Go off the beaten track to explore the natural beauties of Salkantay Mountain and Humantay Lake for 5 days. Enjoy the impressive landscapes, majestic snow-capped mountains, picturesque valleys, beautiful lakes, waterfalls, rural towns and camp on a mountain in front of Machu Picchu. Enjoy a true wilderness camping experience with tents and hot showers!
The Ultimate Salkantay Trek 5 days 4 nights takes you to explore the second most popular route to Machu Picchu after the Classic Inca Trail 4 days, and it’s not hard to see why. You will be able to see the Humantay Lake, snow-capped mountains, the cloud forest, visit organic coffee farms, participate in a Pachamanca, camp in Llaqtapata and finish the trek in Machu Picchu with the sunrise, and return to Cusco on the panoramic trains.
During the Salkantay Trek, we provide:
Meal: Your trekking ched will prepare special meals for you every day. We use fresh products from the area to provide the best Peruvian food, and on day 3, you will prepare a Pachamanca underground with hot stones. We offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals.
EQUIPMENT: We offer kitchen tents, dining tents, toilet tents, tables, chairs, portable solar showers, 4-person tents for every 2 hikers, and 2-person tents for solo travelers. We do not charge any single supplement.
TRANSPORT: We offer door to door service. We will start the tour from your hotel anywhere in the city of Cusco. After the tour, we will also send you back to your hotel.
We are the only company that offers panoramic trains (Vistadome or 360°) on the way back to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.
SECURITY: All our employees have received training in first aid, mountain rescue and Covid 19 protocol. We offer oxygen tanks, first aid kits, satellite phones.
Sacred Expeditions Peru: Discover our new way of experiencing hiking, creating unique and unforgettable experiences in responsible travel and a deeper connection with nature and communities.
PORTERS: Sacred Expeditions Peru porters have the proper equipment and fair wages; they are the most valuable workers, and it is impossible to reach Machu Picchu without them.
Details of the trip:
Salkantay Trek Highlights
Price per person
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All travelers under the age of 17 will get $35. If you are 25 or younger when you travel, you can get the $35 discount with your student ID. Please notify us by email to give you a code for the discount.
Summary day by day of the Salkantay Trek 5 days:
Day 1: Cusco – Humantay Lagoon – Salkantay Pampa (16km, 8hrs)
We start the Salkantay Trek at your hotel located in Cusco and travel for 3 hours to the trailhead. After breakfast, we will start hiking for 3 hours to Soraypampa using an ancient Inca aqueduct. Lunch will be served by your trekking chef with local products. Then, the afternoon will continue with a 2-hour hike to Lake Humantay at 4,200 meters and camping near the Salkantay mountain at 3,900 meters.
Day 2: Base camp -Hayrajpunku – Collpapampa (18km, 9hrs)
Wake up with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy breakfast with the mountains, then trek to the Salkantay pass at 4630mts for 3 hours and two more for lunch. The second part is a 3 hour descent to the second camp at 2770m.
Day 3: Collpapampa – Lucmabamba – Llactapata (16km, 8hrs)
Wake up in your tent and have breakfast; we start walking along the cloud forest for 3 hours. Lunch is a special PACHAMANCA (underground hot stone barbecue), the visit to the organic coffee farms. After lunch, 3 hours to the Llaqtapata camp located on top of a mountain in front of Machu Picchu.
Day 4: Llaqtapata – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes (14km, 6hrs)
Wake up, and when you open your tent, you will see Machu Picchu. Today is a 2 hour descent to Hidroelectica for breakfast and continues another 3 hours to Aguas Calientes. We spend the night in a Hotel, Susanna INN or similar.
Day 5: Machu Picchu (Beat the crowds!) –
4 hours After breakfast, we take the first buses to Machu Picchu for sunrise, visit the Intipunku or the Inca Bridge, and then explore Machu Picchu with your guide. Once you finish, you will take the panoramic Vistadome train and the bus back to your hotel in Cusco.
Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Humantay Lagoon – Salkantaypampa
Start the Salkantay Trek with a pick-up from your hotel door at around 4:30am (depending on your location) and drive for 3.5 hours to the trailhead at Soraypampa (3600m/11811ft), arriving approximately at 8:30 am Once in
Soraypampa, surrounded by mountains, you will enjoy the first perfect breakfast prepared by your chef, then you will meet the team of porters, chef horsemen led by the tour guide and then start the Salkantay TreXperience!
The first part begins with a 2-hour hike to the impressive Humantay Glacier Lake (4,200m/13,779ft). Once at the lake, you will have time to explore the surroundings and relax, enjoying the beautiful views of this spectacular turquoise water lake. Then continue to the lunch spot for two more hours, where the chef awaits you to serve you a delicious meal prepared with local organic products from the area. Along the way, you will see a variety of flora and fauna, such as the Andean goose (the love birds), deer, and vizcachas (which look a lot like a rabbit).
After lunch, you will continue for two more hours along a beautiful valley with meandering streams until you reach Salkantay Pampa (3,900m/12,795ft). This base camp offers you an unobstructed view of the Salkantay Mountain and the sky at night. Get ready to dine, stargaze and sleep under a million stars.
Day 2: Salkantaypampa – Wayrampunku – Collpapampa
Wake up early with a cup of hot coffee or coca tea, admiring the spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains. After breakfast, you will start the ascent for 2 hours to the highest point of the Salkantay Trek at 4630m (15190ft). Once at the top you will take some time to explore and enjoy the area and even visit a beautiful lake at the base of the Salkantay Mountain. Then it’s another 3 hour downhill hike to the lunch spot at Wayracmachay (3800m/12467ft). Along the way, it is possible to see Vizcachas (Lagidium Peruanum), a unique type of Chinchilla endemic to Peru.
After a well-deserved lunch, you will prepare for the final leg of the day, a further 3 hours of descent from the highlands where the air is dry and cold, into the lush cloud forest where the weather is hot and humid. Without a doubt, this is one of the fastest temperature and landscape changes you will experience. The camp is located next to
the town of Collpapampa at 2770m (9087ft).
Day 3: Collpapampa – Llucmabamba – Llactapata
Enjoy some leisure time in the village while admiring the view of the mountains you left behind. After breakfast, you will prepare for the most beautiful day of this expedition to the legendary citadel of Machu Picchu, walking through narrow paths, following the river, passing wooden bridges, waterfalls, passion fruit, banana plantations, until you
reach Lucmabamba (2000 m / 6561 ft) for lunch.
Today’s lunch is unique and the highlight of the Salkantay Trek. After walking for approximately 3 hours, taking a van, the last part, you will prepare to participate in a Pachamanca, an old traditional underground stone barbecue.
After burying the food, you will visit the coffee farms organic and prepare your cup. Cooking lasts about 45 minutes; then, you sit down to enjoy the different delicacies such as cuy (guinea pig), different types of
potatoes, fruits, vegetables prepared as the locals do.
Once fed and revitalized, prepare for a final 3-hour climb along an ancient Inca Trail to Llaqtapata, a small mountaintop citadel at 2,750m (9,022ft), where you get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu from a distance. This place was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and was lost again until recently. You will be camping right in front of Machu Picchu; when you open your tent, you will be able to see the sunrise and sunset over Machu Picchu if the weather allows it.
Day 4: Llactapata – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
Open your tent and the first thing you see is Machu Picchu on another mountain in front of you while your trekking team offers you a cup of coffee or coca tea. After breakfast, it’s an easy 2-hour descent to the hydroelectric station. You will have the last lunch offered by the trekking chef, say goodbye to them and walk the last final leg of
the Salkantay TreXperience to Aguas Calientes.
The last part is a 3-hour walk along the railway, following the Urubamba River upstream. This section of the walk is steeped in history as you will stop at the Mandor Botanical Gardens, visited by Hiram Bingham who found a farmer named Arteaga living in the area. He was the first to take the American to Machu Picchu in 1911. He will visit the Arteaga farm, home to several endemic birds such as the Rupicola Peruviana (known locally as the cock-of-the-rock), parrots, toucans, hummingbirds. and orchids. Once in Aguas Calientes, your guide will take you to his hotel, where you can take a shower, visit the city, hot springs. He will have dinner at a local restaurant while planning the next and most important Salkantay Trek day in the evening.
Day 5: Machu Picchu (Arrival with the first)
Today is the most important day of the Salkantay Trek. You are visiting one of the new seven wonders of the world, a city abandoned for unknown reasons during the 16th century by the great Inca Empire. Get up early, have breakfast at the hotel and take the first buses to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu. Your tour guide will take you on a tour to the most famous temples, palaces and squares and will explain the mysteries that this spectacular Inca city hides perched on this impossible mountain peak. The guided tour lasts approximately 3 hours, and then you will have time to explore the magical place or climb Huayna Picchu or Montaña (Machu Picchu Mountain).
After finishing with the citadel, you must take the bus back to Aguas Calientes, have lunch, collect your belongings from the hotel and take the exclusive panoramic train to return to Ollantaytambo and our private van to Cusco. The
Sacred Expeditions Peru team will return to your hotel around 7:30 pm.
Included in The Salkantay Trek 5 days
Not included in the Salkantay Trek 5 days
Additional walks after the guided tour in Machu Picchu:
Huayna Picchu Mountain –Tickets are an additional $75 per person. We need to book well in advance; the climb takes 2 hours round trip.
Machu Picchu Mountain –Tickets are an additional $75 per person. You need to book in advance; It is the highest mountain around Machu Picchu with a 3 hour round trip hike.
Salkantay Tour Packing List
When the Salkantay Trek is reversed, take the second most popular trek in Peru and hike the most challenging trek to Machu Picchu. You will walk from great heights into the jungles. The terrain will be varied with unpredictable weather, and you should be prepared.
It’s important to note that you won’t take all your stuff to this hike; you will only take to the Salkantay Trek the essentials for the trek and leave in Cusco the rest of your luggage. We will provide you with a canvas bag to put 7 kilos of your things; this should include your sleeping bag and air mattress. The mules carry the duffel bags for the first 2 days, and then our porters will transfer to the hotel in Aguas Calientes.
You will also have a backpack; this should be with you at all times when you go hiking with all the essentials for the day. We recommend having a maximum of about 5 to 8 kilos.
You must take the Salkantay Trek:
What you will have in your backpack:
What you will have in the canvas bag
Salkantay Tour 5 days FAQs
What is Salkantay?
Salkantay is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region at 6,271 m / 20,574 ft. It is located in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, west-northwest 6 km from Cusco in the central mountain range of the Peruvian Andes. Salkantay means “Wild Mountain” and is considered a Sacred Deity that controls the weather and fertility by the locals since
the Inca times. Salkantay was first climbed in 1952 by a Franco-American expedition. Due to its location on the border of the Amazon, the shape and the slope, this mountain is considered very difficult to climb.
What is Salkantay Trek?
The proximity of Salkantay to Machu Picchu and the existence of ancient trails make this a perfect Alternative Trek called Salkantay Trek. The Salkantay trek can be done in a 4 or 5 day trek to Machu Picchu, reaching a
maximum of 4630m/15190ft in elevation, the Salkantay Pass. This The trek was named by National Geographic’s Adventure Travel magazine among the 25 best treks in the world.
How long is the Salkantay trek?
Salkantay Trek can be done in many ways, depending on the itinerary you follow or the operator you choose. The most popular tours are 4 and 5 days, less than four days can be too challenging, and schedules longer than five
days usually include city tours, Sacred Valley tours and not the trek itself. Salkantay trek 4 days and 3 nights.-The trek begins in the town of Soraypampa, visits the amazing Humantay lake, Salkantay pass, and reaches Machu Picchu after 3 days of trekking. On the last day, you will visit Machu Picchu and return to Cusco on the panoramic trains (Vistadome or 360°). The total walking distance is 44 km / 28 miles, and this does not include the Machu Picchu walking tour.
Salkantay Trek 5 days and 4 nights.-The last Salkantay Trek starts at Soraypampa Village, reaches Laguna Humantay, Paso Salkantay, and allows camping for 1 night at Llaqtapata, a unique archeological site located on top of a mountain right in front of Machu Picchu. . The total walking distance is 60 km / 38 miles, and this number is only for the 4-day walking tour. On the fifth day, this is a walking tour in Machu Picchu.
Is Salkantay Trek worth it?
The Salkantay Route is not only the most popular trek to Machu Picchu after the Inca Trail. This trek is also wonderful as it offers varied experiences to the travelers. Salkantay Trek begins in the high mountains where the temperatures are cold and the landscapes are usually extensive grasslands surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
They will arrive at Machu Picchu through the high jungle called “Bosque Nuboso”, these extremely varied landscapes will offer trekkers a unique opportunity to experience different views, climates and the opportunity to camp in front of Machu Picchu.
How high is the trek to Salkantay?
It is important to note the difference between the Salkantay Mountains that its 6,271m/20574ft and the highest pass used during the trek crosses the Andes into the Amazon Cloud Forest, the Salkantay Pass, located at 4630m/15190ft.
How cold is the Salkantay Trek?
This walk offers varied landscapes as well as different ecosystems and temperatures; the weather varies throughout the year depending on whether you are hiking During the dry season (April to October) or the wet season (November to March), temperatures will rise slightly during the wet season just like summer in the southern
Trip to Salkantay What do you expect from this trek?
How much to tip Salkantay Trek?
Among the most important factors to consider is the price; I definitely wouldn’t go for the lower prices as they have hidden costs and you will end up paying more or have a bad experience. The regular price of the Salkantay trek varies between 450.USD to 650.USD, this cost should include 3 star hotels, meals, porters and all transportation, and a good English speaking certified tour guide. It is important to book your tour with a company that has a good reputation, this is a high altitude hiking tour, slippery terrain, and you have to fully trust
the company and the tour guides.
Sacred Expeditions Peru offers experienced tour guides, expert chefs, comfortable camping equipment, as well as including a coffee tour, Pachamanca kitchen and panoramic train on the last day for an excellent price.
How to prepare for the Salkantay Trek?
Anyone can do the Salkantay route; however, you need a moderate fitness level to finish the hike. It is not necessary to be an expert hiker, but to have a somewhat active life; if not, you will need to prepare before this trip to avoid
No need to train months in advance. However, you should take occasional walks for about an hour or 2 and increase the frequency and duration as you get closer to the trailhead. A few hours at the gym, jogging, or spinning will also help.
We recommend hiking on the weekends or at least twice a month on short hikes that include uphill.
Is altitude sickness a problem?
What should I do to avoid altitude sickness?
Where To Book Salkantay Trek In Cusco?
When is the best time to hike the Salkantay and visit Machu Picchu?
The best time to trek to Salkantay and visit Machu Picchu is from April to November, when it is the dry season, April and November are the months of humidity and an increase in weather is expected.
January and February are months to avoid this trek as they are the season of heavy rains and risk of landslides. During these months, we recommend the Lares hike.
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