Our Salkantay Trek 5 days is a customized alternate to the usual Inca Trail. Not on the usual gringo 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 pathway 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 English speaking tour guide takes us around this incredible Incan citadel.
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".
Day 01: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha -Soraypampa
Day 02: Soraypampa - Salkantay Mountain - Collpapampa
Day 03: Collpapampa - La Playa
Day 04: La Playa - Llactapata Mountain - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes
Day 05: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Walking Distance: 40 miles / 64 Km
Starting Altitude: 2850m / 9650 ft.
Highest Altitude: 4552m / 14934ft.
Finishing Altitude: 2300m / 7545f.t (Machu Picchu Altitude)
Departure Point: Cusco - We pick you up from your hotel.
Departure Time: 05:30
Briefing Point: Hotel or Airbnb
Briefing Time: Between 17:00 - 18:00
Return Point: Our driver will drop-off in your hotel or Airbnb department
Return Time: From Aguas Calientes to Cusco - 14:30 (IncaRail) or 18:30 (Perurail)
Best Alternative hike: We can recommend to do the 5 day hike to Salkantay to Inca Trail. Our departure is 100% guaranteed.
Service Level: Superior service, extra and emergency horses 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, Cook and Horseman during the trek.
Meals: 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, 3x afternoon tea
Accommodation: 3x campsite (Camping equipment), 1x Hotel
If you would like more information about the hotel, train service, weather, extra large lugagge, tipping, starting point & pick up, suggest items, travel insurance, please visit ESSENTIAL INFO.
Why to book salkantay trek in advance?: This trek has departures 100% guaranteed, but train tickets and entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain are 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!
Why to Choosing Salkantay?: 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.
If you would like do the other treks to Machu Picchu! If not, no worries as you can still hike one of so called Alternative Treks! These Alternative Treks are the similar for the the Salkantay Trek. Please click in our ALTERNATIVE TOURS
IMPORTANT NOTE: THAT FEE OF THESE MONEY TRANSFER COMPANIES ARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE TOUR ! THIS SERVICE INCLUDED ALL EQUIPMENT AND SERVICE
If you want to know about our foundation, please click Responsible Travel
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 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. 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 in Collpapampa.
Another early start after breakfast, on this part of the hike we 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 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 (Hidroelectrica), 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 past the Urubamba River and onward to the Hydro Electric 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 ther we go to our hostal. We have dinner and rest for our next 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!
Single room & Tent: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room & tent" 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. It is very important, let us know, where you will be staying in Cusco. This information you can send us 2 week before the 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 possible. The Tour Guides provide 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.
Day 1: First day, We pick you up from your hotel at 5:30 am and we take a 2 and a half hour ride from Cusco to Mollepata. We continue the bus journey for 45 minutes more to the trailhead at Sayllapata (3,600 m). We start our 4 hour trek by a gentle ascend towards Soraypampa (3700 m). Then we climb up 2 hrs to Umantay Lake, camping in Soraypampa.
Day 2: At 06:00 am we continue the trek to the mountain and climb to the highest point of the trek - Salkantay Pass (4,550 m). Then we descend 3 hrs to Colpapampa campsite.
Day 3 - 4: Wake up at 06:00 am and this day involves a gentle gradual hike, we walk down through the upper jungle region, through streams, past waterfalls and across gorgeous valleys. We arrive to La Playa. At this point you can choose from two options for your hike to Machu Picchu.
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.
Day 05: The last day we enjoy hiking to Machu Picchu as well as its guided tour. In the evening of the same day you take a train to Ollantaytambo, from where you are picked up by private vehicle, bringing you back to Cusco.
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 our hike is starting from Cusco, but we can pick you up from your hotel outside of Cusco. Please check your trip and location for pick you up.
|Trips/ 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, Urubamba, Yanahuara|
|Day tours||Only Cusco|
On this hike is included the following train services:
|Perurail||Expedition 74||Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo||14:55||16:31||Ollanta - Cusco||Group||18:30|
|Expedition 84||Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo||18:20||20:05||Ollanta - Cusco||Group||22:00|
|Expedition 86||Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo||20:50||22:50||Ollanta - Cusco||Private||23:30|
|Inca Rail||The Voyager||Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo||14:30||15:56||Ollanta - Cusco||Group||18:40|
|The Voyager||Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo||19:00||20:41||Ollanta - Cusco||Group||22:30|
|The Voyager||Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo||20:20||21:59||Ollanta - Cusco||Private||23:00|
On the Expedition and The Voyager is not included extra service inside the train. Our driver will drop off in your hotel.
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 is included the follow:
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.
Included the following service:
During the Salkantay trek we spend three nights full-service camping, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents, cook, and do all camp chores for you: you need only carry your day pack. There will also be dining and toilet tents and bowls of warm water are provided both morning and evening for washing with. and last night you spend a small hotel.
Our tents are of the brand MOUNTAIN PASS 3XTE or DOITE 3 ST designated for 4 seasons. 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 them if necessary!
We provide the sleeping bag, inflatable pillow, inflatable blanket.
Hotel in Aguas Calientes town is not a 3 star hotel but 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 do anymore 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 are wanting better accommodation in Aguas Calientes to celebrate your accomplishment of the trek.
These following hotels are used to accommodate you during your tour:
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.
|MACHU PICCHU HOTELS||STAR||SINGLE||DOUBLE|
|Santuary Lodge Machu Picchu||5 Star||U$ 1500.00||U$ 1500.00|
|Casa Andina Machu Picchu||3 Star||U$ 218.50||U$ 218.50|
|Tierra Viva Machu Picchu||3 Star||U$ 110.00||U$ 150.00|
|Ferre Machu Picchu||3 Star||U$ 230.00||U$ 230.00|
Santuary Lodge Machu Picchu: The accommdation is Standard Patio
Casa Andina Machu Picchu: The accommdation is Standard Traditional
Tierra Viva Hotel Machu Picchu: The accommodation is Standard
Ferre Machu Picchu Hotel: The accommodation is Standard
Single Supplement: 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 email@example.com 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.
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.
It’s very important to take EXTRA MONEY. You need to take at least 200-300 soles emergency money:
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
Salkantay to Machu Picchu Cheap is designed for those trekkers, who prefer to get to budget travel such as the Salkantay Trek. This hike is one of the most famous and popular treks in Peru.
This trail is different for the Salkantay Trek via Llactapata, On the hiking you will spend a night in Santa Terea (Hot spring), then Aguas Calientes. and you can do the ZIP Line. Visit our website Salkantay Trek Cheap
Do you known Machu Picchu? Not yet, Do you want to view the Condor overflight?, This hike is best for you. If you want to do the new route to Machu Picchu by Salkantay Mountain, Tierras Vivas offer the new alternative hike the name is Condor Sight to Salkantay Trek 5 days. In this tour involves the Chonta site, where you can see the natural of the Condor overflight, then you can continue the hike to Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. Visit our website for more information about the Condor Sight to Salkantay Trek and Book Online..
The 5 day hike to Salkantay to Inca Trail involves 3 day hike on the famous Mountain and 2 day Inca Trail. This route is the best alternative hike of the Classic Inca Trail and Salkantay Trek. Not along the typical tourist trail path, this is an innovating adventure for travelers who want a little more solitude and individuality on their journey. More information, visit the Salkantay Inca Trail 5 days
|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. 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!|