Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a thrilling and challenging hike that has it all! Trekking along with the skirts of the majestic mountain peak of Salkantay (6.271m/20569ft) surrounded by the awe-inspiring Southern Andes range, continuing through a striking contrasting jungle landscape, and let’s not forget the diverse flora and fauna you will find during the trek. The Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek 5 days is an excellent alternative trek to the classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu.
You will be able to closely observe Andean villages and explore less-known Inca remains. On your last day, you will arrive at the citadel of Machu Picchu.
If you are looking for a complete experience in Cusco, you can add this Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek 5 days to our:
Cusco to Soyroccocha
Leave Cusco at 06.00 am in private transportation on your way to the trek starting point at Challacancha for the next 4 hours. During the trip, you will be passing through the town of Limatambo (2100m/6888ft), one of the main checkpoints to access the city of Cusco back in Inca times.
Next, the bus will go through a bumpy road on the right side of the soothing Apurimac River, reaching Mollepata (2800m/9184ft), Cruzpata (3100m/10168ft), and finally, Challacancha, where you will meet your wranglers and horses. You will start off slowly until you pick up your right pace towards the base of Mt. Salkantay (6271m/20569ft).
Lunch stop in Salkantaypampa, continuing your way up (2hrs) to the campsite Soyroccocha, touching the imposing glacier of Salkantay (4200m/13776ft). This will be a cold night so make sure to wear very warm clothes.
Overnight at Campsite.
Soyroccocha to Collpapampa
Early breakfast and off to climb for the next hour and a half to the Salkantay Mountain Pass (4525m/14842ft). Surrounded by the glaciers and the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range with the south face of Salkantay towering above you. It is a view worth the climb! Chinchillas and Condors may surprise you. From this point, you’ll start descending into the magically contrasting Cloud Forest, along the Salkantay River and arriving at your second camp Collpapampa (2890m/9479ft) in the afternoon. A beautiful spot with some natural hot springs to relax in. On the way, you will admire a startling 6-meter-wide ancient Inca path.
Overnight at Campsite.
Collpapampa to Playa/Lucmabamba
Continue trekking at a lighter pace by the Santa Teresa River, delight in the exuberant vegetation, refreshing waterfalls, and extensive coffee plantations. You will pass through the waterfalls at Coripacchi, the settlement at Wiñaypoko, the bustling small town of La Playa, and finally arrive at the third campsite Lucmabamba (2,100m/6888ft). You will be entering the spectacled-bear territory and you might get company from flocks of parrots as you descend. At dinner, you can enjoy a glass of wine by the light of the campfire.
Overnight at Campsite.
La Playa/Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes
After breakfast, you will begin your last 2 to 3-hour climb to El Mirador or Abra Q’elloqasa (2860m/9381ft) from where you can admire the enigmatic Machu Picchu.
Lunch stop at the viewpoint Llaqtapata (2650m/8692ft), where you will admire Machu Picchu and the Salkantay Mountain, and appreciate the Llactapata remains recently restored. Finally, a 2-hour descent towards the Aobamba River crossing splendid bamboo forests towards the hydroelectric plant of Machu Picchu from where you’ll board a train that will take you to Aguas Calientes (a short, scenic 40-minute train ride). Accommodation at your chosen hotel.
Overnight at Aguas Calientes
Aguas Calientes / Machupicchu to Cusco
Right after breakfast, you’ll take a bus up to the archeological site of Machu Picchu and begin your guided tour of the marvelous citadel for approximately two hours.
If you are not too tired, you can climb up the Huayna Picchu Mountain for some more spectacular views of Machu Picchu, and the surrounding valleys (please note that only 400 visitors are allowed per day). Alternatively, you may visit the Temple of the Moon or the ancient Inca Bridge.
Later in the afternoon, we’ll meet back in the town of Aguas Calientes and relax at the town’s hot springs (optional). Take the train back to the city of Cusco, arriving at nightfall. Transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
Trek Price per Person
|Group Service (minimum 2 people)||US$ 579|
|Private Service: 2 travelers||US$ 1,240|
|Private Service: 3 travelers||US$ 940|
|Private Service: 4 travelers||US$ 835|
|Private Service: 5 travelers||US$ 725|
|Private Service: 6 travelers||US$ 640|
|Private Service: 7 travelers||US$ 595|
|Private Service: 8 travelers||US$ 560|
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is customizable. If you would prefer to add destinations to your trip, please let us know in the Comments Section of the Get Free Quote form. You can also fill out our Design Your Trip form or Contact Us form with your specific needs.
- The Salkantay trek is available every day of the year.
- The recommended period to do the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is from March to November.
- A minimum number of people: 2 people per group.
- Items not included are sleeping bags, walking poles, inflatable sleeping pad.
- If you are looking for a complete experience in Cusco, you can add this hike to our 4-day Machu Picchu Tours.
- Pre-departure briefing.
- Transfer from your hotel in Cusco to Soraypampa (starting point of the trek).
- English-speaking adventure guide.
- Personal tents: 2 people in each 3-person-capacity tent (4 seasons).
- Duffel bag to place your belongings.
- One foamy sleeping pad per person.
- Dining tent with tables and chairs.
- Kitchen tent.
- Toilet tent with biodegradable toilet facilities.
- Cook and cooking equipment and your belongings.
- Pack animals to carry camping equipment.
- One emergency horse for every 6 people (days 1 to 4).
- Wranglers (days 1 to 4).
- Meals (3 breakfasts, 1 boxed lunch, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, daily morning snack, daily tea service except for last day) – vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost.
- Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunchtime if requested with enough time ahead.
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Train ticket from the Hydroelectric power plant to Puente Ruinas (day 4).
- Bus ticket Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes.
- Expedition Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
- Transfer train station – hotel in Cusco.
- Sales taxes and payment transaction fees.
- International and domestic flights.
- Airport taxes.
- Visas required to enter Peru.
- Lunch on Day 5.
- Dinner on Day 5.
- Sleeping bag.
- Inflatable sleeping pad.
- Walking poles.
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes.