5 Day Salkantay

The 5 day Salkantay Trek takes you along the mountain chain south of Machu Picchu. You will leave Cusco for a drive to Molepata from where you will start hiking to the camping site located at 3900 meters surrounded by lakes and snowcapped mountains. The hike will show you an amazing diversity in landscapes ranging from snowcapped mountains to highland pampa and cloud forests, before reaching Machu Picchu. 


  • 5 day hike with several high altitude climbs up to 4,600 meters above sea level
  • 4 days hiking, last day Machu Picchu visit
  • 3 nights camping, one night hotel overnight in Aguas Calientes
  • 5th day full day visit to Machu Picchu
  • Huayna Picchu climb possible
  • Extreme climate changes on this hike (highlands vs. cloud forest)
  • Return to Cusco by train


Here is an overview of what the 5 day Salkantay Trek looks like;


Day 1;

We will depart from Cusco approximately around 5:00a.m. By bus we will travel to the town of Mollepata (2900 meters above sea level) where we will arrive approximately at 8:15 in the morning, we will stop for last minute supplies, leg-stretching or to use the restrooms, before starting the Salkantay trek. During the trip we will have panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay, other mountains covered with snow, and the Valley of Apurimac River. Here we will meet our support staff, and they will load the equipment on horses and mules. Around 9:00 a.m. we will begin our walk toward Sayllapata (3200 meters above sea level). About 1:00p.m. we will enjoy a picnic lunch. After lunch, we will continue hiking toward the Soraypampa villages (3850 meters above sea level). Around 5:30 in the afternoon we will arrive to our camp where the tents will be ready for you as well as your dinner.

Day 2;

Today, nature will change drastically from dry sceneries to snowy peaks and tropical areas. After a nutritious breakfast, we will start the most difficult part of the trek. We will start the hike around 7:00 in the morning. We will hike to a place called Pampas Salkantay, then go toward the left side of the snowy peaks of Umantay located next to the Apu Salkantay. At midday, we will be on the highest point (4600 meters above sea level). We will appreciate spectacular views of the mountains and the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay (6264 meters above sea level) which is known as the second highest point of the Cusco region. Around 1:00 p.m., we will have our lunch, in the area called Huayracmachay. After a trek of approximately 3 hours, we will arrive to our camp in Challway (2920 meters above sea level). Around 7:00p.m., we will recuperate from the trek and eat dinner.

Day 3;  

Around 7:00a.m., we will start this day of hiking. We will walk for about 6 hours toward Playa Sahuayaco and in the meanwhile we can observe a town called Collpabamba. This region is also called the “Forest Cloudy Brow” where waterfalls, fruit-bearing trees, varied flora, and birds can be observed. With a bit of luck, we will be able to observe the famous bird called the “Cock of the Rocks”. On arrival you will enjoy your lunch after which you have some free time to enjoy the amazing scenery and stretch your legs. In the evening you will enjoy a good dinner before it is off to the tents for a final night camping.  

Day 4;

After an early breakfast, we will head to the LLactapata pass. Once at the Llactapata pass where you will start an ascent hike towards the ruins of Llactapata. On the way you will observe coffee plantations, beautiful landscapes as well as diverse flora and fauna. After three hours, you will arrive at Llactapata where you will have an amazing view of Machu Picchu. Here you will have time to rest and enjoy the scenery. A descending trail will take you to the Hydroelectric where you will eat lunch. The last part of the trek, an approximately 2 hour’s walk, leads us to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival, you will be accommodated at your hotel. You will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant at about 7:00p.m.



Day 5;

Today, you will start early at around 4:30a.m. and walk up to Machu Picchu and to the Sun Gate. In Machu Picchu, you will have a guided tour for about two hours after which you have the rest of the morning and afternoon free to discover Machu Picchu for yourself.  At 6:45p.m. (Depending on availability), you will be taking a train to Ollantaytambo where you will be picked up and in private transport taken to Cusco and your hotel.

If you would like to read more about what to see and do at Machu Picchu, please click here.