Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days/ 4 Nights

  • Destination: Machu Picchu
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Price per person: $560
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Based on 4 people.

Price for 2 people US$ 680 per person
Price for 3 people US$ 610 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 2019:

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, snowcarpets, 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.


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 in our basecamp site, and afterwards continue our 3-hour-hike towards beautiful Humantay lagoon (at 4200 m.a.s.l.). The amazing lagoon is formed by the melt of the glazer, giving a particular greenish colour to the water. Without 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 everything from dry sceneries, 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 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 in 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 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 for 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 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 run 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

Today you wake up to the sound of the river that flows through the town; to ensure that you are amongst the first visitors of Machu Picchu you have to wake up at 05:30 am.

Leaving the town, you will take a path which is winding up the mountain and finally brings you to the gates of these ancient ruins. On arrival at the gates your guide will assist you in passing through the check point as quickly as possible before leading you on a two to three hour guided tour of the site. The guided tour 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 excursion you can hike up the mountain behind Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu, from where you can experiment stunning views over the whole complex. Only 400 persons are allowed to climb the peak per day – that’s why you have to book this additional entrance ticket in advance (costs $15). Due Huayna Picchu is very fast oversold, we offer to hike Machu Picchu Mountain as a second option. The advantage of this hike is that it’s less crowed but not less beautiful (costs US$ 15). As well, you can do some unguided walks to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate, which is the traditional end of the Inca Trail (45 minutes hike), or to the Inca Bridge (1 hour hike). Otherwise you can simply explore the ruins and enjoy the inspiring atmosphere and breathtaking views.

After you have spent some time exploring the ruins yourself, you will need to return to Aguas Calientes either using the regular bus service or via the trail you used to reach the site. Your train will be departing at 18:22 pm or 19:00 pm. If you leave the citadel early you will have time to take dinner in Aguas Calientes before you depart on the train back to Ollantaytambo. On arrival to Ollantaytambo there will be a guide waiting for you who will escort you to the vehicle for your transfer back to Cusco and your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast




Please note:
  • Times cited in this itinerary are aproximate; 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 own 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 according to your request
  • The Salkantay Trek is one of the most spectacular and varied hikes around Cusco
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Local cellphone
  • 24-hour-support from company owner
  • Pick-up from your hotel in the morning and transfer to Mollepata (starting point of the trek)
  • Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-person-capacity tent, to assure higher comfort and the safe keeping 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 every 8 persons
  • Meals (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, daily morning snack, daily tea service except of 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 lunch time
  • 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 lunch time 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 of the last day
  • Visit to 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)
  • Flash light 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 bottle, 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
  • Scan copy of your student card (if you have one, it’s US$ 18 less)
  • 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 UnionPayPalABN AMRO Bank in Holland or securely and directly through our website by choosing your desired tour and clicking on the BOOK NOW button.

Group price US$ 560.00
based on 4 people.

Price for 2 people US$ 680 per person.
Price for 3 people US$ 610 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.

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 create an unforgettable experience for you.