Salkantay Trek 4 Day / 3 Night

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September 26th: Salkantay to Machu Picchu 4 Day

The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu takes you through many different types of landscapes, from Andean landscapes of alpine tundra, emerald lakes and snowcapped mountains, and then down to cloud forest, agricultural land and tropical jungle. We will pass by traditional Andean communities with a good chance of seeing native flora and fauna on our way to the famous and impressive archaeological site of Machu Picchu.

Tour Description:

In the morning (6:00am) we will pick you up from your accommodation and drive to the town of Challacancha, where we will meet our horsemen and mules to begin our trek, the drive will take about 4 hours including a short break along the way. We will trek 7km in around 3 hours with a slight incline to Soraypampa where we will have our lunch, and make camp for the night. After lunch, we hike up to the stunning emerald Humantay Lake (4200m), which is a 5km round-trip and will take about 3 hours. We return to Soraypampa for dinner and some brilliant star gazing before retiring early to our tents.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Total distance: 12 km
Estimated time: 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate


We wake at dawn, about 05:30am, and enjoy a quick but energizing breakfast, before departing with fresh legs for a difficult ascent up to the Salkantay Pass (4650m), the highest point of the trail. The 7km climb will take about 3 hours passing the imposing Salkantay Mountain (6271m). From the pass, we will look out over the surrounding valleys and awe-inspring snowy peaks of the Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo mountains, before a 5km downhill walk on a gravelly path for lunch at Huayracmachay. After a nourishing meal, we will trek 10km (about 3 hours) into the cloud forest as we leave the Andes and move into the Amazon. You will notice a marked change in vegetation, and temperature, with a chance to see some wildlife, such as native birds, insects and possibly vizcachas. At the end of this inspiring and tiring hike, we arrive at our campsite in the village of Chaullay (around 2800m).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Total distance: 22 km
Estimated time: 8-9 hours
Difficulty: Challenging


At daybreak we will start our trek to the small town of Playa Sahuayaco through the Santa Teresa valley enjoying the sunrise. During the 5-6 hour hike we will see some waterfalls, wild orchids, and plantations of coffee and various fruits, if we are lucky, we will even be able to see the flashy red Peruvian national bird, called The Cock of the Rocks. After lunch, we will take local transportation to the hydroelectric train station. Here you have two options; the first is take the train from Hidroelectrica to the town of Aguas Calientes (not included), otherwise, you can walk along the railway track to Aguas Calientes (3 hours). If you like, you can visit the local hot springs in the afternoon (not included).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Total distance: 16 km
Estimated time: 8 hours
Difficulty: Moderate


After another early breakfast, we will catch the bus up to the majestic and expansive archaeological site of Machu Picchu where you will have a 2 hour guided tour and then free time to take in the site on your own, before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. If you wanted to do the optional hike to Huayna Picchu (2700m) or Machu Picchu Mountain (3100m) you need to book a permit in advance; you can get a fantastic view from higher up overlooking the main site. In the afternoon we will catch a train to Ollantaytambo, and then transfer to your accommodation.
Meals: Breakfast

That this is a typical itinerary and may be subject to change depending on speed of the group and availability of camping spaces. Alternative campsites may be used.


  • Private transportation from Cusco to Challacancha
  • Professional, English speaking guide
  • Noted meals during the tour (3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners) and some snacks
  • Camping and cooking equipment ; campsite fees
  • An experienced and hygienic cook
  • Inflatable mattress
  • Horsemen and mules to carry food, cooking and camping equipment
  • Horsemen and mules to carry 6 kilos per person of your personal items; a returnable duffel bag will be provided at your briefing
  • Horsemen and mules return to Challacancha
  • Entrance fees to Salkantay
  • Public transportation from Playa to Hydroelectric
  • First aid kit
  • Boiled water to fill your water bottle during trek (please request prior to meals)
  • Comfortable 2 star accommodation in Aguas Calientes
  • Return bus tickets Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu
  • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu
  • Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco


Meals not noted above (1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 2 dinners)
Sleeping bag
Walking sticks


  • Day backpack
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented for $5 USD per day)
  • Sweater, jacket (something warm)
  • Camera, batteries, film and extras
  • Water bottle, ideally non disposable canteen (boiled drinking water provided)
  • Walking sticks / poles (rubber covers required for the uneven, pebbly and steep paths, can be rented for $2 USD per day).
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Caps or hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Toiletries and toilet paper, and a small towel
  • Some of your favorite snacks e.g. chocolate, nuts, cookies, energy bars
  • Cash in soles and/or U.S. dollars (you can buy snacks and energy drinks along the way, and for tips if you want to)
  • Original passport

Prices for this Salkantay Trek 5 Day Tour: (Per person)
2 People - $840 USD
3 People - $700 USD
4 People - $580 USD
5 People - $540 USD
6 People - $500 USD

*Groups of other sizes, please contact us for a free no strings attached quote.