Salkantay trail

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The trip

In Summary

This route will make you see the high mountain of the mountain range Vilcabamba, the Salkantay (6271m), in which you will face before by-passing it by the left. This trekking offers the possibility of hiking in an amazing landscape and is also a good alternative of the Inca Trail to go from Cusco to Machu Picchu. 

The strong points of the trip  « Salkantay trail »

  • A good alternative to the Inca trail
  • Beautiful landscapes at the foot of Salkantay
  • A sustained trek, reserved to the experienced sportsmen



DAY 1: CUSCO (3350 m) – MOLLEPATA (2900 m) – SORAYPAMPA (3850 m)

Departure from Cusco in a private bus around 5am to go to the village of Mollepata. You will go through beautiful landscapes overlooked by the impressive Salkantay. Upon your arrival in Mollepata, you will have breakfast before meeting your team of mule-drivers. Your belongings will be loaded and the hike can begin. The path goes through several small villages: Cruz Pata, Challacancha, where you will have lunch, and then SorayPampa, where this first day will end.


DAY 2: SORAYPAMPA (3850 m) – CHALLWAY (2920 m)

After breakfast, you will go to take on the most difficult part of the trek. You will cross Pampa Salkantay, and then walk around by the left the Umantay glacier, located next to the Salkantay glacier. Around noon, you will reach the highest point of the trek, the Salkantay pass, at an altitude of 4500m. From there, you will have an impressive view of the Salkantay glacier (6264m). You will descend to the Huayracpunko where you will have lunch before continuing your trek for another 3 hours until Chaullay.


DAY 3: CHALLWAY (2920 m) – SAHUAYACO (2000 m) – LA PLAYA (2060 m)

This part is less tough. The climate becomes wetter, the flora changes slowly: you are now entering the Amazonian region. Your goal is getting closer! You will go back up a valley until a place known as “La Playa”, where you will spend the night.


DAY 4: PLAYA (2060 m) – HIDROELECTRICA (1870 m) - AGUAS CALIENTES (2040 m)

After breakfast, you will pass a col at an altitude of 2950m, from where you will have an unobstructed view by clear weather over the Machu Picchu citadel and the summits of the region. Then, you will go back down towards the archeological vestiges of Llactapata that you will visit. After a break on site, you will continue to go down for about 2 hours until the hydro-electrical power station (Hidroelectrica). From there, you will take the train to the village of Aguas Calientes in the afternoon.


DAY 5: AGUAS CALIENTES (2040 m) – MACHUPICCHU (2450 m) – OLLANTAYTAMBO (2800 m) – CUSCO (3350 m)

Very early in the morning, you will take the shuttle to climb up to the most famous Inca site of the country: Machu Picchu, “old summit” in Quechua. You will discover the architectural complex, still enveloped in the morning mist, built on top of a ridge and surrounded by precipices: a stunning view that evolves with the progression of the sun. You will walk through the streets of the citadel, its squares, royal houses, agricultural zones, paths and observatories. After a 3h guided tour, you will have free time to discover, if you wish, the Huayna Picchu (optional*), the Sun Gate (“Inti Punku”) situated at 2700m, or even the Inca bridge. For the less sporty, you can wander peacefully in the city. In the afternoon, return to Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Ollantaytambo, where a vehicule will drive you back to Cusco.


*The access to Huayna Picchu is paying, limited in the numbers of entrances and subject to a timetable. If you wish to do the ascent, it is imperative that you let us known when you make the reservation.



- Ground transports

- English or Spanish speaking guide, mule-drivers and cooks

- The trek and camping logistics

- The meals mentioned as “included”

- Accommodation in a hotel in Aguas Calientes

- Shuttle bus to and back Machu Picchu site

- Private vehicle back to Cusco



- Accommodation on the 5th day

- Entrance to Machu Picchu

- Drinks

- Tips (2 USD/day/person for the guide and 1 USD/day/person for the carriers, mule-drivers, cooks)

- Insurance

- Personal trekking equipment (sleeping bag, trekking poles)

- Individual expenses



The trip will be escorted by a local private English speaking guide.



In Peru, the hotel standards are different to what you may be accustomed to. Here are a few useful details on every type of accommodation:

- Camping: thanks to the perfect organization of our cook(s) and mule-driver(s), you will be able to truly rest after a good day’s walk, do not worry! We have at your disposal a kitchen tent, a dining tent and a toilet tent. For two people, we will provide a 3 men tent for more comfort. We will also provide a comfortable mattress and a basin of hot water at the beginning and end of the day for your personal toilet. And of course, we will prepare full and hot meals!

- 2** and 3*** hotels (local standards): comfortable rooms, simple and clean, private bathroom with hot water; certain hotels offer rooms equipped with a safe, heating system, mini bar, …



During the trek, you will be given cold meals for lunch and hot meals for dinner.



Your transfers will be in private transport up to your point of departure and from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.