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Salkantay trek tour – Salkantay trek 4 days to Machu Picchu is one of the most incredible and impressive routes that takes you on an amazing hike through the Vilcabamba mountain range. Along the Salkantay hike you will observe one of the highest snow capped mountains of Cusco, Salkantay. Above all, it is an amazing alternative hike that ends in the wonderful Machu Picchu. Discover a new atmosphere of mysticism that is part of being close to the Apus and its apachetas (offerings for the “apus”, the sacred mountains) Be part of this magical route that captures any adventurous traveler.

Salkantay Trek 4 days is an excellent and cheaper alternative trek compared to the popular Inca Trail. In conclusion, we can say that the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu has everything to be perfect: beautiful landscapes, a great variety of flora and fauna, microclimates that go from cold to warmer and from dry to rainy. All of these can be seen in the 4-day trekking that ends in the spectacular wonder of the world, Machu Picchu.

You are more than welcome to join us on this unique experience and tell your own story!


salkantay trek tour


Where is the route of the Salkantay trek tour located?

The route of the Salkantay trek 4 days is located in the mountain range of Vilcabamba, in the district of Santa Teresa, province of La Convencion and department of Cusco. Therefore, to arrive at the startpoint of the trek, along the way we will pass Limatambo and Mollepata towns first.

Salkantay trekking


What is the climate like in the Salkantay Trek 4 days?

The climate during the Salkantay trek tour varies because the districts of Anta and La Convencion are at different altitude levels. Even though those districts have the same seasons, you will feel one place colder than the other. In all the departments in Cusco, you will notice two distinct weather, the rainy season from November to March and the dry season from April to October.

It is worth mentioning, that the climate in both places (La Convencion and Anta) is warmer and more humid compared to Cusco which is drier and colder.

Rainy Season:

This season is from November to March. During those months, there will be rainfalls causing collapses, overflowing rivers, bumpy roads. On the other hand, it is cloudy and the maximum temperature gets as high as 24° C and drops as low as 13° C.

Dry Season:

The dry season is from April to October. This is the best season to do any trek since the roads are in a better state. There is no presence of rain and no collapses. However, you should know that June and July are the coldest months of the season. They are called the frozen months. The temperature can get as high as 23° C and can drop as low as 9° C.

Most of the time the highest temperature is 27° C and the lowest is 15° C. Only during the frozen months (June and July) the temperature can be as high as 25° C and the lowest can be 10° C.

Salkantay Trek 4 days


What is the altitude in the route of the Salkantay trek 4 days?

During the Salkantay Trek tour, you will be at different altitudes. The highest altitude is the Salcantay Pass which is at 4630 m.a.s.l, and the lowest is the Aguas Calientes town at 2050 m.a.s.l.

Below you find a detailed list of the altitudes you will be at along the route:

Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Soyroccocha

  • Mollepata 2900 m.a.s.l.
  • Soraypampa 3900 m.a.s.l.
  • Salkantaypampa (site for lunch and a break) 4100 m.a.s.l.
  • Soyroccocha (campsite) 4400 m.a.s.l.

Day 2: Soyroccocha – Salkantay Pass – Huaraymachay – Collpapampa

  • Salkantay Pass 4630 m.a.s.l.
  • Ichu Pata 4200 m.a.s.l.
  • Huayracmachay 3853 m.a.s.l.
  • Rayampata 3400 m.a.s.l.
  • Andenes 3300 m.a.s.l.
  • Challhuay 2920 m.a.s.l.
  • Collpapampa 2900 m.a.s.l.

Day 3: Collpapampa – Sahuayaco – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes

  • Playa 2000 m.a.s.l.
  • Santa teresa 1600 m.a.s.l.
  • Hydroelectric 1800 m.a.s.l.
  • Aguas Calientes 2040 m.s.n.m

Day 4: Machu Picchu – Cusco

  • Machu Picchu: 2 400 m.a.s.l.
  • Huayna Picchu: 2800 m.a.s.l.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: 3 200 m.a.s.l.
  • Intipunku: 3 400 m.a.s.l.

salkantay trek elevation


What flora and fauna will you find in the Salkantay trek tour?

Along the Salkantay trek peru, we will hike through beautiful areas with a great variety of flora and fauna. Something special about this route is the microclimates that you will be exposed to when you arrive in the sierra of Cusco and the eyebrow of the jungle, where we will find some species such as the following:

Flora in the Salkantay Trek tour

Hiking through tropical zones and high Andean regions, we will be able to observe a great variety of flowers and plants. All of them are beautiful for their shape and colors. There are plants who have weird shape and some of them have been used for medicinal purposes since the Inca time.

Below you can find some of the flora you will observe along the hike:

  • Wheat – Triticum aestivum 
  • Pinco Pinco – Ephedra americana 
  • Chillca – Baccharis latifolia 
  • Llaulli – Barnadesia horrida 
  • Maicha – Senecio flagellatus 
  • Panty – Cosmos peucedanifolius 
  • Mullaca – Muehlenbeckia volcanica meisn 
  • Elder – Sambucus nigra 
  • Chachacomo – Escallonia resinosa 
  • Jusca – Astragalus gargantillo 
  • Mutuy – Senna birostris 
  • Retama – Spartium junceum
  • Jarava ichu – Stipa ichu
  • Ayac Zapatilla – Calceolaria sp
  • Eucaliptus – Eucaliptus globulus
  • Banana – Musa paradisiacal
  • Coffea arabica – Coffee plant 
  • Avocado tree – Persea americana
  • Pineapple tree – Ananas comosus
  • Passion fruit tree – Passiflora ligularis


They are among the most appealing species that you can observe in the Inca Trail and Salkantay trek tour. Surprisingly, there are more than 300 species of orchids along the route. You will be marveled by their colors, shapes and delicious smell.

The most representatives are listed below, but we cannot choose one of them as the most beautiful.

  • Masdevallia veichiana rchb.
  • Odontoglossum praestans christenson
  • Bletia catenulata
  • Sobralia dichotoma

Fauna in the Salkantay Trek tour

Along the Salkantay trek Machu Picchu, we will observe a great variety of birds and mammals. Some of them are listed below:


  • Chinchilla chinchilla – Peruvian Chinchilla 
  • Lagidium peruanum – Vizcacha:
  • Tremarctos ornatus – Spectacled bear or Andean Bear


  • Andean Condor or Condor of the Andes – gryphus 
  • Chiguanco thrush – Turdus chiguanco  
  • Amazonian motmot – Momotus momota 
  • Blue-gray tanager – Thraupis episcopus  
  • Rufous-collared sparrow – Zonotrichia capensis  
  • Speckled chachalaca – Ortalis guttata 
  • Band-tailed seedeater – Catamenia analis 
  • Royal Tangara – Tangara ruficervix inca
  • Thick-billed euphonia – Euphonia laniirostris


  • Giant Hummingbird – Patagona gigas peruviana
  • White-bellied hummingbird – Amazilia chionogaster
  • Sparkling violetear – Colibri coruscans 
  • Chestnut-breasted coronet – Boissonneaua matthewsii 
  • Spot-throated Hummingbird – Leucippus taczanowskii


Fauna Salkantay trek



Although the Salkantay trek 4 days is a moderate hike, it is really worth the effort. Join us on the detailed itinerary of what we will do along the route!

Day 1: Cusco - Soraypampa - Soyrococcha

Let the adventure begin! Firstly, this day we will pick you up very early from your hotel at 5:00 am approximately. The guide will inform you the exact time for pickup. Then, we will head towards Mollepata town (province of Anta). Likewise, the trip takes 2 hours and a half. Along the route, we will pass Limatambo town. In the Incas time, it was considered as a tambo (place where the travelers could rest and recover energy and strength to continue with the journey to Cusco). Nowadays, it is known as the producer of the most delicious avocado of the region. 

We will have breakfast in Mollepata town. Here you can buy some snacks for the hike, and we will continue to the community of Soraypampa. It is here where we will start the most beautiful hike of our lives. Get ready to meet the rest of the crew such as the muleteer (person in charge of the horses that carry all the food supplies and the camping equipment), the chef (person in charge of preparing the meals). Our second stop is in Salkantaypampa. After an hour and a half uphill hike, we will take a break to have lunch with the amazing view of the impressive snow capped mountain of Salkantay.

When lunchtime is over, we will head to our 1st campsite located in Soyroccocha. It normally takes 2 hours to get there. We will spend the night at the foothill of Salkantay snow capped mountain. Finally, we will enjoy a delicious dinner and go to our tents to sleep. We need to recover strength to continue with the hike. If the weather is perfect, we will be able to observe a wonderful constellation show.

Places to visit:

  • Mollepata 2900 m.a.s.l.
  • Soraypampa 3900 m.a.s.l.
  • Salkantaypampa (site for lunch and a break) 4100 m.a.s.l.
  • Soyroccocha (campsite) 4400 m.a.s.l.

Day 2: Soyrococha - Salkantay Pass - Huayracmachay - Collpapampa

After a good night sleep and a beautiful sunrise, we will start our day with an energizing breakfast. Our first goal of the day is to arrive in the Salkantay Pass, which is the highest point of the entire trek. It takes 1 hour approximately. From this point, we will have the most spectacular view of the Salkantay snow-capped mountain and the view of the beginning of the eyebrow of the jungle. Also, you will be able to live the inca mystic experience of giving offerings to the Apus (sacred Mountains) and Pachamama (Mother Earth) using the sacred Coca leaf .

When we end with this unique experience, we will go on a 2-hour downhill hike until we arrive in the community of Huayracmachay, where we will have a succulent lunch at the foothill of Salkantay snow capped mountain. After the delicious lunch and a short break, we will continue with a 4-hour downhill hike until we arrive in Collpapampa. Along the hike, we will feel the abrupt climate change since we will enter the cloudy forest where the environment is subtropical and full of wildlife.

This magic night when the Inti god (Sun) hides and the night comes on the scene occurs near the river and the forest. A relaxing night hearing the sweet song of cicadas. In this campsite, you will be surprised by the creative chef who will prepare delicious food using the products of the area.

Places to visit:

  • Salkantay Pass 4630 m.a.s.l.
  • Ichu Pata 4200 m.a.s.l.
  • Huayraqmachay 3853 m.a.s.l.
  • Rayampata 3400 m.a.s.l.
  • Andenes 3300 m.a.s.l.
  • Challhuay 2920 m.a.s.l.
  • Collpapampa 2900 m.a.s.l.

Day 3: Collpapampa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes

A new day starts again. You feel the rays of the sun on your face and think about the route of dreams. Ready? Today, we will get up very early in the morning to say goodbye to the muleteer. He will no longer accompany us. Then, we will have nutritious breakfast and get ready to continue the hike. We start the adventure going downhill through the dense vegetation of the jungle for   5 hours approximately. Along the route, we will observe fruit trees such as bananas, passion fruit, avocado, and fields of sacred.

When we arrive in the community of Playa Sahuayaco, we will have a delicious lunch prepared with the products of the area. After a break, we will continue the trip, but this time by bus to Hydroelectric. Once in Hydroelectric, we will continue the hike to Aguas Calientes. We will walk for approximately 3 hours. The route is quiet and horizontal, next to the railway. Another option to arrive in Aguas Calientes is by train. You need to buy the train ticket from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes. It costs USD 35.

Tonight, we will spend the night at a pleasant hotel room in Aguas Calientes. But, before, we will go to a local restaurant to have dinner. Finally, we will return to the hotel and get ready for the most important day of our trek when we visit the impressive Machu Picchu.

Places to visit:

  • Playa 2000 m.a.s.l.
  • Santa teresa 1600 m.a.s.l.
  • Hydroelectric 1800 m.a.s.l.
  • Aguas Calientes 2040 m.a.s.l.

Day 4: Machu Picchu - Cusco

As they say, “Anything good is worth waiting for”, and that is what we have on this last day of hiking. We will get up early in the morning (05:00 am approximately) to have breakfast and to take one of the first buses to the Inca citadel Machu Picchu. It would be great to arrive at the sunrise and observe the first rays of sun in the enigmatic place.

If you wonder why you have to get up very early, the following two reasons must convince you to be one of the first ones entering  Machu Picchu::

  • It is worth getting up early since you will be able to watch the sunrise in Machu Picchu avoiding the crowds.
  • Our guide will take you on a 2-hour tour through the most important parts of Machu Picchu. You will learn more about the history of the temples and altars of the Inca citadel. After the guided tour, we recommend climbing Huayna Picchu (optional, but you have to book it in advance). From this mountain, you have a spectacular view from above. It takes 1 hour and a half roundtrip. You will have time to take valuable and beautiful photos.

After the guided tour, we will return to Aguas Calientes and have lunch there. Then, we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo, the bus will be waiting for you to take you back to Cusco. We will drop you off at your hotel in Cusco.

Places that we could observe during the day:

  • Machu Picchu: 2 400 m.a.s.l. / 7,873ft.
  • Wayna Picchu: 2800 m.a.s.l. / 9,186ft. (Booked in advance based on availability).
  • Machu Picchu: 3 200 m.a.s.l. Mountain / 10,498ft. (Booked in advance based on availability).
  • Intipunku: 3 400 m.a.s.l. / 11,154ft

Level of Difficulty

Salkantay trek 4 days level of difficulty is challenging and moderate. Days 1 and 2 are the most challenging since you will go up and downhill. On this adventure, you will hike through the eyebrow of the jungle where you will notice the change of temperature. Along the route, we will watch different plantations of coffee, cacao, avocado, passion fruit, among others. The most exciting day is day 4. This is easy and takes you to the amazing citadel of Machu Picchu.

However, we recommend doing some training before coming to Cusco. You need to have good physical condition to enjoy the trek.

salkantay trek difficulty

About Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Visit during the Salkantay trek Tour

Does the Salkantay trek 4 days include the entrance to Machu Picchu

Actually, it does. Most of the tourist agencies that operate this route include the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu citadel. This means that you will visit Machu Picchu on the fourth day of the trek. You will have a 2-hour guided tour approximately. On the Machu Picchu tour, you will visit the main attractions of the Inca Citadel. Once the tour is over, you won’t be able to re-enter the citadel. Therefore, you have to ask the guide for some tips to stay a bit longer inside the citadel of Machu Picchu.

How long can you stay in Machu Picchu - Salkantay trek 4 days?

The visiting time in Machu Picchu citadel is an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. This is enough time to visit the main circuit that includes the most important sites of the Historical Sanctuary.

Note: Once the guided tour is over, you won’t have much time to visit the site on your own. However, if you have bought the entrance tickets for either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, the extra hikes, you will have the chance to enter the site a second time.


On day 4 and after the guided tour of the Llaqta of Machu Picchu, it is possible to do one of the famous extra hikes that are called Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu.  However, none of these extra hikes are included in any tour that tourist agencies offer.

What you have to do in case you want to hike these mountains is to pay an extra cost of an average of 35USD. Likewise, it is important to book them in advance, at least 4 or more months in advance. This is because there are limited spots for each day and many tourists are eager to hike one of them.

Below you can read some characteristics of each mountain:

Huayna Picchu Mountain:

It is also known as the “young mountain”. Since it is the most popular, tickets are sold very fast. We recommend booking it at least 5 months in advance. This mountain is located Northeast of Machu Picchu citadel, at 2700 m.a.s.l. You can observe some archeological remains, narrow and steep paths defying all laws of gravity. That is its main attraction.

Machu Picchu Mountain:

It is also called “old mountain”. This mountain is not as popular as Huayna Picchu, but the hike is very impressive. You will observe abundant flora, wide paths which are easier to walk. It is located Southwest of Machu Picchu citadel, at 3070 m.a.s.l. The hike is not as challenging as Huayna Picchu mountain and the views from the top are breathtaking. There are limited spots, but they aren’t sold as fast as the Huayna Picchu tickets. We recommend booking this mountain at least 2 months in advance.

If you decide to book any of these mountains, you need to be aware of your train departure. Note that you have to be at the train station 30 minutes before the train leaves. So make sure you leave Machu Picchu ruins with plenty of time to take one of the buses to arrive in Aguas Calientes to have something to eat, and to be on time to take the train back to Ollantaytambo.

Where can I leave my belongings while I do the tour of Machu Picchu?

You can leave your luggage at the storage room of the hotel you are staying in. It is safe and free. This way, you won’t have to worry about carrying all your things on the salkantay 4 days. We recommend packing light to enjoy your visit to the wonder of the world, Machu Picchu. Before taking the train back to Ollantaytambo, you can go to the hotel and pick up your belongings.

About the Salkantay trek

What you should know about the Salkantay Trek Tour

Is it better to go by own or to hire a tourist agency for the salkantay trek 4 days?

Below we have detailed both options and you can choose what is best for you:


One way to do this hike is going on your own. Since there is no regulation established to do this hike, you can do it without hiring a tourist agency nor a guide. You can read some tips to do this hike, things to do before and during the salkantay trek tour:

  • Transportation to the start point: To start this hike, it is important to arrive at the start point in Soraypampa (province of Anta). To arrive there, you have to take the bus or minivan from Cusco to Mollepata. The bus station is located on Arcopata avenue, Cusco.

The cost of the transportation varies according to the vehicle you take. In the case of the buses, the cost is from 12 to 15 soles. If it is a minivan, it may cost from 15 to 20 soles. Once you arrive in Mollepata town, you can have breakfast and buy some supplies for the hike at more reasonable prices than those at the campsites.

Then, you have to rent or hire a taxi from the town to Soraypampa. It normally costs from 60 to 70 soles. If there are more people with you, the price may be a bit more expensive. When you arrive at the start point, you need to follow the path that takes you to the campsites, described earlier, until you arrive in Chaullay. From this town, you have two options to continue with the hike:

Choose the best option to get to the next section

  • Take transportation: From Chaullay, you have the option to hire private transportation that takes you to Hydroelectric. It costs 80 soles approximately. The cost varies according to the time of the year you visit it.
  • Continue on foot: This option allows you to become more familiar with the place and enjoy nature more. You will walk from the beautiful area of Chaullay to Collpapampa. Along the route, you will observe and learn more about the flora and fauna, rivers and streams. Here you can feel the connection with nature and its maximum splendour, breathing pure air and delicious smell of nature. In Collpapampa, you have to take private transportation that takes you to Hydroelectric.

Once you arrive in Hydroelectric, you can continue the hike walking through the railway until Aguas Calientes. It takes 3 hours approximately to arrive there; or you can take the train from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes (the cost is 35 USD).

When you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you have to rent a room to spend the night. Next day in the morning, you will visit the citadel of Machu Picchu. You need to buy the roundtrip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to the Citadel. It costs 24 USD per person.


Buy the entrance ticket to visit Machu Picchu in advance as well as the train tickets from Aguas Calientes – Poroy or Ollantaytambo.

If your train ticket is only to Ollantaytambo, you will need to take a bus from there to Cusco. The cost of transportation is usually from 10 to 15 soles per person. There are minivans outside the train station. This is how the adventure of going by yourself ends.

  • Return transport: After the fascinating 4-day/3-night Salkantay trek adventure, you have to return to the city of Cusco. Therefore, you need to buy the train ticket some days before doing the hike. If you buy the ticket the same day you return, it may cost a bit more. Once you arrive in Ollantaytambo, you can take a minivan to Cusco. There are many minivans outside the train station. It costs 15 soles.
  • Food: You need to bring non perishable food for the hike since there isn’t any restaurant on the first two days. We recommend bringing water, coca leaves, cereals, canned goods or packed food. You also need to bring some fruits, chocolate and dried fruit which can give you more calories to stand the cold. If possible, bring a small stove, cooking utensils such a pot for example, to prepare some hot drinks or cook some packed products. On day 3, you will be able to buy food from stores or eat at any restaurant along the hike.
  • Lodging: It won’t be possible to find a place to spend the night the first 2 days of the hike. That is why you have to carry your camping equipment which should include a tent, sleeping bag and a cover. You will be able to book a hotel night on day 3 when you arrive in Aguas Calientes.


There is no doubt that the best option is to hire a tourist agency. This way you won’t have to worry about anything mentioned above. You can do it on your own, but it requires a lot of planning before and during the salkantay trek 4 days. 

The tourist agency that you hire will make sure everything is set in advance. They will arrange the transportation, guide, food, camping equipment and book a hotel for the third night. In fact, you will only have to carry a small backpack with most essential things like your personal documents and get ready to enjoy the hike and the wonderful view.

Is it necessary to acclimatize to do the Salkantay Trek tour?

The Salkantay trek 4 days that you will hike presents microclimates along the route. You will be at different altitudes from 4630 m.a.s.l to 2010 m.a.s.l. Therefore, we recommend arriving in Cusco at least 2 days prior to your trek. Doing so will help you acclimatize to the altitude and get ready for the highest altitude you will be at. You should eat light, drink lots of liquids and rest as much time as possible. It means that you need to be in good physical condition, and well acclimated to avoid altitude sickness which can cause headache, shortness of breath, vomiting, dizziness, etc.

What is altitude sickness - Salkantay trek tour?

Altitude sickness is a group of symptoms that can strike if you walk or climb to a higher elevation, or altitude, too quickly. The pressure of the air that surrounds you is called barometric pressure. When you go to higher altitudes, this pressure drops and there is less oxygen available. Any time you go above 2,500 meters (8,000 ft), you can be at risk for altitude sickness. Here you find a list of some Altitude Sickness symptoms:

Mild Symptoms:

The first symptoms you will have when arriving at a higher altitude can be avoided using natural remedies like drinking coca tea which is the most effective way to cope with mild symptoms. Another option is to take some prescribed pills to relieve the pain. It is recommendable to stay in a place at a lower altitude, and rest the first days. If the situation doesn’t get better, call a doctor. You can opt for the best option if you have the following symptoms:

  • Sleeping disorders
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath

Severe Symptoms:

Unlike the previous symptoms, the symptoms listed below are more aggressive. You can relieve the pain using tank oxygen. It is important to go immediately to a lower altitude and have medical assistance to prevent any deadly complication. In addition, it is recommendable to keep hydrated. Drink from 3 to 4 liters of water, avoid alcoholic drinks, and start a diet based on carbohydrates and sugars. Some of the severe symptoms are:

  • Chest wall rigidity
  • Cough
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • Inability to walk
  • Shortness of breath

How to prevent altitude sickness during the Salkantay tour?

We recommend following these tips:

  • It’s recommendable to spend some days acclimatizing until your body adjusts to the altitude. 
  • Rest properly.
  • Drink hot tea, preferably coca tea.
  • Stay hydrated (drink 3 or 4 liters of water).
  • Abstain from drinking alcohol on the first day in Cusco.
  • Avoid eating heavy foods.
  • Eat a balanced diet based on carbohydrates and sugars.

What are the restrictions to do the Salkantay trek 4 days?

Age limit: This trek is not recommended for children who are under 12 years old or older than 55 years old. The level of the trek is challenging and you will experience extreme weather which requires a good physical condition.

Health: Although the trek is appropriate for a general audience, health is an important factor to take into account. It is not recommended for people who have respiratory and heart problems. You should know that The pressure of the air that surrounds you is called barometric pressure and when you go to higher altitudes, this pressure drops and there is less oxygen available which makes trekking more challenging.

Another important thing to consider before the hike is to inform your tour agency of any allergy or food restriction you have. If that is your case, take your medications with you. Remember that there are no hospitals along the salkantay trek 4 days.

Once the tourist agency is informed about your allergies or food restriction, they will arrange or reprogram a healthy diet for you. This way you will enjoy your trek much more.

Physical Training for the Salkantay trek tour (Physical condition)

Training in advance is the key to succeed on hiking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. Without it, you may not be able to complete the circuit since the trail presents different types of terrain which go from easy to challenging levels to finally arriving in Machupicchu. Performing some activities at home or at the gym will make the difference. You can do activities that make the legs, arms, heart and back work.

According to the opinion of some specialists you should do the following things for your salkantay trek 4 days:

  • Go Hiking:

We recommend going hiking gradually. You can start with 2 to 10 kilometers per day. Above all, hiking strengthens the muscles and improves your resistance. In addition, you can go mountain hiking which is a bit more challenging. This way you will get better prepared for when you do the second day Salkantay trekking which covers 22 kilometers.

  • Breathing exercises:

To do the Salkantay trek is important to keep the pace of our steps with our breathing to avoid getting tired easily. Therefore, we recommend doing deep  breathing exercises, diaphragmatic breathing, complete breathing and alternate nostril breathing.

  • Adequate food:

A balanced and nutritious diet is very important when doing this hike. Therefore we recommend eating food rich in iron and vitamin B which help to improve blood flow. You should preferably eat green vegetables and fish.

  • Stay Hydrated:

Staying hydrated during the hike is vital. Doing so, you will avoid loss of energy and headaches.

Tips to book the Salkantay Trek

How to book the Salkantay Trek 4 days?

How to choose the right tour operator

Coming to a new place not knowing what to do or where to start may be complicated or frustrating. However, as we have mentioned before to do the Salkantay trek, you need to research about the licensed tour operators that offer the salkantay trek tour. 

One way to find the perfect agency for you is by asking relatives or travelers for recommendations. You can check their posts and reviews on different traveling websites. You can also check different online platforms such as:

Most of these platforms often show reasonable prices and discounts from the most well known tour operators. They also include itineraries, packages of many days. Read the reviews carefully and email the agency to ask more questions. You will definitely enjoy the adventure!

Do I need travel insurance to do the Salkantay Trek tour?

One never knows when an accident or any inconvenience can happen, even if you are on vacation!

Although it is not mandatory to have travel insurance to do the Salkantay trek 4 days, we highly recommend getting one. This way you can prevent any inconvenience that can happen during your trip. It is also essential to have travel insurance to enter other countries in the world.

So, having travel insurance has some advantages like being protected in case of baggage loss, flight cancelation for health problems or climate changes, documents loss, legal and funeral assistance.

Tourist agencies that offer the Salkantay trek 4 days and other hikes recommend having Travel insurance. You can buy it in your country. Treks and tours don’t include travel insurance.

So, you should know that the cost of travel insurance is not always the same. It depends on the type and the length of the insurance.

  • Ahart Frinzi & Smith
  • World Nomads
  • Assistcard
  • Amex Assurance

How much is the Salkantay trek Tour

The cost of the Salkantay trek 4 days is varied. Each tour agency has its own prices and it depends on the type of the service you ask for.  Above all, it is important to make sure the agency you choose has all the equipment and logistics needed for the treks and tours. In the case of salkantay trek 4 days, you need to hire a high quality and certified agency.

Group Service:

It is a service in which 8 or more people join the group. The cost of the group service varies from 400 USD to 600 USD per person. However, being part of a group is not always recommended. For example,if you want to make any change, all the group has to agree. Also, since there are many people the service is not personalized.

Private Service:

It is a more personalized service, only for the people who have chosen to be in your group. The cost of the private service varies from 700 USD to 900 USD per person. This means that all the staff will offer a high quality service and equipment to make the most of the experience.

Note: As they say “you get what you pay for.” Therefore, we recommend hiring an average service that costs no less than 550 USD. This way you will receive good service and you are contributing to a fair salary for the staff of the agency you are hiring for the Salkantay trek 4 days.

Salkantay trek Tour Availability

Salkantay trek 4 days to Machu Picchu is always available since you don’t need a special permit to hike it. Consequently, you can hike it any time of the year being the most recommendable from March to December.

However, from January to March, months of the rainy season, the hike is dangerous and very challenging because of the rainfalls.

On the other hand, some agencies have set departure days you can join. But, if you want to hire a private service, there is always availability and there are daily departures.

So, the most important thing to do is to book the Salkantay trek tour at least 2 months in advance. This way you will be able to secure your Machu Picchu entrance tickets. There are limited spots to enter the citadel and the train tickets best seats to Cusco must be booked in advance too.


To hike the fantastic Salkantay trek 4 days, you need to bring your personal identification documents. You must always carry it with you, especially to enter Machu Picchu. If you are a student, you have to bring your certified student card (note that the discount is only for students under 25 years old).

Both documents passport and student card have to be updated and must not expire at least in 8 months before your traveling date. If your documents are about to expire, you should update them to avoid any inconvenience at the moment of entering Machu Picchu.

Note that photocopies or photos of the passport or ID aren’t accepted.

For instance, if your trip is in November, your documents must not expire before April next year.

Personal staff of Salkantay

Salkantay Trek Tour: Guide, Chef and Muleteer 

Who are the guide, chef and muleteer during the salkantay trek tour?

The support staff is very important along the hike, among them we have:

  • Guide:

During, the Salkantay trek 4 days, the tourist guide plays an important role. He is the person in charge of making the adventure an unforgettable experience. Sharing all his knowledge of the natural life and the history side of the sites, he will turn the hike into a fascinating book read for the first time ever.  You will learn more about the cultural and historical aspects as well as the flora and fauna that you will observe along the hike. 

  • Chef:

It is usually the guide who introduces the chef on the first day of the salkantay trek tour. He will make sure to have all meals deliciously served on time all days of the hike.

  • Muleteer:

He is the person in charge of guiding the horses that carry the equipment and food supplies that will be used on the first two days of the hike. They are people who live in the high Andean area of Cusco. Most of them are farmers. Therefore, hiring their service through a reliable agency contributes to generate a new source of income.

You should know that if you hire the service of a cheap tourist agency, muleteers will be most affected by your choice because they will be paid the minimum salary (a very cheap salary).

What is the food like during the Salkantay trek 4 days?

The first two days you will enjoy having your food outdoors where the only company will be the most beautiful nature views. This is possible since there is the staff in charge of preparing all the meals for the hike. They also are the ones who carry all the cooking utensils such as: a gas balloon, stove, tables, cluttery, dining tents, kitchen tent and food supplies.

Chef: He is the person in charge of preparing the dishes. During the first three days, the chef and the muleteer will walk faster than the rest of the group to make sure they arrive with plenty of time to cook the meals and serve them on time. They also have to set the tents before the tourists arrive.

What dishes are served in the salkantay tour?

In summary, in the Salkantay trek 4 days, you will try typical dishes from Cusco prepared with products from the region. For breakfast, you will have a buffet where you can find hot drinks (milk, coffee, oats, infusions), scrambled eggs, fruit salad, yogurt, Andean cereals, pancakes, among others.

Finally, for lunch and dinner, you will have a variety of dishes. Normally, they serve light meals for dinner to avoid stomach problems.

Among the dishes you will enjoy, we have the following:


  • Guacamole with nachos
  • Mixed salads
  • Soltero
  • Papa a la huancaína
  • Salpicón of chicken
  • Stuffed Avocado


  • Cream of Corn Soup
  • Cream of chuño (dehydrated potato)
  • Vegetable soup
  • Quinoa
  • Wheat
  • Minute Soup

Main course

  • Lomo saltado
  • Fried Trout
  • Rolled Trout
  • Rolled chicken
  • Locro of squash
  • Locro of olluco
  • Mashed potatoes with fried eggplant


  • Flamed bananas
  • Mazamorras
  • Peach stew

Hot drinks

  • Chamomile tea
  • Anise infusion
  • Coca tea
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate

Note: If you have any food restrictions, it is important to inform the tourist agency that you hire. This way they can arrange food that will be better for you and avoid any inconvenience.

Recommended Equipment

What to bring on the Salkantay trek 4 days

To do the Salkantay trek tour is important to bring only the most essential equipment. Therefore, some days prior to your trek, you will meet your guide and he will give you further information about the tour. He will also hand you your duffel bag.

The duffel bag is a small bag where you put all your belongings for the Salkantay trek tour. You can carry until 7kg/15.4 pounds inside the duffel bag. It is important to mention that the sleeping bag and airmat, that go in your duffel bag, both weigh 3.5 kg. Therefore, we recommend packing light. In addition, you will see your duffel bag and have access to it only at the end of the day. This is because the muleteers, who also carry the equipment and food, always walk faster than the tourists and arrive first at the lunch or campsite.

What camping equipment do you need to bring for Salkantay trek 4 days?

If you hire a tourist agency, they will provide camping equipment except for the sleeping bag. You can rent one from your tourist agency. The tourist agency will give you a duffel bag where you can put all your belongings. Note that the maximum weight shouldn’t exceed the 7 kg. Your duffel bag will be carried by the horses along with the camping equipment.

What to bring in my duffel bag?

We recommend packing light for salkantay trek tour. Here you have a list of the most essential things you should bring for the Salkantay trek.

  • 1 pair of trekking pants.
  • 4 short or long sleeved polo shirts.
  • 1 warm jacket
  • 1 rain jacket  or rain poncho
  • Hat for the sun
  • Beanie.
  • Cuellera.
  • Light gloves.
  • Underwear.
  • 1 pair of trekking boots
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • Light shoes for the campsite
  • Thermal socks
  • Light Socks
  • 1 towel
  • Toiletries

What should I carry inside my backpack?

Inside your backpack you should carry the following items that are essential for the Salkantay Trek 4 days:

  • Personal Medication
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Wet wipes.
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Alcohol gel.
  • Coca leaves
  • Pocket flashlight with spare batteries
  • Camera
  • Trekking poles

What toiletries to bring for Salkantay trek tour?

You need to bring the following items since you won’t find them along the Salkantay Trek 4 days:

  • Toothbrush and paste.
  • Soap and Shampoo.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Quick-dry towels.
  • Face moisturizer.
  • Mosquito repellent (an eco friendly repellent is highly recommended) 
  • Alcohol gel.
  • Sunscreen (FPS 60+)
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medication.
  • First aid kit: bands, cotton, alcohol, etc.

Do I need trekking poles for Salkantay trek 4 days?

Yes, we recommend bringing trekking poles for the Salkantay trek tour, especially if you have any knee problems. Trekking poles help you keep the balance and provide two more points of support. Bring trekking poles with rubber tip to avoid damage. Most agencies don’t include the cost of the trekking poles on the price tour, this means you will have to rent them paying an additional cost.

  • Trekking poles help you keep the balance.
  • They help improve oxygenation.
  • Provide two more points of support.
  • Your knees have no pressure while hiking downhill.
  • You will save 15% more energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Salkantay trek Tour Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to do the Salkantay trek 4 days

The best season to do the Salkantay Trek is from April to October since there are no rainfalls. These months are part of the dry season. Salkantay Pass, the closest section to the snow capped mountain is easier to hike during the dry season. In addtion, the road is firm and safe which makes it possible to hike this section in less time. No matter if there are more people you will be able to enjoy the wonderful view along the hike.

When is it not recommendable to do the Salkantay Trek tour?

The rainy season starts in November and ends in March. During these months there is great presence of rains everywhere, being January and February months with more rain. We don’t recommend doing the Salkantay Trek 4 days during the rainy season. In January and February, you will notice cold temperatures making the roads impossible. Consequently there are fewer tourists during the rainy season.

Temperatures of the Salkantay trek

The Salkantay Trek temperature vary according to the season. There is a great difference from the moment you start the hike to the moment you arrive in  Machu Picchu. Along the trek, the highest point will be Salkantay pass where the temperature drops to -10° C. While we go downhill, we will get to a more tropical environment. For Instance, when we arrive in Aguas Calientes, the temperature  reaches 26° C during the day and drops to 12° C at nights.


The temperature of this day is varied. From the moment we leave the city of Cusco and along the day we will have different temperatures. In the mornings the temperature normally varies from 0° C to 4° C. And the temperature at the moment we start the hike and along the day varies from 5° C to 15° C. Tonight we will camp in Soyroccocha, where the temperature drops to -8° C since it is at an altitude of 4400 m.a.s.l. This is the coldest night of the trek. You will be able to observe snow and frost because we are very close to the snow capped mountain of Salkantay.


On the second day, the temperature will start with -10° C approximately while it will reach 4° C at the highest point of the trek, Salkantay pass. At this point, you will clearly notice the variation on the temperature since we will get to the eyebrow of the jungle. Here the temperature reaches 23° C during the day. In our campsite in Colpapampa the temperature varies from  4° C to 10° C at nights and early mornings. This is because of the humidity, always present in the eyebrow of the jungle.


On day 3, the temperature usually starts with 0° C and during the hike the temperature reaches 26° C. After the hike, we will arrive in the town of Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night. In this town the temperature varies from  2° C to 12° C at nights and early mornings. This is because of the humidity, always present in the area.


On day forth the temperature starts with 0° C reaching 28° C during the day. In some mornings you can observe thick fog which will be disappearing along the morning.


The Salkantay trek 4 days to Machu Picchu includes 2 campsite nights and 1 hotel night.

1st Overnight: Soyroccocha campsite

  • Located at 4400 m.a.s.l
  • Temperature at nights can drop to -10° C

2nd Overnight: Collpapampa campsite

  • Located at 2900 m.a.s.l
  • Temperature at nights can drop to 4° C

3rd overnight: Lodging in Aguas Calientes

  • Located at 2040 m.a.s.l
  • Temperature at nights can drop to 0° C


About the restrooms and showers.

On this fascinating salkantay trek 4 days, it is possible to find restrooms and showers. However, those are basic services and if you want to take a hot shower, you have to pay 10 soles.

An important fact that you should consider is that the first campsite doesn’t have showers while the rest of the campsites do.

Is there electricity in the Salkantay trek 4 days?

Yes, it is possible to have electricity. 

Along this fascinating salkantay trek tour, you will be able to charge your electronic devices such as cameras, film recorders, or cellphones. However, it has an additional cost of 10 soles. If you want to avoid the extra cost, we recommend carrying extra batteries or a portable charger.

Is there Internet connection in the Salkantay trek tour?

Actually, it is. There is internet access and WiFi which is offered at the campsites. Along the trek, the internet has an additional cost of 10 soles. Unfortunately, since we are in a remote area the internet signal is not good.

How much money should I take with me for the salkantay trek 4 days?

During the Salkantay trek tour, there won’t be any ATMs, or exchange houses. Therefore, we recommend taking cash with you. It will be ok to take about 400 or 500 Peruvian Soles for personal expenses or tips that you want to give the staff who have helped along the trek. 

You need some cash to pay for the restrooms and showers, which is 2 soles the first one and 10 soles the second one. There will be other things that you may want to buy. 

On day 1, there won’t be any showers because there is no access to drinking water. However, on day 2, you can rent the showers at the campsite area.

Where can I leave the extra luggage - salkantay trek 4 days?

All the extra luggage that you have brought for your trip to Peru can be stored in the storage room of the hotel that you are staying at. You should ask the receptionist first. In case, the hotel doesn’t have a storage room, you can leave your luggage in the storage room of our agency at no additional cost.


It is not mandatory to leave the guide or support staff a tip. If you feel that you have received a high quality service, you are free to tip the staff. You need to take some cash with you to do so. The tips will be given when you say goodbye to the staff. In the case of the muleteer, you can leave him a tip at the campsite on the second day.  The amount of money can be between 50 to 100 soles. Usually the chef receives double (between 100 to 200) since he has to carry food ingredients, and prepare the meals, which are well elaborated and marvel tourists.

He will say goodbye on day 3. Finally, the guide will say goodbye at the end of the guided tour in Machu Picchu. What the guide receives is of your personal appreciation, but it has to be more than what you leave the chef since the guide is the person that is always taking care of you. Note that the amount of money mentioned is only referential and it is not mandatory to leave a tip. Leave a tip only if you feel very motivated to do so, not if someone forces you to.


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