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
1,810 m / 5,940 ft
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...
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.
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.
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!