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4-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

4-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

4 days

4-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
from $1385 USD

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This amazing trek runs beneath the sacred Salkantay mountain (6.271m/20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes, passing through Quechua communities and lesser-known Inca ruins, to finally reach Aguas Calientes on the third day. The impressive Sacred Inca city of Machupicchu is visited on the last day of the program. This itinerary is an interesting alternative for those unable to get permits for the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu.

Contact us for set departures for 2020 and 2021.
Discounts for students and teens.


Day 1: Drive to trailhead and hike to Andenes, camp overnight (LD)

There will be a briefing for the trek a day or two before you start.

We leave Cusco at 04.00 am in a private transport and start a scenic morning bus-ride to our trek starting point at Soraypampa. Along the four-hour drive, we drive through the town of Limatambo (2100m/6888ft), an important point of access to the city of Cusco during the time of the Inca Empire, where the archaeological remains of Tarawasi are located. The road continues up a beaten track along the right shore of the Apurimac River and crosses the town of Mollepata (2800m/9184ft) and the small community of Cruzpata (2750m/9020ft) to finally reach Soraypampa (3800m/12464ft), the starting point of the trek, where we meet our wranglers and horses. After a short introduction and a quick breakfast, we start our hike towards the base of Mt. Salkantay (6271m/20569ft), crossing Salkantaypampa, and then starting a 2 hrs steep ascent to Soyroccocha, just next to the impressive glacier of Salkantay (4200m/13776ft). Continuing uphill, we reach the Abra Huayracmachay (4600m/15088ft), the highest mountain pass in the program where, besides enjoying stunning views of the surrounding glaciers and the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range with the south face of Salkantay towering above us, we may also observe chinchillas and condors in their natural habitat. From this point, we start descending towards a more tropical climate and into the cloud forest. Along the route, we can see the remains of an ancient Inca path, which is approximately 6 meters wide. A long though easy descent brings us late afternoon to our first campsite at Andenes (3,500m/11480ft). Distance: 18 km; time 8-9 hours; maximum altitude 4600 m (15,088 ft). Camp overnight.

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Camping on Trek

Day 2: Hike to Lucmabamba; camp overnight (BLD)

Today we continue our hike with an easy downhill walk along the Salkantay River, enjoying the increasingly lush vegetation, passing waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. The arid highland landscape begins to transform into a cloud forest filled with trees and bromeliads. After 1.5-2 hours we arrive at the settlement of Chaullay, and after another 45 minutes to the town of Collpapampa. From Colpapampa, the Salkantay River becomes the Santa Teresa River. After a rest, we continue our descent to the banks of the Totora River, then passing the waterfalls at Coripacchi, the settlement at Wiaypoko, the bustling small town of La Playa and finally our second camp at Lucmabamba (2,100m/6888ft). On the way we can see plantations of banana, coffee, and avocado, as well as exuberant local flora. We enter spectacled-bear territory and we will probably be accompanied by flocks of parrots as we descend. At dinner we can enjoy a glass of wine by the light of the camp-fire. Distance 20 km; time 8-9 hours; maximum altitude 3500m (11,480 ft) Camp overnight.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Camping on Trek

Day 3: Hike to Hydroelectric Station; train to Aguas Calientes; hotel overnight (BL)

After breakfast, we start climbing for 2-3 hours ups to El Mirador or Abra Q'elloqasa (2860m/9381ft), from where you have an exceptional view of the Lost City of the Incas, the legendary Machu Picchu, from a different angle. You enjoy a last lunch in nature at the lookout point of Llaqtapata (2650m/8692ft) from where you can view both Machu Picchu and the Salcantay Mountain, and take a good rest, enjoying the added value of the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. A 2-hour decent towards the Aobamba River crossing lush bamboo forests and more orchards and coffee plantations brings you to the hydroelectric plant of Machu Picchu from where you board a train that brings you to Aguas Calientes (short, scenic 40-minute train ride). Accommodations at your hotel in Aguas Calientes. Distance 12 km; time 5-6 hours; maximum altitude 2650 m (8,692 ft). Dinner on your own. Overnight hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: LaCabana Aguas Calientes

Day 4: Shuttle, entrance and guided tour of Machu Picchu; train return to Cusco (B)

We wake up early and board a shuttle bus to Machu Picchu ,where we begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. You will then have free time to walk around. There is an optional climb up the Huayna Picchu Mountain at 10 a.m., where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it (please note that you must order the Huayna Picchu tickets at least 90 days in advance). In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where, if you like, you can visit the outdoor market. From here we take the Expedition train back to the city of Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall. Transfer to your hotel. Note that the hotel this evening is not included in the price.

Meals included: Breakfast


4-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
from $1385 USD
*** Contact Us for other itinerary and lodging options! ***

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • Pre-trek briefing with guide for trek
  • Transportation by vehicle to trailhead
  • Bi-lingual guide on the trek, who will handle the first aid kit
  • Two-man tents including foamy sleeping pads
  • Pack animals and muleteer (pack animal for two hikers is shared)
  • Cook and kitchen crew
  • Commissary gear
  • All meals during the trek
  • Portable toilet
  • High end 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Shuttle, entrance and guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Vistadome train return to Cusco
  • Prices for a private trek is available upon request
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Tips for your guide, driver, cook, crew, muleteer
  • Hotel in Cusco
  • Dinner in Aguas Calientes
  • Ticket to climb Huayna Picchu (add US$50 per person)
  • Upgrade to Vistadome train return is US$35 per person
  • Personal gear (sleeping bag, pack, clothes, etc)
  • Single supplement of US$285 for the horse and hotel single room
  • Personal expenses (alcoholic beverages, laundry, insurance, internet, etc)
  • International and domestic flights
  • Additional pre and post-trek tours

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