salkantay trek 5 days

5 Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trek 5 days is the most popular of the alternative treks to Machu Picchu.

Trek through the quiet and remote Salkantay valley, featured in National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the Top 25 Hikes in the World.

The hike is located in the Vilcabamba andes mountain range and passes through stunning landscapes varying from the cloud jungle to the high mountains. Along the way are fantastic views of second highest mountain in the Cusco region, Salkantay (“Savage Mountain”) standing at 6,271m/19.685ft. It passes through less visited areas and combines culture and tradition with the unbelievable flora and fauna offered by peru andes. You will be in the real Andes and the perfect conditions to get a sense of the life in the area.

Our 5 Day Salkantay trek is slightly different from most of the companies from this hike. While big companies bought properties from locals to build their Camp Sites with Bedrooms, WiFi altering biodiversity and impressive views. As a local we carry out this trek with all our camping equipment together with our support staff, porters, muleteer, Chef, Guide and we camp in places farther from large groups in properties of the villagers. Everything we take we bring back to Cusco as the garbage and thus support the community and the environment.


Day 1 : Cusco – Soraypampa – Soyroccocha

We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco city at 4:30 AM
and you will drive 3 hours to the trail head of Salkantay trail (Soraypampa 3,800 meters). Where you will enjoy a freshly breakfast made by your TMT chef.
Following you will begin a two hour climb to the most beautiful blue lake of humantay, located at the bottom of glacier mountain, then after exploring you will begin your return to the main trail and continue 2 hours towards our lunch spot Saltantaypampa. After lunch, we will have a two hour steep climb to our first campsite, at Soyroccocha (4,400 m). This is the highest campsite, so it should be a cold night, close to zero degrees Celsius.

Considered: Moderate to difficult

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Walking distance: 12 km / 7 miles

Trailhead Elevation: 3800 meters

Campsite Elevation: 4,400 meters

Weather: Cold

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


Day 2. Soyroccocha – Wayracpunko – Ccollpapampa

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 the hike. we will continue uphill hike until we reach the highest point of the trek “Salkantay Pass” 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 lunch area called Wayracammachay at 3800 meters. The downhill part can be slippery so trekking poles are very handy to have for this part.

After Lunch with amazing views of the snow-capped peaks of Salkantay you will continue descending, 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 our camp site spot Chawllay (2900 m).
Upon your arrival at the campsite your guides and porters will welcome you to your camp and show 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.

Walkign distance: 16 km
Weather: cold
Campsite elevation: 2900 m

Day 3: Ccollpapampa – Playa – Lucmabamba

After a delicious breakfast, you will get started on your 5 hour hike. You will explore the tropical forest, Along the way you will explore beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and again, flora and fauna. This will be another micro-climate, called a tropical forest, where locals farm coffee, passion fruit, papayas, oranges and avocados. where you will be able to taste the organic coffee, prepared by the local farmers. Coffee is the principal agriculture industry for the local people. They farm big hectares of coffee to export to north America, Asia and Europe. Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, but it wasn’t until the Spanish invaded Cusco mountains, that it was brought to this region. Lunch is always fresh and served family style (large dishes for you to enjoy as much as you like). After a short siesta you will jump in the small van to drive 30 minunts to Cocalmayu-hot springs (2400 m). The views while going by bus are of course amazing and you will be able to see the beautiful Santa Teresa valley. After you enjoy the natural hot springs will return to our campsite Lucmabamba where we had our Lunch.

Campsite Elevation: 2480 meters
Distance: 12km / 7 miles
Considered: moderate 
Weather: warm, humid

Day 4: 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.

Walking distance: 16 km

Aguas Calientes elevation: 2000 metters 

Weather: warm, Hot, humid

Day 5: Machu Picchu one of the 7 wonders of world

We will wake up early in the morning in order to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu. You will have a two hour guided tour by your private English speaking guide. After that, you will have time to explore Machu Picchu by yourself. Those who have tickets to huayna picchu will have time to climb the mountain, which takes approximately an hour and a half, round-trip. When you are done exploring, you can either take a bus, or walk, down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Following, you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy, and then a bus to Cusco, where you will be brought back to your hotel.

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