As of today, the Peruvian goverment has not implemented a set of rules to access the Salkantay trail; therefore, anyboby is allowed to access it. The only regulated portions of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu are the hike to the archaeological site of Llactapata and the visit to Machu Picchu. Due to the heavy amount of travelers accessing the trail, and the environmental degratation of it caused by excess of trash produced by tour operators and improper constructions, the Peruvian goverment has started to monitor the trail.
When hiking the Salkantay trek, it is important to make sure trash is not left behind since nobody cleans this trail. If hiring the service of a tour operator, you must look for a company which cares about the enviroment so the trail is kept well maintain and clean for the enjoyment of upcoming travelers. If your tour operator does not care about the environment and leaves trash behind, you must complain.
Also, keep in mind that this is a moderate to difficult trek and it is important to know that your body should be used to exercise and adjusted to the high altitude of the area. If both of these conditions are met, this will be an incredible experience to remember for the rest of your life. National Geographic once rated this trek among the best 25 treks around the world.
Below there is a suggested checking list for the Salkantay Trek:
This version of the Salkantay Trek is the best bet for an alternative trek when the Inca Trail is not available. This trek has been designed to beat the crowds and provide an unforgettable experience by spending a night with a great view of Machu Picchu at the Llactapata site. Our Salkantay Trek includes a 4 hour guided tour of Machu Picchu on day 5, and many perks not offered by other tour operators.
Day 1: CUSCO - MOLLEPATA - SORAYPAMPA – UMANTAY LAKE – SOROYCCOCHA (About 12 Kms / 7.5 mi) (B), (L), (D)
Day 2: SOROYCCOCHA - COLLPAPAMPA (About 16 Kms / 10 mi) (B), (L), (D)
Day 3: COLLPAPAMPA – LUCMABAMBA – LLACTAPATA (About 20 kms / 12 mi) (B), (L), (D)
Day 4: LLACTAPATA – SANTA TERESA - HYDROELECTRIC - AGUAS CALIENTES (About 16 Kms / 10 mi) (B), (L), (D)
Day 5: AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU - AGUAS CALIENTES - CUSCO (B), (L)
We offer daily departures for this trek. You can choose the departure date of your preference (Private Service)
We offer a 25% discount for group bookings of 4 to 6
We offer a 35% discount for group bookings of 7 or more
At about 5:00a.m. your guide will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. A three-hour ride will take you through beautiful landscape until you arrive at the Andean town of Mollepata, about 9,180 feet above sea level, where you will enjoy breakfast. After breakfast, your transportation will take you to Soraypampa, at 12,464 feet above sea level, from which you will get a spectacular view of the snowy peaks of Umantay and Salkantay which are part of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range.
As soon as you arrive to Soraypampa, you will hike on direction to the Umantay Lake located at the bottom of the snowy peak of the same name. In this 2 hour hike, 1,076 feet (328 meters) will be gained and you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking landscape. After exploring the area, you will get back to Soraypampa and from there you will hike for an hour and a half to reach your lunch campsite located in Salkantaypampa. Salkantaypampa is located at about 13,448 feet above sea level.
After lunch, you will continue your journey to the overnight campsite located at about 14,432 feet above sea level. This campsite is known as Soroyccocha and it will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there. This will be a very cold night so you will spend the night in your tent which is placed in an artisanal hut (a blanket will be provided). Once dinner is over, you will enjoy an incredible sky fulfill with stars (if sky is not cloudy).
Your cook will wake you up at 7:00am with a hot cup of tea to help you warm up, eat breakfast, and get ready to start your hike at 8:00am. In about 1 hour, the highest point of the trek will be reached. This is the Salkantay pass and it is located at about 15,088 feet above sea level. Here you will enjoy an incredible landscape flanked by the Salkantay Peak covered with snow. If weather conditions are good, you will be able to visit the Salkantay Lake. Another hour and a half trek will take you to Huaracmachay which is located at about 12,530 feet above sea level. Here you will have time to relax and enjoy dinner.
After lunch, your hike will offer incredile views of the majestic mountains, the towering forests, and the creeks that are the origin of the White River. In about three and a half hours of hiking you will arrive at your camp, Collpapampa, at about 9,185 feet above sea level. (Insect repellant will be needed here.) Tea will be served upon your arrival and dinner will be served at about 7:30p.m.
After an early breakfast, you will start your journey hiking thru the mountain forest, and next to fruit and coffee plantations. Your first stop will be the small village of Wiñaypoco, located at 8,236 feet above sea level. Here you will have time to relax and enjoy a snack. Your next stop will be your lunch campsite at Lucmabamba, located at 7,000 feet above sea level. This portion of the trek will take about 5 hors in total. At Lucmabamba, you will enjoy organic coffee produced at the local coffee plantations.
After lunch, you will continue trekking in the forest and after 3 hours you will reach the archaeological site of Llactapata from where you will get a privileged view of Machu Picchu and all the surrounding mountains. This Inca site is located at 8,954 feet above sea level. In another 20 minutes you will reach your campsite. Dinner will be served at this campsite.
Today, you will wake up to a priceless view of Machu Picchu (if weather allows - during the rainy season there is a low chance of seeing Machu Picchu.) After breakfast, you will continue your journey to reach Machu Picchu. In order to do that, you will descend to the hydroelectric of Santa Teresa in about 2 hours. Once at the hydroelectric of Santa Teresa, you will be taken to the Santa Teresa hot springs. After relaxing at the pools, you will visit the Cola de Mono campsite where you will enjoy lunch and coffee from the local plantations. At this campsite ziplines are available, but the cost of the tour is not included in the proce of this tour.
After lunch, you will be driven back to the hydroelectric from where you will continue your hike to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu town. This is a beatiful hike fullfil with vegetation and beautiful landscapes. This portion of the trek will take about 3 hours. Aguas Calientes is located at 6,691 feet above sea level, and you will spend the nighthere at a local hotel. At about 7:00pm, your guide will pick you up from your hotel to take you to a local restaurant where you will enjoy dinner.
Today you will tour Machu Picchu which is located at 7,875 feet above sea level. After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you will take a bus to Machu Picchu and from that you will start a four hour guided tour which will start with a hike to the Gate of the Sun or Huayna Picchu to observe Machu Picchu from a different angle (if Huayna Picchu is your choice, you will need an entrance ticket not included in this tour and the ticket must be purchased well in advance.) At midday, you will go back to Aguas Calientes by bus in order to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will take the train to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival, you will be driven to your hotel in Cusco in transportation for your group only.
Price per person - USD
(2 people minimum per booking)
We offer daily departures for the Off Beaten Path Salkantay Trek from April 1 to November 30 (Private departures only.)