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 to Machupicchu but this one is a bit more "wild".
Day 01: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha -Soraypampa
Day 02: Soraypampa - Collpapampa
Day 03: Collpapampa - La Playa
Day 04: La Playa-Llactapata-Hidroelectrica-Aguas Calientes
Day 05: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Service Level: Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character, 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.
Crew: A Tierras Vivas Representative in Cusco and a profesional Tour Guide, Cook and Horseman during the trek. Our guide will visit you hotel a day before the trek for your briefing
Accommodation: 3x campsite, 1x Hotel
Meals: 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, 3x afternoon tea
Transportation: A private transportation, a return train EXPEDITION (18:20 or 14:30)
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 reserve this trip, you will be making a donation to the school for special needs children.
Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters and horses carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! There is still a long way to go when it comes to a reserve of adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation.BOOK ONLINE
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!
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;
Experienced bilingual Tour Guide. They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun yet professional, and will ensure you are safe and happy.
Note: A group up to 8 participants has 1 Tour Guide, a groups over 8 participants receives 2 Tour Guides
Camping (3 Nights) and Hotel in Machu Picchu (1 Night)
Our tents are of the brand Eureka Mountain double 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.
Hotel in Machu Picchu with private bathroom and hot water (Single, Double or matrimonial room)
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 for more comfort to sleep in the trail
We use only feather sleeping bags that are suitable up to minus 16°C. This means you do not need to be worry about cold as temparature at night at each trek reaches just up to 0°C (maximum -5°C)!!
Included the Salkantay and Machu Picchu.
4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, 3x afternoon´s hot beverages and Snack every morning
The Tierras Vivas chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have raved about. If you are a vegetarian or have any restrictions, our chef will prepare special food, please advise us in advance. A vegetarian meal option is for NO extra cost. Food is typically served and buffet.
Excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own, Tierras Vivas will supply all the water needed. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributing. You must supply your own water bottles or camel back. We recommend carrying about 3L worth. We will refill our waters at each meal.
Our horses will carry the all camping equipement for your trek and 7 kg for your personal beloging + Sleeping bag;
An emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower;
Muleteer is responsible to take the horses;
Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our horses carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!!
From Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo, there are two companies train (Incarail and Perurail),you can choose two time of your train return to Cusco
If you take the train return at 14:55, you will be in Cusco at 18:00
If you take the train return at 19:00, you will be in Cusco at 22:00
On the high season, it is very important let us know in advance, because it is very difficult find spaces available.
Tables and chairs, cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas
A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town
Early morning transfer by private bus to Challacancha - the initial point of the trek;
The train service is finishing in Ollantaytambo Train station, then our driver is waiting for you and he will take to Cusco;
Our guide has received training in first aid from a physician. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.
Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek's price!
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 Llacatapata 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.
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.
Please Note: 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.
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. Please request this at the time of booking.
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 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.
In this trek is included the train Expedition the return is 18:20 from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, then you will take the tourist bus to Cusco, you will arrive between 22 hrs to 23 hrs to Main square or Plaza Armas.
If you prefer Vistadome train or Luxury train for this trek, the extra price is U$ 45 dollars. let us know before your booking your service.
Our Representative and our guide will visit your hotel two or a day before the trek for your briefing.
All Salkantay Trek group tours are accompanied by a Tierras Vivas Tour Guide, a Representative or an expedition team. 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.
It’s very important to take EXTRA MONEY. You need to take at least 200-300 soles emergency money:
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 Cheap
This tour involves the Lares Route and Machu Picchu. In the Lares trek you will see the high mountain scenery, alpine lakes, waterfalls and you will get the chance to meet the inhabitants who still preserve their customs. The tour continues by taking the train to Aguas Calientes and then visit the famous Inca fortress of Machu Picchu. Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 days
Cachicata’s proximity to Machu Picchu makes trekking around it an attractive alternative to the oversubscribed Inca Trail. This tour allows you to appreciate the Huarocondor terraces, the water fall, Incas Ruins, Andean Terraces, Intipunku (Sun gate), Inca Trail original, stone quarries and Machu Picchu. Cachicata Trek Inca Trail 4 days
This tour involves Cachicata and Machu Picchu. In this tour you are going to see the Huarocondor terraces, the water falls, Incan ruins, Andean Terraces, the Intipunku (Sun gate), stone quarries and the beautiful lost city of the Incas in the last day of the tour. Cachicata Trek 4 days.