Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most amazing treks in Peru and perfectly combines cultural and natural beauty like no other ones. This expedition runs beneath the magnificent Salkantay mountain (6.271m-20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes. Enjoy the beauty of the high puna landscape dominated by the impressive Salkantay and Humantay snowcapped mountains, then as you descend get overwhelmed by the mystical cloud forest and the majestic Machu Picchu.
The Salkantay Trek was recently named among the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
Location: Through Villages of Mollepata–Collpa–Lucmabamba and Machu Picchu
Duration: 5 Days / 4 Night
Trip style: Active & Cultural Immersion
Physical demand rating: Experience needed.
When to visit: Year-round
Day 1: Cusco – Soraypamapa (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 2: Soraypampa – Chaullay (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 3: Chaullay – Lucmabamba (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 4: Lucmabamba – Aguas Calientes (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 5: Machu Picchu Wonder of the world – Cusco (Meals: B)
- Majestic views of snowcapped mountains
- Mystical cloud forest and spectacular views
- Beautiful waterfalls and cascades
- Llaqtapata Inka site and view of western side of Machu Picchu
- Visit to plantation of coffee, avocado, banana, and others
- Traditional coffee roasting and cultural immersion
- Machu Picchu
- Amazing culinary tradition
What is included
- Orientation meeting in Cusco, previous to departure date
- All transfer in private service.
- Service of English-speaking tour leaders
- 03 Nights homestay accommodation
- 01 Night Hotel accommodation (Aguas Calientes)
- 13 Gourmet food & Andean cuisine meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
- 05 Breakfast
- 04 Lunch
- 04 Dinner
- Entrance fee ticket to Machu Picchu
- Round trip bus tickets to Machu Picchu
- Train ticket from Hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
- Drinkable water supply during the trek
- 01 Duffle bag per person for personal luggage
- Chef and assistant cooker.
- Horses for carrying the whole food, equipment and your personal duffle bags
- First aid kit with oxygen.
- Short wave radios.
- Sanitary care (Disinfect dishes, filtered water, etc.).
- Environment care (All the garbage is going back to Cusco, portable toilet treatment).
- International flights.
- Domestic Flights.
- Extra services not mentioned in the program.
- Tips and extra expenses.
Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa (Meals: B/L/D)
Early in the morning, you will be pick up from your hotel and depart towards Mollepata village, where you will have a breakfast and meet our well trained crew (chef, assistant chef, and herdsmen). Along the journey you will have chance to see beautiful scenic countryside, picturesque villages, and stopping for panoramic views. After breakfast depart to Markoq´asa place, which is the beginning of your hike. After two hours hike you will rich the very scenic lunch spot with spectacular views of valleys and snowcapped mountains. After a well-deserved lunch you continue following a path on the side of an ancient Inka aqueduct until reach Soraypamapa, beautifully situated in the shadows of the surrounding peaks.
Starting Point: 3,500 m. – 11,550 ft.
Highest point: 3,860 m. – 12,738 ft.
Home satay place: 3,860 m. – 12,738 ft.
11 km. – 6.8 mi. / 6 hrs. approx.
Overnight: Soraypampa Homestay (Altitude: 3,750m – 12,375ft)
Day 2: Soraypampa – Chaullay (Meals: B/L/D)
This day, after tasty breakfast, you’ll ascent to the highest point of the trek, the Salkantay Pass (4,600m – 15,180ft), from this point you can appreciate the stunning Salkantay snowcapped Mountain (6,271m – 20,694ft), which is still regarded as one the mayor mountains deities of Cusco and tutelary protector of families, animals and plants. At every breathtaking rest stops enjoy the beautiful and severe Paramo like landscape. On your way down from the pass experience a spectacular views of the snowcapped mountains, turquoise color small lake and glacial moraines until reach lunch spot. After lunch immerse in the mystical cloud forest, which is the habitat of the famous Ukumari (Spectacle bear, Andean bear or the Paddington bear) and numerous species of hummingbirds and colorful birds.
Starting Point: 3,860 m. – 12,738 ft.
Highest point: 4,600 m. – 15,180 ft.
Home Stay place: 2,750 m. – 9,022 ft.
17 km. – 10.5 mi. / 10 hrs. Approx.
Overnight: Chaullay Homestay (Altitude: 2,750 m. – 9,022 ft.)
Day 3: Chaullay – Lucmabamba (Meals: B/L/D)
This day, after reenergizing breakfast, you will hike through a beautiful path with short ups and downs experiencing a high Jungle niche called cloud forest, where a type of passion fruit is abundant, coffee plantations, avocado trees, banana crop fields and other fruits plantations can be observed. Along the way there is a beautiful waterfall where you can take amazing pictures. The all area around is very lush green and home to many species of colorful birds as the famous Peruvian National Bird Gallito de las Rocas (Cock of the rock), beautiful and different size orchid flowers, and with luck you can observe the Ukumari (Andean bear or spectacle bear or Paddington bear). Also there it will be time to stop by local families houses and witness their daily lives and different crops plantation.
Starting Point: 2,750 m. – 9,022 ft.
Highest Point: 2,750 m. – 9,022 ft.
Overnight hotel: 2,134 m. – 7,000 ft.
17 km. – 10.5 mi. / 9 hrs. Approx.
Overnight: Lucmabamba homestay (Altitude: 2,000 m. – 6,600 ft.)
Day 4: Lucmabamba – Aguas Calientes Town (Meals: B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will walk up on ancient Inka path and visit LLactapata Inka site, from where you will have a spectacular view of western side of Machu Picchu and your lead guide will explain about history and nature. After fascinating experience have lunch with stunning view of Machu Picchu. After lunch the hike continues down the mountain until arrive Hydro electric train station and take a 30 minutes train ride until Aguas Calientes Town, where accommodation will be in hotel.
Starting Point: 2,134 m. – 7,000 ft.
Highest point: 2,724 m. – 8,940 ft.
Overnight in hotel: 2,000 m.–6,600 ft.
11 km. – 7 mi. / 7 hrs. approx.
Overnight: Aguas Calientes Hotel (Altitude: 2,000 m. – 6,600 ft.)
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cusco (Meals: B)
In the morning after a thirty minutes bus ride, on a zigzag road along the hillside, you will arrive into the incredible “Lost city of the Inkas” and escorted by your lead guide take a private tour enjoying the complicated history of the site, the surprising degree of technology achieved by its builders, the provision of water channels that reveal a deep understanding of hydraulics, and its exceptionally fine stonework. All this magnificent building allows you to go back in time and with the help of your tour leader revive the existence of those builders truly admirable taking in the awe-inspiring scenery. After a complete overview of the site you will have the remainder of the day to further explore the site at your own. In the afternoon get back to Cusco.
Overnight: Cusco (Altitude: 3,350 m. – 11,055 ft.)
Know Before You Go
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Passport and Visas
All countries require a valid passport (with minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It’s your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas) are in order and that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip. We suggest you make photocopies of passports, visas, and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. Pack also a list of medications including dosage and generic names. If you lose the originals while traveling, you will have copies for easier reporting and replacement. We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock.
What to take
Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash and Credit or debit cards
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera/Binoculars/Watch or alarm clock/ Reading & writing material
- Fleece top/windproof/waterproof jacket
- 4 shirts/t-shirts/1 pair of shorts/2 pairs of long trousers/1 pair hiking pants/track pants/ swim wear
- Sun hat/Sun block /Sunglasses/Flashlight/Water canteen
- Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
- Toiletries (biodegradable)/ Cover for backpacks
- Personal First-aid kit (prescription drugs you may be taking).
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements.
The 4-day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is physically challenging but worthwhile, and the excursion is within the ability of most reasonably fit. It is a 31km (19.3mi) trek, with 1 high pass to be crossed, which reaches an elevation of 4,420 m. – 14,586 ft. The Lares trek trail is often moderate steep, and it may rain even during the dry season. The temperatures at night may fall below zero, so it is important to come prepared.
It is important you take your original passport to show at the control posts of Machu Picchu, to board on the train and show to get a copy in different hotels.