There are other methods of trekking to machupicchu. One is an extended hike that begins a genuine wilderness experience and chance to explore the slopes of Salkantay Mountain, the sacred mountain of the Incas. Salkantay is second highest mountain in Cusco region. One skirt east of the glaciers to join the Santa Teresa valley, in salkantay trek you can find several ecological zones, several flora and fauna. The sprawling, partially uncovered yet highly significant site at llactapata and the fact that trek finish’s on the doorstep of one the finish archaeological sites in the America are some compensation though.
Salkantay trek Availability
Machulas journey offer daily departures from March to January, this tour can be done any days of the week and 11 months of year, and you can book any day of the week except February (nobody work) because Salkantay trek is close and we take as our vacation. We recommended to book salkantay trek at least one month in advance, that means we can organize your trip better without problem.
We pick you up from your hotel and start our adventurous tour by bus. We travel to the village of Challacancha (3750m/12303ft), from where we will start our hike. We will hike for 4 hours along an Inca canal all the way to Soraypampa (3800m/12467ft), where we will have a delicious lunch and set up the tents. After that we will have the chance hike to see the amazing and spectacular lagoon of Humantay and back at the campsite and then have a yummy dinner. On day one we will be surrounded by green mountains and along the path we will see a wide variety of native plants and flowers with birds flitting around. Towards the end of the day we will see the snow-capped peaks of Mount Humantay and Mount Salkantay (the Savage) looming high above us. The nights can get chilly here so it is a good idea to put on your hat and gloves before you go to sleep.
The second day is the longest and hardest day of the trek but the most beautiful one too; this is the last chance to see Mount Humantay (6000m/19685ft) and the Salkantay peak (6200m/20341ft). The scenery during the day changes from one extreme to another; starting from the high Puna, covered in Ichu grass we make our way down to the lush and green high jungle. From the camping site we will have to walk for about 4 hours all the way to the top of the Salkantay pass (4600m/15091ft). On the top we will have a 15 minutes break to enjoy the unique view and then descend for about 3 hours to Wayraqmachay where we have lunch. After a refreshing lunch we will descend the far side down to the warm and intensive cloud forest. Along the way we will see a variety of wildlife from the small finches that scrape by at the higher altitudes to hummingbirds in the cloud forest as well as a wide variety of beautiful Orchids. Our campsite is at Collpapampa (2900m/9514ft), we recommended to put on insect repellent because from this point on we will find mosquitoes. Tonight we will also have the opportunity to meet the local community.
Day 3 will be the easiest day, we will only walk for about 5 and half hours and 12 kilometers down the valley from Colpapampa along the Salkantay river until we reach the valley of Santa Teresa and the village of La Playa. Around this area people are planting a variety of jungle crops like coffee, avocadoes, bananas, lime and others fruits. Our lunch and campsite is in the village of “La Playa” Sahuayaco (2400m/ 7874ft), where we will have another delicious meal and after some time to relax. If you want, the guide can organize a short trip to the local hot springs.
The fourth day is our last hiking day and today we will reach Aguas Calientes. We get up early in order to follow our way through the mountain and along original Inca trail. We will have to climb for about 4 hours uphill until we get to the archaeological site of Llactapata, where our tour guide will be able to explain about Inca history. From the peak we will enjoy a fantastic view of Machu Picchu. Further away we can see the Salkantay peak and say good bye to it. After a guided tour through the ruins of Llactapata, on which we will learn about the Inca people and their culture, we will head back down for two hours on the mountainside until we reach the train station of Hydroelectric. There we will have our last lunch and it is time to say good-bye to our porters and our master chef who accompanied us on our trip. Then we will catch up our train (30 minutes) to Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the last night at a hotel and have our last dinner at a restaurant.
On our last day we have to wake up early in the morning because it is a tradition to go to Machu Picchu very early in order to see the sunrise. We will start the day with a tasty breakfast at the hotel and then head to the bus station to catch up our bus that will take us (25 minutes) to the main entrance of Machu Picchu. At 6:00 a.m Machu Picchu opens its doors and we will go straight to the view point (the postcard picture) where you will take the classic postcard photo of Machu Picchu. After that the guide will start a guided, 2 hours tour and teach you all the information you will need about Machu Picchu, visiting the most important areas of the citadel. Then you will have free time to explore the site by yourself. If you have a ticket to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains you will do that after the guided tour. In the afternoon we will go back to Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Ollantaytambo, from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.
Tour Guides: All of our tour guides are professionals who studied tourism at University and come from around the Cusco region. They also all speak Quechua the language of Cuzco region. All of them are extremely knowledgeable and fun to be around.
Master Chef: Your master chef is an important person, preparing you delicious, buffet-style organic meals throughout the trek. If you have any dietary requests, such as vegetarian foods, please let us know.
Asemilas: In this case we do not provide porters, in salkantay trek we provide mules, horses will carry our cooking and campimg equipment and up to 7 kg of your personal belongings.
Note: we will give you your duffle bags (for the mules to carry) at your briefing the night before we start the trek. This sholud be filled with the things you need for the night and the next days. You will not have access to your duffle until you reach the campsite. we will have also mules, horse’s drivers which they will help us for two days and our cook he will going on cooking until Hydroelectric.
Transportation: We will go by bus to Challacancha, where we will start our hike. After we end our trip in Aguas calientes, we’ll go back by train to Ollantaytambo and then continue by bus to Cusco.
Tents: Made especially for trekking, our tents are professional and very comfortable. We use 4-person, Eureka Timberline tents that only need to be shared by 2 people.
Machu Picchu Permits: A permit is required for entry to SALKANTAY TREK and Machu Picchu. As soon as we receive your details and deposit, as long as permits are still available with the government office (please check our SALKANTAY TREK Availability link), we will purchase your permits for you. These permits are in your name for a specific date and can't be changed once confirmed. Only your passport number may be updated.
Oxygen and First Aid: On this trek, the highest point is at the first pass (4650m/15,255ft). The guide will have oxygen and first aid them at all times. However, if you have any prescriptions from your doctor, please bring them with you. All our guides have received training from a medical doctor.
Pre - Briefing: Prior to your trek you will have a briefing in your hotel. Please let us know where you are staying and what time is good for you. We typically suggest around 6:00 pm, but you may choose another time if you prefer. At briefing time, we will give you the details of the trek and provide the Machulas Journey duffel bags that will be with the porters while you hike. And finally, you will have the opportunity to ask your guide any questions you might have.
Water: We will supply water every morning, at lunchtime, during our afternoon hike, and at night. The water will be boiled, filtered, and then cooled down before distributing. You just need to bring a container for water on the trek and let our master chef know how many liters you will drink so that he knows how much water to prepare. Our recommendation is to drink a lot of water while you hike, especially when we are at higher elevations.
Sleeping Bags: Your sleeping bag is not included in your trek, so hikers will need to bring their own or rent one from Machulas Journey. Machulas Journey will provide you with a regular mattress. If you want to sleep well, you may want to bring an inflatable air mattress as well. They are also available for rent: (sleeping bag 20 USD, and inflatable air mattress 20 USD).
Walking Stick: Walking sticks are very helpful on this trek. If don’t have your own, you can rent them from our office for 15 USD.
The Last Lunch: After our amazing experience on the SALKANTAY TREK, many of our clients want to go to one of the restaurants in Aguas Calientes to have a local meal. This last lunch is not included in your journey.
Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu: Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu the mountains that stand next to Machu Picchu citadel offer spectacular views. Huayna Picchu takes 45 minutes to get to the top and then 45 minutes back down. Machu Picchu takes 1 hour to summit and another hour back down. This is done after your tour of Machu Picchu Inca city. If you want to climb either of these mountains, please let us know so we can better organize your tour. The cost for Huayna Picchu is 60 USD per person and 55 USD per person for Machu Picchu Mountain. Note: Don’t confuse Machu Picchu Inca citadel with the Machu Picchu mountain.
A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the Journey - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.