A new and amazing trek!!! Come and see Salkantay ('the savage one'). Reach Machu Picchu in a different and spectacular way; trekking through valleys, grasslands, glaciers, cloud forests and jungles!!
The famous Salkantay Trek, recently named among one of the best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine, is a trek open to everybody; with no limitation on spaces or permits – at least for now. Connecting the city of Cusco with Machu Picchu, the Salkantay Trek is an ancient and remote footpath located in the same region as the Inca Trail where massive snowcapped mountains collide with lush tropical low jungle lands.
| SAP Adventures Quick View
- Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa
- Day 2: Soraypampa - Rayan-niyoc - Chaullay
- Day 3: Chaullay – playa sahuayaco
- Day 4: playa sahuayaco – aguas calientes
- Day 5: Machupicchu – cusco
- Difficulty of trek: Moderate
- Length of trek: 5 Days / 4 Nights
- Start point: Cusco
- End point: Cusco
- Type of trek: Archaeological, Cultural, Camping, Ecological, Hiking
Day 01.- 04.50am departure by bus to Mollepata; we take a beautiful scenic journey through Limatambo, stopping on the way to have breakfast and to take in the stunning views of the “Apu Salkanta” – as part of a magnificent panorama of snow capped mountains chains and the lush Apurimac River Valley.
Upon arrival to our trailhead called Mollepata, at 2900masl, we meet our “horsemen“ and trekking staff (cook and assistants) and begin with a 3hrs trek passing through traditional Andean communities like Cruzpata and Challacancha – where we have lunch. We continue walking for approx 2 hrs through unspoiled Andean villages till Soraypampa, at 3950m; our first campsite.
Approximately 10 km walking this day
Day 02.- After a wake up tee an early breakfast we start trekking at about 07:00am for 3 hours, starting our ascent of the Apacheta pass at 4600m. From this point we can appreciate the spectacular views of the Mountain Salkantay – a stunning snow capped mountain (6264m) – the second highest peak in Cusco’s region, and also the mountains Humantay and Huayanay, as well as white rivers, small lakes and moraines.
A further 2 hrs downhill will take us to in Huayracpunku, where we have lunch, and then a further 2-3 hrs downhill to camp at Rayan-niyoc (2890m) or at Chaullay (2920m) for more experienced trekkers . Where you camp is to be decided by the guide depending on the group´s abilities, weather and walking conditions.
Approximately 16Km walk to Rayan-nivoc campsite or 23 to Chaullay (for more experienced hikers)
Day 03.- At 07:00 am we start with a 3 hour easy hike to Uscamayuc, where we will be introduced to a high Jungle niche called Ceja de Selva. Here we will see different kind of plants, fruits, flowers, birds ect. Coca and banana crops can also be observed. This is the time to shower in a waterfall, take amazing pictures, and with luck we can observe the famous Peruvian National Bird "Gallito de las Rocas". We stop for lunch at playa and have free time to rest.
A further 3 hour walk will take us to our campsite in La Playa, at 2350m. There is a small village here with electricity and a shop!
Approximately 15Km walk this day
Day 04.- At approximately 07:30 we begin our trek to the village of Lucmabamba where we will find and begin to follow the remains of an authentic Inca trail. On our way we will see plantations of coffee, banana, passion fruit and have a lovely view of the Santa Teresa Valley. We follow the Inca trail climbing for 4 hrs until Llactapata – at 2700m. From here we can already see Machupicchu and enjoy some free time to rest – about 2 hrs. It´s all downhill to the hydroelectric plant at 1870m, here we have the last lunch with all the staff. Then at about 15:20pm we take a 45 minute train journey to the town of Aguas Calientes – base town of Machu Picchu, where we will have a special dinner and well-deserved beds waiting for us at the Tourists Hostel. And if you like you can also go have a soothing bath at the hot springs this evening (recommended!).
Approximately 12Km walking this day. Walking poles recommended for last 2 hours of downhill.
Day 05.- We will have breakfast at 5:00 then catch one of the first busses (around 05:30) up to the ruins of Machu Picchu (25-minute ride) in order to appreciate the magnificent lost city as the sun casts its first rays upon it. The guided tour will last around 3 hours and then you have plenty free time to explore and take photos at your own pace, or you can also climb the mountain Huayna Picchu (the famous peak in the background of most images of Machu Picchu), visit the Temple of the Moon or see “The Gate of the Sun”. Generally, around 1pm people start to walk down the steps back to Aguas Calientes to go have lunch, and at approx. 16:00 hrs we take our return train to Cusco – arriving there around 9:00 pm.
- The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group and the guide can change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has their own preferred route and it might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
- An extra night in Aguas Calientes can easily be arranged if we are advised WELL IN ADVANCE. We can change the date of your train ticket to the following day. Hotels costs and costs associated with returning to Machu Picchu the following day are additional to trek costs. Please also note that your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is valid for one day only, if you wish to visit the ruins on a second consecutive day you will need to purchase the ticket again, valued at approx $45 US.
- The Salkantay trek is an adventurous trek, crossing at 4600metre pass that in the low (wet) season can be snowed under. We do not recommend this trek during December, January, February, and March but this recommendation depends on the current weather conditions.
- The Salkantay trek (also spelled Salcantay trek) is one of the most spectacular and varied hikes around Cusco. Given the new restrictions on the Inca trail, Salkantay is the second most popular hike in the region and can be touristed. (If you are a 'purist' want a remote experience, consider one of our other treks). During high season expect up to 15 groups departing daily, in the low season, about 5 groups per day.
what's included at the salkantay?
- Pre trek Briefing
- Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
- Transport from Cusco to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in private car (MOLLEPATA)
- Entry fee to Machu Picchu
- English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 9 people).
- Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
- Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest) for $5 per day.
- Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
- Toilet tent
- Meals as indicated 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 afternoon snacks (hot drinks, biscuits and popcorn) and 4 dinners (breakfast on day 1 and dinner and lunch in Aguas Calientes on the last day are not included) (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
- Hot coca tea every morning in your tent for a gentle and fortifying wake up!
- Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes, and boiled purified water to fill in your water bottle every morning.
- Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg per person). If you wish to take more, you can hire an extra mule at a cost of $20 per day.
- 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower
- Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
- Tents for our staff to sleep in, sleeping bags & mattresses plus a budget for their meals.
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle - but not blister treatments as known in western countries.
- Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
- Train ticket (Backpacker service) from Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo.
- 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in one star hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hostel with breakfast included and private bathroom, double or triple accommodation
- Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes village
- Box lunch final day in Machu Picchu
- A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
- Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
- Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk.Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
- Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)
- Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
- Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
- Sun block
- After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
- Insect repellent - minimum recommended 20% DEET - although no malaria risk has been reported
- Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
- Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
- Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
- Small towel or sarong
- Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs)
- Cash - sufficient for your final lunch in Aguas Calientes, tips and souvenirs.
- Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
- Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day)
- Binoculars (if you have them)
optional extras we can hire the following to you.
- Sleeping Bag suitable for -5deg. ($4.00 per day)
- Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -10deg. ($6.00 per day)
- Walking stick lightweight aluminum ($1.00 per day)
- Inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest) ($5.00 per day)
- Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
- Mule - $20.00 per day Most people carry their own day pack with up to 5-10kg of their things - a change of clothes and wet weather gear etc. However, if you think that you will have much luggage and you want a very light day pack (eg. just camera and water) then its advisable that you hire an extra mule i
available discounts (these discounts are not cumulative)
- 5% discount for members of South American Explorers Club (SAE)
- Students: US$ 20.00 (students require a valid International Student Identity Card and must be below 26 years of age. Please beware that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
- Teenagers: US$ 20.00 (up to 15 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
- Children: US$ 45.00 (up to 10 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
to make a booking
- You need to email us to check availability, receive booking forms and then make your deposit.
- For our payment conditions and booking please refer to our page payment & booking
SUGGESTIONS and NOTES
This trek is rated as a moderate to difficult hike considering the high altitudes and walking distances –especially on the 2nd day. You need to acclimatize in Cusco for at least 2 days before trekking, especially if you come from a place with low altitude.
Unless you hire an extra horse / porter you need to carry your back pack, sleeping bag and mattress all the way.
An extra horse with a load of up to 18 kg will cost $80, and with a load of 9 kg – $40. You will need to carry with you at least a daypack with your camera, water bottle, snacks, cold weather clothing and a poncho in case of rain (unlikely in Dry season - May to October, but necessary as a precaution) and anything else you may need before lunch as horses do not walk alongside you. You will meet up with your bag each day at lunch and then it will be waiting for you in your tent at the campsites each evening.
We can provide you with a big backpack for any extra luggage to be carried by porters but you might prefer to put everything up to 20kgs in one backpack so that you don´t have 2 large backpacks in your tent and because it´s easier for you to bring your stuff back on the train from Aguas Calientes, etc.
TAKE EXTRA MONEY
you will need some cash for the bus down from Machupicchu to Aguas Calientes $7 (if you don´t want to walk down the trail), tips for horsemen / crew, porters, and for drinks and snacks etc. You need to take at least 150.00 soles emergency money – which hopefully you will come back to Cusco with!!!