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.
Sustainable Tourism: At Tierras Vivas, we are happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities
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.
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
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!
Tierras Vivas is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. Pick up times may vary 30 - 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pickups.
If your hotel is outside the center of Cusco city, we can coordinate this pickup based on the place where your hotel is located. Your guide will give the time for pick-up time during the information session.
Please check the table about the Starting Point & Pick up:
|Trips/ Hiking||Starting point & pick up|
|Inca Trail Tours||Cusco, Chinchero, Urubamba, Yanahuara, Ollantaytambo|
|Lares Trek||Cusco, Pisac|
|Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu||Cusco, Urubamba, Yanahuara, Ollantaytambo|
|Inca Quarry Trail||Cusco, Urubambam Yanahuara|
|Day tours||Only Cusco|
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
Salkantay Trek Challenging: Be responsible towards nature!
|Every day, there are 500 traveller during this beautiful Salkantay Path and there are local tour operators built igloos and camping from solid materials without responsibility. They are distroying the landscapes and usually the all travellers help to this devatations. We recommend to reserve with responsibility. Not destroy this Sacred Mountain with your trip!|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)!
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.
For Lima on a nonstop flight (recommended):
Definitely. We tend to hear the worst news from Latin America. Friendly people and extraordinary culture. The biggest crime is opportunistic and not violent buying, of course, it is possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Care and common sense will almost always prevail.
The Shining Path is no longer active.
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.
You know the answer to this question: it depends! You reach 4600m on the second day after climbing for most of the day. Especially if you are within your first five days at altitude, this can give you headaches and shortness of breath. Don't forget that even the people who live in Cusco (at 3300m) still gasp for air.
When traveling along the Andes in Peru some people are going to suffer some effects of altitude sickness. If you plan to hike the Salkantay Trek we recommend arriving 2 or 3 days before the start to acclimatize and rest.
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.
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.
The best time to do routes in this part of Peru is from May to December, the dry season. Especially between June and August, as can be seen in the image on the right. The period from January to March should be avoided at all costs, as it is quite rainy: not only is it unpleasant to walk on a path that becomes a slippery quagmire, it also increases the danger of landslides or falling stones.
US citizens need a valid passport and a tourist entry card that is provided by their airline either at the ticket office when you arrive at the hotel for your flight to Peru or once on board. (NOTE: Other nationalities should check with the nearest Peruvian Consulate to determine the correct entry requirements.)
Backpack, sleeping bag, mattress (which will provide you with this), raincoat, sturdy footwear (walking boots are recommended as they provide ankle support which reduces the risk of injury, especially when hiking in the rainy season (December to March). However, it is important that the boots are comfortable and well worn and not brand new. Many people prefer to walk in tennis shoes, but great care should be taken. Hiking in sandals is not recommended. A complete change of clothing , sweater, jacket (something warm), bottle of water and purifying pills (Micropur is recommended and can be purchased in local pharmacies in Cusco), flashlight and batteries, wide-brim or cap with visor, sunscreen, insect repellent, Toiletries and toilet paper, selection of snacks, chocolate, nuts, cookies etc, camera and lots of film, you also have to take your original passport with you on the trip.
Better to ask for a horse before going on the trail rather than half realizing that you are not enjoying carrying your backpack at this altitude and want some help.
At lunchtime we will give you teas, coffees, etc. to drink. You will come across a mountain spring, fountain or small stream about every 1 hour and a half along the trail where you can fill your water bottle. Take a bottle of at least 1 ½ liter capacity per person. Although water is visible it is always safer to use purification tablets or a water filter. Purifying pills can be purchased in most pharmacies in the city of Cusco. With these pills you have to wait 30 to 40 minutes before drinking it. Bottled mineral water can also be taken from Cusco or bought in Mollepata or Santa Teresa.
It is still possible to make changes to your return train ticket if you decide to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes. You will have to take your train ticket personally to the Aguas Calientes train station and ask them to change the return date of your ticket. You will likely have to pay an additional administrative fee and changing the ticket will be subject to the availability of spaces the next day. If you change your ticket for a cheaper service, then the difference will not be refunded!
Our Environmental Management and Commitment Policy considers the operation of our operations in a responsible manner, according to the following:
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.