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Machu Picchu Perú

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu – Salkantay Trekking

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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - Salkantay Trekking - 5 Days

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

Full Itinerary of Salkantay Trek

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. We 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 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.

  • Campsite Altitude: 3900 m/12795 ft
  • Highest altitude: 4200 m / 13779 ft
  • Distance: 14 km / 8.4 miles
  • Hiking time: Around 8 hours
  • Meals included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping under million stars
  • Considered: Moderate

Day 2Suyrucocha - Salkantay Pass - LLucmabamba

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 meters (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 foothill 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 region is home to different wildlife like Chinchillas, Mountain Cara Cara Falcons and more.

We will then begin with a gradual three hours descend to Chaullay, from where are going by a local van to our second campsite Llucmabamba located at (2000 m/6561 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.

  • Campsite Altitude: 2000 m/6561 ft
  • Highest altitude: 4630 m /15190 ft
  • Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles
  • Hiking time: Around 7 hours
  • Meals included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping under million stars
  • Considered: Challenging

Day 3Llucmabamba - 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.

After Breakfast, we will visiting a local coffee farm. The coffee farmer would demonstrate the entire process from planting coffee 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 meters (8924 ft.) above sea level. Here we will be stopping for lunch, dinner and free afternoon.

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.

  • Campsite Altitude: 2,750 m / 9022ft 
  • Highest altitude: 4200 m / 13779 ft
  • Distance: 9km / 5.5 miles
  • Hiking time: Around 4 hours
  • Meals included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping under million stars
  • Considered: Moderate

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 town. 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.

  • Campsite Altitude: 2,000 m / 6561ft 
  • Highest altitude: 4200 m / 13779 ft
  • Distance: 14km / 8.6 miles
  • Hiking time: Around 6 hours
  • Meals included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Basic 3-star hotel
  • Considered: Moderate

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.

  • Highest altitude: 2430 m / 7972 ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast in the Hotel
  • Considered: Easy

Included

  • 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 3 nights camping in tents, also is included a Basic three star hotel in Marital, double or triple rooms for last night.
    If you want upgrade the hotel quality, or prefer a single room, there is an additional fee.
  • Entrance FeesIt is included 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, From Chaullay to Llucmabamba on day 2, Consettur Bus round trip on day 5 and from Ollantaytambo to Cusco on day 5.
  • Train Servicie We include an Expeditions Train, so you can appreciate the beautiful scenery during the ride.
  • Meals of our ChefAre included since the lunch of the day 1, until the breakfast of the last day. Also, we include a snack per day, boiled 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.
  • 7 kg of your bagDuring the trek we will transport 7 kg of your belongings for that will provide you a duffle bag, a rain poncho, plus a backpack cover.
  • Campin EquipmentWe use the best possible equipment for mountain activities for your comfort and safety. Tents of 4 people capacity but we use only for 2 people, as well as spacious dining tents, a foam mattres and pillow.
  • Tour support team.We include staff that will make your trip unforgettable, such as the guide, cook, cook's assistant, porters and muleteers.

Not Included

  • Single Room or single Tentif you require a single room or tent has an extra cost.
  • Gratuities for the team.Tipping is a common tradition on any kind of tour, the travelers 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.First Breakfast, last lunch and dinner are not included.
  • Trekking poles.Walking sticks with rubber tips are highly recommended to make easy your hike.
  • Sleeping BagIs necessary to bring a -15°C sleeping bag, for your confort.
  • Travel insurance: It is not mandatory, but it is recommended to protect yourself financially from any lost excursions.

Price

In Group Service

A group tour means that it is open for other travelers to join. 
100% guaranteed departures, because we operate since two travelers.

This tour can be done from March to January. we dont leave on february because rain a lot.

The Prices are per person in double, Marital or Triple accomodation (for a single room or solo Traveler there is an additional cost).

Category Included Hotels
 Economic ***
Price: US $ 550 Per person in double or matrimonial room.
Aguas Calientes:
-Mantu Boutique or Similar
 Tourist ***
Price: US $ 599  Per person in double or matrimonial room.
Aguas Calientes:
-Retanam, Tara Hotel, Waman Inn or Similar
 Superior  ****
Price: US $ …  Per person in double or matrimonial room.
Aguas Calientes:
-Casa Andina, Ferre Mapi, Tierra Viva or Similar
 Premium ****
Price: US $ …  Per person in double or matrimonial room.
Aguas Calientes:
– El Mapi, Jaya, Hatun Inti or Similar
 Luxury *****
Price: US $ …..  Per person in double or matrimonial room.
Aguas Calientes:
-Sumaq Hotel, Inka Terra.

Discount: 

  • US $40 Off for travelers under 17 years old.
  • A group of more than 6 people can also get a discount.

Please let us know when you are booking to give you the discount.

Required Deposit to Book:  To book you need to make a pre payment of US $ 200 per person by PayPal with any credid or debit card. To make it sure we will send you a payment link with the deposit amount.

Please, after deposit send us the transfer number and passports copy, Only with this we will be able to confirm your pre payment and booking.

Balance: The  balance have to be paid  in Cusco at briefing with cash.

Notice: If you are going to pay the balance with credit or debit card there is an extra charge of 5% .

Extras and Upgrades

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: US $ 75 This is the famous mountain behind the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It takes 50 minutes to climb and another 40 minutes to return, you can climb this mountain once the guided visit to Machu Picchu is finished. Entrance to this mountain has an additional cost, and must be reserved in advance.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain : US $ 75This is the other mountain that surrounds the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, it is less popular than Huayna Picchu and takes 1.5 hours to climb. It also requires an extra entrance fee.
  • Vistadome Train for Return: US $ 70First class train with panoramic views, windows on roof, typical dance show and on-board service and best accommodation.
  • Private tours and excursions.They are ideal for those who wants a more personalized service, where the schedules are arranged according to the client's requirements.

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

  • Sleeping Bag: $20 USD each for the all hike.
  • Air Mattress: $20 USD each for the all hike.
  • Walking Poles: $15 USD a pair for the all hike.
  • Personal Tent: $30 USD (for solo travellers)
  • Single Room: $40 USD per night (for the last night at Aguas Calientes Town)
  • Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain: $75 USD each (Please request when you book the tour)

Extensions on Offer

These extensions can be included before or after the tour, each one needs an additional day, also needs an extra touristic ticket. The price depends of your group size or Service Type.

  • Archaeological City Tour Cusco.
  • Sacred Valley of the Incas tour.
  • Vinicunca or Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain.
  • Humantay Lake.
  • Maras Moray, Salt mines.
  • Waqrapucara Tour.
  • Queswachaka inca Bridge Tour.
  • Chonta Condor Canyon Tour.
  • Also, we can extent to other destinations in Peru like, Puno, Arequipa, Nazca, Paracas, Lima & More,

Route map

Photos

FAQs

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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