The breath-taking Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu combines remarkable cultural highlights and natural scenery, and is therefore the number one alternative to the Inca trail. This trekking experience has been designed to offer a challenge: feel the thrill of climbing up to high passes and descending to lush cloud forests, all while enjoying the diversity of ecosystems, flora and fauna, and amazing landscapes. The Salkantay mountain (6,264m/20,551ft) is considered as the most representative mountain of the Vilcabamba Range. With its high snow-capped mountains, lowland jungle and Inca sites such as that of Llactapata, this adventure offers a perfect balance of trekking, culture and nature.
With fewer people on the route, the Salkantay Trek is also an alternative that allows you to enjoy the natural beauty of the Andes in a more authentic and untouched way than on the Inca trail, while also ending in the marvelous archaeological site of Machu Picchu, filled with secrets of the past.
Salkantay Trek Overview:
- Duration: 5 days/4 nights.
- Starting point: Cusco/Mollepata.
- Ending point: Machu Picchu/Cusco.
- Physical Demand Rating: Moderate.
- Age Restriction: 12-years old and over.
- Tour Type: Trekking, Cultural, Adventure.
- Accommodations: Camping/Hotel.
- Service Level: Standard - Deluxe.
- Guarantee: Satisfaction and Safety.
- Style: Personalized.
- Carbon Emissions: 320 CO2-E.
- Group Size: 2 Minimum, 10 Maximum.
- Transport: Mini-Van, walk, Train.
- Price from: US $ - Contact us.
Salkantay Trek itinerary:
1st Day: Cusco - Mollepata - Salkantay Pass (Marcoccasa) - Soraypampa
Transport time: 3.5hrs.
Climate: moderate; cold during the night.
Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours.
After a hearty breakfast, we begin the challenging climb to the superb Salkantay Pass (4,600 m./15,092 ft.) which offers an exceptional view of the snow-capped Salkantay (6,264m). We then descend again taking our time to enjoy the increasing vegetation and changing ecosystem. Our campsite for the day will be in Challway, in the middle of the tropical forest.
Hiking time: 7 hours.
Transport time: 1.5hrs.
Optional: Visit to the hot springs near the Collpapampa community (can be arranged with an extra cost).
3rd Day: Challway – Wiñaypoco – La Playa Lucmabamba
The third day is dedicated to the region's splendid colorful flora and its exuberant plantations. After descending to a dimmed forest, enjoy the diversity of fragrant orchids, bromeliads and cultivations of aromatic coffee, cacao, bananas, coca and more. Take pleasure in meeting the lovely local families of Wiñaypoco (2,650m/8,694ft) & La Playa (2,100m /6,890ft). Our camping site will be in La Playa Lucmabamba, where we will learn how the local people harvest their crops such as coffee and cacao from a rural family, and have the opportunity ti witness the cultivation process of coffee.
Hiking time: 6 hours
Climate: warm during the day; a lot of insects.
4th Day: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes Town
We begin our walk early in the morning, leading us to the archaeological complex of Llactapata (2,650m /8,694 ft) located amidst an eclectic array of green vegetation. From here, we will have a dramatic view of the grand Machu Picchu mountain. Afterwards, we will continue our walk down to the hydroelectric station (1,950 m./ 6,398 ft.) to board our train to Aguas Calientes (2,050 m./ 6,726 ft.) where we will spend the night in a hotel.
Climate: warm with some insects.
Hiking time: 6 hours.
5th Day: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
After breakfast, we depart our hotel at 5:30AM to take the bus to Machu Picchu (2,400m/7,874ft) arriving at the citadel around 6:00AM. Enjoy the breathtaking sunrise over Machu Picchu without a large crowd of tourists, before a guided tour around the archaeological site, listening to the history and culture of the remarkable Incas while basking in the beauty and genius of their architecture. Later on, you will have time at your own leisure to further explore Machu Picchu & Wayna Picchu (2,750m/9,0ft) on your own. We will leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 2:55PM or at 6:10PM. Before your scheduled departure you will have time to eat lunch in one of the fine restaurants in Aguas Calientes and/or take a dip in the hot springs in town.
Hiking time: 02 hours.
Ask about Our Private service
Salkantay Group Departures
- Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to Mollepata (Marcoccasa).
- Transport from Lucmabamba to the Hydroelectric station (just for the equipment and everyone's bag).
- Tourist Train from the Hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes.
- Tourist Bus from Aguas Calientes town to Machu Picchu.
- Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco.
- Hostel with Private Room and Bathroom in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu, Continental, backpacker's or similar).
- Entrance fee to the National Park of Salkantay and Machu Picchu.
- Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English).
- High-quality camping equipment (Professional tent, Doite Cima 4, for 2 persons) Mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent).
- Meals during the excursion (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and tea time/Optional vegetarian at no cost).
- Cook and assistant.
- Horseman and mules for up to 7 kg. of a customer's personal equipment.
- Emergency horse.
- First-aid kit and Oxygen bottle.
- Breakfast on the first day and lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes.
- Tourist Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes (after the guided walk of the ruins, you can discover more about this citadel on your own; the way back to Aguas Calientes can then be hiked, or you can take a bus at an extra cost of $12.00 per person).
- Sleeping bag (if you don't have a sleeping bag, there is the possibility of renting/buying a good quality one – -10° for $6.00 per day).
What do I need to bring ?
- Backpack with rain cover.
- Sleeping bag.
- Clothing for warm and cold climate and a waterproof jacket.
- Rain pants and lightweight pants.
- Trekking shoes.
- Slippers or sandals (for showers and Hot Springs).
- Woollen or synthetic socks and a sweater.
- Long- and short-sleeved polo's/T-Shirts.
- Rain poncho and a hat.
- Bathing suit (for the Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes).
- Sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and gel, water bottle and sterilizing tablets, toiletries and toilet paper.
- Camera (wrapped in plastic bag).
- Flash light and extra batteries.
- Some snacks like chocolate bars and dried fruits.
- Original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money in Soles.
Note: Since the weather can be very cold and moist, your clothes (once wet) will not dry at night. We strongly recommend you take clothes to change.
Notes for Salkantay trek:
- From the first to the third day (from Marcoccasa to La Playa), we are accompanied by horsemen and mules carrying all camping equipment and the customer's private luggage (up to 7 kg). On the fourth day, all luggage will be transferred to the hydroelectric plant station by car.
- Visit to Huayna Picchu: the visit the Huayna Picchu mountain, needs to be booked a long time in advance, and is at an additional charge of US $ 15.00.
- Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcomed. The porters are also very grateful for small donations such as clothes or school supplies for their children.
Conditions & Terms:
- We require an immediate deposit of US $ 150 for all bookings.
- For all tours and treks the balance can be paid up to 48 hours prior to the start of the program. In case of payment of the balance in the office of Qeros Tours Peru, we only accept cash payment. Failure to pay the trek balance will result in tour cancellation.
- If a participant decides to cancel during the briefing, 2 days prior to departure, he or she has to pay the full amount of the trek. Qeros Tours Peru however, will cover the expenses (hotel and train ticket) made by that participant to visit Machu Picchu. This offer must be confirmed at the briefing itself.
- The Client may cancel the Package booking at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to:
- Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below calculated from the day written notification is received by:
Period before departure written notification is received.
- The Salkantay Trek is non-transferable, non-reimbursable and the participant cannot change the date of departure.
- If during the length of the program the traveller abandons the excursion as a decision made by him- or herself, no reimbursement will be made and no claim will be accepted. Qeros Tours does not cover the expenses made by the traveler for a hotel and the transport back to Cusco or to Aguas Calientes, as well as a hotel in Aguas Calientes. Also, the traveller will be accompanied by a co-worker of Qeros Tours on.
- Certain services might be interrupted or even cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disasters or other disturbances. These are out of the control of hotels, Service suppliers, Qeros Tours or its partners and therefore, no refund will be given.
- For the student discount of 5% we require a copy of a valid ISIC student card. In the event that we don't receive the scanned copy of the card along with your reservation form, we will process your reservation with adult price.
- If Qeros Tours doesn't confirm the reservation, the deposit will be refunded.
- In case of force majeure, when a trek cannot start or be completed, Qeros Tours will find an alternative to go to Machu Picchu. If this alternative is of lower value than the originally booked excursion, Qeros Tours will refund the difference.
- It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. This insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage or injury occurring to the client. Qeros Tours cannot be considered responsible for any accident or loss of personal belongings the customer caused by his/her acts.
Qeros Tours Team is promoting environmental conservation on the Inca Trail & other trails to Machu Picchu. We operate with a minimal-impact policy on our Peru trips, that include different cooking methods, packing out the group's waste & taking less invasive routes. On all of our Inca Trail trips 100% of the groups' waste is removed, on many other trips all non-biodegradable waste is removed and we never build fires at our campsites. Also, all of our guides will talk about local environmental conservation and some of the challenges facing Peruvian ecosystems. All the guides work to minimize the group's impact on the environment. Our camp staff porters, cooks & mule wranglers are accordingly paid and receive all accommodations, transport & food. Regular training courses about cultural & environment conservation are held for all the staff.