The Ultimate Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days is the Classic Alternative to the Inca Trail, traversing high along the flanks of snow covered Apu Salkantay, one of the highest peaks in the region, before descending into the cloud forest and high jungle near Machu Picchu. The scenery is dramatic, from high Andean peaks to a unique view of the backside of Machu Picchu, and then, of course, Machu Picchu itself.
Length: 4 Days
Destination: Cusco, Umantay lake, Salkantay pass, Machu Picchu site
Lodging: Comfortable camping, 3-star plus hotels
Activities: Multi-day trek, day hikes, Inca ruins, cultural experiences
ULTIMATE SALKANTAY TREK HIGHLIGHT
- 100% Operated by Guiding Machu Picchu, we never put you with other tour operators.
- Top-of-the-line equipment. Only for Two Persons
- 8 kg per person, other companies offer you only 6 kg
- Best English Speakers Tour Leaders, We know Communication is very important in your trip
- Extraordinary Chefs! Don’t get stressed about food and forget your power bar. We serve you a 5-star outdoor restaurant with delicious organic gourmet food in your dining tent.
- Hotel Aguas Calientes with all facilities
- Free and Safe Storage in Cusco and Aguas Calientes while you are hiking and visiting Machu Picchu
- Umantay Lake included (most companies skip this wonderful lake)
- Private transportation on each trip
- Perfect place Nature lover and For Photographers
- Comfortable and Panoramic Train to Aguas Calientes.
BRIEFING: The day before the Salkantay Trek 4 Days, you will meet with your trekking guide at your hotel and meet all the members of your group. Your guide will explain to you about the trek, route and all the necessary recommendations will be provided to you. This will take approximately 40 minutes, where you will receive your duffel bags that will carried by horses along the trail.
We start the day with picking you up at your hotel or hostel at 05:00 am. We’ll drive for around 4 hours, crossing Anta, Mollepata and end up at Challancha. Through the windows of the bus you can clearly see the white snowcapped mountains of Salkantay and Huamantay: the holy Gods of the Incas. But also the spectacular scenery of the higher situated areas and the lower valleys with colorful landscapes. After two hours driving there will be a quick stop in Mollepata town. At Mollepata there are toilet facilities, souvenirs shops and an optional short breakfast. When this short break is over we will soon continue to Challacancha, which is the start of our trail. There we will meet with our support staff. The staff will organize all the equipment, horses and mules. Around 9:30 am. we will start our trek to Soraypampa (3850 MASL – 12631 ft). The first section of the path is a hike over a few deep valleys. At some parts of the trail the old water channel can still be seen. The channel still supplies water to the farmers in the lower valleys. The beginning of the trek is 7km (4.35miles) hiking in 3 hours to Soraypampa, where we will have our lunch at the basecamp. After the lunch and a quick nap we continue hiking up to the Humantay Lake (4200 MASL – 13779 ft). This is a 5km (3.1miles) round trip which we will walk in a total of 3 hours. At the Humantay Lake the bottom of the glacier can be seen, and also the most spectacular views of the background with the valley at sunset. Soraypampa is located in the middle of the glacier valleys and at night the sky is so immensely clear that we can really appreciate the stars, constellations and even shooting stars.
Walking Distance – 12km / 7.45 miles
Starting Elevation – 3350 meters / 12477 feet
Highest Elevation – 4600 meters / 15090 feet
Campsite Elevation – 3850 meters / 12477 feet
Meals: Lunch, Dinner (Snack and afternoon tea)
Adventure: Absolutely, completely satisfactory
After an early wake up with the first daylight at 05:30 am. and a quick breakfast we soon start hiking up to the highest point of the trail: the Salkantay Pass (4650 MASL – 15,255 ft). The distance is a 7km (4.34miles) tough ascent in 3 hours, between the rocky valley bottom and the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6200 MASL– 20,341 ft). When we finally reach the top we can and definitely will appreciate the spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo. The Salkantay Mountain is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region and one of the Inca Gods called “Apu”. After reaching the top of the pass there is a 5km (3.1miles) and 2 hours downhill hike towards the camp for our lunch. The walk downwards is on a serpent shape trail and a rocky gravel path to get to the Huayracmachay lunch spot. In the afternoon we will enter the upper part of the amazon jungle, which is also called “the cloud forest”. This is a 10 km (6.2miles) hike in 3 hours on a wide trail in the thick forests. This hike is truly beautiful, there are decorated the hills with colorful sceneries and a lot of wildlife and native plants. The forests are most times of the year warm or have a temperate temperature. When finishing this magnificent hike we finally arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 MASL – 9,514 ft), our base camp in the jungle.
Walking Distance – 22 km / 13.7 miles
Starting Elevation – 3800 meters / 12467 feet
Campsite Elevation – 2750 meters / 9022 feet
Maximum Altitude: 4650 meters / 15255 feet
Difficulty: Challenging – Moderate.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Snack and afternoon tea)
At 6:00 am. we will start our trek to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley. We will be hiking approximately 6 hours. During the hike we’ll see: waterfalls, wild orchids, but also coffee, banana and avocado plantations. Here you can taste the famous passion fruit and granadilla fruit. We will see a village called Colpapampa, also called the “forest cloudy brow” where waterfalls, thermal hot springs, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora and birds can be observed. If we are lucky, we will be able to see the famous bird called “the Cock of the Rocks” this bird is the national bird of Peru. After lunch at La playa, we will catch a local transportation to the Hidroelectrica train station. Here you will have two options: 1) If you are exhausted you may take the train to Aguas Calientes. 2) If you are still eager to hike you may walk from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes for about 3 hours along the train track. Once in Aguas Calientes we will go to the accommodation which is included in the tour. At 7:00 pm. we will have dinner at a local restaurant.
All the expenses in Aguas Calientes are covered by the company. Including: breakfast, lunch, dinner and the overnight at a hotel.
Optional: Train ride from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes ($ 39.00).
Walking Distance – 26km / 16.1 Miles
Starting Elevation – 2750 meters / 9022 feet
Campsite Elevation – 1600 meters / 5249 feet
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast we will board the bus which will take us to the biggest energetic center of the Incas, “Machu Picchu”. As part of our itinerary the same professional tour guide from the Salkantay trek; will teach you about all the history of this mysterious and mystical place. We will visit the Sun Temple, Royal palace, Main Temple, Three Windows Temple and Sun Dial. It will be an unforgettable experience. After the guided tour, you will have free time to explore on your own.
If you have booked Wayna picchu, you will need to coordinate with your guide for Machu Picchu visiting depending on your scheduled time to the mountain, for people not hiking any of the mountains there are some other optional activities on your own (not included in the price):
Visit the Sun Gate: You will have an opportunity to walk (approx. 2 hours up and down) up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) to see Machu Picchu from a different angle.
Hike to the Inca Bridge: The Inca Bridge offers a dose of adventure for your next Machu Picchu visit. However in this case, the adventure is a little less strenuous, but a lot more death defying, not for people with vertigo.
Train back to Cusco: In the afternoon you will return to the train station in Aguas Calientes for the trip back to Ollantaytambo. Upon your arrival to train station you will be transferred by car to your hotel in Cusco.
Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft
Highest Elevation: 2,440 m/ 8,052 ft
- Pre-trek briefing with your tour guide.
- Collection from your hotel in the morning of the trek departure.
- Private transport from Cusco to Mollepata-Soraypampa and Challacancha (starting point of the trek)
- Entry fee to Machu Picchu
- English speaking, experienced professional guide
- Comfortable tents (sleeping 2 people in a 4 person tent)
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food with prior request)
- All camping equipment such as: dining tent, table, chairs, kitchen tent and toilet tent
- Bus ticket from Aguas Calientas to Machu Picchu (One way)
- First Aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Private transport from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco
- Celebration dinner in Aguas Calientes (touristic restaurant )
- dinner in Aguas Calientes the day 3 at night
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes with private room and bathroom
- Mules and horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen – 7 kilos of your personal items such as extra clothes, sleeping bag will be carried by our
- Provision of a horse in case of emergency such as illness, to ensure trek can be completed by all participants
- Basic foam sleeping mattress
- Private guided tour within Machu Picchu
- Excellent Meals (3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners)
- Food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all before rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking
(Vegetarian, vegan or special diet meals upon request).
- Tea time before dinner (tea, coffee, coco, biscuits, popcorn)
- Boiled water provided from 2nd day (for drinking).
- Wake up coca tea in your tent.
- Buckets of hot water for washing in your tent every day
- Biodegradable soap and hand cleansing gel
- Cusco Journeys & Adventure uses walkie-talkies on all treks.
- Oxygen Tank & First aid kit
- All local taxes
- Walking sticks
- Sleeping bag adequate for temperature of minus 10°C (rentable for $20 for duration of the trek)
- breakfast day 1, Lunch on the last day
- Entry to Huayna Picchu ($25)
- Extra activities such as zip line and barbecues.
- Additional horses for extra personal luggage above that of the personal item allowance.
- Optional up – grades (train and hotel)
- **Tips for the crew (muleteers, chef and guide)