Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a high altitude trek from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The trek has shorter routes of 3 days and 4 days. However, the most preferred one is the Salkantay Trekking 5 Days.
The route offers jaw dropping views of the Andes at every turn. National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine named this trek among the best 25 treks in the world.
Mount Salkantay is one of the sacred peaks for locals. The view around Salkantay Mountain is outstanding. Furthermore, the trek takes you to the most photographed turquoise lake, Laguna Humantay.
The second day of this 5 Days Salkantay Trek will take you to the famous Apacheta/Salkantay Pass at 4,600m/15,088ft).
Please note this is high altitude trek. We highly recommend you to spend at least 3 days in Cusco and acclimatise before the trek to avoid altitude sickness.
We recommend booking Salkantay Trail at least 2 days in advance.
Salkantay Trek 5 days to Machu Picchu from Cusco is one of our signature treks. We have dedicated guides to operate this tour. Our guides are well experienced on Salkantay Trekking. They are trained in offering First Aid, if needed because of high altitude.
During the trek, you will be camping in tents along the way, something that we do to protect the ambience and nature with no intervention of constructions and use of solid materials that would be devastating the nature and scenery.
We support the locals and the communities in the region. Also, our guides are locals who are born and raised in Cusco. They are certified and are qualified in tourism as a main stream of education. As locals, they are knowledgable about the history and culture.
They will be sharing their expertise with you on this five days trek. By then end of which, you will be having a good understanding about the history of Incas and the story behind their lost city and other Inca ruins you will be visiting along the way.
Treks in Cusco uses state of the art camping gears and all our camping areas have adequate facilities to offer you a decent stay. The experience with us will be more eco-friendly.
You can be certain to have a safe and memorable experience. You can read the experiences of our guests on the world’s largest review portal, Trip Advisor.
Check out our eight reasons to hike Salkantay Trek from Cusco.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
At 0600 in the morning we will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco. We will then drive to Mollepata at 2800 meters above sea level. The road to Mollepata from Cusco offers nice panoramic views of he Apurimac Valley. We will stop for breakfast at Mollepata.
We will be then driving for an hour to the trail head at Sayllapata (3200 metres). Here we will be meeting our muleteers. The first part of Salkantay Trek will be of two hours through traditional Andean communities like Cruzpata and Challacancha.
We will be stopping in Sorayapampa for lunch and then continue hiking further for four hours to our campsite.
On the second day of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, we will be hiking to the highest point of the trek – Salkantay Pass at 4600 metres. From here, you will get a closer look at Mountain Salkantay, a stunning snowcapped peak (6271 meters).
After three hours of walking with spectacular views of the mountains Humantay and Huayanay, small lakes and moraines we will be reaching our lunch camp at Huayracmachay (3700meters).
After lunch, we will be hiking for three more hours to our second campsite at Collpapampa ( 2600 meters).
On the third day of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, we will start with a four hours downhill hike to the cloud forest. You will be introduced to high Jungle niche called Ceja de Selva. This place is famous doe coffee, cocoa and some tropical fruit plantations.
Here we will stop for sometime, you can jump into the natural shower (under a waterfall). Mostly, here you will get to see the Peruvian national bird, “Gallito de las Rocas” (Cock of the Rock).
After relishing on a freshly cooked meal for lunch, we will be driving you for 45 minutes to our campsite in Santa Teresa.
After breakfast, we will cross the river and then walk to Hidroelectrica Train station (Km 116), where we have lunch. Then we will continue walking for two and a half hours to Aguas Calientes which serves as the jump off point to Machu Picchu.
In Aguas Calientes, you will be accommodated in an ensuite room.
Early in the morning we will take the first bus to Machu Picchu. Here, you will have a guided tour for approximately two hours. After the tour you will have some free time to explore the citadel.
If you want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain our guide will direct you to the respective entrance. Please note that this has an extra cost and you must book the ticket in advance.
Alternatively, you can hike to Sun Gate. It offers a stunning view of Machu Picchu. Trekkers on Inca Trail enter the citadel from here. It is an easy two hours hike from the citadel and requires no advance booking.
At around one, we will take the bus to Aguas Calientes.
Here you will have time for lunch. Then you will be taking a train to Ollantaytambo. Our representative will be meeting you at the train station and will be transferring you to Cusco. You will be reaching at around 10:00 PM.
The highest point of the Salkantay Trek is at 4600 metres above sea level.
Although as Inca Trail Salkantay Trek does not need permits. It is advisable to book the trek atleast 48 hours in advance. This would allow us to organise the trek carefully and offer you the best experience.
It is totally worth it. Infact, Salkantay Trek is often referred to as the best alternative to the Inca Trail.
Jose was an amazing guide for the 5 day Salkantay tour. He was super knowledgeable and really got to know each one of us. hike only had 1 tough day when hiking to the pass but reasonable other than that.
I did the 5 days trek through Salkantay to Machu Picchu with my guide Carlos. What an amazing trek! Conde Travel fixed everything, I only had to show up. I am especially thankful to my guide Carlos, who is so passionated about his country. I had 5 amazing days!