Tourist on the Salkantay Pass with mountain background

Classic Salkantay Trek

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5 Days / 4 Nights
Prices icon
from US$480
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Max. Altitude
4650 m / 15255 ft
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Group Size
Up to 12 people
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Private Camps & Hostel
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Moderate to Challenging
  • Humantay Lake
  • Salkantay Pass
  • Inca Jungle
  • Machu Picchu

The Savage Mountain Trek to Machu Picchu

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is an alternative to the Inca Trail. It is considered by most to be the best alternative route. We think it’s the best route! Not only because of the rampant beauty you will encounter, but also because of the lack of people. Because it is more rugged and remote, the Salkantay Trek is significantly less populated than the Inca Trail. With formidable views and awe-inspiring vistas, this path less traveled has an unquantifiable value. It is truly, as deemed by the Inca, sacred.

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Before You Go
  • Accommodation
  • Pricing
  • Enquire Now

Our five day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is perfect for adventurers who are looking to experience Peru’s ever-changing landscapes. Day by day you will travel through changing ecosystems and scenery: from sweeping, magical landscapes and snowy mountains to a tropical jungle paradise. Along the way, you will see a wide variety of wildlife, medicinal plants, and flower varieties. Witness, with your own eyes, a living, and ancient, culture in remote villages hardly ever visited by foreigners!

We will be hiking through the Cordillera Vilcabamba. This is an impressive mountain range that runs for over 260 km. The snow-capped mountain, Salkantay (or Salcantay), rises to 6271 MASL (20574 FASL) in height. Salkantay’s prominent peak is located less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cusco in south-central Peru. It is viewed as a sacred mountain by many locals and has been climbed by professional mountaineers since 1952.

Due to her high altitude and steep slopes, you will need a reasonable level of fitness to complete the Salkantay Trek. But age shouldn't be a barrier! The most important thing is to be well-acclimatized to the altitude. The highest point you will reach on the trek is (4, 650 MASL – 15092 FASL). We recommend at least two days of acclimatization before your journey. This is an ideal time for visiting the city of Cusco, its nearby Inca ruins, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 0

    Pre-Departure Briefing


  • Day 1

    Hike to the Jewel in the Mountains

    Cusco Mollepata Challacancha Humantay Lake Soraypampa

    • Visit to the Humantay Lake nestled at the base of Apu Humantay mountain.
    • Take in your first views of the enigmatic Apu Salkantay.
    • Spend the night in our exclusive glass-topped Sky Camp while gazing at the stars from the comfort of your bed.
  • Day 2

    The Stunning Salkantay Pass and Descent to the Jungle

    Soraypampa Salkantay Pass Huayracmachay Chaullay

    • Hike along the winding Salkantay trail with the mountain’s tallest peak in front of your eyes all morning!
    • Around midday, you will be standing in the middle of the Andes mountain range!
    • We make our way into the incredible cloud forest and tropical jungle around Chaullay.
    • Spend the night in our exclusive Andean Huts.
  • Day 3

    Jungle Adventure and Coffee Experience

    Chaullay Collpapampa La Playa Lucmabamba

    • Enjoy a serene and empty trail and appreciate landscape, scenery, and wildlife, including the roaring river below us in the valley us for much of the day.
    • While trekking through the luscious jungle, you will find countless wild fruits such as banana, avocado, passion fruit, and granadilla.
    • Have a comfortable night in our private camp - Jungle Domes in Lucmabamba.
  • Day 4

    The Day of Incan Ruins and Your First Glance of Machu Picchu

    Lucmabamba Llactapata Hidroelectrica Aguas Calientes

    • We get to travel along part of the famous Inca Trail! On this path, we will come to the impressive archeological site of Llactapata right in front of its more well-known big brother, Machu Picchu.
    • You will meet some of the native people who live their day-to-day lives in the area.
    • Don’t forget to turn around and see Apu Salkantay again in the background before you look forward to have your first glance at the glorious Machu Picchu!.
  • Day 5

    Tour of the Incredible Incan Fortress: Machu Picchu

    Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu

    • You will have plenty of time to explore this truly magnificent World Wonder while you enjoy the beautiful sunrise from this once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint.
    • You can opt to climb Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Mountain (if you have pre-booked tickets) or walk to the Sun Gate.

Why Take the Salkantay Trail?

  • The Salkantay Trek is listed as one of the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
  • The Salkantay Trek is definitely one of the very best trekking adventures that you will find in Peru and in the continent of South America.
  • After the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek is the 2nd most popular trek to Machu Picchu (and a lot less crowded).
  • Trekkers can see natural bridges, snowcapped mountains, colorful valleys, waterfalls, wildlife, unique plants, and cloud forest.
  • Camping with less people allows you to control your own trip and have the best views of these incredible mountains!
  • Hiking alongside the magnificent Apu Salkantay and arriving at the ruins of the majestic Machu Picchu is one of the best experiences known to mankind.
Day 1

Hike to the Jewel in the Mountains

Cusco Mollepata Challacancha Soraypampa Humantay Lake

We start the day by picking you up from your hotel at approximately 04:00 AM. After the first two hours of driving, we will stop in a small town called Mollepata for a quick optional breakfast. Then, we will continue for another hour to Challacancha, the starting point of our trek. As we drive, and as the sun begins to peek over the mountains, the white, snow-capped peaks of Apus Salkantay and Humantay, two colossal gods of the Incas, will start to materialize.

After arriving at Challacancha we will meet our support staff. The support staff consists of a head chef, a sous chef, and horseback riders. Day to day, they will strap all the luggage and equipment to mules and ride ahead of us to set up camp and prepare the food. At around 09:30 AM, we will begin trekking to Soraypampa (3850 MASL – 12631 FASL), the first campsite on our journey at the base of the Humantay and Salkantay Mountain.

Besides, at the very beginning, the first section of the path is relatively flat and snakes through a deep glacial valley. Much of the trail follows a restored Incan aqueduct, which still supplies water to farmers in the lower valleys. For the next three hours, we will travel 7 km (4.35 miles) to Soraypampa, where we will have our lunch at the base camp of Salkantay. After lunch and a short rest, we do the climb up to the unforgettable Humantay Lake (4200 MASL – 13779 ft). This is a 5 km (3.1miles) round-trip hike, which will take a total of 3 hours. Humantay Lake is one of the most beautiful locations in all the Andes with unbelievably blue-green water, which reflects the mountain glacier of Apu Humantay. It’s truly like something out of a fairy tale! After we enjoy dinner back at camp, the background of the valley at sunset creates the most peaceful scene with an energy that can only be felt and not described!, Because Soraypampa, is located far from the hustle and bustle of any city lights, at night the pitch-black sky lights up with thousands of stars, constellations, and comets. As you lay in bed, gazing at the expanse that is unfolding before you, you will be overcome by feelings of peace and tranquility as you are humbled by the glory of all the beauty that has been created for us to enjoy.

Today we will begin by picking the passengers up at around 4am from their hotel. We will then drive for 3 hours, passing by Anta and Mollepata, until we get to Challacancha which will be our starting point for the hike. Around 9:30am we will start our excursion towards Soraypampa (3,869masl/12,690fasl), which will take around 3 hours. Once there we will serve you lunch. After this we will walk for 3 hours (5 km/3.1 miles) up to Lake Humantay (4,221masl/13,845 fasl) and after visiting it, we will come back down to our camp at Soraypampa for the night.

  • Meals: Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation:  Glass-Topped Sky Camp
  • Difficulty:  Moderate to Challenging
  • Walking Distance:  7.45 miles
  • Starting Elevation:  3350 m / 10990 ft
  • Highest Elevation:  4600 m / 15091 ft
  • Campsite Elevation:  3920 m / 12861 ft
Day 2

The Stunning Salkantay Pass and Descent to the Jungle

Soraypampa Salkantay Pass Huayracmachay Chaullay

After an early wake-up with the first daylight at 05:30 AM and a quick but energizing breakfast, we will start trekking up to the highest point of the trail: the Salkantay Pass (4650 MASL – 15255 FASL). The distance is a 7 km (4.34 miles) of difficult ascent in 3 hours between the rocky valley base and the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6271 MASL– 20574 FASL). When we reach the top of the pass, we will appreciate the spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and the imposing snowy peaks of Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo mountains. Salkantay Mountain is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region and one of the Inca gods called “Apu”. Continuing from this climax of today’s trek, there is a 5 km (3.1 mile) downhill walk to the site for lunch.

The walk downwards is on a serpent-shaped, rocky, gravel path which leads to the Huayracmachay lunch campsite. To rest on the way down, there is a perfect valley outlook that is absolutely stunning! In the afternoon after our meal, we will enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle, which is also called “the cloud forest”. This is a 10 km (6.2 mile) hike completed in 3 hours on a wide trail in the thick and magical tropical forest. During this part of the trek, you will notice a dramatic change in landscape and the earth’s energy as we move from Andes to Amazon! This hike is truly beautiful; the hills are decorated with colorful scenery, wildlife, and native plants. The forests are warm and tropical most of the year with temperate climates. At the end of this outstanding hike, we arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 MASL – 9514 FASL) for a much-deserved reward of rest from our long day of trekking! This is our base camp in the jungle as we continue to make our way to Machu Picchu.

The passengers will get to enjoy their breakfast at 5am to begin our hike up to the highest point of the trek: the Salkantay pass (4,638masl/15,213fasl). This will take around 4 hours at a distance of 7 km (4.34 miles) through the base of the rocky valley and the imposing Salkantay Mountain (6,271masl/20,574fasl). After we will walk for 5km (3.1 miles) downhill along a winding and rocky trail which will take us to the eating spot at Huayracmachay, where lunch will be served. We will then continue our hike in the afternoon, which takes us towards the Amazon jungle where we get to see the “cloud forest”. This stretch is 10km (6.2 miles) and takes around 6 hours. At the end of this challenging trek we will get to our campsite at Chaullay (2,870masl/9,414fasl) to spend the night.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Accommodation:  Wooden Camping CHOZAS - Andean Huts
  • Difficulty:  Challenging
  • Walking Distance:  22 km / 13.7 miles
  • Starting Elevation:  3800 m / 12467 ft
  • Campsite Elevation:  2750 m / 9022 ft
  • Highest Elevation:  4650 m / 15255 ft
Day 3

Jungle Adventure and Coffee Experience

Chaullay Collpapampa La Playa Lucmabamba

At 06:00 am, we will start our trek to the small town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley. You will be able to soak up this new, lush landscape during our 6 hours of hiking today! During the hike we will see rivers, waterfalls, wild orchids, and plantations of coffee, banana, and avocado. You can taste the famous passion fruit and granadilla fruit along the way! We will see a village called Colpapampa, also called the “brow of the cloud forest,” where waterfalls, birds, hot springs, fruit-bearing trees, and flora and fauna can be observed. If we are lucky, we will even be able to see the beautiful bird called “The Cock of the Rocks,” the national bird of Peru! After a hearty lunch at La Playa, we will hike for approximately 1 hour to our base camp called Lucmabamba (2400 MASL – 7874 FASL).

We will explore the tropical forest for a little while and visit at an organic coffee farm. If you are a coffee lover, this will be especially heavenly for you – you can taste coffee freshly prepared by the local people! If not, you can still enjoy the decadent aroma of freshly roasted and ground coffee wafting through the air! Coffee is the main farming industry of the local people here in the jungle, and they farm many acres of coffee to export to the USA, Asia, and Europe. Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, but it wasn’t until the Spanish invaded Cusco that it was brought to this region. We will also explore an orange plantation and an avocado plantation this afternoon.

At 6am we will start our trek for the day for 5 hours through the Santa Teresa valley, towards the small village of La Playa. The passengers will get to observe rivers, waterfalls, wild orchids, coffee plantations, bananas, and avocados. We will also walk through the village of Collpapampa. After having lunch, we will explore the tropical forest for a while and visit an organic coffee farm. Afterwards, we will make our way to the third campsite to spend the night there.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Accommodation:  Jungle Domes
  • Difficulty:  Easy
  • Walking Distance:  19km / 11.8 miles
  • Starting Elevation:  2750 m / 9022 ft
  • Campsite Elevation:  2400 m / 7874 ft
Day 4

The Day of Incan Ruins and Your First Glance of Machu Picchu

Lucmabamba Llactapata Hidroelectrica Aguas Calientes

Like previous mornings, the chef of the trek will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea served in your bed. You will get ready for today’s activities while enjoying your last prepared breakfast by the talented trek chef. We will begin the hike early, and you will have the opportunity to enjoy a small part of the famous and highly-acclaimed Inca trail! After a climb of 2 hours with amazing views of the Santa Teresa valley we will arrive at the Llactapata Inca site right in front of Machu Picchu. This will be the first archaeological site we will see of the mysterious Lost City of the Incas! It is a very special place to enjoy together and spend time learning a bit more about this land’s roots and history. We will be able to see not only the ruins of Machu Picchu from this spot, but also Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. We will explore this Inca site with the guide, and he will continue telling the history of the Incas who used and worshipped this land. Of course, you will have plenty of time to take as many photos as you want to capture these memories and share with your friends back home!

After the Llactapata ruins, we will continue our trek with a 2-hour downhill hike. On this part of the trail, you are always able to view Machu Picchu until we arrive at the Hidroelectrica train station to have lunch. One of the most impressive sites in this area is the 300-meter-tall natural waterfall which generates electricity for the entire region of Cusco! After lunch, we will arrive at Intiwatana, a famous ancient rock used as a sundial in the Incan era. According to history, Intiwatana worked together with the famous sundial stone in the Machu Picchu site.

The people used these two stones to measure and read the winter solstice, which was the beginning of the new farming season for the Incas. After passing this interesting Inca site, we will reach train tracks which lead to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here you will have two options: 1) If you are exhausted, you may take the train to Aguas Calientes ($34.00 extra). 2) If you are still eager to hike, you may walk from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes for about 3 hours along the train track. Next to the tracks, there is a nice path we will through the warm paradise of the cloud forest. This is the same trail used by the American professor Hiram Bingham who rediscovered Machu Picchu after centuries of it being lost to the outside world!

Note: During the rainy season, the hike up the Llactapata Trail is not 100% guaranteed due to safety concerns. When heavy rains are frequent, this trail becomes very dangerous.

At the campsite, the passengers will get to enjoy the last breakfast prepared by the chef of our team. The, we head uphill for 2 hours through the Santa Teresa valley and reach the Incan site of Llactapata which we will explore with our guide. Next, we continue our hike downhill for 2 hours to the place where lunch will be served. After this, we make our way to the train station at Hydroelectric. Then we will get to the train tracks which we follow to the town of Aguas Calientes for 3 hours. If any of the passengers are very tired, they will get the opportunity to take the train to Aguas Calientes (US$33 extra, approx.) Once in Aguas Calientes, the passenger will spend the night in a hostel, in a shared room.

Note: During the rainy season, the hike up the Llactapata Trail is not 100% guaranteed due to safety concerns. When heavy rains are frequent, this trail becomes very dangerous.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Accommodation:  Comfortable Hostel
  • Difficulty:  Moderate to Challenging
  • Walking Distance:  22 km / 13.7 miles
  • Starting Elevation:  2450 m / 8038 ft
  • Accommodation Elevation:  2000 m / 6561 ft
Day 5

Tour of the Incredible Incan Fortress: Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu Ollantaytambo Cusco

Today we arrive at the long-awaited finale of our trek, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Machu Picchu! We will wake up early after a refreshing night at our hostel to beat the crowds to the top of Machu Picchu and enjoy its serenity in the soft morning light. The Machu Picchu entrance check point is open from 06:00 AM until 17:00 PM. We will hike up to Machupicchu (a bus ride is optional for $12.00) and enter the hidden Royal Citadel of the Incas. Here we will have a 2-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city to visit temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the farming fields. Be amazed at the engineering ingenuity of the Incas which was so far ahead of their time and still partially a mystery today! Without having modern tools or even steel and iron to work with, the people who built this city were genius in organizing this community in a sustainable and beautiful way on the side of a mountain, even bringing water in canals through its streets for the people to use. When a Peruvian guide showed this site to Hiram Bingham, it was almost unrecognizable, covered in thick vegetation and in a state of disrepair. It has since been cleaned and restored and is now protected and treasured by the world at large!

After this tour, you are free to climb up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). Each mountain takes approximately 3 hours to hike up and down. Another lower-impact option for which you do not need an extra ticket is to trek to the Sun Gate, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round-trip). Another option is walking to see the Incan Bridge. You will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for more than 7 hours before hiking back down to Aguas Calientes for the train ride between 01:37 PM and 06:20 PM (subject to availability) to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick up our group and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco at about 20:00 hrs. Rest your feet and your body now, but we can assure you your heart will still be soaring for weeks and years to come!

This day begins very early with the intention that the passengers get to enjoy the archaeological site of Machu Picchu before a majority of the other tourists arrive. The control point at the entrance of Machu Picchu opens to visitors from 6am to 5pm. It’s important to mention that this hike up to Machu Picchu can be tough and that the option to take a bus up exists at an extra price of US$12.00. Once inside Machu Picchu you will receive a guided tour for approximately 2 hours. After the tour, the passengers can hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain if they have reserved their tickets well in advance. The time it takes to go up and down these mountains is around 3 hours approximately. After enjoying this Incan fortress we’ll make our way back down to Aguas Calientes town where, at approximately 4:22pm (depending on availability), we will take our train back to Ollantaytambo. This ride is 2 hours long. In Ollantaytambo we will board our bus that takes us back to Cusco. We will arrive in the city at around 9pm.

  • Touring Level:  Easy
  • Hike Level:  Strenuous
  • Activity Duration:  2-5 hours exploring (& optional 2-3 hour strenuous hike)
  • Machu Picchu Elevation:  2430 m / 7972 ft

Cusco Expeditions specified the included/non-included services under all the tour itineraries listed on our website. We take care of all the logistics, but please pay attention to the details. For specific programs, maybe some items are different, please read carefully before booking with us.

What Is Included?

  • High Quality Service & Safety

  • Pre-departure briefing

    You will meet your trekking guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags which will be carried by our horses. The meeting will be at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.

  • Experienced Guide

    All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. Our guides are chosen for their professionalism, experience, responsibility, seriousness, unbridled passion for exploring, and a desire to share in the experience. They’ll make sure you are safe and happy.

  • Camping Equipment

    Dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs, and cooking equipment (all carried by the horses).

  • Medical Kit

    All Cusco Expeditions guides have received specialized training in first aid. We hold mandatory training sessions with our guides every February. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit to face basic emergencies (altitude sickness, traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) as well as oxygen. If necessary, we’ll evacuate you from the path as quickly as possible and ensure that you arrive at a clinic for treatment.

  • Customer Service 24/7

    We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.

  • Accommodation

  • Personal Accommodation in Private Campsites

    Like our ancestors, we are very considerate of the Pachamama (Mother Earth). Therefore, our campsites and lodges are adapted to the environment to avoid generating negative impacts.

  • Hostel in Aguas Calientes

    The last night of this trek is spent in a hostel in Aguas Calientes with a double or triple room, private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, breakfast, and luggage storage while you visit Machu Picchu.

  • Meals

  • Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners

    Our chef prepares the best dishes in the middle of the mountain. Our passengers love our food! We respect all diets(Vegetarian, vegan, or special menus are available at no extra cost ), so let us know if you have any particular restrictions on your reservation form and remind your guide during the briefing. You’ll enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to hot drinks and snacks.

  • Wake up tea

    Every morning at the campsite, you will wake up with a cup of coca tea! Our staff will bring the tea to your tent so that you will be warmed from inside out before you start your day.

  • Tea time daily

    Every afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide popcorn, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you will not have to wait until dinner to relax, warm-up, and enjoy a bite to eat!

  • Snacks on the trail daily

    Every morning we’ll give you your snack to enjoy it during the walk; our tour leader will provide you a Cloth bag with local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, caramels, etc. We will give this snack to you at the beginning of each day in your cloth bag.

  • One cloth snack bag per person

    To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we will give you a cloth bag for your snacks.

  • Products for hygiene

    You will be provided with a small towel before each meal to clean your hands.

  • Transportation & Tickets

  • Transport

    - Day 1: You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and will travel by private transportation to Challacancha, the starting point of the trek.

    - Day 5: Private transport from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco.

  • Train Ticket

    - Day 5: From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.

  • Cargo Mules

    On days 1, 2, and 3, cargo mules carry all the camping equipment and your allowance of personal baggage (7 kgs/15.4 lbs).

  • Permits & Entrance Tickets

  • Entrance Ticket for Salkantay Trek

  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Archeological Site.

  • EXTRAS included in our service.

  • We believe that attention to small details is what sets us apart from other local companies. You’ll receive a cover to protect your backpack on the road, and a rain poncho.

  • Satellite phones

    Our main priority will always be the tranquillity of our clients. While all of our guides are prepared for emergencies in the mountains, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps you feel more secure. Each Cusco Expeditions guides has a satellite phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to call anywhere in the world. You can also use it even if it’s not an emergency.

What Is Not Included?

  • Rental

    All our travellers need a sleeping bag to camp and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional, but highly recommended. If you do not have them, don’t worry, you can rent them with Cusco Expeditions:

    • Sleeping bag: US $ 25.00
    • Walking poles (pair): US $ 25.00
  • Huayna Picchu

    You can climb the famous mountain that’s always seen in the photos, behind the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It’s 45 minutes uphill. Going down can be scary if you fear heights. You can take this excursion once your guided tour to Machu Picchu ends. The additional cost is US $ 30.00. The permit must be issued at least 1 month in advance due to high demand. To protect your integrity, there may be changes due to weather conditions.

  • Day 5: Last Lunch and Dinner in Aguas Calientes

  • Personal clothing and gear

  • Travel Insurance

  • Tips for our staff

    Tips are usual on any excursion to Machu Picchu. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering the hard work they do. Typically, group participants collect their tips to hand out to the porters and chefs together.

  • Additional costs or delays out of control of the management

    Landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.

  Before You Go

We want to make your trip to Peru as amazing and as easy as possible. On this section you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had in one place.

Please read carefully the following information – it will help you with any questions you may have about our services.

Have another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line and we will get back to you asap!

Is it for me?

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a great alternative for the Inca Trail trek and better suited for more adventurous trekkers who are able to handle higher altitude and longer distances. Ascending to reach the famous Apacheta Pass at 4650 MASL - 15088 FASL is not too strenuous since it is at the beginning of the trek, neither is it very steep, but it does require stamina and a little time in Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude before beginning the trek.

How many days do I need to acclimate in Cusco before the Trek?

It is very important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek. We do recommend that you arrive to Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before the trek starts to help you become acclimatized and avoid possible problems with altitude sickness while on the trek.

If you have already been in another area of Peru at high altitude before arriving in Cusco, we still recommend you have a complete day in Cusco to rest, recover from your travel, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Cusco before departing for the trek.

Here some suggestions for activities to do in the Cusco vicinity before starting your adventure trek:

The Briefing

This meeting will take place the night before the trek’s departure at 5 PM at our office which is located at Triunfo Street 392, Office 212 (second floor). We are 1 block from the Main Square (Plaza de Armas) of Cusco.

What about the balance?

It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of

Duffle Bag for Salkantay Trek Classic 5 Days

The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7 kg/15.4 lbs. Our horseman will carry your duffle bag for you together with the food and camping gear. It is important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffel bag until the end of each day as the horsemen and horses will always be ahead of the group. During the travel, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, raincoat, camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually, a 30 to 50 litre backpack is sufficient.

Can I store my luggage at your office?

Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both free of charge.


Private & Exclusive Campsites

Sky Camp

Private Campsites

Our incredible Sky Camp is located in front of the impressive mountains Humantay and Salkantay. This campsite allows for the perfect union of sky and earth. It allows you to sleep calmly under a deep, blue sky starred with an exceptional view of the constellations. At the same time, you can enjoy all the comforts of a first-class vacation home.

  • Location: Soraypampa
  • Altitude: 3900 mts.
  • Igloos: 26
  • Capacity: 2 people per Igloo
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Andean Huts

Andean Huts

Like in the times of our ancestors, our commitment is to our Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the Apus (Mountains). Our campsite ANDEAN HUTS is adapted to the natural environment without generating any audiovisual impact, constructed of the elements, surrounded by the mountains and rivers, and under the shine of the stars.

  • Location: Chaullay
  • Altitude: 2900 mts.
  • Andean Huts: 20
  • Capacity: 2 people per Andean Hut
  • Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner

Jungle Domes

Jungle Domes

From the comfort of our domes, you can be in intimate contact with the surrounding nature, hearing the wind or the rain or gazing at the stars through the central dome from your comfortable bed. The conceptual design of our domes invites you to see one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world from your window.

  • Location: Lucmabamba
  • Altitude: 2000 mts.
  • Igloos: 16
  • Capacity: 2 people per Jungle Dome
  • Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner

Hotel in Aguas Calientes


Hotel Aguas Calientes

We offer a set of well located hostels & hotels with very comfortable and tasteful decorated rooms. You will find them impecable, clean rooms and beds, adequate toilets and showers. A perfect place to rest before the great day!

  • Location: Aguas Calientes
  • Altitude: 2040 mts.
  • Type: Single, Double, Matrimonial
  • Meals: Breakfast

The Salkantay Trek can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February because rainy season & maintenance.

  • Group Price

  • Salkantay Group
  • 2020 Land Cost
    per person
  • Pre-payment
  • Balance
  • This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.

Additional Items

There are additional items you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices.

  • Huayna Picchu:  $30
  • Machu Picchu Mountain:  $30
  • Single Room at Aguas Calientes:  $30

Extensions & Offers

There are several extensions you can include to your Salkantay Adventure:

  • Rainbow Mountain:  $100  $80
  • Sacred Valley:  $100  $80
  • City Tour:  $20


The alternative treks all end in, or before Aguas Calientes. The last night is spent at a hotel in the village, rather than camping. This 2 star hotel is included in the trek cost, and is based on a shared room. If you would like to upgrade your hotel, or prefer a single room, there will be an additional cost.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.

Student Discount

$20 off person

Student discounts apply to anyone who is 17-years-old or younger. For those booking children 17-years-old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to

  Enquire Now

Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Cusco Expeditions. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.

Personal Details

Trip Details

Salkantay Trek Classic 5D
14 years and above
Below 14 years
7 + 3 =
Remember |  One of our Travel Experts will contact you soon to confirm the availability of the trip you chose, give you more information, and/or provide you alternative options. Once availability is established, we will ask for a deposit and a completed online registration to confirm your spot on the trek. Please call us at (+51) 947736747 with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone.

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Our Pledge |  Your privacy is respected and protected. The Cusco Expeditions Company will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.

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We give advice and recommendations that are right for you

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Feel free to reach us via email at or by calling us directly at +51 947 736 747

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Triunfo Street 392, office 212, 2nd floor - Main Square of Cusco, Peru

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Monday - Friday
9:00 am to 8:00 pm
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

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Due to the rainy season and trail maintenance, we don't offer this trek during the whole month of february. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, we are working to provide you a better service!

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Our Focus

Guarantee you the adventure of a Lifetime

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Your Safety is our priority

Cusco Expeditions organized a first aid and rescue course in which all its guides actively participated.

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Expert Local Guides

Our Destination Experts aren't just trip designers, they're true explorers with experience in Peru you won't find anywhere else.

Fantastic Meals
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Fantastic Meals

The food is one of the most important things on the trek, we bring balance and nutritive food along the trail.

Small Groups
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Small Groups

Travelling with us will always feel like travelling among friends and not with a group of strangers in an organized tour.

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Great Experiences & Magical Places

The Journey is the Destination

What better way to explore a magic destination than by following in the footsteps of the people who know it best? To find out the best places to view during your Salkantay Trek, take a look at some of our traveler's favorite places.

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Related Peru Treks

Alternative journeys you may be interested in

Here you have other options that will suit your needs from the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

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What Our Clients Say

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