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The 3 Days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most spectacular treks you can do in Peru. This trekking route is located in the north of Cusco and is an incredible adventure that allows you to enjoy spectacular views and pass through a number of different climate zones.
Our guide will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco at 2:30 am. We will drive together with the group for 4 hours, passing through Anta and Mollepata, until we reach our starting point in Soraypampa (3,900 m/12,795 ft). The beginning of the trail will take us through some beautiful valleys. We will then enjoy a wonderful hike towards our lunch spot in Huayrac-Pampa, where we will have some time to rest before we begin our 3 hour descent. This part of the trail is surrounded by jungle. Upon arrival at the campsite of Colpapampa 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/13.5 miles
We will have breakfast at 6:00 am and shortly after begin hiking for approximately 5 and a half hours through jungle. 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 Playa Sahuayaca to rest a little, and then take our transportation towards Hidroelectrica. There, we will walk for 3 more hours towards Aguas Calientes. In Augas Calientes we will spend the night in a hotel and have our final dinner together at a local restaurant.
Hiking Distance: 16 km/10 miles, after lunch: 11 km/7 miles
Last day! We will wake up very early this morning for our visit to famous Machu Picchu, where we will have a guided tour of the citadel to see and learn more about the temples, terraces, and all of the incredible stone structures that make Machu Picchu a Wonder of the World. After the guided tour you will have free time to explore the site by yourself and to take more photos.
For those who have booked the add-on of Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain, your visit will be at your designated time (1st group: 6am to 8am, 2nd group: 9am to 11am).
In the afternoon, we will return to Aguas Calientes. We will have some time for lunch (not included), which is the perfect opportunity to explore the local restaurants. We then take the train to Ollantaytambo, leaving at 14:55 pm. On the way back, we can enjoy the incredible landscape of the Sacred Valley. Upon arrival at the train station, we will be picked up by our transfer staff and dropped off at Plaza Regocijo in Cusco.
LOCAL GUIDES & TEAM
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.
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.
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.
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
392 Triunfo St. Office 218, Cusco
to receive a briefing. Our professional guide will tell you everything about your trek and clarify last questions you may have.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, you can leave extra luggage in our office free of charge.
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.