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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu – Salkantay Trekking

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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - Salkantay Trekking

The five days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a popular alternative to the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The Classic Salkantay Trek takes you around the mighty Salkantay Mountain, one of the sacred Andean Peaks. 

Unlike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the Salkantay Trekking route seldom has any Inca sites. It is more of nature and pristine views of the Peruvian Andes.

Salkantay Trail covers 72 Kilometres (46 miles) through rugged terrains. The hike to Machu Picchu begins high up in the Andes near the most visited Humantay Lagoon. It then takes you down through different plantations and farms to the Amazon cloud forests before entering Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.

At 4630 meters above sea level (15190ft.), Salkantay Pass marks the highest point of the five-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. It is highly recommended that you spend at least 4-5 days in Cusco before the trek to avoid altitude sickness.

Best time to hike Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Technically, you can hike Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu around the year. Although it is highly recommended that you avoid hiking during the rainy season (December to February). The best time to experience Salkantay Trekking is during the dry season, from April to November. 

We are one of the leading Salkantay Trek tour operators based in Cusco. We have a dedicated team of professionals guiding the trek who have years of experience hiking the route. Our crew is also trained in first aid and are mountaineering experts. 

Do spare a moment to check our reviews on Tripadvisor

Itinerary at a Glance.

First Day: Drive from Cusco to Soraypampa & Hike to Humantay Lagoon – Suyrucocha camp.
Second Day: Hike to the Salkantay pass & descend into the Cloud forest of Llucmabamba.
Third Day: Exploring the Coffee farm and hike to the first views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata
Fourth Day: Views of sunrise over Machu Picchu – descend to Hydroelectric & walk to Aguas Calientes.
Fifth Day: Explore the citadel of Machu Picchu & back to Cusco

Departure & Return Location

From Your Hotel of Cusco.

Departure Time

4 am, from your hotel.


  • Measl during the tour (5B, 4L, 4D)
  • 1 Night at hotel and, 3 nights of camping
  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • All transportation in destination location


  • Gratuities for the team
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Single Room


  • Sunscreen
  • Trekking Poles

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Itinerary

Day 1Cusco - Humantay Lake - Soraypampa - Suyrucocha

Our team will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco early in the morning. We will embark on a two hours drive in our private transport to Mollepata village. Here we will have a brief stop so you can buy some last minute supplies, if needed.

We will then drive you to Soraypampa (3930m-12,849 ft). This is the trailhead to hike the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.
After relishing a nutritious Andean breakfast, our guide will give you a safety briefing. W will then start hiking our Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

We will begin with an hour and a half hike to the Humantay glacial lake (4230m / 13,878 ft). Our tour guide will be giving you a detailed explanation about this hidden gem up in the Andes. You will discover its prominence in the Andean mythology.
Once you have soaked in to the views of this Andean jewel, we will hike back our campsite in Soraypampa.

We will be having lunch in our campsite here. You will have some time to relax and unwind before we would begin with a two hours hike up the hill to our base camp, Salkantay Pampa at (4200m / 13,780 ft).

Our crew will serve a hot cup of coca tea as you will reach the campsite. Often you will have a clear sky so you could see the formation of Andean Galaxy, our travel expert will be sharing some stories about this before you retire to your respective tents.

Day 2Cusco - Humantay Lake - Soraypampa - Suyrucocha

Our crew will be serving you a hot cup of coca tea or Peruvian coffee as you will wake up. We will then serve a typical Andean breakfast before embarking on the most challenging part of the five days Salkantay Trekking experience.

We will hike up the hill for two hours to the highest point of the trek, Salkantay Pass at 4600 metres (15091ft). You will be getting a panoramic view of the Peruvian Andes from here. You will get a closer view of the Salkantay Lagoon which nestles on the fothillf of the mighty Salkantay Peak (6240m / 20,472ft). In 2020, this caused a major avalanche and destroyed a part of the trail and the villages in the region.

After contemplating the views from here, we will hike down the hill to Huayracpunku. Our crew will be serving lunch here. You will then have some time to wink a nap.

The regionis home to different wildlife like Chinchillas, Mountain Cara Cara Falcons and more.

We will then begin with a gradual three hours descend to our second campsite located at (2870m /9,416 ft) amidst the cloud forest. Our crew will be assisting you to your tent in our exclusive campsite.

We will be serving a hot cup of coffee or tea followed by a traditional Andean meal for dinner.

Day 3Suyrucocha - Coffee Farms Visits - Llactapata

Our crew will be waking you up to a cup of tea or coffee followed by a traditional breakfast. The third day of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu will take you through the cloud forest. You will mostly be experiencing warmer temperature.

We will be hiking for three hours down the hill to Lucmabamba. It is right amidst the cloud forest. Here we will be stopping for lunch. The trail to Lucmabamba would offer you sights of different birds and plantations including coffee, banana and tropical fruits.

After lunch, we will e visiting a local coffee farm. The coffee farmer would demonstrate the entire process from plantingcoffee seeds to roasting and brewing them.

We will then step on the original Inca Trail or Qhapaq ñan for a three hours hike to the beautiful campsite of Llactapata, amidst the cloud forest. It is a small and ancient town at 2720 metres (8924 ft.) above sea level.

You will also get a stunning view of Machu Picchu at a distance. After relishing a traditional dinner, we will be camping in Llactapata for the night.

Day 4Llactapata - Hydroelectric Plant - Aguas Calientes

Our crew will be waking you up to a freshly brewed cup of coca tea or coffee. After relishing a typical Andean breakfast with a stunning view of Machu Picchu citadel, we will embark on a downhill hike to the Hydroelectric plant.

This is a 2-hours easy hike with views of waterfalls, mountains, and wildlife as parrots.

Once in Hydroelectric station, our team will be serving you lunch. We will then bid goodbye to our support crew.
The last stretch of our Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu will take us on a three hours hike along the railway tracks to Aguas Calientes town. This is the jump off point to Machu Picchu.

On this part of the trek, you will be retracing the footsteps of the renowned American professor Hiram Bingham who rediscovered Machu Picchu.

We will be accommodating you in an ensuite hotel room in Aguas Calientes. Later in the evening we will be meeting for dinner at a local restaurant. Our tour guide will brief you on the following day’s itinerary.

Aguas Calientes town gets its name after the hot springs. You can spend the evening relaxing in the thermal waters here.

Day 5Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Early in the morning, we will be taking a 25 minutes bus ride up the hill to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Our tour guide will be assisting you in clearing the security control and enter the citadel. You will witness the shimmering rays of the morning sun beaming on the walls of Machu Picchu citadel.

We will be giving you a two hours guided tour of the citadel. You will be visiting the main square, remains of the Inca royal quarters and ceremonial centre among other sites

After the tour, you will have some free time to explore the citadel on your own. If you have booked to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, our guide will be directing you to the respective trail head.

Alternatively, you can hike to the sungate to get a panoramic view of Machu Picchu citadel. This is also the entrance to the citadel to those hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

After the tour, we will be taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes. Here you will be boarding the train back to Ollantaytabo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our crew will meet you at the train station and will drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.

What is included?

Here is What is Included in the price.

  • Pre departure briefing.Pre departure briefing you will have a meet with your guide and group in our office a day before at 6pm.
  • Tour Leader or GuideYou’ll have an experienced trip leader with you for the entire journey.
  • Accommodations We include 1 night in a hotel and 3 nights camping, two per room or tent.
    For single room is an extra fee.
  • Entrance FeesIt is included in the entrance to the Salkantay Trail, to the places to visit in the itinerary, as well as to the archaeological park of Machu Picchu.
  • All Private TransportationTransportation from Cusco to Soraypampa on day 1 and, from Ollantaytambo to Cusco on day 5. Consettur Bus round trip on day 4.
  • Vista Done Train Service We include the one panoramic train Vistadone, with service and show on board, so you can appreciate the beautiful scenery during the ride and.
  • Meals of our ChefAre included since the breakfast of the day 1, until the lunch of the last day. Also we include a snack per day and boiled, filtered and cooled water for your bottles. Those are prepared by our mountain chef.
  • Medical KitAll our team were trained in first aid, all our guides carry a kit to face emergencies as well an oxygen tank.
  • Trekking Equipment.During the trek we will transport 8 kg of your belongings for that will provide you a duffle bag, also a rain poncho, plus a backpack cover.
  • Campin EquipmentWe use the best possible equipment for mountain activities for your comfort and safety. Tents for up to 4 people, we use only for 2 people, as well as spacious dining tents.
  • Tour support team.We include staff that will make your trip unforgettable, such as the guide, cook, cook's assistant, porters and muleteers.

What is not included?

  • Single Roomif you require a single room has an extra cost.
  • Gratuities for the team.Tipping is a common tradition on any kind of tour, normally the group participants collect their tips to hand out to the muleteers, chefs and guides. Although we pay a good salary to all our team, always an extra is welcome for them.
  • Meals not mentioned.The dinner of the last day.
  • Trekking poles.

    Walking sticks with rubber tips are highly recommended to make easy your hilke. If you dont have, dont worry, we can rent them US$ 15.

  • Sleeping Bagfor this tour it is necessary to bring your -15°C sleeping bag, if you don't have them we can rent them for you US$ 20.
  • Travel insurance: It is not mandatory, but it is recommended that you purchase one to protect yourself financially from any lost excursions.

Pricing & Departure Dates

The  Salkantay Trek can leave on any day of the week, from March to January. we dont leave on february because rain a lot.

The departured are 100% guaranted, because we operate since two travelers.

Land Cost

Group Service Price: $ 5900.00  US$ 550 per person.

Required Deposit:  To book, you need to make a pre payment of US$ 200.00 per person by PayPal.

Please after deposit send us to booking@doadventuresperu.com the transfer number. Only with this we will be able to confirm your pre payment and reservation of the trek.

Balance: it is US$ 350.00, the remaining balance can be paid online by Paypal in advance, or in Cusco at briefing with cash (recommend) .

Notice: If your are going to pay the balance with credit or debit car is a charges 5%. that have to be covered by the clients, this tax is jus for the remaining balance, or can be pay in Cusco with cash without tax before estar the tour.

!If you wish you can book this tour in private service only for your group, for that contact us.!



On this tour the last night will be spent in the town of Aguas Calientes before visiting Machu Picchu. For which we include a three star hotel with double, triple or triple rooms.
If you want to upgrade the quality of the hotel or prefer a single room, there will be an additional cost.

Additional Itens

Here are some intens that you can include in this tour if you don’t have them, here are the rental prices.

  • Trekking Poles: US $ 15
  • Sleeping Bag: US $ 20
  • Inflatable mattresses: US $ 25

Extras & Upgrades

These Mountains can be visited after finishing the guided tour of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: US $ 50 this is the famous mountain behind the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. it takes 50 minutes up, and another 40 to back, you can climb this mountain once finished the guided tour of Machu Picchu. The entry to this mountain has an extra cost, and need to be book in advance.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: US $ 50This is the other mountain who surrounds the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, it is less popular than Huayna Picchu and takes 1.5 hour up.  Also requires an extra entry that cost .

Extensions on Offer

These extensions you can include to your tour, each one needs an additional day.

  • Archaeological City Tour: US$ 30.00 US$ 20.00
  • Sacred Valley Tour: US$ 60.00 US$ 45.00
  • Rainbow Mountain: US$ 100.00 US$ 70.00
  • Humantay Lake: US$ 100.00 US$ 70.00

Route map



How long is the Salkantay Trek?

The Salkantay Trek is around 74 km long (46 miles). It usually takes 4 to 5 days to complete it, but the total duration depends on the itinerary.

Is the Salkantay Trek dangerous?

The Salkantay Trek is dangerous during the rainy season, which starts in November and ends in March. During this time the trail becomes slippery and muddy. Hence, during these months it’s not possible to hike the Salkantay Trek.

How difficult is the Salkantay Trek?

The Salkantay Trek is not easy to hike. It requires a good physical shape due to its high altitude, steep terrain, cold weather and length.

Is Salkantay Trek worth it?

The Salkantay Trek is a great alternative to the Inca Trail. It allows hikers to explore the Humantay Lake, the Salkantay Mountain and the cloud forests of the highland jungles of Cusco.

How high is Salkantay Trek?

The highest point of the Salkantay Trek is the Salkantay Pass, which is located at 4630 m.a.s.l.

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