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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu – Salkantay Trail

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From$620
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Salkantay Trail Details
Classic Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

The five days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is the second most popular trek to Machu Picchu from Cusco, after the renowned Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Salkantay Trail takes you from high up in the Andes down to the cloud forests before entering Machu Picchu.

Salkantay Mountain is a part of the Andes mountain range. It was sacred to the Incas and is considered as Apus (Father figure) by locals today.

This five days adventure travel offers stunning views at every turn. It is dotted with different hot springs and remote Andean communities. In fact, National Geographic Travel magazine considered this as one of the best 25 treks worldwide.

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a high-altitude experience. The highest point on this five days Salkantay Trail is Salkantay Pass at 4600 meters above sea level (15092 feet). It is highly recommended that you spend a few days in Cusco and acclimate before the trek to avoid altitude sickness. 

Best time to hike the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu:

Salkantay is a part of the Andean mountain rainge. It is subject to two seasons, dry season and rainy season. The best time to hike the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is during the dry season, between April and November. 

Reasons to hike Salkantay Trail with us:

We take pride in being a fully locally owned tour operating company based in Cusco. Our guides were born and raised in the region. They have plenty of knowledge about the Andean customs and traditions and are passionate to share them with you. 

We invite you to take a moment to check out our reviews on Tripadvisor.

Do check out our new route, Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

04:00 am

Price Includes

  • English speaking tour guide
  • Private transport to the trail head
  • Professional Chef
  • Food
  • All camping gears (Tent with an extra capacity for aded comfort)
  • Tables and Chairs
  • Mattress
  • Mule and Muleteers
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu citadel
  • Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo

Price Excludes

  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountain
  • Entrance to Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes
  • Lunch on the last day
  • Travel Insurance

Salkantay Trek Packing List

  • Original Passport
  • Sunscreen and Sunglasses
  • Mosquito Repellant
  • Flash Light
  • Heavy Clothes
  • Hiking Poles
  • Hiking Boots
  • Toilet Paper
  • Personal Things
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Peruvian Soles in cash
Itinerary

Day 1Cusco - Mollepata - Soraypampa - Soyorcocha

You will be waking up to the first rays of the Andean sun. Our crew will be serving you a fresh cup of coca tea to get the second day of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu started. After relishing another delicious Andean breakfast, we will start our hike.

We will begin with a hike to the highest pass of the trek, Salkantay Pass at 4630 m/15190 ft. The way up is somewhat challenging because of the altitude. Because of the winding path, locals call this section of the trail as “trail of the seven snakes”.

From the summit, you will get a magnificent view of the valley below under the mightly Salkantay Peak, the second-highest in the region. We will stop here for a while so that you can soak into the enchanting views while our travel expert will be sharing the prominence of this region in the Andean mythology.

Day 2Soyorcocha - Huayracmachay - Collpapampa

You will be waking up to the first rays of the Andean sun. Our crew will be serving you a fresh cup of coca tea to get the second day of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu started. After relishing another delicious Andean breakfast, we will start our hike.

We will begin with a hike to the highest pass of the trek, Salkantay Pass at 4630 m/15190 ft. The way up is somewhat challenging because of the altitude. Because of the winding path, locals call this section of the trail as “trail of the seven snakes”.

From the summit, you will get a magnificent view of the valley below under the mightly Salkantay Peak, the second-highest in the region. We will stop here for a while so that you can soak into the enchanting views while our travel expert will be sharing the prominence of this region in the Andean mythology. 

Once you had your fill of this view, we will begin with a gradual downhill hike to Huayracmachay campsite. It is roughly a 6 kilometers/ 3.72 miles hike through an uneven rocky path. Here we will be serving lunch.

After lunch, we will be hiking into the Amazon Jungle. On this section of the trail, you will be witnessing a drastic change as we will be entering the Amazon from the Andes. Here you will get to see different plantations, birds, and more.

We will then reach our campsite in Collpapampa. Our chef will be serving you an energizing dinner.

Day 3Collpapampa - La Playa - Lucmabamba

We will be waking you up at 0600 PM. After breakfast, we will be leaving the campsite and start hiking through the picturesque Santa Teresa Valley to La Playa. This is the easiest day of the five days of Salkantay Trekking to Machu Picchu. 

You will be mostly hiking down the hill along different plantations like those of Avocados, coffee, and banana. The route also has many waterfalls and rivers. Often travelers spot the Peruvian National Bird, cock of the rock on this section of the Salkantay Trail. 

On reaching La Playa, we will be serving you a local meal for lunch. Our campsite in Lucmabamba is just an hour away from here.

After lunch, we will be reaching the campsite early in the evening. The region is home to some of the finest coffee farms. You can spend the evening visiting some coffee farms and learn how the local farmers produce this emblematic Peruvian product. 

Later in the evening, we will be serving you dinner before you retire into your tent. 

Day 4Lucmabamba - Hidroeléctrica - Aguas Calientes

Another interesting day of the five days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. We will be taking the transport to Hidro Electrica where we will be stopping for lunch.

After lunch, we will be hiking along the railway tracks for three hours to Aguas Calientes town. This is the same route that the renowned American explorer Hiram Bingham took when he rediscovered Machu Picchu.

Once in Aguas Calientes, we will be accommodating you in an ensuite hotel room. Aguas Calientes is a small town that thrives on tourism. It is also home to the natural hot springs so you can spend the evening taking a dip in the fresh waters of the hot springs and relax after four days of the arduous hike.

Day 5Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

We will begin the day quite early in the morning. You will be taking a bus from Aguas Calientes to visit Machu Picchu citadel. On reaching the entrance of the citadel, our guide will assist you in entering the citadel. We will be giving you a two hours guided tour of the complex here. 

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

You will then take a bus back down to Aguas Calientes town. Here we will have some free time so if you want to have lunch you may do so.

Later in the evening, you will be taking the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. Our representative will be meeting you on arrival and will be driving you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas back to your hotel in Cusco. 

Photos
FAQs

How to train for Salkantay Trek?

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a challenging trek primarily because of the altitude. We highly recommend you be reasonably fit physically. You may prepare for the Salkantay trek by doing small uphill hikes or participating in steep aerobic lessons. 

How long is the Salkantay Trek?

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu covers a length of 46 miles (74 kilometres) in four days. The fifth day of the trek is dedicated to visiting Machu Picchu citadel. The highest point of Salkantay Trek is Salkantay Pass at 15090 feet (4600 metres). 

Is the Salkantay Trek dangerous?

Certainly not! The Salkantay Trek is not at all dangerous. Although altitude may be a challenging thing to most. We highly recommend you to be well acclimatised and do short treks around Cusco before hiking the Salkantay Trek to enjoy the most. 

How many miles is the Salkantay Trek?

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu covers a length of 46 miles (74 kilometres) in four days. The fifth day of the trek is dedicated to visiting Machu Picchu citadel. The highest point of Salkantay Trek is Salkantay Pass at 1At 15090 feet (4600 metres). 

How high is Salkantay Pass?

At 15090 feet (4600 metres) above sea level, Salkantay Pass is the highest point of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. 

1 Review
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Jimenez

Solo Traveller

Very well organised high altitude trek to Machu Picchu. I did see many impressive and tall snow capped Andean peaks. The guide was very nice

March 1, 2022