Ultimate Salkantay Trek

Duration: 5 days
Trails: T2 trails
Distance: 15 - 20 km per day
Ascent per day: 500 - 1000 m ascent per day

> Explore the Humantay Lake & Salkantay Mountain
> Prepare a Pachamanca Barbecue & visit coffee farms
> Authentic camping experience with comfortable tents
> Camp in Llaqtapata, a mountain in front of Machu Picchu
> Return on the panoramic Vistadome trains

The Salkantay Trek is the second most popular route to Machu Picchu – after the Inca Trail – and its not difficult to see why. 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.

Itinerary

Day
1

Cusco – Soraypampa – Laguna Humantay – Salkantaypampa

Duration: 06:00 h
Distance: 12 km
Highest Point: 4200 m

Start your Salkantay Trekking with an early pick-up from your hotel’s door at 4:30 am and drive for 3 hours to the trailhead – arriving approximately at 7:30 am. You will enjoy the first breakfast prepared by your chef, then meet the team of porters and horsemen to start the Salkantay TreXperience later!

The first part starts with a 3-hour gentle hike to Soraypampa (3,800 m / 12,467 ft) following an ancient aqueduct used since the Incas. Lunch is served at Soraypampa, where our chef will prepare delicious meals using fresh local products.

After lunch, you will continue with a 2-hour hike up until you reach the stunning glacial lake of Humantay (4,200 m / 13,779 ft). Once at the lake, you can explore and relax, enjoying this spectacular turquoise lake’s beautiful views. Then continue for 2 more hours to the first campsite at the base of Salkantay Mountain. Along the way, you will see various flora and fauna, such as the Andean goose (the love bird), deer, and vizcachas (which look much like rabbits).

The campsite is at Salkantay Pampa (4,150 m / 13,615 ft). This basecamp offers an unobstructed view of Salkantay Mountain and the sky at night. Get ready for dinner, stargaze, and sleep under a million stars.

Salkantay Pampa campsite

Info
Salkantay Pampa campsite
Day
2

Salkantaypampa – Wayracmachay– Collpapampa

Duration: 09:00 h
Distance: 18 km
Highest Point: 4630 m

Wake up bright and early with a hot cup of coffee or coca tea in your tent, admiring the spectacular views of the snowcapped mountains. After breakfast, you will start the ascent for 2 hours to the Salkantay Trek’s highest point at 4,630 m (15,190 ft). Once on top, you will take some time to explore and enjoy the area and even visit a beautiful lake at the base of Salkantay Mountain. Next, it’s another 3-hour downhill hike to the lunch place at Wayracmachay (3,800 m / 12,467 ft). You might also see Vizcachas (Lagidium Peruanum), a Chinchilla only found in Peru.

After a well-earned lunch, you will get ready for the day’s final stretch, 3-more hours of downhill from the highland, where the air is dry and cold, into the lush cloud forest, where the weather is warm and humid. For sure, this is one of the fastest changes in temperature and landscape that you will experience. The campsite is next to the village of Collpapampa.

Collpapampa campsite

Info
Collpapampa campsite
Day
3

Collpapampa – Llucmabamba – Llactapata

Duration: 06:00 h
Distance: 16 km

Enjoy a leisurely time in the village while admiring the view of the mountains you left behind. After breakfast, you will prepare for the most beautiful day of the TreXperience to the legendary citadel of Machu Picchu, hiking along narrow paths, following the river, passing wooden bridges, waterfalls, granadilla, and banana plantations, until you arrive at Lucmabamba (2,000 m / 6,561 ft) for lunch.

Today’s lunch is unique and a highlight of the Salkantay Trek. After hiking for about 3 hours and taking a van for the last part, you will prepare to participate in a Pachamanca Barbecue, an old traditional underground stone barbecue. After burying the food, you visit the organic coffee farms and prepare your cup. The cooking takes about 45 minutes; then, you sit down to enjoy the different delicacies like the cuy (Guinea pig) and different types of potatoes, fruits, and vegetables prepared like a local.

Once fed and re-energized, get ready for a 3-hour climb along the ancient Inca Trail to Llaqtapata, a small Inca citadel located on a mountaintop at 2,750m (9,022 ft), where you will catch the first glimpse of Machu Picchu from a distance. This place was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and lost again until recently. You will be camping right in front of Machu Picchu; when you open your tent, you can see the sunrise and sunset over Machu Picchu if the weather allows.

Llactapata campsite

Info
Llactapata campsite
See entire itinerary

Included

  • 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.

  • Camping during the trek

    During the trek, you will be staying on campsites. Your camp will be set up for you.

  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes

    On the night before your Machu Picchu visit, you will sleep in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes. This too will be taken care of.

  • 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.

Excluded

  • 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.

FAQ

  • How Hard Is The Salkantay Trail?

  • When Should I Do The Salkantay Trekking?

  • How High is The Salkantay Pass by Salkantay Mountain?

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  • Cancellation policy

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Sierd van der Bij
Sierd van der Bij
This trek is operated by
TreXperience

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