001 661-200-3716

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    Salkantay Trek Regulations


    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.

  • Salkantay Trek Regulations
  • Salkantay Trek Tips & FAQs

    The Salkantay Trek is probably the most traveled treks in Peru. This trek started to gain fame after National Geographic listed it among the best 25 treks around the globe. This is indeed a beautiful hike and it connects the Andean town of Mollepata (Cusco) with 39.75 the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. From Mollepata, a traveler can connect both locations after hiking a total distance of 98 kms / 61 miles by foot. Our Salkantay Trek Special covers a portion of the trail for a total length of 63 kms / 39.75 mi.
    The Salkantay peak - Savage Mountain - is located within the Vilcabamba mountain range, to the northwest of Cusco. Salkantay is one of the highest and most spectacular mountains in the Andes (6,271m / 20,574 ft).
    How difficult is the trek?
    The entire Salkantay Trek Special is 63 kms / 39.75 mi long. The first day and fourth days are the easiest of the trek while the second and third are the hardest ones due to the high altitude gained and the distance covered, respectively. This is considered a moderate to difficult hike.
    Should I be in good physical shape to trek the Salkantay Trek Special?
    Yes. This is a demanding trek thus it is important to be in good physical shape and used to high altitude before starting the trek. It is recommended to take part of 2 to 3 hours treks a few times before starting the trek. Also, it is highly recommended to spend a couple of full days in a high altitude city such as Cusco.
    What's the most difficult section?
    The section that goes from Salkantaypampa to the Salkantay Pass is the most difficult section of the trail. This section will consume an important amount of energy. For this portion of the trek expect wind and cold temperatures. Some hikers might experience symptoms of altitude sickness. Symptoms will alleviate as lower elevation is gained. Our itinerary has been designed to break this section in two in order to allow you to get used to the altitude.
    Can I hike the Salkantay at any time?
    Yes, but at some times of the year it is not recommendable. There are not legal constrains against hiking the Salkantay Trek at any time during the year. However, during the rainy season (from December to mid-March) it is not safe to hike the trek due to the abundant rain which generates mud slides.
    Does the Salkantay Trek end in Machu Picchu by foot only?
    Yes, if you follow this route: Soraymapmpa - Challway – Playa Sahuayaco – Llactapata – Hydroelectric (Santa Teresa Train Station) – Aguas Calientes – Machu Pichu Site. All these areas are connected by a trail path and it usually takes 5 days to trek it. Most tour operators do not include  Llactapata in their itineraries because of the high cost of this excursion.
    Can I bring children?
    Children under 12 years old should not be at this trek. Also, children should be used to hiking long distances.
    When is the best time to hike the Salkantay Trek Special?
    The dry season is the best time to do the trek. The dry season runs from April to November, while the wet season runs from December to March. Even during rainy season it doesn’t usually rain all day long. Temperatures can fall below freezing at night at the campsites near Salkantay Pass at any time of the year.
    June to September are the most popular months for treks. May and October offer the nicest weather.
    What is the weather like?
    During the dry season, weather is not a major concern except on the Salkantay Pass area. At Soraypampa camp, temperatures can fall below freezing at night. The annual maximum temperature varies from 20° to 27° Celsius (68º to 81º Fahrenheit) and minimum temperatures range between -5° to 11° Celsius (20º to 52º Fahrenheit). The other camps are much warmer.
    What should I bring to the trek?
    Mainly comfortable waterproof hiking shoes, long sleeve shirts, t-shirts, a good waterproof jacket, scarf, gloves, raincoat, hat, thermal pants and socks for the cold nights, sunglasses, a good sleeping bag for cold weather, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, water purification pills, toilet paper, flashlight, hand sanitizer, a small first aid kit, some coca leaf candies, bathing suit and off course a camera.
    Can I hike the Salkantay Trek the next day that I arrive at Cusco?
    We do not recommend it. The main effects of altitude sickness show the first or second day of being in a high altitude City. For that reason, we highly recommend that you hike the Salkantay a couple of days after arriving in Cusco.
    What should I do to avoid altitude sickness?
    To avoid altitude sickness give yourself time to acclimatize to the change in altitude. (Two days minimum is recommended). Try to avoid alcohol, and make sure you eat lightly and drink plenty of water. Make sure to stay hydrated, walk slowly and take frequent breaks. Drinking coca leaf tea always helps. It is widely available, and your hotel in Cusco will probably offer it as well.
    What should I do if I get altitude sickness?
    Drink plenty of liquids, (coca leaf tea will definitely help), take a nap and try to rest. If you are in the middle of the trail and start feeling dizzy, extremely tired, nauseated, and have a headache, ask for advice from your guide. Guides have plenty of experience in this matter.
    Is water available along the trail?
    Yes. On the way, there will be several creeks, small water channels, natural deposits of water and small rivers. This water should not be drunk before filtering it with a reliable water filter.
    Are there bathrooms during the trek?
    Most campsites have basic bathrooms. Once at your hotel you will have a good room with a private bathroom and hot water all day long.
    Are there small shops along the trail?
    Most overnight campsites offer small items for sale such as beverages, cookies, candies, among other similar items. The small town of Playa Sahuayaco will offer more options. Prices at these places will be significantly higher than in Cusco City.
    Are mosquitos and flies an issue in this trek?
    Once Challway is reached, the presence of mosquitos will be quite common along the remaining of the trek, therefore it is important to regularly apply insect repellent (preferable a repellent containing DEET between 15% and 25%).
    Are there thermal pools along the trek?
    Yes, there are 2 of them. The first one is known as Collpapampa and the second one is known as Santa Teresa. The second one is better prepared to welcome visitors and the pools are bigger. We include a vist to the second one know as Santa Teresa hot springs.
    Do all the tour operators provide the same service?
    No. Make sure you are hiring a professionally run tour operator that will take proper care of you and the environment. If you see prices that are too low, be careful! Some companies have hidden extra charges or fees. Many companies won’t provide all the services they advertise!
    When you book this trek with GoTrekPeru.com you can be confident you will get what you are paying for.
  • Salkantay Trek Tips & FAQs
  • Salkantay Trek Weather

  • Salkantay Trek Weather
  • What to Bring to the Salkantay Trek


    Below there is a suggested checking list for the Salkantay Trek:

    • Original passport and ISIC student ID Card in case you requested student discount. You will need your passport to access Machu Picchu
    • Sleeping bag designed for low temperatures at least as low as 15ºF
    • Well broken in waterproof boots
    • Tennis shoes or sandals to be around campsites
    • Long raincoat
    • Waterproof jacket. Preferable made from Gore-Tex
    • Fleece top or light jacket to be put on under your waterproof jacket
    • Light long sleeves
    • T-shirts
    • Hiking pants / short pants
    • Underwear (cotton made preferably. Avoid synthetic underwear)
    • Wool hat and gloves
    • Thick socks
    • Bathing suit
    • Small towel
    • Head flashlight with extra batteries
    • Sun hat
    • Sun glasses
    • Sun block
    • Insect repellent (some sites suggest the use of an insect repellent containing between 15% and 25% DEET)
    • Camera with extra battery
    • Small first aid kit (include band aids, alcohol wipes, sterile gauze, antiseptic and antihistamine creams, ibuprofen, aspirin, small scissor, lighter, altitude sickness and diarrhea pills, and re-hydrating powders)
    • Personal medicine
    • Pocket knife
    • Water purification pills, toothpaste, tooth brush, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, sanitary towels, lip balm, and small soap
    • Bottle of water (water filters can be used but it needs to be a high quality filter)
  • What to Bring to the Salkantay Trek

    This is a list of reasons to book the Salkantay Trek Special with GoTrekPeru.com:
    1. We have designed an itinerary not offered by any other tour provider in Cusco while maintaining competitive prices. Our price, service, and comfortable inclusions are incomparable.
    2. We include a visit to the Llactapata Inca site from where you will observe Machu Picchu from far.
    3. We include a visit with entrance ticket to the hot springs of Santa Teresa.
    4. Our Salkantay Trek Special includes a heated domo with bathroom in Soroypampa for the 1st night of the trek (double accommodation). This will be the coldest night with very low temperatures.
    5. We will book a clean hostel with private bathrrom for the night in Aguas Calientes. This will be a basic hostel. Hotel upgrades are avilable and you can add them to your cart.
    6. On Day 5, you will get a one-way bus ticket to Machu Picchu. Your entrance ticket to Machu Picchu is also included.
    If you would like to hike up to Huayna Picchu Mountain, your guide won't be able to take you there and you will need to pay for an extra entrance ticket (we can book this ticket on your behalf).

    7. If you have a student card, you will get a USD 20.00 gift card to eat at Uchu Peruvian Steakhouse or Marcelo Batata restaurant.
    8. We offer the best price for this trek when you compare the service we offer, the quality of our tents, our itinerary and meals, and all what is included.
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Salkantay Trek Special

5 Days / 4 Nights

This five day adventure departs every day and it gives travelers the benefit of spending the coldest night of the trek in Soraypampa with an incredible view of the Humantay snowy peak. Our version of the Salkantay Trek provides 4 season tents for 3 nights, delicious meals, and experienced tour guides who will provide you a memorable experience. Machu Picchu will be reached the last day of the trek. Hotel upgrade available



Day 3: CHALLWAY – PLAYA SAHUAYACO - SANTA TERESA (About 15 kms / 9 mi) (B), (L), (D)




Daily Departures for ONLY USD 450.00 per person!

USD 15.00 OFF per person for groups of 6 or more travelers  



Day 2: SORAYPAMPA - SALKANTAY PASS - WAYRAQMACHAY - CHALLWAY (About 26 kms - 16 mi) (B), (L), (D)

After breakfast at about 6:30a.m. you will start the longest day of the trek. A four hour and a half hour hike will take you to the highest point, Abra Salkantay, about 14760 feet above sea level. It will be cold and windy, and the landscape will take you to a surreal world. Another hour and a half trek will take you to your lunch campsite located at about 12530 feet above sea level in the area known as Wayraqmachay.


During the hike after lunch you will have one grand view after another of the majestic mountains, the towering forests, and the creeks that are the origin of the White River. After two and a half hours of hiking you will arrive at your camp, Challway, at about 9512 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.


At about 5:30a.m. your guide will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco and at this time you will meet the rest of your group. 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 Challacancha where you will start your journey to Machu Picchu. In about 3 hours, you will reach your campsite at Soraypampa, at 12,464 feet above sea level, from which you will get a spectacular view of the Salkantay and Humantay snowy peaks. These two peaks are located in the Vilcabamba Mountain Range.


After lunch, you will hike on direction to the Humantay 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 where you will spend the night in Soraypampa with an incredible view of the Humantay peak.

Day 3: CHALLWAY - LA PLAYA - SANTA TERESA (About 20 kms - 12.5 mi) (B), (L), (D)

After breakfast at about 6:30a.m. you will start your amazingly colorful hike along the White and Santa Teresa Rivers, coming to a resting point, Qiñaypoco, 8036 feet above sea level. Here you will be able to try passion straight from the trees. Another two and a half hours of hiking through a few coffee plantations will take you to the small native community of La Playa, where lunch will be served.


From this point you will be driven to Santa Teresa where you will have the opportunity of enjoying of the hot springs. Dinner will be served at your campsite.


Today, breakfast will be served at 5:30a.m. A private transfer will take you to the Llactapata entrance in about an hour. A raincoat should be brought for today’s hike. You will be hiking Inca stairs in a few sections through coffee plantations. On the way, you might try fresh coffee at a local house. In about three hours filled with amazing views you will arrive at the ruins of Llactapata, 8890 feet above sea level, from which you will enjoy a beautiful view of Machu Picchu. In about three hours a descending trail will take you to the Santa Teresa River and then to the hydroelectric, where you will eat lunch at a local restaurant.


After lunch, you will continue to hike to Machu Picchu town (aka Aguas Calientes) where you will enjoy dinner and spend the night in a clean hostal.


Today you will tour Machu Picchu which is located at 7,875 feet above sea level. After enjoying breakfast at your hostel, you will take a bus to Machu Picchu (ticket included) to start your guided tour.  This tour package does not include the bus ticket to Aguas Calientes or lunch. 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. 


  • Weight allowance: Our horses will carry up to 17 pounds or 8 kilograms of your personal belongings. If you would like to hire a private horse, please select the box on the booking form.
  • Breakfast on Day 1 is also included
  • Brief presentation of the SalkantayTrek at your hotel
  • 3 nights sleeping at 4 first class season tents - 2 people per tent
  • 1 Night at a clean hostel in Aguas Calientes (basic rooms with bathrooms)
  • Bilingual and professional tour guides
  • Transportation from Cusco to the starting point of the trek. On the way back to Cusco your group will be transported back to your hotel
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (5B, 4L, 4D). Meals are prepared by trained cooks who will keep you happy and well-feed during the trek
  • Snacks
  • Trained local cooks and cooking equipment
  • Personal pad (double foam)
  • Dining and cooking tents, including portable chairs and table
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu and all attractions stated in the itinerary
  • Machu Picchu guided tour
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Expedition train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Vegetarian food available upon request for no extra charge
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • First aid equipment
  • Quality service


  • Accommodation in Cusco
  • Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
  • Train ticket from the hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance (Required)
  • Personal expenses


Price per person - USD

(2 people minimum per booking)



  • Prices are based on double accommodation. If you are a solo traveler, there is surcharge of USD 30.00.
  • Make a deposit of USD 275.00 or pay in full.
  • USD 15.00 OFF per person for bookings of 6+ 
  • Bookings must be paid in full at least 15 days prior to departure date
  • Not available from November 30 to April 1

Departures 2019

We offer daily departures from April 1 to November 30.

California Seller of Travel 2100509-40

US Phone Number: 001 661-200-3716


Peru Contact Details:

Urb. San Doria Lote A-9, Dpto. C-1

Distrito de Cayma, Arequipa, CP 04017.

Terms & conditions
Inca Trail regulations

001 661-200-3716