We’ve compiled these frequently asked questions from our travelers.

Salkantay Trek FAQs

Before reaching out with a general inquiry, we recommend you read through this page to see if you can find the answer you’re looking for.

Before reaching out with a general inquiry, we recommend you read through this page to see if you can find the answer you’re looking for.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR SALKANTAY TREK | Salkantay Trekking FAQs

Whether you’ve already made up your mind to hike the Salkantay Trek or not, you’ve likely still got a lot of questions. To help you out with as many as we can, we’ve compiled these frequently asked questions from our travelers.

Before reaching out with a general inquiry, we recommend you read through this page to see if you can find the answer you’re looking for, along with our Salkantay trekking information and Peru travel information pages.

Whether you’ve already made up your mind to hike the Salkantay Trek or not, you’ve likely still got a lot of questions. To help you out with as many as we can, we’ve compiled these frequently asked questions from our travelers.

Before reaching out with a general inquiry, we recommend you read through this page to see if you can find the answer you’re looking for, along with our Salkantay trekking information and Peru travel information pages.

We’ve compiled these frequently asked questions from our travelers.

Frequent Questions

Here is a list of the frequently asked questions of our passengers

  • Is the Salkantay Trek Worth It?

    Without a doubt, the Salkantay Trek is known as the best alternative route to Machu Picchu, and many would even argue that it’s better than the world-famous Inca Trail. It’s an adventurous route and comes with some challenges, but you’ll also be rewarded with incredible views and fantastic, unique experiences.

  • Is the Salkantay Trek Difficult?

    The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a moderate to challenging trek. The most challenging part of the route is day 2, when you hike up to the Salkantay Pass—reaching an altitude of 4,600 masl. It’s a 3-hour stretch and is challenging due to the uphill climb and the high altitude.

    Day 1 is relatively challenging in the afternoon during the hike up to Humantay Lake. Days 3 and 4 are much more manageable and are mainly downhill—you’ll cover more distance, though.

    It’s important to remember that most people would class any trek in Cusco relatively challenging due to the high altitude.

  • How Far Do We Walk Each Day?

    On average, you’ll walk around 7 hours a day, but day two will be longer and the most challenging. You can find the exact hiking times per day on our itineraries. Here’s a brief overview of how far you’ll walk each day on the Classic Salkantay 5 Days trek:

    • DAY 1 — 10 km / 6.21 mi
    • DAY 2 — 22 km / 13.67 mi
    • DAY 3 — 18 km / 11.18 mi
    • DAY 4 — 25 km / 15.53 mi
    • DAY 5 — No exact distance as you’ll be wandering around Machu Picchu at your own pace.
  • How Much Does the Salkantay Trek Cost?

    The price of the Salkantay Trek varies depending on who you travel with and what option you go for. Here’s a summary of how much each option costs when you travel with Salkantay Trekking. These prices are per person for a group tour.

    • SALKANTAY CHALLENGE 3 DAYS — $420 USD
    • SALKANTAY SHORT 4 DAYS — $470 USD
    • SALKANTAY CLASSIC 5 DAYS — $500 USD
    • SALKANTAY & INCA TRAIL 7 DAYS — $1100 USD
    • SALKANTAY IMPERIAL 8 DAYS — $800 USD
  • Can I Rent Equipment for the Salkantay Trek?

    For all of our treks, we provide you with accommodation and a sleeping mat. However, if you wish to hire more equipment, we do have certain items available.

    All our rentals are top-of-the-line equipment and can be booked in advance or at the briefing. Available rentals are:

    • A sleeping bag for -15°C and a sleeping bag liner.
    • Thermarest luxury air mattress.
    • Adjustable walking sticks.

    Of course, if you already have these pieces of equipment, you’re more than welcome to bring them along with you. Just remember to keep the weight restrictions in mind, of which you have 7kg per person.

  • How Can I Prepare Physically for the Trek?

    The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a relatively challenging trek, especially on the second day. The biggest challenge is the altitude, as you’ll be hiking up to 4,600 masl. You can expect to hike up to 10 hours some days, which can be very difficult at this height.

    For this reason, we recommend you prepare yourself physically to make the trek as enjoyable as possible and without much difficulty. So, what can you do pre-trek to be as well prepared as possible?

    • Before you leave home, include cardiovascular exercise, like going on regular hikes across varied terrain and over a few days.
    • Ensure you eat a healthy balanced diet to keep your body in top condition. On the trek, we’ll provide you with highly nutritious and varied meals to give you the energy you need each day.
    • Spend 2–3 days in Cusco to acclimate before the trek. If you don’t do this, you’ll have a much higher risk of suffering from altitude sickness while on the route, which could mean you have to stop and come back to Cusco.
    • Not so much physical, but ensuring you have worn-in hiking boots is a must. New shoes on the trek can cause a lot of unwanted pain.
  • Is Water Included on the Trip?

    Yes. You’ll need to ensure you have enough water to last the first morning, but after this, we’ll provide boiled water at every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The water is clean and safe to drink, so you don’t need to worry about that.

    You will need to bring your own water bottle or Camelbak to refill. We don’t recommend plastic bottles, as we believe in sustainable tourism and take great care of the route.

    If you do need extra water at any stage or any other drink, you’ll find the occasional shop or kiosk along the way that sells them—as well as snacks.

  • What Is the Food Like on the Trek?

    Many of our guests say that the food is one of the highlights of their trip. Our chefs are professionally trained and do an outstanding job of cooking up the most incredible food in the middle of the mountains.

    We understand how important nutrition is along the trail to give you the energy you need every day. This is why we’ve worked together with our trained chefs and nutritionists to put together the ultimate menu for the Salkantay Trek.

    At every meal, you’ll find there are a variety of options for you to choose from that incorporate all food groups with fresh, local ingredients.

    Do you suffer from any allergies or have a preferred diet? Don’t worry. As long as you let us know before your trek, we’ll ensure you eat just as well as everyone else and are well-nourished all the way.

    In addition to the amazing meals, we’ll provide you with a cloth bag and snacks to fill it with each day. You’ll also enjoy “tea time” at every camp around 5 pm every evening with a selection of hot drinks and snacks to keep you going til dinner.

    As you can see, you certainly won’t go hungry and will also get the chance to savor many local and traditional Peruvian dishes.

  • Do I Need to Bring Extra Money for the Trek?

    Despite the fact that everything is included and paid for in advance, you must take extra cash. We suggest 300 or 400 Peruvian soles. This is because, in rural parts of the country, there won’t be the option to pay in dollars.

    It’s highly likely that you won’t need this money, or at least not all of it. However, in case of an emergency, it’s always best to take plenty of cash.

    Perhaps you’ll find a certain part of the route especially challenging and would like to purchase a form of transport to help you to the next stop, including a car, horse, or train. On the 5-day Salkantay Trek, there are also some extra activities available, like the hot springs. You may also want to purchase extra drinks and snacks along the way.

  • Do I Need a Permit for the Salkantay Route?

    With the exception of our Salkantay & Inca Trail 7 Days, the Salkantay Treks do not require a permit. However, you do need to pay 10 soles upon entering, but this doesn’t require you to get a permit in advance.

  • Can I Do the Trek With Kids

    The Salkantay Trek is relatively challenging, which is why we don’t recommend you come on the trail with small children. If you do, you’ll likely be carrying them a majority of the way, which would make it extremely hard for you.

    Our recommendation is that the minimum age on the trail should be 12 years old. If your 12-year-old is active and fit, then they should be able to complete the trek.

  • Will I Have Wifi During the Trek?

    If you’re hoping to get in contact with friends and family back home, you’ll find we have WiFi available on the second and third nights of the Salkantay Trail. Please note that there’s an additional cost of 10 soles for the service.

    The fourth night will be spent in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, where you’ll also have access to WiFi.

  • Will I Be Able to Charge My Devices During the Trek?

    Yes. At each of our campsites, you’ll have the chance to charge your devices. However, not all of them have the facility to leave your device charging overnight.

  • Will I Have Access to Bathrooms Along the Trek?

    Yes. At each campsite, we have bathroom facilities. You’ll also find the occasional bathroom along the trek and at each lunch stop.

  • Will I Be Able to Have a Shower During the Trek?

    Yes. At all campsites, you’ll find showers. However, please note the following:

    • Soraypampa (1st Campsite): Cold showers. We don’t recommend using these as the air temperature is very cold.
    • Chaullay (2nd Campsite): Hot showers are available at extra cost.
    • Lucmabamba (3rd Campsite): Hot showers are available at extra cost.
    • Hotel in Aguas Calientes (4th Night): Hot showers are available at no extra cost.

    At the campsites, the facilities provided to us are those of local families, so there’s a ten soles fee to use the showers. On the last night in Aguas Calientes, you’ll be in a hotel, so there’ll be no extra charge.

  • Should I Rent an Extra Horse on the Trek?

    If you’re worried about the difficulty of the trek or the altitude affecting you, you have the option of renting an extra horse at a cost of $80 USD. However, it’s important to note that you’ll only be able to ride the horse during the first two days while you go uphill. On the first day, you’ll also be heading along a different route to the rest of the group if you opt for this.

    During the other days, there’ll be certain times when you can decide to take a car or train instead of walking if you need to.

    The extra horse does NOT need to be reserved in advance. You can decide there and then on day one if you’d like the horse to go uphill.

  • What Is the Difference Between the 4 and 5 Day Salkantay Treks?

    The main difference between the 4 and 5 day Salkantay treks is the slight variation with the trail and route.

    On the 5 day trek, you’ll get to hike along an original part of the Inca Trail to the Llactapata archaeological site. Doing this allows you the experience of hiking a section of the Inca Trail, visiting Llactapata, and admiring the Santa Teresa Valley and Machu Picchu from afar. You’ll also get the chance to visit the Cocalmayo hot springs at an extra cost.

    These parts of the trek aren’t available on the 4-day trek. You’ll also spend a night in Lucmabamba inside our Jungle Domes on the 5-day trek but not on the 4-day trek.

  • When’s the Best Time of Year to Trek Salkantay?

    The answer to this question varies depending on your preferences. If you want to visit Cusco during the dry season to enjoy a much lower chance of rain, then it’s best to come between May and October. The rest of the year rains most days and we can never guarantee a dry trek. June and July are the busiest months, so you’ll need to book well in advance. However, it’s also very cold during the nights at this time of year.

    On the other hand, you might not be too worried about the weather and would prefer to enjoy the trek without many other visitors. In this case, traveling during the wet season means there aren’t many people on the trail. Do keep in mind, though, that it’s closed during February.

    Overall, the best time of year to come is in May or October. The crowds aren’t too big, and the weather is generally nice. This way, you enjoy the best of both worlds.

  • Can I Join as a Solo Traveler?

    Yes, you can! Solo travelers join us almost daily for our treks. Just keep in mind that you’ll likely have to share the accommodation with another solo traveler of the same sex, of course. If you prefer to have a single hotel room, we can arrange it for you for an extra $20 USD.

  • What Will the Weather Be Like on the Salkantay Trek?

    The weather in Cusco and the surrounding areas is very unpredictable. This makes it impossible to tell you exactly what kind of weather you can expect in the trek. However, we can say for sure that the first night will be very cold, and it can sometimes go as low as 0°C.

    From then, each night will get warmer as you descend to a lower altitude and enter the edge of the Peruvian jungle.

    The rainy season in Peru is usually from the end of October to April, but there’s always the chance that it might rain. For this reason, we always recommend you take a rain jacket or poncho as protection.

Find the Perfect Destination in Peru

With astonishingly varied landscapes, stunning scenery, compelling history, and a legacy of fascinating cultures, there is truly something for everyone. Our expeditions in Peru are designed to showcase all that this country has to offer.

Our expeditions in Peru are designed to showcase all that this country has to offer.

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Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain of Cusco Peru half covered of snow

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Sky Camp Soraypampa. Peru Stargazing near between the Salkantay and Humantay Lake Mountains

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Ausangate trek, an adventure over the Andes of Peru with spiritual glaciars and lakes

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Travel Associations & Certifications

  • Logotype: CALTUR - Plan Nacional de Calidad Turística
  • Logotype: AATC - Asociación de Agencias de Turismo de Cusco
  • Logotype: SERNANP - Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado
  • Logotype: TOURCERT - Travel for Tomorrow
  • Logotype: DIRCETUR - Dirección Regional de Comercio Exterior y Turismo Cusco
  • Logotype: MINCETUR - Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo
  • Logotype: PERU BRAND - Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru