Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days 4 nights
The Salkantay Trek is a popular alternative to the Inca Trail, offering a challenging yet rewarding experience with stunning landscapes, including the majestic Salkantay Mountain, and ending with a visit to Machu Picchu. The following is a sample 5-day, 4-night itinerary for the Salkantay Trek:
Day 1: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa
- Depart from Cusco early in the morning and travel by bus to Mollepata (2,900m / 9,514ft).
- Begin your trek towards Soraypampa (3,900m / 12,795ft), hiking through beautiful landscapes and local villages.
- Arrive at the Soraypampa campsite in the afternoon and set up camp.
- Enjoy dinner and rest for the night.
Day 2: Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Chaullay
- After breakfast, start hiking towards the trek’s highest point, the Salkantay Pass (4,600m / 15,092ft).
- At the pass, take in the breathtaking views of Salkantay Mountain and the surrounding snow-capped peaks.
- Descend into the cloud forest, passing through diverse ecosystems and experiencing a noticeable change in temperature.
- Reach Chaullay (2,900m / 9,514ft) and set up camp for the night.
Day 3: Chaullay – Collpapampa – La Playa
- Depart Chaullay and hike through the cloud forest to Collpapampa (2,800m / 9,186ft), where you can see waterfalls, rivers, and hot springs.
- Continue to La Playa (2,400m / 7,874ft), passing through coffee, cacao, and fruit plantations.
- Set up camp at La Playa and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
Day 4: La Playa – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes
- Start the day with a hike to Llactapata (2,700m / 8,858ft), an Inca site with a unique view of Machu Picchu from afar.
- Descend to the Hydroelectric Station, where you will have lunch.
- You can either hike along the train tracks from the Hydroelectric Station or take a train to Aguas Calientes (2,040m / 6,692ft).
- Check into a hostel or hotel in Aguas Calientes and explore the town in the evening.
Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
- Wake up early and hike or take a bus to Machu Picchu.
- Enjoy a guided tour of the iconic Inca citadel, learning about its history, significance, and architectural wonders.
- After the tour, you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. You can choose to hike up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets must be purchased separately and in advance).
- Return to Aguas Calientes, where you can grab lunch and shop for souvenirs.
- Board the train back to Ollantaytambo, where your transportation to Cusco awaits.
- Arrive in Cusco in the evening, concluding your unforgettable Salkantay Trek adventure.
Please note that this itinerary is subject to change depending on weather conditions, train schedules, and other factors. Ensure that you book with a reputable tour operator and always follow their guidelines and advice for a safe and enjoyable experience.