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Salkantay Trek 4 Days To Machu Picchu | Enjoy 4 Day Trekking

The 4 day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the alternative routes that includes all the highlights of the Salkantay Trekking 5 days only at a faster pace. On this trek, you will see snow-capped mountains, Andean landscapes, tropical forests, and even dense jungle accompanying you during the 60 kilometers(37.28 miles) Salkantay trek distance. This is your best option!

Salkantay Trek 4 Days to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous treks in Cusco and is undoubtedly the best alternative route to reach the citadel of Machu Picchu. This trek will take you through different landscapes and altitudes of the classic Inca Trail.



4 Day Salkantay Trek Highlights

  • Enjoy the panoramic views of the Limatambo Valley and Mollepata grassy hills on the Salkantay Trekking 4 Days.
  • Hike up to the Humantay Lake on the first day of the Salkantay Trekking 4 Days.
  • Reach the highest point of the Salkantay trail to enjoy the beautiful views of the Salkantay mountain.
  • Make a small ritual for the Andean gods and learn about Inca religión.
  • Sleep under the authentic Andean Inca huts of our exclusive campsites.
  • Visit the icon of South America Machu Picchu on the fourth day of your Salkantay trek 4 Days.
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Day by Day Travel Schedule

Customize this itinerary by adding extra days to any location. Please contact one of our expert travel advisors for advice.

The night before your tour, you will receive a short briefing on the hike from your trek leader.

After picking up everyone from their respective places or hotel, we left Cusco around 4:45 am to the town of Mollepata by car for 2 hours. Once in Mollepata, we stop to have a delicious breakfast and also pay 10 soles of the entrance fee to the local municipality.

Then we continue by car for 1 hour more to Soraypampa where we will meet with the horse guys and horse who will take all the luggage, food, and the 7 kilos of each hiker’s belongings.

We start the uphill hike to Humantay Lake for 2 hours, When you arrive at the lagoon you will have enough time to explore and photograph the place and the guide will explain all the meaning of the Humantay lagoon.

After a couple of hours on the lake, we start going down for 2 hours to Quiswarniyoc camp which is an exclusive campsite, once you arrive at the camp you will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by the cooks after lunch basically you have free time to explore the area to see the llamas or if you like you can go to rest.

If you are tired, you can rest in the MOUNTAIN SKY HUST which is the cabin with glass doors, there are pillows and a sleeping pad and it has illumination for the night.

 First-day details of Salkantay 4 day

  • Meals:                             Lunch & Dinner
  • Hiking Distance:       8 km
  • Highest Elevation:    3,800 m
  • Campsite Elevation: 3.800 m
  • Weather:                        Cold
  • Conditions:                   Rocky, dusty, and slippery (required: trekking shoes)

We’ll start the day off with hot tea. We will have enough time to pack and enjoy a delicious breakfast as we watch the sunrise. Afterward, you will begin the longest day of your trip to reach ”CHAULLAY .

immediately begin hiking up to the highest point of the Salkantay pass trail (4620 masl – 15,255 ft).  The distance is 5 km we should complete it in 4 hours. During the ascent through the rocky valley, we can observe the magnificent Salkantay peak and may even see chinchillas on the trail (6217 masl – 20,341 ft). Once we reach the top of the trail, we will enjoy spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay, Humantay, and Pumasillo.

Salkantay is considered the second-highest mountain in the Cusco region and one of the main Inca Gods known as “Apu Salkantay”. Hiking to the top is the most difficult part of the entire trek.  You will feel so accomplished!  The next  3 hours is spent heading downhill on the serpent trail along gravel and rocky path to reach Huayracmachay, our lunch spot. In the afternoon we will arrive at the upper part of the rain forest, also called a “cloud forest”.  We will cover 9 km in 3 hours until to get to Challway Village (2900 masl – 9,514 ft) our base campsite.  t.


  • Meals:                               Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Hiking Distance:            18 km
  • Trail Condition:             Rocky, dusty, and slippery
  • Weather:                         Warm to hot (mosquitoes)

On the third day, you will already be in the jungle area. We wake you up around 6:00 am with a cup of coca tea, then we provide you with a delicious breakfast.

Around 7:00 am you start the hike to la playa Sahuayaco for 5 hours approximately along the Santa Teresa Valley which is formed by the Salkantay River.

Along the valley, you have the chance to see plantations such as coffee, bananas, avocados, Coca, passion fruit, and much more.

After five hours of hiking, you will arrive at La Playa Sahuayaco, from where you will take local transportation for one hour to Santa Teresa, where you stop to have lunch then you continue by car for 45 minutes to Hydroelectric then walk 3 more hours along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes town on the flat trail.

Then we take you to the hostal for showering and relaxing, in the evening around 7:00 pm, we organized a dinner in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes after we go to sleep.


  • Meals:                            Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Hiking Distance:            14 km
  • Lowest Elevation:         2,000 m
  • Trail Condition:             possibly slippery
  • Weather:            Temperate

Our 4th day, we will start off early (wake-up 4:30 a.m.).  Followed by breakfast (5:00 a.m.) at the hotel. After, board the bus to Machu Picchu, which will take approx.. 25 minutes to reach (door open 6:00 a.m.). Please be sure to bring your original passport to show the Rangers (you can get a Machu Picchu seal on your passport).

Your guide will take you to the best places in Machu Picchu while enjoying the sunrise (depending on the weather).

Then you will have a two-hour guided tour.  Following this, you’ll have an opportunity to explore Machu Picchu on your own.

  • If you have reserved a visit to “HUAYNAPICHHU” (tickets $ 25.00 per person/limited to 400 per day – not included), you’ll begin your hike at 7:00 – 10:00 a.m., please coordinate with the Trek Leader for your visit depending on Municipality’s programmed time.

There are many more activities that you can do.  These activities are optional (not included with the package) for example The “Puerta del Sol” (2-hour hike up and down), where you will appreciate the Inca city from a different viewpoint. In the afternoon, you’ll catch the train to reach the City of Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival to Ollantaytambo, we will have transportation waiting to drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.


  • Meals:                              Breakfast
  • Lowest Altitude:           2,040 m / 6.691 ft
  • Highest Altitude:          2,440 m / 8,052 ft

Note: If you want to stay an extra night, just lets us know and we can help book a hotel in Aguas Calientes, as well as your train ticket for the next day

Rangers don’t allow people to carry bags bigger than 25 liters when entering Machu Picchu

No trekking poles are allowed in Machu Picchu
Snacks and water are allowed – in bags-

What's Included

Salkantay Trek 4 Days included

this is all included for the 4 day Salkantay trek

  • Bilingual English-speaking tour guide (additional tour guide for groups of nine people or more)
  • Pre-Departure Briefing at your hotel 1 or 2 days before your trek.
  • Excellent meals:
  • Food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, and rice, foods that are rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking. (Vegetarian, vegan, or special diet meals upon request)
  • Tea time before dinner (tea, coffee, coca, biscuits, popcorn).
  • Wake up to coca tea in your tent
  • Buckets of hot water for washing in your tent every day
  • Biodegradable soap and hand cleansing gel
  • Oxygen Tank & First aid kit
  • sky huts in Soraypampa.
  • Chef
  • Horse to transport 8 kg of your gear
  • Duffle bag for your gear
  • Four breakfasts, four lunches, and four dinners
  • Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
  • One-night hostel  accommodation in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu.

Salkantay trek 4 days to Machu Picchu not included

  • Tips: Guide, Cook, Horseman.
  • First breakfast-last lunch
  • extra horse
  • sleeping bag  10 $
  • Entrance to Humantay Lagoon 20 soles

Trip Info

4 Day Salkantay Trekking Packing List

GO TREKS PERU As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator, we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress, and extra clothing. This packing list will show you what you will need

  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants at least
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Bathing Suit for the thermal waters
  • Couple Fleece/ Thermals
  • Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º Celcius.
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger.
  • A small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash.
  •  Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek

It means that you will do the trek carrying your small backpack with things you need for the day hike and you will have access to the duffle bag at each camping place.

4-Day Salkantay Trek Prices

Prices: 4-Day Salkantay Trek Group service – SEASON 2023

For the Salkantay trek for 4 days, there are 02 prices and depend on how you like to return to Cusco after visiting Machu Picchu because we offer you 02 options which are RETURN BY CAR or RETURN BY TRAIN.

  • Salkantay treks 4 Days return by Car:

    Student: 190 US Dollars
    Adult: 210 US Dollars

  • Salkantay treks 4 Days return by Train:

    Student: 260 US Dollars
    Adult: 280 US Dollars


  • Waynapicchu Mountain: US 20 dollars (check availability) https://bit.ly/2SKw5f3
  • Machupicchu montaña: US 20 dollars (check avaliability) https://bit.ly/2SKw5f3
  • Sleeping bag for the whole trekUS 10 dollars.
  • UPGRADE to Vistadome trainUS 35 dollars (If you decided to return by train you can upgrade the regular train to Vistadome Train)



The student price applies to all students from over the world. You just need to meet the requirements that the Peruvian government has for students since we get a discount when we buy Machu Picchu tickets from the Peruvian government.


  • The student card must be an original student ID given by your university in PVC material.
  • The student card must be painted (University Information, Student name, and Student Picture)
  • The student card must have printed a valid expiration date /  valid only for one year if you visit Machu Picchu in 2022 the expiration date must be 2022 or 2023 or visiting Machu Picchu in 2023 the maximum expiration date is 2024.
  • Discount for students, not more than 25 years old
  • ISIC (international student identification card) is not valid for the discount even if they complete the requirements
  • The only valid document for the student price is the actual student card that meets the requirements of the Peruvian government. It is not valid any other documents, such as certifications, and virtual cards are not valid as proof of student
  • IF YOU MEET all the requirements, send us a photo of both sides of your student ID to gotreksperu@gmail.com by the time you book the tour. If you send us later does not work to apply for the student price

Frequently Asked Questions Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days / 3 Nights

Which is better Inca Trail or Salkantay Trail?

The ancient Inca Trail 4 Days, was originally part of the Inca Road system interconnecting the Inca Empire. This classic trek hike through diverse scenery. The Salkantay Trek, on the other hand, is more strenuous and famous for its mountain scenery.

How difficult are the Salkantay Trek 4 Days?

For an average traveler or tourist, Salkantay is considered a challenging but certainly not impossible hike. Due to the physical demands, anyone who wishes to trek Salkantay should at least be moderately fit. Plus, all trekkers should spend at least 2 days in Cuzco before the trek, to get acclimatized. Being extremely fit does not grant any immunity from altitude sickness.
The entire hike is approximately 72 kilometers (approximately 45 miles), and this hike takes place for 4 days and 3 nights. The remaining 1 day of the trek is spent at Machu Picchu. In general, Salkantay is considered to be slightly harder than the Inca Trail. Other trails, such as Choquequirao, are considered to be slightly harder than Salkantay.

What Is Unique About Salkantay Mountain?

The most notable landmark on the Sakantay trek is Mount Salkantay, for which the trail is named. Mount Salkantay (or Nevada Salkantay / Salcantay) is the most well-known mountain in the vicinity of Cusco. Additionally, it is the highest peak in the Willkapampa range.
The summit is approached by hikers on the Salkantay trail from the south. On the first night, you can occasionally hear avalanches from your campsite in the valley below this alpine peak.
On day two, trekkers ascend the Salkantay Pass (4,630 meters / 15,400 feet). At the summit of this pass, the mountain will be in close proximity. This elevation also offers breathtaking views of the valley below.  This mountain is revered within the culture of Peru. It is difficult to ascend, and there have been few expeditions to its summit.

What is the 4 day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu?

The 4 Days Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu includes every highlight of the Classic 5 Days Salkantay Trail only at a faster pace. You will admire snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes such as the Humantay Lagoon and Salkantay Lake, and pass through the cloud forest and the Peruvian jungle.

The length of the Salkantay Trek

The length of the Salkantay Trek is approximately 69 kilometers/42.87 miles. There are variations in the route depending on where you begin and with whom you trek.
Typically, the trek is completed in 5 days and 4 nights, with a visit to Machu Picchu on the final day. However, it is also possible to complete the expedition in 4 days and 3 nights.

About the Salkantay Trek 4 Days

The Salkantay Trail connects Cusco to the Citadel of Machu Picchu and runs approximately 89 km/55 miles through high Andean peaks, cloud forests, and steamy jungles. The hike starts at the village of Mollepata, a few miles from Cusco.
The Salkantay Peak – Savage Mountain – is located within the Vilcabamba mountain range, to the northwest of Cusco. Salkantay is one of the highest and most spectacular mountains in the Andes (6,271m/20,574ft).
National Geographic’s Adventure Travel Magazine named the Salkantay trek among the 25 Best Treks in the World

What is the difference between the 4-day and 5-day Salkantay Trek?

On the 4-day Salkantay Trek, we will walk through the same beautiful and scenic landscapes as the 5-day Trek. The difference is that we will climb to the Salkantay Pass on the first day of the trek instead of the morning of the 2nd day. We will also stay in different campsites along the trail than the 5-day Salkantay Trek.
to show the image Salkantay trek 4 or 5 days map

Inca Trail Hike Salkantay Trek
Scenery Mountains, cloud forests, and Incan Archaeological Sites Mountains  and abundant wildlife
Distance 26 miles over 4 days 46 miles over 5 days
Difficulty Moderate (3/5) Strenuous (4/5)
Highest Altitude 13,828 feet 15,000 feet
Availability 200  people per day, book in advance. More customizable than Salkantay. No permit restrictions, an average of 50 hikers per day.
Facilities Mid-range camping or luxury glamping. Porters are available to carry gear. Options from rudimentary camping to luxury lodges.
Best For Travelers in good hiking shape who value comfortable camps and don’t mind a popular trail. For experienced, hikers who want to get off the beaten path and value solitude, mountain scenery, opportunities to view wildlife, and a wider range of overnight options.
What is the difference between 4 day Salkantay trek and 5 days Salkantay?

salkantay trek distance

The cloud forest and the high Andes on the way to Machu Picchu. Fantastic vistas of Apu Salkantay (which means “savage mountain” in Quechua) at 20,574 feet, Cusco’s second-highest peak, await you along the route (6,271 m). This route to Machu Picchu takes travelers through less-visited regions rich in history and heritage as well as beautiful flora and fauna unique to Peru. There is no better way to obtain a feel for Andean culture than by spending time in the genuine Andes under ideal weather circumstances. Here are the distances you should expect to go during your Salkantay Trek

Salkantay trek altitude

The city of Cusco, at an altitude of 3,400 meters above sea level (masl), is the starting point for the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu. After a four-hour bus ride from Cusco, you’ll arrive at the trailhead at Challakancha, 3,800 meters above sea level, and begin your hike surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery. Beginning in the Soraypampa region, the ascent continues to the 4,650-meter-high Salkantay Pass. This means that between the time you leave Challakancha and the time you reach the highest point of the Salkantay Trek, you will gain a height of 850 meters.

You’ll need to take it easy and take in the scenery along the Salkantay trail in order to make it over the significant altitude changes. Each day will involve an average of six to eight hours of walking and the gain or loss of many meters in height. The only day of your TREKKING where you will walk less than usual and gain some elevation will be the last. Due to your exploration of the Inca fortress of Machu Picchu, you will ascend 850 meters in elevation and drop 3,150 meters to reach the Santa Teresa region.

One of the few hikes that allow you to see the Andes from a more manageable altitude is the Salkantay Trek. Although you won’t be climbing to extremely lofty altitudes on this hike, you’ll still be in close proximity to some impressive peaks

salkantay trek elevation

The elevation of the Salkantay Trek is very different each day and the standard route of the Salkantay Trail is the northeast mountain range. Access to the route usually involves three days of hiking from a place called Challacancha.

The hike involves about 1,800 m (5,900 ft) of elevation gain, on glaciers, snow, ice, and some rocks.

We are not going to climb to the top of Salkantay or Salcantay mountain, but the Salkantay Trek 5 days / 4 nights, that is why we write details for the Salkantay Trek elevation and distance because we consider it very important for you to read and know this information.

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