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Salkantay Trail Peru to Machu Picchu – Challenge Hike 4 Days

Salkantay Trail Peru

This challenge Salkantay Trail Peru to Machu Picchu  is considered as one of the main alternative treks located in the proximity of the Inca Trail, the Salkantay trail does not require trek permits from the government office, is not limited. So it is open to everybody. Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu  goes on the ancient and remarkable footpath located to the north of Cusco, where  the majestic Mt Salkantay collide with the lush subtropical cloud forest.

The spectacular  Salkantay Trail Peru, offers some of the most exquisite views as you trek through high mountain passes and down into the cloud-forest on your way to the Legendary lost city of the Incas (Machu Picchu). The Salkantay Trail Peru to Machu Picchu can be hiked in 5 days, 4 nights or alternatively 4 days and 3 nights – ask us for  more details. Best time for Salkantay trail: April to December.

Salkantay Trail Peru – Highlights:

  • Amazing mountain scenery
  • High Mountain passes
  • Flora & wildlife
  • Visiting local villages
  • Hiking the famous Salkantay Trail Peru
  • Machu Picchu the legendary lost city of the Incas


Salkantay Trail Peru – Overview

  • First day: Cusco – Soraypampa – Salkantay pass – Andenes.
  • Second day: Andenes – Colpa pampa – la playa.
  • Third day: La Playa – Hidroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes.
  • Fourth day: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco


Salkantay Trail – Itinerary

Day 01: Cusco – Soraypampa – Andenes.

Salkantay trail Peru starts with an early pick-up from the hotels in Cusco and then the drive straight to the beginning of the Salkantay trail Peru at Soraypampa, where we will meet our muleteers. The Salkantay trek starts from Soraypampa approx. 09:00hrs in the morning, slowly we ascend  trough the Peruvian highland, on the way up to the highest point, we will observe constant views of Salkantay Mountain, a stunning snow capped mountain (6,272 m) the second highest peak in Cusco region and that is the reason why the trail is called Salkantay Trail Peru,  at the same time will be visible the Mt Humantay.

After approx. 04hours of uphill hike, we will reach the highest point of Salkantay trail Peru 4650m. enjoying all the wonderful views  from the summit, our Salkantay trail lead us all the way down  to Huayracmachay the lunch place, we then walk 02 more hours downhill  to the campsite at Andenes, a nice area in the cloud forest.
Overnight at camping.

  • Meals: lunch and dinner.

Day 02: Andenes – Colpa pampa – la playa. 

After breakfast we will continue hiking on the Salkantay  Trail to Machu Picchu, we descend for 02 more hours to Collpa pampa, enjoying the beautiful cloud-forest. We cross the river and follow the left hand side of the River “Alto Salcantay” to the ‘eyebrow of the jungle’ where we can see orchids, bromeliads, typical vegetation of the area and also the different types of birds, insects and butterflies. In comparison to the previous days of the Salkantay Trail Peru, this is easier walking as we descend slowly for 6 to 7 hours to La Playa (2050m). As we lose altitude we will see some tropical plantations like: citrus fruit trees, avocados, bananas, and coffee plants. (7 hours hike)

Camping options: Remember that Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu  is a popular route that suffers from degradation and over use and is currently un-regulated. The second night´s camping offers a number of options, which you should talk to your guide about. These options are linked to the group´s wishes, and also what you plan to do the next day. : La Playa is NOT a remote campsite – for those that want to get away from the crowds you should talk to your guide about camping at Santa Theresa is also not a remote campsite and can have parties, but is a good location depending on your activities the next day.
Overnight at camping.

  • Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 03: La Playa – Hidroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes.

Be aware that Salkantay to machu Picchu Trek is the second most touristic route in the Cusco region and inevitably this means you will encounter other people (it’s not a “wilderness” experience).

The following options are decided by “group majority” – if you are joining a “trekkers wanted” group then the decisions will be made by the group at your briefing or on the trail.

  1. Relax option. After breakfast you will take a local transport to the impressive Machu Picchu Hydroelectric System (not included in the price) where we will have lunch and in a little while we will start an easy walking for 3 more hours along the train tracks to arrive at the town of Aguas Calientes.
  2. Adventurer´s option. We leave early and climb for about three hours through the cloud- forest to the top of the mountain, where is located the Inca town (ruins) called Llactapata. This will be one of the hardest sections on the Salkantay Trail. From here we have our first view of Machu Picchu, in the saddle of the opposite mountain. We then descend very steeply for three hours to the impressive Machu Picchu Hydroelectric System for lunch and later we will walk for 3 more hours along the train tracks to arrive at the town of Aguas Calientes.
  • Hostal in Aguas Calientes:
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 04: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Early in the morning we take the bus to the Citadel of Machu Picchu, guided tour for 02 hours and plenty of free time for further exploring, photos and optional climb of the mountain Wayna 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 lunch and at approx. 16:00hrs. We take our return train to Ollantaytambo with bus connection to Cusco city. End of Salkantay Trail Peru.

  • Hotel in Cusco:
  • Meals: breakfast.


Included in the Salkantay Trail:

  • Transfer from hotel to the start point of the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu.
  • A tent per each 02 (4-people-capacity tent), it allows higher comfort, 3-season tents, new, highly maintained for excellent performance in field.
  • Complete meals during the trek, 03 breakfast, 03 lunch and 03dinners.
  • English speaking professional tour guide.
  • Cook and cooking equipment., Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle (safety in Salkantay trekking).
  • One night of Hostal in Aguas Calientes.
  • Bus ticket up and down to Machu Picchu.
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes- Ollantaytambo and bus drive to Cusco (expedition class).

Not Included in the Salkantay Trail:

  • Entrance fee to Wayna Picchu (20.00 US additional per person)
  • Sleeping bag (the Salkantay trail has one of the coldest campsites).
  • Breakfast in the first day and Lunch on the last day: after the guided tour at Machu Picchu.
  • Optional train from Hydroelectric to Machu Picchu town (29.00USD per person).
  • Tips: please beware that our agency staff are paid, so please feel free to tip according to your wish.

You should bring to the Salkantay Trail:

  • Original Passport
  • Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount)
  • Walking sticks (rubber covers required in order not to damage archaeological sites)
  • Change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied.
  • Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far
  • Swimsuit (if you wish to take a bath in the Hot Springs of Machu Picchu)
  • A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $2 in Cusco.
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended.
  • Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended.
  • Sleeping bag (you can hire it from us)
  • Headlamp or Flashlight.
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
  • Sun block and insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET.
  • Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
  • Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
  • Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
  • Cash in soles for your final lunch in Aguas Calientes, tips and souvenirs.
  • Walking sticks or poles (you can hire it from us).


The accommodations are our suggestions, Standard class and superior class are the best hotels in their category per destination. For your safety and comfort, we only suggest hotels that have been visited and inspected by our staff.


Optional extras for Salkantay trail

You can hire some additional things from us – please contact your Travel Consultant / or our booking forms for the current rates.

  • Extra mule to carry your things(25.00 USD per day)
  • Extra riding mule and muleteer to lead it(30.00USD per day)
  • Sleeping Bags suitable for – 10deg(30.00USD for the entire trip)
  • Walking poles or two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
  • Thermarest Inflatable pillow
  • Comforting Camping trek upgrade – bigger tents, camp beds, includes sleeping bag, Thermarest, and walking stick.
  • Single tent supplement (if you don’t want to share a tent)
  • The return train can be upgraded to Vista dome class(50.00USD additional per person)
  • The Hostal in Aguas Calientes can be upgraded to the superior class( 40.00USD per person)


  • When calculating costs for hire of walking stick, sleeping bag, calculate using the length of the tour. Even though you won’t use the equipment on the final day it will still be ‘on the road’ and ‘occupied.’
  • If you hire equipment and break it – you are responsible for price of replacement /or repair. (please do the right thing!)

AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS for Salkantay trail Peru.

  • Students: US$ 25.00 (students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please beware that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
  • Teenagers: US$ 20.00 (up to 15 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
  • Children: US$ 20.00 (up to 10 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)

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