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Salkantay trek - prices, itineraries and best time to visit

Salkantay Trek

While the Inca Trail is deservedly one of the most famous in South America, the Salkantay Trek offers a wilder and perhaps more authentic approach to the Incas’ most famous monument. No trip to Peru can be considered complete without a visit to the mystical mountaintop ruins of Read More

Salkantay Trek - 15 Trips with 7 Reviews

Highlights
  • Discover the mystical beauty of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of the Inca Empire..
  • Opportunity to see beautiful landscapes with a variety of endemic flora and fauna..
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  • Starts Cusco, Peru
  • Ends Cusco, Peru

Salkantay Trek To Machu Picchu

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5 day trekking tour in Peru, visiting Salkantay Trek, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Read More
  • Operator Tierras Vivas
  • Activities Trekking
  • Accommodation Hostel, Camping & Tent
  • Transport Train & Bus
  • Age Range 5 to 79 years old
From US$ 500 5 days View Tour
Next Departures
Aug 23
Aug 24
Highlights
    Read More
    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Salkantay Trek To Machu Picchu

    • Free cancellation
    • E-ticket
    • Best price guaranteed
    5 day trekking trip in Peru, visiting Salkantay Trek, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Read More
    • Operator Condor Expeditions
    • Activities Trekking
    • Accommodation Hotel, Tent & Hostel
    • Transport Bus & Train
    • Age Range 5 to 79 years old
    From US$ 770 5 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 23
    Aug 24
    Highlights
    • Challenge yourself with the Salkantay trek.
    • Travel to the Inca site of Llactapata.
    • Explore the incredible Machu Picchu.
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    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Salkantay Trek & Machu Picchu

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    4 day trekking trip in Peru, visiting Machu Picchu, Salkantay Trek and Cusco. Read More
    From US$ 595 4 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 23
    Aug 24
    Highlights
    • Spend time exploring the former Inca capital of Cusco and its surrounding..
    • An amazing 8 days culturally rich and rewarding travel experience in Peru..
    • Hike up and over Salkantay Pass for breathtaking views of the valley below.
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    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Trek Along The Salkantay - Machu Picchu

    • Free cancellation
    • E-ticket
    • Best price guaranteed
    8 day trekking trip in Peru, visiting Salkantay Trek, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Read More
    • Operator Inkayni Peru Tours
    • Tour Type Group Tour
    • Activities Trekking
    • Accommodation Camping, Hotel & Tent
    • Transport Bus & Train
    • Age Range 5 to 79 years old
    From US$ 1,790 8 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 23
    Aug 24
    Highlights
    • Explore the Sacred Valley.
    • Travel to the famous Inca ruins of Cusco and its surrounding areas.
    • Enjoy the beauty of the Andean landscape.
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    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Salkantay Trek

    of 1 review
    • Trip customizable
    • Best price guaranteed
    What an amazing trip. We love adventure and treks, they were able to make a custom trip to offer us ...
    From US$ 1,151 9 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 31
    Sep 1
    Highlights
    • Salkantay snowpeak.
    • Llactapata archaeological site.
    • Machu Picchu.
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    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    The Ultimate Trek To Machu Picchu: Salkantay Trek 5 Days

    • E-ticket
    • Trip customizable
    • Best price guaranteed
    5 day trekking trip visiting Salkantay Trek and Cusco in Peru. Read More
    • Operator Apu Andino
    • Tour Type Group Tour
    • Activities Trekking
    • Accommodation Tent, Hotel & Camping
    • Transport Train & Bus
    • Age Range 5 to 79 years old
    From US$ 765 5 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 23
    Aug 24
    Highlights
    • Enjoy the lesser-trekked route to Mount Salcantay before joining up with the classic Inca Trail.
    • Explore the iconic ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu at the best time of day.
    • Trek among the lush valleys, alpine lakes and rugged snow-capped peaks of the Peruvian Andes.
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    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Lima, Peru
    • Ends Lima, Peru

    Salcantay Base Camp To Machu Picchu Trek

    of 4 reviews
    I had an amazing trip! A once in a lifetime experience, and memories I will cherish forever ... the entire experience ...
    • Operator World Expeditions Active 2 hours ago
    • Tour Type Group Tour
    • Activities Trekking
    • Accommodation Hotel & Camping
    • Transport Private Vehicle
    • Age Range 18 to 99 years old
    SavingUS$ 130
    From US$ 2,469 15 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Sep 11 Only 4 seats left
    Oct 3 10+ seats left
    Highlights
    • One of "the best 25 new treks in the world" by National Geographic.
    • Salkantay is a majestic peak of over 6300 meters (20,000 feet!).
    • The trek combines hiking in the Andes with the cloud forest.
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    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Salkantay Trek To Machu Picchu

    • E-ticket
    • Best price guaranteed
    5 day trekking tour visiting Salkantay Trek and Cusco in Peru. Read More
    • Operator Inkas Destination Tour Operator
    • Tour Type Private Tour
    • Activities Trekking
    • Accommodation Hotel, Hostel, Tent & Camping
    • Transport Train & Bus
    • Age Range 5 to 79 years old
    From US$ 590 5 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 23
    Aug 24
    Highlights
    • 8-Day Classic Inca Trail Journey to Machu Picchu, from Cusco.
    • Embark on a multi-day, small-group trek to Machu Picchu along the famed Inca Trail.
    • Spend time exploring the former Inca capital of Cusco and its surrounds..
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    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Trek Along Salkantay To Machu Picchu

    • E-ticket
    • Best price guaranteed
    8 day trekking trip in Peru, visiting Salkantay Trek, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Read More
    • Operator Inkayni Peru Tours
    • Tour Type Group Tour
    • Activities Trekking
    • Accommodation Camping, Hotel, Tent & Hostel
    • Transport Bus & Train
    • Age Range 5 to 79 years old
    From US$ 1,099 8 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 23
    Aug 24
    Highlights
    • Hike among 6,000m Andean peaks.
    • Cross snowy high passes with incredible views.
    • Reach the comfort of Aguas Calientes town.
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    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Salkantay Trek To Machu Picchu 4D/3N (Start Trek On Day 1)

    4 day explorer trip visiting Cusco and Salkantay Trek in Peru. Read More
    • Operator Bamba Experience Active 13 minutes ago
    • Tour Type Group Tour
    • Activities Trekking & Explorer
    • Accommodation Camping, Tent & Hotel
    • Transport Private Vehicle, Bus & Train
    • Age Range 1 to 55 years old
    SavingUS$ 35
    From US$ 655 4 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 24 10+ seats left
    Aug 26 Only 6 seats left
    Highlights
    • Conquer the Salkantay Pass.
    • Explore Machu Picchu.
    • Take a ride on an Expedition train.
    Read More
    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Salkantay Trek & Machupicchu Tour

    • E-ticket
    • Trip customizable
    • Best price guaranteed
    5 day trekking tour in Peru, visiting Salkantay Trek, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Read More
    From US$ 780 5 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 28
    Aug 29
    Highlights
    • Trek to Abra Huayracmachay, located at an altitude of 4,600m.
    • Enjoy a sunrise view from Machu Picchu.
    • Cross the Salkantay Pass (4600m).
    Read More
    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Salkantay Trek & Machu Picchu

    of 2 reviews
    • E-ticket
    • Best price guaranteed
    This is certainly the trip of a lifetime, made even better by Victor! 10/10 would go again. ...
    From US$ 1,275 5 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Sep 10
    Sep 11
    Highlights
    • Trek through diverse landscapes and varying altitudes.
    • Travel past the famous Apacheta Pass (4,600m).
    • Explore Machu Picchu, the famous Inca citadel.
    Read More
    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Salkantay Trek To Machu Picchu: 5 Days

    • Trip customizable
    • Best price guaranteed
    5 day trekking tour in Peru, visiting Salkantay Trek, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Read More
    From US$ 637 5 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 23
    Aug 24
    Highlights
    • Trek through diverse landscapes and varying altitudes.
    • Explore the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
    Read More
    Add to Your Tour Wish List
    • Starts Cusco, Peru
    • Ends Cusco, Peru

    Salkantay Trek To Machu Picchu: 8 Days

    • Trip customizable
    • Best price guaranteed
    8 day trekking trip in Peru, visiting Cusco, Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu. Read More
    From US$ 881 8 days View Tour
    Next Departures
    Aug 23
    Aug 25
    No Booking Fees
    No extra booking fees are charged.
    Showing 1 - 14 of 15 results
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    Salkantay Trek Reviews

    4.9 - Excellent Based on 7 customer reviews
    Very Good Reviewed Tour: Salcantay Base Camp to Machu Picchu Trek
    Anonymous
    4 - Very Good
    “The most memorable part was the amazing scenery of the Andes, and the view from Machu Picchu (mountain) over the city below.”
    Excellent Reviewed Tour: Salcantay Base Camp to Machu Picchu Trek
    Anonymous
    5 - Excellent
    “I had an amazing trip! A once in a lifetime experience, and memories I will cherish forever ... the entire experience from booking to trekking was exceptional, I couldn't expect higher standards.”
    Perfect trip, Excellent guide! Reviewed Tour: Salkantay Trek & Machu Picchu
    Tariq Esmail From Canada
    5 - Excellent
    “This is certainly the trip of a lifetime, made even better by Victor! 10/10 would go again.”

    Salkantay Trek - Facts, itineraries and best time to visit

    While the Inca Trail is deservedly one of the most famous in South America, the Salkantay Trek offers a wilder and perhaps more authentic approach to the Incas’ most famous monument. No trip to Peru can be considered complete without a visit to the mystical mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu, but more intrepid travellers are now looking for alternatives to the overcrowded experience of the Inca Trail. The Salkantay trek being of the many alternative treks to Machu Picchu besides the Inca Trail. 

    Overview

    The Salkantay Trek is a less crowded alternative to the Inca Trail and is the only trekking route that affords views of Machu Picchu even though the trek doesn’t actually finish at the ruins of Machu Picchu. It includes crossing the Salkantay Pass at 4600 m on the second day while the Dead Woman’s Pass on the Inca Trail is 4200 m. So, the altitude on this trek is higher than the Inca Trail. Salkantay trek offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, among which stands Salkantay mountain itself, before descending through cloud forests that are rich in wildlife. On the final day, trekkers are usually taken to Machu Picchu for a tour of the ruins before returning to Cusco.

    Highlights

    • Spectacular scenery including views of Salkantay mountain (6271 m)
    • Crossing the Salkantay Pass (4600 m) with stunning views
    • Views of Machu Picchu nestled in surrounding forests below the trail
    • Less crowded than the classic Inca Trail
    • Visiting Machu Picchu on the final day

    Lowlights

    • High altitude trek, proper acclimatisation necessary to avoid altitude sickness
    • Temperatures can plummet during the night at high altitudes
    Map of Salkantay trek
    Overview map of Salkantay trek

    Trek Facts

    • Difficulty: Challenging. 5 days of walking for up to eight hours a day through tough, mountainous terrain.
    • Trek Duration: 5 days for the standard itinerary 
    • Remoteness: Remote. The route passes through remote villages, desolate mountain scenery and 15 distinct ecosystems. While some of the settlements at either end of the trek have road or rail connections, most of the trek is on mountain paths inaccessible except on foot or horseback.
    • Maximum Altitude: 4,600 m
    • Accommodation Type: Tents on the mountain campsites. Although some hikes include stays in luxury lodges on the trail.
    • Best Season: April to October
      • The dry season is from around April to October and it is best to attempt the Salkantay trek during these months since the wet season (November to March) sees the trail muddy and wet with an increased risk of slipping.
      • The Salkantay trail is busiest from June to September but the weather is at its best during May and October when it is also less busy, meaning these are possibly the two best months to go.
      • Salkantay trek can be attempted year-round, the coldest months are during the dry season. For the best trekking experience, plan your trek around May - July which coincides with the best time to visit Machu Picchu.
    • Start / End Locations: Mollepata or Soraypampa - Aguas Calientes 
    • Permits Required: No for the trek. If you plan to visit Machu Picchu, you should reserve your tickets in advance and you will need your passport to enter the site.
    • Fitness Level Required: Good

    5D/ 4N Salkantay Trek: Standard Itinerary

    • Day 1: Mollepata (2,900 m) - Soraypampa (3,850 m) 

    The trek starts at Mollepata  and includes a steady climb of around seven or eight hours through verdant, rugged mountains as the peak of Mount Salkantay rears its snow-topped head in the distance. Camp is made at Soraypampa, where temperatures can be very cold, especially at night.

    • Day 2: Soraypampa – Collpapampa (2,800 m)

    This is the most gruelling part of the trek as the trail leads up to the vertiginous Salkantay Pass at 4600 m, from where there are spectacular views if the weather is clear. Having crossed the pass, the trail descends into the mysterious cloud forest on the way to Collpapampa, where camp is set for the night.

    • Day 3: Collpapampa – La Playa (2,200 m) 

    The trekkers will follow the Lluskamayo River through an area rich in wildlife down to the jungle town of La Playa, at an altitude of 2200 m.

    • Day 4: La Playa – Aguas Calientes (2,040 m) 

    The day starts with the ascent to the Inca ruins of Llactapata (2650 m), affording spectacular views of Machu Picchu nestling on a mountaintop below. From here, it is possible to hike either to Santa Teresa or to the hydroelectric station, the second option being the more demanding but also more rewarding. There is a train connection to Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo), from where visitors can access Machu Picchu itself. 

    • Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu (2,430 m) 

    This is the big day of visiting Machu Picchu! Start your journey on foot or by bus from Aguas Calientes for a visit to the world-famous ruins. From here on, you can either catch a bus or a train back to Cusco. 

    7D / 6N Salkantay Trek: An Alternative Itinerary

    A seven-day option is also available, with a drive to Soraypampa on day 1, a trek out to Lake Humantay on day 2 and the crossing of the Salkantay Pass on day 3. Trekkers arrive at Llactapata on day 6, before heading to Aguas Calientes by train and making the ascent to Machu Picchu on the final day.

    Safety Considerations

    • This trek is not particularly dangerous if participants are fully prepared but it should not be taken lightly. At no point does the trek descend below 2000 m, and at its highest point, it reaches well above 4000 m. At these altitudes, it is easy to become fatigued and trekkers should not push themselves to do more than they can manage.
    • The weather in the mountains is unpredictable and at the highest parts of the trek, including the camp at Soraypampa, it is certain to be cold, so trekkers should ensure they have the proper clothing and equipment.
    • It is possible to walk the trail without a guide or porters and those who do so are free to choose their own itinerary – it is even possible to finish in four days. Attempting the Salkantay Trek without a guide is only recommended for experienced trekkers and should only be undertaken with the proper equipment and supplies.

    Altitude sickness

    Altitude sickness while trekking at altitudes of above 2,000 m - 2,500 m can be a problem. It is highly recommended to spend two days in Cusco to acclimatise before attempting the trail. Early symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache and dizziness, and anyone displaying these symptoms should immediately descend to a lower altitude to recover.

    For those looking to escape the crowds of the Inca Trail – or for those who do not manage to book a place on the more famous walk – the Salkantay Trek offers a challenging and rewarding alternative. The sight of Mount Salkantay looming above as you traverse the Salkantay Pass or the view of the magical ruins of Machu Picchu perched on a ledge far below as you reach Llactapata will be some of the sights that far fewer visitors to Peru are fortunate to experience. 

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