The amazing Salkantay trek to Machupicchu is one of the famous treks in Cusco and the best alternative route to get to Machu Picchu. It is takes you through different types of landscapes from the typical Andean landscape up to the snowcapped mountains and down to the tropical forests and finally gets you into the jungle. If you are thinking to do a hiking trip to Machu picchu and you want to be off of the beaten path and be in touch with the nature; Salkantay trek is the best


Level To challenging; good physical condition required
Description Hike around the Salcantay peak, joining the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Duration 5 days / 4 nights
Season April to January.
Departure Private Service every day


We pick you up from the hotel in Cusco at 5:30 to go by private bus to Mollepata which takes 2.5 hours. We stop in Mollepata to have breakfast in one of the restaurants that there is in Mollepata town. After breakfast we go 1 more hour bye car to the beginning of the hike. Around 9:30 we start our hike to Soraypampa campsite about 3 hours hike to get there. Once at the campsite we have lunch and then we go up to Umantay Lake 3 hours round-trip hiking to get to see the beautiful lake of Umantay. Back at the campsite we have the happy hour which means that we have on the dining table different type of teas, coffee, biscuits, popcorn, etc. this is going be like one hour before to have dinner while we are talking about anything that you would like to talk and then we have dinner. And then the guide will give a small briefing about the next day.


Today we start very early in order to make on time to the second campsite. After a nutritious breakfast we start hiking by 6:30 up to the highest point of the whole Salkantay trek which takes about 3.5 uphill hiking. Once at the top we enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding and the time to take pictures. Afterwards we start the downhill hike to the lunch spot about 2 hours hiking. After lunch we hike 3 more hours downhill to the campsite which is Chaullay.


Today is the nature day we hike through the Santa Teresa valley. This is a very interesting valley full of local flora and some of fauna and we will taste some of the local fruit that we have in the valley such as passion fruit, bananas, avocado, etc. the hike takes about 5.5 hours towards to la playa where we stop to have our lunch after lunch we catch a local transportation to Santa Teresa campsite. In the afternoon you have the option to go to the beautiful hot spring you can walk 45 minutes or you can go by car to enjoy couple of hours at the hot springs. After the hot springs we go back to the campsite in Santa Teresa to have our tea time and then our delicious dinner.


Today you have different options to do. We can hike from Santa Teresa to Hidroelectrica 2.5 hour or you can do zip line in the morning for about 2 hours and then to go by bus to Hidroelectrica. If you do not want to hike along the car road to Hidroelectrica and you do not like to do zip line we can go by bus to Hidroelectrica. Anyway after lunch in Hidroelectrica we have to hike along the train track from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes town like 3 hours hiking on the flat path. Once in Aguas Calientes we go to the hotel to take shower and relaxing. In the evening we have dinner in the local restaurant in Aguas Calientes town.


The most important day for most of the hikers after an early breakfast in the hotel you desist to take a bus up to Machu picchu complex or walking up. We recommend you to be in Machu picchu by 6:00 in order to see Machu picchu with fewer tourists. You will have 2.5 hours guided tour in complex after the guided tour you have free time to explore Machu picchu by yourselves or you can climb Huaynapicchu Mountain or Machu picchu Montaña but you have to book the tickets in advance. Afterwards you have to go back to Aguas Calientes town in order to catch the trail to Ollantaytambo town and then transfer by private bus to the hotel in Cusco.


  • Pre-departure briefing at our office in Cusco usually one day before you starts your trek.
  • We gather you up from your hotel in Cusco and private transfer to Challacancha (beginning of the trek)
  • Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow higher comfort
  • 1 sleeping pad per person
  • 1 sleeping bag Liner
  • 1pillow per person
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Kitchen tent
  • English speaking guide (The standard group size is 8 guests with 1 guide, 11 guests with 2 guides)
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes
  • Chef and cooking equipment
  • Pack horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment) – from day 1 to day 4.
  • Pack animals to carry personal gear up to a maximum of 7kg per person (including sleeping pad and sleeping bag) – days 1 to 4
  • Accommodation for all our personal staff
  • Meals (04B, 04L, 04D + daily morning snack + daily tea service except last day). Vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost
  • Filtered boiled water from lunch time on 1st day onwards
  • hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes
  • boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • One way bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu picchu.
  • Machu picchu entrance ticket
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco(Expedition Service 18:35pm)
  • Transfer train station-hotel in Cusco
  • 24-h guest service: please ask for the emergency number available during your time of visit

Not Include

  • Personal trekking gear
  • trekking Sticks (you may rent from us in our office in Cusco USD 15 per one pair)
  • Sleeping bag (you may rent from us in our office in Cusco USD 5 per night)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries, mosquitos repellent and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Breakfast on day 1
  • Lunch and dinner on the last day after the guided tour at Machu Picchu
  • Tips and gratuity for support staff

What you need to take

  • A backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
  • Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping
  • Flashlight/headlamp and batteries
  • Camera and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
  • Sun block
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
  • Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Toilet paper
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. Please note that we do provide a daily morning snack and our meal service is very complete and well supplied. This recommendation applies for all clients being used to a specific snack, as it may happen that it is not included in our selection
  • Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed into Machu Picchu. Plastic water containers (ie. Nalgene) or metal ones are recommended
  • Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far
  • Small towel
  • Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
  • Cash in soles and/or US$
  • Original passport
  • Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount)
  • Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage the Inca Trail)

Our Team

Our people set us apart.
Our team is composed of some of the most responsible, efficient, and knowledgeable professionals, experts in their area, that will make unforgettable experiences in the routes of Cusco.


Our office is in Cusco, Tupac Amaru urbanization,D-2, San Sabastian.
Please feel at home when you visit us. Our office staff will be willing to provide you with all information and help you may need. We are the following:
General Management and Administration:
- Edwin chara chilo
- Jhon Junior Laurente C.


CUSCO EXPLORER relies on an extensive network of highly trained guides and expert ambassadors as a premise to guarantee excellence in our services. We are fully conscious that an excellent guide is key to making your trip a memorable experience, which is why we are extremely demanding when recruiting and regularly training our guides.
Our team is composed of whom we consider to be the best guides in the region, all officially licensed and holding Tourism Degrees. The superiority of our team is backed both by excellent tourist reports, which are available at our office in Cusco and some online on this website, as well as by their expertise earned from several years of experience in leading a wide array of different guests and profiles.
Knowledge, leadership, enthusiasm, availability and help, communication skills, language proficiency, empathy and interpersonal skills, friendliness and sense of humor, punctuality and an excellent treatment to our team of chefs, porters and wranglers are a must. Our guests evaluate their guide after each service and your constructive critiques help us to keep improving constantly. We have guides fluent in English and Spanish, but also in other languages, the most commonly requested being French, Italian and German. We will always consider the language as an integral part of the quality of the guided service, so when the language is beyond the scope of our guides, we can offer a translator.
Our team is also composed of specialized guides: bird watching, spiritualism, flora & fauna, archaeology, history, architecture, anthropology. These guides are not just available for specialized trips but have also been trained to run our treks and traditional programs, adding a wonderful value to their general knowledge and explanations.
Finally, more than 80% of our guides have now already been internationally trained in Advanced First Aid & Rescue, making this one of our most significant advantages of our guided services. Our team is regularly updated through seminars and courses in their respective fields.


In all of our trekking trips, the chef ensures high-quality meals on time, and manages the team of porters.
An adequate diet both in its quality and quantity is essential in high-energy trips such as the adventure programs we run. CUSCO EXPLORER has already become renowned for its outstanding menus and food quality. The secret lies in the careful selection of our team of chefs, whose top-quality restaurant background, creativity and passion for their jobs provide an unequalled touch to all of our meals. We do not have set menus since we wish to give our chefs the chance to create, innovate and surprise our clients through delicious dishes in every trip.
Additionally, the chef manages the team of porters and/or wranglers. Every person has a role in the team and is very aware of the team’s responsibility, and only excellent logistics will allow for an outstanding travel.


Porters and horsemen are an essential element in any trekking organization.
The porters carry all the collective equipment; some depart early before the group to make sure we get a good location at the campsite and to have everything ready and set up by the time you get to the lunch spot or campsite. Porters carry up to 20kg of load according to the Inca Trail regulation, which we fully respect by giving them a maximum of just 18kg each. In all treks other than the Inca Trail, wranglers are in charge of the horses or mules that carry the equipment.
Our porters are not numbers; they are our friends. We provide our team with excellent meals along the route, convenient accommodation, equipment, life and medical insurance and, most importantly, with one high wage.
our people are happy, enthusiastic, extremely helpful and simply exceptional. They are proud of working for us and of their absolutely outstanding working performance. And we are also very proud of having them with us.
The Horsemen are an essential element in any agency dedicated to hiking.
Our Horsemen are in charge of the horses or mules that carry camping equipment. Our carriers are trained in relief and rescue in high mountain. Our wranglers have sufficient knowledge of safe zones and camping places, they are precisely the people who installed the camps in safe areas for your comfort. If your concerns are the mules feel sure they are well treated, since charge between 20 to 15 kg. And are very well fed with forage in the camps.


All the buses, vans and cars used in our services are fully reliable and comply with Peruvian safety and insurance regulations. The transportation service assigned to each trip is adapted to the route and the group size. The vehicles used range from station wagons and 4WD, for short transfers and a maximum of 2 people in the group, to vans for middle-sized groups or buses for larger groups and longer routes.