5-day Salkantay Trek with Humantay Lake

Duration: 5 days
Trails: T3 trails
Distance: 15 - 20 km per day
Ascent per day: 500 - 1000 m ascent per day

> Get to see the breathtaking Humantay Lake
> Spend a night camping at Llactapata, with privileged views of Machu Picchu
> Enjoy delicious meals prepared by local cooks

Probably the most popular alternative trek. This is a bit more difficult than the Inca Trail, as the days are longer and there is more hiking. You will experience many different micro-climates as your scenery changes drastically, each day. This includes our best campsite on the third night, overlooking Machu Picchu.

Even though alternative treks are growing in popularity, it is still likely that you will hike through the Andes with only your group. The roads are not crowded with tourists, and you are visiting places that can only be reached by foot.

Also, for those interested in nature, these treks are often more beautiful. Each one offers something special, like heading to Salkantay Pass by the glaciers, or to local villages with the Lares Trek.



Transfer to the Cabañas de Cristal

You will start this Classic Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu on the afternoon of Day 1. We will pick you up at 3 p.m. from your hotel, where you will meet your Alpaca trekking team. From here, we will head in our private van for a 3.5-hour drive to the Cabañas de Cristal in Soraypampa, located at 3,800 m.a.s.l. We will arrive just on time to take photographs of the sunset over the glacier peaks. At the Cabañas de Cristal, your guide will settle you in your rooms before enjoying your dinner, along with some hot drinks. Your night will also have many stars in the night sky.

Cabañas de Cristal

Cabañas de Cristal

Cabañas de Cristal - Humantay Lagoon - Salkantay Pass - Wayracmachay

Duration: 06:00 h
Distance: 14 km
Ascent: 1050 m
Descent: 1050 m
Lowest Point: 3800 m
Highest Point: 4650 m
After a good night’s rest, you will have early wake up to enjoy your breakfast before your trek. During this morning, there will be a short team introduction between all trekkers and the Alpaca Staff to ensure a positive, family-like experience. Following the introduction, you will give your duffel bag to the muleteers for carrying. The day´s hike will begin by visiting Humantay Lagoon. You will hike approximately 1.5 hours along a steady uphill. Once at the lagoon, you will enjoy the serene views of the crystalline-blue water of Humantay Lagoon. If the skies are clear, you will see the first sun rays peeking through the snow-covered peaks. If you are brave, you will also have the chance to touch the almost-frozen water so that you may stay young forever! The advantage of visiting Humantay Lagoon in the early morning hours is the quiet surroundings with no other trekkers besides those in your group. Due to the popularity of this location, this is not something everyone can enjoy! After breathing in the beauty of such a magical place, you will begin making your way back down to the starting point to continue with your hike to the lunch spot in Soyroccocha on gradually ascending terrain. On your way, you will pass places such as Salkantay Pampa and will enjoy the outstanding views of the surrounding peaks and snow-covered mountains. After lunch and well-deserved rest, you will continue with your hike for about 1 hour more until Salkantay Pass at 4,650 m.a.s.l.- the highest point of the trek. You will be rewarded once here with hot drinks before continuing! From Salkantay Pass, it will be mainly hiking downhill to our last campsite for the day, Wayracmachay. Upon arrival at the campsite, the trekking staff will have your tents set up and with your duffel bags ready. They will provide you with warm water to get washed up, so that you may change into something warm. We will have a happy hour with hot chocolate and coffee, followed by dinner. If the weather allows, you will get to enjoy the blue sky, along with a brief introduction to the visible Inca constellations.

Wayracmachay campsite

Wayracmachay campsite

Wayracmachay – Chaullay – Ccollpapampa Loreta (Hobbit House)

Duration: 06:12 h
Distance: 20.3 km
Ascent: 70 m
Descent: 1770 m
Lowest Point: 2200 m
Highest Point: 3900 m
Your trekking team will wake you up early with a hot drink to help you start the day. Hopefully, as you open your tent, you will see the sunrise over glacier peaks and clouds, lifting from the green cloud forest. You will have time to pack up and enjoy a nice breakfast prepared by your trekking chef. At around 7 a.m., you will begin the day's hike by hiking downhill until reaching the lunch spot at Ccollpapampa (2,700 m.a.s.l.). In this hike, you will begin to notice the micro-climate and fauna & flora changes. You will go from cold glacier views to warmer green jungle surroundings. There will be many different species of orchids to see, as well as ferns, begonia flowers, and Hummingbirds. After lunch and well-deserved rest, you will continue with your trek to the next private campsite called La Loreta at 2400 m.a.s.l. on gradually downhill terrain. Along the way, you will explore beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and again, flora and fauna. Here you will have another tropical forest micro-climate, where local people farm coffee, passion fruit, papayas, oranges, and avocados. Upon arrival at the campsite, your trekking staff will welcome you. You will have time to enjoy a free hot shower, hot Jacuzzi, and perhaps even swim in our swimming pool. There will also be time to walk around our ecological garden to see some of our coffee, avocado, chilies, tomatoes, and pineapples. Dinner tonight will be at our building with views to the Salkantay River, which you will hear below as you fall asleep at night.

Hobbit House

Hobbit House
See entire itinerary


  • Guides

    A well-trained English-speaking guide is included in the price. The guides all grew up in the Cusco region and are committed to sharing their history and culture with visitors. The guides are friendly and professional and will make sure you don't miss anything.

  • Satellite phones

    Guides are equipped with satellite phones and can organise anything on the fly.

  • Taxes and fees

    All tourist taxes and permit fees applicable are included in the listed price.

  • First aid

    Your guide has received training in first aid from a physician. Mandatory training sessions are conducted every year. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. You will be escorted off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible, if needed, and taken to a clinic for treatment.

  • Food and water

    Food and water are included and will be provided as per the itinerary. Water is boiled, filtered, and then cooled before distributing. You must bring your water bottles and or camelback. We recommend carrying about 3L worth per day. You will be able to restock your water supplies at each meal.

  • Getting to and from

    Getting to and from the start/end point of this trekking is included, as per the itinerary.

  • Gear

    All (camping) equipment will be provided, built up, and taken down again. This is included in your trekking package. Please note that a sleeping bag and air mattress are not included but are available for rent.

  • Duffel

    You will receive your duffel bag that will stay with your porters while you hike. This bag should not exceed 7kg/14 lbs and does need to include your sleeping bag and air mattress.

  • Porters

    A personal porter will carry most of your belongings using a duffel bag. There is no additional fee for this. You will have access to your duffel bag in the mornings and evenings.

  • Trekking Briefing

    The night before your trek, you will come to the local office for a briefing. The entire itinerary will be explained and the final logistics for the Salkantay Trek will be taken care of.

  • Permits

    Permits for both your Salkantay Trek trek and for the entry to Machu Picchu are included and will be taken care of.


  • Accommodation in Cusco including breakfast

    Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

  • Rentals

    Every trekker needs a sleeping bag when camping. Inflatable air mattresses and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional but encouraged. If you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent: Sleeping Bag: USD 20, Inflatable Air Mattress: USD 15, Trekking Poles (Pair): USD 15.

  • Huayna Picchu

    Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45-minute hike to the top. Going back down is quite steep if you are scared of heights. You would do this after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is USD 75. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance due to popularity. Please understand that the weather is out of our control.

  • Travel Insurance Including Repatriation

    Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Peru.

  • Tipping

    Tips for guides, cook and porters are not included. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous.


  • How Hard Is The Salkantay Trail?

  • When Should I Do The Salkantay Trekking?

  • How High is The Salkantay Pass by Salkantay Mountain?

How to Book

  • Booking

  • Availability

  • Cancellation policy


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Contact our Trekking Expert
Sierd van der Bij
Sierd van der Bij
This trek is operated by
Alpaca Expeditions


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