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  • Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
  • Max. People: 15
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Availability: Every Day
  • Destination: Machu Picchu
  • Depart: Soraypampa

The 5 Days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is the second most popular trek in the Cusco region. You will admire snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes such as the Humantay Lagoon and Salkantay Lake, and pass through the cloud forest and the Peruvian jungle, making it one of the most beautiful and interesting treks of Peru.

  • Recommended For: Moderate to Advanced Hikers
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Starting Altitude: 3,200m / 10,500ft
  • Highest Altitude: 4,650m / 15,200ft
  • Hiking Distance: 72 km / 45 miles
  • Altitude Acclimatization is Recommended


Today, your trekking adventure to Machu Picchu finally starts! Our guide will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco at 4:30 am. We will drive together with the group to Mollepata (approx. 3 hours), where we will have a nutricious breakfast. We will then drive one more hour to Challacancha (3,380 meters/ 11,090 feet), the starting point of our hike, passing the view point of Hornada Pata where the valley splits into two (Valley of Mollepata and Challacancha). The beginning of the trail will take us through some beautiful valleys. After a three hour hike, we arrive at our campsite in Soraypampa (3,900 meters/12,800 feet) at approximately 13:30 pm. We will have time to relax and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our cook.

Later, we will finally visit the famous Humantay Lagoon! After 1.5 hours of hiking, we will arrive at the lagoon (4,220 meters/ 13,850 feet) with incredibly blue-green water and the snowy Humantay Mountain peak behind it, making it one of the most impressive places in the Andes Mountains. We will take some time to admire the breathtaking views and then descent to our campsite in Soraypampa. Arriving at approximately 6:00 pm, we will have tea and dinner, and spend the night in our beautiful glass cabanas.

Hiking Distance: 12 km/7.4 miles


At 5:00 am we will enjoy a large breakfast so that we have a lot of energy for our hike today. Starting our trek from Soraypampa, we will ascent for 3 hours to the highest point of Abra Salkantay, where we enjoy breathtaking views of the snow capped high Andes Mountains of Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay, and Pumasillo (4,650 meters / 15,250 feet). Passing through Salkantaypampa and Soyrococha, we will discover a beautiful small lake and then begin our descent towards Huarachmachhay for 3 hours (3,800 meters / 12,470 feet). There, we will have lunch and then continue our descent for 3 more hours until we reach our campsite in Collpapampa. We will have tea and a delicious dinner prepared by our cook. Tonight we will sleep in our comfortable domes at the campsite.

Hiking Distance: 22 km/13.47 miles


After a rejuvenating night’s sleep, we start day 3 of our Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu with a delicious breakfast. We begin our 5 ½ hours hike through the Peruvian jungle, passing over many ascents and descents. This part of the trek marks the cloud forest, where we will discover several coffee plantations, orchids and many natural plants used for medicines. We will arrive at our lunch point to rest a little and where we car take the coffee tour.

Where we will spend the nights in our private jungle domos. Here you have the option to visit the thermal baths located in Cocalmayo, Santa Teresa (not included). We will return to our campsite at 6.00 pm for tea and a freshly prepared dinner.

Hiking Distance: 14 km/8.7 miles


Today, we will enjoy the sunrise in a lush landscape of rivers, waterfalls, orchids, and many plantations, including banana, avocado, and coffee. We will have a nutricious breakfast and get ready for the next part of our trekking adventure: we will finally hike along a part of the original Inca Trail! We will walk up along the Inca Trail, enjoying the beautiful views of the Santa Teresa Valley. After a 2.5 ascent, we will arrive at the Inca archaelogical site of Llactapata. Our local guide will share his knowledge about the history of this place. Besides, we will get the chance to get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain. We will go downhill for lunch and then continue our hike to Hidroeléctrica. You can choose to walk to Aguas Calientes for around 3 hours, or opt to board a train for $38.00 extra. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, we will enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant in the village on the bottom of the magnificent Wonder of the World. Tonight, we will be staying at a hotel overnight.

Hiking Distance: 18 km/13.7 miles


Salkantay Day 5: MACHU PICCHU –  CUSCO

This is the day you’ve been waiting for, ending up in one of the new Seven Wonders of the World Machupicchu, archaeological site.

We’ll  get up early in the morning around  4.30 a.m. to get  packed breakfast, then we will start to walk up to Machupicchu , it takes 1:30 minutes  aprox.; 30 minutes walking down to Puente Ruinas checkpoint where you will have to show your original passports +Machupicchu tickets and Student ID in case if you are students. After crossing Puente Ruinas, you will climb the stairs for about one hour to reach Machu Picchu’s main gate by 6:00 am.

The hotel will hold your bags for you while in Machu Picchu. This way you’ll only need to take your backpack with all essentials up to Machu Picchu because there isn’t allow to take big bag packs inside Machupicchu; There is  bus ride option  from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu  it takes approximately 30 minutes (12 USD ).

Once in Machu Picchu your guide will take you directly to the best panoramic view point to take the classic Machupichu’s picture then your local guide will show you around the main sectors of the citadel for a total of 2.5 hours. During this guided tour you’ll learn more about the history and culture of this amazing Andean paradise.

After the guiding tour you will explore Machupicchu by yourselves You may hike Waynapicchu mountain it takes 2 hours or Machupicchu mountain which takes 3 hours (must be booked in advance, as it sells out and costs $60 per person) your guide will show you where to begin this hike. The time that you will spend in Machu Picchu will depends on how you are going back to Cusco (train or car).


SALKANTAY BY TRAIN: Taking this option you are going to stay long time in Machupicchu citadel because train is leaving around 2.55 p.m. if you are planning to climb the extra Waymapicchu or Machupicchu mountains we recommended to take it this option definitely, because you will need it extra hours to do it; The return train ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo will take approximately 2 hours. In Ollantaytambo our KB staff will be waiting for you right by the station’s exit door. They’ll be ready to bring you back to Cusco by car. The car ride to Cusco will be approximately 2 hours and will have you dropped off near to the main square in Cusco that evening around 7.00 p.m (

SALKANTAY BY CAR: Taking this option you are going to have less time to explore Machupicchu citadel and if you are planning to hike Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will be very tight on time. Going back to Cusco by car you will need to leave Machu Picchu by 10:30 a.m. max.  and take the 3-hour walk back to Hidroelectrica by the rail tracks because there is not car road , in Hidro you will meet the car at 2:00 pm; This car option  is a longer trip which takes 6 hours aprox.  until Cusco city. 

If you are considering this option and planning to hike Waynapicchu or Machupicchu Mountain, we recommend you  to stay one more night in Aguas Calientes and return to Cusco by car on the 6th day so that you can fully enjoy the experience. 




  • Instead of sleeping in small tents, we set up our spectacular and comfortable campsites just for you. On night 1 (Soraypampa), you stay in our amazing 2 people glass cabins, and on night 2 & 3 (Colpapampa and Playa Sahuayaco) in private 2 people sleeping domes.
  • Last night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a 2-Star Hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hotel with Wi-Fi, take-away breakfast, and a private bathroom with hot water included. You can also upgrade to a higher quality hotel.


  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (5x Breakfast, 4x Lunch, 4x Dinner).
  • Professional cook and cooking equipment. Dining tent and kitchen tent for the cook to freshly prepare your meals.
  • Our meals can be accommodated for any dietary requirements such as vegetarian or vegan. Please let us know in advance if you have certain preferences, so we can plan ahead.
  • A hot cup of Coca Tea every morning.
  • Boiled water provided for coffee and tea to accompany your meals at the campsites.


  • Private transportation from your hotel in Cusco to the starting point of your trek.
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Private transportation from Ollantaytambo to Plaza Regocijo in Cusco.


  • English/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 12.
  • Horses and horsemen, who carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. 
  • All our trekking guides have a minimum of 3 years of guiding experience and are certified. They carry a first aid kit with them, as well as an extra oxygen bottle in case of emergencies. 
  • We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 5kg per person).


  • Briefing: You will have a meeting with your guide in our office to go over all the details regarding your tour. The orientation will be between 5:00-7:30 pm at our office in Cusco the day before departure.
  • Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu and Salkantay trek included.



  • Dinner on the last day.
  • No water for treks included. Please carry enough water with you. Along the trekking road, you can buy more water bottles.


  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you ($15.00 per person).
  • Trekking poles. Available for rent for $20.00 per person.
  • Additional horses to carry luggage exceeding the allowed 5kg per person.


  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. You can choose to add one of them to your trekking itinerary for $60.00 per person. Please let us know in advance, so we can check the availability.
  • Entrance to the Aguas Calientes hot springs.
  • Shuttle bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.


  • Tips for your guide, cook and the staff.
  • National or international flights.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Other activities not mentioned in this itinerary.


  • Aguas Calientes Hotel Upgrade: Please let us know in advance, so we can arrange everything for you.
  • Optional visit of Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain: $60.00 per person. Let us know at the time of booking as it requires a separate permit.
  • Sleeping bags: Available for rent if you don’t have one with you ($15.00 per person).
  • Trekking poles: Available for rent for $15.00 per person.

How can I get the Student Discount for the Machu Picchu Entrance?

If you are a student, you may be eligible for a $20 USD discount. However, you must meet the Peruvian government requirements, as the discount is applied to the cost of your Machu Picchu ticket and is not something that we are able to negotiate.

To be able to receive the discount, please sent us after your booking a photo of both sides of your student card, and another photo of your passport. We can help you check if all the requirements are fulfilled. It must be an original student ID, given from the university in PVC material and include university information, personal student information, student picture, expiration date valid only for one year, and must coincide with the year that student visits Machu Picchu. 

You also need to bring your original student card with you the day you visit Machu Picchu. You will also need to bring the card with you and verify it at the Machu Picchu checkpoint.

Please check if your student card includes the following requirements:

What is the difference between the 5 Day and 4 Day Salkantay Trek?

On the 4 Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, we will walk through almost the same beautiful and scenic landscapes as the 5 Day Trek. The difference is that we do not stay at the Playa Sahuayaco campsite on day 3, we go directly to Hidroeléctrica and Aguas Calientes instead. This means that day 3 is more challenging, since we add the 3 hours hike from Hidroeléctrica to Aguas Calientes on this day. On day 4, you will already visit the Machu Picchu site.

On the 5 Day Salkantay Trek, we have more time to relax and take things slowlier. We reach Playa Sahuayaca and then relax at the campsite. You can even choose to visit the thermal baths of Cocalmayo (not included). On day 4, we visit the amazing archaelogical site of Llactapata, walking along a part of the original Inca Trail. This part we will not do in the 4 Day trek. We then go to Hidroeléctrica and Aguas Calientes, and visit the Machu Picchu site on day 5.

What should I pack for the Salkantay Trek?

  • One personal daypack (a 30 to 50 L backpack is sufficient). Before your trek we will give you one extra duffle bag from our office to carry your extra clothes and personal items (max. 5kg).
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Small coins in Peruvian Soles (Bathrooms are free at the campsites but cost 1 Sol along the route. Keep small change on hand too for water bottles, snacks, and toilet paper.)
  • Rain jacket or rain poncho
  • Strong footwear (Waterproof trekking boots recommended.)
  • Sleeping bag (also available for rent)
  • Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
  • Enough clothes for the whole period of the trek (two long-sleeve trekking shirts, two short-sleeve shirts, leggings or trekking pants, shorts, four pairs of underwear, sweatpants for the night, three pairs of hiking socks, a rain poncho, an insulated jacket, gloves, beanie, a hat with a brim, hiking boots, bathing suit and small towel (if you plan to visit the hot springs), and sandals to rest your feet at the campsites.
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Additional snacks (remember that we supply you with plenty of food already.)
  • Original passport (mandatory for entrance to Machu Picchu.)

How can I prepare for the hike and prevent altitude sickness?

The best way to prepare yourself for this trekking experiencee is easy: spend at least 2 to 3 days at a high-altitude place like Cusco, so your body gets used to the high altitude. If you have already been to a high altitude destination before arriving to Cusco, we still recommend you spend at least one full day in Cusco to rest, recuperate from your trip, and enjoy the beautiful views of the city before your trek.

Additionally, taking good care of your body helps deal with the extra pressures that altitude creates. We recommend you to eat healthy food, drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol. Chewing coca leaves, drinking coca tea helps to alleviate any discomfort associated with the altitude.

More Details about the Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain Add-On

The entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain are additional add-ons that you can choose to purchase besides the Machu Picchu visit that is already included in this trek. You can visit one of these mountains after your Machu Picchu visit to see the Inca Citadel from the top.

Please send us an email asking about availability. Then, if available, you can select which mountain you would like to climb when you make your reservation online. Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain are an additional 60 USD.

What is Huayna Picchu Mountain?

Huayna Picchu Mountain is home to the Temple of the Moon and is the famous mountain peak seen behind the ruins in all the classic photos of Machu Picchu. Huayna Picchu is an approximately 45 minute climb with more ruins at the top and offers an incredible view of the Machu Picchu ruins. The visit to Huayna Picchu takes approximately 2 hours. Huayna Picchu Mountain is an additional 60 USD.

What is Machu Picchu Mountain?

Machu Picchu Mountain is an additional hike within Machu Picchu that offers a much higher view of the ruins and overlooks the entire valley. Machu Picchu Mountain is an additional 60 USD.

What are the differences between the Salkantay Trek and the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail is more crowded than the Salkantay Trek because it is an original trail of the Incas and one of the most famous hikes in the world, attracting thousands of trekkers every year. It is the only trek that leads directly to Machu Picchu, but is therefore a lot more expensive than the Salkantay Trek.

On the Salkantay Trek you will spend the last night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes before visiting Machu Picchu the next day. During the Inca Trail you will discover ancient Inca ruins, whereas the Salkantay offers more wildlife and high mountain sceneries. Many trekkers consider the Salkantay Trek to be a bit more strenuous than the Inca Trail because the general altitude is higher.

The Salkantay Trek offers the best alternative to the Inca Trail for everybody who doesn’t like crowded paths and enjoys different landscapes during the trek.

I’ve made my reservation, now what?

Congratulations, adventure awaits you! We sent you a confirmation e-mail with more details about your trekking adventure. The day before your departuer at 6:00 pm, please stop by our office at

Portal Espinar Nro 163

to receive a briefing. Our professional guide will tell you everything about your trek and clarify last questions you may have.

What is the weather like during the Salkantay Trek?

In general, Salkantay is known for its unpredictable weather, so please come prepared for both warm and cold temperatures, and rainy and dry conditions. We have two main seasons in the Andes Moutnains, the rainy season (November-March) and the dry season (April-October).

During the rainy, warmer season temperatures average around 15°C / 60°F during the day and 5°C / 40°F at night. However, with a high chance of rain and wind at the Salkantay Pass, these temperatures may feel a lot colder to you.

During the dry season the weather is sunny and clear, and on average 20° C / 70 °F during the day but much colder at night, around -3 °C / 26 °F.

Also, after the second day, as we descend into the Peruvian Amazon basin, the weather changes to a more humid and warmer climate – these humid temperatures are consistent throughout the year.

What type food is served on the trek?

We serve a variety of local superfoods and traditional Peruvian dishes with rice, chicken, beef, salad, potatoes, vegetables, delicious soups and fruits. Everything will be freshly prepared by our local chef.

We have a lot of vegetarian travellers and our cooks have some great options for them to enjoy their meals. We can cater for or all other types of dietary requests with adequate preparation and clear communication.

Do I need hiking experience to complete this trek?

Prior hiking experience is recommended but not required. Our guides are trained to assist hikers of all fitness levels and all trekking experience levels so you will never be left behind. Most important of all is to acclimate yourself to the altitude before your trek.

Can I leave extra luggage in your office?

Yes, you can leave extra luggage in our office free of charge.

What are the minimum and maximum group sizes?

The minimum group size is 4 people and the maximum group size is 15 people. There will be an assistant guide for groups over 12.

What are your cancellation and refund policies?

Please feel free to read our Terms & Conditions and let us know in case you have any questions regarding our cancellation policy. 

16 Reviews
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Valerio Rivero

Solo Traveller

Solamente agradecerles por el profesionalismo brindado en todo momento. Una logística increíble, hicieron que esta experiencia fuera de lo más aprovechable. Nuestro guía Vidal, estuvo atento en todo momento a como ibamos llevando el trek, despejo dudas, nos comentó la historia del lugar.
Super recomendable, de hecho ya lo he recomendado a cercanos.
Muchas gracias!

September 6, 2022

Migle J

Solo Traveller

Great experience! I did the Salkantay trek with KB Adventures. My local guide was Robin and he was so excellent! 😀 He has a great knowledge about the trek itself, the history of the Inca culture, etc. He was very helpful, funny and friendly.
The food during this 5 days trek was beyond words – I didn’t eat that good anywhere else in Cusco. Our cook spoiled us and we always felt like having a special honeymoon dinner.
The accommodation was so much better than expected, we even had cabins with glass roofs and could enjoy an incredible view of the sky. I can highly recommend this tour with KB Adventures! 🙂

May 20, 2022

Caleb P

Solo Traveller

Wow, I cannot have been happier with the Salkantay trek! 😮 It was easily one of the best experiences of my entire life. Our guide Robin was one of the best I’ve had, and he was very knowledgeable, funny and professional. I would happily recommend him to anyone. It was five days of trekking through the Andes Mountains and Peruvian jungle, ending up at Machu Picchu. Everything was well organized and we had amazing accommodations. 🙂 I made tons of new friends along the way and had a wonderful time. I would do it again, but my legs are too sore!

May 17, 2022


Solo Traveller

I usually don’t write reviews, but I have to write this one to say that our guide Robin Maza was the best guide I have had in my entire trip in South America. Authentic (which is pretty rare), excited to explain things, friendly, well mannered, communicative, speaks English very well, always to the point, supportive when things got hard during the Salkantay hike, positive, always there for all of us equally, ready to explain things as many times as needed and translates everything. Up in the morning before us to organise everything, he was the whole time running around for us until late at night. All in all a great person! 🙂 Thank you so much Robin, these five stars are for you!

May 10, 2022

Merel Y Coco

Couple Traveller

Great tour! Lived up to the expectations that Wilson promised us. Dorian was a very good guide who paid attention to everyone. The food was great, also for vegetarians like us. We had a lot of fun with the group and everything went according to plan, including pick up time, drop off back to Cusco, train tickets, Machu Pichu entrance and accommodations. Thank you very much! 😀

May 1, 2022