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3-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Express

Fast-track your way to Machu Picchu with our 3-day Salkantay Trek. Experience majestic mountains, lush forests, and Incan heritage.


Cusco, Peru


3 Days




Year Round

Tour type



3-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Express Overview

Experience the thrill of the Salkantay Trail condensed into an exhilarating 3-day trek, leading you through a tapestry of stunning landscapes and culminating at the iconic Machu Picchu. This express adventure is tailored for those who wish to immerse themselves swiftly in the beauty of the Peruvian Andes while experiencing one of the most revered treks in the world. Your journey begins in the ancient city of Cusco, whisking you through diverse terrains, from the lofty Salkantay Pass to the lush environs of the cloud forest. Witness the grandeur of Salkantay Mountain, a revered peak in Incan mythology, and feel the transformation of the landscape as you descend towards the serene Collpapampa.

The second day unfolds with a scenic hike through the cloud forest, rich in biodiversity, leading to the tranquil town of Aguas Calientes. A blend of hiking and travel by train ensures a comfortable pace, allowing you to soak in the magnificent vistas of the Peruvian countryside. The final day is a momentous ascent to Machu Picchu, where ancient Incan history comes alive. The guided tour of this magnificent citadel unveils its architectural marvels and secrets, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the trek concludes, you’ll return to Cusco, carrying with you memories of an extraordinary adventure that combines the essence of the Andean experience with the wonder of Machu Picchu.

Departure & Return Location Your Hotel in Cusco
Departure Time 3:30 AM
Estimated Return Time 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Guide Languages Available Guides fluent in English and Spanish
Key Attractions Salkantay Pass, Cloud Forests, Coffee Plantations, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu

FromUSD 660
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  • Standard Large GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 16ppl MaxStart Time: 03:30
  • Standard Small GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 8ppl MaxStart Time: 03:30
  • Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 03:30
  • Deluxe Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 03:30
  • Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 03:30
  • Deluxe Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 03:30

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3-Day Salkantay Trek

Tour Itinerary

Explore our expertly designed itinerary below, crafted to showcase breathtaking views and provide unique adventures every step of the way.

Day 1: Cusco to Collpapampa via Salkantay Pass – A Trek Through Mythical Landscapes

Embark on the Salkantay Express with an early rise, as we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 3:30 am. The journey to Soraypampa, our hike’s starting point, includes a brief stop in Mollepata, where you can enjoy breakfast and prepare for the day ahead.

The trek towards the formidable Salkantay Pass begins at Soraypampa, taking you through landscapes that captivate with their stunning beauty. As you navigate the trails, witness the grandeur of Salkantay Mountain, an iconic peak deeply rooted in Incan mythology. Reaching the summit of the pass is a moment of awe and achievement, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding vistas.

Our descent from the Salkantay Pass to Collpapampa is a journey of changing sceneries, from rugged mountainous terrains to the verdant expanse of the cloud forest. The day concludes with a serene camp set up in Collpapampa, amidst the tranquil wilderness of the Andes.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Lunch and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 8-9 hours, 20 km

Day two begins with a refreshing hike from Collpapampa to Playa Sahuayaco. This segment of the trail takes you through the cloud forest’s lush foliage, offering a glimpse into the region’s diverse flora and fauna. It’s a peaceful walk that allows you to connect deeply with nature.

Upon arrival at Playa Sahuayaco, we transition from hiking to a transport segment towards Hydroelectrica, providing a relaxing interlude through picturesque countryside views. From Hydroelectrica, a train ride to Aguas Calientes awaits. This charming town serves as the base for your Machu Picchu visit. Settle into your hotel accommodation and later enjoy a dinner in town, sampling the local culinary offerings.

Accommodation: Hotel in Aguas Calientes
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 5-6 hours, 15 km

The climax of your Salkantay Express adventure unfolds on Day 3 with an early start in Aguas Calientes. A short bus ride brings you to the gates of the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. This moment marks the pinnacle of your trekking journey, as you stand at the entrance of one of the world’s most renowned ancient wonders.

Your exploration begins with a guided tour of Machu Picchu. Delve into the rich history and impressive architecture of this Incan citadel, learning about its construction, cultural significance, and the mysteries that still shroud this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour provides insights into the lives of the Incas and the purpose of this extraordinary city.

After the guided experience, take the opportunity for personal exploration. If you have pre-booked, you can hike Huayna Picchu for an exhilarating view of the ruins and the surrounding landscape. This additional adventure offers a unique perspective of Machu Picchu and the Andean peaks.

Later in the day, you’ll journey back to Aguas Calientes and board a train to Ollantaytambo. Reflect on your incredible experiences as you travel through the scenic Andean landscape. A bus from Ollantaytambo will take you back to Cusco, marking the end of your thrilling and memorable 3-day Salkantay trek.

Accommodation: N/A
Meals: Breakfast
Return to Cusco: Train to Ollantaytambo, then bus to Cusco

Tour Highlights

3-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Express Highlights

  • Early Morning Departure from Cusco: Start your adventure with a pre-dawn pickup from Cusco, setting the stage for an exhilarating trekking experience.
  • Salkantay Pass Ascent: Traverse the challenging yet stunning Salkantay Pass, offering breathtaking views of one of the most significant peaks in Incan mythology, the majestic Salkantay Mountain.
  • Diverse Landscapes: Experience a dramatic change in scenery as you hike from rocky mountain terrains to the verdant cloud forest, showcasing the diverse ecological beauty of the Andes.
  • Cloud Forest Exploration: Immerse yourself in the lush cloud forest, home to a rich array of flora and fauna, adding a touch of tranquility and natural beauty to your trek.
  • Journey to Aguas Calientes: Enjoy a mix of hiking and travel by vehicle to Aguas Calientes, providing a relaxing interlude through the scenic Peruvian countryside.
  • Machu Picchu Tour: Explore the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a guided tour that delves into its history, architecture, and cultural significance.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Detailing Every Aspect of Your Travel Experience: What’s Included and What’s Not

Standard Inclusions

All package options include the following:

  • Bilingual, English-speaking tour guide.
  • Pre-departure briefing at your hotel or office 1 or 2 days before the trek.
  • Hotel pick-up and transportation to the trailhead.
  • 4-person tent for every 2 people.
  • Inflatable mattress.
  • Kitchen tent, dining tent with tables and chairs.
  • Toilet tent.
  • Professional chef and assistant chef.
  • Daily morning boiled and cold water for water bottle refills.
  • Horses to carry all equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc.).
  • Horse to transport 7 kg of your personal gear.
  • Muleteers to manage pack animals.
  • Duffel bag for your personal gear.
  • 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners.
  • Vegetarian and gluten-free options at no extra cost.
  • Provision of snacks during the trek.
  • Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
  • All necessary trekking permits.
  • Transportation from Playa Sahuayaco to Hydroelectrica.
  • Train tickets from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes.
  • Train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • 1-night hotel stay in Aguas Calientes (twin bedroom with private facilities).
  • Entry ticket to Machu Picchu.
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip).
  • Private van transportation from Ollantaytambo to your Cusco hotel.


Not included in our standard tour packages. Consider additional costs. Deluxe packages may cover some exclusions, as specified in the Additional Inclusions section.

  • Hotel stay in Cusco before and after the trek.
  • Sleeping bag (available for rent).
  • Trekking poles (available for rent).
  • Breakfast on day 1 and lunch on the last day.
  • Huayna Picchu/Machu Picchu mountain ticket (US$ 80 extra per person).
  • Tips for tour guides, chefs, and support staff are not included and are at your discretion.

Additional Inclusions

Deluxe Packages Only

Elevate your travel experience with our bespoke Deluxe Package, meticulously designed to offer an array of premium amenities and services.

Deluxe Packages Include:

  • Emergency Horse & Handler: An extra horse and a trained handler provide added safety on the trail.
  • 3-Star Aguas Calientes Hotel: Rest and recharge in a carefully selected 3-star hotel.
  • North Face Four-Season Tents: State-of-the-art, weather-resistant tents for ultimate outdoor comfort.
  • Mountain Climbing Permits: Choose between Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views.
  • Vistadome First-Class Train: Enjoy scenic travel from Aguas Calientes with panoramic windows offering spectacular views.
  • Private Van to Cusco: Enjoy a direct, comfortable transfer to Cusco post-trek.
  • Gourmet Lunch: Indulge in a gourmet dining experience at either Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes.
  • Sleeping Bag: Sleep well with one premium sleeping bag per person.
  • Walking Sticks: 01 pair per person for added stability.
  • Private Transportation: Transportation exclusively for your group.
  • Personal Duffel Bag: Use a durable duffel bag to conveniently carry your personal gear, including the sleeping bag and self-inflating pads.
  • Dedicated Tour Guide: Get personalized insights and guidance from an expert tour guide throughout your journey.
  • Fair Compensation: We ensure fair compensation for all our dedicated team members.


Discover our diverse tour offerings, catering to various interests and providing unforgettable experiences for every traveler.

Standard Large Group

Group Size: 2 Min – 16ppl Max



Per Person

Join a diverse group of travelers for an economical shared experience.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
No Private Service

Standard Small Group

Group Size: 2 Min – 8ppl Max



Per Person

Enjoy a more intimate setting, ideal for closer interactions and bonding.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
No Private Service

Private Group

Group Size: Customizable



Per Person

Curate your journey with exclusivity tailored to your group’s preferences.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
Private Service

Deluxe Private Group

Group Size: Customizable



Per Person

Indulge in luxury, enhancing every aspect of your tour for a memorable experience.

All standard inclusions
Additional Inclusions
Private Service

Solo Traveler

Group Size: 1 person



Per Person

Embrace the freedom of a solo adventure, with options to mingle or stay independent.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
Private Service or Join a Group

Deluxe Solo Traveler

Group Size: 1 person



Per Person

Elevate your solo journey with added luxury and attentive service.

All standard inclusions
Additional Inclusions
Private Service

Special Discounts

  • Adult (12+ Years): Standard rates apply for travelers over 12 years old.
  • Student (-25 Years with Student Card): Save USD 20 with a valid Student Card for those younger than 25 years old.
  • Child (3 – 11 Years): Save USD 30 for children between 3 and 11 years old.
  • Infant (0 – 2 Years): Infants younger than 2 years old are free (must ride on the adult’s lap; for a separate seat, add them as a child).
  • Group Discount: Automatically applied during online booking.
    • Save USD 10/person for groups of 5-7 people.
    • Save USD 15/person for groups of 8-10 people.
    • Save USD 20/person for groups of 11+ people.

*Please note that the applicable age is considered at the time of completion of the trip.

Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy

Kindly take a moment to read our Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy before booking. Happy adventuring!

Payment Terms

Beginning Your Adventure – Booking Confirmation and Deposit

Your journey starts with a commitment: a 30% deposit of the total tour cost. This initial investment is pivotal in activating the extensive preparatory process, ensuring every aspect of your tour is curated to perfection.

Final Payment: The Last Step Before Your Journey Begins

The remaining 70% of the tour cost is due no later than 48 hours before the commencement of your tour. This timely payment is critical to finalize all logistical arrangements, guaranteeing a hassle-free start to your adventure.

Expansive Payment Options for Ease and Flexibility

In line with our commitment to your convenience, Peru Tripper accepts a variety of payment methods, including bank transfers, credit cards, and PayPal. Please be aware that additional fees may apply depending on the payment method selected. Detailed payment procedures and potential fees can be found on our dedicated payment page.

Implications of Late Payments – Protecting Your Reservation

Adherence to the payment schedule is crucial. Late payments can unfortunately lead to the cancellation of your reservation, with the deposit being retained as a non-refundable fee. We urge you to maintain timely payments to safeguard your tour plans.

Policy for Last-Minute Adventurers

For those inspired to join this tour on short notice, namely less than 15 days before departure, full payment is required at the time of booking. This ensures that we can expedite all necessary preparations for your inclusion.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Terms for Clients

We recognize that life is ever-changing. However, due to the elaborate planning and expenses involved in preparing for this tour, we maintain a strict no-refund policy after booking confirmation. This underscores the importance of obtaining comprehensive travel insurance, which can offer protection against unforeseen cancellations.

Navigating Unpredictable Circumstances – Force Majeure

In extraordinary situations beyond our control, such as natural disasters or political upheavals, Peru Tripper will strive to offer alternative arrangements. This may include rescheduling your trip or issuing a credit for future travel, based on current availability and discretion.

Navigating Through Force Majeure

In the event of extraordinary and uncontrollable circumstances, such as natural disasters or significant political unrest, Huaynas Expeditions adopts a flexible approach. We prioritize your safety and satisfaction, offering to reschedule your trip or provide a credit for future travel, subject to availability.

Emphasizing the Need for Comprehensive Travel Insurance

To cover unexpected events, including trip disruptions and medical emergencies, we cannot stress enough the importance of securing comprehensive travel insurance. It’s your safety net, ensuring peace of mind throughout your journey. Please note, Peru Tripper does not bear responsibility for costs arising from incidents not covered by your travel insurance.

Looking to customize your package?

If the offered packages don’t quite meet your needs, customize it with us.

What to Pack

Your Essential Packing Guide for a Hassle-Free Adventure

Packing List

Prepare for an unforgettable journey with our essential packing guide. Here’s what you need to bring:

  • Original passport and student ID (if applicable).
  • Light day pack with clothes for varied temperatures.
  • Rain gear or poncho.
  • Waterproof trekking boots and extra socks.
  • Warm clothing, including a jacket, fleece, gloves, scarf, beanie, and thermals for sleeping.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Torch/flashlight and spare batteries.
  • Camera, film, and batteries.
  • Sunblock and after-sun hydrating cream.
  • Insect repellent (minimum 20% DEET, no malaria risk reported).
  • Toilet paper.
  • Snacks (biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, fruits, etc.).
  • Reusable canteen and water for the first morning.
  • Personal medical kit (special medications, paracetamol, blister treatment, etc.).
  • Small towel or sarong.
  • Cash for snacks, tips, and souvenirs.
  • Walking sticks or poles.


This list is a general guideline. Adjustments may be necessary based on personal preferences and the season of travel. Always check the weather forecast before your trip and feel free to reach out to us for any specific advice or requirements.

Provided Duffle Bag and Packing Tips

Pack Wisely with Our Essential Packing Tips

We’ll provide a returnable duffle bag during the pre-trek briefing, held 1-2 nights before your tour. Familiarize yourself with the bag, pack efficiently, and get essential trek details, safety guidelines, and updates. It’s a great chance to ask questions, meet fellow trekkers, and prepare for your adventure.

Our Packing Tips:

  • Adhere to the 7 kg weight limit: Keep the weight of your personal items in the duffle bag within the 7 kg limit to maintain a manageable load for the horses.
  • Place non-essential items in the duffle bag: Store items you won’t need during the day, like extra clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bags, in the duffle bag to lighten your day pack.
  • Label your duffle bag: Add a luggage tag or other identification to your duffle bag to prevent mix-ups with other trekkers’ bags.
  • Keep valuables in your day pack: Store passports, cameras, cash, and other valuable items in your day pack for added security and easy access.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Dive into our FAQ section for detailed responses to common queries. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, our team is just a click away to assist you.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for?

For more general questions about our tours, policies, and other inquiries, please visit our comprehensive FAQ page.

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Why Choose Peru Tripper

Join Peru Tripper on an unforgettable journey filled with lasting memories, new friendships, and exhilarating discoveries. Here’s why you should explore with us

Local Expertise

Our Cusco-based team of local guides and travel specialists possess an intimate knowledge of Peru's rich history, vibrant culture, and hidden treasures, ensuring an authentic and immersive experience.

Experienced Team

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Personalized Itineraries

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Top Support

With our team available 24/7, any questions or needs you have will be promptly addressed, ensuring your journey is enjoyable and stress-free from start to finish.

Safety and Reliability

Your safety and comfort are our highest priorities. We follow stringent safety measures and partner with trusted locals to provide a secure and top-quality travel experience.

Competitive Pricing

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