Salkantay
Panoramic view from Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

8 days

Beautiful city of Cusco on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruCloudy day over the valley on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruGroup of hikers on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruLooking down on the valley on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruTurquoise lake glaciers and beautiful mountains on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruHappy hikers on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruPorter with the horse on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruHikers enjoying the views on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruBeautiful peaks along Cusco on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruLunch time on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruWide comfortable path on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruHiker and beautfiul scenery on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruIce falls mountains and beautiful lake on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruCamping under the starry sky on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruSunny day on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruSalkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru is an amazing multi day hikeDonkeys carrying stuff on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruSmall cairn along Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruSnowy peaks on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruHiker playing flute on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruTwo backpackers on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruStreching on the big rock on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruHikers posing in front of the mountain on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruHiker resting on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruAguas Calientes village on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruCenter of Aguas Calientes on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in PeruColorful village of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru

Immerse yourself in the majestic landscapes of the Peruvian Andes on this 8-day Salkantay Guided Trek

The perfect mix of adventure and luxury, ancient history and present culture, the Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu guided tour is an amazing getaway to the Peruvian Andes.

Explore Cusco

Start by exploring the city of Cusco, which has been continuously inhabited since its days as the capital city of the Incan Empire. Old meets new in this city that is full of archaeological discoveries as well as a modern and vibrant nightlife.

Navigating the hustle and bustle of Cusco while acclimatizing to the high altitude is an adventure in itself, but the city will really come alive as you explore the markets and cultural sites that make this city so unique.

Discover the Andes Mountains and Quechua villages

Then grab your backpack for a 4-day adventure trekking through the Andes mountains. Stretching out for 7,000km along the western edge of South America, the Andes are the longest continental mountain range in the world and the highest outside of Asia.

While exploring these mountains, you will encounter breathtaking scenery at every turn and come across high-altitude villages inhabited by the Quechua people. This fascinating group of people are indigenous to South America and have played a strong role in the region’s history, as they have ancestral ties to historically influential groups such as the Inca and their language, Quechua, is one of the official languages of Peru.

Salkantay and nearby mountains

Trekking through the mountainous terrain, you will witness the rugged and awe-inspiring beauty of countless mountains, including Salkantay, the highest peak in the Vilcabamba Range and the twelfth-highest in all of Peru. The name of this imposing peak comes from the Quechua word meaning wild or uncivilized, an apt description for the majestic terrain in this part of the world.

Visit the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu

Finally, spend a day exploring the famously mysterious site of Machu Picchu, a 15th Century citadel located high above the Sacred Valley in the Eastern Cordillera of Peru. Although the grand structure is often mistaken as a lost Incan city, many archaeologists now believe that the complex was built as an estate for the famous Inca leader Pachacuti. The site was abandoned only a century after its completion, as the Spanish Conquest put pressure on the Inca people. This caused Machu Picchu to remain hidden from the world until 1911, when Hiram Bingham made the site famous. After watching the sunrise here, take a guided tour of the area, then explore further on your own.

Your guided Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu tour will be the experience of a lifetime!

Highlights of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Spend 4 days trekking in the Peruvian Andes, witnessing majestic mountain views, walking through a cloud forest, and soaking in natural hot springs.
Explore the ancient Incan capital city of Cusco at your own pace, following your own interests.
Witness a glorious Machu Picchu sunrise followed by a guided tour of the area.
Stay in luxurious hotels while visiting cities and in magnificently scenic campsites along the trek.

Prices

From $750USD
8 days
Difficulty
Guided
Hotels / Camps
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Salkantay

Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Cusco

Welcome to Cusco, Peru! Transportation from the airport to your hotel will be arranged for you, and once there you will meet your guide for an overview of your tour. Depending on what time you arrive, you should have time to explore the city. Cusco is set high in the Andes and it was the capital of the ancient Incan Empire. There are many remains left from this time and you can also see Spanish mansions and churches. Cusco also offers a vibrant nightlife and wonderful Peruvian restaurants.
Overnight Location: Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco (3,399m, 11,200’)
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 2 Explore Cusco

To help you acclimatize, spend a day exploring the wonderful city of Cusco. There is much to see, do, and learn here in South America’s oldest, continuously inhabited city. What was once the Inca’s capital city has now become the archaeological capital of South America.

This tour includes a choice of optional guided daytrips, and you can choose between the Sacred Valley Tour and the Maras Moray Tour.

The Sacred Valley Tour is a full day of experiences. You’ll visit an Indian market in Pisac to experience this colourful tradition. You can barter with the local craftsmen to purchase unique, handmade souvenirs. You’ll then travel to the town of Ollantaytambo, a town of narrow streets and canals that are largely unchanged since the time the Incas inhabited it. Finally, visit the Chinchero market. This market is more authentic and less geared toward tourists. According to legend, Chinchero is the birthplace of the rainbow. When you are finished in Chinchero, return to Cusco. Note you will need to pay for admissions fees on this tour.

The Maras Moray tour begins with a drive from your hotel to Moray (approx. 1.5 hours). Moray is known as the “Inca agricultural greenhouse or laboratory.” Here, the Incas carved amphitheatre-like terraces in a bowl shape. It is thought that these were used to test and determine optimal growing conditions for different crops. After exploring Moray, continue another two miles to visit the Maras salt mines. In this area, you can see a series of tiny channels carved so that the highly salty water coming from a natural spring would run into terraced ponds. Exposed to the sun, the water dries and leaves the salt behind. It is believed that salt was harvested in this way in this place since a time before even the Incas. After exploring the Maras salt mines, return to Cusco. Note you will need to pay for admissions fees on this tour.
Overnight Location: Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco (3,399m, 11,200’)
Distance: As Required
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Transfer to Mollepata , Hike to Soraypampa

On this first day of the Salkantay Trek, meet your guide at the hotel at 5:00 AM for a bus ride to Mollepata (2,900 m / 9,515 ft). Begin your hike here, with a 3-hour trek to Cruzpata. The views here are breathtaking as you see the snow-capped peaks of Salkantay (6,271 m / 20,575 ft) and Humantay (4,120 m / 13,500 ft). Eat lunch at this viewpoint, then continue hiking through the spectacular landscape. Your first campsite is also the coldest and highest elevation campsite of this tour, at Soraypampa (3,886 m / 12,750 ft).
Overnight Location: Soraypampa Camp (3,886 m / 12,750 ft)
Distance: 4-5 hours, 7km / 4.4 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Trek to Challway

Begin your hike today by climbing to the highest pass on this trek, at 4,650 m (15,200 ft). Two majestic mountains tower over you as the pass crosses between Salkantay Mountain on your right side and Tucarhuay (5,910 m / 19,390 ft) to the left. There is a possibility of snow at this pass, but it’s a great place to rest and take in the awe-inspiring view. As you continue your hike, descend through an impressive cloud forest, and stop for lunch at Huayracpunku, which is sometimes called Huayracmachay. Another 3 hours of hiking after lunch will bring you to your second campsite at Colcapampa (3,000 m / 9,800 ft). Depending on the pace of your group, it is possible to continue to campsites at Challway or Andenes instead.
Overnight Location: Challway Camp (3,000 m / 9,800 ft)
Distance: 8 hours, 16km / 10 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Trek to La Playa through a Cloud Forest

Start your day with another wonderful breakfast, then begin today’s trek around 6:30 AM. The trek begins through the upper part of the jungle and crosses the Lluskamayo River via a few small creeks and brooks. As you pass through the valleys, you’ll be greeted by beautiful waterfalls and a stunning variety of tropical fruit and plant life. Enjoy the warmer climate of La Playa (2,500 m / 8,202 ft), where you’ll set camp for the night. There are hot springs nearby, and after a few days on the trail you may find a soak in these waters to be wonderfully soothing.
Overnight Location: La Playa Camp (2,500 m / 8,202 ft)
Distance: 6 hours, 15km / 9.3 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Trek to Aguas Calientes via Llactapata

Finish the Salkantay Trek today. Begin with a hearty breakfast at 6:30 AM, then hike to Llactapata (2,700 m / 8,858 ft). It will take about 3 hours of steadily climbing, but your efforts will be rewarded when you reach this amazing Incan fort and take in the incredible view of Machu Picchu. This is a wonderful place to rest and take photos. From here, the trail descends for about 2 hours through cocoa and banana plantations until you reach your lunch stop at the hydroelectric dam. Another 2 hours of hiking will bring you to Aguas Calientes (2,000 m / 6,561 ft), where you will enjoy a comfortable night in a beautiful hotel. If you want to, there are hot springs in the town of Aguas Calientes that you can enjoy for an additional fee (10 soles).
Overnight Location: Hatun Inti Boutique, Aguas Calientes (2,000 m / 6,561 ft)
Distance: 6 hours, 12km / 7.5 miles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Rise and shine early today, eat breakfast and be ready to leave the hotel by 5:40 AM. A short bus ride from Aguas Calientes brings you to Machu Picchu in time to watch the sunrise. Then enter the Citadel for a 2-hour guided walking tour of the complex, after which you’ll have time to freely explore this mysterious ancient city.

If you are interested in climbing Wayna (Huayna) Picchu, the mountain behind Machu Picchu, this can be arranged for an additional fee. The Wayna Picchu hike allows you to see Machu Picchu from a new perspective, as well as view steps that the Incas cut into the rocks. It is a wonderful view of Machu Picchu.

Return to Aguas Calientes by bus for lunch, then take the train back Poroy, where you will be picked up and transported back to your hotel in Cusco.
Overnight Location: Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco (3,399m, 11,200’)
Distance: As Required
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 Departure from Cusco Airport

Sadly, your Salkantay Trek has reached its end. After breakfast, depending on your flight times, you are free to explore the Cusco, and possibly enjoy extra optional activities until it is time for your transfer to the airport. Have a pleasant journey!
Overnight Location: N/A
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Price and Dates

For this guided Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, you can choose to either join a group tour or create a custom trip for just your group.

The best time to travel to Cusco for this trek is from April through November since December through March is the rainy season.

Prices for a Private Guided Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Enjoy a private trek for just your group. Pricing is based on the number of guests on your trip.

  • Guided group of 2: $1,350 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 4: $925 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 6-10: $850 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 12+: $750 USD per person

Join a Group Tour for the Guided Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Make new friends and join a guided group tour of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. Departures are available from April through November and are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday. Prices below are per person:

  • Guided Group Tour: $850 USD per person
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Accommodation on the Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu Tour

This tour is based in hotels and camps. Four nights are spent in hotels and three nights along the Salkantay trek are spent in camps. Hotels on this trip are 4-star and offer modern conveniences that can make this trip more pleasant. The accommodations have been carefully chosen so you will feel comfortable and pampered. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travelers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a single supplement of $400 USD to have a private room in a hotel. Contact us and we can try and match single travelers up, where possible.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco ★★★★

A comfortable hotel in a great location for exploring the city. Be sure to visit the rooftop terrace for wonderful views of the city and don’t miss their excellent breakfast.

Night 3-5

Camping in campsites along the Salkantay Trek

Sleep under the starry sky in comfortable tents in the campsites along the Salkantay Trail. Spend your nights in camps surrounded by stunning peaks of Peruvian Andes.

Hatun Inti Boutique, Aguas Calientes ★★★★

Stay in a suite room in this fabulous and luxurious hotel with mountain and river views. The location is convenient for exploring Machu Picchu and the decor will immerse you in Andean culture.

Jose Antonio Hotel, Cusco ★★★★

A comfortable hotel in a great location for exploring the city. Be sure to visit the rooftop terrace for wonderful views of the city and don’t miss their excellent breakfast.

What’s included in the Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu Tour?

Meals

7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 afternoon snacks, 4 dinners, and other various snacks along the trek.

Accommodations

Hotel accommodations for 4 nights, 3 in Cusco and 1 in Aguas Calientes. Also, 3 nights in campsites along the Salkantay Trail are included too.

Transportation during the Tour

Planned transportation throughout the tour is included. This includes:

  • Transportation to/from the Cusco Airport at the beginning and end of the tour
  • Transportation from Cusco to Soraypampa
  • Train tickets (expedition class) from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and from Aguas Calientes to Poroy. (Can be upgraded to the Vistadome class for $50 USD per person)
  • Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back. (approx 25 min)
  • Transportation from Poroy train station to your hotel in Cusco

Also Included

  • Tour briefing on the day you arrive in Cusco
  • Professional, English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
  • Horseman and mules to carry cooking and camping equipment during the trek
  • Lares Valley entrance fee
  • First Aid kit
  • 24/7 support and emergency line available throughout the tour

Not included

  • Meals and drinks other than those mentioned in the itinerary (extra meals can be arranged upon request)
  • Optional tours and excursions
  • Personal items such as souvenirs or telephone calls
  • Personal camping and trekking equipment, such as sleeping bags or walking sticks (many of these items can be rented for an additional fee)
  • Any damages you might cause to the bus or camping equipment
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal porter who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag
  • Travel insurance
  • Evacuation in the event of a serious medical issue or injury

Optional Extras

  • Climb Wayna (Huayna) Picchu - $40 USD per person
  • Upgrade train tickets from Expedition class to Vistadome class - $55 USD per person
  • Additional activities in Cusco (all prices are per person):
    • Cusco City Tour: A tour of many different significant landmarks in and around Cusco- $40 + $33 entrance fees
    • South Valley: Head south from Cusco to tour an Andean village with Pre-Incan architecture, plus the Incan Pikillagta (Temple of Water) and Tipon (the 17th Century “Sistine Chapel of Cusco”) - $50 + $26 entrance fee
    • Gastronomic Tour at Market & Cooking Class: Learn to prepare authentic, traditional local dishes from shopping at the market for ingredients to preparing and serving the meal - $60
  • Personal horse to ride during the trek (max weight - 110 Kg) - $85 USD per person

Frequently Asked Questions about Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Valencia Travel Cusco has been providing incredible trekking and cultural tours around Cusco since 2009. Owned and operated in Cusco, Valencia Travel know the Cusco and Macchu Picchu region well, and provide great active holidays for their guests.

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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Map

Click map for a larger version

Is this tour for me?

The Salkantay Trek is a moderate difficulty trek, and we rate this tour as a 3 / 5. The trek is moderate but hikers unaccustomed to hiking at higher altitudes will notice the additional strain caused by the elevations.

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