Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5D/4N
This trek was recently named amongst the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
Group Service Price
- US $620.00 per person (two people)
Private Service Price
- 2 people USD$ 750.00 per person
- 3 people USD$ 725.00 per person
- 4 people USD$ 699.00 per person
- 5+ people USD$ 665.00 per person
- Student Discount: USD $25.00 (requires ISIC Card)
- Under 18’s Discount: USD $25.00
Optional extras NOT included (need to book in advance):
- Sleeping Bag USD $25.00
- Pair of trekking poles USD $15.00
- Inflatable Mattress USD $25.00
- One-person tent USD $35.00
- Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain: USD $20.00
- Climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain: USD $20.00
- Vistadome Train: Aguas Calientes – Cusco: US $50.00
Every Day Of The Year
Departure dates: We have potential group trips for the Inka Trail every day of the year, except in February when the trail is closed for maintenance.
Note: You are able to visit Machu Picchu by train in February.
Availability: Only 500 people are allowed on the Inka Trail per day and this includes tourists, guides, porters and chefs. Therefore, to avoid disappointment, you should make your reservation months in advance. Also, please note, all agencies have the same number of spaces, so if one agency is not able to accommodate your dates, none of them will be able to.
Details & Itinerary
It is an alternative route to the conventional Inka trail trekking route, going via the south face of the Salkantay Glacier, perfectly combining natural and cultural beauty. We will experience different challenges of the varied ecosystem and enjoy magnificent views of the snow-capped Salkantay Glacier (6264m/20,551ft), considered to be the most important mountain of the Vilcabamba mountain range. This trek will take us back to the time of the Inkas, bringing us into contact with other mountain spirits such as Tucarhuay or Humantay, both with peaks over 5000m/ 16,404 ft.
Level: medium. People of all ages that have a good level of fitness can do this trek.
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Day 1: Cusco - Soraypampa
We will leave Cusco at 5:00 a.m., arriving at Soraypampa at 9:00 a.m, where we will have breakfast and then climb up to Lake Humantay. Afterwards, we’ll walk back to Soraypampa for lunch and then walk for another 2 hours to our campsite for the evening, Salkantay Pampa (4200m/ft needed).
Travel time: 4 hours
Hiking time: 6 -7 hours
Climate: moderate during the day and cold at night
Day 2: Salkantay Pampa – Salkantay Pass – Chalway
After breakfast, we will set off towards the Salkantay pass (4600m/15,092ft), and after crossing the pass, we will descend into the tropical forest where you’ll notice the changing landscape and vegetation of this varying ecosystem. We will camp in Chalway today, in the heart of the forest.
Hiking time: 8-9 hours
Optional: There are some hot springs nearby the community of Collpapampa and a visit can be arranged at an additional cost.
Day 3: Chalway – Wiñaypoco – La Playa - Lucmabamba
Today is perfect for seeing all different kinds of local flora as we descend further through the forest covered in orchids and bromelias, to meet with local families in Wiñaypoco (2650m/8694ft) and La Playa (2100m/6890ft).
In Lucmabamba, we will learn how local people harvest their crops such as coffee and cacao and, in the afternoon, you will have the chance to learn how coffee is cultivated and processed.
Depending on the variety, it takes approximately 3 to 4 years for newly planted coffee trees to bear fruit. The fruit, known as the coffee cherry, turns a bright, deep red when it is ripe and ready to be harvested. Due to the botanical characteristics of the coffee tree and the fact that coffee is often grown in mountainous areas, widespread use of mechanical harvesters is not possible so the ripe coffee cherries are usually picked by hand, which is a labor-intensive and difficult process. On this part of the trek, you will learn about the whole process from the plant to your cup of coffee and have a chance to ask your own questions about the process.
Day 4: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes Town
We will visit the archaeological complex of Llactapata (2650m/8694ft) this morning, which is located amidst a marvelous forest. Here, we will have time to enjoy the magnificent view across to Machu Picchu and take a lot of pictures. Afterwards, we will head towards the hydroelectrical station (1950m/6398ft) where we will take the train to Aguas Calientes, to have lunch and rest in preparation for the early start tomorrow.
Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
We will leave our hotel early in the morning to take the bus to Machu Picchu, where we will receive a 2-hour guided tour followed by free time to explore the ruins at your own pace and perhaps climb Huayna Picchu. If time, you will be able to visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes before boarding the 2:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. train back to Cusco.
- Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to Mollepata (Marcoccasa)
- Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English)
- Meals during the excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, vegetarian options are available)
- Cook and cooking equipment
- Coca tea is served every morning in your tent
- Boiled water after breakfast, to refill your water bottles (1 liter per person)
- Snacks each morning
- Hot drinks such as coca tea, black tea and coffee in the afternoon
- Transfer of equipment and luggage from Lucmabamba to the hydroelectric station
- Entrance fees to Salkantay National Park and Machu Picchu
- 2 hour professionally guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Train ticket from the hydroelectrical station to Aguas Calientes
- One-way bus ticket: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Expedition train ticket to return to Ollantaytambo, bus to Cusco and transfer to your hotel
- High quality camping equipment for 2 people. Mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent)
- Sleeping mattress (you will need to carry this unless you hire a personal porter)
- Horseman and mules, for all camping equipment and customer’s luggage (Up to 10kg)
- Emergency horse for riding in case of illness or injury
- Duffle bag
- First-aid kit and oxygen bottle
- Sleeping bag
- Trekking poles
- Breakfast on Day 1 and lunch on Day 5 in Aguas Calientes
- Return bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes*
- Entrance to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
- Extra night in Aguas Calientes
- Travel Insurance – we strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance for the duration of your trip
*you can hike down or purchase a return ticket for US $12.00
(1) From Day 1-2 (from Soraypampa to Chalway) the horsemen and mules will carry the equipment and your personal luggage (up to 10kg) and then from the third day, all the luggage will be transferred by car.
(2) Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcome. The porters are also very grateful for small donations such as clothes or school supplies for their children.
What you need to bring
- Original Passport and migration card
- ISIC card (www.isic.org) if applicable (must be submitted at the time of booking)
- Backpack and daypack with rain cover
- Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
- Clothing for warm and cold climates e.g. lightweight pants, thermal layers
- Rain gear: jacket, poncho, pants
- Trekking shoes/boots
- Slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs)
- Woolen or synthetic socks and a sweater
- Long and short-sleeved polos/T-Shirts
- Woolen hat
- Bathing suit for the hot springs
- Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, insect repellent
- Personal medical kit and medication
- Toiletries and hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Small towel
- Water bottle (recommended 1 liter)
- Trekking poles (can be rented from us)
- Headlamp with spare batteries (very important)
- Some snacks such as chocolate bars and dried fruit
- Camera and extra batteries
- Extra money for drinks, souvenirs, tips etc. (soles or dollars)