Salkantay Trek

5 days | $620+ | 30 miles | 3 nights camping | 1 night hotel
Image by Megan Kotlus

Why this trek?

  • Scenic route to Machu Picchu

  • Private campsites 

  • Explore various ruins

  • Visit the Santa Teresa hot springs
  • Visit remote coffee farm

  • Tour of Machu Picchu

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What is included?

Tents for trek 

One night in hotel

Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Four days hiking in Salkantay range

All transportation for the trek

All meals during trek

All professional guides and staff

All permits, tickets, taxes, and fees

Visit Humanatay Lake Coffee Farms and Machu Picchu for under $650

You get to Cusco and we will handle the rest!

Schedule Overview

Day 1

The Journey Begins

Pick up from Cusco hotel around 5AM

3.5 hour drive from Cusco to trail head 

6-7 hours of hiking to first campsite 

Day 2

On Top of the World

Early start 

Hike to highest point of trek

Steep descent to private campsite

Day 3

Coffee Farm & Inca Trail

Hike to remote Andean coffee farm

Make fresh coffee from scratch

Hike a few hours on the Inca Trail

Day 4

Incredible Views

The prettiest day of hiking!

See beautiful valleys fruit plantations

Hotel in Aguas Calientes

Day 5

Tour of Machu Picchu

20 minute bus ride to entrance

Tour of Machu Picchu 

Train to Cusco in the evening

 

Popular Questions

Short answer: "shoulder seasons", the Spring and Fall of North America. These months provide the best combo of good weather and lower crowds.

High elevation effects everyone differently. Two general pieces of advice: take it easy on your first day in Cusco and hydrate

We've compiled the ultimate packing list depending on which trip you're planning to take. Check it out at the link below

Ready for your adventure?

Schedule Details

Let's get specific...

Day 1

The Journey Begins

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Max Altitude: 15,300ft. (4,650m)

  • Min Altitude: 12,795ft. (3,550m)

  • Distance Hiked: ~6 miles (10 km)

  • Ascent: 2,362ft. (1,070m)

  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours

 

Note: Our trekking times are approximate and will vary depending on: weather conditions, group ability and other factors.

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MORNING

Your first day will start early, 5:00AM early! Kusa Treks team members will pick you up from your hotel in private transportation and drive about 3.5 hours to the trail head in Soraypampa, where you’ll eat your first breakfast. All of the meals on this trek will be prepared by our professional chef and his crew. During breakfast you’ll meet the incredible crew that will accompany you on this journey, including the Porters, Chef, assistant chef, and assistant guides.

Around 9:00AM you’ll begin your hike. The first day will be a bit of a challenge, as your legs are warming up and the beginning of the trail has a lot of inclines. However, your efforts will be rewarded with incredible views! The first 2.5 hours will be a measured uphill hike to see the turquoise Humanatay Lake.

AFTERNOON

The trail will continue with a gradual climb for another 1.5 hours until reaching Salkantay Pampa, where you will eat a delicious lunch, prepared by our trekking chefs, in front of a beautiful glacier.

After lunch you will continue hiking uphill for another hour until you arrive to your first campsite in Soroccocha, which is located at the foot of the majestic Salkantay Mountain.

EVENING

Each night you will have a family “tea-time”. You’ll enjoy hot chocolate, a variety of teas and snacks together and wind down from the efforts of our hike. You will swap stories and prepare to eat a delicious, hot dinner made by our chef and his staff. If the weather allows, your guide will show you the Inca Constellations in the millions of bright stars that stretch overhead.

After dinner your Tour Guides will go over our plans for Day 2. Buenas Noches!

Day 2

On Top of the World!

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Max Altitude: 12,795ft. (3,550m)

  • Min Altitude: 7,217ft. (2,200m)

  • Distance Traveled: 6 miles (10 km)

  • Descent: 5,578ft. (1,350m)

  • Walking Time: 5-6 hours

MORNING

Every morning the Porters and guides will wake you up with a smile and a fresh cup of something hot. After a soul-warming breakfast, you will begin your second day of hiking with a gradual climb. In about an hour, you will reach the highest point of the trek. 

 

You will experience the feeling of being on top of the world as you look around at the surreal snow-capped mountains. You will have 30 minutes to enjoy the amazing, panoramic views.

AFTERNOON

The trek continues as the trail [FINALLY] starts to go downhill to Rayanniyoc for a lunch prepared by our professional chefs. After resting your legs, you will push toward the finish line for that day and arrive at the private campsite in the small village of Colpapampa.

If you’re lucky, you will get to see some of the hundreds of species of birds that inhabit this area including: hummingbirds, falcons, and the Condor, also known as the king of the Andean Mountains.

EVENING

Once you reach the campsite, tea-time will be waiting for you. After enjoying each others company, you’ll share another spectacular meal and turn in for the night. Sleep well chicos!

Day 3

Coffee Farm and Inca Trail

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Maximum Altitude: 12,300ft (3,750m)

  • Minimum Altitude: 8,856ft (2,700 m)

  • Distance Traveled: ~9.9 miles (16 km)

  • Walking Time: 7-8 hours

MORNING

After waking up to the sweet sound of a hot drink knocking at your tent door, you’ll enjoy a delicious hot breakfast and prepare for the  day’s hike. Today’s hike will continue down into a valley below and into a forest filled with groves of bamboo and birds.

From this incredible slice of paradise, the trail will intersect with the world famous Inca Trail, which you will walk on for the next 3 hours. The Inca Trail was built in the 13th century as a series of roads to connect the vast Inca Empire across much of modern-day South America.

AFTERNOON

Your afternoon will consist of a visit to a local, organic coffee farm situated deep in the Andes. Coffee is one of the main exports of Peru, as the high mountain climate of the Andes allows various types of the Cocoa plant to flourish.

You will have the opportunity to learn from local farmers how to harvest, roast and prepare the best cup of coffee you’ve ever tasted! There is a tremendous difference between fresh, organic coffee and a grande mocha latte with skim milk and cream. After your visit to the coffee farm, you’ll continue on your journey to another small village where we will set up camp for the night.

EVENING

Once you arrive to the campsite, you will enjoy a late lunch prepared by our incredible chef! You will have the remaining hours of the afternoon to explore the wonderful area you find yourself in. There are stunning vistas surrounding the campsite as well as a local school. Most of our clients choose to visit and connect with the school children through playful games of fútbol (soccer). We promise that you will enjoy your afternoon here.

Following a relaxing and fun afternoon, you will be able enjoy another tea-time and dinner later that night. After dinner you can gaze on the constellations overhead or retire to your tent and prepare for the final day of trekking.

Day 4

Incredible Views

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • Maximum Altitude: 8,758ft. (2,700m)

  • Minimum Altitude: 5,971ft. (1,820m)

  • Distance Traveled: 9.3 miles (15 km)

  • Descent: 2,787ft. (880m)

  • Walking Time: 8-9 hours

MORNING

After enjoying the last breakfast prepared by our chef, you will start the 4th day of trekking with a 3 hour uphill hike that leads to to Puncuyoc Pass. This just might be the prettiest 3 hours you will ever hike in your life. Filled with views of deep valleys and giant fruit plantations, you will be amazed at these sites. After the hike, you will arrive at Llactapata Inca Ruins. These ruins are located in front of Machu Picchu and provide a great view of Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu and the Aobamba Canyon.

You will spend a few hours learning about the Llactapata ruins from your guide. You will also have some time to take pictures of Machu Picchu, which can be seen in the distance. Not to overstate this part of the trip, but this truly is an incredible part of the world!

AFTERNOON

Unfortunately, we cannot stay here forever, so you will descend for 2 more hours to the primary hydroelectric plant of Cusco, where you will enjoy lunch. Your final portion of walking on this trip will be through the National Park of Machu Picchu to reach the city of Aguas Calientes where you will stay in a 3-star hotel during the final night of the trek.

EVENING

Kusa Treks will arrange all of the accommodations in Aguas Calientes. You will stay in a wonderful, quaint hotel where you’ll enjoy a hot shower after 4 days of hiking! You will share a meal together at a local restaurant, where you’ll experience delicious, local cuisine and prepare for the day ahead: Machu Picchu!!

Day 5

Machu Picchu

  • Meals: Breakfast and snack

MORNING

Today you will discover Machu Picchu, the world famous Sacred City of the Incas. It is entirely up to the group when you would like to start this exciting day! However, the majority of travelers choose to wake up around 4:30AM. This allows you to eat a quick breakfast and head over the bus station to catch one of the first buses from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu Park. It is a 15-20 minute drive up a series of switch back roads to reach Machu Picchu Park. The gates for Machu Picchu open at 6AM.

All of our guides have been to Machu Picchu hundreds of times and will lead you to the best places to view the ruins. Once the city begins to fill with more tourists, you will start your guided tour, starting with the impressive Temple of the Sun. You will see several iconic areas of Machu Picchu including: The Citadel, The Royal Tomb, the Main Plaza, the Condor Temple and much more.

After the guided tour, you will have plenty of time to explore the City of the Clouds on your own. Those who have secured permits to climb Huayna Picchu will do that hike at this time. If you chose not to hike Huayna Picchu, you can join your guide on an hour long walk on the Inca Trail up to the Sun Gate, where you will enjoy the most iconic view of Machu Picchu.

AFTERNOON/EVENING

Once you’ve had your fill of the incredible Lost City, your guide will take you back to the entrance of Machu Picchu Park to the bus station. The bus back to Aguas Calientes will depart in the early afternoon. Depending on the train schedule, you will either have time for lunch in Aguas Calientes or you will head straight for the train station. We typically book a train that departs Aguas Calientes between 2:30PM – 4:20PM.

 

From Aguas Calientes, the train will travel 2 hours to the Ollantaytambo station, where our private van will be waiting to take you the remaining 2-3 hours back to Cusco. Some train schedules will allow the train to go 3 hours to the Poray station, which is only a 30 minute drive back to your hotel in Cusco.

TRAIN INFO:

Expedition Train

The Expedition Train is the “normal” train, with plenty of leg room and good sized windows, these train tickets  are included in price. All Expedition train tickets end at the Ollantaytambo train station, which is a 2 hour drive back to Cusco. When you arrive to the station, we will have private transportation arranged to take you back to your hotel in Cusco.

 

The following are departure times for the Expedition train:

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 14:55 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 16:31 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 18:30

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 15:20 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 17:08 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 19:10

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 16:22 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 18:10 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 20:10

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 18:20 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 20:05 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 22:00

Vista Dome Train

The Vista Dome Train is an upgraded train, which provides entertainment and a meal. It also has a glass domed ceiling which provides better views of the Sacred Valley on your way from Aguas Calientes to Cusco. The Vista Dome train will end at either the Ollantaytambo station (2 hour drive to Cusco) or the Poroy station (30 minute drive to Cusco). The arrival station is based on the time the train leaves Aguas Calientes. These tickets are an additional $70 USD to upgrade.

The following are departure times for the Vista Dome to the Ollantaytambo Station:

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 13:37 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 15:00 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 17:30 only available for those who do not do the Huyana Picchu hike

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 15:48 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 17:29 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 19:29

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 16:22 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 18:10 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 20:10

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 17:23 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 19:02 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 21:00

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 18:10 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 19:51 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 21:51

 

The following are departure times for the Vista Dome to the Poroy Station:

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 16:43 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 20:23 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 21:00

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 17:23 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 20:52 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 21:30

NOTE: Train times depend on: the number of people in your group, the time of year of your trip and the class of train you prefer.