Salkantay Trek – 4 days

Salkantay Trek 4 Days / 3 Nights


The Salkantay (6264 m/20551 ft) is the most recognized mountain of the Inca empire, situated in the mountain range of Vilcabamba. The daylight in this region is particularly beautiful and offers a wonderful view of the diverse landscape and tropical forest. During our journey, we will visit local farmers and get to know their Andean lifestyles, customs and traditions. Therefore the Salkantay trek a perfectly combine of cultural and natural beauty.

  • Duration: 4 days
  • Arrival: Daily
  • Departure: Daily
  • Destinations: Cusco, Salkantay, Machu Picchu
  • Activities: Adventure, trekking, camping





Day 1 Salkantay Trek: Cusco – Mollepata (Marcoccasa) – Salkantay Pampa (L) (D) Camping
Day 2 Salkantay Trek: Salkantay Pampa – Salkantay Pass – Collpapampa – Lucmabamba (B) (L) (D) Camping
Day 3 Salkantay Trek: : Lucmabamba – Llactapata Inca Site – Hydroelectric Station – Aguas Calientes  (B) (L) (D) Hotel
Day 4 Salkantay Trek: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco (B) —–

Breakfast (B)

Lunch (L)

Dinner (D)

View Itinerary


Day 01: Cusco – Mollepata (Marcoccasa) – Salkantay Pampa

We will leave Cusco at 5:00 am and head towards Marcoccasa (3400 m/11154 ft), passing the village Mollepata (3000 m/9843 ft).

In Marcoccasa we will meet the horsemen and the rest of the group to start our trek.

From Marcoccasa we start hiking into the magnificent valley surrounded by impressive snow-capped mountains, including the Humantay (5217 m/17116 ft) and the Salkantay (6264 m/20551 ft).

Our campsite will be at Salkantay Pampa (3900 m/12795 ft).


  • Travel time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Climate: Moderate during daytime and cold during the night
  • Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours

Day 02: Salkantay Pampa – Salkantay Pass – Collpapampa – Lucmabamba

After breakfast, we will set off towards the Salkantay pass (4600 m/15092 ft), which offers an exceptional view of the snow-capped Salkantay mountain (6264 m). Thereafter, we will descend again and will have time to enjoy the increasing vegetation of the ecosystem.

Later on, we will take a vehicle (a lorry or any local vehicle) from Collpapampa (3000 m/9842 ft) to Lucmabamba (2000 m/6561 ft) where we set up our camping site, amidst the tropical forest with warm climate and mosquitoes.


  • Hiking time: 7 hours
  • Travel time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Optional: The hot springs nearby Collpapampa community is optional and it can be arranged with an extra cost

Day 03: Lucmabamba – Llactapata Inca Site – Hydroelectric Station – Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, early in the morning, we will see a presentation about coffee cultivation and processing. We will then hike up the Inca trail to explore the archaeological site of Llactapata at 2650 m/8694 ft. There is beautiful scenery here, and we will discover flora as well as evidence of the Inca culture.

From here we will have an outstanding view over Machu Picchu Mountain and Vilcanota Canyon. Afterwards, we will continue down to the hydroelectric train station (1950 m/6398 ft), where you are able to take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes (2050 m/6726 ft).

We will spend the night in a hotel located in Aguas Calientes.

  • Climate: Warm during the day with mosquitoes
  • Hiking time: 6 hours

Day 04: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

We will enjoy breakfast and then leave our hotel at 5:30 am to head to Machu Picchu (2400 m/7874 ft) by bus.

We will arrive at the citadel around 6:00 am. After a guided tour around the archaeological site, learning about the Inca life and culture, you will have additional time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (2750 m/9022 ft) on your own.

We will leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 4:35 pm or at 6:35 pm. Until then, you will have time to eat lunch in one of the local restaurants. Moreover, you can visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax a bit.

  • Hiking time: 2 hours


Our Transportation

Our Mobilities
Our Mobilities
Our Mobilities
Our Mobilities
Our Mobilities
Our Mobilities
Our Mobilities
  • Clean transportion
  • Comfortable seats
  • Professional drivers
  • Transportation for solo customers or couples
  • Transportation for small groups
  • Transportation for large groups

Train to/from Machu Picchu



  • Transportation
    • Private transportion from the hotel to the village of Mollepata (Marcoccasa)
    • A vehicle (a lorry or any local vehicle available) from Collpapampa to Lucmabamba
    • Transportation from Lucmabamba to hydroelectric train station
    • Train from hydroelectric train station to Aguas Calientes
    • Bus ticket, from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
    • Bus ticket, from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
    • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu
  • Professional, bilingual tour guide (Spanish and English)
  • High quality camping equipment, mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, and bathroom tent
  • Meals during the excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea time- vegetarian option)
  • Cook and assistant
  • Horsemen and mules
  • Emergency horse
  • First-aid kit and oxygen bottle

Not included:

  • Breakfast on 1st day and lunch in Aguas Calientes on the 4th day
  • Sleeping bag


Land Package

All prices listed below are per passenger and cover only the land-based portion of the trip, not flights.



Economy class USD $ 550.00 /person

Double Occupancy

Standard USD $ 590.00 /person

Double Occupancy

Comfort USD $ 670.00 /person

Double Occupancy

Luxury USD $ 930.00 /person

Double Occupancy

Salkantay FACTS

Cusco covers a total area of 70,015.30 Km2. In this beautiful land, it is possible to find colorful Andean valleys, snowy peaks, small and big lakes, rivers, waterfalls, coffee plantations, the beautiful Andean jungle, hundreds of Inca and pre-Inca sites, and several Andean communities. These Andean communities are connected by thousands of paths. Some of these paths have been used before the Spaniards arrived to Peru. One of these paths is the one connecting the Andean valley of Mollepata with the town of Santa Teresa town located in the Andean Jungle. This path in tourism is well-known as the Salkantay Trek. After the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek is the most beautiful and popular one. Indeed, the magazine National Geographic Adventure rated the Salkantay Trek as one of the best 25 treks all over the world.

There are two different ways to hike the Salkantay Trek. The first one is by staying at beautiful lodges along the way and the second one is by staying at tents and the last night at a lodge or hotel. The most popular one is the second one. Whatever you choose, the Salkantay Trek will challenge you and astonish you.

Our company offers two Salkantay Treks: The Short Salkantay Trek (4 Days / 3 Nights) and the Long Salkantay Trek (5 Days / 4 Nights). In our opinion, the second one is the most beautiful one because the hot springs of Cocalmayo, located in Santa Teresa, and the ruins of Llactapata can be visited. From Llactapata, Machu Picchu can be observed from far. Both hikes include one night at a hotel in Machu Picchu town, also known as Aguas Calientes, and a guided visit to Machu Picchu.

The Long Salkantay Trek can be considered as a moderate to difficult trek because the distances to be walked in total are in average 89 kilometers or 55.5 miles. Also, the highest point reaches about 4,600.00 m.a.s.l. or 15,000.00 f.a.s.l. Our company is prepared to provide the necessary equipment, nutritional meals, bilingual guides, and staff to make of your experience, the best one.

Salkantay FAQ

Salkantay Trek

The Salkantay Trail connects Cusco to the Citadel of Machu Picchu and runs approximately 89 km/55 miles through high Andean peaks, cloud forest, and steamy jungle. The hike starts at the village of Mollepata, a few miles from Cusco.

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/20,574ft).

National Geographic’s Adventure Travel Magazine named the Salkantay trek among the 25 Best Treks in the World.

How difficult is the hike?

The entire hike is approximately 72 km/45 miles for the 4d/3n and 89 km/55 miles for the 5d/4n trek. The distances traveled each day are long. In order to hike the Salkantay you need to be used to hiking or exercise. Also, acclimatization is needed for this hike.

What's the most difficult section?

The Salkantay Pass, at 14,760 feet above sea level, is the most difficult section in the trail. Expect wind and cold temperatures. Some hikers might experience symptoms of altitude sickness. Symptoms will disappear as soon as you start your descent. Oxygen will be provided if needed.

Can I hike the Salkantay at any time?

Yes and no. There are not legal constrains against hiking the Salkantay Trek at any time during the year. The only requirement to start the trek is to purchase your entrance fee, which we will take off. However, during the rainy season (from the end of November to the end of March) it is not safe to hike the trek due to the abundant rain.

Can I make the trek by myself?

Yes, you are able to hike the trek by yourself, but the route is not clearly set at some points and there is a high possibility of getting lost. It is recommended that you hire a company and a tour guide who is familiar with the area.

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?

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. However, temperatures can fall below freezing at night near Salkantay Pass.

June to September are the most popular months for treks. May and October offer the nicest weather.

What is the weather like?

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 (We can rent you one.), mosquito repellent, sunscreen, water purification pills, toilet paper, flashlight, hand sanitizer, a small first aid kit, some coca leaf candies, and off course a camera.

Can I hike the Salkantay 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. For that reason, we highly recommend that you hike the Salkantay a couple of days after arriving in Cusco.

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!

Why do I have to make a deposit?

To secure your reservation, we need to purchase in advance many of the services that will be offered, such as the entrance fee to Salkantay, Machu Picchu and train/bus tickets. If you only complete the booking form, without making the deposit, we won’t be able to make your reservations. However, we will contact you when we receive your booking form.

The security deposit is non-refundable once the entrance fee to Salkantay, Machu Picchu and train/bus tickets have been purchased.

What happens after I make the security deposit?

First, you will receive an e-mail confirming the payment. Second, you will receive an e-mail or call from an Advice Peru representative. That person will be in charge of your account. In addition, we will offer you different hotel/hostel options in Cusco.

Two weeks before your departure date, you will receive an e-mail including a link to our secure server for your final payment, and we will ask you for your hotel/hostel information in Cusco so that we are able to arrange your briefing (night before the hike) and transfers to head of the trail head.

After the final payment is received, we will e-mail you a voucher with important contact information and details of all services that will be provided to you in Peru.

Does Advice Peru give refunds for cancellations?

It depends. Please refer to our Terms and conditions.

Can I change my starting date for the Salkantay?

Once we have acquired your entrance to Machu Picchu and train tickets, you cannot change the starting date without incurring an additional cost (50% of your security deposit). The entrance tickets and transportation tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

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.

Do you provide water during the trek?

Yes. We provide treated water every morning and at every meal. At meal times, we will also provide tea or coffee. During the trek, you will be able to refill your bottle in small streams or mountain springs. Water should be safe to drink, but we recommend using water purification pills. The purification tablets can be bought in most pharmacies in Cusco. Water can also be bought in Mollepata or Santa Teresa.

Please give your trash to you porters at the end of the day. Help us keep the trail and the ecosystem as clean as possible.

Are there bathrooms during the trek?

The first night you will be able to use our portable toilets only. The rest of the nights you will find basic toilets. Once at your hotel you will have a good room with a private bathroom and hot water all day long.

What is the food like on the Salkantay?

A cook accompanies every group on the Salkantay. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hearty snacks are provided for your hike. Meals are a mix of local specialties and international favorites. Vegetarian meals are also available upon request.

What are the guides like?

Advice Peru guides are among the very best and most experienced guides anywhere. They are from the surrounding Cusco – Sacred Valley area and speak fluent English. Most have plenty of years of experience leading hikes and all have training in the history, culture, ecology and spirituality of the area.

    Customizable and Comfortable Peru Tours

    Smart Trip Planner

    Create your Trip of your dream!

    1. Create the trip of your dreams!
    2. Within 24 hours, your trip will be customized by one of our Travel Advisors


      Number of Travelers:


      Duration of the trip:

      1-4 Days
      5-7 Days
      8-11 Days
      12-15 Days
      16-19 Days
      20 + Days




      What places would you like to visit?

      Would you like to do adventure tourism?

      Tell us destinations you have in mind




      Dircetur Mincetur Prom Peru ASTA LATA IATA