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Salkantay classic trek to Machu Picchu 5 days

Salkantay classic trek to Machu Picchu 5 days


Salkantay classic trek Overview

The Salkantay classic trek is probably the most popular alternative route to the Inca Trail that Cusco has to offer.

These 5 days and 4 nights hike to Machupicchu has a breathtaking landscape that crosses from the snowcapped peaks to the rain forest. The tour starts in Cusco city with a transportation until Mollepata town where the hike starts until arriving at the first campsite located close to the famous Humantay Lake, the second day is the biggest day where will cross the Salkantay Pass 15000 fts, the campsite is located in the cloud forest, the next day will be all the time in the forest with a totally different landscape and view, the next day is the arrival to Aguas Calientes town where you will spend a night in one of our hotels to finally get Machu Picchu on the last day before coming back to Cusco.

  • First day: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa Camp Site.
  • Second day: Soraypampa Camp Site – Colpapampa Camp Site.
  • Third-Day:  Salkantay Hike, Colpapampa – Playa Sahuayacu Camp Site.
  • Fourth day: Salkantay Hike, Playa Sahuayacu – Llaqtapata – Aguas Calientes.
  • Fifth day: Salkantay Hike, Machupicchu Tour – Train back to Cusco.


Detailed itinerary of Salkantay classic trek

Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Salkantaypampa

The Salkantay trek begins picking you up at 5:00 am and travel by bus to the district of Mollepata where we will take the breakfast. We will then take a 4-hour hike to Wayracpampa where we will have lunch with the panoramic views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains of Humantay, just the start! We will begin our trek towards Salkantaypampa, our first campsite at 4150m / 13612ft; the highest and coldest campsite of the trip.

  • Campsite: Salkantaypampa 4150 m / 13612 ft.
  • Distance: 15 km / 9.03 miles
  • Highest point: Salkantaypampa pass 4150 m / 13612 ft.

Day 2: Mighty Salkantay!!

We will have breakfast at around 5:30 am and begin our hike to the highest pass on this trek at (4650m)/(15200ft), located halfway between 2 huge mountains; Salkantay on the right and Tucarhuay on the left.

From the pass, the view of the 2 snow-capped mountains is incredible. After a rest, we will continue our walk (downhill) through a dramatic cloud forest towards Huayracpunku, where we will have lunch. We hike again after lunch for approximately 3 hours towards the jungle until we reach our second campsite.

  • Campsite: Colpapampa 3000 m / 9800 ft.
  • Distance: 13 km / 8.06 miles
  • Highest point: Salkantay pass 4650 m / 15200 ft.

Day 3: Cloud Forest

After breakfast, at 6:30 am, we start trekking through the upper jungle crossing the Lluskamayo. Today we will pass through valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls, tropical fruits, and plants. We will camp in the warm climate of La Playa Sahuayacu (2500m) / (8202ft).

  • Campsite: Playa Sahuayacu 2500 m / 8202 ft.
  • Distance: 12 km / 7.44 miles
  • Highest point: Colpapampa 3000 m / 9800 ft.

Day 4: Llactapata – Puente Ruinas – Aguas Calientes

We will have breakfast at 6:30 am and then head for Llactapata, a 3-hour steady climb. Llactapata is an incredible Inca fort from which we will see Machu Picchu! After some photos and rest, we will continue on a 2-hour downhill hike passing a variety of plantations that produce coca, bananas, etc., until we reach the hydroelectric station.

At about 13:00 pm, we will take the lunch in the station where we will say goodbye to all staff, and continue with the hike until Aguas Calientes Town where we will spend a night in the hotel.

We finish our Salkantay Classic Trek arriving in Aguas Calientes in Machu Picchu

  • Distance: 19 km / 11.78 miles
  • Highest point: Llaqtapa 2760 m / 9052 ft.

Day 5: Machu Picchu!

We will have breakfast at 5:00 am and then catch a 25-minute bus ride, at approximately 5:30 am to Machu Picchu, in order to appreciate the magnificent city during its sunrises.

A walking tour, approximately 2 hours, is given by your guide and after this, you can explore the mysterious city by yourself.

You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes, it can be reached by bus for lunch and to receive your train tickets back to Cusco.

The train usually leaves at 2:55 pm and we will arrive at Ollantaytambo at 4:40 pm and then will take the bus to Cusco and will arrive at Cusco at 7 or 8 pm.

Includes / Not include

Our Salkantay Classic trek included

  • Professional, bilingual tour guide.
  • Assistant guide.
  • Pick up from the hotel.
  • Return transportation (bus to start of trail and tourist train back to Ollanta).
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
  • 1 Bus ticket up to the Machu Picchu world heritage site.
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4-afternoon snacks (hot drinks, biscuits, and popcorn) and 3 dinners. If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian food please let us know.
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs.
  • Chef.
  • 4 man tents are provided for 2 people only.
  • Sleeping mattresses.
  • Horseman and mules (they carry cooking and camping equipment)
  • 1 night’s accommodation in Aguas Calientes.
  • Extra oxygen.
  • First-Aid kit.
  • A spare blanket per tent.
  • Toilet tent
  • Hot portable shower

Not Included but you can get from us

  • Entrances to Huayna Picchu Mountain (need to book in advance)
  • Entrances to Machu Picchu Mountain (need to book in advance)
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Walking sticks

Not Included

  • Breakfast on Day 1 and lunch and dinner on Day 5
  • Water, (during the first 4 hours, after that, our team will provide you)
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trip.
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Laundry.


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