Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu – Salkantay Trail
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a popular alternative to the esteemed Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This high-altitude Salkantay Trail starts on the foothills of the sacred Salkantay Mountain and takes you down to the cloud forest before visiting Machu Picchu.
Salkantay Trail is recognized as one of the most popular treks in South America. Unlike the Inca Trail, The Classic Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu does not require any permits months in advance.
The snow-capped Salkantay peak is the second highest peak in the region after Ausangate. It is one of the sacred peaks in Andean mythology. Locals refer to it as “Apus”. Which in Quechua (the native language) means Father.
On any sacred occasion, Andean priests (Shamans) seek the blessings of their Apus before beginning their rituals.
The highest point of this Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is the Salkantay Pass at 4600 meters above sea level(15,090 feet) above sea level. It is highly recommended that you spend 3-4 days in Cusco before the trek to acclimate and avoid altitude sickness.
The best time to hike Salkantay Trek is during the dry season, between March and November as the weather is mostly clear. The best months to hike to Machu Picchu are however from June to September.
During the wet season, between November and February. The trail gets slippery and there is often the possibility of landslides.
Minka Peru Expedition is a specialized and recognized Salkantay Trekking company based in Cusco. As local tour operators, we have an excellent team of local tour guides who are also professional mountaineers.
All our guides are trained on first aid and offer assistance in case of altitude sickness.
Do take a moment to check our reviews on Tripadvisor.
Is Salkantay Trek harder than Inca trail?
The Salkantay Trek is harder than the Inca Trail. While the classic Inca Trail just takes 4 days, the Salkantay Trek spans 5 days. Also, the Salkantay Trek has a top altitude of around 4,572 m.a.s.l (15,000 feet), whereas the Inca Trail’s highest point is around 4,214 m.a.s.l (13,800 feet). So, the Salkantay Trek should only be walked by travellers in good physical shape.
How many days is the Salkantay trek?
Our Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is 5 days long. The first four days we will walk from Mollepata town to Aguas Calientes. On the fifth day, there’s a guided tour to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
How many miles is the Salkantay trail?
The Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu is 46 miles long (around 74 kilometers).
DeparturePick up from your Hotel
Departure Time5:00 AM.
Return TimeApproximately 6:00 PM.
Dress CodeWarm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk
IncludedAccommodationEntrancesFirst aid kit and emergency oxigenMealsPick up from your HotelProfessional GuideTransportation
Not IncludedWalking Stick
Day 1: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – CHALLAKANCHA – SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAYPAMPA
Day 2:CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – CHALLAKANCHA – SORAYPAMPA – SALKANTAYPAMPA
Day 3: COLPAPAMPA – PLAYA – LUCMABAMBA
Day 4: LA PLAYA – LLACTAPATA – HIDROELECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU
Day 5: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO
What is included?
- Pre trek briefing
- Pick-up from your hotel on the morning of the trek.
- Transport from Cusco to the trailhead in a private vehicle.
- Entrance Ticket to Machu Picchu (Huayna Picchu Mountain $15 extra) and Salkantay trek.
- English/Quechua/Spanish-speaking professional guide. (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people)
- Tents – 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
- Basic foam mattress.
- Toilet tent.
- Toilet paper, pack-in &pack out.
- Bio-degradable personal hand soaps.
- Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food, and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items. (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person)
- 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower.
- Tents for our staff to sleep in.
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Bus up and down from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu.
- Train or equivalent luggage from Hydroelectric Station to Aguas Calientes.
- Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
- Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- 1-night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a basic hotel.
- Cook and Cooking equipment. (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
- Meals (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes) Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
- Beverages: Coffee or coca tea
- Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals.
- Lunch on the last day is included.
- One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment.
- Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunchtime, if requested with enough time ahead.
What is not included?
- Dinner on the last night.
- Huayna Picchu entrance fee: if you would like to climb this mountain an additional fee of US $16 per personal applies Breakfast on the first morning
- Entrance to the thermal springs.
- Sleeping bags – If you haven’t got a sleeping bag or you don’t want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.
- Tipping is completely optional. We take excellent care of our staff.
What we recommend you to bring:
- A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
- Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breathe in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
- Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain, and cold.
- After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.
- Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although no malaria risk has been reported.
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
- Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
- Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc Small towel.
- Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs.
- Cash in soles and/or US$.
- Original passport.
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
- Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots are recommended.
- Flashlight/headlamp and batteries.
- Camera and batteries. (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
- Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed into Machu Picchu. Plastic water containers (ie. Nalgene) or metal ones are recommended.
- Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far.
- Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount.
PRICE $USD PER PERSONPrivate Group
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