Salkantay – Llactapata – Machu Picchu 5 Days

icon clock Duration: 05 Daysicon sleep Accommodation: Camping/Hotel
icon clock Total Distance: 65 kilometresicon mountain Difficulty: Average
icon calendarSeason: All Year icon covid19 Covid-19: Biosecurity Protocols

Trip Overview

Salkantay Trekking Tour of 5 days, is a perfect combination of cultural and natural; we will appreciate the challenge of the ecosystem and the magnificent view of the snow-capped Salkantay (6264 m.a.s.l. / 20551f), considered the most representative mountain of the Vilcabamba range.

The walk takes us back to the time of the Incas and consciously shows us the meaning of the spiritual representation of each mountain, such as the Tucarhuay or the Humantay located at more than 5000m.a.s.l.

During the Salkantay & Machu Picchu Tour you will also be able to observe the famous Humantay Lake. At the end of the hike the enigmatic city of the Incas Machu Picchu awaits you. machu picchu hike, Salkantay Trek


DAY 1: Cusco – Mollepata (Marcoccasa) – Soraypampa

We leave Cusco at 05:00 in the morning, towards the community of Marcoccasa (3,400m.s.n.m.), passing through the city of Mollepata (3,000 m.s.n.m.).

Here in Marcoccasa, we find the group of crutches to start the walk. From Marcoccasa, we begin to discover a magnificent valley surrounded by impressive snow-capped mountains such as Humantay (5,217 m.a.s.l.) and the snow-capped Salkantay (6,264 m.n.m.). Our camp is Soraypampa (3,900 m.s.m.).

Optional: After lunch at Soraypampa (3,900 m.a.s.l.), we recommend walking to Humantay Lagoon, where you will discover the beautiful view of the Humantay Lagoon (4220 m.s.n.m.) and the Humantay snow.

The walking time from Soraypampa to Humantay Lagoon is 02:00 Hrs. The estimated transportation time is 03:30 Hrs. Weather: cold and moderate at night on foot is 6:00 HRS.

DAY 2: Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Chaullay

After breakfast, we will follow the road to the Salkantay pass (4,600 m.s.m.), this location offers an exceptional view of the snowy Salkantay (6,264 m.s.m.). Later, we discover the high Andean mountains and enter an ecosystem with lush vegetation.

Then we continue descending to the Chaullay camp (3,350 m.s.m.), where we begin to recognize the wide variety of flora. The weather is hot and cold with mosquitoes. With an estimated walking time of 08h00min hrs.

Hiking time: 08 hours

DAY 3: Chaullay – Wiñaypoco – La Playa – Lucmabamba

The third day is dedicated to the flora of the region and its plantations.

After going down and visiting the forest and its diversity of species of orchids, bromeliads and many other plants, summer plants such as coffee, cocoa and fruit plantations. In addition, we will be happy to meet the local families of Wiñaypoco (2,650 m.a.s.l.), La Playa (2,100 m.s.n.m.) and Lucmabamba (2,000 m.s.n.m.).

Our second camp will be in Lucmabamba. That afternoon, you will be in contact with a local rural family from the site where you will have the opportunity to participate in the cultivation and treatment of coffee. Depending on the variety, it takes about 3 to 4 years for coffee to grow when it is just planted to start bearing fruit.

Due to the botanical characteristics of coffee and the fact that it is often grown in mountainous areas, the widespread use of mechanical harvesters is not possible and they are generally chosen by hand, a labor-intensive and difficult process. We will show and explain the entire coffee preparation process.

We will show and explain the entire coffee preparation process. You will also have the opportunity to ask your neighbors questions about the growing process. The weather is warm during the day with mosquitoes. The estimated time of the walk is 06h00min Hrs.

Note: Depending on the group’s decisions, it is possible to change the itinerary and visit the warm waters of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa (1,830 m.s.m.) at an additional cost. tours treks

DAY 4: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, we will take a tour and pass through the Inca Trail, we will locate the archaeological site of Llactapata at 2,650 m.s.s.l., it is a beautiful landscape to discover the flora and monuments of the Inca culture.

From here, we will have an exceptional view over Machu Picchu the Mountain and the Vilcanota gorge. The hydroelectric plant (1,950 m.s.m.),

where you will take the train to Aguas Calientes, the city (2,050 m.s.m.). We will spend the night in the city of hot water. The weather is hot with some insects. manchu picchu trek

The walking time is 06:00 Hrs.

DAY 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

We leave the hotel at 5:30 a.m., after breakfast, and go to Machu Picchu (2,400 m.a.s.l.) in a tourist bus. We will be at the citadel around 6:00. After a guided tour of the archaeological site, including information about the life and culture of the Incas, you will have plenty of time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu on your own (2,750 m.a.s.l.)

After the visit to Machu Picchu, we will disembark by bus to Aguas Calientes at train schedules, depending on availability. Until then, you will have time to have lunch in one of the most beautiful restaurants. In addition, you can visit the city in warm waters to relax a bit. macchu pichu trail

The estimated time of the walk is 02h00min Hrs.



Tour Includes

  • Private transportation from the Cusco hotel to Mollepata -Marcoccasa.
  • Transportation from Lucmabamba to the hydroelectric plant (only for the equipment and suitcase of all travelers)
  • Tourist train from the hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes.
  • Hot water tourist bus to Machu Picchu.
  • Tourist train from the city of Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco.
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes in 2 stars.
  • Tickets to enter the Salkantay National Park and Machu Picchu.
  • Professional bilingual guide service (Spanish and English).
  • High quality camping equipment (professional tent, Doite Top 4, for 2 people) Mattresses, dining tent with table and chairs, hygiene services).
  • Meals during the tour (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, optional vegetarian food, optional tea)
  • Cook and assistant.
  • Horses and mules for up to 7 kg of a client’s personal equipment.
  • emergency horse.
  • First aid kit and oxygen bottle.

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Tour Does Not Include

  • First breakfast on the 1st and last lunch after Machu Picchu.
  • Sleeping bag (if you don’t have one, we offer rental in our office in Cusco).
  • Consettur descends after the visit from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes. (This is possible on foot and takes 01 h. Or also the possibility of buying a ticket and it costs $ 12.00 per person)

You Have To Bring

  • Backpack and raincoat
  • sleeping bag
  • Clothes for hot and cold weather
  • Light trekking pants
  • Trekking shoes
  • Sandals or slippers (for thermal baths and thermal baths)
  • Wool or cotton socks
  • Short and long sleeve polo shirts
  • sun hat or cap
  • Swimsuit (for hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
  • Insect repellent, hand sanitizer gel, bottle purifier and water tablet, sunscreen toilet paper.
  • Camera (wrapped in a plastic bag), flashlight, and extra batteries
  • Cereal bars, chocolate, nuts, etc.
  • Original passport and student card «ISIC» (for the entrance to Machu Picchu) and extra money in new soles (Peruvian money)
  • The weather can be very cold and humid; in this case, wet clothes do not have time to dry.

Information Aditional 

Ighlights On The Trail

he superb hot springs. While some experiences will stick out above the rest, here are a few stops that can’t be missed along the Salkantay Trail. trails of the sky

Humantay Lagoon

The Humantay Lagoon is formed as a product of the snowmelt of the Nevado Humantay, which in turn is part of a chain of mountains called the Vilcabamba mountain range.

What differentiates the Humantay Lagoon from other lagoons, is the natural color that it has, since it does not have much marine flora in its waters, it has an indescribable color in words, but understandable to the eyes, forming a unique landscape, when travelers seek to capture the ideal moment with their cameras, they capture a wonderful and magical landscape at the same time.

All this and more makes the Humantay Lagoon a very visited place by all the tourists who visit Cusco. peru machu pichu tours


You will be face to face with the sacred Salkantay mountain upon reaching this point at 4630 meters or 15190 feet above sea level. A jaw-dropping vista as Salkantay elevation reaches 6271 meters or 20574 feet above sea level.


Some would say that no Inca ruins are visited during the Salkantay Trek, but we visit these archaeological remains discovered by Hiram Bingham himself. An amazing view of Machu Picchu is enjoyed from this point.


Taking a bath in the Cocalmayo Thermal Baths is a great experience. It is situated between a huge river and a small mountain. In Cocalmayo, bathers can enjoy outdoor pools fed by natural hot springs, built between a small mountain full of vegetation and the Urubamba river.

You will find 3 pools of different sizes and depths. The water temperature varies between 38 and 44 ºC and unlike most hot springs in Peru, it has clear waters. Very close to the pools there are cold showers, the water comes from the Uripata lagoons and is very refreshing; the mixture of waters will give you a very comforting sensation.


This ancient Inca city is one of the most precious treasures in Peru. It was built in the middle of the 15th century and it is believed that it was one of the residences of the ninth Inca of Tahuantinsuyo, Pachacútec, although it also contains the remains of a sanctuary.

Its name means old mountain, and refers to the place where it is located, at about 2453 meters above sea level, in a rocky premonitory between Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu.

Alkantay Trek Height

Cusco rises up to 3,400 meters above sea level, which can be a problem for some people, we recommend that you be in Cusco at least 48 hours before starting the road, during which you should drink a lot of liquids, avoid alcohol and rest.

The maximum Salkantay Trek Height is 4,600 m.a.s.l. which is the beautiful Salkantay pass and the minimum Salkantay Trek Height is 2,200 m.a.s.l. in the last camp of Lucmabamba.

The altitude of snowy Salkantay is 6,271 meters above sea level (m.s.n.m.). The highest altitude point is in the ‘Abra Salkantay’, at 4,650 meters above sea level. From there you can see the peak of the snowy mountain.


Mild altitude sickness symptoms include headache, possibly increasing to mild dizziness, moderate symptoms escalate to nausea, and loss of appetite.

Coca leaves, widely used throughout Peru to cure practically everything, are known to provide significant relief from the symptoms of altitude sickness by improving oxygen absorption, reducing fatigue and providing many vitamins and minerals, the leaves of Coca can be bought in any Peruvian market.

This is the reason why those interested in the Salkantay trek are advised to spend at least one day in Cusco. The ideal is to spend two days because, believe it or not, there is much to do.

Salkantay Trek Cost

The Salkantay Trek of 5 days and 4 nights has an approximate cost of 350 U $ D per person. There are other complete services for Salkantay Trek (better camps, food and train service), which cost is 500 USD per person.

Most tourism agencies offer a discount of between 20 USD and 50 USD for minors (between 3 and 17 years old) and university students.

Weather in Salkantay Trek

The weather in Salkantay Trek is highly varied, as it winds through very different terrain at different altitudes. The only place where weather is of serious concern is the Salkantay Pass and nearby areas. Temperatures here and in nearby Soraypampa camp can drop below freezing. The other campgrounds are much warmer, due to their proximity to the cloud forest.

From October to March the rainy season occurs. During those months, the days are sunny (19 ℃) and the nights are not so cold (4 ℃) but the frequency of rains increases considerably.

April to September is the dry season. During those months, the days in Salkantay have a stable climate (18 ℃), but the nights have their lowest temperatures in the year (-10 ℃).

When Is The Best Time To Do The Salkantay Trek?

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is in the dry season (from April to October). During those months, there is less chance of rain so the roads are in better condition.

In the dry season, however, the days are sunnier and the nights colder. According to mountaineering experts, June, July and August; It is the best time to do the Salkantay trek.

High Temperature °FLow Temperature °F
Jan63 °F39 °F
Feb63 °F39 °F
Mar63 °F39 °F
Apr64 °F37 °F
May64 °F32 °F
Jun64 °F28 °F
Jul63 °F27 °F
Aug64 °F30 °F
Sep64 °F34 °F
Oct66 °F37 °F
Nov66 °F37 °F
Dec64 °F39 °F

Distances in Salkantay Trek

The total distance of the Salkantay Trek is 65 km / 40.4 miles

  • Cusco – Mollepata – 100km/62mi., bus
  • Mollepata – Soraypampa – 22km/13,6mi., long ascend, +1000m
  • Soraypampa – Chaullay – 21km/13mi., first long ascend to Apacheta pass, +750m; then long descend to the campsite, -1500m
  • Chaullay – Lucmabamba – 18km/11mi., descend, – 800m
  • Lucmabamba – Llactapata – 7km/4,3mi., steep ascend to the ruins, +900m
  • Llactapata – Aguas Calientes – 13km/8mi., long descend, – 1000m.

Difficulty of the Salkantay Trek

The Salkantay trek has a medium-moderate difficulty. In the opinion of some tourists, this adventure is more demanding than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

What to bring?

  • Sleeping bags.
  • Cap or hat.
  • Trekking shoes.
  • Trekking backpack.
  • Waterproof jacket.
  • Trekking pants.
  • Poncho for the rain.
  • Canteen with water.
  • Water purifying tablets.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • Snacks.
  • Cash.

Tips for the Salkantay trek

  • Acclimate one or two days in the city of Cusco before doing the Salkantay trek.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages or foods with a lot of fat. Altitude sickness or soroche in Salkantay and Machu Picchu is one of the greatest difficulties.
  • Do a little exercise before the Salkantay trek. You don’t need to be in excellent physical shape, but a little exercise will help.
  • No matter what time of the year, wear warm clothes during the Salkantay trek. The nights are especially cold in the first two days.
  • Plan even in the smallest detail the Salkantay trek on your own.

Salkantay Trek vs Inca Trail

Salkantay Trek vs Inca Trail

Classic Inca TrailSalkantay Trek
Description:It is known by the name of the Classic Inca Trail, a trek that starts from the Sacred Valley of the Incas and has as its final destination Machu Picchu.Is an alternative walk to the Traditional Inca Trail, it consists of reaching Machu Picchu through snowy mountains, abundant vegetation, fauna, lagoons and a high-Andean landscape.
Duration:4 days / 3 nights5 days / 4 nights
Total Route:43 km – 26.72 miles65 km – 40.4 miles
Starting point:Km 82, in HuayllabambaChallacancha town
Itinerary:1st day: Cusco – Huayllabamba (6-7 hrs.)
2nd day: Huayllabamba – Pacaymayo (7-8 hrs.)
3rd day: Pacaymayo – Wiñaywayna (7-8 hrs.)
4th day: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu (2 hrs.)
1st day: Cusco – Challacancha,(5-6 hrs.)
2nd day: Soraypampa – Challway, (7-8 hrs.)
3rd day: Challway – Playa Sahuayaco, (5-6 hrs.)
4th day: Llactapata – Aguas Calientes, (7-8 hrs.)
5th day: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu, (2 hrs.)
Landscape:From high Andean grasslands to humid tropical forest.High-Andean, presence of snow-covered areas of potato and corn, valleys, lagoons, cloud forests, waterfalls, hot springs.
Flora:More than 300 species of orchids, shrubs, ichu, straw and typical trees from Inca times.At first, straw or ichu, crops; then, a characteristic flora of the jungle will appear, as well as coffee, banana, avocado, pineapple and coca leaf crops.
Fauna:Privileged place of endemic species of birds, butterflies, insects. There are also species, such as spectacled bears, vizcachas, lizards, etc.South American camelids, llamas and guanacos, mainly skunks, vizcachas, in the lakes diversity of aquatic birds, butterflies and fauna of the jungle eyebrow.
Climate:Semi-tropical, hot and humid days, cold nights, rains (from November to April). Minimum 6º C – 11º C (June), Maximum 20º C – 26ºC (June).Rainy season from November to April, Minimum between 5º C – 11º C (June) in Abra Salkantay, Maximum between 20º C – 26º C (June) in Playa Sahuayaco.
Archaeological Attractions:Patallacta – Pueblo Alto, Warmiñanuska – Dead Woman’s Pass, Runkuracay – Pile of Stones, Sayaqmarca – Dominant Town, Conchamarca – Lodazal, Phuyupatamarca – City on the Clouds, Wiñaywayna – Forever Young, Inti Punku – Puerta del Sol, Inca City of Machu Picchu – Old Mountain.From Soraypampa to Challway, vestiges of an original Inca Trail. On the fourth day, Llactapata (a resting place) was seen in a Temple located, in front of Machu Picchu. Inca Llacta of Machu Picchu.
Entrance Ticket:Entrance to the Inca Trail route and the Inca City of Machu Picchu.Entrance to the Sacred City of Machu Picchu.
Advantages:Visit various archaeological centers along the way.
Enjoy a varied range of flora and fauna typical of the jungle.
Enjoy different climates.
It will be a positive and unforgettable experience.
Know one of the most visited tourist attractions in Perú.
Inca Trail Machu Picchu guarantees the proper execution of your trek.
Walk through different ecological floors.
Visit various archaeological centers along the way.
Enjoy a varied range of flora and fauna typical of the jungle.
Enjoy different climates.
It will be a positive and unforgettable experience.
Know one of the most visited tourist attractions in Perú.
Inca Trail Machu Picchu guarantees the proper execution of your trek.
Walk through different ecological floors.
Disadvantages:Income is limited, only 500 people per day.
In high season (June – October), tickets are sold out
You need to acclimatize in the City of Cusco, for one or two days before starting the trek.
It can give you cold or altitude sickness.

Which One To Choose Between Salkantay Trek VS Trail

Inca Trail:

The fact of traveling this ancient path will make you have one of the most impressive experiences in your life. Due to its beauty, this walk is the preferred one for travelers, having to be requested 5 to 6 months in advance (a permit is required that has limited spaces per day). The Inca Trail runs through 42 kilometers of jungle and mountains, reaching a maximum height of 4200 meters above sea level and visiting some archaeological complexes such as Patallacta, the Wiñay Wayna ruins and, of course, the Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu. best machu pichu tours

Advantages of the Inca Trail:

  • It arrives directly to Machu Picchu by the Camino Real de los Incas something that no other trek does.
  • An impressive amount of ancient and spectacular ruins can be seen every day.
  • You reach Inti Punku, the famous gate of the sun with an impressive view over Machu Picchu at sunrise.
  • We observe amazing landscapes: from high snow-capped mountains to a fertile cloud forest and a magnificent jungle.
  • There are good facilities and services in the camps.
  • The satisfaction of having made such a famous walk.

Disadvantages of the Inca Trail:

  • You must make your reservation approximately 6 months in advance and you must do the trek on the date of your reservation, due to the great reception of hikers, date changes are not allowed. If someone cancels their permission it will not be used. But if you do not reach it, you can take an alternative walk.
  • The campgrounds are overcrowded, the facilities packed, and it’s not exactly a good adventure camping experience.
  • We find many people around us so it seems like a human highway.

The Salkantay Walk runs through 70 kilometers of mountains and beautiful landscapes, reaching a maximum height of 4600 meters above sea level and spectacular panoramic views of the mountain range, especially the Salkantay pass or Salkantay pass, we can also observe a geothermal lagoon called Humantay, the imposing snow-capped mountain range of Salkantay, the hot springs of Cocalmayo and finally we arrive at Machu Picchu. peru hikers

Advantages of the Salkantay Trek:

  • You take a natural walk almost to Aguas Calientes.
  • Geographically, the Salkantay trek is closer to the traditional Inca Trail.
  • Because it is an alternate walk we find small groups of people.
  • You do not need to make a reservation in advance, since this walk can be done at any time you want.
  • A true wilderness and adventure camp is held.
  • You need a much cheaper budget, that is, it is not expensive.

Disadvantages of the Salkantay Trek:

  • You will need to spend the night before your visit to Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes, we recommend that you take the bus to the citadel in the morning of the day of your visit.
  • Although archaeological ruins are not seen on this tour, it is possible to connect with nature in a deeper way.
  • You need to acclimatize before doing the walk, it could give you cold or altitude sickness. macchu picchu trekking

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