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Salkantay Trek

An amazing off-the-beaten path hike to Machu Picchu

The Salkantay trail is frequently voted one of the best hikes in the World. The trek takes 5 days and follows a quiet but well-trodden path through the wild North-west of Cusco. 

The main highlight on the trek is the snow-capped peak of Mount Salkantay (6,271m), which dominates the landscape and provides an awesome backdrop to an unforgettable trek.

The trail finishes at the small town of Aguas Calientes, situated just below Machu Picchu. 

Summary

DURATION

5 days

LOCATION

Peru

START & ENDS

Cusco, Cusco

DIFFICULTY

Easy Moderate Challenge Hard

Highlights

  • Hike one of the greatest routes in the Peruvian Andes - the Salkantay trail!
  • Get stunning views of the snowcapped Mount Salkantay
  • Experience the unique Quechua culture as we pass through communities and meet locals 
  • Visit the most famous Inca ruin, Machu Picchu 

Itinerary

  • DAY 1
  • day 2
  • day 3
  • Day 4
  • DAY 5

CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SORAYPAMPA – HUMANTAY LAKE

FOOD

Lunch, Dinner

ACCOMMODATION

Camping

ACTIVITY

Drive: 3 hours. Hike: 12km

ELEVATION

Starting Elevation (3350 m)
Highest Elevation (4200 m)
Campsite Elevation (3900 m)

We will leave Cusco around 4:30 am by bus to the town of Mollepata (2,900 m) where we will arrive at about 8:00 am. Here we will stop for last-minute supplies, a quick stretch and restroom break. We will then continue upwards by bus to our trek starting point at Challacancha.

At Challacancha we will meet with our support staff, load our equipment onto horses and mules, and by 9:00 am we begin our walk towards Soraypampa (3,900 m). During this part of the trek, we already can have (weather permitting) panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay and Humantay mountains. By midday its time for a classic Peruvian lunch. After lunch, our trail continues upwards toward Humantay Lake, turquoise waters right at the foot of the glacier. Upon descending back to our camp, our tents will be ready for you, as well dinner.

salkantay hike start

Dates & Prices

Below are our open group dates for the Salkantay Trek. If the dates below don't suit, please get in touch as we can open a new group on any day as long as you have at least 2 people in your party.

Please note: January and February are the rainy season and we therefore don't recommend trekking during this period.

If the dates below don't suit, please get in touch as we can open a new group on any day as long as you have at least 2 people in your party.


What's Included

Included

  • Expert English-speaking adventure guide + assistant guide for groups of 9+
  • Full support crew, including a cook, muleteers, and mules to carry all equipment and 7 kg of your personal items
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Afternoon Snacks, and 4 Dinners + Water (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own).
  • Camping tents for every 2 trekkers + dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • All vehicle transportation + train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Entrance permit for Machu Picchu + a guided tour around the ruins

Not Included

  • Personal trekking gear i.e. sleeping bag, warm hiking clothing etc.
  • Accommodation in Cusco
  • Breakfast on Day 1 and lunch and dinner on Day 5.
  • Crew tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain
Pre-trip briefing

The evening before departure we ask guests to visit the offices of Inkayni Peru Tours in Cusco at 19:00 for a pre-departure briefing. You will be sent details for this briefing once your trip is booked.

FAQ

When is the best time to complete this adventure?

When should I arrive in Cusco prior to this adventure?

How fit do I need to be?

Do I need a visa for Peru?

What immunisations should I get?

Are vegetarian and other special dietary needs available?

How big are the groups?

Can I do the trek privately?

Is there a minimum age requirement?

How much should I tip the crew?

What are your cancellation terms?

Got a question?

Our expert travel consultants can help you plan the perfect adventure!

Email: [email protected]

Packing List

Clothing
  • 2 x hiking shirt + 1 x long-sleeve hiking shirt
  • 1 x hiking trousers and 1 x shorts
  • Base layer
  • Mid-weight fleece jacket
  • Hard shell rain jacket
  • Insulating down or synthetic jacket / gilet
  • Light gloves and warm insulating gloves
Headwear
  • Sun hat + Sunglasses
  • Beanie for the nights
  • Neck warmer
Footwear
  • Mid-weight hiking boots
  • 3-4 x hiking socks
  • Trainers for camp
Bags
  • 20-25L daypack
  • 45-55L Backpack (carried by mules, needs to be no heavier than 7kg). Only pack what is necessary for the 5 days of the trip. The rest of your luggage can be left in a storeroom at your hotel/hostel in Cusco or our office.
  • Plastic bags to protect sleeping bag and other gear from rain
Sleeping
  • 4-season sleeping bags
  • Sleeping mat (optional)
Other Essentials
  • Original passport (you need this to enter Machu Picchu)
  • Hiking poles
  • Headlamp with new batteries
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle / hydration bladder
  • Water treatment tablets
  • Camera
  • Sun cream

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend getting travel insurance for your trip. We recommend World Nomads as they provide comprehensive cover for adventurous activities and are very affordable. Get a quote below.

Accommodation

Night 1, 2 and 3: Great quality camping tents for 2 trekkers sharing. 

camping tents machu picchu

Night 4: Golden Sunrise Machu Picchu Hotel or similar 3 star hotel.

Golden Sunrise Machu Picchu Hotel
Accommodation in Cusco

Accommodation in Cusco is not included in this tour. We recommend arriving in Cusco 48 hours before the tour to properly acclimatise to the high altitude. There are many hotel options in Cusco. See deals on Agoda.

LOCAL TOUR OPERATOR

GO TO MOUNT KENYA

inkayni

Inkayni Peru Tours are a fantastic local operator based in Cusco, Peru. The company is run by Edgar, Alex, and Percy, spiritual brothers and natives of the town of Chinchero in the Sacred Valley. Together they are united by their ambition of offering personalised services of great quality, aiming to make every experience unique and unforgettable. With Inkayni Peru Tours you can expect a professional tour to the highest standard!

BOOKING TERMS

Mountain IQ is a platform for travellers to book holiday services available from tour operators, accommodation providers and other service providers available around the world. We act as an authorised agent for these Suppliers. Please read our booking and cancellation terms here.


Reviews

Amazing experience!

5.0 rating
February 17, 2020

Touring around Cusco, Salkantay and Machu Picchu with Franco was more like touring around with a friend than someone I had just met! He was extremely personable and knowledgeable. I learned a ton, saw beautiful sights and had great conversation.

Kayla

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