Trekking Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days

TREKKING SALKANTAY TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 5 DAYS 

Trekking Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days is a mind-blowing experience. You’ll be awestruck by the massive snow-capped peak of Salkantay at 6270m/20,570ft, the second tallest peak in Cusco. In total contrast to the highland plains, you’ll also experience tropical valleys and the rich vegetation of the cloud forest as your trek continues. The Salkantay trek ends with your visit to Machu Picchu, one of the 7 New Wonders of the World.

The Salkantay Trek is very famous in the region Cusco and attracts thousands of travelers every year. You do not need permits or bookings in advance for this trek, another reason why it’s so popular. The Salkantay Trail offers a challenging experience while your trekking team takes care of you, setting up tents and preparing nutritious, delicious meals to devour after a long day of hiking.

SALKANTAY TREK ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

DAY 1. – CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SORAYPAMPA
DAY 2. – SORAYPAMPA – HUAYRAQMACHAY – CHAULLAY
DAY 3. – CHAULLAY – LUCMABAMBA (HOT SPRINGS AT SANTA TERESA)
DAY 4. – LUCMABAMBA – HYDROELECTRIC – AGUAS CALIENTES
DAY 5. – AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

SALKANTAY TRAIL TOUR AND TICKET RESERVATIONS

The Salkantay Trek is a great alternative for those who don’t want to book the crowded Inca Trail many months in advance (especially for high season when permits sell out quickly). Not only is it easier to plan because you don’t need any official permits to book in advance, but also it’s more affordable, less touristy and has more varied landscapes than the classic Inca Trail. Salkantay Trail is a remote and scenic route located in the same region as the Classic Inca Trail and takes you through snowy mountains, villages, lakes, tropical valleys, mountains, jungle and more.

Enjoy from the highest point the snow Mountain of Salkantay also known as the savage peak of the Andes, an impressive peak at 20,572 feet (6,272 meters). On the fourth day of the trek, you come to the town of Aguas Calientes, a village surrounded by rocky mountains. This place also offers its hot thermal baths where you can rest your tired muscles.

Normally hikers spend the night in a hotel before taking an early morning bus to Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the highlight of the journey. After hiking the strenuous Salkantay Trek for four days, you’ll really feel like you deserve the right to be there. Keep in mind you’ll be trekking at high altitudes, so make sure to arrive in Cusco a few days early to acclimatize.

SALKANTAY TREK TIPS

If you are planning to experience the five-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, we highly recommend booking for the dry season, as the weather is very changeable in the Andes Mountains. This challenging trail requires a fair amount of physical fitness, particularly given the high elevation in the visited regions. Give yourself at least two days in Cusco to acclimatize, and if it doesn’t work take Diamox to prevent major symptoms or try some coca leaves for better results.

THE SALKANTAY TREK ESSENTIALS

For some travelers to Machu Picchu, trekking the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu is as epic as the Classic Inca Trail. The Salkantay Trail offer hikers spectacular and varied Andean landscapes, ranging from as high as 15157 ft. to 6560ft. in the low jungle. It normally takes five entire days to cover the distance between Cusco and Machu Picchu, with overnights at Soraypampa, Chaullay, Lucmacbamba campsites and the last night include a hostal in Aguas Calientes. There is another shorter version or four-day Salkantay Trek for more experienced hikers. To hike this epic trail, you need to join a group of trekkers led by a licensed tour guide unless you want to go on private tour. The Salkantay Trail does not require permits but bookings for high tourism seasons. Trekking the Salkantay Trail includes horses and mules to carry the company’s equipment and seven kilograms of your personal stuff, so there is no need to pay for extra porters.

BEST TIME TO HIKE THE SALKANTAY TRAIL

The dry season (April to October) brings the best weather and this is also considered the peak tourism season; if you plan to hike during this time, be sure to book some weeks in advance. The wet season starts in November with occasional rainfalls but January, February and March will receive heavy rainfalls and therefore almost impossible to enjoy the hike. Sometimes the weather goes wild, blocking the trail with landslides and rivers, which frustrates many hikers during the wet season.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

>The Salkantay Trail is the second most important trek in the Cusco region.
>The Salkantay Trail does not need any official permit but a small fee of 10 soles.
>A licensed tour guide is in charge to control your whole group.
>Four season clothing is highly recommended, and don’t forget proper hiking shoes.
>Bring a pair of walking sticks, even if you don’t think you’ll need them.
>Prior to your hike, give yourself a couple of days in Cusco to get used to the altitude.
>The Salkantay Trek takes hikers to visit the beautiful Humantay lake.
>The highest mountain pass is at 15,153 ft. and comes in the second of the trek.

OTHER ALTERNATIVE TREKS TO MACHU PICCHU

Because the limited permits released for the famous Inca Trail Trek, adventure travelers are considering alternative treks to Machu Picchu. These include the Inca Jungle Trail Tour 4 days, Huchuy Qosqo trek 3 days, and Lares Valley Trek 4 days.They all end up at the world famous and lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. If you missed out the Inca Trail no problem, you can still have the adventure of a lifetime with the treks we mentioned above.

SHORT OF TIME TO HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU

For travelers who don’t have too many days to hike, or for those who don’t feel fit enough to hike the Salkantay trek for 5 days, we have a great option called Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, which takes 2 days and 1 night only. This short hike includes many Inca ruins such as the amazing Sungate and the main destination- Machu Picchu. Review our day by day Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and let us know if you want to experience this hike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SALKANTAY TREK ITINERARY

DAY 1. – CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SORAYPAMPA

The Salkantay Trek Tour 5 days will start with a pick up from your hotel at 5:00 am and travel to Mollepata. You’ll see lovely landscapes such as the beautiful plains of Anta and the Limatambo valley. If the weather is clear, you’ll see panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay and other peaks. After a 2.5-hour bus ride, we’ll stop in Mollepata to eat breakfast, buy last minute supplies, and stretch our legs. We’ll continue to Challakancha, the trailhead. You’ll meet your horseman who will load up the horses and mules.

At about 9:30 am, you’ll start your trek towards Soraypampa (3900m, 12,792ft) at a gentle pace, all the time enjoying stunning views. After about 3 hours, we’ll arrive at the Soraypampa campsite where we’ll have lunch. In the afternoon, you can take a nap or hike up to Lake Humantay (4 150m, 13,612ft), about 2-hour round trip. In the evening, you’ll have hot drinks followed by a delicious dinner.

Distance: 15 km (about 9,3 miles)
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Tent (2 people per tent)

DAY 2. – SORAYPAMPA – HUAYRAQMACHAY – CHAULLAY

Today is the toughest day of the entire trek, as we will be hiking over the highest pass between Salkantay and Humantay (4 625m/15,170ft). The day begins with a hearty breakfast at 7:00 am, and you’ll ascend about 6km (about 4 miles).

Trekking the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu involves Andean landscapes with craggy mountains and snowy peaks. The views at the top of the pass are quite dramatic; it’s a good time to take pictures and celebrate! You’ll descend into the valley for the next two hours, arriving at Huayracmachay around 1:00 pm to have lunch. We continue another 3 hours to Chaullay (2800m, almost 9,184ft), passing gentle streams and sub-tropical forests. We’ll arrive at our campsite for dinner and to spend the night.

Distance: 18 km (11 miles)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Tent (2 people per tent)

DAY 3. – CHAULLAY – LUCMABAMBA (OPTIONAL HOT SPRINGS )

The Salkantay Trek starts at 7:00 am again heading towards La Playa. We’ll hike along the left bank of the Lluycamayu River for about 5 hours. You’ll see brooks, waterfalls, exquisite orchids, lush ferns, and mossy trees in addition to coffee, banana, and avocado plantations. With luck, we’ll see the Cock of the Rock, Peru’s national bird, and an endangered species. We’ll arrive at La Playa farming community for lunch.

After lunch, we’ll hike a short time to arrive at our third camping spot at Lucmabamba. We’ll camp close to local families, surrounded by tropical crops. You can decide to unwind and soothe your sore muscles at Santa Teresa´s nearby natural hot springs and warm swimming pool. If you decide to go to the hot springs, please ask your guide to arrange transportation. After enjoying a nap or the thermal baths, you’ll be driven back to the campsite for teatime and dinner.

Distance: 15 km (9,3 miles)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping (2 people per tent)

DAY 4. – LUCMABAMBA – HYDROELECTRIC – AGUAS CALIENTES

Today, you’ll have a very early breakfast so we can hike in the shade because the sun will get blazing hot later. At around 7:30 am, we begin our trek on an original Inca trail. We’ll ascend for about 3 hours, seeing coffee, banana and passion fruit plantations and a lovely view of the Santa Teresa Valley. We’ll arrive at Llaqtapata (2700m, 8,856ft) to have some free time to rest and enjoy the distant view of Machu Picchu.

After the break, we’ll descend for about 2 hours to the Hydroelectric Plant (2 000m, 6,560ft) which supplies power to Cusco. At around 16:30 pm, you and your guide will take a 45-minute train to Aguas Calientes, the base village for Machu Picchu where dinner, a hot shower, and a comfy bed await. You can also try out the natural thermal waters in Aguas Calientes if you like (entrance fee 10 soles).

Distance: 20 km (about 12,4 miles)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Aguas Calientes.

DAY 5. – AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

Today you’ll finally visit Machu Picchu! To maximize the experience, we’ll have a very early breakfast to catch one of the first buses up to the citadel. Your hotel will store your backpacks until you return from your tour. The bus takes about 30 minutes to arrive at the monument. Your guide will immediately take you to a beautiful spot to watch the sunrise and take pictures. You’ll have about a 2-hour guided tour where you’ll visit the most important parts of the monument and learn about Inca culture and history.

At the end of the tour, you’ll have free time to explore on your own, or with advance reservations, you can climb Huayna Picchu. You should head back to the bus around 4:00 pm to catch your 6:20 pm train to Ollantaytambo. The time of your train departure depends on availability at the time of booking. The train trip to Ollantaytambo takes about 2 hours. Transportation will meet you at the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco.

Please Note: All itineraries are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control such as extreme weather, road blocks, landslide, trail conditions, bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

SALKANTAY TREK INCLUDES

  • Pre-departure briefing.
  • Private transportation from your hotel to Challakancha trailhead.
  • Tents: 2 people in a 4-person-capacity tent so you’re more comfortable and your backpacks fit completely inside the tent.
  • One inflatable sleeping pad per person.
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs.
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide.
  • Chef and cooking equipment.
  • Pack animals to carry personal gear up to (maximum of 8kg per person including sleeping bag and pad) for Days 1 to 3.
  •  One night hotel in Aguas Calientes.
  • Meals (4B, 4L, 4D + daily morning snack + daily tea service except for last day).
  • Vegetarian or special menus are available upon request at no extra cost.
  • Bio-degradable personal hand soaps.
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Train ticket from the hydroelectric power plant to Aguas Calientes (Day 4).
  • Machu Picchu entrance fee.
  • One-way bus ticket Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu (Day 5)
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo /Cusco (Expedition class service)
  • Transportation from the train station to your hotel in Cusco.

SALKANTAY TREK DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Sleeping bag
  • First breakfast & last lunch.
  • Emergency horse.
  • Bus tickets (Machu Picchu-Aguas Calientes).
  • Snacks, drinks.
  • Tipping your trekking team is customary (depends on service).

WHAT TO BRING

  • Original passport and original International Student Identity Card (if applicable).
  • A backpack with clothes for the 5 days of the trek.
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants) or rain poncho.
  • Waterproof trekking boots recommended.
  • Sandals or jogging shoes to relax at camp.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, and gloves.
  • Thermal underwear recommended, especially for sleeping.
  • Flashlight/headlamp and extra batteries.
  • Camera and extra batteries (batteries are consumed more quickly under cold conditions).
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain, and cold.
  • Sun block minimum SPF 30 (it’s easy to burn at high elevations).
  • Insect repellent (minimum recommended 20% Deet).
  • Roll of toilet paper. Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • Water bottle and purification system/tablets.
  • Small towel and wet wipes.
  • Swimsuit to go to the hot springs in Santa Teresa and/or Aguas Calientes.
  • Cash in soles and/or $USD.
  • Walking poles (can also be rented from us).

PRIVATE SALKANTAY TREK PRICE: $550 USD PER PERSON

This service is perfect for friends, couples, and small families because you select your arrival and departure dates, group size and most importantly, you set the pace to maximize your experience. This tour price is based on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 05 hikers.

SHARED SALKANTAY TREK PRICE $420 USD PER PERSON

You’ll be sharing this unique experience with other travelers coming from different parts of the world, and have a great opportunity to make new friends and interact during this trip (This tour is based on 12 people max.)

METHODS OF PAYMENT

We require a deposit of 50% to confirm your reservation.

WESTERN UNION

There are additional fees associated with this method of payment, which will be paid by the client.

Receiver’s Name: DAVID
Receiver’s Surname: GUZMAN FLORES
Receiver’s Address: CALLE NUEVA N° 462
Receiver’s City: CUSCO
Receiver’s Country: PERU
Receiver’s ID: 42567695

After sending payment, please send us an e-mail with the following information: Transaction numbers: Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN, a ten-digit number).

PAYPAL ONLINE

If you’d like to pay via PayPal or a direct bank deposit, please note that a 10% fee applies. Please add this amount to the tour cost to cover the transaction costs.

Our PayPal email address is: mapitourperu@hotmail.com

* Scanned passports for each traveler. We cannot make reservations or book tickets until we have scanned copies of all passport(s).
* Start date for your trip.
* Indicate the name of your hotel in Cusco.

DISCOUNTS

* Teenagers under 18 years old get a discount of US$ 20.00 passport copy required for all bookings.
* Children under 8 years old enter free to Machu Picchu (passport copy required for booking).

RENTALS & ADDITIONAL FEES

* Sleeping Bag $25 USD.
* A pair of walking poles $20 USD
* Personal tent (2-person) $35 USD.
* Additional horse ($80 USD)

HUAYNA PICCHU OR MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN ASCENTS

The Huaynapicchu peak ascent is limited to only 400 people per day, with one group of 200 at 7:00 am and the second group at 10:00 am. We recommend booking Huaynapicchu entrance tickets 3-4 months in advance. Once tickets are sold out, there is no chance to get them! Instead, you’ll have the option to climb Machu Picchu Mountain for the same cost. The ticket price to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain is $25.00 USD per person, in addition to the tour price.

trekking salkantay trail to machu picchu 5 days