top of page

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

4 Days / 3 Nights

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. They 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. You will have access to this duffel at the campsites. You will carry the items you will need throughout the day while you trek. Your guide will confirm your pick-up time.



Cusco | Soraypampa | Lake Humantay | Salkantaypampa

You will be picked-up at your place of lodging around 5 am. You will travel by private vehicle to Soraypampa (4 hours from Cusco), where you will stop for breakfast. From there, you will begin your trek with a 1.5-hour gradual uphill hike to the turquoise waters of Lake Humantay. You'll explore the area for about 30 minutes before heading back down for lunch where the Banderitas team will be waiting with a freshly prepared lunch. You'll then hike for another 2 hours along a gradual uphill path with spectacular views of Salkantay Mountain's snow-capped peak until you reach Salkantaypampa. This is where you will camp for the night. Afternoon tea will be served at 5 pm. Dinner will follow at 7 pm. May you sleep soundly under the stars...


Hours of Trekking


Elevations for the Day

Cusco - 3,400 m / 11,150 ft  lowest

Soraypampa - 3,800 m / 12,465 ft

Salkantaypampa - 4,200 m / 13,780 ft

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

Wayracmachay - 3,800 m / 12,465 ft  

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea




- You'll start right off with a challenging day... with views to make the effort worthwhile.

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


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

Please reload


Hours of Trekking


Elevations for the Day

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

Collpapampa - 2,900 m / 9,515 ft 

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




- This is the longest day of your 4-Day trek.

- Goodbye and thank you, horseman! You will part ways after lunch.

- The weather will be warm and humid as you near the jungle. 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!

Please reload


Salkantaypampa | Salkantay Pass | Wayracmachay |

Collpapampa | Cocalmayo (Hot Springs)


5:30 wake-up. Breakfast will be served at 6. At 7, you'll hike for about 1.5-hours along siete vueltas, a steep, zig-zagged uphill path to Soyrococha. Then it's a gentle 1-hour climb to Salkantay Pass, the highest point of the day. Then, it's back down for another 2 hours along an intermittently steep and rocky path until you reach Wayracmachay, your lunch site. From there, it's a 4-hour gradual descent to Collpapampa. Have your bug repellent handy! Observe the dramatic change in scenery and the rise in temperature and humidity as you move from the mountains into the ceja de la selva or the eyebrow or edge of the jungle.

At Collpapampa, your arriero (horseman) will wish you a farewell and head home now that he has completed his job. With the rest of the Banderitas team, you'll drive along an unpaved road for 2 hours. Along the way, you'll pass coffee plantations and exotic fruit orchards -- banana, passionfruit, orange and avocado. You'll pass the district of Santa Teresa until you reach the hot springs of Cocalmayo. You'll be camping right there, you will be free to relax and recover in the medicinal thermal baths or simply hang out at camp. Tea will be served at 5 pm, dinner at 7 pm.


Colcalmayo 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.


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


- Farewell lunch. You'll be parting ways with the cook after lunch.

- You'll spend the night in a hotel and enjoy dinner in a fantastic restaurant.

Please reload


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


- Today's the day -- Machu Picchu! You'll head out well before the crack of dawn so you could be at the Sungate at the crack of dawn.

-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.

Please reload


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, 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 Aguas 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! 



Prices per person in USD

Solo traveler: $1,895

Group of 2: $955

 Group of 3: $890 

 Group of 4: $845 

Group of 5: $790

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

- accomodations at a highly-rated hotel

*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


From hotel pick-up on Day 1 to hotel drop-off on Day 4:

- 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 3:

- 8 Fresh, wholesome meals prepared by Banderitas' Cook: 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners

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

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


- Dinner on Day 3 will be at one of Aguas Calientes' top-rated restaurants on TripAdvisor 

(e.g., Mapacho or a comparable restaurant

- Breakfast on Day 4 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

- Eureka Timberline Tent

- Inflatable Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Sleeping Pad

       - plus an additional foam pad for extra comfort     

- Pillow

Day 3

       - Private room (double occupancy) at a top-rated hotel in Aguas Calientes (e.g., Panorama B&B, La Cabaña, El Quetzal or one on par with these hotels)


- 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 4. It may be purchased through us for $22 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 <


- 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 4

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


Huayna Picch

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.

bottom of page