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Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

1. Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas and hike along the same paths they used to trek through the mountains centuries ago. Get back to nature and experience amazing views of the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Andes. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Markhuq’asa - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake (L, D) Depart Cusco and journey to Markhuq’asa for the start of your trek to Soraypampa, 3,850 meters above sea level. Stop for lunch at the base camp and then go on a round-trip hike to Humantay Lake. Then return to base-camp to spend the night. Day 2: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - Collpapampa (B, L, D) Hike to the highest point of the trail at Salkantay Pass and get spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains before a 2-hour downhill hike to the camp for lunch. Then, enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle on a hike through the “cloud forest.” Look for native wildlife on the way to the village of Collpapampa, where you will spend the night. Day 3: Collpapampa - La Playa - Santa Teresa (B, L, D) After breakfast, take an easy hike to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley and marvel at the waterfalls and wild orchids. Encounter coffee, banana and avocado plantations, and get the chance to sample the local coffee at an organic coffee farm. After a typical lunch in La Playa, take a 40-minute car ride towards Santa Teresa where attractions include hot thermal springs and abundant birdlife. Here you will spend the night.  Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D) On this day, in Santa Teresa, you can choose to visit the zipline, canopy, or hot springs. Then, you will head to Hidroelectrica, passing trough waterfalls coming from the glaciers and fields of cocoa and coffee. After a nourishing lunch, begin a 2-hour walk to Machu Picchu Pueblo, known as Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you can go to your hotel to shower and relax before dinner. After dinner, get some rest before the early morning climb up to Machu Picchu the following morning. Day 5: Machu Picchu (B) Explore Machu Picchu in the early morning before the crowds arrive. You can choose to hike uphill to the ruins or take the bus for an additional charge. Benefit from a 2-hour guided tour on arrival and learn more about the temples, palaces, priest houses, and more. You will have some free time to explore at leisure and you can use it to climb to Huayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu mountain (if booked in advance). Alternatively, you can trek to the Sun Gate at the main entrance of the Inka Trail. Take the train to Ollantaytambo at approximately 6:30 PM and then catch the bus back to Cusco for drop-off at your hotel or hostel on arrival.

Cusco: 5-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with Tickets

2. Cusco: 5-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with Tickets

The Salcantay Mountain is one of the most beautiful in Peru and is considered sacred by local villagers. Spend five unforgettable days hiking alongside the majestic mountains, taking time to enjoy each magical location and feel the energy through meditation, yoga and exercise. As a final treat, you will join the Inca Trail for a short section before arriving at Machu Picchu via the stunning Llaqtapata. On Day 1, after a delicious breakfast, you will embark on a 4-hour walk up to Soyrococha (4400 m / 14430 ft) where a chef will be waiting to serve you lunch. You will continue climbing for one more hour to reach Salkantay Pass (4650 m/ 15255 ft). From the top it will be another 3 hour downhill hike to the campsite at Wayracmachay (3800 m/ 12467 ft). Your tent, a snack and a hot drink will be waiting for you. You will then have some time to rest and have dinner before a well-earned nights sleep. On Day 2, you will be woken bright and early with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa. You will spend 9 hours on this trek. On Day 3, you will trek for 9 hours once more and arrive at Llaqtapata, an Inca ruin located in front of Machu Pichhu. On Day 4 you will trek for 6 hours to Aguas Calientes and spend a night in a hotel before finally spending Day 5 with a visit to Machu Picchu. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore on your own. Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes and then take the train and bus back to Cusco. The team will meet you off the train and return you safely to your hotel.

From Cusco: Budget Salkantay Trek with Return by Car

3. From Cusco: Budget Salkantay Trek with Return by Car

DAY 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Laguna Humantay - Soraypampa Get picked up from your accommodation in Cusco. Pass through the towns of Izcuchaca and Limatambo before arriving at Mollepata, where you can buy a light breakfast or supply water. Continue until you reach Challacancha, from where the 3-hour walk begins to Soraypampa. Stop for lunch and then walk around 1-2 hours to the Humantay Lagoon. Return to Soraypampa and overnight at camp with tent and dinner. DAY 2: Soraypampa - Soyrococha - Salkantay - Huayracmachay - Chaullay Wake up with the first lights of the day at 5:30 AM and have a quick but energizing breakfast. Start a walk to the highest point of the trail, the Salkantay Pass (4650 MASL - 15255 FASL), where you will appreciate the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo mountains. Hike down the snake-shaped path, leading to the Huayracmachay camp where you will stop for lunch. At the end of this exceptional hike, arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 MASL - 9514 FASL) for a break from a long day of hiking. Stay overnight at the camp with a tent and dinner. DAY 3 - for 5-day option: Chaullay - Playa Sahuayaco - Lucmabamba - Santa Teresa (optional Cocalmayo) After the comforting breakfast, continue the walk to the small town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley. Stop here for lunch and then board a bus to the camp in Santa Teresa. You'll arrive at the camp where you can optionally enjoy the hot springs of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa, which are medicinal and therapeutic waters. Stay overnight at the camp with a tent and dinner. If you choose the 4-day option, you will be taken by bus to Hydroelectric right after your lunch in La Playa. From there, start a 3-hour walk on the train tracks through a native jungle to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. DAY 4 - for 5-day option: Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes After a typical breakfast, you will start the walk to the Hydroelectric through the valley floor for an average of 3 hours. Upon arrival, recharge with a lunch. You can choose add-on a zip line adventure after your breakfast; in this case, after the activity, you will be taken by transport to the beginning of the trail to Aguas Calientes at Hydroelectric. From Hydroelectric, start a walk on the train tracks through a native jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3 hours trek. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. DAY 4 for 4-day option / DAY 5 for 5-day option: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco Get up early to start the trek to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. The steep walk will last approximately 1:30 hours, and the objective is to appreciate the sunrise from the Inca citadel and be the first to arrive.  The walk up to Machu Picchu requires a fair physical condition — you can also choose add-on a bus to Machu Picchu at the checkout if you don't want to do the walk. Get a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu and the surrounding sites. Enjoy free time to take photos and look around the citadel. If you chose one of the extra hikes to one of the mountains you will split ways with the group to go by yourself to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, you can choose add-on these hikes at the checkout. Leave Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes either by foot or by bus, depending on the add-on at checkout. Once in Aguas Calientes, start the walk back to Hydroelectric where your guide will be waiting to gather the group to return to the city of Cusco. Be back in Cusco around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. The drop-off will be in San Francisco square in the historic center, near Plaza de Armas. Please have in mind this is a budget friendly tour and does not include the train back to Cusco. Distance traveled by car/van from Hydroelectric to Cusco is approximately 5 to 6 hours.

Cusco: 5-Day Salkantay Ultimate Trek to Machu Picchu

4. Cusco: 5-Day Salkantay Ultimate Trek to Machu Picchu

Begin your walk towards Soraypampa with panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay and Humantay mountains. By mid day its time for a classic Peruvian lunch. After lunch, your trail continues upwards toward Humantay Lake. Then arrive at camp where your tents will be ready for you, as well as dinner. The next day, the natural surroundings will change drastically from barren alpine to snowy peaks and tropical areas. After a nutritious breakfast, you will start the most difficult part of the trek. But, the views from the end point are literally breathtaking – not only Salkantay but also the surrounding peaks and valleys below. After a night's sleep, you wake early in the morning to start your trek through the high jungles. After about 5 hours you will arrive to Playa Sahuayaco near the town of Collpabamba, traversing an altitude known as the “eyebrow of the Amazon,” where waterfalls, fruit-bearing trees, and diverse flora and fauna manifest in absolute abundance. In the afternoon,you arrive to the town of Lucmabamba, your last camp site and also the beginning of the Inca Trail to Llactapata. In the morning begin to gradually hike upwards for about 2 hours to the archeological site of Llactapata, an impressive center with connections to Machu Picchu and Sayacmarka. You will have plenty of time to explore this beautiful Inca site before descending to the Hydro-Electrica (hydro station) which takes roughly 1.5 hours. On your last day, begin early and catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. It is important to start early to avoid the main crowds and also see the citadel during the first rays of morning light. Your guide will start the day with a tour of the most important locations, altars and constructions around Machu Picchu. During this walk they will also share with you what they know about the history of this place and the people who lived here. Following the tour you will have free time to explore the site on your own.

From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain and Humantay Lake 2-Day Tour

5. From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain and Humantay Lake 2-Day Tour

Day 1 – Humantay Lake Have a morning pick-up from your hotel in Cusco and continue on a 2-hour ride enjoying the beautiful landscapes until reaching Soraypampa. Enjoy breakfast prior to the trailhead. Begin your adventure along a photogenic path called the “Camino Real,” as you gain altitude. Continue for another hour and a half, ascending 360mts/1,200 feet in just 2 miles up a steep path. After conquering the last hill, you'll gaze down on a turquoise lake below, which is surrounded by steep peaks and an impressive glacier. The hike is dominated by Salkantay Peak, one of Peru’s most sacred mountains, towering more than 6,000mts/20,600 feet with a sheer and snowy face. The equally impressive Humantay Peak, rising 5,900mts/19,412 feet, is also within view. Once on the shores, enjoy, relax, and take pictures. When ready to hike back, descend to Soraypampa for lunch. After lunch, it’s time to take the transportation back to Cusco downtown arriving in the late afternoon. Day 2 – Rainbow Mountain Today, you'll visit the trendy Rainbow Mountain, famous for becoming viral on social media. Located in the southeast of Cusco in the middle of the Andean mountain ranges. After a morning pick-up from your hotel, venture on a 3-hour drive passing valleys, rivers, mountains, and some smaller communities. Reach Hanchipacha, to enjoy breakfast, then head to the starting point which is already at 4900 meters above sea level. From here you will hike uphill for about 45 minutes to the highest point of the excursion at 5000 meters. Pass the unique formations of the rainbow mountain range and enjoy the breathtaking views at the snow-capped Ausangate, the second-highest in Peru. Once on top of the viewpoint, you'll have the Vilcanota Mountain range in front of you. Have all the time to rest and take pictures. After the exploration, back to Cusipata and enjoy a rewarding lunch. Take the bus to return to Cusco arriving in the late afternoon.

Cusco: 5-day Machu Picchu Trek along the Salkantay Trail

6. Cusco: 5-day Machu Picchu Trek along the Salkantay Trail

Your adventure begins with early morning pickup on day 1 and heads by bus to Mollepata where you can stretch your legs and buy some snacks. Continue onto Challacancha next for final preparations and to double check your equipment. From here, embark on an exciting 3-hour walk to Soraypampa, then enjoy lunch whilst admiring panoramic views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains. Hike up to Laguna de Humantay for more breathtaking views of the Andes, then head to your campsite for the night. After a restful night’s sleep, wake up to an early breakfast before beginning a 4-hour walk to the highest pass of the trek, located halfway between 2 huge mountains — Salkantay and Humantay. After a stop over to marvel at the mountain views, hike 2-hours down to Huayracampa where a well-deserved lunch awaits, followed by a 3-hour trek to the next campsite at Challhuay or Colcapampa. On day 3, trek through the upper jungle region of the area and cross the Santa Teresa River, home to a variety of little brooks. Pass through the valleys and soak up magnificent views of waterfalls, tropical plants, and more. Enjoy lunch at La Playa then travel by car to Santa Teresa town, where you’ll spend the night in warmer climates. In the town, enjoy some free time to explore and treat yourself to a relaxing hot spring experience. Depart from Santa Teresa on day 4 and stroll along a relaxing path for 3-hours to reach the hydroelectric station, where a picnic lunch will be served. From here, walk uphill for another 3-hours to Aguas Calientes where you can recharge your batteries while preparing for your visit to Machu Picchu. Wake up early on day 5 to catch one of the first buses to Machu Picchu in order to appreciate the magnificent city in the early morning light as the mist dissipates. Enjoy a 2-hour walking tour of this fascinating site, and then explore this mysterious city on your own. At the end of an unforgettable 5-day experience, return by train to Ollantaytambo then take the bus back to Cusco, arriving in the late evening at Plaza San Francisco.

8 Day Cusco and Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

7. 8 Day Cusco and Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Arrival in Cusco. Firstly, upon your arrival at the airport in Cusco, a staff member will be there to greet you and take you to our partner hotel. After a 15-20 minute trip to the city center, you will be dropped at your hotel. Likewise, you will have the rest of the day to rest and acclimatize to the altitude of the city and enjoy a delicious coca tea. Lodging: Stay at the 3-star in Hotel in Cusco. Day 2: Chinchero to Maras Salt Mines and Moray. Be collected around 8:00 AM and head to Moray. The drive is about 1 hour and 20 minutes and is absolutely beautiful. You will drive through the snow-capped peaks of the Andes and through lush yellow fields of wheat, past some villages. Finally, you will arrive at the fascinating display of terraces in Moray. Moray boasts three amphitheater-like terraces made by the Incas. These terraces, which are carved deep into the earth in a bowl shape, were thought to be used to determine the optimal conditions for growing crops.  When you are done exploring Moray, you will head to the salt mines of Maras, which is about 2 miles away. This village is known as a former salt-producing center that is thought to date back to pre-Inca times. There are over 3,000 salt pools carved into the mountain side, which are filled daily by a little stream of water.  The last place to visit will be Chinchero. Here, admire the well-preserved Inka walls of the main square as well as the many altars. Visit the beautiful colonial church, which is unique with its interior artwork and imagery. Moving on, participate in a wonderful introduction and learning experience of the art of Andean textiles. Throughout the afternoon, become acquainted with the wisdom of Andean weavings as maintained since long before Inka times.  Once you are done, you will head back to the city in time to enjoy some lunch on your own. Stay at the 3-star Ayni Cusco Hotel or similar. Day 3: Cusco to Mollepata to Soraypampa Trek. Leave from Cusco approximately between 4:30 AM and 5:00 AM. A bus will take you to the town of Mollepata at 2,900 meters above sea level for approximately 8:00 AM. Stop for last minute supplies, leg-stretching, and using the restrooms. Continue to the trek starting point, Sayapata.  Meet the support staff, who will load the equipment onto horses and mules. Around 9:00 AM, begin the walk toward Soraypampa at 3,850 meters above sea level. During the trip, have panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay, other mountains covered with snow, and the Valley of Apurimac River. At about 1:00 PM, have a Peruvian lunch. Then, continue hiking toward Humantay Lake, which takes approximately 3 hours. This is a beautiful lake in the mountains. Return to the camp, where dinner and your tent will be ready for you.  Day 4: SorayPampa to Challway. Today, nature will change drastically from dry sceneries to snowy peaks and tropical areas. After a nutritious breakfast, start the most difficult part of the trek. Being around 7:00 AM and hike to a place called Pampas Salkantay. Go toward the left side of the snowy peaks of Umantay, located next to the Apu Salkantay. At midday, you will reach the highest point at 4,600 meters above sea level.  Appreciate spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay at 6,264 meters above sea level, which is known as the second highest point of the Cusco region. At around 1:00 PM, have lunch in the area called Huayracmachay. After a trek of approximately 3 hours, arrive at your camp in Challway at 2,920 meters above sea level. At around 7:00 PM, recuperate from the trek and eat dinner. Day 5: Challway to La Playa to Lucmabamba. At around 7:00 AM, begin your trek and enjoy the beautiful sunrise. Walk for about 5 hours toward Playa Sahuayaco and during this period see a town called Collpabamba, which is also called the Forest Cloudy Brow where waterfalls, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora, and birds can be observed. If you are lucky, you will be able to observe the famous bird called the Cock of the Rocks, which is the national bird of Peru. Once at Playa Sahuayaco have lunch then continue hiking for a couple of hours to get to Lucmabamba, which is your last campsite and the beginning of the Inca Trail of Llacta Pata.  Day 6: Lucmabamba to Llaptapata to Hydro-Electrical Power Plant to Aguas Calientes. At around 8:00 AM, begin the gradual hike up for about 2 hours. Reach Llapta Pata, a beautiful archeological site with connections to the Inca sites of Machupicchu and Sayacmarka. Have plenty of time to explore this Inca site. Then, start your descent to the hydro-electrical power plant, which takes about 1.5-hours. A pleasant 3-hour walk will bring you to Aguas Calientes, where you will stay in Aguas Calientes Hatun Samay Hotel or a similar hostel for the night. Go out and have dinner together in one of the many restaurants.  Day 7: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu to Cusco. Today, rise very early to catch the first bus to Machu Picchu and enter the site as it opens. There will be a 2-3 hour guided tour of the site to show you some of the most important locations, altars, and constructions. You will learn about the history of this amazing place and the people who once lived here. After, if you have the permit to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, you can do it now. In the afternoon, your train will depart Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo then you will carry on by bus to Cusco. Stay at the 3-star in Hotel in Cusco. Day 8: Free day and fly to Lima. You have the morning to relax and spend free time exploring Cusco. In the afternoon, take the transfer to the airport for your departure flight to Lima.

Other Sightseeing Options in Salkantay

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What people are saying about Salkantay

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 23 reviews

A hike where one highlight follows the other.

As experienced hikers we approached the Salkantay Trail with much respect. After all, some are at 4600 vertical meters and spend the night in tents at 4000 meters. The respect was of course quite appropriate, especially since the air on the other side of the 3500 meters is getting thinner and thus force less and less. However, we were surprised with a service from the TreXeperience team that you can not expect the highest standards on such a hike. No matter where and at what altitude, morning, noon and evening, our own cooking team conjured up menus that we missed in restaurants before and after. The transport of our luggage was taken over by mules. Relief pure! Both Guides, Charlie and Hubert, proved to be highly professional, with excellent English, extremely helpful and accommodating, with a high level of expertise in cultural and historical issues. Hats off! In the end you can recommend the tour with TreXperience only warmest.

The trek itself really well organized, unfortunately bad briefing beforehand.

The trek itself was an incredible experience. Everything very well organized, food excellent, also for vegetarians. Raul, our guide, is a super personable person who was very concerned that we are all well. He accompanied us during the days and also provided very interesting information about the country and its people. The camps were more comfortable than I expected in advance. Unfortunately, the briefing did not work well in advance. The guide, who was supposed to give me the information about the trek on the spot, was 2 hours late and did not tell me anything that could not be read in the online description. Optionally you can visit hot springs and zip linen on the route, I did not have this information in advance. Furthermore, I was not given a bag / backpack for the second luggage.

A small group. Professional, cultural and culinary knowledge. And a lot of fun! We saw other larger groups during the trek, who again confirmed that it is worthwhile taking some extra money to book locals who pay their employees fairly, enjoy their work and are not just tourism machines ! Thank you for the great time / every time again! * The food was a dream! I would like to especially highlight the performance of the crew, which receives my greatest thanks for the great time: Guides: Elisban & Maribel Chef: Valvino Su Chef: Grimaldo And support by: Hugo E., Julián, Fredy

The tour was tough, but every step was worth it. The nature is fabulous!

It was physically and mentally difficult but well worth it!