Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
Along the Salkantay Trek the nature and sceneries are incredible! From the Andes highlands you climb up to a freezing pass above 4600 meters with great views over the Andes. After that it’s all downhill. Banana trees, coffee plantations and a wild running river. Fleece sweaters go out as you enter the upper cloud forest. Every couple of kilometers you just enter another world!
There are fewer tourists as in the Inca Trail. Alongside the Inca Trail you find ruins though, something the Salkantay Trek doesn’t have. And you also don’t arrive directly in Machu Picchu, becuase on the fourth night you stay in Aguas Calientes.
Short itinerary Salkantay Trek:
Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Salkantaypampa (4100 m)
Day 2: Salkantaypampa – Salkantay Pass – Chaullay
Day 3: Chaullay – La Playa – Santa Teresa
Day 4: Santa Teresa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes”]
Day 5: Aguas Clientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Itinerary 5-days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Salkantaypampa (4100 m)
Total hiking time: 6 hours.
Day 2: Salkantaypampa - Salkantay Pass - Chaullay
Today is the hardest as we have a steep climb to the Salkantay pass of 4600 meters. And at the top we’re not entirely Salkantay Trek 2done yet: We have to go down for about 6 or 7 hours. Luckily we have a dinner break and we can enjoy beautiful views: the snow covered mountains disappear slowly out of sight as we enter the upper cloud forest: a whole other world! Depending on the desición of the local agency, either our campsite of today, or tomorrow is near a beautiful hot spring at 2800 meters (entrance fee: S/. 15).
Total hiking time: 9 hours.
Day 3: Chaullay - La Playa - Santa Teresa
Today we walk for about 5 hours, towards the village of La Playa where we have our lunch. Afterwards we hike or take local to the village of Santa Teresa, where you can also enjoy the hot springs. If the weather is good, we might have a BBQ at our campsite.
Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes
Early in the morning the group will have breakfast, after which we will walk for 3 hrs. The path is surrounded by abundant vegetation and impressive mountains, our next goal will be the Hydroelectric, where we will have lunch, and after a short break we will continue trekking for aprox. 3 hr. until arriving at the town Aguas Calientes. The group will be taken to the hostel and at night we will all get together for dinner.
Today there’s also an alternative path to visit the archaeological complex called Llantapata for a extra charge.
Day 5: Aguas Clientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
At 4:00 am we start our 8 km hike with 400 m ascent to Machu Picchu, to arrive there before most tourists. Your bilingual guide will take you throughout the vast ruins for about 2h.
After a 2 hour guided tour, you have time for ourself until 12:00 pm to explore the ‘Lost City of the Incas´ on your own, to climb Huayna Picchu or Mount Machu Picchu, or to hike a bit of the Inca Trail towards Inti Punku, the sun gate.
Machu Picchu is the most known Inca ruin worldwide. However it is not mentioned in any of the Spanish Conquistadors writings. It is believed to have been constructed around the mid-15th century and was “rediscovered” by the American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911.
In the afternoon you’ll walk back to Aguas Calientes and from there you return by train and bus back to Cusco. More information: About Machu Picchu.
Note: It is also possible to do this trek in 4 days. Day 3 and 4 will then be combined and you will spend more time in local transport.
Inclusive and recommended to bring with on Salkantay Trek
– transportations as described above
– transfers from your hotel and back to Plaza de Armas in Cusco
– entrance fee Machu Picchu (worth 152 Soles) (please be advised that due to new regulations you already have to decide with your booking if you want to climb Huayana Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (15 US$ p.p. additional).
– hostel in Aguas Calientes
– all applicable taxes
– horsemen and horses to carry tents, cooking equipment, and backpacks (max 6 Salkantay 3
kg per person)
– cook and meals (4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners; vegetarian food available on
– English-speaking guide
– camping equipment including tents and mattress
– kitchen tent and eat tent, including tables and chairs
– medical assistance, first aid kit, emergency oxygen bottle
– breakfast day 1, lunch day 5
– the entrance fee to Huayna Picchu Mountain (15 US$ add., or Machu Picchu Mountain (15 US$ add.), when available.
– personal horse: 120 US$
– entrance to the hot-springs (15 soles) and sometimes even the Salkantay Trek (only charged on very rare occasions, no known charges in the last 2 year, but just in case: 127 Soles; students pay 64 Soles)
– sleeping bag (we rent sleeping bags for 25 US$ for 4 days)
– walking sticks (we rent sticks for 20 US$ for 4 days, or you can just try to buy a wooden stick in Cusco for 3 USD).
– optional single room Aguas Calientes: 30 USD extra
In order to reserve the Salkantay Trek we need the following:
– Full name as it is written in your passport
– Passport number
– Date of birth
– Or a digital (photo)copy of your passport
– Departure date
-We already need to know if you want to climb Huayana Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (15 USD p.p. additional).
– copy/fax or scan from both sides of your ISIC student card (people under 30 with
the official card get a $ 15 discount. After the reservation it is not possible to receive this discount anymore!)