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Excuse me while I kiss the sky. —Jimi Hendrix

Salkantay Trek

Location: Vilcabamba Mountain Range, Peruvian Andes, Cuzco Region, Peru

Elevation: 4,630m (15,1906ft)

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Trail length: 92km (57.2mi)

Elevation gain: 1,800m (5,900ft)

Camping / Huts: Yes / No (scroll down for more info)

Date hiked: 2013

Topographical map

After our three days of acclimatizing in the warm and lovely city of Cuzco, we set off at 5am the next morning to begin our grand adventure. As per usual I slept on the moving vehicle (minibus this time) to the drop site so not much to report. . . Read more of my Salkantay Trek story + see spoiler photos

Description: 3 - 5 day hike (most guided groups do it in 5 days, as did we)

Day 1: Mollepata to Soraypampa: 20 Km (12.4 miles)

Day 2: Soraypampa to Collpapampa: 22 Km (13.7 miles)

Day 3: Collpapampa to La Playa: 16 Km (9.9 miles)

Day 4: La Playa to Aguas Calientes: 25 Km (15.5 miles) – via Llactapata

Day 5: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu Peak: 9 Km (5.6 miles)


1. Take altitude sickness medicine, even if you don't need it, just in case.

2. Download a, Waze or Google Maps app route beforehand.

Trail: Well-maintained. Mostly hard-packed dirt, rocky, loose gravel, dirt roads.

Organize before the hike:

I recommend booking a guided tour, this is what about 95% of the hikers on this trail do. We booked our amazing guide Isaac with SAS Travel Peru (it cost $265 in 2013, now $660 in 2020), and couldn't have been happier. They were incredibly competent and friendly.


Pack: Please see my Trusty Gear and Pack List pages!


Helpful links:

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