Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

5 Days and 4 Nights

As an alternative option to the classic Inca Trail tour, the Salkantay Mountain is one of the best alternative routes to reach Machu Picchu. Additionally, it offers a complete and enriching experience.
The Salkantay Trail is one of the most valued and well-known routes in Cusco, as an alternative to the renowned Inca Trail. Undoubtedly, it is the best option to experience the magnificence of the paths our Inca ancestors traveled for years.
The highlight of this journey is the Salkantay Pass, located at approximately 4700 meters above sea level, near the snow-capped Salkantay Mountain. However, one cannot fail to mention the wonderful view of the Cusco jungle valleys. It is truly an unparalleled experience!



We will start this Salkantay route to Machu Picchu at sunset. The guide will pick you up at 3 p.m. at your respective hotel. At that moment, you will meet the group of hikers. Then we will head in our private transportation on a 3.5-hour journey to the Glass Accommodations in Soraypampa, located at an altitude of 3,800 meters. We will arrive just in time to capture photographs of the sunset over the peaks of the glacier.

In the glass accommodations, the guide will accompany you to your room before enjoying a delicious dinner with some hot drinks.

During the night, you will have a unique view of the stars in the night sky.

**Since you may have checked out from your hotel before the departure time, the meeting point for this hike will be our office located near the main square.


Altitude: 3800 meters above sea level

Weather: Cold, windy, rainy in the wet season


After a hearty breakfast, we will start our hike early in the morning. The tour guide will pick you up at the Glass Accommodations and we will begin walking towards Laguna Humantay. Here you will have the chance to discover and enjoy this beautiful turquoise-colored lake.

After exploring Laguna Humantay, we will continue our way towards the Salkantay Pass, which is located at an altitude of 4,650 meters. Here we will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. This point will be the highest point of our hike.

Then, we will start descending towards Challway, where we will have our lunch. In Challway, we will stay in a campsite and enjoy a delicious dinner. Throughout the day, you will enjoy beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, and various species of flora and fauna.

Hiking distance: 22 km

Maximum altitude: 4,650 meters above sea level

Campsite altitude: 2,950 meters above sea level

Weather: Cold in the morning, warm during the day, cold at night


After an early breakfast, we will continue our hike towards La Playa. On the way, you will be able to appreciate the diversity of flora and fauna in the region, as well as beautiful waterfalls and stunning landscapes.

The highlight of the day will be the visit to the archaeological remains of Llactapata, an ancient Inca city located in a strategic spot overlooking Machu Picchu. Here you will have a panoramic view of the famous citadel.

Then, we will descend to La Playa, where we will have our lunch and spend the night. In La Playa, you will be able to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings as you prepare for the hike the next day. You will also have the opportunity to interact with the locals and learn about their way of life.

Hiking distance: 16 km

Campsite altitude: 2,350 meters above sea level

Weather: Warm during the day, cool at night


After breakfast, we will continue our hike towards the town of Aguas Calientes. On this day, you will enjoy a change of scenery as you walk through coffee and banana plantations, as well as lush tropical forests.

We will arrive in the town of Santa Teresa, where we will have a delicious lunch. Then, we will continue walking towards the Hydroelectric Plant, where we will meet our train that will take us to Aguas Calientes.

After checking in at our hotel in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time to explore the town and relax in the hot springs, a relaxing experience after several days of hiking.

Hiking distance: 18 km

Altitude of Aguas Calientes: 2,040 meters above sea level

Weather: Warm and humid


This will be one of the most exciting days of our trip. After an early breakfast, we will take a bus to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Here you will have a 2-hour guided tour to learn about the history and culture of the ancient Incas.

After the guided tour, you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu on your own, climb the Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu mountain (subject to availability and additional cost). Enjoy the incredible views and take unforgettable photos.

After your visit to Machu Picchu, we will descend to Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Ollantaytambo. From there, you will be transferred by bus to Cusco, where you will arrive around 9 p.m.

Altitude of Machu Picchu: 2,430 meters above sea level

Weather: Warm during the day, cool at night

And that’s it! This is an overview of our itinerary for the Salkantay hike to Machu Picchu. Please note that schedules and activities may vary depending on weather conditions and other factors. But you can rest assured that you will have an unforgettable experience exploring the majesty of the Peruvian Andes and the ancient Inca civilization.



  • Pre-trip briefing.
  • Professional guides.
  • Porters.
  • Accommodation in a hotel.
  • Transportation.
  • Camping equipment.
  • Meals.
  • Water.
  • First aid services.
  • Additional extras.
  • Satellite phones.

Does Not Include:

  • Rental of additional equipment.
  • Huayna Picchu climb.
  • Daypacks.
  • Headlamps.
  • Flights.
  • Tips.
  • Travel insurance.



Please contact us for pricing information.


Travel Recommendations:

  • Pack as light as possible, as there are no porters on this hike.
  • Bring along your important documents, such as passport, valid student ID card (if applicable), and immigration card.
  • Bring a small, lightweight backpack for the trip.
  • Remember to bring a water reservoir, such as Camelbags, with a capacity of at least 2-3 liters.
  • Wear comfortable and lightweight hiking boots with good soles.
  • Don’t forget to include toiletries on your list, such as sunscreen, facial moisturizer, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, toilet paper, personal medication, and a first aid kit.
  • Note the backpack size restrictions within Machu Picchu, backpacks larger than 25 liters will not be allowed.
  • Don’t forget to bring a hat for the sun, rain gear, a woolen hat, camera, music, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and a small plastic bag for waste.
  • Bring extra money for souvenirs, drinks, and tips.
  • Consider bringing earplugs for a better rest during the trip.

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