DAY 1 CUSCO | MOLLEPATA – HUMANTAY LAKE – SALKANTAYPAMPA
On Day 1 of the trek, we will pick you up from your hotel at 5:00 am and begin our four-hours drive until the beginning of the trek. During the ride, you'll have the opportunity to see the stunning white snowcapped mountains of Salkantay and Veronica, which were revered as holy gods by the Incas. Additionally, you'll witness the vibrant landscapes of the upper and lower valleys.
Once we arrive in Soraypampa town, we'll take a break and use the restroom facilities. There, we'll also meet our support staff, organize our equipment, and introduce ourselves. At around 9:30 am, we'll embark on our trek to Humantay Lake, which sits at an altitude of 4200 meters.
Upon reaching the lake, we'll marvel at the Humantay glacier and take in the stunning scenery of Humantay Lake. After spending an hour there, we'll return to Soraypampa to have lunch, which will be prepared by our skilled cook. Following our meal, we'll continue hiking to Salkantaypampa, where we'll spend the night. This location is situated in the midst of the glacier valleys, making it an ideal place to stargaze and admire the constellations in the dark, starry sky.
DAY 2 | SALKANTAYPAMPA – SALKANTAY PASS – HUAYRACMACHAY – CHAULLAY
We'll start Day 2 with an early wake-up call at 5:00 am, and you'll receive some refreshing coca tea in your tent. After packing up quickly, we'll have breakfast and begin our hike towards the highest point of the Salkantay trail, which stands at an elevation of 4620 meters (15,255 feet). The 5 km ascent will take us approximately 3 hours, during which we'll traverse through a rocky valley and witness the magnificent Salkantay peak. If we're lucky, we may even spot chinchillas along the trail.
Upon reaching the top of the trail, we'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the snow-capped peaks of Salkantay, Humantay, and Pumasillo. Salkantay is regarded as the second highest mountain in the Cusco region and is considered one of the main Inca gods known as "Apu Salkantay." Hiking to the top is the most challenging part of the trek, and you'll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when you reach the summit.
Next, we'll spend three hours descending on a serpent trail along a rocky and gravel path to reach Huayracmachay, where we'll have lunch. In the afternoon, we'll enter the upper part of the rainforest, also known as the "cloud forest." We'll trek for 9 km in 3 hours to reach Challway Village, our base campsite, which sits at an altitude of 2900 meters (9,514 feet). During the descent, we'll admire the thick forest, which is adorned with colorful orchids and native plants. The majority of the year, the weather in this region is warm and pleasant.
DAY 3 | CHAULLAY – LUCMABAMBA – AGUAS CALIENTES
On day 3, you will wake up at 5:30 am to enjoy a cup of coca tea and have breakfast before starting the hike to la Playa. The trail leads through dense jungle and follows the bank of the Salkantay River on a gradual path. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to stop at local hamlets and taste the delicious fruits and vegetables such as passion fruit, banana, coffee, avocado, mango, orange, and papaya. With some luck, you might spot the famous "Cock of the Rocks" bird.
The hiking distance is 16 km and takes approximately 7 hours to reach Lucmabamba, where you will have your base camp. This small town is surrounded by coffee trees and offers basic facilities such as toilets, electricity, and shopping for souvenirs. After lunch, you will take a local bus for an hour to Hydroelectric and then continue to walk along the train tracks until you reach Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival, you will check into your hotel, have dinner, and spend the night.
DAY 4 | AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO - CUSCO
On day four, you'll get to experience the highlight of the entire trek: Machu Picchu. We'll have an early start at 5:30 am to catch the first bus up to the ruins and witness the stunning sunrise.
Your guide will accompany you for around 2 hours, explaining the significant features of Machu Picchu. After the guided tour, you'll have some free time to explore the ruins on your own and hike Huayna Picchu, provided you have booked this option. (Please note that this is a separate entrance ticket that costs $65 per person).
Later, we'll return to Aguas Calientes and take a train to Ollantaytambo followed by a bus back to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, we'll transfer you back to your hotel, completing the four-day adventure.
Pre-departure Salkantay trek briefing by tour guides
Duffle bag to pack 7kg of personal belongings, carried by horses
Transportation to the head of Salkantay trail
English/Spanish-speaking professional guide
Cook and cooking equipment
Horses to carry tents and cooking equipment
Transportation from Lucmabamba to Hidroelectrica
Hotel night in Aguas Calientes
Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
Guided visit to Machu Picchu
Expedition train ticket Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo
Transfer from Ollantaytambo train station to downtown Cusco
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
Vegetarian food available on request at no extra charge
First aid equipment and oxygen bottle for emergencies
Sleeping bag (rental available from company)
Walking sticks (rental available from company)
Huayna Picchu Mountain entrance (extra cost of US$65 per person)
Machu Picchu Mountain entrance (extra cost of US$65 per person)
Last lunch in Aguas Calientes
Personal hiking clothing and gear
Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes train (day 4) if needed due to exhaustion
Tips for staff (customary on Machu Picchu excursions)
Passport is required
valid student card (if booked as a student) is required.
Backpack (the smaller the better) is recommended.
Water storage: A water tank such as CamelBak is recommended, but enough for at least 2 liters.
Comfortable hiking boots with good soles are necessary.
2-3 T-shirts and 2-3 hiking pants are recommended.
One comfortable outfit for Machu Picchu day is suggested.
5 sets of underwear and 4 sets of hiking socks are necessary.
1 thick and soft scarf, 1 warm jacket, and 1 rain jacket with pants are recommended.
1 sun hat and 1 wool hat are necessary.
A headlamp is essential.
Waterproof gloves and comfortable camping shoes are recommended.
Quick-dry towel and large plastic bags are necessary to keep things organized and clean.
Sleeping bag: down bags are recommended for temperatures of at least -10°C.
Sunscreen, facial moisturizer, insect repellent, alcohol gel, moist towelettes, toothbrush and toothpaste, toilet paper, personal medication, and first aid kit (band-aids, moleskin, etc.) are necessary.