If you did not manage to reserve the Inca Trail permits on time, the Salkantay trek is for you. Apart from the classic Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the 25 best treks IN THE WORLD. And the trek is currently open all year round to everyone and there are no limitations on spaces and permits.
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu will take you through unique and varying landscapes with the scenery nothing short of breathtaking! From picturesque grassy highlands to flourishing cloud forests, where luxuriant tropical cloudforests meet colossal snowcapped mountains, the Salkantay trek is really authentic. You will be spirited away into a world of phenomenal beauty and abundance of nature, with sacred solitude and hours of amazingly quiet contemplation.
Since the ancient Incan times, Salkantay has been considered as sacred and the protector of the people, crops and their animals. The name Salkantay is a Quechua word meaning «invincible, wild or savage», and it’s the highest peak of the Vilcabamba mountain range, which forms part of the Andes Mountain Range, rising to 6271 meters above sea level (20,574 ft.).
Salkantay Trek – Overview
Type of tour: Trekking, camping, historical
Distance covered: 57 km (35.4 miles)
Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
Lowest elevation: 1800m (5,905 feet)
Highest elevation: 4600m (15,091 feet)
Level of difficulty: Demanding
Good for: anyone with a moderate level of fitness
Day 1.- Transport to head start of the trail (Soraypampa), hike to Humantay lake and then to camp
We will pick you from your hotel in Cusco at 5:30am and transport you to Soraypampa, the starting point of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. Before we arrive to Soraypampa, we will stop at Mollepata town for a short time to buy the last minute supplies such as water or just sit and have a cup of coffee in one of the local restaurants. At about 10:00am we will arrive to Soraypampa, the starting point of the Salkantay Trek.
Here we will meet our horses and muleteers, who will carry all the equipment for us. After that we will hike to the lake Humantay, which takes for about one hour up. After we see the lake, we hike back down to Soraypampa where a delicious lunch will be ready for us. Not that many people get to see this lake because majority of them starts the trek in Mollepata town and trek for 11 miles (18 km) until Soraypampa, but we covert that section by car and have time to enjoy the lake.
After lunch at Soraypampa (3,800 m / 12,467 ft), we trek to Soyroqocha (4,200 m / 13,779 ft). The trek takes about three or four hours along a gentle incline. During the hike you will have breathtaking views of the majestic Salkantay and other snowcapped mountains. Your tents will be ready and waiting as well as Salkantay style happy hour with hot drinks and popcorn and later a delicious dinner. The night especially in winter is amazing because the Milky way is visible, so if you like photography it is a perfect place to do long exposures at night.
|Distance covered:||5 km (3.1 miles)|
|Time:||3 to 4 hours|
|Lowest elevation:||3800m (12,467 feet)|
|Highest elevation:||4400m (14,435 feet)|
|Level of difficulty:||Moderate|
Day 2.- Hike from Soyroqocha to Colpapampa
You will wake up with a nice cup of coca tea to a stunning view of the gleaming snowcovered Salkantay mountain. After a nutritious breakfast, we will start our trek towards the Salkantay Pass (4,600 m / 15,091 ft), which takes 45 minutes. After spectacular views and picture of the peaks of Mount Salkantay and Mount Umantay, we will hike down to Huayraqmachay, where we will have lunch and a 30 minutes nap. This day you will have a chance to see condors if you are lucky. In the afternoon we hike down to Qollpapampa (3,100 m / 10,170 ft) where we will camp for the night. On the way the scenery will change from golden grasslands to cloud forests.
|Distance covered:||16km (9.9 miles)|
|Time:||8 to 9 hours|
|Lowest elevation:||3100m (10,170 feet)|
|Highest elevation:||4600m (15,091 feet)|
|Level of difficulty:||Demanding|
Day 3.- Hike from Colpapampa to Sawayaco and coffee tasting tour
Day 3 is the easiest day and begins with a hike through the tranquil cloud forest. We will hike for about five hours following the Lluskamayo river bank, with the prospect of seeing orchids, birds, and a magnificent waterfall along the way. The hike ends at La Playa town (2,050 m / 6,725 ft) where we will have lunch and stay overnight. After you relax, we will go for the coffee tour, where we will meet Fredy – the owner of the camp as well as the coffee plantation. You will be able to pick up your own coffee beans, roast them and make your own coffee, plus Fredy will teach us many local traditions they have here. Also you will be able to buy roasted coffee beans from Fredy as a souvenir for friends.
|Distance covered:||13km (8 miles)|
|Time:||5 to 6 hours|
|Lowest elevation:||2050m (6,725 feet)|
|Highest elevation:||3100m (1926 feet)|
|Level of difficulty:||Moderate|
Day 4.- Hike the Inca trail to Hidroelectric and the Aguas Calientes town
After an early breakfast, we start our three hour hike ascending towards the Llaqtapata Inca ruins. This section of the trail is part of the Inca trail that once in the past used to connect Machu Picchu with Vilcabamba, known as the last Inca city. Once you are at Llaqtapata, you will have a glimpse of the most spectacular ancient city of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Your guide will introduce you to the history and culture of the Incas. After the history lessons we will descend for about three hours down to the hydroelectric power station, where we will start the hike again towards Aguas Calientes town. It will be a long but beautiful day. You will arrive to Aguas Calientes town by 5 pm and stay in a hotel overnight.
|Distance covered:||23km (14 miles)|
|Time:||9 to 11 hours|
|Lowest elevation:||1800m (5,905 feet)|
|Highest elevation:||3100m (10,170 feet)|
|Level of difficulty:||Moderate to demanding|
Day 5.- Early bus to Machu Picchu and train back to Cusco
This is the day you may want to take one of the first buses at 5:30 am and take 30 minute drive to Machu Picchu. Make sure to either have breakfast at 5am or pack one, so that you arrive to Machu Picchu in time to witness a magnificent sunrise. You will then have two and a half hours guided tour of the most important sites in the Machu Picchu, after which you will have time to explore at your leisure. After spending the day in Machu Picchu, a bus will take you back to Aguas Calientes town for your lunch. From there you will take the train (expedition) to Cusco, where one of the representatives from PERU by LOCALS Travel will be waiting for you to drive you to your hotel in Cusco.
Inclusions & exclusions
Inclusions on the Salkantay Trek Machu Picchu
- Transport to and from your hotel in Cusco
- Meals (4B, 4L, 4D)
- Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu (does not include Huayna Picchu)
- Horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc)
- Emergency horse in case we need it
- Boiled drinking water from day 2 onwards
- Trekking guide, knowledgeable in history, tradition, fauna and flora
- First Aid Kit, carried by your guide
- Equipment (sleeping tent, dining tent, kitchen tent, table, chairs, air mattresses)
- Duffle bag if needed
- You have access to 17 pounds (8 kg) bag for the horse where you can put your personal belongins
- Round-trip bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes town
- Train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (expedition)
- One night hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes town
Exclusions on the Salkantay Trek Machu Picchu
- Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
- Lunch on the day five at Aguas Calientes
- Tips for muleteers and guides
- Huayna Picchu tickets
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu – Additional options
|Huayna Picchu||Huayna Picchu tickets must be booked in advance since permits are limited to 400 per day.||USD 10|
Prices with Hotels
|Flowers house 2*||Casa andina 3*||Sumaq hotel 4 *||Pueblo hotel 5 *|
|$ 680||$ 760||$ 1030||$ 1380|
Students: discount of $20, but you have to supply us with a copy of your ISIC card when booking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with us.
Children up to 15 years of age will be considered as students, under the condition that you supply us with a copy of the passport at the booking time.
In order for us to reserve your spot on this trek, you are required to send us the following information: full names, passport number, age, gender, nationality and make the relevant deposit of US$200 per person using PAY PAL as indicated below:
When you have sent us the information of each person, made your deposit using PAYPAL and once we have both, we will confirm your tour. Thank you so much for choosing PERU by LOCALS.
If you have any questions, send us an e-mail to: email@example.com
What to bring
What to bring on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
- Original passport (if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking, bring both)
- Down sleeping bag (if you don’t have one, you can rent one from us)
- Clothes (trekking boots, warm fleece jacket, few t-shirts, few pairs of socks, sun hat, warm long underwear, light trekking pants, gloves, rain jacket)
- Day backpack (50 liter) that can allow you to put all your belongings if you are not hiring extra porter
- Toiletries (toilet paper, wet wipes)
- Sunscreen SPF 35+ recommended
- Head lamp
- Camera with spare batteries (batteries run down faster at high altitudes)
- Book to read (you will have some spare time at every camp to read your favorite book)
- Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us)
- Bug repellent
- Extra money to tip and buy somethings along the trail