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The 5 days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful treks in South America. Popularly referred to as one of the alternative treks to the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, National Geographic Travel Magazine recognises it as one of the best 25 treks in the world.
The high altitude experience offers captivating views of the Peruvian highland at every turn. It begins high up in the Andes, closer to the sacred Salkantay peak and takes you down to the cloud forests.
Unlike the Inca Trail which requires trekkers to book months in advance, Salkantay Trek can be booked 2-3 days before the intended date of travel.
The highest point of the Salkantay Trek is the Salkantay Pass (Apacheta Pass). It nestles at 4600 metres (15088 feet) above sea level. Altitude sickness can be an issue to most trekkers, we highly recommend you to spend 2-3 days in Cusco before the experience.
A vast majority of the Salkantay Trail happens at the Peruvian Andes. It is subject to two seasons – Wet season and dry season. During the rainy season, often the path is quite slippery and there are chances of landslides. Hence it is best to do Salkantay Trek during the dry season – May to October.
Machu Picchu Peru Cusco is a local tour operator and a trekking company based in Cusco. Travelling with us means adventure, fun and security. We maintain high safety standards. Our guides are trained on first aid and use of Oxygen cans.
We believe that choosing the right travel company is important to determine your experience in Cusco. We aim to offer a seamless experience that would make your trip unforgettable. Check our reviews in TripAdvisor.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
We will be picking you from your hotel in Cusco at 0600 AM. Then in our private transport, we will be driving you to a remote Andean town, Mollepata. Here we will be stopping for breakfast.
After breakfast, we will continue driving to Sayllapata. This is the starting point of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. We will be meeting the muleteers and our Andean chef here.
All set, we will begin with a gradual uphill hike through some untouched remote Andean communities.
For lunch, we will be stopping at Soraypampa. This offers stunning views of the Peruvian Andes. After lunch, we will continue hiking for four more hours to our campsite in Soyrococha.
Here we will be camping for the night.
After a nutritious breakfast, we will begin the second day of the Salkantay Trekking to Machu Picchu. We will be hiking up the hill to the highest point of the Salkantay Trek – Salkantay Pass or Apacheta Pass at 4600 metres.
Although this section of the trek is often referred to as challenging, it does reward trekkers with spectacular views of Mount Salkantay and Humantay. We will be trekking through some small lakes including the iconic Humantay Lake. We will be stopping for lunch at Huayracmachay Campsite.
After lunch, we will be descending for three hours to Collpapampa campsite where we will spend the night camping.
We will begin the third day of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with a downhill hike for three hours to the cloud forest. This region is popular for cocoa and coffee plantations.
The region is also home to some waterfalls and hot springs. So while you will be taking a refreshing bath to beat the heat, our crew will prepare your lunch. Here you will also have the opportunity to spot the Peruvian national bird – Andean cock of the rock.
After lunch, we will be driving you for 45 minutes to our campsite in Santa Teresa.
The most easiest day of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. Our crew will be serving breakfast at our campsite in Santa Teresa. We will then hike to Hidroelectrica. Here we will be serving lunch.
After lunch, you will be hiking for three hours, along the railway tracks to Aguas Calientes. This is the same route that the noted American professor, Hiram Bingham III took when he rediscovered Machu Picchu.
At Aguas Calientes, we will be accommodating you in a basic ensuite hotel room.
As you will be leaving the hotel early in the morning, the hotel staff will be handing you over a snack box. You will then be taking a bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. Our tour guide will be meeting you at the main entrance of Machu Picchu. We will assist you in crossing the security control to enter the citadel.
Once inside the citadel you will witness the sun rising on the walls of the ancient citadel of Incas. We will then give you a detailed tour of the citadel. You will be visiting the main plaza, the ceremonial centre, remains of Inca temples and more.
After the half day Machu Picchu tour, you will have some free time to explore the citadel on your own. If you want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, our guide will be directing you to the respective entrance.
Alternatively, you can hike to the Sun Gate. It offers a beautiful view of the citadel. This view is exclusive at sunrise to those on Inca Trail trek.
We will then be taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes. Here you will be boarding the train to Ollantaytambo train station. Our representative will meet you and will transfer you back to Cusco. We will return to Cusco by 09:00 PM.
Salkantay Trek is a high altitude experience. The highest point of Salkantay Trek is Salkantay Pass or Apacheta pass at 4600 metres (15091 feet) above sea level.
Although you don’t have to book Salkantay Trek in advance as Inca Trail, it is recommended to book your Salkantay Trek at least 2-3 days before.
Yes, Salkantay Trek is quite challenging. Primarily because of the high altitude. It is highly recommended that you spend at least 3-4 days in Cusco and acclimate before the trek.
I was excited for this and i am very convinced the way the tour was conducted. The guide was amazing and very well organised from start to end. The porters did a great job and so did the chef who prepared delicious food at with minimum logistics. Certainly look forward to doing more trips with them on my future visit to Peru
I went to the trek with Machu Picchu Peru Cusco and it was fantastic. All the views, food, accommodation and everything was perfect. Our guide, Carlos The Mountain King was so good. His knowledge about the territory, plants, history and sense of humour was amazing. 100% recommended to everyone
This trip was efficiently planned and organised by Karen and her team. They were very helpful and coordinated well. They conducted a briefing the night before advising us what to carry for the trek which was very helpful. The guide was very well prepard with first aid kits and trekking gears. We felt very safe, even as we did this with our 12 year old boy.