SALKANTAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU (5 Days, 4 Nights) 

This trek is located in the Vilcabamba mountain range and passes through the stunning landscapes, varying from the cloud forest to the tall mountains. Along the way are fantastic views of the second tallest mountain in the Cusco area, Salkantay, also known as Savage Mountain (6,271m/19,685ft). You will see the wonderful flora and fauna of Peru. 

DURATION: 5 Days, 4 Nights

TYPE: Camping, tents provided

DIFFICULTY: 3.5 - Multiple days of hiking. Includes moderate to steep inclines and declines. Preparation is recommended.

MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hike the "scenic" route to Machu Picchu 
  • Trek through the Vilcabamba range, which has some of the most stunning views of the Andes 
  • Enjoy several Kusa Treks private campsites, with incredible views and...hot showers! (Is this camping or the Ritz?)
  • Campsite on the third night overlooks Machu Picchu from a unique and breathtaking vantage point
  • This is the most popular Specialty Trek, come find out why

PRICING:  

DEPOSIT for both PRIVATE and GROUP Tours: $200/Trekker. We use this deposit to secure your hiking permits and your tickets for Machu Picchu in advance. The $200 will be deducted from the Total Price below. 

PRIVATE TOUR PRICE BREAKDOWN: A "Private Tour" is just your group and our guides. 

2 PEOPLE - $840.00

3 PEOPLE - $790.00

4 PEOPLE - $755.00

5 PEOPLE - $720.00

6 PEOPLE - $690.00

7 PEOPLE - $660.00

8 PEOPLE - $635.00

9+ PEOPLE - $600.00

 

GROUP TOUR PRICE: $600.00

A "Group Tour" means you or your smaller group will be paired with other individuals and/or smaller groups that are doing the same hike on the same dates as you. 

 

*A 5% Transaction Fee will be added to the Total Cost. We are charged to convert and transfer money. We do our best to keep this rate as low as possible.* 

NOTE: You must present your passport with the TAM immigration slip to all hotel accommodations. The national sales tax (18%) is charged to all Peruvian citizens and foreigners staying 60 consecutive days or more. In case the room shared by both a taxable and non-taxable guest at the same time, the sales tax will be applied to the whole room. So please take every precaution to not lose this piece of paper, so you are not charged with this tax. You need to bring it to the Cusco office for your check-in.  


WHAT'S INCLUDED:

TRANSPORTATION: All transportation is included. However, if you would like to take the Vistadome train back to Cusco after the trek, rather than the "normal" train, tickets are an additional $70. 

FOOD & WATER: All of your water, meals and snacks are provided, including a restaurant dinner in Aguas Calientes. Please notify our staff of any food allergies or restrictions and we will ensure that the food is prepared property. 

PROFESSIONAL GUIDES: Kusa Treks strives for greatness and this starts and ends with our people. All of our trek leaders are locals to this region and studied Tourism and/or Archaeology in University. They are all fluent in English and are passionate about their work. Trust me when I say, there is no better person to be on the Trail with than a Kusa Treks guide, you are in incredible hands. 

PERMITS & TICKETS: Once you pay the trip deposit we will purchase your permits and tickets Machu Picchu. The government issues permits in your name, under your passport number and for a specific time-frame; they cannot be changed once confirmed, which is why the initial deposit is non-refundable. We will also secure your train and bus tickets.

TENT and HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: This trek has 3 nights of camping and one night in a hotel* in Aguas Calientes, which is the town directly below Machu Picchu. Our hotel will be a 2-star hotel that is very comfortable and safe! Your tent includes a THICK foam mattress.

EQUIPMENT HORSE: We use mules and horses to carry the groups equipment and 15.5lbs (7kg) your personal items (extra clothes, sleeping bags, teddy bears, etc.). All of our horses and their horsemen are treated fairly, and are not permitted to carry loads defined as "heavy". 

*Please note, trekkers can choose to camp all 4 nights and hike directly to Machu Picchu if desired.

 

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:

HIKING EQUIPMENT: To complete this trek, you will need a sleeping bag, some type of air mattress (ThermaRest), and walking poles (with rubber tips). If you do not wish to purchase or travel with these items, we have high quality equipment you can rent: 

  • Sleeping Bag: $25
  • Inflatable Air Mattress: $20
  • Trekking Poles (2): $20
  • Personal Tent: $30, the tent included in your trek price is a 2-man tent, if you would like a personal tent please request at the time of your booking. 

HOTEL UPGRADE: If you would like to upgrade your hotel, you may do so, Kusa Treks will cover the initial cost, however you will be responsible for the difference in price. 

HUAYNA PICCHU (Wayna Picchu): Huayna Picchu is the pointy, tall mountain in the background of all the pictures of Machu Picchu. Tickets to climb it are available for travelers who wish to hike up an ancient staircase to the top of Machu Picchu's sister mountain. Hiking to the top of it provides adventurers with incredible, unique views of Machu Picchu. This secondary hike will have a 1-hour ascent, 15 minutes to take selfies and high-five at the top of the mountain, and then a 45-minute descent. FYI, the ascent and descent are pretty steep, but totally worth it! Price: $35/person

NOTE: tickets to ascend Huayna Picchu are limited, and are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.

VISTA DOME TRAIN: On the way back from Machu Picchu to Cusco, we will book tickets on a "regular" train. However, there is a company that offers a train ride in a "Vista Dome Train" through the Sacred Valley. This train has glass walls and a glass ceiling, which provide panoramic views of the surrounding beautiful Andes mountain-side. Tickets include in-trip meals and entertainment. Price: $70/ticket. 

 

Recommended packing list:

  • Comfortable day-pack
  • Sleeping bag (20° F)
  • Sturdy hiking boots 
  • Layered clothing options, included wicking hiking shirts and good hiking pants (no jeans)
  • Thermal shirts and sweater
  • Flash light (head lamp preferable) 
  • Camera option (cell phone, Go-Pro, or for the old school, a film camera)
  • Sun protection: Sunscreen (50+ SPF), sun hat, neck protection (hat or handkerchief), sunglasses
  • Wool socks, gloves, scarf and hat 
  • Insect repellent (80%+ deet)
  • Plastic bags to line your day pack and pack clothes (especially during rainy season, see FAQ
  • Toiletries, bio-degradable toilet paper or wipes, small towel, deodorant (please), toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Bathing suit (for the hot springs on Day 3)
  • Water containers (bottle, Camel-Back, etc.)
  • Personal medical kit (we'll have plenty of medical supplies, but if you want to bring Aspirin or other forms of personal medication)
  • Passport and ISIC student card if applicable
  • Extra cash for souvenirs, drinks, tips etc.

 

NOTE: Travel Insurance is recommended to cover any medical problems, loss or damaged baggage, etc. If you would like our recommendations of  insurance company's please contact us.  


DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1: 

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 15,300ft. (4,650m)
  • Min Altitude: 12,795ft. (3,550m)
  • Distance Traveled: ~6 miles (10 km)
  • Ascent: 2,362ft. (1,070m)
  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours

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

Around 9:00AM we'll begin our hike, the first day will be a bit of a challenge, because your legs are warming up and the beginning trail has a lot of inclines, however you will be rewarded with incredible views. The first 2.5 hours we will gradually hike uphill to see the turquoise Umantay Lake. We will continue our gradual climb for about 1.5 hours until we reach Salkantay Pampa. There we will eat a delicious, homemade lunch in front of a beautiful glacier, prepared by our trekking chefs.

After lunch, we will continue our trip for another hour, hiking uphill. We will arrive at our first campsite in Soroccocha, which is located at the foot of the majestic Salkantay Mountain. 

Each night we will have a family "tea-time", where we'll enjoy hot chocolate, a variety of teas and snacks together to wind down from the efforts of our hike. We'll swap stories and prepare to eat a delicious and hot dinner being prepared by our chef and his staff. After dinner, and if the weather allows it, your guide will show you the Incan Constellations in the millions of bright stars that stretch overhead. 

 

DAY 2: 

  • 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

Every morning the Porters and guides will wake you up with a smile and a fresh cup of something hot, admittedly, it can be alarming the first time, but there are worse ways to start a morning! After a soul-warming breakfast we will begin our hike with a gradual climb, and in an about an hour we will reach the highest point of our trek. We will feel on top of the world as we look around at the surreal snow-capped mountains. There we will spend 30 minutes enjoying the amazing panoramic view.

We will continue our trek by hiking downhill to Rayanniyoc for another lunch prepared by our professional chefs. After resting our legs, we will push toward the finish line for that day and arrive at our private campsite in the small village of Colpapampa.   

Once we reach the campsite, our tea-time will already set up and waiting for us. After enjoying each others company we'll share another spectacular meal and turn in for the night. Sleep well chicos. 

 

Day 3: 

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 8,758ft. (2,700m)
  • Min Altitude: 7,217ft. (2,200m)
  • Distance Travelled: ~8.7 miles (14 km)
  • Ascent: 1,541ft. (500m)
  • Walking Time: 7-8 hours

After waking up to the sweet sound of a hot drink knocking at our tent door, we will eat breakfast, and prepare for today's hike. Our first steps for this day will be continuing down the valley and into a forest filled will groves of bamboo and birds. Flocks of colorful tropical birds fill the forest, with cascades of waterfalls where the water is warm enough for you to bathe in! 

We will continue on our way to our campsite where we will have lunch and the remaining afternoon to explore the wonderful area we find ourselves in. From great sites to a local school where tourists often come to connect with the children through playful games of soccer. We can promise you will enjoy your afternoon here. 

We will have our tea-time and dinner later that night, where we enjoy sharing great stories and eating great food. We'll retire to our tents and prepare for our final day of trekking tomorrow. 

 

DAY 4: 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Max Altitude: 8,758ft. (2,700m)
  • Min Altitude: 5,971ft. (1,820m)
  • Distance Traveled: ~9.3 miles (15 km)
  • Descent: 2,787ft. (880m)
  • Walking Time: 8-9 hours 

After having our last breakfast prepared by our chefs we will start the trek with a 3 hour hike uphill that will take us 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 this beginning hike we will arrive at Llactapata Inca Ruins, located in front of Machu Picchu where we will enjoy of the great view of Machu Picchu, Huyana Picchu and the Aobamba Canyon. 

Unfortunately, we cannot stay there forever, we will descend for 2 more hours to the primary hydroelectric plant of Cusco, where will enjoy lunch. Then, the last leg of this great journey, we will walk the final distance to Aguascalientes through the National Park of Machu Picchu. 

Here we will arrange all hotel accommodations, eat dinner and enjoy a nights sleep in a real bed.    

 

DAY 5: MACHU PICCHU

  • Meals: Breakfast at our hotel

It is entirely up to the group when you would like to start this exciting day! Today you will discover Machu Picchu, the world famous Sacred City of the Incas. The majority of travelers choose to wake up around 4:30AM, so that we can eat a quick breakfast and head over the bus station where we will catch the first bus from Aguas Calientes, drive 20 minutes to Machu Picchu, and arrive right when the gates open at 6AM as the sun is rising over the lost city. It is truly magical to experience a sunrise over these ruins, as the mists part and the city rises from the clouds stone by stone. 

All of our guides have been to Machu Picchu well over 100 times and will lead you to the best places to view the ruins before the "crowds" arrive that day. Once the city begins to fill with more tourists we will start our walking, guided tour, which will start with impressive Temple of the Sun. We 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 a spectacular view of Machu Picchu. 

The bus back to Aguas Calientes will depart between 2:30-3:00PM, we will enjoy a lunch together before you head to the train station to go back to Cusco. We usually book the 4:20PM train back to Ollantaytambo, where our private van will be waiting for you to take you the remaining 2-3 hours back to Cusco. 

NOTE: If you are interested in taking the Vista Dome train back to Cusco, please let us know at your time of booking. 

Camping trek to Machu Picchu
Lake near Machu Picchu
Beautiful lake in the Andes
Machu Picchu