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Challenge Salkantay Trek 3 Days

A wonderful trekking for well-trained trekkers; our 3-day "Challenge Salkantay Trek" takes you to Machu Picchu Inca citadel in a hard adventure

Challenge Salkantay Trek is rated as moderate to difficult adventure; it is suitable for those who wish to experience high Andes within a short span of time. Commencing from the Soraypampa Valley; it passes through high mountain pass to Machu Picchu with amazing views of snow-capped mountains and spectacular views of valleys beneath

Our Challenge Salkantay Trek; is one of the shorter treks to Machu Picchu designed for well-trained trekkers; and for those interested in authentic views of the Andes and the iconic Machu Picchu. This trek is situated in the National park of Machu Picchu in the southern Peru. The Challenge Salkantay Trek is a good trek offering cultural insights such as the Inca ruins along the trail and the Popular Machu Picchu declared recently as the new wonder of the world. The trek also offers a natural insights lake the splendid views of the Vilcabamba mountain range from which the Salkantay mountain (6,271m) is the highest. The trek also offers the great views of the two deepest canyons of the region: the Urubamba and the Apurimac.

3 Days / 2 Nights

From Cusco to Cusco
$ 470 Per Person
  • All Included


Trip Style

4650 M. / 15255 FT.

Max. Altitude




Activity Level

Trip Details:

  • DURATION: 3-Days/ 2- Nights
  • STARTING POINT: Pick up at 3:00 am From the hotel in Cusco.
  • ENDING POINT: Drop off in Cusco at the main square around 9:00 pm, If you tell us, in advance, we can drop you at your hotel.
  • DEPARTURE: The date that better suit you.
  • TOTAL, TREKKING DISTANCE: 45 km / 27 ml.
  • MAXIMUM ALTITUDE: 4650 m / 15228 ft.
  • ACCOMMODATIONS: 1-night camp and 1-night hotel.
  • MACHU PICCHU:  Entrance ticket included


  • “Scenic drive from Cusco to Soraypampa Valley with awesome panorama of mountains with view of Salkantay Mt. Within world heritage sites at Machu Picchu National park enriched with lovely Andean forest
  • Explore traditional farm villages and Mysteries Inca settlements along the trail where our guide will explain you the Inca culture.
  • Enchanting pristine forest filled with Andean, tropical and sub-tropical trees.
  • Experience the dawn at Machu Picchu and enjoy an informative tour.

At a glance:

  • DAY 1: Cusco | Mollepata – Soraypampa – Salkantaypass – Chaullay
  • DAY 2: Chawllay | Sawayaco – Santa Teresa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes
  • DAY 3: The Most Important Day – Machu Picchu!

Why book with us?

  • Stay within reach of select eco-lodges and our exclusive private campsites with stand-up tents, thick mattresses and pillows.
  • Enjoy three hearty meals each day freshly prepared by our dedicated kitchen team. Drinking water included in the walk.
  • Hike at a good pace led by experienced Tour Guides trained in nature first aid, equipped with a group medical kit and a portable Oxygen bottle.

Why Trekking Salkantay?

  • Salkantay Trail is listed as one of the 25 best trekking dstination in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine.
  • Trekking at Salkantay is definitely one of the best trekking adventures you will find in Peru and South American.
  • After Classic Inca Trail, Salkantay trek is the second most popular trek to Machu Picchu (and much less crowded).
  • Hikers can see natural bridges, snowy mountains, colorful valleys, waterfalls, wildlife, unique plants, and a cloud forest.
  • Camping with fewer people allows you to be in control of your own trip and have the best views of these amazing mountains!


DAY 1: A Challenging day:  Cusco – Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass – Chawllay

At 3:00 our car will pick you up from your Hotel in Cusco where you have to be ready with all your equipment, documents and small backpack. We’ll transfer you to Soraypampa; It will take around 3 hours by car, the place where the Challenge Salkantay Trek begins. Once in Soraypampa, you will join our group for breakfast and then prepare for the 20 kilometer trek. Around 7:00 a.m., the hike begins to the highest point 4650m. After 3:30 hours of walking you’ll reach the top where you’ll be rewarded by splendid views of the Salkantay mountain. Once at the top you have the opportunity to make an offering for the APUS (Andean gods). Your Guide will explain you all of that.

After that we begin the descent to reach 2900 m / 9510 ml at all 15 km of descent. You will do this in two sections. The first section will be from the summit to the lunch point, which lasts around 2 hours, then, after lunch, 3 more hours to the camp called Chawllay. On the way you will enjoy the different types of landscapes such as glacier mountains, lagoons, Rocky Mountains, grassy hills, when you approach the camp you will be in the tropical zone. Once at camp, to relax if you wish, you can enjoy cold beers while the cooks prepare the time and the delicious dinner.

DAY 2: Trekking in the tropical zone: Chawllay – Santa Teresa – Hidroecetrica – Aguas Calientes.

The hike of the second day is mainly through the tropical zone known as the “eyebrow of the jungle”. The wake up time is at around 6:00 a.m. with a cup of coca tea, then we offer you a delicious breakfast. Around 7:00 a.m., we’ll begin walk to the village of “Sahuayaco” which will last for approximately 5 hours along the Santa Teresa valley, which is formed by the Salkantay river. Throughout the valley you have the opportunity to see a plantation of coffee, bananas, avocados, coca, passion fruit and more. From Sahuayaco, we’ll take local transportation for one hour to Santa Teresa village, where you will stop for lunch and then continue by car for 45 more minutes to Hidroeléctrica and then walk 3 more hours along the railway to the town of Aguas Calientes on the flat road. Then we take you to the hotel to take a shower and relax, at night around 7:00 p.m. We organize a dinner at a restaurant in the town of Aguas Calientes.

DAY 3: The main day: Explore Machu Picchu and return to Cusco.

The goal of this tour is to visit the Inca Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Today get up at around 4:30 a.m. and get your breakfast in the hotel, then leave your belongings in the storage of the hotel and with necessary things be ready at 5:00 a.m. From the hotel walk five minutes to the busstop and take the bus for 35 minutes up to Machu Picchu entrance where you must show your passport and Machu Picchu entrance. Then you’ll receive 2 -3 hours of informative tour after that you’ll have a short free time within Machu Picchu and return by Bus to the town of Aguas Calientes wher you can enjoy your lunch and wait for you train that leave in between 3 – 4 pm and return to Cusco.

What is included for 3-Day Challenge Salkantay Trek?

In the price are included the following items:

  • PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION: you will meet your guide in our office to get an orientation before your hike. The guide will see if you have all necessary things for the trek and If you have some questions or doubts you can clarify here. Here also, we will provide you with one duffle bag per person that our horses will carry. The meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. the day before the start of the trip.
  • TRANSPORTATION: We will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and travel by private transportation to the zone of Soraypampa, the starting point of the trek.
  • EXPERIENCED GUIDE: Official English speaking tour guide, professionally trained. Your guide will explain the culture and the surrounding area along the route, even guiding your group through ancient ceremonies! He will keep you safe, healthy and comfortable during your walk so you can enjoy your time worry-free.
  • ACCOMMODATION: One-night camping and one-night in the hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes.
  • CAMPING EQUIPMENT: dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs and kitchen equipment (all carried by horses).
  • Entrance to the Salkantay Trail
  • Entrance ticket to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu
  • BUS TICKETS: Two bus tickets (Up and down) From the town of Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
  • HOSTEL IN AGUAS CALIENTES: The last night of this trek is spent in a hostel in Aguas Calientes with a double or triple room, private bathroom, hot water shower, wifi, breakfast and luggage storage while visiting Machu Picchu.
  • 1 DUFFEL BAG: You can put your personal luggage, up to 7 kg (15.4 lbs), including your sleeping bag, in this bag for our horses to carry.
  • PACK MULES: On Day 1, pack mules carry all camping equipment and their permitted personal luggage (7 kg / 15.4 lbs). On day 2, your luggage will be transported by car or train to your destination.
  • TREKKING COOK: with an assistant, will prepare all your delicious meals throughout the trip – You will never be hungry!
  • MEALS: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners (vegetarian, vegan or special menus available at no additional cost)
  • TEA TIME: On the first afternoon before dinner, cooks will provide you with popcorn, cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, tea, hot water, etc. After a long day of walking, you won’t have to wait until dinner to relax, warm up and grab a bite!
  • SNACKS: Our snacks consist of local fruits, cookies, chocolate, candy, etc. We will give you this snack at the beginning of each day in its cloth bag.
  • MEDICAL KIT: our team will bring a first aid kit, which includes an emergency oxygen cylinder
  • TRAIN TICKETS: From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (“Expedition” service with Peru Rail between 15:00 and 18:20). Subject to availability.
  • TRANSPORTATION: private transportation from the Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco (day 3)
  • 24-HOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE: We have a 24-hour telephone service to facilitate communication and preparation with the agency that leads your walk.
  • We will create for you a memorable experience for a lifetime.

Not included in the price:

  • Sleeping bags: (you can rent from our company), our sleeping bags are -18 ° C-comfort (0 ° F), mummy-shaped. They are cleaned after each use.
  • Last day: lunch in the town of Aguas Calientes.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Tips for our staff: Please note that our agency staff is well paid, so feel free to tip or not to tip.
  • Additional costs or delays caused by uncontrolled management

EXTRAS that we can arrange for you

  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountai. USD 35 per person
  • Walking pole USD 10 For one pair

Important information for 3-day Challenge Salkantay Trek

The following information will help you with any questions you may have about this trip

How is this trip?

The 3-day Challenge Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a great alternative trek to Classic Inca Trail and is best suited for more adventurous hikers who can handle higher altitudes and longer distances.  The hardest part of the trip is to reach the famous Apacheta Pass at 4650 masl – 15088 fts; but it is not too strenuous, since it is at the beginning of the trek, it is not very steep, but it requires resistance and a time in Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude before starting this trek.

The Briefing:

All informational sessions are held in our office at 6.30 p.m. the day before your walk. If you can’t make this time, you should coordinate another time with a member of our office team. The briefings last between 30 and 45 minutes and you will receive your duffel bags.

The duffle bags:

The day before your walk, you will receive a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next days. Its allowed weight is up to 7 kg / 15.4 lbs; this duffle bags will be carried by our horses together with the food and camping equipment. It is important to know that you will NOT have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day as riders and horses will always be ahead of the group. During the trip, you need a day pack large enough to carry your personal items such as a warm jacket, raincoat, camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Generally, a 30-40-liter backpack is appropriate.


“SPT Tour Operator”, is one of the few companies that picks you up directly from your hotel. While your hotel is in the center of the city of Cusco, we will coordinate this collection according to the time that your guide will discuss during the briefing Time. Collection times can vary from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions and previous collections.

Cusco is an old town with cobbled streets and very narrow passages. Small hotels are often found on streets that cars can’t cross. They are also frequently found on slopes with long and steep climbs, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with better and easy access.

How to book this trek?

To make a reservation, email us to check availability and receive personalized reservation forms. However, we’ll require the following information:

  • Personal information (full name, exactly as in your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • Date of birth (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • nationality

Returning to Cusco:

Leaving Machu Picchu requires a lot of logistics, all of which is included in your visit.

  • From Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, you will take a 25-minute bus to the town. Buses are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and operate throughout the day.
  • You will take a train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. Your guide will give you your train tickets with the train schedule. Be sure to get to the platform 30 minutes early.

           * The train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes 2 hours.

  • Once at the station, look for a man with an “SUNRISE PERU TREK” sign or with your name. Then he will take you to the Plaza de San Francisco, Cusco

            * The trip by van from Ollantaytambo to the nearby Plaza de San Francisco takes 2 hours

  • Once you arrive near the Plaza de San Francisco, you will be separated into separate prepaid taxis and returned to your hotel.

Our effort:

Our trek is managed by a team of professionally trained leaders / guides who are responsible for all aspects of the trek operation. We will do our best to maintain the Trek as the suggested itinerary, but since this is an adventure trip to a remote area of ​​the Andes, we cannot guarantee it! The climatic and health conditions of the member of the trekking team can be a factor for us to change the route. The manager will try to make sure the trip goes accordingly, but be prepared to be flexible when necessary. Please note that flights to and from Cusco are highly dependent on weather conditions and delays may occur. Therefore, we always recommend that you spend an additional one or two nights in Cusco after your Salkantay Trek, which would ensure that there is no impact on your international flight, even if your trip is delayed due to the flight problem. If all goes well according to plan, you can use these days for additional tours in Cusco.

Trekking group:

Machu Picchu is full of offers to make it a year-round travel destination. Based on this fact, many international tourists incorporate Machu Picchu into their ideal travel itinerary. For this trek at 3-day Challenge Salkantay Trek, in our trek group there will be a trek leader, Cook, Horseman and horses for each group, but we provide a second guide if the group is over 8 persons. In general, in our group, the minimum number of tourists will be two and the maximum group size is ten. We say that 10 people is our maximum for the walk does not mean that we do not operate more than 11 people, we do it on request. However, it is good to keep the group size limit, which means that we can provide the best services and take care of our valued clients while traveling with us.

Physical demands:

Hikers who plan to travel to the Andes mostly need three basic elements of preparation: aerobic, strength, and mental. Aerobic conditioning is important especially because you will be hiking in the air, up to 50% less than at sea level. With good aerobic conditioning, you can minimize the possible effects of the disease. high altitude mountains (AMS). Walking for at least two hours a day with a little weight on your back is the best way to prepare for trekking in the Andes. Running, biking (outdoors or stationary), Nordic walking, rock climbing, or any other exercise that puts your heart rate in the aerobic range for extended periods of time. Every day you will walk through the for approximately 6-8 hours and will reach the highest point at 4650m. Health is therefore an essential part of your adventure trip. Before booking a trip with us, we suggest that you consult your doctor and, in his references, proceed to book your trip.

Our leaders and Trekking staff:

The role of your Trek Leader is to ensure that all aspects of the journey go smoothly. He will share his local knowledge, advice on how to fill his free time, and coordinate the daily flow of the tour, although sometimes he may need your understanding if things don’t go as planned. If you have any problems during the visit, please inform your Trek Leader so that steps can be taken to correct it. We are a well stabilized adventure company and we have hired a professional trekking leader. We also provide training to our staff increasing their efficiency at work. And our guides are intimately familiar with all the local breeds and customs along the trails and will share with you a wealth of cultural knowledge that is not covered in any guide. You will have a good opportunity to learn, cultural things and more on your walk.

Travel Insurance:

To be properly protected in terms of insurance, you will need specialized travel insurance to participate in dangerous activities. A travel insurance policy that covers evacuation, trip cancellation, personal injury, death, loss of luggage, theft, liability, medical treatment and expenses is highly recommended. Make sure the insurance covers all the activities you will do during your stay in Peru.

Permits and fees:

In Peru, most need permits and fees to enter some areas, such as World Heritage Sites, National Park, Restricted areas like Salkantay Trail and Machu Picchu. All travel prices include the cost of the relevant permits and entrance fees. In case of such conditions, we will inform you if necessary of the additional permit fees before making a reservation with us.

Meals and accommodation:

During the Salkantay Trek, we provide good quality food in sufficient quantity. We offer all full board meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea and coffee. When hiking 3-day Challenge Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, accommodation is one night in camping tent and one night in hotel in the in town of Aguas Calientes with very comfortable facilities.

What to bring for the Trek?

We recommend the following items:

  • Original Passport
  • Small Backpack (30lts) to carry water, snacks, camera, sunscreen, valuables, jacket, etc.
  • Sleeping bag of at least 5 cº. If you DO NOT have one, you can rent us for $ 10.
  • Wool hat
  • Sun hat
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • 2-3 shirts, if you have better long sleeves
  • layers (sweater, fleece)
  • 2 pairs of long pants if you have leggings, you can make it over leggings
  • Mountain boots
  • 2-3 pairs of wool socks
  • A rain jacket (pants, jacket, if you don’t have one you can buy a rain poncho) this is crucial especially for the rainy season.
  • A small towel
  • Shorts.
  • Sunglasses.
  • A little lighthouse.
  • Water bottle.
  • Toothbrush and other toiletries.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Insecticide.
  • Sandals and flip flops.
  • Swimsuits.
  • If you have thermal clothing, you can take it with you, which is not so important, you will wear it at least during the first night, which is 4000 m.
  • Certain snacks like chocolate, granola bars, candy, nuts, energy bars, etc.
  • Extra money in soles (300)
  • Remember that we provide you with a duffel bag so that you can pack 7 kilos of luggage that will be transported by horses. You will receive the duffle bag the day before the walk, the day of the briefing.

To inquire about the availability for 3-day Challenge Salkantay Trek, contact us to and we will send you detailed information, prices, terms and conditions.

Please note that there are available discounts for groups. All our tours are fully guaranteed, departure every day. Contact us for more information of the tour you choose or to start customizing your own itinerary.

“SPT Tour Operator”, is an authorized travel agency located in the city of Cusco (Local tour operator); we really know what we do and offer, we are well managed with long list of travel destinations, offering all Peru travel alternatives, family trips, honeymoon and luxury trips, including adventure trips and jungle exploration trips, for almost any budget.

NOTE: “SPT Tour Operator”, specializes in organizing the perfect travel plan for Peru, with the hotels and destinations you choose, since we all have promotional and confidential rates. Find out how to organize your personalized package. Please write to us.


A typical day for Challenge Salkantay Trek

You will be woken up with a cup of tea in your store around 6.30 a.m., followed by a small bowl of warm water to wash. Before breakfast, put your gear in your duffle bag and go to enjoy your breakfast; it is carried by horses and you won’t have access until it arrives to the next camp. After a healthy breakfast, we’re usually on the trail around 7:00 a.m. Depending on the duration and nature of the day’s walk. We’ll walk for about 7-8 hours, then generally rest for lunch for about 1 hour. Some of our employees will walk forward and select an appropriate place to stop. The afternoon walk is usually a bit shorter and the camp is generally arriving between 3:30 p.m. -4:30 p.m. Once we get to camp and the kitchen is ready, afternoon tea will be brewed. From there until dinner, it’s time to rest or explore the surroundings. Dinner is generally served between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Don’t forget to bring your flashlight and your water bottles in the dining room tent so they can be filled with boiling water. Trekking the nights give you some of the best memories of your walk, be it talking, playing cards, Chat with the crew or join the song and dance with the locals. A lot of The enjoyment of an expedition is on the journey itself.

Challenge Salkantay Trek Map

Challenge Salkantay Trek

Trek Location

Why book this trip?

What will you see along the 3-day Challenge Salkantay Trek?

Challenge Salkantay Trek
Challenge Salkantay Trek
Challenge Salkantay Trek

Video for 3-day Challenge Salkantay Trek


This is a difficult question to answer since Peru has a variety of conditions. The best time is the dry season from May to November, and this is usually the period we recommend. But the walks are open all year.

While traveling through the Andes in Peru, some people will experience certain effects. If you plan to hike the Salkantay Trail, we recommend that you arrive 2-3 days before begins to trek to acclimatize; while that you can take day trips to Cusco.

Please, it is very important to fill the blanks in the attached reservation form, we’ll send you an email with true and updated information so that we can make your reservations with the correct and appropriate information

The briefing is very important because that is when you will meet your guide. At this meeting, your guide will provide you with important details about the hike. If you participate in Challenge Salkantay Trek, you will receive a duffle bag for your personal belongings

If you are concerned about the walk, you have the option of hiring an additional horse. The cost is US $ 60.00. You can only ride the first day; from Soraypampa (3800m) to the pass (4,650m) which is the hardest part of the Challenge Salkantay Trek.

Our guides are trained in case of illness. Unfortunately, it is illegal for us to provide you with altitude medicine, but we do our best to help you feel better in other ways. For example, we often make coca tea and the guides carry oxygen bottles with them. If you feel bad, you have the option to return to Cusco and join your group in the town of Aguas Calientes so as not to miss Machu Picchu. However, this will incur significant additional costs. You also have the option of using other means of transportation throughout the trek, such as: cars, horses and trains for a much lower cost.