The 4-Day Salkantay Trekking is the second most popular hike to Machu Picchu, listed among the 25 best hiking tours in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine. Over these epic 4 days and 3 nights, you will cross high Andean mountains, stunning lakes, and lush cloud forests to reach the World Wonder of Machu Picchu. Enjoy this exciting experience with comfortable tents, a Pachamanca barbecue, and a coffee tour, and return aboard a scenic panoramic train. 

Price

From: USD 550.00 per person

Salkantay Trekking 4 Days to Machu Picchu 

The Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days to Machu Picchu, is the perfect option if you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This trek takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the Peruvian Andes and culminates with a visit to the world-famous Inca site of Machu Picchu.

During the 4 days, you will get to see a wide range of ecosystems, from towering mountains to the lush, green cloud forests. You will also experience the traditional Andean culture as you hike through small villages and interact with locals. The highlight of the trek is undoubtedly Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This ancient Inca city is simply breathtaking and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you are looking for an adventure that takes you off the beaten path and leaves you with unforgettable memories, look no further than the Salkantay Trekking 4 days.

Tour Highlights:


Salkantay Trek 4 Days at a Glance:

Day 1: Cusco to Salkantay Basecamp (16km, 8hrs)

  • Pickup from the hotel at 4.30 am and drive for 3 hours to the trailhead
  • Enjoy breakfast, then hike for 3 hours to Soraypampa for lunch
  • 2-hour ascent to Humantay Lake, then to Salkantay Pampa basecamp
  • Camp near Salkantay Mountain

Day 2: Salkantay Basecamp to Collpapampa (18km, 9hrs)

  • Morning coffee/tea to wake up, then breakfast
  • 2-hour hike to Salkantay Pass, explore, then 3 hours downhill to lunch
  • Continue 3 hours into the Collpapampa campsite
  • Camp near a small village in the cloud forest

Day 3: Collpapampa to Aguas Calientes (16km, 8hrs)

  • Hike to Lucmabamba and participate in a Pachamanca barbecue
  • Visit a coffee farm, then drive to Hidroelectica
  • 3 hour hike to Aguas Calientes
  • Dinner at a local restaurant
  • Overnight in a 3-star hotel

Day 4: Machu Picchu (4 hrs)

  • Early bus to Machu Picchu for sunrise
  • 2-3 hour guided tour of the citadel
  • Return on the panoramic Vistadome train
  • Arrival back to Cusco around 7:30 pm

Included

  • Pre-departure briefing 
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
  • All transportation during the tour 
  • Professional Tour Guide
  • Return on the panoramic Vistadome Train or 360°
  • Entry tickets to the Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu
  • Cargo mules to carry all camping equipment
  • Experienced chef to prepare meals
  • 2-night camping in comfortable tents
  • 1 night 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • All meals on the trail, except the last day lunch (all dietary needs covered)
  • Water and daily snacks
  • Pachamanca barbecue, cooking class, coffee experience
  • Duffle Bag for up to 8 kg (17 lb) for your stuff
  • First-aid kit, satellite phones, oxygen supply
  • Pillow, sleeping pad, rain poncho, hand towels

Not Included


Extra hikes after the Machu Picchu tour:

You can hike the most famous mountain, which takes 2 hours round trip. It needs to be booked far in advance.

This is the highest mountain, and it takes 3 hours to climb round-trip. 

Full Itinerary of the Classic Salkantay Trekking 4 days

Day 1: Cusco – Humantay Lake – Salkantay Basecamp (16km, 8hrs)

Start your journey with a pickup from your hotel in Cusco between 4:30 and 4:45 a.m. We will drive you to the trailhead for 3.5 hours and be there to enjoy the first breakfast made by the chef. After that, we will start a 3-hour hike to Soraypampa across an ancient aqueduct that provides water to the farmers in the lower regions. Once in Soraypampa, your trekking chef will be waiting for a well-deserved lunch, and later, we will begin a 2-hour ascent to Humantay Lake (4,200 m / 13,779 ft).

Along the way, you will observe a variety of flora and fauna, including the Andean geese (the love bird), deer, and vizcachas (which look a lot like rabbits). We will then continue ascending for another 2 hours to reach the Salkantay Pampa basecamp at 3,900 m (12,795 ft). Once there, we will set up the tents, have tea time and dinner, and admire the clear night sky before sleeping.

  • Hiking Distance: 16 km / 10 mi
  • Duration: 7-8 hours
  • Campsite Altitude: 3,900 m / 12,795 ft
  • Highest Altitude: 4,200 m / 13,779 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Salkantay basecamp - Wayracmachay – Collpapampa (18km, 9hrs)

We will surprise you in the morning with a hot cup of coffee or coca tea. Exiting your tent will show spectacular views of immense plains and snow-capped mountain peaks. After breakfast, we will begin a 2-hour ascent to the highest point of our hike, the Salkantay Pass (4,630 m / 15,190 ft). We will spend time at the summit exploring the majestic landscapes, including a stunning lake at the base of Salkantay Mountain. From here, it will be a 3-hour downhill to our lunch place in Wayracmachay (3,800 m / 12,467 ft).

Next, we’ll begin another 3-hour descent from the highlands into the cloud forest, experiencing one of the most quick changes in weather and temperature. On the way, we will enjoy a variety of flora, hummingbirds, and orchids until we reach Collpapampa, located at 2,770 meters. We’ll spend the night close to a little village.

  • Hiking Distance: 18 km / 11.2 mi
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Campsite Altitude: 2,770 m / 9,087 ft
  • Highest Altitude: 4,630 m / 15,190 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea, and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: Collpapampa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes (16km, 8hrs)

Day 3 is arguably the most beautiful day of your Salkantay TreXperience! After a hearty breakfast, we will hike for about 3 hours to Lucmabamba (2,000 m / 6,600 ft) and prepare a unique Pachamanca barbecue. This traditional Peruvian recipe consists of burying vegetables, fruits, and all kinds of meat with hot stones. You will actively participate in preparing this special delicacy. After lunch, you will visit an organic coffee farm where you can learn about the coffee harvesting process and, why not, prepare your own expresso with the beans.

Later, we will drive for one hour to Hidroelectica and hike for 3 more hours to Aguas Calientes, our last toil of the day! We will arrive there by 5:00 p.m., have dinner at a local restaurant, and spend the night in a hotel.

  • Hiking Distance: 14 km / 8.6 mi
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Campsite Altitude: 2,000 m / 6,561 ft
  • Highest Altitude: 2,770 m  /9,087 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4: Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas! (4 hrs)

On our final day, you will wake up early to prepare for the highlight of your TreXperience: a journey to Machu Picchu. At 5:30 a.m., we will head directly to the queue to wait for the first buses to Machu Picchu. We will arrive at the gate as the sky brightens and ascend to the upper part while taking in the breathtaking views of the city. On a clear morning, the sunrise over Machu Picchu is magnificent; this moment is unforgettable.

Your tour guide will take you on a 2–3 hour guided tour of the citadel before leaving you in Machu Picchu or climbing either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets must be booked as far in advance as possible). Your guide will explain how to return from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and then return to Cusco via the panoramic train and bus. The TreXperience Team will safely meet you at the station and transfer you to your hotel.

  • Tour Duration: 2-3 hours in Machu Picchu
  • Machu Picchu Altitude: 2,430 m / 7,972 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast (hotel)
  • Difficulty: Easy

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 4 days packing list

The Salkantay Trek 4 days is Peru's second most popular trek to Machu Picchu. You will hike from the high-altitude plains into the rainforest. The terrain will differ significantly in hours due to the altitude variations and unpredictability of the weather. Rain might occur at any time, so you must always be prepared.

You must understand that you cannot bring all your belongings on this expedition. Take only the essentials for the 4-day trek; leave the rest of your stuff in Cusco. We will provide a duffel bag with a weight capacity of 7 kg (15 lb); your sleeping bag and air mattress must fit.

In addition, you'll have a daypack. When hiking, you must always bring all of your daily necessities. We suggest a maximum weight of around 5 - 8 kg in your daypack.

What will you have on the daypack during the hike?

  • The original passport must always be kept in a safe pocket, and it is best to put it in a plastic bag or waterproof case.
  • Plastic poncho: TreXperience will provide you with a plastic poncho. You still need a rain jacket and waterproof gloves.
  • Sunscreen: you will hike in open spaces exposed to direct sunlight; make sure you bring the correct sunscreen or buy it in Cusco before heading for the trek.
  • Toilet paper, you will find locals' restrooms; they usually charge, and you will need small coins. Always bring toilet paper in your backpack.
  • Insect repellent, you will hike in the jungle after the second day. You need insect repellent and always wear long sleeves.
  • 1 rain jacket, 1 warm/winter jacket. The jacket must always be carried in the backpack. The temperature in the first 2 mornings will be freezing. You will start hiking all your layers, removing them, and putting them in your backpack when you warm up.
  • The average trek time per day is about 8 hours; you will consume a lot of energy; besides the meals and snacks we provide, we recommend bringing energy bars, granola, chocolate, and candies.
  • In the water container, you need to bring water for the first half of the day and then be provided with water after the first lunch; however,
  • you need to have a container of at least 2 liters: a Camel bag reusable bottle.
  • Flashlights or headlights must always be in your backpack; you will need them to walk around the campsite and use the restroom. The headlights are better to have hands-free.
  • Hat, sunhat during the day, and something warm at night. In addition, it is also recommended to use gloves at night and in the morning.
  • Sunglasses protect your eyes from the intense sunlight in Salkantay.
  • Extra cash, we recommend bringing about 600 soles (US$ 200) to Salkantay Trek; make sure to have some small coins. This is emergency money, and you will not spend all of it. You must use the toilet, buy souvenirs, drinks, or snacks, and tip if convenient.
  • Bring band-aids, Diamox, Pepto, ibuprofen, Imodium, motion sickness medicine, and feminine products for personal medication.
  • Camera or mobile phone to take pictures.

What you will have on the duffle bag:

On the first night of the Salkantay period, the sleeping bag will freeze below 0 degrees Celsius; you will need a suitable sleeping bag that can withstand -10 degrees Celsius. You can bring your own or rent it from us.

  • Hiking boots: we strongly recommend wearing hiking boots instead of sports shoes.
  • Sandals: After a long hike, you must wear light clothes at the campsite.
  • 5 pairs of wool hiking socks, comfortable for hiking.
  • 4 pairs of light socks to use after the hike.
  • 5 pairs of underwear, just in case; please bring more in case they get wet
  • 2 or 3 pairs of breathable hiking pants for Ladies' leggings are also perfect.
  • 1 type of sports pants, suitable for evening and early morning
  • 5 T-shirts long-sleeved shirts are better,
  • Wet wipes, tissues, and a small towel
  • Swimwear is optional because you can visit the hot springs of Aguas Calientes.
  • Trekking poles, you can bring your own or rent them from us.
  • We provide foam mattresses; however, you can bring or rent an air mattress for more comfort.

Price of the Salkantay Trek 4 Days to Machu Picchu

Price per person:

  • US$ 550 -  Adults
  • US$ 510 -  Children and students

To book the Classic Salkantay Trek, you need to make an initial payment of US$ 200 per person; the remaining balance can be paid online or at our office in Cusco with any card and without booking fees. 


Student Discount:

  • US$ 40 off per person

All travelers under 17 have a US$ 40 discount. If you are 25 years old or under when traveling, you can get the discount with your Student ID. Please send us an email to receive a code for the discount.


Valid Student ID for the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu:

To get the student discount, travelers should have a Valid ID with the following:

  • 25 years or less at the time of entering Machu Picchu. Older than 25 can not enter as a student
  • The ID must have the Name of the university, name, and photo of the student
  • The ID must have a valid expiration date
Machu Picchu Valid Student ID TreXperience

Invalid Student IDs:

Student IDs are not eligible for a discount when:

  • Traveler is older than 25
  • Expired ID
  • Student ID without expiration date
  • ISIC cards are not valid. 
Invalid student ID for Machu Picchu TreXperience

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Salkantay Trek 4 Days FAQs

What is Salkantay?

Salkantay is the second-highest mountain in the Cusco region, with 6,271 m / 20,574 feet. It is located in the Vilcabamba Mountains, 60 km northwest of Cusco in the central Peruvian Andes. Salkantay means "wild mountain" and has been considered by the locals to be a sacred god that has controlled the weather and fertility since the Inca era.

What is Salkantay Trek?

Salkantay's proximity to Machu Picchu and ancient trails make it a perfect alternative route called Salkantay Trek Peru. This trek can be completed in a 4 or 5-day hike to Machu Picchu.

How long does Salkantay trek?

The Salkantay Trek can be done in many ways, depending on your itinerary or the operator. The most popular trips are 4 days and 5 days. Shorter than 4 days may bring significant challenges, and trips longer than 5 days usually include city tours in Cusco or Sacred Valley Tours.

Is the Salkantay trek worth it?

After the Inca Trail, the Salkantay route is the most popular hiking route to Machu Picchu. This trek also provides various experiences for travelers, from high mountains with cold temperatures to a high jungle called the "cloud forest." These highly diverse landscapes will provide hikers with rare opportunities to experience different scenery, climate, and weather and have the chance to arrive at Machu Picchu before sunrise.

How high is Salkantay Trek?

It is essential to note the difference between the 6,271m / 20,574 ft of Salkantay Mountain with the Salkantay Pass, located at 4,630m / 15,190ft.

•  First campsite: 3,900 m / 12,795 ft
•  Second campsite: 2,770 m  / 9,087 ft
•  Last night at Aguas Calientes: 2,000 m / 6,561 ft

How cold is the Salkantay trek?

This trek provides a variety of landscapes, different ecosystems, and temperatures. The weather fluctuates throughout the year. Suppose you hike in the dry season (April to October) or the rainy season (November to March). In that case, the temperature will rise slightly during the rainy season and summer in the southern hemisphere.

Day 1: On the first day of the trek, the maximum temperature during the day is 18°C / 64°F, and the temperature at night drops below 0°C / 32°F. It is essential to wear warm clothes.

Day 2: The second day offers two completely different climates. In the first part, you will hike through the Salkantay Pass. This day is the most challenging part of the hike, usually sunny. However, if it rains, the temperature will drop below freezing, and you need to wear a jacket, hat, and gloves.

In the second part of the day, the temperature will rise below the tree line (below 3,000m). Here, we will descend quickly to the second campsite in Cloud Forest. The temperature during the day is 24°C / 75°F and the temperature at night is 10°C / 50°F.

Day 3: On the third day, you will hike through the tropical cloud forest all day. You must wear light clothes to protect yourself from the sun, mosquito repellent, and water. The night temperature may be around 10°C / 53°F

Day 4: On the 4th day, you will visit Machu Picchu, a tropical mountain forest with a warm and humid climate.

How much does the Salkantay trek cost?

Price is one of the most important factors; you should never choose the lowest price because they have hidden costs and will pay more or have a bad experience. The average price of the Salkantay trek is between USD 550 and USD 650. This fee should include a 3-star hotel, catering, porters, all means of transportation, and an excellent English-speaking guide.

It is essential to book your tour with a reputable company. This trip is a hiking trip on high altitudes and slippery terrain, and you should trust the company and the guide completely.

TreXperience provides experienced guides, professional chefs, and comfortable camping equipment. In addition, we also offer coffee tours, Pachamanca cooking, and panoramic trains on the last day to return to Cusco.

How to prepare for Salkantay Trek 4 days?

Salkantay Trek route is feasible; however, you need a moderate fitness level to complete the trek. You don't need to be an expert hiker, but you can live an active life. If not, you must prepare before traveling to avoid bad experiences.

You do not need to train months in advance. However, you must occasionally hike for about an hour or two hours and increase the trip's frequency and duration as you get closer to the tour's starting point. A few hours of exercise in the gym, jogging or spinning will also help.

We recommend hiking on weekends or at least twice a month (including uphill).

Is there a problem with altitude sickness? How to avoid altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness can affect anyone, whether you are a professional hiker or not. Here are some suggestions to avoid altitude sickness:

Arrive in Cusco at least 2 days before the trek; this will help you adapt to the altitude before the hike; in the first few days, you should do some effortless activities or not include a few hours of hiking: we recommend You take a city tour of Cusco, a tour of the Sacred Valley or Maras Moray.

You should avoid excursions such as Rainbow Mountain, which includes hiking at high altitudes.

Please bring high-altitude medicine such as Diamox or other medications your doctor recommends.

During the first few days in Cusco, please eat, light up, and drink plenty of water. Coca-Cola will help.

Where can I book the Salkantay Trek in Cusco?

Machu Picchu is South America and Peru's most important tourist destination; we have limited access to this sanctuary. We have 2 train companies. Aguas Calientes Town, or Machu Picchu Pueblo, is a small town that receives thousands of tourists. Considering these factors, you must always book your itinerary in advance.

Booking the tour as early as possible will allow us to choose the best train, hotel, and Machu Picchu admission schedules.

When is the best time to hike Salkantay and visit Machu Picchu?

The best time to hike the Salkantay trek and visit Machu Picchu is from April to November during the dry season, April and November are "strapless" months, and the weather is expected to vary.

January and February are the months to avoid such trekking because it is rainy, and landslides are at risk. During these months, we recommend that you take the Lares trek.

You may like: Salkantay Trek vs Inca Trail

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