• Availability: Available now
  • Group size: 2-10
  • Tour Type: trekking/ experiential, adventurous
  • Max. Elevation: 4630 meters above sea level

Short Salkantay Trek by Llactapata

500 USD Per person

Short Salkantay Trek 4D/3N

If you only have 4 days for a trek to Machu Picchu and the spots for the classic Inca trail are already sold out, then this short hike on the Salkantay Trek is for you. National Geographic magazine chose the Salkantay Trek as one of the 25 best treks in the world. The difference between this short alternative and the Classic Salkantay Trek is that this, 4-day Salkantay hike to Machu Picchu does not offer you the possibility of camping at the Machu Picchu viewpoint.

The first day, you visit the Humantay lake and sleep very close to the snowy Salkantay. On the second day you reach the Salkantay Pass, which is the highest point of the entire trek, and descend into the cloud forest. The third day you hike via the Machu Picchu overlook and you see the most colorful birds of the entire Salkantay Trek.

Finally, Machu Picchu is visited, memorable photos are taken and a 3-hour guided tour in the lost city of the Incas is made. So now you know!, if your time is limited, this 4-day Salkantay trek is perfect for you and your loved ones.


Highlights of our Short Salkantay Trek

  • We will work hard to create a lifetime experience for you and your loved ones on this trip on the Short Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.
  • Our expert guides will lead you into the most panoramic spots of the Lake Humantay, Llactapata the Machu Picchu overlook and the lost city of the Incas.
  • We provide you with an emergency horse, in case you need a little push.
  • We provide you with an alpaca wool blanket and a hot water bladder.
  • Don´t lose the chance to hike via Llactapata and see Machu Picchu from the stunning overlook.
  • Be part of our social and environmental projects.
  • Our Classic Salkantay Trek by Llactapata has a fair and cheap price compared to other operators.
  • We prepare food for our hikers and team with 100% organic vegetables purchased from local producers.

Trip Overview of our Short Salkantay Trek

  • Trek Type: Trekking/hiking, scenic, cultural, informative and involving.
  • Good for: Those in moderate shape or better.
  • DifficultyChallenging.
  • Season: From March 1st to January 1st.

Day 1. Cusco – Challacancha – Soraypampa – Lake Humantay

  • Hiking distance: 6.2 miles/10 km (6-7 hours)
  • Campsite altitude: 3.900 meters above sea leve
  • Considered: Moderate to Difficult
  • Meals: Breakfast,snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner! All served as buffet
  • Weather: Cold and windy

IncaGo Expeditions will pick you up from your hotels at 4:30 am. and will drive you for 2 hours to our breakfast spot, in the Challacancha hamlet. After a delicious breakfast, our tour guide will introduce our cook and porters who will work hardly to create an unforgettable Salkantay Trek experience for us.  Challacancha is the starting point of our hike in the Short Salkantay Trek. We hike uphill for half an hour, until we reach an Inca irrigation channel. From where we will hike for three hours to the Soraypampa hamlet. This section is full of colorful and interesting plants and an imposing view of the Humantay snowy.

In Soraypampa we will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, take a nap and get ready to then hike up to the Humantay lake. The ascent is steep and lasts around 2 hours. Once at the teal Humantay lake, our guide will show us the best spots to have a panoramic view of the snowy mountain and Humantay. Our tour guide will share with us interesting info about the snow-capped mountains and the coloration of the lake.

Later in the afternoon, we will descend for an hour to our camp in Soraypampa hamlet, we will have a tea time where we will talk about the ups and downs of the first day in the short Salkantay trek and socialize in between all participants of the group. Then we will enjoy a delicious buffet dinner. At night the Soraypampa sky is very starry, that is why our guide will teach us about Inca constellations and southern hemisphere stars.

** The highlight of day one on the salkantay trek: is the blue-green Lake Humantay and a 360 degree view of a starry sky over the snow-capped peaks of Humantay and Salkantay.


First day map of the short Salkantay trek


Day 2. Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Wacraymachay – Chaullay.

  • Hiking distance: 14.25 miles/24 km (10-11 hours)
  • Hotel altitude: 3.000 meters above sea level
  • Considered: Challenging
  • Meals: Breakfast,snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner! All served as buffet
  • Weather: Warm and very humid

We will wake up around 4:30 am. with a cup of hot chocolate, after a few minutes our porters will give us a container with warm water to wash our faces and get up in a better way. After a nutritious breakfast, we will get ready to start with the most challenging day of the Salkantay Trek. We will hike uphill for 4 hours and 30 minutes to the Salkantay Pass, along this stretch we will be surrounded by a yellowish alpine grassland and an imposing view of the second highest snow-capped mountain in Cusco (Salkantay). Upon arrival at the mountain pass, our cook will hand us a cup of hot coffee and a sandwich to recharge our batteries.

After celebrating our conquest and taking spectacular postcard photos, we will begin to descend for 2 hours through a section surrounded by steep mountains and with a wide panorama of the Wacraymachay valley. Once we arrive at the Wayracmachay farmhouse, our porters will be waiting for us with a smile, a cold fruit juice and a delicious buffet lunch. To continue our Salkantay Trek experience, we will hike downhill for 3 and a half hours to the small town of Chaullay. In this section we will observe, how we leave the Andean mountains and enter the cloud forest of the Amazon jungle. This section will also give us the first opportunity to observe various varieties of orchids from the Salkantay trek.

Upon our arrival, the tents will already be set up, to rest after a long and exhausting day in Inca lands. In this camp we have the possibility to relax the muscles, since the local people rent hot showers. In the evening, we will enjoy tea time and a nutritious buffet dinner.

** You will hike the highest point of the Salkantay trek and you will glimpse one of the best mountain views of the planet.


Map of the second day in the short Salkantay trek


Day 3. Chaullay – Lucmabamba – Machu Picchu Overlook – Hidroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes

  • Hiking distance: 11.25 miles/24 km (7-8 hours)
  • Hotel altitude: 2.000 meters above sea level
  • Considered: moderate to difficult (there is not altitude sickness issues)
  • Meals: Breakfast,snacks, lunch, dinner! All served as buffet
  • Weather:  warm and very humid

After a nutritious Andean breakfast, we will board a van for 45 minutes to the town of Lucmabamba, from where we will hike the Inca trail to Llactapata. We will ascend for 3 hours through a path surrounded by coffee plantations, orange groves, banana plantations, in addition to panoramic views of the Santa Teresa valley; In the middle of the way, we will stop to enjoy for about 30 minutes, to play on the swings perched on the edge of a hill and that has a 360-degree view of the entire valley. Once we have reached the top, we will hike downhill for 30 minutes to the Inca ruin of Llactapata, located in front of Machu Picchu. According to previous hikers, this viewpoint of Machu Picchu is one of the highlights of the Salkantay Trek.

After enjoying the spectacular views of the Inca citadel, the Aobamba valley and the back of the Salkantay glacier, we will descend for 2 hours to Hidroelectrica. This trail is surrounded by many species of mosses, ferns and fungi. In Hidroelectrica, we will enjoy our last buffet lunch prepared by our expert cook and here, we will also say a small farewell to our team of porters. Later we will hike for 3 hours through a flat terrain to the town of Aguas Calientes. This section offers you an unbeatable opportunity to observe the most emblematic birds of the Salkantay Trek, among them: the cock of the rock, the Andean motmot, the great Andean toucan and the Andean guan to mention a few.

Aguas Calientes is the closest town to Machu Picchu and the place where we will spend the night in a 3-star hotel. At night we have dinner at a local restaurant, our guide will take advantage of this moment to plan the visit to Machu Picchu the next day.! Finally, we can say, the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is done¡


Third day map of the short Salkantay trek



Day 4 Aguas Calientes-Machu Picchu- Cusco

  • Meals included: Breakfast Only

In order to get well rested and have plenty of time to enjoy the views, pictures and guided tour at Machu Picchu; we suggest you to wake up by 5:00 in the morning, get ready, pack the essentials and take the bus from Aguas Calientes town to Machu Picchu citadel. This will be a ride of 30 minutes until reaching the Inca citadel at 6:15 am. more or less. Thus, you will have the chance to see the sunrise on this magnificent location. Your guide will give enough time to take pictures into the most beautiful spots of the Inca citadel, share information about this amazing Incan masterpiece and display you the most impressive details of Machu Picchu.

Then we take the bus back at more or less 12:00 pm. Down to Aguas Calientes to enjoy without rush our lunch. This lunch is optional and not included. At lunch, your guide will deliver out train tickets, so if you opt to skip this; please arrange to get these train tickets before leaving your tour guide at Machu Picchu citadel. Unless you requested for an upgraded train, we will book the Expedition class train departing Aguas Calientes at 3:20 p.m. or 4:22 p.m. This will be a 2-hour drive to Ollantaytambo or 4 hours to Poroy (this is based on which train you board). At Ollantaytambo or Poroy, an INCAS PATH driver will meet you and drive you back to Cusco, then we drop you off at the door of your hotel or the closest possible if there is not car access until your accommodation.


Map of the visit at Machu Picchu


** Our service is door to door.

Included on the Short Salkantay Trek

Professional local English speaker Guides: All our super leaders grew up in Cusco region and studied tourism for five years at Cusco’s university, they are friendly, funny charming, knowledgeable, professional and will care your safety into our Salkantay journey.

Permits:  As soon as we get your details and deposit, we will purchase your permits for the short Salkantay trek that also includes an entrance to Machu Picchu

Hotel: This tour includes one night in a three-star hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu. The hotel you book will be listed on your invoice, and upgrades are always available.

Briefing: The night before your trip, you will come to our office for your informative meeting. You will receive your duffle bag that will stay with your porters while you hike. This duffle bag should not exceed 7 kg / 14 pounds and should include your sleeping bag and air mattress.

Porters: We include a personal porter who is responsible for carrying your duffle bag and also our camping equipment and food to our basecamp. There is no additional cost for this. You will not have access to your duffle bag until you arrive at your camp in the afternoon.

Transportation: IncaGo Expeditions will be providing all transportation for this short Salkantay trek. You will be picked up from your hotel at 5 am. and brought to the trailhead. The train back from Aguas Calientes will be on the train called Expedition Class and will be included in your trip. Once you arrive at the train station, our van will take you back to your hotel in Cusco. In addition, we included your round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Food: Our Salkantay tour includes expert hiking chefs who will cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have loved. We honor all food restrictions, so be sure to add any that you have on your booking form and let us know. Food is typically all served as buffet.

Water: Starting from your first lunch until your last breakfast, we will provide you boiled, filtered, and then cooled water before distributing. You must bring personal water bottles and or a camelback. We advise you to bring a bottle or camelback of 1.5 litters, as being well hydrated is the key to feeling great in the mountains.

Details: We profess that it is the attention to small details that separates us from other travel agencies. Each hiker receives a small sleeping pillow, a foam mattress to insulate, a backpack cover to protect their belongings while hiking, an extra blanket, a bladder to refill with hot water for the cold nights and a rain poncho. We will work hard to create your best holiday.

First Aid: Every guide has got training in first aid from a clinic and firemen. We elaborate mandatory training sessions every February on the Salkantay trek, which every IncaGo Expedition tour guide must attend. Your tour leader is going to have always a first-aid kit for basic medical problems.

Not Included on the Short Salkantay Trek 

Rentals: Due we are hiking the 4-day salkantay trek ,each trekker needs a sleeping bag when camping. Inflatable air mattresses and trekking poles (with rubber tips). They are optional but encouraged for a better comfort. If you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent:

  • Sleeping Bag: $20
  • Inflatable Air Mattress: $15
  • Trekking Poles (Pair): $15

Additional options

Huayna Picchu

Is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 1-hour hike to the top. While this hike is on your own, your guide will show you the entry. Huayna Picchu is an additional entrance ticket that we must secure for you with advance. The ticket is $75 per person.

Machu Picchu Mountain

Is the other mountain that stands above the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. As Huayna Picchu it offers also spectacular views, this extra hike takes 3-hour round trip. This is an additional entrance ticket that we must secure for you in advance. This ticket is $75 per person.

Vistadome Train 

Our 5 day Salkantay trek includes the Expedition train class. This train is always booked at 3:20 or 4:22 pm. departing from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. There is also the Vistadome train class, which is an upgraded train that offers slightly larger seats and windows, some entertainment and snack. Usually, the Vistadome train is booked for 4:43 p.m. and goes to Poroy, a train station 30 minutes close to Cusco. As this is an upgraded fee, we will still include your transportation back to your hotel. The ticket is $40 per person.

Extra day at Machu Picchu

You will have from 6 am to 12 pm. to enjoy Machu Picchu (it is not possible to be all day in Machu Picchu due to the new protection regulations developed by the Peruvian state), arriving at the citadel around 6 a.m. and leaving no later than 12 p.m. to take your train at 3:20 or 4:22 pm. If you also want to have a guided tour again the next day in Machu Picchu, we can also organize it.

  • The entrance ticket to Machu Picchu is $ 55 per person.
  • The round trip bus ticket between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu is $ 25 per person.


We would love to tour the short salkantay trek with you and your loved ones and take care of immortalizing your visit to Machu Picchu. We can leave any day from March to January as the sakantay trail is always available.

Group Price (2020):

  • $500 per person

Private Tour:

Private tours are available and priced by party size.

  • 2 Trekkers: $530 per person
    3 Trekkers: $525 per person
    4 Trekkers: $520 per person
    5 Trekkers: $515 per person
    6 Trekkers: $510 per person
    7 Trekkers: $505 per person
    8 or more Trekkers: $500 per person



We include a three (3) star hotel and we utilize, Retama Machu Picchu, Inti Punku Machu Picchu Hotel & Suites, or Waman Hotel Machu Picchu (based on availability at booking). Rooms are based on double or triple occupation, and there is a single room surcharge of $50 US per person if you book lonely. Rooms all include private bathrooms with hot showers,breakfast and wifi. We could also upgrade your hotel if you like better something more luxurious. Please remind the service in Aguas Calientes is not as good as in Cusco. Below there is a list of  potential upgrade choices, If you want any other hotel, just let us know

  • El Mapi:  +$80 US pp shared (+$160 for a single)
  • Sumaq : +$220 US pp shared (+$380 for a single)

Solo travelers:

  • + $ 50 US per person

For those who want a single room or travel alone, there is a $ 50 room charge to cover the total cost of the room. We do not join hikers alone in a double room. This covers three star hotels and will be more expensive for improved hotels.

Student Discount:

  • – $ 25 discount per person

Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid International Student Card (ISIC) at the beginning of the hike or who is 17 years old or younger. For those who use an international student card or for children under 17, we need to see a copy of their card or passport at the time of booking to receive the discount of  Machu Picchu.

Please send everything to info@cuscodigital.com

Packing list

This short salkantay trek, includes porters who will carry all your duffle bag while you hike. We suggest you to carry lightweight backpack that the is key to feeling good during this trip to Machu Picchu.


  • Original Passport.
  • STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student).
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru).
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better).
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbacks are encouraged – but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles) remember that the short salkantay trek is entirely dirt soil.


For Your Duffel: Our porters will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air mattress.


  • 4 wicking t-shirts.
  • 2 hiking pants.
  • 4 sets of undergarments.
  • 4 sets of hiking socks.
  • 1 Fleece and 1 down jacket; it gets cold at night.
  • 1 Rain jacket and rain pants /rain poncho.
  • 1 sun hat.
  • 1 wool hat.
  • Headlamp: essential.
  • Hiking boots.
  • Comfortable shoes for camp.
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might bring a towel a little larger.
  • Bathing suit.
  • Battery Charger: There is no place to plug, on the salkantay trek!
  • Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep away clean clothes from dirty clothes.
  • Earplugs in case someone from the group snores.
  • Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least.


  • Sunscreen.
  • Face moisturizer.
  • Bug spray.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Toothbrush and paste.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Personal medication.
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.


Inside Your Daypacks:

Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25 litters will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside in the Machupicchu check point. Some items are listed below

  • Sunhat.
  • Rain gear.
  • Fleece.
  • Camera.
  • Music (IPhone).
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste.
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips.

Where do we pick up the hikers for the 4 day Salkantay Trek ?

Pick up will be from your hotel at 4:30 a.m. Please provide clear contact information of your place of accommodation when approaching our office in Cusco.

Where to pay the remaining amount for the Short Salkantay Trek?

Most hikers arrive in Cusco 2 or 3 days before the Salkantay hike for proper acclimatization. Once you are in Cusco it is imperative that you come to our office to review the last details of your excursion and also pay the remaining amount of your tour.

Reserve for the Short Salkantay Trek?

We try to make the booking as easy as possible in IncaGo Expeditions. We prepare a reservation form where you will complete and include all the details for the excursion, and then a deposit of $ 200 per person. Once we have all the deposits and details, we will reserve your permits. Once the Machu Picchu permits are in our hands, we will send you your invoice and confirmation that everything is 100% organized. All excursions once confirmed, are guaranteed.

Permissions for the Short Salkantay Trek?

Only tour operators licensed by the government, such as IncaGo Expeditions, can obtain the corresponding permits from the government. Once we have obtained your Machu Picchu permits, the name and start date cannot be changed under any circumstances. The only information that the government allows us to change are passport numbers.

Passport Number Update?

The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new passport and the old passport. If you no longer have your old passport, any identification document that you have in your hands will be accepted while the name is the same as in your passport.

Where to stay in Cusco?

You can stay in a hotel that you consider convenient, however you must have the account of the location of the hotel because the traffic within the city has become stressful in the last 5 years. Many roads are up to 100 years old; Especially near the main square the roads are only for pedestrians. We will notify you if it is not possible to pick you up by car from your hotel and coordinate another nearby pick-up point. For a list of recommended hotels, consult your IncaGo Expeditions sales representative.

Can I stay in the sacred valley?

Not, as the driving route to get the trailhead does not go through the sacred valley of the incas.

Can I stay an additional night in Machu Picchu town or Aguas Calientes?

Of course, if you agree to take the same train from Aguas Calientes that is part of your original itinerary, which is usually at 3.20 or 4:22 pm, then there is no additional charge for the train to be booked one day. after. If you need us to insure your hotel or another visit to Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain this will have an additional cost. If you decide to spend another night in Aguas Calientes, be sure to inform IncaGo Expeditions office at least one month in advance, so that your train ticket is purchased for the correct day.

Can I book my hotel on my own in Aguas Calientes?

You can choose any hotel to stay in Aguas Calientes. It is a small and very safe town. If you decide to book your hotel, be sure to tell us where you plan to stay so we can take you there safely.

During the trip, how challenging is the Short Salkantay Trek?

Remember that this hike, it is challenging because you will climb one very high mountain pass; if rains, the dirt soil path could be muddy (don´t worry if you have good hiking boots) also on the last three days in the the Salkantay trek is humid and hot all the time, so it will be exhausting but it will be worth it when you arrive at Machu Picchu, and so you will take your so awaited postcard pictures and will learn all the most interesting details about Machu Picchu

Will I need extra money on the 4-day Salkantay trek?

Of course, if you want to buy some type of drinks, snacks, along the way or reminders in the citadel of Machu Picchu or go to the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes, take about 400 soles or if you do not want to take cash with you there are ATMs in Aguas Calientes and You can also make almost any payment using your credit or debit card, «also remember that along the days of hiking into the Salkantay trek just cash is accepted».

How many people will be in my group on the Short Salkantay Trek?

We require a minimum of 2 people for our tour, and if you are traveling alone, we invite you to join our groups that start each day. We can have up to 8 hikers with a guide and if our groups are between 9 and 16 people, we have 2 accredited guides with a lot of experience in treks in the Andes. During the low season it is most likely that the groups are small and during the high season the groups are probably much larger.

Do you need hiking boots for the 4-day Salkantay trek?

We always recommend hiking boots, since if it rains a little the path  can become a bit muddy and slipery. Please make sure they have good soles.

Are trekking poles really necessary on the Short Salkantay Trek?

For this trek to Machu Picchu, we recommend the use of trekking poles for everyone, especially for those passengers with knee problems or older people. There are several sections during the tour where you will need to use the walking sticks, either climbing or descending the dirt soil path. 

Are there any toilets along the short Salkantay Trek?

Along the path there are 3 places that has toilet. Firstly at the hiking start, then at lunch spot and at basecamp. Please carry a roll of toilet paper in your daypack.

Can I use plastic botles during the Short Salkantay Trek?

Due to New government regulations for the Salkantay trek it will be 100% BANNED to BRING PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES. We kindly suggest you getting your aluminum plastic bottles to avoid any disappointment at the check points along the Salkantay trek and in the Machu Picchu citadel.

Aluminum water bottles can be bought in many different shops around the main square.

If you are still at home and ready to fly to Peru for your trek, we recommend you bringing aluminum water bottles or camel bags.

Where do I store my luggage?

All luggage not necessary for the hike must remain in Cusco. All hotels are very helpful and are quite accustomed to storing luggage of their guests, or if you wish you can store it safely with our customer service team in our office storage

What should I expect from the weather on the Short Salkantay Trek?

Historically in the Peruvian highlands, we have the dry season that goes from April to October and the rainy season that goes from November to March. Unfortunately, this pattern is changing a bit due to climate change. Be ready with your cap/hat and your bottle of sunscreen, because the solar radiation in Cusco during the day fluctuates between 16 and 18 points. And do not forget to bring warm clothes for the cold at night, since the temperature can drop as low as 0 ° C degrees Celsius.

Can Incas Path please my dietary needs? What kind of food will there be?

For us it is an honor to please all kinds of dietary needs, just let us know at the time of booking. If you are vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant or any type of allergies, we have a team of chefs with a lot of experience in the preparation of all types of diets on the Salkantay trek. Also remember that we want to pamper you during your trip to Machu Picchu and for that reason we use 100% organic vegetables for the elaboration of our buffets.

What type of outlet is used in Cusco and Machu Picchu?

Most hotels and even homes in Peru now have the standard US output and also that of South America.

What is the standard procedure when it comes to tip?

Tipping is part of the tradition of any trip to Machu Picchu and, although we pay good salaries to our entire team, we always appreciate any extra appreciation. Keep in mind that this is not mandatory and that you should never feel pressured for this reason.

In general, participants in a group show their appreciation as a group for their porters and chef and a personal appreciation towards their tour guide, which will be according to their degree of satisfaction with the service provided.