salkantay trek

5d/4n classic


  • Tour Type: Hiking,
  • Camping, History and Culture
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging
  • Distance: 75km/46.6028 Miles
  • Considerations: Permit Required (We’ll obtain it after you book with us)
  • Elevation: 2050 – 4800m / 6730 – 13,780ft
  • Duration: 5 days/4 days
  • Meals: All Inclusive


Embark on the incredible Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, an amazing alternative to the Classic Incan trail. Hike through breathtaking landscapes of snow-capped Andean Mountains, lush Peruvian rainforest and traditional lower Andean communities. Marvel at awe-inspiring Inca ruins before concluding your journey in Aguas Caliente, the sleepy town perched below the legendary Machu Picchu. Climb to the base of the sacred Salkantay mountain, standing tall at an impressive 6271m/ 20,574ft. Immerse yourself in an unforgettable adventure and uncover the hidden gems of Peru!


Day 01: Cusco Salkantay pampa

Our first day, we leave Cusco at 5 am in a private bus and start our scenic four-hour morning ride to our starting point at Soraypampa. Along the way, we will travel through the town of Limatambo, an important point of access to the city of Cusco during the time of the Inca Empire.  Our passage continues up a beaten track along the shore of the Apurimac River, and then continues into the town of Mollepata and the small community of Cruzpata before finally arriving in Challacancha, where we meet our wranglers and horses and eat a quick breakfast. Afterwards, we start our hike towards Mt. Salkantay. First, we will gently ascend to Salkantaypampa to eat lunch, before beginning a 2-hour steep ascent to our campsite at Soyroccocha, a mountain located just next to the impressive glacier of Salkantay. Sleeping next to a glacier can get pretty cold, warm clothes are a must.
Facts and Figures:

  • Hiking Distance: 6 Hours (10 km /approx 6.21371 Miles)
  • Highest altitude: 3,900m (12,795 ft.)
  • Considered: Moderately  day
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Coffee
  • Weather: Cold, windy, rainy in the wet season

Day 02: Salkantay Pampa Qollpapampa

We will wake up to an early breakfast and begin a 3.5-hour hike up to the Salkantay Mountain Pass. This is a beautiful spot to take in stunning views of glaciers and snow-capped peaks. This is also a native habitat for chinchillas and condors. From the top, we travel leisurely down towards the cloud forest of Wayracmachay for 2 hours where we will enjoy a delicious lunch and take a rest before continuing hiking . As we walk, we can see the remains of an ancient Inca path before arriving late afternoon at our campsite at Andenes. Late afternoon, we will arrive at our camp in Qollpapampa, a beautiful spot with natural hot springs for some well-deserved relaxation.

Facts and Figures:

  • Hiking Distance: 9 Hours (30 km /approx 18.6411 Miles)
  • Highest altitude: 4,500m (14763.78 ft.)
  • Considered:  Challenging day
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Coffee
  • Weather: Cold, windy, rainy in the wet season

Day 03: Qollpapampa to Lucmabamba

Today we continue our hike with an easy downhill walk along the banks of the Santa Teresa River and Totora River. Along our walk we will enjoy abundant flora, waterfalls, plantations of delicious fruits and coffee, parrots and possibly even a spectacled-bear. The dry landscape will gradually turn into cloud forest filled with orchids and bromeliads. We arrive in Chaullay and shortly after the town of Collpapampa. We will relax for a while, before passing the Coripacchi waterfalls, the settlement in Wiñaypoko, and the lively town of La Playa. At the end of our hike, we will arrive at our second camp at Lucmabamba where we can sit-back and enjoy a cup of coffee before bed.Facts and Figures:

  • Hiking Distance: 9 Hours (30 km /approx 18.6411 Miles)
  • Highest altitude: 4,500m (14763.78 ft.)
  • Considered:  Challenging day
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Coffee
  • Weather: Cold, windy, rainy in the wet season
  • Weather: Warm, Humit, Tropical

Day 04: Lucmabamba to aguas calientes

After breakfast, we will climb for around two and a half hours up to El Mirador or Abra Q’elloqasa, a location that provides a unique and exceptional view of the legendary Machupicchu. We enjoy our last lunch together at our next lookout point of Llaqtapata. At Llaqtapata you can observe both Machupicchu and the Salkantay Mountain, enjoy the recently-restored ruins of Llactapata, and enjoy a good rest. Afterwards, we will complete a 2-hour descent towards the Aobamba River crossing bamboo forests, orchards, and coffee plantations. This descent will bring us to the hydroelectric plant of Machupicchu from where we board a train for a scenic ride to Aguas Calientes and your chosen accomidation.

Facts and Figures:

  • Hiking Distance: 9 Hours (30 km /approx 18.6411 Miles)
  • Highest altitude: 4,500m (14763.78 ft.)
  • Considered:  Challenging day
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Coffee
  • Weather: Cold, windy, rainy in the wet season
  • Weather: Warm, Humit, Tropical

Day 05: Machu Picchu return to cusco

We wake up early and board a bus to Machupicchu. Upon arrival to Machu Picchu you’ll have a 2 hour guided tour of all the most significant sites learning about Incan history and culture. Afterwards free time will be given to wander around the citadel or climb Huayna Picchu, the highest peaked mountain of Machu Picchu with even more Inca structures at the peak (we can help you book the mandatory tickets for this unforgettable hike in advance). Together, we will return to the Aguas Calientes by bus, where you can have your choice of restaurants for lunch. After lunch, we will take the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and then the van back to Cusco.

Facts and Figures:

  • Hiking Distance: 4 Hours (6 km /approx 3.72823 Miles)
  • Highest altitude:  3400m (11,154ft)
  • Considered: Moderately  day
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Highlights: Machu Picchu




All of our guides are native to the region and have a true passion for teaching others about their culture and heritage. They have all studied English; as well as several other languages to ensure that communication is clear on your adventures with us. All our guides are experienced with the Inca Trail, and our other high-altitude treks. They will support you and ensure that you are safe and happy throughout your trip.


entrance TICKETS

We are one of the few tour operators authorized to both book your permits and operate on the Inca Trail. Permits are registered in your name with a specific date and cannot be modified after confirmation. Your tickets will be purchased by us, and looked after by your guide until the time they are needed. These include:



Our highly trained chefs cook delectable, nutrient-rich meals, that honor your food restrictions while surprising you with International and Peruvian flavors. Prepare for a superb culinary experience to accompany this unforgettable expedition. Food is typically served family-style, three times a day in our dining tent.


horses wranglers

We include horses and wranglers, who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag. There is no additional fee for this, however you will not have access to your duffel bag until the campsite. We strive to keep our horses well cared for and healthy, so we limit duffel-bag weights to 7 kg/ 14 lbs, which should include your sleeping bag



During your briefing, you will receive a personal duffel bag to pack all of your necessary belongings in; and will be carried by our porters. The duffle should not exceed more than 6kgs /15.4 lbs, including your sleeping bag. All other personal items needed, should be packed in a personal day pack.



We consistently maintain 4-season tents in order to ensure peak performance on our treks. In order to ensure maximum comfort, we provide you with a four-person tent to sleep yourself and one other hiker. If you wish to have your own personal tent to yourself, you can request our first class experience option. 



We always ensure you have plenty of clean drinking water for mealtimes, as well as enough for you to refill your bottle whenever needed. We use fresh spring water running down from the mountains. We require that you bring your own personal water bottle/s or Camelbak. To care for our spectacular environment, we humbly request that you use a reusable non-single-use plastic bottle.



Your transportation from Cusco to and from this trek is included. You will be picked up directly from your hotel in Cusco and taken to the start of your trek in Ollantaytambo. After your return riverside journey on the train, you will reach the train station, where you will be picked up by a van to take you back to your hotel in Cusco.



Every guide is first aid trained, and carries a first-aid kit and oxygen for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, elevation sickness, cuts, scrapes, etc.). In case of emergencies, every guide is equipped with a satellite phone which will allow for a quick exit off the trail to get you directly to a clinic for treatment, if needed.



You will either receive our North Face or Therm-a-rest down alpine mummy bag, which has an impressive temperature limit of -10C. Boasting quilted blanket interior, foot warmer pocket and a cinchible fitted design. Best of all, these sleeping bags are certified for responsible, sustainable down manufacturing. We  also carry extra blankets, pillows and sleeping bags for your comfort.



The night before your Machu Picchu hike, you can either come to our office or we can come to your hotel lobby for your briefing. During the briefing, you can also meet some of your fellow travelers that you will be with for the next couple of days. Your guides will explain the itinerary in detail, and will give you your duffel bag for you to pack your personal belongings that will be carried by our porters.



We believe it´s the attention to small details that separates us from our competitors. Every hiker receives a small pillow to sleep with, a foam mattress for insulation, a day pack cover to protect their things while hiking, and a rain poncho. We will work hard to create your best experience to remember for a lifetime!

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Important Information


This page has all the facts, figures and important questions answered, while allowing you the opportunity to explore the adventure activities in detail.






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Once you have decided which adventure is best for you and your adventure partners, head over to the ‘Book Now’ tab. This will provide you with a booking form for you to provide your prsonal information. This will directly notify us about your booking, and after payment/deposit, it will reserve your space on the trek/tour you wish to participate in.


  • 2 People $690
  • 3 People $640
  • 4 People $600
  • 5 People $570
  • 6 People $540
  • +7 People $500
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Southern Peru Explorers directly operates all of our treks in the Cusco region, with world-renowned expertise, as trekking specialists. Following is our top recommended tour expeditions:



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