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Enjoy the modified Salkantay trek! This change is due to the landslides that occurred last March

Salkantay Trek

Backpackers top choice to visit Machu Picchu

4 days
4.4 (8 reviews)

Tour details
What to bring

Salkantay Trek tour information

timer 4 days
chat Spanish / English


Pick up at your accommodation in Cusco around 4:30 AM


Drop-off at Cusco center around 9:00 PM

The 4-day trek from Salkantay to Machu Picchu is one of the most spectacular treks in Cusco. Along the way you will enjoy beautiful and dynamic landscapes such as snow-capped mountains, Andean landscapes, as well as tropical forests and jungles. If you want to escape and experience the diverse nature of Peru, the Salkantay Trek is the perfect route for you.

Tour itinerary

todayDAY 1 Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Soraypampa (Humantay Lake)

Hiking distance: 11 km Initial elevation: 3320 m Highest elevation: 4200 m Elevation of the campsite: 3900 m Difficulty: moderate
access_time4 : 30 AM
At 4:30 AM you will be picked up at your accommodation in Cusco. Once you and your fellow travelers are picked up, a car will transport you to the starting point of the trek. During the ride, you will be able to enjoy the majestic snowy landscapes of Salkantay and Humantay. The trek will begin at Mollepata. Here you will receive breakfast before beginning the trip of a lifetime.
valley between the mountains of the alps on the salkantay trek
access_time9 : 30 AM
At 9:30 AM you will start your hike to Soraypampa. The first part of the route will take you through some beautiful and deep valleys. After lunch and a short break, you will continue the journey and reach the incredible Humantay Lake. With its blue-green waters reflecting the amazing glaciers that surround it, it is known for being one of the most breathtaking places in the Andes.
green lagoon with salkantay glacier in the background on the salkantay trek
After this excursion, you will return to our base camp in Soraypampa and spend the night in the middle of the glacial valleys. A magical night awaits you where you will be able to see the stars and constellations with such clarity, it will leave you speechless.
people waving to the camera in tents on the salkantay trekking in peru

todayDÍA 2 Soraypampa - Salkantay Passage - Huayracmachay – Colpapampa

Hiking distance: 19 Km Initial elevation: 3900 m Highest elevation: 4615 m Elevation of the campsite: 2800 m Difficulty: challenging
On day two you will wake up early and have breakfast. Afterwards, you will start the stretch that will take you to the highest point of the journey - the Salkantay Passage at an altitude of 4,615 meters above sea level. From there, you will enjoy amazing views of the surrounding valleys and the stunning snow peaks of Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo mountains.
valley between snow-capped mountains in peru salkantay trekking
You will continue downhill for roughly 5 km until you reach Huayracmachay, where you will stop to eat. After lunch, you will continue walking to the small town of Colpapampa, where you will have dinner and spend the night in a campsite that is located in another beautiful valley.
creek in the valley during the salkantay trekking tour

todayDÍA 3 Colpapampa -Sahuayaco Beach - Santa Teresa - Hidroeléctrica - Aguas Calientes

Hiking distance: 22 km Initial elevation: 2800 m Highest elevation: 2800 m Elevation of the campsite: 2000 m Difficulty: moderate
Day three you will wake up early and have breakfast. You will then start your hike to the small town of Sahuayaco Beach, crossing the Santa Teresa Valley. During the trek you will be in full contact with nature, seeing rivers, waterfalls, precious wild orchids, and plantations of coffee and bananas. After lunch a private bus will bring you to Santa Teresa where you will be transported to Hidroélectrica. From there, you will continue on foot for about 3 hours, following the train line until arriving at Aguas Calientes.
signposts with different destinations on the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu
Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time before dinner to rest, walk through the town, or visit the famous hot springs and enjoy a relaxing bath close to the clouds. You will spend the night in your inn with private rooms and bathrooms. It is advised that you go to sleep early on this night. You are going to want to be well rested for the next day to witness one of the most special moments of our tour- the amazing fortress of Machu Picchu.
traditional Peruvian clothing at a street market stall in Cusco during the salkantay trek

todayDÍA 4 Machu Picchu - Cusco

Hiking distance: 6 Km Initial elevation: 2000 m Highest elevation: 2400 m Difficulty: moderate
On the final day, you will get up very early to enjoy one of the most magical moments the Andes have to offer - the sunrise at Machu Picchu. On the fourth and last day of the Salkantay Trek, you are given a few options. The first option allows you to walk up or take the bus to Machu Picchu for $12. In the fortress, you will have a guided tour that will last two hours. During the tour you will discover fascinating history and secrets of this ancient place. If booked in advance, you can extend the walk a few hours and experience Huayna Picchu or the Mountain of Machu Picchu for an additional $25. (both are available as additional activities, however, only one is permitted per visit).
cute llama observes the camera in machu picchu during the salkantay trek
To finish your visit, you are given the option to walk or take the bus ($12) back to Aguas Calientes. Here you will take the train from to Ollantaytambo (included). Once you arrive in Ollantaytambo, you will be transferred to Cusco center, where you will arrive at approximately 9:00 p.m.
aerial views of cusco on arrival after the salkantay trekking tour in peru

Tour details


  • Access to Machu Picchu with a professional guided tour
  • Briefing before the tour departs
  • Private transport
  • Expert bilingual guides
  • Accommodation
  • Camping equipment
  • 5 kg (11 Ibs) of baggage on horses
  • Food cooked within the group
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Hygiene products
  • First aid kit
  • Train returns from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo

Not included

  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes (day 4)
  • Salkantay entrance fee (10 soles)*
  • Sleeping bag (rent for 50 soles)*
  • Hiking poles (rent for $15 USD)*
  • Water
  • Personal hygiene items
The indicated price is per person and for the entire tour. Payment is made at the destination. Also, please indicate this when booking your trip to ensure availability.

error_outlineImportant information

The train schedule may vary depending on availability. Once your reservation is made, we will be able to confirm the exact time of the trains. When booking your trip, you may only select one of following destinations: Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu.
The order of the visits could be altered, but it will not affect the content of the program. The schedules of the tickets and transports could be subject to modifications.
This activity includes the appropriate protection measures to ensure your safety. In addition, our excursions are outdoor and in small groups to reduce the risk of contagion. Remember to follow the instructions of the staff during the development of the excursion.

restoreCancellation policy

You will receive a 40% refund of your booking if you cancel at least 30 days before the tour start date. After this time, or in case you do not show up, no refunds will be given.

What to bring to Salkantay Trek

Aguas Calientes is 1000 meters lower than Cuzco, and the weather varies depending on the time of year, especially during the rainy season. To prepare for the variable climate we recommend to take the following:
  • Passport and migration card
  • Sleeping bag (-15°C)
  • Walking sticks
  • Medium trekking backpack (20 litres)
  • Long sleeved shirts
  • Waterproof pants
  • Thermal clothing
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Warm jacket
  • Hat or cap
  • Hiking boots (waterproof if possible)
  • Poncho for the rain
  • Sneakers or sport shoes
  • Sandals / flip flops
  • Swimsuite
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Refillable water botle
  • Personal hygiene products and medication
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Snacks
  • Camera and charger
  • Pocket money in soles or USD

Where does the tour Salkantay Trek start

Cusco is the main tourist city of Peru and is very well connected. If you plan to arrive from Lima, you can get to Cusco by bus (24 hour trip) or take a one hour flight. You can choose between low cost airlines such as: Peruvian Airlines, LCP, StarPeru or full-service airlines like Latam and Avianca. If you plan to arrive from Arequipa, the bus ride to Cusco will take roughly ten hours. Alternatively you can arrive by plane. In this case, however, the only airline that offers direct flights is Latam Airlines. If you plan to arrive from Puno, the best option is to take a bus for a six hour trip. We also offer the possibility to take a tourist bus route that stops in the most important places and landmarks along the way, leaving Puno at 7:00 AM and arriving at Cusco at 5:30 PM.

Salkantay Trek tour reviews with Howlanders

Overall rating
Quality-price ratio
Arnaud Lebeuf · March 1, 2020
Due to a massive mudslide the day before we were suppose to start, the Salkantey trail has been closed, so our trek was cancelled. However, the local operator promptly contacted us and offered an alternative to go to Macchu Pichu (via the Sacred Valley tour). The guide for the Sacred Valley tour was really good, providing clear explanations and was really friendly. Everything was well organized, it’s definitely a tour I recommend. Amazing landscapes and historic places!

Dominik · January 10, 2020
Beautiful trek. Groups up to 15 people makes it tough for the guide (has to decide if in the front or with the last). Don‘t expect good english speaking guides. First accommodation was better than expected, second really aweful (very bad smell). Food on the tour is quite good. At the end we enjoyed the nature view with a perfect finish: Machu Picchu

FELGUEIRAS · November 20, 2019
Les 2 guides Vidal et Yoni sont deux personnes en or que l'on sent attachés à leur culture et qui savent vous faire passer cet amour qu'ils de leur pays et de leur culture. De plus ils sont du gentillesse extrême et toujours à l'affut du bien être de ceux qu'ils accompagne. Avec ces deux guides c'est une belle rencontre humaine que vous ferez en plus du cadre époustouflant. Merci encore à eux pour tout ce qu'ils nous ont apporté et qui continuent à faire perdurer leur culture.

Yasamin · November 11, 2019
Our guide, Vidal was friendly encouraging, informative and accommodating. Would recommend. Would also suggest to warn people that you have to be relatively fit to do this challenging hike.

Questions & Answers

What is the difference between Huayna Picchu and Montaña de Machu Picchu?
Both are optional visit zones located within the citadel of Machu Picchu. The main difference is that Huayna Picchu walk time is approximately an hour and a half. Due to many steps and the inclines, it is not suitable for people with vertigo. On the other hand, the Mountain of Machu Picchu is a route of approximately three and a half hours, the road is wider, and it has a more suitable walk with less incline. Keep in mind that when selecting the Machu Picchu mountain the duration of the visit is longer, you will have less time to explore Machu Picchu on your own, and the train back is later.

What is the Hidroeléctrica - Aguas Calientes train?
It is the train that runs the last stretch of the walk, a 9 km route that connects Hidroeléctrica with Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town). This section can be done by walking or by way of the emblematic train that connects Aguas Calientes with the other towns.

What is the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip)?
It is the bus that goes from Aguas Calientes to the citadel of Machu Picchu. It's a 20 minute trip. The time of the climb depends on the time of access to Machu Picchu. This is a way to avoid the long lines that were given in recent years. The route has a large slope, takes an hour and a half and can be done by walking.

What is the size of the group?
In order to enjoy this route better, groups are small, with a maximum of 16 people.

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