Salkantay Trek 4 days to Machu Picchu, is one of the most incredible alternative hikes; recently named one of the best 25 treks in the world. Our unique Salkantay Trekking 4 days 3 nights will take you hiking off the beaten path to Machu Picchu.

Trek details

Duration
4 days 3 nights
Activities
Adventure - Camping - Hiking
Difficulty
Challenging
Maximum Altitude
4630 m / 15190 ft
Destination
Machu Picchu
Group Size
12
Overview

Salkantay Trekking is one of the most popular tours to Machu Picchu; this trek will take from the high cold mountains of the Andes to the warm valleys of the cloud forest. Making this journey a memorable experience!! During this 4-day tour, you'll be able to see the second-highest peak of Cusco in the Cordillera of Vilcabamba, Humantay Lake, fruit plantations, coffee farms, hike Inca Trails, visit Llaqtapata, and finally arrive at Machu Picchu.

Highlights:

  • Explore one of the most beautiful treks in the world
  • Hike along the cordillera of Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu
  • Get off the beaten path and explore less-visited sites
  • Beat the crowds at Machu Picchu
  • Support social projects while traveling with us

Salkantay Trek 4 Days at a Glance!

Day 1: Cusco — Humantay Lake — Salkantaypampa

Depart from Cusco at 4:30 am and transfer to Soraypampa to begin the Salkantay Trekking. After breakfast, enjoy the 6-hike visiting Humantay Lake and stunning views of the mountains. Camp under the stars near the base of  Salkantay mountain at 4000 m.

Day 2: Basecamp — Salkantay Pass — Collpapampa

Rise early with a cup of coffee and get ready to set out on the most challenging day of the Salkantay Trekking. Start hiking for 2 hours to the highest point of our trip, the Salkantay Pass (4630 m /15190 ft), and take some time to enjoy the spectacular vistas. Descend for 6 hours from here to Collpampa (2800 m / 9186 ft).

Day 3: Collpapampa — Hidroelectica — Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, start a 3-hour hike along with the lush vegetation of the cloud forest. Upon arrival at the lunch Place at Lucmabamba, you'll participate in a Pachamanca cooking (underground barbecue), then visit a local coffee farm. After lunch, continue hiking along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes.

Day 4: Machu Picchu (Beat the crowds!) — Cusco

Wake up early and take the first buses to explore the 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, named one of the world's new seven wonders. You'll spend all morning exploring the buildings, temples, and palaces. Later in the afternoon, take the Vistadome panoramic train back to Cusco, the arrival time of 7.30 pm.

Optional hikes after Machu Picchu guided tour:

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain - You need to book in advance; the walk takes 2 hours round trip, and the cost is $75 extra per person.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain - You need to book in advance; the hikes take 3.5 hours round trip, and the cost is $75 extra per person.
Full Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco — Humantay Lake — Salkantaypampa

Depart from your hotel in Cusco at 4:30 AM and drive to Soraypampa (3870 m / 12696 ft). After breakfast with beautiful views, meet the trekking staff that will support you during the Salkantay Trekking. The hike starts with a 2 hours gentle uphill to Humantay Lake (4200 m / 13779 ft); this is one of the most popular day hikes in Cusco; you'll explore the surroundings of the turquoise color lake, then continue for two more hours down to lunch Place. Your trekking chef will prepare fresh meals prepared with products from the area (veg, vegan, and Gf options available). Continue hiking after lunch for two more hours along the Salkantay Valley to our first campsite at Salkantapamapa (4000 m /13123 ft). Upon arrival, the tents will be ready, with warm water to wash, tea time, and dinner before sleep.

  • Campsite Altitude: 4000 m /13123 ft
  • Highest altitude: 4200 m / 13779 ft
  • Hiking Distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles
  • Duration of the hike: 6 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping under million stars
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Day 2: Basecamp — Salkantay Pass — Collpapampa

Wake up with a cup of coca tea in your tent, pack for the day, have breakfast, and start the Salkantay Trekking's longest and most challenging day. Around 7:00m, start the 2 hours ascent to the Trek's highest point, Salkantay Pass (4630 m / 15190 ft). At the top, you'll spend some time enjoying the spectacular vistas of the second-highest mountain of the Cusco region. Descend for 2 hours from here to the lunchtime at Wayrajmachay (3905 m /12812 ft). After a nutritious breakfast, continue the second part of the day; the landscape will change drastically from dry sceneries to snowy peaks and tropical areas as you go down for 3 more hours until the second campsite at the village of Collpapamopa (2800 m / 9186 ft).

  • The altitude of the Campsite : 2800 m / 9186 ft
  • Highest altitude: 4630 m / 15190 ft
  • Hiking Distance: 18 km/ 11.1 miles
  • Duration of the hike: 8 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping near a village
  • Difficulty: Challenging
Day 3: Collpapampa — Hidroelectica — Aguas Calientes

After enjoying breakfast at the village of Collpapampa, begin your trek down the Salkantay River valley to Lumabamba for lunch (2020 m / 6627 ft). On the way, you'll encounter with beautiful waterfalls, fruit-bearing trees, orchids, and hundreds of different species of birds. Upon Arrival at Lumabamba, you'll participate in a Pachamanca unground barbecue, where you will help to bury the food (all kinds of vegetables, meats, and fruits) while food is cooking, visit a local coffee farm, learn the harvesting process, and prepare your expresso.

After enjoying the delicious pachamanca, you'll use our transportation for 45 minutes to Hidroelectrica and start hiking the trek's final stretch to Aguas Calientes. First, visit the Intiwatana rocks, perfectly aligned with the Sundial in Machu Picchu during the winter solstice, then start hiking along the train tracks for 3 hours to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival in the town, you'll check-in in at your hotel, enjoy a relaxing hot shower, have dinner in a local restaurant, and plan for the next and most important day.

  • Aguas Calientes Altitude: 2,000 m/ 6560 ft.
  • Distance: 18 km / 8.6 miles
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Meals: breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Day 4: Machu Picchu (Beat the crowds!) — Cusco

On the most beautiful day, rise very early to catch the first bus to Machu Picchu, the hotel provides breakfast, and you can leave the extra stuff you do not need to take to Machu Picchu. Once you arrive at the citadel, and pass the checkpoint, you'll start a Guided tour for around 3 to 4 hours in Machu Picchu. We begin with a short hike to Sungate or Inca bridge, exploring the citadel's most beautiful locations, temples, palaces, and constructions. Once the guided tour is completed, take some time to discover by yourself or hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (optional and not included). After you finish with Machu Picchu, take the bus down to Aguas Calientes town, enjoy lunch (not included), and take the panoramic Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo; here, our private transportation back to Cusco, arriving at your hotel around 7.30 pm.

  • Machu Picchu Location: 2400 m/ 7872 ft
  • Duration of the tour: 3-4 hours
  • Meals: breakfast in the hotel
  • The Most Amazing Day

Included:

  • The pre-departure briefing held the day before of the tour
  • Pick up on the first from your hotel in Cusco
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide
  • Second tour guide for group 9+
  • Trekking Chef to prepare fresh meals
  • Duffle bag for up to 7 kilos of your stuff.
  • Cargo mules to carry equipment and food
  • Camping equipment (Dining tents, tables, chairs)
  • Porta potties and showers
  • First aid kit, oxygen tank, satellite phones
  • All meals included except last-day lunch
  • Thick foam mattress, pillows, hot water bags
  • Entrance ticket Salkantay and Humantay
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Two nights camping with comfortable equipment
  • One night hotel in Aguas Calientes (3-stars)
  • Up and down bus tickets to Machu Picchu
  • Vistadome Panoramic train back to Cusco
  • All taxes included

Not Included:

  • Sleeping bag, air mattress, trekking poles (can be hired)
  • Huayna Picchu mountain tickets
  • Machu Picchu mountain tickets (Different from Machu Picchu Citadel)
  • Last day lunch in Aguas Calientes
  • Tips for your trekking team (optional)
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
FAQs

What is the Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days?

The Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days is a popular hiking trail in Peru that takes you through the stunning Andes Mountains and to the lost city of Machu Picchu. The trek covers a distance of approximately 50 miles over 4 days, and offers breathtaking views of glaciers, valleys, and mountain peaks.

What is the difficulty level of the Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days?

The Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days is considered a challenging hike, with steep inclines, rocky terrain, and high altitudes. It is recommended for experienced hikers who are physically fit and acclimatized to high altitudes.

What is the best time to do the Salkantay Trek 4 days?

The best time to do the Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this time, the weather is clear and dry, making hiking and enjoying the stunning views easier.

What should I pack for the Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days?

Here is a list of essential items to pack for the Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days:

  • Comfortable hiking shoes: Bring sturdy, waterproof hiking shoes that are broken in and provide good support for your feet.
  • Warm sleeping bag: The nights can be cold, so it's important to have a warm sleeping bag to keep you comfortable.
  • Waterproof jacket: A waterproof jacket is essential in case of rain or snow.
  • Hat and sunglasses: A hat will protect you from the sun, and sunglasses will help reduce the sun's glare and protect your eyes.
  • Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen regularly to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
  • Refillable water bottle: It's important to stay hydrated during the hike, so bring a refillable water bottle that you can fill up along the way.
  • First-aid kit: Pack a basic first-aid kit that includes items such as pain relievers, band-aids, and blister care supplies.
  • Headlamp: A headlamp is useful for navigating in the dark and for early morning starts.
  • Medications: If you take any medications, bring enough for the entire trek and any extra in case of emergency.
  • Warm clothing: Pack warm clothing for the colder mornings and evenings, including layers that can be easily removed as the day warms up.
  • Snacks: Pack high-energy snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate to keep you fueled during the hike.
  • Cash: Bring some cash for any additional expenses, such as souvenirs, snacks, or drinks.

Note: It's also a good idea to check with your tour operator for any specific items they may require you to bring, such as a tent or sleeping mat.

Is it possible to do the Salkantay Trek 4 days independently, or should I book a guided tour?

It is possible to do the Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days independently, but it is recommended to book a guided tour, as the trail can be difficult to navigate and there are several hazards along the way. A guided tour will provide you with a knowledgeable guide, as well as support and resources to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Do I need to be in good physical shape to do the Salkantay Trek 4 days?

Yes, it is recommended to be in good physical shape to do the Classic Salkantay Trek for 4 days, as the trail can be physically demanding, with steep inclines and high altitudes. It is important to train and prepare for the hike beforehand, and to listen to your body during the trek to avoid overexertion.