By most argued to be the best alternative route to the famous Inca city of Machu Picchu. This beautiful but strenuous hike brings you across one of the highest and most imposing mountains of the Peruvian Andes; the sacred mountain of Salkantay (6271 masl). According to some authors the name of this mountain is a contraction that comes from ‘Salqa’’= ‘huraño’ or ‘wild,’ and ‘Antay’ = to produce ‘celajes’ or ‘avalanches.’
The trek offers a wide variety of magical landscapes including Quechua communities, Inca ruins, jungles with a wide range of animals and medicinal plants and overwhelming snowy mountain peaks with breath-taking sights. The trek requires a reasonable level of fitness. However, age should not be a barrier for anyone! With the highest point of 4650 masl, the most important factor is to be well-acclimatized to the high altitude. With professional guides, we guarantee a life changing experience during this tour!
Day 01: Cusco – Soraypampa
At the first day, we will pick you up at your hostel in Cusco at 4:30 a.m. We will take you for a 3 hour drive by bus to Mollepata (2900 masl). Here, we have to pay an entrance fee of 10 soles per person. At this point, the 5 hour walk to our first base-camp in Soraypampa (3920 masl) will begin! During the hike we will come across beautiful scenery. Once arrived in Soraypampa, true hikers can choose to climb up and down for 2 hours to Humantay lake; you will surely be astonished by the turquoise lake at an altitude of 4200 masl. We will sleep in huts with the possibility to look the stars during the night (see pictures below).
Day 02: Soraypampa – Chawllay
After breakfast, our longest hike is about to start. At this day, we will walk for 21 kilometers, with a hike-duration of 9 hours including breaks. We will reach the highest point of 4650 masl with a beautiful view assured. After a 6 hours walk, we will have lunch in Huayracmachay (3912 masl). After 3 more hours walking to Chawllay (2900 masl), we can finally set camp and sleep in our tents to prepare for the next day. Once again, our green ”iglo huts” give you the oppertunity to gaze at the stars during the night.
Day 03: Chawllay – Santa Teresa
We will start our day with a breakfast at Chawllay. Then, we will walk 6-7 hours to Santa Teresa. This day, you will have the opportunity to participate in zip-lining and/or swimming in the hot springs. Both activities are optional to participate in – if you do not want to do these activities, you do not have to pay for them. We will have our base-camp in Santa Teresa or in a place nearby and we will sleep in tents.
Day 04: Santa Teresa – Aguas Calientes
Today, we will walk from Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes, which takes approximately 6 hours. We will have our lunch halfway our walk, in a restaurant in Hydroelectric. We will arrive around 4 p.m. in Aguas Calientes. Here, we will have some free time to discover this nice city.
Day 05: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
In the case you have morning entrances to Machu Picchu, you will wake up around 3 a.m. and have to leave the hostel around 03:45 a.m. to be able to climb the stairs to the Machu Picchu around 4 a.m. You have the opportunity to leave your backpacks at the beginning of the entrance for around 5 euros. Everyone starts this hike on his own – of course you can arrange with the people from your group to go together. Most likely, the guide will not join this morning walk. For the true hikers, we will climb a 1,200 stair path through the jungle. For those who do not want to walk, buses go up to Machu Picchu for 12 dollars. The early wake makes sure that you will have the opportunity to see the sunrise. A lot of people decide to watch the sunrise from the Inti Punku or Sungate, an assured spectacular view! You can do this easily by yourselves by following a clear path up. After free time, you can enter Machu Picchu itself through a guided tour which lasts 2 hours. Most likely you can join a guided tour – please ask your tour guide the day before! It is also possible to visit the Inca town by yourself. Normally this is for a maximum duration of 2 hours, but sometimes it is possible to stay longer. In the city, you will come across places like “Inti Watana”, “The Temple of the Condor” and “The Sacred Rock”. In case you take the bus, you should start hiking downwards from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes and on to Hydroelectrica at around 11 a.m. Over there, our tourist bus will wait for you to transfer you to Cusco. The buses leave Hydroelectric at 3:00 p.m. and take around 6-7 hours to bring you back to central Cusco.
This travel itinerary is very detailed. Because of circumstances – weather, time to pick up people, South American culture – we cannot guarantee that you will carry out this itinerary perfectly. Moreover, the above description of ”day 5” is based on the first morning entrances to Machu Picchu. Because of limited spots, we cannot guarantee morning entrances to Machu Picchu. This travel itinerary should be used as a guideline.
- Transportation to Soraypampa (place where the hike starts)
- Transportation back from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
- By bus: You should start hiking downwards from Machu Picchu at around 11 a.m. You then have to walk back to Hydroelectrica where the buses leave at 03:00 p.m. and take around 6-7 hours to leave you back at your Cusco accomodation.
- By train (+70 euros): You can hike downwards from Machu Picchu in the afternoon. The train takes you in about 2 hours from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. From there, a bus takes you to Cusco in about 2 more hours where you arrive at around 10 p.m.
- Camping equipment and kitchen equipment including mats, double tents, dining tents, chairs, tables, kitchen equipment
- First aid kit and oxygen kit
- Professional English/Spanish speaking guide
- Horses/muleteer to carry general items and up to 5kg of personal items. Not possible at day 4 of 5-day trail
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Food (4 times breakfast, lunch and dinner) in case of 5-day tour and 3 times in case of 4-day tour
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- 20 soles entrance fee to Salkantay & Humantay lake
- First breakfast and last lunch
- Sleeping bag (15 dollars)
- Hot springs (25 soles). We have to check availability before the tour.
- Ziplining (100 soles). We have to check availability before the tour
- Bus up and down from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (12 USD one way)
- Mule for carrying personal luggage more than 5kg for day 1-3 (150 soles extra).
- Use of the generator during the first 3 nights: warm shower (12 soles per camp), WiFi (5 soles per camp), charging electric devices (5 soles per camp).
- Access to the Machu Picchu mountain or Huayna Picchu mountain. Take a look at the FAQ page for more information (50 Euros).
- During 4-day tour: transportation from Sahuayaca to Hidroelectrica (30 soles)
Prices of the 5D/4N and 4D/3N trail are the same and mentioned beneath. In the 4 day tour the first 2 days are normal. The difference is that you skip the itenerary of the third day (the walking-distance is completed by bus). So on day 3 we walk to Aguas Calientes, and on the fourth day we will visit our goal: Machu Picchu!
Student price by bus: €229,-*
Student price by train: €299,-*
Adult price by bus: €249,-
Adult price by train: €319,-
* You need to be in possession of a legit student card. This student card has to be valid until you have visited the Machu Picchu. Furthermore, the current year in which you study has to be visible on the student card. If not, you will get in trouble at the entrance of the Machu Picchu.
- Original identification documents (passport, ID)
- Student ID (optional)
- Sleeping bag (plume)
- Flashlight (extra batteries)
- Binoculars (optional)
- Walking stick (optional)
- Extra money
- Small backpack & rain cover
- Personal medication kit
- Clothing – we’re in the mountains, so prepare for rapid temperature changes!
- Gloves/scarfs/hats for the cold blooded
- Thermal clothing
- Small towel
- Socks (warm)
- Walking shoes or good sandals
5 days / 4 nights or 4 days / 3 nights
Phone/Whatsapp: +31 6 44668062
PaRa Travels B.V.