The 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.
Our Salkantay Trek 5 days is a customized alternative trek to the usual Inca Trail. Not on the usual Inca trail path, this is an innovating adventure for action travelers who want a little more solitude and credibility. With more impressive views, the Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek gives you the privacy and peaceful reflection such a sacred path deserves.
The legendary trek has been chosen as one of the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine. It is a hike easily accessible to everyone, with no limitations or permits required (at least for the moment). The Salkantay Trek is an antique and out-of-the-way path way situated in the same area as the Inca Trail where huge frosttopped mountains infringe with abundant tropical rainforest. It is one of the most interesting and important Inca Trail’s alternatives due to its wide range of flora diversity, various ecosystems, remote Andean villages, view of the snow-capped Salkantay Mountain as well as for the Llactapata site laid on top of a mountain, just behind the Machu Pichu Mountain. This trail finally reaches Aguas Calientes, located at the foothill of the historical and archaeological site of Machu Picchu, from where we hike in early morning up to lost city of the Incas to see the sunrise above it. Then our tour guide will takes us around this incredible Incan citadel. Remeber, Trekking Salkantay is a 5-day hike through spectacular corners, they say it is the alternative to the well-known Inca Trail but this one is a bit more “wild”. Are you ready now??
At Tierras Vivas, we are happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities
Tierras Vivas Travel.
Comfortable, tourist-class accommodation, tourist-class train, and private transport.
3 – Moderate to difficult; Some points are high and low-altitude hike.
4+. Please note: all participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
It is included in your hike.
A professional Tour Guide.
4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, 3x afternoon tea.
Private van, 1x train.
Campsite (3 nights) and Hotel, 1 night. During the Salkantay Trek, you will spend a night in a comfortable hotel with a private bathroom.
Departure Point: We pick you up from your hotel (please check the Starting Point & Pick-Up section under the Essential Info bookmark).
Briefing Point: Our guide will visit your hotel 2 or 1 day prior to the trek.
Briefing Time: From 5:00 to 6:00 pm.
Return Point: Cusco – our driver will drop-off at your hotel/hostel/Airbnb apartment.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A FEE FOR MONEY TRANSFER IS ALREADY INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE!
05:00 a.m. Pick up from your hotel and transfer Cusco – Mollepata
07:30 a.m. Breakfast at Mollepata
08:00 a.m. Start ride uphill to Challacancha ( km. / 1h 30 min. approx.)
09:30 a.m. Start ride uphill from Challacancha to Soraypampa ( 7 km. / 4 hrs approx.)
01:30 p.m. Lunch at Soraypampa
03:00 p.m. Trek Soraypampa – Humantay Lagoon (4 km. / 2 hrs. approx.)
05:00 p.m. Back to campsite
05:30 p.m. Tea time
06:30 p.m. Dinner
Overnight at Soraypampa Campsite
05:30 a.m. Breakfast
06:00 a.m. Start uphill from Soraypampa to Huayracmachay (12 km. / 4 – 5 hrs. approx.)
12:00 p.m. Lunch at Huayracmachay
01:00 p.m. Start downhill from Huayracmachay – Chaullay (9 km. / 3 hrs. approx.)
05:00 p.m. Arrive to Chaullay campsite
06:00 p.m. Tea time
07:00 p.m. Dinner
Overnight at Chaullay campsite
06:00 a.m. Breakfast
06:30 a.m. Start downhill to Playa Sahuayaco (15 km / 5 hrs. approx.)
12:00 pm. Lunch
06:00 p.m. Tea time
07:00 p.m. Dinner
Overnight at La Playa campsite
06:00 a.m. Breakfast
06:30 a.m. Start uphill to Llactapata ruins ( km. / 4 hrs. approx.)
10:30 a.m. Guided tour of Llactapata ruins
11:00 a.m. Start downhill from Llactapata to Hydroelectric power station (km. / 4 hrs. approx.)
03:00 p.m. Lunch near the Hydroelectric power station
03:30 p.m. Start walking from Hydroelectric power station to Aguas Calientes (10 km / 2 hrs. approx.)
05:30 p.m. Arrive to Aguas Calientes
06:00 p.m. Dinner at Aguas Calientes
Overnight at a hotel in Aguas Calientes
04:00 a.m. Breakfast
04:30 a.m. Start uphill from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu citadel ( km. / 1h 30 min. approx.)
07:00 a.m. Guided tour at Machu Picchu citadel
09:00 a.m. Free time in Machu Picchu
02:00 p.m. Bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes (30 min. approx.)
04:22 p.m. Train trip from Aguas Calientes to ollantaytambo (schedule subject to availability)
06:10 p.m. Arrive to Ollantaytambo Train Station
06:20 p.m. Transfer from ollantaytambo Train Station to Cusco (2 hrs. approx)
If you’re looking for adventure and a challenge but also want privacy and authenticity, this is the trek for you! You need to know that making this trek is extremely difficult, but in reality anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can do it. The overall trail distance is around 40 miles from the start to the finish point, which allows you to have the opportunity to see more of this fantastic region than you would see on the Inca Trail.
This trek has departures 100% guaranteed, but train tickets and entrance to Huayna Picchu mountain is subjet to availability. For that reason, Tierras Vivas recommend book in advance, in the High trekkers season, it is very difficult find spaces available the train ticket and entrance to the lost city!
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!
Tierras Vivas is a fully licensed tour operator and has 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor. The copy of our Salkantay Trek Tours Tripadvisor reviews below proves our experience and enthusiasm to offer our customers the best trip to the 5 day Salkantay Trek.
Check our Salkantay Trek Tours Tripadvisor comments below:
We rise about 5 am. and go from Cusco on bus for about 4 hours to Mollepata village (2900 meters above sea level). You will arrive around 7.30 am, we stop for 45 minutes and have breakfast in a restaurant if the group wants (not included in cost) and can buy some last minute supplies. (not included)Then we continue our ride uphill, for 1 more hour until we reach Challacancha (the trail head).
There we meet our support staff, who will pack the equipment on the horses and mules. We need to have 2 backpacks. One which will carry all our personal items(up to 5kg) that will go on the horses and a daypack with just necesities that you will carry. From there we hike for about four hours to Soraypampa, which is burrowed between the snowy mountains (3850 meters above sea level), on a trail which is a mixture of uphill, downhill and flat path, during which we will have sweeping views of the impressive Salkantay, other snowy mountains and the valley of the Apurimac River. We reach our campsite, where we have lunch. After lunch we will climb the Humantay Mountain for 2 hours to visit the incredible Humantay Lake, a superb lake in the mountains and we then descend back to camp at Soraypampa. There you will find the dining tent set up for afternoon tea with tea, mate de coca, coffee, chocolate etc. You can rest and later are served dinner.
An early start, we have a fine breakfast and prepare ourselves for the longest and most difficult day of the excursion. We start on a moderate pace for 1 hour till we get to Soyrococha. Then we hike uphill for around 3 hours more till we reach the high pass, at 4,800m close to the wonderful frosty peaks of Salkantay (6,271m) and Humantay (6,100m), the second highest peak in the Cusco region.
Here we enjoy the stunning scenery, you will also see heaps of stones called Apachetas and why not? You can built your Apacheta too. From here we descend for 1 hour to Wayracmachay (3,800m) where we have lunch and a rest. Then follows a 3 hour hike to our campsite Chaullay.
Another early start, after our delicious breakfast, we will start our trek for about 6 hours, on this part of the hike we will walk on a narrow trail on the mountainside, discovering various types of orchids and species of plants, some cornfields and fields of fruits. We also get the chance to pass an exquisite waterfall on the path. After walking for around 5 hours we reach at La Playa. From here you have 2 options, if you choose the Santa Teresa option, we take a bus to Santa Teresa town. That will take about 45 minutes. Upon arrival we set up camp and have the opportunity to go to the hot springs nearby – about 45 minutes from town. (optional). In the evening we have dinner and rest at camp. The other option, if you want to see the Llactapata ruins is a two hour hike to Aobamba, where you camp for the night.
If you chose to go via the Llactapata ruins, you start the day with breakfast and then a 4 hour hike to the restored ruins (2,860m) from where you can view both Machu Picchu and Salkantay Mountain! Our tour guide shows us around the ruins. After that, we start descending for about 4 hour to Aobamba River through lush bamboo groves, orchards and coffee plantations providing us some excellent bird-watching opportunities. This way brings us to the Hydroelectric Plant, a place where we have lunch to later and continue along trails leading us to our hotel in Aguas Calientes town!
If you chose the Santa Teresa option, we have breakfast and after a short bus trip (1hour) we hike for about 2 hours passing the Urubamba River and onward to the Hydroelectric Station, where we have lunch nearby. We then continue to the town of Aguas Calientes crossing the bottom of the valley for about 3 hours along the train tracks until reaching the town. Once there we will go to our hostal. We have dinner and rest for our next bih day at Machu Picchu!!!
An early start to continue hiking to Machu Picchu and see the sunrise over this glorious old city! We walk for about 2 hours to the ruins of Machu Picchu and have a full guided tour that takes about 2 hours. After you have plenty of time to traverse the fortress on your own, and maybe climb Huayna Picchu (if you have a permit) or the Inca Bridge. Afterwards you can take the bus to Aguas Calientes. You can have lunch at Aguas Calientes (not included in the cost). In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to Cusco.
Machu Picchu is both, the best and the least known site of the Incas as it is not mentioned in any Spanish conquistador´s chronicle so that contemporary archaeologists can not do anything more than just speculate on its functions. Local Quechuan farmers had known about Machu Picchu for centuries before an 11-year-old boy showed the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in a search of Vilcabamba) this site on the 24th of July 1911. At that time, all the rest of the world became aware of its existence. However, the site was covered with thick vegetation so Hiram Bingham along with his team returned and within the years of 1912 and 1915 cleared its surface. Over the years, plenty of work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain!
Solo Traveler: Please note that if you have booked the “Solo Traveler” option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.
Our guide will visit your 2 or 1 day before the trek and He/ She will give you a briefing and more information about your trip and the suggest items. So it is very important, let us know, where you will be staying in Cusco. You can send us this information 2 week before your trek.
All Salkantay Trek Tour groups are accompanied by a Tierras Vivas Tour Guide. The aim of our Tour Guides is to take a hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip in Peru. The Tour Guides provide all the information on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat and introduce to his/her colleagues. The Guides have a broad general knowledge of each country visited during a tour, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local Tour Guides where we think that more specific knowledge could add more enjoyment to visited places.
During the Salkantay trek we spend three nights full-service camping, meaning that our camp staff will put up and dismantle the tents, cook, and do all camp chores for you: so you only need to carry your daily pack. There will also be dining and toilet tents and bowls of warm water are provided both morning and evening for washing with. and in the last night you will spend the night in a cozzy hotel.
Our tents are of the brand MOUNTAIN PASS 3XTE or DOITE 3 ST, we use this brands for its high quality and recommendations. We provide with 3 person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort. In case of a single traveller, we provide with a 2 person capacity tent. After each trek, we carefully check our tents and fix or discard them if it is necessary! Remember ,we provide the sleeping bag, inflatable pillow and blanket.
On this hike is included the following train services:
Machu Picchu to Cusco
|Departure||Arrival to Ollantaytambo||Arrival to Cusco|
Machu Picchu to Cusco
|Departure||Arrival to Ollantaytambo||Arrival to Cusco|
If you prefer Vistadome train or Machu Picchu Train 360 for this trek, the extra price is U$ 50 dollars. let us know before your booking your service.
The Vistadome train have panoramic windows, which allows to appreciate the beautiful scenery along the route.Live an unforgettable experience of magic connection with nature on the Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo route on the PeruRail Vistadome train.
In the Vistadome service you can enjoy of:
The only train in Peru with an entertainment app on board which will allow you to learn more about the train journey and the Inca civilization. Experience a unique way to travel to Machu Picchu, exploring the Andean landscape like never before with wider and taller panoramic windows and an observation outdoor carriage including a bar. Enjoy our appetizing selection of cold and warm drinks, prepared using fruit juices and Andean herbs, and our delicious gourmet and organic delights made with products from the Sacred Valley.
You can enjoy of:
The Hotel used in Aguas Calientes town is a 3 star hotel that have a good quality of service. Since it is clean, safe and comfortable with a friendly and very helpfully staff. They have private Twin, Double and Triple rooms, with small private bathrooms and hot gas water system. Hotel has one of the best locations in town, only few blocks from Train and Bus Station and you don’t have to walk too much long uphill hikes to get to your room! It is about 10 minutes from the hot spring pools. We try to include an economical accommodation option for this trek to make it accessible for everyone but recommend that if you want a better accommodation in Aguas Calientes to celebrate your accomplishment of the trek, you can tell us when booking.
These following hotels are used to accommodate you during your tour:
|Hotel Machu Picchu Dream|
Single Accommodation: If you are traveling on your own, and would prefer to share a tent, we’ll pair you with another trekker of the same gender and there will not be an extra cost. If you prefer to have a tent to yourself a surcharge of USD 50 will have to be paid. If you want an upgrade any service to the train or accommodation or do you want to stay extra night in Machu Picchu, contact us directly to firstname.lastname@example.org for this to be done and confirmed to you.
IMPORTANT TO ACCOMMODATION: You must present your passport with the TAM immigration slip (copy) to all hotel accommodations. The national sales tax (18%) is charged to all Peruvian citizens and foreigners staying 60 consecutive days or more. In case the room is shared by both a taxable and non-taxable guest at the same time, the sales tax will be applied to the whole room. So please take every caution to not lose this piece of paper. You need to bring it to the Cusco office for your checking.
UP-GRADING HOTELS in Aguas Calientes town: If you would like to stay in a Hotel 3 star or more, you have to pay extra, the discount for your hotel on the Salkantay Trek is U$ 25 per person (Double or Single room) Please request this at the time of booking.
5 Stars Hotel
Single: U$ 1,500
Double: U$ 1,500
3 Stars Hotel
Single: U$ 218.5
Double: U$ 218.5
3 Stars Hotel
Single: U$ 110
Double: U$ 150
3 Stars Hotel
Single: U$ 230
Double: U$ 230
It’s very important to take EXTRA MONEY. You need to take at least 200-300 soles emergency money:
From La Playa its a 2 hour walk to Aobamba, where you camp for the night. The next day its a 4 hour hike to the Llactapata ruins. After the visit you will descend for 3 hours till you reach hidroelectrica.
If you choose this option, you will continue the hike for 2 hours from La Playa to Aobamba camping where you will stay the night. On the following day, wake up early and we walk up to Llacatapata Mountain, 4 hrs. We get to the lower (and warmer) subtropical areas observing the different landscapes and the Incan ruins of Llactapata. Then we walk down 2 hrs to Hidroelectrica and 3 hrs more to Machu Picchu.
The easy route down the valley to Santa Teresa. If your group decide to go straight to Santa Teresa you will take the bus for an additional cost. At Santa Teresa you will visit the hot springs
The other option: We will rent the car (not included), and we ride 1 hr 45 min to Santa Teresa where we camp, between 4 pm and 5pm, we catch the local bus to Santa Teresa Hot Springs (USD 8 dollars) where you can relax. Next day, we will wake up 07:00 am and we continue the trek to Machu Picchu or you can choose the other activity, ZIP Line (USD 40 dollars). Lunch in Hidroelectrica. The last stretch of the trail, we follow the railway, which goes along the Urubamba River to Machu picchu.
From Aobamba (Playa Sahuyaco), Llactapata ruins, Aguas Calientes are 12 hrs walk. If you tired and you want to take a break! you can continue your trip by train, there are trains leaving from Hidrolectrica to Aguas Calientes town between to 14:30 and 15:00, You can book this ticket on the train station. The extra price is U$ 35 per person.
Usually The Salkantay hike is starting from Cusco, you can choose the best hotel or Airbnb insite de city. Please check your trip and location for pick you up.
|Trip/ Hiking||Starting point & pick up|
|Inca Trail||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|
The Salkantay Trek is a popular alternative trek to Machu Picchu that takes you through the stunning Andean mountains and remote villages of Peru. The length of the trek depends on the specific itinerary and tour company you choose, but typically it takes 4-5 days to complete.
The standard Salkantay Trek itinerary covers a distance of around 75 kilometers (47 miles) from the starting point at Mollepata to Machu Picchu. It involves walking an average of 6-8 hours per day, with some days requiring up to 10 hours of hiking.
However, there are variations of the trek that can take longer or shorter, depending on the specific route and pace of the group. Some tours may also include rest days or additional activities, such as hot springs or zip-lining, which can add to the overall length of the trek. It’s important to carefully research and choose a tour that fits your fitness level and interests.
Along the Salkantay trail, on the first day and second day, between to the head trail (Challacancha – Huayracmachay) the temperatures range from 0-20ºC during the day if it’s sunny, to 05-10ºC during the day if not sunny and can drop below freezing at night. in the night is cold between -05-2ºC. Second and fourth day, it is subtropical zone and the altitude is lower, the weather are changing everyday. it is possible to rain, sunny or cloudy, the temperatures range from 25 – 35ºC during the day and if it raining is 10 -15ºC. In the night is 5 – 10ºC.
In Aguas Calientes/Machupicchu, at lower altitude, temperatures are usually warmer though warm clothes are still recommended at night. the altitude of the Machu Picchu is 2300 m and Aguas Calientes town 2200 m and usually everyday the weather are changing.
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machu Picchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machu Picchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.
1. Trekking shoes/hiking boots to walk on trails, Inca trails, mountains, glaciers, it is very important to wear hiking shoes that offer support, anti-slide, grid and shock absorption so that you can focus on a beautiful scenery of your trek and not on your feet. The shoes also should be waterproof and have got a cartage tongue and ankle cuffs that provide comfort and protection. Rubber sole as an impact protection is also recommended.
2. Small rucksack to carry your personal items during daily travels when all your baggage is not necessary.
3. Travel insurance (+ copies in a case of lost).
4. Jacket needs to be light, waterproof, windproog, especially designed for adventure and preferably made of bright colours to make you visible from far.
5. Trekking trousers should be convertible (trousers – shorts), should have pockets of a big capacity as well as satisfy your comfort during weather changes. It is suitable to be made of resistant and waterproof fabrics.
6. Walking sticks/poles enable you to walk with ease providing you with support on each step. They should be light, compact, preferably made of aluminum alloy and have an antishock system that absorb impacts before they reach your hand wrists.
7. Sandals for a better comfort whilst at a campsite.
8. Warm clothes such as a jacket, a fleece (thermal clothing is also recommended for cold nights during camping).
9. Hat or a cap as a protection against the Sun, rain as well as cold).
10. Sun cream or sun block
11. After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.
12. Insect repellent when in area with insect occurrence.
13. Camera and its charger/batteries (please note that batteries are consumed quickly under cold conditions).
14. Flashlight/headlamp + batteries
15. Handkerchiefs and toilet paper
16. Small towel and toiletries
18. Sufficient reserve of underwear and extra socks
19. Swimsuits when you pass through warm areas with lagoons, rivers, hot springs in Agua Calientes and Lares or other water sources.
20. Snacks such as biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.21. Bottled water and a water bottle to be refilled. Metallic (alternatively Nalgene) bottles are ideal.
22. Water-purifying tablets if you like to use water from streams along a trail.
23. Cash in a local currency
If you have extra luggage, you can be left safely in your hotel in Cusco, in the Ollantaytambo train station or Tierras Vivas store luggage. if you decided in our store luggage, in the morning our driver will pick your luggage and He leave in our office and we will save 5 days and when you will return to Cusco, you can pick your luggage.