Short Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu 4 days

4 days / 3 night
From $499.00 USD per person
$549.00 USD
  • Trips Managed & Run by Expert Local Tour Operator.
  • Easy, Fast & Risk-Free Services - Bookings Guaranteed.
  • Indulge in personalized journeys with small, exclusive groups.
  • Unmatched value for your travel budget.
  • Discover distinctive, tailor-made itineraries.
  • Guided by the region's finest certified experts and teams.
  • Your dream expedition begins here!
Duration4 Days/ 3 Nights
Group Size2/15
Activity LevelModerate / Challenging

The 4-days short Salkantay to Machu Picchu

Short Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is suitable for those trekkers who wish to see Mt Salcantay from near but they do not have sufficient time to go all the way or restricted to go there by other reasons. This short Salkantay Trekking Package offers you to face breathtaking view of Salcantay glacier and other mountain peaks. Not only mountain views, you will get great opportunity to explore Machu Picchu inca city and have a close look at their fascinating Andean culture.

  • Day 01: Cusco | Mollepata - Soraypampa "Sky Lodge" - Humantay Lake
  • Day 02: Salkantay Pampa – Salkantay Pass - Huayracmachay – Collpapampa "Sky Lodge"
  • Day 03: Collapapampa – La Playa – Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Machu Picchu town
  • Day 04: Machu Picchu | Cusco

Day 1 | Salkantay

Mollepata - Soraypampa "Sky Lodge" - Humantay Lake

Humantay lake from Soraypampa

We'll depart early from your hotel in Cusco, around 4:30 a.m., for a 3.5-hour journey to Mollepata. After a light breakfast, we'll head to Challacancha (3 800 m / 12 467 ft.), where our hike to Soraypampa (3 900m / 12 795 ft.) begins. Along the way, we'll enjoy stunning landscapes and panoramic views of the Peruvian Andes.

Upon arrival in Soraypampa, we'll make our way to the "Sky Lodges" campsite, where a delicious lunch prepared by our local chef awaits. Later, we'll trek to Humantay Lake (4 200 m / 13 780 ft.). Here, we'll have the opportunity to explore this beautiful turquoise lake surrounded by imposing snow-capped peaks and mountains.

After soaking in the beauty of Humantay Lake and capturing memorable photos, we'll return to our campsite in Soraypampa - Sky Lodge (3 900m. / 12 795 ft.). There, we'll enjoy an evening tea and spend the night, gearing up for the exciting second day of our Salkantay adventure.

  • Meals: Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner
  • Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
  • Total distance: 9 km / 5.5 mi
  • Estimated walking time: 5 hours
  • Maximum altitude: 4 200 m. / 13 780 ft.
  • Accomodation: Soraypampa Sky Lodge (3 900m. / 12 795 ft.)

Day 2 | Salkantay

Salkantay Pampa – Salkantay Pass - Huayracmachay – Collpapampa "Sky Lodge"

Salkantay mountain in salkantay trek

The second day represents the most challenging and coldest stretch of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu in 4 days, but waking up under the majesty of the surrounding snow-capped peaks makes it all worthwhile. We'll start with a beautiful sunrise in Soraypampa, followed by hot drinks and a delicious breakfast prepared by our mountain chefs. Then we'll head towards the Salkantay Pass (4630 m. / 15190 ft.) via a zigzagging and steep trail from 3-4 hours. Although the air is thin and the path is tough, those in good physical condition and acclimated to the altitude can conquer the pass. We also offer the option of horseback riding for those who need extra assistance.

After a break and many photographs next to the incredible snow-capped peak, we'll cross the pass and begin the descent towards Wayracmachay (3850 m. / 12631 ft.), where we'll enjoy lunch. We'll continue on to Challway and finally reach our campsite in Collpapampa (2950 m. / 9678 ft.). Along the way, we'll pass through small villages and scattered campsites on the plains, giving us the opportunity to experience local life in these harsh natural conditions. After an evening of tea, dinner, and rest, we'll prepare for the next day of our adventure.

  • Meals: Breakfast, water, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea and dinner
  • Difficulty: Moderate / Challenge
  • Total distance: 22.5 km / 13.9 mi
  • Estimated walking time: 8 hours
  • Maximum altitude: 4630 m. / 15190 ft. (Salkantay Pass)
  • Accomodation: Collpapampa Sky Lodges (2950 m. / 9678 ft.)

Day 3 | Salkantay

Collapapampa – La Playa – Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Machu Picchu town

Salkantay jungle trail to machu picchu town

After a rejuvenating breakfast prepared by our chef, we embark on our journey from Collpapampa to La Playa (2 060 m. / 6 759 ft.), where we'll stop for lunch. Along the way, the landscape undergoes a remarkable transformation from mountainous terrain to lush jungle scenery, with streams giving way to cascading waterfalls. Following lunch, we travel by car to the Hydroelectric Plant (1 800 m. / 5 906 ft.), marking the end of the Cusco to Machu Picchu train line. From there, we trek along the train tracks to Machu Picchu town - Aguas Calientes (2 040 m. / 6 693 ft.), enjoying the pleasant walk shaded by jungle foliage. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, we check into our hotel for a well-deserved rest and relaxation. Later, we gather for dinner at a local restaurant to plan our visit to Machu Picchu the following day.

Note: If time permits and by group agreement, we may visit and enjoy the Cocalmayo (1 600 m. / 5 249 ft.) hot springs near Santa Teresa after lunch.

  • Meals: Breakfast, water, lunch, dinner
  • Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
  • Total distance: 22 km / 13.6 mi
  • Estimated walking time: 10 hours
  • Maximum altitude: 2 950 m. / 9 678 ft. (Collpapampa)
  • Accomodation: Hotel Aguas Calientes (2040 m. / 6693 ft.)

Day 4 | Salkantay

Machu Picchu Town - Machu Picchu – Cusco.

Machu Picchu site Salkantay trek

On this final day, you will begin with breakfast at the hotel at 5:00 am. Then, we will head to the Aguas Calientes bus station and travel to the Inca city of Machu Picchu. To enter, you will need to present your original passport, the entrance ticket (included in the tour), and, if applicable, a university student ID card. Your guide will then lead you through Machu Picchu and its various sites, ruins, and important temples between 8:00 am and 10:00 am.

Note 01: According to Machu Picchu regulations, once you enter the Inca City, you are not allowed to return by the same paths, as it is a one-way tour. There are many signs indicating which route to follow, and stopping in some places is prohibited. Therefore, we recommend you to enjoy every minute you spend at each Inca site.

Note 02: According to Machu Picchu regulations, entrance tickets are valid for only one entry. This means that once you leave the Inca City, you cannot return unless you obtain a new ticket.

At Machu Picchu, climbing for panoramic glory, offers stunning aerial views of the entire city. Tickets are required and sell out quickly, so plan accordingly:

  • Hike up Huayna Picchu (2 hours round trip), the most famous but challenging destination due to its steepness.
  • Hike up Machu Picchu Mountain (3 hours round trip), a slightly longer and easier destination with stunning views from the top.
  • Hike up Huchuy Picchu, a smaller mountain located very close to Machu Picchu and easier to access compared to the other two destinations.

At Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Town, you will have enough time to participate on your own in one or more of the following activities (not included in the price):

  • Enjoy a relaxing bath in the hot springs.
  • Visit the new local museum.
  • Visit the butterfly sanctuary.

After enjoying the magnificent city of the Incas, you will use your bus ticket to descend to Aguas Calientes and then take the train back to Cusco via Ollantaytambo. The Expedition Train departs at 6:30 pm and arrives in Ollantaytambo after 2 hours. In Ollantaytambo, a bus will be waiting to take you to Cusco, concluding your journey around 10:30 pm.

You can adjust your train schedule to arrive in Cusco earlier or later (depending on train availability), depending on the activities you choose, with prior coordination.

  • Meals: Breakfast at hotel
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated walking time: 2 hours
  • Maximum altitude: 2430 m. / 7972 ft. (Machu Picchu)

*Note: "Machu Picchu mountain" refers to the peak opposite the main Machu Picchu ruins.


What's Included?

  • Pre-tour information: You will meet your Inca Trail guide at our offices (or another agreed-upon location) around 18 hours for an informative session about the tour.
  • Transportation
  • Pick-up from your hotel in Cusco.
  • Tourist transportation from Cusco to Challacancha (Soraypampa)".
  • Tourist transportation from La Playa to the Hidroelectrica".
  • Consettur bus to the Machu Picchu archaeological site (round trip).
  • "Expeditions" tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Tourist transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • Personnel
  • Highly qualified professional English and Spanish-speaking guide for the Salkantay Trek.
  • Highly qualified professional English and Spanish-speaking guide for Machu Picchu.
  • Trail chef specialized in trail cuisine and assistant who will prepare all meals during the trek.
  • Camping equipment: Dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs, and cooking equipment (all carried by our porters and horses).
  • Entrance tickets
  • Entrance tickets to Salkantay / Humantay Lake.
  • Entrance tickets to the Machu Picchu Archeological Site.
  • Accommodation & meals
  • 1st night: Soraypampa Sky Lodge, under the watchful eye of the Apus and the Sacred Mountains Humantay and Salkantay. Spend as many hours as you want stargazing through your elegant glass roof.
  • 2nd night: Soraypampa Sky Lodge, with comfortable beds and camping mattresses surrounded by the Sacred Mountains.
  • 3rd night: Hotel in Machu Picchu town, Aguas Calientes. The 2-star Casa de la Luz Hotel or similar is included, known for its double or triple rooms with private bathroom, hot shower, WiFi, breakfast, and luggage storage while visiting Machu Picchu. Alternatively, you can upgrade to a 3 or 4-star hotel upon request.
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners (vegetarian, vegan, luten-free at no additional cost).
  • Supply of boiled, filtered, and chilled water from the first lunch to the last breakfast. We recommend bringing your own water bottles (approximately 3 liters).
  • Coca tea every morning at the campsite.
  • Daily tea time during the hike.
  • Others
  • Duffle Bag: We can provide a duffle bag for your personal luggage, up to 5 kgs (11.02 lbs), including your sleeping bag. This bag will be carried by our horses and returned at the end of the tour.
  • First aid kit, including an emergency oxygen bottle.
  • 24-Hour Customer Service: We offer a 24-hour telephone service to facilitate communication with our agents before your trek.
  • Free Luggage Storage: We provide complimentary luggage storage at our offices in Cusco. You can leave your luggage before starting your tour (exclusive to our passengers).

What's Not Included?

  • Trekking poles are not included but is highly recommend for the hike. You can bring your our or rent from us.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Additional entrances (Huayna Picchu mountain, Machu Picchu Mountain or Huchuy Picchu mt.).
  • The first breakfast and the last lunch are not included.
  • Train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes.
  • Additional costs or delays beyond our control, such as natural disasters, adverse weather conditions, itinerary modifications due to passenger health issues (suffering from an illness or health problems), pandemic, changes in government policies, political instability, strikes, etc.

Note: If you prefer, you can rent trekking poles, sleeping bag, additional entrance fees, train from Hidroelectrica, upgrades for the hotel or another services, and lunch can be arranged on-site.

Additional Services

  • Trekking poles. ($15.00 USD)
  • Sleeping bags. ($25.00 USD) - 3kg
  • Economical breakfast in Mollepata. ($10.00 USD)
  • Economical Lunch in Machu Picchu town. ($15.00 USD)
  • Lunch at Sanctuary Lodge. ($45.00 USD)
  • Simgle Tent at the campsites. ($50.00 USD)
  • Cargo horse, weight limit 20kg. ($90.00 USD)
  • Saddle horse, for one person. ($150.00 USD)
  • Train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes. ($36.00 USD)
  • Huayna Picchu mountain entrance, subject to availability and time slots: 7:00 am / 8:00 am / 9:00 am / 10:00 am ($75.00 USD)
  • Machu Picchu mountain* entrance, subject to availability and time slots: 7:00 am / 8:00 am ($75.00 USD)
  • Guided tour for Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain*. ($75.00 USD per group)
  • Upgrade to the Vistadome train. ($50.00 USD)
  • Upgrade to Vistadome Observatory train Return. ($75.00 USD)
  • We can assist you in booking hotels (standard and luxury) throughout Peru.

*Note: "Machu Picchu mountain" refers to the peak opposite the main Machu Picchu ruins.

Note 2: If you choose the option of Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain, depending on availability, you may need to add an additional cost for a private guide in the city of Machu Picchu.


Salkantay to Machu Picchu 4D $ 499.00 USD

Discounts in Salkantay

  • 18 - 24 years old: We offer a $20 discount per student. To qualify as a student, you must have a valid student identity card and be under 25 years of age at the time of your trip. Scan and email us the copy at the time of booking.
  • Under 18 years old: We offer a $20 discount per child. (you will need to scan and email us a copy of the passports).

What to Bring on the Salkantay & Machu Picchu?

  • Original passport (and valid student ID if applicable).
  • Personal hygiene items or day Pack.
  • Personal medication.
  • Waterproof jacket / rain poncho.
  • Warm clothing, sun hat, and gloves.
  • Hiking boots/shoes.
  • Hiking Socks.
  • Casual mountains wear for evenings
  • Short or long-sleeved shirts.
  • Comfortable pants, trekking pants.
  • Cold-weather jacket.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen (recommended SPF 35).
  • Reusable plastic or metal bottles, or a camelback.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Photo/video cameras and chargers.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.

Extra Items to Bring

  • Shorts.
  • Trekking poles (with rubber tips).
  • Bandages and bandages.
  • Comfortable shoes/flip-flops.
  • Breathable dry fit top-wear.
  • Sandals.
  • Bathing suit for the hot springs.
  • Binoculars.
  • Extra money for personal expenses, tips (recommend 200 Peruvian nuevos soles for extra expenses).

Questions and Answers / 4-days Salkantay

Important Information

  • The itinerary may change based on the Peruvian government, weather conditions, and the health status of the trekkers.
  • The train schedule may vary depending on the availability of the train company.
  • We provide the Expedition train to Ollantaytambo: if someone books a train ticket last minute, it's not guaranteed they can be on the same train as the rest of the group.
  • If you wish to change the schedule or tickets for your train, you will need to pay an additional fee for transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco and for the train price difference.

What is the Salkantay Trek?

The Salkantay Trek is a popular alternative trek to Machu Picchu, offering stunning views of the Andes Mountains and diverse ecosystems.

How long is the Salkantay Trek?

The classic Salkantay Trek is typically a 5-day, 4-night journey covering approximately 74 kilometers (46 miles).

What are the highlights of the Salkantay Trek?

Highlights include breathtaking views of Humantay Lake, Mount Humantay, Mount Salkantay, diverse landscapes, Andean villages, and the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu and hot springs.

How difficult is the Salkantay Trek?

The Salkantay Trek is considered moderately difficult, with steep ascents and descents, high altitude, and varied terrain.

What is the starting point of the Salkantay Trek?

The Salkantay Trek typically begins in Mollepata, a town located about a 3-hour drive from Cusco.

Do I need a permit for the Salkantay Trek?

No, unlike the classic Inca Trail, permits are not required for the Salkantay Trek, except if you included Machu Picchu in your package.

What is the highest point of the Salkantay Trek?

The highest point is the Salkantay Pass, reaching an altitude of approximately 4,600 meters (15,091 feet).

How do I prepare for the altitude on the Salkantay Trek?

It's recommended to spend a few days in Cusco acclimatizing to the altitude before starting the trek.

What is the weather like on the Salkantay Trek?

Weather can vary, but it's generally cold at higher elevations and warmer in lower areas. Be prepared for rain and fluctuations in temperature.

Do I need a guide for the Salkantay Trek?

While it's possible to trek independently, hiring a guide is recommended for navigation, safety, and cultural insights.

What is the best time of year to do the Salkantay Trek?

The dry season (May to September) is generally the best time for trekking, with clearer skies and less rain.

Can I do the Salkantay Trek in the rainy season?

Yes, it's possible, but be prepared for wet conditions and muddy trails, especially from November to March.

Are there alternative routes for the Salkantay Trek?

Yes, there are various alternative routes and itinerary options available depending on preferences and time constraints.

Is camping required on the Salkantay Trek?

Yes, camping is typically part of the Salkantay Trek experience, with designated campsites along the route. but we have camps also known as sky lodges.

What should I pack for the Salkantay Trek?

Essentials include sturdy hiking boots, warm clothing, a sleeping bag, rain gear, sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water.

Are meals provided on the Salkantay Trek?

All our packages include breakfast and buffet lunch on our Salkantay Trek, usually consisting of hearty Peruvian dishes.

Is water readily available on the Salkantay Trek?

Inka Trail provides filtered and boiled water at each of our campsites, so we recommend bringing reusable bottles.

Are there bathroom facilities along the Salkantay Trek?

Basic toilet facilities are available at designated campsites, but be prepared for rustic conditions. Except last night, in your hotel.

Is it possible to do the Salkantay Trek with children?

While it's physically demanding, older children who are accustomed to hiking may be able to complete the trek with proper preparation.

Are there age restrictions for the Salkantay Trek?

There are typically no strict age restrictions, but participants should be in good physical condition.

Do I need travel insurance for the Salkantay Trek?

Travel insurance is highly recommended to cover emergencies, medical evacuation, and trip cancellation.

What wildlife might I encounter on the Salkantay Trek?

Possible wildlife sightings include Andean condors, llamas, alpacas, and various bird species.

What cultural sites are visited during the Salkantay Trek?

Along the way, trekkers may visit traditional Andean villages, Inca ruins, and remote settlements.

Is it safe to trek the Salkantay Trail alone?

While solo trekking is possible for experienced hikers, it's generally safer and more enjoyable to trek with a group or guide.

Are there emergency evacuation procedures in place on the Salkantay Trek?

Tour operators typically have emergency plans in place, including access to satellite phones and evacuation services if needed.

What permits are required for Machu Picchu on the Salkantay Trek?

Entrance permits to Machu Picchu are required and should be arranged in advance through a tour operator.

What is the earliest time to arrive at Machu Picchu on the Salkantay Trek?

Trekkers usually arrive at Machu Picchu in the early morning to witness the sunrise over the ruins.

Are there options to extend the Salkantay Trek beyond 4 days?

Yes, longer trekking itineraries are available, including additional days for exploring Machu Picchu and surrounding areas.

Can I hire porters for the Salkantay Trek?

INKA TRAIL offers extra cargo services for those people who need to carry additional equipment or relieve the load they will be carrying.

What is the policy on waste disposal on the Salkantay Trek?

Trekkers are expected to follow Leave No Trace principles, packing out all waste and disposing of it properly.

How much does it cost to do the Salkantay Trek?

Costs vary depending on the tour operator, itinerary, and inclusions, but budget for around $500 to $1000 USD per person.

What languages are spoken by guides on the Salkantay Trek?

Guides typically speak Spanish and English, although other languages may be available upon request.

Are there opportunities for photography on the Salkantay Trek?

Absolutely! The Salkantay Trek offers countless opportunities for stunning landscape photography.

Is it possible to see the Milky Way from the Salkantay Trek?

Yes, the clear night skies in the Andes provide excellent stargazing opportunities, including views of the Milky Way.

Is altitude sickness common on the Salkantay Trek?

Altitude sickness can affect some trekkers, especially at higher elevations. It's important to acclimatize


ISO 9001

Demonstrating our commitment to quality, we hold ISO 9001 certification, ensuring excellence in our services.

ISO 14001

With ISO 14001, we prioritize environmental sustainability, reducing our impact on the planet.

Trip Advisor - Traveler's Choice 2023

We're honored to be recognized with the Traveler's Choice Award in 2023, a testament to our dedication to exceptional travel experiences.

Official Agency - Tour Operator

We are an official agency and tour operator, ensuring a unique and high-quality travel experience to the destinations of your choice in Cusco and Peru.

Recommended by

TripAdvisor 2017
trip advisor 2018
trip advisor 2019
Trip Advisor 2022
Trip Advisor 2022
Trip Advisor 2022

Travel Associations

Mincetur & INKATRAIL
Turismo responsable & INKATRAIL
Safe Travels & INKATRAIL
Gercetur & INKATRAIL
Official Agency & Official Tour Operator