Route: Salkantay Inca Trail (Peru)

Cuzco, PE
60 km

This is the classic 4 day/3 night (60+km) "alternative" Salkantay Inca Trail. The route starts in Soraypampa, passes over a high point at Abra Salkantay (4600m) before descending to Huayracmachay and then into the upper cloud forest at Collpapampa. The trail then meets a dirt road which descends the valley past La Playa (2200m) until reaching Lucmabamba where it continues on original Inca Trail up over a second high pass to Llaqtapata (2700m) and then descends a steep series of switch-backs to a dirt road leading to Hidro Electrica where the trail follows the train tracks which lead to Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes).

Note this is different from the "Classic" Inca Trail, which runs about 30km from Km 82 (from Cuzco on the train) to Machu Picchu, and is much more tightly regulated.  It is only possibly to "run" the "Classic Inca Trail" during an annual race on the route.


NOTE: We've added a separate route, starting in Mollepata and tagging Humantay Lake as of Jan '23. This is about 20km longer and starts about 400m lower.



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Profile picture for user TylerCAndrews

Hello all -- new to this world but I will be attempting this FKT on August 2 (rain date August 3), starting in Soraypampa and running to the main plaza in Aguas Calientes. I will be attempting this as an unsupported FKT.

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Profile picture for user Chantala Forgie

Hi Tyler! Great job on finishing the trail in one day. I’m going to Peru in December and hoping to run the same route. Wondering if you have any tips/advice? Thank you :) 

Ran this route recently (couple hours short of the FKT - not close!), found the trail to be very easy to follow, and would highly recommend! Chantala – one or two tips would be to (1) Spend the night before at one of the several options at the trailhead and do a short run from Challacancha to your lodging or up to Humantay Lake to acclimate, (2) In the middle section you have an option to stay on the road (east side of river) or follow the trail (west side of river); it looks like Tyler took the road (definitely faster), I chose the trail (more scenic, no cars/animals, definitely many more short up and downs), (3) It gets hot in the second half of this run so be prepared; I found the large climb up to Llactapata at the ~marathon mark to be the toughest part of the route and would recommend making sure you've got ample water for it (either from filtering or from the many little shops where you can purchase water leading up to the climb). Enjoy!