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Salkantay Trek Challenging

Salkantay Trek Challenging

The 3 day Salkantay Trek Challenging to Machu Picchu was created for the intrepid travellers, who like to explore and discover the sacred mountain on the short time.. After the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek is the second most popular trek to Machu Picchu, is listed as one of the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine. On this 3 day hike to the Salkantay Trek, considered a god in Cusco with 6271 meters of altitude, we will crossed over beautiful Andean landscapes, and we will have the possibility of observing Condors and Alpacas in their natural habitat. It is a new alternative to the traditional Salkantay to Machu Picchu. The train is an avant-garde adventure experience for travelers seeking authenticity or more privacy, offering spectacular landscapes. With more impressive surroundings, the Salkantay hike offers you the chance of a calm but rich meditation, the trek offers tranquility and contemplation of the nature.

Quick Itinerary: 

Day 01: Cusco – Soraypampa – Wayracmachay – Los Andenes

Day 02: Los Andenes – Luscamayo – La Playa – Hidroeléctrica (transport) – Puente Ruinas

Day 03: Puente Ruinas – Machu Picchu – Cusco


Highlights of the  3 Day Salkantay Trek:

  • 3 day trail to Salkantay with a professional Tour Guide, cook, horseman and horses;
  • Discovery of this new alternative trek to Machu Picchu;
  • Andean highlands and cloud forest exploration;
  • Learning about the sacred mountain of the Incas - Apu Salkantay!

Departure Point: Cusco - We pick you up from your hotel.

Departure Time: 04:00

Briefing Point: Our guide will visit your hotel 2 or 1 day before the trek 

Briefing Time: Between 17:00 - 18:00

Return Point: Cusco - Our driver will drop-off in your hotel or Airbnb department


Service Level: Superior service all inclusive, extra horses for your equipment and private transport.

Physical Rating: 3 - Demanding -  Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers

Age requirement: 12+ / All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Salkantay Tour Operator: Tierras Vivas Travel

Crew: A professional Tour Guide, A Cook, Horseman and Horses.

Accommodation: Campsites (2 nights)

Meals: 2x breakfast, 2x lunch, 2x dinner, 1x afternoon hot beverage.

Transportation: A private transportation, 1x train (Expedition Class).

Camping equipment: Double tent, Sleeping bag, Inflatable mattress, a blanket, a pillow, day pack and duffel bag. You can view our Salkantay Trek camping equipment.


More information about the Short Salkantay Trek

Departures 100% guaranteed!!

Do I need to book it in advance? The Salkantay Hike to Machu Picchu has departures guaranteed, but train tickets and entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu are subjet to availability. For that reason, we HIGHLY recommend booking it in advance to ensure you receive exactly what you want!


PLEASE NOTE: May, June and July are peak months of a HIGH TOURIST SEASON in Cusco. It means that train tickets ARE SELL OUT QUICKLY!! Please be aware that the trek leaves daily; however, return train tickets may not be available, if you like to book on last moment. To avoid this inconvenience, please book it several weeks in advance!


Day 01: Cusco - Soraypampa - Wayracmachay - Los Andenes

Early in the morning, we will pick you up from your hotel for a 3 hour ride to Mollepata. We stop for breakfast and can buy some last minute supplies. Then, we carry on to Soraypampa. Here we meet with the support staff that will help us to pack all our gear. We begin our hike. The first few hours are uphill. Vegetation is not natural at this altitude, so the landscape is quite stark apart from some grass that has adjusted to the altitude. Eventually we reach the highest point of the hike: the Apacheta path (4,590 m.a.s.l.).


The Salkantay Mountain is at 6,271 meters above sea level. Salkantay is a Quechua word that means "Wild Mountain". The rest of the trekking today is easy, we descend to 2,890 meters, where there is more vegetation and warm weather, to our campsite.

Day 02: Los Andenes - Luscamayo - La Playa - Hidrolectrica - Puente Ruinas

After a nice breakfast, we continue our hike through the upper jungle. Each step of the way the surroundings are altering, there is more plant life, waterfalls, and warmer weather, some small brooks, pass the Lluscamayo River. After a five hour hike we reach the settlement of Lluscamayo where we have lunch. Then we trek for 3 hours more, passing an awesome waterfall where we can catch our breath and take some photos. The backdrop here, of course, is astonishing. Green valleys, mountains, trees, a diversity of birds and if your lucks in you might see the  Peruvain national bird, the "gallito de las rocas". Finally we get to the village of La Playa. From this point we take the local bus to Hydroelectric Plant.


From her the hike to Puente Ruins is moderated level. In route you will hear a roaring sound which is a powerful waterfall that cools us down with its spray as we pass by. Once in the Hydroelectric Plant, we have our lunch break.


It’s hard to explain the great happiness when we finally arrive to the Puente Ruinas campsite, you will notice for the first time in many days people that look clean with fresh clothing. Day trippers!


We finally arrive to our camping! Then we have dinner and plan the next day.


Day 03: Puente Ruinas - Machu Picchu - Cusco

We have a very early morning start (before dawn), so we can get to Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate or Intipunku before the crowds. We trek the last 2 hours up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu. We are one of the first to arrive and revel in the view of the sun rising over the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu that we have waited for so long to see. It takes about an hour and a half to reach Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. Once there you will have a two hour guided tour, also time to take plenty of pictures and spare time to discover and explore the ruins at Machu Picchu and walk around on your own.


Then, you will return to Aguas Calientes where you can have lunch (not included) and take the train back to Cusco.



  • Pre-trek briefing (Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing);
  • Early morning, the transport by private bus to Mollepata- the initial point of the trek;
  • Accommodation: Campsites (2 nights);
  • Entrance ticket to Salkantay and Machu Picchu;
  • Meals: 2x breakfast, 2x lunch, 2x dinner and 1x afternoon hot beverages;
  • Professional bilingual Tour Guide;
  • Professional Cook;
  • Horseman;
  • Horses to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 7 kg of each passenger's stuff;
  • Camping equipment: Personal double tents (4 person tent which allows a greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks);
  • Inflatable mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress);
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
  • Tables and chairs,
  • Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo;
  • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco;
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.

Not Included

  • Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain ($25);
  • A transport service from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (U$12 - one way);
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
  • Other extras not mentioned.

Why Choose the Salkantay Hike to Machu Picchu?

  • The Salkantay Trek is listed as one of the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
  • After the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek is the 2nd most popular trek to Machu Picchu (and a lot less crowded).
  • Enjoy the majesty of the sacred snowy Salkantay and its 6,271 meters of altitude. Its snow-capped peaks and the Andean landscape as well as the challenger are worthy of any cover photograph.
  • When you reach the pass of Salkantay you will notice an atmosphere of mysticism in the place and you can see "apachetas" everywhere. Apachetas are offerings made by walkers to the gods of the place, the sacred Inca mountains and mother earth
  • The Salkantay road not only has Andean mountain and snowy landscapes, but also sub tropical forests with tropical species plantations with traditional farming methods.

Pre - Trek briefing

Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing. Our guide will provided the duffel bag for your personal belonging,

Note: It is very important let us know, where you will be staying in Cusco


Camping (2 Nights)

Our tents are Eureka Mountain brand, appropriate for 4 seasons. We provide 3-person capacity tents; however, if are only two persons, they can use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort. In case of a single traveler, we provide him a 2-person capacity tent.


Sleeping Mattress – Therm-A-Rest mattress

We provide with inflatable mattresses of the brand Therm-A-Rest. The mattresses are 3 cm heigh that will ensure you a sufficient isolation from the cold earth!

This inflatable mattress provide you more comfort to sleep in the camp. 


Sleeping Bag

We use only feather sleeping bags that are suitable up for temperatures minus 16°C. Therefore, don´t be worry about cold as temperature at night reaches just up to 0°C (maximum -5°C)!

Items you must carry

Luggage and backpacker for you Trekking

Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Soraypampa (1st day) to Puente Ruinas (2th day). 3 day hike, our chef takes your luggage by bus to Hidrolectrica. From there to Aguas Calientes, you are expected to carry your own luggage (max 3 hrs), in case, the local train running, our chef take your luggage to the town. We recommend keeping the weight under 7 kg/15lb. You will need to carry clothes.


If very important your take best cover backpacker, because the weather in Salkantay trek is change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended to put your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside the plastic bag.


What carry to the Trek to Salkantay?

  • Original passport (+ copies for a case of lost),
  • Original ISIC (an international student card if applicable)
  • Travel insurance (+ copies for a case of lost),
  • Pocket money in Nuevos Soles,
  • A backpack
  • A small rucksack,
  • Rain gear (a rain-jacket and a waterproof trousers or a rain poncho - this can be purchased in Cusco),
  • Resistible footwear, waterproof trekking shoes are recommended,
  • Sandals (for a higher comfort while at a campsite),
  • Warm clothes such as a jacket, a fleece (thermal clothing is also recommended for cold nights during camping),
  • Hat or a cap (to protect you against the Sun, rain as well as cold),
  • Sun cream or sun block,
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body,
  • Insect repellent – recommended minimum is 20% DEET (please note that no malaria cases have been reported during this trip!),
  • Camera and its charger/batteries (please note that batteries are consumed quickly under cold conditions),
  • Flashlight/headlamp + batteries,
  • Handkerchiefs and toilet paper,
  • Small towel and toiletries,
  • Sufficient reserve of underwear,
  • Swimsuit (to visit the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes),
  • Snacks (biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.)
    Please note: we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. The recommendation of taken own snack applies only for customers who like a specific snack that might not be in our menu.
  • Bottled water for the first morning and a water bottle to be refill.
  • Optional: walking sticks; you can also rent it from us,
  • Please note: we provide with filtered boiled water during the entire trek, but if you like to use water from streams along the trail, you need to take some water-purifying tablets with you.

Frequent Questions:

What is Salkantay?
It is one of the alternative routes of mountaineering adventure that we made to reach Machupicchu, in recent years this roads is visited by thousands of foreigners for the majesty of a snowy mountain known as the wild mountain, the excursions can be carried out by several Travel Agencies , each one provides the services as you wish, there is no regulation of visitors, however it all depends which tour operator can choose to make, there are tour services of all prices, maybe you can see Salkantay Trek cheap


Is the Salkantay Trek difficult?
It depends! It reaches 4600m on the second day after climbing for most of the day. Especially if you are within your first five days in height, this can give you headaches and shortness of breath. Do not forget that even the people who live in Cusco (at 3300m) still feel the lack air. But it can be controled, we suggest you to acclimatize in Cusco some days before your trek. You can explore the famous Sacred Valley of the Incas or the unusual South Valley tour.


What is the best thing to do in case of altitude sickness?
Whenever possible "go down". But, if you are staying in Cusco, you may still feel the effects. The best advice is to sleep, drink plenty of fluids and that you could also try coca tea. The doormen chew coca leaves wrapped around a black resin called llipta. When you are actually walking and active (especially on the second day of the runway), this can help, as it dilates the vessels to increase the flow of blood to the parts of the body that need it most. So plan to buy some coca leaves before Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.


What about the Salkantay climate?
The weather in Salkantay trek is variant, for nights it is very cold up to 0 ° C, from day to 17 ° C in winter minimum -5 ° C. This is only on the first day of camping, from the second day starts an unbearable heat, so you should wear light clothing and enough sunscreen because the sun is very strong, more so with the reflection of the snow








Inka Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu

The trail belongs to the Alternative Treks to the Inca Trail and it combines trekking with mountain biking, an opportunity to enjoy rafting and ZIP line too. In addition a part of the trail leads through the latest discovered Inca path called Qapaq Ñan. You can admire beautiful mountains on the way as well as subtropical areas of a cloud forest. One of the highlights of the trek is a visit of the amazin, lovely and hot thermal baths where you can refresh yourself in its healing water that benefits your body. The baths, which temperature ranges from 40ºC to 44ºC, owns therapeutic effects on rheumatism, skin ulceration and other skin problems as well as bone pains.

Inka Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu

Days 3
per person
$ 600.00
Activity level
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responsible people foundationThe Responsible People foundation is registered under the Peruvian Non-Profit Organization Act. With an annual contribution from Tierras Vivas, we support our operating costs as well as a significant portion of project development costs. If you would like to help us, you can bring warm clothes or new school supplies. While you contribute, you might win a Rainbow Mountain for free (or, another tour in Cusco.). Help us to help Andean children and families please!

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