Salkantay trek to Machu picchu 5 days is one of the alternative routes to Machupicchu, where we can see imposing snowcapped peaks, the extensive scrublands (Ichu) of the Andean region, cloud forest zones as well flora and fauna typical of this part of Peru.
The start of the Salkantay trek is in the district of Mollepata (2976m) that is located around 90km to the north of the city of Cusco. During this trek we will follow picturesque trails, reaching the highest point of the journey at 4600m, which will be the Salkantay pass.
Salkantay trek to Machu picchu 5 days can be done at any time of year, but usually during the more favorable climate between April and November. The months of December to March are the rainy season, when the snowfalls make this route a challenge, but one that is rewarded with the final destination of the wonderful Inca city of Machupicchu.
The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days is the main option if you are unable to find spaces on the Classic Inca trail to Machu picchu 4 days that often has a limited quota. Due to the number of tourists seeking to do the trail through agencies, it’s often not possible to get a place. For this reason the Salkantay trek is a good option if you are looking for a different route.
Salkantay trek to Machu picchu 5 days is known to be one of the most beautiful in Cusco where Choquequirao Travel offers you a new experience, travelling with us in the safety and confidence that you deserve.
Itinerary Salkantay Trek to Machu picchu 5 Days
Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Challacancha – Soraypampa
The pickup from the hotel will be at 4:30am, leaving Cusco at 5am for the villages of Izcuchaca, Limatambo arriving at Mollepata (9am), where we will meet with the rest of our Choquequirao Travel team, the horsemen, cooks and our horses. We then head for the SORAYPAMPA sector where we will spend the first night.
The first part of this circuit is an ascent, which will take some time, carefully following our guides at all times. This first section takes around 4 hours.
Day 2: Soraypampa – Abra de Salkantay – Wayracpampa – Chaullay
After a good breakfast at 6am, we will be ready to undertake the next stage of our adventure to Machupicchu, by way of the sacred mountain of Salkantay, protector of Andean world. We will travel along the left-hand flank of the snowcapped mountain Umantay opposite Salkantay itself. At around 9am we’ll be at the highest point of the Salkantay-Umantay pass at 4700m and here we can observe the snowy mountains and glaciers of Salkantay, with this magnificent view of the Peruvian Andes.
After two and a half hours we stop for lunch and then continue walking for another 4 hours, descending toward our second camp at Chaullay, situated in the cloud forest in a very pleasant climate. Here we have the option of visiting and taking a dip in the natural thermal baths.
Day 3: Chaullay – La Playa – (Santa Teresa) – Lucmabamba
We begin this walk at the same time as the second day and after breakfast have a four and a half hour walk before lunch. This will be an unforgettable day as throughout the walk we will get to see a great variety of plants and animals, as well as ravines and spectacular waterfalls.
We continue descending until we reach the edge of the jungle, (cloud forest) where we can see various thermal baths in the small valley and finally arriving at Sahuayaco where we stop for lunch. We then use the famous cable basket on our way to Santa Teresa and at this point descend by local transport down to our next campsite. At night will visit the 40ºC thermal baths where we can enjoy a comforting bath before dinner (depending on the time) or continue straight to Lucmabamba where we will camp for the night.
Day 4: La Playa – (Santa Teresa) – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
After sharing a hearty breakfast we will begin a three hour walk to Hidroelectrica through the cloud forest where we can observe the cultivation of coffee, bananas, avocado and pineapple. It’s also interesting to see the cultivation of coca leaves, sacred leaves for the Andean people and for the Inca in past times.
We stop for lunch in Hidroelectrica where we will wait for the train, then head for Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night in a hotel with double rooms.
Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
After a very early breakfast we will head for the majestic Machupicchu so that we can arrive in time for dawn. We will then have a 3 hour guided tour with our guide, learning all about the Inca, their philosophy, religion and customs. Then we will have the chance to enjoy the peace inspired by this magical place before returning to Aguas Calientes to take a train back to Cusco.
- Pickup from your hotel in the morning and transport to Mollepata (start of the trek)
- Experienced professional guides, fluent in English and other languages, highly recommended
- Meals, 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners, served with drinks and mate de coca in the tents every morning. Fruit, pancakes, cookies, popcorn, vegetarian food and much more (optional foods).
- Entrance to the trail.
- Camping gear of high quality, triple tents for 2 people.
- Thick, comfortable mattresses.
- Dining tent, chairs, tables.
- Bathroom tent, biodegradable toilets, solar-heated showers.
- Kitchen tent, full cooking gear.
- Professional cook for salkantay trek to machu picchu 5 days.
- Mules for transport of camping equipment and food.
- Mules to carry the packs of passengers, and mules for emergencies.
- Horsemen (1 for every 3 mules).
- Accommodation in hotel Jardín Real (double room).
- Guided tour of Machupicchu.
- Camping gear for our guides, cook and porters.
- Other: hot water every morning and night, to wash hands and face, boiled water to fill your bottle each morning and night and at lunch time if you ask in advance.
- First aid kit, oxygen.
- Return bus ticket to Machupicchu from Aguas Calientes.
- Train ticket, (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes – Cusco.
- Transport from the train station to your hotel (if you return on the last day).
- Entrance to Waynapicchu ($10 pp extra).
- The possible entrance to the Salkantay national park ($29 pp extra). Please contact Choquequirao Travel a few days prior to leaving to confirm the cost.
- Breakfast on the first day. Lunch and dinner on the last day.
- Return bus trip, Machupicchu – Aguas Calientes.
- Sleeping bag.
- Optional: train from Hidroeléctrica to Aguas Calientes ($18) and costs for transports along the route (Playa – Santa Teresa – Hidroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes).
- Entrance and transport to Aguas Thermals at Santa Teresa and Aguas Calientes.
- Tips for guides, cooks and horsemen.
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU
- Backpack with changes of clothes needed for the whole trip.
- Walking shoes for salkantay trek to machu picchu 5 days.
- A small backpack for needed items during the day.
- Waterproof jacket or poncho for the rain (plastic ponchos can be bought in Cusco).
- Warm, comfortable, thick clothes especially for nighttime.
- Sleeping bag (can be rented from the agency at $7. A day)
- Flashlight with batteries.
- Camera with batteries (batteries are used faster in cold conditions).
- Water bottle and water for the first day, purification tablets for the whole trip. We provide filtered water for the kitchen.
- Hat or cap to protect from the sun and cold.
- High factor sun cream.
- Insect repellant.
- Moisturizing cream for face and body, after exposure to the sun.
- Toilet paper.
- Snacks (cookies, energy bars, chocolate, dry fruit etc. We will provide snacks morning and night as the trip requires).
- Small towel.
- Bathing costume (if you wish to visit the thermal baths at Aguas Calientes).
- Cash in Sols or Dollars (there are cash machines in Aguas Calientes).
- Original Passport (student card if you have it).
- Optional, walking sticks (the point must have a protector, according to regulations on the Salkantay Trek).