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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Cusco, Peru

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Book this tour through our partner: Cachi Life

Trek through the most amazing alternative to the Inca Trail. Hiking the 5-day Salkantay Trek starts in Cusco, takes you past the glacier-top Salkantay Mountain, meaning Savage Mountain. Experience the adventure, natural beauty, solitude, and authenticity of this remote path leading you to Machu Picchu. Where the classic Inca Trail has beauty, the Salkantay Trail has nature! Don’t look past the Salkantay Trek! It is considered by many publications to be one of the top 25 treks in the world. This trek is open to all with no limitations on the number of people who may start per day. Compare that with the 500 who are allowed to hike the Inca Trail per day. The Salkantay Trail links the city of Mollepata all the way to the ancient lost city of Machu Picchu. It passes the beautiful Salkantay Mountain, aka Savage Mountain, at 6271 meters (20574 feet) above sea level. For those seeking solitude and the serenity of nature, look no further than the remote hike of the Salkantay Trek.

Additional Information


The first day begins early in the morning starting our hike at the small village of Mollepata above the Rio Blanco Valley. We will hike our way up the valley which will be approximately 16km /10 miles and gain an elevation of 1200m /3937ft. Along the path will be a lot of birds and animals and at the end of the day we’ll see the snow-capped peaks of Humantay Mountain and Salkantay Mountain (Savage Mountain). The first night will be spent at Soraypampa (4000m / 12750ft.). We will move slower on the first day to avoid altitude sickness.


The second day is the longest and hardest day of hiking but also the most beautiful. The beautiful scenery changes a lot throughout the day. We will start from the high Puna covered in Ichu grass and then make our way over the Salkantay Pass (4635m/15,200ft) where everything is rock and ice and then descend into the warm and lush cloud forest below. At the Salkantay Pass, you will see Salkantay Mountain which stands at 6264m/20,551ft high; it earns its name as Savage. Along the way we’ll see a variety of wildlife from small finches, to hummingbirds and toucans in the cloud forest, there is also a chance to see Andean Fox, White-Tailed Deer, and Viscacha (rabbit-like Chinchillas). Our campsite for tonight is located at Chauyay (2900m / 9514ft).


Today we will trek to the village of La Playa about 12km down the valley from Colpapampa. Our route takes us along the Lluskamayo River through an area that has various coffee and fruit plantations. The tropical forest that we pass through has many birds such as toucans and beautiful waterfalls.

We will stay in the village of La Playa (2400m / 7874ft.). You may even get the opportunity to roast coffee beans or enjoy the hot springs. You may even get to eat guinea pig (cuy) tonight!


Today is the last day of the hike before we reach Aguas Calientes from Santa Teresa seated at the foot of the Machu Picchu citadel. Today we will visit the Inca site of Llactapata on the mountainside. We will arrive in Llactapata by early to mid-morning and can enjoy the fantastic views of Machu Picchu. After a tour of Llactapata, we’ll learn about the Inca people and their culture. We then head back down the mountain to Hydroelectric Station on our way to our hotel in Aguas Calientes.


Today is Machu Picchu! We will wake up early and take the bus up Machu Picchu. There will be a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you’ll learn about the Inca and visit all the most important areas of the citadel, such as the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, the main plaza, and Intitawana. After your tour, you will have approximately 2 hours of free time to explore the site by yourself or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the afternoon, you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo and then bus back to your hotel in Cusco.

Included in Salkantay Trek Package:


  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Entrance to historical Machu Picchu site
  • Expedition Train Ticket
  • Chef
  • Horses (carries personal gear)
  • Personal transportation to and from hotel
  • Dining Tent
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 snacks, and 4 dinners. (We are able to accommodate most diets variations)
  • Hot coffee/Hot tea
  • Nightly pisco drinks
  • Clean water
  • 4 person tent per 2 people
  • Clean private pop-up toilet (no one likes going to the bathroom in a gross outhouse)
  • First Aid Kit

Not included in Salkantay Trek Package:


  • Sleeping bag – $40
  • Trekking poles – $20
  • Therm-a-Rest Comfort Sleeping Pad – $30
  • Panoramic Vistadome Train – $90
  • Horse to help carry personal gear – $100
  • Single Person Tent – $75
  • Single Person Hotel at Aguas Calientes – $100
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain – $85
  • Hot Spring Entrance on Day 3 – $20
  • Personal items
  • Breakfast on the first day and lunch/dinner on last day
  • Porter/Guide tips


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Starting From


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5 Days


Cusco, Peru


Cusco, Peru

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