Salkantay Trek

Salkantay Trek

Experience nature, culture and stunning views
Activity Level: 4  | Duration: 5 days, 4 nights | Group Size: 2-16 | Price: $620

Overview

Come experience a trip that National Geographic called "One of the Top 25 Hikes in the World". The Salkantay Trek is an amazing combination of epic beauty, authentic cultural experiences and edifying history. You will experience multiple micro-climates as this hike will take you from the jungles of the Andes to mountainous peaks.  

This trek includes tours of several Inca archaeological sites, including Machu Picchu. You will also visit a coffee farm, where you will spend time in a local community and learn how to make coffee straight from Coca Bean.  

The back half of the trek includes opportunities to visit the Santa Teresa Hot Springs as well as zip line through the jungles of Peru (additional cost). The trek will end with a professionally guided tour of the Lost City of Machu Picchu, the perfect way to complete this incredible journey!

Trip Highlights

  • Guided tour of several Inca Archaeological Sites 
  • Several cultural experiences throughout
  • Wildlife present throughout the trek
  • Private campsites, only accessible to Kusa Treks customers
  • Learn how to make coffee from scratch with local families!
  • Hot springs and Zip lining!

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Scenery
  • Wildlife
  • Cultural Experiences 
  • Optional: Zip lining and hot springs

Accommodations

  • Kusa Treks camp for 3 nights
  • 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes for 1 night
  •    (Hotel upgrade available upon request)
Elevation Map

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

TRANSPORTATION
All transportation for the trek.
This includes: 
   - Pickup from your hotel in Cusco in a private van
   - Bus ticket to Machu Picchu
   - Train ticket back to Cusco 
   - Private van pickup from train station and drop-off at your hotel in Cusco
FOOD
All food is provided. In fact, we'll be hiking with a professional chef! Our chef and his staff will cook you some of the best meals you've ever eaten, and they'll do it in the middle of the Andes. Please notify our staff of any food allergies or restrictions and we will ensure that the food is prepared properly.

NOTE: All of the meals prepared by our chef are made with locally sourced, organic ingredients. 
WATER
Your guides will supply all of the water you'll need on the trek. The water will first be boiled, then filtered and then cooled. You will need to bring a container for the water (Camelback, Nalgene, etc.), we recommend carrying at least 2L of water. Your water containers will be refilled at each meal.

Please ensure that your water containers are filled when you leave the hotel on Day 1 to begin the trek. Our staff will provide clean water for the rest of the trek. 

NOTE: As a company that strives for 100% sustainability, we highly encourage our clients to bring "permanent" water containers made of metal or hard plastic. We discourage the use of cheap plastic water bottles that can be harmful to the Peruvian environment.
PROFESSIONAL GUIDES
Kusa Treks strives for greatness and this begins and ends with our people. All of our Lead and Assistant Guides are locals to this region and studied Tourism and/or Archaeology in University. They are all fluent in English and are passionate about their work. Trust me when I say, there is no better person to be on a trip with than a Kusa Treks guide. You will be in incredible hands!
PERMITS & TICKETS
Once you pay the trip deposit, we will purchase your hiking permits as well as your entrance tickets for Machu Picchu. The government issues this permit in your name, under your passport number, and for a specific time-frame; they cannot be changed once confirmed, which is why the initial deposit is non-refundable after 24 hours. 
MEDICAL EMERGENCY
Alright, emergency sounds a bit dramatic. However, you can be confident in your Lead Guide and his staff. All of Kusa Trek's guides receive extensive First Aid training from a qualified and licensed physician, and we conduct mandatory review/training sessions twice a year.

Your Lead Guide will carry a Hiking First Aid kit (including oxygen), and should the need arise we will get you off of the trail and to a medical facility as quickly and comfortably as possible. *We have never had to evacuate a hiker.*

Note: Please bring whatever personal medication, such as prescriptions, that you know you will need. Our staff will be prepared with a general emergency kit, but personal medication is your responsibly. 
SUPPORT STAFF
In addition to your incredible guides, this trek requires a support staff including: chef, assistant chef, horse master and porters. We started Kusa Treks for several reasons: one of which was to provide living-wage jobs for local Peruvians.

We employ individuals passionate about Peru's culture and nature and who want to share their incredible country with our clients. You will be absolutely amazed at how hard these people work to provide you with an incredible trip.

NOTE: This trek includes a personal porter in the price. 
TENT and SLEEPING MAT
Your tents are provided. They are comfortable, roomy and cozy. We provide a 4-man tent for every 2 people (unless otherwise specified).

The price of this trek also includes one night in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes on Night 4. Sleep well chicos!

We also provide a foam sleeping mat throughout the trek. 

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT
We have high quality equipment you can rent:
   - Sleeping Bag: $25
   - Inflatable Air Mattress (Therm-a-Rest): $15
   - Trekking Poles (2): $20
   - Personal Tent: $35
   - Hiking Backpack: $20

NOTE: These rental prices are for the duration of the entire trek. 
HUYANA PICCHU PERMIT
Huayna Picchu is the pointy, tall mountain in the background of all the pictures of Machu Picchu. Tickets to climb it are available for travelers who wish to hike up an ancient staircase to the top of Machu Picchu's sister mountain.

Hiking to the top provides adventurers with incredible, unique views of Machu Picchu. This secondary hike will have a 1-hour ascent, 15 minutes to take selfies and high-five at the top of the mountain, and then a 45-minute descent.

The ascent and descent are pretty steep, but totally worth it!

Price: $35USD per person

NOTE: Tickets to ascend Huayna Picchu are limited and are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis. We cannot guarantee permit availability less than 6 months before a trip start date. 
VISTA DOME TRAIN
For your trip back from Machu Picchu to Cusco, we will book tickets on a "regular" train called the Expedition Train. However, there are several train upgrade options available, the most popular of which is known as the "Vista Dome Train".

The Vista Dome train has glass walls and a glass ceiling, which provide panoramic views of the surrounding beautiful Andes mountain-side. Tickets include in-trip meals and entertainment.

Price: $70 USD per ticket
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS
The Salkantay Trek begins and ends in Cusco, Peru. You are responsible for getting to Cusco. 

We do offer a flight booking service. The price for international flights will depend on origin city, time of travel and preferred class of cabin. If you are interested in having us book your flights, please inform our team at the time of booking. 
HOTEL(S) IN CUSCO
We include the accommodations you will need for the 5 days and 4 nights of this trek. We highly recommend that you arrive to Cusco at least 2 full days before starting the trek to ensure proper acclimation to the high elevation.

You are responsible for booking your own hotels in Cusco before and after the trek. Here is a list of our recommendations. 

As with flights, we do offer a hotel booking service. The price for hotels in Cusco will depend on your preferred class of hotel. If you are interested in having us book your hotels, please inform our team at the time of booking.
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES
This trek will pass close by the town of Santa Teresa on the third afternoon, which provides travelers with two unique opportunities: 

1. Hot Springs: $5 USD + $15 in roundtrip transportation*
2. Jungle Zip Lining: $30 USD + $15 in roundtrip transportation*

*Roundtrip transportation is from our campsite on Night 3 to Santa Teresa and back

Pricing:

GROUP TREK PRICE: $620
A "group trek" means you will be paired with other people. 

PRIVATE TREK PRICES:
A "private trek" is just your group and our guides. 
2 - 3 People: $800
4 - 6 People: $715
7 - 9 People: $665
9+ People: $620

PRICES ARE PER PERSON AND IN U.S. DOLLARS ($)

NOTE: We require a minimum of 2 people to guarantee a trip start date. 

Salkantay Itinerary 

SALKANTAY TREK ITINERARY:

High Level Itinerary:

DAY 1: The Journey Begins!

Pick up from your hotel in Cusco. 3.5 hour drive to the trail head. 6-7 hours of hiking through beautiful scenery to Sorocchocha, our first campsite.

DAY 2: On Top of the World

Early start with an uphill hike to the highest point of the trek. Incredible views from the peak of a mountain to the valley below. Descent into a private campsite in the village of Colpapampa.

DAY 3: Coffee Farm and the Inca Trail

Hike to a remote coffee farm in the Andes. Learn from locals how to make coffee right from the coca bean. Trek for a few hours on the Inca Trail. Experience waterfalls, bamboo groves & soccer with local kids!

DAY 4: Incredible Views

Visually stunning hike to the Puncuyoc Pass. Beautiful valleys, massive fruit plantations & the Inca Ruins at Llactapata. Final night of the trek will be in a hotel in Aguas Calientes.

DAY 5: Machu Picchu!

15-minute bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. Guided tour of Machu Picchu. Option to climb Huayna Picchu. Train ride back to Cusco, arrival between 7-8pm.


Details For Each Day:

DAY 1: The Journey Begins!
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 15,300ft. (4,650m)
  • Min Altitude: 12,795ft. (3,550m)
  • Distance Hiked: ~6 miles (10 km)
  • Ascent: 2,362ft. (1,070m)
  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours

Note: Our trekking times are approximate and will vary depending on: weather conditions, group ability and other factors.

MORNING

Your first day will start early, 5:00AM early! Kusa Treks team members will pick you up from your hotel in private transportation and drive about 3.5 hours to the trail head in Soraypampa, where you’ll eat your first breakfast. All of the meals on this trek will be prepared by our professional chef and his crew. During breakfast you’ll meet the incredible crew that will accompany you on this journey, including the Porters, Chef, assistant chef, and assistant guides.

Around 9:00AM you’ll begin your hike. The first day will be a bit of a challenge, as your legs are warming up and the beginning of the trail has a lot of inclines. However, your efforts will be rewarded with incredible views! The first 2.5 hours will be a measured uphill hike to see the turquoise Humanatay Lake.

AFTERNOON

The trail will continue with a gradual climb for another 1.5 hours until reaching Salkantay Pampa, where you will eat a delicious lunch, prepared by our trekking chefs, in front of a beautiful glacier, .

After lunch you will continue hiking uphill for another hour until you arrive to your first campsite in Soroccocha, which is located at the foot of the majestic Salkantay Mountain.

EVENING

Each night you will have a family “tea-time”. You’ll enjoy hot chocolate, a variety of teas and snacks together and wind down from the efforts of our hike. You will swap stories and prepare to eat a delicious, hot dinner made by our chef and his staff. If the weather allows, your guide will show you the Inca Constellations in the millions of bright stars that stretch overhead.

After dinner your Tour Guides will go over our plans for Day 2. Buenas Noches!


DAY 2: On Top of the World!
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 12,795ft. (3,550m)
  • Min Altitude: 7,217ft. (2,200m)
  • Distance Traveled: 6 miles (10 km)
  • Descent: 5,578ft. (1,350m)
  • Walking Time: 5-6 hours
MORNING

Every morning the Porters and guides will wake you up with a smile and a fresh cup of something hot. After a soul-warming breakfast, you will begin your second day of hiking with a gradual climb. In about an hour, you will reach the highest point of the trek. You will experience the feeling of being on top of the world as you look around at the surreal snow-capped mountains. You will have 30 minutes to enjoy the amazing, panoramic views.

AFTERNOON

The trek continues as the trail [FINALLY] starts to go downhill to Rayanniyoc for a lunch prepared by our professional chefs. After resting your legs, you will push toward the finish line for that day and arrive at the private campsite in the small village of Colpapampa.

If you’re lucky, you will get to see some of the hundreds of species of birds that inhabit this area including: hummingbirds, falcons, and the Condor, also known as the king of the Andean Mountains.

EVENING

Once you reach the campsite, tea-time will be waiting for you. After enjoying each others company, you’ll share another spectacular meal and turn in for the night. Sleep well chicos!


DAY 3: Coffee Farm and the Inca Trail
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude: 12,300ft (3,750m)
  • Minimum Altitude: 8,856ft (2,700 m)
  • Distance Traveled: ~9.9 miles (16 km)
  • Walking Time: 7-8 hours
MORNING

After waking up to the sweet sound of a hot drink knocking at your tent door, you’ll enjoy a delicious hot breakfast and prepare for the  day’s hike. Today’s hike will continue down into a valley below and into a forest filled with groves of bamboo and birds.

From this incredible slice of paradise, the trail will intersect with the world famous Inca Trail, which you will walk on for the next 3 hours. The Inca Trail was built in the 13th century as a series of roads to connect the vast Inca Empire across much of modern-day South America.

AFTERNOON

Your afternoon will consist of a visit to a local, organic coffee farm situated deep in the Andes. Coffee is one of the main exports of Peru, as the high mountain climate of the Andes allows various types of the Cocoa plant to flourish.

You will have the opportunity to learn from local farmers how to harvest, roast and prepare the best cup of coffee you’ve ever tasted! There is a tremendous difference between fresh, organic coffee and a grande mocha latte with skim milk and cream. After your visit to the coffee farm, you’ll continue on your journey to another small village where we will set up camp for the night.

EVENING

Once you arrive to the campsite, you will enjoy a late lunch prepared by our incredible chef! You will have the remaining hours of the afternoon to explore the wonderful area you find yourself in. There are stunning vistas surrounding the campsite as well as a local school. Most of our clients choose to visit and connect with the school children through playful games of fútbol (soccer). We promise that you will enjoy your afternoon here.

Following a relaxing and fun afternoon, you will be able enjoy another tea-time and dinner later that night. After dinner you can gaze on the constellations overhead or retire to your tent and prepare for the final day of trekking.


DAY 4: Incredible Views
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Maximum Altitude: 8,758ft. (2,700m)
  • Minimum Altitude: 5,971ft. (1,820m)
  • Distance Traveled: 9.3 miles (15 km)
  • Descent: 2,787ft. (880m)
  • Walking Time: 8-9 hours
MORNING

After enjoying the last breakfast prepared by our chef, you will start the 4th day of trekking with a 3 hour uphill hike that leads to to Puncuyoc Pass. This just might be the prettiest 3 hours you will ever hike in your life. Filled with views of deep valleys and giant fruit plantations, you will be amazed at these sites. After the hike, you will arrive at Llactapata Inca Ruins. These ruins are located in front of Machu Picchu and provide a great view of Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu and the Aobamba Canyon.

You will spend a few hours learning about the Llactapata ruins from your guide. You will also have some time to take pictures of Machu Picchu, which can be seen in the distance. Not to overstate this part of the trip, but this truly is an incredible part of the world!

AFTERNOON

Unfortunately, we cannot stay here forever, so you will descend for 2 more hours to the primary hydroelectric plant of Cusco, where you will enjoy lunch. Your final portion of walking on this trip will be through the National Park of Machu Picchu to reach the city of Aguas Calientes where you will stay in a 3-star hotel during the final night of the trek.

EVENING

Kusa Treks will arrange all of the accommodations in Aguas Calientes. You will stay in a wonderful, quaint hotel where you’ll enjoy a hot shower after 4 days of hiking! You will share a meal together at a local restaurant, where you’ll experience delicious, local cuisine and prepare for the day ahead: Machu Picchu!!


DAY 5: Machu Picchu
  • Meals: Breakfast
MORNING

Today you will discover Machu Picchu, the world famous Sacred City of the Incas. It is entirely up to the group when you would like to start this exciting day! However, the majority of travelers choose to wake up around 4:30AM. This allows you to eat a quick breakfast and head over the bus station to catch one of the first buses from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu Park. It is a 15-20 minute drive up a series of switch back roads to reach Machu Picchu Park. The gates for Machu Picchu open at 6AM.

All of our guides have been to Machu Picchu hundreds of times and will lead you to the best places to view the ruins. Once the city begins to fill with more tourists, you will start your guided tour, starting with the impressive Temple of the Sun. You will see several iconic areas of Machu Picchu including: The Citadel, The Royal Tomb, the Main Plaza, the Condor Temple and much more.

After the guided tour, you will have plenty of time to explore the City of the Clouds on your own. Those who have secured permits to climb Huayna Picchu will do that hike at this time. If you chose not to hike Huayna Picchu, you can join your guide on an hour long walk on the Inca Trail up to the Sun Gate, where you will enjoy the most iconic view of Machu Picchu.

AFTERNOON

Once you’ve had your fill of the incredible Lost City, your guide will take you back to the entrance of Machu Picchu Park to the bus station. The bus back to Aguas Calientes will depart in the early afternoon. Depending on the train schedule, you will either have time for lunch in Aguas Calientes or you will head straight for the train station. We typically book a train that departs Aguas Calientes between 2:30PM – 4:20PM. From Aguas Calientes, the train will travel 2 hours to the Ollantaytambo station, where our private van will be waiting to take you the remaining 2-3 hours back to Cusco. Some train schedules will allow the train to go 3 hours to the Poray station, which is only a 30 minute drive back to your hotel in Cusco.

Expedition Train

The Expedition Train is the “normal” train, with plenty of leg room and good sized windows, these train tickets  are included in price. All Expedition train tickets end at the Ollantaytambo train station, which is a 2 hour drive back to Cusco. When you arrive to the station, we will have private transportation arranged to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. The following are departure times for the Expedition train:

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 14:55 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 16:31 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 18:30
  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 15:20 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 17:08 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 19:10
  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 16:22 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 18:10 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 20:10
  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 18:20 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 20:05 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 22:00

Vista Dome Train

The Vista Dome Train is an upgraded train, which provides entertainment and a meal. It also has a glass domed ceiling which provides better views of the Sacred Valley on your way from Aguas Calientes to Cusco. The Vista Dome train will end at either the Ollantaytambo station (2 hour drive to Cusco) or the Poroy station (30 minute drive to Cusco). The arrival station is based on the time the train leaves Aguas Calientes. These tickets are an additional $70 USD to upgrade.

The following are departure times for the Vista Dome to the Ollantaytambo Station:

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 13:37 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 15:00 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 17:30 only available for those who do not do the Huyana Picchu hike
  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 15:48 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 17:29 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 19:29
  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 16:22 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 18:10 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 20:10
  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 17:23 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 19:02 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 21:00
  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 18:10 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 19:51 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 21:51

The following are departure times for the Vista Dome to the Poroy Station:

  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 16:43 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 20:23 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 21:00
  • Leave Aguas Calientes: 17:23 –> Arrive to Ollantaytambo station: 20:52 –> Arrive to hotel in Cusco: 21:30

NOTE: Train times depend on: the number of people in your group, the time of year of your trip and the class of train you prefer.