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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days

5 Days / 4 Nights Short Hike

23 reviews
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days


5 Days / 4 Nights Short Hike

23 reviews


Salkantay Trek 5 days to Machu Picchu is the second most popular trek to reach the iconic city of Machu Picchu; The best alternative route to the Inca citadel will take you to the impressive Humantay lake, the imposing Salkantay mountain, through the fascinating cloud forest and then to the edge of the Peruvian jungle. You will spend every night in comfortable accommodation and enjoy the tastiest food, in the middle of the mountains. Our experienced guides will be with you all the way to teach you about the history and nature of the region.


Exploring the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Besides the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek is one of the most popular treks to Machu Picchu and much less crowded.

Camping off the beaten path with fewer people allows you to control your own trip and have the best views of these incredible mountains.

Visit impressive places like the Humantay lake and the glorious Salkantay mountain.

Witness the incredible landscapes of waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, colorful valleys, unique plants and wildlife, and the cloud forest.

Enjoy one of the best trekking adventures you will find in Peru and South America.

Walk next to the majestic Salkantay glacier.


DAY 1: Mollepata | Soraypampa | Humantay Lagoon | salkantaypampa

We will pick you up at your hotel around 05:00 am for your 5-day Salkantay trek. We will drive about 3 hours passing through Anta as the day clears up we will be able to observe the white snow-capped mountains of Salkantay and Verónica, we will arrive at Mollepata. Here we will enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Then we will continue to Soraypampa, where you will meet our team the cooks and the horsemen, in addition to making a last check of the equipment, we will begin our hike until we reach Laguna Humantay (4200 m / 13779ft). The first part of the path is flat and then uphill until you reach the lake. We will explore it for about 30 minutes and then we will walk back to Soraypampa, Here our lunch will be ready relax and take time to rest.

After lunch, we will continue hiking to the Salkantaypampa (4150 m / 13615 ft). Salkantaypampa is located in the middle of the valleys of the glaciers, where at night it is very dark and there is no ambient light, which makes it a perfect place to appreciate the constellations in the sky.

  • MEALS: Lunch and dinner
  • DIFFICULTY: Moderate
  • WALKING DISTANCE: (6 kilometers / 3.72 Miles) – (6 to 7 hours)
  • ELEVATION: (3,800 m / 12,467 ft) – (4,200 m / 13,780 ft)

DAY 02 Salkantaypampa | Salkantay Pass | Huayracmachay | chaullay

Our cook will wake you up at 5:00 am with coca tea brought to his shop. Then, we quickly pack up, enjoy our breakfast and immediately start hiking to the highest point of the Salkantay trail (4620 masl / 15,255 ft). The distance is 7 km that we should complete in 4 hours. During the ascent through the rocky valley, we can observe the magnificent Salkantay peak and we can even see chinchillas on the trail (6217 masl – 20,341 feet). Once we reach the top of the trail, we will enjoy spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snow-capped peaks of Salkantay, Humantay and Pumasillo.

Salkantay is considered the second highest mountain in the Cusco region and one of the main Inca gods known as “Apu Salkantay”. Walking to the top is the hardest part of the entire hike. The next 3 hours are spent downhill on the snake trail along a rocky and gravel road to reach Huayracmachay, our lunch spot. In the afternoon we will reach the upper part of the rainforest, also called “cloud forest”. We will travel 9 km in 3 hours until we reach Challway (2900 masl – 9,514 feet) our camp. The second half of the day during the descent, we will observe the thick forest that is decorated with colorful orchids and native plants. Most of the year the weather is warm and pleasant.

  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • DIFFICULTY: Moderate
  • WALKING DISTANCE: (22 kilometers / 13.67 miles) – (8 to 9 hours)
  • ELEVATION: (3,900 m / 12,795 ft) – (4,630 m / 15,190 ft)

DAY 3 Chaullay | Colcapampa | The Beach | lucmabamba

At 6:00 am, we will start the walk (17 km/10.5 miles, 6 hrs) towards the small town of La Playa. On the way we will see rivers, waterfalls, wild orchids, coffee plantations (we will also visit an organic coffee farm) and typical fruit plantations. Here you will learn about the coffee process and try different types to decide which is the best. The weather changes completely and you will feel the heat as we enter the subtropical jungle.

After lunch at La Playa, we will continue for another 1 hour to the camp located in Lucmabamba. You can rest here or visit the hot springs of Cocalmayo. The hot water is perfect for your body to relax after a few tiring days of walking. If you want to add some adventure to your itinerary, you can also go ziplining.

  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • DIFFICULTY: Moderate
  • WALKING DISTANCE: (18 kilometers / 11.18 Miles) – (7 to 8 hours)
  • ELEVATION: (2900 m / 9514 ft) – (2900 m / 9514 ft)

DAY 04: Lucmabamba | Llactapata | Hydroelectric | hot waters

After a breakfast, we will continue the last day of our trek. We head uphill for 2-3 hours towards the Llactapata Pass (2,736 masl), where we find a distant but spectacular view of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, from the southeast view, few travelers have the opportunity to admire. The magnificent place we take a short break to explore the archaeological site of Llactapata.

Lunch is served in a panoramic viewpoint, overlooking Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Urubamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards, and coffee plantations.

We arrive at the Hydroelectric Village “Pueblo de la Estación de Train” Here you will have 2 options, 1: If you are tired after all the trekking, you can choose to board a train to Aguas Calientes ($35 extra). 2) If you want to enjoy the last stretch of the hike, you can enjoy the flat walk along the side of the train tracks to Aguas Calientes, which takes around 3 hours. It will be an opportunity to enjoy its warm jungle environment while you walk.

Upon arrival, we check into a hotel to then have a celebratory dinner with our guide and a final briefing for our experience the next day.

  • MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • DIFFICULTY: Little challenging
  • WALKING DISTANCE: (25 kilometers / 15.53 Miles) – (6 to 7 hours)
  • ELEVATION: (2000 m / 6562 ft) – (2800 m / 9,186 ft)

DAY 05: Aguas Calientes | Machu Picchu | Ollantaytambo | Cusco

After breakfast at your hotel with your guide you will head to Machu Picchu. You will need to get up before dawn to make sure you beat the crowds and have a wonderful sunrise at Machu Picchu. You will walk a little from your hotel to take a bus that will take you on a 30-minute trip to the very entrance of the Inca citadel. You will find yourself just before the sun rises and paints the city of the Incas gold.

After being amazed by its unique beauty and taking your first pictures, our expert guide will take you on a 2-3 hour guided tour of the site. You will visit all the important parts of Machu Picchu and learn a lot from your guide. After the tour is over, you have a few more hours to explore on your own or climb Huayna Picchu if you have booked in advance. You will need up to 3 more hours to climb and experience more impressive views of the entire Inca city from the top of the Huayna Picchu mountain.

When you are ready to leave, it will be time to take the bus that will take us to Aguas Calientes. You will have time to select a restaurant of your choice for a bite to eat before taking the return train. At the time indicated on your ticket, you will board the train that will take you back to Ollantaytambo.

Here your driver will be there to pick you up and take you back to your hotel in Cusco.

  • MEALS: Breakfast
  • WALKING DISTANCE: (02 kilometers / 1.60 Miles) – (2 to 3 hours)
  • ELEVATION: (2,648 m / 8,694 ft) – (2,720 m / 8,922 ft)


  • Quality and safety service
  • Pre-departure briefing
  • experienced guide
  • First Aid Kit – First Aid Kit
  • camping equipment
  • a canvas bag
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Accommodation
  • Our sleeping tents
  • A duffel bag to carry your personal things and your sleeping bag
  • Inflatable Mattress and Blankets
  • lunch shop
  • Covers to protect your backpack
  • rain poncho
  • 01 night in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches and 4 Dinners
  • Boiled (purified) water all the way
  • wake you up
  • Tea time or happy hour
  • Snacks on the go every day
  • One cloth snack bag per person
  • hygiene products
  • Transportation
  • All transfers (Guaranteed)
  • Pick up and drop off at your hotel in Cusco
  • Hydroelectric train ticket – Aguas Calientes
  • Bus ticket up and down Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes (Day 5)
  • Train ticket (Expedition or Voyager class) from Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo (Day 5)
  • team of porters
  • Team of muleteers
  • Horses to carry a duffel bag (we will provide you with a duffel bag for your things)
  • Permits and Tickets
  • Entrance ticket to Salkantay Trek
  • Entrance ticket to the Humantay Lagoon
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu

No Included

  • Sleeping bag: You can rent one from our company, if you don’t have your own. US$20.00 per person
  • Walking sticks: You can rent a pair from our company, if you don’t have your own. US$20.00 per person
  • Hydroelectric Train to Aguas Calientes (Day 4)
  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes (Day 5)
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for our staff


Packing List

What To Bring

  • We recommend that you take only what is necessary to enjoy your tour and leave the rest of your things at the hotel in Cusco.
  • The original passport.
  • A small backpack of 50 liters that allows you to introduce all the things you will take with you
  • A sleeping bag preferably at least 5 to 10 degrees below zero, this can be synthetic or feather, if you do not have one you can rent it from our office.
  • Appropriate clothing for walking, waterproof and comfortable shoes for long walks, short and long pants, sports shirts.
  • Warm clothes to be used in the camp (We recommend cotton clothes that are very comfortable to sleep in, a hat and gloves for the cold. Socks for walking, sandals to be used when you arrive at the camp, you should also take bags with you plastic so you can separate things in the backpack (clean, wet, dirty clothes and others).
  • A canteen with water for the first day of the walk. From the first lunch on day 01 you will be provided with cold filtered boiled water for your canteens.
  • The use of a water bottle is mandatory along the Camino, the authorities will not allow the use and/or entry of plastic bottles.
  • Personal hygiene items: a small towel, soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, toilet paper, hand sanitizing gel. These last two articles are very important.
  • Personal medications, within this list also includes muscle relaxants, pain tablets and blessed for scratches, blisters on the feet that can be generated after several hours of walking.
  • Items to protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoes, a sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat or caps for the sun and a mosquito repellent.
  • Headlamps with batteries, extra battery for the camera (to be used every night in the camps).

Travel Guide


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