Salkantay Trek FAQs
HOW DO I MAKE A BOOKING?
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WHY DO I NEED TO COME TO THE BRIEFING?
The briefing is very important because it is when you will meet your guide. During this meeting, your guide will provide you with important details regarding the trek. If you are participating in the Salkantay Trek, you will be given a duffle bag for your luggage. You will not be given a duffle bag for the 2D Inca Trail. At the briefing, you will also pay your remaining trek balance. You will be given a map to our offices with your booking information.
CAN I LEAVE LUGGAGE AT THE SALKANTAY TREKKING OFFICES?
Yes. You can leave your luggage at our offices.
You can bring it with you to your briefing, or you can bring it when you are picked up in the morning to leave for your trek. The driver will bring it back to our offices. You can also arrange to have it dropped off at your hotel once you return from the Salkantay trek.
IS WATER INCLUDED?
Yes. Please bring your own water for the first morning of your trek. After that, we will provide water for you. No need to worry, the water will be clean and safe to drink!
DO I NEED TO BRING EXTRA MONEY FOR THE TREK?
Yes. This is very important!!! We recommend that you bring 300 to 400 Peruvian soles. It is possible that you may not need any of this money, but just in case of an emergency you should make sure to have plenty of cash. If you are struggling on the route, you can use the money to purchase alternative forms of transportation such as: car, horse, and train. If you are participating in the 5-day trek, there are a couple of extra activities along the way including hot springs.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP THE TREKKING TEAM?
Tipping is at your discretion, but always highly appreciated.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE IN MY GROUP?
Groups are usually 10 to 12 people. This also depends on the time of year. The maximum is 12 people and the minimum is 2 people.
WHAT SIZE BAG DO I NEED TO TAKE WITH ME?
We will provide you with a duffel bag for all of the Salkantay Treks. You can carry about 7 kilograms in the duffle bag. These duffle bags will be carried by horses throughout the trek. You only need to carry a small backpack/day pack with the items you might need throughout the day like sunscreen, bug spray, jackets, or snacks.
WILL I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHARGE MY DEVICES DURING THE TREK AND WILL I HAVE WIFI?
Yes. You will have the chance to charge your devices at each of our campsites. That being said, at some of the sites you cannot leave your devices charging overnight. On the second and third night you will have access to Wi-Fi at an additional cost of 10 Peruvian Soles.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRIVATE TOUR AND GROUP TOUR? WHY IS IT WORTH IT TO PAY MORE FOR THE PRIVATE TOUR?
If you choose to go on a private tour, the tour will be tailored to you. The size of the group depends on you and only you. You can decide exactly who will be on the trek with you. This is perfect for couples, families, or groups of friends. You will have your own personal chef and guide, which means the trek is more personalized and able to satisfy your personal needs.
WILL I HAVE THE CHANCE TO TAKE SHOWERS DURING OUT TREK? WILL I HAVE ACCESS TO BATHROOMS?
Yes. You will have the chance to take showers and use the bathroom.
1st campsite(Soraypampa)- cold showers (We do not recommend this as the air temperature is very cold)
2nd campsite(Chaullay)- hot showers available
3rd campsite(Lucmabamba) – hot showers available
4th night (Hotel in Aguas Calientes) – hot showers available at no extra cost
- Since we use facilities provided to us by local families, there is a fee of 10 Peruvian soles to use the hot shower at each campsite.
- There are a few opportunities to use proper bathrooms along the way. There are bathrooms at each campsite, and at the sites where you will stop for lunch.
SHOULD I RENT AN EXTRA HORSE?
If you are worried about the trek you have the option of renting an extra horse. The cost is $80.00 USD. You will only be able to ride the horse during the first two days while trekking uphill. During the latter days, at times you will have the opportunity to opt out and take a car or train for certain legs of the trek. Also, you should know that on the first day, you would be going a different route than those who choose to hike. You do not have to organize this in advance.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 4 – DAY AND 5- DAY TREK?
The main difference between our 5D and 4D treks comes from a slight variation on the trail. With our 5D trek you get to hike along an original stretch of Inca Trail up to the Llactapata Archaeological Site. This section is meant to give you the opportunity to trek along an original Inca Trail, see the Llactapata ruins, and be able to admire the Santa Teresa Valley and Machu Picchu from afar. This again, is not included on our 4D trek. During the 5 day trek you will also have the option of visiting the hot springs in Cocalmayo for an extra fee.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MACHU PICCHU ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE AND MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN?
Your ticket to the Machu Picchu archeological site is included in the price of the tour. This involves a two-hour guided tour through the ruins of Machu Picchu. This is your general entrance ticket. With your entrance ticket you have the option of buying a ticket to Machu Picchu mountain.
Machu Picchu mountain is an extra hike, that is NOT included in the price of your tour. It costs an extra $25.00 USD for the Salkantay Trek and an extra $65.00 for the Inca Trail. The hike is about a three-hours round trip journey that you will be able to do after your guided tour. From the top, you will have a 360-degree view. You can see the Machu Picchu ruins from a much higher vantage point. We recommend this if you wish to spend more time at Machu Picchu.
These two tickets must be purchased together, so it is important to let us know as soon as possible if you wish to do Machu Picchu mountain.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUAYNA PICCHU AND MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN?
Huayna Picchu - The hike to the summit is approximately 45 minutes, along narrow and steep Inca stairs. Once at the top, you get to see the Citadel of Machu Picchu and its surrounding hills and valleys. This is the famous peak in the background of every iconic Machu Picchu photo. Summiting Huayna Picchu is always a top item on most Machu Picchu visitor’s lists which means that you usually need reserve this hike months in advance. Only a certain amount of people are allowed to hike this mountain each day (currently 400). Along this trek you’ll see breathtaking views of the Machu Picchu ruins. The limited number of tickets is a restriction set forth by the ministry of culture in Cusco, not by Salkantay Trekking. This is completely out of our hands unfortunately. Tickets for this mountain are non-transferable.
Machu Picchu Mountain - The hike to this summit is approximately 1.5 hrs. Once at the top, you get a much higher vantage point so you have an amazing view of the Citadel of Machu Picchu and its surroundings. This hike is a great alternative to Huayna Picchu. It is ideal for those who don’t want the hassle of fighting for a ticket, or who were unable to get one. Technically, spaces for Machu Picchu Mountain are also limited to 400 per day, but it rarely sells out. We simply need to reserve a space when we buy your entrance tickets.
This trek is great because it will also take you high up like Huayna Picchu, offering great views. This trek has an easier incline (also making it accessible for those who fear the heights of Huayna Picchu), but the path is much longer making it equally as challenging in it’s own way.
Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain are extra hikes and they are NOT included in the price of your tour. Anyone costs an extra of $25.00 (US) for the Salkantay Trek and $65.00 (US) for the Inca Trail.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE INCA TRAIL AND THE SALKANTAY TREK?
- The Inca Trail is a lot more crowded than the Salkantay Trek.
- Salkantay is more comfortable than the Inca Trail. There are bathrooms and nicer accommodations.
- On the Salkantay Trek you spend a night in a hotel before entering Machu Picchu. On the Inca Trail you do not.
- The Inca Trail is a lot more expensive than Salkantay.
- An extra hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain costs an extra $25.00 with the Salkantay Trek, but for the Inca Trail it costs $65.00 as we need to get a whole new entrance ticket.
- The Inca Trail is a bit more difficult than the Salkantay Trek.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
Our guides are trained in case you get sick. Unfortunately, it is illegal for us to provide you with altitude medication but we do our best to help you feel better in other ways. For example, we make coca tea often and the guides carry oxygen bottles with them. If you feel bad you have the option of coming back to Cusco and then going to meet up with your group in Aguas Calientes so you don’t miss out on Machu Picchu. This will come with significant extra charges however. You also have the option of using other forms of transportation along the trek such as: cars, horses, and trains for a significantly lesser cost.
CAN I JOIN AS A SINGLE TRAVELER?
Yes! We have single travelers joining our treks all the time. You would share accommodations with someone of your same sex. If you wish to have a single hotel room, you can arrange that for an extra $20.00.
IF I DECIDE TO CANCEL, WILL I BE REFUNDED?
No. Unfortunately our company has a no refund policy. All $200.00 deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. We understand that unexpected things happen that are out of your control, but we can’t make exceptions. To get more information, please check our terms and conditions
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE DURING THE SALKANTAY TREK?
The weather is very unpredictable, changes quickly, and varies by season. It is impossible to say exactly what kind of weather you will encounter on your trek. However, in general, the first night will be quite cold. It can get down to about 5 degrees Celsius. Towards the end of your trek, you will be in the Peruvian jungle. In these sections of the trek it could be as hot as 25 degrees Celsius.
WHY IS THERE AN 8% CHARGE FOR PAYPAL AND VISA? IS THERE ANY WAY TO AVOID THIS CHARGE?
Unfortunately, the 8% charge is completely out of our hands. This fee does not go to us, but to PayPal and VISA. There is really no way around it.