4 day Salkantay (Program Details)
Starting Point: Cusco
Ending Point: Cusco
Activities: Archaeological, Cultural, Ecological, Hiking & Camping.
Watch our video about the Salkantay now on Youtube! Salkantay Pictures
This is the best alternative trek if the Inca Trail is full.
Official Salkantay operator.
Cusco – Santa Teresa – Salkantay – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Day 1: Cusco – Marqoqasa – Salkantaypampa 5 to 7 h Walk
You should have breakfast in your hotel prior to departure or take snacks with you. We will collect you early in the morning at around 5.30 a.m from your hotel and take private transport to the village of Mollepata (2.5 hours) where we will have breakfast or a snack for 30 minutes (not included) and have a look around in the village.
This is the traditional starting point for the Salkantay trek (5 days). We also suggest if you want to buy last minute supplies you can do so in Mollepata, this will also support the local economy. We will continue in our vehicle for 1/2 hour more to Marqoqasa (3350 masl), here we will start the trek. We will walk through valleys and snow-capped mountains to Soraypampa.
Throughout the 14 km hike, 6 km are uphill and the rest is downhill or flat. We will arrive at Soraypampa at about 4.00pm. From Soraypampa we will have the option to visit the Soray lagoon or continue through beautiful landscapes until we reach Salkantaypampa. This will be another hour of walking and is also where we will spend the first night and enjoy dinner.
Total hours walking: 5 – 7 hours
Day 2: Salkantaypampa – Chaullay – 9 h walk
The second day we will have breakfast at 5.30 a.m. and continue walking at 6.00 a.m. This day will be long. We will climb up gently for about 2-3 hours to Salkantay Cocha/Pampa. We will have lunch very close to the Salkantay Mountain and glaciers.
After lunch and a rest we will continue to climb steeply for 2.5 to 3 hours to the Salkantay pass. This is the highest point of the trip (4,600 meters/13451 feet). From here we will descend for 3 hours to Huayracmachay (3854 meters). We will continue till we reach Chaullay, here we will have dinner and camp for the night. Around the camp, we will enjoy small rivers and all the mountains around Salkantay.
Total hours walking: 8 to 9 hours
Day 3:Chaullay – Playa Sahuayaco – Hydro electrico – Aguas Calientes 7 h walk
After an early breakfast we will leave around 7 a.m through the high jungle (known as the eyebrow of the jungle) enjoying the landscapes which offer us so much natural beauty. You will be walking downhill 4 1/2 hours. On the way we will enjoy the different kinds of landscape and also different kinds of trees and orchids. We will pass by semi tropical Communities, cloud forests, valleys and small hot spring formations. When we reach the small high jungle village of “La Playa Sahuayaco” (2010 mts), we will have lunch. In playa it’s possible to enjoy the afternoon with cold drinks, because this is a warm and humid place. You can also do some walks along the river. After lunch we will take transport for 1 1/2 h to hydro electrico. From here we will walk for 2.5 hours along the train tracks (for an extra charge you can take the train) to arrive at the village of Aguas Calientes where we will have diner in a local restaurant, and stay overnight in a hostel with private bathrooms.
Accommodation: Hostel in Aguas Calientes
Total hours walking: 7 hours
Day 4: Machu Picchu – Cusco
We will have breakfast very early at around 5 a.m. Then we will take one of the first busses to Machu Picchu at around 5.45 a.m. We will enter Machu Picchu and have a guided tour of the complex for around 2 hours. After this you will have some free time to wander around by yourself, walk to Inti Punko, the “Sun Gate” or go to the mountain behind Machu Picchu which is called Waynapicchu (About a 45 minute walk), from here you have stunning views over the whole complex, but be careful there is a new rule that only 400 people a day are allowed, its included in your trip if the day you make the reservation there are still permits available! If the permits are gone you can climb up to the Sungate. After your free time you can walk or take a bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes for a late lunch (not included). In the afternoon we will take the train back to Poroy or Ollantaytambo, we will then transfer you to your hotel in Cusco!
PS The time and type of train ticket will depend on availability.
- Pre trek briefing.
- Pick up from your hotel.
- Transportation to start of the trail.
- Guide: Professional English and Spanish speaking guide (+1 assistant for groups over 8 people).
- Horsemen and horses: Carry tents, cooking equipment and also carry backpacks (5 Kg for each person).
- Bus ticket up and down: Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Aguas Calientes (day 4)
- Entrance ticket to Machupicchu + wayna picchu (depending on availability).
- Basic mattress. Inflatable at extra charge.
- Hotel: Double accommodation in Aguas Calientes (3rd night)
- Train ticket back to Poroy or Ollantaytambo (if in high season there is no availability on the train we will bring you back to Cusco by bus from hydro electrico)
- Meals: 3 Breakfasts / 3 Lunches / 3 Dinners. Vegetarian food available on request.
- Equipment: tents (2 people in each, 3 person capacity), mattress, Dining tent, kitchen tent, tables and chairs, table settings, first aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Breakfast on the first day.
- Lunch on the last day (take some snacks with you because the food at Machu Picchu is very expensive).
- optional, train ticket from hydro electrico to Aguas Calientes.
- Extra nights, at ending point in Aguas Calientes, so you can stay some extra nights at Machu Picchu, you will need to tell us in advance so we can buy your return train ticket for a different day!!
- Personal horse. If you would like a personal horse the cost is 140 USD extra for 3 days.
- Personal travel insurance.
- Entrance fee to the hot springs.
- Walking sticks.
- Inflatable mattress 5 USD a day.
- If you would like to have a single room in the hostel in Aguas Calientes the cost is 15 USD extra.
- Sleeping bag. We rent out good sleeping bags which will keep you warm to minus 10 degrees. The cost is $20 USD for the 4 days.
- Tips for the guide, cook and porters.
What do we need when you make a reservation?
- Full name as it is written in your passport.
- Scanned copy of your passport.
- Passport number.
- Date of birth.
- Copy/fax or scan from both sides of your ISIC student card (if you have one and you are less than 28 years old the price of the Trek is $20 USD less).
- Departing date for the trail.
- We ask for a 40% deposit, sending to us via Western Union, or even better via visa online through this website: VISA
The balance you will pay at our office in Cusco before the start of the trek. We accept cash USD or credit card (+6%)
You should bring:
- A light back pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho.
- Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
- Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots are recommended.
- Extra socks are a must.
- Sandals are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings.
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves and a scarf.
- Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
- Sleeping bag (we can rent this to you if you like).
- Torch/Flashlight and spare batteries.
- Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume quicker under cold conditions).
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold.
- Sun block + After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.
- Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although NO malaria risk has been reported.
- Toilet paper in plastic bag.
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
- Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
- We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
- Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, plasters for blisters etc.
- Small towel or sarong.
- Swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in the hot springs).
- Cash – sufficient for snacks, tips and souvenirs.
- Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
- Walking sticks or poles (we can rent these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day).
- Binoculars (if you have them).