Boat travelling past a riverside village in the Amazon Rainforest
Brand New!

Trek the Salkantay Route and Go To the Amazon

10 nights
Challenging

An Andes to Amazon adventure as you trek to Machu Picchu and explore the Amazon rainforest

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with local, certified and friendly English-speaking guides

Hotel & Wild camping

4 nights in hotels, 3 nights camping on the trail and 3 nights in a jungle lodge

Meals

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 8 dinners

Transfers & Porterage

Airport and local transfers, internal flight to Puerto Maldanado, and porters and horses to carry your luggage on the trek

Equipment & Permits

Everything you need for camping along the trail including your tickets and entry fees

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 14 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

Boat travelling past a riverside village in the Amazon Rainforest
Wooden boats on the Madre de Dios River  in the Peruvian Amazon
Man overlooks the mountains above the clouds on the Salkantay Trek
Women crossing a river on the Salkantay Trek with snow-covered mountains in the background
Reflection of Mt Salkantay in a lake on the Salkantay Trek
Women sitting overlooking Machu PIcchu, Peru
Red Howler Monkeys laying on a branch in Tamobata rainforest, Amazon, Peru.

Trek the cooler, quieter alternative to the Inca Trail - through rainforest, over high mountain pass and around epic Andean glaciers

Explore the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, a bucket list must in Peru, and all the better when you've made it there on your own feet

Kick back at your luxurious jungle lodge deep in the Tambopata National Reserve of the Peruvian Amazon. Experience the serenity and nature of the jungle, wildlife spotting by day and night on foot and canoe.

Want to skip the jungle? Check out our stand alone Salkantay trek

Key Information

Day 1

Arrive in Cusco and get to know your crew

View of one of the main squares

Arrive at your hotel in Cusco this afternoon, perfectly located off one of the main squares. If you’ve got the time, head out to wander the streets for your first real taste of Peruvian culture. Join your guide later for dinner at a nearby restaurant, where you can sample the local cuisine and music, as well as get to know your fellow adventurers. After dinner, head back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.

Day 2

Tour of the Sacred Valley

Pisca ruins overlooking the Andes mountains behind

The Sacred Valley was a crucial area for the Inca Empire, functioning as an agricultural, spiritual and political hub. You’ll visit the two main sites, Pisac and Ollantaytambo, to experience their ancient ruins, cobbled streets and learn about their history. On returning to your hotel in Cusco, you’ll meet your guide for a quick pre-trek briefing. Afterwards, the evening is yours - relax, grab some dinner and probably have an early night, ready for tomorrow’s adventure.

Day 3

Trek to Humantay Lake

Female hiker overlooking Humantay Lake under the snowy Andes mountains behind

Hiking

4-5hrs · 10km · 420m up · 400m down

You’ll be up picked from your hotel for a scenic drive to Mollepata, the starting point for the Salkantay route, where you’ll enjoy breakfast in a local house. After brekkie, you’ll make your way to the start of your trek in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba at Challacancha (3780m), getting your first glimpse of the Salkantay and Humantay mountains on the way. After packing the horses, it’s time to set off towards Soraypampa (3800m), the location of your first campsite. From here you’ll trek up to the high altitude and bright turquoise waters of Humantay Lake (4200m), sitting below the Humantay Glacier, before descending back down to the camp at Soraypampa.

Day 4

Soraypampa to Huayracmachay

View of Salkantay Mountain from the Salkantay Pass

Hiking

6-8hrs · 12km · 830m up · 710m down

Today’s a tough one. After breakfast, you’ll start with an uphill hike to the highest point of the trek, the Salkantay Pass (4630m). At the top, you’ll make an offering to Apu Salkantay and learn the significance of the mountain to Inca culture. Descend to Huayracmachay (3920m), passing turquoise lakes with the Pumasillo and Humantay mountains in the distance.

Day 5

Huayracmachay to Lucmabamba

Hikers crossing a wooden bridge below a tall waterfall surrounded by jungle

Hiking

9-10hrs · 21km · 50m up · 1870m down

Descend through the rainforest along the Santa Teresa River, trekking past lush vegetation and waterfalls. Stop for lunch at Colpapampa then continue to Lucmabamba. After arriving you'll have a chance to visit a nearby coffee plantation and roam the nearby tomato and avocado fields to pick vegetables for the chef to use in tonight’s dinner.

Day 6

Trek to Aguas Calientes via Llactapata

Man walking over train bridge on the way to Aguas Calientes

Hiking

6-7hrs · 13km · 870m up · 880m down

After breakfast, you’ll embark on an easy(ish) trek through the rainforest to the Llactapata Inca site (2700m). You’ll have plenty of time to explore the area and catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu in the distance. From Llactapata, you’ll descend for lunch before boarding a train to Aguas Calientes. On arrival, you’ll check in to your hotel and perhaps indulge in a power-nap before visiting a local restaurant to enjoy dinner with the crew.

Day 7

Ah...Machu Picchu

Llama standing in front on Machu Picchu

Hiking

4hrs · 3.5km · 296m up · 296m down

Today you’ll head to Machu Picchu itself, one of the world’s most incredible archaeological sites, with a breathtaking location to match. You'll catch the bus there and have a guided tour to hear all about the hidden secrets of this ancient site. After a long day, you’ll return by bus to Aguas Calientes and continue your journey back to Cusco via the expedition train to Ollantaytambo, and then bus it from there. You’ll be back at your hotel with a drink in hand by 21:00, no doubt ready to drop.

Day 8

Venture into the Amazon

Cabanas at the Amazon Jungle Lodge

Hiking

1 hour

This morning fly to Puerto Maldondo, where you'll head to the pier to start your Amazon Jungle Adventure with a boat ride along the Tambopata Rio Madre de Dios River. Travelling by motorised wooden boat, it will be your first chance to experience the flora and fauna of the jungle before reaching your secluded lodge in the rainforest. After being welcomed to the lodge, meeting your jungle guide and getting checked into your cabana, you'll head out for an evening walk where you'll get to experience the sights and sounds of the jungle at night. You may be able to spot the likes of nightjars, owls, capybaras and caiman lurking on the riverbanks. You'll be back at the lodge in time for a late dinner and Amazonian cocktail, ready for your first night in the rainforest.

Day 9

Walk forest trails and canoe the jungle wetlands in search of wildlife

Giant River Otter standing on a log in the amazon Jungle, Peru.

Hiking

2 hours

Canoeing

2 hours

Grab an early breakfast before hopping back on the motorised canoe for a short ride deeper into the rainforest. Explore the forest on foot with your wildlife guide before reaching the beautiful connected lake system of Condenado. Here we hop on canoes to explore the tranquil waters. The whole area is rich in bird and aquatic life, as well as a family of giant otters that live in the lake. In the afternoon we head back to the lodge with more time to explore the surrounding trails, enjoy viewing the abundant birdlife or take a dip in the cool stream beside the lodge. After dark you'll go in search of caiman and other nocturnal animals by canoe along the Tambopata River.

Day 10

Explore Sachavacatoc Lake on foot and by canoe

Looking out from a wooden boat on a channel through the reeds on Lake Sachavacayoc

Hiking

3 hours

Canoeing

1 hour

This morning you visit Lake Sachavacayoc, a glassy ox-box lake located inside the protected Tambopata National Reserve, reached via a sun-dappled rainforest trail. Board a dug-out canoe to quietly paddle down a stream and glide across Sachavacyoc, surrounded by picture-perfect palms. The serene lake is home to many species of birds, the endangered giant river otter, red howler monkeys, red-bellied macaws, anaconda, side-neck turtles and black caiman, among others. After exploring the lake on foot and canoe we return to the lodge for lunch. The afternoon is free to relax at the lodge and enjoy your remaining time in the jungle.

Day 11

Goodbye to the Amazon

Early morning boat on the Rio Tambopata at sunrise

In the early morning, return to Puerto Maldonado by canoe with memorable views of the sunrise over the river and a last chance to spot active wildlife at this time of day. Howler monkeys are frequently heard as they stake out their territories. From the airport in Puerto Maldonado, you can fly to your next destination in Peru, or back to Lima for your international connection.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 5

Wild camping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8 – Day 10

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 11

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Food on Trek, Choquequirao, Peru - Action Treks Peru

Whilst trekking, an experienced chef will be on-hand to make amazing meals in the middle of the mountains. Expect plenty of hot food and drinks with every meal. Snacks such as chocolate or granola bars, cookies, dried or fresh fruit will be provided in addition to three meals a day during the hike. Breakfasts typically include things like oats (or 'kiwicha', a local supergrain), eggs/omelettes, jam and toast, pancakes and granola. Lunches are usually soups, salads, pasta, or potato-based dishes and dinners tend to be three-course cooked meals complete with dessert! Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Tierra Viva Centro Hotel, Cusco - Action Treks Peru
Cusco

During your time in Cusco, you’ll stay in a centrally located stylish boutique hotel, such as the Tierra Viva Cusco Hotel or similar. This highly rated hotel is set in a classic colonial house just off the Plaza de Armas (main square).

Camp set up on the Choquequirao trail. Photo: Host/Active Treks Peru
Salkantay trek

During the trek, you'll camp along the route. Your host will provide a four-man tent for every two people, complete with a Thermarest inflatable mattress and pillow. You’ll be accompanied by a group camp chef and porters, bringing a kitchen tent, dining tent with tables and chairs, and a toilet tent with portable loo. There will be shower facilities at the Day 5 campsite only (at Lucmabamba), with basic wash-bowl facilities provided for freshening up at the other wild camps on Days 2-4.

Hatun Inti, Aguas Calientes, Twin room - Action Treks Peru
Aguas Calientes

On the last night of the trek, you'll stay in either the La Cabana Machu Picchu or Andina Luxury in Aguas Calientes for a good night's sleep before heading up to Machu Picchu the following day. Both hotels are modern, clean, very friendly and serve a brilliant breakfast.

Double room in Ecolodge Tambopata
Amazon Jungle Lodge

For the Amazon section of your trip, you will stay in the Tambopata Ecolodge, situated deep in the jungle, three hours by boat from Puerto Maldanado. You'll stay in comfortable twin-share, en-suite Cabanas. The lodge has electricity at lunchtime and in the evening between the hours of 5 pm and 10 pm, allowing you to recharge your devices. There is some mobile phone signal with local providers but internet access is only available from the office, the perfect change for a digital detox!

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Cusco Airport (CUZ)

Flexible - arrive any time on Day 1

Ends

Puerto Maldonado Airport (PEM)

Lunchtime on day 11

Transfers

Catch any arrival flight you like. Your host will pick you up on arrival and drop you off on departure. Just bear in mind that if you arrive at the crack of dawn your room may not be ready for check-in. The usual hotel check-in time is at 1pm. An arrival airport transfer is included even if you decide to arrive earlier than the trip start date - just provide your flight details with the host.

On the last day of the trip, you will travel back from the jungle by boat and arrive at the airport late morning, in time for onward flights in the afternoon.

Travel options

There are currently no direct international flights from Europe or the US into Cuzco. Flights generally involve one or two changes and go via Lima. If you prefer to break up the journey, you could consider flying into Lima a day early and booking an onward flight to Cuzco the following day. Airport hotels are available in Lima or, if you have more time to spare, why not stay in the popular Miraflores district of Lima and use this as a base to explore the city?

Your trip ends at Puerto Maldonado Airport, there are flight connections from here to Lima or back to Cuzco, served by LATAM Airlines. The simplest option, if returning home after the trip, is to fly from Puerto Maldonado to Lima for onward international connections. It is often possible to include this leg of the journey on the same multi-city booking as your international flight (e.g. London>Cuzco, Puerto Maldonao>London, with both options transiting through Lima) if you are flying with LATAM or a code sharing airline. If you are booking this flight on a separate ticket to your international flight, it may be worth adding an extra night in Lima as insurance against flight delays.

The flight from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado is included in the trip cost and booked by your host (passport details must be provided).

See Optional Extras below for prices for extra nights in Cuzco or Lima before or after the tour.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Tent, inflatable mattress and pillow
  • Duffle bag for your personal belongings
  • Group oxygen bottle and medical kit

What's available to hire?

  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking poles

What do I need to bring?

  • Day pack (25-35 litre)
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Warm fleece or down jacket
  • Hiking boots
  • Wicking base layers
  • Light long walking trousers
  • Few t-shirts
  • Hiking socks
  • Winter gloves
  • Beanie and sun hat
  • Down or synthetic feather sleeping bag
  • Warm layers for the first night camping at 4400m
  • Ear plugs
  • Trekking poles (recommended)
  • Head lamp
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries (toilet paper, wet wipes, personal towel)
  • Sunscreen (SPF 35+ recommended)
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle

FURTHER INFORMATION

  • You'll be given a duffel bag during the trek briefing to pack your trekking gear into. You'll have an 8kg limit per person for porterage, so you'll only need to carry your day pack.

  • Your camp crew will provide you with boiled water every day, which is safe to drink. Should you have any concerns about the water quality, please feel free to bring additional water purification tablets.

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Sleeping Bag Hire

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping Bag Hire

Trekking Pole Hire

Payable Before Departure

Trekking Pole Hire

Pre/post accommodation in Cusco (Twin/Double/Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post accommodation in Cusco (Twin/Double/Single)

Per Night

Pre/post accommodation in Lima (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post accommodation in Lima (Single)

Per Night

Pre/post accommodation in Lima (Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post accommodation in Lima (Twin/Double)

Per Night

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade (Salkantay + Amazon)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade (Salkantay + Amazon)

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 136kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

When you trek in the mountains, there's always the risk of getting altitude sickness, regardless of how old, young, fit or unfit you are. We would expect most trekkers to feel some mild symptoms of altitude sickness (headache, sleeplessness, heavy breathing) when over 3000m. Our guides are trained to identify the symptoms of altitude sickness so if any more serious symptoms are noted, there is a strict procedure regarding extra care or a rapid descent or evacuation if needed. All of our trips have been designed with altitude best practice in mind so acclimatisation days have been built in and our experienced guides follow advice to ‘walk high and sleep low’.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Clean drinking water will be provided for you each morning and at meals. In an effort to eliminate plastic waste you must bring your own water bottle or hydration bladder with you. If you are concerned about the water quality, please feel free to bring additional water purification tablets.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice however we suggest the below as a guideline:

  • If each Porter/Horseman were to receive 60 to 70 soles and your Chef received 120 to 150 soles in total from the group, this would be considered a generous tip, and your team would be delighted!
  • We recommend that your Guide is tipped personally and would suggest between 60 to 100 soles per person.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Yes, it is possible to leave excess luggage items at the start hotel in Cusco and pick them up after the trek.

No, for this trek you do not need to organise a permit, and entrance to Machu Picchu is included in the price of the trip.

The Inca Trail has all the fame, but in our humble opinion, this is a better, less crowded trek. It passes through more dramatic landscapes, past Inca ruins, and still ends at Machu Picchu. It is widely regarded as the best alternative trek, and though that does mean you won’t have the trail to yourself, our local guides will keep you away from the crowds and camping away from other groups. You'll also evade the permit requirement and strict regulations that are enforced on the Inca Trail.

For current advice about travelling in Peru, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Owing to the nature of this trip, it is essential that your personal travel insurance policy provides cover to the maximum altitude visited on this trip (4630m)

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

We've got your back

Guaranteed to run

All our trips are now guaranteed to run. Once you’ve booked your spot you can immediately make your travel arrangements, no uncertainty, no hanging about (excludes 'request to book' departures). Full details

Flexible payments

Secure your spot with the minimum deposit and pay off the remaining balance in as many instalments as you like, with no interest or fees. Full details

Happiness Guarantee

We’re so confident you’ll have an amazing time we’ll put our money on it. Full details

Full financial protection

To give you complete peace of mind we’re backed by ABTOT, ABTA and ATOL memberships. Full details

Tried & Trusted

We’re rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot with over 900 verified trip reviews averaging 4.8/5.

Connect before you go

You'll be invited to join a WhatsApp group to get to know each other before your big adventure together. Full details

DEPARTURE DATES

May 2025

Thursday • 8th May 2025

to Sunday • 18th May 2025
Guaranteed to run

Thursday • 22nd May 2025

to Sunday • 1st June 2025
Guaranteed to run
Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

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