SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU

USD $ 749

The 5-Day Salkantay Trek is a multi-day hike to reach the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. It is just as beautiful and rewarding as the Inca trail, but is a lesser-known route and easier to book. This hike will offer you incredible views of glacier lagoons, the Salkantay mountain and the amazing flora of the Andes.

Price per person. Group daily departures for the Salkantay Trek from March to January, minimum 2 people. See the Prices Section for group service or private service. Domestic airfares are not included.

 

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    Salkantay Trek: An Alternative Trek To Machu Picchu, Peru

    The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is an excellent alternative trek to the classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu. The Incas were master builders who designed, built and marked roads across the Andes and this trek will also lead you to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

    The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a thrilling and challenging hike that has it all! You will trek along with the skirts of the majestic mountain peak of Salkantay (6271 m / 20569 ft), you will be surrounded by the awe-inspiring Southern Andes range, then you will continue through a striking contrasting jungle landscape, and let’s not forget the diverse flora and fauna you will find during the trek.

    You will be able to closely observe Andean villages and explore less-known Inca remains. On your last day, you will arrive at the magical citadel of Machu Picchu.

    Note: The “Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu” in group service is actually an itinerary of 6 days/5 nights, because you will depart one day before the trek starts (as it is shown in the “itinerary section”). If you opt for a private service trek, your hike will be 5 days/4 nights. Please contact your Travel Advisor for more information and detailed itinerary.

    If you are looking for a complete experience in Cusco, you can add this 5-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu to our:

    For more references about the different destinations Peru has to offer, please go to:
    Top Six Alternate Routes to Machu Picchu (National Geographic)

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    1. DAY 1 Cusco to Soraypampa

      Pick up from the lobby of your hotel in Cusco (booked on your own) at 3:00 p.m. and transfer to the Glass Cabañas in Soraypampa (altitude: 3800m/12464ft). We will arrive just on time to watch the sunset over the glacier peaks. At Glass Cabañas, your guide will show you your room before dinner. On this area, the view of the night sky is beautiful, so prepare yourself for and incredible stargazing of the Southern Hemisphere!

      NO HIKING TODAY
      Elevation : 3800m/12464ft
      Weather: Cold, windy, rainy in the wet season

      Overnight at Glass Cabañas.

      Meals included: Dinner

    2. DAY 2 Humantay Lake - Salkantay Pass - Wayracpunko

      After a good night’s rest, you will wake up before dawn for breakfast. The muleteers will bring your duffle bags to the next campsite. We will start with a 1.5-hour steady uphill hike to the famous Humantay Lake. Once at the lake, enjoy the views of the crystalline-blue water. You may also see the first sun rays peeking through the snow-covered peaks.

      Then, we will begin our way back and continue to the lunch spot in Soyroccocha for about 3 hours on a gradually ascending terrain. On the way, places like Salkantay Pampa will let you enjoy the outstanding views of the surrounding peaks and snow-covered mountains. After lunch, we will continue for about an hour until the Salkantay Pass (altitude: 4650m/15252ft), which is the highest point of the trek. Enjoy the views here with a hot beverage.

      From the Salkantay Pass, we will hike down for 3 hours to our campsite in Wayracmachay. Upon arrival, your tents and duffle bags will already be there. Enjoy a happy hour with hot chocolate and coffee, followed by dinner. If the weather allows, you may enjoy a brief introduction to the visible Inca constellations. This will be a cold night, so make sure to wear very warm clothes.

      Walking Distance: 22 km / 13.6 mi
      Elevation Gained: 850m/2788ft
      Elevation Descended: 850m/2788ft
      Weather: Cold, windy, rainy in the wet season

      Overnight at campsite.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    3. DAY 3 Wayracmachay - Chaullay - CCollpapampa Loreta

      The staff will wake you up early with a hot beverage to start the day. You might see the sunrise over the peaks of the glaciers and the clouds, rising from the green cloud forest. You will have time to pack and enjoy a hearty breakfast.

      At around 7:00 a.m., we will hike downhill for about 4 hours until our lunch spot at Ccollpapampa (altitude: 2700m/8856ft). At this time, you will notice the microclimate and the fauna and flora changes: from cold glacier views to warmer green jungle surroundings. You will see different species of orchids, also ferns, begonia flowers, and even hummingbirds.

      After lunch, we will hike for about 4 hours on a gradually downhill terrain to the next campsite called La Loreta (altitude: 2400m/7872ft). On the way, witness beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and the flora and fauna. Here, there is another tropical forest microclimate, where local people farm coffee, passion fruit, papayas, oranges, and avocados. Once at the campsite, you will enjoy a free hot shower and jacuzzi. You can also walk around the ecological garden to see coffee, avocado, chilies, tomatoes, and pineapples. Dinner will be accompanied by the views of the Salkantay river.

      Walking Distance: 22 km / 13.6 mi
      Night Elevation: 2400m/7872ft
      Elevation Descended: 1400m/4592ft
      Weather: Warm and hot at lower elevation

      Overnight at campsite.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    4. DAY 4 Loreta - La Playa Sahuayaku - Lucmabamba Coffee Farm - Llactapata

      After a delicious breakfast, you will start the shortest and the most exciting day of the trek. Today you will explore the tropical forest, and you will visit a local, organic coffee farm, where you can see the orange and avocado plantations and taste some of the freshly-brewed coffee. We’ll have an incredible lunch and a cooking class at the coffee farm.

      Then, we will continue to Llactapata by hiking along a section of the Inca trail for approximately 2.5 hours, where you will enjoy amazing views of the Santa Teresa valley. Here, you will get the first glimpse of Machu Picchu and you will also have a guided tour of Llactapata Inca site. The last leg of the day’s hike will be 15 minutes downhill to the campsite.

      You will see that the campsite is a great place to admire the sunset and sunrise over Machu Picchu. There will be some time to relax with cold beverages, before the happy hour with tea and coffee, followed by a delicious dinner. Once the stars come out, enjoy the Milky Way and the Inca constellations.

      Walking Distance: 12 km / 7.45 mi
      Campsite Elevation: 2700m/8856ft
      Elevation Gained: 400m/1312ft
      Weather: During daytime hot and humid, chilly at night

      Overnight at campsite.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    5. DAY 5 Llactapata - Waterfalls at Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes

      The team will wake you up early with a hot drink. After breakfast, start the day with a 2-hour downhill hike with views of Machu Picchu until Hidroelectrica Station. The most impressive part of this area is the natural waterfall of 300 meters high that generates electricity for the region of Cusco. Here, you will enjoy the last lunch prepared by the trekking chef, before continuing to the famous Intiwatana (sundial rock). According to history, this Inca stone used to work with the legendary sundial rock in Machu Picchu to signal the winter solstice, which meant the beginning of a new farming season for the Incas.

      Next, we will continue on the path that runs alongside the train tracks for about 3 hours, leading us to the town of Aguas Calientes. This path was used by Hiram Bingham when he rediscovered Machu Picchu.

      On his way, he met the local farmer Melchor Arteaga, who eventually guided him to Machu Picchu. You will hike past Melchor Arteaga’s farm. Here, you will see many species of flora and fauna, the national bird called ”cock of the rock”, toucans, parrots, and orchids. Finally, upon your arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will check in at the hotel, and we will meet for dinner at a restaurant.

      Walking Distance: 14 km / 8.7 mi
      Aguas Calientes Elevation: 2040m/6692ft
      Weather: Hot

      Overnight in Aguas Calientes.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    6. Day 6 Machu Picchu Tour - Cusco

      Your tour guide will pick you up from the lobby of your hotel. To get the most out of the day, we encourage you to have an early breakfast before catching one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (first bus departs at 5:30 a.m.). This allows you to get ahead of the crowds. After the 30-minute bus ride, you will explore Machu Picchu citadel together with your guide (duration: 2.5 hours / Machu Picchu altitude: 2430 m / 7970 ft).

      Note: For dramatic views of the landscape that surrounds Machu Picchu, you can hike on your own either the Huayna Picchu Mountain for about 2 hours (entrance schedules: 7:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m.), the Machu Picchu Mountain for 3–4 hours (entrance schedules: 7:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m.), or the Huchuy Picchu Mountain for 1 hour (entrance schedules: 10:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m.). These treks are optional and not included in the price.

      Afterward, you will take the bus down, and you will head towards the train station on your own to board the Expedition train* (tourist class), that will take you to the Ollantaytambo station (1.5 hours). Finally, we will transfer you to your hotel in Cusco (a 2-hour ride approx).

      *You can request an upgrade to the Vistadome train (superior class). Please contact your Travel Advisor for more information.

      Meals included: Breakfast.

    Legend
    B Breakfast
    S Snack
    L Lunch
    D Dinner
    BL Boxed Lunch

     

    Trek Price per Person
    Group Service (minimum 2 people) US$ 749
    Private Service: 2 travelers US$ 1,487
    Private Service: 3 travelers US$ 1,140
    Private Service: 4 travelers US$ 1,035
    Private Service: 5 travelers US$ 925
    Private Service: 6 travelers US$ 840
    Private Service: 7 travelers US$ 795
    Private Service: 8 travelers US$ 760

     

    TREK NOTES:

    The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is customizable. If you 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 Tour.
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
    • Pre-departure briefing.
    • Transfer from your hotel in Cusco to the 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 (breakfasts, lunches, dinners, daily morning snack, daily tea service according to itinerary) – vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost.
    • Hot water every morning and evening for washing. Boiled water to refill your water bottle on each meal.
    • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
    • Bus ticket Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes.
    • Expedition Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
    • Transfer train station – hotel in Cusco.
    What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
    • International and domestic flights.
    • Airport taxes.
    • Visas required to enter Peru.
    • Tips.
    • Drinks.
    • Lunch and dinner on the last day.
    • Sleeping bag.
    • Inflatable sleeping pad.
    • Walking poles.
    • Processing and wire transfer fees.

    From mid-April to mid-October – this period is called the “dry season”. These months are peak season and of highest contrasts, being very hot and dry during the day and very cold with occasional frosting and dry at nights and early mornings.

    The “rainy season” is from mid-October to mid-April, temperatures are mild during the day with only a small fall overnight. Although it doesn’t rain every day, you can definitely expect a decent amount of rain on your hike. During this season, you can take advantage of warmer temperatures and fewer crowds at Machu Picchu.

    Altitude sickness is associated with headache, fatigue, nausea and malaise. The symptoms do not always appear and depend on each person.

    We recommend you to rest for at least 3 hours upon arrival, eat light as digestion might be slower during your first days, and drink plenty of fluids.

    You may find some medicine against the altitude sickness, like “sorojchi pills” (it contains caffeine), or people may recommend you to drink coca tea. However, both options are not advisable for people with heart diseases, respiratory disorders, diabetes or high blood pressure.

    We recommend that you consult your physician before your travel.

    The Expedition (tourist class) features panoramic windows and comfortable seats. Snacks are not included.

    The Vistadome (superior class) has wider panoramic windows, the seats are more comfortable and spacious, plus it offers snacks on board and informative audio. There is a live cultural performance and a fashion show of alpaca garments if you are traveling from Machu Picchu.

    You can also travel on board The PeruRail Vistadome Observatory train, which features an observatory car with live music and typical dances, that will provide you with a unique and relaxing experience.

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