Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu


The Salkantay Trek is more than an alternate to the classic Inca Trail. It's an extraordinary trek and was named by National Geographic as one of the world’s 25 best treks. The views of the Andes are unbeatable as you traverse beneath the sacred Salkantay Mountain (6271m/20569ft). Salkantay Pass (4,600m/15,200 ft), the highest point of the trek, offers excellent views of surrounding glaciers. It’s a long decent from the pass that takes us across a number of ecological zones and into the depths of the tropical forests where numerous species of orchids and an array of ferns can be spotted along the trail. We arrive in Aguas Calientes on the fourth day where the trek ends and we can relax with a hot shower. The last day of the tour is reserved for the sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu before returning to Cusco.

    What's Included?

  • Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to Mollepata.
  • All meals during the trek.
  • High quality camping equipment including tent, mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs and bathroom tent.
  • Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English).
  • Horseman and mules for up to 7kg of a customer's personal equipment (1).
  • Transport from La Playa to the hydroelectric station (for the equipment and everyone's bags).
  • Hotel with Private Room and Bathroom in Aguas Calientes.
  • Entrance to the National park of Salkantay & Machu Picchu.
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (one way).
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco.

Full Itinerary

Day 1 - Cusco to Soraypampa (3700m/12139ft)

3 hour drive and 6 hour hike
We will pick you up early from your hotel in Cusco for the 3 hour drive to the small village of Mollepata where the hike begins. The first day is about a 6 hour walk and it's not long before you have views of both Humantay (5217m/17116ft) and Salkantay (6264m/20551ft).

Day 2 - Soraypampa to Chaullay via Salkantay Pass

8 hours of trekking
It's a challenging day as we ascend Salkantay Pass (4,600m /15,200 ft) the high point on the trek. The views of the glaciers from top of the pass are incredible. It's a long climb down from the top of the pass to our campsite at Challway (3000m/9842f), amidst the tropical forest.

Day 3 - Challway to La Playa (2100m/6890ft)

6 hours of trekking
The big peaks lie behind us as we descend into the tropical forests. Keep your camera ready to capture the numerous orchids, ferns and begonias. This part of the trail can be quite muddy during the wet season from November to February. We set up camp for the night at La Playa.

Day 4 - La Playa to Aguas Calientes (2050m/6726ft)

6 hours of trekking
We start the day with a visit to Llactapata an archeological site discovered in 1912 from where we have a great view of Machu Picchu which lies about 3 miles to the west. We continue our trek down to the railroad tracks at the bottom of the canyon where we can catch the train for the short ride to Aguas Calientes where we will get a chance to clean up and spend the night in a hotel.

Day 5 - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

We need to finish breakfast early to catch the tourist bus up to Machu Picchu at 5:30am. You can enjoy a guided tour that lasts several hours before having the remainder of the morning to explore the archeological site on your own. If you want to visit Huayna Picchu reservations need to be made several months in advance and it costs an additional $60. We can return by train to Cusco either at 2:55pm or 6:10pm depending on the preference of the party.



  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu. This ticket is an additional $60 and must be booked in advance.
  • Breakfast on the 1st day and lunch on the 5th day in Aguas Calientes.
  • Tourist Train from the hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes.
  • Bus going downhill from the Machu Picchu ruins to Aguas Calientes where the train station is situated. Most of the guests opt to walk back to Aguas Calientes which is all downhill and takes about an hour.
  • Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes (Optional: 10 Soles).
  • Sleeping bag and other trekking gear not mentioned. Ask us if you need to rent one.


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