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Salktantay to Machupicchu 3-day Trek

Salktantay to Machupicchu 3-day Trek

One of the best alternative treks to the Inca Trail.


per traveler

Salktantay to Machupicchu 3-day Trek

Rating: 5 | 32883 Reviews
One of the best alternative treks to the Inca Trail.

This adventure is specifically designed for those who want to hike to Machu Picchu but have little time. You will experience the incredible bio diversity of the ecosystem in the region and watch how small communities live out of the ordinary. When you start your journey, you will feel the thrill of knowing that you will see so much in so little time.

On your first day, you will head to the mighty Salkantay Pass and see the sacred Salkantay mountain right in front of you. You will witness some of the most incredible landscapes on this route, and specially the white glaciers.

On day two, you will descend through the misty cloud forest to the edge of the jungle region, where the weather begins to warm. As you get closer to the Inca citadel, you will feel the weather heat up and your heart beat faster with excitement. Spend the last night in Aguas Calientes and get a good rest before the last day.

Day 3 is your visit to Machu Picchu, and you will find it difficult to contain your emotions when you first enter the archaeological site and see this incredible Inca fortress. You'll enjoy an informative 2-hour tour before exploring on your own. In the afternoon, you will return to Cusco having experienced the trek of a lifetime.

Tour Photos

  • salkantay aguas calientes
  • salkantay colpapampa
  • salkantay hidroelectrica
  • machupicchu
  • salkantay santa teresa
  • salkantay trek1
  • salkantay trek3
  • salkantay trek2
  • salkantay chaullay

What Is Included?

High quality service and security

  • Information session prior to departure
  • Experienced guide
  • Medical kit-First aid kit
  • Private camping equipment
  • A duffel bag


  • Personal accommodation in private campsites
  • Hostel in Aguas Calientes


  • Meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Water
  • Wake up tea
  • Tea time or Happy Hour (day 1)
  • Snacks on the road every day
  • A cloth bag for snacks per person
  • Hygiene products


  • Private Transportation (Day 1: You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and you will travel by private transport to Soraypampa, the starting point of the trek. Day 2: From the Beach to Hidroeléctrica. Day 3: From the Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco.)
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • One way bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (Day 3)
  • Transportation of personal belongings: on day 1, the pack mules carry all the camping equipment and their baggage allowance (7 kg / 15.4 lb). On day 2, your duffel bag will be transported by car and train.

Entrance tickets and permits

  • Entrance ticket to Salkantay
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu

What is not included?

  • All our travellers need a sleeping bag to camp and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional, but highly recommended. If you do not have them, do not worry, youcan rent them:
    Sleeping bag: US$25.00
    Walking poles (pair): US$25.00

  • You can climb the famous Huaynapicchu mountain always seen in thr photos behind the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It is 45 minutes uphill. Goin down can be scary if you fear heights. You can take this excursion one your guided tour to Machu ends. The permit must be issued at least one in advance due to high demand. Consider that there could be changes to protect your integrity, this, mainly due to weather conditions. The ticket for Huayna Picchu costs US$ 30.00 per person.

  • Machu Picchu Mountain is another of the mountains that surround the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It offers less steep, wider, and visually less frightening roads than Huayna Picchu, and it takes 1.5 hours to reach the top. This walk requires an entrance ticket which we can assure for you if we have time in advance. The ticket for Machu Picchu Mountain costs US$ 30.00 per person.

  • Train Ticket from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes (Day 2). US$ 34.00 per person
    In case you feel exhausted or in bad condition after the trek from Chaullay to La Playa, you can take the train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes.

  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes and Dinner Cusco (Day 3)

DAY 1 - Cusco / Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - Wayracmachay - Chaullay - Andean Cabins.

Defeat the hike up to the Salkantay Pass to witness the incredible scenery and snow-capped peaks before heading through the cloud forest to spend the night surrounded by nature.
Highlight of the day: The glorious and absolutely stunning Humantay Lake get ready for one of the most incredible views you will ever see.

Hike to the Jewel of the Mountains: Begin your adventure in the early hours of the morning as we pick you up and take you to the starting pint of the Soraypampa hike. This morning, you will take the biggest challenge of the hike, the hike up to the Salkantay Pass. Once you reach the top, you will head downhill for lunch and continue as you enter the Amazon rainforest. Observe the Andes towards the jungle. Enjoy the lush greenery and tropical wildlife along the way. You will spend the night in the town of Chaullay, surrounded by the sounds of nature.

  • Difficulty: challenging
  • Accommodation, Chozas Andinas (Wooden Camp Huts)
  • Walking distance: 22 km / 13.7 miles
  • Initial elevation: 3,900 m / 12,795 ft
  • Camp elevation: 2,900 m / 9,514 ft
  • Maximum elevation 4,630 m / 15,190 ft

DAY 2 - Chaullay / Colpapampa - La Playa - Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes.

Venture into the jungle and walk along the train tracks to reach Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Highlight of the day: witnessing the energy and the hugely mighty Salkantay mountain - the hike is really worth it.

The Impressive Salkantay Pass and Descent to the Tropical Mountains: Continue your jungle trek this morning as the rainforest thickens around you, you will be able to observe wild orchids and many species of birds on your way to the lunch spot at La Playa. Here, you will also enjoy a coffee demonstration before our transport picks you up and takes you to Hidroeléctrica. From there, you will walk along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes or choose to take the train for an additional USD34. The Urubamba River accompanies you all the way. Once in town, you'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before arriving early, ready for tomorrow.

  • Difficulty: challenging
  • Accommodation, comfortable hostel
  • Walking distance: 27 km / 16.78 miles
  • Initial elevation: 2,900 m / 9,514 ft
  • Camp elevation: 2,040 m / 6,693 ft
  • Optional: trip by train from Hidroeléctrica to Aguas Calientes

DAY 3 - Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo - Cusco.

It's the big day! Explore the glorious Machu Picchu and learn all about it from your expert guide before returning to Cusco.

The brightest of the day: witnessing the energy and the gigantic hugely powerful Salkantay mountain - the hike is really worth it.

Jungle Adventure and Coffee Experience: Get up early for the best day and the one you've been waiting for so long. You'll want to get to Machu Picchu early to avoid the big crowds and enjoy the views with very few visitors. We will take the bus to the entrance.

Once inside, soak up the magic of the place and enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of all the important parts before having more time to explore on your own or hike the Huayna Picchu mountain if you have tickets reserved in advance. Make the most of your time in the mystical Inca citadel before heading to Aguas Calientes for lunch and taking a train to Ollantaytambo. From there, our transportation will take you back to your hotel in Cusco at 8 pm.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Altitude of the Machu Picchu mountain: 3,000m / 9,843ft
  • Elevation of the citadel of Machu Picchu: 2,430 m / 7,972 feet
  • Optional activities: moderate to challenging (2-4 hours)
  • Machu Picchu Citadel Elevation: 2,720m / 8,924ft

  • Original passport- 6-month validity from last day you will be in Peru.There an official government checkpoint at the start of the trail that works to enforce the strict limits on how many visitors can walk the trail per day, and for every foreigner beginning a trek it is required that a passport be shown.
  • Sleeping Bag:Rated -15C/5F
  • Trekking Poles:with rubber tips only allowed.
  • Trekking Towel : A small to medium sized hiking towel can come in great use. Life Ventures or Discovery provide good, quick-drying trekking towels.
  • Flashlight:with enough batteries for the different days you will be trekking.
  • Canteen or Water Bottle
  • Insect Repellent
  • Small Locks : To protect your belongings in your rucksack or duffle bag
  • Waterproof Ziplock Bags : These come in handy for storing important / valuable items like your money, a passport and electrical equipment
  • Isotonic Powder : Can be used to flavour your water nicely and helps replace electrolytes, improving energy levels and aiding water absorption. Here are some good Isotonic powdered drinks
  • Diamox : Also know as acetazolamide, is a medication that can be used as a prophylactic (preventative) solution for altitude sickness. It does not cure altitude sickness and should never therefore never be used as a method to continue ascending to high altitudes. It can however help prevent the onset of altitude sickness and is commonly used by high altitude climbers and trekkers.
  • General Medications : We recommend taking paracetamol or aspirin for headaches (a common altitude sickness symptom on the Salkantay Trek) and Imodium for diarrhoea (another common problem as food preparation can be a little unhygienic)
  • Suncream / Lip balm : No one wants burnt skin or cracked lips! Be sure to bring 1 x suncream (SPF 30) and 1 x lip balm
  • Baby wipes : For quick and easy wet washe when no showers are in sight!
  • Blister Plasters : The dreaded blisters! We recommend taking Compeed blister plasters
  • Hand Sanitizer : Great for disinfecting hands before and after eating, or when they get dirty during the hike
  • Duffel Bag:The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7 kg/15.4 lbs. Our horseman will carry your duffle bag for you together with the food and camping gear. It is important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day as the horsemen and horses will always be ahead of the group. During the travel, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, raincoat, camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually, to 30 litre backpack is sufficient.
  • Daypack:If a porter or pack animal (i.e. yak) is carrying your duffle bag or rucksack then you will want to have a light-weight daypack to carry essentials : like snacks, camera, suncream, personal items (i.e. money and passport) and hat. The best daypacks have compression straps to reduce weight stress on your back and side mesh-pockets for quick access to your water bottles. The Osprey Talon is our recommended daypack. Make sure to bring a rain cover for your rucksack and / or daypack. If you decide to use an Osprey bag then make sure you get an Osprey Raincover that matches the bag size for a snug fit.
  • Underware:To aid the wicking process we recommend bringing 4-6 x pairs of breathable sports underwear. We are big fans of Icebreaker underwear, Adidas sports underwear or Under Armour underwear, as these brands specifically focus on manufacturing products that can cope with sweat from high-intensity sport.
  • Base Layer:The base layer, or what is often referred to the next-to-skin or first layer is very important on the higher reaches of the Salkantay Trek. The best first layers fit snugly to the skin (reducing air pockets and flow) and consist of high wicking materials to facilitate moisture transfer.We recommend getting 2x top and 1x bottom base layers.
  • Trekking Shirts:You will need to bring 4-7 trekking shirts (depending on whether you are doing the shorter or longer Salkantay Trek). We recommend these breathable and lightweight shirts from Hanes. Alternatively, shirts from Icebreaker or Columbia are good. Do not bring cotton shirts as these absorb moisture. A mixture of short and long sleeve shirts are recommended
  • Hard shell jacket and rain gear: Encountering rain is always a possibility when trekking, particularly during the rainy season (October-March). You should bring a hard-shell jacket, like the North Face Resolve Jacket. It is also worth taking a compact poncho rain-suit that can quickly be put on should you encounter rain.
  • Fleece Jacket:The second layer, or what we call the insulation layer, should be made from fleece material. You can get an insulation layer for both top and bottom, but as you will need to have outer layer shell trousers (see below), we believe the insulation layer for your legs are unnecessary. For your torso second layer though we recommend a Polartec 200 Fleece Jacket. These insulation jackets are very good for hiking in as they provide a great warmth to weight ratio whilst allowing effective moisture transfer.
  • Trekking Shorts:Bring two pairs of trousers and 1x pair of shorts.

The Salkantay to Machupicchu trekking tour is available every day provided there are at least 2 travelers.

  • Cancellations 60 days prior to departure: 20% cancellation fee
  • Cancellations 45 days prior to departure: 35% cancellation fee
  • Cancellations 20 days prior to departure: 65% cancellation fee
  • No cancellations allowed 19 days or less prior to departure
  • All reservations are not transferrable as the permits and tickets issued are issued exclusively to the original traveler.