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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

5 Days / 4 Nights

In Quechua, Salkantay translates to Savage Mountain. This challenging trek takes you through the valley, past turquoise-colored waters amid spectacular views of snow capped mountains. You'll walk through swirling clouds rising upwards between the jagged summits of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. This trail is not as traveled as the Inca Trail, making it an ideal mix of adventure and solitude, allowing you to enjoy the pristine lushness of the Andes with minimal distraction. Join us on the Salkantay trek and reconnect with nature.


$800 - $995 USD per person

Peak Elevation :

4,600 m / 15,090 ft

Low Altitude:

1,810 m / 5,940 ft


Overall Difficulty:



Please note that all distances and elevations are approximate. Trek times are estimated; various factors -- such as weather conditions, individual fitness levels, and how each trekker manages at altitude -- may affect the time it takes to reach each point.


The evening before your trek, you will meet with your tour guide at your place of lodging (hotel, hostel, etc.). Your guide will give you an overview of your trek to help you prepare and pace yourself for the physical and mental challenges that lie ahead. S/he will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have regarding the trek, and can offer suggestions on where you may purchase last-minute supplies. You will receive a duffel bag to hold up to 7 kg / 15 lbs of your personal belongings; this will be carried by the horse accompanying you on your journey. Your pick-up time will be confirmed.



Cusco | Mollepata | Challacancha | Soraypampa

You will be picked-up at your place of lodging around 5 am. You will travel by private van to Mollepata (3 hours from Cusco) where you will stop for breakfast. Here, you may purchase last-minute supplies (toiletries, rain gear, meds, snacks, bottled water, coca leaves, etc.). You'll continue on for another hour to Challacancha, where you will begin your trek. For about 2 hours, you'll pass through a beautiful valley until you reach Soraypampa, where you will be greeted with lunch. This is also where you will be camping for the night. Depending on your energy level after lunch, you may choose to rest at camp, or trek for another couple of hours, there and back, to the tranquil, turquoise waters of the Humantay Lagoon. Afternoon tea will be served at 5 pm. Dinner will follow at 7 pm. May you sleep soundly under the stars...


Hours of Trekking

2-4 (optional trek)

Elevations for the Day

Cusco - 3,400 m / 11,150 ft  

Mollepata - 2,900 m / 9,515 ft  lowest

Challacancha - 3,300 m / 10,825 ft

Soraypampa - 3,800 m / 12,465 ft  highest

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea




- Today is an easy day in preparation for tomorrow's challenging up-and-down trek. You'll spend most of the afternoon simply acclimatizing to the altitude.

- You'll have an opportunity to purchase last-minute supplies at Mollepata.

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Hours of Trekking


Elevations for the Day

Soraypampa - 3,800 m / 12,465 ft  

Salkantay Pass - 4,600 m / 15,090 ft  highest

Wayracmachay - 3,800 m / 12,465 ft

Collpapampa - 2,900 m / 9,515 ft  lowest

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea




- This is the longest and most challenging of your 5-Day trek.

- Once you reach Salkantay Pass, the highest point of the trek, you will descend about 1,700 m / 5,575 ft to your campsite.


- Sip your water. In this altitude, we recommend moving slowly and steadily versus moving quickly and stopping to take many breaks. The descents will be steep, so watch where you step!


- The temperatures throughout the day will vary significantly, be sure to wear layers!

- Be sure to keep your bug repellant in your day pack, you'll need it as you approach the cloud forest.

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Soraypampa | Salkantay Pass | Wayracmachay | Collapampa


5:30 wake up. Breakfast will be served at 6. It's important to fuel up as you'll have a full day of trekking. You'll depart from your campsite at 7. You'll walk gradually uphill for about 2 hours, enjoying the breathtaking views of the surrounding snowcapped mountain, and another 2.5 hours of a steep zig-zag climb until you reach the highest point of the trek -- Salkantay Pass. You'll descend about 2.5 hours toward the cloud forest, signaling the beginning of the jungle. The terrain may be a bit rocky, so proceed with caution. The Banderitas team will have lunch ready for you at Wayracmachay. Now would be a good time to cover yourself in bug repellant; as the altitude drops, the humidity will rise, and out will come the mosquitos and other bugs. It's another 4 hours downhill to Collpapampa, where you will camp for the night. Relax, freshen up, and we'll let you know when tea's ready at 6 pm. Dinner will be served at 7 pm. Dulces sueños.


Collpapampa | La Playa | Santa Teresa Hot Springs (Cocalmayo)


6:30 wake up. Breakfast will be served at 7. Your horseman will wish you a farewell and head home now that's he's completed his job. At 8, you'll depart for a 5 hour trek along the Salkantay River to the town of La Playa. You'll pass coffee plantations and exotic fruit orchards -- like passionfruit and avocado. Being in the ceja de selva or the eyebrow or edge of the jungle, the climate is much warmer and humid than in the mountains. Lunch will be waiting for you, and after a short rest, you'll head to the Cocalmayo hot springs, about 1 hour by car. You'll be camping right there, so for the rest of the afternoon, you will be free to relax and recover in the medicinal thermal baths or simply hang out at camp. Tea will be served at 6 pm, followed by Dinner at 7. Que descansas bien.


Hours of Trekking

Elevations for the Day

Collpapampa - 2,900 m / 9,515 ft  highest

La Playa - 2,300 m / 7,545 ft  

Santa Teresa / Cocalmayo Hot Springs - 1,810 m / 5,940 ft  lowest


Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea




- Goodbye and thank you, horseman! You will part ways in the morning.

- The weather will be warm and humid. You'll need your bug repellant.

- If you wish to take a dip in the medicinal hot springs, be sure to bring a swimsuit or trunks!

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Hours of Trekking


Elevations for the Day

Santa Teresa / Cocalmayo Hot Springs - 1,810 m / 5,940 ft  lowest

Hidroeléctrica - 1,900 m / 6,235 ft

Aguas Calientes - 2,040 m / 6,690 ft  highest


Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner + Snack


★★★ Hotel in Aguas Calientes


- Goodbye and thank you to our cook!

- You'll be able to shower, have a nice dinner in one of Aquas Calientes' top restaurants, and sleep in a comfortable bed tonight!

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Cocalmayo Hot Springs | Hidroeléctrica | Aguas Calientes

 6:30 am wake up. Breakfast will be served at 7, and you'll depart from your campsite at 8. You'll trek along the Urubamba River for about 3.5 hours to Hidroeléctrica for your final Banderitas lunch. You'll be parting ways with your cook today. He'll take your Banderitas duffel bag to the hotel in Aguas Calientes, while you continue for another 3 hours following alongside the railroad tracks -- and the base of Machu Picchu -- to Aguas Calientes. You'll check into your hotel, freshen up, and meet your guide to head to a restaurant for dinner. Buenas noches.


 Aguas Calientes | Machu Picchu Citadel | Ollantaytambo | Cusco

You should be up by 4:45 to have breakfast at the hotel and meet up with your guide to catch the early bus to Machu Picchu at 5:30. You'll have a 2-3 hour guided tour of the archaeological complex. Afterwards, you are free to explore the citadel, Sun Gate, or Incan Bridge on your own. Or, if you had already pre-purchased a ticket, you may proceed to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain.

> click for more information <

You will then take the bus back down to Aquas Calientes, grab lunch on your own, retrieve your gear at the hotel, and wait for your return train to Ollantaytambo. Private transport will await you there to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Please leave your empty Banderitas duffel bag at the front desk of your hotel. Thank you! 

Hours of Trekking

2-3 hour guided walking tour at Machu Picchu Citadel

Elevations for the Day

Aguas Calientes - 2,040 m / 6,690 ft  lowest

Machu Picchu Citadel - 2,400 m / 7,875 ft 

[optional: Huayna Picchu Mountain - 2,720 m / 8,925 ft]

[optional: Machu Picchu Mountain - 3,082 m / 10,110 ft]

Ollantaytambo - 2,790 m / 9,150 ft

Cusco - 3,400 m / 11,150 ft  highest


Meals Served

Breakfast at Hotel


Final Day - No Overnight Accommodations


- Machu Picchu today!


- You'll take with you only the gear needed for the day. You'll have packed the rest of your belongings in your Banderitas duffel bag which you may leave in storage at the hotel.

-Daypacks larger than 20 liters will not be allowed inside the citadel. You may rent a locker for S/5 (US $1.50).

- Trekking poles are allowed inside the citadel only under special circumstances.

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Prices per person in USD

Solo traveler: $1995

Group of 2: $1015

 Group of 3: $920

 Group of 4: $870 

Group of 5: $830

please inquire about pricing for larger groups

Our prices include these upgrades

- a ride on PeruRail's Vistadome train with a panoramic view and live entertainment*

- free use of a pillow a Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus inflatable sleeping pad and a pillow

- dinner at a top Aguas Calientes restaurant

- accommodations at a highly-rated hotel on the final night

*most tour operators include PeruRail's standard Expedition train service and offer Vistadome as a $50-$75 upgrade

What is Included

What is Included


- Experienced, Professional Tour Guide

- Responsive, U.S.-Style Customer Service


     Experienced Cook

       - Reliable Horseman and his horses

       - Safe, Responsible Drivers


- Machu Picchu Tickets

- Entry Fee to Cocalmayo Hot Springs


- Via private vehicle, pick-up from your hotel, transfer to Soraypampa

- Private transport from La Playa to Cocalmayo

Consettur bus tickets:

       - Round-Trip from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

- PeruRail ticket for Vistadome train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo

       - This is a comfortable, upscale service with panoramic views (side and ceiling windows) 

- Private transport from Ollantaytambo back to your hotel in Cusco


From Breakfast on Day 1 to Lunch on Day 4:

- 11 Fresh, wholesome meals prepared by Banderitas' Cook: 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners

      - We respect dietary restrictions and preferences, and will accommodate special requests

(i.e., vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, etc.)


- Dinner on Day 4 will be at one of Aguas Calientes' top-rated restaurants on TripAdvisor 

(e.g., Mapacho or a comparable restaurant

- Breakfast on Day 5 will be provided by the hotel

- Snacks -- unprocessed and healthful (e.g., fruit, nuts or cereal bars)

- Variety of teas including whole leaf coca

- In the morning, freshly ground, organic coffee from Quillabamba

- Drinking water (boiled and cooled, from lunch on Day 1)


- First Aid Kit

- Oxygen Tank

Days 1, 2, 3

- Eureka Timberline Tent

- Inflatable Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Sleeping Pad

       - plus an additional foam pad for extra comfort     

- Pillow

Day 4

       - Private room (dual occupancy) at a top-rated hotel in Aguas Calientes (e.g., Panorama B&B or similar)


- At the Pre-Departure Briefing on the evening before your trek, you will be provided with a Banderitas Duffel Bag which you may fill with up to 7 kilos / 15 pounds of your belongings. This will be carried on horseback. While we recommend that you carry all you will need for the day in your daypack, you will have access to your duffel bag at all lunch stops and campsites. The duffel may be left at the front desk of your hotel following your trek.


These extras and upgrades come as standard services when you book with

Banderitas Adventures in Cusco

What is NOT Included


- Ticket to climb either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain on Day 5. It may be purchased through us for $30 USD. Please let us know as soon as you book if you wish to purchase a ticket as they are subject to availability.  

> click for more information <


- Down Sleeping Bag $25 USD

- Trekking Poles (rubber-tipped, per pair) $15 USD


(Not applicable to solo travelers)

- For your own tent $35 USD

- For your own hotel room based on availability $85 to 95 USD


- Lunch on Day 5

(you will have many restaurants and cafes to choose from in Aguas Calientes)


Huayna Picchu

Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountains

During your visit to Machu Picchu Citadel, you'll have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. We prefer that you decide upon booking your trek as entrance tickets are limited to 400 per day per mountain. Tickets for each mountain cost $30 USD. Both are moderately challenging hikes with stunning views from the top. Climbing and descending Huayna Picchu, on average, takes 2 to 2.5 hours; Machu Picchu can take 3 to 3.5 hours. Tickets to Huayna Picchu tend to sell out quickly, but don’t be discouraged if they’re sold out during your visit; Machu Picchu mountain may not be as popular to climb, but it is less crowded, and the views are just as beautiful, if not more.

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