Want to experience the best of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in short time? Challenge yourself to this three days trek that covers a distance of 48 kilometres through breath taking landscapes in the Peruvian Andes. This is one of the beautiful treks in South America, if not in the world. Salkantay is a prominent peak in the Andes, it is one of the sacred entity to locals.
The 3 Day trek is the best alternative to the Classic 5 Days trek. This is ideal for those short on time and want to make the most of their trek to Machu Picchu.
Popularly known as Salkantay Challenge Trek, this trek offers a rewarding experience at every turn. It is especially popular for a diverse views. You will be starting near the snow capped peak of Salkantay Mountain, traversing through the highland lagoons you will be reaching to the highest point of the trek.
Salkantay Pass at 4650 metres above sea level is the highest point of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. It offers an our worldly view of the Andes. You will then be descending to the cloud forest.
This is a high altitude trek with many high altitude passes. We strongly recommend you to spend at-least 3 day in Cusco, acclimatising to avoid altitude sickness.
Treks in Cusco is a renowned Salkantay trekking company and a local tour operator based in Cusco. We take pride in working with a team of locals. Also we offer high altitude eco tourism. We are a team of a passionate hikers, climbers, trekkers who breathe and live the outdoor adventure life.
Our guides use their extensive trekking and mountaineering skills to safely lead our groups on high altitude treks. All our team members have an ample of training on first aid and use of Oxygen cans. We are determined to go above and beyond to offer a memorable and safe experience in the Andes.
On the Peruvian highlands we experience two seasons: dry season and rainy season. From December to March it often rains, this makes the trek challenging and at times impossible. We highly recommend you to experience the 3 day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu during the dry season (between April and November).
Check out our eight reasons to hike Salkantay Trek from Cusco.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
3 Hours Before Flight Time
At around 0230 AM, we will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco. We will then embark on a 3.5 hours drive to Sorayapampa. We will have a brief stop in Mollepata. Here you can use the restroom and buy some snacks or things you may need for the 3 day Salkantay Trek.
Once in Sorayapampa, we will serve you breakfast. Here we will be meeting the rest of our crew. After our crew will organise your bags and trekking gears on mule, we will start the trek.
On the first leg of the trek, we will be hiking to Salkantay Pass at 4650 metres | 15255 feet. This is the highest point of the trek. From Sorayapampa we will be covering the seven kilometres distance in three hours. The section of the trek offers a breathtaking view of the snowcapped peak of Salkantay Peak that towers to 6271 metres | 20574 feet.
From Salkantay pass, you will get a captivating view of the valley snuggled in the snowcapped peak of Humantay, Salkantay, Pumasillo and Tucarhuay mountains. We will be descending down the hill to our lunch camp.
After relishing on a freshly cooked nutritious meal for lunch, we will trek to the Amazon cloud forest region. This is a 10 kilometres down hill trek. We will cover it tentatively in three hours. You will notice a change in climate here. It gets a bit warmer. This section will be a remarkable experience of transitioning from Andes to Amazon. We will be stopping at different sites. Our guide will explain the significance of some prominent plants that we will encounter along our way. Trekking through a scenic setting we will reach a dusky village, Chaullay (2900 metres | 9514 feet). We will be camping here for the night after dinner.
Rise and Shine! We will wake you up to a hot cup of coffee or tea followed by breakfast. At 0600 AM, we will start the day’s trek. through Santa Teresa valley to La Playa. This section will be through farms, rivers, waterfalls and orchid farms. You will also see many distinct farms dedicated to Avocados, Coffee and other tropical fruits.
We will be stopping in few farms. You will have the opportunity to savour some fresh fruits. Then we will hike to Colpapampa. This is popularly known as “the brow of the cloud forest.” It is home to many waterfalls and distinct flora and fauna. Prime among the rest, here you will have the opportunity get a closer look at Peru’s national bird, “The Cock of the Rocks.”
Once at La Playa, we will stop for lunch and bid goodbye to our crew. After lunch, in our private transport, we will drive you to Hidroelectrica. From here, you will be hiking to Aguas Calientes along the railway lines. You will be re-tracing the footsteps of the renowned American professor, Hiram Bingham III who rediscovered Machu Picchu. It is a 2.5 to three hours hike from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes. If you feel weary, you can take the train, this costs USD 34 each way.
We will be accommodating you in an ensuite hotel room in Aguas Calientes. The town is popular for hot springs. You can take a dip in the fresh waters of the hot springs. Alternatively, if time prevails you can also visit a lesser known museum.
At around 0700 PM, our guide will meet you at the hotel and will be briefing you on your following days itinerary. Then we will meet at a local restaurant for dinner.
Early in the morning our crew will hand you over the box snacks. Then you will be boarding the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu citadel. We will try to be among the first ones to enter so you will get to see the sunrise at the lost city of Incas.
Once in Machu Picchu, our local expert will give you a two hours guided tour. On this tour you will be visiting sites like farming terraces, remains of temples and ceremonial sites, house of the priests among others.
After the tour, you will have free time to walk around the citadel. If you have booked your hike to Machu Picchu mountain or Huyana Picchu, do advise our guide to direct you to the entrance. Alternatively, you can walk to the Sun Gate (a 2.5 hours walk back and forth from the citadel). Sun Gate offers a pristine view of the emblematic Inca ruins. A view that is exclusive to those on Inca Trail.
Once you have had your fill of the citadel of Incas, you will take a bus back to Aguas Calientes. From Aguas Calientes you will be boarding a train to Ollantaytambo train station. Our representative will meet you at the train station and will transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco. We will return to Cusco by 10:00 PM.
We did the 3 days Salkantay with great success! In these types of treks you naturally need to be flexible and not everything is in control of tour guides – weather, road conditions, traffic, etc. With that in mind your guides can still make a huge difference and make the best effort as possible to help you through this amazing scenery!
Huge thanks to Carlos! He is truly the best tour guide I’v ever met, and that’s something. Carlos’ way of handling all situations, great charisma, stories, knowledge of history and nature made our trip the best of this type so far. I strongly recommend to do this trek!