Make an Enquiry
salkantay trail with the high altitude experts salkantay trail with the high altitude experts

Plan your trek on the Salkantay trail

Kandoo's View

Located northwest of Cuzco, Nevado de Salkantay, the cordillera's tallest peak rises to 6,271 metres above sea level. The name Salkantay means 'Savage Mountain' and it is a strikingly beautiful single peak providing a great focal point for this route. The trek normally takes 4 days and is popular with trekkers wanting to combine a quieter, less trodden route with a visit to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. 

One of the reasons the Salkantay trail is so popular is the incredible diversity of the views and ecosystems.  Voted among the top 25 best treks in the world the walk is dominated by the 20,500-feet-high Mount Salkantay and cuts through the beautiful Mollepata Valley and passes Salkantay at an altitude above 15,000 feet before traversing around the mountains to arrive at Aguas Calientes. The trek is only a little more difficult than the Inca Trail, and horses are used  to carry food and equipment.

template salkantay1i

back to top


Salkantay trail options

We offer the Salkantay trail either as a stand-alone trekking itinerary or as  part of a package including airport transfers and hotel accommodation before and after your trek. The itinerary for the trek only option comprises days 3-7 inclusive of the itinerary below.

Please note if you wish to join a 5 day trek only trip, you must be in Cuzco the day before the trek starts in order to join the group briefing.  In the availability schedule below, the "Arrival date" is the date you need to be in Cuzco.  You you will need to arrange your own accommodation for this night. You will be notified of the location of the pre-trek briefing before you arrive in Cuzco.

back to top


How difficult is the Salkantay trek?

template salkantay2i

In general, the Salkantay Trek is considered more difficult than the Inca Trail.  You will be trekking for 4 days at least 6 or 7 hours each day over mountain trails. 

Day 2 and Day 4 of the trek are the toughest days.  Day 2 you will be climbing over the Salkantay Pass at 4,650 metres and will feel the effects of altitude.  The hike from Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes on Day 4 is hard, although relatively flat, it is a long day, taking around 8-9 hours.

Due to the high altitude reached and the long hours trekking  each day, a good level of fitness is required.

back to top


Trip dossier, route maps and profile

Click to view route map
Salkantay Trail Animated Route Map
Click to view route video
8 Days Prices from £899 Prices from $1174 Prices from
Click to view trip dossier
View trip dossier
Salkantay Trail alternative to the Inca trail Route Profile

Frequently asked questions

The questions and answers below specifically relate to the Salkantay Trail. For more general questions and answers about trekking to Machu Picchu see here.

Q1WHAT IS THE DISTANCE OF THE SALKANTAY TREK?

The total trek distance is 45 miles or 72 kilometres.

Q2WHAT IS THE SCENERY LIKE ON THE SALKANTAY TREK?

The trail passes through spectacular mountain landscapes where lowland jungle gives way to high alpine scenery and glaciated mountains.

Q3DO I NEED A PERMIT TO HIKE THE SALKANTAY TREK?

No permit is required for the Salkantay Trek.

Q4SHOULD I BOOK IN ADVANCE?

The Salkantay Trek is certainly not as busy as the Inca Trail, but it is always safer to book early. We recommend at least 1 month in advance.

Q5WHEN IS THE HIGH SEASON FOR THE SALKANTAY TREK?

The high season is during the dry season from May to September.

Detailed itineraries

Day 1Arrival

A Kandoo driver will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel in Cuzco. The rest of the day is yours (depending on when your plane lands) to explore the city, or rest up for tomorrow. 

Day 2Acclimatisation day in and around Cuzco

Cuzco itself is one of the highest points on the trek, so it provides an opportunity to get used to exertion at altitude and a comfortable night's sleep afterwards.

Several full- and half-day tours of Cuzco are available (payable locally) and well worth your time.

Day 3Drive from Cuzco to Challakancha, trek to Salkantaypampa

We will pick you up from your hotel very early and leave by private transport to Mollepata, stopping for panoramic views of the Apurimac Valley, where you can take a break and have something to eat in a typical restaurant. After that we will drive for a further hour until we reach the trailhead at Challakancha (3400m).  From there we will start trekking to Soraypampa (3750m), where we will stop for lunch and meet our arrieros (horsemen) and trekking staff. After lunch, we will continue hiking for another 2½ hrs hours until we will arrive at our first campsite, Salkantaypampa.

  • Elevation: From 3400 metres to 4000 metres
  • Trekking distance: 12 kilometres
  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
Day 4From Salkantaypampa to Collpapampa, via Salkantay Pass

Today we ascend to the highest point of our trek, the Salkantay Pass at 4600m where we can take time out to see the sacred, snow-capped Mount Salkantay. In the afternoon we will descend to our campsite at Collpapampa.

  • Elevation: From 4000 metres to 2900 metres
  • Trekking distance: 16 kilometres
  • Trek time: 8 to 9 hours
  • Highest point: 4600m (Salkantay Pass)
Day 5From Collpapampa to Lucmabamba

On the third day of the trek, we will walk for 5-6 hrs downhill at a steady rate moving into the jungle zone at Ceja de Selva where coffee, coca and fruit plantations can be seen. If we have time you can stop to shower in a waterfall here and with luck can see the famous Peruvian National Bird "Gallito de las Rocas". We arrive at our third campsite, Lucmabamba, in time for lunch. This campsite is located in a coffee farm and in the afternoon we can watch a coffee demonstration and you will be able to taste the best coffee in Peru! There is also an option to visit the hot springs in Cocalmayo.

  • Elevation: From 2900 metres to 2100 metres
  • Trekking distance: 15 kilometres
  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
Day 6From Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes

We will trek to the archaeological site of Llactapata, from where we will catch our first sight of the Lost City of Machu Picchu in the distance. After our last camping lunch, we will follow the railway into Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night in a hotel.

  • Elevation: From 2100 metres to 2050 metres
  • Trekking distance: 22 kilometres
  • Trek time: 8 to 9 hours
Day 7Tour of the ruins at Machu Picchu

Today we'll bring you back to Machu Picchu for a full tour with one of our guides and the option of climbing nearby Huayna Picchu . Permits to climb the mountain must be purchased in advance.

Afterwards we will return to Aguas Calientes by bus, then by train back to Ollantaytambo. Of course, we'll drive you from the train station to your hotel in Cuzco.

Day 8Departure

Your last day in Peru. Our Kandoo driver will take you to the airport and make sure you set off safely and in good time.

 

Day 1Meet for pre-trek briefing

If you book to join a trek only program you must be in Cuzco the day before the trek starts for a briefing. You will be notified of the time and venue for the briefing before you arrive in Cuzco.

Day 2Drive from Cuzco to Challakancha, trek to Salkantaypampa

We will pick you up from your hotel very early and leave by private transport to Mollepata, stopping for panoramic views of the Apurimac Valley, where you can take a break and have something to eat in a typical restaurant. After that we will drive for a further hour until we reach the trailhead at Challakancha (3400m).  From there we will start trekking to Soraypampa (3750m), where we will stop for lunch and meet our arrieros (horsemen) and trekking staff. After lunch, we will continue hiking for another 2½ hrs hours until we will arrive at our first campsite, Salkantaypampa

  • Elevation: from 3400 metres to 4000 metres
  • Trekking distance: 12 kilometres
  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
Day 3From Salkantaypampa to Collpapampa, via Salkantay Pass

Today we ascend to the highest point of our trek, the Salkantay Pass at 4600m where we can take time out to see the sacred, snow-capped Mount Salkantay. In the afternoon we will descend to our campsite at Collpapampa.

Elevation: from 4000 metres to 2900 metres

Trekking distance: 16 kilometres

Trek time: 8 to 9 hours

Highest point: 4600 metres (Salkantay Pass)

Day 4From Collpapampa to Lucmabamba

On the third day of the trek, we will walk for 5-6 hrs downhill at a steady rate moving into the jungle zone at Ceja de Selva where coffee, coca and fruit plantations can be seen. If we have time you can stop to shower in a waterfall here and with luck can see the famous Peruvian National Bird "Gallito de las Rocas". We arrive at our third campsite, Lucmabamba, in time for lunch. This campsite is located in a coffee farm and in the afternoon we can watch a coffee demonstration and you will be able to taste the best coffee in Peru! There is also an option to visit the hot springs in Cocalmayo

Elevation: from 2900 metres to 2100 metres

Trekking distance: 15 kilometres

Trek time: 6 to 7 hours

 

Day 5From Lucmabamba to Agua Calientes

We will trek to the archaeological site of Llactapata, from where we will catch our first sight of the Lost City of Machu Picchu in the distance. After our last camping lunch, we will follow the railway into Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night in a hotel.

Elevation: from 2100 metres to 2050 metres

Trekking distance: 22 kilometres

Trek time: 8 to 9 hours

Day 6Tour of Machu Picchu. Return to Cuzco

Today we'll bring you back to Machu Picchu for a full tour with one of our guides and the option of climbing nearby Huayna Picchu . Permits to climb the mountain must be purchased in advance.

Afterwards we will return to Aguas Calientes by bus, then by train back to Ollantaytambo. Of course, we'll drive you from the train station to Cuzco.

Availability and prices

Last Updated November 20 2018
  • View prices in
  • Show Prices in Sterling
  • Show Prices in US Dollars
Route
Arrival
Days
Prices from
Comment
 
 
Arrival: December 23 2018
Days: 8
Prices from: £899 $1174 €0
Comment: OFFER Save £100 was £999
Arrival: December 24 2018
Days: 6
Prices from: £649 $854 €0
Comment: OFFER Save £100 was £749
Arrival: March 9 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: March 10 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: March 31 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: April 1 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: April 15 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: April 16 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: April 28 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: April 29 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: May 5 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: May 6 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: June 2 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: June 3 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: June 23 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: June 24 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: July 28 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: July 29 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: August 24 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: August 25 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: September 15 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: September 16 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: October 13 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: October 14 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: November 14 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: November 15 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: November 24 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: November 25 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: December 15 2019
Days: 8
Prices from: £999 $1299 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: December 16 2019
Days: 6
Prices from: £749 $979 €0
Comment: Spaces
Speak with an expert Start planning your next adventure by contacting one of our team.
Sarah BW

Sarah Orson

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 1283 499980

RB BW crop sml

Rachael Bode

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: + 44 1283 499982

SK BW crop sml

Sharon King

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 1283 499981

Kandoo Adventures on Trustpilot

DOWNLOAD our free comprehensive guide to planning your MACHU PICCHU TREK

Kandoo Adventures Logo