Salkantay Trek 8 days to Machu Picchu

The Salkantay Trek is a 8 days journey that takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Peru. You'll start in the stunning snowcapped mountains of the Salkantay region and end at the beautiful Humantay Lake. Along the way, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of valleys, lakes, waterfalls, and rural villages. You'll even have the opportunity to camp overnight in front of Machu Picchu!

What is the Salkantay Trek?

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu takes you to discover the Imperial City of Cusco and the Sacred Valley as you acclimatize to the altitude! Plaza de Armas, Koricancha, Sacsayhuaman, Pisaq Market, Moray, Salineras of Maras, Ollantaytambo, return to Cusco, and get ready for the spectacular 5-days hike of the Salkantay trekking and arrive at the legendary Lost City of Machu Picchu.

Highlights of Salkantay Trek 8 days

  • Book with Confidence and Flexibility
  • Explore the best of Cusco City, the Sacred Valley
  • Hike along the Cordillera de Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu
  • Go off the beaten and visit Humantay Lake and Local villages.
  • Spend a day exploring the best of Machu Picchu
  • Return To Cusco on the Vistadome train

Special Price Per Person 980.USD     

To book the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, you need to make an initial payment of 400.USD per person, the remaining balance can be paid online, in installments, or Cusco with any credit card at no booking fees at all.

Student Discount:
All travelers under 17 will have a $40. If you are 25 years old or under at the time of traveling, you can get the 40$ discount with your student ID. Please advise by email to give you a code for the discount.

Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek

Day by day Summary of the Salkantay trek 8 days:

Day 1: Arrival at the airport – Cusco City Tour.- Transfer to your hotel from Cusco airport. Cusco city at 1.30 pm, exploring Plaza de Armas, The temple of Koricancha, and Sacsayhuaman with the 4-ruins.

Day 2: Sacred Valley Tour: Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero.- Pick up at 8.00 am and explore the Sacred Valley in a full day tour visiting Awancancha, Mirador Taray, Pisaq market, Moray, Salineras of Maras, and the fortress of Ollantaytambo, and return to Cusco. We arrive back to your hotel around 6:00 pm.

Day 3: Cusco – Humantay Lake – SalkantayPampa (12km, 6hrs) .- After being collected from your hotel at 4.30 am, drive to Soraypampa (3900m), breakfast with the mountain, and hike for 6 hours to the campsite at Salkantaypampa (4000 m), during the day you will visit Humantay Lake at 4200 m.

Day 4: SalkantayPampa -Hayrajpunku – Collpapampa (18km, 9hrs).- Wake up in your tent with a cup of coffee and get ready for the most demanding and challenging day, 2-hour to Salkantay pass (4630 m). Once reaching the top, you will take some time to admire the snow pick’s fantastic vistas. Next is a 5-hour downhill until the second campsite located in Collpapampa Village ( 2800 m)

Day 5: Collpapampa – Lucmabamba – Llactapata (16km, 8hrs).- After breakfast, continue through the Salkantay Valley, among fruit orchards, avocados trees. Lunch is a PACHAMANCA underground barbecue with stones, and visit a local coffee farm. After lunch, hike for 3 hours along an ancient Inca Trail to Llaqtapata Archaeological site. Camping in front of Machu Picchu

Day 6: Llactapata – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes (14km, 6hrs).- Llaqpata is located on a mountain top right in front of Machu Picchu, wake up, and when you open the tent, you will see Machu Picchu citadel. The hike takes 6 hours to Aguas Calientes. Spend the night in a hotel.

Day 7: Machu Picchu (Lost City of the Incas) – Cusco.- On the final day, have breakfast in the hotel and take the first buses to Machu Picchu. Once in the citadel, you will explore the best of Machu Picchu with your tour guide for about 3 hours. In the afternoon, take the Vistadome Train back to Cusco.

Day 8: Depart Cusco.- After breakfast, transfer to the airport or bus terminal according to your schedule.

Included in the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu:

  • Airport transfers from the airport and hotel In Cusco
  • Professional English-speaking Native Tour Guide
  • Second tour guide for groups 9+
  • Entrance tickets to all the places we visit
  • Four nights 3-star hotel in Cusco and Aguas Calientes
  • Three-night camping with comfortable equipment
  • Sleeping foam mattress, Pillows, hand towels
  • Chef, Porters, horsemen
  • Cargo mules to carry food, equipment, and 7 kilos of your stuff
  • Lunch on day two during the Sacred Valley
  • During trekking (5 breakfast, 4 lunches, 4 dinners)
  • Drinkable water during 4 days of hiking (after 1st lunch)
  • Camping equipment (Dining tent, tables, chairs, Portable toilets)
  • First aid kit, satellite phones, oxygen tank
  • Entrance fee to Salkantay and Machu Picchu
  • Round trip bus tickets to Machu Picchu
  • Vistadome panoramic train back to Cusco

Not Included in the Salkantay Trek

  • Sleeping bags, Air Mattress, Trekking Poles (Can be hired from us)
  • Huayna Picchu mountain
  • Machu Picchu Mountain (Different from Machu Picchu citadel)
  • Other meals not mentioned in the tour
  • International or domestic flights
  • Travel Insurance (Highly recommended)
  • Gratuities

Optional hikes after the Machu Picchu tour:

Huayna Picchu Mountain– tickets cost an additional $75 per person.

Machu Picchu Mountain – tickets cost an additional $75 per person.

Similar Tours to Machu Picchu: 

Full Itinerary of Salkantay Trek  8 days

Day 1: Arrival at the airport – Cusco City Tour

Pick up will be from Cusco’s airport upon your arrival and transfer to your centrally located hotel, check-in, and free time to relax in the morning (recommended to book morning flights to Cusco). In the afternoon, you will start a walking tour with your tour guide, visiting the most remarkable places in Cusco: Explore the plaza de Armas, see the 12-angled stone street, and discover the temple of the sun at Koricancha. The second part is by car, a 10-minute drive to Sacsayhuaman, enjoying the upper of Cusco’s views, then visiting the labyrinth of Quenqo, the temple of the water Tambomachay and the red fortress at Pucapucara. On the way back to your hotel, if you still have time, visit the large white statue of Christ perched up the hill overlooking the city of Cusco. 

  • Duration: Half-day
  • Meals: Not Included
  • Entrance Ticket: Included
  • Accommodation: Munay Wasi Hotel or Similar

Day 2: Sacred Valley Tour: Pisaq Market, Moray, Salineras, Ollantaytambo.

After breakfast in your hotel, The tour guide will collect you from the hotel at 8:00 am and drive across the Sacred Valley mountains. On the way, you will stop at the Awanacancha alpaca farm. Here you can see llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos and learn the difference between them. Then continue to Mirador of Taray, a lookout point with spectacular views of the Sacred Valley, the Andes’ eastern mountain range, and the Urubamba River. Later, you will head to Pisaq town to visit the famous handicraft market because the local artisans produce textiles and sell them directly to tourists. After bargaining in the market, you will drive for 1 hour to lunch at a Urubamba local restaurant. You will have a variety of dishes prepared with fresh products from the area. After enjoying a delicious lunch, you will drive to Moray, Salineras of Maras, discover Ollantaytambo’s fortress, walk along the narrow Inca streets in the town, and head back to Cusco. Drop off at your hotel around 6.00 pm.

  • Duration: Full-day
  • Meals: Buffet Lunch
  • Entrance Ticket: Included
  • Accommodation: Munay Wasi Hotel or Similar

Day 3: Cusco – Humantay Lake – SalkantayPampa (12km, 6hrs)

Leave from your hotel in Cusco around 4:30 am in our exclusive van and drive to Soraypampa (3900m) – arriving approximately at 8:30 am. After breakfast, you will start the trek To Machu Picchu. First, you will hike for 2 hours up to Humantay Lake, located at 4200 meters. Hundreds of visitors visit this turquoise water lagoon every day, arriving first and enjoying the fantastic views with fewer people. After exploring the lake, you will begin another 2 hours down Back to Soraypampa, where your trekking chef will be waiting with a delicious lunch. Then, continue along the Salkantay Valley, following the meandering streams up to Salkantaypampa, the first campsite at Salkantay Mountain base located at 4000 meters. Upon arrival, you will find the tents ready, warm water to wash, tea time, dinner, and go to sleep in the comfortable million-star tents.

  • Campsite Altitude: 4000 m/13123 ft
  • Distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping under million stars
  • Considered: Moderate

Day 4: SalkantayPampa – Hayrajpunku – Collpapampa (18km, 9hrs)

Wake in your tent with a hot cup of coffee or tea and a spectacular view of the mountains. You will have time to pack and get ready for the day. After breakfast, start with the most challenging part of the trek, a 2-hour ascent to the Salkantay Trekking’s highest point, The Salkantay Pass ( 4630 m / 15190 ft). Once reaching the top, take some time to explore and enjoy the snow-capped peak’s fantastic vistas. Then, continue a 2-hour descend to Hayrajpunku, here your outstanding chef will be waiting for another excellent meal. After enjoying the well-earned lunch, continue dropping for 3 hours until arriving at the second campsite near the village of Collpapampa, located at 2770m (9087ft). Along the way, you will see a variety of flora, fauna, and experience the fastest change in temperature that causes a drastic change in the landscape from cold, snowy peaks to green tropical areas.

  • Campsite Altitude: 2770 mt / 9087 ft
  • Highest altitude: 4630 m /15190 ft
  • Distance: 18 km/ 11.1 miles
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea, and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping next to a village
  • Considered: Challenging

Day 5: Collpapampa – Lucmabamba – Llactapata (16km, 8hrs)

After breakfast around 7:00 AM, begin the 3-hour trek along the Salkantay Valley, following the white water river from the high mountains like Salkantay, a verdant area home to several waterfalls, orchids, flowers, coffee farms, and small villages. Lunch is among avocado trees at Lucmabamba. You will arrive right on time to participate in a PACHAMNACA, a traditional underground barbecue with hot stones; we put all kinds of meat, vegetables, and even fruits and bury them underground. While waiting for the special meal, you will visit Wilbert’s organic coffee farm, learn the harvesting process, and make your espresso cup. After the Pachamanca feast, you will continue the second part of the day, following an ancient Inca trail for 3 hours up to Llaqtapata archeological site. This site is a unique Inca site located right in front of Machu Picchu, where you will catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu. Spend the night with your tents overlooking the citadel.

  • Campsite Altitude: 2,750 m / 9022ft
  • Distance: 16 km / 9.9 miles
  • Duration of hike:  8 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping in front of Machu Picchu
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 6: Llactapata – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes (14km, 6hrs)

Wake up early, open your tent, and you will see Machu Picchu. If the weather allows, you will have the most beautiful sunrise over Machu Picchu, spend time relaxing, and getting ready for the final and last day of hiking to Aguas Calientes. The first part is a 2 hour downhill to Hidroelectrica Station, where you will get a box lunch to reenergize and say goodbye to our trekking team. Then, you will continue to Intiwatana (sundial rock). Visited by Hiram Bingham during the 1911 expeditions, this carefully carved rock is perfectly aligned with the Sundial at Machu Picchu during the winter solstice.

Continue a pleasant 3-hour hike along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes. This part of the hike is full of history, not only because you will be walking around Machu Picchu but also because American Explorer Hiram Bingham III used it during the 1911 expedition that led to the discovery of Machu Picchu. You will be able to visit the Mandor gardens. This is the exact place where Hiram Bingham arrived in 1911. He met a farmer named Arteaga and eventually discover Machu Picchu thanks to this farmer. Due to the rich flora and fauna, you will see different species of birds and flowers. Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes, check-in in a hotel and enjoy a relaxing shower. Dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Aguas Calientes: 2,000 m/ 6561 ft
  • Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: 3-star hotel
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 7: Machu Picchu (Lost City of the Incas) – Cusco

On the last day and most important day, wake up early, have breakfast in the hotel, and catch the first buses to Machu Picchu. The hotel will store the heavy bags for you, and you will go very light to get the best of the day. Upon arrival at the checkpoint, you need to show the original passport and the entrance ticket that we will provide. Once inside, you will explore the most important places with your tour guide, plazas, temples, palaces, and learn about this fantastic place’s history. Afterward, you will have time to explore by yourself or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (optional and different from Machu Picchu citadel).

Once you finish visiting Machu Picchu, you will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, have lunch (not included) and take the Vistadome panoramic train back to Ollantaytambo and then private van back to Cusco. Drop off at your hotel around 7.30 pm.

  • Duration of the tour: 3 – 4 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast (hotel), others not included.
  • Difficulty: Easy

Day 8: Depart Cusco

After breakfast, transfer to the airport or bus terminal according to your schedule.

Essentials for Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu:

•  Original Passport valid at least six months after travel date (a copy will not be accepted)
•  Valid Student Card, need to send a copy of the ID for verification (if you booked as a student)
•  Comfortable hiking boots (light, comfortable and broken in)
•  A good quality daypack for hiking  (light, small and comfortable)
•  Water storage for at least 2 liters; either a camel bag or aluminum canteens

What to put on the daypack every day:

Your daypack will always be with you during the day; it’s essential to know that cargo mules will carry the duffle bags, and we can only find them at the campsites but not during the day or lunch. Everything you might need during the day must be in your daypack. For Machu Picchu, the backpack for regulation must be smaller than 25 liters. If you have a bigger one, fear not, please contact us to see if possible.

  • Warm clothes for the mornings
  • Rain gear always with you
  • Sun protection (suncream, hats, sunglasses)
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, wet wipes
  • Personal medication, band-aids, moleskin
  • Camera, extra batteries, head torch
  • Extra snacks, power bars, chocolate
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, and tips (small change is useful)

Other stuff goes to the duffle bag provided by Trex:

TreXperience will give you during the briefing one duffle bag to each trekker; here, you can put up to 8 kilos of your stuff, including sleeping bags and air mattresses. If you are renting equipment from us, the sleeping bags weights 2 kilos, and the air mattress weighs 1 kilo. Remember not to put breakable items.

  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
  • Air mattress (can be rented from us)
  • Comfortable shoes for the camp after hiking
  • Warm jacket, hat, and gloves to stay warm at night
  • 5 sets of t-shirts
  • 3 comfortable hiking trousers
  • 5 sets of undergarments
  • 1 Fleece, or a down jacket for the coldest nights
  • Quick-dry towels, toiletries
  • Powerpack/battery charger
  • Plastic bags to keep wet or muddy clothes separate
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Friday Nov 25, 2022
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