Hike to Humantay lagoon + Salkantay 2d/1n

If you don’t have much time in Cusco but still want to experience Salkantay, then join us for the 2-day, 1-night trek to Humantay Lagoon and Salkantay Pass. During this short trek, you will visit the famous turquoise Humantay Lagoon and hike up to the sacred Salkantay Mountain.

🏳️Guide English, Spanish
👪Group size10 to 16 pax.
⛳Total trekking distance27 km (16.78 mi)
📈Maximum altitude4,630 m.a.s.l. (15,190 ft)

In this trek, you can still spend a night in our exclusive glass Igloos, which are cabins with glass doors so you can sleep under the moonlight. You’ll have a fantastic night under the starry sky of the Andes and learn about the constellations of the southern hemisphere.


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Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa – Humantay lake – Quiswarniyoc

Trekking distance: 13 km (8 mi) | Trekking time: 5.5 h approx. | Difficulty: Moderate to challenging 

  • 4:30 Meeting point
    • Pick you up from your hotel — if applicable.
    • Read the Details and Notes Tab so there are no misunderstandings.
  • Cusco to Mollepata.
    • By vehicle, around 2 hours.
    • Mollepata is a small town located at 2,803 m.a.s.l. (9,196 ft).
  • 7:00 Breakfast in Mollepata.
    • Local breakfast, there are basic vegetarian options.
  • Mollepata to Soraypampa.
    • By vehicle, around 1 hour.
    • Soraypampa is a small community located at 3,900 m.a.s.l. (12,795 ft).
  • 9:30 Start your hike in Soraypampa to Humantay Lagoon.
    • 2 hours uphill hike to the captivating Humantay lake.
    • Our muleteers and horses will transport our equipment, food and 7 kg of your belongings.
  • 11:30 Arribal at Humantay: 4,200 m.a.s.l. (13,779 ft).
    • Your guide will give a brief and concise explanation about this attraction.
    • Free time at the lagoon: 35 minutes approx.
  • 12:30 Humantay lake to Quiswarniyoc.
    • 2-hour downhill hike to our exclusive Quiswarniyoc camp.
    • Quiswarniyoc is a camp located at 4,100 m.a.s.l. (13,451 ft).
  • 14:30 Lunch at Quiswarniyoc.
  • Free time to explore the spectacular surroundings.
    • Optional hike to Mirador Salkantay to enjoy stunning panoramic views.
    • Relax in our Mountain Sky Huts or Glass Igloos.
  • Dinner at Quiswarniyoc.
  • Overnight at Quiswarniyoc.
Day 2: Quiswarniyoc – Abra Salkantay – Cusco

Trekking distance: 14 km (8.7 mi) | Trekking time: 7 h  approx. | Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

  • 5:00 Wake up and pack your belongings.
    • Our cooks will serve you a cup of coca tea.
  • 5:45 Take your breakfast.
  • 7:00 Start hiking uphill along the 7 Serpents Trail.
    • 3 hours aprox. to reach the highest point: Abra Salkantay.
    • Altitude of Abra Salkantay: 4,630 m.a.s.l. (15,190 ft).
  • Once you reach the top you will have a spectacular view of the following mountains:
    • Salkantay mountain: 6,271 m.a.s.l. (20,574 ft)
    • Humantay mountain: 5,473 m.a.s.l. (17.956 ft)
    • Tucarhuay mountain: 5,910 m.a.s.l. (19,389 ft)
    • Pumasillo mountain: 5,991 m.a.s.l. (19,656 ft)
  • 11:00 Begin your hike downhill back to Soraypampa.
    • 2.5 hour downhill hike to Soraypampa.
  • 13:00  Soraypampa to Mollepata.
    • By vehicle, about 1 hour.
  • 14:00 Lunch at Mollepata.
  • 15:00 Mollepata to Cusco.
    • By vehicle, about 4 hours.
  • 19:00 Arrival at Cusco.
    • The bus will drop you off near the Plaza de Armas. If you book a private tour, we will drop you off at your hotel.


The prices shown in the table are:

  • Per person in US dollars ($).
  • Group = shared service with other tourists.
  • Pple. = people.
2 $145$150
3 $145$140
4 $140$130
5 $130$120
If your group is bigger, contact us.




IncludedGroup |
Pre-departure briefing at our office in Cusco
Professional guide
Tickets for Salkantay sanctuary
Professional chef and kitchen equipment
Meal: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
A duffel bag to pack 7 kg of your belongings
Horses to transport 7 kg of your personal luggage
1 night of camping
Vehicular transport
First aid kit
Sleeping bag
Trekking poles
Travel insurance
Day 1: Tickets from Humantay
Additional costs or delays beyond our control


Day 1: Cusco Mollepata Soraypampa Humantay lake Quiswarniyoc

IncludedGroup |
Pick up at your hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Professional guide
Tourist vehicle
A duffel bag to pack 7 kg of your belongings
Professional chef and kitchen equipment
Accommodation: Mountain Sky Huts o Crystal Domes
Horses to transport 7 kg of your personal luggage
Tickets for Humantay: 20 soles pp
Sleeping bag
Trekking poles

Day 2: Quiswarniyoc Abra Salkantay – Cusco

IncludedGroup |
Coca tea before your breakfast
Breakfast and lunch
Professional guide
A duffel bag to pack 7 kg of your belongings
Professional chef and kitchen equipment
Horses to transport 7 kg of your personal luggage
Return transportation to Cusco
Trekking poles
Drop off at your hotel in Cusco
Dinner in Cusco

Description of what is included

Pre-departure briefing

A day before departure, you’ll meet up with your trekking guide and the group to get all the details and orientation for the trek. At this meeting, you’ll also receive the duffel bag. Check meeting details below:

  • Duration: Approx. 35 minutes.
  • Location: Preferably at our office in Cusco, otherwise at your hotel.
  • Date and Time: One day before your trek, at 19:00

If you can’t attend the meeting at this time, please arrange an alternative time via email, phone, or at Inkan Milky Way office.

Duffel bag

We’ll provide you with a duffel bag the day before your departure (during the briefing). This duffel bag will be used to pack your clothing for the 5-day trek, and you can pack up to a maximum weight of 7 kg (15.4 lb), which will be transported by horses during the hike (this weight includes your sleeping bag). You’ll have access to them at each campsite.

During the trek, you’ll need a daypack, ideally sized between 15 to 25 liters, to carry your personal belongings: Jacket, rain poncho, camera, sunscreen, water, snacks, etc.

Experienced professional guide

  • They graduated from the Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco and other educational institutions.
  • They all have completed first aid courses.
  • They are 100% responsible, professional, and eager to share their local culture.
  • They speak decent English and Spanish.

First aid kit

Your guide will always carry a first aid kit and an oxygen tank to handle basic emergencies such as altitude sickness, traveler’s diarrhea, scratches, etc. If necessary, we will evacuate you from the trail to a clinic as soon as possible for medical attention.

Satelital phone

Our top priority is always your safety, that’s why all our guides are trained for mountain emergencies. Each of them carries a satellite phone, which can be used anywhere on the mountain to contact a hospital, doctor, or friend. Calls will only be made for medical emergencies.

Accommodation: 1 nights of camping

During the first three nights of our trek, you’ll be camping at designated campsites and lodges that are designed to blend into the natural environment, ensuring minimal negative impact (visual pollution).

Sleeping bag

We will provide you with a comfortable sleeping bag for your use during the trip. Our sleeping bags are effective and durable to protect you from low temperatures, such as -18°C (-0.4°F). Our sleeping bags are cleaned after each use. You won’t need to bring your own.

Meal: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners

Our chef will prepare the best meals for you right in the mountains, and we offer various options such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc., at no extra cost. Please, inform us in advance about any dietary restrictions in the booking form and remind your guide during the briefing.

Day 1: Vehicular transportation from Cusco to Soraypampa

We’ll pick you up from your hotel and travel to Soraypampa, the starting point of the trek. The vehicle is modern and equipped with air conditioning.

Transportation of duffel bag and camping equipment

  • The horses will carry your 7 kg (15.4 lb) duffel bag and camping gear on days 1 and 2.
  • Remember, you can only pack 7 kg (15.4 lb) in your duffel bag.

Day 2: Return transportation to Cusco

You will board our bus in Soraypampa so that you get back to Cusco city.

Description of what is not included

Trekking poles

Our rubber-tipped trekking poles are highly useful for rugged terrains with inclines and declines. If you don’t have one, we offer rentals.

Price: $10 per Trekking poles for the entire trek.

Additional costs

Additional expenses incurred during the trip, such as: optional activities, personal purchases, meals and drinks, are not included in the package.

More details:

Day 1: Cusco Mollepata Soraypampa Humantay lake Quiswarniyoc

DetailsGroup | Private
Schedule5:00 to 15:00
Trekking distance13 km (8 mi)
Trekking time5.5 hours
DifficultyModerate to challenging
Initial altitude3,900 m.a.s.l. (12,795 ft)
Highest altitude4,200 m.a.s.l. (13,779 ft)
Campsite altitude4,100 m.a.s.l. (13,451 ft)

Day 2: Quiswarniyoc Abra Salkantay Cusco

DetailsGroup | Private
Schedule5:00 to 19:00
Trekking distance14 km (8.7 mi)
Trekking time7 hours
DifficultyModerate to challenging
Initial altitude4,100 m.a.s.l. (13,451 ft)
Highest altitude4,630 m.a.s.l.  (15,190 ft)

Day 3: Aguas Calientes – Visit of Machu Picchu – Cusco

DetailsGroup | Private
Schedule with return to Cusco by bus4:00 to 21:30
Schedule with return to Cusco by train4:00 to 18:30
Trekking time3 to 4 hours
Initial altitude2,040 m.a.s.l. (6,693 ft)
Altitude of Machu Picchu ruins2,430 m.a.s.l. (7,972 ft)
Altitude of montaña Huayna Picchu (optional)2,720 m.a.s.l. (8,924 ft)
Altitude of montaña Machu Picchu (optional)3,000 m.a.s.l. (9,843 ft)
Train car capacity52 pax.

Accessibility: Not suitable for people with reduced mobility.

What do I bring?

  • Basic:
    • Valid original passport.
    • Extra cash in US dollars or Peruvian soles preferably.
    • Personal medication.
    • Sunscreen factor 70 or more.
    • Water bottle or camelBak.
    • Insect repellent.
    • Personal care products.
  • Clothing:
    • Boots or hiking shoes (preferably waterproof).
    • Light footwear or sandals.
    • Trekking pants.
    • Trekking socks.
    • A pair of thermal pants.
    • Shorts.
    • Long sleeved t-shirts.
    • Waterproof jacket.
    • Raincoat or rain poncho.
    • Waterproof or woolen gloves.
    • Sun hat to protect the neck and face.
    • Woolen hat for the cold.
    • Sunglasses with UV protection.
    • Neck gaiter or buff.
  • Equipment:
    • Medium trekking backpack (15 – 25 liters).
    • Trekking poles, if you don’t have them we will rent you.
  • Recommended:
    • Camera and charger.
    • Power bank.
    • Swimsuit.
    • Towel.
    • Headlamp with extra battery.
    • Snacks: energy bars, candies, chocolates, nuts, etc.



Before you go to Salkantay

The best time to do the Salkantay trek

Visit it during the dry season, which lasts from April to November in Cusco. May and October offer the best weather conditions.

Is Salkantay trek for me?

The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is a wonderful alternative to the Inca Trail and it’s best suited for travelers seeking adventure and able to handle higher altitudes and longer distances.

The ascent to the highest point known as El Paso Salkantay (Salkantay Pass) at 4,630 m.a.s.l. (15,190 feet) is not extremely steep; however, it still requires good stamina and a couple of days in the city of Cusco for acclimatization.

Acclimatization in Cusco before starting the Salkantay trek

Usually, you’ll need at least two days in Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude before starting the Salkantay trek to avoid potential altitude sickness issues during the hike.

The minimum age to do the Salkantay trek

There isn’t a strict age limit, but children under 12 might not fully enjoy the hike. If you have kids, they should be able to walk for at least 1.5 hours without needing to be carried.

Salkantay trek with children

Children over 12 years old who are in good physical shape and accustomed to walking long distances can undertake the Salkantay trek.

Salkantay trek on my own

It’s possible to do the Salkantay trek independently, but it can be risky as the trail isn’t well-marked at all points. Hiring a travel agency like Inkan Milky Way has the advantage of experienced guides who know the route well.

The difficulty level of the Salkantay trek

The Salkantay trek is considered challenging but achievable. You need to be in good physical condition and acclimatized.

The highest part of Salkantay trek

The highest point of the Salkantay trek is El Paso Salkantay (Abra Salkantay), situated at 4,630 meters (15,190 feet) above sea level, and it’s considered the most challenging part of the hike. At this spot, hikers might encounter strong winds, cold temperatures, and symptoms of altitude sickness. We’ll provide oxygen if needed.

Cell phone coverage during the Salkantay trek

Cell phone coverage is sporadic during the trek, and there’s no possibility of charging your phone. One of the trek leaders will carry a satellite phone that can be used anywhere in the mountains to make emergency calls worldwide, solely in case of a medical emergency.

Climate in Salkantay

The weather is varied due to its topography and altitude. Temperatures can drop below freezing at El Paso Salkantay (Abra Salkantay).

Difference between the Salkantay trek and the Inca Trail

The Salkantay trek is more strenuous due to its altitude and topography, yet it’s globally renowned for its mountainous landscapes. On the other hand, the Inca Trail is gentler and along the route, you can see various archaeological sites.

Store your luggage in our office

During the trip, you can store your main luggage in our office; you can arrange this with us on the day of the briefing at our office. You can leave your luggage safely and free of charge with us.

Alternatively, you can leave your luggage at your hotel. Most hotels offer this service; however, avoid leaving valuable items in your luggage. Store them in the hotel safe and obtain a detailed receipt.

Group tours: Who will I travel with?

They’re made up of different kinds of people, nationalities, cultures, physical conditions, and various ages. By accepting to be part of a group tour, you’re also acknowledging that some people might be faster or slower than you. Therefore, everyone can go at their own pace on the route.

Lost objects

Please, pay close attention to your belongings and remember to take all your personal items before starting the hike. You are solely responsible for all your belongings during the journey.

Tips (gratuity) in Salkantay

Leaving a tip during a trip to Machu Picchu is customary; guides, cooks, and porters expect it. Despite their good pay, a little extra is always appreciated for their hard work. Usually, all collected tips are shared among the entire team.

Group tours vs private tours in Salkantay

If you book a private tour, you’ll receive 100% personalized attention throughout the trek. You can adjust the language, train schedules, and accommodation location in Aguas Calientes. The other aspects of the tour will be similar to the shared group tours (10 to 16 pax).

Pick-up & schedules

  • Day 1:
    • The pick-up time from your hotel will be arranged one day prior to the event.
    • We’ll pick you up if your hotel is located in the historical center; otherwise, we’ll coordinate another meeting point.
    • There will be an pre-departure briefing with our guide at our office in Cusco a day before your trek.
  • Days 1 and 2:
    • All trek start and end times are approximate.
    • We’ll coordinate all the trek’s start details with your guide one day in advance.

Type of vehicle and seats

  • All vehicles are:
    • 100% tourist, super comfortable.
    • Authorized by the Ministry of Transportation of Peru.
  • You reserve a seat on the bus; not necessarily a specific seat number.
  • Travel companions or couples sit together to 99%, very rarely the other way and if it happens, it’s part of the dynamics of this excursion.


We are an upfront team: As a traveler, you have the right to information before making a purchase. We don’t hide any information from you. The more informed you are, the better you’ll enjoy your trip.

Operativity – closed dates of Salkantay

The Salkantay trek is closed in the month of February every year due to the rainy season and trail maintenance. We do not offer the Salkantay trek throughout the month of February. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

This tour is subject to change without prior notice due to weather conditions, strikes, or any other events that may affect the normal operation of the tour.

Additional costs

There may be additional costs incurred without prior notice due to political instability, strikes, landslides, etc.


There might be delays in the trek without prior notice due to political instability, strikes, weather, etc.

Itinerary modification

There could be changes in the itinerary (places to visit along the route) without prior notice due to landslides, security reasons, strikes, political instability, illnesses, unforeseen circumstances.

Travel date rescheduling

Can I reschedule my visit date to Machu Picchu?

No, once we purchase your ticket for Machu Picchu, there will be no going back or modifying your entry date.

Can I reschedule my visit date to Machu Picchu if there are strikes?

Of course; however, a strike needs to occur to modify the entry date to Machu Picchu. For example, if there’s a strike announced for next week and it might affect your itinerary, you’ll still have to attempt to enter MP. If, unfortunately, you couldn’t enter, then we’ll reschedule your MP entry for the following day.

You won’t be able to request rescheduling without having attempted to enter MP previously.

Can I reschedule my travel date to Salkantay?

  • No, si ya compramos tu ticket de ingreso a Machu Picchu, no habrá marcha atrás.
  • Somos positivos, por más que haya huelgas anunciadas, haremos lo posible para hacer la caminata como estaba programado originalmente debido a que en gran parte las huelgas anunciadas no llegan a ocurrir y si ocurren no afectan al tour.
  • Si la huelga está confirmada al 100% y estamos súper seguros de que afectará al tour, reprogramaremos tu caminata a Salkantay y por consiguiente la fecha de ingreso a Machu Picchu.
  • lll
  • No, once we’ve purchased your Machu Picchu entrance ticket, there’s no turning back.
  • We’re optimistic, even if there are strikes announced, we’ll do our best to conduct the trek as originally scheduled because often announced strikes don’t actually happen, and even if they do, they don’t affect the tour.
  • If the strike is confirmed 100% and we are absolutely sure it will impact the tour, we’ll reschedule your Salkantay trek and consequently the Machu Picchu entry date.

In conclusion: It will all depends on whether we can modify the entry date to Machu Picchu, and for us to be able to do so, there must be verifiable force majeure, and the whole process must be done at least 1 month in advance.


Cancel with a minimum of 7 days in advance for a partial refund; otherwise, there will be no refund.


  • Please inform us at least 7 days in advance for a partial refund.
  • The Ministry of Culture (MP tickets) doesn’t make refunds, so the cost paid for entrance tickets to Machu Picchu will not be refunded for any reason.
  • We don’t issue refunds in the event of delayed flights, landslides, bad weather or strikes that affect the tour.
  • We will charge 15% of the total price paid for administrative costs.
  • You will receive the refund within 7 business days.

Refund process:

  • We preferably refund you through PayPal; otherwise, we will use Western Union.
  • When we send you the refund, we don’t include the commission that PayPal or Western Union normally charges. The money transfer companies will apply the respective commission on your refund.
  • The money transfer commission charged by PayPal or Western Union is approx. 5%.
  • If you paid with a credit card, we refund you less than 5% of the total payment you made. The 5% represents the commission charged by the banks.


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