Salkantay Trek Machu
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Short Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Short Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

4 day Salkantay Trek (Short Salkantay Trek) is the best alternative trail to reach Machu Picchu. On this 4 day hike you overcome the highest point of the trek, which is the Salkantay Pass at 4,550 metres above sea level! You also enjoy amazing mountain sceneries with snowy peaks, mountain lagoons and remote Andean villages in the first part of the trek to later experience a subtropical area of Cusco with its warm climate! The icing on the cake is obviously a guided tour of Machu Picchu in the end!

It takes you through differing expanses of scenery and altitudes as we hike around the skirts of Salkantay mountain (6271m/20568ft) and camp within plain sight of the frost topped peak. It mix cultural and natural beauty; you will appreciate the testing ecosystem and the splendid appearance of the frost-topped Salkantay. This hike takes us back to the time of the Incas and enlightens us to the spirits of the mountains, such as the Tucarhuay or the Humantay which reach higher than 5000 meters (16404 feet).


Quick Itinerary:

Day 01: Cusco - Soraypampa - Wayracmachay - Los Andenes

Day 02: Salkantay Mountain - Los Andenes - Luscamayo - La Playa

Day 03: La Playa - Llactapata - Hidroeléctrica - Aguas Calientes

Day 04: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco


Highlights of the 4 Day Salkantay Trek:

  • 4 day hike to Machu Picchu with a professional Tour Guide, cook, horseman and horses;
  • Discovery of the best alternative trek to Machu Picchu;
  • Visit of the Llactapata Incan site;
  • View the Salkantay and Humantay Mountain glaciar
  • Andean highlands and cloud forest exploration;
  • Learning about the sacred mountain of the Incas - Apu Salkantay!

Crew: A Salkantay Trek Machu Representative in Cusco and a professional Tour Guide, Cook and Horseman on the Short Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

Accommodation: Campsites (2 nights), hostal (1 night).

Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 3x afternoon hot beverage 

Transportation: A private transportation, 1x train (Expedition Class).

Camping equipment: You can view our camping equipment.


Salkantay Trek Tours:

Day 01: Cusco - Soraypampa - Wayracmachay - Los Andenes

Salkantay Trek Machu, will pick up our passengers between 04:15 and 04:45 am. of their respective rooms. The departure of our walk to It is at 05:00 a.m. During our tour in our mobility we will pass through the towns of Izcuchaca and Limatambo arriving at Mollepata at approximately 07:30 am. where we will have our first breakfast, then we will start our hike from Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu arriving to Cruzpata where we will have a little rest, continuing our walk we will go to Soraypampa (first camp)and to enjoy our delicious lunch.

Day 02: Los Andenes - Luscamayo - La Playa

This second day we will wake up very early to enjoy our breakfast, we will leave the camp at 07:00 am approximately, during the whole trip we will appreciate the snow-covered Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu and the different housing constructions of the indigenous people, also we will appreciate their crops and the servant of their animals like the llama and alpaca. On the trek from Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu we will arrive at salkantay pampa and Collpabamba valley where we will have our lunch, After our lunch we will continue the walk to the cloud forest 17500 meters above sea level, where we will appreciate the varieties of orchids and the formations of rivers and waterfalls of great magnitude and also this day we can appreciate the majestic Snow of the Apu Salkantay, reaching Chaullay place where we expect our buffet dinner and overnight.

Day 03: La Playa - Llactapata - Hidrolectrica - Aguas Calientes

This day we will also get up early to enjoy our  breakfast, we will begin our walk appreciating a variety of coca crops, considered the sacred leaf of our ancestors which is currently cultivated in tropical zones, this last stretch will be descent to Playa and There we take a transport to Santa Teresa, then we get to Hidroeléctrica. At Hidroeléctrica we start again with our route to get to Aguas Calientes or you can also take the train that departs from Hidroélectrica to Aguas Calientes (Optional Service). Where we will spend the night.

Day 04: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Today is the most important day of our trip, we will wake up around 04:30 in the morning where we will start our trek to the lost citadel of the Incas "Machu Picchu". We will arrive at the Machu Picchu sanctuary at 06:00 am to begin our guided tour for approximately 2 hours through the most important places of this archaeological center, after our guided we will have free time to visit the places of greatest interest and at the same time to visit the mountain of Wayna Picchu or the Monata Machu Picchu (Optional and not included). In the afternoon we will return to the town of Aguas Calientes where we will board the return train until arriving at the town of Ollantaytambo. This is where our mobility will be waiting for you to return to the city of Cusco, so we will finish our hike from Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.


Pre - Trek briefing

Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing. Our guide will provided the duffel bag for your personal belonging,

Note: It is very important let us know, where you will be staying in Cusco;


Professional Guides

Experienced bilingual Tour Guide. They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun yet professional, and will ensure you are safe and happy.

Note: A group up to 8 participants has 1 Tour Guide, a groups over 8 participants receives 2 Tour Guides



Camping (3 Nights) and Hotel in Machu Picchu (1 Night)

Our tents are of the brand Eureka Mountain designated for 4 seasons. We provide with 3 person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort. In case of a single traveller, we provide with a 2 person capacity tent.


Hotel in Machu Picchu with private bathroom and hot water (Single, Double or matrimonial room)


Inflatable Sleeping Mattress - Thermarest mattress

We provide with inflatable mattresses of the brand Therm-A-Rest. The mattresses are 3 cm heigh that will ensure you a sufficient isolation from the cold earth!

This inflatable mattress for more comfort to sleep in the trail 


Sleeping Bag

We use only feather sleeping bags that are suitable up to minus 16°C. This means you do not need to be worry about cold as temparature at night at each trek reaches just up to 0°C (maximum -5°C)!!


Included the Salkantay and Machu Picchu.


A professional Cook + Meals

3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 2x afternoon´s hot beverages and Snack every morning

The Tierras Vivas chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have raved about. If you are a vegetarian or have any restrictions, our chef will prepare special food, please advise us in advance. A vegetarian meal option is for NO extra cost. Food is typically served and buffet.



Excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own, Tierras Vivas will supply all the water needed. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributing. You must supply your own water bottles or camel back. We recommend carrying about 3L worth. We will refill our waters at each meal.


Muleteer + Horses

Our horses will carry the all camping equipement for your trek and 7 kg for your personal beloging + Sleeping bag; 

An emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower;

Muleteer is responsible to take the horses;

Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our horses carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!!


Tourist Train

From Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo, there are two companies train (Incarail and Perurail),you can choose two time of your train return to Cusco

If you take the train return at 14:55, you will be in Cusco at 18:00

If you take the train return at 19:00, you will be in Cusco at 22:00

On the high season, it is very important let us know in advance, because it is very difficult find spaces available.


Cooking Equipment

Tables and chairs, cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas


Machu Picchu Bus

A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town


Private Transportation

Early morning transfer by private bus to Challacancha - the initial point of the trek;

The train service is finishing in Ollantaytambo Train station, then our driver is waiting for you and he will take to Cusco;


First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle

Our guide has received training in first aid from a physician. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen.


Extra equipment for your hike included 

  • A pair hiking poles
  • A blanket per person
  • A pillow
  • Day Pack Rain Covers;
  • Rain Ponchos;
  • Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
  • A T-shirt of the Salkantay Trek Map;.

Not Included

  • Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu ($25);
  • A shuttle bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu ($12.00 - one way);
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
  • Other extras not mentioned.

Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-30 for meals not included.

Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you receive your own single tent and a single room in Aguas Calientes.

Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price!

Inca Trail Vs Alternative Treks

Many people include Cusco Peru in their “Things to do” list before they depart the planet, the main reason being to Trek the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, although what most people don’t know is that there are various Inca Trails Trips to Machu Picchu to pick from in the Cusco region. The difference lies in what kind of an experience you want, hiking the Inca trail and how challenging you like your treks.


Usually for the Inca Trail, you will need to book in advance, in case it is fully booked, we recommend other best alternatives:

Short Salkantay Trek Information

Salkantay Trek Advisory


Day 1: Early morning at 05:00, we pick you up from your hotel, taken on a 3 hour drive from Cusco to Mollepata. After breakfast continue drive for an hour and a half until Soyrapampa, the trail head to start your Salkantay Trek. Ascend for 4 hours until high pass (Salkantay Mountain), then descend. After lunch descend for two and a half hours more to Chaullay campsite, where we are served dinner.


Hiking to Llactapata or Santa Teresa

Day 2 - 3: Hike through a tropical cloud forest, passing the Lluscamayo River. After a 5 hour trek we reach the settlement of Lluscamayo. After lunch continue the trek for 3 hours, finally reaching the village of La Playa. From this point you can choose from two options for your hike to Machu Picchu.


Inca Trail Trek - Llactapata

From La Playa its a 2 hour walk to Aobamba, where you camp. The next day its a 4 hour hike to the Llacatapata ruins. After the visit you will descend for 4 hours till you reach hidroelectrica, then continue the hike by railway to Aguas Calientes town or Machu Picchu.


Santa Teresa hot spring

The easy route down the valley to Santa Teresa. If your group decide to go straight to Santa Teresa you will take the bus for an additional cost. At Santa Teresa you will visit the hot springs. The next day, continue the trek to Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes town by railway.


Optional Activity in the Salkantay Trek:

ZIP Line in Santa Teresa: U$ 40


Hiking to Machu Picchu

Day 4: Wake up at 4:00 and walk up to Machu Picchu (1hr 30min), guided tour in Machu Picchu, then free time in the lost city, in the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo, then bus to Cusco


Short Salkantay Trek Aditional Information



  • Walking sticks or trekking poles USD 20 for both
  • You need to take 7 kilos of personal belonging included in the tour price carried by horses ...If you would like to request more porterage for personal items each extra 3 kilos requested is USD 20 additional charge but you can just request this in the office at your checking.
  • Maybe you have to doubt to walk in this trek, you can hire the extra emergency horses, the price is USD 80.


  • The camping equipment to Salkantay trek will be returned to Cusco on day 4th, you need to give to chef the sleeping bag, mattress.
  • The bed (double room) provided in Aguas Calientes town on 4th nights
  • Camping (double tent) provided in 1st, 2nd, 3rd nights
  • This trek to Salkantay included 5 kilos of personal items in the tour price carried by horses. Regarding horses who carry personal items. You will need to carry with you a daypack with your Camera, water bottle, snacks, cold weather clothing and a poncho in case of rain (unlikely in Dry season May to October)- but as a precaution) and anything you will need before lunch as horses do not walk alongside you
  • You will meet up with your bag at lunch and then it will be waiting for you in your tent at campsites.
  • The bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes included in this trek and our guide will provided on day 4



It’s very important to take EXTRA MONEY. You need to take at least 200-300 soles emergency money:

  • The local people built the small markets in the route and you can find the water, snack, chocolate, cola etc.
  • Your first breakfast, last lunch no included
  • Entrence fee to the hot spring
  • If you cannot walk to Salkantay trek, our guide will help to you to up the horse.
  • Tip to Salkantay Machu Picchu: If at the end of your trek you felt your trekking guide(s), and staff did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference: however as a guideline we suggest each hiker contributes USD 50 per person to a collective tipping pool, more is always appreciated.



Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Soraypampa (1st day) to Playa camping (3th day). 4 day hike, our chef takes your luggage by bus to Hidrolectrica. From there to Aguas Calientes, you are expected to carry your own luggage (max 3 hrs), in case, the local train running, our chef take your luggage to the town. We recommend keeping the weight under 7 kg/14lb. You will need to carry clothes, sleeping bag.

If very important your take best cover backpacker, because the weather in Salkantay trek is change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended to put your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside the plastic bag.


From $ 500.00
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