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3-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Express

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

Location

Cusco, Peru

Duration

3 Days

Difficulty

8/10

Availability

Year Round

Tour type

Adventure

Overview

3-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Express Overview

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
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

Price
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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3-Day Salkantay Trek

Tour Itinerary

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

Day 1: Cusco to Collpapampa via Salkantay Pass

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

Tour Highlights

3-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Express 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.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Detailing Every Aspect of Your Travel Experience: What’s Included and What’s Not

Standard Inclusions

All package options include the following:

  • Bilingual, English-speaking tour guide.
  • Pre-departure briefing at your hotel or office 1 or 2 days before the trek.
  • Hotel pick-up and transportation to the trailhead.
  • 4-person tent for every 2 people.
  • Inflatable mattress.
  • Kitchen tent, dining tent with tables and chairs.
  • Toilet tent.
  • Professional chef and assistant chef.
  • Daily morning boiled and cold water for water bottle refills.
  • Horses to carry all equipment (food, tents, chairs, table, etc.).
  • Horse to transport 7 kg of your personal gear.
  • Muleteers to manage pack animals.
  • Duffel bag for your personal gear.
  • 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners.
  • Vegetarian and gluten-free options at no extra cost.
  • Provision of snacks during the trek.
  • Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
  • All necessary trekking permits.
  • Transportation from Playa Sahuayaco to Hydroelectrica.
  • Train tickets from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes.
  • Train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • 1-night hotel stay in Aguas Calientes (twin bedroom with private facilities).
  • Entry ticket to Machu Picchu.
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip).
  • Private van transportation from Ollantaytambo to your Cusco hotel.

Exclusions:

Not included in our standard tour packages. Consider additional costs. Deluxe packages may cover some exclusions, as specified in the Additional Inclusions section.

  • Hotel stay in Cusco before and after the trek.
  • Sleeping bag (available for rent).
  • Trekking poles (available for rent).
  • Breakfast on day 1 and lunch on the last day.
  • Huayna Picchu/Machu Picchu mountain ticket (US$ 80 extra per person).
  • Tips for tour guides, chefs, and support staff are not included and are at your discretion.

Additional Inclusions

Deluxe Packages Only

Elevate your travel experience with our bespoke Deluxe Package, meticulously designed to offer an array of premium amenities and services.

Deluxe Packages Include:

  • Emergency Horse & Handler: An extra horse and a trained handler provide added safety on the trail.
  • 3-Star Aguas Calientes Hotel: Rest and recharge in a carefully selected 3-star hotel.
  • North Face Four-Season Tents: State-of-the-art, weather-resistant tents for ultimate outdoor comfort.
  • Mountain Climbing Permits: Choose between Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views.
  • Vistadome First-Class Train: Enjoy scenic travel from Aguas Calientes with panoramic windows offering spectacular views.
  • Private Van to Cusco: Enjoy a direct, comfortable transfer to Cusco post-trek.
  • Gourmet Lunch: Indulge in a gourmet dining experience at either Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes.
  • Sleeping Bag: Sleep well with one premium sleeping bag per person.
  • Walking Sticks: 01 pair per person for added stability.
  • Private Transportation: Transportation exclusively for your group.
  • Personal Duffel Bag: Use a durable duffel bag to conveniently carry your personal gear, including the sleeping bag and self-inflating pads.
  • Dedicated Tour Guide: Get personalized insights and guidance from an expert tour guide throughout your journey.
  • Fair Compensation: We ensure fair compensation for all our dedicated team members.

Prices

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

Standard Large Group

Group Size: 2 Min – 16ppl Max

USD

660

Per Person

Join a diverse group of travelers for an economical shared experience.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
No Private Service

Standard Small Group

Group Size: 2 Min – 8ppl Max

USD

700

Per Person

Enjoy a more intimate setting, ideal for closer interactions and bonding.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
No Private Service

Private Group

Group Size: Customizable

USD

790

Per Person

Curate your journey with exclusivity tailored to your group’s preferences.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
Private Service

Deluxe Private Group

Group Size: Customizable

USD

980

Per Person

Indulge in luxury, enhancing every aspect of your tour for a memorable experience.

All standard inclusions
Additional Inclusions
Private Service

Solo Traveler

Group Size: 1 person

USD

1200

Per Person

Embrace the freedom of a solo adventure, with options to mingle or stay independent.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
Private Service or Join a Group

Deluxe Solo Traveler

Group Size: 1 person

USD

1420

Per Person

Elevate your solo journey with added luxury and attentive service.

All standard inclusions
Additional Inclusions
Private Service

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.

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.

Navigating Through Force Majeure

In the event of extraordinary and uncontrollable circumstances, such as natural disasters or significant political unrest, Huaynas Expeditions adopts a flexible approach. We prioritize your safety and satisfaction, offering to reschedule your trip or provide a credit for future travel, subject to availability.

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.

Looking for the Perfect Tour?

If our standard tours don’t match your dream, let Huaynas Expeditions create one that does. Start planning your unique adventure now.

What to Pack

Your Essential Packing Guide for a Hassle-Free Adventure

Packing List

Prepare for an unforgettable journey with our essential packing guide. Here’s what you need to bring:

  • Original passport and student ID (if applicable).
  • Light day pack with clothes for varied temperatures.
  • Rain gear or poncho.
  • Waterproof trekking boots and extra socks.
  • Warm clothing, including a jacket, fleece, gloves, scarf, beanie, and thermals for sleeping.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Torch/flashlight and spare batteries.
  • Camera, film, and batteries.
  • Sunblock and after-sun hydrating cream.
  • Insect repellent (minimum 20% DEET, no malaria risk reported).
  • Toilet paper.
  • Snacks (biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, fruits, etc.).
  • Reusable canteen and water for the first morning.
  • Personal medical kit (special medications, paracetamol, blister treatment, etc.).
  • Small towel or sarong.
  • Cash for snacks, tips, and souvenirs.
  • Walking sticks or poles.

Note:

This list is a general guideline. Adjustments may be necessary based on personal preferences and the season of travel. Always check the weather forecast before your trip and feel free to reach out to us for any specific advice or requirements.

Provided Duffle Bag and Packing Tips

Pack Wisely with Our Essential Packing Tips

We’ll provide a returnable duffle bag during the pre-trek briefing, held 1-2 nights before your tour. Familiarize yourself with the bag, pack efficiently, and get essential trek details, safety guidelines, and updates. It’s a great chance to ask questions, meet fellow trekkers, and prepare for your adventure.

Our 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.

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.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for?

For more general questions about our tours, policies, and other inquiries, please visit our comprehensive FAQ page.

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Why Choose Huaynas Expeditions

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

We strive to offer high-quality travel experiences at competitive prices, ensuring you receive excellent value for your investment.