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Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru

Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu is a 42.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 42.9 miles Elevation Gain: 11,663 feet Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

snow

historic site

A wonderful alternative to the classic Inca Trail. It rises higher, offers superb views of the Salkantay and is much less frequented.

backpacking
bugs
muddy
rocky
18 days ago

Did this trail in November. Definitely pack for cold and rainy (hail) weather if you decide to go during this time. The views were amazing. If you're visiting and are not used to the elevation, stay at least 3 days in the city before your trip to give your body time to adjust. Other than that, pack lightly, stay on the trail and enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this trail a couple of years ago, just getting to a review now (lol). Incredible hike. Stunning, challenging, diverse. Perfect way to reach Machu Picchu

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
3 months ago

I don't really know where to begin. This was my first ever solo trek (without a guide). I did the 93 kilometers in 4 days. Ending in Aguas Calientes and getting to go up to Macchu Pichu was the cherry on top. This trek, all trail, takes you from the hilly agricultural plains of the Cusco surroundings to one of the most awe inspiring mountains I have ever laid eyes on (at 5400 meters alt.) This trek touched my soul and conjures up emotions I cannot begin to put on paper when I think of it. It is challenging. It is beautiful. It is a must for those who do not want to be restricted by the compulsory guided Inca Trail. It has everything one could hope for in a trek.

hiking
4 months ago

Best trek I’ve ever done, went in September 2019. Definitely can be dangerous (narrow, slippery, ice and rain, etc) so make sure you have the gear. Absolutely loved it and recommend to everyone. There are tour groups you can go with which I think is safer if you don’t speak Spanish and it can get confusing where to go. We certainly veered right off what looked like the path multiple times so I’m glad we had a guide. By the time you get to Machu Picchu on day 4 or 5 you’ve seen so many beautiful things that you think it won’t feel as spectacular as the trek but that the trek itself was worth it. Then you actually go up from Aguas Calientes to see it and it just fills you with wonder. There is almost a magnetic energy that just fills you up. Would do again.

hiking
bugs
flooded
muddy
no shade
rocky
snow
washed out
5 months ago

Did this hike solo in late September. Started from Mollepata though not shown on this map. Look for the goat trail past the Church pretty much vertical climb with a irrigation stream on the left side of the trail. The trail isn’t well marked and there are some gates you have to pass through. Eventually you will come to a road that you follow to the north. This will take you to the marked portion of the trail where the tours start their hike to soraypampa. From there it’s well marked. This map looks like it follows the road to La Playa but there is a crossing and a trail on the other side of the Santa Teresa River. There is a bridge that is under construction in La Playa you need to cross to get back over to the trail. From there it’s easy to find the trail to Llactapata it’s right off the road. Look for avocados on the road! I found the largest avocado ever!! Camp at the over look not the camp sight of you can...nothing like waking up overlooking Machu Picchu!

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

A lot of derumbes, somewhat dangerous at this time of the year. We had to take the road and not the higher up trail.

backpacking
muddy
6 months ago

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
no shade
rocky
scramble
snow
7 months ago

4 days hike from Mollepata to Aguas Calientes. Record of all feasible campground areas & restaurants.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
7 months ago

We hiked the Salkantay Trek independently in 4 days + 1 day in Machu Picchu. Day 1: We took a Colectivo from Cusco to Mollepata and from there a Taxi to Soraypampa to start the trek there, which we recommend. From Soraypampa we hiked 12 km over the Salkantay Pass and camped in the closest village when getting down from the top. We camped under a roof on the second floor of a house and paid 10 s. It was a tough day and we had a bit of rain, it also gets really cold. Day 2: We hiked 25km (because we didnt hiked that much the first day) to the village Playa and would recommened not walking along the street but taking the trek left of the river, it's really beautiful. It was also raining some hours. the Campsite was similar to the first. Day 3: We made our way up to the Llactapata and camped in the Llactapata Llodge, from where you have a direct view of the Machu Picchu - it's the most beautiful Campsite for only 5 soles/night and if you have a clear morning the view is breathtaking! Day 4: We hiked the last 15km to Aguas Calientes, down the Llactapata and then along the train rails. Day 5: We took the bus (buy ticket one day before in Aguas) from Aguas Calientes up to the entrance of Machu Picchu and down again to Puenta Ruinas to walk back to Hidroeléctrica and catch a Colectivo to Cusco there - if you want to get back to Cusco on the same day, taking the bus up & down saves you a lot of time (even though it's expensive 12 US Dollar one way). All in all it were incredible days. The trek has everything from snow to jungle, waterfalls and rivers and we didn't meet that many people. We would do it independently all over again, but prepare yourself for some exhauation!

hiking
8 months ago

Booked our 5.5 day Salkantay trek with Alpaca Expeditions for $650. $56 included the bus from aguas calientes to Machu Picchu and back and $80 for the train from Aguas Calientes back to Cusco. Meals and guide was well worth it for all the knowledge we gained throughout the trek as well as the food was out of this world good. Just finished this hike in mid October and grateful we didny choose the Inca Trail. Only saw 10 other trekkers the entire time. Day 1 was definitely the toughest due to the altitude and steep climb. it rained the second half of the day and got pretty cold. Recommend water resistant pants and waterproof jacket and gloves. Bring a good hat for the sunny parts as well (scalp got burnt for the first time). Day 2 was a long day of trekking at about 16 miles and mostly downhill. Day 3 we had a shorter day and went to a coffee farm as well as did a 3 hour uphill steep climb Day 4 was dow hill and then mainly along the river to Aguas Calientes. Bring coca leaves and acclimate before heading over. Bring sunscreen and bug spray and electrolytes. One foot in front of the other for this one. I recorded over 60 miles of trekking over the course of the 4 days so we may have taken a longer route than is recorded in Alltrails.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

Just completed this 5 day/4 night trek through KB Adventure Tours out of Cusco for $180 (that’s the bus option whereas the train and bus option (which I would recommend) is $240. Their online prices are higher than in person. Meals were pretty good given the price and accommodations were ok. Incredible scenery and challenging high altitude hiking the first few days, but well worth it. If you want to do a tour I’d recommend the 4 day/ 3 night as you bypass walking on dirt roads with buses and cars whizzing by you (via bus from Santa Teresa to Hidroeléctrica).

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