Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Best Salkantay Trek 5 Days / 4 Nights

About Salkantay trek and Inca Trail

When we want to hike through Machu Picchu, the first thing that comes to our mind is the famous Inca Trail and when we found out that there is no longer available, we just look for Salkantay Trek.

Many travelers want to go to Machu Picchu by Inca Trail, and thats why the Peruvian government decided not only to limit daily access but also to impose strict Inca Trail Regulations.

We know how frustrating and hard it is to not be able to get or find a permit because if you want to book you have to do it 4 months in advance and sometimes there are no permits left.

Salkantay Mountain
Salkantay Trek Camp - Lake

What is Salkantay Trek?

The Salkantay trek is one of the most popular alternative treks to Machu Picchu besides Inca Trail, the reason is because it offers to hikers an incredibly diverse trekking experience.

The National Geographic Adventure Magazine rated this Salkantay trek as one for the 25 Best Treks in the World.

This popular trek is one that you completed in 5 Days /4 Night; however it is possible to do the trek on a 4 Days.

The name of the trek comes from the mountain named as Salkantay (Quechua) Salcantay (Spanish).

The Salcantay Mountain

Salkantay Mountain or Nevado Salcantay is one of the most iconic mountains in the Cusco region and the highest mountain on the Willkapampa range, it is 6,271 m (20,574 ft). It is 12th highest mountain in Peru and the 38th highest in the Andes.

If you want to read more about this mountain read in wikipedia

Salkantay at night

The Best Experience Ever

All our treks to Salkantay are custom-designed tours alternative to the traditional Inca Trail. Off the beaten path, this is a cutting edge experience for adventure travelers looking for a little more privacy and authenticity. With more spectacular views, the salkantay trek offers the solitude and quiet contemplation such a sacred path deserves.

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu: The best alternative trek to Inca Trail​

The Salkantay hike crosses the Salkantay Pass, witch it is at 4600 m above sea level. Then descends into the cloud forest and passes Llactapata ruins, a Inca citadel, the trek includes an incredible view of Machu Picchu.

  • Altitude: 6,271 m / 20,574 ft.
  • High Season: April – November
  • Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging due to the altitude: we recommend a period of at least 2 days for acclimatization in Cusco or over 3000m/9840ft.
  • Route: Open all year round, there are no permit limitations like Inca Trail.
  • Type of Tour: Best Alternative Trek to Machu Picchu
  • Departures Day: Daily departures are available during the year.

Salkantay Trek Tour Itinerary


We will leave from Cusco approximately between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Our bus will take us to the town of Mollepata (2900 meters above sea level) where we will arrive approximately at 8 in the morning to have breakfast.

During the trip we will have amazing views of the majestic Salkantay mountain, other mountains covered with snow, and the Valley of Apurimac River. We will meet with our support staff, and they will load the equipment on horses and mules.

Around 9:00 a.m. We will begin our trek toward Sayllapata (3200 meters above sea level).

About 1:00p.m., we will have a Peruvian lunch. After lunch, we will continue hiking toward the Soraypampa villages (3850 meters above sea level).

In the afternoon around 5:30, we will arrive to our camp where the tents will be ready for you as well as our dinner.


The second day the nature will change drastically from dry sceneries to snowy peaks and tropical areas.

After our breakfast, we will start the most difficult part of the trek. We will start the hike around 7:00 in the morning. We will hike to a place called Pampas Salkantay, then go toward the left side of the snowy peaks of Umantay located next to the Apu Salkantay.

At midday, we will be on the highest point, witch it is 4600 meters above sea level. Here we will appreciate incredible views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay (6264 meters above sea level) which is known as the second highest mountain of the Cusco region.

Around 1:00 p.m. We will have our lunch in Huayracmachay. After a trek of approximately 3 hours, we will arrive to our camp in Challway (2920 meters above sea level).

Around 7:00p.m., we will rest from the trek and eat dinner.


The third day will start around 7:00a.m. We will walk for about 6 hours toward Playa Sahuayaco and during this trail; we will observe a town called Collpabamba where waterfalls, thermal hot springs, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora, and birds can be observed. If we are lucky, we will be able to observe the famous bird called the Cock of the Rocks (Gallito de las Rocas), the national bird of Peru!.

From Playa Sahuayaco, we will head to the campsite located at the hot springs of Santa Teresa. It is recommended to bring a bath suit.

Here we will have our dinner and rest.


The fourth day will start with a delicious breakfast.

Around 8:30 a.m we will begin our trek to the village Colpani, we follow this rising trail, from which we will see plantations of coffee, banana, passion fruit and a lovely view of the Santa Teresa Valley.

After that we will arrive a Llactapata ruins, this Inca site is right in front of Machu Picchu.

After the Llactapata, we will continue our trek with a 2 hour downhill hike. On this part of the trail, you are always able to view Machu Picchu until we arrive at the Hidroelectrica train station to have lunch.


In our last day of the trek, we will be able to choose between waking up at 4:30a.m. and walking up to Machu Picchu or taking a bus to Machu Picchu at 7:00a.m.

In Machu Picchu, you will have a guided tour for about two hours and after that you will be free to explore the Citadel and take pictures, or if you desire, ascent toward the Huaynapicchu Mountain. At 2:26p.m. or 6:03p.m. (depending on availability).

At the end we will be taking a train to Ollantaytambo and from there a bus will drive you to your hotel in Cusco.

End of the Amazing Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.


  • Transport.
  • Experienced Guide.
  • Camping equipment.
  • Entry ticket to Machu Picchu Archeological Site.
  • Hostel in Aguas Calientes.
  • 1 Duffle Bag.
  • Cargo Mules.
  • Trekking Cook.
  • Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • Medical kit.
  • Train tickets.


  • Entrance fee to Salkantay Trail (3 USD).
  • Sleeping Bags.
  • Walking Sticks.
  • First day Breakfast
  • Last Day Lunch and Dinner.
  • Personal clothing and gear.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Tips for our staff.
  • Additional costs.
  • Optional: If you feel tired after the trek, from Llactapata, you have a option take a train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes. (Cost: USD $31.00) 

Salkantay Trek Price

Price From: $450 USD

Group service 2 People 3 People 4 People+
Price USD (per Person) 450.00 440.00 420.00

Book this trek Today!

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