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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

SORAYPAMPA – CHALLWAY

FOOD

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

ACCOMMODATION

Camping

ACTIVITY

Hike 22 km (8 hours)

ELEVATION GAIN

Starting Elevation (3900 m)
Highest Elevation (4630 m)
Campsite Elevation (2920 m)

Today, is the toughest on our schedule. After a nutritious breakfast, we will start the most difficult part of the trek. We will hike to a place called Salkantay Pampa, continuing left upwards towards the face of Mount Salkantay. By midday we will reach the highest point of the trek, Salkantay Pass (4,630 m). The views from here are breathtaking. After descending sometime we will reach Huayracmachay where we will stop for lunch. We'll then continue on for another 3 hours to our campsite in Challway (2,920 m).

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

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

Footwear

  • Mid-weight hiking boots
  • 3-4 x hiking socks
  • Trainers for camp

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.


Reviews

Best Adventure Yet

Rated 5 out of 5
April 7, 2020

Thanks Mountain IQ and Altezza for arranging our climb. It is by far the best adventure holiday I have ever experienced, the toughest too! Our guides and the entire support were truly amazing – I don’t think I would have made it without their support and encouragement! Thanks again!

Rob Arnold

Tip top trekking experience

Rated 5 out of 5
March 29, 2020

Visiting the Annapurna Sanctuary has been one of the highlights of my life. I was very nervous joining this trek as I was a solo female and had never trekked at altitude. The team at Mountain IQ were fantastic at answering all my questions and putting my concerns to rest. Once in Nepal, Upendra and the Himalayan Leisure team were just amazing. Our guide, Dorchi, was an absolute hoot and very caring. The whole experience from beginning to end was awesome. Thanks again!

Olga Ikin

Simply magnificent!

Rated 5 out of 5
March 29, 2020

We joined this trek with short notice. Upendra was very responsive and accommodating to our needs. The tour from pick up to drop off was professional and fun. Would highly recommend joining this tour!

Burnham Arlidge

An once in a lifetime experience!

Rated 5 out of 5
March 25, 2020

This was by far the most amazing adventure we’ve ever had. We can’t thank the team at Himalayan Leisure and at Mountain IQ enough for arranging such an incredible trek for myself and my girlfriend. From the very get go, the support from Mountain IQ and Upendra was top notch. All our questions were answered quickly and in detail. Once we arrived in Kathmandu we were warmly welcomed. The pre-trek briefing was excellent and we immediately liked our guide Dawa, and felt confident putting our safety in his hands. The trek itself is truly amazing – the views throughout were spectacular. The high pass was a big challenge but the whole group managed it without too much strain. We can’t wait to return to Nepal to complete the EBC trek via Gokyo and will definitely be going with HL again!

Felix O'Brien

Epic experience with Dawa and his team

Rated 5 out of 5
March 19, 2020

Just a quick note to say thank you to Himalayan Leisure for an amazing trekking experience to EBC. We felt well looked after throughout and really enjoyed the company of our guide Dawa. I highly recommend booking this adventure!

Rob Kendrick

A superb trekking experience

Rated 5 out of 5
March 17, 2020

We had an absolutely amazing experience with Himalayan Leisure on this trek in the Langtang region. The Langtang is a lot quieter than the popular trails to Everest. If you are looking to get off the beaten path then I highly recommend this trek and HL!

Nick Swanson

Superb Tour!

Rated 5 out of 5
February 26, 2020

This tour company is excellent. From the time they met us at Cusco airport, their interaction with us was first class. They were able to accommodate the tour changes we requested. Our guide, Percy, was excellent, very knowledgeable and took the time to explain and answer questions. I highly recommend Inkayni. I would advise anyone who wants to see Cusco and Choquequirao to select this tour company.

James Roux

A great experience all round!

Rated 5 out of 5
February 25, 2020

If you go to Peru and want to visit Machu Picchu I highly recommend this tour. My friends and I went with Jonathan from Inkayni and we loved it! We did a lot of activities and Jonathan was very attentive and available, with insightful explanations about the places we visited and the Peruvian culture. A great experience all round!

Sarah Roe

Amazing experience!

Rated 5 out of 5
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

Elbrus Normal Route

Rated 5 out of 5
February 15, 2020

Absolutely PRO experience! RMH are on top of everything. From organisation before the trip, responses to questions before, during and after, to organisation, security, food, lodging and guiding – they are amazing. Going to Russia to do this is not without insecurity. We felt we were in safe hands throughout the trip. I would highly recommend Vitaly and is team to anyone who desires to climb Elbrus.

Nick Swanson

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BOOKING TERMS

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LOCAL TOUR OPERATOR

GO TO MOUNT KENYA

inkayni

This tour is operated by Inkayni Peru Tours, 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!

We work with local guides to offer great value adventures at unbeatable prices