Classic Salkantay trek, 5 days
Salkantay pass at 4600 m, 15901 ft.
Price as of 2019 up to 16 people in the group:
US$270 - regular price
US$250 - with a university student card
Price as of 2020 up to 16 people in the group:
US$290 - regular price
US$270 - with a university student card
IMPORTANT INFO: The hikers of this trek are counted into the 3000 people allowed a day for Machu Picchu citadel so we recommend you to book 2 months in advance at least assuring you a space for Machu Picchu.
Huayna Picchu mountain only offer 400 spaces, so you need to assure a space for Wayna Picchu 3 months in advance.
If you did not get an space for the Inca Trail, the Salkantay trek is the more economic tour for you because is the most popular alternative trek to book any time even a few days prior you arriving.
To begin from Cusco driving a bus for 2 hours passing through the highlands of Cusco and down the Apurimac river (1500 m, 4921 ft.)
always pay attention at the surroundings to see the local houses and growing areas on the way because the landscape changes very quick.
The beginning of hiking lays at Mollepata (2900 m, 9514 ft.) a lower area than Cusco where is possible to see most of temperate crops like corn fields, potatoes, wheat, barley, and the community farming located on the slope of the mountains, going up to get the highest pass at 4600 m, 15901 ft. which is the very bottom of the Salkantay snow-capped mountain (6271 m, 20574 ft.), by this point you will be able to see glaciers to the four cardinal points!
After this magnificent view the path goes all the way downhill into the cloud forest so in just one day actually the 2nd one you will see the glaciers and the high jungle which begins at 3700 m, 12139 ft. hiking further down into 1600 m, 5249 ft. to see more tropical fruits like bananas, avocado, coffee plantations, jungle potatoes and more local villages and houses made of wood widespread on the way.
We highly recommended going to the very relaxing hot springs by Santa Teresa where begins the easiest hike along the road and the train rail way by the bank of the Urubamba river through the jungle and nice vegetation, close to Aguas Calientes is seen the Guard House of Machu Picchu your main goal.
At last day you have all day to be guided and explore this special untouched city of the incas (the spaniards fortunately never found it), it is needed 4 hours to recognize all the main area but if you go to Wayna Picchu mountain or the Sungate it takes 3 more hours at least.
In the afternoon you will be back to Cusco by train and bus getting there at 10:45 pm.
DAY 1: CUSCO-MOLLEPATA-SAYLLAPATA-SORAYPAMPA.
We will pick you up at 5:00 am at your hotel and take a tourist bus to Mollepata (2900 m, 9514 ft.) the breakfast place (not included-US$ 6) afterwards we will start hiking by 9:00 am to hike up and flat along the picturesque landscape comprised of sloped-growing areas, local mud-brick houses widespread on the slope of the mountains, for 5 hours to Sayllapata, the lunch place is located at 3500 m,11482 ft. having a beautiful view of the Humantay glacier and the campsite located at the very bottom of this mountain.
After lunch and maybe a siesta you still have 3 more hours hiking to the campsite along the road, it is seen the Humantay glacier during this last part so at the end appears the silhouette of the Salkantay glacier, at 5:30 the latest you will be by the campsite of Soraypampa 3900m, 12467 ft. almost in between of snow-capped mountains so it is the coldest night of -5 C or 23F.
MEALS: Lunch, "happy hour" and dinner.
DAY 2: SORAYPAMPA-SALKANTAY PASS-HUAYRACMACHAY-CHALLWAY.
This morning a cup of coca tea is provided at wake up time by 5:00 to 5:30 am to start hiking by 6:30 am.
This day is going to be the hardest one for you because you have to do between 4 to 5 hours uphill to the highest place "the Salkantay pass" at 4600 m, 15091 ft. right at the bottom of the Salkantay glacier, during this way up the path is in the middle of two glaciers, the Humantay (5900 m, 19356ft) and the Salkantay (6271 m, 20574 ft) having an impressive view of the Salkantay snow-capped mountain in front of you.
After the pass it takes 2 more hours downhill to Huayracmachay, the lunch place located at 3800 m, 12467 ft. which is the beginning of the high jungle going down for three more hours to the second campsite of Challway at 2900 m, 9514 ft, on the way down enjoy the view of the nice combination of glaciers and the colorful cloud forest, inhabited by small mammals, birds and the spectacled bear rarely seen.
MEALS: Breakfast, lunch, "happy hour" and dinner.
DAY 3: CHALLWAY - COLLPAPAMPA - LA PLAYA - SANTA TERESA.
After sleeping more than 8 hours to wake up at 6:00 am and having a cup of coca tea, the hike begins by 7:00 am to go 6 more hours down into the cloud forest looking at more local houses made of wooden logs widespread on the slope of the mountains surrounded by growing areas of corn, passion fruit, banana trees, avocado trees, also coffee plantations getting to La Playa the lunch place by 1:00 pm located at 2200 m, 7217 ft.
After lunch it is taken a bus for an hour down to Santa Teresa (1600 m, 5249 ft) the campsite but you have an option to go to the hot springs nearby so you need US$ 4 for the transport and US$ 2 for the entrance fee.
You could spend 2 hours into the hot springs coming back to Santa Teresa where there will be a campfire by the campsite or you go downtown for dancing and drinks at the disco.
MEALS: Breakfast, lunch, "happy hour", dinner.
DAY 4: SANTA TERESA - HYDROELECTRIC - AGUAS CALIENTES.
This day the wake up call will be by 7:00 because the night before is likely danceable and drinkable.
The first option is about doing zipline or canopy in the morning (US$15) having an unforgettable experience along 2500 m of cables built up in six sections between the mountains, max. speed 60 km/h and the highest point is about 150 m, 50 ft.
If you do the canopy experience you have to walk only 3 more hours from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes because the bus will leave you at Hydroelectric.
The other option is about hiking 3 hours from Santa Teresa to Hydroelectric along the local road by the Urubamba river bank seeing more local plantations of jungle potatoes, coffee plantations, bananas and avocado trees having lunch at Hydro to keep hiking 3 more hours to Aguas Calientes along the train track and the cloud forest close to Machu Picchu. On the way it is seen Machu Picchu up on the mountain from different views.
At Aguas Calientes there will a comfortable hostel for you so you still have a nice dinner in a restaurant to organize the tour for Machu Picchu.
MEALS: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
DAY 5: AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU - AGUAS CALIENTES - OLLANTAYTAMBO - CUSCO.
At fifth day you are going to get up at 4:30 am, after having breakfast you have to take a bus up to Machu Picchu at 5:30 getting to Machu Picchu at 6:00 am to show your passport at the checkpoint.
Your guide will lead you to the upper part of Machu Picchu to begin the tour through this wonderful archaeological inca site and learn much more about the incas so by 8:30 you will be able to explore it on your own until 4:00 pm the latest!
If you want to climb up to Wayna Picchu mountain which appears in the background of the classic picture of Machu Picchu, please let us know at booking to check availability, this climb is very popular please book it in advance too, it is about US $15 extra.
It is only allowed 400 people a day for climbing to Wayna Picchu mountain!!, one group of 200 people is leaving at 7:00 am and the other 200 at 10:00 am so please it is better to go in the second group because sometimes this place is cloudy in the morning.
Leaving from Machu Picchu at 4:00 the latest to take a bus down to Aguas Calientes to have time for eating and shopping in town, and take the train at 18:20 back to Ollantaytambo for two hours where a bus will be waiting for you, so it is about two more hours by bus to Cusco.
You will arrive to Cusco at 10:30 or you need 4 hours back to Cusco from Aguas Calientes.
We recommend to take a train at 2:55 in Aguas Calientes please let us know about this issue.
OUR COMPROMISE IS TO PROVIDE YOU A COMFORTABLE HIKE ASSURING THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF YOUR SOUTH AMERICAN TRIP! NEW EQUIPMENT, SMILING HORSEMEN, PREPARED COOKS, AMAZING FOOD AND PROFESSIONAL GUIDES WILL MAKE THIS HIKE UNFORGETTABLE FOR YOU.
CONSIDERING A TABLE OF EXERTION NEEDED FOR THIS TREK,
IT IS DIFFICULT BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
WE RECOMMEND TO DO EXERCISE FOR 30 DAYS, JOGGING, WALKING AT HOME PRIOR THE HIKING AND ACCLIMATIZE TWO DAYS IN CUSCO AT LEAST.
DIFFICULT LEVEL DEPENDS OF YOUR FITNESS AND ACCLIMATIZATION.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
-Pre-departure briefing, 1 or 2 nights before the trek, introduced by your guides.
-Tourist bus from your hotel to Mollepata, the beginning.
-Professional bilingual guide.
-Assistant guide (groups over 10 people).
-Entrance fee for Machu Picchu.
-Hostel at Aguas Calientes (room with a private bathroom)
-4 breakfast, 4 lunches, 3 afternoon snacks (happy hour), 4 dinners, (day 1 breakfast is not included).
-Cook and cooking equipment.
-Four-person tent for two people.
-Horses and a horse man to carry all the equipment, you can leave 6 kilos max. of your belongs to be carried by the horses.
-Bottled oxygen and first aid kit.
-Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (Expedition service, notice at 18:20) and bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
-No extra cost for vegetarian food on request.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO TAKE?
-Original passport (ISIC student card if is applicable), you must bring the passport or ID you used for booking if you get a new one is essential to bring a copy of the old one.
-Travel insurance is essential.
-A comfortable daypack to carry what you really need for hiking during the day.
-Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, our meals are very complete and well supplied, but you will realize after walking a couple of hours you need to bite a cookie!
-Sleeping bag -5 C or 23 F at least (not included-you can rent it from us).
-Waterproof gear, rain poncho (just in case at dry season too), anytime so.
-Warm jacket and warm clothes (temperature varies from -5 to 24 C, 23 to 75 F ).
-Hat, gloves, beanie and sunglasses.
-Bathing suit (very nice hot springs at Santa Teresa, day 3).
-Sun protection cream (35 SF recommended).
-Insect repellent (20% DEET - no malaria has been reported).
-Water purifying pills.
-Personal Aid kit.
-Camera and charger to recharge your batteries at 3th and 4th night.
-Flashlight and spare alkaline batteries.
-We recommend to pack your belongs in plastic bags due the rain and a waterproof cover for your daypack.
-Extra money (300 soles at least - ATM at Aguas Calientes only).
*IMPORTANT: To qualify as student , it is necessary to have a valid ISIC student st card, and send a copy at booking.
*Advise us about any allergy or personal health condition (asthma, etc).
-Shorts (during the day it is normally warm so take more sun's cream and insect repellent).
-Walking poles with rubber tips.
-Plasters and bandages.
OPTIONAL SERVICES NOT INCLUDED
-Upgrade of train service to Vistadome Class at 16:22, US$35.
-Upgrade of train service to Expedition Class at 14:55, US$25.
-Bus ticket round trip, US$24 from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
-Zip-line on day 4 US$15.
-Renting of sleeping bag - 4 season, US$15.
-Walking poles - US$15 each pair.
-Emergency horse for riding until day 2 only - US$ 60.
-Single tent supplement - US$ 30.
-Extra night in Aguas Calientes - US$20 (room with a private bathroom hostel)
-Ask for discounts:
If you are a student (US$ 20 - University student card only applicable until 25 years old, send a copy at booking), teenagers up to 15 years old (US$ 20), children up to 7 years old (US$ 40).
*Size of the group: Max. 16 people.