Salkantay trek

Classic Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu



Perfect for those seeking incredible vistas, this takes you on the classic Salktantay trek past the majestic Salkantay Mountain.

Hikers enjoy a path that winds around the base of the sacred Mt. Salkantay (6271 m / 20694 ft), which is one of the highest and magnificent snow-capped peaks in the Peruvian Andes. The Salkantay Trek was even chosen as one of the “World’s 25 best Hikes” by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine!


Day 1: The journey begins | Cusco to Soyrococha
  • Today we start with a four-hour bus ride to the hike’s trailhead (3100 meters / 10,230 feet); here we meet up with our horseman and horses that will support you on this excursion to Machu Picchu.
  • Passports or ID have to be shown at check points.
  • Today we hike through populated rural areas and villages, passing through corn, potato fields and taking in the scenery and views of Mt. Salkantay (6271 meters / 20694 feet).
  • Tonight’s campsite is the coldest so this is a good time for down jackets, warm clothing, and baby alpaca sweaters. And you can enjoy a cup of coca tea or a glass of hot wine.
  • Hiking time: 6 hours
  • Distance covered: 8 km / 5 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Challenging
Day 2: Conquering the Salkantay Pass | Soyrococha to Chaullay
  • Today is a challenging day, just a 45-minute climb to reach the hike’s highest point on Salkantay pass (4650 meters / 15,345 feet).
  • Snow-capped mountains of the Vilcabamba mountain range appear in the clouds — a perfect photo opportunity.
  • From this point we start descending into the Chaullay valley and a more tropical area. There is a big change in the vegetation from dry areas and sparse grasses to the lush and humid rain forest.
  • Tonight’s campsite is at 2890 meters / 9537 feet.
  • Hiking time: 8 hours
  • Distance covered: 17 km / 11 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Challenging
Day 3: Deeper into the Rainforest | Chaullay to Playa Sahuayaco
  • Today we keep descending along the Salkantay River; we hike through more populated areas and the rainforest with its lush vegetation, waterfalls, coffee and banana plantations. Hummingbirds and bright colorful butterflies are all over the area.
  • Average temperature is 22°C / 71°F + humidity factor.
  • Hiking time: 6 hours
  • Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Moderate
Day 4: Following an ancient Inca trail | Llaqtapata to Aguas Calientes
  • Today is our last challenging day. We follow an ancient Inca trail and climb up to Llaqtapata (Inca ruins), which is still hidden by the jungle vegetation; from this point you will have the first view of the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu from the Southwest.
  • Learn about Llaqtapata while exploring the Inca site and enjoying the magnificent view of Machu Picchu.
  • Then we have a three-hour walk down through the lush bamboo forest to the train station at Hidroelectrica (power station) where we board the train to Aguas Calientes town.
  • Hiking time: 6 hours
  • Distance covered: 14 km / 8.5 miles
  • Today’s hiking level: Moderate

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Zip-line in Santa Teresa: This is a half day activity that replaces the hike. Our local operator is Cola de Mono and has an additional cost.

Day 5: Visiting the Inca citadel Machu Picchu
  • Early shuttle bus up to Machu Picchu (25-minute ride).
  • Today you will enjoy the Machu Picchu tour and take in all the incredible sites.
  • We will have an early start in the morning before it gets too crowded. We begin with an introductory two-hour guided tour of the Inca site, learn all about it while exploring the area with a professional tour guide.
  • Optional: Climb up to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain known as “Montaña” (ADVANCE BOOKING REQUIRED – Check availability).
  • Bus back down to Aguas Calientes (25-minute ride).
  • Board the train to either Ollantaytambo or Poroy town, then continue by bus to your hotel.


  • Pre-departure briefing of your tour.
  • Transfer to the hike’s trailhead & to hotel on final day.
  • Support staff (professional cooks, horsemen and porters), horses to carry our camping gear and a riding horse for emergencies. Additional horses can be provided for an additional charge.
  • Camping equipment (tents, stools, tables, etc).
  • Sleeping pad.
  • Machu Picchu entrance fee.
  • Bus tickets up (x1) to Machu Picchu and down (x1) to Aguas Calientes.
  • Train tickets from Hidroelecrica (power station) to Aguas Calientes.
  • Train tickets from Aguas Calientes to either Ollantaytambo or Poroy town depending on train availability.
  • English-speaking tour guide (additional tour guide for groups of 9+).
  • Duffle bag.
  • Hotel accommodation for a night in Aguas Calientes town (at chosen hotel).
  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners (If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian or gluten free PLEASE let us know).
  • Emergency First-Aid kit and oxygen bottle.

BRIEFING: Before the hike, you will meet your hiking guide and the other members of your group. Your guide will explain to you all about the hike route and all the necessary recommendations will be provided to you for a great hiking experience.

× Not Included

  • Backpacks.
  • Sleeping Bag (You can bring your own from home or rent them locally in Cusco city).
  • Hiking poles (You can bring your own from home or rent them locally in Cusco city).
  • Breakfast on Day 1, lunch and dinner on Day 5.
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain known as “Montaña” (Advance booking required – Check availability).
  • Tips for horsemen, cooks and guides.
  • Travel Insurance (you are strongly recommended to take out a travel insurance for the duration of your trip).

NOTE: The itinerary above is a sample. Hiking times, campsites and lunch spots are subject to change according to our guides’ criteria, availability, weather conditions, evolution of the group and on restrictions undertaken for safety reasons by the Peruvian Government.

Ξ Packing List:

  • Original Passport.
  • ISIC card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount).
  • Hiking boots.
  • Waterproof jacket / rain poncho.
  • Warm jacket.
  • Hat and gloves.
  • T-shirts.
  • Comfortable trousers.
  • Sun cream (SPF 35 or higher).
  • Insect repellant.
  • Toiletries and hand sanitizer.
  • Spare coins.
  • Personal medication.
  • Camera and chargers.
  • Headlamp with spare batteries.


  • It is absolutely advised that hikers acclimate by spending few days at Cusco city (3400 meters / 11,220 feet) or similar before attempting the hike.
  • Hikers should be in a very good physical condition since the hike covers long distances each day.
  • Weather conditions may vary. Temperatures range from below freezing to 24°C / 75°F warm and humid.
  • Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain known as “Montaña” or Huayna Picchu Mountain is a terrific add-on experience since they both offer outstanding views of the Inca citadel, but the entrance fees are limited (400 people a day) and at scheduled times. If you consider climbing either of them YOU MUST SIGN UP FOR A SPOT IN ADVANCE.


Peru Machupicchu Tours S.A. is committed to traveling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. With your participation we can help conserving the area we visit and bring positive benefits to our host communities.

What you need to know on how to be a responsible traveler:

  • The natural environment is very important. If in nature you need to go to the bathroom, be sure it is buried away from waterways. Burying or carrying out used toilet paper is a must. Tampons and sanitary pads must also be taken out of the area and disposed of appropriately. Minimize use of soap or shampoos in rivers and lakes – your local guide will let you know when using soap is unsuitable.
  • When hiking, many travelers take an extra plastic bag to pick up any rubbish that they see to improve the area and for their own rubbish. Rubbish may have to be carried until a suitable disposal opportunity in the next town.
  • Please try and minimize the waste of plastic water bottles. Consider using a water filter, camelbacks or canteens.

Types of Service:

Our trekking programs are available in 2 types of services:

Group Service: This is a high quality, shared service with a maximum of twelve people (hikers) in the group. Groups up to eight people will have one guide, whilst over eight will have two — a great opportunity to have fun and make new friends. Our GROUP SERVICES have set departure dates.

Private Service: These services are arranged just for you and your party, and offer the possibility to choose the departure date, the group size and the duration of the trek. This not only has the advantage of adapting the pace to your physical condition, but also usually means enjoying quieter campsites and meeting fewer travelers along the route. All private groups include additional services, such as a riding horse for emergencies or to carry personal gear, among other benefits.

Hike duration5 days / 4 nights
Hike levelModerate to challenging
Hike styleActive
Type of hikeArchaeological, cultural and adventure
Distance54 kilometers / 33 miles
Hiking timeDay 1: 6 hours / Day 2: 8 hours / Day 3: 6 hours / Day 4: 6 hours / Day 5: Machu Picchu
ElevationLowest point 2000m (6600 feet) – highest point 4650m (15 345 feet) at Salkantay pass
Accommodation3 nights in camping tent / 1 night at hotel
Group sizeGroup service up to 12 hikers maximum – Private service (as requested)
Trip Advisor Peru Machupichu Travel

Request more information!

    Related Tours

    Why Trust in Us?
    Personalized Packages
    Trip Support & Flexibility
    Trip Support &
    What Our Travelers Say