River Explorers
Salkantay trek Machu Picchu 4 days
Duration: Salkantay trek (4 days)
Price: from U$790
Book Now!
  • If you want to experience a hike on a Machu Picchu legend, the the Salkantay trek is for you! During this Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu you’ll enjoy a route through the Peruvian Andean Mountains and have a unique opportunity to explore the Machu Picchu, the Andes and the rain forest.
    The Salkantay trek is not only considered to be the best alternative tour for hiking the Machu Picchu, but also the best hiking trek in Peru. Aguas Calientes, a small town situated just below the Machu Picchu, is the end point of this Salkantay hiking experience and after you’ve reached this point, a 4-mile hike straight up the Inca stairs to Machu Picchu is done where you’ll be spoiled with a guided tour around the citadel of Machu Picchu.

    Highest pass: 4626 m – 15177 ft above sea level
    Trip grading: Hard, 2 or 3 day acclimatization previous hiking is highly recommended.
    Hiking time per day: 7 to 8 hours between 15 to 20 km a day.

    Combine you trek with rafting on the Apurimac River ask for more info.

    Salkantay Trek options

    Personal porter: If you wish, you can hire an extra horse for $25 USD to help you carry up your personal items such as raincoat, sleeping bag, etc.

    Please read the regulations for Salcantay Trek and for any other tours that include hiking Machu Picchu.

  • Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Andenes

    Be ready at 5 am! We’ll pick you up from your hotel at this time to begin your adventure on the Salkantay trek. A six-hour long bus ride towards Soraypampa will take you to the starting point of this trek. The first hours of the Salkantay trek will consist of a steep ascent towards the highest point of the trek, the Apacheta pass (4626 meters – 15177 feet feet above sea level.). Here you will experience a perfect view of the Salkantay Mountain which is located at 6,271 m or 20,574 ft altitude. You’ll also be able to see the Queuña – a one of a kind tree – which has perfectly adapted to this vegetation scarce environment. After gazing at these beautiful sites in awe, you’ll continue with the trek making your way to the first camp (named Andenes) and along this descending path you’ll experience nature changing from arid, cold terrain to  a little warmer areas filled with more vegetation.

    Meals: Lunch, snacks and dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
    Trek difficulty: Hard.
    Accommodation: Camping Tents at 3850 meters – 12631 feet above sea level.
    Hiking distance: 13 km – 8 miles
    Highest altitude: 4626 meters – 15177 feet feet above sea level.

    Day 2: Andenes – Playa Sahuayaco

    After enjoying an energizing breakfast, your second day hiking the Salkantay trek will begin. You might find this Salkantay hiking trail is much easier than the first. Small rivers and ravines as well as beautiful views of the Andes will all be spotted alongside this trail until a relaxing waterfall is reached where you’ll have a chance to rest and take some pictures. Each step you take will bring changes in your surroundings. Many bird species including the Peruvian national bird might be seen as you approach the warmer weather and you’ll also be spoiled with views of waterfalls and other wildlife. A breakfast, lunch and dinner is included here.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
    Trek difficulty: Easy.
    Accommodation: camping in tents at 2400 meters – 7864 feet above sea level..
    Hiking distance: 20 km – 8 miles
    Highest altitude: 3850 meters – 12631 feet above sea level.

    Day 3: Sahuayaco – Aguas Calientes

    Your 3rd day of hiking the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu will begin after a healthy breakfast that will provide you with the needed energy to face the day ahead. *Consider taking a different option according to your physical condition (Talk to your guide). The easiest way is hiking and then taking a public transportation to Hydroelectric station to meet with the rest of the group. We of course recommend hiking to Patallaqta.

    *In order to this hike you need to be in really good shape to complete the hiking, its hard and demanding.

    You’ll notice a change in scenery as you wander through the rain-forest coffee plantations, banana trees, oranges and avocados on your Salkantay hiking experience which will finally lead up to the entrance of a trail that will take you to Patallacta.

    Three hours after trekking up the mountain, you’ll arrive at the Patallacta complex. After seeing this amazing place you might agree with some explorers who say that this place could be more important and bigger than its, and makes totally sense, since the location faces instrait line with Machu Picchu complex. It provides you with a great point to see Machu Picchu from a completely different angle. Pictures can be taken while you rest.  After two more hours of following a descending path, you’ll arrive at Machu Picchu Hydroelectric where we meet the rest of the group. Lunch will be served and after this relaxing meal another two or three hours of hiking will bring you to your final destination – Aguas Calientes. This destination serves as the end of your Salkantay hiking adventure and you’ll now move on to Machu Picchu.

    If you prefer, you could purchase a train ticket for an additional U$35 that will take you from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes in about 20 to 30 minutes. In Aguas Calientes, you will check into a lovely hostel for a nice evening. The hostel provides room with private bathrooms and showers. During the evening you’ll also be briefed about hiking Machu Picchu by your guide.

    Meals: Breakfast, snacks and lunch.
    Trek difficulty: Hard.
    Accommodation: Hotel at 2040 meters – 6692 feet above sea level.
    Hiking distance: 20 km – 8 miles
    Highest altitude: 2700 meters – 12631 feet above sea level.

    Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

    The last day in this Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu tour is the most important. It is advised that you start hiking Machu Picchu early in the morning in order for you to arrive at Machu Picchu before it gets crowded by thousands of visitors that will arrive from Cusco. Hiking Machu Picchu early, also gives you the chance to climb Huayna Picchu which for many of our clients is a wonderful natural experience.
    In Machu Picchu, your guide will give you a two-hour guided tour around this impressive complex where after you’ll have plenty of time to take pictures and explore your surroundings.

    Throughout history, this destination was big enough for many thousands of people to live and work in. Most archeologists say that Machu Picchu was used as a royal residence. They assume that the Inca Pachacutec (one of the most important kings during the Inca Empire) built it as a monument to his own majesty. The speculations surrounding the exact reason for the existence of this place make Machu Picchu the highlight of the Salkantay trek and you’re sure to be totally amazed with this place.

    To end of your tour of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, you’ll meet up with the rest of your tour group and take a bus back to Aguas Calientes. Depending on the trains service you’ll be transported back to your hotel in Cusco by the afternoon or evening. If the train stops at Ollantaytambo, there will be a bus waiting to take the group back to Cusco. Breakfast is included at the hotel.

    Meals: Breakfast.
    Trek difficulty: Moderate, if hiking to Huayna Picchu or Montaña Machu Picchu its hard.
    Hiking distance: 20 km – 8 miles
    Highest altitude: 2700 meters – 12631 feet above sea level.

  • What’s included?

    Machu Picchu Tour: Entrance fees to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu (if available), one-way bus ticket to or from Aguas Calientes

    Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

    Transport: Private bus from Cusco to the starting point of Salkantay trek, train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Cusco

    Accommodation: 3 nights camping, 1 night in hotel in Aguas Calientes

    Trekking: Bilingual speaking guide, horses as porters, extra horse in case of emergency, horsemen to look after the horses

    Camping gear: Double-occupancy tents, kitchen, dinner and toilet tents, first aid kit, mattress to sleep on, oxygen cylinder

    What’s not included?

    Sleeping bag (may rent for $25 USD per trip), lunch on the last day, entrance fees to the hot springs, tips and entrance fees to the Salkantay trek, bus ticket from or to Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu on day 4.

    *Altitude sickness is the most frequent problem for travelers while hiking Machu Picchu, and we highly recommend adjusting to the altitude before start your Salkantay trek.

    What to bring

    Sleeping bag rated for -15 degrees (you can rent this for $25 USD per person), mosquito repellent, hiking shoes or trainers, hat, socks, warm clothes, gloves, woolen hat to cover the ears, raincoat, sunblock with SPF 40, flashlight, water bottle, personal medical kit and other items that you consider important during the Salkantay trek.

  • Salkantay Trek – prices and hotels

    Prices usually serve as being the biggest hurdle to overcome, but luckily we’ve got you covered! If you are a solo traveler and wish to share a room, we will assign a same-sex roommate if there is one is available. However, if there are 5 in the group and no extra person to share a room, we will cover the extra expenses of the room rate.

    Private single rooms come at an additional cost U$ 70, but do not guarantee nicer or larger rooms. Hotel categories may however be upgraded. Hotels included in your tour price are rated as 3-star hotels rated with 4 to 5 points in TripAdvisor.

    Eco Quechua lodge in Santa Teresa is considered to be the best option.

    In Aguas Calientes, hotel Tierra Viva and Rupa Wasi is the favorite choice of all our clients. If there are not any more rooms available, Casita de La Luz is a great second choice!

    All prices listed are per-person and in American dollars. To upgrade your hotel category, contact us.

    We hope to welcome you on your adventures tour real soon!

Salkantay Trek tour map

Similar hiking tours

View All Destinations
Lares Trek to Machu Picchu (4 days)
Salkantay hike to Machu Picchu (5 days)
Huchuy Qosqo to Machu Picchu Hiking (3 days)