Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchuu 5 days is one of the most scenic and thrilling routes to reach Machu Picchu. With glacier mountains, picturesque lakes like Humantay and Salkantay Lake, and a trek through the Amazon jungle, this is one of the most beautiful and interesting treks in Peru.
Booking this tour with us means enjoying the best services at affordable prices. We provide exclusive camps with newly-built Mountain Sky Huts and glass igloos, along with professional and knowledgeable guides and supporting staff. We offer all-inclusive itinerary options to ensure you don’t miss out on anything. We’ll pass by brilliantly blue lakes, reach heights of up to 4,630 meters, and trek past waterfalls, rivers, and hot springs.
We’ll also trek through the original Inca Trail to the Llactapata ruins, where you’ll get a fantastic view of Machu Picchu from a different angle, motivating you to finish the final stretch before reaching the famous lost city of the Incas.
The 5-Day Salkantay Trek is listed by National Geographic as one of the “World’s Best Treks.” Choose an experienced, highly-rated company for your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, and make it an unforgettable experience.
5 DAYS SALKANTAY TREK HIGHLIGHTS
5 DAYS SALKANTAY TREK SUMMARY
Embark on a captivating journey as we pick you up from your respective hotels or locations in Cusco around 5:15 am, setting off on a two-hour drive to the charming village of Mollepata. Upon arrival, enjoy a delicious breakfast before paying the 20 soles entrance fee to the local municipality (not included in the tour cost).
Continuing by car for another hour, we’ll reach Soraypampa, where our muleteers and horses await, ready to transport our equipment, food, and 7 kilos of personal belongings per hiker during the trek. From here, we’ll begin our two-hour uphill hike to the captivating Humantay Lake.
Once at the lake, spend a couple of hours exploring its beauty, taking photos, and listening to our guide’s insights into the significance of this enchanting lagoon. Following our visit, we’ll embark on a two-hour downhill hike to our exclusive Quiswarniyoc campsite, where a scrumptious lunch will be served.
After lunch, take advantage of free time to explore the spectacular surroundings, including an optional hike to the Salkantay Mirador for awe-inspiring panoramic views. Alternatively, unwind in our Mountain Sky Huts or glass igloos, featuring glass doors, comfortable pillows, sleeping pads, and a mesmerizing illuminated night sky.
Nestled at an altitude of 4,100 meters, the Quiswarniyoc private campsite offers an unparalleled experience with additional short hikes, breathtaking mountain viewpoints, and cascading waterfalls, promising an unforgettable adventure.
Day 01 trekking Details:
Embark on an invigorating 13 km hike, lasting approximately 6 hours, through the stunning landscapes of the Salkantay Trail. As you acclimatize to the 4,100-meter altitude at our campsite, prepare for a moderate day of trekking through diverse terrain and ever-changing weather conditions.
Expect warm and windy daytime conditions, but be prepared for cold nights as temperatures drop significantly. At the end of the day, rest and rejuvenate in our unique Mountain Sky Huts or Crystal Domes, offering a comfortable retreat amidst the breathtaking Andean scenery.
Throughout the day, we’ll provide you with nourishing meals, including breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner, to keep your energy levels high and your spirits lifted as you immerse yourself in this unforgettable trekking experience.
On the second day of the trek, brace yourself for the most challenging segment, as you cover 20 kilometers and reach the trek’s highest point at an altitude of 4,630 meters above sea level. Your day begins with a gentle wake-up call at 5:00 am, as our cooks serve you a cup of hot coca tea to help you pack your belongings and prepare for a hearty breakfast at around 5:45 am.
Embark on a 3 to 4-hour uphill hike at a steady, manageable pace towards the trek’s highest point, situated at 4,630 meters. Upon arrival, marvel at the breathtaking mountain vistas, capture photographs, learn about the revered mountain gods, and partake in a traditional Andean ritual to honor the Apus mountain god.
Following this memorable experience, commence a 2-hour downhill hike before pausing for a well-deserved, mouthwatering lunch. Continue your descent for another 3 hours to reach the second camp, Chaullay, nestled at an altitude of 2,900 meters and marking the entrance to the Peruvian Amazon. Here, you will be provided with camping equipment, hot tea, and a delicious dinner.
At Chaullay, take advantage of the optional hot shower for 10 soles, offered by locals, and purchase refreshing drinks such as beer, soda, and water to enhance your camping experience.
Day 02 trekking Details:
Prepare for an exhilarating 22 km hike, lasting around 9 hours, as you navigate through the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Peruvian highlands. With the campsite situated at 2,900 meters above sea level, this challenging day involves reaching the trek’s highest point at an impressive 4,650 meters above sea level.
Anticipate warm and windy conditions during the day, but remember that temperatures will drop significantly as night falls. At the end of this demanding day, relax and rejuvenate in the comfortable Mountain Sky Huts, set amidst the stunning Andean backdrop.
Throughout the day, we’ll provide you with a selection of nourishing meals, including breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner, to keep your energy levels high as you tackle this unforgettable and challenging trekking experience.
On the third day of the trek, awaken to the warmth and beauty of the lush jungle. At around 5:30 am, our cooks will serve you a cup of coca tea to help you start your day, followed by a scrumptious breakfast prepared to fuel your adventure.
At 6:30 am, embark on a 5-hour hike through the enchanting Santa Teresa Valley, shaped by the meandering Salkantay River. Your journey will lead you to Lucmabamba, the third campsite and your lunch destination, after 5 hours of trekking.
Throughout the hike, marvel at the thriving plantations of coffee, bananas, avocados, coca, passion fruit, and more. Upon arriving at the campsite, enjoy a delightful lunch before setting off to explore the optional hot springs of Colcampayo in Santa Teresa.
A 1.5-hour car ride will transport you to the Colcampayo hot springs, where you can unwind in the pristine, natural waters for a few hours before returning to camp for tea time, a delicious warm dinner, and a cozy group bonfire. Please note that the hots springs activitie is optional; if you prefer to relax at the campsite, you are more than welcome to do so.
Day 03 trekking Details:
Embark on a leisurely 16 km hike, lasting around 5 hours, as you explore the captivating landscapes and immerse yourself in the warm, tropical climate. With the campsite located at 2,100 meters above sea level, this day offers a more relaxed pace, allowing you to soak in the beauty of your surroundings.
Expect warm and hot temperatures throughout the day as you make your way through this tropical environment. After a day of hiking, rest and rejuvenate in the comfort of our provided tents, set amidst the lush jungle backdrop.
To keep you energized and satisfied, we will serve a variety of nourishing meals, including breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner, ensuring a delightful culinary experience throughout this unforgettable trekking day.
On the fourth day, prepare for a unique and memorable experience as you visit the captivating Inca site of Llactapata. Boasting a spectacular view of Machu Picchu from a distinct vantage point, this ancient ruin is a true highlight of the journey. Begin your day with an early breakfast around 5:30 am.
From Lucmabamba, embark on a 3-hour uphill trek along the original Inca trail, leading to the enchanting ruins of Llactapata. Once you reach this historic site, take your time to appreciate the awe-inspiring views of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountain. If the weather permits, you may also catch a glimpse of the majestic Salkantay Mountain.
Following your exploration of Llactapata, hike downhill for 2 hours towards Hidroelectrica, where you will savor a delicious lunch and enjoy some well-deserved downtime. The final stretch of the day consists of a 3-hour walk along the train tracks, culminating in your arrival at the charming town of Aguas Calientes.
Once in Aguas Calientes, we will guide you to your hotel where you can freshen up and unwind before gathering for a final group dinner at 7:00 pm in a local restaurant. With anticipation building for the ultimate reward of visiting Machu Picchu the following day, retire to your hotel for a restful night’s sleep.
Day 04 trekking details:
On this intense yet rewarding day, you will cover approximately 22 kilometers over the course of 8 hours of hiking. The trek’s difficulty is considered challenging due to the distance and varied terrain. The lodging altitude in Aguas Calientes is 2,000 meters above sea level, providing a comfortable and relatively cooler environment for resting after the day’s hike.
Expect hot, humid, and tropical weather conditions as you journey through the lush landscapes. At the end of the day, you will be accommodated in a cozy hotel, offering a much-needed opportunity to relax and recharge. Throughout the day, you will be treated to a variety of nutritious and delicious meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to keep your energy levels high and spirits lifted.
MACHU PICCHU GUIDED TOUR:
Return by Tren
If you return by train, it can be on the Tren at 14:30 p.m., 19:00 p.m. or 21:50 p.m. that will depend on the availability of the trains
(PeruRail or IncaRail) the time is 2 hours by train to Ollantaytambo Train Station and 2 hours by car to reach Cusco.
Important: We recommend booking in advance to get the best times to return to Cusco by train.
FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE STEPS:
Optional: You can pay the full tour amount upfront to avoid any future payment concerns. Ask for the total payment link.
The remaining BALANCE is due 48 hours before the tour begins. You can pay in CASH (soles or dollars) or CREDIT CARD (+ 4 %) at the office in Cusco or in your hotel/hostal/apartament.
Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment. Obtain insurance before departing and consider working with a reputable agency for affordable coverage.
Huayna Picchu Mountain: $30 USD (subject to availability). Check availability at https://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/inicio
Machu Picchu Mountain: $30 USD (subject to availability). Check availability at https://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/inicio
Sleeping Bag Rental: (for the entire trek): $15 USD
Trekking Poles Rental: (one pair for the entire trek): $10 USD
Upgrade Train: Vistadome – Panoramic Train (if you choose the train return option): $35 USD.
Extra night: $20 USD (per person “based 2 people”) $40 USD (Single accommodation)
Important: Book the normal tour with a deposit and pay the remaining balance and any additional upgrades you choose upon arrival in Cusco.
Student Discount: If your student card meets Peruvian government requirements, reserve the tour with a deposit and pay the remaining balance upon arrival in Cusco. The student discount will be applied at that time.
All university cards must be laminated and clearly show the following information:
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The Salkantay trek is an alternative route to the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu. It is a multi-day hike that goes through stunning landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, high-altitude passes, cloud forests, and Inca ruins.
The Salkantay trek is considered a moderate to challenging trek. It involves hiking at high altitudes, with the highest point being Salkantay Pass at 4,630 meters (15,190 feet) above sea level. However, the trek is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and previous hiking experience.
The Salkantay trek typically takes 4 to 5 days to complete. Some tour operators offer longer or shorter itineraries, depending on your preferences and fitness level.
You should pack comfortable and waterproof hiking gear, including sturdy hiking boots, a backpack, warm clothes, rain gear, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It’s also essential to bring a sleeping bag, a water bottle, and snacks or energy bars.
While you don’t need to be an experienced hiker, it’s important to have a reasonable level of fitness to complete the Salkantay trek. You’ll be hiking for several hours each day, often at high altitudes, so it’s a good idea to prepare your body with cardio and strength training before your trip.
While it’s possible to do the Salkantay trek independently, it’s recommended to hire a guide for safety reasons and to learn more about the history and culture of the area. Most tour operators offer guided tours, which also include transportation, meals, and accommodation.
The best time to do the Salkantay trek is from April to October, which is the dry season in the region. During these months, you can expect clear skies, warm days, and cool nights. However, it’s also possible to do the trek during the wet season (November to March), although the trails can be muddy and slippery, and you may encounter more rain and clouds.
The Inca Trail is a famous trekking route in Peru that leads to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. It’s a 4-day hike that follows an original Inca stone path through the Andes mountains, passing through several Inca ruins and offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
The Inca Trail is considered a challenging trek, with steep ascents and descents, high-altitude passes, and rugged terrain. It’s important to have a good level of fitness and previous hiking experience to complete the trek.
The best time to do the Inca Trail is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. During these months, you can expect clear skies, warm days, and cool nights. The wet season, from November to March, can be more challenging due to the rain and mud on the trails.
The Inca Trail is a 4-day hike, covering a distance of approximately 42 kilometers (26 miles). However, there are shorter and longer itineraries available, depending on your preferences and fitness level.
You need to book the Inca Trail through a licensed tour operator, as independent hiking is not allowed. The government limits the number of permits for the trail each day, so it’s essential to book well in advance, especially during the peak season (June to August).
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