The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - Ascend Adventure Travel
Trekking > The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5d/4n
Trip Notes
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Duration: 5d/4n

  • Stunning view of Mt. Salkantay, with an elevation of 6,271 Meters! (20,568 feet)
  • High Andes lakes of Soraypampa
  • The exotic jungle zone “Ceja de Selva” (Eyebrow Jungle)
  • Reach elevations of over 4590 Meters! (15,055 feet)
  • Hot Springs of Collpapampa
  • The famous ruins of Machu Picchu!
  • Transportation from you hotel to Mollepata-Cruzpata (Trailhead)
  • 2 person tent and sleeping-pads
  • Bilingual, experienced trekking guide
  • 13 pounds (6 kilos) of personal items to be carried by our porters (you will only need to carry your daypack)
  • 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Hot water (for sanitary/cleaning purposes)
  • First-aid kit (oxygen tank if needed)
  • Personal Chefs to cook and prepare all of your meals
  • Boiled drinking water (to fill your bottles)
  • Train from the Hydroelectric Station to Aguas Calientes   
  • Tourist Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollanta and private run transport to Cusco
  • Admission Ticket to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
  • Tour guide in Machu Picchu
  • Lodging in Aguas Calientes (double or triple accommodation, by availability)
  • Free storage in Cusco for your belongings at our office of operations near the Main Square
Not Included:
  • Bottled Water (although we supply you with boiled water to fill your personal bottles)
  • Additional beverages (alcoholic beverages and drinks in addition to our meals)
  • Bus transportation from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes on the last day ($8 or, However can be hiked in about 1 hour
  • Dinner the last day in Aguas Calientes
Packing List:
  • Backpack
  • Five or six changes of clothes and warm clothing for cold nights
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Hiking or sports shoes
  • Camera
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper
  • Snacks: Candy or energy bars
  • Water bottle and sterilizing tablets/water filter
  • Swimsuit (if you want to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
  • Cash in Peruvian Soles or $US
  • Original passport (required for entry to the Inca Trail)
  • Walking stick or poles (Suggested)
Possible Extensions/Upgrades:
  • Luxury Package: Includes either 4 or 5 star hotel accommodations (please specify), train tickets on the famous Hiram Bingham luxury train (known as the most luxurious train in all of South America), and private guided tour.
  • Train upgrade: Upgrade to the classy Vistadome train with better views, live entertainment and a complementary meal for the return trip!
  • Hotel upgrade: Upgrade to 3, 4 or 5 star hotel! (Basic package includes accommodations in a 2-star hotel)
  • 1-Night extension: Want to spend an extra night in Aguas Calientes? Just let us know!
Available Discounts:
  • Students (Requires a valid International Student Identity Card)

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The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5d/4n

The Salkantay Trek is an amazing, off-the-beaten-path alternative to the Inca Trail. It is the second tallest mountain in the Cusco region, reaching a breathtaking 6,271 meters or 20,568 feet. You will admire the gorgeous snow-capped peak of Mt. Salkantay, observe the high Andean glacial lakes of Soraypampa, take in the scenery of the exotic mountainous jungle zone, swim  in the natural hot springs at Collpapampa, and end with a guided tour of The Lost Incan City of Machu Picchu. This trek catalogues the bio-diversity of the Andes and offers not only an alternative to the Inca Trail, but a trip unique in its own. 

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Cusco - Mollepata - Salkantaypampa

We start our first day by picking you up bright and early from your hotel or hostel in Cusco to travel to the trailhead for the Salkantay trek. We will drive through Izcuchaca and towards Limatambo which will take us about three hours or so, but worry not - we will pass through beautiful Andean scenery and end up at a hot, delicious breakfast accompanied by incredible views of Mt. Salkantay (which is located in the Vilcanota Mountain Range). Additionally, you will get the chance to snap some photos of the Apurimac River and the small Andean village of Mollepata. After you have had a chance to take in the scenery, we will move our luggage to a better equipped bus that is set to handle the rocky conditions ahead as we will pass through Cruzpata (3,200 meters or 10,496 feet) and up to Sayllapata (3,600 meters or 11,808 feet) to the trailhead. Our trekking staff will greet you and assist with your bags while you meet our cooking and porter team. We will start our trek through the magnificent Andean Valley for about 2 hours and arrive at Soraypampa where we will visit a glacial lake and have lunch.  After a hot meal, we will hike for approximately 3 hours to Salkantaypampa (3,950  meters or 12,956 feet) and reach our first camping spot. Hot Dinner awaits us as reward for a hard day’s work and as preparation for tomorrow’s adventure.

Day 2
Salkantaypampa - Collpapampa

We start off our second early morning with a hot breakfast to prepare you for our trek to our 2nd campsite at Collpapampa. After breakfast we will begin hiking for 3 hours to Apacheta Pass (a stunning 4.590 meters or 15,500 feet) where you will get to gaze at several glacier lakes, the White River, and of course the magnificent Mt. Salkantay (The Cusco Region’s second highest mountainat 6,271 meters or 20,568 feet),.  From here we will continue onwards on a 2-hour descent to our lunch spot in Huayracmachay.  After lunch, we will set forth once again on the path to Rayaniyoc (3,100 meters or 10,168 feet) and depending on the weather, camp here or continue on to Collpapampa (2,920 meters or 9,578 feet). Here there are beautiful hot springs, dinner and hot beverages. Our crew will set up your campsite for the night so we can continue on early in the morning.

Day 3
- La Playa

Our day starts off at about 6:30 AM and marks the start of our trek to through the Jungle Region of “Ceja de Selva” (Eyebrow jungle) in which we will see exotic birds and diverse fauna, while passing through coca and banana crops marked by an exquisite array of colors. You will most definitely want your camera in hand for this incredible section of the journey. After some photos, you will have the opportunity to take a natural jungle shower in a waterfall before we set off for Lluscamayo for some lunch and down time before a 3-hour hike to our campsite in “La Playa” (2,350 meters or 7,708 feet). Here there is a local village where you will be able to buy souvenirs to remember this once-in-a-lifetime trekking experience. We’ll end our services for the night with a wonderful dinner buffet that will rejuvenate your aching body.

Day 4
La Playa - Hydroelectric Station - Aguas Calientes

At 7 AM we will start our journey to the Lucmabamba village and encounter the Inca trail. We will start to ascend through the Santa Teresa Valley to Llaqtapata where you’ll encounter plantations of exotic fruits such as passion fruit and a panoramic view of Santa Teresa Valley.  From here will we ascend four hours to Llaqtapata (2,700 meters or 8856 feet) for some downtime to appreciate our first view of Machu Picchu. We will continue on to the Hydroelectric Plant where our staff will have a lunch ready to appease your appetite. From here we head to Aguas Calientes for a short train ride to arrive at our lodging accommodations.  You will arrive in Aguas Calientes where a comfy bed and gourmet dinner await you to prepare you for our final destination, Machu Picchu!

Day 5
Machu Picchu! - Cusco

This is the day you’ve been waiting for.  We will wake up before first light and trek 1 ½ hours to the entrance of Machu Picchu to be among the first to arrive at the famous ruins.  Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas,” is located at approximately 2500 meters (or 8,000 feet, which is significantly lower than the city of Cusco). Machu Picchu is situated between two peaks, Mt. Machu Picchu (“Old Peak” in Quechua) and Wayna Picchu (“Young Peak” in Quechua). We will enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of the ruins in which we will learn about Incan architecture and uses of different structures, as well as visit the Main Square, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Sacred Sundial and the ancient burial grounds.  After the guided tour, you will have free time to continue to visit the world-famous ruins.  Some possible activities besides visiting the main ruins include:

  1. Climbing Wayna Picchu (approx. 1 and ½ hours and special entrance ticket required)
  2. Visiting the Temple of the Moon (approx. 3 hours and special entrance ticket required)
  3. Walking to the Inca Bridge (1 hour)
  4. Climbing the last part of the Inca Trail to Intipunku ("Sun Gate," 1 and ½ hours)
  5. Climb Mt. Machu Picchu (twice as tall as Wayna Picchu and less crowded, approx. 2 hours - if you haven't already tired yourself out)
Around 4 PM we will descend to Aguas Calientes where we will grab a quick dinner before heading to the train station and returning to Cusco where you will arrive after nightfall and be dropped off at your hotel.  This concludes the unforgettable Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu!


See the Salkantay 5d/4n Trek Map!






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