Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days/ 4 Nights

  • Destination: Machu Picchu
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Price per person: $660
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Based on 4 people.

Price for 2 people US$ 760 per person
Price for 3 people US$ 710 per person

As we operate the Salkantay Trek ourselves, we have available departure dates for the whole year. Indeed if you prefer to join a group, here our confirmed reservations for departure dates 2024:

A new and amazing trek! Come and hike Salkantay (“the savage one”). Reach Machu Picchu in a different and spectacular way by trekking through valleys, grasslands, snow carpets, cloud forests, and steamy jungles.

The famous Salkantay Trek, recently named among one of the best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine, is a trek connecting the city of Cusco with Machu Picchu. It runs approximately 60 km (35 miles) through the high Andean peaks, cloud forests, and steamy jungle.

Itinerary

Day 1

Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa

On the first day of your adventure, we pick you up from your hotel and then leave Cusco approximately between 04:30 am and 05:00 am. In a private bus, we will take the road to Mollepata (900 m.a.s.l.). On our way, we will have great panoramic views of the Valley of the Apurimac River and of the majestic Salkantay Mountain with the first sunlight of the day glancing over the snow picks.

At 08:00 am, we arrive at Mollepata and have a delicious breakfast. You can use the toilet facilities and get any extra supplies as well. We then continue our ride to Sayllapata (3200 m.a.s.l.) where we finally meet with our support staff who will load our camping equipment on horses and mules. Around 10:00 am, we will begin our walk for 3 hours to Soraypampa (3850 m.a.s.l.), arriving there at 01:00 pm. We will have a Peruvian lunch at our basecamp site, and afterward, continue our 3-hour hike towards the beautiful Humantay lagoon (at 4200 m.a.s.l.). The amazing lagoon is formed by the melt of the glazer, giving a particular greenish color to the water. Without a doubt, this will be one of the best scenic views during the trail.

Around 05:30 pm we arrive at our campsite where the tents and a prepared dinner will be waiting for us.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping

Day 2

Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Huayracpunku – Chaullay

Today, our adventure hike will take us through an interesting change of environment – you will experiment with everything from dry sceneries to snowy peaks and tropical areas.

After breakfast at 06:00 am, we will start the most difficult part of the trek. First, we will reach the small village of Salkantay Pampa and then follow the left side of the snowy peaks of Umantay. Around 10:00 am, we reach the highest point of the trek (4600 m.a.s.l.). At this point, we will take some time to appreciate the most spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay (6264 m.a.s.l.).

We then continue our hike to an area called Huayracmachaywhere and enjoy our lunch. After a short rest, we will keep hiking for approximately 3 hours and then arrive at our campsite at the bottom of beautiful Chaullay Valley (2920 m.a.s.l.). As you will discover – this valley is the doorway to the cloud forest and the jungle! At our campsite, we will recover from the hike with a hot coca tea and then rest until dinner at 07:00 pm.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping

Day 3

Chaullay – Collpapampa – La Playa – Santa Teresa

Around 06:30 am, after breakfast, we will start our trek and hike for about 6 hours towards Playa Sahuayaco (2200 m.a.s.l.). During this period, we observe the local flora and the agriculture fields of the coca, banana, passion fruit, and coffee plantations. In addition, we will pass the town of Collpapampa.

Continuing our hike, we will pass through the jungle called Forest Brow where we will walk surrounded by fruit-bearing trees, a varied flora, and many birds. If we are lucky, we will be able to observe the famous Peruvian national bird, the “Cock of the Rocks”.

We arrive at Playa Sahuayaco around 01:00 pm for lunch. We take a short rest under the great trees and then take a bus to the hot springs of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa, one of the cleanest hot springs in the area of Cusco. You will have the opportunity to dip in the hot water a few times before we will have dinner at 07:00 pm. We will camp aside the hot springs.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping

Day 4

Santa Teresa – Laqtapata – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes

You’ll have another early start today, but the freshly brewed coffee and the opportunity to take another dip in the thermal baths will make it a lot easier for you.

Once you’ve had breakfast at the camp, you prepare for the next stage of your journey — an hour-long private transfer to Lucmabamba where you intersect with the Inca Jungle Trail. Once you disembark from the vehicle, you will begin the day’s trekking, continuing along the same trail as the previous day. Recently discovered, this trail has been confirmed as the original path that the jungle tribes used to transport supplies to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Your guide will explain the history and significance of this trail as you ascend the stone stairway to the top of the hill. Once you reach the peak of the hill, you will see the ancient archaeological site of Lactapata as well as you will take your first glance at Machu Picchu, flanked by the peak of the snow-covered mountain Salkantay. Your guide will give you a guided tour of these ruins, explaining their purpose and highlighting the interesting architectural properties of these ancient places.

After the tour, you will continue your hike along the trail, descending to the Aobamba River and passing a variety of crop plantations along the way. Once you reach the river, the trail continues for approximately two hours until you reach the train station in Hidroelectrica where lunch will be served. After lunch and a short rest, you will take the three-hour walk following the route of the train tracks leading to the town of Aguas Calientes.

On arrival to Aguas Calientes, your guide will escort you to a comfortable family-room hostel with private bathrooms where you can enjoy your dinner and rest ahead for your following day’s visit to Machu Picchu. Aguas Calientes is a unique and interesting place, famous not only for the entry point to Machu Picchu but also for the hot springs for which it is named Aguas Calientes (= hot springs). Apart from that, you can also spend some of your time exploring the small town and visiting the sights to be found here.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Margarita’s House

Day 5

Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo – Cusco

You will have your breakfast very early in the morning. Then we start our last day, climbing up the hill to the famous Inca citadel Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. Avoiding the crowds, you will be one of the first visitors of the day. Your tour guide will take you around the vast ruins for about 3 hours, comprehensively explaining their historical significance and place in the Inca Empire.

Machu Picchu is the best-known of all the archaeological Inca sites, as it is recognized worldwide! Experts believe that the citadel was constructed around the mid-15th century by the Inca Pachacuteq and was then rediscovered by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911.
The guided tour of this fascinating place will be an unforgettable experience! You will visit the Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial and the Burial Grounds.

After the guided tour, you are free to hike up Huayna Picchu (the mountain behind Machu Picchu), where you will enjoy stunning views over the whole complex! However, there are only 400 entrance tickets available every day; therefore you must let us know in advance if you want to do the hike so we can reserve your ticket at an extra cost of US$ 20.00.

Due to Huayna Picchu being very fast oversold, we offer Machu Picchu Mountain as a second optional climb. The advantage of this hike is that it will be less crowded, but not less beautiful! The cost for this hike is also US$ 20.00 per person.
Having one of these two additional entrance tickets to hike one of the mountains,

we can offer you an unguided walk to Inti Punku, the SUN GATE, which is the traditional end of the Inca Trail (a hike of 3 hours) or you can visit the beautiful Inca Bridge (a hike of 1 hour). also has an extra cost of US$ 20.00

After time in the sanctuary, we take one of the frequent buses back down to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch. In case you don’t want to take the bus, feel free to walk down through the beautiful jungle which will take you 45 minutes. In the early afternoon at 2.30 pm, you take the train back to Ollantaytambo and from there the tourist transport to Cusco. If you want to return to Cusco in the late afternoon, please let us know so we can book a late train at a later departure ( some schedules have extra cost)

Meals: Breakfast

Map

salkantay-trek-5-days-map

 

Please note:
  • Times cited in this itinerary are approximate; walking time depends on the group. The guide can change the lunch and camping spots depending on the group´s progress.
  • The guide can have their preference of which route to take – this might not correspond exactly to the described route
  • An extra night in Aguas Calientes can be easily arranged if you let us know in advance, so we can change the date of your train ticket for the following day
  • The cost of the Hotel will depend on your request
  • The Salkantay Trek is one of the most spectacular and varied hikes around Cusco
Included:
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • 24-hour-support from the company owner
  • Pick-up from your hotel in the morning and transfer to Mollepata (the starting point of the trek)
  • Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-person-capacity tent, to ensure higher comfort and the safekeeping of the backpacks
  • English-speaking professional and official tourist guide (2 guides for groups of over 8 people)
  • Chef and cooking equipment
  • Accommodation in Aguas Calientes
  • Pack animals (to carry tents, food, and cooking equipment)
  • Pack animals to carry personal gear up to a maximum of 6kg per person (including sleeping pad and sleeping bag)
  • 1 emergency horse for every 8 persons
  • Meals (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, daily morning snack, daily tea service except for the last day)
  • Vegetarian or special dietary menus are available at no extra cost, please advise when booking
  • One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment
  • Filtered, boiled water from lunchtime
  • Bio-degradable personal hand soaps
  • Bio-degradable dishwashing detergents used by our kitchen staff
  • Hot water every morning and evening for washing/ boiled water to fill up your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunchtime if requested with enough time ahead
  • First-aid-kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • 1 Day Machu Picchu entrance ticket
  • Bus ticket Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes (one way)
  • Train ticket Aguas Calientes – Ollantyatambo (Expedition Service)
  • Transfer Ollantaytambo Train Station – Cusco
Not Included:
  • Sleeping bag
  • Breakfast on the first day
  • Lunch and dinner on the last day
  • Visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Tips: please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as you prefer
Recommendations, what to bring:
  • Backpack to carry personal items
  • Sleeping bag
  • Warm clothing for variable temperatures (especially at night)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Camera and batteries
  • Sun protection: sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Rain poncho and good rainjacket
  • Toiletries
  • Bathing clothes for the hot springs
  • Water bottles, water purifying tablets
  • Personal medical kit
  • Original passport and student card if applicable
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, and tips
What we need when you make a reservation:
  • Full name as it is written in your passport (please include a copy of your passport)
  • Passport number
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Tour departure date
  • Send a deposit of 60% of the total price of your tour. (The remainder of your balance will be due upon your arrival in Cusco.) Payment may be made via *Western UnionPayPal, or ABN AMRO Bank in Holland.

Group price US$ 660.00
based on 4 people.

Price for 2 people US$ 760 per person.
Price for 3 people US$ 710 per person.

Exclusive international transaction fees: The amount of the extra transaction fees depends on how the payment is made and on your bank. For further information please don’t hesitate to ask.

As we operate ourselves, we have available departure dates for the whole year. Indeed if you prefer to join a group, here are our confirmed reservations for departure dates in 2024:

Terms and Conditions

Upon request, with each booked tour with Green Peru Adventures, you will receive a free walking tour of the mysterious and historic city of Cusco. You will be guided by one of our multilingual, professional guides.

We are looking forward to creating an unforgettable experience for you.