Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days

MAR 2022 - DEC 2022 Price from $ 450 USD pp
Trip Type Walking & Treking
Difficulty Level Challenging/Tough
Group Size 2-15 people
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Salkantay Trek  is the second best option for those travelers who want to go to Machu Picchu, offering a totally full of natural scenes tour, passing through the foothills of the majestic Salkantay snow mountain, colorful villages where Spanish is the second language, and where the Andean people still maintains traditions that date back to ancient times. Unlike the Classic Inca Trail, Salkantay tour will take less visited places and with very little presence of tourists, allowing truly come into contact with the Andean world and interact with people.

If you have a love for adventure and enjoying some of the best hiking routes in the world, our Salkantay Trek 5 days is for you. It combines the most exciting trekking trails with the most incredible scenery you can imagine. Join us on your own, in a couple, or as part of a group.

Expect, to pass through snowy mountain tops before heading down through the cloud forest on this once in a lifetime adventure. You will end up hiking through the lush Peruvian jungle as you get closer to the Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu. The dramatic change of climate and surroundings is one of the aspects that makes this exciting trail so special.

Not only will the scenery envelop you, but you will also see some wonderful destinations that are on many travelers bucket lists. On day 1, you will trek up to the stunning Humantay Lake that sits like blue gem among the snowy backdrop. On day 2, you will embark on the challenging trail up to the Salkantay Pass to see the majestic Salkantay Mountain. On the third day you will walk through a jungle, forests and mountains of Santa Maria and Lucmabamba. You will go down a path on the side of a river and you will pass through several towns that still maintain their traditions and activities of organic agriculture, such as coffee, fruits and cocoa. On day 4, you’ll get to visit the fascinating Inca archeological site of Llactapata and get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu.

If that’s still not enough to get your blood pumping, what better way to end the ultimate trip than with a visit to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. You’ll enjoy a 2 hour guided for the most important inca sites  such us Sun Temple, Sacred rock, Main plazas and shrines. In the afternoon you will board a train trip to the city of Ollantaytambo, during this trip you can enjoy the Andean landscapes at sunset and the mythical Vilcanota river. In general, this tour encompasses the best landscapes of Peru, which goes from the inter-Andean valley, the mountains with their snowy peaks, and the cloud forests. Come and enjoy the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

 

INCLUDED IN THE SALKANTAY TREK  TO MACHU PICCHU 4 DAYS:

  • Transport: Pick up  from your hotel in the morning
  • Experienced Guide: English speaking professional tour guide.
  • Andean huts: 2 nights
  • Camping equipment: Dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs.
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu.
  • Foam mats or sleeping pads: to put under your sleeping bag (carried by horses)
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes: 1 night
  • Trekking Cook
  • Meals: 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 dinners  (Vegetarian, vegan or special menus are available at no extra cost)
  • Medical kit: Our crew bring the First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Train tickets: From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (expedition service)
  • Transport: Transfer from Ollantaytambo Train Station to  Cusco

NOT INCLUDED IN THE SALKANTAY TREK 4 DAYS:

  • Sleeping Bags: ($ 15 USD)
  • Walking Sticks: ( $ 15 USD )
  • First day Breakfast
  • Last Day: Lunch and Dinner in Aguas Calientes
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain ( $ 30 usd )
  • Other personal expenses
  • Enjoy the imposing snowfall of Salkantay that is imposing in your sight surrounded by the nature that surrounds it.
  • Marvel at the beautiful colors that Humantay Lagoon possesses.
  • Immerse yourself in the history, tradition, customs of the villages where you can reach and with the guidance of the guide.
  • Discover the powers that coca leaf, a mystical side by reading coca to see what fate holds and a medicinal side.
  • Experience the incomparable flavors of Peruvian cuisine, by tasting exquisite dishes prepared by our expert chefs.
  • 4 days of hiking accompanied by fabulous trails, Inca buildings and at the end of the adventure the great Machu Picchu.

The Road to Salkantay is an old moderate alternative path, along the route you can see beautiful places with ecological diversity of flora and fauna, an excellent trekking route for travelers who love walks and adventures. It is recommended to have a physical activity prior to the trip based on daily walks, practice of some sport, which facilitates your physical performance on the way. It will cover a distance of 56 km crossing paths up and down, the maximum height of the route is 4,600 meters / 15091.86 feet where the cold is intense until reaching the minimum height of 2,400 meters / 7874,016 feet where the climate is tropical and humid . You will enjoy the wonder of the Machu Picchu world where you will take a tour of history always with the guide company it is recommended to stay with the group.

  • Confortable Andean Huts, 02 nights.
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes , 01 night.

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 4200 m
Hiking Distance 10 km
Approximate walking time 8 hrs

You’ll be up nice and early today to be ready for us to pick up around 4 a.m, You’ll travel in our comfy transportation with blankets to enjoy a bit more sleep on the drive. After 2 hours, we’ll enjoy a brief stop in Mollepata for an optional breakfast. We’ll then continue on to Challacancha, where we’ll start our hike.

First, you’ll meet the cooks and horseman, as well as do a last equipment check. Then, we’ll be on our way. You’ll start with a 3-hour moderate walk to Soraypampa (3,900 masl/ 12,795 fasl), where we’ll be spending our first night. The first section is relatively flat with a slight bit of uphill through  a deep valley of glaciers. You’ll notice that a lot of the trail follows a  restored Inca water channel, wich local farmers still make use of today.

Once you get Soraypampa, you’ll get settled in at our exclusive Andean Huts, where you will sleep this night. You’ll have a bit of time to rest after enjoying your first lunch in the mountains. Feeling refreshed, it’ll be time to start the hike up to the incredible Humantay Lake (4,200 masl / 13,780 fasl). This round trip takes 3 hours. There aren’t many places in the Andes quite as stunning as turquoise waters glistening against the Humantay glacier. Back at camp, you’ll enjoy a delicious and well deserved dinner with a beautiful sunset. Then you’ll be able to enjoy a night under the stars, constellations, and comets.

Accommodation: Confortable Andean Huts

Included Activities:

  • Salkantay Trek – Challacancha trail to Soraypampa, Photo stop viewpoint
  • Salkantay Trek – Humantay lake, Photo stop viewpoint

Meals Included:

  • Lunch, Dinner

 

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 4630 m
Hiking Distance 22 km
Approximate walking time 12 hrs

You’ll be woken up today at the first signs of daylight with an energizing cup of coca tea to get you going. Enjoy a nourishing breakfast before we set off on our trek to the highest point of the route; the Salkantay Pass (4,630 masl/ 15,190 fasl). You’ll be walking 7 km / 4.32 miles over 3 hours. It’s a difficult ascent up the trail of the 7 snakes, rightly named due to its winding path.

Once you reach the top, you’ll appreciate the most magnificent  view over the surrounding valleys as well as Salkantay Mountain (6,271 masl/20,574 fasl) sitting right next you; wich is the second highest in the Cusco. You can also observe Humantay, Tarcahuay and Pumasillo mountains. After you’ve taken in the views, you’ll start a walk downhill to the lunch spot in Wayraqmachay. Finally we will continue our trek down the valley with wonderful views, this section of the trail is rocky and gravely. Along the way you get some magical tropical forest and witness that changes quickly from the Andes to the Amazon. The clime this day becomes much warmer, with unique scenary and native plants.

Today we will camp in Chaullay ( 2,900 masl/ 9,514 fasl). You’ll be served a hearty meal in your Andean hut, and taking a peaceful night sleeping in the small village.

Accommodation: Confortable Andean Huts

Included Activities:

  • Salkantay Trek – Salkantay pass , Photo stop viewpoint
  • Salkantay Trek – Wayraqmachay trail to Chaullay (During the descent you will pass through cloud forests), Photo stop viewpoint

Meals Included:

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Level Challenging/Tough
Max Elevation 2900 m
Hiking Distance 27 km
Approximate walking time 12 hrs

After the breakfast, we will down to the village of la Playa. We will walk through the valley of Santa Teresa. You’ll enjoy a more leisurely walk with downs in the lush forest and rivers, waterfalls, orchids and many plantations of tropical fruits.

The path through which you walk will provide you with beautiful views, sometimes you can interact with the peasants of the area, who will explain the production process of their organic coffee, avocados, passion fruit , etc. You will also be able to learn more about the valuable product of the coca leaf, which was a leaf highly appreciated by the Incas and the oldest cultures of Peru. At noon we will arrive at the town of Lucmabamba (2,000 masl / 6,562 fasl) where  we will have the lunch and rest, then we take the transportation towards Hidroeléctrica. Later we continue our trek and reach the modern town of Aguas Calientes around 16:30 hrs. In Aguas Calientes, our walkers will be staying at a hostel, and then will be able to get out and explore this picturesque town, which offers apart from its hot springs, many bars, cafes, Internet kiosks, etc. Overnight in the hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Accommodation: Hotel in Aguas Calientes

Included Activities:

  • Salkantay Trek – Valley of Santa Teresa, Photo stop viewpoint
  • Salkantay Trek – Visit to a coffee field, where you will learn about organic coffee
  • Salkantay Trek – Walk along the side of the train tracks , surrounded by forests, Photo stop viewpoint

Meals Included:

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Level Leisurely/Moderate
Max Elevation 2400 m
Hiking Distance 6 km
Approximate walking time 4 hrs

This day is one of the most important as you will have the opportunity to visit the fabulous temples and sacred sites of the Incas. You should get up at 5:00 am, and then take the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu at 5:30 am. Our Machu Picchu tickets are authorized to enter the first time 6:00 am; Within the citadel you will have a guided tour of the most important sites for an hour and a half, then you can stay a little longer and explore on your own. Since the Machu Picchu ticket is valid only for one use, if a person goes out to use the hygienic services for example, he will not be able to re-enter the sanctuary, we recommend going down to the town of Aguas Calientes at 11:00 am, since that the 5 hours inside Machu Picchu are enough to know and take all the possible photos. The return train is scheduled at 14:30 pm, bound for the Ollantaytambo station, this trip takes approximately 1h 45m. Then you will be picked up by our condutor and will be arriving at your hotel in the city of Cusco at 18:45 pm approx.

Included Activities:

  • Salkantay Trek – Panoramic photo of Machu Picchu, Photo stop viewpoint
  • Salkantay Trek – Guided tour of the most important sites in Machu Picchu
  • Salkantay Trek – Train ride to the town of Ollantaytambo

Meals Included:

  • Breakfast

YOU SHOULD BRING TO THE  SALKANTAY TREK  TO MACHU PICCHU 4 DAYS

When packing for your Salkantay Trek, you should keep in mind that it is best to dress in layers due to the weather variation. The variety of clothes that you must pack to dress in layers is key to your walk, from the morning when it is quite cold until mid afternoon when the temperatures rise and reach their peak and then freeze again at night.

Stratification is also useful as you ascend high passages that are exposed to winds or descend into shady valleys. Effective stratification only works if each layer allows moisture to pass and escape into the external environment. In fact, the best layered clothing, such as wool, promotes moisture transfer through its absorbent properties. Cotton and denim absorb moisture and, therefore, should be avoided.

warm jackets
Hydration bladder
wool socks
camera
scarf
first aid kit
hiking shoes
Dry bags
Trekking Poles
sun cream
Snack
sun hat
bathing suite
rain coat
Sandals
insect repellent
Passport
Down Jackets
toilet paper
daypack
Wool cap
head lamp
gloves
sun glasses
cap
extra cash
Trekking pants

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SALKANTAY TREK

The Salkantay Trek is an old traditional alternative trail to the Inca Trail, along this route, you can see beautiful places with ecological diversity of flora and fauna, an excellent trekking path for adventure lovers. This hike is known as one of the alternate routes to reach the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

The excursion to Salkantay was recently named by the National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine among the top 25 hikes in the world!

Here are some of the frequently asked questions from our customers. Our Salkanay Treks Frequent Questions will help you to pack your personal item as well will answer questions and doubts you might have for Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu; obviously that NOT all of your questions you find here; so that fill free to contact us to our e-mail address; we’ll be so glad to assist you.

WHERE IS LOCATED  THE SALKANTAY TREK ?

The Salkantay trek route is located within the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, in the district of Santa Teresa, province of La Convención and department of Cusco. Therefore, to get to the beginning of the walk, we will first pass through the inhabitants of Limatambo and Mollepata.

SALKANTAY TREK OVERVIEW

The Salkantay Trail connects   the city of Cusco with the Machu Picchu Inca Citadel and travels approximately 89 km / 55 miles through high Andean peaks, cloud forest, and misty jungle. The walk begins in the town of Mollepata, a few kilometers from Cusco.

The Mountain of Salkantay; is located in the Vilcabamba Mountain range, northwest of Cusco. Salkantay is one of the highest and most spectacular mountains in the Andes (6,271 m / 20,574 ft).

National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine named the Salkantay Treks are the 25 best hikes in the world.

WHAT ARE THE HEIGHTS ON THE SALKANTAY TREK ROUTE?

During the Salkantay Trek tour you will cross different altitudes; from 4630 meters above sea level, being the highest point the Abra Salkantay and will descend to 2050 meters above sea level in the town of Aguas Calientes.

Below we show you the different altitudes you will find on the route:

Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Soyroccocha

  • Mollepata 2900 masl
  • Soraypampa 3900 masl
  • Salkantaypampa (lunch and rest) 4100 m.a.s.l.
  • Soyroccocha (camp) 4400 m.a.s.l.

Day 2: Soyroccocha – Abra Salkantay – Huaraymachay – Collpapampa

  • Salkantay Pass 4630 masl
  • Ichu Pata 4200 masl
  • Huayraqmachay 3853 masl
  • Rayampata 3400 masl
  • Platforms 3300 m.a.s.l.
  • Challhuay 2920 masl
  • Collpapampa 2900 masl

Day 3: Collpapampa – Sahuayaco – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes

  • Playa Sawayaco 2000 meters above sea level
  • Santa Teresa 1600 m.a.s.l.
  • Hydroelectric 1800 m.a.s.l.
  • Aguas Calientes 2040 m.a.s.l.

Day 4: Machu Picchu – Cusco

  • Machu Picchu: 2,400 meters above sea level
  • Waynapicchu: 2800 meters above sea level
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: 3,200 meters above sea level
  • Intipunku: 3,400 meters above sea level

WHAT IS ALTITUDE SICKNESS

Altitude sickness or soroche as some call it is very common. Because, it is a natural reaction of the body when going through sudden changes in height. For this, the fundamental cause is the lack of oxygen in the body (hypoxia). It seems that this occurs in people who come from a very low altitude. Whose destination has an altitude greater than 2000 meters above sea level and consequently may have the following symptoms:

Mild symptoms:
This list of symptoms can be alleviated with coca leaf tea (highly recommended), altitude sickness pills (check with a doctor before self-medicating). For this reason, you must descend to a lower altitude area, drink hot infusions and remain completely at rest. If the situation does not improve, it is advisable to call a doctor.

  • Difficulty to sleep
  • Feeling of vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea – vomiting
  • Tachycardias
  • Respiratory distress

Severe symptoms:
This list of symptoms, unlike the previous one, are more dangerous, they can be alleviated with the administration of oxygen through a mask. It is important to descend immediately from the altitude in which you are and medical attention is necessary since an inappropriate maneuver can be fatal for the patient. Likewise, it is suggested to keep the body hydrated by drinking at least 3 to 4 liters of water, avoiding alcoholic beverages, and adding a diet of carbohydrates and sugars.

  • Chest stiffness
  • Cough
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pallor
  • Soft spot
  • Inability to walk
  • Respiratory distress

HOW TO AVOID ALTITUDE SICKNESS

It is recommended to do the following:

  • A period of acclimatization is recommended for the body to assimilate height changes.
  • To rest well.
  • Drink hot infusions, preferably coca leaf tea.
  • Hydrate the body (drink between 3 to 4 liters of water).
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Feed on light food.
  • Consume foods based on carbohydrates and sugars.

IS ACCLIMATIZATION NECESSARY FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK?

The Salkantay trek that you will experience features many variations of climates along the route. It probably reached heights of up to 4,630 meters above sea level and unraveled up to 2,010 meters above sea level. Therefore, it is recommended to arrive in the city of Cusco at least 2 days before the trek so that you can eat a light diet, eat little, drink plenty of water and rest well. That is, being able to be in favorable conditions, acclimatize and avoid being affected by the so-called “soroche” or altitude sickness. That generates some problems such as headache, shortness of breath, beautiful, dizziness, etc.

THERE IS AGE RESTRICTION TO DO THE SALKANTAY TREK

Age: It is recommended that children under 12 years of age and older do not do this walk because it is “challenging”. Also, because it has an extreme cold climate, it requires a good physical condition.

Health: The walk is open to the general public. But, health is a very sensitive issue to take into consideration. Almost, it is not recommended to do this walk for people who have respiratory and cardiac problems. Since, the oxygenation at higher altitude is lower and harder to breathe, which will make your walk more difficult.

Another important point that you must take into consideration before starting the walk. It is to be aware if you have allergies or food restrictions. For this reason, it is preferable to take your medications if you have them and strictly comply with them, remember that there are no hospitals on the walk.

If you do this walk hiring a travel agency, it is very important to inform these details. So that they can take the necessary precautions and bring what is necessary for you to enjoy this walk.

PHYSICAL CONDITION FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK

In order to make the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu we must take into account the physical condition in which we find ourselves. To do this, we must prepare ourselves by strengthening our muscles and our endurance capacity for this walk. Because, it is not uniform and instead shows different levels of difficulty.

Thus, some specialists give the following recommendations:

Go hiking or walking:
It is advisable to walk gradually starting from 2 kilometers to 10 kilometers per day. Above all, to strengthen the muscles and test our endurance capacity. Also, we can make longer walks in mountainous areas that require a higher degree of difficulty. Taking into account that the second day of the Salkantay trek is 22 kilometers.

Breathing exercises:
To carry out the Salkantay trek, it is important to maintain the rhythm between our steps and our breathing to avoid rapid fatigue. For this reason, it is recommended to practice deep breathing exercises, diffracted breathing, full breathing and alternate breathing between nostrils and mouth.

Adequate diet:
Food is very important when doing this type of walk. Therefore, we recommend eating foods that are rich in iron and vitamin B, which helps us improve blood circulation, preferably eating green vegetables and fish.

Hydration:
Hydration is essential either on the walk or in our physical preparation so we will avoid energy wear and headaches.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON THE SALKANTAY TREK?

In the Salkantay trek , the climate  is very varied in the districts of Anta and La Convencion. Being within this department they share the same seasons. For this reason, the rainy season includes the months of November to March and the dry season that includes the months of April to October.

It should be noted that the climate in these provinces (La Convencion and Anta) is warmer and more humid, unlike the city of Cusco, which has a cold and dry climate.

Rainy season:
This season includes the months of November to March. During these months there will be rainfall that often causes landslides, very large rivers, the roads will become rough. Also, the sky will always be cloudy, in terms of temperature, the maximum recorded is 24 ° C and drops to 13 ° C.
Dry season:
This season includes the months of April to October. Therefore, it is advisable to take walks during these months because the roads are in better condition. The presence of rains is very occasional, there is no presence of landslides.
It should be noted that the months of June and July are the frost season. Probably, these months will be colder than usual, with an exceptional temperature of 23° C and a minimum of 9° C.
Most of this season the maximum temperature is 27° C and the minimum is 15° C, only in the frosty months (June and July) the temperature varies, having as maximum 25° C and minimum 10° C.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO HIKE SALKANTAY TREK?

The dry season is the best time for Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu. In Cuzco, the dry season lasts from April to November, and the wet season is from December to March. From June to September are the most popular months to hike Salkantay Treks, due to summer vacations in Europe and the US. It is generally thought that May and October offer the best weather conditions.

TEMPERATURES DURING THE SALKANTAY TREK

The temperatures to carry out this trek vary according to the season in which it is carried out, the temperature has an abysmal difference from the beginning of the trek until reaching Machu Picchu, where the Abra Salkantay is the highest point. Where, the temperature reaches -10 ° C, while we go down the temperature increases where it reaches a tropical environment in Aguas Calientes reaching a temperature of 26 ° C during the day and 12 ° C at night.

DAY 01:
The temperature of this day will vary since we left the city of Cusco, in the morning the temperature usually ranges between 0 ° C to 4 ° C. The temperature from the moment the walk begins will vary from 5 ° C to 15 ° C during the day, on the night of this first day where we camp Soyroccocha, the temperature drops to -8 ° C for being at an altitude of 4400 meters above sea level, this will be the coldest night of our tour we can have presence of snow and frost. Since, we will be located very close to the Salkantay Mountain.
DAY 02:
The temperature of the second day will begin with approximately -10° C, while the tour is being carried out the temperature will change reaching 4° C at the highest point, which is the Salkantay pass, from this point the temperature variation is more noticeable. clear as we begin to enter the edge of the jungle where the temperature can reach up to 23 ° C during the day, Colpapampa, where the second camp is located. So, this presents a temperature that ranges between 4 ° C to 10 ° C at night and early in the morning, due to the humidity that is typical of the jungle.
DAY 03:
The temperature of the third day usually starts with 0° C, during the tour the temperature increases up to 26° C. After the day walk we arrive at the town of Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night here, the temperature fluctuates between 2° C to 12° C at night and early morning this is due to the humidity of the area,
DAY 04 and 05:
The temperature of the fourth day usually starts with 0 ° C reaching up to 28 ° C during the day, some mornings you can see dense fogs which dissipate during the course of the morning.

WHAT IS THE DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THE SALKANTAY TREK

The Salkantay trek trek presents challenging to moderate difficulty. Where, this can be seen on the 1st and 2nd day going through ascending and descending paths. From the 3rd day the road becomes more moderate. Where, the landscape will be part of our adventure to be in the jungle we will be able to appreciate the temperature change. The most important thing about this beautiful route is that we will see the different plantations of coffee, cocoa, avocado, granadilla, among others. The 4th day will be the most exciting, the easy walk visiting the beautiful citadel of Machu Picchu.

However, it should be noted that to carry out any type of walk you must be in constant physical preparation.

HOW FAR DO WE WALK EACH DAY?

The amount you walk each day varies. An average day is 5-8 hours, but on summit night combined with the following day you can walk between 8 and 11 hours. Have a look at the itinerary for a day-to-day account.

WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING SECTION OF THE SALKANTAY TREK?

The Salkantay Pass, at 14,760123 feet above sea level, is the most difficult section in the trail. Expect wind and cold temperatures. Some hikers might experience symptoms of altitude sickness. Symptoms will disappear as soon as you start your descent. Oxygen will be provided if needed. The Salkantay Pass, at approximately 4,650 meters above sea level is the most difficult section in the trail. These challenges are a result of several factors: the challenge of uphill climbing, bitter cold winds, low temperatures in general, and the fact that you are trekking at a low-oxygen altitude.

CAN I MAKE THE SALKANTAY TREK BY MYSELF?

Yes, it is possible for a single traveller or a small group to hike the trek by themself, without guides or porters. However, the trail is not clearly marked at all points, which makes getting lost a high possibility. This is one of the biggest advantages of hiring a tour agency like Andean Great Treks. Our guides know the route very well.

THE SALKANTAY TREK INCLUDES THE ENTRANCE TICKET TO MACHU PICCHU

Yes, this route include the entrance to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Therefore, on this route the visit to Machu Picchu takes place on the last day for a guide of 1 hour and 45 minutes. During this time the main centers of the Inca Citadel are visited, once the guide is over you no longer have the option of re-entering the citadel. For this reason, you should ask the guide for some recommendation to be able to spend a longer time inside the Citadel of Machu Picchu.

HOW LONG CAN I STAY IN MACHU PICCHU

The visit time in the citadel of Machu Picchu is an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, this time is the maximum that is used to be able to make the main circuit that contains the most outstanding sites of the Historic Sanctuary.
Note: You should know that there is no free time to visit on your own after the guide, unless you buy one of the extra hiking tickets (Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Mountain) so you can re-enter the attraction.

THE TICKETS OF THE MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN OR HUAYNAPICCHU ARE INCLUDED IN THE TOUR

On the last day of your adventure after the guided tour in the Llaqta of Machu Picchu, it is possible to do some of these famous walks that are Machu Picchu Mountain or Waynapicchu. Therefore, you should know that they are not included in the tour you contract with our travel agency.
The most important, to be able to purchase a ticket for any of these routes, is to pay an extra cost of 30 USD on average. Likewise, you must request the reservation of any of these walks 4 months in advance or more. Since, a limited number of tickets are offered per day which are highly coveted by hundreds of travelers.
Here are some differences based on these mountains:

Huaynapicchu Mountain:
Also known as “young mountain”, it is the most popular so income is quite limited. Therefore, you must make your reservation at least 5 months in advance. This mountain is located North East of the citadel of Machu Picchu, at about 2,700 meters above sea level, made up of archaeological remains, narrow and steep trails that really defy all gravity. For that reason, its great appeal.

Machu Picchu Mountain:
Also known as “old mountain”, it is not as popular as Huaynapicchu, but the route is surprising, consisting of abundant flora, wide and easy to walk trails, it is located to the South West of the citadel of Machu Picchu, at about 3,070 meters above sea level. , it is a hike that does not require much physical effort and offers wonderful panoramic views from the top. Tickets are limited, but they don’t run out quickly so there’s more time to make your reservation; it is recommended to reserve the entrance at least two months in advance.
When doing any of these routes, it is necessary to take into account the departure time of your train to Ollantaytambo (remember that your check-in is 30 minutes before your departure time). Similarly, you have to calculate the time. Since, you will have to queue for 1 hour to get on the bus that will take you to Aguas Calientes and this tour lasts 40 minutes.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUAYNA PICCHU AND MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN?

Huayna Picchu :

The hike to the summit is approximately 45 minutes, along narrow and steep Inca stairs. Once at the top, you get to see the Citadel of Machu Picchu and its surrounding hills and valleys. This is the famous peak in the background of every iconic Machu Picchu photo. Summiting Huayna Picchu is always a top item on most Machu Picchu visitor’s lists which means that you usually need reserve this mountain 6 months in advance. Only a certain amount of people are allowed to hike this mountain each day (currently 400). Along this trek you’ll see breathtaking views of the Machu Picchu ruins. The limited number of tickets is a restriction set forth by the ministry of culture in Cusco, not by Andean Path Trek. This is completely out of our hands unfortunately.Tickets for this mountain are non-transferable.

Machu Picchu Mountain:

The hike to this summit is approximately 1.5 hrs. Once at the top, you get a much higher vantage point so you have an amazing view of the Citadel of Machu Picchu and its surroundings. This hike is a great alternative to Huayna Picchu. It is ideal for those who don’t want the hassle of fighting for a ticket, or who were unable to get one. Technically, spaces for Machu Picchu Mountain are also limited to 400 per day, as well it’s use to sold We simply need to reserve a space when we buy your entrance tickets. This trek is great because it will also take you high up like Huayna Picchu, offering great views. This trek has an easier incline (also making it accessible for those who fear the heights of Huayna Picchu), but the path is much longer making it equally as challenging in it’s own way.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE INCA TRAIL AND THE SALKANTAY TREK?

The Inca Trail hike has an unique beauty for its archaeological remains, and ecological floors, orchids and birds. On the Salkantay route, the main attraction is the Humantay lagoon and the beautiful snow, there are no archaeological remains in the salkantay trek.

The Inca Trail has a higher cost because this route can only be operated with the help of porters, who are paid a salary according to the regulation of the Ministry of Labor. While in the Salkantay Trek it is done with the help of horses for the transport of trekking equipment, which makes it less expensive.

And we want to deny what in many blogs they are saying that the Inca Trail is very crowded, the truth is not so, in the Inca Trail, each group goes at its own pace and times, so it is rarely that you will meet the Groups except for the overnight camp. Lately on the Salkantay route, human activity has changed the true spirit of adventure, as many companies use modern lodge-like buildings, with the comfort of the case. And as additional information we want to give you that the Salkantay Trek route is also very crowded, even more than the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

On the Inca trail you don’t see many villages, the whole circuit is far from civilization, while in the Salkantay Trek there are many towns and villages.

The level of difficulty is a very important aspect, since the Inca trail is the one that has the highest amount of ascents and declines with stairs, while the Salkantay Trek is only difficult the second day to reach the pass.

In what corresponds to the provision of hygienic services both have modern facilities, for the comfort of the client. In all camps and lunch points.

If you hike the Inca trail you will have the opportunity to see the sunrise of Machu Picchu from the sun gate. While in the Salkantay Trek you can only enjoy the sunrise into the citadel of Machu Picchu, which is also very beautiful.

WHY SHOULD I GO TO THE BRIEFING?

The briefing is very important because that is when you will meet your guide. At this meeting, your guide will provide you with important details about the hike. If you participate in Challenge Salkantay Trek, you will receive a duffle bag for your personal belongings. During the briefing, you will also pay the balance of your walk. You will receive a map of our offices with your reservation information.

SHOULD I BRING ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR SALKANTAY TREK?

Yes. It’s very important!!! We recommend that you bring 300-400 Peruvian soles. You may not need this money, but in an emergency you should make sure you have enough money. If you have difficulties on the route, you can use the money to buy alternative means of transport such as: car, horse and train. If you’re on the 5-day hike, there are some additional activities along the way, including the hot springs.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE IN MY GROUP?

Groups are generally 8-10 people. It also depends on the time of year. The maximum is 12 people and the minimum is 2 people.

WHAT SIZE OF BAG SHOULD I BRING?

We will provide you with a Duffle bag for all Salkantay treks; there you can carry up to 7 kilograms including sleeping bag. These duffle bags will be transported by horses throughout the trek from camp to camp. All you need to do is carry a backpack / small backpack with the items you may need throughout the day, such as sunscreen, bug spray, jackets, or snacks.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRIVATE TOUR AND THE GROUP TOUR? WHY IS IT WORTH PAYING MORE FOR THE PRIVATE TOUR?

If you choose to take a private tour, the tour will suit you. The size of the group depends on you and only you. You can decide exactly who will be with you on the walk. It is perfect for couples, families or groups of friends. You will have your own personal leader and guide, which means the hike is more personalized and able to meet your personal needs.

SHOULD I RENT AN ADDITIONAL HORSE?

If you are concerned about the walk, you have the option of hiring an additional horse. The cost is US $ 60.00. You can only ride the first two days of the promotion. In the last days, you will sometimes have the opportunity to unsubscribe and take a car or train for certain stages of the trek. In addition, you should keep in mind that the first day you will take a different route than those who choose to walk. You do not have to organize this in advance.

DO YOU PROVIDE WATER DURING THE SALKANTAY TREK?

Yes, we will give you clean water with every meal and in the morning when you wake up.

At meal times we will give you teas, coffees etc to drink. You’ll come across a mountain spring, fountain or small stream approximately every 1½ hours along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. Take a bottle of at least 1½ liter capacity per person. Although the water looks it is always safer to use sterilizing tablets or a water filter. The sterilizing tablets can be bought in most pharmacies in Cusco. With these tablets you have to wait between 30 and 40 minutes before drinking. Bottled mineral water can also be taken from Cusco or bought at Mollepata or Santa Teresa.

HOW ARE THE GUIDES FOR SALKANTAY TREKS?

Having a good guide is an essential part of a good walking experience. For this reason, “Adean Great Treks” hires and works with some of the best guides in the business. Our guides have knowledge in the fields of history, archeology, ecology and are from the Cuzco region.

To continue working with our guides, we pay them a higher salary than most agencies and make sure they are treated well. They can use good quality sleeping bags, mats and food for free. The same goes for our porters and our riders.

CAN I DO THE SALKANTAY WITH KIDS?

Children under 14 years old are not allowed to do the trek, and children who are over 14 years old should be in good physical shape and used to hiking long distances.

ARE THERE TOILETS ALONG THE SALKANTAY TREK?

Recently flush toilets have been built along the Salkantay Trek including all of the major campsites. This has helped a lot to improve sanitary conditions on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu although conditions are still not always perfect. Each toilet block has cold running water. We recommend that you bring from hand-sanitizer to use after visiting the public toilets.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO PERU?

  • To Lima on a non-stop flight (recommended):
  • From Miami 5 1/2 hours
  • From New York 8 hours
  • From Los Angeles 8 1/2 hours

DO I NEED TREKING POLES FOR SALKANTAY TREK?

Walking sticks on the Salkantay Trek route is more recommended for those who have a little weak knees and ankles, or are not used to long walks. The level of difficulty of Salkantay Trek is moderate, since on this route you will not go up or down stairs like on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. In short, you should have the habit of walking with trekking poles. Otherwise they will be very uncomfortable. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that on day 2 we will have more than 4 hours of descent, and they could help you in the balance and balance of your body, since the terrain is very slippery if there is rain.

WHAT IS THE FOOD AT SALKANTAY TREK?

One of our strengths is the food we provide on the Salkantay Trek, which is why our company has been working with high mountain cooks for more than 10 years. They are going to bring you the best gastronomy of  Cusco and Peru. At breakfast there will be scrambled eggs, omelets, pancakes, coffee, milk, butter, etc. Lunches are very nutritious (quinoa chaufa, steak, chicken stew, sauteed tenderloin, stuffed avocado, etc). And dinner is designed according to the type of weather, for example the first night you will have a refreshing soup for the  cold and altitude sickness. The last day we will have dinner at a restaurant in Aguas Calientes. If you have any food restrictions, do not worry, since our chefs are prepared for all types of food restrictions, such as vegetarians, vegans, or allergies to gluten and others. All foods are prepared with fresh and organic ingredients, produced by the farmers of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

WILL I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHARGE MY DEVICES DURING THE SALKANTAY TREK AND WILL I HAVE WIFI?

Yes on the second and third night you will have access to electricity and Wi-Fi at an additional cost of 10 Peruvian Soles. And in your Aguas Calientes Hotel as well.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SALKANTAY 4 DAYS AND SALKANTAY 5 DAYS TREK?

In the 5-day tour, the visit to the Llaqtapata viewpoint is made, from where you can enjoy an incredible view of the Sacred Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. On the other hand, in the 4-day tour you will be transferred after lunch in Lucmabamba, in a local transport to the town of Hidroelectrica, from where you will walk for 3 hours to the town of Aguas Calientes.

WHO ARE THE GUIDE, COOK, MULETEER

The support staff during our walk is as important as the guide, among them we have:

Guide: During your adventure on the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. The professional tour guide plays an important role. He is the person in charge of making your trip an unforgettable experience. Above all, he will complement the beauty of nature and the meaning of it. During the course of the walk, the guide will provide you with information related to cultural, historical, nature (flora and fauna) aspects that you will find along the way.

Cook: Usually, the guide introduces him to the group on the first day of the trek, assuring that he will be in charge of preparing the food for the travel group during the trek.

Muleteer: he is the person in charge of directing the horses that carry our luggage, food and camping equipment. During the first 2 days of the trek, they are usually people from the area who live in high Andean communities and are usually farmers. Therefore, they see this job as their only option as their only livelihood, in addition to the fact that they are in charge of installing our camping equipment.
You have to bear in mind that if you hire the services of a travel agency that is too cheap, be sure that the ones affected are the muleteers. Since, they mistreat them and pay them a minimum wage.

HOW DO I MAKE A BOOKING FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK?

STEP 1

  • Fill out the form
  • Fill out the passenger details form in a word document. This should be attached in your email.

STEP 2

  • Pre payment
  • Pay your deposit, and let us know when you have paid! This is important because our system does not automatically notify us when you’ve paid your deposit.

STEP 3

  • Confirm reservation
  • Once you’ve received your booking confirmation in the form of a PDF, please check it over to confirm that everything is correct.

STEP 4

  • Informative session
  • Your all set!! Remember to come to our offices the day before your departure date at 5:00 PM for your briefing.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO MAKE SALKANTAY TREK RESERVATION?

For Salkantay Treks  of  4-Days or 5-Days, we recommended booking at less 1 or 2 months in advance. The government has strictly limited the number of people permitted on Machu Picchu (permits are issued to about 2500 per day). We therefore recommend that you try to make your reservation for Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu  as far in or as soon as you know the dates of your international flights.

Nov, Dec, Jan: the trek permits for some departure dates were sold out 3 months in advance. we therefore recommend making a reservation at least 5 months in advance, although I am sure there will still be trek permits available for some dates 3 or 4 months in advance. Departures around Christmas and New Year tend to sell out fast.

March, April, May and June: Many trek departure dates during these months have sold out as soon as the trek permits go on sale at the beginning of January so we would recommend making a booking before the beginning of December to allow us time to process your booking.

IF I DECIDE TO CANCEL, WILL I BE REIMBURSED?

Our company will be able to refund a part of your reservation deposit, in case you cannot complete your adventure in the Salkantay Trek circuit. But this request must be sent to the company’s mail, with a minimum of 15 days before starting your Trekking. Otherwise you could be charged some administrative costs.

A very important issue to give, is that if you paid for the entire tour, and for any reason you decide to cancel the tour less than 48 hours, this can only be done under certain conditions, by your travel agent, who will inform you of the expenses that should cover.

WHY DO I NEED TO MAKE A DEPOSIT FOR SALKANTAY TREKS?

We recommend making your reservation in advance and we will guarantee your Spaces for this hike.

Each reservation needs 50% of deposit as first payment. The final balance will be paid in CuSco (On the Briefing Day).

About Payment you must choose where you would like to make the deposit:

By Pay Pal or Credit Card

 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I MAKE THE RESERVATION DEPOSIT?

First, we will send you an email to confirm your payment.

Two weeks before your tour date, we will contact you by email to request the final payment. We will also ask you where you will be staying in Cusco, to be able to pick you up on the day of your hike.

After we receive the final payment, we will send you an email confirming your tour date and informing you of important contact information for our tour agency, as well as some final tips to prepare for the trek.

CAN I CHANGE MY STARTING DATE FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK?

Once we have purchased your tickets, with your security deposit, you can only change your start date if you pay an additional amount. This amount is usually around $50 USD. The reason for this is the tickets we purchase are non-refundable and non-transferable, so we are not allowed to simply change your tour date.

WHY IS THERE AN 5% CHARGE FOR PAYPAL AND VISA? IS THERE ANY WAY TO AVOID THIS CHARGE?

Unfortunately, the 5% charge is completely out of our hands. This fee does not go to us, but to PayPal and VISA. There is really no way around it.

SALKANTAY TREK PACKING LIST

It’s best to pack lightly for Salkantay Trek. Generally hikers leave the bulk of their belongings safely in storage at their Cusco hotel, and bring only their hiking pack for the trek. This list ensures that you have everything you need for a guided trek without overburdening yourself.

Mountain clothing

Head:

  • Hat for the cold
  • Glacier goggles with 100% UV protection (spectra / spectrum 4 or 5 appropriate for trekking activities)
  • Extra sunglasses (with UV protection – emergency glasses)
  • Headlamp (with spare batteries)
  • Sun hat or hat (Buff, balaclava)

Thorax / Core:

  • First Layer / Longsleeve: Merino, Polypropylene, Capilene, Driclime (not cotton or cotton blend)
  • Second Layer / Soft-Shell Or Polartec: Wind-pro, Schoeller, Fleece, etc. (recommended; comfortable, insulating and waterproof)
  • Third Layer / Hard Shell: windproof, waterproof and breathable (Gore-Tex, Event or similar)
  • Fourth Layer / Insulation: Down jacket or synthetic fill jacket (Down, Primaloft or Polarguard)
  • Vest: Polartec, Fleece (extra half layer)

Bottom:

  • Thin Socks: Liners (polypropylene or Capilene) and extra socks
  • Base Layer / Long Interior: Merino, Polypropylene, Capilene, Nylon, Driclime (not cotton or cotton blends)
  • Second Layer / Fleece (in case you are sensitive to cold)
  • Trekking Pants (water and wind resistant – Gore-Tex, Event or similar)
  • Trekking Pants: Soft-shell, nylon, etc. (for the walk and/or use at the Camp)
  • Walking Shoes (for daily walks, waterproof Gore-Tex or similar)
  • Sandals / Crocs (comfort for base camp)

Hands:

  • Fine Gloves: Polypropylene or Wool (liners)

Personal Team

  • Down or synthetic sleeping bag 15-20°F / -20 to -25°C
  • 60/65 liter backpack for luggage
  • 15/25 liter backpack for the daily walk
  • Trekking sticks
  • Solar charger (optional)

Hiking gear

  • Backpack, 50-70L
  • Hiking poles (optional but recommended)
  • Water bottle
  • Water filter
  • Purifying tablets
  • Zip-lock bags (for money, maps etc.)

Electronics

  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Earphones
  • Headlamp
  • Flashlight

Toiletries

  • Soap
  • Dry shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Small towel

Others

  • Personal first aid kit (medication you use often)
  • Personal hygiene accessories (towel, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, comb, etc.)
  • Photographic material
  • Sunscreen and lip balm

WHERE CAN I STORE MY BIG BAGS THAT I DO NOT NEED TO TAKE?

Any bags that you don’t need to take on Salkantay Treks it can be left at your hotel in Cusco. Nearly all hotels have a luggage deposit and rarely charge for this service as long as you are returning to the hotel after the trek. You can also leave valuables in the hotel safe, but remember to bring your passport and some emergency money. Or you also can store at our office.

FLORA OF SALKANTAY TREK

Passing through a tropical zone and a high Andean zone we can observe a great variety of flowers and plants, many of them beautiful due to their shape and color. Also, other plants that are attractive due to their strange shape, some of them are even used as medicinal plants cared for since the Inca era.

Next, here we leave you some varieties of flora that you will be able to observe during the walk:

  • Pinco Pinco – American Ephedra
  • Chillca – Baccharis latifolia
  • Llaullii – Bernadesia horrida
  • Maicha – Senecio flagellicectus
  • Panty – Cosmos peucedanifolius
  • Mullaca – Muchlenbeckia vulcanica meisn
  • Elder – Sambucus nigra
  • Chachacomo – Escallonia resinosa
  • Jusca – Astragalus garganbillo
  • Mutuy – Senna birostris
  • Broom – Spartium junceum
  • Ichu or Paja Brava – Stipa ichu
  • Ayac Zapatila – Calceolaria sp.
  • Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globulus
  • Banana Plant – Musa paradisiaca
  • Coffea arabica – Coffee Plant
  • Avocado Plant – Persea americana
  • Pineapple  – Ananas comosus
  • Granadilla Plantation – Passionflower ligularis

Orchids:
They are one of the most attractive species within the flora that can be seen on the Inca trail and the Salkantay trek. Also, within the route there are more than 300 species of these plants that dazzle you with their color, shape and even smell.

The most representative may be these, but the truth is that it is difficult to choose which one may be better.

  • Masdevallia veichiana rchb.
  • Odontoglossum praestans christenson
  • Bletia catenulata
  • sobralia dichotoma

FAUNA OF SALKANTAY TREK

In our Salkantay trek adventure to Machu Picchu we will be able to observe a great variety of birds and some mammals that we will detail below in a small list:

Mammals:

  • Chinchilla chinchilla – Peruvian Chinchilla
  • Lagidium peruanum – Vizcacha:
  • Tremarctos ornatus – The spectacled bear or Andean bear

Birds:

  • Andean condor or Andean condor – gryphus
  • Black thrush – Turdus chiguanco
  • Amazon Motmot – Momotus momota
  • Blue Tanager – Thraupis episcopus
  • House sparrow – Zonotrichia capensis
  • Spotted guacharaca – Ortalis guttata
  • Tailed seedeater – Catamenia analis
  • Royal tanager – Tangara ruficervix inca
  • Thick-billed fruiteater – Euphonia laniirostris

Hummingbirds:

  • Giant hummingbird – Patagona gigas peruviana
  • White-bellied Hummingbird – Amazilia chinogaster
  • Rotilant hummingbird or common screamer – Colibri coruscans
  • Red-breasted Hummingbird – Boissonneaua mattewsii
  • Golden White Hummingbird – Leucippus taczanowskii

ESSENTIAL TRIP INFORMATION

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.

JANUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
FEBUARY Warm - Heavy Rain
MARCH Warm - Heavy Rain
APRIL Warm - Light Rain
MAY Hot
JUNE Hot
JULY Hot
AUGUST Hot
SEPTEMBER Hot - Warm
OCTOBER Hot - Warm
NOVEMBER Warm - Light Rain
DECEMBER Warm - Heavy Rain

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

MAR 2022 - DEC 2022 Price from $ 450 USD Per Person
Tour for 2 - 4 person $ 450USD Per Person
Tour for 5 person $ 420USD Per Person
Choose your preferred departure date to proceed.
Avalible Dates

Why travel with Andean Great Treks

LOCALLY INSPIRED, DELICIOUS FLAVOURS
There is something magical about artisanal farming in the Andes. The rich soils and unique climate give products an otherwise unattainable flavor. Our chefs serve local and international food. With unparalleled views of the fabulous Andean Mountains, amid the highland forests from your table, you’ll enjoy delicious gourmet food and new spins on classic Peruvian favorites. We use only local produce and fresh ingredients.
OUR PASSIONATE TOUR GUIDES
Unlock the secrets of Peru’s most iconic adventure destination. Our team is passionate about making sure your experiences are unique —some thrilling, some relaxing, all awe-inspiring. Our private guides will let you explore the Andes and rainforest at your own pace, stopping for a snack if you’re hungry, or racing to the top of a hill if you’re up to it.
YOUR SAFETY OUR PRIORITY
We work with certified guides, the latest high-tech equipment and satellite communication, to guarantee your safety every step on the trail. Each year we do the course of rescue and first aid with all our hiking team (guides, cooks, horsemen, drivers). The course is comprehensive and practical, including all of the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments.
ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY
We have deep love and respect for our Mother Earth or Pachamama since we are a 100% Cusco company. We know the importance of our Andean culture, and like good children of the earth, we do everything possible to avoid contamination.
CAMPING EQUIPMENT
It’s essential to have the best equipment when you’re walking in the mountains. Due to the constant climate changes in the region, we use tents suitable for all four seasons.
SMALL GROUPS & BIG ADVENTURES
With a maximum group size is 8 on most tours, it feels more like traveling with friends than being on an organized tour. You'll meet like-minded people where everyone is guaranteed to share a passion for travel.

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