Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu – Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa
The Salkantay trek begins in the small town of Marko Q’asa which is situated high above the Mollepata Village. Following a well-established trail, we will slowly make our way up the side of the valley, covering a distance of about 16km (9.9 miles) and climbing 1200m (3937ft). The views throughout the journey are fantastic—all verdant green mountains, a wide variety of native plants and flowers with birds flitting in and out of them. Towards the end of our hike, we will see the snow-capped peaks of the Umantay and the Salkantay also known as—»the Savage Mountain»—looming high above us.
Our campsite on this night will be at Soraypampa (3,800m/12,084ft). The temperature at night is below 0°C, so we highly recommend that you be prepared for freezing conditions.
- Trekking time: 6 to 7 hours
- Distance: 16km
- Difficulty Level: Difficult
Day 2: Soraypamapa – Collpapamapa
We begin our second day with a great breakfast. This trek is considered to be the longest and most strenuous of the Salkantay trekking, but one could argue that it also offers some of the best views of Peru’s natural beauty. The stunning scenery throughout the trip transitions from one extreme to another. It starts from the high Puna which is covered in Ichu grass, but as we make our way up and over the Salkantay pass, you frequently can spot wild animals and many beautiful lakes just off of the trail. Meanwhile, the Salkantay Mountain towers over us in the background.
After a great adventure up to and through the pass, we will start descending down the other side of the mountain where you will have your first experience of the warm, lush cloud forest. There, we will have the chance to see Andean foxes, white-tailed deer and viscacha (wild rabbit). Our campsite will be in Collpapampa—a small town located in the middle of the mountains (2900m /9514ft).
- Trekking time: 8 to 9 Hours
- Trekking Distance: 21km
- Difficulty level: Challenging
Day 3: Collpamapa – Lugmabamba
Our next destination is Lugmabamba which is about 13km down the valley from Collpapampa. Our trail takes us along the Lluscamayo River, and we will pass an area that is teeming with life along with various coffee and fruit plantations. By midday, we should arrive to the campsite. After lunch, we are going to meet the locals for a coffee tour in order to learn about all of the processes of coffee production. We will even get to harvest, roast and grind our own coffee. These amazing experiences are all included in the Salkantay Tour.
In the afternoon, we’ll have the option to go to the hot springs in Santa Teresa which is about an hour’s travel via car from our campsite. If you are interested in going there, it would be a good idea for you to book it ahead of time. That way, your guide will be able to organize this for you.
- Trekking time: 5 to 6 hours
- Trekking Distance: 17km
- Difficulty level: Moderate
Day 4: Lugmabamba – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes
This is the final stretch of the Salkantay Trekking before we reach Aguas Calientes. The main objective of this trek is to visit the Incan site of Llaqtapata which sits high up on the mountainside. By following an original Inca route, we’ll reach Llaqtapata by early mid-morning which will be just in time to enjoy the wonderful views of Machu Picchu in the far distance. After an amazing history lesson, we’ll head back down the mountainside to the hydroelectric station. From there, we’ll catch our train to Aguas Calientes.
- Trekking time: 6 to 7 hours
- Trekking distance: 13km
- Difficulty level: Difficult
Day 5 Machu Picchu – Cusco
After having spent days on the Salkantay trek, you will be ready to enter the ancient city of the Incas. The natural and cultural beauty of Machu Picchu makes for a great experience. You are going to explore the ruins with a professional tour operator, who is going to take you throughout the beautiful temples and palaces of the site. It takes approximately 3 hours, and afterward, you will have free time to explore the site on your own. If you have obtained a permit to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain, then this when you will begin your next adventure.
The hike up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) is another good option. If you have time to pass through and view this incredible structure, especially during the summer solstice, you should seize the opportunity. It takes 1 hour to hike and is free and available to all. It’s the entrance that the hikers on the Classic Inca Trail enter through in order to arrive to Machu Picchu. After Machu Picchu, we conclude our trip by taking the train which usually departs in the afternoon from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. From there, we bus back to Cusco.
What is Included?
- Pick up from the Airport/Hotel
- English Spanish speaking tour guide
- Professional cook
- Entrance Fee to the Salkantay trail
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
- Briefing the night before the trek
- Duffel bag to pack your hiking gear
- Horses to transport the camping equipment and food supplies
- Emergency horse
- Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the trailhead
- 4-man tent for every 2 people
- Dinning tent
- Kitchen tent
- Train ticket from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo (Expedition class at 16:22 hours)
- Train ticket from Idroelectrica to Machu Picchu town
- Pick up from the train station and drop off into your hotel – Cusco
- Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu round trip
- Meal: 4 breakfast, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
- Huayna Picchu mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain
- Water: we will provide you water every day at breakfast time, at lunch time and at dinner time
What is not Included?
- Sleeping bag
- Hiking poles
- Air mattresses
- First day breakfast and last day lunch
- Transportation to the hot spring
- Entrance fee to the hot spring
- Extra expenses
Salkantay Trekking Prices
We warmly welcome you to allow us to take part in creating some of your most memorable experiences to date on the Salkantay Trail. Our treks can depart on any day of the week during any month of the year.
Group Service Price: $620 USD Per Person
A group service means that other hikers are able to join you. Your group will have varying hiking and fitness abilities. Our Professional Tour Guides are experts on how to keep the group moving and happy no matter how fast you go.
Private Tour Service is also available and is priced by party size.
The Salkantay trek is one of the best treks to Machu Picchu. It is even more fantastic if you share this special moment with just your friends and family. We offer the wonderful option of a private tour which is ideal for families with children and for inexperienced hikers. On the private tour, you are able to set your own pace without having to worry about slowing down or waiting for others in your group. Our private Salkantay trek can start with any size, and we will do all our best to make this an experience of a lifetime for you.
- 2 Hikers: $720 per person
- 3 Hikers: $690 per person
- 4 Hikers: $660 per person
- 5 Hikers: $630 per person
- 6 Hikers: $600 per person
- 7 + Hikers: $570 per person
Student from 18 to 25 years old get discount of $20
Students from 12 to 17 years old, they get discount of $20.
Children from under 11 years all they get discount of $20.
Student discount apply anyone who has the information required from the student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date, etc. A copy of the card is required at booking to obtain government approval for the discount. For people of 17 years of age or younger, we will need a copy of the passport at booking time.
Please send all documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
For example, if you book a trek or tour at the age of 17 but, you turn 18 before you start your trek or tour, you do not qualify for a student discount.
To comfirm your booking with us is required a deposit of USD $ 200 per person via PayPal + 6% of PayPal transaction in order to purchase all the entrance fee to Machu Picchu and train tickets. The deposit can be done via PAYPAL or Wester Union. Go to our booking option.
We know planning an adventure vacation is no small decision, so we’re here to make the process as easy as possible for you. We’ve been doing this for quite a while, so we’ve got the answers to everything you need to know!
Upon your arrival in Cusco City
You will be welcomed by one of our transfers at Cusco airport and then you will be transferred into your hotel. Find out your transfer in Cusco airport holding our Inka trail Explorer. Please you should provide us your flight schedule before you leave home.
Your guide will meet you in your hotel 1 or 2 days prior you start the trek, depending on your preference. your guide will explain everything concerning the trek in detail. This includes the Salkantay Trek schedule and a few tips on how to make the Salkantay trek easier. You also will receive a duffel bag which is meant to contain all of your personal belongings.
Can I leave my Suitcase in your storage?
Usually most of the hotels in Cusco city offers a free storage but, definitely you can leave your suitcase in our storage while you go on trek or tour, we offer a free storage.
How do I Pay my final Balance?
Your final balance should be paid in cash and it can be done in American dollars or in the local currency (Peruvian soles). We kindly request pay your final balance at least 24 hours prior you start the trek. You also can pay your balance via PayPal 10 days prior you start the trek. To pay your final balance via PayPal, you need to log into your PayPal account using our e-mail address – email@example.com
Can I cancel my trip or change my departure date?
As soon as you make your confirmation by paying your deposit we proceed to purchase the Inca trail permits, Machu Picchu tickets and train tickets. According the government regulations, the Inca trail and Machu Picchu permits or tickets cannot be canceled, changed of date or transferred into other traveler and unfortunately there is not a refund.
Do I need my Original passport when I travel into Peru?
Very important to bring the original passport with you. If you are a foreigner, you need a passport to enter Machu Picchu. Not just any passport. It has to be the passport you used to book your trip in Peru or buy your entry tickets to different attractions in Cusco – Peru.
If you renew your passport after you book your trip in Peru, you must travel with both the old and the new passports. You can send us via e-mail a copy of your new and old passports and we will be able to upgrade your new passport information.
How fit do I need to be to hike these trails?
As long as you enjoy hiking, you’ll love these trails – you’ll be hiking about eight miles a day, but there’s no rush, you can take it at your own pace. In fact, the slower the better I say, as that way you get plenty of time not only to enjoy your surroundings, but let your body acclimatize to the altitude as well.
We recommend doing plenty of exercise before you leave home, as the fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy your hike. We suggest you try to go for a short walks or running 2-3 times a week. If you have access to some walking trails that go over hills then go and explore, Hit the gym if you can’t do outdoor activities.
That said our trips are designed for regular active people, so you don’t need to be a triathlete or anything – though if you are you won’t be bored!
What if I need a special diet?
We cater all the food restrictions you might have; we work with professional cooks who will take care of you. You also can specify your particular requirements when you fill up our booking form.
- Vegan (no meat or animal products)
- Vegetarian (no meat products)
- Fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
- No red meat (eat chicken & fish)
- Gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
- Lactose intolerant (no dairy products)
Do you recommend buying travel insurance?
You should have full travel insurance cover – please be aware that some insurance companies require insurance to be purchased within 7 days of deposit payment. It is imperative for you to have medical cover and emergency repatriation and we strongly recommend a comprehensive travel insurance policy that also includes trip cancellation and other travel mishaps (e.g. flight cancellations or delays, trip interruption, theft or loss of luggage and personal effects).
Optional Rentals for the Salkantay trek
- Sleeping Bag $25 USD
- Walking Pole $8 USD each
- Inflatable Mattress $25 USD
- Single Tent Supplement $30 USD
- Vistadome train: (One-Way): $40 USD per person
- Casa Andina Hotel: $45 USD per person if sharing ($110 for a single)
- El Mapi Hotel: +$50USD per person if sharing (+$110 for a single)
Huayna Picchu Mountain – Included in Price
Huayna Picchu, is a stunning mountain that sits directly behind Machu Picchu, this is the infamous sugar-loaf mountain which sits at an elevation of 2,720m and 300m above the Machu Picchu Inca Citadel.
There are some archaeological remains as the Moon Temple and other precincts that are interconnected with authentic trails, steps, tunnels and natural formatted caves which made the view more interesting, without any doubt, Huayna Picchu mountain can be the highlight of your trip to Machu Picchu.
The last stretch to get the summit is very steep, narrow, and in some parts, you are required to use your hands for balance. There are some stone ladders to climb up the cliff face along the way. if you have problems with the heights this may not be the hike for you. The summit itself is not flat but is instead rocky, therefore when the crowd picks up it can be a bit difficult to move around.
- Difficulty – Due to the complexity and gradient of the trail, the hike is rather challenging.
- Duration – The round trip can take between 1.5 to 2 hours in average.
- Elevation – The mountain’s summit sits at 2,693masl, while the climb itself is 353m.
Huayna Picchu mountain can be climbed in 2 different sessions:
- The first session: from 7am to 8am
- The second session: from 10am to 11am
Machu Picchu Mountain – Included in Price
The climb up to Machu Picchu mountain is nearly twice as high as Huayna Picchu but has a more gradual ascent profile up to its summit at 1,850 feet (~620m) above the city ruins (3,051m above sea level).
The panoramic views are from another world. The Inca ruins, Huayna Picchu and Putucusi Mountains look so small behind the giant row of mountains that it makes you wonder if it is true what you are seeing. You will be astonished!
The awe-inspiring view is still composed by a bright blue sky, clouds and the Urubamba River snaking around colossal mountains covered with lush vegetation. What a gift from our mother nature!
- Difficulty – Due to the complexity and gradient of the trail, the hike is rather challenging.
- Duration – The round trip can take between 2.5 to 3 hours in average.
- Elevation – The mountain’s summit sits at 3,000masl, while the climb itself is 600m.
Machu Picchu mountain can be climbed in 2 different sessions:
- The first session: from 7am to 8am
- The second session: from 9am to 10am
If you are traveling with 4 or more of your friends or family in your group, you will automatically get one of our additional tours for free. You may choose whichever one of the tours that suites your fancy from the list below. Please, keep in mind that we do not include the entrance fees for these tours. What we do provide is the transportation and a professional tour guide.
Do not worry single travelers! If you travel with us, you will also get special discounts on any of our additional tours.
- Sacred Valley Tour
- Cusco City Tour
Packing List for the trek to Salkantay
- Valid GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- A small daypack
- Water storage: Water reservoirs like Camelbaks are highly recommended. No matter which type, be sure you are able to carry at least 2-3 liters.
- Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
What I need to pack in my Duffle Bag?
Remember you are packing for 3 nights of camping and 1 night in a hotel. Horses will carry up to 8 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt if you bring them yourself. If you decide to rent them from us them they will weigh a total of 3.5 kg.
- 4 wicking t-shirts
- 2 hiking pants at least
- 4 sets of undergarments
- 4 sets of hiking socks
- 1 Fleece jacket
- Warm, down jacket: this trek includes 2 cold nights of camping
- Headlamp (**essential)
- Waterproof gloves
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Quickdry towel. Whilst we provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
- Soap: Warm water will be provided each day for cleaning purposes.
- Battery Charger: There are some places to plug in at the camping areas.
- Large plastic bags to help organize and keep the trail clean.
- Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for at least -10°C
- Face moisturizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toilet paper
What do I need to pack in my Daypack?
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we recommend using a small one. During the Machu Picchu tour, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If it is larger, you will need to store it outside the citadel gates.
- Water: We supply clean water during each meal, but you are responsible for your first morning of water because we won’t have time to filter water until your lunch.
- Bug spray
- Rain gear
- Fleece jacket
- First-aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
- Toilet paper and small plastic bags for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips