Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu 5 days and 3 nights

5 Days & Nights

4,600 msnm

Salkantay & Machu Picchu





MINIMUM GROUP: 02 persons

DEPARTURES: Subject to availability



The SALKANTAY TREK is a 5 day/4 night trek through diverse landscapes culminating in a tour of the magical city of Machu Picchu on the 5th day.
This trek boasts spectacular views of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, turquoise lakes, Andean plateaus, waterfalls, and high jungle. It even includes an original Inca trail to a small Inca ruin and a distant view of Machu Picchu, before reaching the famed city itself. This trek is approximately 60 km/37 miles and goes up to 4,600 m/15,092 ft. This is the second most popular trek in the Cusco Region (after the Inca Trail) so it is fairly crowded.

This iconic trek can be combined with the Classic Inca Trail or the Short 2 Day Inca Trail for a truly epic 6 Day adventure (Salkantay & Classic Inca Trail Trek)! Minimum passengers necessary for trek departure: 2 people (1 person or private/custom treks possible with extra fee). Maximum trekkers per group: 10 people (special, private party groups can exceed maximum).


Full itinerary:


Private transport will collect you from your Cusco hotel for a departure time of approximately 6:00am to Mollepata 2900 m/9,500 ft, where we have breakfast in a local restaurant. After breakfast we continue on a beautiful scenic journey through the Limatambo Valley, with stops for panoramic views of the “Apu or Mountain Salkantay.” One can see awesome chains of magnificent snow capped mountains and the lush Apurimac River Valley. After we arrive at the trailhead called Sayllapata 3,500 m/11,480 ft. we meet our Arrieros “horsemen” and trekking staff, (cook and assistants). You will need to apply insect repellent for the start of the trek to lunch. We will trek for about 3 hours before lunch through traditional Andean communities such as Challacancha and Soraypampa where we stop for lunch. We will continue walking for approximately 2 hours through small Andean villages to Salkantaypampa 4,000 m/13,120 ft, at the base of Salkantay Mountain, our first campsite.

Walking distance approximately 12 km/7.5 miles (5 hours)
Campsite Elevation: 4,000 m/13,120 ft
Meals: box breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on the trail, boiled water at lunch and camp
Overnight: Mountain Hardwear Tent (double occupancy)



After an early breakfast we start trekking at approximately 7:00am ascending for 3 hours to the Apacheta pass 4,600 m/15,090 ft. From this point we can enjoy a spectacular view of the Mountain Salkantay, a stunning snow capped mountain (6,264 m/20,500 ft) and the second highest peak in Cusco’s region. We will also see the snow capped mountains Humantay (5,850 m/ 19,192 ft) and Pumasillo (5,800 m/ 19,028 ft), as well as the Salkantay river, small lakes and moraines (terminal point of glaciers). After enjoying the view at the pass we will continue 2 hours downhill to our lunch camp in Huayracpunku (3,800 m/12,467 ft). After lunch we walk 3 more hours downhill and you will notice the marked change in scenery along the way from Andean plateau to high jungle where the landscape is warmer, more humid, and quite lush. As we enter the high jungle you will need to apply insect repellent. We end our 3 hour hike at our campsite Chaullay (2,920 m/9,580 ft). Because this campsite is at lower elevation it will be warmer at night here.

Walking distance approximately 19 km/11.8 miles (9 hours)
Campsite Elevation: 2,920 m/9,580 ft
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on the trail, boiled water at breakfast, lunch and camp
Overnight: Mountain Hardwear Tent (double occupancy)



After breakfast you will be given snacks and cooled, boiled water for your bottles and you will need to apply insect repellent and continue to reapply the repellent throughout the day. It will usually be warm out in this location so you can hike in shorts if you like. We start at 7:00am with an easy 6 hour hike through the Totora Valley which is part of the high jungle or Ceja de Selva. We will see a wide variety of plants including different fruit, flowers, birds and other various crops (e.g. coca, coffee, avocado, and bananas). Along this trail we will pass a beautiful waterfall and several streams. With luck we can observe the famous Peruvian national bird, “Gallito de las Rocas.” We continue hiking straight to our campsite at La Playa (2,350 m/7,612 ft) where we will enjoy lunch and some time to rest before having happy hour and dinner later in the evening. At this campsite you will be able to take a cold shower if you wish and can also purchase various drinks, avocados, grenadines, and other snacks and fruit.
Walking distance approximately 15 km/9.3 miles (6 hours)
Campsite Elevation: 2,350 m/7,612 ft
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on the trail, boiled water at breakfast, lunch and camp
Overnight: Mountain Hardwear Tent (double occupancy)



After breakfast, around 7:00am we begin our trek to the village Lucmabamba where we will see the remains of an original Inca trail. We are fortunate enough to trek on this rising trail along which we will see plantations of coffee, banana, passion fruit, avocado, and we will have a lovely view of the lush Santa Teresa Valley. We follow the Inca trail climbing up for 3 hours to Llactapata (2,700 m/8,858 ft) an Inca ruin. From here we can see Machu Picchu from a distance and enjoy some free time to rest, use the restroom (1 sol), and buy drinks or snacks if you wish. After visiting Llactapata we walk 2 hours downhill to the hydroelectric plant 1,870 m/6,135 ft and have lunch in a local restaurant near the hydroelectric train. At 4:45pm we will take the 45 minute train journey to Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu (2,000 m/6,561 ft). Once in town you will be taken to a hotel for the night to have a hot shower, put your stuff down, and you can visit the local hot springs (open until 9pm, 10 soles per person, bring your own towel and sandals) if you wish before or after our dinner in a local restaurant.
Walking distance approximately 15 km/9.3 miles (5 hours)
Meals: breakfast, lunch, and snacks on the trail, boiled water at breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a hotel in Aguas Calientes
Overnight: Comfortable hotel room in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)



Wake up call and breakfast is very early (Approx 4am) in order for us to take one of the first (5:30am, 25 min ride) buses directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft). Once we arrive at Machu Picchu you will show your entrance ticket and passport. If you are a student you must bring your ISIC card to the entrance or you will not be permitted entrance. From the entrance, it is a 15-minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Enjoy watching the sun rise over the ruin site and the fascinating tour of Machu Picchu with your guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, explaining the history and flora/fauna. Your guide will spend about 2 1/2 hours relating interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors. Your tour of Machu Picchu will finish between 9 and 9:30am after which you will have a little free time to take photos and explore. The new rules for 2019 have split the entrance times into three slots per day. Our tour includes the first ticket (6-10am) so at 10am you would need to exit the ruin site unless you choose to purchase an extra time slot (or two). If you wish to do one of the extra hikes within Machu Picchu (Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain) you would need to prepurchase a permit as well as an extra time slot in Machu Picchu (these new rules are dictated by the Peruvian government and we are sorry for the inconvenience). After you are done exploring the ruin site, either at 10am or later if you’ve booked more time, take one of the many, frequent buses down to Aguas Calientes. There are many restaurants to choose from and your guide can also help suggest a nice place to eat. After grabbing a bite to eat you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo where private transport will drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks on the tour

Overnight: Not Included
Helpful Info:

There are no bathrooms in the ruin site. There are bathrooms right outside the entrance, cost is 1 sol per entrance, and they provide a little toilet paper. If you leave close to the time your ticket expires it is likely they will not permit re-entry.
You are allowed to take in a small backpack (under 20L)
They are no longer allowing box lunches to be brought into the ruin site. We recommend bringing extra snacks (we provide snacks too) or going down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and returning depending on how much time you’ve booked in Machu Picchu
They no longer allow plastic water bottles so please come prepared with water bladders/reusable water bottle(s)
Please do not climb on or deface the rocks or leave trash/debris of any kind.
Our recommendation is to add one extra time slot to allow for more time in the Ruin Site (with or without an extra hike).
Machu Picchu Entrance Times: in 2019 they changed to 3 time slots with only 2800 people allowed to enter Machu Picchu each day (down from 4000 in 2018)

First Entrance: 6am to 10am
Second Entrance: 9am to 1pm
Third Entrance: 12pm to closing
Note: there will potentially be 4-5 entrance times in future years
Due to COVID19 – current capacity in Machu Picchu is has been varying based on outbreak numbers. Expect reduced capacity in 2021, extra hike closures, and difficulty obtaining time slots – we recommend booking early



There are hikes within Machu Picchu that you can do on your own if you wish. The hikes that historically have not required an entrance ticket are: The Inka bridge and the Sun Gate (where the Inka Trail ends with a view of Machu Picchu city), although these may become subject to permits and charges in 2021. Further, all permitted hikes are subject to closure due to weather, erosion, pandemic/epidemic, etc., and is outside our control as this is regulated by the Peruvian Government.

Wayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes both require a paid ticket and there are a limited number of spots (200 at 7am and 200 at 10am). If you want to hike one of these please let us know well in advance as these spots fill up very quickly. Please note we cannot guarantee you a spot for the mountains requiring tickets and that the Wayna Picchu trail is very steep and slippery and not for those afraid of heights or with vertigo).

We recommend the 10am time slot as Machu Picchu tends to be cloudy in the morning. You are only allowed to hike one of these mountains on a given day so if you would like to do both you would need to return the next day to hike the other one.

Extra hikes are affected by the time slots meaning you can:

Stick with one entrance ticket to Machu Picchu (6am entrance time) that we include in the cost of our trips and go on the extra hike starting at 7am. This means you would miss the guided tour of Machu Picchu unless we customized your trip and added an extra time slot later.
Book an extra entrance ticket (second time slot) along with the extra hike to enter Machu Picchu at 6am, have the guided tour first and some free time and then stay for the extra hike at 9 or 10am and depart after the hike.
General Info about the Extra Hikes and Machu Picchu:

You can only hike one of the extra hikes per day – these are Peruvian Government rules. If you wish to hike both you would need to stay overnight and return to Machu Picchu the next day to hike the second one. We can help arrange this.
The hikes are permitted and require a paid ticket that is linked to your passport info
There are 200 slots at 7am for Machu Picchu Mountain and 200 slots at 7am for Wayna Picchu and 200 slots at 9am for Machu Picchu Mountain and 200 slots at 10am for Wayna Picchu Mountain.
If you want to hike both you need to return the following day to complete the second one.
A guide is required to enter Machu Picchu with you but would not go on the extra hike with you unless you specifically request that.
In 2019 they are no longer allowing box lunches to be brought into Machu Picchu so please plan accordingly with plenty of snacks (beyond the ones we provide if you feel you’ll need them).
In 2019 they are no longer allowing plastic water bottles so come prepared with reusable water bottle(s).


Included on the Trail

  • Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any questions
  • Collection from your Cusco hotel in the morning
  • Private bus transport to start of the trek and back to Cusco
  • Personal porter to carry your overnight gear up to 8kg/17.6lbs
  • Dry bag in which to put your overnight gear so it won’t get wet or dusty on the trail
  • 3 person, 4 season tents (2 people in large and comfortable Mountain Hardwear Expedition tent)
  • One-Inch thick foam mattress pad
  • Toilet tent and toilet and toilet paper
  • English speaking professional guide
  • Full meals on the trek (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, and snacks on the trail)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank and emergency horse
  • Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
  • Dining and cooking tents with tables and stools
  • Dietary needs: able to cater to any dietary preference/need
  • Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment, and your duffel bags)
  • Hot water every morning and evening for hand washing purposes
  • Boiled water to fill your water bottle every morning and afternoon
  • Entrance to the Ausangate trail


Not included

  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after trek
  • Dinner on the last day
  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Entrance to hot springs
  • Travel interruption & travel medical/evacuation insurance (required)
  • Tip for your guide(s) and trek staff are optional but highly encouraged if you enjoy your trek



  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Recommend a sleeping bag rated for 20F/-7C or below for this trek
  • Sleeping bag liner (for your sleeping bag if you wish)
  • Mattress pad – while we provide a mattress pad, being rested is essential for a great hiking experience and we find that sleep habits are very individualized. Therefore we recommend bringing your own pad that you know you are comfortable sleeping on, as well as any other sleep items you might want to have (camp pillow, etc).
  • Sunscreen: the sun is very strong in Cusco
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Hiking shoes/boots with good, grippy tread
  • Optional: microspikes in case of excessive snowfall (rare)
  • Hiking pants (or shorts) and shirts (layers)
  • Layers – long underwear and/or warm sleep pants for cold nights
  • Hand warmers if you wish
  • Warm hat, gloves, scarf and thick warm socks (or you can buy a traditional Peruvian hat and scarf – they are beautiful!)
  • Daypack and rain cover
  • Rain gear – rain jacket and rain pants (optional for the pants), can buy an inexpensive poncho before the trek
  • Cash for tipping porters (USD or Peruvian Soles are fine), cooks, horsemen, guides, buying items along the trail, for in town, emergencies, etc. Note: Cash should be in perfect condition (ripped, damaged bills of any kind are NOT accepted anywhere in Peru)
  • Swim suit, flip flops, towel for any hot springs you may visit (not every trek/trip has this) if you wish to go
  • Sandals
  • Torch/flashlight/headlamp (and batteries)
  • Insect repellent if you plan to visit Machu Picchu
  • Hand sanitizer and face covering (for COVID-19 Pandemic)
  • Extra snacks if you wish (beyond snacks provided by us)
  • E.g. if you have a favorite protein bar as Cusco doesn’t sell items like this
  • First aid kit, including blister protection (though your guide will have one, you may wish to carry one of your own)
  • Personal medication and toiletries you might want/need
  • Camera, extra memory cards, batteries and solar panel/power bank
  • Water bottle or water bladder to refill
  • Passport (must be valid 6 months past your final travel dates for most countries)
  • Copies of passport (keep copies separate, give to travel friends to keep, etc)
  • Power plug adapter
  • Travel lock(s) approved by TSA (or they cut them off – US only)
  • Tickets, itinerary, emergency contact information
  • Any medications you currently are taking or need/may need (see suggestions below)
  • Small quick-dry pak towels and/or compostable wipes for a quick wipe down at the end of the day


A minimum of 2 trekkers required for this trek. Maximum of 10 trekkers in a group.

  • Price for 6-10 trekkers: 790 USD per person
  • Price for 3-5 trekkers: 925 USD per person
  • Price for 2 trekkers: 1125 USD per person

Private treks, single trekker, custom treks, large groups, and packages welcome, Please email us to customize.


What to carry – Daypacks

On the trail you should carry a day pack with your camera, water bottle or bladder, snacks, hand sanitizer, face mask, cold weather clothing and rain gear or poncho in case of rain (unlikely in dry season – May to October) and anything you will need before dinner as horses do not walk alongside you. A recommended packing list is sent after you book the trip and can be found below under the “what to pack for your trek” tab. We will provide you with a dry bag for your overnight gear to be carried by horses. Your bag will be waiting for you at every campsite. Yes, we can store your luggage for you during the trek. Most hotels/hostels also provide this service.


Name: Mayoucazau

I had a really great time, discovering the surroundings of Cusco with Treasure Hunting Peru. We visited some ruins after a nice walk, beautiful...

Tour: Salkantay 5D/4N
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