Salkantay Trek 2023 Ultimate Guide

The Salkantay Trek in its different versions that differ in the number of days always ends in Machu Picchu.

During the day the tourists walk through mountainous sections (70 kilometers in total). At night they spend the night in campsites with incredible views of the stars and the mountains. Although this hike can be done without a travel agency, if you do not have the proper preparation, knowledge of the route, and help from a muleteer it can become a bad experience and even be dangerous, that is why it is best to do it with a tourist agency. Know all the details of this trek, day by day.

Salkantay Trek Peru 2022
Salkantay Trek Peru 2022

The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

For the Salkantay trekking route, 5 days of camping trek ends in Machu Picchu. Its name comes from the fact that it runs through mountainous landscapes near the imposing Salkantay snow-capped mountain, the second-highest in Cusco.

The Salkantay Trek 4 days is an excellent alternative. However, the classic route is the one that lasts 5 days. This route covers 70 kilometers in total. This trek reaches its highest point at the Salkantay pass (at 4,650 m.a.s.l.). The lowest point is in the town of Aguas Calientes (2,040 m.a.s.l.).

Along the route, in addition to the Salkantay pass, tourists will appreciate the famous Humantay Lake. On the penultimate day, you can enjoy the jungle landscapes of Cusco. The last day is destined to enjoy Machu Picchu (Machu Picchu Tickets) and return by train to the city of Cusco.

The best way to do this trek is in the company of a tourist agency. However, it is also possible to go on your own. For this, you should organize an excellent travel backpack, with warm clothes and thermal tents (it is very cold during the first two nights). In any case, if you do not have the necessary experience, it is advisable to go with an all-inclusive tour.

Go Treks Peru Salkantay Group
Go Treks Peru Salkantay Group

Summary Salkantay trek 5 days

  • Difficulty 4/5
  • Total distance 70 kilometers
  • Camping on day 1 Soraypampa
  • Camp on day 2 Chaullay
  • Camp on day 3 Lucmabamba
  • Camp on day 4 Aguas Calientes
  • Highest stretch Abra Salkantay (4,650 m.a.s.l.).
  • Lowest elevation Aguas Calientes (2,160 m.a.s.l.).
  • Maximum temperature Machu Picchu (24ºC. on average).
  • Minimum temperature Abra Salkantay (0ºC. on average).
  • Tourist attractions Laguna Humantay, Machu Picchu.
  • Geography is Mountainous and tropical.
  • The difficulty of trekking is Moderate – high.

Acclimatization: The highest point on the trail is at 4,635 masl (15,200 ft), and to avoid problems with altitude sickness we recommend that you spend a minimum of 2 days in Cusco or the surrounding area before starting the trek.

Limited Spaces: This hike does not require permits so there is always availability, however, it is best to book the hike in advance to secure entrance to Machu Picchu and the best train tickets.

Salkatay Trek Peru 2022
Salkatay Trek Peru 2022

Salkantay Trek Prices

The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu 5 days tour has an approximate cost of 500 US dollars per person.

If you are traveling on your own you will have to buy your entrance to Machu Picchu, train tickets, bus tickets, and accommodation in Aguas Calientes. You will also need to carefully organize your backpack, which should include: thermal tents, a sleeping bag, adequate food, toiletries, and more. The cost depends on how each visitor organizes himself/herself.

Why Salkantay Trekking is good for you

The tour to the Salkantay trek, unlike the famous Inca Trail, can be purchased online or in the same city of Cusco with anticipation of days or weeks. To find the right option, it is recommended to review the positive and negative comments on the internet tourism forums.

How should I acclimatize for the Salkantay Trek?

It is best to acclimatize for one or two days in Cusco before starting the trek. You will adapt better to the mountainous geography of the Andes Mountains. Remember that you may suffer from altitude sickness symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and headache. Do not drink alcoholic beverages before the expected hike.

On the hike you will find different types of flowers, trees and plants, such as: eucalyptus, molles, icchu (Andean thatch) and beautiful orchids. The types of birds and mammals that you can see are: the llama, alpaca, Andean condor, cock of the rock, vizcacha, Andean deer or even the spectacled bear.

What to bring to the Salkantay Tour

  • Original passport
  • Sleeping bag (you can rent from us)
  • Small backpack to carry your belongings
  • Walking sticks (you can rent from us)
  • Bathing suit (if you wish to enter the hot springs in Lares or Aguas Calientes)
  • Good shoes or hiking boots, and a pair of sandals
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Raincoat and plastic poncho (especially during the rainy season, from October to April)
  • Comfortable and light clothing for the hike
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Warm clothing including thermal clothing, hat for the cold, and gloves
  • Small towel
  • Toilet paper
  • Water bottle with enough water until the first lunch (after that we will provide boiled water every day)