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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days

Tour Details

This ancient trail is located in the same Vilcabamba mountain range as the classic Inca Trail. Salkantay Mountain (6271m / 20,575ft) means “Savage Mountain”, and it is the second-highest mountain in the Cusco region. The journey takes us through Andean valleys and across mountain passes with views of magnificent, snowcapped peaks. We will encounter remote indigenous communities and incredible diversity of ecosystems. Descending through the cloud forest and finally into subtropical vegetation, we will arrive at magnificent Machu Picchu on our final day.

  • Trekking through the quiet, remote Salkantay Valley
  • Trekking to Humantay Lake
  • Unique microclimate rich in flora and fauna
  • Trekking by Patallaqta Inca site on the original Inca trail for the first spectacular view of Machu Picchu
  • Enjoying the magical Machu Picchu citadel
  • Pre-departure briefing at your hotel
  • Private transportation from Cusco to the starting point of the trek
  • Salkantay and Machu Picchu entrance fees
  • Profesionally licensed bilingual tour guides
  • Personal tents: two person capacity with plenty of room for personal gear
  • One inflatable sleeping pad per person
  • A duffle bag for personal belongings provided at the briefing
  • Dining tent with table and chairs
  • Kitchen tent and cooking equipment
  • Pack horses to carry tents, food, and cooking equipment
  • Pack horses to carry up to 6kg of personal gear per traveler
  • Saddled horses for emergency in case someone is not able to continue hiking
  • Meals (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners), daily snack, and hot drinks (vegetarian and special diets are available)
  • Warm water every morning and afternoon for bathing
  • Filtered boiled drinking water from the second day on
  • Biodegradable hand soap
  • First aid kit, including emergency oxygen
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Round-trip bus tickets between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Transfer from the train station to hotel in Cusco
  • Breakfast on the first day
  • Lunch on the last day after Machu Picchu
  • Sleeping Bag (you can rent one from our company for $20)
  • Wayna Picchu entrance fee (optional – entrance is available for $70)
  • Tips and extra spending
  • Current passport is required. If your passport expired between booking and starting your tour, bring both the old and new passports!
  • Short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, fleece, lightweight pants
  • Day pack to carry things that you will need during the hike
  • Rain gear or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
  • Hiking boots with ankle support
  • Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
  • Camera, film and batteries (batteries die faster in cold conditions)
  • Hydrating face and body lotion
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Water bottles (Nalgene or metal ones are required)
  • Toilet paper and tissues

Itinerary

We will pick you up at the hotel early in the morning and travel by private transportation to Challacancha, the starting point of the trek. We will hike toward Soraypampa (3900m / 12,795ft). Along the route, we will have panoramic views of Salkantay Mountain, Humantay Mountain, and the beautiful surrounding valleys. After lunch, we will hike toward Humantay Lake to enjoy the scenery, then return to the campsite at Soraypampa where the tents will be ready.

Trekking distance: 11 Km / 6.83 miles
Campsite altitude: 3900 m / 12,795 ft

After an energizing breakfast, the trail will lead us to the highest point of the trek, Salkantay Pass (4630m / 15,190ft). Passing between the Humantay and Salkantay Mountains, this trail offers spectacular views of snowcapped Salkantay Mountain (6272m / 20,575ft). We will descend toward the Wayracmachay campsite to have lunch, then continue our descent through the high jungle to arrive at the Chaullay campsite in the late afternoon.

Trekking distance: 18 Km / 11 miles
Campsite altitude: 2850 m / 9350 ft

We will follow an easy trail in the Santa Teresa River valley, where we will enjoy streams fed by glacial waterfalls and beautiful vegetation, including coffee and banana plantations and avocado orchards, arriving at Playa Sawayacu for lunch. After lunch, we will have a chance to participate in the daily activities of locals working with these organic crops.

Trekking distance: 15 Km / 9.32 miles
Campsite altitude: 2150 m / 7053 ft

Our last day of trekking takes us into the forest toward the Patallaqta Inca site on the original Inca trail for the first spectacular view of Machu Picchu. The final descent will be through lush vegetation until we reach Aobamba River valley and Hidroeléctrica train station. We will have lunch, then hike to the town of Aguas Calientes and our hotel for the night.

Trekking distance: 23 Km / 14.29 miles
Aguas Calientes altitude: 2050 m / 6725 ft

After an early breakfast at the hotel and a half-hour bus ride to the entrance of Machu Picchu, we start our full walking tour of the amazing Inca citadel. Then you will have free time to walk around again or to climb Wayna Picchu, which offers spectacular views from the top. Later, we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and then take the train to Ollantaytambo. From there, our private transportation will take us to the hotel in Cusco.

Map

Photos

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