Salkantay trek to Machupicchu via Llactapata


Starting point: Cuzco / Ending point: Cuzco

Peru’s most breathtaking landscapes (walking like through nine different countries in five days to Machu Picchu), the alternative Inca trail takes you through the Andes an unforgettable hike through the sacred Salcantay Mountain 6,271 m / 20,573 ft which is the highest peak of Vilcabamba mountain range (Cuzco) and rise to form a ragged chain between the south Peru regions’ along the range’s northern side; massive snow peaks collide with lush tropical rain forests (Amazon) having it, a great vertical relief particularly above the low north side valleys which are tributaries of the Amazon river.

This is a trek of easy access for all, without limitations or necessary permits (at least for the moment) next to the city of Mollepata, Cusco with Machu Picchu, Salkantay Trek are ancient treasures and outside the traditional route located in the same area, like the Inca Trail, where you can see great frozen mountains covered with snow that combine with the abundant tropical forest.

The name of this mountain of Salkantay Trek is a contraction that comes from Salqa which means sullen, wild and Antay which means to produce celajes or avalanches; this is an alternate route to the usual Inca Trail for those who did not manage to get spaces, we have considered this salkantay trek route as one of the best alternatives since throughout this journey we can appreciate the flora and fauna and the tranquility that one needs to to be able to reflect and be in contact with the nature that surrounds us.

The mountain of Salkantay has an altitude of 6,450 m.s.n.m and Machu Picchu is located at 2,250 m.s.n.m.

Salcantay means: “Savage Mountain” considered by the locals to be the “Andean Guardian of Spirits” the north side of Salcantay; there is a ridge that lies directly to Machu Picchu; and that extends down from this mountain; viewed from Machu Picchu’s main sundial (Intiwatana) the Southern Cross is above Salcantay’s summit. The Inca master people associated this alignment with concepts of rain and fertility considering it, as one of the principal deities controlling the Andes weather.

Welcome to the Incas’ land and explore the mysterious temple of Machu Picchu

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Summary of Salcantay trek to Machupicchu 5d

Day 1: Salcantay Trek / Cuzco – Soraypampa – Suyroccocha

  • Early morning pick you up from your hotel
  • Private transfer to the trailhead “Soraypampa”
  • Lunch at Soraypampa, and starting point of trek
  • Accommodation: Suyroccocha Camp
  • Walking Distance 08 km / 4.96 miles
  • Estimated duration: 3 hours Hike
  • Highest point: Suyroccocha 4,400m / 14, 435ft.
  • Campsite elevation Suyroccocha 4,400m / 14, 435ft. Near the Salcantay snow mountain
  • Weather: Cold
  • Location: The Andes
  • Trail Conditions is rocky, dusty, and slippery, the trekking shoes required for sure
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Day 2: Salkantay Trek / Suyroccocha – The Salcantay Pass to Challway

  • Hiking towards the highest Pass and then into the Cloud Forest
  • Accommodation: Challway Camp.
  • Walking Distance 16 km / 9.92 miles
  • Estimated duration: 6 hours Hike
  • Highest point: Salcantay Pass 4,650m / 15, 255ft.
  • Campsite elevation Challway 2,875m / 9, 432ft
  • Weather: Cold to worm
  • Location: The Andes
  • Trail Conditions is rocky, dusty, and slippery
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Day 3: Salkantay Trek / Challway – Coffee Finds to La Playa Sawayaco

  • Trekking around the sub-tropical and rainforest
  • Accommodation: La Playa Camp
  • Walking Distance 16 km / 9.92 miles
  • Estimated duration: 5 hours Hike
  • Campsite elevation La Playa 2,100m / 6,889ft
  • Weather: hot
  • Trail Conditions is rocky, dusty, and slippery
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Easy
  • Be careful with mosquitos

Day 4: Salkantay Trek / La Playa – Llactapata to Machupicchu Pueblo

  • Trekking into the tropical and the cloud forest jungle
  • Walk on original Inca Trail to Llactapata
  • Explore Llactapata Incan ruin and take the first glimpse of Machu Picchu
  • PM board the train service to Machu Picchu Pueblo
  • Accommodation: Aguas Calientes Overnight
  • Walking Distance 16 km / 9.92 miles
  • Estimated duration: 5 hours Hike
  • Highest point: Llactapata PASS 3000 m / 9,842 ft.
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate to Challenging

Day 5: Machu Picchu Tour

  • Early breakfast at your hotel
  • Bus, or hiking up to Machu Picchu (by bus 25 minutes, by foot 1.5 hours)
  • 2 hours tour for exploring Machu Picchu with your guide, and then a free time for you
  • Climb to Huayna Picchu (Optional – book in advance with us) 7 AM or 10 AM
  • PM back by bus to Aguas Calientes village
  • PM train back service from Machu Picchu train station to Ollantaytambo train station
  • Train times: at 2:55 PM, 4:45 PM, or 6:45 PM depending on availability at Peru Rail / Inca rail
  • PM or night transfer service from Ollantaytambo to Cuzco city by car
  • Difficulty: Mountain Spirit Machu Picchu

Itinerary of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5d


Soraypampa to Suyroccocha hike

We start pick you up from the Hotel at 6am for transferring to Mollepata Town 2,800m / 9,186 ft. (One option to stop and drink a cup of locally grown coffee in Mollepata on the way to the trailhead); continuing with our transport ride towards the starting point of hike to Soraypampa 3,800 m / 12,467 ft. after our Andean lunch (same Soraypampa location); we have to start the hike up, following the side path of the white river (rio blanco), after more than three hours of full ascent we reach the camp (the tents are already pitched). The trail consists of gradually uphill through gravel and rock but from Salcantay Pampa area; the trail goes of switchbacks among some of the most breathtaking scenery (photo-view at every turn). On your first night camp is nestled in-between the snowy mountains; Salcantay Mountain at 4,400 Masl/ 14,435 ft. and it´s one of the highest campsites in Cuzco region, the temperatures drop quickly we recommend you to wear good mountain gear for a spectacular night; if the weather sky permit us; we shall appreciate the Inca Milky way.

  • Accommodation: Suyroccocha Camp
  • Total distance: 08 km / 4.96 miles.
  • Estimated duration: 3 hours Hike
  • Highest point: Suyroccocha 4,400m / 14, 435ft.
  • Altitude Campsite: Suyroccocha 4,400m / 14, 435ft.
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging


Towards the high Pass

The second day hike passes ecological zones like: the spectacular glaciated peaks, alpine meadows and the subtropical forest.

Today we have the wake-up tea in your tents: a cup of coca leaf tea (ideal for cold mornings on Andes); after breakfast at 7:30 am we start to hike up towards the summit of Salcantay Pass; this place is the second most sacred Pass in Inca mythology finding around the top balanced piles of rocks; in Peru are offered as thanks to Pachamama in a personal ceremony.

All members of hikers, let’s take a picture in front of the sign that shows the altitude and who knows when we look at the sky we see some condors circling. The rest of trail it is descending into the cloud forest to Challway camp.

  • Accommodation: Challway Camp.
  • Total distance: 16 km / 9.92 miles.
  • Estimated duration: 6 hours Hike
  • Highest point: Salcantay Pass 4,650m / 15, 255ft.
  • Altitude Campsite: Challway 2,875m / 9, 432ft.
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging


Every day is getting better and better (full adventure).

Today we are descending along the Salcantay riverbank into the rain-forest (the proof: palm trees). On the hike we find wild orchids, tropical flowers, begonias, strawberries, lush bamboos and a beautiful white waterfall. Also during the Hike we are passing through some wooden bridges and recognizing: bananas, pomegranates, avocados plant tree and organic coffee plantations, when we reach the camp La Playa do you have the rest of the afternoon a free time for exploring the area or to celebrate; with some drinks (Pisco sours / Cusqueña beer).

  • Accommodation: La Playa Camp
  • Total distance: 16 km / 9.92 miles.
  • Estimated duration: 5 hours Hike
  • Altitude Campsite: La Playa 2,100m / 6,889ft.
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Easy


Today we have an original Inca trail from Lucmabamba to Llactapata Pass across the Santa Teresa Valley with a wider variety of landscapes; already at Patallacta ruins we have the first glimpse of Machu Picchu; after exploring Llactapata we descend through lush bamboo and coffee forests (Aobamba Valley) along a switchback path to Hydro train station (optional the train service), Hydro is place where we have our lunch and then we carry on to Machu Picchu Pueblo.

  • Accommodation: Aguas Calientes Overnight
  • Total distance: 20 km / 12 miles.
  • Estimated duration: 7 hours Hike
  • Highest point: Llactapata PASS 3000 m / 9,842 ft.
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate to Challenging


Incan Citadel around the Cloud Forest

Very early in the morning; we have to board the Tourist shared bus towards Machu Picchu. The Guide tour begins at the natural viewpoint of Casa del Vigilante (Inca Guard house). Place where you will be having the best views of Machu Picchu in all its glory. The guided tour takes three hours for exploring and recognizing most of the Incan places are compounding this wonderful citadel, after all the explanation do you have a free time to stroll around some Inca places. Later on; in the afternoon we have to return to Machu Picchu Pueblo to board our train service to Ollantaytambo Village, then by transport to Cuzco City (1 hour and half by train & 1 hour and forty minutes by transport).

Salkantay trek to Machupicchu Included

  • The Salcantay Trail to Machu Picchu 5D.
  • Trek briefing with your Guide.
  • Professional local Guide (on hike).
  • Second tour guide for groups of 9+.
  • Private Transport and professional driver (to the starting point of hike “at Soraypampa”).
  • All entrance tickets and permits for Salcantay hike and Machu Picchu Park.
  • Horses or mules and Indigenous horsemen to carry ((camping equipment: client tents, dining and cooking tents, table, stools, cooking gear, stove, gas container, cutlery, plates, food and fresh vegetables).
  • 1 train Ticket Service from Hydro to Machu Picchu Pueblo (in group service price is not included this option)
  • 1 train Ticket Service from Machu Picchu pueblo to Ollantaytambo Village (Expedition Tourist Train)
  • 2 bus Tickets from Aguas Calientes town to Machu Picchu Park (round trip).
  • Machupicchu guided tour (3hrs) and extra time for you.
  • Personal items to carry 8 kg/17 lb. (so you just need to carry your day backpack with everything you will need during the day).
  • 3 nights camping / Spacious tents / Sleeping mat.
  • 1 night Hostel in Aguas Calientes with private bathroom, hot water and breakfast / Upgrade to Hotel at extra cost.
  • We provide a duffle for personal items.
  • One Cook.
  • Excellent Meals (4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners).
  • Food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all before rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking (Vegetarian, vegan or special diet meals upon request).
  • Tea time before dinner (tea, coffee, chocolate, biscuits, popcorn).
  • Boiled water provided from 2nd day (for drinking).
  • Wake up coca tea in your tent.
  • Buckets of hot water for washing in your tent every day.
  • Biodegradable soap and hand cleansing gel.
  • Trek 2 Machu Picchu uses walkie-talkies on all treks.
  • Oxygen Tank & First aid kit.
  • All local taxes.

Salkantay trek to Machupicchu Does Not Included

  • Water on Day 1
  • Energy snacks will be very useful as chocolate bars, dried fruits
  • Breakfast on Day 1, Dinner on Day 4, Lunch on Day 5
  • Tips: Guide, Cook, Horseman

For the Salkantay trek to Machupicchu Bring

  • A good daypack: Eagle Creek Afar Backpack –appropriate packs (to carry your personal belongings).
  • Original passport (International Student Identity Card “ISIC” it is applicable).
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended but not required).
  • Lighter trekking boots (with good ankle support).
  • 2 pairs of Trekking pants “not jeans”, 1 hiking, 1 cotton–which is just enough, please spray both pairs with an insect repellent spray the clothes before the trip.
  • Layers for variable temperatures especially at night.
  • 1 rain jacket: The first night the temperature can be as – 5 degrees Celsius / 41 degrees Fahrenheit, the rain jacket can be helpful, because there are raining days (even if we are in dry season!).
  • 1 warm / winter jacket (Thermals: wool socks/ gloves / scarf and woolen hat for cold nights).
  • 2 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks (Bamboo or cotton/nylon-blend socks dry faster than 100 percent cotton, which lose their softness when air-dried.) it is nice to have a couple of extra pairs of socks to change into at night when you’re not hiking. Also, we recommend bringing both really heavy hiking socks and lighter socks as well, the weather is all over the place, so you want to make sure you’re not too cold or overheating.
  • 2 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts.
  • 1 Good sleeping bag liner, it is super lightweight and easy to pack, definitely does its job!.
  • Travel-size tissues and wet wipes–The air is cold and damp, so your nose is going to run a lot. Everyone seems to run out of tissues by the end of the trek. Also, most bathrooms do not have toilet paper (if you even get a bathroom), so wet wipes are key.
  • Iron tablets and pills for altitude sickness. Several people on the hike have varying degrees of altitude sickness and both of these remedies (in addition to the coca tea) are very helpful in alleviating the symptoms.
  • Sun protection cream (SPF 45 or higher recommended).
  • Bug spray with 30% DEET in it–which you need, but it doesn’t work very well. The issue with Cusco outdoor is that most of the bugs are not mosquitoes. They are these small flies you can’t even see that leave weird bites that first look like you pricked your finger and then blow up into itchy red bumps. Unfortunately, these bugs seem to bite you no matter what kind of spray you put on.
  • Re-usable plastic or metal water container or a hydration pack such as Camel back.
  • Water (only on first day hike, then we will provide you throughout the hike).
  • Camera and film.
  • A headlamp to navigate camp in the evenings and pre-dawn mornings with spare batteries.
  • Bandages or moleskin.
  • Flip flips to change into at night – your toes will thank you!.
  • Toiletries: Toothbrush, Toothpaste/Floss, Shampoo/conditioner, Brush/comb, Vaseline (for feet great for potential blisters), Feminine hygiene products, Deodorant, Nail clippers/file/tweezers, Spare glasses and/or prescription, mini-eyeglass repair kit, or contact lenses and supplies, Hand sanitizer etc.–which you need, but pack light.
  • Medication (Imodium AD or something for your stomach, some people get an upset stomach at one on the trek, with 8-10 hours of hiking each day, you need to get over whatever the day throws at you quickly, so bring some meds.), etc.
  • Plastic bags for dirty and wet clothes.
  • Something to read in the evenings.
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips to your staff.

Salcantay trek to Machu Picchu – Group Service Prices

US$ 560 Price per person.

Salcantay trek to Machu Picchu – Private Service Prices

2 people: US$ 730 per person
3 people: US$ 690 per person
4 people: US$ 630 per person
5 people: US$ 560 per person
6 people: US$ 530 per person
7 people: US$ 510 per person
8+ people: US$ 490 per person


Student Discount (with valid ISIC card) – US$20

Upgrade options:

La Cabana: +$40 US pp shared (+$110 for a single)
Casa Andina: +$40 US pp shared ($110 for a single)
Huayna Picchu entrance fee +S$ 15 (book in advance this extra option)
Vistadome Train (One Way): +$65 per person

Salkantay trek Optional Extras

Sleeping Bag (4 season, Maximum size 1.95 m / 6´4″) US$25 (rent for 3 nights)
Pair of Walking poles US$25 (rent for 5 days)
Air Mattress US$25 (rent for 3 nights)
Single Tent Supplement US$50 (rent for 3 nights)
Full Mule to carry 14 kg of personal items US$180
Huayna Picchu entrance fee US$ 15 (book in advance this extra option)

All tours WILL NOT BE CONFIRMED without a completed booking form and deposit sent to Trek 2 Machu Picchu. All deposits are $200 per person and are non-refundable. We accept payments through PayPal and should be sent to We will email you, your booking invoice and confirmation once your details and deposit are received.