Classic Salkantay Trek
TreXperience - 4 days
- Classic Salkantay Trek
- 4 days / 3 nights
- Max. group: 10 Persons
- Difficulty: Easy
> Classic itinerary of a classic route
> Includes Macchu Picchu
> The most beatiful trek of Peru
The Salkantay Trek is the second most popular route to Machu Picchu – after the Inca Trail – and its not difficult to see why. This is the Classic Itinerary of a Peruvian Classic. This route is one of the most varied and most beautiful. We make our way through breathtaking snowcapped mountains and picturesque valleys, passed beautiful lakes and waterfalls. We have created the Ultimate Salkantay trek to give you more time to enjoy these amazing places. The Salcantay Mountain is one of the most beautiful in Peru and is considered sacred by local villagers. We take five unforgettable days to hike alongside the majestic mountains, taking time to enjoy each magical location and feel the energy through meditation, yoga and exercise. As a final treat we will join the Inca Trail for a short section before arriving to Machu Picchu via the stunning Llaqtapata.
What’s the plan?
Day 1: CUSCO – SORAYPAMPA – HUMANTAY LAKE – SALKANTAYPAMPA
We will pick you up from your hotel between 4:30 am (depending on your location) and drive you to Soraypampa (3900 m) – arriving approximately at 8:30 am. After a delicious breakfast, we will start your Salkantay TreXperience! It’s a 2-hour walk up to Humantay Lake (4200 m / 13780 ft) after enjoying the beautiful views of this spectacular turquoise water lake, we will continue to our lunch place where the chef will be waiting to serve your lunch using organic products from the area. Along the way, you will see a variety of flora and fauna such as the Andean goose (the love birds), deer and vizcachas (which look a lot like a rabbit). After lunch, we will continue climbing for two more hours to reach Salkantay Pampa (4100 m/13450 ft). Once at the campsite we will have the tents ready, have tea time, dinner, and afterward, we can stargaze before going to sleep.
- Campsite Altitude: 3.900 m -/12467 ft
- Highest altitude: 4,650 m / 15255 ft
- Distance: 12 km / 9.32 miles
- Duration: 8 hours
- Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea & dinner
- Accommodation: Camping
- Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Day 2: SALKANTAYPAMPA – WAYRAJPUNKU – COLLPAPAMPA
We will wake you up bright and early with a hot cup of coffee or coca tea. When exiting your tent, a beautiful scenery consisting of huge plains and snow-capped mountain peaks is waiting for you. We will enjoy the breathtaking views of the highest mountains in Peru. After breakfast, we will start ascending to the highest point of our trek, the Salkantay pass (4630 m /15190 ft), at the summit we will take the time to explore the amazing landscapes including a beautiful lake at the base of this majestic mountain. From the top, it will be another 3 hour downhill hike to the lunch place at Wayracmachay (3800 m/ 12467 ft). After lunch, we will start descending from the highlands into the cloud forest, experiencing one of the fastest changes in temperature and weather. Along the way, we will see an abundance of different types of flowers, hummingbirds, and orchids until we arrive at Colpapampa located at 2770 meters. This night we will stay next to a small village.
- Campsite Altitude: 2,400 m/ 7874 ft
- Highest altitude: 3.800 m/ 12467 ft
- Distance: 24 km/ 14.91 miles
- Duration: 9 hours
- Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea & dinner
- Accommodation: Camping
- Difficulty: Moderate
Day 3: COLLPAPAMPA – LLACTAPATA – HYDROELECTRIC – AGUAS CALIENTES
Day 3 is arguably the most beautiful of your Salkantay TreXperience! After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we will drive for about 1 hour to Lucmabamba (2000 m / 6600 ft) where we will join an original Inca trail, built in the 15th century. We will walk along part of the ancient, lost Inca trail that was only rediscovered a few years ago. We will hike uphill for approximately 3 hours until we reach Llaqtapata; another extraordinary Inca ruins located right in front of Machu Picchu. Here we will take some time to explore and enjoy the beauty of the site as you learn more about the Inca history. It is then a relatively easy 2 hour downhill trek to our lunch spot. After lunch, you will take the train or hike (optional) to Aguas Calientes, arriving at around 5 pm. Here we will have dinner at a local restaurant and spend the night in a hotel.
- Campsite Altitude: 2,000 m / 6560 ft
- Highest altitude: 2600 m / 8528 ft
- Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles
- Duration: 9 hours
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Accommodation: Hotel
- Difficulty: Moderate
Day 4: MACHUPICCHU (LOST CITY OF THE INCAS)
On our final day, we have to get up very early to prepare for the highlight of your TreXperience; visiting Machu Picchu – the Lost City of the Incas. We will go straight to the line to wait for the first bus going up to Machu Picchu at 5:30 am. Arriving at the sky brightens, we will walk up with incredible views of the city along the way. On a clear day, you can watch the spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu. This is truly an unforgettable sight. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore on your own or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets must be booked as far in advance as possible). Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and then take the train and bus back to Cusco. The TreXperience Team will meet you off the train and return you safely to your hotel.
- Highest altitude: 2700m / 8858ft
- Distance: 6km / 3 miles
- Duration: 2 – 3 hours
- Meals: Breakfast (hotel)
- Difficulty: Easy
√ Pre-departure briefing
TreXperience welcome you to our Cusco offices on the evening prior to your trek for a pre-departure briefing for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The briefings take place at approximately 6:00pm. TreXperience understand that many hikers may be nervous or inexperienced and so the briefing is an opportunity to meet your guide(s) who will talk you through what to expect over the coming days. Our trekking guides are very approachable and experienced so feel free to use this opportunity to ask them any questions you may have.
All admission permits to the Salkantay trek, the hot springs & Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex are included. In order to obtain all relevant permits for your hike we will require a photocopy of your passport. We kindly request you share this with the team as soon as you book your trek.
TreXperience offer a door to door service in the Salkantay Trail tour; we will pick up from your hotel on the morning of the trek and drop off back at your hotel on the last day. All required transportation throughout the trek is included, as well as the train back from Machu Picchu Pueblo. The bus down to Aguas Calientes from Machu Picchu and the train ride on a Panoramic Exclusive train on the last day to come back to Cusco are included. In addition TreXperience offer a complementary transfer service to and from the airport and your hotel.
√ Experienced tour guides
The TreXperience Inca Trail team are fluent English speakers and are extremely experienced professional tour guides from the local area. We provide a single guide for groups smaller than 8 people and a second guide for groups with 8 people or more. We very much enjoy sharing our extensive knowledge of local history and culture with you along the trek. All guides are proficiently trained in high mountain rescue, as well as yoga and meditation. We are committed to ensuring all clients have the best possible Trexperience!
√ Camping equipment
TreXperience provide the best possible equipment in the Salkantay Trail to all clients, as well as staff, to maximise your experience. These include; Eureka tents (4 man tents are provided for every 2 people), and more.
√ 3-star Hotel in Aguas Calientes
On the night before your Machu Picchu visit, you will sleep in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes. Your trekking company will take care of all the arrangements.
√ Porters and Horsemen
Our porters in the Salkantay carry all food and equipment. You will find your tents and the campsite prepared for you on arrival so all you need to do is worry about enjoying the hike! Horses and horsemen will carry all belongings that you don’t need in your daypack up to a maximum weight of 7 kg.
√ Duffle Bag
We will provide a duffle bag to carry up to 7 kilos for your personal stuff. This bag will be carried by horses during the trek.
TreXperience are proud of their highly talented trekking chefs who never fail to cook up a delightful feast despite being in the middle of the Andean Mountains! We guarantee the biggest foodies among you wont fail to be impressed. All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are provided each day (except lunch on the final day) and the food is both delicious and plentiful. In the Inca Traill we cater for all dietary requirements so please let us know of your needs. We will keep those energy levels high with snacks each day and we make sure you have a tea / coffee every morning to wake up and every afternoon to unwind.
All drinkable water along the trek – from your first lunch to your last breakfast – will be provided (you need to supply your own water bottles / camel back and we recommend carrying at least 2L). The water is boiled, filtered and cooled before it is distributed.
√ Medical kit
All trekking guides have received training in first aid and high mountain rescue. In the event a guest requires medical attention while on the trek our staff will be able to assist you. A medical kit is kept with the team at all times. In extremely rare case of a serious medical emergency you will be evacuated to the nearest medical centre.
We are committed to ensuring your Inca Trail trip is as comfortable as possible. We therefore provide hand towels, pillows, hand sanitizer, hot water for washing, drinkable water, snacks, daypack covers and rain ponchos. All these additional comforts are included in the price of your trek.
√ Satellite phones
To ensure your safety and in case of an emergency we are the first trekking company to introducing satellite phone technology. This is because during the Inca Trail we will be hiking in the mountain with no cellphone service.
√ Taxes and fees
All taxes and permit fees associated with the Inca Trail are included in the listed price.
√ Coffee Farm and Hotsrpings
We will visit an organic coffee farm and the hot springs of Cocalmayo during our trek.
× Accommodation in Cusco including breakfast
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.
× Sleeping bag
You can rent a quality sleeping bag for $20 dollars.
× Inflattable air mattress
You can rent an inflattable air mattress for $15 dollars.
× Trekking poles
You can rent trekking poles for $15 dollars per pair.
× 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.
Tips for guides and porters are exclusive. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous.
×Lunch on last day
Lunch on the last day is excluded.
During you trek, you will stay in tents at campsites along the route. Two people will always share a spacious 4 people dome igloo tent with plenty of space for backpacks. Also, a foam mattress is taken care off. You have to take your own sleeping bag or you can rent one for $25 from your trekking company. At the campsite, you can always find a chemical toilet, kitchen equipment, dining tent, and a kitchen.
Hotel in Aguas Calientes
On the third night you will spend the nigh in a 3-star hotel In Aguas Calientes
Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks. In addition, the routes are ideally designed to give you enough time to acclimatize.
Altitude Mountain Sickness
If you’re keen on Machu Picchu, you’re obviously headed to Cusco. Once you’re in the city, particularly if you’ve flown in, you’re likely to find yourself huffing and puffing just scaling the stairs to your accommodation. For this reason, it’s recommended you give yourself time to acclimatize to the thin air before setting off up the mountain. If you want to know everything about AMS while trekking in Peru, please read our extensive blog post. For now, keep the basics in mind. Make sure you are hydrated properly, avoid alcohol before your trek, and if you are a smoker, you better at least quit for a few days, or else you are going to have a lot of trouble making it through.
Trekking in the rainy season
The wet (rainy) season lasts from November to April. The mountainous terrain around Cusco means the area is prone to flooding and landslides after torrential rain. It’s always better to go in the dry season. You can’t? At least you won’t be fighting the crowds. Please be prepared and read everything about this season in our blog post.
- Valid, original Passport (a copy will not be accepted)
- Valid, Student Card (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given to you on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Trekking boots (light, comfortable and broken in)
- A good quality daypack (light, small and comfortable)
- Water storage for at least 2 liters; either a camel bag or water bottle(s)
For your daypacks
Below is a list of items that we highly recommend you keep with you at all times in your personal backpack. Remember you will be carrying this with you everyday of the trek so we recommend you bring a good quality daypack which is both light and comfortable. It is important to note that due to local regulations, your backpack should not exceed 25L. All larger backpacks can not be taken into Machu Picchu and will need to be stored outside the gates.
- Hat and sunglasses
- Rain gear
- Warm layers (fleece / long sleeved tops)
- Sun cream, bug spray
- Hand sanitiser
- Toilet paper
- Personal medication
- Band aids, moleskin
- Camera, extra batteries
- Head torch
- Extra snacks, power bars, chocolate
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips (small change is useful for paying to use the villagers’ toilets on the first day)
Additional items for your duffel bag
During the trek will provide you with a duffel bag in which you can pack any items that you won’t need to keep with you during the day. Our porters will carry this bag for you throughout the trek. Please note this bag should weigh a maximum of 7 kg including the weight of your sleeping bag and air mattress (if you bring / rent one). When rented from us these two items weigh approximately 3 kg. During the Inca Trek you will travel through different temperatures as you climb / descend, it can also be cold at night when at the campsite. Therefore layers work best!
- Sleeping bag for Inca trail (can be rented from us)
- Air mattress for Inca trail (can be rented from us)
- Some light, comfortable shoes for the camp
- Warm jacket, hat and gloves for Inca trail
- 2-3 t-shirts (wicking t-shirts are best)
- 1-2 hiking pants / trousers
- 4 sets of undergarments
- 4 sets of hiking socks
- 1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket for the coldest nights
- Quick dry towel
- Toothbrush and paste
- Face moisturizer
- Power pack / battery charger
- Plastic bags to keep wet or muddy clothes separate
We are a team of dedicated professionals who love Peru and are passionate about sharing our country’s nature, history and culture. Our experts bring a wealth of experience from their many years of working in the Peruvian tourism industry. It is this experience that enables us to create itineraries that are both authentic and unique. We listen carefully to the feedback and desires of each and every visitor and are committed to continuously improving our service. Our personal approach and pioneering ideas has resulted in some of the most innovating tours in Peru.
Why book with TreXperience
- Travel with an authentic Local Tour Operator from Cusco city
- We offer complimentary airport pick up and drop off
- We offer a real camping experience with tents and hot showers
- Support and visit Social Project that helps the education of local children
- Fare wages & proper treatment to porters and staff in the Inca Trail
- Arrive at the archeological sites at exclusive hours
- Come back to Cusco on the last days in the exclusive Panoramic trains
Machu Picchu Tickets
To conserve the Machu Picchu site, the Peruvian government has limited the access and gives out a limited amount of tickets. There are different sorts of tickets and availability.
Machu Picchu Only
This type of ticket allows you to visit the citadel of Machu Picchu which has as main attractions: Intiwatana Temple of the Three Windows, Sun Temple, Temple of the Condor, Main Plaza, Agricultural Zone. The maximum capacity to enter to Machu Picchu is 2500 people per day.
Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Mountain
Huayna Picchu is part of a set of related with the Salkantay, mountains known as the Central Cordillera of the Andes. Huayna Picchu, “Young Mountain“, is located opposite the mountain of Machu Picchu “Old Mountain” and has a height of 2,693 meters. It can be accessed by following a steep and narrow path with steps carved into rock; It covers an elevation of approximately 360 meters. The tour on this mountain has an approximate duration of 3 hours, in what it concerns to rise and to go down, it is an extraordinary adventure. The maximum capacity to go up to Huayna Picchu group is 200 people per day.
Machu Picchu + Old Mountain
Machu Picchu Mountain is located 3,082 meters. In it, is seated the Inca city of Machu Picchu, and every day more people decide to venture to it, possibly by the energy emanating earth, considered sacred to the Inca civilization. Its summit was used by Inca priests to perform rituals on special dates and it was the place of worship of the Apu Salkantay.
The ascent depends on the physical condition of the individual and can take anything between 2 and 3 hours.The maximum capacity to enter Machu Picchu Mountain is 800 people per day,
Your trekking company provides the bus tickets and the Machu Pichu only entrance tickets. If you wish to do climb the Huayna Picchu or the Old Mountain it will cost you $75 dollars extra. This needs to be reserved in time.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time to hike the Peruvian Andes is from April to October when the weather is relatively warm. In the months of June, July and August the nights are cold and a four season sleeping bag is recommended. The rainy season lasts from November to March, with February as the highlight. In this month the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. Rainy season or not, prepare for sun and rain. The mountains make the weather pattern unpredictable.
Dry season (April – October)
Day: 20’C – 25’C / 68’F – 77’F
Night: -1 – 7’C / 30’F – 45’F
Rainy season (November – March)
Day: 17’C – 22’C / 62’F – 71.6’F
Night: 4’C – 7’C / 39’F – 45’F
Trekking in Peru is possible with the endless help provided by porters and horses. They take care of carrying tents, cooking utensils, tables, chairs, gat bottles, food and other essential equipment you can imagine. Without porters, horses, and donkeys there is no trekking in Peru. Porters are well looked after by their trekking companies, but a
On the Inca Trail and other Peruvian trials, it is normal to tip porters, guides and chefs. Opinions on how much are divided. We advise you to bring along an amount of 60 to 120 Nuevo Sol for tips. That is equivalent to USD 25 to 50. This is often given by the group in a pot, towards the end of the trek.
Do you make it to your destinations as planned? Often this depends on the unpredictable weather in the mountains. However, it can also depend on your own physical condition.
One sure way to get fit for trekking and hiking in Peru is to, you could have guessed it: hike more. Do you like walking, have you done trekking at an altitude before and do you sport twice a week on average? With a little extra training, you’ll soon be ready for this beautiful trekking in the Peruvian Andes.
Is this the first time that you are trekking at altitude? Make sure you are well prepared. This is important for your safety, but also for that of your team. Make sure you start six months in advance with an hour’s hike twice a week. Read this blog post and get fit for trekking in Peru.
How To Book
How does it work?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.
Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.
After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.
You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.
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