayraqmachay, where we will have lunch and you can take a nap if you like. In the afternoon we hike down to Qollpapampa (3,100 m / 10,170 ft) where we will camp for the night. On the way the scenery will change from golden grasslands to cloud forests and finally to the edge of the jungle.

Distance covered: 16 km (9.9 miles)
Time: 8 to 9 hours
Lowest elevation: 3,100m (10,170 feet)
Highest elevation: 4,600m (15,091 feet)
Level of difficulty: Demanding
Sights: Mount Salkantay, Mount Umantay

Day 6: Jungle hike (third day of Salkantay Trail Peru)

Day 3 is much easier day and starts with a hike through the tranquil cloud forest. We will hike for about five hours following the stream of Lluskamayo, with the prospect of seeing orchids, various bird species, and magnificent waterfalls along the way. The hike ends at La Playa town (2,050 m / 6,725 ft) where we will stop for lunch.  You will have the afternoon to relax, go in the river, take a shower or have a cold beer.

Distance covered: 13 km (8 miles)
Time: 5 to 6 hours
Lowest elevation: 2050m (6,725 feet)
Highest elevation: 3100m (1,926 feet)
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Sights: Lluskamayo River, Collpabamba town, Hot Springs

Day 7: Llaqtapata Inca ruins AND THE FIRST SIGHT OF Machu Picchu (fourth day of trek)

Today you will see the lost city of Machu Picchu in the distance. After an early breakfast, we start our hike ascending towards the Llaqtapata Inca ruins, where we will have a glimpse of the most spectacular ancient city of the world, Machu Picchu. Your guide will introduce you to the history and culture of the Incas and the ancient wonder of the world. Thereafter we will descend for about three hours down to the hydroelectric power station that provides electricity to Cusco. At the train station we will take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes where we will have dinner at a local restaurant and stay at a hostel for the night.

Distance covered: 13 km (8 miles)
Time: 6 to 7 hours
Lowest elevation: 1800m (5,905 feet)
Highest elevation: 3100m (10,170 feet)
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Sights: Llaqtapata Inca Ruins, Machu Picchu

Day 8:  Machu Picchu tour (fifth day of Salkantay Trail Peru)

Day 5 starts early when we pick you up from your hostel and take you to the bus station for a 30 minute drive to Machu Picchu. Make sure to either have breakfast at 5am or pack one, so that you arrive at the citadel in time to witness a magnificent sunrise. We will then have a two hours guided tour of the most important sites in the citadel, after which you will have time to explore on your own. You can enjoy Machu Picchu’s spiritual setting by relaxing or discover the heights of Huayna Picchu.

After spending the day in Machu Picchu, the bus will take you back to Aguas Calientes to collect your luggage. From there you will take the train to Cusco, and then be transported back to your hotel.

Inclusions & exclusions

Inclusions on the Heart of the Incas + Sankantay Trail Peru

  • Transport to and from your hotel in Cusco and in all the tours
  • Meals on the Heart of the Incas + Sankantay Trail Peru
  • Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu and for all the attractions to be visited (does not include Huayna Picchu)
  • Horses to carry all the equipment for the the trek (food, tents, chairs, table, etc)
  • Emergency horse in case we need it
  • Cook
  • Boiled drinking water from day 3 onwards
  • Trekking guide and guide for all the tours mentioned, knowledgeable in history, tradition, fauna and flora
  • First aid kit, carried by your guide
  • Equipment (sleeping tent, dining tent, kitchen tent, table, chairs, air mattresses)
  • Duffle bag if needed
  • Round-trip bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
  • Train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (expedition)
  • One night hostel accommodation in Aguas Calientes (if you prefer a hotel instead, we can arrange it at an additional cost)
  • Four night hotel in three in Cusco and one in Machupicchu town

Exclusions on the Heart of the Incas + Sankantay Trail Peru

  • Sleeping bag for the Heart of the Incas + Sankantay Trail Peru (can be rented from us)
  • Tips for muleteers and guides
  • Huayna Picchu tickets
  • Airfare
  • Airport taxes


We will depart Cusco hotel at 03:30 am, for 2 hour drive to Cusipata town where we will stop for a delicious breakfast at a restaurant, after that we will continue for another 50 minute drive to the trail head at Phulawasipata (4,700 m / 15,419 ft), especially this seccion drive is through beautyful landscape, Alpaca and agriculture farms.

Our hike begings along the meandering path with espectacular vistas of snow caped mountains and surrounded by  herds of Alpacas and Llamas.

After hiking for around 1.5 hours we finally reach our destination, the magnificent Rainbow Mountains (5,020 m / 16,466 ft). No photoshop or Instagram filters here, this awesome display of colour is 100% natural, and completely breathtaking.

We will take our time at the summit so that you can take the espectacular pictures, breath the clean air and explore the area or just  enjoy the spectacular views after all this time we take a short 20 minute walk into the Red Valley, especially this valley does not have many hikers because is little bit longer hike back down to car parking but down hill, revy reguarding a tranquil and beautiful hike amongst the crimson rocks that leads us to a spectacular view across the valley.

In a sense though this is almost a different hike, as we take in the views that were behind us on our ascent. The hike down will take around 1.5 hour to get our van then drive for about 50 minutes back to Cusipata where a delicios lunch awaits for us.

Then, it’s just a 2 hour drive back to your Cusco hotel or any other place you request to be drop  off  around 3pm, no doubt exhausted but with incredible memories of a unique day.

Over night Cusco

Includes: Transport, guide, breackfast, lunch, entrance tickets


The Machu Picchu tour includes tickets for the Expedition train for the 3 stars, and Vistadome train for 4 and 5 star packages.

Prices with hotels

Occupancy 2 star 3 star 4 star 5 star
Double / triple $ $ $ $
Single $ $ $ $

NOTE: All the prices may vary according to your preferences and availability. Please contact us for more information to give you the best advice. we will do all to give you the best price for great service.

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