Salkantay Trek 2024/2025

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 ...

17 Trips in Salkantay with 36 Reviews

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Salkantay Trek & Machu Picchu

of 1 review
  • Trip customizable
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4 day trekking and hiking trip through Soraypampa, Chaullay, Aguas Calientes and 3 other destinations in Peru. Read More
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking & Natural landmarks sightseeing +1 more
  • Accommodation Camping & Hotel
  • Transport Train, Bus & Private Vehicle
  • Age Range 5-79 yrs
  • Operated in English
days04 From US$ 695 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 01
  • Jun 02
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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

of 6 reviews
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Well prepared Salkantay trek 5d/5n zone with Saul G as a guide and Gregorio as a chef and Cesar and
  • Tour Type Small Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking & Camping +1 more
  • Accommodation Camping, Eco Lodge, Hotel, Lodge & Tent
  • Transport Bus, Private Vehicle & Train
  • Age Range 10-65 yrs
  • Operated in English, Spanish
days08 From US$ 855 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jul 05
  • Jul 06
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Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

  • Free cancellation
  • Best price guaranteed
5 day trekking and hiking trip in Peru, visiting Salkantay, Colcapampa and La Playa. Read More
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking & Mountains
  • Accommodation Hotel, Tent & Hostel
  • Transport Bus & Train
  • Age Range 5-79 yrs
  • Operated in English, Peruvian
days05 From US$ 770 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 01
  • Jun 02
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Salkantay Trek

of 1 review
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We had a Great trip and had a great guide with us, Id recommend this trek to everyone
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking & Cultural, religious and historic sites
  • Accommodation Camping & Hotel
  • Transport Train & Bus
  • Age Range 12-75 yrs
  • Operated in English, Spanish
days05 From US$ 549 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 14
  • Jun 15
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The Ultimate Trek to Machu Picchu: Salkantay Trek 5 Days

  • Trip customizable
  • Best price guaranteed
5 day trekking and hiking trip in Peru, visiting Salkantay, La Playa and Aguas Calientes. Read More
  • Tour Type Small Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking & Mountains
  • Accommodation Tent, Hotel & Camping
  • Transport Train & Bus
  • Age Range 5-79 yrs
  • Operated in English, Spanish
days05 From US$ 765 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 01
  • Jun 02
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Salkantay Base Camp to Machu Picchu Trek

of 3 reviews
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  • No booking fees
The Remote Salcantay trek was absolutely outstanding. It was a tough trek and the effects of the alt ...
  • Tour Type Small Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking
  • Accommodation Hotel, Camping & Tent
  • Transport Private Vehicle, Train & Bus
  • Age Range 18-99 yrs
  • Operated in English
days15 From US$ 2,850 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 17 10+ seats left
  • Aug 19 10+ seats left
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Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
5 day trekking and hiking tour through Soraypampa, Chaullay, Santa Teresa and 5 other destinations in Peru. Read More
  • Tour Type Small Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking
  • Accommodation Hotel, Hostel, Tent & Camping
  • Transport Train & Bus
  • Age Range 5-79 yrs
  • Operated in English, Spanish
days05 From US$ 390 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 01
  • Jun 02
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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 4D/3N

of 21 reviews
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  • No booking fees
The trek was very well organized from the beginning to end. I was quite nervous to do it but the
  • Tour Type Small Group Tour
  • Activities Active and outdoor & Trekking and Hiking
  • Accommodation Camping, Tent & Hotel
  • Transport Private Vehicle, Bus & Train
  • Age Range 18-99 yrs
  • Operated in English
days04 From US$ 810 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 04 10+ seats left
  • Jun 08 10+ seats left
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Salkantay Trek & Machu Picchu

of 2 reviews
  • Trip customizable
  • Best price guaranteed
This is certainly the trip of a lifetime, made even better by Victor! 10/10 would go again.
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking & Natural landmarks sightseeing +2 more
  • Accommodation Hotel, Tent & Camping
  • Transport Train & Private Vehicle
  • Age Range 5-79 yrs
  • Operated in English
days05 From US$ 1,750 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 19
  • Jun 20
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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
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking & Natural landmarks sightseeing +2 more
  • Accommodation Hotel & Camping
  • Transport Private Vehicle, Train & Bus
  • Age Range 9-79 yrs
  • Operated in English, Spanish
days09 From US$ 1,633 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 09
  • Jun 10
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Trek along Salkantay to Machu Picchu

  • Free cancellation
  • Trip customizable
8 day trekking and hiking tour through Cusco, Soraypampa, Challhuay and 3 other destinations in Peru. Read More
  • Tour Type Small Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking
  • Accommodation Camping, Hotel, Tent, Hostel & Hut
  • Transport Bus & Train
  • Age Range 5-79 yrs
  • Operated in English, Peruvian
days08 From US$ 1,099 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 02
  • Jun 04
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Salkantay Trek & Machupicchu Tour

  • Trip customizable
  • Best price guaranteed
5 day trekking and hiking trip through Soraypampa, Salkantay, Lucmabamba and 4 other destinations in Peru. Read More
  • Tour Type Small Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking & Natural landmarks sightseeing +3 more
  • Accommodation Hotel, Tent & Camping
  • Transport Train & Bus
  • Age Range 5-79 yrs
  • Operated in English, Spanish
days05 From US$ 780 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 06
  • Jun 07
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Salkantay Trek & Machu Picchu

of 1 review
  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
An awesome adventure that fulfilled all my expectations and more - great company, awesome food, perf ...
  • Tour Type Small Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking
  • Accommodation Hotel & Camping
  • Transport Private Vehicle & Train
  • Age Range 18-99 yrs
  • Operated in English
days07 From US$ 2,690 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 05 10+ seats left
  • Jun 12 10+ seats left
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Salkantay Trek To Machu Picchu: 5 Days

  • Trip customizable
  • Best price guaranteed
5 day trekking and hiking trip through Soraypampa, Colcapampa, La Playa and 5 other destinations in Peru. Read More
  • Tour Type Small Group Tour
  • Activities Trekking and Hiking & Cultural, religious and historic sites
  • Accommodation Hotel, Tent & Camping
  • Transport Bus & Train
  • Age Range 5-90 yrs
  • Operated in English
days05 From US$ 725 View Tour
Next Departures
  • Jun 09
  • Jun 10
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Salkantay Tour Reviews

5 - Excellent
Based on 36 customer reviews
Excellent
5 - Excellent
  • Anonymous
“What a beautiful adventure among the Andean mountains. The scenery is breathtaking and the trek is worth it. Our guide was amazing and passionate about the Inca ruins and the nature. Food and the tents were great. ”
Unforgettable trip!
5 - Excellent
  • Lisa
“What an amazing trip. We love adventure and treks, they were able to make a custom trip to offer us the dream trip. From the famous Salkantay Trek in the South of Peru to the Cordillera Blanca in the North, we were blown away by the wonderful landscapes of Peru. Thanks again for the organization, we will definitely come back for another epic trek”
Absolutely incredible
5 - Excellent
  • Douglas Lewns
“I went on Salkantay Trek and the experience was absolutely incredible. Our guide, Edward was phenomenal throughout, answering all our questions and teaching us about the history, geography, nature and culture of that incredible place. I've never had a better tour guide anywhere I've been. The whole experience of Salkantay wouldn't have been possible without the amazing Chef Sebastian and our porters, Cesar, Jairo, David as well as our horseman Gabriel. Sebastian cooked the most incredible meals, we basically had a banquet for breakfast, lunch and dinner! The porters not only helped with all the cooking but also set up our campsite each night, making sure we were comfortable, safe and able to continue the trek each day. I will be recommending this tour company to everyone I know, and if you're traveling to the Cusco region I don't think there's a better company you could go with.”

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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