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5 Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - Private Service

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 01-02-2023


The 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu takes you hiking close to glaciers and passing beneath the magnificent Apu Salkantay mountain (6240m / 20,472 ft), before descending into the tropical cloud forest of Santa Teresa on your way to Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Trek is one of the most popular ways to get to Machu Picchu. Less famous than the iconic Inca Trail, yet passing through the same terrains, many say the Salkantay is just as beautiful as the Inca Trail! For these reasons, many people looking for a multi-day Machu Picchu trek, choose the Salkantay Trek.  Read on for more information about The Private 5 day salkantay Trek!


Apu Salkantay


The Trek

The Salkantay trekking route offers a greater opportunity for solitude on this busy trail, especially when you book the private service, before connecting with Aguas Calientes and a visit to the magnificent Machu Picchu. This Salkantay trekking route really has it all! From impressive mountain vistas, to tropical vegetation a variety of wildlife species, and fascinating Inca ruins.
We offer this trekking experience as a private experience which means that you decide how many people will be in your group, and no other travelers will join your group. The Salkantay Trek is the second most popular trek in the Cusco region. You will admire snow-capped mountains, a turquoise lake called the Humantay Lagoon, and pass through the cloud forest and the Peruvian jungle, making this one of the most beautiful and interesting treks in all of Peru.


Mules on the Trek


The Salkantay Trail holds historical significance, and like the Inca Trail, was a route the Incas once took to get to Machu Picchu. The main difference is that the Salkantay Trek is through the mountains reaching nearly 5,000m above sea level, whereas the Inca Trail is walking on ruins much of the way. It is said that the Salkantay Trek was the route that religious leaders took to get to Machu Picchu because the high elevations that brought them “closer to god.”
The Salkantay Trek is named after the mountain that the trail passes, Salkantay Mountain. It isn’t just this mountain you’ll see on the hike though as the trail offers varying landscapes including glaciers and tropical Andean forests.


Humantay Lake

Difficulty Level


The Salkantay Trek is best suited for those who enjoy hiking. Day 2 is the most challenging day that takes most people around 9 hours. It climbs 600 meters in elevation and then descends 1,780 m over 22 kilometers. This is a full day of hiking which is also rewarding and beautiful. it is always a good idea to acclimatize in Cusco for a couple of days before the trek. The trek is of a similiar level as The Inca Trail, with one big pass to climb, but remember, you are in a private service so there is no hurry!


Salkantay Trekking Route

Extra Activities


The hot springs at Santa Teresa. Here, you can soak your sore muscles for a couple of hours for only a couple of extra dollars. Perfect after a hard days´ trekking!

You can also enjoy ziplining. Santa Teresa has some excellent ziplining lines over the tree canopies of the cloud forest.

This trek also includes a visit to the Llactapata Ruins. In the Quechua language, Llaqta means the place, referring to a village, town, city, country, nation, and pata means elevated place, above a river bank Llactapata   is located in the Cusco Region Santa Teresa District, high on a ridge between the Ahobamba and Santa Teresa basins.  It appears to be the site originally reported by Hiram Bingham with the same name. Although the site was little explored by Bingham, it was more extensively explored and mapped by the Thomson and Ziegler expedition of 2003.




Advantages of a Private Salkantay Trek


The Private Salkantay Trek allows you not only to walk at your own pace, but you can stop whenever you want to rest or take photos, and the guide will judge which campsites to stay at. There are always departures for your preferred date, as there are no permits required for The Salkantay Trek and you can take part in the zipline or the hot springs along the way, for the time you like! What are you waiting for?


Salkantay Peak


Book the Private Salkantay Trek here!