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Machu Picchu is part of our collective consciousness—and nothing beats the thrill of actually getting there! Especially on a 7-day all-women adventure via a Salkantay Trek. Unlike the more popular Inca Trail, the alternative 46-mile Salkantay is crowd-free, with mountain scenery that’s even more spectacular. Not to mention cloud forests with colorful orchids, roaring waterfalls, or sacred alpine lakes. At the end of it all, shrouded by mist and surrounded by lush vegetation, you’ll reach the Lost City of the Incan Empire. This is a great way to visit the most famous archaeological site on the continent in an all-women company, via a more rugged and a crowdless route.

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  • Alternative path

    Get to Machu Picchu via a crowd-free Salkantay Trek that offers spectacular mountain scenery

  • Cultural highlights

    Explore Cusco City, learn about Quechua traditions in the Sacred Valley, visit a coffee farm, and learn about Incan history

     

  • All-women trek

    This all-inclusive Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu adventure is an all-women endeavor

Itinerary

Embark on a 7-day guided Salkantay trek adventure, taking you to Machu Picchu. Your journey begins in historic Cusco, and includes a walking tour and a cultural exchange in Chinchero. Trek through breathtaking Andean landscapes, including the iconic Humantay Lagoon and the 15,090-foot Salkantay Pass—all culminating in Machu Picchu. Enjoy comfortable stays in hotels and camping tents, with a dedicated local guide leading the way. Immerse yourself in the natural and historical wonders of Peru on this unforgettable adventure.

  • Your journey begins with your arrival in Cusco. We’ll whisk you away to your comfortable hotel in the city. As the day unfolds, join your guide and fellow hikers for an engaging introductory meeting, setting the stage for the remarkable days ahead. In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the charm of Cusco City as you embark on a captivating historical tour. As night descends, indulge in a welcome dinner, savoring the flavors of local cuisine that rank among the best in the world.

    Meals: Dinner
    Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco

    Aerial view of Cusco during the night.
  • After breakfast, at 8:00 am, venture from the hotel to visit an Andean culture interpretation center nestled in Chinchero. Here, the rich tapestry of Andean traditions comes alive through artifacts and insights into the daily activities of the locals. Witness Andean camelids grazing in the distance and observe the cultivation of crops like potatoes and tarwi. After a morning of cultural immersion, return to Cusco in the afternoon, allowing you time to prepare for the trek that starts tomorrow.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco

    The village of Chinchero in Peru.
  • Day 3 starts with an early departure at 5:00 am, marking the commencement of the trek itself. A scenic 2-hour drive takes us to Mollepata, where a hearty breakfast prepares your group for the day’s journey. The first walking section, covering 8.7 miles (14 km), leads us through Challacancha, situated at an elevation of 11,811 feet (3,600 m). We embark on a stone ballast trail, encountering the beauty of the surroundings. As we ascend to Soraypampa, reaching 12,800 feet (3,900 m), the mesmerizing views of the canyon unfold. Following a well-deserved lunch, our afternoon adventure includes a short trek to the stunning Humantay Lagoon, perched at 13,800 feet (4,200 m). The day crescendos with a return to our Soraypampa base cabins, witnessing a picturesque sunset amidst the glaciers before a delightful dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Soraypampa campsite
    Hiking: 4 hours

    Two women trekkers on a trail between mountains, Salkantay Trek, Peru.
  • The morning calls to us at 5:00 am with the aroma of coca leaves tea, signaling the beginning of another exhilarating day. A 4.1-mile (7 km) trek, covering approximately 3 hours, propels us to the Salkantay Pass at 15,190 feet (4,630 m). The rugged terrain offers a gradual ascent, treating us to panoramic views of the Salkantay Mountain and the surrounding snow-capped peaks. The descent, spanning 5.5 miles (9 km), leads us to Huayracmachay for lunch. As we traverse the High Forest, also known as the Cloud Forest, we encounter the unique flora that thrives in this warm and temperate climate. Our journey culminates in the village of Chaullay at 9,514 feet (2,900 m.) around 4:00 pm, where our private campsite in the Loreta La Playa area awaits. As the sun sets, our experienced cook will serve a tasty dinner, providing a fitting conclusion to the fourth day of exploration.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Loreta La Playa campsite
    Hiking: 6 hours

    A women trekker at the Salkantay Pass, Peru.
  • After a nourishing breakfast, explore the local plantations showcasing an array of tropical fruits. Venture to a local organic coffee farm for a firsthand experience of how coffee is made—from growing it to brewing it. Around 11:00 am, return to the lodge for some well-deserved rest before embarking on a walk to the Hydroelectric Power Plant. A picturesque 3-hour, 7-mile (11 km) walk along the train tracks unfolds, offering glimpses of the archaeological site known as Intihuatana and the enchanting Cloud Forest. Arrive in Aguas Calientes village at 5:30 pm, where the evening is yours to explore local restaurants and flavors.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Accommodation: Hotel in Aguas Calientes
    Hiking: 3 hours

    Traditional house by the train tracks in Aguas Calientes, Peru.
  • The day of culmination begins with an early departure, aiming to explore Machu Picchu before the crowds. After a 2-hour guided tour of this iconic Inca sanctuary, enjoy ample free time for personal exploration or consider ascending the Huayna Picchu Mountain if reservations allow. In the afternoon, descend to Aguas Calientes and board the return train to Ollantaytambo. A bus transfer to Cusco completes the day, with an anticipated arrival around 9:30 pm.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco

    Aerial view of Machu Picchu with alpacas.
  • As your unforgettable 7-day adventure draws to a close, savor your last breakfast, check out of the hotel and prepare for the departure transfer to the airport. Bid farewell to Cusco, taking with you cherished memories of a journey filled with natural wonders and cultural revelations.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Accommodation: None (tour concludes)
    Hiking: None

    Aerial view of Cusco during sunset.
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Meet your guides

Yaritza Frisancho Chavez
5.00
Yaritza Frisancho Chavez
Yaritza Frisancho Chavez
Yaritza is a trip leader and a guide working in the Peruvian mountains. She is very passionate about the outdoors and is proud to be one of the few female adventure tour guides in the Cusco Region. Yaritza’s goal is to climb the highest mountains in Cusco, and she’s close to achieving the goal! Not only does she love being an outdoor guide, but she also enjoys sharing the traditions and the rich culture of Peru with her clients.
Luz Mabel Salas
5.00
Luz Mabel Salas
Luz has been a mountain guide for over 5 years now and she’s very proud to be a female tour guide in the Cusco Region. Born and raised in Cusco, Luz lives and breathes the Peruvian mountains and the jungle. Luz is passionate about sharing the knowledge about her culture, traditions, and heritage with other people.
CrossoverPeru
5.00
CrossoverPeru
CrossoverPeru offers small group adventure tours all around Peru and South America. They are the perfect choice for anyone looking for a unique adventure in Peru. Experience historical Incan trails, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, and many more without needing to hire a car or do any of the planning!
5.00 (4 reviews)
The most amazing experience of my life!
M H (source: TripAdvisor)

I can’t even begin to describe this incredible adventure. It was the absolute best because of our guide Yaritza and the support from Crossover Peru! Please use them and you won’t regret it! The business actually cared that one of us got sick and made sure we were all able to reach our goal. The views were absolutely breathtaking and I appreciated Yaritza encouraging us to enjoy the “journey” to Machu Picchu and not just the end goal. The chef, Gregorio, was incredible and Aaron was our Lead Porter. They have the hardest and most important jobs and we felt like family by the end of our trek. This trip was life-changing. There were 5 of us from Missouri and then 6 other women that we met from Nashville and Wisconsin. They were all adventure-minded women and we bonded quickly over our time together. The encouragement and support from this group will not be forgotten and we now have new life-long friends. Thank you, Yaritza and our second guide, Luz, for everything!

100% Recommend
C E (source: TripAdvisor)

I can’t recommend Crossover Peru enough. This company is not only incredibly socially responsible, they also created a once in a lifetime experience. Our guide Yaritza, is one of the most inspirational women I have ever met. She went above and beyond to make sure each person was protected, while also making sure the entire group had an amazing time. She was incredibly compassionate as we made our challenging journey. Our second guide Luz worked fantastically with Yaritza, making sure our large group of 11 people stayed in sync. Meals were a complete surprise. The chef Gregorio created unbelievable meals and was incredibly accommodating of food sensitivities, even those that were discovered during the trip. Also, Aaron’s team of porters were complete professionals. Our tents were comfortably set up each night, and the guys managed the equipment transfer between sites totally seamlessly. Don’t hesitate, this trip is totally worth it, if your body is up for the challenge!

BEST TOUR EVER!
Elizabeth S (source: TripAdvisor)

Our tour with Crossover Peru was incredible. First off, our guide Yaritza was FANTASTIC. She was so knowledgeable and kept us well informed. She taught me so much and was so encouraging when the trail got really difficult. She was so patient! She is so warm, funny, and just an amazing person and tour guide. Luz, her assistant, was also fantastic! She was so fun, sweet, and also very encouraging and patient. Gregorio was the chef and his food was incredible. I couldn’t believe what we were eating on the side of the mountain. He even baked a cake on the last night! Aaron was the head porter and he and the team of porters were all amazing. They clapped for us as we came into camp but we should have been clapping for them! They are the hardest working group EVER. It was such a fantastic experience and we felt so safe and cared for. Every detail was taken care of. The 2 days leading up to the trail was really great. It helped to acclimate to the altitude and learn about the wonderful Peruvian people. I really can’t recommend Crossover Peru enough!

Amazing Experience!!
Kayla B (source: TripAdvisor)

The trip was incredible! The service and the food was unbelievable. I loved waking up every morning to hot tea 🙂

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 4 days of hiking along the Salkantay trek
      • Cusco historical walking tour
      • Exclusive cultural exchange activity in Chinchero
      • Transfer from the airport to the hotel and vice versa
      • 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, & 4 dinners (vegetarian and vegan options available)
      • 3 nights in hotel in Cusco, 1 night in hotel in Aguas Calientes, 2 nights in camping tents (all based on double occupancy)
      • Salkantay and Machu Picchu permits
      • One-way transportation from Cusco City to the trailhead
      • Train from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo
      • Tents and camping equipment
      • Porters, horsemen, and cooks’ services along the trek
      • Oxygen and first-aid kit
      • Duffel bag and foam mattress

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Cusco
      • Accommodation in Cusco before Day 1 after Day 7 — if applicable
      • Breakfast on Day 1, lunches on Day 1 and Day 6, and dinner on Day 6
      • Sleeping bag (possible to rent for $20)
      • Inflatable mattress (possible to rent for $15)
      • Walking poles (possible to rent for $5)
      • Ticket for Huayna Picchu ($85 per person) — optional (and based on availability)
      • Fee for carrying more than 11 lbs/5 kg ($120) — if applicable
      • Tips for the crew — customary
      • Travel insurance
  • Participation in the guided Machu Picchu hiking tour via the Salkantay Trek requires a moderate to high level of fitness. The Salkantay Trail is renowned for its challenging terrain, featuring steep inclines and declines, varying altitudes, and unpredictable weather conditions. With an approximate distance of 46 miles, participants can expect several days of challenging trekking.

    Generally, you should be a person that hikes regularly, especially in hilly terrain, since you’ll be walking for extended periods at very high altitudes. If you’re not an avid hiker already, we recommend that you start hiking regularly in months leading to the trip. Engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and endurance activities is advisable to adequately prepare for the physical demands of the trek.

    Acclimatization to the high altitude is crucial, so the tour includes two days of acclimatization in Cusco advance—enhancing the overall experience. We also advise taking medication that can help you with altitude sickness. In summary, a moderate to high level of fitness is essential for a successful and enjoyable completion of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day Pack (25-40L)
      • Sleeping bag (can be rented)
      • Inflatable mattress (can be rented)
      • Hiking boots with good ankle support
      • Raincoat
      • Thick jumper
      • Hiking down jacket
      • Hiking T-shirts
      • Hiking pants
      • Casual clothes for when you’re not hiking
      • Sunscreen and SPF lip balm
      • Other toiletries (hand sanitizer, hand cream, wet wipes etc.)
      • Cap and warm hat
      • Sunglasses
      • Wool stockings or Sport Socks
      • Water bottle (2L capacity)
      • Flashlight/headlamp
      • Camera
      • Personal medications

    Bring comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing that can be worn in layers. You’ll be able to discuss your packing list prior to the adventure—changes can be made depending on the season and expected weather conditions.

  • This all-women’s Salkantay Trek guided adventure was designed to empower women through the strength of other women, which means that your guides make every effort to outfit the trip with women guides and porters.

    In most cases, guides for these all-women’s trips are women, while porters will often be a mix of men and women. Why? It is exceptionally hard for women in many developing countries to break away from traditional roles; therefore, fewer women guides and porters are available to outfit these trips. Collectively, we have more work to do to continue to elevate the presence of women in the outdoor industry.

  • Indeed you can! It would be a sin to go hiking in Peru without paying a visit to the spectacular Rainbow Mountain. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the name tells you all about it—it’s this incredible multi-colored mountain that leaves everyone speechless with its rainbow-like appearance. These colors are created by the sediment of minerals, giving the mountain turquoise, lavender, gold, and other hues. Up until several years ago, it was a hidden gem completely covered in snow! Today you’ll find it in National Geographic’s “Top 100 Places To Visit Before You Die”.

    Rainbow Mountain Hike

    So, your guides have prepared a choice between two one-day treks to the Rainbow Mountain as an extension to your trip. You can add it to your booking upon checkout, but here’s what you can expect.

    You can choose between the Vinicunca and the Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain tour.

      • Vinicunca is the more difficult, steeper, more strenuous, and longer hike to the most famous viewpoint. Depending on the weather, you might even see the highest mountain in the Cusco region in the distance, Ausangate Mountain.
      • Palcoyo tour offers a more gentle climb at a slightly lower altitude, and it’s also a shorter hike, making it significantly more suitable for beginners. With this tour, you’ll get to see three different colorful mountains along the way! It’s also worth noting that it’s less crowded, and it’s the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse into the Andean culture and their way of life.
      • The price for Vinicunca is $100, while for Palcoyo it’s $120.

    What’s included in these tours?

      • Professional bilingual English-speaking tour guide
      • Pre-departure briefing
      • Pick-up from your hotel and transportation to the trailhead
      • Return transportation
      • Breakfast and lunch at a local restaurant
      • Emergency oxygen bottle & medical kit
      • One trekking pole
      • Entrance fees to Rainbow Mountain

    What’s not included?

      • Personal snacks
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Horses — available to hire one if you need them at the beginning of your trek
  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this group adventure, the maximum group size is 16 women.
      • It takes a minimum of 2 people for a tour to operate.
      • Cost is per person and doesn’t change as the group grows.

    Hiking to Machu Picchu via the Salkantay Trek can be arranged for private groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Cusco, which is the beginning point of your trip, most people fly into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport. Upon your arrival, you’ll meet your guide at the airport and get transferred to your hotel.

    Please keep in mind that you’re expected to arrive before noon on Day 1. If arriving the day before or later on Day 1, you’ll likely have to arrange a transfer to the hotel on your own.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If you cancel your trip 60 days or more before the start of your trip, you are entitled to an 80% refund
      • If you cancel your trip 30 days or more before the start of your trip, you are entitled to a 50% refund
      • If the cancellation has been made 15 days before the start of your trip, you are not entitled to any refund.

    CrossoverPeru will need to be notified of any change or cancellation of your trip as soon as possible.

    Secure your spot for the following season with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you’ll be the first one to know. Pick the month that suits you best and we’ll let you know once the dates are live—don’t risk missing out on your bucket list adventure!

      • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you.
      • Once the set dates for the following season are live, you can confirm your booking by the end of this year by paying another 20% of the total amount.
      • The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.
      • Once the trip has been confirmed, the regular cancellation policy applies.
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