salkantay trek 4 days

4 Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Trek through the quiet and remote valley of the scenic 4 Day Salkantay trek a challenging and rewarding hiking route in the andes of Peru.

Featured in National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the Top 25 Hikes in the World.

Salkantay Trekking is the most popular of the alternative treks to Machu Picchu. The trek is located in the Vilcabamba mountain range and passes through stunning landscapes varying from the cloud forest to the high Andes mountains. Along the way are fantastic views of second highest peak in the Cusco Region, Salkantay (“Savage Mountain”) standing at 6,271m/19.685ft. It passes through less traveled 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.

This amazing trek can be done in 5 days hike also exploring the famous Humantay lake in Cusco.


Day 1 : Cusco – Soraypampa – Huayracpunko

Begin at 4:00am where we will pick you up directly from your hotel and drive 3 hours to the trailhead called Soraypampa (3800 meters). Before heading off on your trek, you will meet your horses and your horsesman (Arrieros). Breakfast will be prepared and served before you start hiking and the team will be introduced at that time. After breakfast you will get ready to begin the trek towards Machu Picchu. The first 3.5 hours will be gradual uphill until lunch. The views are amazing of the Salkantay Valley and Salkantay Mountain and they only get better! Lunch will be served at the foot of the mountain. After lunch we will continue climbing for 1 more hour, again gradually uphill, until the highest point of your trek,Salkantay Pass at 4650 meters. While the trekking will be difficult, you can take many breaks and the views are defintely worth the hike: two different valleys and Salkantay Mountain is right in front of you. You might even see some avalanches from the Salkantay glacier (not at all close enough to cause you any danger). We won’t have much time to enjoy the views though, its still another 3 hours downhill to reach our first campsite called Wayracammachay at 3800 meters. The downhill part can be slippery so trekking poles are very handy to have for this part. As you walk down you will get to enjoy the sunset and the magnificent silence of the valleys. It will be just you and the background of the roaring river behind you. Upon your arrival at the campsite, our guides and porters will welcome you to your camp and show you to your tents, which will be already set up for you. You will have some time to relax, enjoy our social/happy hour and then dinner.

Walking distance: 15 km

Trailhead Elevation: 3800 meters

Maximun Altitude Gained: 850 meters

Campsite Elevation: 3800 meters

Weather: Cold

Trail Conditions: Rocky , dusty and slippery (trekking shoes required)

Day 2. Wayracpunko – Chaullay – Lucmabamba

After an early breakfast with amazing views of the snow-capped peaks of Salkantay and Humantay mountains, you will get ready for the day and begin your expedition. After about 30 minutes of walking downhill, the microclimate will change and you will be entering the cloud forest. You will be walking downhill through this area for 4 hours until the lunch spot at Chawllay (2900 m). Along the way the views are spectacular looking out at the lush green valley, waterfalls, rivers, and of course, snow-capped peaks. Its a beautiful area to inspect the flora and fauna. Lunch is always fresh and served family style (large dishes for you to enjoy as much as you like). After Lunch 4 hours hike to our campsite called Lucmabamba. There will be farms along the way growing coffee, passion fruits, avocados, bananas – even a chocolate farm. Upon your arrival at the campsite, your porters will welcome you and give you the opportunity to enjoy the magical views of the mountains. You will have time for happy hour with hot drinks before dinner.

Walkign distance: 17 km
Weather: cold / warm / hot
Campsite elevation: 2600 m

Day 3: Lucmabamba – LLactapata – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes 

Our porters will gently wake you up with a hot glass of coca tea, coffee. Once you are ready for the day, you will have breakfast with amazing views of the valley, After breakfast you will hike uphill about 2 hour until you arrive to Llactapata incan archeological site where you will be able to see Machu Picchu for first time from other mountain, After photo photobombing will descend to Hitroelectrica for our last lunch with our hiking staff, Where we’ll say good bye to our team. then continue for 3 hours hike until we arrive to Aguas Calientes along the railway which in 1915 was explored by Professor Hiram Bingham when he was looking for the lost city of the incas. Along the way you may see some flora and fauna that are very authentic from the area such as the bird gallito de las rocas (cock of the rock). Gallito de las rocas is considered to be the national peruvian bird. Hopefully tyou will see some woodpeckers, oropéndolas, avocado plantations and also pass by the farm that is owned by the family who guided Hiram Bingham in 1915 to Machu Picchu. You will have some beautiful views of Machu Picchu from different angles as you approach as well. Finally you will arrive to Aguas Calientes where your guide will take you to your hotel and give you some time to settle in and enjoy a well deserved hot shower. After dinner, we recommend going to bed early to get up early morning the next day to explore Machu Picchu.

Walkign distance: 16 km
Aguas Calientes elevation: 2000m
Weather: Hot

Day 4: Machu Picchu (The Lost City of the Inkas)

Wake up time is at 4:30am, breakfast is at 5:00am at hotel and then we will line up to take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (they are first come, first serve – like a shuttle). The bus takes 25 minutes to get up the seitchback road to Machu Picchu (which opens its gates at 6:00am. Please make sure you bring your original passport – the same one that you used to book your trip because the rangers will ask for it (you can get a Machu Picchu stamp on your passport if you like as well). Your guide will help you find the perfect spots ot get perfect pictures of Machu Picchu (which will immediately become your Facebook profile photo!). You can enjoy the sunrise, if the weather is good. Then you will have your 2-hour guided tour. You will have some extra time to explore the site on your own, if you have booked Huayanpicchu or machupicchu mountain your guide will show you where to begin this hike (please remember you need to be arranged in advance and it cost $25 per person).

Huaynapicchu takes 2 hours and Machupicchu 3 hours roundtrip, but if you did not book for this mountains you can still clumb to the Sun Gate 1.5 hours or to the Inka Bridge (45 minutes) with great views. Once you are done exploring, you can make your way back to the buses and head down to Aguas Calientes to enjoy some lunch. After lunch you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo and we will transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco.

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