The Salkantay 5-Day Trek to Machu Picchu perfectly combines cultural and natural beauty; you’ll enjoy the magnificent view of snow-capped Salkantay (6264m/20551f), the highest mountain in the Vilcabamba range.
DURATION: 5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS
RECOMMENDABLE FOR: Adventure Hikers
$ 420 USD for adults
$ 395 USD for students with a valid university card (subject to conditions)
Private service + $ 150 USD extra per person upon request (minimum 2 people)
- Day 1: Cusco, Mollepata, Soraypampa
- Day 2: Soraypampa, Salkantay Pass, Chaullay
- Day 3: Chaullay, Colpapampa, Lucmabamba
- Day 4: Lucmabamba, Llactapata Inca Site, Hydroelectric, Aguas Calientes (Machupicchu town)
- Day 5: Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Cusco
Day 1: Cusco, Mollepata, Humantay Lake, Soraypampa
We’ll leave Cusco at 5:00 am and head towards Marcoccasa (3400m/11154f), passing the village Mollepata (3000m/9843f). In Marcoccasa, we’ll meet the horsemen and the rest of the trek team to begin the hike. You’ll see majestic snow-capped mountains such as Humantay (5217m/17116f) and Salkantay (6264m/20551f). Our campsite is at Soraypampa (3900m/12795f).
-Transport time: 3 hours
-Hiking time: 6 hours approx.
Optional: On the way to Soray Pampa (3900m/12795ft), we strongly recommend making a 2-hour detour to Humantay Lake (4220m/13845ft) to see the magnificent lake and the snow-covered peak of Humantay.
Day 2: Soraypampa, Salkantay Pass, Chaullay
After breakfast, we’ll hike to Salkantay Pass (4600m/15092f) which offers an exceptional view of snow-capped Salkantay (6264m/20551f). Then we’ll descend and enjoy the lush vegetation of the changing ecosystem. Our campsite is at Rayanpata (3350m/10990f) amidst a tropical forest.
-Hiking time: 7- 8 hours approx.
-Climate: cold and warm with mosquitoes
Day 3: Chaullay, Colpapampa, Lucmabamba
The third day is dedicated to enjoying the region’s flora and its coffee, cacao, and fruit plantations. You’ll descend into a forest, enjoying the diversity of orchids, bromeliads, and other plants. Moreover, you’ll meet local families in Chaullay (2950m/9678ft), Wiñaypoco (2650m/8694f), La Playa (2100m/6890f), and Lucmabamba (2000m/6561ft). Our campsite is in Lucmabamba.
This afternoon you’ll visit with a local rural family and learn about the cultivation and processing of coffee. Depending on the variety, it takes approximately 3 to 4 years for newly-planted coffee trees to bear fruit.
The fruit, called the coffee cherry, turns a bright, deep red when it is ripe and ready to be harvested. Due to the botanical characteristics of the coffee tree and the fact that coffee is often grown in mountainous areas, mechanical harvesters aren’t used, and the ripe coffee cherries are usually picked by hand, a labor-intensive, difficult process. You’ll learn about the complete process from the tree to the cup of coffee. You can also ask the locals your own questions about the process of coffee cultivation.
-Climate: Warm during the day with mosquitoes
-Hiking time: 7 hours approx.
Optional: After arduous days of hiking, we recommend that you swim and soak in the hot mineral springs of Santa Teresa. You need to coordinate this visit with your tour guide to arrange a vehicle from Lucmabamba to Santa Teresa. It’s worth the effort!
Day 4: Lucmabamba, Llactapata Inca Site, Hydroelectric, Aguas Calientes (Machupicchu town)
After breakfast, we’ll hike on the Inca Trail to the archaeological site of Llactapata at 2650m/8694f, with its beautiful scenery for discovering flora and evidence of Inca culture. From here we’ll have an outstanding view over Machu Picchu and Vilcanota Canyon.
Afterward, we’ll continue our trek to Aguas Calientes (2050m/6726f) for about 3 hrs more, where you’ll spend the night.
-Hiking time: 6 hours approx.
-Climate: Warm with mosquitos
Day 5: Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Cusco
We’ll leave the hotel after breakfast at 5:30 am to head for Machu Picchu (2400m/7874f) by tourist bus. We’ll arrive at the citadel around 6:00 am.
After a guided tour around the archaeological site, including information about the life and culture of the Incas, you’ll have time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (with advanced reservation) on your own.
Later, you’ll descend to Aguas Calientes where you’ll have time to have lunch in one of the many restaurants or soak in the natural springs. Later, you’ll leave Aguas Calientes by train around 18:00.
-Hiking time: 3 hours
- Orientation meeting in our offices with your guide 1 or 2 days before the start of the trek at 19:00 hrs, to be confirmed when booking
- Shuttle from the hotel office to the village of Mollepata
- Shuttle from Chaullay to Lucmabamba (Day 3)
- Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, then shuttle to your hotel in Cusco
- Overnight in a private double room in a hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu site
- Bilingual Spanish-English professional guide (for a French-speaking guide, please contact us in advance!)
- Private campsites domes on the first night, with toilet and showers
- High-quality camping equipment (Professional Tents Eureka! Timberline 4 or Doite Himalaya, for 2 people with mattresses).
- Camping equipment, dining tent, kitchen, with tent shelters and toilets
- Meals during the trek (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks). Please notify the agency in case of allergies or a special diet such as vegetarian.
- Cook and kitchen equipment.
- Muleteers and mules for transporting camping equipment and your personal belongings (maximum 7 kg/15lb per person)
- Rescue horse (2 people)
- First aid kit and oxygen bottle
- Cold, boiled water during all trek.
- Breakfast on the 1st day and lunch on the 5th day in Aguas Calientes
- Sleeping bag minus 7°C $ 15.00 USD pp (if you don’t have one, you can rent one from our agency)
- Pair of walking sticks $ 15.00 USD pp
- Bus down Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes $12.00 USD pp. (you can also descend on foot which takes about 1 hour)
- Train from Hydroelectric Station to Aguas Calientes $35.00 USD pp
- Private car from Lucmabamba to Cocalmayoc Hot Springs $25.00 USD pp
- Original Passport and immigration card
- Walking sticks
- Trekking backpack (25 - 30 liters)
- 01 sun hat to protect neck and face
- 01 woolly hat for the cold
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Sun block factor 50 or more
- Long & short sleeved t-shirts
- 01 pair of shorts
- Waterproof pants
- Thermal pants
- Warm jacket (water proof preferable)
- 01 pair of waterproof gloves
- Hiking boots (waterproof recommendable)
- Extra pair of socks
- Rain plastic poncho
- 01 pair of sandals
- Bathing suit and towel (if you are planning on visiting the Cocalmayoc Hot springs)
- Flashlights and batteries
- Water bottle or camelback
- Good insect repellent
- Snacks: Energy bars, chocolate, candies, dried fruits
- Camera and charger (Drones are not allowed in Machupicchu)
- Extra emergency cash in SOLES
- Personal medication