3-Day Salkantay Trek Express: Journey to Machu Picchu

A Compact Trekking Experience Unveiling the Mysteries of the Andes and Machu Picchu

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Cusco, Peru


3 Days




Year Round

Tour type



Step into a world of ancient trails and stunning vistas with our 3-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Express. Tailored for time-conscious adventurers, this trek encapsulates the essence of the majestic Andean landscapes and the enigmatic charm of Machu Picchu. Traverse the famed Salkantay route, a journey through diverse terrains, from soaring mountain passes to lush cloud forests, each offering a unique glimpse into Peru’s natural and cultural richness.

Begin your journey with a brisk start from Cusco, venturing into the scenic heart of the Andes. This express trek not only provides a pathway through captivating Andean villages like Mollepata and Aguas Calientes but also leads you to the awe-inspiring destination of Machu Picchu. Designed for those seeking both adventure and cultural depth within a limited timeframe, this trek promises an unforgettable exploration of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, set against the backdrop of Peru’s breathtaking landscapes.

Departure & Return Location Your Hotel in Cusco
Departure Time 3:30 AM - 4:00 AM
Estimated Return Time 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Guide Languages Available Guides fluent in English and Spanish
Key Attractions Salkantay Pass, Cloud Forests, Coffee Plantations, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu
FromUSD 660
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Select a package
  • Standard Large GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 16ppl MaxStart Time: 03:30
  • Standard Small GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 8ppl MaxStart Time: 03:30
  • Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 03:30
  • Deluxe Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 03:30
  • Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 03:30
  • Deluxe Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 03:30

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Tour Itinerary

Explore our expertly designed itinerary below, crafted to showcase breathtaking views and provide unique adventures every step of the way.

The journey on our express trek begins with an early morning pickup from your hotel at around 3:30 am. As we head towards Soraypampa, the starting point of our hike, we make a stop in Mollepata. Here, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy breakfast (not included) and gear up for the day's trek.

Once at Soraypampa, we embark on our hike towards the challenging Salkantay Pass. The path leading to the pass winds through breathtaking landscapes, offering stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. As we reach the highest point of the pass, take a moment to soak in the spectacular vistas of the majestic Salkantay Mountain, one of the most revered peaks in Incan mythology.

After experiencing the exhilaration of the Salkantay Pass, our trek continues as we descend towards Collpapampa. This part of the journey unfolds through changing landscapes, transitioning from rocky mountain terrain to the lush greenery of the cloud forest. The day's hike concludes at Collpapampa, where we set up camp for the night, nestled amidst the tranquil beauty of the Andean wilderness.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Lunch and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 8-9 hours, 20 km

Our second day starts with an invigorating hike from Collpapampa to Playa Sahuayaco. As we traverse this portion of the trek, the trail takes us through the lush foliage of the cloud forest, adorned with a diverse array of flora and fauna. This segment of the hike is a delightful journey through nature, offering chances to witness the vibrant ecosystem of the region.

Upon reaching Playa Sahuayaco, our hike concludes, and we then take transportation to Hydroelectrica. This leg of the journey allows for some rest and relaxation as we travel through the scenic landscapes of the Peruvian countryside.

From Hydroelectrica, we board a train that takes us to the charming town of Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Here, we check into our accommodation and later enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant, allowing you to experience the culinary delights of the region.

Accommodation: Hotel in Aguas Calientes
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 5-6 hours, 15 km

The final day of our trek is dedicated to exploring the awe-inspiring citadel of Machu Picchu. We start early, taking a bus from Aguas Calientes to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, we embark on a guided tour of this ancient Inca city, exploring its remarkable architecture and learning about its historical significance.

After the guided tour, there's an opportunity to explore the site further or hike Huayna Picchu, if you have pre-booked this additional adventure. Later, we return to Aguas Calientes and board a train back to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, a bus takes us back to Cusco, marking the end of our thrilling 3-day express journey through the Salkantay route.

Accommodation: N/A
Meals: Breakfast
Return to Cusco: Train to Ollantaytambo, then bus to Cusco

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Tour Highlights

  • Salkantay Pass Ascent: Experience the challenge and triumph of ascending to the Salkantay Pass, offering breathtaking views of the Salkantay Mountain, a significant peak in Incan mythology.

  • Diverse Landscapes: Witness a remarkable transition of scenery, from rugged mountainous terrains to the lush and vibrant cloud forests, showcasing the region’s ecological diversity.

  • Playa Sahuayaco to Hydroelectrica: After hiking through the cloud forest to Playa Sahuayaco, enjoy a scenic drive to Hydroelectrica, offering a moment to relax and enjoy the Peruvian countryside.

  • Train Ride to Aguas Calientes: Board a train journey that winds along the river, providing picturesque views as you approach the town of Aguas Calientes.

  • Exploration of Machu Picchu: Delve into the wonders of Machu Picchu with a guided tour, unraveling the mysteries of this ancient Inca citadel.


Discover our diverse tour offerings, catering to various interests and providing unforgettable experiences for every traveler.
Payment Terms

Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy

Kindly take a moment to read our Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy before booking. Happy adventuring!

Payment Terms

Beginning Your Adventure - Booking Confirmation and Deposit

Your journey starts with a commitment: a 30% deposit of the total tour cost. This initial investment is pivotal in activating the extensive preparatory process, ensuring every aspect of your tour is curated to perfection.

Final Payment: The Last Step Before Your Journey Begins

The remaining 70% of the tour cost is due no later than 48 hours before the commencement of your tour. This timely payment is critical to finalize all logistical arrangements, guaranteeing a hassle-free start to your adventure.

Expansive Payment Options for Ease and Flexibility

In line with our commitment to your convenience, Huaynas Expeditions accepts a variety of payment methods, including bank transfers, credit cards, and PayPal. Please be aware that additional fees may apply depending on the payment method selected. Detailed payment procedures and potential fees can be found on our dedicated payment page.

Implications of Late Payments - Protecting Your Reservation

Adherence to the payment schedule is crucial. Late payments can unfortunately lead to the cancellation of your reservation, with the deposit being retained as a non-refundable fee. We urge you to maintain timely payments to safeguard your tour plans.

Policy for Last-Minute Adventurers

For those inspired to join this tour on short notice, namely less than 15 days before departure, full payment is required at the time of booking. This ensures that we can expedite all necessary preparations for your inclusion.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Terms for Clients

We recognize that life is ever-changing. However, due to the elaborate planning and expenses involved in preparing for this tour, we maintain a strict no-refund policy after booking confirmation. This underscores the importance of obtaining comprehensive travel insurance, which can offer protection against unforeseen cancellations.

Navigating Unpredictable Circumstances - Force Majeure

In extraordinary situations beyond our control, such as natural disasters or political upheavals, Huaynas Expeditions will strive to offer alternative arrangements. This may include rescheduling your trip or issuing a credit for future travel, based on current availability and discretion.

Emphasizing the Need for Comprehensive Travel Insurance

To cover unexpected events, including trip disruptions and medical emergencies, we cannot stress enough the importance of securing comprehensive travel insurance. It’s your safety net, ensuring peace of mind throughout your journey. Please note, Huaynas Expeditions does not bear responsibility for costs arising from incidents not covered by your travel insurance.

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Special Discounts


  • Adult (12+ Years): Standard rates apply for travelers over 12 years old.
  • Student (-25 Years with Student Card): Save USD 20 with a valid Student Card for those younger than 25 years old.
  • Child (3 – 11 Years): Save USD 30 for children between 3 and 11 years old.
  • Infant (0 – 2 Years): Infants younger than 2 years old are free (must ride on the adult’s lap; for a separate seat, add them as a child).
  • Group Discount: Automatically applied during online booking.
    • Save USD 10/person for groups of 5-7 people.
    • Save USD 15/person for groups of 8-10 people.
    • Save USD 20/person for groups of 11+ people.

Please note that the applicable age is considered at the time of completion of the trip.

View age and group-based discount details.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Dive into our in-depth guide on what’s included and not included for all package options on the 3-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Express. With these carefully put-together lists, you’ll know exactly what to anticipate when booking the journey of a lifetime.

Standard Inclusions

Our Standard package offers a range of amenities and services for a comfortable and enjoyable trip experience. All package options include the following:

Not Included

The following items are not included in our trek packages. Please consider these additional costs when preparing for your trek. Note that some exclusions may be included in the Deluxe package, as mentioned in the Additional Inclusions section:

Additional Inclusions (Deluxe Package)

Upgrade to our Deluxe package for an enhanced and luxurious trekking experience. The Deluxe package includes these premium amenities and services, which can also be added individually to the Standard package:

What to Pack

When embarking on the 3-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Express, it’s crucial to pack the right items for a successful and enjoyable experience.

Packing List

Provided Duffle Bag and Packing Tips

We’ll supply the duffle bag during the pre-trek briefing with your guide, held 1-2 nights prior to the tour’s start. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the bag and pack efficiently.

The briefing covers essential trek details, such as itinerary, safety guidelines, and last-minute updates. It’s an excellent chance to ask questions, meet fellow trekkers, and prepare for your adventure.

Packing Tips:
  • Adhere to the 7 kg weight limit: Keep the weight of your personal items in the duffle bag within the 7 kg limit to maintain a manageable load for the horses.
  • Place non-essential items in the duffle bag: Store items you won’t need during the day, like extra clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bags, in the duffle bag to lighten your day pack.
  • Label your duffle bag: Add a luggage tag or other identification to your duffle bag to prevent mix-ups with other trekkers’ bags.
  • Keep valuables in your day pack: Store passports, cameras, cash, and other valuable items in your day pack for added security and easy access.

By following these packing guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your trekking adventure. We look forward to guiding you on this exciting journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Dive into our FAQ section for detailed responses to common queries. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, our team is just a click away to assist you.

How difficult is the Salkantay Trek?

The Salkantay Trek is considered challenging due to its altitude and length. It’s recommended for individuals who are reasonably fit and acclimatized to the altitude.

Can I store my luggage at the Huaynas Expeditions office while I’m on the trek?

Yes, Huaynas Expeditions offers a secure luggage storage service at our office in Cusco. You can leave any belongings you don’t need during the trek, such as suitcases or extra clothing, with us.

Do I need any vaccinations before the trek?

While no specific vaccinations are required for the trek, we recommend being up-to-date on routine vaccines. Travelers should consider speaking with their doctor about their travel plans and any recommended vaccinations.

Do I need to carry a first aid kit?

While it’s always a good idea to carry basic first aid supplies, our guides will have a comprehensive first aid kit for emergencies.

How are meals handled on the trek?

Meals are prepared by a professional chef and include breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a variety of healthy options. Snacks are also provided during the trek.

What is the best season to do the Salkantay Trek?

The trekking season is typically from April to October when the weather is drier. June to August are the busiest months, so booking in advance is recommended.

Can I charge my devices during the trek?

Charging facilities are scarce on the trek, so it’s advisable to bring extra batteries or a solar charger.

What type of guide will be leading the trek?

Our treks are led by experienced, English-speaking guides who are knowledgeable about the region’s history, culture, and flora/fauna. Our guides are certified and trained in wilderness first aid and altitude-related health issues to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

Will there be a briefing before the trek begins?

Yes, there will be a pre-trek briefing the day before the trek starts. During the briefing, our experienced guides will provide detailed information about the trek, answer any questions, and ensure that all participants are adequately prepared for the adventure.

Can I rent trekking gear from you?

Yes, we offer rental of trekking gear such as walking poles and sleeping bags. Please contact us directly for more information on our rental options and prices.

Where does the tour start and end?

The tour starts and ends in Cusco. We provide pickups and drop-offs at your hotel in Cusco.

Do I need to tip the trek crew?

While tipping is optional, it’s a kind gesture to show appreciation for the services provided by the guide, chef, and other team members.

What is the altitude like on the Salkantay Trek?

The trek reaches high altitudes, with the highest point being the Salkantay Pass at approximately 4,650 meters (15,255 feet). Acclimatization days in Cusco are recommended before starting the trek.

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  • What to Pack
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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Why Choose Huaynas Expeditions

At Huaynas Expeditions, we believe that every journey should be an unforgettable experience filled with warm memories, new friendships, and exciting discoveries. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love exploring with us

Local Expertise

As a Cusco-based travel agency, our knowledgeable local guides and travel experts have an in-depth understanding of Peru's history, culture, and hidden gems, ensuring an authentic and immersive experience.

Experienced Team

Our dedicated team shares a deep love for Peru and its diverse offerings, ensuring you receive a memorable and uniquely crafted travel experience.

Personalized Itineraries

We understand that every traveler has unique interests and preferences. That's why we work closely with you to create customized itineraries tailored to suit your travel goals and desires.

Top Support

Our devoted team is available 24/7 to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience.

Safety and Reliability

Your safety and well-being are our top priorities. We adhere to strict safety protocols and maintain strong relationships with trusted local partners to provide you with the best possible experience.

Competitive Pricing

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