Overview of your Salkantay Trek 5-day Tour
This Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in 5 Days / 4 Nights hike is one of the most popular alternative trek to the traditional Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
The Salkantay Trek distance is longer, more difficult and rugged, but with less people in a group and therefore more authentic than the Inca Trail.
The Salkantay Trek is one of the most popular alternative trek for the Classic Inca Trail, 5 days and 4 nights adventure to Machu Picchu. Salkantay Trek needs you to be a little more fit since the route is relatively longer, more difficult and some roads are rough.
You will travel with a small group, exploring the remote path and rise highs of the Salkantay trek. You will reach the highest point of the trek called the ”Death Woman Pass”. The walk takes you through barren mountains and lush vegetation, cloud forests and dry mountains by streams and rivers. We find hot springs on the way where you can definitely relax after a day of hiking. Be prepared for the different temperatures in different heights of the trek – you may even see some snow – the highest point on the way is 4,650 meters / 15,200 feet above sea level.
The Salkantay 5 days and 4 nights trek will end at Machu Picchu, where our professional guide will give you almost 3 hours tour around magic ruins of Machu Picchu. You will also have time to explore this unique and sacred place by yourself after the guide tour.
Itinerary at a glance!
Salkantay Trek 5-day Tour in detail
Day 1 Inca Jungle: Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Abra Malaga, Santa Maria (Meals:L,D)
At 7:30 in the morning, we will pick you up from your hotel to head to Abra Malaga (4316m). From here we will ride bikes to the high forest. You will be riding for over 5 hours. You will not have to carry your belongings on this part of the trail. We have a car to carry them for you. Also, if you do not like biking you may go in the car as well. We will be passing through villages, orchards, rivers and streams before arriving at Huamanmarca. you will have some free time here, and you can decide to continue biking or go in the car to the town of Santa Maria.
Total Biking time 5 hrs (0 km.) – Initial altitude 0 m. Final 0 m.
Overnight at a family hostel in Santa Maria (Altitude: 1575 m)
Day 2 Inca Jungle: Santa Maria – Santa Teresa (Meals:B,L,D)
We will have breakfast at 6 a.m. and start walking by the river. Today we will not have the car so you will need to carry your own things. We will climb up the mountain for about 1 and a half hours to the highest point where we will be able to see the entire valley and the slopes of the canyon. A section of this hike is part of an original Inca trail that reached the village of Quellomayo. Later at noon we will have a delicious lunch and after a short break, we will continue the walk along the old road to Santa Teresa.
Total walking hours: 07:00 ( km.) – Initial altitude 0 m. – Final 0 m.
Overnight at a family hostel in Santa Teresa (Altitude: 1811 m, 0 ft)
Day 3 Inca Jungle: Santa Teresa – Town of Aguas Calientes (Meals:B,L,D)
We will take a bus to Llactapata, and have a guided tour of the site. We will then go to the Hidroelectrica train station. We will see waterfalls from the glaciers, as well as Coca and Coffee plantations along the way. Our lunch will be in Hidroelectrica and later in the afternoon we’ll continue our walk along the railroad to reach Aguas Calientes – Machu Pichu town. Here we will dine and check-in at our hostel at the foot of the great Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
Total walking hours 07:00 hrs (km.) – Initial altitude 3800 m. – Final 2,650 m.
Overnight at a hostel in Aguas Calientes (Altitude: 0 m, 0 ft)
Day 4 Inca Jungle: Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Cusco (B)
Today we will have breakfast at about 5 a.m. You will have a guided tour of the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu, and then have free time to keep looking around. For an additional fee, we can get you the entrance tickets for Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (the top of the mountain we see in every picture of Machu Picchu) 2720m/8890ft. This optional hike should be booked in advance (it takes 60 min to reach the top and another 50 min to hike down). You will have the afternoon free to have lunch, visit the hot springs of Aguas Calientes, or visit the small market or museum. Finally, you will travel by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then by bus to Cusco. Transfer to your hotel.
Get better prepared for the Inca Trail, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page where you find answer to most of our travelers´ questions.
What your dream trip includes
The Tour of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Includes:
- Transfer from your hotel to the bus station (bus from Cusco to Mollepata).
- English speaking professional guide Cook and cooking equipment
- Horsemen and horses (to carry camping gear, food, cooking equipment, etc) for days 1 to 3.
- Accommodation for our guides, cook, porters and horsemen
- Meals (4B, 4L, 4D + wake up tea)
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (Expedition Service).
- Transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- 3 night camping along the route (2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent).
- Train ticket from Hidroelectric to Aguas Calientes
- Full camping equipment: tent kitchen, tables, chairs, tent bedrooms, mattresses.
- 1 night hostel in Aguas Calientes.
- Entrance ticket to Salkantay Park and Machu Picchu.
- Local guide to visit Machu Picchu
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Transfer to Cusco
- First Aid Kit and Oxigen
You can get this tour from $XXX USD, This price may vary due to season, number of travelers or other conditions.
Discounts and Offers
- ISIC Card: Students with a valid ISIC card can apply to a discount of XX%.
- Junior: People under 18 years old can get this tour for $XXUSD.
You can enhance your experience with these aditional services:
- Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu Mountain: an extra hike to the sacred mountains next to the citadel.
- Vistadome Train: enjoy the landscape in a panoramic train during your trip to Machu Picchu.
- Porters: hire an extra porter to get him carry your belongings and enjoy the rek at your best! You will support a Peruvian family too!
What to bring for your Salkantay Trek 5-day Tour
The list of things to bring for the trek (maximum weight 7 kg.)
- Sleeping bag
- Flashlight – light band
- Toilet paper
- Plastic bags (to protect cameras and littering)
- Water purifying tablets
- Waterproof jacket
- 4 t-shirts
- Long pants
- Several pairs of socks
- Rain poncho
- Slippers or sandals to rest your feet in the camp
- A cap or hat
- Personal medications
Map of the tour
Upgrade options for your comfort
You can always ask for an upgrade for all of our services:
Trains: you can ask for a high class train, the Hiram Bingham luxury service.
Accomodation: If you feel like staying in a hotel during your stay in Cusco even for a couple of hours, we have plenty of options for you. Please check our hotel lists to find the best option for you.
Guiding: Our guides are very knowledgeable and experienced, but if you want a specialized guiding you can ask us to a special guiding service.
Testimonials for inspiration
What is the best season to visit Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu weather is two seasons. You can enjoy fresh and vivid days in rainy seasons from November to March, or shiny and blue-sky days during the dry season, from April to October.
When is Machu Picchu closed?
Good news! Machu Picchu is NEVER closed. You can visit this wonder every day of the year.
Should I book my permit in advance?
We strongly encourage you to book your Machu Picchu permit in advance as they can be sold out easily.