Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days Hike

Salkantay Glacier, Humantay Lake, Machu Picchu

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The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days Hike is an old and remote alternative path to the Inca Trail, it has much more spectacular views and with different ecological levels we will walk between lagoons, impressive snow-capped mountains such as Salkantay and Humantay, crossing rivers and subtropical areas of abundant vegetation and fauna. This trail is an excellent option for those who want to escape the most congested routes in a faster way, or for those who are looking for an alternative when the spaces of the traditional Inca Trail are busy.

This impressive excursion passes under the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6,710 m / 22,014 ft), one of the highest and most impressive in the Peruvian Andes. Your first two days will be dominated by the impressive snow-capped mountains of Salkantay and Humantay, as you travel through the high Andean landscape. On the third day you will descend into the warm cloud forest, to reach Aguas Calientes on the fourth day. The impressive sacred citadel of the Incas Machu Picchu is visited during the last day of the program. This excursion is an interesting alternative for those who have not found space on the Inca Trail route to Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days Hike was recently named by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine among the best 25 excursions in the world.

This Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days Hike perfectly combines culture and nature, the journey will allow you to admire the mythical Salkantay mountain and the famous Humantay lagoon. At the end of the walk, the lost city of the Incas Machu Picchu awaits you.

The Nevado del Salkantay, (6272 m.a.s.l.) is the highest mountain range on the eastern flank of the Vilcabamba mountain range. The Quechua name of this snowy mountain means “Wild Mountain” which can refer to the abrupt change of the climate in this region where this mountain predominates.

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days Hike became very popular among those hikers who want to combine quiet and peaceful routes with a visit to the city of Machu Picchu. You will be surrounded by an impressive setting.

We will cross the Andes, as well as enjoy panoramic views of great beauty of the great mountain and the subtropical forests.

The road is a bit more difficult than the traditional Inca Trail, especially on the Second Day, but there are horses ready for such a circumstance, as well as for the transportation of food and all the equipment.

Why book the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days Hike?

  • Meet the Magical Laguna Turquesa Humantay.
  • Overcome your limits and reach the top of Abra Salkantay.
  • Enjoy the beautiful and relaxing Hot Springs.
  • Tour the beautiful Inca citadel and surroundings.
  • Enjoy the magical train journey in its various classes.
  • Capture the best shots from the House of the Guardian.
  • Fall in love with the Inca culture with its living history.
  • Taste and participate in the preparation of food.


We will pick you up at your hotel at 05:00 – 05:15 a.m. and we will travel for approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, during the route we will observe beautiful views of the mountains that surround the Cusco valley, including the Salkantay mountain and high Andean towns and extensive areas of potato and corn cultivation. We will arrive at the town of Mollepata (2900 m / 9,514,436 ft) in this town we will have the option of having breakfast if you have not already done so and also doing last minute purchases (ponchos, batteries, sunscreen etc.).

Then we will take the transport again to travel for an hour to Challacancha 3,675 m during this short tour you will observe the impressive valleys of Mollepata. In Challacancha we will meet all our team on the way (cook, muleteers, mules) they will give us a cordial welcome and then prepare us for the adventure in the mountains and a brief explanation will be given; meanwhile our team will place the backpacks on the horses. Then we will walk for 3 hours until we reach the Nevado de Humantay (5,917 m / 19,412,730 ft), we will walk through a quiet plain that will be optimal to acclimatize to the altitude.

Arriving at our Soraypampa 3,850 m camp we will observe the impressive Salkantay mountain, in the camp our equipment will be waiting for us and then we will proceed to the novo Andean lunch, then we will have a 30-minute nap and we will begin our walk up to the beautiful Humantay lagoon for approximately 1 hour and a half; We will have time to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the lagoon and the glaciers on the mountain, then we will descend for 1 hour to the camp, we will arrive at tea time where we can talk with the group, then we will enjoy dinner and finally rest.

The day starts at 05:00 a.m. and we will enjoy a good breakfast to prepare and undertake the most difficult walk of the way, we will put our luggage in order and we will walk for approximately 1 hour to Salkantaypampa at 4,100 m here we will have a short rest and we will continue walking upwards for 1 hour to the place from Soyrococha 4,400 m ideal time to rest, rehydrate and enjoy the snack, the road continues for 1 hour more to the highest point of the walk, the Abra Salkantay 4,632 m the highest point is located between the 2 imposing snow peaks of Humantay 5,917 m Salkantay 6,271 m “The Wild Mountain” in the native language of Quechua. In this site we will observe the snow-capped mountains, glaciers of the Salkantay, we also appreciate the magnificent view of the entire chain of mountains and we will observe an original Inca Trail that over the years was collapsing. Then we will descend for approximately 2 hours to Wayracpampa where our team will be waiting for us with lunch. After enjoying lunch we will begin the descent to the cloud forest and we will notice the change in climate and vegetation; We will go down to Challway where we will camp, here we will serve ourselves tea and dinner. And so ends the longest and hardest day of the trek!

We will get up at 06:00 a.m. To have breakfast and start our walk, this day will be unforgettable because along the way we will see a large amount of flora and fauna, the road is flat, however we will go up for sections of no more than 100 meters and the rest of the way is down from the campsite we will walk for 40 minutes to the Town of Collpa (2,850 m / 9,350,394 ft) from this place we will observe the beginning of the Santa Teresa valley. We will visit the Totora Valley from where we will see the path we traveled the previous day and the chain of mountains, the walk will be 2 and a half hours to the town of Wiñay and little during the walk we will have beautiful views of waterfalls, natural hot springs formations, orchids and strawberries. In Wiñaypoco people harvest the granadilla, a tropical fruit of the area that you can taste, after a while we will continue descending through the jungle to the place of the 2,200 m «Beach» where we will have lunch, then we will take the bus heading to Santa Teresa which will be our third campsite where we will enjoy the thermal baths of Cocalmayo.

After breakfast we will start our walk for 2 hours along the Urubamba river bank until we arrive at the Hidroelectrica train station. After a break we will continue walking for 3 more hours until we reach the town of Aguas Calientes. In Aguas Calientes, we will show you your hostel. Finally we will have dinner and talk about the last details for your visit to Machu Picchu on the next day.

NOTE: If you do not want to continue walking to Aguas Calientes de Hidroeléctrica, you can buy your train ticket at that same station. The cost is $ 28 and the trip takes 30 minutes.

This day will only be dedicated to visit the wonder of Machu Picchu 2,490 m we will have a guided tour of approximately 2 hours then they will have enough time to explore on our own or visit the Inti Punku (door of the sun) or climb Huayna Picchu or the mountain if made your reservation in advance.

After your visit to Machu Picchu we go to the town of Aguas Calientes. In the town you will find many restaurants and you can choose the one that you like the most, after lunch you will go to the train station and to board it for approximately 1 and 30 minutes; You will arrive at the Ollantaytambo station, where our transport will wait for you and you will be transferred to the City of Cusco, the trip lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. End of the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days Hike.

It includes:

  • Pick up from your hotel in Cusco.
  • Tourist transport to Challacancha, start of the walk.
  • Professional bilingual guide.
  • Pack horses to carry the group’s equipment (food, camping equipment and personal passenger luggage up to 5kl per person).
  • Chef.
  • Food (4 breakfasts / 4 lunches / 4 dinners).
  • Basic lodging in Aguas Calientes.
  • Camping equipment (tents, inflatable mats, tables and chairs, kitchen tent and dining tent).
  • First aid kit and Oxygen.
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu.
  • Bus up and down from Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu.
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Transportation from the train station to the hotel in Cusco.

Does not include:

  • Breakfast on the first day and lunch on the fourth day.
  • Tips (Guide, cooks and porters).
  • Sleeping bag (you can rent it with us $ 5 USD per day).
  • The entrance to visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes.
  • Personal pack horse, which will carry up to 20 kilograms ($ 100 for the entire trek)
  • Vistadome train service, add $ 50 USD.
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu.

We recommend bringing:

  • Backpack
  • Hiking shoes
  • Poncho for rain
  • Warm clothes
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat
  • Canteen
  • Tablets to purify waters
  • Photographic camera
  • Towel and toilet paper
  • Snacks (chocolates, candies, cookies, etc)
  • Personal medical kit
  • Additional national currency (soles)
  • Original passport
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Brand Name
Traveland Perú
Product Name
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days Hike
Product Availability
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