imagen logotipo

Sacred Salkantay Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days

  • Inca Trail Specialist
  • Updated: May 9, 2022
Sacred Salkantay Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 Days

Type of trip : Adventure, Cultural, Mystical Experience

Activity(ies) Hiking, Trekking

We will hike along the Salkantay pass at 4600 masl, descending into the cloud forest through the archaeological zone called Lactapata, accompanied by the world wonder of Machu Picchu.

We start the trail in Mollepata / Markocasa or also called Soraypampa, located about 2 hours from the city of Cuzco and ends at the Hydroelectric town of Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Trek is an alternative to the already popular Inca Trail, but there are already many people who have done this hike and were fascinated and nothing to envy to the Inca Trail so we recommend it.

The Salkantay Trek is ranked as one of the best treks in the world by none other than the National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine so you can not miss this adventure we have prepared for you.

This trekking route has as purpose a pilgrimage of rituals for the apus (mountains – peaks) like Salkantay among others, and lakes of the route like Humantay.


Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa

On this day we will acclimatize to the area, and we will make a calm hike.
We will spend the night at the “Sky Lodge” of Soraypampa at 3,869 masl/12,690 ft.

Our camp is very close to the village of Soraypampa so this benefits us to have a beautiful view of the lake and the glacier of Humantay, here there is only peace with the company of alpacas.

Note: the night before the trip we will have a meeting to inform you about how our trip will be carried out.

We start the road to Mollepata and take a break to climb to the village of Soraypampa,
Having already arrived our first camp will be the “Lodge of the sky”, our first fundamental view is the Humantay Lagoon which is the product of glaciers on the slopes.

We will walk about 4 hours to reach this point if you consider yourself a brave person and dare to enter this lake you can do it eh here also the view of the Salkantay and at the end of our visit we will return to the Lodge.

🕐 Hiking time: Approximately 6 hours including our lunchtime.

Day 2: Crossing the Salkantay Pass “challenge day”

Time for the hike, don’t worry the style is calm and slow chatting with the guide, normally a person from this place makes the route in 3 hours but we will make the hike calmly stopping to eat, rest, and enjoy; read on to learn more.

Today very early in the morning at 4:00 am we will wake up with a coca tea or something similar to warm up, after a good breakfast and around 5:00 am we will be starting our hike to climb the Salkantay pass: it is better to walk in the early morning because the sun of the Andes is a bit annoying, we will continue our journey to Machu Picchu, walking through the Salkantay Peak.

The highest point of the trek is the Salkantay pass at 4,638 meters above sea level. At the pass we stop to have a good view of the snowy peaks of the Vilcabamba mountain range in all directions, we have to be attentive because in these places inhabit the Andean condors, and to see them is a joy. From the pass we descend to the “Wayracmachay”: (‘the cave where the wind lives’) and the richest thing of the day is that in this place we will have lunch☺️, then we will walk downhill for three hours to reach our camp.

About our camp “Lodge del Cielo” in Collpapampa: it is located 10 minutes walk from the village of Chaullay. Here we will have a 360° panoramic view of the valley around us.

Hike and terrain: Hiking, mostly steep trails, and some open slopes.

Hiking time: Approximately 12 hours including snacks.
Overnight at Collpapampa Sky Lodge camp at 2,870 masl/9,414 ft.

Day 3: Descending into the Cloud Forest

DAY 3: Descent to the cloud forest

We will take a short half hour walk through the avocado cloud forest that will take us to our “Sky lodge” in Lucmabamba where we will eat and spend the night there at 2 600 meters above sea level, read on.

Today we will walk through the valley of the Santa Teresa river, this area is more populated where agriculture and livestock are practiced, we can see banana plantations, and coffee plantations, and if we want to try the coffee of this place to see how good it is.

At the end of the tour through the valley, we will take a bus to the train station of the town,
We will walk to the town of Aguas Calientes, this will take us approximately three hours, after arriving at the town we will check into the hotel and celebrate with a delicious dinner.

The economy of these areas is based on coffee plantations and if you are a person who is aware and sees the hard work that these people do, it may be your responsibility to support them and also learn a little more about what this work is like.

Optional: If you want a private service of how they do the plantations, don’t worry we can have a Local Coffee Experience.

Let’s develop responsible tourism for the Inka community.

The families of these areas found an opportunity to improve their quality of life, share their ancestral knowledge and invite tourists to taste these flavors of coffee beans.

Hiking time: Approx. 5 hours
Hike and terrain: Hike on narrow trails Hiking time: Approx. 5 hours
Hike and terrain: Walking on narrow trails

Day 4: Inca Trail by Llactapata – Machupicchu

After a healthy breakfast, we tackle the last day of our trek. We head towards the Llactapata pass (2,736 m.a.s.l/8,974 ft.), where we encounter a spectacular view of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, from the southeast view, few travelers have the opportunity to admire the magnificence of the place, we take a short break to explore the archaeological site of Llactapata, which has been recently restored.

We will have breakfast very early, we will start with our last day of trekking, we give rein to the Llactapata pass (2700 masl) where we have the first glimpse of the sanctuary of Machu Picchu, from the south, there are few travelers who are lucky to appreciate such wonderful scenery, here in this place we will rest and explore as it was recently resaturated.

We will have lunch at the viewpoint appreciating Machu Picchu, ending the rest we will descend through the forest to reach the Aobamba River.

We arrive at the village of Hidroelectrica, we continue our walk on the side of the railway to Aguas Calientes.

Finally a hotel! we check in to rest and celebrate, after a last session to report on your experience of the next day.

Overnight in Aguas Calientes at 1,900 masl/6,232 ft.
Hiking time: 5-6 hours
Hiking level: Moderate to challenging.

Day 4: Visiting Machu Picchu Sanctuary

In the morning we will enjoy a delicious breakfast and then we will go to the bus station and take a trip to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu where we will have a guided tour of two hours knowing its history and culture, the trip lasts about half an hour.

The guided visit to Machupicchu will be as follows: The Inca City of Machupicchu opens at 6 am so we will be until 8 am doing the tour and knowing the history of this world wonder. In concluding the guided explanation you have two options.

  1. – After the explanation of your guide. – You can choose to go up to the Puerta del Sol. A walk of about an hour is a really great option to get the best panoramic images of all the Andes and MACHUPICCHU.
  2. – After the interpretation of your Guide – We continue in the Inca city for another 1 hour, passing by the main square, the temple of 03 windows, and much more, once we arrive at the Sacred Rock “very close to the entrance gate for Huaynapicchu Sacred Mountain”, our tour guide will give you some free time to explore the Inca city on your own. Climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (not included in the price, spaces are limited, please let us know).

We will walk around the Inca city, its main square, the temple of 3 windows, and see other places and when we are near the Sacred Rock our guide will give you time to explore on your own and see if you want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (not included in the price, spaces are limited, please let us know).


Briefing: You will meet with the guide in charge of the 1-day Inca Trail group at our office for an orientation before your trek. The time of the meeting will be arranged internally.
Transportation: You will be picked up at your hotel in Cusco in the morning and travel to Ollantaytambo train station.
Expedition Train: The train departs from Ollantaytambo to Chachabamba “Km 104” starting point of the Short Inca Trail to Machupicchu. Option to upgrade to the Vistadome Train at an additional cost.
Professional English-speaking guide with official tourist certification: Your guide will explain everything about the Inca culture, including leading your group in the ancient ceremonies! He or she will keep you safe, healthy, and comfortable on your hike so you can enjoy your time along the Inca Trail and will make sure you are safe and happy.
Experienced cultural guide of Machupicchu: English-speaking, official tour guide with tourist certification. For the visit to the sacred city of Machupicchu.
Entrance to the Short Inca Trail (Sun Gate to Machupicchu) – Entrance to Machu Picchu.
Meals: 1 Lunch, (Vegetarian, vegan, or special menus are available at no additional cost)
Water: Water is provided for 1 day of hiking the Inca Trail”. In the village, there are many stores where you can buy bottles of water if you need more. You must provide your own water bottles or camelback. We recommend carrying about 3L of water.
First aid kit and oxygen pump: Our team will carry a first aid kit.
Return train tickets: From Aguas Calientes “Machupicchu pueblo” to Ollantaytambo train station departure time is confirmed in the meeting previously given.
Transfer to Cusco: Transfer by private car from the train station in Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco.

Not Included

Walking sticks: If you wish, you can rent a set from our company.
Meals in Machupicchu town: Dinner in Aguas Calientes
Clothing and personal equipment
Travel insurance
Gratuities for our staff: feel free to tip or not as you wish
Additional costs or delays beyond management’s control (landscape, bad weather, itinerary modification for safety reasons, illness, change in government policy, political instability/strike, etc.).

What to Bring

 Original Passport
Gloves (warm gloves) 
 Insect repellent
 Trekking pants
Refillable water bottle
 Photo/video cameras and chargers 
 Casual mountain clothing
Hiking socks
Long sleeve sweater Woolen hat
 Cold weather jacket
Comfortable shoes
The breathable, dry-fit upper garment 
Full rain gear or poncho