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None of the various treks to Machu Picchu can compete with the Salkantay Trek in terms of scenery. It’s a spectacular route, passing through jungles and mountain passes, and dotted with azure lagoons. And at the heart of the trek is Salkantay Mountain, which at 6,271 m (20,574 ft) is the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range and the twelfth-highest Peru.
Our five-day Salkantay trek traverses the flank of this sacred mountain, offering some of the most awe-inspiring views in Peru. It’s one of the more challenging alternative routes to Machu Picchu, simply because of the high altitude. But it also receives far fewer trekkers than the classic Inca Trail so that you can walk through this natural and remote paradise comparatively free from fellow humans – but you might have to share the stunning scenery with Andean condors and other local wildlife.
Departure & Return Location:
Pick up from your hotel (4:00am – 4:30am).
Our Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu begins when we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at around 5 a.m. We’ll then travel in our private bus to Mollepata, which takes about four hours. It’s a lengthy trip, but it’s needed to get out to this relatively remote region. On the way, you’ll be able to enjoy the fantastic scenery, including views of the Izcuchaca and Limatambo mountain ranges.
Eventually, we’ll arrive at the colorful Andean village of Mollepata, where the trailhead for our Salkantay trek begins. Here we’ll meet our horsemen, porters, and cooks. Setting off, we’ll trek for about three hours until we reach Cruzpata, where we will have lunch with panoramic views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains of Humantay and Salkantay and can visit Humantay Lake. Heading on, we’ll trek until we reach our first campsite at Soraypampa, taking in the beautiful landscape along the way. We’ll set up camp and later have dinner, surrounded by mesmerizing scenery.
We will wake early and have breakfast around 5:30 a.m. We have a long day of trekking ahead of us through some of the most incredible scenery in Peru. This will be our most challenging day as we ascend to the highest point on the trail.
We first climb to a mountain pass at 4,650 m (15,200 ft) – the highest location on the trek. From here, we’ll have sublime views of two huge snow-capped mountains: Salkantay on the right and Tucarhuay on the left. After a rest and enjoying the views, we will continue our walk downhill through a dramatic cloud forest towards Huayracpunku, also known as Huayracmachay, where we will have lunch.
We’ll then set off again, trekking for about three hours through jungle-like scenery until we reach our second campsite, Colcapampa, at 3,000 m (9,800 ft). If our group has made good progress, we might have time to push on to alternative campsites at Challway or Andenes. Wherever we decide to stop, we’ll set up the camp and prepare a big meal, a well-deserved reward after a hard day of trekking.
Waking at 6: 30 a.m., we’ll have a hearty breakfast before setting off. Today, much of our trekking takes us through a region of jungle known as the ceja de selva: the swathe of jungle between the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. We’ll cross the Lluskamayo River and find ourselves in a world of waterfalls, tropical fruits, and colorful birds. If we’re lucky, we might even see a cock of the rock, Peru’s national bird. The temperature will be much warmer here, and the various waterfalls and creeks provide plenty of opportunities to cool down with a refreshing splash in their crystalline waters.
We’ll stop for lunch and then continue trekking for three more hours until we reach our last campsite at the village of La Playa, at 2,500 m (8,202 ft). At La Playa, you’ll have plenty of free time to relax and enjoy the nearby hot springs: the perfect way to soothe your aching muscles! Later we’ll have dinner and then turn in for the night, relaxed and ready for our final day of trekking.
On our final day of trekking, we’ll have breakfast at 6:30 a.m. before setting off towards Llactapata. It will be a steady three-hour climb, and as we ascend, we’ll have beautiful views of the Santa Teresa Valley below us. Eventually, we’ll reach Llactapata, an impressive Inca ruin that may have served as an essential rest stop and roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu, which is connected to via the Inca Trail. From here, we get the very first glimpse of our final destination: Machu Picchu in the distance, an inspiring sight indeed!
After a rest and time to take photos, we will continue along a downhill trail for about two hours, passing plantations where coca, bananas, and other crops are grown. Eventually, we’ll reach the Hydroelectric Station, a well-known point along various routes to Machu Picchu, where we’ll have lunch. Then we will walk for a couple more hours until we reach Aguas Calientes, the lively town that sits below Machu Picchu.
After checking in to your hotel you’ll have some free time, so you can explore the town and, if you like, visit the nearby hot springs. We’ll have dinner in one of the many great restaurants in Aguas Calientes, and then you can return to your hotel for an early night before our final day — and our tour of the magnificent Machu Picchu.
To best appreciated Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning so we can get to the citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 5:40 a.m. We’ll then walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu. We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here you’ll begin your guided walking tour with an experienced and highly knowledgeable guide.
Our tour of Machu Picchu will last about two hours and will take you to all the most famous and most spectacular parts of the extensive archaeological complex. These include the House of the Guardian, the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, the Sacred Plaza, and other vital locations. And as we walk around, we’ll have spectacular views of the agricultural terraces of Machu Picchu and across to the surrounding mountains and plunging gorges. After the guided tour, you’ll have time to explore Machu Picchu as you please, perhaps walking to some less visited parts such as the Inca Bridge.
Once we’ve finished our tour of Machu Picchu, we’ll take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, where you can relax and have lunch (not included) before we board the train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at the station, we’ll be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco, where you’ll end your incredible Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.
We also offer a special service only for you or your group, you have the power to choose the size of your group and the date of departure, we will never add other people since it will be organized only for you.
Our Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu – 5 Days private service, includes additional items such as:
We offer 3 kinds of service, each with different price ranges and you can book in any of these services according to your convenience, we just need you to be a minimum of 02 people to organize your trip on the date that suits you, all our services are 100 % guaranteed.
We are a direct TOUR OPERATOR that never passes clients to other agencies as most agencies do it here in Cusco to save operating costs with poor quality.
We will make the trip even if there are only 02 people in your group.
Can I be picked up from the Sacred Valley?
Yes, let us know in advance to organize your pick-up time (It has an extra cost for it).
Beautifully and with good weather it is awesome! There are a lot of lakes around which reflects the sky and so it’s very colourful.
Amazing place to hiking and challenge yourself. The best experience of my life!
Um lugar para visitar e guardar para sempre no coração e na mente. Quando for visitar o Peru, conheça Lima, depois vá para Cusco, visite Machu Picchu e demais locais históricos, mas tire um tempo para conhecer este lugar místico e maravilhoso. Saia cedo de Cusco para passar mais tempo na montanha. Da para visitar e voltar no mesmo dia!!!!!
The tour itself is much less crowded that other tours and is at a very reasonable price!
An absolutely stunning mountain and a place I will never ever forget