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Panoramic View of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the Sun Gate (Inti Punku)

Salkantay Trek 5 Days /4 Nights

5 days / 4 nights
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Camping & hotel Accommodation
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Up to 10 People Group Size
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5 dís / 4 noches Max. Altitude
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Moderate Challenging Difficulty

A Truly Andean Experience

Cusco, Mollepata, Salkantay, Aguas Calientes
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Loading Type Accommodation
Group Size Icon
Up to 10 People Group Size
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5 dís / 4 noches Max. Altitude
Difficulty Icon
Moderate Challenging Difficulty

The Salkantay trek is a great alternative to the Inca trail for people who loves the hike between snow-capped mountains, lakes, mountain range, and rainforest area. This trek offers an amazing experience along the route – explore the favorite Humantay lagoon, hike the Salkantay mountain, which is the 2nd highest mountain in Cusco, explore the famous rainforest area where the vegetations makes unique landscapes, discover Machu Picchu the enigmatic Inca site hidden between the mountains.

Salkantay Trek 5 Days /4 Nights Salkantay Trek 5 Days /4 Nights Map
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Recommendations
  • Faqs
  • Pricing
  • Enquire Now
  Overview

If you like to explore the Andes and Rainforest of Peru the Salkantay trek is what you are looking for. Great stunning views and picturesque landscapes make this trek one of the best over the world. Hike up to see the most beautiful turquoise Humantay lagoon of Cusco, feel the energy of Apu Salkantay which is the protector of the Quechua people, live and experience of the life time hiking down to the rainforest with different humid microclimates which is home of different native species of flora and fauna.

Highlights: Salkantay Mountain, Humantay lake & Machu Picchu
Hiking distance: 75km/46.6 miles
Considerations: Acclimatation is required
Season: April through November

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day01

    Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Humantay lake - Soraypampa

  • Day02

    Soraypampa - Salkantaypampa - Salkantay Pass - Wayraqpunco - Chaullay

  • Day03

    Chaullay - La Playa - Lucmabamba

  • Day04

    Lucmabamba - LLactapata-Hidrielectrica - Aguas Calientes

  • Day05

    Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu – Cusco

  Itinerary
Day 01

Cusco - Mollepata Town - Sayllapata - Soraypampa-Salkantaypampa

Walking Distance:  12km / 7.45 miles
Starting Elevation: 3450 meters / 11318 feet
Highest Elevation: 4000 meters / 13125 feet
Campsite Elevation:  4000 meters / 13125 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Meals: Lunch, Dinner (Snack and afternoon tea)
Accommodation: Camping (tent)
Adventure: Absolutely, completely satisfactory
Today’s Highlights: Walking from Sayllapata to Salkantaypampaenjoing the nature over 3,000masl. and views of the enigmatic ‘Apu’ Salkantay.

Today’s Highlights: Walking from Sayllapata to Salkantaypampa enjoing the nature over 3,000 masland views of the enigmatic ‘Apu’ Salkantay.

We will pick you up from your hotel at 4:30 a.m. to begin our expedition to Machu Picchu. You will be met at your hotel by your guide, then we will drive for three hours in our van (bus) to the trail head, . You will have time to take your first breakfast in Mollepata town or buy the some staff you could need along the expedition,if the weather allows, the views from this area are breathtaking. You will be looking at two big mountains, called Humantay (5,900masl -19,356ft) and Salkantay (6,215masl-20,390ft).Once in Sayllapata( 3450masl- 11,318ft)your guide will introduce the team, take a group photo and at around 9:30 a.m., you should be hiking, on your way to Machu Picchu. During the day's hike, you will explore the Andes with alpine views, the entire time. For two hours, you will partake in gradual, uphill hiking along the Salknatay valley, until we arrive to Soray Pampa, located at 3,900mt-12,795ft, for our lunch and some beautiful views of the Salkantay glacier peak and the Salkantay river. After your lunch, you will continue the last 3 hours uphill, by switchback, to ourcamping  spot at Salkantaypampa, located at 4,000masl- 13,125ft. You will be impressed with the view along the way, as you pass by streams, waterfalls from the hillsides and views of both mountains (Salkantay and Huamantay). Meals are always something to look forward to when you hike with Vidal Expeditions. your trekking chef and porters, who will be ready with hot beverages, followed by an amazing family-style meal for you to enjoy. This spot is located close to the mountain of Salkantay, so you will be able to see and hear some avalanches falling from the hill of the Salkantay glacier peak. which always has snow on the roof, and the cloud forest at the bottom of the valley. At around 5:30 p.m., you will get to your campsite, located at the foot of Salkantay mountain, and your trekking staff will have your tents set up and with your duffel bags ready. They will provide you with warm water to get washed up and change into something warm. We will have a happy hour with hot chocolate and coffee, followed by dinner. If the weather allows, you will get to enjoy the blue sky, as your tour guide will show you the Inca constellations.

Day 02

Salkantaypampa - Salkantay Pass- Wayraqpunco- Chaullay

Walking Distance:  19 km / 11.7 miles
Starting Elevation:  4000 meters / 13125 feet
Campsite Elevation:  2750 meters / 9022 feet
Maximum Altitude:  4650 meters / 15255 feet
Difficulty: Challenging - Moderate.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Snack and afternoon tea)
Accommodation: Camping
Adventure: Absolutely
Highlights of today: Hiking next the Salkantay Mountain with the top view of the biggest peak. And incredible views of the rain forest and tropical jungle in Chaullay.

Highlights of today: Hiking next the Salkantay mountain with the top view of the biggest peak. And incredible views of the rain forest and tropical jungle in Chaullay.

After an early wake up with the first daylight at 05:30 am. and a quick breakfast we soon start hiking up to the highest point of the trail: the Salkantay Pass (4650 MASL - 15,255 ft). The distance is a 3km (1.84miles) tough ascent in 2 hours, between the rocky valley bottom and the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6,215masl-20,390ft).When we finally reach the top we can and definitely will appreciate the spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo. The Salkantay Mountain is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region and one of the Inca Gods called “Apu”. After reaching the top of the pass there is a 5km (3.1miles) and 2 hours downhill hike towards the camp for our lunch. The walk downwards is on a serpent shape trail and a rocky gravel path to get to the Huayracmachay lunch spot. In the afternoon we will enter the upper part of the amazon jungle, which is also called “the cloud forest”. This is a 10 km (6.2miles) hike in 3 hours on a wide trail in the thick forests. This hike is truly beautiful, there are decorated the hills with colourful sceneries and a lot of wildlife and native plants. The forests are most times of the year warm or have a temperate temperature. When finishing this magnificent hike we finally arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 MASL - 9,514 ft), our base camp in the jungle.

Day 03

Chaullay - La Playa - Lucmabamba

Walking Distance: 18km / 11.2 miles
Starting Elevation:  2750 meters / 9022 feet
Campsite Elevation:  2400 meters / 7874 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping
Adventure: Absolutely
Highlights of today: We will appreciate the landscape, scenery and wildlife. Looking different wild fruits along the way like: banana, avocado, passion fruit, coffee, etc.

Highlights of today: We will appreciate the landscape, scenery and wildlife. Looking different wild fruits along the way like: banana, avocado, passion fruit, coffee, etc.

At 6:00 am. we will start our trek to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley. We will be hiking for approximately 6 hours. During the hike we’ll see waterfalls, wild orchids, but also coffee, banana and avocado plantations. Here you can taste the famous passion fruit and granadilla fruit. We will see a village called Colpapampa, also called the “forest cloudy brow” where waterfalls, thermal hot springs, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora and birds can be observed. If we are lucky, we will be able to see the famous bird called “the Cock of the Rocks” this bird is the national bird of Peru. After lunch at La playa, we will hike for approximately 1 hour to our base camp called Lucmabamba (2400 MASL - 7874 ft). We will explore the tropical forest for a little while and have a lovely visit at an organic coffee farm. Here you can taste the coffee prepared by the local people. Coffee is the main farming industry of the local people here in the jungle and they farm many hectares of coffee to export to the USA, Asia and Europe. Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, but it wasn’t until the Spanish invaded Cusco that it was brought to this region. We will also explore an orange and an avocado plantation.

Day 04

Lucmabamba - Llactapata - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes

Walking Distance:18 km / 11.2 miles
Starting Elevation:2450 meters / 8038 feet
Campsite Elevation:2000 meters / 6561 feet (AguasCalientes hostel)
Difficulty: Easy
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:Hostel
Adventure:Absolutely
Highlights of today: One of the  best days of the trek. We will   hike  part on the original inca trail and try to get the first view of  Machu Picchu.

Highlights of today: One of the  best days of the trek. We will   hike  part on the original inca trail and try to get the first view of  Machupicchu

The chef of the trek will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea served in your bed. You will get ready for today’s activity while enjoying your last prepared breakfast by the trek chef. We will begin the hike early and you will get the opportunity to enjoy a small part of the famous Inka trail! After a climb of 2 hours with amazing views of the Santa Teresa valley we will arrive at the Llactapata Inca site right in front of Machu Picchu. This will be the first archaeological site we will see of the Lost City of the Incas and a very special place to enjoy and spend time. We will be able to see not only the Machu Picchu ruins from this spot, but also the Huaynapicchu and the Machu Picchu Mountain. We will explore this Inca site with the guide and he will continue the history lessons about the Incas of this beautiful country and of course you will have plenty of time to take as many photos as you want.

After the Llactapata ruins, we will continue our trek with a 2 hours downhill hike. At this hike you’re always able to have views of Machu Picchu until we arrive at the Hidroelectrica train station which is our lunch place. The most impressive part of this area is the natural waterfall of 300 meters high which generates the electricity for the region of Cusco. We will then arrive at the famous Intiwatana. Intiwatana is an ancient rock used as a sundial in the ancient Inca times. According to history, this old Inca stone used to work with the famous sundial stone in Machu Picchu. These could measure and read the winter solstice which was the beginning of the new farming season for the Incas. After we pass this small Inca site we will reach the train rails. Next to the rails there is a nice path to walk on; this path will take us approximately 3 hours. After the 3 hours we will arrive at AguasCalientes, which is located at the foot of Machu Picchu. This section is very interesting because it is the trail that was used by the American Professor Hiram Bingham who rediscovered Machu Picchu after centuries of it being lost.

Day 05

Machu Picchu (The Sacred City Of The Incas) - Return to Cusco

Walking Distance:  8km/ 5miles
Starting Elevation:  2000 meters / 6568 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Meals: Breakfast
Overview:  touring in Machu Picchu
Adventure: Absolutely

Highlights of today: Finally  after 4 days hiking early morning we arrive  to Machu Picchu, we should be one of the first group  in Machu Picchu to get pictures without many people and have chance to see the sunrise.

Today is the most important day in your expedition. To get the most out of the day, we encourage every group to have an early breakfast before catching one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (starting at 5:30 a.m.). The hotel will hold your bags for you, until you return from your tour. The bus will take 30 minutes to get to the top. Once you arrive, your guide will introduce you to Machu Picchu. You will head directly to a beautiful place to watch the sunrise and to take pictures. Your guide will walk you around the citadel, for two and a half hours, teaching you more of the history and culture of the Incas. At the end of the tour, you will have some time to yourself or, if you arranged to hike Huayna Picchu (must be booked in advance, as it sells out and costs $35 per person), your guide will show you where to begin this hike, which will take no more than two hours round-trip. You should start heading to the bus line to head back to Aguas Calientes around 1 p.m., as your train will typically leave at 14:30 p.m. (your guide will inform you if the train time is earlier). You take a two hours train back to Ollantaytambo, followed by a two hours car drive, back to your hotel for drop off.

Machu Picchu mountain can be climbed instead of Huayna Picchu for $35 per person. This hike is more challenging and takes three hours minimum, round-trip. You always have the opportunity to climb to the Sun Gate for free. This is a much easier walk of two hours, round-trip.

  Inclusions

What Is Included?

  • Pre-departure briefing: You will meet your head guide and group in our office, for an orientation trek and provide you the duffle bags which will be carried by our horses. meeting at 7:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.
  • Transport: Collection from your hotel in the morning and transfer in private transportation to Sayllapata (starting point of the trek).
  • Experienced Guide: English speaking professional and official tour guide.
  • Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks. Our tents are 3-season, highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance in field.
  • Camping equipment: Dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs.
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu.
  • Accommodation: 3 nights camping and 1 night accommodation in selected hotel in AguasCalientes with Breakfast.
  • Hotel in AguasCalientes: double or triple rooms, private bathrooms, hot showers, wifi, and storage while you visit Machu Picchu.
  • 1 Duffle Bag: Where you can put your personal belongings (7 kilograms = 15 lbs) which includes your sleeping bag.
  • Air mattresses.
  • Cargo Mules: From day 1 to 2 to carry the all camping equipment and your personal baggage (7 kilos).
  • Trekking Cook: In charge to prepared all the meals along the journey, over 6 people cook assistant
  • Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 dinners and Snacks (Vegetarian, vegan or special menus are available at no extra cost)
  • Wake up tea: Every morning at the campsite we will wake you up with a cup of coca tea our support staff will bring the coca tea to your tent in order to wake you up.
  • Tea time = Happy Hour: Every afternoon 1 hour before dinner the cooks will let on the dining table pop-corn, biscuits, coffee, chocolate, different type of teas, hot water, etc. this is because after a day of hiking many are hungry and it is a bit annoying to wait till dinner that why we provide tea time.
  • Daily snacks - Days 1, 2,3 and 4 Our Snacks consist of local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, Caramels we will give this snack at the beginning of each day trek in a cloth bag to avoid environmental contamination.
  • Water grooming: Each morning warm water with towel
  • Medical kit: Our crew bring the First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Train tickets: From AguasCalientes to Ollantaytambo (Expedition service at 16:20 or 18:20 hrs)
  • Transport: Transfer from Ollantaytambo Train Station to hotel in Cusco(Day 4)
  • 24-h guest service: please ask for the emergency number available during your time of visit
    We are Direct operators & local owners with the best trekking team on the hike.

What Is Not Included?

  • Entrance fee: to Salkantay Trail (S/.10 per person)
  • Sleeping Bags: (We rent  from our company), our sleeping bags are -18ºC-comfort (0ºF), mummy form. They are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips.
  • Walking Sticks: ( We rent from our company) our walking sticks are with Antishock system
  • Day 1:Breakfast
  • Last Day: Lunch and Dinner in AguasCalientes.
  • Huaynapicchu  /Machupicchu  mountains: to climb those  mountains  you need to book in advance to see  if those are available  and has extra cost $35.00 each mountain.
  • Option: If you feel tired after the trek to and from Llactapata, you have the option to take the train from Hydroelectric to AguasCalientes, cost: $28.00
  • Tips:horse driver, cooks & guides
  • Additional costs or delays caused by management out of control like landscape,  bad weather condition,  in case of itinerary modification with a view to safety concern, illness,  change of government policy, political instability raises strike, moment etc.
  Recommendations

What to bring?

  • Original Passport
  • ISIC card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
  • Warm jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable Trousers
  • Sun hat
  • Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
  • Insect repellant
  • Toiletries and hand sanitiser
  • Personal medication
  • Camera and film
  • Torch with spare batteries

  Faqs

PREPARING FOR YOUR SALKANTAY TREK

Here some frequently asked question about Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu tours in Cusco

BOOKING SYSTEM

At Vidal Expeditions, we try to make the best of us to booking system works as easy as possible for you, once you decided to do this trek, we will send to you a booking form where you need to complete all the required detail which we need to book your tickets, we need a previous deposit of $200USD per person. Once as soon as you paid it, we immediately book a spot for this tour once we have done with it, we will send you your invoice and confirmation form that all the booking process has set up satisfactorily.

WHERE TO STAY IN CUSCO?

Cusco is a big city enough to find different categories of hotels from 2 stars to 5 stars also there are Airbnb places where you can stay without any problem. Cusco streets are narrow especially near to the main square and some streets are pedestrian with some stairs, we will send you a notify for the pick up if is not possible the access with our car and arrange another place to pick you up and drop off also a night before your tour you will meet with your tour guide who will tell you all the details about the tour. In case you want some recommendations please ask to Vidal Expeditions sales team.

ALONG THE SALKANTAY TREK

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SALKANTAY TREK AND INCA TRAIL? Well, Salkantay trek is particularly one of the best alternative treks towards Machu Picchu with an amazing view of Apu Salkantay which is one of the highest mountains around Cusco region, also you can enjoy turquoise lakes, semi-tropical area and hot spring which makes of this trek a great alternative for people who want to get different experience comparing than classic Inca trail which is just hiking whole day.

IS THERE ELECTRICITY ALONG THE TREK?

Not, because this trek is located in remote place where there is not electricity some local village located along the trek has solar panels your guide can talk with some of them in extreme cases to recharge your cellphone, we recommend to bring your extra power bank for the days you are on the mountains. However the last two days you can find electricity on our campsite to use this you need to pay extra Peruvian soles to the family who take care all these.

HOW CHALLENGING IS THE TREK?

This trek is particularly challenging specially for people who does not has experience hiking on the mountains, we recommend to training with some exercises a few times per week to don’t have problem, also is recommendable to spend some days in Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude because part of the segment along this trek are located over 4500m/13123ft

WHAT HAPPEN IF I GOT ALTITUDE SICKNESS?

No worry, our guides and team are professional trained how to solve this kind of problems, your guide always will have a first aid kit with some medications for these frequent issues, you should trust in them, also will be there an extra emergency horse to take you to the nearest health center where you can recovery in case you need it. Our team always has radio.

DO YOU NEED HIKING BOOTS?

Definitely, it is always recommendable to wear a light hiking boots if possible. Ones with ankle support are extra helpful, especially for the inexperienced hiker. Because you will be climbing down so many steps created by the Incas, crossing some rivers especially the day 2 some of them are slippery, now uneven and at varying heights, the extra support helps from twisting your ankles.

SHOULD I USE WALKING STICKS?

Yes. Walking sticks are always helpful to trekkers, especially if is raining along the trek. Using walking sticks can help take the pressure off your knees while doing some portion of the trek. Plus they will help you get up the mountain as well.

WHERE DO I STORE MY LUGGAGE?

In case you have extra luggage which you not need to bring to the trail all the hotels in Cusco has storage where you can leave your luggage completely free, if you will change your hotel after the trek we have available our storage in Vidal Expeditions office, get more info with from our office team.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AS FAR AS WEATHER

The weather in Cusco regions and part of the Andes is unpredictable even if the weather forecast says it’s sunny we can’t trust in it. It is an impossible question for us to answer. Historically April through September is the dry season, November through February is the rainy season and March and October and bridge months - a mixture of both. But the clouds have not followed these rules in the last few years. Prepare for sun and rain no matter when you come. As far as temperatures go, that is consistent throughout the year. Mornings and evenings are always cold. Make sure to bring a fleece jacket for the mornings and a down jacket for the evenings. Once the sun is up you should be comfortable hiking in short sleeves. Long pants (yoga or hiking) are encouraged to help from the mosquitos which can be a nuisance in some part of the trail.

  Pricing

From: USD 520.00 per person

USD 480.00: from 4 people to more

  Enquire Now

Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Vidal Expeditions. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.

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Salkantay Trek 5 Days /4 Nights
14 years and above
Below 14 years
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Feel free to reach us via email at vidalexpeditions@gmail.com or by calling us directly at +51 951 359 694

Monday - Friday: 09:00 to 18:00 Hrs.
Saturday: 09:00 to 13:00 Hrs.

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