A true Andean odyssey, this 4-day trek through the dramatic Cordillera Vilcabamba is a wonderful alternative for those who want to take a less-traveled and exceptionally beautiful route to Machu Picchu. Mount Salkantay is the 2nd largest mountain in the entire Cusco area (2nd only to the mighty Mount Ausangate) and is said to be the “guardian” that stands between the mountains and the jungle. Crossing over a pass between the peaks of the immense mountains, Salkantay (6270m) and Humantay (6070m), you will get to see some spectacular views of the glacial monsters and the sprawling valleys that they stand over. The great thing about this particular trek, that none of the other treks can offer (including the Inca Trail) is that you get to see so many different microclimates in such a short amount of time. You will start on day 1, in the high plateau area of the Andes. Then, on day 2, you will start the day in the plateaus, then go up to an altitude of 4,650 meters (aforementioned pass) and then down into the lush outer rim of the jungle on the other side of the mountains. You can actually see the microclimates changing before your eyes.
On day 3, when you are getting deeper and deeper into the “Ceja de Selva,” or the “Eyebrow of the Jungle,” you will encounter numerous wild tropical fruit and coffee plantations as well as an abundance of wild flowers and exotic birds. Down in the valley, we take an ancient, original Inca trail up through a fertile cloud forest replete with Quehuna trees, orchids, moss, wateralls and rivers, making for a gorgeous tropical atmosphere. On day four, we follow an Inca trail pathway to a low-jungle pass. At the top, we enjoy a gorgeous view of the backside of the Machu Picchu ruins.
From here, we walk down to the hydroelectric plant and take the train to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in a comfortable hostel. On the last day of the tour, we take a tour of the magnificant ruins of Machu Picchu before catching an afternoon train back to Cusco.
- Terms & Conditions
It is a challenging alternative to the Inca Trail, and the government hasn’t placed restrictions on how many people are allowed to complete it per day so you don’t need to book 4 months in advance. The name Salkantay is a quechua word meaning "Savage Mountain". From snow-capped mountains to the Amazon rainforest, this is a great way to travel to Machu Picchu.
By booking your Inca Trail with Haku Travel you are choosing the best. Don’t believe us? Check out our reviews on TripAdvisor!
-Starting Altitude – 4650m / 15,200ft
-Highest Altitude – 4217m / 13,780ft.
-Walking Distance – 60.5 km / 37.5 miles
-Longest Day – Day 2, approximately 18 km/11 miles
-Coldest Night – Day 1 around 0º celsius
-Overall Difficulty – Difficult
Day 01 : CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SAYAPATA – HUMANTAY LAKE – SALKANTAY PAMA
Day 02 : SALKANTAYPAMPA – SALAKNATAY PASS – COLPAPAMPA.
Day 03 : COLPAPAMPA – PLAYA SAHUAYACO – SANTA TERESA HOT SPRINGS
Days 4: SANTA TERESA – HIDROELECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES
Day 05: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
What is Included?
- Transportation from your hotel in Cusco to the start of the hike and back to your hotel at the end
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Train ticket from Aguas Calientes back to Cusco at the end of the journey
- Round trip bus tickets to Machu Picchu and back to Aguas Calientes
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes
- North Face Mountain 25 tents for maximum comfort
- Therm-a-Rest mattress and pillow provided for free
- Duffle bag that you can fill with up to 8 kg (18 lbs) of your personal gear that the horses will carry
- Other camping equipment, such as a kitchen tent manned by a professional cooking staff, a dining tent with table and chairs, and a bathroom tent
- Experienced tour guide fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua. Our guides are equipped and trained to practice First-Aid, administer oxygen if needed, and conduct radio communication.
- Complete meals and snacks during the trip starting with breakfast on the first day and ending with breakfast on the fifth day at your hotel (the last lunch in Aguas Calientes is not included). Our experienced chefs make amazing meals in the middle of the mountains and are also used to preparing dishes for people with different food restrictions or lifestyles, so please let us know your preferences and we will make sure to meet your dietary needs.
- Professional chef who grew up in the countryside and a horseman with horses/mules to carry all of our gear
- One extra horse in the case of an emergency
What is Not Included?
- Sleeping bag rent: US$ 5 per day. Our sleeping bags are –20ºC-comfort (0ºF) and mummy form and include a sleeping liner.
- Lunch on the last day after the guided tour at Machu Picchu.
- Entrance to the Hot Springs in Cocalmayo and Aguas Calientes.
- Optional night in Aguas Calientes can be arranged easily.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
- A lightweight, waterproof day pack with change of clothes for the whole period of the trek (must not exceed 7 kilos)
- Sleeping bag adequate for temperature of minus 10°c (rentable for $20 for duration of the trek)
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Warm clothes and trekking pants (trousers)
- Layers of clothes, include thermals, for variable temperatures especially at night
- Head torch with spare batteries
- Camera with extra film and batteries
- Sun protection: sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses
- Woolen socks, gloves, scarf, woolen hat for cold nights
- Insect repellent
- Extra plastic bags, especially in the wet season
- Waterproof clothing or a rain poncho
- Water bottles and water purifying tablets – Optional
- Personal medical kit with a simple whistle
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, tips
- Walking sticks (rentable)
- Favorite snacks
- Inflatable mattress
- Toilet paper
- Sandals or flip-flop
- Swimming costume
- Original passport and ISIC card if is applicable.
Group Service Prices
Price per person : This will depend on the amount of people coming to the trek and to the kind of accommodation
- Student Discount: US$20 (Requires ISIC Card to qualify)
- Under 18’s Discount: US$20
- Sleeping Bag US$25
- Walking Pole US$12
- Single Tent Supplement US$35
- Extra 7kg of personal items US$70
- Huayna Picchu permit US$20
OUR BOOKING POLICIESNon-Refundable, Non-Transferable Deposits for TREKS and Short Tours
There is a $200 per person deposit needed to your trek/tour with Haku Travel. The deposit can be made through PayPal, which will incur a 5.5% PayPal merchant fee paid by the traveler or by a wire directly to our bank (Bank of America or Citibank) for free if you are a fellow account holder. All deposits are fully non-refundable and non-transferable. In the event that you need to cancel your trip, cancellation fees will be assessed as outlined below under Cancellation Policy. It is not possible to transfer your deposit to another person’s trek if cancelling, they will need to send in their own deposit.
If you are booking a full itinerary, including hotels, with Haku Travel, we will require 50% of the total value as a deposit. If you must CANCEL, refunds other than the non-refundable $200 deposit required for all tours, will be returned if your start date is more than 60 days away. Once you are within 60 days of your tour beginning, money will no longer be refundable.
Final Payment Terms
For all treks and small tours, final payment is due at least three days before your tour begins with Hatu Travel. This is normally paid directly in our office, but can be paid in advance by PayPal with a 5.5% fee or wire to Citibank. In the office we accept both US and Peruvian currency, any denomination but NO torn bills.
Cancellation Policy for Treks and Small Tours
Notification of cancellation must be made in writing to email@example.com. If you are within 8 weeks of your tour start date, further payment is needed as follows:
- If you cancel 8 weeks or more days before departure: Cancellation fees equal the amount of your deposit.
- 8 weeks to 4 weeks before departure: 60% of the total tour price is due.
- 4 weeks to 5 days before departure: 80% of the total tour price is due.
- 5 days to 36 hours: 90% of the total tour price is due.
- 36 hours or less before departure: 100% of the total price is due.
Inca Trail Permits
Inca Trail permits are 100% non-refundable, non-transferable. Permits are issued in the name and with the passport number of the trekker and cannot be transferred to anyone else under any circumstances.