5 Day Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek
The Apu (Andean deity) Salkantay which means “wild” in the Quechua language, is truly a spectacular trek full of breathtaking views of the second highest mountain in Cusco.
We plan to camp at the base of the Salkantay, taking in the energy of the sacred protector, enjoying the company of hummingbirds and butterflies and traversing in the highlands of the jungle.
This is an extreme walk that connects with the natural beauty of the Peruvian mountain range, introduces you to the mysteries of the Inca culture and takes you to enjoy the majestic beauty of Machu Picchu.
- A spectacular trek full of breathtaking views of the second highest mountain in Cusco
- Camp at the base of the Salkantay, taking in the energy of the sacred protector
- An extreme walk that connects with the natural beauty of the Peruvian mountain range
- Be in introduced to the mysteries of the Inca culture
- Scheduling: Shared Tour
- Languages offered on the Activity / Tour: English, Spanish
- Duration: 5 days
- Printed Voucher Accepted
- Pick-up serviceHotel pickup and drop-off available.
- Easy CancellationAt the time of booking a non-refundable deposit of 50% is due in order to reserve your trek, and full payment is due 30 days prior to the beginning of the trek. In the case of a cancellation, Travel and Healing can provide a letter of explanation for your insurance provider if requested. If a reservation is made within a 30 day period of a trek or tour, the entire reservation must be paid in full at the time of booking.
- Instant Confirmation
- Collection from your hotel in the morning and transfer in private transport to the trailhead.
- Healing Activity – Offering to mother earth or Blessing by an Andean Priest for protection during your trek.
- Machu Picchu entrance fee
- 2-man personal sleeping tents. Our tents are 3-season and highly maintained to ensure excellent performance in field.
- A Foam mattress per/person.
- Dining tent with tables and stools.
- Kitchen tent.
- Toilet tent.
- English speaking professional guide (2 guides for groups of over 8 people)
- Chef and cooking equipment
- Horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
- Accommodation for all our staff
- Meals (4B, 4L, 4D + daily tea service except last day). Vegetarian menu and special diets can be catered for
- Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested far enough in advance
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Bus ticket to/from Machu Picchu down to the village of Aguas Calientes.
- Train ticket Hydroelectric Station to Aguas Calientes.
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo / Poroy.
- Tourist transportation from Ollantaytambo / Poroy to Cusco.
- Transfer train station-hotel included only if returning on day 5
- A backpack with enough changes of clothes for the whole period of the trek.
- Rain gear (jacket and trousers if available) or rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco).
- Strong footwear. Waterproof trekking boots recommended.
- Sandals or jogging shoes for comfort while at camp.
- Warm clothes, including jacket and fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
- Sleeping bag (available for rent).
- Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
- Camera, memory cards, and batteries (batteries are consumed more quickly under cold conditions).
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold.
- Sun block.
- Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported.
- Shampoo, contact lens solution, prescriptions, etc., that you require.
- Additional snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruit, muesli, etc. Remember that we supply you with plenty of food already.
- Swimsuit and small towel (if you wish to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes).
- Cash in soles and/or US$ for snacks, water, souvenirs, tips, etc.
- Original passport (mandatory for entrance to Machu Picchu).
- Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount).
- Breakfast on the first day and lunch on the last day .
- Sleeping bag (available for rent).
- Tips for staff (optional).
- Extra costs.
- Visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes. This is a relaxing way to end-up the trek while you’re awaiting the return train to Cusco. Only 10 minutes from the village center, entrance fee is Peruvian Soles s/10.00 per person. Towels can be rented in Aguas Calientes.
After an early-morning pick you up from your hotel, we’ll leave Cusco and travel through the province of Anta, Cusco’s dairy region. Here we will stop to participate in an Andean Blessing ceremony.
Following steep-sided river canyons, we descend into the rich and fertile valley of Limatambo before climbing again to the town of Mollepata, where we will stop for breakfast. We continue on to Soraypampa (3700m) where we meet our wranglers and pack animals and begin our trek.
After an hour’s walk, our first stop will be Lake Umantay, where we will have lunch. This pretty lagoon provides mirror-like images of the surrounding mountains and is the perfect place for self-reflection.
From here we continue across Salkantaypampa, just below glacial moraines, before starting a fairly steep section of switchbacks known as the “7 Vueltas,” or “7 Turns,” which will take us up to 4300m. From here the path is almost flat to Soyroccocha (4,400m / 14,435ft), where we will camp just below Mount Salkantay.
This campsite offers spectacular views of the glacier and an unparalleled view of the southern sky (in clear weather) but is quite high and usually very cold.
After an early breakfast, we will start the trek to Salkantay Pass (4600m). As you take in the panorama you will see not only Salkantay but also the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, Pumasillo, and the Huayracmachay valley.
There is also the option to do some alpine scrambling and to visit a second glacial lagoon near the base of the Salkantay glacier. From the pass we start our descent into the valley.
As we travel, the vegetation changes from the sparse grasses of the puna and mountain passes to lush cloud forest home to butterflies, hummingbirds, and a wide-variety of flora. After lunch we will veer away from the standard trekking route and head down to the river before climbing the ridge on the other side.
From here we can look down on the Santa Teresa valley before taking an easy walk to our campsite at Collpapampa (2900 meters). Our camping equipment and food will be transported by pack horses.
Today is a more relaxing day. We start with a small descent and then walk along a newly built road towards the valley. We will get a look at rural life in the valley, and, if in season, we can harvest some “granadilla” from the passion fruit family, or maybe some of the region’s incredible avocados.
We’ll pass through this beautiful valley, and after lunch, we cross the river to head through the upper edges of the rainforest. After a 2 hour walk, we will arrive at the town of Sahuayaco, also known as “La Playa” for lunch.
Once we have had time to rest, we will continue a little further to the community of Lucmabamba (2000m / 6561ft), renowned for its coffee production. We will spend the night here to escape the crowds of La Playa.
*Note that if you would like to spend the night in Santa Teresa to visit the hot springs this is also possible. However, the campsites at Santa Teresa can be very full and noisy.
To avoid the mid-day heat, we will start early with a walk through coffee plantations and past an artisan coffee mill on our way to Llactapata. Here we follow a wide, well preserved Inca road which once ran all the way to Quito, Ecuador.
Following the trail up the side of the ridge, we may see a multitude of butterflies, citronella plants, rocky streams, and stunning vistas of the Santa Teresa valley. From the pass, it is a short walk to Llactapata and a view of Machu Picchu that few others get to see.
We will explore the site, still covered in vines and jungle vegetation, before descending to the Rio Aobamba and on to the train station at “hidroelectrica,” the hydroelectric site. From there, we will catch the train to Aguas Calientes (2000m / 6561ft) and check into our hotel.
In the evening, there are plenty of restaurants, markets, the hot springs, or simply a period of relaxation in your hotel room to enjoy. 5 hours walking, 2150-1900m.
We will get up early to catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu and in time to watch the sunrise over the mountains. After enjoying the views, we will have a two-hour tour of the Inca citadel, visiting the principal sites.
After the tour, we recommend the following activities: Climbing Wayna Picchu and visiting the Temple of the Moon (requires an additional pass and must be reserved at time of booking – see below). Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain (requires an additional pass and must be reserved at time of booking – see below).
Hiking to the Sun Gate, where the first rays of sunshine fall on the winter solstice. Visiting the Inca Bridge, where you can marvel at the incredible engineering skills and ingenuity of the Incas. Sitting on the terraces below the Temple of the Condor and taking in the energy of the site.
Walking through the site again, ducking into hidden corners and little-visited rooms to refine your own theory about Machu Picchu. In the afternoon we will return to Aguas Calientes to catch the train to return to Cusco.
- We recommend that customers participating on the trek is healthy, fit and able.