Salkantay trek 4 Days to Machu Picchu Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Andes with our 4-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, an ideal choice for adventurers with limited time but eager to experience the best of the Salkantay Trail. This condensed itinerary showcases the highlights of the 5-Day Salkantay Trek, taking you on a journey through diverse landscapes, from majestic mountains to stunning lagoons and glaciers.
Our 4-Day Salkantay Trek follows the same path as the 5-Day journey for the first three days, culminating at the Santa Teresa camp around 1:00 pm on Day 3. After a rejuvenating lunch, you’ll continue by car to the hydroelectric station, followed by a picturesque 3-hour hike along the train tracks to the charming town of Aguas Calientes.
Upon arrival, you’ll be escorted to your accommodation, where you’ll join a group that began their trek a day earlier. Together, you’ll enjoy dinner and embark on a guided tour of Machu Picchu on the final day.
Occasionally, we have enough participants to form exclusive 4-Day Trek groups, allowing you to journey solely with fellow adventurers and guides on the same itinerary.
SALKANTAY TREK 4 DAYS SUMMARY
- Starting Point: Your hotel in Cusco
- Pick-Up Time: Between 4:20 am and 4:50 am at your hotel, or at 5:00 am at the Machu Picchu Reservations office
- Ending Point: Cusco City Center – Plaza Regocijo
- Duration: 4 action-packed days and 3 memorable nights
- Departure: Daily departures to suit your schedule
- Group Size: Up to 16 adventurous travelers
- Duffle Bag: Included for packing up to 7 kg of your belongings
- Machu Picchu tickets: included in the package -CHECK DETAILS HERE-
- Dietary Options: Vegetarian and vegan meals available upon request at no extra charge
- Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners included
- Free Storage: Available for your peace of mind -DETAILS HERE-
- High Season: From April to October
4 DAY SALKANTAY TREK HIGHLIGHTS
- Witness the mesmerizing turquoise waters of Humantay Lake on the first day of your trek, surrounded by the majestic Andean peaks.
- Experience an authentic Andean camping experience at the exclusive Quiswarniyoc private campsite, offering unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape.
- Conquer the challenging Salkantay Pass, bringing you up close and personal with the breathtaking Salkantay Mountain, a towering symbol of the Andes.
- Immerse yourself in the vibrant Amazon region, teeming with coffee, banana, and avocado plantations, showcasing the remarkable biodiversity of the area.
- Discover the enchanting Inca city of Machu Picchu on the final day of your tour, exploring one of the world’s most iconic archaeological sites.
Embark on a captivating journey as we pick you up from your respective hotels or locations in Cusco around 5:15 am, setting off on a two-hour drive to the charming village of Mollepata. Upon arrival, enjoy a delicious breakfast before paying the 20 soles entrance fee to the local municipality (not included in the tour cost).
Continuing by car for another hour, we’ll reach Soraypampa, where our muleteers and horses await, ready to transport our equipment, food, and 7 kilos of personal belongings per hiker during the trek. From here, we’ll begin our two-hour uphill hike to the captivating Humantay Lake.
Once at the lake, spend a couple of hours exploring its beauty, taking photos, and listening to our guide’s insights into the significance of this enchanting lagoon. Following our visit, we’ll embark on a two-hour downhill hike to our exclusive Quiswarniyoc campsite, where a scrumptious lunch will be served.
After lunch, take advantage of free time to explore the spectacular surroundings, including an optional hike to the Salkantay Mirador for awe-inspiring panoramic views. Alternatively, unwind in our Mountain Sky Huts or glass igloos, featuring glass doors, comfortable pillows, sleeping pads, and a mesmerizing illuminated night sky.
Nestled at an altitude of 4,100 meters, the Quiswarniyoc private campsite offers an unparalleled experience with additional short hikes, breathtaking mountain viewpoints, and cascading waterfalls, promising an unforgettable adventure.
-Walking Distance: 13 km, approximately 6 hours of hiking
- Campsite Altitude: 4,100 meters above sea level
- Difficulty: Moderate day (acclimatizing to the Salkantay Trail)
- Weather: Warm and windy during the day, with very cold nights
- Accommodations: Mountain Sky Huts or Crystal Domes
- Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner
- Embark on an invigorating 13 km hike, lasting approximately 6 hours, through the stunning landscapes of the Salkantay Trail. As you acclimatize to the 4,100-meter - altitude at our campsite, prepare for a moderate day of trekking through diverse terrain and ever-changing weather conditions.
- Espect warm and windy daytime conditions, but be prepared for cold nights as temperatures drop significantly. At the end of the day, rest and rejuvenate in our unique Mountain Sky Huts or Crystal Domes, offering a comfortable retreat amidst the breathtaking Andean scenery.
- Throughout the day, we’ll provide you with nourishing meals, including breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner, to keep your energy levels high and your spirits lifted as you immerse yourself in this unforgettable trekking experience.
On the second day of the trek, brace yourself for the most challenging segment, as you cover 20 kilometers and reach the trek’s highest point at an altitude of 4,630 meters above sea level. Your day begins with a gentle wake-up call at 5:00 am, as our cooks serve you a cup of hot coca tea to help you pack your belongings and prepare for a hearty breakfast at around 5:45 am.
Embark on a 3 to 4-hour uphill hike at a steady, manageable pace towards the trek’s highest point, situated at 4,630 meters. Upon arrival, marvel at the breathtaking mountain vistas, capture photographs, learn about the revered mountain gods, and partake in a traditional Andean ritual to honor the Apus mountain god.
Following this memorable experience, commence a 2-hour downhill hike before pausing for a well-deserved, mouthwatering lunch. Continue your descent for another 3 hours to reach the second camp, Chaullay, nestled at an altitude of 2,900 meters and marking the entrance to the Peruvian Amazon. Here, you will be provided with camping equipment, hot tea, and a delicious dinner.
At Chaullay, take advantage of the optional hot shower for 10 soles, offered by locals, and purchase refreshing drinks such as beer, soda, and water to enhance your camping experience.
- Walking Distance: 22 km, approximately 9 hours of hiking
- Campsite Altitude: 2,900 meters above sea level
- Difficulty: Challenging day (conquering the highest point at 4,650 meters above sea level)
- Weather: Warm and windy during the day, with cold nights
- Accommodations: Mountain Sky Huts
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner
- Prepare for an exhilarating 22 km hike, lasting around 9 hours, as you navigate through the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Peruvian highlands. With the campsite situated at 2,900 meters above sea level, this challenging day involves reaching the trek’s highest point at an impressive 4,650 meters above sea level.
- Anticipate warm and windy conditions during the day, but remember that temperatures will drop significantly as night falls. At the end of this demanding day, relax and rejuvenate in the comfortable Mountain Sky Huts, set amidst the stunning Andean backdrop.
- Throughout the day, we’ll provide you with a selection of nourishing meals, including breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner, to keep your energy levels high as you tackle this unforgettable and challenging trekking experience.
Embark on a captivating journey as you explore and Immerse in Jungle Wonders: Day Three Adventure through Santa Teresa Valley and Aguas Calientes
On the third day, you’ll awaken to the lush jungle surroundings at 6:00 am, greeted with a cup of invigorating coca tea. Enjoy a delicious breakfast before embarking on your journey at 7:00 am, as you hike towards La Playa Sahuayaco for approximately 5 hours. Traverse the captivating Santa Teresa Valley, carved by the Salkantay River, and marvel at the abundant plantations of coffee, bananas, avocados, coca, passion fruit, and more.
Upon reaching La Playa Sahuayaco after five hours of hiking, take a local transport for an hour-long ride to Santa Teresa. Here, you’ll stop for a well-deserved lunch. Continue your journey by car for another 45 minutes to the Hydroelectric Station, and then walk for 3 hours along the train tracks towards the quaint town of Aguas Calientes. This leisurely stroll offers a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape.
Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, check into your hotel to freshen up and relax. In the evening, gather for a delightful dinner at a local restaurant around 7:00 pm, before retiring for the night to recharge for the following day’s adventures.
Journey Details: A Day of Adventure and Rewarding Hike
- Walking Distance: A 25 km hike, approximately 8 hours of trekking
- Lodging Altitude: 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) above sea level
- Considered: A challenging yet gratifying day
- Weather: Warm, hot, and tropical climate
- Accommodations: Comfortable hotel stay
- Meals: Nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided
Arriving at Machu Picchu’s Main Gate from Aguas Calientes: To reach Machu Picchu’s main gate from Aguas Calientes, you have two options. You can either embark on a scenic 1.5-hour hike or take a convenient bus ride that costs $12. The choice is yours, and you can even decide on the same day you plan to visit Machu Picchu. Regardless of the option you choose, your day will begin bright and early at 4 am with a delicious breakfast at your hotel in Aguas Calientes.
If you choose to WALK from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, your journey will begin at around 4:30 am. You’ll start by walking from your hotel in Aguas Calientes to Puente Ruinas, which takes approximately 30 minutes. Puente Ruinas serves as the first checkpoint, where you’ll need to present your Machu Picchu tickets and original passports to gain entry. Once you’ve passed the Puente Ruinas checkpoint, you’ll embark on an uphill hike to Machu Picchu, climbing approximately 1,700 steps. This ascent typically takes between one hour to one hour and 20 minutes. Upon reaching the main gate of Machu Picchu, you’ll meet up with your group and guide to enter the site and begin your unforgettable exploration of this ancient Inca citadel.
If you opt to take the BUS from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, you’ll need to purchase a bus ticket in town, either the night before or on the same morning. Each one-way bus ticket costs $12. Once you have your ticket, join the queue to board the first buses, which depart from Aguas Calientes at 5:30 am. The bus ride takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Machu Picchu. Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, you’ll meet up with your group and guide around 6 am to enter the site and begin exploring the remarkable ancient Inca city together.
MACHU PICCHU GUIDED TOUR:
Our program includes a Machu Picchu ticket, with the primary circuit options being either circuit 01 or 02.If there is no availability for the first choice, we will include circuit 03 or 04. Ticket availability depends on the time of booking, so if you prefer the primary circuit options, we recommend booking well in advance. For more information about the different circuits and ticket details, please visit our website or contact us directly. Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, our experienced tour guide will lead you on a 2.5-hour guided exploration of the Inca city, following the circuit outlined in your ticket. The guide will share insights about the history and significance of Machu Picchu while allowing time for photographs and taking in the breathtaking views. You’ll visit the most iconic locations within the site during the tour.
At the conclusion of the guided tour, you will have some leisure time to explore and relax on your own. If you have arranged to hike Huayna Picchu (which must be booked ahead of time, as it is a popular option that sells out quickly and costs $60 per person), your guide will direct you to the starting point. The hike will take no more than 2 hours to complete, with a round-trip time.
Alternatively, you may choose to hike Machu Picchu Mountain instead of Huayna Picchu. This hike is more challenging and takes a minimum of three hours for the round-trip (at an additional cost of $60 per person).
For those considering either of the mountain climbs, we recommend opting for the train return to Cusco to allow more time to explore the mountains. If you prefer to return by car, we suggest spending an additional night in Aguas Calientes and departing by car on the sixth day from the Hydroelectric station. This will give you ample time to fully experience the beauty of the mountains and make the most of your journey.
After immersing yourself in the wonders of Machu Picchu and exploring its surroundings, it’s time to make your way back to Cusco. We offer two convenient options for your return journey: by car or by train. Both options ensure a smooth and comfortable trip to Cusco.
If you choose to return BY CAR, you will need to begin your walk from Machu Picchu to Hidroelectrica around 10:30 am. This trek typically takes 3 to 3.5 hours to complete. It is essential to reach Hidroelectrica by 2:00 pm in order to board the car, which is scheduled to depart at 2:30 pm. The car journey from Hidroelectrica to Cusco takes approximately 6 hours, and you can expect to arrive in Cusco around 9:30 pm. Upon arrival, you will be dropped off in the city center of Cusco.
If you opt to return BY TRAIN to Cusco after visiting Machu Picchu, you have two options for getting to the town of Aguas Calientes. You can either walk down for 1.5 hours, or take a bus that takes just 30 minutes but costs 12 dollars. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you’ll have time to explore the town and have lunch before returning to your hotel to gather your belongings and head to the train station. The train to Ollantaytambo is available at either 2:30 pm or 2:55 pm, depending on availability, and the journey takes 1.5 hours, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, a transfer arranged by Machu Picchu Reservations or with your name on it will be waiting to take you back to Cusco, a 2-hour journey, arriving around 6:30 pm and dropping you off in the city center
The Trip Cost Includes
- Salkantay trek briefing at 7:00 pm a day before of the departure at salkantay trekkers Peru office
- A duffle bag to pack 7 kilos of your belonging that will be carried by horses during the trek
- English/Spanish speaking professional tour guides
- Professional chef and cooking equipment
- Horses for carrying up to 7 Kilos of personal luggage and other required equipment
- Pick up from your hotel in Cusco
- Private transportation to head of Salkantay trail
- 4 breakfasts
- 3 lunches
- 3 dinners
- 2 nights of camping
- 1 night hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Mountain Sky Huts with Thick Mattresses, glass door, Night Lighting, and Panoramic for the first and second night
- Personal pad (double foam – 2.5 inches thick)
- Pillows at the first and second camp
- Transportation from La Playa to Hidroelectrica
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Guided visit to Machu Picchu
- Return journey from Aguas Calientes to Cusco BY TRAIN or BY CAR depending on your choice
- Vegetarian/Vegan options available on request with no additional charges
- First-Aid equipment and oxygen bottle for emergencies
The Trip Cost Excludes
- Entrance ticket for the Humantay lake charged by the local government of Mollepata = 20 soles per person
- Sleeping Bag – If you do not have one you can rent from us for $10 USD for the whole trek
- Trekking Poles – If you do not have one you can rent from us for $10 USD for 01 pair for the whole trek
- Travel insurance
- Extra expenses such a hot shower in the second camp for 10 soles or maybe if you like access to internet wifi for 10 soles
Frequently asked Questions
Yes, it is recommended to be in good physical shape to do the Salkantay Trek. The trek involves walking several hours a day and overcoming difficult terrain and high altitudes. It is important to be physically prepared and to do conditioning exercises before the trek.
We hope we didn’t scare you in our last paragraph. You may think that the Salkantay Trek is extremely difficult. Don’t worry, it is not. None of the Machu Picchu trek itineraries are designed for mountaineers. They are designed with tourism in mind. This means that anyone with moderate fitness should be able to do these treks. The same applies to the Salkantay Trek. It is not easy, but it is definitely not too difficult to do. When considering the Salkantay Trek, you just need to be aware of a few things. Here we list them for you.
we list them
“Spend at least one more day in Cuzco to get used to the altitude.
*The second day of the Salkantay Trek is the hardest.
“Don’t rush it. Enjoy it.
*Once you cross the Salkantay pass, it gets easier..
The Salkantay pass is the biggest obstacle during the Salkantay route. The pass has an altitude of 4600 m above sea level. On a typical Salkantay route, you will most likely cross it on the second day. It is essential to take it easy during the trek. If you are prone to altitude sickness, you may suffer from it. Fortunately, once you have crossed the Salkantay pass, you will descend fairly quickly. This will help your acclimatization and should ease the worst symptoms of altitude sickness.
In general, for any trek in the Cusco region it is recommended to acclimatize in the city and its surroundings; for this you should arrive in Cusco between 2 and 3 days before your preferred excursion. Remember to take into account the season of the year in which you will be trekking as the weather and temperature will vary; however, it is important that you consider carrying a rain poncho among the necessary accessories that you will carry in your backpack.
The best time to do the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, with good weather, is between the months of April – October, as we have clear skies and less precipitation. The driest months are mainly between June – August, which is winter in the Andes. However, it is suggested to be prepared with the type of clothing to wear during these months, since during the day you can enjoy the sun, while at night you will feel an intense cold.
Normally, it is not necessary to bring your own camping equipment, as the tour operators usually provide tents, sleeping bags and sleeping bags. However, it is always advisable to check in advance what equipment is included and what you should bring with you.
It is not necessary to have previous trekking experience to do the Salkantay Trek, but it is advisable to be in good physical shape and be prepared for long treks and challenging terrain. If you have no experience, it is advisable to do practice hikes and preparation beforehand.
-Durable and comfortable backpack: A trekking backpack with enough capacity to carry your belongings.
-Suitable trekking clothing: Include layers of clothing to adapt to different weather conditions.
-Trekking shoes: A pair of waterproof and resistant trekking boots, comfortable and previously used to avoid blisters.
-Sleeping equipment: A sleeping bag suitable for low temperatures and a mat or insulating mat for comfort during the night.
-Personal hygiene items: Include toilet paper, wet wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap and any other personal items you may need.
-Sun protection: Broad spectrum sunscreen, lip balm with sunscreen, sunglasses and hat to protect you from the sun.
-Water bottle and purifier: Carry a reusable water bottle and a purifier or tablets to purify water while trekking.
-Headlamp: A headlamp or flashlight to be able to move around the camp and trails at night.
-Cash: Carry enough cash to pay for additional services, tips and incidentals..
Although everything is included and paid in advance, you should bring extra money. We suggest 300 or 400 Peruvian soles. This is because, in rural areas of the country, there will not be the option of paying in dollars. in case of emergency, it is always better to carry cash. You may find a part of the route relatively difficult and require a means of transportation to help you get to the next section: a car, a horse or a train. On the 3-day Salkantay trek there are also some extra activities available, such as hot springs. You can also buy additional drinks and snacks along the trail.
Yes, we have bathrooms facilities at each of the campsites. You will also find some along the route and at each lunch stop.
Yes, most tour operators can offer food options for vegetarians and people with dietary restrictions. However, it is important to inform about your dietary needs in advance so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
The Salkantay trek is relatively challenging, so we do not recommend that small children do the hike. If this is the case, you will probably have to carry them most of the trail, which would present great difficulties. Our recommendation is that the minimum age on the trail is 12 years old. If your 12 year old is active and fit, they will be able to complete the trek.