Salkantay Trek 3D/2N (Challenge)
This amazing trek runs beneath the magnificent Salkantay mountain (6.271 m/20,569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Andes. The Salkantay Trek was recently named on the National Geographic Ultimate Adventure bucket list – defined as “The 20 most extreme, hair-raising, legendary adventures on the planet.” It is a trek open to everybody, and the most popular alternative to the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, and rich in natural scenery.
This offers 4 days of trekking through various landscapes including highlands, cloud forest, rain forest and dry mountain. Throughout the trek you have amazing views of Apu Salkantay, Pumasillo Mountain and Humantay Mountain, three of the most stunning peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba Mountain range. On the first night you will feel like you can touch the stars while the variety of sites in addition to the beautiful sky include the glaciers of Apu Salkantay and Humantay Mountain, Salkantay lake, and the moraines (natural formations of small hills produced from the pressure of ice falling from the glaciers above).
Our standard package includes the premium services of lodging in a very nice hotel on the fourth night of the trek, a very unique coffee plantation tour in the afternoon of day 3, and dinner at the best restaurant in Aguas calientes.
- Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Huayracmachay
- Day 2: Huayracmachay – Arrayanniyoc – Challhuay- La Playa – Lucmabamba
- Day 3: Lucmabamba – Llactapata Inca Ruins – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
- Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Overall distance hiked: 58 km/ 36 miles
Starting altitude: 3,800 m/12,467 ft
Maximum altitude reached: 4,600 meters/ 13,451 feet
Lowest elevation: 2,050 m /6,725 ft
Overall trek difficulty: challenging
You will have a thorough briefing with your guide 1 or 2 days before your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you can take this opportunity to ask questions and make any final preparations.
Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Huayracmachay
We will pick you up from your hotel early in the morning and have a beautiful scenic drive of 3 hours duration to Mollepata. At Mollepata we will have breakfast at one of the local houses. During this portion of the drive we will have our first views of the magnificent Salkantay and Humantay Mountains, as well as observe lush vegetation and the fields of local families growing potatoes, quinoa, lima beans, etc.
At this point we will arrive at Soraypampa (3,800 m/12,467 ft), the trailhead for the Salkantay trek, and meet our support staff, who will pack everything for the trek and load the equipment onto horses. We begin the hike with a gentle 2 hour climb to Salkantaypampa. During this portion of the trek we will follow a little stream whose source is the Salkantay glacier. We will also see the moraines and the glaciers of Apu Salkantay and Humantay mountains.
From Salkantaypampa we will hike steeply for 1 ½ hours until we reach Soyrococha, our lunch spot. After reaching this location we continue to climb steeply for 2.5 to 3 hours to the Salkantay pass where we will make small offerings to the Apus (mountain spirits). This is the highest point of the trek (4,600 meters/ 13,451 feet).
Our next task is a 2 hour downhill hike to Huayracmachay (3,800 m/12,464 ft), our camp for the evening.
- Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
- Accommodations: Camping
- Maximum altitude: 4,600 m/ 13,451 f
- Minimum altitude: 3,800 m/12,467 ft
- Distance to walk: 16 km
- Approximate walking time: 5-6 hours
- Level of Difficulty: Challenging
Day 2: Huayracmachay- Arrayanniyoc – Chaullay – La Playa – Lucmabamba
We will wake up early this morning and see a gorgeous view of Salkantay and Humantay Mountains. We will have breakfast and then begin a 3 and ½ hour downhill hike to Colpapampa. During this segment we will be in the cloud forest and pass by the Village of Chaullay. We will have lunch at Colpapampa.
After lunch we will be hiking through the rain forest, following the path of the Santa Teresa river. This portion of the trek has up and down portions and lasts approximately 5 to 6 hours. We will have the opportunity to see multiple coffee plantations, banana plantations, and fields of passion fruit. Along this path you will also see the most beautiful waterfall along the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.
We will reach Lucmabamba, our campsite for the evening, around five pm.
- Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
- Distance Covered: 18 km
- Time: 8 to 9 hours
- Lowest elevation: 2,050 m /6,725 ft
- Highest elevation: 3,800 m/12,467 ft
- Difficulty: Moderate
Day 3: Lucmabamba – Llactapata Inca Ruins – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
We will wake up early and have breakfast. Today´s hike starts with a moderate 3 ½ hour climb through the rain forest until we reach the Llactapata Inca site (2,700 m/8,856 ft), where we will have a thorough tour. This is the location where you will have your first view of Machu Picchu in the far distance. You will also have a first look at the mountain you will hike tomorrow, Huayna Picchu!
Leaving Llactapata, we begin a 2 ½ hour descent to Hydroelectric, where we will have lunch. At 3 pm we will board the train for a 40 minute trip to Aguas Calientes.
On arrival at Aguas Calientes you will check into your hotel. Dinner will be at Indio Feliz.
- Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
- Distance Covered: 13 km /8 miles
- Time: 6 to 7 hours
- Lowest elevation: 1,800 m /5,905 feet
- Highest elevation: 3,100 m /10,170 feet
- Area: Cloud Forest
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Sights: Llactapata Inca Ruins, Machu Picchu
Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
You will have breakfast at your hotel before we take a very early bus (5:30am) along the winding road to Machu Picchu to see the magnificent sunrise. Once there you will be given a 2 hour walking tour of the site.
If you have elected to climb Machu Picchu mountain you will begin the hike at 10 AM. The ticket price for Machu Picchu mountain is included in the price of your trek. If you are not climbing the mountain you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu before you return to Aguas Calientes by bus.
When you arrive in Aguas Calientes you will board the expedition train to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo you will travel by private van to Cusco and we will drop you off at your hotel. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of your train ticket.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Maximum altitude: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft
- Minimum altitude: 2,440 m/ 8,052 ft
Bilingual English speaking tour guide
Pre-Departure Briefing at your hotel 1 or 2 days before your trek.
Pick up from your hotel and transportation to Soraypampa on day 1
Four-person tent for each two persons
Thermarest Inflatable Mattress and pillow
Dining tent with tables and chairs
Toilet tent with portable toilet
Expert chef and assistant chef
Wranglers and horses to carry all the equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc)
Horse to carry 8 kg of your personal belongings
Duffle bag to pack your personal belongings
Emergency horse in case we need it
Five breakfasts, four lunches, and four dinners
Hot water for washing.
Daily morning boiled and cold water to fill the water bottles.
Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
Expedition train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
Private van transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
Ticket for Huayna Picchu mountain
Entrance to Machu Picchu
Round trip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
Coffee plantation tour in the afternoon of day 3
Lodging in Aguas Calientes on night 4 of the trek (double occupancy)
Dinner in Aguas Calientes on night 4
Train ticket from Hydroelectrica to Aguas Calientes
Services Not included:
Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
Day 5 lunch in Aguas Calientes
Tips for the crew (muleteers, chef and guide)
Hiking poles (can be rented from us)
What to bring:
Original passport (if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking, bring both)
Down or synthetic feather sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
Clothes (trekking boots, warm fleece jacket, a few t-shirts, socks, sun hat, warm underwear, light long pants, gloves, rain jacket)
Toiletries (toilet paper, wet wipes, personal towel)
Sunscreen SPF 35+ recommended
Camera with spare batteries (batteries run down faster at high altitudes)
Book to read (you will have some spare time at every camp to read your favorite book)
Trekking poles (recommended especially for the steep descents, can be rented from us)
Prices & Availability
Group Service Price per person 2017:
US$420 per person (Group Size 02 persons Minimum 08 Persons Average – 16 Persons Maximum with 02 Guides)
Private Service Prices 2017
2 people US$600 per person
3 people US$575 per person
4 people US$550 per person
5 people US$525 per person
6 people US$500 per person
7+ people US$475 per person
Student Discount (only with active green ISIC card. Must be below 25 years old): US$20
Under 15 years will pay as student: US $20
Aditional/Extras NOT Included (Need to book in Advance):
Machu Picchu Mountain climbing: USD 25.00
Huayna Picchu Mountain climbing: USD 25.00
Vistadome Train Aguas Calientes-Cusco: USD60.00
Extra Night in Aguas Calientes: Depends on the type of Hotel desired.
Sleeping Bag US$25
Walking Pole US$15
Inflatable Mattress US$25
Single Tent Supplement US$35
How to book:
You can either book by emailing us or by using the Booking form on this site.
Send us your main Departure date and back up date: By providing us with a main date and a back up date for your trek (classic Inca Trail, Lares, Salkantay, etc) you automatically authorize Aymaras Expeditions to use either of these dates for your reservation. Aymaras Expeditions within the next 48 hours (after you have sent us your booking form and confirm deposit was made) will send you an electronic receipt confirming your trek has been officially booked and also to confirm the exact departure date of your trek.
Send us your Personal Details for Booking: Your passport number and other information must be valid. Please advise if you change your passport number after booking the tour (especially for booking the classic Inca Trail as if we do not make a change in your official details, you may not be permitted to do the trek). Please Note changing passports’ numbers requires an extra fee (we are able to change passports numbers easily on our receipt but its also extremely important that we make the changes with the Inca Trail authorities)
Student rate: In order to obtain this discount you must have a valid ISIC card. It is important you scan and e-mail this to us at the time of booking and that it is valid on the date you are booked on the Inca Trail/alternative trek (you will need to show the real ISIC card http://www.isiccard.com upon your arrival here in Cusco and in Machu Picchu).
Payment of deposit:
1. For the For any our alternative trek to Machupicchu (Group or Private Service)
We request a non-refundable deposit US$100 per person along with personal details of each member participating in the trek:
Full Passport names
Date of Birth(DOB)
Payment of deposit amount is:
US$100 per person for the Inca Trail only Or
US$125 per person for the Inca Trail + Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu climbing. Please confirm if you want to climb Huayna Picchu (the 45 minute climb near Machu Picchu site) or Machu Picchu as they need to be booked well in advance too; there are 2 time sessions:
7 – 8am or
10 – 11am – this also needs to be specified although you need to be flexible to either time.
Please note, if you get the permits for the 7am start you will probably have to miss the Machu Picchu guided tour.