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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5D/4N

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days 4 Nights

The breathtaking trek from Salkantay to Machu Picchu offers a remarkable alternative to the Inca Trail. Recognized by National Geographic as one of the top twenty-five treks in the world, this journey will captivate your senses.

With an elevation of 6,271 meters (20,569 feet), it is one of the most awe-inspiring adventures in the Peruvian Andes. This trek provides an immersive experience with nature as you traverse through a diverse ecosystem that undergoes remarkable transformations from day to day. Prepare to be captivated by the majestic snow-capped mountains and enchanted by the enchanting cloud forest, where you’ll encounter a rich variety of plant and animal life.

Salkantay is a prominent peak within the expansive Vilcabamba mountain range, spanning over 270 kilometers (167 miles). It lies just under fifty miles northwest of the vibrant city of Cusco. Embarking on this journey requires a reasonable level of physical fitness. Equally important is acclimatization to the high altitude, especially if it’s your first time trekking at such heights, as the highest point reaches 4,600 meters (15,000 feet).

This exceptional expedition is ideal for those unable to secure a spot on the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Highlights of this 5-day Itinerary:

  • Embark on a trek from Salkantay to Machu Picchu, an alternative route to the Inca Trail.
  • Experience the stunning beauty of the Peruvian Andes.
  • Immerse yourself in a changing ecosystem, from snow-capped mountains to the lush cloud forest.
  • Discover the biodiversity of flora and fauna along the trek, including native orchids and exotic bird species.
  • Explore the Vilcabamba mountain range.
  • Start the journey from Soraypampa with breathtaking views of the Salkantay and Humantay mountains.
  • Visit the mesmerizing Humantay Lagoon, a turquoise-colored lake at the base of the Humantay glacier.
  • Camp at Salkantaypampa, an isolated spot with stunning nighttime views of the stars and the Salkantay glacier.
  • Reach the trek’s highest point at Salkantay Pass.
  • Descend through picturesque valleys and experience the transition from high altitude to the enchanting cloud forest.
  • Encounter local farm villages and witness the cultivation of coffee, avocados, bananas, and other crops.
  • Discover hidden gems like Lucmabamba, a village known for its coffee production and tropical forest exploration.
  • Marvel at the panoramic views of Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu mountains from the Llaptapata archaeological site.
  • Conclude the adventure in Aguas Calientes, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the iconic Machu Picchu.
  • Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu and savor your free time through this ancient Inca city.
  • Return to Cusco with lasting memories of an unforgettable trekking experience.


Kickstarting your adventure, our experienced team, led by your knowledgeable guide, will pick you up early from your hotel. We’ll embark on a private transfer to the trek’s starting point, a journey of approximately three and a half hours. Along the way, we’ll pass charming farm villages like Izcuchaca in the Anta province and venture into the renowned Limatambo Valley, known for its avocado plantations.

A stop at Mollepata allows for an optional and peaceful breakfast before we head to Soraypampa at an elevation of 3,900 meters (12,084 feet). This is our launching point for the remarkable Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. Prepare to be awe-inspired by the panoramic vistas of the snow-capped Salkantay and Humantay mountains as we embark on an ascent to the captivating Humantay Lagoon. This stunning natural wonder, nestled at the base of the Humantay glacier, boasts turquoise waters and ranks among the most picturesque lakes of its kind.

After enjoying some free time here, we’ll return to Soraypampa for a well-deserved lunch. Our trek continues with a two-hour hike to our base camp, Salkantaypampa, at an elevation of 4,000 meters (12,720 feet).

This unique camp offers an uncrowded and tranquil setting, perfect for stargazing at night and witnessing the captivating sunset and sunrise over the Salkantay glacier.

Distance: 10.00 km (6.21 miles), Time: 5 to 6 hours, Elevation: from 3,900 to 4,000 meters (12,084 to 13,123 feet) above sea level.


On day two, we’ll rise early to embark on our journey. After a nourishing breakfast, we’ll resume our hike, treated to breathtaking views of the imposing Salkantay mountain as we traverse through a rocky valley for approximately 2.30 hours, reaching the highest point of the trek: Salkantay Pass, towering at an elevation of 4,600 meters (14,628 feet).

Revered as the second-highest glacier in the Cusco region, Salkantay Mountain held great significance as a sacred deity and protector during the Inca era. Take some time to absorb the stunning vistas, including the magnificent Pumasillo mountain. We’ll descend for two hours along a stone path and reach our lunch spot, Wayracmachay. Afterward, we’ll continue our descent for three hours, ultimately arriving at our campsite in Colpapampa, situated at an elevation of 2,900 meters (9,222 feet).

This leg of the trek unveils the remarkable transition from high altitudes to the enchanting cloud forest, where you’ll encounter ancient medicinal plants, vibrant flowers, and a variety of avian species, including hummingbirds.

Distance: 16 km (9.94 miles), Time: 8 to 9 hours, Highest point: 4,600 meters (14,628 feet), Elevation: from 4,000 to 2,900 meters (13,123 to 9,222 feet) above sea level.


After a hearty breakfast, we’ll continue our trek amidst lush green vegetation, meandering alongside the Santa Teresa River. As we traverse this picturesque landscape, you’ll encounter a rich array of flora and fauna, including native orchids that bloom in abundance. Along the way, we’ll pass mesmerizing waterfalls and Granadilla farms (known for their passion fruit), and you’ll have the opportunity to observe banana, avocado, Yaca, and coffee plantations.

Our path will lead us through charming farm villages such as Wiñaypocco, Lluscamayo, and Playa Sahuayaco before reaching our campsite in Lucmabamba at an elevation of 2,100 meters (6,678 feet). This farm village is renowned for its coffee production and provides an opportunity to explore a tropical forest. Coffee enthusiasts will be delighted to sample some of Peru’s finest organic coffee.

If you wish to relax, visiting the soothing Hot Springs of Cocalmayo is an optional activity.

Distance: 15 km (9.32 miles), Time: 5 to 6 hours, Highest point: 2,900 meters (9,222 feet), Elevation: from 2,900 to 2,000 meters (9,222 to 6,678 feet) above sea level.


After breakfast, we’ll begin our ascent for three hours toward Qelloqasa at an elevation of 2,700 meters (8,586 feet). From this vantage point, prepare to behold a spectacular view of the legendary Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.

We’ll then descend to the Llaptapata archaeological site, where you can marvel at both Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu mountains while enjoying a well-deserved break and a guided explanation. Continuing our descent, we’ll reach the Aobamba River, passing through the lush green forest that occasionally offers sightings of the vibrant Peruvian national bird, the cock-of-the-rock. Orchards and coffee plantations will accompany us as we make our way to the Machupicchu hydroelectric plant, where we’ll enjoy lunch and bid farewell to our dedicated trekking crew.

Afterward, we’ll embark on a three-hour trek through the stunning cloud forest alongside the railway to reach the town of Aguas Calientes.

Alternatively, there is an option to take a 45-minute train ride to Aguas Calientes. If you opt for the train, please inform us in advance to secure your ticket, which incurs an additional cost of $35. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, our guide will escort you to the hotel where you’ll spend the night.

Distance: 18 km (11.18 miles), Time: 7 to 8 hours, Highest point: 2,700 meters (8,586 feet), Elevation: from 2,000 to 2,000 meters (6,678 to 6,678 feet) above sea level.


Following a satisfying breakfast, your guide will accompany you on a short bus journey to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Prepare to immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of this magical Inca city as you embark on a guided exploration, delving into its fascinating history, construction, and discovery for approximately three hours. Afterward, you’ll have ample free time to explore the site at your own pace. If you obtain a ticket for Wayna Picchu, you can climb this iconic peak.

Please note that only 400 visitors are permitted daily, so it’s essential to pre-book your entrance ticket with us to secure your permit. In the afternoon, we’ll reconvene in Aguas Calientes. From there, we’ll board a train back to either Ollantaytambo or Poroy, depending on availability, and then proceed with private transportation back to your hotel in Cusco.


Tour: Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5D/4N
Type: Alternative Treks, Private
Duration: 5D/4N
Difficulty: Moderate
Destinations: Aguas Calientes, Colpapampa, Cusco, Dead Woman Pass, Granadilla, Huayllabamba, Izcuchaca, Lluscamayo, Lucmabamba, Machu Picchu, Mollepata, Coffee Plantation, Playa Sahuayaco, Qelloqasa, Salkantay, Santa Teresa River, Wayna Picchu, Wayracmachay, Wiñaypocco.

Tour Price:

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5D/4N


$ 1,147

Per Person

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+51 961 084 038


+51 961 084 038