Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu (3 Days)

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Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Pickup

Duration

3 Days
Tour Details

Short on time? Experience the best of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu on our three-day trek from Cusco. Also known as the Salkantay Challenge Trek, this trek covers 48 kilometers through diverse landscapes. It starts near the foothills of the snow-capped Salkantay Mountain. Trekking through the turquoise waters of Laguna Humantay, you will be rewarded with sights of colorful valleys and waterfalls. You will then descend to the cloud forest. This is one of the best treks in South America.

The most challenging yet remarkable part of the trek is the hike to the highest point of the trek, Salkantay Pass at 4,600 meters / 15,091 feet. As most passes on this 3-day Salkantay Trek are at high altitude, we recommend you to be well acclimatized to avoid altitude sickness.

The best time to do the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

The Peruvian Andes experience two types of seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The rainy season is from December to March, during which the terrains can be a bit slippery and there is a higher risk of landslides. The best time to do the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is during the dry season, from April until November. 

Price Includes

  • Pre Trek briefing
  • Transportation from your hotel in Cusco to Soraypampa
  • Bi-lingual guide
  • Camping equipment: We have tents for the kitchen and dining room as well as tables, chairs and complete kitchen equipment. All transported by horses.
  • Duffel Bag, in which you can load up to 7 Kgs / 15 lbs (including sleeping bags) for our mules to carry.
  • Cooking service: A chef specialized in walking routes, along with his assistant, will prepare delicious dishes of Peruvian cuisine throughout the trip (Buffet food)
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch and 2 dinners. Special menus, vegetarian or vegan, diets are available at no additional cost.
  • Entrance Tickets to Machu Picchu
  • Coffee, Tea every morning and in the evening
  • Daily snacks: On days 1, and 2. At the beginning of each day we will offer delicious snacks in a cloth bag: local fruits, chocolate cookies, candies.
  • Facility to refill your water bottle
  • Medical kit
  • Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Transfer from Ollantaytambo Train Station to Cusco

Price Excludes

  • Entrance to Salkantay (S/ .10 per person)
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain are subject to space availability (USD 25 each)
  • Breakfast on the first day
  • Lunch and Dinner on the third day
  • Sleeping bags. Our sleeping bags are graded for .15 degrees below zero and include polar sheets - USD 25
  • Bus Ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (uphill and downhill - USD 12 each)
  • Walking Stick (USD 10)
  • Train from Hidroeléctrica to Aguas Calientes (USD 31)
  • Vista Dome train upgrade USD 35
  • Additional costs: Additional costs may be incurred due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the agency's control, such as bad weather conditions, health or safety issues, changes in government policies, political instability, strikes, etc., which may result in delays or modifications to the itinerary.

Recommended To Carry

  • Original passport (very important)
  • Sleeping bag (if you don't have a sleeping bag, you can rent a good quality one).
  • A jacket for the cold and rain
  • Sportswear for five days (polo shirts, pants, ... )
  • Hiking shoes
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hat or cap and gloves for the cold
  • Swimsuit, towels and sandals
  • Sunscreen and sun glasses
  • Rain jacket or poncho (December - March)
  • Extra money
  • Standard 35 liter backpack
  • Hand or head lamp
  • Personal Medications
Itinerary

Day 1CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SORAYPAMPA – ABRA SALKANTAY – CHAULLAY

At approximately 4:00 AM, we will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. You will be transferred to Mollepata in our private vehicle, which will take about two hours. We will stop in Mollepata for breakfast before continuing the drive to Soraypampa, the starting point of the 3-Day Salkantay Trek.

During the first leg of the trek, we will hike to the highest point, Salkantay Pass, which is nestled at 4,650 meters above sea level. It is a seven-kilometer hike from Soraypampa to Salkantay Pass, taking approximately three hours. Once we reach the pass, we will take some time to appreciate the tranquility and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Peruvian Andes.

From there, we will descend to Wayraqmachay, where we will stop for lunch. Afterward, we will continue the trek for around two and a half hours until we reach Chaullay. We will spend the night at the Andean Hut in Chaullay.

Please note that this section of the trek is quite challenging and requires good physical endurance. We highly recommend acclimatizing well in Cusco before starting the trek.

  • Total walking distance: 17 km
  • Walking duration: 10.5 hours
  • Mollepata: 2,800 meters
  • Soraypampa: 3,900 meters
  • Abra Salkantay: 4,650 meters
  • Chaullay: 2,060 meters
  • Difficulty level: Challenging
  • Meals included: Lunch, dinner, and snacks during tea time

Day 2CHAULLAY – LA PLAYA – HIDROELECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES

After breakfast at 6:00 AM, we will begin trekking downhill. This will be a relatively easy day, covering a distance of 17 kilometers over six hours. Along the way, you will be treated to scenic landscapes, including wild orchids, coffee plantations, avocados, and tropical fruits such as passion fruit and granadillas.

We will pass through the town of Collpapampa, known for its cloud forest, where we will stop for lunch. After lunch, you will be transferred to the Hydroelectric Power Station by our vehicle.

From the Hydroelectric Power Station, it is a three-hour hike along the railway lines to the town of Aguas Calientes. This is the same route that Hiram Bingham took when he rediscovered Machu Picchu. You will be accommodated in an ensuite hotel room in Aguas Calientes. In the evening, you can relax and enjoy the nearby hot springs.

  • Total walking distance: 17 km (approx.)
  • Walking duration: 6.5 hours (approx.)
  • Chaullay altitude: 2,900 meters (approx.)
  • Hydroelectric altitude: 1,890 meters (approx.)
  • Aguas Calientes altitude: 2,060 meters (approx.)
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3MACHU PICCHU

After an early breakfast, you will have the option to hike along a section of the Inca Trail for an hour and a half to Machu Picchu or take a bus (USD 12 each way, 25-minute ride).

Once at Machu Picchu, our local expert will provide a two-hour guided tour of the Inca site. After the tour, you will have free time to explore the citadel at your own pace. Alternatively, you can visit the Sun Gate, which offers a captivating view of the renowned Inca ruins.

You can also visit the Inca Bridge. If you have booked a hike up Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu Mountain, our guide will direct you to the entrance.

At the designated time, you will take the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. Our representative will meet you there and transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco. We expect to arrive in Cusco around 10:00 PM.

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