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Short Salkantay Trek

Short Salkantay Trek



👤 Minimum number of people: 1

📅 Season: All year

💪 Difficulty: Medium



This trek is the shorter version of the Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu and is optimal for travellers with less time in Cusco. The Salkantay Trek leads you through high mountain passes and semi-tropical cloud forests on your way to Machu Picchu.


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Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Soraypampa


We will begin the trek by picking you up from your hotel early at around 4:30 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 - Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes


After breakfast at 5:30 am, we will start a six hour hike through the tropical jungle. We will cross the Lluskamayo River and a variety of small streams—waterproof shoes are a must! We will pass through gorgeous valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls. Your guide will show you naturally growing tropical fruits and native plants and flowers. A car will meet you to bring you to Santa Teresa (1.550m) for lunch. After lunch, we will take a van for one hour to the hydroelectric station. From the station, we will continue our last two hours of hiking to Aguas Calientes (2.050m), where we will spend the night.


Day 4: 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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