Refugios Salkantay: Salkantay Adventure Tour: Trek the Mountains with Locals

Salkantay Adventure Tour: Trek the Mountains with Locals

Cusco, Peru

Refugios Salkantay

Community-based cooperative

2 days/1 night
From$157 USDper person

Refugios Salkantay is a community organization comprised of local families in tight collaboration, communication, understanding, and mutual support, working to provide authentic, mutually beneficial travel experiences.

Tour Highlights

  • Hike through Peruvian mountains, connecting with local families, while supporting small communities engaging in authentic tourism.
  • Enjoy genuine coca mate with families in the mountains.
  • Climb the highest peak of the Vilcabamba mountain range.

Tour revenue will be invested in supporting and advocating for local families.

Tour Details

  • Frequency

    Any day by appointment

  • Start Time

    6:30 AM

  • Duration

    2 days/1 night

  • Good For


  • Languages


  • Tour Participants

    2 to 12

  • Difficulty

    Hard (over 6 miles/ 9 km walking distance, intense physical effort)

  • Clothing & Equipment

    Backpack, Headlamp/ flashlight, Hiking boots, Insect repellent, Rain gear, Sunglasses, Sunscreen lotion, Warm clothes, Gloves, Hat

Tour Description

Spend two incredible days hiking through the Peruvian mountains while meeting and interacting with local communities in a totally unique experience! Summit the highest mountain in the Vilcamba mountain range, and spend the night in a comfortable hostel in Soraypampa.

Day 1:
The organization will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 6:30 am to begin your expedition, stopping beforehand in Mollepata. One of the organization’s employees, an experienced local, will meet you in “La Casona de Mechita,” a small tourist restaurant, and provide you with information about your upcoming hike, distributing water and small snacks. You will then be driven to Challacancha and hike for about two hours to the Soraypampa refuge. Sip on mate made from coca, a traditional remedy to altitude sickness. Settle into your room in Soraypampa, which is equipped with comfortable bedrooms, complete bathrooms, and hot showers in rooms with queen beds or rooms with two or three single beds. Salkantay offers savory, nutritious local food and welcomes vegetarians. After a hearty meal, you will join the organization on an acclimating hike from the hostel to Humantay Lake. Take in the breathtaking views of Mount Salkantay. Imagine how the Incans would have looked up in awe at this sacred mountain. The hike, which should take three hours from start to finish, will prepare you for the more adventurous second day. After finishing this exciting first day, return to the hostel for a cocktail and deliciously prepared dinner.

Day 2:
Hopefully you had a good night’s rest, because this is the big day! ! Today, you will reach the highest point of the hike in the Salkantay Pass, 4,683 meters above sea level. You will enjoy the views of the Nevada Mountains of the Cordillera of Vilcabamba from all directions and the face of the southern glacier of the anterior part of the Saltantay Pass. Wake up with coca mate at 5 or 5:30 am and enjoy a delicious breakfast, served by the organization’s employees and their families. Take some food to go and a large bottle of water for your trek. The first hour is easy as the elevation increases slowly along the valley. Keep your head up and consume the amazing views at the top of Salkantay, the second highest peak in the Sacred Valley. Zigzag up the rest of the trail to the highest point of the hike. The summit should take 3 to 4 hours before a gradual descent. Finally, when you return to the refuge, you will enjoy a lunch and then a private transport will take you back to Cusco.

Vetted & Visited By

Ribbon ambassadors
Jorge & Skyla
July 25, 2017

5 Visitor Reviews

    Luis H ●  Jan 3, 2017

    Si vas a hacer el paso de Salkantay tienes que hacerlo con Refugios Salkantay. La atención es inigualable, Flor es encantadora y súper atenta. Al igual que sus familiares y amigos que te reciben a lo largo del camino. Su lodge en el valle de Salkantay es muy lindo y cómodo, mucho mejor que el camping. Y el formato que tienen en el que te dejan caminar cada día solo me parece mucho mas atractivo que los demás grupos que parecían (con todo respeto) ovejas guiadas por su pastor... Cada etapa del trek sobrepaso todas nuestras expectativas, tanto el aspecto del paisaje natural como en el aspecto humano. Las familias que nos recibieron en los diferente puntos (primero Flor y su Mama, después el papa de Flor y su hermano (un alpinista lirico con una historia increíble) y la familia de Lucmabamba) enriquecieron muchísimo el viaje llenándolo de alegría y cultura. La experiencia de refugios Slakantay sabe a autentico, no es un producto pre fabricado y diseñado para turistas. Es una experiencia que comparten los locales del camino con mucho cariño y corazón. Les agradecemos mucho!

    Benoit B ●  Dec 8, 2016

    We did the Salkantay Trek thanks to a great organization from Refugios Salkantay! It s a great opportunity to meet everyday amazing and nice people at each stop for the night and also discover amazing ladscapes! It s a great experience, i definitely advise you to choose Refugios for your Trek Thank Flor again

    Nicklas_Holm ●  Nov 30, 2016

    The Salkantay trek is a great option if you want the amazing views of the Andes but with a lot less people and at a fraction of the price. You get to know and stay with local families and eat the traditional food. You are on your own for the most parts of the days on the trek, but Flor and everyone you meet along the way will make sure you're well fed and that you're not getting lost. We highly recommend Refugios Salkantay for everyone headed to Machu Picchu who want to avoid the tourist traps.

See all 5 reviews

Tour Start Address

You will be picked up at your hotel in Cusco, Cusco, Cusco, Peru

How To Get There

The organization will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco.

More About Refugios Salkantay


To advocate for and support local families, joined together to work as authentic tour operators.

Main Programs

  • English Language Classes

  • Scholarship Program