Salkantay Trek 5 Days to Machu Picchu
The Salkantay Trek of 5 days to Machu Picchu, is the best alternative of trekking to the classic Inca Trail, it goes through mountains, snow, rivers, lakes (Humantay) and jungle, and makes you know closely how the Peruvian Andes are.
Itinerary - What to expect
We pick you up from your hotel at 4:30 a.m. to drive for about 3 hours to Mollepata, where we start our walk on the Salkantay.
As soon as we are in Mollepata while having breakfast the cook and the rider will pack all the camping equipment and kitchen utensils and we start the trek the first 3 hours will be a little uphill to get to Cruzpata where we will have lunch with panoramic views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains (Humantay; 4120m/13500ft and Salkantay; 6271m/20575ft) – just the beginning! We will start our Salkantay trek to Soraypampa, our first Salkantay Trek camping site (3800m/11750ft; the highest and coldest camp on the trip) we will be very close to the second highest Salkantay mountain – Cusco mountain.
- DAY 1: Total distance: 15 km (approx.)
- Estimated walking time: 7-8 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 3,800 m (approx.)
- Camp altitude: 3.800 m (approx.)
After breakfast on the Salkantay Trek we start walking around 5:30 a.m., because this day will be the longest, the first 4 hours are of ascent to reach the highest point of the Salkantay Trek (4650m/15200ft) located halfway between 2 huge mountains; Salkantay on the right and Tucarhuay on the left.
From the pass, the views of the 2 snow-capped mountains are incredible. There is a possibility of snow here. After a break, we will continue our hike (downhill) through a dramatic cloud forest to Huayracpunku, where we will have lunch. We walk again after lunch towards the beginning of the jungle until we reach our second campsite of the Salkantay Trek of Chaullay or Colcapampa (3000m/9800ft).
- 2nd DAY: Total distance: 19 km (approx.)
- Estimated walking time: 8 – 9 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 4,650 m (approx.)
- Camp altitude: 2.750 m (approx.)
After breakfast, at 6.30am, we start walking through the high jungle crossing the Lluskamayo river and a variety of small streams to reach La Playa by walking for about 6 hours. Today we will pass through valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls, tropical fruits, plants and as soon as we are on the beach the horses will return to Mollepata to take the same route as the Salkantay, so we will camp at the Sahuayaco Beach.
- 3º DAY: Total distance: 16 km (approx.)
- Estimated walking time: 6-7 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 2,750 m (approx.)
- Camp altitude: 1.600 m (approx.)
We will have breakfast at 8 in the morning and leave our campsite in Lluscamayo. We walk along an original Inca trail to the site of Llactapata where you will have the opportunity to see Machupicchu in the distance (one of the most beautiful places to see Machupicchu) then we continue walking, passing through a variety of plantations of crops, coca, bananas, etc. until we reach the hydroelectric station.
And after lunch we continue walking for about two and a half hours by train to the town of Aguas Calientes where we spend the night in a hostel. In Aguas Calientes, you can take advantage of the thermal waters of the town (entrance 10 soles) a real gift after finishing the Salkantay Trek
- 4º DAY: Total distance: 12 km (approx.)
- Estimated walking time: 5 – 6 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 1,600 m (approx.)
- Altitude of the lodge (aguas calientes): 1.900 m (approx.)
Salkantay trekking important day, We get up early in the morning around 4 am and then at 4:30 to have breakfast and go walking to Machupicchu which takes an hour and a half until Machupicchu but there is another option to take the first bus that leaves at 5:30 to Machupicchu (25 minutes) in order to appreciate the magnificent city as the sun is rising. A walking tour (approximately 2 hours) is given by your guide and after that you can explore the mysterious city by yourself. If you still have energy you can go up to Huaynapicchu (2720m/8890ft). It takes 45 minutes to reach the top and after enjoying machupicchu you have to go down to aguas calientes to take the train back to ollantaytambo and then the bus back to cusco.
- 5º DAY: Total distance: 4 km (approx.)
- Estimated walking time: 1- 2 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 2,700 m (approx.)
What to Bring
When preparing your luggage, remember that the rainy season in Cusco is from December to March. The winter, between May and August, is especially cold, so we recommend that you bring your own:
- Solar blocker
- Grape or Hat
- Light backpack
- Mosquito repellent
- Bottled Water
- Money Extra
- Medical or personal items.