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Classic Salkantay Trek

Classic Salkantay Trek



👤 Minimum number of people: 1

📅 Season: All year

💪 Difficulty: Medium


The famous Salkantay Trek, named among the 25 Best Treks in the World by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine, is a trek open to everyone. Salkantay’s proximity to Machu Picchu makes this trek an attractive alternative to the Inca Trail. Come walk in the shadow of “The Savage Mountain” on the adventure of a lifetime!


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Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Soraypampa


We will begin the trek by picking you up from your hotel early at around 4:20 am and travelling to the small community of Mollepata (2.800m), where we will stop briefly for breakfast. After breakfast, we will continue to Soraypampa (3.850m). This secluded valley is the start of the trek, where we will meet our arrieros (horsemen) and trekking crew in the shadow of the Salkantay glacier. From here, we will start a steep, ninety minute ascent to Humantay Lake, one of Peru´s most stunning natural wonders. After time for plenty of photos, we will descend back to Soraypampa, then begin a gentle one to two hour walk to our campsite.


Day 2: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - Challhuay


The second day will be the most challenging day of the trek. We will wake up very early for an energizing breakfast, then depart from Soraypampa and hike up to the Salkantay Pass (4.600m). This will be the highest point of our trek. From here we will get a spectacular view of Salkantay, a stunning snow-capped mountain whose peak reaches 6.271m. The first part of the day we will hike for approximately three and half hours to reach the pass.

On the descent, we will approach a rocky area and then pass several streams until we reach Wayracmachay, where we will stop for lunch. We will continue to hike downhill until we reach our campsite at Challhuay (2.900m). At this campsite, you will experience a semitropical climate because of the cloud forest.


Day 3: Challhuay - La Playa - Santa Teresa


We will wake up at 6:00 am to have breakfast, then begin our trek to the town of La Playa (2.060m). We will have an easy downhill hike through the jungle highland of rainforests. In this jungle, you will be able to see coffee plantations and several native fruit groves on the way to our lunch in La Playa. After lunch, we will take an hour bus ride to the village of Santa Teresa (1.550m). Once we arrive, we will take you to the Santa Teresa thermal spring. After relaxing in these springs, we will have dinner and relax for the night.


Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes


After breakfast, we will hike for two hours to the hydroelectric station along the Urubamba River. After lunch, we will continue for 3 more hours of hiking to the town of Aguas Calientes (2.050m). In Aguas Calientes, we will check into our hostel, dine, and rest up before our tour of Machu Picchu the following day!


NOTE: If you do not want to walk after lunch, you can take a train from the hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes. However, this train leaves only in the late afternoons and this can be a long wait.


Day 5: Machu Picchu - Cusco


There are two ways to access Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. You can hike for one and a half hours up the famous stairs (free), or you can take a bus ($12). By waking up early, you will arrive at the ancient city just in time to witness the magnificent sunrise over the world-famous ruins. After arriving in Machu Picchu, you will have a guided tour for approximately 2 hours.

Later you will return to Hidroelectrica by the same path you did before, it´s necessary to arrive at Hidroelectrica on time (2:00 pm). Here, our transport will be waiting for you to return to Cusco, arriving around 9:30 pm.


If you want to return to Cusco by train, you can buy your ticket ($60) in Aguas Calientes the day before.

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