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Salkantay trek without guide

One of the most impressive multi-day treks in Peru is the Salkantay Path. This trail is often considered a more adventurous and time-consuming substitute for the standard Inca Trail which takes four days to complete.

The number of travel operators offering excursions along the Salkantay Trek increases annually in step with the trail’s rising profile. Taking part in a guided tour has many advantages. On the other hand, seasoned backpackers could enjoy a more challenging trip. As this route does not necessitate a permit, planning a Salkantay trek is considerably less of a hassle.

To help you plan your solo trek on the Salkantay, I have prepared this post and compiled this compilation of information, recommendations, and guidance. As long as you put some time and effort into planning, the Salkantay Trek may be accomplished without a guide.

Is it possible to hike the Salkantay Trek independently?

That is a question to which the answer is unquestionably positive. The path is unambiguous, and the locals are happy to offer assistance. Anywhere you go, you can buy food and find a place to sleep. This implies that you can go on this journey without signing up for a guided trip with very little advance preparation.

It’s impossible to move through Cusco without coming across a travel agency advertising the Salkantay Hike. You may be informed that it is unsafe or too far away to trek alone if you inquire at these offices. No doubt about it! It is not in the interest of tour companies to market their most popular activity as something that can be done alone.

Learning basic conversational Spanish will serve you well. The ability to communicate in the native tongue will (quite literally) open doors for you while you are searching for lodging, directions, or a place to eat.

salkantay trek packing list
salkantay trek packing list

How Risky Is It to Hike the Salkantay Trail Alone?

If you’re worried about walking alone, don’t be. The amenities along the trail have expanded in tandem with the trail’s rising popularity. Only on a rare occasion will you travel for more than three hours without coming across a rest stop replete with a convenience store and restrooms.

A few other hikers, including a solitary female traveler like myself, were encountered during my time on the Salkantay trail. These hikers, all of whom were without guides, had no complaints. Having the option to get up whenever they pleased and proceed with their day as they saw fit was highly valued by the vast majority.

The trail is also frequently shared by other hikers. Get yourself into a jam, and help won’t be far away. Include your regular medication and a first aid kit with the basics in your packing.

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salkantay trek 7 days

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Where do I sleep while trekking the Salkantay?

The thought of carrying a tent up the mountainside put me off of solo hiking the Salkantay for a while. On the Salkantay Trek, however, you can choose from a wide variety of lodgings.

The destination of each day will be a predetermined camp or settlement. Getting a place to sleep at night is quite simple. In most cases, you’ll be able to find a homestay or a cheap dorm room in one of the nearby cities. You can also stay in campgrounds that provide tents, mattresses, and sleeping bags. Glass domes are one of the more opulent options available in some cities.

The options vary in price. You might have to do some exploring to find a spot that isn’t reserved by a tour group. While out for a stroll in Santa Theresa on my third night of the Salkantay Trek, a kind local gave me a place to stay and a beer. Finding a bed is as simple as looking for one.

salkantay trek without guide
Salkantay trek without a guide

When I go on the Salkantay trip by myself, what should I eat?

The good news is that you won’t have to worry about bringing enough food for the next five days on this trek. There are dining options in the towns and campgrounds spread out along the trail.

Almost every meal will include options for purchase, such as a plate of food or a sandwich. Most hostels and guesthouses provide meal packages for an additional fee, so long as you aren’t too particular about where you eat.

Before you head out on the path, it’s a good idea to stock up on food. Costs are somewhat higher in areas frequented by trekkers. At the markets of Cusco, you can get an incredible variety of dried fruit and nuts at very reasonable prices. There is the largest selection of trail-friendly groceries at San Pedro Market.

Kiwi bars are a great lightweight option for hiking food. These cereal bars may be found at any convenience store or supermarket in the Cusco area. Each one fetches a price of about 1 sole ($0.25c!).

You can be a true outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman) and prepare your own meals. In such a circumstance, you’ll require some sort of culinary utensils. This is a selection of high-quality camping equipment and camping gas stoves that you may bring on your solo Salkantay Trek.

What does it take to go on the Salkantay Trek by yourself in terms of money?

You may tackle the Salkantay Trek on your own for about $175-$200. Meals, lodging, and transportation to and from Machu Picchu are all included. The cost is conditional on the accommodation and food chosen.

It will also make a difference in price if you opt to rent hiking and camping gear. Sharing hiking expenses is easier if you’re going with a friend or significant other.

How to Backpack Like a Pro for Your Alone Salkantay Trip

If you plan on hiking the Salkantay Trail on your own, you’ll have to bring everything you need with you. There are places to stay along the journey, but you might find it more convenient to pack a tent. Only do this if you intend to camp in a less populated area.

Don’t over-compare and take only the essentials with you on your trip. You shouldn’t need two pairs of pants for hiking, for instance.

Food and drinks can be purchased at rest stops. Make sure you have some emergency food supplies like ramen noodles, trail mix, and energy bars.

Bringing more than 15 kilograms of gear will greatly increase the difficulty of the hike. In Mollepata, you can hire the services of an arriero (horseman) if your luggage is too big to handle. There is a daily fee of 30 to 40 Soles for each mule, plus another 30 to 40 Soles for the workers.

Moving From Mollepata to Soraypampa on Day 1 (13 km )

It takes about three hours by minibus to reach Mollepata from Cusco. The start of the Salkantay Trail is in Challacancha , from where you can hike to Soraypampa along a dirt road. To begin, there is the campsite known as Soraypampa.

in the afternoon you can visit the famous humantay lagoon with beautiful views and the magic lagoon and surrounding mountains.

Soraypampa to Collpapampa over the Salkantay Pass, Day 2. (23 km)

Walking from Soraypampa to Salkantay Pass, the trail’s highest point, should take about three hours. Incredible views of snow-capped Mount Salkantay can be had from this pass. Your second night’s campsite is located in Collpapampa, which you can see descending from the Salkantay pass.

Leaving Collpapampa for Lucmabamba on Day 3 (9.9 miles)

Camp out for the night at the welcoming community of Lucmabamba. The town is a good place to stock up on groceries and sample some regional fare.

Traveling from Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes via Llactapata on Day 4 (15.5 miles)

The route will start with a steep uphill climb to the Llactapata archaeological site, from which it will descend to join the Hydroelectric Plant. If you stick to the railroad, you’ll end up in Aguas Calientes, a town not far from the spectacular Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes on Day 5 (5.6 miles)

From Aguas Calientes, you may reach Machu Picchu by a hard stairway climb that takes around 45 to 90 minutes. After spending the day seeing one of the world’s most renowned cultural landmarks, you may get a train back to Cusco from Aguas Calientes; the journey takes about four hours.

salkantay trek without guide
salkantay trek without guide

Salkantay Trek Packing List

Here is your packing list, and go over what is helpful, and what is a waste of money and backpack space.

To help our trekkers on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

Now we show you the packaging list you need for Salkantay Trek, things like sleeping bags, shoes, t-shirts, and more.

This List is like the Inca Trail packing list to Machu Picchu, and another trekking in Cusco, make your trip more amazing by doing Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, because is the first alternative trek to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

The Salkantay Trek, at this time the best alternative trek to Machu Picchu in Peru after Inca Trail sold out, is the main trip to go to this wonderful city of Incas, the trekking is hard in some parts of the route, we strongly recommended to read the Salkantay Packaging list.

You need


In sum, the Salkantay Trek is one of the most fascinating hikes in the world. It has stunning scenery and is packed with adventure, risk, and excitement, making it a truly unforgettable hike. By according to the map’s instructions, you can see everything worth seeing on your tour without missing a thing. Don’t go without the things you’ll need. You shouldn’t hike without company if you have any. Due to the difficulties of the trek, this strategy is the safest option available.