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.

Price:

$800 - $995 USD per person

Peak Elevation :

4,600 m / 15,090 ft

Low Altitude:

1,810 m / 5,940 ft

 

Overall Difficulty:

 

Itinerary

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.

PRE-DEPARTURE BRIEFING

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.

 

DAY ONE

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...

DAY ONE OVERVIEW

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

Accommodations

Camping

Notes

- 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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DAY 2 OVERVIEW

Hours of Trekking

10

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

Accommodations

Camping

Notes

- 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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DAY TWO

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.

DAY THREE

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.

DAY 3 OVERVIEW

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

Accommodations

Camping

Notes

- 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!