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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, 5 days from Cusco

Come along with Daniel, a local IFMGA certified mountain guide, on a 5-day Salkantay Trek to awe-inspiring Machu Picchu for the trip of a lifetime.

Mountain RangeAndes
Duration5 days
Offer periodMar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
Skill LevelBeginner
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripPrivate


  • Experience breathtaking Machu Picchu

  • Challenge yourself physically

  • From jungles to glacial mountains, trek through varied landscapes


The Salkantay Trek is the one hike you do not want to miss. This trail is a great alternative to the classic Inca trail as it’s must less crowded. On this trip, you can experience the beautiful scenery we pass along the way in a more relaxed, secluded way.

The trek 

We’re going to cover a wide range of scenery, from lush jungle to highland alpine settings and glacial mountains. On our first day, we’ll start slowly, covering around 14km and visiting different villages in the Cusco region.  

The following day, we’ll increase our ground and trek for around 23km. As we trek, we’ll get spectacular views of snow-capped Salkantay, Cusco’s second highest peak. We’ll also be able to see Humantay and Huayanay mountains.  We’ll pass through the Apacheta Pass where, if we want, we can leave a piece of rock carried from the bottom as a present to the Apacheta. This is something that was done by people walking here in Inca times.

On our third day, we’ll trek to Santa Teresa where we’ll be able to enjoy hot springs. On our second to last day, you’ll be given the option to zip line some of the way. Our end destination for that day will be Aguas Calientes, the town in Machu Picchu. Here, we’ll check in to a hostel and rest in preparation for our final day.

Our final day will be spent at the Citadel of Machu Picchu. You’ll have a few hours to explore this magical place before returning back to Cusco via bus.

This trek is an unforgettable experience and a must-do if you’re in Cusco. Request to book now and you’ll be one step closer to your magical Machu Picchu adventure.

And while you’re in Peru, why not travel further north and explore the spectacular Cordillera Blanca on my four-day guided trek.


Meeting point





Day 1: Cusco to Soraypampa camp

Our adventure will begin when we leave Cusco by car at 5:00 am and travel to Mollepata town. This is a beautiful, scenic journey that takes us through Izcuchaca and Limatambo. We’ll also get spectacular views of the snow capped Vilcabamba. We’ll eat breakfast at Mollepata. Then, we’ll travel for another hour to the start point of our trek, Challacancha which sits at 3,800 metres. This is where we’ll meet our Arrieros “ horsemen“ and trekking staff (cook and assistants). We’ll then climb 250 meters over roughly 2.5 hours through perfect Andean valleys. We’ll stop at Soraypampa, see a spectacular glacial lake, then have lunch. After we eat, we’ll have the option to visit the Humantay Lake which will take 3 hours there and back. When we’re all back at the campsite we’ll have dinner. Then, we’ll give you your briefing for the next day.

Day 2: Soraypampa to Chaullay camp

We’ll start trekking at around 7:00am towards Salkantaypampa. Along the way we’ll be able to take in amazing views of Salkantay, Humantay and Huayanay before reaching the Apacheta Pass. From here we’ll continue 2 hours downhill to lunch in Huayracmachay. Then, depending on the group ability and conditions, I’ll decide whether we should camp 2 -3 hours downhill walk at Rayan-niyoc at 3100 metres or travel a further 3km to camp at Chaullay 2920 metres.

Day 3: Chaullay to Santa Teresa

We’ll begin trekking at around 7:00am and walk for about 5 hours toward La Playa. On the way, we’ll pass through a town called Collpabamba, also called the “Forest Cloudy Brow” where we’ll see waterfalls, fruit bearing trees, varied flora, and birds. At 12:00pm we’ll take a local bus to Santa Teresa Hot Springs, where we will have lunch and spend the afternoon.  At around 7:00pm, we will have dinner then camp in Santa Teresa.

Day 4: Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes

After breakfast you’ll get to decide how you want to tackle the next phase of the hike. Your options include a rapid zip line hanging 200 meters in the air, a suspension bridge and then bus to the Hydroelectric project or an on foot trek to the hydroelectrict project. We’ll all have lunch here before we start the last phase of our hike. We’ll walk for around 2.5 hours with the river to one side and the train track to the other untill we get to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town). There you’ll check into your hostel with comfortable beds, a hot shower and Wi-Fi and have some free time to visit the hot springs of Aguas Calientes, get your snacks for the next day and relax. In the evening we’ll have dinner at a restaurant and I’ll give all the information you need for next day and your Machu Picchu and train tickets.

Day 5: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu to Cusco

We’ll walk for 1.5 hours uphill from Aguas Calientes to the Citadel of Machu Picchu. If you prefer, you can take the bus. There will be a guided tour and you’ll have lots of free time to explore on your home. After around three hours we’ll walk down the steps or take the bus down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and after lunch at approx. 4pm we’ll take the train to Ollantaytambo then a bus to with bus to Cusco city arriving at around 8:00 pm.

About the guide

guide profile img

IFMGA/UIAGM guide from Perú.

I was born in the Huaraz city, which is located between cordillera blanca & cordillera negra neighbor of huayhuash mountain range.

My passion for the mountain was born since I was a child, because I watched my father going to the mountain. When I was 13 years old I started going on treks with my father and clients, and as soon as I finished my high school I applied to the high school mountain center studies (CEAM) in 2001 and I graduated as an official mountain guide in 2005.

I have a wide guiding experience in trekking and climbing, organizing, trekking and climbing expeditions into cordillera Blanca & huayhuash in the Peruvian mountains.

I guided successfully in Mexico, Argentina where I climbed conquering the mount Aconcagua at (6959 m).

In Peru I have climbed the most beautiful mountain in the world mount "Alpamayo", and the Peruvian highest peak "mount Huascaran south peak". In 2005 I made a speed record climbing mounts "Alpamayo" & "Quitaraju" in 32 hours 16 minutes. I also opened some new routes to climbing in cordillera Blanca.

Aside from the AGMP / IFMGA certification, I also have the WFR certification.

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Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 846 each

Group of 2

USD 423 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation

- Transportation from your hotel/airport (if in area) to the start of the trip and back

- Luggage transfer during the trip

- Permit and entrance fees

- Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Price details

The price of this trip includes: Hotel pick up, private vehicle to Mollepata-Challacancha (start of our trek), tents (large and comfortable) and a roll pad mattress, sleeping bag (-8 ºC), english speaking experienced professional guide, 5 kilos porter service for your personal items extra clothes, mattress, sleeping bag to be carried by mules, (so you just need to carry your daypack with everything you will need during the day). 5 Breakfast, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners (vegetarian, vegan or special diet meals upon request), dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs, chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent, first-aid kit including an emergency oxygen tank, horses/donkeys to carry tents, food, cooking equipment, hot water for washing purposes, boiled water to fill in your bottle, hotel in Aguas Calientes Double or Triple Accommodation, admission ticket to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex, train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and private transport to Cusco, guided tour in Machu Picchu.

The price of this trip does not include: Energy snacks which will be very useful as chocolate bars, dried fruits, lunch and dinner on the 5th day, extra Drinks.

If you take the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu you will have to cover the cost: USD $12.00).

If you take a train from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes, you will have to cover the cost (Cost: USD $31.00).

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