Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu through Llactapata 5 Days

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

5 Days 4 Nights
5 Star icon (77 reviews)
Salkantay Video by Vidal Expeditions
Accommodation Icon
Camping Accommodation
Group Size Icon
Up to 8 People Group Size
Max. Altitude Icon
4,620 m / 15,157 ft Max. Altitude
Difficulty Icon
Moderate to Challenging Difficulty

A Truly Andean Experience

Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - Chaullay - La Playa - Hidroelectrica - Machu Picchu
Accommodation Icon
Camping Accommodation
Group Size Icon
Up to 8 People Group Size
Max. Altitude Icon
4,620 m / 15,157 ft Max. Altitude
Difficulty Icon
Moderate to Challenging Difficulty

The Salkantay Trek is a fantastic choice for hikers who want to see the incredibly diverse nature and landscape of the Peruvian Andes and experience the beautiful mountainous scenery of Cusco. The trek gradually reveals stunning views of the snow-capped mountain Salkantay, Humantay Lake, mountain range, and rainforest region.Be astounded by Machu Picchu, one of South America's top attractions and an essential destination on any traveler's bucket-list, towards the conclusion of this journey.

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Packing List
  • Faqs
  • Pricing
  • Enquire Now

The Salkantay Trek 5-Day journey to Machu Picchu is everything you need if you prefer to experience Peru's Andes and jungle. This hike is among the best in the world thanks to its beautiful scenery and great viewpoints. Hike up to the most stunning turquoise Humantay lagoon in Cusco, feel the energy of Apu Salkantay, the Quechua people's protector, and then experience a once-in-a-lifetime hike down to the rainforest with its several humid microclimates, which is home to a variety of native plant and animal species.

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

    Embark on a fantastic adventure trip to Machu Picchu, hike between the snow-capped mountains, and visit Humantay, one of the most beautiful lakes in Cusco.

  • Day02

    Soraypampa - Salkantaypampa - Salkantay Pass - Wayraqpunco - Chaullay

    Hike up to the Salkantay Pass (4,620 meters) and be amazed with the astounding views of Apu Salkantay and other mountains around. Immerse in the high tropical Peruvian jungle.

  • Day03

    Chaullay - La Playa - Lucmabamba

    Hike in the cloud forest and discover the rich biodiversity by exploring the coffee farm and different fruits such as bananas, papayas, oranges, and coca plantations.

  • Day04

    Lucmabamba - LLactapata-Hidrielectrica - Aguas Calientes

    Be amazed by the first view of Machu Picchu from the Llactapata Inca complex and walk beside the railway to get Aguas Calientes.

  • Day05

    Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu – Cusco

    The most exciting day where you'll visit Machu Picchu is today one of the new Seven Wonders. Enjoy the train journey on the way back to Cusco.

Day 01

Cusco - Mollepata Town - Challacancha - Soraypampa

Walking Distance:  12km / 7.45 miles
Starting Elevation: 3.750 meters / 12.303 feet
Highest Elevation: 4,200 meters / 13,779 feet
Campsite Elevation:  4,000 meters / 13,125 feet
Difficulty: Moderate
Meals: Lunch, Dinner (Snack and afternoon tea)
Accommodation: Camping (tent)
Adventure: Absolutely, completely satisfactory

Today’s Highlights: Walking from Challacancha to Salkantaypampa enjoing the nature over 3,000 masl and the beautiful Humantay Lake.

We will pick you up from your hotel at 4:30 a.m. to begin our adventure through the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu. You will be met at your hotel by your guide; afterwards, 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 some stuff you could need along the expedition if the weather allows. If the weather is good, the views from this area are breathtaking. You will be looking at two big mountains, called Humantay (5,900 masl; 19,356 ft) and Salkantay (6,215 masl; 20,390 ft).

Once in Challacancha( 3450masl-11,318ft)your guide will introduce the team, take a group photo and at around 9:30am you should be hiking, During the day hike, you will enjoy the stunning views of the Andes; while you are hiking, the Humantay and the Salkantay mountains will appear between the clouds; after a few hours of hiking, you'll arrive at Soray Pampa, located at 3,900 meters (12,795 feet), for our lunch, and we'll camp here.

After your lunch and rest, we'll climb up to the Humantay Lake and admire its turquoise color. This hike is optional according of your physical conditions. It takes about an hour to reach the lake and 45 minutes down to the campsite. The Vidal Expeditions team 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 constellation, as your tour guide will show you the Milky Way.

Meals Icon
Lunch & Dinner Meals
Difficulty Icon
Moderate Difficulty
Walking Distance Icon
12km/7.4miles Walking Distance
Walking Time Icon
5 - 6 hours Walking Time
Starting Elevation Icon
3.750 meters / 12.303 ft Starting Elevation
Highest Elevation Icon
4200 m / 13,779 ft Highest Elevation
Day 02

Salkantaypampa - Salkantay Pass- Wayraqpunco- Chaullay

Walking Distance:  22 km / 13. miles
Starting Elevation:  4,000 meters / 13,125 feet
Campsite Elevation:  2,750 meters / 9,022 feet
Maximum Altitude:  4,650 meters / 15,255 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.

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 (4630 MASL, 15,190 ft). The distance is a 7 km (4.3miles) tough ascent in 3 hours, between the rocky valley and the magnificent Salkantay Mountain in from of us (6,215masl-20,390ft) When we finally reach the pass, we can rest, and we definitely will appreciate the spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Apu Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay, and Pumasillo. The Salkantay Mountain is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region, and one of the Inca Gods is called "Apu." After reaching the top, there is a 5km (3.1miles) 2 hours downhill hike towards the camp for our lunch. The walk downward is on a serpentine 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 (6.2 miles) 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 m ASL; 9,514 ft), our base camp in the jungle.

Meals Icon
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Meals
Difficulty Icon
Challenging Difficulty
Walking Distance Icon
22km/ 13,6 miles Walking Distance
Walking Time Icon
9-10 hours Walking Time
Starting Elevation Icon
4,000 m / 13,125 ft Starting Elevation
Highest Elevation Icon
4620 m / 15,157 ft Highest Elevation
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.

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 and 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, where waterfalls, 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 locals. 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.

At the afternoon late you will have the option to enjoy the hot-spring of Cocalmayo, your tour guide will let you know the way and how to get there

Meals Icon
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Meals
Difficulty Icon
Moderate Difficulty
Walking Distance Icon
18km/11.8miles Walking Distance
Walking Time Icon
5 - 6 hours Walking Time
Starting Elevation Icon
2,750 m / 9,022 ft Starting Elevation
Highest Elevation Icon
2,400 m / 7,874 ft Camp site Elevation
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 (Aguas Calientes hotel)
Difficulty: Easy
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 breakfast prepared by the trek chef. We will begin the hike early, and you will get the opportunity to enjoy a small part of the famous Inca Trail! After a climb of two 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 it is 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-hour 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, which is 300 meters high and 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 ancient Inca times.

According to history, this old Inca stone used to work with the famous sundial stone at 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 to arrive at Aguas Calientes, 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.

Meals Icon
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Meals
Difficulty Icon
Moderate Difficulty
Walking Distance Icon
18 km / 11.2 Walking Distance
Walking Time Icon
5 - 6 hours Walking Time
Starting Elevation Icon
2,400 m / 7,874 ft Starting Elevation
Highest Elevation Icon
2,040 m / 6.692 ft Aguas Calientes Elevation
Day 05

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

Walking Distance:  8km/ 5miles
Starting Elevation:  2,000 meters / 6568 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Meals: Breakfast

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 of 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 take pictures. You and your guide will walk 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 have arranged to hike Huayna Picchu (which must be booked in advance as it sells out and costs $60 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-hour train back to Ollantaytambo, followed by a two-hour 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 two-hour round-trip walk.

Meals Icon
Breakfast Meals
Difficulty Icon
Easy Difficulty
Walking Distance Icon
NO Walking Distance
Walking Time Icon
2-3 hours Guided Time
Starting Elevation Icon
2,430 m / 7,972 ft Machu Picchu Elevation
Highest Elevation Icon
Train Ticket Train Journey

At Vidal Expeditions We are transparent and provide specific details of what is included and excluded from our tours. We know this is very important so that you know exactly what to bring and don’t miss anything. We provide this information to ensure that you have an incredible experience during your trek to Machu Picchu.


Vidal Expeditions Team Provide

  • Pre-departure briefing

    Once you book the tour with us, you will get a notification about the pre-departure briefing, where you will meet with your trekking guide and the tour group in our office the night before your Machu Picchu hike. During this briefing, you will receive important details about the Salkantay trek. After this time, you will receive your duffle bag for your extra luggage, which will stay with our porter while you are hiking.

  • Professional Trekking Guide

    All our tour guides have a great reputation for customer service. Our tour guides have graduated with a tourism career from the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. They have also studied English at a private language institute. Through their patience, responsibility, knowledge, passion for trekking, and pride in having been born in the land of the Incas, we ensure our tour guides provide an excellent experience for you when you explore the magical Andes and Machu Picchu.

  • Permits to Machu Picchu

    Once we receive your details and the deposit for the tour, we will purchase all the necessary tickets for your trek. These permits will be for a specific date and will be in your name. Unfortunately, this information can’t be modified under any circumstance once confirmed.

  • Horses and Porters Team

    At Vidal Expeditions, we include horses who will be carrying your personal belongings in a duffle bag that we provide during this tour. This duffle bag cannot exceed 7 kg (14 lb). This weight includes the sleeping bag and mattress. You will be responsible for packing your duffle bag with your personal items (including your sleeping bag and mattress) that you will not be using during the day before breakfast. Items that are packed will not be accessible until we reach the final camp for the evening.


  • Private Transport

    We include all the transportation during your trek. We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco and take you to Challacancha (Trail Head). At the end of the trek, the bus returning from Ollantaytambo to Cusco will drop you off at your hotel.

  • Train Ticket

    For the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, we include the return train ticket after you have explored Machu Picchu on the last day. The train ticket will be for one of the available trains scheduled for 14:20 hrs. 14:55 hrs., or 16:20 hrs.

  • Bus Ticket

    The bus ticket round trip to Machu Picchu early in the morning


  • Camping equipment

    Vidal Expeditions leads tours to Machu Picchu with suitable camping equipment to make sure your trek is an experience of a lifetime. Our tents are Eureka or Doite pro Aconcagua for 4 people, which will be shared only with 2 people to ensure your comfort and enough space for your luggage. There will also be a spacious dining tent for you to enjoy each meal on this tour.

  • Personal Duffle bag

    We included a personal duffle bag for your 5-day Salkantay trek. You will get this duffle bag at Vidal Expeditions office during your pre-departure briefing the night before your trek. This bag will be carried by our porters during the trek. You will find it in your tent every afternoon when you arrive at the campsite. It can be filled with your personal items, sleeping bag, and mattress, but the maximum allowable weight is 7 kg (17 lb). The duffle bag must be returned to our office no later than one day after your trek.

  • Medical First Aid Kit

    All tour guides at Vidal Expeditions are very well trained in first aid. They received training courses every six months on how to assist someone who is in an emergency situation. Also, they are trained on how to supply balloon oxygen if someone requires it.


  • Meals

    At Vidal Expeditions, we know food is such an important part of any vacation, and getting the right fuel on an active holiday is crucial. For your trek, we include 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners prepared by our professional chef. We cater to all dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and others. Just let us know your dietary restrictions at the time of your booking. Our team is well-trained to prepare the best food you've ever had with local and organic ingredients.

  • Water

    Vidal Expeditions will provide you water from the first lunch to the last breakfast. This water will be filtered, boiled and cooled by our Chef. You must bring your own water container, bottle or camelback that can hold water for hiking for a few hours. We recommend a capacity of 2 liters.

  • Snacks

    Our team will provide a snack every morning before leaving each campsite, so you can enjoy it during your hike throughout the day. There will be many breaks when you can enjoy the delicious local fruits, biscuits, and caramels.


  • Sleeping bag

    Every trekker along the Salkantay trek needs a proper sleeping bag, which has to be for -15°C or 5°F. We recommend you bring your own, but if you don’t want to bring your own or don’t have one, you can rent a sleeping bag from us.

  • Walking Sticks/Trekking Poles

    Hiking with trekking poles has its benefits—protect your knees while you are hiking downhill. Especially on ancient paths, where there are many stairs up and down, trekking poles help you during the ascent and increase stability. If you don’t have a pair of trekking poles, you can rent them from our office.

  • Breakfast on the First day

    We do not provide breakfast on the day of your departure. However, most hotels offer breakfast during your stay. In case your hotel does not provide breakfast, we will stop at a restaurant near Mollepata town where you will be able to purchase breakfast.

  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes

    Lunch on the last day at Aguas Calientes is not included in the trek. However, you and the group can enjoy the last lunch together at a restaurant recommended by your tour guide.

  • Travel Insurance

    We recommend buying travel insurance before leaving your country in case something happens during your visit to Peru.

  • Tips for our team

    Tips are not included. Tipping the team is usual on any Salkantay excursion, and although we pay good salaries to our entire team, tips are welcome as a token of your appreciation for the team's hard work.

  • Huayna Picchu

    Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a really famous hike that normally takes 45 minutes to hike up the narrow, steep steps to the top with a great view of Machu Picchu citadel. If you would like to hike Huayna Picchu after your tour to Machu Picchu, there is an extra cost of USD 75.00. Also, this booking must be done at least 3 months in advance due to its popularity.

  Packing List

At Vidal Expeditions we focus to make your trip an unforgettable experience and we want to provide all details which you need to know before to leave your country and start your life experience in Peru.

What you need to pack?Important
  • Passport
  • Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelback is encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)


Porters or horses will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). From us these two items weigh 3.5 kg.

  • 2-3 wicking t-shirts
  • 2-3 hiking pants
  • 4 sets of undergarments.
  • 1 Fleece
  • 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night
  • 1 Rain jacket and pants
  • 1 sun hat
  • 1 wool hat
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Comfortable shoes for camp or flip flops
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho

Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.
Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least


A daypack can be any size for hiking, but we always say the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, bags larger than 25 liters will not be allowed in. If it is larger, you will need to store it outside the citadel gates. But don´t worry; they have a secure storage facility.Water: We supply clean water at each meal. You are responsible for your first morning's water only, as we won't have time to filter water until your first lunch.

  • Sun hat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Camera
  • Music (iPhone)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
  • Earplugs
  • Some snacks (Chocolate, fruits, energy bars, etc.)


  • Sunscreen
  • Face moisturizer
  • Bug spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Small towel
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medication
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.


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

At Vidal Expeditions, we make the booking system as easy as possible for you. Once you decide to do this trek, we will send you a booking form where you need to complete all the required details that we need to book your tickets. We also need a previous deposit of $200 USD per person. As soon as you pay, we immediately book a spot for this tour. Once we are done with it, we will send you your invoice and a confirmation form that all the booking processes have been satisfactorily set up.

The Salkantay Trek is an alternative hike to the Classic Inca Trail. It became popular in the last few years due to the wonderful landscapes along the route. The classic 5-day route crosses several snow-capped mountains, picturesque villages, and the high Peruvian forest, and the hike ends with a visit to Machu Picchu on its final day.

Salkantay Trek is without doubt one of the most challenging treks in Cusco that involves different factors, including the altitude that reaches above 4,630 meters, the varied weather that can change quickly in a couple hours, and the walking distance that you will hike every day. If you are an active person, you probably won't have a serious complication, but if you are not active, we highly recommend training before going there or searching for another alternative treks.

Yes, after hiking a few days in the mountains, on the final day, you will visit Machu Picchu and have a guided tour, visiting the most outstanding areas. Hiking along the Salkantay Trek, you will also explore other Inca complexes along the way, such as Llactapata.

Well, both hikes are challenging comparing different factors; however, the Salkantay Trek is longer, higher, and colder than the Inca Trail. Considering all these factors, we can say that the Salkantay is the harder; however, the Inca Trail also has other factors that you need to consider. 60% of the trail is stairways; it is the Norrow Trail at some points. These steps that go up and down can add extra difficulty to this trek.

Nowadays, there are different multi-day tours along the Salkantay Trek. This trek can be done in 3 days in its short version and 5 days in its classic tour. More people take the 5-day tour because it allows you to explore and enjoy more about this beautiful trek.

Once your tour operator had confirmed your booking, you should start preparing for different factors that can be considered during the Salkantay trek.

  • Altitude
  • Arriving in Cusco a couple days before starting your hike brings extra benefits for your body acclimatizing to the altitude. Keep in mind that Cusco is located at 3,360 meters, and on the Salkantay Trek you will reach 4,630 meters.
  • Difficulty
  • Physical preparation is the first step for your Salkantay Trek; exercising (running) a couple hours during the week will help a lot with your performance.

  • Hiking Distance
  • The total distance that you'll be hiking on this five-day trek will be 75km, and the most challenging day is day two, where you will walk about 22 km.

  • Weather
  • Hiking in the Andes means being prepared for different weather conditions. Due to the altitude, the temperature could change in minutes. Keep in mind that Cusco has two well-marked seasons: Rainy season, November to March. Dry season,April to October

  • Packing list
  • As we metioned above, we recommend to bring clothes for both weather conditions, rain and sun, because the Salkantay trek cross from the cold Andes to the high tropical jungle and you must to wear different clothes.

    Well, the main difference between both trails is that the Inca Trail arrives directly to Machu Picchu, while the Salkantay Trek arrives to Aguas Calientes town and then Machu Picchu. However, have a look at some other differences: the Salkantay Trek is particularly one of the best alternative treks towards Machu Picchu, with an amazing view of Apu Salkantay, which is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region. You can also enjoy turquoise lakes, a semi-tropical area, and hot springs, which makes this trek a great alternative for people who want to get a different experience compared to the classic Inca Trail, which is just hiking the whole day following the ancient path and having the option to visit some Inca complexes along the way..

    Yes, nowadays, along the Salkantay Trek, you can find places where you can charge your phone or camara. Also, the camping area has electricity and a hot shower for extra soles.

    The cold on the Salkantay Trek could drop easily below zero Celsius on the first night, especially during June and July, since the campsite is at 3980 meters above sea level. The Salkantay Pass is also cold, with temperatures around 2–5 °C. The weather will improve over the next few days, with temperatures ranging from 12 to 18 degrees Celsius.

    The distance that you will hike on the Classic Salkantay Trek 5 Days to Machu Picchu will be around 70 km (43 miles) in total, and it will depend on the travel company.

  • Day 1: 12km / 7.45 miles
  • Day 2:22 km / 13. miles
  • Day 3:18km / 11.2 miles
  • Day 4:18 km / 11.2 miles
  • Day 5:Machu Picchu hike
  • All our guides and team are professionally and well trained to attend to any emergency cases along the Salkantay Trek. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit with basic medication in case any issue arises during the hike, and he will also carry an oxygen tank in case someone needs it. Our team knows how to supply oxygen. During our different excursions, we included an extra emergency horse to take you as low as possible if you get sick. Our team always has radio.

    Well, to answer this question, it is quite complicated due to the fact that both treks offer breathtaking views and wonderful landscapes; however, Salkantay offers the following scenery: Snowy mountains, turquoise lakes, high forests, picturesque Andean villages, and a lot of biodiversity While the Inca Trail offers: an original ancient path, history, Inca sites along the route, ancient traditions, well-preserved landscapes, more chances to see wildlife, and direct access to Machu Picchu.

    After reading this, you can decide which is the best option for you. Whatever you choose, you'll have a great experience of a lifetime by exploring this wonderful country.

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

    Actually, yes, most of the tour companies have their own camping spots or lodges where you can get a shower, but most of them only offer cold showers. However, after the second day, you'll definitely find a hot shower; these usually charge 20 soles per shower.

    Yes, you can. We have spacious storage where you can leave your extra luggage while you are joining the Salkantay Trek. However, all hotels in Cusco also offer free storage for your extra luggage, even if you change hotels after your trek. Please ask your hotel for it.

    For this Salkantay Trek, you must be moderately fit and prepare well for this adventure at high altitude. Exercising a couple days per week a few weeks before flying to Peru will help you to have great resistance during this trek, and arriving in Cusco a few days before will help you to recover easily if you get affected by altitude sickness.

    The weather in Salkantay area and parts of the Andes is unpredictable, even if the weather forecast says it’s sunny. We can’t trust 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 are 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 (for yoga or hiking) are encouraged to protect against the mosquitoes, which can be a nuisance in some parts of the trail.


    From: USD 520.00 per person

    USD 480.00: from 4 people to more

    Additional Items
    * Additional single room in Aguas Calientes $60USD
    *Upgrade the returning train to Vistadome service( with larger windows and more confortable seats $60US per person
      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.

    Our Pledge |  Your privacy is respected and protected. Vidal Expeditions will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.

    Personal Details

    Trip Details

    Salkantay Trek 5 Days /4 Nights
    14 years and above
    Below 14 years
    7 + 3 =
    Contact to Vidal Exepditions

    Feel free to reach us via email at or by calling us directly at +51 951 359 694

    Book your trip

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

    Vidal Expeditions location

    Prolongacion Av. Grau L-8, Santiago - Cusco

    Best Seller
    Tour Price
    5 Days / 4 Nights
    Salkantay Trek

    Price from $ 520 USD Per Person

    Group Size Up to 8 People

    What's it like

    Salkantay Trek 5 Days /4 Nights Map


    At Vidal Expeditions we offer the best service for all our customers and here is what makes us different than others.

    • Small groups: Along our excursion group size is a capped at 8 people. This guarantees that you will enjoy every step of our excursion

    • Hotel: During our excursion to Machu Picchu, we offer a 3 stars hotel stay for the last night. This ensures you are well rested and ready to explore Machu Picchu.

    • Bus to Machu Picchu: To enjoy Machu Picchu, we provide a round trip ticket on the bus from Aguas Calientes to the main entrance of the archaeological site.

    • Local Tour guides: Our team consists of 100% local tour guides, who have expert knowledge in our ancient culture.

    • Best Camping Equipment: We have the state-of-the-art camping equipment for our excursion. The equipment is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before and after every excursion.

    • Best Trekking team: At Vidal Expeditions we focus to create the best experience during our excursions. Our team that consists of tour guides, cooks, porters, horse drivers are handpicked. We train our team to offer you the best service. We take care of our team by providing them with good equipment and paying them fairly.

    Why Travel with us

    Start a Conversation

    Hi! Click one our members below to chat on WhatsApp ;)

    The team typically replies in a few minutes
    From US$ 520.00
    Exciting Treks in Cusco icon

    Related Peru Treks

    Alternative journeys you may be interested in

    Here you have other options that will suit your needs from the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

    Salkantay Trek Peru

    Salkantay Trek 5 Days

    Hike to Machu Picchu through our exclusive Salkantay Trek and live a lifetime experience.

    Read More ➼
    Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

    Lares Trek 4 Days

    Enjoy the most incredible Andean hike while you learn about the local culture before reaching Machu Picchu.

    Read More ➼
    Choquequirao Trek in Cusco

    Choquequirao Trek 4 Days

    On the ultimate challenging trek in Cusco, discover the beautiful mountain landscape in the Andes of Peru.

    Read More ➼
    Machu Picchu Trek

    Huchuy Qosqo Trek 3 Days

    It offers breathtaking vistas while you are hiking from Cusco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

    Read More➼

    Related Articles

    Explorations Journal

    Just looking for inspiration? Take a look at our latest blog posts below.