Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

5 Days / 4 Nights

THE ANDES
A new and amazing trek!!! Come and see Salkantay (‘the savage one’). Reach Machu Picchu in a different and spectacular way; trekking through valleys, grasslands, glaciers, cloud forests and jungles!!

Salkantay Trek is a popular alternative to the very-crowded classic Inca Trail. It offers more distance, more mountains, more scenery, and a wider variety of landscapes, but still concludes with a visit to the iconic city of Machu Picchu. As the route does not have as many regulations as the Inca Trail, this also means that it can provide a “back door” trek to Machu Picchu when Inca Trail permits are sold out. This new itinerary, Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu via Llaqtapata, includes the highlights of the other Salkantay trek, but avoids many of the areas that are becoming crowded with other trekkers.

Trip View

  • Tour Duration: 5 days 4 night.

Day 1: Cusco –Challacancha – Humantay– Sorapampa

Your trekking guide, chef and porters will pick you up from your hotel (Must to be located in Cusco) at 4:30 a.m., and you will drive 4 hours to the trail head, Challancha. Through the windows of the bus you can clearly see the white, snowcapped mountains of Apus Salkantay and Humantay: two colossal gods of the Incas. You will also see spectacular scenery of high peaks and low valleys in a colorful and contrasting panorama filling every direction you turn your eyes! After the first two hours of driving, we will stop quickly in Mollepata to take advantage of the toilet facilities, souvenir shops, and an optional, short breakfast. We will then continue to Challacancha, the starting point for our trek. We will meet our support staff, and they will organize all of the equipment and cargo mules. Around 09:30 AM, we will begin trekking to Soraypampa (3850 MASL – 12631 FASL), the first campsite on our journey.

The first section of the path takes us over a few deep valleys along the side of a mountain. At some parts of the trail, an old aqueduct can still be seen which still supplies water to farmers in the lower valleys. We will travel 7 km (4.35 miles) in 3 hours to Soraypampa where we will have our lunch at the base camp of Salkantay. After lunch and a short rest, we hike up to the unforgettable Humantay Lake (4200 MASL – 13779 ft). This is a 5 km (3.1miles) round-trip which we will walk in a total of 3 hours. This place one of the most beautiful sights in all the Andes with unbelievable blue-green water reflecting the mountain glaciers of Apu Humantay. Upon your arrival at the campsite at Soyapampa you will be welcomed by your team and provided warm drinks and dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 10kms/6 miles
  • Time: 6hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Salkantaypampa – Collpapampa Camp

After an early breakfast we start trekking a moderate climb from approx 07:00am for 3 hours to reach the Apacheta Pass at 4,590 masl. From this point we can appreciate spectacular views of Cusco’s second highest peak, the stunning snow capped Mount Salkantay (6,264 mts) and also the snow capped mountains Humantay and Huayanay, white river, small lakes and moraines. In the Apacheta Pass you can leave a piece of rock carried from the bottom as a present from you to the Apacheta. (In Inca times the walkers used to leave at the top their shoes, clothes, jewels or simply a piece of rock as an offering.) There is an option to take a nice walk from the Pass for 40 minutes to see an amazing lake of Soraycocha located just off the trail.

We continue 2 hrs downhill to lunch in Huayracmachay, and then, depending on the group ability, weather and walking conditions, the guide will decide whether to camp 2-3 hrs downhill walk in Rayan-niyoc at 3100 mts or travel a further 2km to camp at Collpapampa 2920 mts for experienced trekkers.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accomodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 16kms/10 miles
  • Time: 8hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Challenge

Day 3: Colpapampa – Lucmabamaba – Hot springs

Today we have passed our mid way point. Within 3 hours of walking, we are enjoying the beginning of the lush tropical rainforest, the bountiful fruit bearing trees, coffee and cacao trees, and the undulating fruit plantations with their flowering orchids and always plenty of birds to see. We arrive at wonderful Lucmabamaba for lunch with free time to rest.

After lunch, we will have an incredible experience of nature at it’s purest form, touring a coffee plantation adjacent to the campsite. We will begin by browsing the fields, learning about the different types of beans and picking our own beans. It doesn’t end there. Engulfed in the fields of tomatoes and avocados are multiple ecosystems from beginning to end. We pick our fresh produce which our trekking chef will use for our dinner.

Then by 3pm, we will take the local transport for 30mins to the natural hot springs at Cocalmayo, where we bath in the natural resources mother earth provides us. Upon our return our trekking chef with be creating his specialty with our fresh produce from the day.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 14kms
  • Time: 5 to 6 hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate.

Day 4: Lucmabamba – Llaqtapata – Hidroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes.

After a last delicious breakfast by our chef and a hot drink, we will continue along the ancient and remote Inca Trail for 3 hours uphill to the Puncuyoc Pass (2700m/8,858ft). Along the way you will need to pinch yourself at fantastic views and authenticity of these unique valleys and fruit plantations. Location! location!! We arrive to Llactapata Inca Ruins, located right in front of Machu Picchu where we enjoy the strategic location of the Citadel of the Grand Machu Picchu from far away and it’s surrounding mountains Huyana Picchu, Machu Picchu and the Aobamba Canyon.

Still feeling overwhelmed, we descend for 2 hours to the Hydroelectric plant the primary power source for Cusco where we will have lunch. Then it’s the last leg of the journey walking to Aguas Calientes through the National Park of Machu Picchu. Feel your adrenaline start to swirl in your veins as you come closer to the iconic Machu Picchu and the ancient wall that surrounds the Inca Citadel.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel or Andean Terra Hotel
  • Distance: 15kms / 9 miles
  • Time: 9hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – VISIT TO MACHUPICCHU – CUSCO

Early walk (approximately 1.5 hours uphill from Aquas Calientes) or bus for 25 minutes to the Citadel of Machupicchu, guided tour for 3 hours and plenty of free time for further exploring, photos and optional climb of the mountain Huayna Picchu, Temple of the Moon, or the Gate of the Sun. Generally around 1pm people walk down the steps back to Aguas Calientes for the Buffet lunch and at approx 16:00 hrs we take our return train to Ollantaytambo with bus connection arriving to Cusco city around 9:00 pm. (End of our service at Plaza Regocijo at centre of Cusco).

  • Pre-departure briefing: You will meet your guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags which will be carried by our horses. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.
  • Transport: You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and will travel by private transportation to Challacancha, the starting point of the trek.
  • Experienced Guide: English speaking, professionally educated, and official tour guide. Your guide will explain the culture and surroundings along the entire route, including leading your group in ancient ceremonies! He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
  • Personal tents: Like our ancestors, we are very considerate of the Pachamama (Mother Earth). Therefore, our campsites are adapted to the environment to avoid generating negative impacts. 2 people stay in each 4-person tent to allow for higher comfort and luggage security. Our tents are 3-season ready and highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance during our treks. They are of the brands Kailas, Pro Aconcagua, and Rei 4 Outfitter and are employed when double accommodation is requested.
  • Camping equipment: Dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs, and cooking equipment (all carried by the horses).
  • Entry ticket to Machu Picchu Archeological Site
  • Hostel in Aguas Calientes: The last night of this trek is spent in a hostel in Aguas Calientes with a double or triple room, private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, breakfast, and luggage storage while you visit Machu Picchu.
  • 1 Duffle Bag: You can put your personal luggage, up to 7 kgs (15.4 lbs), including your sleeping bag, in this bag to be carried by our horses.
  • Cargo Mules: On days 1 and 2, cargo mules carry the all camping equipment and your allowance of personal baggage (7 kgs/15.4 lbs). On days 3 and 4, your luggage will be carried by car or train to your destination.
  • Trekking Cook: A chef specialized in cooking on the trail, with an assistant, will prepare all of your delicious meals along the journey to replenish your energy. You will never go hungry!
  • Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners (Vegetarian, vegan, or special menus are available at no extra cost)
  • Wake up tea: Every morning at the campsite, you will woken up with a cup of coca tea! Our staff will bring the tea to your tent so that you will be warmed from inside out before you start your day.
  • Tea time daily: Every afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide popcorn, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you will not have to wait until dinner to relax, warm up, and enjoy a bite to eat!
  • Snacks on the trail daily: Our snacks consist of local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, caramels, etc. We will give this snack to you at the beginning of each day in your cloth bag.
  • One cloth snack bag per person: To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we will give you a cloth bag for your snacks.
  • Products for hygiene: Each morning, you will be provided with a warm, wet towel to clean yourself up with.
  • 1 Blanket or Liner per person
  • 1 Pillow per person
  • Medical kit: Our crew will bring a first-aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Train tickets: From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (“Expedition” service with Peru Rail at 18:20 PM)
  • Transport: Private transport from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco (Day 5)
  • 24-hour guest service: We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.
  • We will create a Memorable Lifetime Experience for you.
  • Entrance fee to Salkantay Trail (S/.10 per person)
  • Sleeping Bags: You can rent one from our company if you do not have your own. Our sleeping bags are effective and durable to protect from temperatures as low as -18ºC (0ºF). They are mummy form and include a sleeping liner. The bags are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips.
  • Walking Sticks: You can rent a set from our company if you would like.
  • Day 1: Breakfast
  • Last Day: Lunch and Dinner in Aguas Calientes.
  • Personal clothing and gear
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for our staff: Please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as you wish.
  • Option: If you feel tired after the trek to and from Llactapata, you have the option to take a train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes. (Cost: USD $31.00)
  • Additional costs or delays out of control of the management (landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.)

WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: 2-3 litre Camelbaks are encouraged.
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from Sap Adventures)
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Toiletpaper

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR DUFFLE BAG FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK

  • As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants at least
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Bathing Suit for the thermal waters
  • Couple Fleece/ Thermals
  • Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º Celcious.
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash.
  • Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them.
  • Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us.
  • Swimming Suit
  • TOILETRIES
  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Personal medications
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR BACKPACK FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK

  • We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40Litres for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.
  • Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water at every meal time. Please bring your canteens.
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Wool Hat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Coca leaves.
  • Rain plastic poncho
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
  • Value things

Photos

WHY HIKING MACHU PICCHU?

HIKINGMACHUPICCHU specializes in providing the best travel services in Peru. We’ve been in business since 2015, creating customized itineraries for our clients based around their personal plans and preferences. In our line of work we don’t only make plans, we help you build experiences and memories.

About me

I was born in 1996, in a little town 40 minutes away from Cusco, called (POROY)  when I was 3 years old my father died due to alcoholism, I was then taken by American folks from Texas U.S.A  and lived with them in Cusco since. my American parents after 20 years in Peru they now have a Children’s home in the jungle area of Peru (PUERTO MALDONADO ) , So i decided to open this company to be able to help my parents with funds and sponsor kids that need help. so thats me . By the way i love photography.

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