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Short, 4-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Nevado Maparaju
Nevado Maparaju

Reach Machu Picchu, Peru on the Salkantay trek. Departing from Cusco, spend 4 days in the Peruvian mountains with a local certified guide from our team.



4 Days

All year




* Hike up to Machu Picchu through a different and less crowded path.

* Enjoy the wonderful views of the Peruvian mountains.

* Spend a night recharging at Aguas Calientes before Machu Picchu.


For those of you looking for a hiking experience to reach the impressive Machu Picchu, Peru, let me invite you on a less crowded alternative: the Salkantay trek. With a path just as incredible as the Inca Trail, this one offers different types of landscapes, Andean communities and less people. Follow me!

The Salkantay trek offers some unique characteristics: a glass-topped Sky Camp where you can stargaze from your bed and enjoy views of the snow-capped Andean mountains, lakes, waterfalls and rivers. We’ll get to pass by some Andean communities and discover the local flora and fauna including, if we are lucky, the iconic”The Cock of the Rocks” bird. It is a 3-day hike to Aguas Calientes and a fourth day at the impressive Machu Picchu, the Inca city built in the 15th Century which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For more information on the itinerary, you can read the section below with a more detailed description of what we’ll be doing each day.

If you are an adventurous hiker and are ready to explore a different path, send your request! The Andean mountains and Machu Picchu are waiting for you.

If you’d like to do a longer version of this trek, check out the options I offer for a 5-day trek and a 6-day trip.

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Transportation start and back

- Permit and entrance fees

- Group porters

Price details

Price includes train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and transport to your hotel afterwards. Price does not include entrance fee to Salkantay Trail, first breakfast, sleeping bags, walking sticks or last lunch and dinner at Aguas Calientes.


Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Soraypampa (Humantay Lake)

We’ll leave early from Cusco and drive to Challancha, where the hiking begins. We’ll hike for 7 hours up to the camp at Soraypampa, where you’ll be able to do some unforgettable stargazing. Along the way, we’ll visit Humantay Lake, a stunning blue-green water reflecting the mountain glaciers of Apu Humantay.

Walking Distance – 12km / 7.45 miles.

Day 2: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - Wayracpunku - Chaullay

This is the most challenging day of the trip with an ascent to the Salkantay Pass, where we get dazzling views of the Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo mountains. On the way down, we’ll enter the beautiful Amazonian rainforest.

Walking Distance – 22 km / 13.7 miles.

Day 3: Chaullay - La Playa - Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes

We’ll hike to the town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa Valley. Along the way, we’ll see  see rivers, waterfalls, wild orchids, and plantations of coffee, banana, and avocado. And you can taste passion fruit and granadilla. Once in La Playa, you can decide to take a train to Aguas Calientes (not included) or walk 3 more hours along the train tracks.

Walking Distance – 26km / 16.1 Miles.

Day 4: Machu Picchu

We’ll rise early in the morning to reach the archeological site before most tourists. I’ll give you a guided tour through the ruins and you can later explore by yourself and even ascend Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain or Intipunku, if you want to.


About the guide

Guide profile image




Guide Agency

Peru Expeditions is a Guide Agency and Tour Operator based in Huaraz, Peru.

It's a family-owned travel agency, which was founded more than 35 years ago, and is now managed by IFMGA-guide Juventino and his son, Eric.

We organize trekkings and mountain expeditions in Cordillera Blanca, and all around Peru.


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What people are saying about Peru



The hike was canceled. We didn’t go anywhere. Didn’t even get into the country.



The agency gave me a guide Darwin, not Juventino. Climb was good, easy just walking. There is one dangerous section near the moraine area with very loose gravel. So make sure you don't slip there or you are dead. I stayed in refugio at the base camp which was much more comfy than camping. Darwin was good but give clients some breaks once in a while, not rush too much. It's a high altitude climbing after all.



William was such a knowledgeable, friendly, and efficient guide! He brought books and support materials to further explain the history of the sites we were seeing, was always ready with an answer to any questions, and had great suggestions of where to take photos. He chose a truly remarkable cook for our trek, who kept us well fed with a huge variety of foods (and an ample supply of it!) and filled with hot beverages at all hours of the day and night. He allowed us to set the pace each day, and was cheerful and helpful and relaxed throughout-he absolutely enhanced a wonderful experience! Many thanks to you, William!



Eric from Peru Expeditions is a fabulous, safe, and conscientious Tour Operator. He chose an incredible guide for us (Darwin) who was highly esteemed by every guide we met at every point along the journey-the respect of one’s peers speaks for itself! We were very well supported, always had perfect timing with seeing sunrises, beating “the crowd” to our destinations, and had ample food. The Peruvian mountains are stunningly beautiful- I’m ready to go back again already! Book with Eric - he’s going to take good care of you.



Great service and trip!

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