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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 days / 4 nights

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Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa – Soyrococha

Meals:  Lunch, Dinner
Walking distance: 7.45 miles / 12 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude:
 4.400/14.500ft above sea level ( Coldest campsite of the whole trip
Difficulty: Moderate Climb
Weather: Cold and windy

Day 2: Soyrocha – Salkantay Pass (4600m/15200ft) – Qolpapampa (2900m/9570ft)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking distance: 8.7 miles / 14 km (6-7 hours)
Campsite altitude:
 2.900/9.570ft above sea level
Difficulty: Mostly down hill
Weather:  Windy and warm

Day 3: Qolpapampa – Lucmabamba (2500m/8350ft)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking distance: 7.7 miles / 12 km (5-6hours)
Campsite altitude:
 2500m/8250ft above sea level
Difficulty: Moderate
Weather: Warm

 Day 4: Lucmabamba – Llactapata (2.500m/8250ft) – Aguas Calientes

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Walking distance: 8.7 miles / 14 km (6-7 hours)
 Moderate climb
Hostal night: In Aguas Calientes
Weather: Warm

 Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

You will have two options to arrive at Machu Picchu: 1) We can hike for one and a half hours from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, or 2) We can take a bus to Machu Picchu. By waking up early, you will witness the magnificent sunrise at this ancient Inca city.


Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa – Soyrococha

We will pick you up at 5:00am from your hotel and travel by private van to the village of Mollepata in the verdant Apurimac valley. Then we will continue our journey towards Soraypamapa (4000m/12750ft). We will start hiking up a moderate climb for one hour until we reach the beautifull Humantay lagoon After soaking up the spectacular views, we will walk back to SorayPampa in order to get the path to reach Salkantay Pampa Where we stop for lunch. After that  we will continue hiking up a moderate climb for two hours until we reach Soyrococha our first campsite 4400m/14520ft This campsite is the highest and coldest campsite of the whole trip

Soyrocha – Salkantay Pass (4600m/15200ft) – Qolpapampa (2900m/9570ft)

After breakfast, we will continue walking up for one more hour until we get to the Salkantay Pass (4600m/15200ft). From this point, we can soak up the spectacular views of Salkantay. At the pass you can leave a piece of rock carried from the bottom as a present for the mountain spirit.We will continue a downhill trek for two hours to Huayracmachay 3800m/ 12540ft .Where will stop for lunch, After a quick rest, we will continue our hike for three and a half hours through the rain forest (do not forget your bugspray!). We will reach our second campsite, Colcapampa (2900m/9800ft) and have dinner. Depending on how quickly the group hikes, other possible campsites is Challwayp.

Qolpapampa – Lucmabamba (2500m/8250ft)

This day we will walk for only 5 hours through the tropical jungle. We will cross the Lluskamayo River and a variety of small streams so waterproof shoes are a good idea. We will pass through gorgeous valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls. Your guide will show you naturally growing tropical fruits and native plants and flowers.Then will spend the night in campsite of Lucmabamba (2500m/8250ft).

Lucmabamba – Llactapata (2.500m/8250ft) – Aguas Calientes

In the morning, we will leave Lucmabamba and start a three hour climb to reach Llactapata (2.700m/8910ft), an incredible Inca fort from which we will enjoy our first view of MachuPicchu! After some pictures and rest we will descend for two hours to the Hydroelectric Plant, where we will have our final lunch. After a quick rest, we will continue our  hike for three hours  until reach Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night. In Aguas Calientes, we will enjoy a celebratory dinner and enjoy the comfort of beds and hot showers at a local hostel. You will also have the option to take advantage of the thermal springs in the evening (10 soles).

Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

We will have two options to arrive to MachuPicchu: 1) we can hike for one and a half hours from Aguas Calientes to MachuPicchu, or 2) we can take a bus to MachuPicchu. By waking up early, you will witness the magnificent sunrise at this ancient Inca city. At MachuPicchu, you will have a guided tour for approximately 2 hours. After the tour, you will have free time to explore this mysterious city by yourself. When you finish at MachuPicchu, you will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes for lunch where he/she will give you your train ticket back to Cusco.


2 people      :  US$620 per person
3-5 people  :  US$550 per person
6 or more    :  US$500 per person

Please Note: Our Salakantay Trek service begins and ends in your hotel in Cusco

For the 4 days Salkantay Trek ,we will provide you with a duffel bag at the briefing for the Trek the night before we depart. to put all of your belongings in. By using standardized bags, we will ensure that all of your belongings will fit properly on the horses. The duffel bags easily fit 8 Kilograms /16 pounds per person including your sleeping bags.

However, You will still need to carry your day pack with all of your essentials like water, sunscreen, passport, etc.

We offer a discount of US $20 to students with a valid International Student Identity Card (ISIC) and to children under the age of 16 years old. Scanned copies of your ISIC card or child’s passport must be provided at the time of payment of the deposit for the trek in order to qualify for the international discount.

Storage during your Salkantay Trek: Most of our trekkers leave their belongings that they do not want to bring on the trek in the hostel they were previously staying in. These hostels/hotels usually have a secure, locked room where you can store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to store your belongings for you.

Train for the end of your Salkantay Trek

The most common departure times that we book for our tourists is 2:30 p.m. or the 2:55 p.m. train.

The 2:30 p.m. train will arrive in Ollantaytambo train station at 4:05 p.m.,and the 2:55 train will arrive a bit later at 4:30 p.m. You will be picked up by your driver outside of the train station. The driver will be holding a sign with your name on it so that there is no confusion. If you do not see the driver initially, just wait for them outside of the train station. Once the driver has picked you up, you will travel for 1 1/2 hours in a van before you arrive back at your hotel/hostel. Arrival time in Cusco is approximately 6:30 p.m., or 7:00 p.m.

You may also choose to update your train ticket to the Vistadome train, for an extra cost of (US $50).

Important: We guarantee the early Expedition departures, as per the itinerary, only if you book your tours in 2 months in advance. Otherwise, we may be forced to offer an Expedition train that departs at 6:45 p.m. only.


What is included in the price?

Hotel night in Aguas Calientes double or triple rooms, private bathrooms, hot showers, wifi, and storage while you visit Machu Picchu
Weight allowances: 6kl/12lb per trekker (weights to be carried by horses and mules you will trek only with your day pack which is way more confortable than carrying a big bag!)
Horse (to carry tents and cooking equipment and the 6 kl/12lb of personal belongings)
Wrangler’s health insurance paid for by INTI SUN TREK
Transport: collection from your hotel in the morning and transfer in private transportation to starting point of the trek
Professional tour guide who is fluent in English
Machu Picchu entrance fees
Two hours walking tour in Machu Picchu
Personal tents: We use 4 man, tents that only need to be shared by 2 people. This allows some room to spread out and keep your duffels safely with you.
Sleeping mattress(pad)
Meals cooked by an experienced chef: breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks!
Delicious food rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking
All our food is prepared from organic vegetables and fresh ingredients
Vegetarian/special diet options available
Wake up tea: every morning at the campasite we will wake you up with a cup of coca tea and coffee
Daily snacks- day 1,2,3 and 4: our snacks consist of local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, Caramels we will give this snack at the beginning of each day trek
First aid kit including an emergency oxygen bottle and a horse you may ride on if the altitude effects your ability to complete the trek
Bus from La Playa campsite to Santa Teresa
Dinner in Aguas Calientes on Day 4
Breakfast in Aguas Caliente on Day 5
Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco

Not included:

Breakfast on the first morning
Sleeping bags. These can be rented in our office for the entire trek (US $20). Every sleeping bag is washed prior to each use
Water along the way
Bus from La Playa campsite to Santa Teresa
Entrace to the thermal spring in Santa Teresa
Zip Line in Santa Teresa(optional
Train ticket from Hidroelectric to Aguas Calientes
Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu PicchchuPicchu
Lunch in Aguas Calientes on the final day
Entrance to the thermal springs in Aguas Calientes (10 soles)
Tips for the guide, cooks, and wranglers
Drink( coke, mineral water or cervesa) in the dinner in Aguas calientes on the 4 day
Tip for the guide. cook,and wrangler

Packing List

What you need to bring:

Original passport
For students: ISIC card
Insurance card/certificate
Hiking boots
Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
Warm jacket
Hat and gloves
2-4 t-shirts
2 pairs of pants (1 for hiking, 1 for camp)
Long underwear for sleeping/thermal underwear
Hand sanitizer
Comfortable trousers
Sun hat or cap
Insect repellent
Water and/or water purification tablets
Personal medication
Flashlight or headlamp
Extra money for tips/snacks/beer. (We recommend at least 200-350 extra soles).(US $120)

Optional items to take:

Walking stick
Basic First Aid Kit
Bathing suit for hot springs

Before you go

What will the personal porter carry?

This Inca Trail Trek includes the services of a porter for no extra cost. You can give him a maximum of (6kg/12lbs) of your belongings to carry. Your sleeping bag will weigh approximately 2kg and your air mattress approximately 1kg. This makes a combined weight of 3kg, leaving (3kg/6lbs) of personal items (clothing, toiletries, etc) to add to the porter-carried bag.
However, you will still need to bring a daypack with your essentials such as water, sunscreen, hat, camera, ect.

When will I receive my duffel bag to put my belongings in?

We will lend you one of our specially designed duffel bags at the briefing for the Trek the night before we depart. We use these bags to insure that they fit securely and comfortably on the porters bags

Hiking in the Andes: Is something that everyone can do no matter what age, but it is never easy. You will need some level of fitness to be able to complete it comfortably. Each trail involves inclines that can take your breath away if you are not in shape and downhill hiking that can be tough on one’s knees. Walking sticks are encouraged for everyone. Please remember the group treks are open to everyone, all abilities, so be patient and help those struggling with some kind words.

Getting to Cusco: The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.

The best way to get to Cusco is by air and there are several options in airlines. LATAM tends to be the most expensive, but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.

Storage during your trek to Machu Picchu: Most of our trekkers leave their belongings that they do not want to bring on the trek in the hostel they were previously staying in. These hostels/hotels usually have a secure, locked room where you can securely store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to store your belongings for you Make sure your bags have some kind of identification on them so they are easy to locate.

Your Safety is our first concern: Trekking the Andes is not your typical vacation. And most people who come to visit us have little to no experience of life this high up in the mountains. We understand the large responsibility we have in ensuring that you are well taken care of every step of the way.

First Aid: Each year Inti Sun Trek guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February – every single guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts/scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They know how to make you feel better. It is important to be very honest with your guide as soon as you are experiencing any discomfort. If you suffer from any medical conditions, please let your guide know during the briefing so he is prepared to give you extra attention, if needed.

In case something unexpected happens and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, they will figure out the safest and quickest way off the course and to a clinic. You will never be left alone, you will have a member of the team escort you every step of the way until safely with a doctor. When you are feeling up to it, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and re-connect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.

Travel Insurance: To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Obtaining travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and very easy. This is a great way to protect yourself while visiting Peru.

Altitude: Altitude sickness is serious and has the potential to ruin your trip. The biggest mistake you can make is to fly directly to Cuzco and expect to hike the next day. Give yourself several days to adjust to the altitude first. You will thank yourself for this during the trek.

The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. This is why we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek. If you have more time, even better. Cusco is an amazing city with a lot to do, so you won’t be bored.

With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office and we will help you get to a doctor.

Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids which helps bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.

You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly. Drink lots of water. And enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you unfortunately get sick, let your guide know right away – all guides are trained in how to help you get through it.

Weather: Of course weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December – just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, please make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant. You will notice that there is a large variation between the minimum and maximum temperatures on the trek. In general, when the sun is out it will be very hot. In this heat, you need to drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated. The early hours of the morning and night can be very cold. As a result, you need to be prepared for just about every weather condition.

What to wear for the trek: One of the most important investments for this trek is a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Your feet will thank you after the long trek if your shoes are well worn in and waterproof. The temperature varies throughout the trek, so it is best to dress in layers. Avoid cotton, as cotton does not dry quickly and wet clothing will be a problem when the temperatures drop pack for four seasons. Many of the treks through the Andes involve many micro-climates and you will need to be prepared for all seasons. a t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater/microfleece, and a waterproof jacket. These items will provide you with enough warmth and will allow you to “peel off” layers as it gets warmer or your body temperature increases. Layers are always key as they are easy to adjust to the different temperatures. And evenings will always be cold, so please be prepared with a warm winter-weight jacket.

During the rainy season: Rain pants are a good idea as we will encounter a lot of mud, rivers, and rain. A plastic poncho is also great because it will keep you and your pack dry. You can also pack your belongings inside of plastic bags to ensure that your belongings stay dry.

Do I need to bring hiking boots: Hiking boots are recommended, as they provide ankle support to reduce the risk of injury, especially when trekking in the wet season (December – March). However, it is important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in. Many people prefer to trek in tennis shoes but extra care should be taken. We do not recommend trekking in sandals, using new boots, or renting boots prior to the trek. Make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for the duration of the trek and will not fall apart.

Can I use walking sticks on the Inca Trail: Many people like to hike with trekking poles or walking sticks. This is fine as long as the poles will not cause damage to the stone paving along the Inca Trail. If the trekking poles have metal spikes, then these must be protected by rubber tips. We recommend bringing some spare rubber tips with you. These rubber protectors can be purchased in Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Wooden walking sticks are fine as long as you bring them with you from home.
Recently, government authorities have stopped trekkers from using wooden sticks that could have come from local forests to prevent deforestation of the protected Andean region.

Strikes in Peru: A popular way for the people in Peru to communicate unhappiness with the government is to strike. This area sees quite a few strikes a year that can sometimes affect the logistics involved in our tours. Most strikes are well organized and planned in advance so the office will have at least a few hours to arrange the needed

Changes for logistics: Often this involves leaving for your trek the night before. Please understand we will do everything we can to get you to and from the trail and will give you the information you need as soon as we have it. We will always get you to and from the trail very safely.

Environmental Impact: We Use biodegradable soap and transports all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste from other groups, as well. We also use environmentally-friendly chemical portable toilets that allow us to pack waste out. We believe in leaving no footprint behind.