Salkantay Trek
(5 Days)

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    Duration

    5 Days/4 Nights

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    Difficulty

    Difficult

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    Starting Point

    Cusco

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    Ages

    10+

From: $700.00

Five days and 4 nights to Machu Picchu – One of our best and most rigorous treks!


Just you and the trail.  Winding your way up and down the Andes through snow and rainforest.  It’s not easy, but don’t worry! You got this!

Connecting the city of Cusco to Machu Picchu, the Salkantay (Savage) trek is an ancient and remote footpath where massive snowcapped mountains collide with lush tropical rain forests.

This trek is designed for people who enjoy the outdoors and physical challenge of hiking over high passes with unparalleled visual rewards. One of our best and most rigorous treks!

*This is a full-service trek.  A duffel bag will be provided prior to hiking for your personal items and our staff will transport the bag and all other equipment (tents, food, cooking supplies) from campsite to campsite.  All you will need to carry is your day pack.*

Want to join a group?  We’re building small groups  (10 people or less) at a discounted rate for the following departure dates:

March 20-24, 2023   

April 20-24, 2023

May 20-24, 2023

June 20-24, 2023

July 20-24, 2023

August 20-24, 2023

If you are interested in joining any of those groups, you can Book Here!

If those dates do not work for you, please use the calendar feature above to select your desired date and book.  Or send us an email to info@firststepexpeditions.com to chat.

What's Included

  • Transportation from end to end
  • Private, English speaking guide
  • All meals as listed (can accommodate dietary restrictions with proper notice)
  • Duffel bags for items to be carried by porters (up to 15lbs/7kilos per person).
  • Clean water at every meal stop
  • Accommodation at a 3 star hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • All entrance fees and permits
  • Tents – 2 people/tent (single occupancy available for additional charge.)
  • Sleeping Mat
  • Basic First aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Walking sticks (available for rent)
  • Lunch and Dinner – Day 5
  • Alcoholic Beverages of any kind
  • Gratuity
  • Breakfast – Day one
  • Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain climb (can be reserved in advance available for additional fee of $30 per person)
  • Sleeping Bag (can be rented for $30)
  • Travel Insurance

Departure/Return Locations

Your hotel in Cusco

Departure Time

5am

Day 1: CUSCO – SORAYPAMPA – SOYROCOCHA LAKE

Good morning! Are you ready to do this?

  • Today starts the adventure of a lifetime!  You’ll have 4 hours in the car to mentally prep for a serious day of hiking.
  • We’ll provide a hearty breakfast before your first out and back climb to Lake Humantay – a pure, turquoise glacial lake that will be the first of many things to take your breath away this week.
  • From the lake, we’ll have another 3 hours to gain some serious elevation before we get to our campsite at the base of the Salkantay (Savage) Mountain.
  • Tonight will be pretty cold, but if you can handle it for a few minutes, pop your head out of your tent and check out one of the most incredible starry skies you’ll ever see.

Walking distance: 15km/9.3 miles (7-8 hours)
Elevation: (Cusco) 3300m/11154ft to (campsite) 4,400 m/14,435 feet
Difficulty: Challenging
Weather: Cold early, warm while walking; windy, may rain; very cold in the evening.

Day 2: SALKANTAY PAMPA – LLUSKAMAYO

Good morning! Coca tea?

  • We’ll fuel up with a hearty breakfast before starting our challenging hike to the Salkantay pass (15oooft/4600m).  It’s only about 1.5 hours of hiking, but it’s high elevation with some rocky terrain so you may want to bring your walking sticks.
  • After celebrating our achievement at the pass, we’ll give our lungs some relief and head to lower elevation for 2.5 more hours to the lunch spot.
  • You’ll start to feel some heat as we get into the cloudy forest and subtropical conditions as we hike lower into the Andes.  We have 4.5 hours after lunch until we can kick our feet up at campsite #2.

Walking distance: 21km/13 miles (9-10 hours)
Elevation: (starting campsite) 4,400 m/14,435 ft to (Salkantay peak) 4600m/15091ft to (ending campsite) 2500m/8202 ft
Difficulty: Challenging (long distance, elevation changes, and rocky terrain)
Weather: Cold early, rain, snow, and wind. Warm afternoon and evening

Day 3: LLUSKAMAYO- LLACTAPATA

Hope you got some good sleep, chicos!

  • After breakfast, we’ll say “HASTA PRONTO AMIGOS” to our horsemen and wish them well.  If you feel they’ve done a great job helping you on this journey, you are welcome to offer some tips at this time.
  • We’ll keep the downhill pace rolling with a nice, easy 4 hours along the Santa Teresa River until we get to the lunch spot.
  • Before or after lunch, you can take a tour of the local coffee plantation and have a taste of some fresh brew.  You may want the fuel for the steep, 3 hour climb you’ll take to the next campsite at Llactapata Pass.  The view from the top will be worth it though with a visit to our first Inca site and a chance to see Machu Picchu from the back at sunset and sunrise – a sight rarely seen by any tourists.

Walking distance: 14km/9 miles (8-9 hours)
Elevation: (starting campsite) 2500m/8202 ft to (ending campsite) 2700 m/8858ft
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging (terrain, steep uphill to campsite)
Weather: Warm, hot, and humid

Day 4: LLACTAPATA – AGUAS CALIENTES

Don’t relax yet!  We still have one more day, amigos.

  • Here’s where you’ll be happy you have walking sticks!  The morning starts with a steep, downhill, switch-back trail all the way to the Urubamba River Valley for 2.5 hours.
  • If you want to dip your toes in the river, you’ll have a little time before we finish the trail at the Hydroelectric Train station for lunch.
  • We’ll say goodbye to our amazing chef and porters after lunch and walk for 3 hours to the finish line in Aguas Calientes.
  • Aguas Calientes will be waiting to greet you with a hot shower and comfy hotel bed for the night.  You also have the option to go to the hot springs for 20 soles (separate entrance fee payable in person.)

Walking distance: 12km/7.4 miles (6 hours)
Elevation: (starting campsite) 2700 m/8858ft to (Aguas Calientes) 2040m/6693ft
Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging. Mostly downhill.
Weather: Warm, Hot

Day 5: MACHU PICCHU- CUSCO

Today is the day, People! Machu Picchu is here!

  • It’s the day you’ve been waiting for – your visit to Machu Picchu!
  • You’ll have a guided tour of the whole city while feeling the magic and energy that make this place one of the most incredible places on Earth.
  • After the tour, we’ll head back to Aguas Calientes, or if you’ve purchased a permit to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Must be purchased separately in advance), you will go there at the designated time.
  • You will get lunch or a snack in Aguas Calientes on your own before we catch the train back to Cusco.  At your hotel, we will say “hasta luego” to you, our new friends.

Walking distance: 1.6km/1 mile (2 hours)
Elevation: 2400/7874ft
Difficulty: Moderate. Machu Picchu city is large and requires many trips up and down stairs to see it all.
Weather: Hot and humid (bring a lot of water and rain gear)

Price

2 Trekkers (Private): $1100 USD per person
3+ Trekkers: $700 USD per person

Price quotes above include tax and exchange fees.

Only your $200 non-refundable deposit is due today to reserve your space!  A confirmation and details about completing your final payment will be sent to you within 24 hours of your deposit.

Views from the Trail: