Company founded in 2002. Our tours are of quality and have the best experience. We are Official Inca Trail Operator with license and we are located in Cusco.

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+51 84 251 145
San Agustín 307 Dpt. F - Cusco
info@sapholidays.com

Salkantay Trekking 4 Days to Machu Picchu in Domes and Huts

CODE : ZTK6C

This short Salkantay alternative to the  Classic  Incatrail, in domes and huts to Machu picchu

As you walk between the towering peaks of Humantay and Salkantay mountain as you make your way to Machu Picchu. This is truly the experience of a lifetime! Did you know that the Salkantay Trek is listed as one of the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine? Join us, and discover what it means to walk the sacred paths of the Inca.

The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous treks in Cusco and it is undoubtedly the best alternative route to experience the original Inca paths. This trek takes you through many different types of landscapes. You will have the best opportunity to see the typical Andean landscape up to the snow capped mountains, down to the tropical forests and finally even venture into the dense jungle. If you are thinking to do a hiking trip to Machu Picchu and you want to be off the beaten path, close to the Andean communities and appreciate the beautiful and diverse nature of Peru, the Salkantay Trek is highly recommended.

Why ?

  • The Salkantay trek is listed as one of the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
  • After the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek is the 2nd most popular trek to Machu Picchu (and a lot less crowded).
  • Hiking alongside the magnificent Apu Salkantay and arriving at the ruins of the majestic Machu Picchu is one of the best experiences known to mankind.
  • Trekkers can see natural bridges, snowcapped mountains, colorful valleys, waterfalls, wildlife, unique plants, and cloud forest.
  • Sleep 1 night in out incredible Sky Camp, located in front of the impressive mountains Humantay and Salkantay+ 1 night in our Andean huts+ 1 night in hostal in Aquas caliente
Program
  • DAY 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Challacancha – Soraypampa (Humantay Lake)
  • DAY 2: Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Wayracmachay – Chaullay
  • DAY 3: Chaullay – La Playa – Santa Teresa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
  • DAY 4: The Most Important Day – Machu Picchu!

Included :

  • Pre-departure briefing: You will meet your guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags which will be carried by our horses ( 6 kg ). The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.
  • Transport: You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and will travel by private transportation to Challacancha, the starting point of the trek.
  • Experienced Guide: English speaking, professionally educated, and official tour guide. Your guide will explain the culture and surroundings along the entire route, including leading your group in ancient ceremonies! He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
        • Night 1: Relax on your soft bed in our state-of-the-art Sky Camp under the watchful eye of Apu Salkantay on one side and Apu Humantay on the other. Spend as many hours as you would like star-gazing through your elegant glass ceiling!
        • Night 2: Enjoy our camping huts, made of ichu (Peruvian feather grass) and wood to guarantee a pleasant rest with protection during cold nights in the mountains. 2 people will stay in each 4-person tent inside of each individual hut. We provide you with a thick camping mattress free of charge.
        • Night 3: Hostel in Aguas CalientesPersonal accommodation in private campsites: Like our ancestors, we are very considerate of the Pachamama (Mother Earth). Therefore, our campsites and lodges are adapted to the environment to avoid generating negative impacts.
  • Camping equipment: Dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs, and cooking equipment (all carried by the horses).
  • Entry ticket to Machu Picchu Archeological Site
  • Hostel in Aguas Calientes: The last night of this trek is spent in a hostel in Aguas Calientes with a double or triple room, private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, breakfast, and luggage storage while you visit Machu Picchu.
  • 1 Duffle Bag: You can put your personal luggage, up to 6 kgs (15.4 lbs), including your sleeping bag, in this bag to be carried by our horses.
  • Cargo Mules: On days 1 and 2, cargo mules carry the all camping equipment and your allowance of personal baggage (6 kgs/15.4 lbs). On days 3 and 4, your luggage will be carried by car or train to your destination.
  • Trekking Cook: A chef specialized in cooking on the trail, with an assistant, will prepare all of your delicious meals along the journey to replenish your energy. You will never go hungry!
  • Meals: 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners (Vegetarian, vegan, or special menus are available at no extra cost)
  • Wake up tea: Every morning at the campsite, you will woken up with a cup of coca tea! Our staff will bring the tea to your tent so that you will be warmed from inside out before you start your day.
  • Tea time daily: Every afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide popcorn, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you will not have to wait until dinner to relax, warm up, and enjoy a bite to eat!
  • Snacks on the trail daily: Our snacks consist of local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, caramels, etc. We will give this snack to you at the beginning of each day in your cloth bag.
  • One cloth snack bag per person: To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we will give you a cloth bag for your snacks.
  • Products for hygiene: You will be provided with a small towel before each meal to clean your hands.
  • Medical kit: Our crew will bring a first-aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Train tickets: From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (“Expedition” service with Peru Rail at 16:22 hrs (subject to availability))
  • Transport: Private transport from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco (Day 4).
  • 24-hour guest service: We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.
  • We will create a Memorable Lifetime Experience for you.

Not Included :

  • Entrance fee to Salkantay Trail (S/.10 per person)
  • Sleeping Bags: You can rent one from our company if you do not have your own.
  • Walking Sticks: You can rent a set from our company if you would like.
  • Day 1: Breakfast
  • Last Day: Lunch and Dinner in Aguas Calientes.
  • Personal clothing and gear
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for our staff: Please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as you wish.

Optional:

If you feel tired after the trek to and from La Playa (Day 3), you have the option to take a train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes. (Cost: USD $34.00)

  • Additional costsor delays out of control of the management (landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.)
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu ($USD 12 per person, one way)

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a great alternative for the Inca Trail trek and better suited for more adventurous trekkers who are able to handle higher altitude and longer distances. Ascending to reach the famous Apacheta Pass at 4650 MASL – 15088 FASL is not too strenuous since it is at the beginning of the trek, neither is it very steep, but it does require stamina and a little time in Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude before beginning the trek.

How Many days do i need to Acclimate in Cusco before the trek ?

It is very important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek.

Acclimatization

We do recommend that you arrive to Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before the trek starts to help you become acclimatized and avoid possible problems with altitude sickness while on the trek.

We can organize day hikes & other tours around Cusco for your acclimatization:

What do we need when you make a reservation?

  • Full name as it is written in your passport.* Scanned copy of your passport.
  • Copy/fax or scan from both sides of your Internat University student card (if you have one and are less than 28 years old the price of the Trek is $18 USD less).
  • Departing date for the trail.
  • We ask for a 40% deposit, sending to us  via visa or Pay Pall online through this website:+5,5 %  or Wetravel 4,5 % (cost credit cards charge us) The balance you will pay at our office in Cusco before the start of the trek. We accept cash USD or credit card (+5,5%)
4 Days / 5 Nights
18+ Age
  • Destination

  • Departure

    Ruins. Puno, Perú | Altitude: 2050 – 4200 m.
  • Dress Code

    Casual, comfortable athletic clothing, hat and light jacket.
1

Day 1 :

Cusco/ Mollepata-Challacancha- Soraypampa-( Humantay lake )
Today’s Highlights: Walk from Challacancha to Soraypampa with very few tourists. Relish in an afternoon visit to the absolutely whimsical Humantay Lake nestled at the base of Apu Humantay mountain. Take in your first views of the enigmatic Apu Salkantay. Spend the night in our glass-topped Sky Camp, and stargaze from your bed in our exclusive campsite!
We start the day by picking you up from your hotel at approx 04:00 AM. We will drive for around 4 hours, crossing Anta and Mollepata and ending up at Challancha. Through the windows of the bus you can clearly see the white, snow capped mountains of Apus Salkantay and Humantay: two colossal gods of the Incas. You will also see spectacular scenery of high peaks and low valleys in a colorful and contrasting panorama filling every direction you turn your eyes! After the first two hours of driving, we will stop quickly in Mollepata to take advantage of the toilet facilities, souvenir shops, and an optional, short breakfast. We will then continue to Challacancha, the starting point for our trek. We will meet our support staff, and they will organize all of the equipment and cargo mules. Around 09:30 AM, we will begin trekking to Soraypampa (3850 MASL – 12631 FASL), the first campsite on our journey.
The first section of the path takes us over a few deep valleys along the side of a mountain. At some parts of the trail, an old aqueduct can still be seen which still supplies water to farmers in the lower valleys. We will travel 7 km (4.35 miles) in 3 hours to Soraypampa where we will have our lunch at the base camp of Salkantay. After lunch and a short rest, we hike up to the unforgettable Humantay Lake (4200 MASL – 13779 ft). This is a 5 km (3.1miles) round-trip which we will walk in a total of 3 hours. This place one of the most beautiful sights in all the Andes with unbelievable blue-green water reflecting the mountain glaciers of Apu Humantay. It seems like something out of a dream or fairy tale! Back at our camp, the background of the valley at sunset creates the most peaceful scene with an energy that can only be felt and not described! Because Soraypampa (our camp) is located in the middle of the glacier valleys, the sky is so immensely clear at night that you can truly appreciate the stars, constellations, and even comets shooting across the pitch blackness, uninterrupted by the hustle, bustle, or lights of the city. Take a moment this night to re-center your spirit and consider all the deep things of life in the profound silence and tranquility of Soraypampa!
 
  • Walking Distance – 12km / 7.45 miles
  • Starting Elevation – 3350 meters ASL / 10990 feet ASL
  • Highest Elevation – 4600 meters ASL / 15091 feet ASL
  • Campsite Elevation – 3920 meters ASL / 12861 feet ASL
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Meals: Lunch and Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
  • Accommodation: Glass-Topped Dome
  • Adventure: Moderate-High! (Especially the trek to Humantay Lake!
2

Day 2 :

Soraypampa – Salkantay pass – Wayracmachay – Chaullay

Today’s Highlights: Hike along the winding Salkantay trail with the mountain’s tallest peak in front of your eyes all morning! Challenge yourself as we make our way up some steep slopes while looking out on the valley far below until we reach the base of Apu Salkantay. Around midday, you will be standing in the middle of the Andes mountain range! In the afternoon, we make our way into the incredible cloud forest and tropical jungle around Chaullay. This is your most challenging day but also your most rewarding!

After an early wake-up with the first daylight at 05:30 AM and a quick but energizing breakfast, we will start trekking up to the highest point of the trail: the Salkantay Pass (4650 MASL – 15255 FASL). The distance is a 7 km (4.34 miles) of difficult ascent in 3 hours between the rocky valley base and the magnificent Salkantay Mountain (6271 MASL– 20574 FASL). When we reach the top of the pass, we will appreciate the spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and the imposing snowy peaks of Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo mountains. Salkantay Mountain is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region and one of the Inca gods called “Apu”.

Continuing from this climax of today’s trek, there is a 5 km (3.1 mile) downhill walk to the site for lunch. The walk downwards is on a serpent-shaped, rocky, gravel path which leads to the Huayracmachay lunch campsite. To rest on the way down, there is a perfect valley outlook that is absolutely stunning! In the afternoon after our meal, we will enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle, which is also called “the cloud forest”. This is a 10 km (6.2 mile) hike completed in 3 hours on a wide trail in the thick and magical tropical forest. During this part of the trek, you will notice a dramatic change in landscape and the earth’s energy as we move from Andes to Amazon! This hike is truly beautiful; the hills are decorated with colorful scenery, wildlife, and native plants. The forests are warm and tropical most of the year with temperate climates. At the end of this outstanding hike, we arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 MASL – 9514 FASL) for a much-deserved reward of rest from our long day of trekking! This is our base camp in the jungle as we continue to make our way to Machu Picchu.

  • Walking Distance – 22 km / 13.7 miles
  • Starting Elevation – 3800 meters ASL / 12467 feet ASL
  • Campsite Elevation – 2750 meters ASL / 9022 feet ASL
  • Maximum Altitude: 4650 meters ASL / 15255 feet ASL
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
  • Accommodation: Wooden houses
  • Adventure: Absolutely, 100%! The raw and breath-taking beauty of this day’s hike along with its challenging nature will quench any wanderlust you’ve been trying to cure!
3

Day 3 :

Day 3 Chaullay – La Playa- Santa teresa – Hydroelectric- Aquas Calientes At 06:00 AM, we will start our trek to the small town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley. You will be able to soak up this new, lush landscape during our 6 hours of hiking today! During the hike we will see rivers, waterfalls, wild orchids, and plantations of coffee, banana, and avocado. You can taste the famous passion fruit and granadilla fruit along the way! We will see a village called Colpapampa, also called the “brow of the cloud forest,” where waterfalls, birds, hot springs, fruit-bearing trees, and flora and fauna can be observed. If we are lucky, we will even be able to see the beautiful bird called “The Cock of the Rocks,”After a hearty lunch at La Playa, we will take local transportation to the Hidroelectrica train station. Here you will have two options:
  1. 1. If you are exhausted, you may take the train to Aguas Calientes ($34.00 extra).
  2. 2. If you are still eager to hike, you may walk from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes for about 3 hours along the train track. There is a nice path next to the tracks through the warm paradise of the cloud forest. This is the same trail used by the American professor Hiram Bingham who rediscovered Machu Picchu after centuries of it being lost to the outside world!Once in Aguas Calientes, you can rest a bit before dinner or walk around this alluring place that has the feel of a California Gold Rush town. There are no cars in Aguas Calientes, so it is an especially peaceful place to be. At 7:00 PM, we will have dinner at a local restaurant. All the expenses in Aguas Calientes are covered by the company, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the overnight stay at our hostel. In your luxury room, you will have a private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, breakfast in the morning, and luggage storage while you visit Machu Picchu.
 
  • Walking Distance – 26km / 16.1 Miles
  • Starting Elevation – 2750 meters ASL / 9022 feet ASL
  • Campsite Elevation – 1600 meters ASL / 5249 feet ASL
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Plus snacks)
  • Accommodation: Hostel
  • Adventure: Absolutely! You will be in the middle of the tropical forest you have dreamt about!
4

Day 4 :

Day 4 The most Important day – Machu Picchu Today’s Highlights: Your excitement for our rendezvous at Machu Picchu will rise as we are hiking early in the morning through the forest to reach the site before most other tourists – even the Inca Trail trekkers!! You will have plenty of time to explore this truly magnificent World Wonder while you enjoy the beautiful sunrise from this once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint. Your group will learn about this mystical place in a two-hour guided tour of the ruins. Afterwards, you can opt to climb Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Mountain (if you have pre-booked tickets) or walk to the Sun Gate (without extra tickets). Today we arrive at the long-awaited finale of our trek, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Machu Picchu! We will wake up early after a refreshing night at our hostel to beat the crowds to the top of Machu Picchu and enjoy its serenity in the soft morning light. The Machu Picchu entrance check point is open from 06:00 AM until 17:00 PM. We will hike up to Machupicchu (a bus ride is optional for $12.00) and enter the hidden Royal Citadel of the Incas. Here we will have a 2-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city to visit temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the farming fields. Be amazed at the engineering ingenuity of the Incas which was so far ahead of their time and still partially a mystery today! Without having modern tools or even steel and iron to work with, the people who built this city were genius in organizing this community in a sustainable and beautiful way on the side of a mountain, even bringing water in canals through its streets for the people to use. When a Peruvian guide showed this site to Hiram Bingham, it was almost unrecognizable, covered in thick vegetation and in a state of disrepair. It has since been cleaned and restored and is now protected and treasured by the world at large! After this tour, you are free to climb up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). Each mountain takes approximately 3 hours to hike up and down. Another lower-impact option for which you do not need an extra ticket is to trek to the Sun Gate, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round-trip). Another option is walking to see the Incan Bridge. You will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for more than 7 hours before hiking back down to Aguas Calientes for the train ride at 16:22 hrs (subject to availability) to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick up our group and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco at about 20:00 hrs. Rest your feet and your body now, but we can assure you your heart will still be soaring for weeks and years to come!
  • Activity Overview: Touring Machu Picchu with optional hike
  • Activity Level: Touring: easy, hike: strenuous
  • Activity Length: 2-5 hours exploring and optional 2-3 hour strenuous hike; Machu Picchu is at 7,972’ elevation

Tour Location

History Of The City

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Tour Review Scores And Score Breakdown

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