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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the popular alternatives to the Classic Inca Trail. Although Salkantay Trek does not have any Inca ruins along its way, this high-altitude trek offers captivating views of the Peruvian Andes.
Recognized as one of the best 25 treks globally by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine, Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu takes you from the Andes to the cloud forests before hiking to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes.
Please note that the highest point on the 4 Days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is Salkantay Pass at 4632m/15,197feet above sea level. We strongly recommend that you spend at least three days in Cusco before the trek to avoid altitude sickness.
At Kuntur Peru, we have an excellent team of English-speaking local tour guides who have in-depth knowledge of the Inca history and Andean traditions and customs. Safety is of utmost importance to us. All our guides are trained in first aid and for providing assistance in case of altitude sickness.
Do take a moment to check our review on Tripadvisor.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
Your epic Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu begins with a transfer from your hotel in Cusco at 0430 AM. We will embark on a two hours drive to Mollepata. Here we will be stopping for breakfast.
After breakfast, we will be driving for another hour to Soraypampa. This is the trailhead of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. It nestles at 3880m/12730ft. above sea level. Here we will be meeting our support crew.
After a detailed briefing by our local expert, we will begin our trek with a gradual uphill hike for two hours to Humantay Lake. This is the hidden Andean gem at 4500m/14764 ft. above sea level. The crystal clear turquoise waters are from the melting glaciers of Mount Humantay.
Our local expert will be giving you a detailed insight into the Andean traditions and their beliefs on nature entities. After contemplating the views, we will be hiking back to Soraypampa where our Andean chef will be serving a nutritious meal for lunch.
After relishing a traditional meal, we will gradually begin our uphill hike for three hours to our campsite in Soyruqocha. It is at 4450 meters above sea level (14600 ft.). You will get a closer view of the mighty Salkantay peak.
Our crew will welcome you to the campsite with some snacks and hot beverages. We will then serve dinner before you head to your respective tents for a well-deserved sleep under the clear Andean sky dotted with a constellation of stars.
We will begin the second day of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with a stunning view of the sunrise in the Andes accompanied by a freshly brewed cup of coca tea or Peruvian coffee followed by a traditional breakfast. This will be followed by a traditional breakfast.
After breakfast, we will be hiking up the hill for an hour to conquer the highest point of the trek, Salkantay Pass at 4632m/ 15197 ft. The hike is a bit arduous as it’s all the way up at a high altitude but the views are captivating.
Once you reach the pass, you will be closer to the mighty Salkantay peak. We will have a brief stop here to feel the vibes of the Apus (Sacred Peak). Our guide will be sharing some insights into the peak.
After contemplating the views, we will begin with five hour downhill hike. Bidding goodbye to the views of snow-capped peaks, we will be hiking through the tropical region. We will be taking local transport here to get to Wayracmachay. Here we will be stopping for lunch.
After lunch, we will be hiking for 30 minutes through the more lush tropical jungle. We will be hiking through different ecological settings. This section of the trek takes you through some orchid plantations. You will also get to spot native birds.
Once in Colpapampa, we will embark on an hour’s drive to Lucmabamba campsite. It is at 2020 meters above sea level (6724 ft). Our crew will welcome you to a cup of coffee or tea followed by dinner.
After relishing a traditional breakfast, we will prepare to hike the longest part of the four days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. We will begin with a three-hour uphill hike to a pass at 2700m/8858ft. above sea level.
This will take us through a part of the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The Incas used this route primarily for transporting goods from the highlands to the jungle.
Retracing the footsteps of the Incas, we will reach the iconic Inca ruins of Llactapata. It nestles on a hilltop overlooking Machu Picchu. The Inca citadel is just 5 Kms. (3.11 miles) from here.
After contemplating the views of Machu Picchu, we will be hiking down the hill for three hours to Hidroelectrica. Our crew will be serving lunch here.
After lunch, we will bid goodbye to our support crew who made the trek possible. We will then begin hiking for three hours along the railway tracks to Aguas Calientes town. This is the same route that the renowned American professor, Hiram Bingham took when he rediscovered Machu Picchu.
Once in Aguas Calientes, you will check in to your respective hotel room. Later in the evening, we will be meeting for a short briefing where the guide will indicate the following day’s plan.
Early in the morning, the hotel crew will be handing you a snack box. You will then be boarding a bus from Aguas Calientes to the entrance of Machu Picchu citadel. It takes 25 minutes to reach. Here our tour guide will assist you in clearing the security and entering the citadel.
Once inside, you will be rewarded with a sight of the golden rays of the sun shimmering on the walls of the Incan citadel. Our guide will be giving you a detailed tour of the citadel for two hours. On this tour, you will be visiting some of the prime sites which will give you in-depth information about the citadel.
After the tour, you will have some free time to explore the citadel on your own. If you have booked to climb Machu Picchu mountain or Huayna Picchu mountain our guide will be directing you to the entrance. If you intend to hike one of these mountains do advise us at the time of booking.
Alternatively, you can hike to the sun gate. It offers a spectacular view of the citadel. Sungate is the point of entry to the citadel for those on the Inca Trail.
Once you have had your fill of the Inca citadel, you will be taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes. Here you will be boarding the train to Ollantaytambo.
Our representative will be meeting you and will be transferring you back to your hotel in the city of Cusco. We will arrive in Cusco at approximately 09:00 PM.