Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu (5 Days / 4 Nights)


The Cordillera Vilcanota is an impressive range of mountains which include the massive SALKANTAY snow capped mountain (6,271m) and three others over 6000m.

SALKANTAY is an outstanding snow peak, located less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cusco in south central Peru. It is the highest mountain of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. Because of its proximity to the city, it is easily accessible and is climbed frequently. Attractive trek; made for trekkers has a changeable landscape; 


On this hike you can see distinct ecosystems spread across its different zones of altitude and climate. This trail runs from high valley up to the mountains and descends into a lush valley. The ecosystem is transformed rapidly.



We will leave from Cusco between 4:30 am. and 5:00 am in a bus that will take us to the town of Mollepata (2900 meters above sea level) where we will arrive at approximately 8:00 am.  During the drive we will have some panoramic views of the majestic and sacred Salkantay Mountain as well as the Apurimac River Valley.  In Mollepata, we will set ourselves up for the trek and meet our porters.   We will start our trek round 9:00 am by going in the direction of Sayllapata (3200 meters above sea level). At this point of our journey we will be travelling over relatively flat and easy terrain.
We will have lunch around mid-day and then we will continue hiking towards our final destination for the day, Soraypampa (3850 meters above sea level). We will strive to arrive around 5:30 pm to have time to make ourselves comfortable in our tents before having a group dinner.


During this day of travel the microclimates will change drastically from dry plateaus to high snowy peaks and then down into lush tropical areas.  For this reason this is the hardest, but also the most gratifying day of the trek.  Starting out with a nutritious breakfast, we will begin with the most difficult part of the trek which is going up to the pass.  Because it is a high ascent, we will take our time and appreciate the scenery.  We will pass by Siete Culebras (Seven Snakes) and the village Salkantaypampa on the way.  
We should be arriving to the pass (4600 meters above sea level) around midday or so. Once on top, we will enjoy spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peak of Mount Salkantay (6264 meters above sea level) within a stones’ throw from our route. We may even see some avalanches in the distance.  Salkantay Mountain is the second biggest mountain in the entire Cusco region and is considered to be the guardian between the Andes and the jungle.
After beginning the long descent down the other side of the mountain, we will have our lunch in the area called Huayracmachay.  We will have approximately three hours from there before we arrive to our days’ final campsite in Challway / Collpapampa (2920 meters above sea level).


We will start the day around 7:00 am.  We will be walking for about 6 hours through more tropical surroundings, towards a place known as Playa Sahuayaco. During the walk we will see waterfalls, exotic birds, wild fruits and coffee plantations.  With a little bit of luck, we will be able to see the famous and beautiful Peruvian national bird called the “Cock of the Rocks” as well as other bird species.
We will spend the night camping at Playa Sahuayaco.


This will be a very interesting day as we trek approximately 3 hours to Llaqtapata.  There we will see Inca walls, observe the diverse flora and fauna and enjoy the beautiful landscape. We will then walk for another 2 or 3 hours before we finally arrive to Hydroelectric, a place named for the nearby hydroelectric dam.   There we will eat lunch below the mountain of Machupicchu.  We will then continue to hike along the train tracks through a beautiful mountain jungle area to Aguas Calientes.  This section of the trek will take about two and a half hours.  Upon our arrival to the town, we will be escorted to our hotel for the night.  We will enjoy a final group dinner at a local restaurant at about 7:00 pm. There we will go over our plans for the following day at Machupicchu.


At 5:30 am we will take one of the first buses up to the archaeological site of Machupicchu.  Upon our arrival we will pause to take some pictures before beginning our guided tour of the site.  The tour will take about two and a half hours. We will see the Main Plaza, the Temple of the Condor, the Intihuatana (Sun Dial), the Group of the Mortars, the Temple of Three Windows and other important features.  Later we will have some time to explore around on our own and even hike up to Wayna Picchu. Make sure that you let your guide know the night before if you want to go up to Wayna Picchu because they only allow 400 persons per day to go up. The extra bit of walking would be about 2 hours round trip.
Later in the afternoon we will return to Aguas Calientes to take our train to Ollantaytambo and continue on to Cusco.  We will transfer to our hotel.

  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Private car
  • Horses (to carry the tents, toilet and cooking equipment)
  • Porter strength (5 kilos per trekker can be carried by the horses)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner); vegetarian food available on request
    with no extra charge
  • Camping equipment (tents, eating supplies and utensils, etc.)
  • First Aid kit
  • 1 Night at a tourist hostel in Aguas Calientes Town.
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Bus ticket Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (R/T)
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes back to Ollantaytambo
  • Tourism bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
  • Emergency horse.
  • Lunch on Day 5
  • Sleeping bag
  • Entrance to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
  • Bottled water
What you need..
  • Original passport (and International Student card (ISIC) if applicable)
  • Sleeping bag (not included but can be hired from us)
  • Walking boots
  • Water proof jacket/rain poncho
  • Warm jacket, hat and gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable trousers
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection cream (factor 35 recommended)
  • Re-usable plastic or metal water container or camel bags
  • Water, water purification tablets, or money to buy water along the way
  • Insect repellent
  • Toiletries
  • Personal medication
  • Camera and films
  • Torch with spare batteries (headlamps are useful)
  • Shorts
  • Walking stick (with rubber tip)
  • Plasters and bandages
  • Sandals
  • Extra money
  • Bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes) where the entrance
  • fee at the door is US$4

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