Salkantay Trek to Machupicchu 5D/4N

DESTINATION: Machupicchu
CATEGORY: Adventure Tour

This is one of the most famous alternative treks to Machu Picchu. The trek is located in the Vilcabamba mountain range. The trek passes through stunning landscapes varying from the cloud forest to the high mountains. Along the way are fantastic views of second highest mountain in the Cusco area, Salkantay (Wild mountain) standing at 6.215 meters. This tour is for the adventurous. It passes through little visited areas and combines culture and tradition with the incredible flora and fauna offered by Peru. You will be in the real Andes and the perfect conditions to get a sense of the life in the area…5D/4N Salkantay Trek  Map

We pick you up from your hotel and leave Cusco by private car on our way to Soraypampa which is where we´ll begin our trek. At around 8am we´ll arrive to Soraypampa (3800 meters) and stop for a delicious breakfast prepared for you by your guide. After breakfast we meet our Arrieros (horsemen) who´ll be accompanying us on the trek, give them our duffle bags and set off at about 9:00am.

The first hour of the day is easy going as the path slowly ascends the valley. As we make our way up the valley we´re treated to fantastic views of Salkantay looming in front of us and one of the peaks of Humantay to our left. After the first hour we´ll stop for a short break to catch our breath before we begin the hardest part of the trek, climbing up the Seven Snakes switchback. For about 45 minutes we wind our way up the mountain, ascending about 200 meters in total. It´s hard going but once it´s done you know the hardest part is over. After you´re at the top it´s a relatively easy walk to our lunch spot at Soroycocha (a small lake sat at the base of Salkantay).

After lunch we set off for Salkantay Pass, the path gradually makes it way up to the pass and the only real challenge now is the thinness of the air. It takes about an hour up to the pass and once we´re there we´ll stop for some photos (weather allowing) and a steaming mug of coca tea. From the pass it´s all downhill for the next day and a half – making our way down to our campsite at Wayracpunku (we have fantastic views of the valley spread out below and can see Andean Ibis and Lapwings by the streams.

Walking Distance – 15km / 9 miles

Starting Elevation . 3800 meters / 12477 ft

Highest Elevation – 4600 meters /15090 ft

Campsite Elevation – 3800 meters / 12477 ft

Considered : Moderate
The area : Andes

Today we will say goodbye to the high peaks of the Andes and make our way down in to the Cloud Forest. The change couldn´t be more abrupt as within 30-40 minutes of leaving your campsite you find yourself walking through lush vegetation and the temperature has noticeably changed. As we make our way down to our lunch spot we pass through beautiful scenery with a wide variety of flowers (including orchids) and hummingbirds flitting all around.

Before we arrive to our lunch spot today you need to make sure you have applied a liberal quantity of insect repellant as the mosquitoes further down have a nasty bite. We have an early lunch today at Colpapampa before carrying on to La Playa further down the valley. Between Colpapampa and La Playa we´ll see a variety of plantations along the way, this area produces a wide range of fruits and coffees and many of its coffees have won international awards. We´ll arrive to La Playa in the late afternoon and have a chance to relax.

Walking Distance – 18km / 11 miles

Starting Elevation . 3800 meters / 12477 ft

Campsite Elevation – 2400 meters / 9350 ft

Considered : Moderate
The area : Cloud Forest

We have an early start today so that we can arrive to Llactapata before the other groups (if we´re lucky). Setting out from La Playa we follow the path along the valley in the early light of dawn making our way towards the start of an Inca Trail that leads us up to the Inca site of Llactapata. The climb up to Llactapata is a hard one but we have the whole morning and plenty of time to stop for breaks to enjoy the spectacular scenery all around us. Once we reach the top we enter a heavily wooded area filled with birdlife, keep your eyes open for Guan (jungle chickens), Cock of the Rock, Toucans and Hummingbirds that are common in the area.

Once you reach the wooded area it´s only another 20-30 minutes’ walk until you arrive at Llactapata. The views from here are amazing and you get to see a side of Machu Picchu that few ever see. Spread out before you are Huayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain with the citadel sat on the ridge in between (if you have good eyes you can see the terraces of Machu Picchu). Once your entire group arrives you´ll have a guided tour of the site and learn all about the Incas and Machu Picchu, afterwards you have free time to enjoy the sights and to explore Llactapata a little before you head to your campsite 15 minutes down the mountain.

This campsite is amazing as it is hardly ever used by other groups, the undisturbed views of Machu Picchu and the complete tranquility makes this one of the highlights of the trek. In the evening you´ll be able to enjoy the fantastic sunset over the valley below.

Walking Distance – 12km / 7.5 miles

Starting Elevation . 2400 meters / 7874ft

Campsite Elevation – 2700 meters / 8858 ft

Considered : Difficult morning

The area : Cloud Forest

We get up early today so that we can enjoy the sunrise over Machu Picchu, this is spectacular and well worth the early start. After  breakfast we´ll have a small ceremony with our porters to say thanks to them for the amazing job they´ve done. This will be the last time we see them and if you like you can take this opportunity to give them a tip.

Today´s walk is easy going as we make our way back down in to the valley below. The path winds its way down the mountain, passing through heavily wooded cloud forest where we can see a variety of wildlife and small plantations grown by the local people. It´s about an hour walk down to the valley below and a further hour until the hydroelectric plant where we´ll see a stunning waterfall that is a byproduct of the project. From Hydroelectric we follow the valley all the way to Aguas Calientes, following the river and taking in the wide variety of birdlife in the area. Keep your eyes open for Cock of the Rocks that can be seen in the area. At around 1.30pm we arrive to Aguas Calientes and check in to our hotel. You have the afternoon free to relax, have a hot shower and explore the village a little. If you remembered to bring your swimming costume then you can head to the hot springs and soak out all your aches and pains.

Walking Distance – 15km / 9 miles

Starting Elevation . 2700 meters / 8858 ft

Hotel Elevation – 2000 meters / 6560 ft

Considered : Moderate

The area : Cloud Forest

We have to wake up very early in the morning on the last day in order so see the sunrise in Machu Picchu (if the weather allows). We will start with breakfast at the hotel and then head to the bus that will take us to Machu Picchu. At 6.00 am the citadel is open so we will make our way to the postcard photo spot and wait for the sunrise to take the classic Machu Picchu pictures. Afterwards, your guide will take you for a 2 hour tour around the site and then you can climb Wayna Picchu (if you have photos) in order to take clear photos of Machu Picchu. You’ll then have plenty of free time to explore the sacred city by yourself. Afterwards you will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to have before taking the train back to Ollantaytambo and then private bus to Cusco.

This itinerary may change during the rainy season due to unhospitable roads.

Trekking briefing the night before at our office with your trekking guide where your guide will overview the trek and provide the duffle bags which will be carried by our horses.
Pick up from your hotel
Transfer in private transport to soraypampa( trail head )
4 person sleeping tents which is used only by 2 people which means is very spacious (large and comfortable), plenty of room to fit your  trekking  gears and your day packs.
Thick Foam mattresses (Carried by horses)
Dinning and cooking tents with tables and chairs ( very confortable)
English speaking professional guide (2 guides for groups over 10 people)
3 meals per day, tea happy hour time every afternoon, snacks every morning
Portable private Toilets
First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
Porters, horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment
Emergency horse in case anybody gets tired or wants to ride it just for the photo
Drinking Water every morning, lunch, happy hour, and dinner time. Hot water in your plastic bottle to sleep and water for washing your feet and hands.
Expedition Tourist class Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo in the sacred Valley then a private Van to transfer back to  your hotels in Cusco.
Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
Bus to Machu Picchu (roundtrip)
Guided tour of Machu Picchu with plenty of time to explore on your own
Hotel in Aguas Calientes double or triple accommodation with private  rooms, private bathrooms, Hot showers, Wifi, and storage while you visit Machu Picchu.
Climb to the sun gate for free, inka bridge.
8 kg / 16 p Personal porter to be carried by Our horses  ( you will trek only with your day pack which is way more confortable than carrying a big bags )
Airplane Pillows
We Avoid crowds, we Camp at off the beatten sites, Our highlight is Camping in from of Machu Picchu.
We are a Local Peruvian Company with the best Adventure Guides, Professional chef, and amazing porters and horses man.
We Will create a Life time experience for you.

  • Last lunch
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from company for $ 25  for the entire trek)
  • Walking sticks (can be rented from company $ 20 for the entire trek )
  • Optional air mattress ( you can rent from alpaca $ 20 )
  • Optional Huayna Picchu Climb $ 25


  • Original Passports and students cards if were book as student
  • Good backpack or daypack
  • Good sleeping bag (can be rented from company $ 20)
  • Hiking boots
  • Walking sticks (can be rented from company)
  • Warm clothes (the temperature changes – you might experience 4 seasons all in one day)
  • T-shirts 4, sun hat, 2 pairs of pants/trousers, gloves, 4 pairs of socks, rain jacket, warm jacket, extra layers
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen an sunglasses
  • Insect repellent (non malarial mosquitos)
  • Rain poncho (you can buy this in Cusco or on the trek)
  • Toiletries, toilet paper, wipes, hand sanitizer
  • Bathing suit (if you want to go to the hot springs)
  • Sandals are recommended to get changed in the evenings
  • Scarf
  • Water bottle (it’s not necessary to bring water tablets)
  • Personal medical kit
  • Original passport
  • Student card if you are student, you must scan it when you are booking
  • Flash light
  • Some plastic bags in the rainy season
  • Plastic Ponchos
  • Water proof gloves
  • Toiletries: Toilet paper, toothbrush, tootpaste, wipes, hand sanitazer.
  • Bathing clothes, Towel.
  • Good trekking shoes as the trail  is mudy and slippery in some sections.