5-Day Salkantay Trek is one of the most scenic and adventurous ways to reach Machu Picchu, with the 5-day trek offering the best options. It has glacier mountains, picturesque lakes such as Humantay and Salcantay Lake, and passes through the Amazon jungle, making this one of the most beautiful and interesting treks in all of Peru.
When you book this tour with us, you’ll enjoy the best services at affordable prices. We offer exclusive camps with newly-built Mountain Sky Huts, glass igloos, professional knowledgeable guides, and supporting staff, we have all-inclusive itinerary options to make sure you don’t miss a thing. We’ll pass by brilliantly-blue lakes, reach heights up to 4,630 meters, and pass by the waterfalls, rivers, and hot springs.
We will also trek through the original Inca Trail to the Llactapata ruins, where you will have a fantastic view of Machu Picchu from a different angle, motivating you to finish the final stretch before you make it to the famous lost city of the Incas.
5-Day Salkantay trek is listed by National Geographic as 1 of 25 “World’s Best Treks.” Choose an experienced, highly-rated company for your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu and make it an amazing and unforgettable experience.
After picking up everyone from their respective places or hotel, we’ll leave Cusco around 5:45 am and start our 2-hour drive to the town of Mollepata. Once in Mollepata, we’ll stop to have a delicious breakfast and pay the entrance fee of 20 soles to the local municipality (this is not included in the tour price).
Once finished, we’ll continue by car for another hour to Soraypampa where we will meet with the muleteers and horses who will carry our equipment, food, and 6 kilos of each hiker’s personal belongings during the trek. From there, we’ll start the uphill hike to Humantay lake, reaching it after about 2 hours.
When you arrive at the lagoon, you will have a couple of hours to explore, take photos, and listen to our guide to explain the significance of Humantay Lagoon.
After, we’ll hike downhill for 2 hours and have lunch at our exclusive camp, Quiswarniyoc. After lunch, you’ll have free time to explore the beautiful area and for an optional hike to the Mirador of Salkantay for panoramic views of the entire area. If you are tired, you can just rest in the Mountain Sky Huts or in the glass igloos, that come equipped with glass doors, pillows, a sleeping pad, and the illumination of the night sky.
Quiswarniyoc is an exclusive, private camp located at 4,000 meters. It is a unique area that offers additional, short hikes, fantastic mountains viewpoints, and waterfalls.
The second day of the trek is the most difficult, as it consists of 20 kilometers of trekking and takes you to the highest point of the whole trek, 4630 meters above sea level. The cooks will wake you up around 5:00 am with a cup of hot coca tea as you take your time to repack and get ready for the nutritious breakfast that will be served around 5:45 am. After breakfast, it is time to start hiking up to the highest point of the trek 4630 m. This will take 3 to 4 hours of uphill hiking at a regular to slow pace.
Once you are at the highest point, you will have time to enjoy the mountains, take pictures, learn about the mountain gods, and take part in a small traditional Andean ritual for the Apus mountain god. You’ll then start hiking down for 2 hours before we rest with a delicious lunch and continue for 3 more hours of downhill hiking to the second camp, Chaullay, which is located at 2,900 meters and marks the beginning of the Peruvian Amazon. At camp Chaullay, we will provide you with your camping equipment, hot tea, and dinner.
There is also an optional hot shower offered by locals that can be used for 10 soles. You can also buy some drinks such as beer, soda, water.
On the third day, we will wake up in the beautiful (but warm) jungle. We’ll wake you up around 6:00 am with a cup of coca tea as the cooks are preparing the delicious breakfast.
Around 7:00 am, we’ll begin our 5-hour hike along the Santa Teresa Valley which is formed by the Salkantay River, after 5 hours of hiking we arrive at La Playa Sahuayaco.
Along the trail, you’ll see plantations for coffee, bananas, avocados, Coca, passion fruit, and more. Once we arrive at La Playa Sahuayaco, we will take local transportation to the third campsite, Santa Teresa, which is about a one-hour drive.
At camp, we’ll share a delicious lunch before heading out to the hot springs of Colcampayo (optional). Colcampayo is about a 15-minute car ride from camp. We’ll spend a couple of hours relaxing in the natural, clean water of the hot springs before heading back to camp for tea time, a warm dinner, and a group bonfire. All of these activities are optional, so if you’d rather lay back and relax at camp—you are certainly welcome to!
Llactapata is an Inca ruin located along the Salkantay trail, which you will have the chance to visit on the fourth day. From Llactapata, you will enjoy a beautiful view of Machu Picchu from a unique angle. For this beautiful trek, we’ll start with an early breakfast, around 5:30 am, before taking local transportation for 45 minutes to Lucmabamba.
Upon arrival, we’ll start the 3-hour uphill hike along the original Inca trail until we arrive in the Inca ruins of Llactapata once at the Inca site you will have plenty of time in Llactapata to enjoy the views of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountain, and if the weather is good, you’ll get one more glimpse of Salkantay Mountain.
Afterward, we’ll hike downhill for 2 hours, arriving in Hidroelectrical for a nutritious lunch and much-earned rest. The final part of the hike is a 3-hour hike along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes. Once you arrive in the small town, we’ll take you to your hotel where you can shower and rest before our final supper at 7:00 pm in a local restaurant. After dinner, we’ll head to bed, anxious for our final day and ultimate reward: Machu Picchu
Note: During the rainy season, the hike up the Llactapata Trail is not 100% guaranteed due to safety concerns. When heavy rains are frequent, this trail becomes very dangerous.
Finally, we go to see the impressive Machu Picchu. You’ll wake around 4:00 am to get ready for the hike to Machu Picchu main entrance. Each person will be given a packed breakfast and we will start the 30-minute walk to Puente Ruinas checkpoint where you will have to show your passport, Machu Picchu ticket, and student ID if applicable. After passing the first checkpoint, we will climb the stairs for about one hour to reach Machu Picchu’s main gate by 6:00 am.
Once everybody meets at the gate, we enter Machu Picchu and begin our 2.5-hour guided tour in the famous Inca site, where you will learn everything about The Lost City of The Incas.
After the guided tour, you’ll have free time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. The time that you will spend in Machu Picchu will depend on how you are going back to Cusco (train or car) and whether you want to climb the Montaña Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu Mountain, which must be booked in advance the entrance tickets.
After visiting Machu Picchu and its surrounding area is time to return to Cusco.
The train is a beautiful way to return to Cusco and allows you more time (about 7-8 hours) to visit Machu Picchu. If you are planning to hike Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, we strongly advise you to take the train, as these hikes require a minimum of 3 hours to complete. You will need to return to Aguas Calientes in time for your train at 6:20 pm. You may want to give yourself extra time, as some people like to explore the town. You’ll ride the train for about 1.5 hours to Ollantaytambo from Aguas Calientes town, where you will then switch to a car and finish the final 2 hours of the trip, arriving in Cusco around 10:00 pm.
Returning to Cusco by car is a more affordable option for those on a tight budget. However, please be aware that with this option, you’ll have less time to explore Machu Picchu, and if you are planning to hike Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will be very tight on time.
The return to Cusco by car is a longer trip (a 6-hour drive in total), as there are no roads leading to Aguas Calientes and the driver must take a longer route back. If you are taking a car back, you will need to leave Machu Picchu by 12:00 am and take the 3-hour walk back to Hidroelectrica, where you will meet the car at 3:00 pm.
If you are considering this option and planning to hike Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, we recommend you stay one more night in Aguas Calientes and return to Cusco by car on the 6th day so that you can fully enjoy the experience.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about Salkantay Trek 5 Days in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Peru Hike offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.
A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don’t worry. Everything is included in your tour!
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
Here are some other options that will suit your needs
This was a trip of a lifetime with a great group of friends. We were absolutely spoiled from our amazing guides Carlos the Mountain King and Carlitos Tros Tros. They were both extremely knowledgeable and enjoyed sharing their culture with us. They kept us laughing, and trekking along the whole time, and yes we got to camp with llamas! As soon as we’d pull into camp the spoiling began. The porters were exceptional, so fast and talented, they had us all set us for relaxing after each long day of hiking. As soon as we’d pull into camp the food and fun would begin, soooo much food! Our famous chef Roberto cooked up meals even better than we splurged on in Cusco, definitely not what I expected while camping, so much better.
My husband and I are so grateful for the amazing trip and would definitely recommend this tour and crew with everyone.
Our group of 4 couples had an incredible time with Carlos “The Mountain King” and Carlitos Tros Tros as our guides. We learned so much about the Inka culture and saw so many beautiful vistas on our Classic 4 Day Inca Trek to Machu Picchu. We had a lot of laughs and “positive energy”. Even when the hike was challenging they kept it fun. Roberto, our Chef, made us delicious meals every day and the porters were so hard working and friendly. Carlos and Carlitos got us to the Sun Gate before any other group the day we arrived and knew all the best spots for beautiful pictures. We 100% recommend Salkantay Trekking you give you the experience of a lifetime Trekking to Machu Picchu.
5 days on the road with a group of young adventurers and 2 expert guides, Franz and Javier, who told with heart and soul about Peru, Machu Pichu and the wonders of Mother Nature. The walk, the Salkantay Trek, is intensely beautiful, through the mountains, along mountain lakes, the jungle, to end in 1 of the 7 wonders of the world Machu Picchu. Highly recommended for every adventurer, nature lover, and can also enjoy culture and history.
I had the most incredible time on the Salkantay Trek! The trip was very very well organised! Julio was an amazing guide – so experienced and so passionate about the history! He was very thoughtful and the perfect guide- we cannot thank him enough!
The chef and sous chef were brilliant- the food was insane! So delicious! Hats off to the horse guide who also worked hard leading our bags on the horses.
The accommodation was amazing! Each specific for the climate we were in 🙂
So many opportunities to try the local food, make coffee and also to go to the thermal baths!
The team were perfect and I met some unforgettable friends on the way!
Thank you Salkantay trekking! And special thanks to juan ❤️
From Poli x
Nico was our tour guide and a seasoned trek guide of many years. Knowledgeable, informative, and patient. Took many photos for us, and taught us a lot about the terrain and culture. Everything was highly professional. Meals with the host family (breakfast & lunch) were a great cultural experience. Highly recommended!! Bring extra water!!