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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu (5 Days)

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Tour Details

Enjoy an adventure like no other on the remote Salkantay Trail, enjoying a 5-day hiking adventure to the celebrated Inca city of Machu Picchu. This ancient Inca-era footpath offers an alternative to the famous Inca Trail, spanning a spectacular range of 15 different ecosystems from 6,900 feet (2,100m) to 12,800 feet (3,900m) including everything from lush rainforests to rugged high-altitude mountain passes. Along the way you’ll also have the chance to interact with friendly Peruvian locals and stop at fascinating archaeological ruins from the Inca civilization. Your Salkantay trek also includes a professional guide, most meals, accommodation, entrance fees and transportation.

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

06:30 AM

Price Includes

  • Professional Guides
  • Briefing: The night before your trek, you will come to our office for your briefing.
  • Porters & Horsemen: We include a personal porter, who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag containing your personal items.
  • Emergency Horse: All of our Alternative Treks include an extra horse for our clients to use if they need a break from trekking.
  • Hotel: The trek will include three nights of camping and one night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.
  • Transportation: All your transportation is included in this trek. You will be picked up directly from your hotel around 4:30 a.m. (unless you are staying in Ollantaytambo before the trek) and brought to the trail head to begin your trek.
  • Equipment: We have the best equipment. We use Eureka Timberline 4 person tents that are shared by only two people. You will have a spacious dining tent to enjoy your meals in.
  • Food: Our chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have raved about. We honour all food restrictions. Be sure to remind your tour guide of any food restrictions at the beginning of your trek. Lunch the last day is not included.
  • Water: Beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast, we will supply all the water needed.
  • Extras: Every trekker receives a small pillow to sleep with, a foam mattress for insulation, a day pack cover to protect their things while hiking and a rain poncho. We will work hard to create your best vacation.
  • Satellite Phones: Our top priority will always be the safety of our clients and our team. While we are prepared and all our guides are trained for most of the issues clients have on the mountain, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital or friend helps everyone feel assured that they are safe.

Price Excludes

  • Sleeping bag: USD $25
  • Inflatable air mat: USD $20
  • Walking sticks (pair): USD $20
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain $ 35

Things To Carry

  • Passport
  • Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbacks are encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 litres.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
  • 2-3 wicking t-shirts
  • 2-3 hiking pants
  • 4 sets of undergarments and 4 sets of hiking socks,1 Fleece
  • 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
  • 1 Rain jacket, pants,1 sun hat,1 wool hat
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Quick dry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean - might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
  • Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
  • Large plastic bags: to help organise and keep clean from dirty
  • Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least
  • Sunscreen, face moisturiser, bug spray, handsanitiser, wet wipes, toothbrush and paste, toilet-paper
  • Personal medication
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc
Tour Schedule
  • DAY 1: 04:30 – 05:00 Pick up from your hotel
  • DAY 1: 05:00 – 08:00 Transfer from Cuzco to Sorayapampa
  • DAY 1: 08:00 - 08:30 Breakfast
  • DAY 1: 08:30 - 14:00 Hike to Salkantay Pampa; lunch
  • DAY 1: 14:00 – 17:00 Trekking; arrival to the campsite “Wayracmachay”
  • DAY 1: 18:00 – 19:00 Dinner and overnight
  • DAY 2: 06:00 – 07:00 Breakfast
  • DAY 2: 07:00 – 11:00 Trekking to Colpapampa
  • DAY 2: 12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
  • DAY 2: 13:00 – 18:00 Downhill to “ La Playa” or Sahuayacku
  • DAY 2: 18:00 – 18:30 Arrival at the second camp site
  • DAY 2: 18:30 – 19:00 Dinner and overnight
  • DAY 3: 06:00 – 06:30 Breakfast
  • DAY 3: 06:30 – 13:00 Trek to Santa Teresa; lunch
  • DAY 3: 13:00 – 18:00 Downhill to Llactapata
  • DAY 3: 18:00 – 17:30 Arrival at the third camp site (optional: hot springs)
  • DAY 3: 18:00 – 19:00 Dinner and overnight
  • DAY 4: 06:00 – 07:00 Breakfast (Coca tea)
  • DAY 4: 10:00 – 12:00 Downhill to the Hydroelectric Plant
  • DAY 4: 14:00 – 17:00 Trek from Hydroelectric Plant to Machu Picchu town
  • DAY 4: 18:00 – 19:00 Dinner and overnight in Machu Picchu town
  • DAY 5: 05:30 – 06:00 Bus from Machu Picchu town to Machu Picchu
  • DAY 5: 07:00 – 14:00 Tour of Machu Picchu, relax and free time
  • DAY 5: 15:00 – 15:30 Return to Machu Picchu town (time depends on the train's schedule)
  • DAY 5: 16:00 – 18:00 Return by train from Machu Picchu town to Ollantaytambo (time depends on the train's schedule)
  • DAY 5: 18:00 – 20:00 Back to the Cusco city (time depends on the train's schedule)

Day 1Challacancha - Sorayapmpa

We pick you up from your hotel and then we go the bus station and travel by bus for about 3 hours to Mollepata where we will have breakfast this firs breakfast need to be order in a local restaurant in Mollepata after that we take again the private transport until Challacancha where is going to start our trek. A 3 hour walk will take us to Soraypampa where we will have lunch with panoramic views of beautiful snow-capped mountains (Humantay; 4120m/13500ft and Salkantay; 6271m/20575ft) – just the start! We will begin our trek towards Soraypamapa, our first campsite (3800 m/11750ft; the highest and coldest campsite of the trip) taking in the beautiful landscape along the way as optional visit we will go to Humantay lake which is 1 hour walking from Soraypampa our first Campsite.

Day 2Sorayapampa - Chaullay or Collpampa (Mighty Salkantay)

We will have breakfast at around 5.30am and begin our walk to the highest pass on this trek (4650m/15200ft) located halfway between 2 huge mountains; Salkantay on the right and Tucarhuay on the left. From the pass, the views of the 2 snow-capped mountains are incredible. There is a possibility of snow here. After a rest, we will continue our walk (downhill) through a dramatic cloud forest towards Huayracpunku, where we will have lunch. We hike again after lunch in the direction of the start of the jungle until we reach our second campsite, Chaullay or Colcapampa (3000m/9800ft).

Day 3Chaullay - La Playa (The Coffee Plantation)

After breakfast, at 6.30am, we start trekking for the day through the upper jungle crossing the Lluskamayo River and a variety of little brooks to reach La Playa walking about 6 hours where we will Camp at a coffee plantation where we will learn about the process of the coffee so we will harvest, toast and ground the coffee as part of this trek . Today we will pass through valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls, tropical fruits ,plants and as soon as we are at la playa place where we are going to camp at a coffee plantation, on the other hand the horses will go back to Mollepata. from here there are an optional thing to do so we can take a local bus to drive one hour to get to Santa Teresa where we can enjoy the natural hot spring ( bus fares and entrance fees to the the natural hot spring is not included in this tour).

Day 4La Playa Coffee Plantation to Llactapata or Santa Teresa - Hidroeletrica - Aguas Calientes

Highlights of today: The best day of the trek! We will try to get as early as possible to Llactapata. We hike up through a part of the original Inca trail and get some experience of the native people who live here in the area. Have a chance to harvest several fruits and have one of the best views of the Urubamba valley. See The Salkantay Mountain in the background and have your first glance on Machu Picchu! We will have breakfast at 8am and leave our campsite at la Playa we will walk for about 20 minutes to get to Lucmabamba so will do the original Inca Trail trail of Lacctapata from this place we can see Machupicchu and Huaynapicchu from far, after we arrive to Hydrolectric where we are going to have our lunch then we continue walking, passing a variety of crop plantations, coca, banana we will be walking about two and half hours along the train road till reaching Aguas Calientes town where we will spend the night in a hostel. In Aguas Calientes, you can take advantage of the thermal springs in the town (entrance 10 soles) a real treat after finishing the trek.

Day 5Machu Picchu

We wake up early morning about 4 am to then to 4:30 to have the breakfast and leave to walk up to Machu Picchu which takes one and half hours up to Machu Picchu but there is another option to catch the first bus which leaves 5:30 to Machu Picchu (25-minutes long ) in order to appreciate the magnificent city as the sun is rising. A walking tour (approximately 2 hours) is given by your Guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves. If you still have energy you can also climb Huayna Picchu (2720m/8890ft)!!! It takes 45 minutes to reach the top. Then you will take the train around 2:00pm, 4:00pm or 6:20pm according to the train Availability so you will arrive to Ollantaytamabo after 2 hours travelling so A private transport will wait for you and will take you back to Cusco to your Hotel.

1 Review
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Group Traveller

The journey through the rugged Andean landscapes offered breathtaking views and a sense of awe-inspiring beauty. Our guides, with their extensive expertise, made the experience truly unforgettable. From traversing snow-capped mountains to exploring remote villages, every step of the trek was filled with discovery and wonder.

September 30, 2022