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Salkantay Trek 4 Days / 3 Nights

Salkantay Trek 4 Days 3 Nights, is a remarkable alternative to the traditional Inca Trail. The route is ideal for those that wish to experience the beautiful scenery of the Andes including Humantay Lagoon and a campsite right by the base of the prominent Apu Salkantay. Better yet, enjoy hiking along a section of the Inca Trail before reaching Machu Picchu as well. In spite of being listed as one of National Geographic Magazine’s 20 Dream Treks, the Salkantay Trek remains uncrowded and perfect for those seeking solitude and adventure in the Peruvian Andes.

Overview

Overview:

Salkantay Trek 4 Days 3 Nights, is the number one alternative to the Inca Trail. With high snow-capped mountains, lowland jungle and trek offers a perfect mix of trekking, culture and nature.

By booking your Salkantay Trek with Cusco Journeys & Adventure you are choosing the best. Don’t believe us? Check out our reviews on TripAdvisor!

Useful Information:

  • Tour Type: Trekking/hiking, cultural, adventurous
  • Good For: Those in moderate shape or better
  • Difficulty: Challenging due to elevation
  • Considerations: This Salkantay trek follows a different route than our 5 Days Classic Salkantay Trek. The campsite on the first night is near Salkantay. On the third day we will hike the first day of the Classic Inca Trail.

Itinerary

Pre-trek briefing:

You will have thorough briefing with your guide 1 or 2 days before your Salkantay Trek.

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you can take this opportunity to ask questions and make any final preparations.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Ichupata

We will pick you up from your hotel early in the morning and have a beautiful scenic drive of 3 hours duration to Mollepata. At Mollepata we will have breakfast at one of the local houses. During this portion of the drive we will have our first views of the magnificent Salkantay and Humantay Mountains, as well as observe lush vegetation and the fields of local families growing potatoes, quinoa, lima beans, etc.

At this point we will arrive at Soraypampa (3,800 m/12,467 ft), the trailhead for the Salkantay trek, and meet our support staff, who will pack everything for the trek and load the equipment onto horses. The first thing we will do is hike up to the magnificent Umantay Lake. After enjoying the beauty and taking pictures, we will hike back down to Soraypampa and “officially” begin the trek.

The hike today is uphill from Soraypampa to Ichupata (4,300 m / 14,104 ft) in the upper valley. This is a 5 to 6 hour hike. Along the way we will pass Salkantaypampa, which is our lunch spot.

Ichupata is our camp for the night. When we arrive, we will settle in, have happy hour and a hearty dinner.

  • Meals:  Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Distance Covered: 12 km
  • Approximate Walking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Lowest elevation: 3,800 m/12,467 ft
  • Highest elevation: 4,300 m / 14,104 ft
  • Difficulty: challenging

Day 2: Ichupata –Incachiriasca pass – Pampacahuana

After a savory breakfast, we will begin the 3 to 4 hour steep climb to towards the Incachiriasca pass (4850m/15908ft), the highest of the entire route. We will have amazing views of Apu Salkantay and glacial moraines during this portion. We will pause at the top of the pass to take pictures and enjoy the magnificent view.

We will then descend towards our lunch spot at Sisaypampa, a flat area from which one can observe the neighboring Salkantay Valleys. This is a place where we might see Andean condors.

After lunch we continue towards the Pampacahuana community (3,700 m / 12,136 ft), located next to an original Inca canal. This is our camp for the night.

  • Meals:  Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Distance Covered: 14 km
  • Approximate Walking Time: 8 hours
  • Lowest elevation: 3,700 m / 12,136
  • Highest elevation: 4,850 m / 15,908 ft
  • Difficulty: challenging

Day 3- Pampacahuana – Llactapata – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes.

After breakfast, We begin by hiking downill for 1 hours from Pampacahuana to Paucarcancha (3133 m / 10,276 ft)). where we will visit this Inca archaeological site of Pauccar Cancha. Today´s highlight will be entering to the Inca Trail for a section of the original path. On this hike, you will be mesmerized by the stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Also, you will get a taste of the Inca Trail by visiting the famous Llactapata Inca archaeological site.

This site is known for having been an Inca village characterized by its houses, water channels, and many farming terraces gently bordering the mountainside. From Llactapata, you will hike for about 1 hour until your lunch. After lunch and a well-deserved break, where you will meet our private van to Ollantaytambo. Once in Ollantaytambo, you will enjoy your dinner and take a train to Aguas Calientes town for your overnight stay.

  • Walking distance: 15km
  • Campsite elevation: 3300 m.a.s.l
  • Trail end elevation: 2700 m.a.s.l
  • Aguas Calientes elevation: 2000 m.a.s.l
  • Trail type: Moderate
  • Accommodations: Hotel

Day 4. The Most Important – Machu Picchu.

After breakfast we will board the bus which will take us to the biggest energetic center of the Incas, “Machu Picchu”. As part of our itinerary the same professional tour guide from the Salkantay trek; will teach you about all the history of this mysterious and mystical place. We will visit the Sun Temple, Royal palace, Main Temple, Three Windows Temple and Sun Dial. It will be an unforgettable experience. After the guided tour, you will have free time to explore on your own.

If you have booked Wayna picchu, you will need to coordinate with your guide for Machu Picchu visiting depending on your scheduled time to the mountain, for people not hiking any of the mountains there are some other optional activities on your own (not included in the price):

  • Visit the Sun Gate: You will have an opportunity to walk (approx. 2 hours up and down) up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) to see Machu Picchu from a different angle.
  • Hike to the Inca Bridge: The Inca Bridge offers a dose of adventure for your next Machu Picchu visit. However in this case, the adventure is a little less strenuous, but a lot more death defying, not for people with vertigo.

Train back to Cusco: In the afternoon you will return to the train station in Aguas Calientes for the trip back to Ollantaytambo. Upon your arrival to train station you will be transferred by car to your hotel in Cusco.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft
  • Highest Elevation: 2,440 m/ 8,052 ft

Includes

Included:

  • Pre-trek briefing with your tour guide.
  • Collection from your hotel in the morning of the trek departure.
  • Private transport from Cusco to Mollepata-Soraypampa (starting point of the trek)
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu
  • English speaking, experienced professional guide
  • Comfortable tents (sleeping 2 people in a 4 person tent)
  • All camping equipment such as: dining tent, table, chairs, kitchen tent and toilet tent
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientas to Machu Picchu (One way)
  • First Aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Train ticket from Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco
  • Celebration dinner in Ollantaytambo (touristic restaurant )
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes with private room and bathroom
  • Mules and horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen – 7 kilos of your personal items such as extra clothes, sleeping bag will be carried by our mules
  • Provision of a horse in case of emergency such as illness, to ensure trek can be completed by all participants when is more 6 people 
  • Basic foam sleeping mattress
  • Private guided tour within Machu Picchu
  • Excellent Meals (3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners)
  • Food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all before rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking (Vegetarian, vegan or special diet meals upon request).
  • Tea time before dinner (tea, coffee, coco, biscuits, popcorn)
  • Boiled water provided from 2nd day (for drinking).
  • Wake up coca tea in your tent.
  • Buckets of hot water for washing in your tent every day
  • Biodegradable soap and hand cleansing gel
  • Cusco Journeys & Adventure uses walkie-talkies on all treks.
  • Oxygen Tank & First aid kit
  • All local taxes

Not Included:

  • Walking sticks
  • Sleeping bag adequate for temperature of minus 10°C.
  • breakfast day 1, Lunch on the last day
  • Entry to Huayna Picchu ($25)
  • Additional horses for extra personal luggage above that of the personal item allowance.
  • Optional up – grades (train and hotel)
  • **Tips for the crew (muleteers, chef and guide)

Bring for the Salkantay Trek: 

  • A good daypack: Eagle Creek Afar Backpack –appropriate packs to carry your personal belongings.
  • Original passport with the migration Peru card (for Trains, Machu Picchu Park, and Hotels)
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended but not required).
  • Swimwear for the hot springs of Lares
  • Lighter trekking boots (with good ankle support)
  • 3 pairs of trekking pants (not jeans): 1 hiking, 1 cotton–which is just enough. Please spray both pairs with an insect repellent before the trip.
  • Layers for variable temperatures especially at night
  • 1 rain jacket: The first night the temperature can be as – 5 degrees Celsius/41 degrees Fahrenheit. The rain jacket can be helpful, because there are rainy days even if we are in dry season!
  • 1 warm/Winter jacket
  • Thermals: wool socks, gloves, scarf, and woolen hat for cold nights.
  • 4 pairs of underwear, 5 pairs of socks (Bamboo or cotton/nylon-blend socks dry faster than 100 percent cotton, which lose their softness when air-dried). It is nice to have a couple of extra pairs of socks to change into at night when you’re not hiking. Also, we recommend bringing both really heavy hiking socks and lighter socks because the weather is variable, so you want to make sure you’re not too cold or overheat.
  • 4 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 1 good sleeping bag liner that is super lightweight and easy to pack. Definitely does its Job!
  • Travel-size tissues and wet wipes–The air is cold and damp so your nose is going to run a lot. Everyone seems to run out of tissues by the end of the trek. Also, most bathrooms do not have toilet paper (if you even get a bathroom), so wet wipes are key.
  • Iron tablets and pills for altitude sickness. Several people on the hike have varying degrees of altitude sickness and both of these remedies (in addition to the coca tea) are very helpful in alleviating the symptoms.
  • Sun protection cream (SPF 45 or higher recommended).
  • Bug spray with 30% DEET in it–which you need, but it doesn’t work very well. The issue with Cusco outdoors is that most of the bugs are not mosquitoes. They are these small flies you can’t even see that leave weird bites that first look like you pricked your finger and then blow up into itchy red bumps. Unfortunately, these bugs seem to bite you no matter what kind of spray you put on, so an anti-itch medication could be helpful.
  • Re-usable plastic or metal water container or a hydration pack such as Camel back
  • Water (only for first day hike). Then we will provide you with water throughout the hike.
  • Camera and film
  • A headlamp to navigate camp in the evenings and pre-dawn mornings with spare batteries
  • Bandages or moleskin
  • Flip flops to change into at night–your toes will thank you!.
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste/floss, shampoo/conditioner, brush/comb, Vaseline (for feet great for potential blisters), feminine hygiene products, deodorant, nail clippers/file/tweezers, spare glasses and/or prescription, mini-eyeglass repair kit, contact lenses if required and supplies, hand sanitizer etc.–and whatever else you need, but pack light.
  • Medication (Imodium AD or something for your stomach. Some people get an upset stomach on the trek. With 8-10 hours of hiking each day, you need to get over whatever the day throws at you quickly, so bring some meds.
  • Plastic bags for dirty and wet clothes
  • Something to read in the evenings
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, & tips to your staff
  • Additional Notes

Price

The Salkantay Trek 4 days / 3 nights can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February.

Group Price:$589USDPer person

* We need a minimum of 3 people to run the tour in group service. We guarantee that your tour will be limited to a maximum of 8 people.

Private Tour:

Private tours are available and priced by party size.

  • 2-3 Trekkers:  $689 per person
  • 4-5 Trekkers: $649 per person
  • 6 or more Trekkers: $619 per person

Important: Price includes up to 7 kilos of your personal belongings to be carried by the mules (NO need of extra Porter hire!).

Discounts:

  • Student Discount: US$20.00 Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using a University Student Card our under 17-years-old, we need to see a copy of their card or passport at the time of booking to receive the discount.Please send all to info@cuscojourneys.com.

Optional Extras (Need to Book in Advance):

  • Machu Picchu Mountain climbing:  USD 25.00 (Need to book in advance)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain climbing: USD 25.00 (Need to book in advance)

Upgrades:

Hotel Upgrades:

The hotel is 2-star and is based on sharing a room – either double, matrimonial, or triple. There is a single room surcharge of $30 if you are booking alone. Rooms all include private bathrooms, with hot showers and wifi. We can also upgrade your hotel if you prefer something fancier. Please remember that the service you receive in Aguas Calientes may not be comparable to that in Cusco. Below is a list of possible upgrade options, although we can usually work with most hotels in Aguas Calientes.

  • Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (5 star): $580 pp shared 
  • Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel (4 star): $345 pp shared 
  • El Mapi (3+ stars): $85 pp shared
  • Santuario Hotel (3 star): $65 pp shared

Train Upgrades:

  • Vistadome train -US $65 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Hiram Bingham train (deluxe) -US $485 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy

Rentals:

  • Hiking poles – US$20.00
  • Sleeping bag – US$25.00
  • Sleeping bag Deluxe Package (+ Pillow & Liners) US$35.00
  • Private Tent – US$30.00

Terms & Conditions

By booking or participating in a tour and any related products or services (a “Tour”) with Cusco Journeys, you agree to these Terms & Conditions.

Booking:

  1. Your booking is confirmed and a contract exists when the Tour Operator or your travel agent issues a written confirmation after receipt of the applicable deposit amount. Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to the Tour Operator or authorized agent immediately. Please ensure that names are exactly as stated in the relevant passport.
  2. You will pay a deposit which is completely non-refundable in any situation. There are no exceptions.
  3. You will be required to show the original passport (not a copy) that you booked with, at the checkpoint to enter the Inca Trail. If you originally booked with an old passport and then renewed your passport, you must also bring your expired passport along with your new, valid passport to permit entry or they will refuse your entrance to the trail.
  4. The only acceptable ID to receive a Student Discount is your University Card with a clear expiration date that must be the same year as trek. IDs with expiry dates the following year, even though clearly valid, will not be accepted by the Peruvian government. You must submit a copy of this card at time of booking.

Cancellations:

  1. Cancellations: In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 40% is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing (we do not accept medical notes of any kind) as our out of pocket expenses are non-refundable to us.. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:

ONCE BOOKED, DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. CHART BELOW OUTLINES WHAT FURTHER FEES WILL BE DUE.

Cancellation By

Terms

91 days or more before departure we will retain 50% of your deposit.
90 – 30 days before departure we will retain 75% of the total tour cost.
29 – 0 days before departure we will retain 100% of the total tour cost.

Inca Trail Tours:

  1. Permits: Permits for the Inca Trail are in your name and can not be transferred to anyone else under any circumstances. Change of dates is also not possible once a permit has been purchased. Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable. The deposit will be forfeited. Please note that this is a regulation of the Peruvian government and not Cusco Journeys (or any agency).
  2. In extreme cases when the “Inca Trail to Machu Picchu” is declared closed for safety reasons, Cusco Journeys will replace your trek with an alternative trek.
  3. Those who booked PERMITS with a Student ID must bring that ID with them on the trek. If they fail to show this card to the Park Rangers, they will not be allowed entry onto the trail.

Medical Information:

  1. You must advise Cusco Journeys of any medical problems or allergies you may have. You need to be in good physical health, and if your health is questionable, then you should consult a doctor. If you are over the age of 70 years old, then you will need to present us with a current good health medical certificate.
  2. You are responsible for assessing whether a Tour is suitable for you. You should consult your physician to confirm your fitness for travel and participation in any planned activities. You should seek your physician’s advice on vaccinations and medical precautions. The Tour Operator does not provide medical advice. It is your responsibility to assess the risks and requirements of each aspect of the Tour based on your own unique circumstances, limitations, fitness level and medical requirements.
  3. Cusco Journeys reserves the right to deny you permission to travel or participate in any aspect of a Tour at any time and at your own risk and expense where the Tour Operator determines that your physical or mental condition renders you unfit for travel or you represent a danger to yourself or others.
  4. Pregnancy is considered a medical condition and must be disclosed to the Tour Operator at the time of booking. The Tour Operator may refuse to carry pregnant women over 24 weeks. The Tour Operator may refuse to carry anyone with certain medical conditions if reasonable accommodation or alternatives cannot be arranged.
  5. It is strongly encouraged to purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case of medical emergency or any tour cancellations.

Tours and Treks:

  1. All balances need to be paid in either cash, Western Union, Transfer Bank or PayPal (in full) prior to the briefing which will be held the night before your tour. Visa incurs a 5% service fee and if you need to use another card, it must be through PayPal which incurs a 5.5% service fee.
    You must advise your guide if you wish to leave the group or the camping area for independent walks or sightseeing. If you are experiencing any problems with the services of the guide or tour, please advise the guide in that moment, so that he can resolve any problems.
  2. All Adventure Treks include transportation to Cusco. The return train route depends on train availability.
  3. If you become ill or injured on the trail and are unable to continue, a porter will be provided to accompany you back to an area with emergency assistance capabilities. Helicopter air lifts and medical assistance are at the expense of the trekker. If you are unable to complete the tour due to illness, we will assist you in meeting your group at Machu Picchu to recommence your tour at that point. There will be no refund of the original payment. However, we will prepare a document to certify illness which can be presented for your travel insurance.
  4. Cusco Journeys will take all reasonable care in providing to our clients avoidance of accident, illness, and loss of personal property, and will only employ suitably qualified staff. We accept responsibility for the actions of our own employees. Cusco Journeys cannot, however, be responsible for any action of third parties. You are totally responsible for your own personal property and rented equipment.
  5. Cusco Journeys does not take responsibility for unfavorable weather conditions, natural catastrophe, strikes, accidents, illness, injury, loss of personal ítems, etc. It is the client’s responsibility to carry insurance to cover these types of events. We reserve the right to modify or cancel the program due to any of the unforeseen conditions listed above.
  6. Cusco Journeys may modify your itinerary where reasonably required in its sole discretion.
  7. Group tours might be as large as 16 participants. Groups are open to everyone no matter skill or age. By accepting a Group Tour you acknowledge that others might change the speed and timing of the tour.
  8. All tours are done in English.

Delays:

  1. Any costs, whether direct or incidental, incurred by the Customer as the result of delays caused by bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, sickness, government intervention or other contingencies which are beyond the control of southern explorations will not be reimbursed.

Thank you so much for choosing Cusco Journeys!!!

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FAQ about Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain

Is anyone in your group 17 or under?*

If you answer yes, we need a copy of their passport. Please email to info@cuscojourneys.com

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STUDENT UNIVERSITY CARD*

The Ministry of Culture has changed its regulations regarding student discounts for entrances to Machu Picchu and Inca Trail permits. For anyone wishing to obtain a student discount, the following requirements must be met: ( 1.- Must be under 25 years of age. 2.- Must have a valid institutional student card with. A.- Photopgraph. B.- Student´s full name. C.- Expiry date in 2019 that includes the date of reservation and the date of visit to Machu Picchu ). We will require a scanned copy of any student card at the time of booking. Please note ISIC cards or any alternative documents proving student status will not be accepted. Unfortunately if you fail to meet any of the above criteria we will not be able to offer the discount. Please be sure to check all passport expiration dates. Your passport must be set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. That means if your passport has less than six months remaining until the expiration date, you should renew it right away! Six months or more is required to enter and depart Peru.

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Please list Full Names (as written on passport), Passport Number, Nationality, Dates of Birth, Gender and email addresses for all in your party. Please make sure your passports will be valid for more than 6 months after your visit to Peru. If not, Customs & Immigration may not allow you into the country

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