The Salkantay Trek is one of the most popular ways to get to Machu Picchu.

Salkantay Trek

If you’re looking to embark on a truly epic adventure, there’s no better place than the daunting and awe-inspiring Salkantay Trek in Peru. Taking in the magnificent views of the Peruvian Andes, cultural experiences along the way, and a journey across varied and spectacular landscapes, the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is the experience of a lifetime. You’ll be able to traverse mountainous peaks, witness breathtaking glaciers, and wander through luscious jungle terrain as you make your way to the famous “Lost City of Incas” – Machu Picchu. This is the ultimate Peru hike to Machu Picchu and one of the best treks in South America. If you’re up for the challenge, come join us on the Machu Picchu Salkantay Trek and get ready for the journey of a lifetime!

All Alternatives of Salkantay Treks

You can walk the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in one, 2, 4, 5, or 7 day tours, which include all for Trip.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
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salkantay trek
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Salkantay Trek 6 Days

Salkantay trek
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Salkantay Trek 5 Days

Salkantay trek to machu picchu
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Salkantay Trek 4 Days

Salkantay trek 3 days
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Salkantay Trek 3 Days

Humantay Lake fisrt day to salkantay trek to machu picchu
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Salkantay Trek 2 Days

Salkantay Trek is a famous trekking in Cusco and is a great alternative to the Inka Trail to Machupicchu. Going this hike, you’ll be able to see some of the most beautiful places in Cusco – Perú and see the snow covered Mountain, and also pass through Salkantay Pass, Salkantay altitude is 20,574 ft (6,271 m). You will have the opportunity to see beautiful landscapes with a variety of endemic flora and fauna, and camping at night in the middle of the sacred mountain.

Salkantay Trek is a hiking in South America and an alternative to the traditional Inca Trail for reaching Machupicchu. It presents a unique combination of culture and mistic, with preserved proudly by the Peruvian people, and is an amazing adventure and extraordinary natural beauty. Salkantay trekking is set at the highest peaks of Humantay Mountain, where the cold ice of the mountains meets the steamy heat of the Andes. The hike is surrounded by the historic Machupicchu (National Park and is considered one of the 25 best hikes in the world). Salkantay trek is very diverse and rich geography hike, Andean culture and history. The Vilcanota Mountain range contains two twenty highest mountains in the Americas.

The hike along this route offers an amazing diversity of attractions and adventure opportunities found nowhere else on earth. Imagine a walk with a breathtaking view of the most beautiful mountains in the world or a dip in the hot springs of Cocalmayo in the forest, all within a distance of only 50 kilometers.

Many travelers go this route by the promise of adventure and are equally pleased with the friendliness and openness of the Peruvian people. The Inca’s land is an incredibly diverse country that offers something for everyone. A trip through this rare earth once is enough. The first thing many people do after a visit to this country is to start planning the next trip (travel)!

Ready to go? Inca Trail Corp will make it easy to get started! Book now or Contact us to our famous treks in Perú.


Machu Picchu is a top destination in the world and certainly lives up to its reputation as a member of the New 7 Wonders of the World. When it was built in the 1400s, the Incas would walk for days from their capital, Cusco, to Machu Picchu through the Andes Mountains. Modern travelers have the luxury of trains and buses to make the trip, but for outdoor lovers and those inclined to physical vacations, there’s another option; multi day treks to Machu Picchu.

There are different routes that can be taken from Cusco to Machu Picchu, the two most common being the Inca trail and the Salkantay trail. The Inca trek is the most historical and popular, thus more crowded too. On the other hand, the Salkantay trail, though not so popular, it goes through some of the most scenic Peruvian landscapes. In addition, it has the advantage of being more secluded as well, therefore a great option for travellers looking for a more in-depth experience with nature.

During a recent two week visit to Peru we trekked the Salkantay to Machu Picchu for what turned out to be one of the best trips we’ve ever taken.

Man trekking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu


The Salkantay trek difficulty is “medium”.

The Salkantay trek is around 70 km (43 mi) long. For travellers interested, you must be physically capable of a trek like this.

Altitude effects aside, it is multiple days of 6+ hours of hiking through rough terrain and often up or downhill. But anyone who exercises regularly will manage just fine! It is exhausting but it’s certainly not unbearable.

All guides carry oxygen canisters, so if you start to feel altitude sickness you can rest and get some much needed O2. If you’re an avid hiker or used to the altitude you won’t have a problem.

For everyone else, make sure you feel confident in your hiking abilities and you’ll do great.

The Salkantay trek tour to Machu Picchu
Along the Salkantay trek // Photo credit: Jason Kraemer


Lima is Peru’s capital and your arrival point when coming in by air. There are direct flights from US hubs including LA, NYC, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, and Dallas. Unless you depart from one of those cities, you’ll have a connection. We landed in Peru after a first class flight through Houston paid for entirely by points. Eager to get to Cusco to adjust to the altitude, we only spent one night in Lima.

From Lima there are options to get to Cusco, the starting point for all Machu Picchu visits. There is a bus/train combination that takes at least 8 hours over windy, bumpy roads – but this isn’t a very common choice.  There are plenty of regional airlines making multiple trips a day. It’s a short, inexpensive flight and you can pick any time of day you want. Cusco is located in a valley, so the planes have to make a semi circle as they descend between the mountains. The views out of the plane were an incredible welcome to the Andes.

It’s a quick taxi ride from the airport into town, and then you can easily walk everywhere. We definitely recommend getting in some walking time to help your body adjust to the altitude as you’ll immediately feel the 11,000 ft change when you step off the plane.


Ten days is our recommended minimum amount of time for a hiking trip in Peru. That would give you a full day of travel on either end, 5 days hiking, and 3 days to adjust to the altitude. Lima is at sea level, so spending time there won’t help you get acclimated. You can judge based on how your body handles altitude, but you’ll want at least a couple days in Cusco before setting off on your trek.

If you can stretch the trip to 14 days it will give you time at the end to explore Lima. Longer still and you can explore the other beautiful parts of Peru.

Cusco from a viewpoint
Cusco, the starting point for all treks to Machu Picchu // Photo credit: Jason Kraemer


You can choose to make the Salkantay trek tour in different time frames. There are the short 3 days one, for instance, the 8 days Salkantay combined with the Inca trail, or, the classical 5 days, which is the one we did.

The Salkantay trek cost varies from U$ 400 to U$ 600 for 5 days. We paid U$ 500 total per person, so U$ 100 per day. Nearly everything was included: all gear, transportation, meals, entrance to Machu Picchu, etc. The only extra expenses were tips for our guide and assistants, the fee for the hot springs, and breakfast on the first day. So not much more than an extra $30 per person.

There are many companies offering the Salkantay trek. You can book your tour prior to your arrival in Peru through platforms such as GoTreksPeru (this is the one we recommend and use during our travels), or leave it to choose once you get to Lima or Cusco.

The Salkantay mountain seen from the trek
The Salkantay mountain is seen from the trek

Best time for trekking

There are two seasons in the Cusco region; the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season is from April to October, the driest months June to August – very little rain, lower temperatures, especially at night time. July – August is the peak tourist season expect prices to be higher and the sights are busier.

The rainy season is from November to March, with the most rain falling between December and February. During this period temperatures are higher, it’s very humid, rains a lot, not many tourists. December – February is the worst time for hiking in Cusco.

Average high and low temperature over a year in Cusco, Peru
Average temperatures in Cusco throughout the year

The Most Epic Trekking Adventure in Peru: Machu Picchu and the Salkantay Trek

What Is the Salkantay Trek?

Overview of Machu Picchu and the Salkantay Trek

Preparing for the Trek

Necessary Gear

Physical Preparation

Booking a Trek Guide

Day 1 of the Trek

Starting Out from Soraypamapa

Crossing the Salkantay Pass

Descending Into Huayraqmachay

Day 2 of the Trek

Heading to the Santa Teresa Hot Springs

Arriving at La Playa

Climbing to the Llactapata Valley

Day 3 of the Trek

Trekking Through the Cloud Forest

Approaching Machu Picchu

Exploring Machu Picchu

After the Trek

Returning to Cusco

Processing the Adventure



A Memorable Trekking Adventure

Unforgettable Sights and Experiences

Time to Start Planning Your Trek to Machu Picchu!