Salkantay Trek 3 days is an exciting and less-traveled option for adventurers seeking a shorter route to Machu Picchu. With daily departures offered by SALKANTAY TREKKERS PERU, this trek is accessible and affordable for those with limited time or budget constraints.

Despite its shorter duration, the 3-Day Salkantay Trek offers a stunning journey through diverse landscapes, including glaciers, rivers, lagoons, and jungle valleys. You’ll reach the trek’s highest point, Abra Salkantay, at an elevation of 4,630 meters (15,226 feet), and witness the breathtaking beauty of the Peruvian Andes.

To make the trek more feasible within three days, SALKANTAY TREKKERS PERU ensures that you will join a group at the first camp, complete with experienced guides, cooks, and support staff. This arrangement allows you to enjoy the trek with a reasonable price and the support necessary for a successful journey.

The 3-Day Salkantay Trek begins and ends in Cusco, with some distances shortened by car to accommodate the tighter schedule. While the walking distance may be slightly longer than other Salkantay trek options, it remains manageable for well-prepared and adventurous trekkers.

Embarking on the 3-Day Salkantay Trek offers the opportunity to experience the best of the Salkantay trail while visiting the iconic Machu Picchu on the final day before returning to Cusco in the afternoon. This condensed itinerary makes it an excellent choice for travelers eager to explore the Andes’ stunning landscapes without committing to a longer trek.

The ticket to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is included in the package price, which we purchase in your name. Typically, we include circuits 1, 2, or 3 for the guided tour at Machu Picchu. To secure a spot on these popular circuits, it is essential to book your tour at least three months in advance. If these circuits are unavailable, the alternatives would be circuits 4 or 5.

The main difference between the circuits is their access points to Machu Picchu. Circuits 1, 2, and 3 provide access from the upper part of the site, offering panoramic views and opportunities for classic photos of Machu Picchu. In contrast, circuits 4 and 5 grant access from the lower part, which does not offer the classic view of Machu Picchu.

It is important to note that no circuit covers the entire Inca citadel. However, all circuits include a guided tour lasting between 2 to 2.5 hours with an expert guide, ensuring a comprehensive and educational experience at Machu Picchu.


3-Day Salkantay Trek Overview
  • Start point: Cusco, hotel pick up at 2:00 am
  • Ending Point: Cusco City Center – Plaza Regocijo
  • Duration: 3 days and 2 nights
  • Departure: Daily departures available
  • Group Size: Up to 16 participants
  • Duffle Bag: Included, with a 7-kilo capacity
  • Machu Picchu Tickets: Included in the package
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Meals available upon request at no additional cost
  • Meals Provided: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • Free Storage: Available for your convenience –
  • High Season: Runs from April to October




Per person



Group Size:

Max. 10 People

Physical Level:


Tour location:

Cusco - Peru

Tour type:



3 B, 2 D, 2 L


Daily departures


DAY 1: Unforgettable Adventure: Cusco to Quiswarniyoc, Salkantay Pass, and Chawllay Camp

Begin Your Journey with an Early Start in Cusco: Transfer to Soraypampa and Embark on the Salkantay Trek

Start your adventure early with a 2:00 am pick-up from your hotel in Cusco, followed by a 3-hour transfer to Soraypampa, the starting point of your memorable hike.

Upon arriving at Soraypampa, join your Salkantay trek group for a hearty breakfast before preparing for your 20-kilometer hike. At around 6:30 am, commence your ascent to the highest point of the entire Salkantay trail, standing at 4,630 meters above sea level.

After approximately 3 hours of hiking, celebrate reaching the summit and revel in the stunning views of Salkantay mountain. Take a moment to make an offering to the Apus (Andean gods) in appreciation of their guidance.

Begin your descent, covering a total of 15 kilometers downhill to reach an elevation of 2,900 meters. This downhill trek is divided into two sections. The first segment, from the summit to the lunch point, takes about 2 hours. After a well-deserved lunch break, continue for another 3 hours to your second camp at Chawllay.

Throughout your trek, marvel at the diverse landscapes – from glacier-capped mountains and lagoons to rocky hills and verdant grasslands. As you approach the camp, immerse yourself in the lush, jungle environment.

Once you arrive at Chawllay, take the time to relax and, if you desire, enjoy a cold beer while the cooks prepare a comforting tea time and a scrumptious dinner to refuel for the next day’s adventure.

  • Covering a Distance: of 25 km – Approximately 9 Hours of Hiking
  • Campsite Altitude: Situated at an elevation of 2,900 meters above sea level
  • Notable Achievement: Conquering the highest point of the trek at 4,650 meters above sea level
  • Weather Conditions: Warm and windy during the day, with colder temperatures at night
  • Accommodations: Experience a cozy stay in the Mountain Sky Huts
  • Meals Provided: Savor a delicious selection of meals, including breakfast, lunch, tea time, and dinner

DAY 2: Discover the Beauty of the Journey: Chaullay to Santa Teresa, Hidroelectrica, and Aguas Calientes

Embrace the Jungle on Day Two: From Santa Teresa Valley to Aguas Calientes

On the second day, find yourself immersed in the lush jungle environment. Begin your morning with a gentle wake-up call around 6:00 am, accompanied by a cup of invigorating coca tea. Savor a delicious breakfast to fuel up for the day ahead.

At 7:00 am, commence your hike to La Playa Sahuayaco, a journey that takes approximately 5 hours. Traverse the picturesque Santa Teresa Valley, shaped by the winding Salkantay River. As you explore the valley, discover an array of plantations, including coffee, bananas, avocados, coca, and passion fruit, among others.

After your 5-hour hike, arrive at La Playa Sahuayaco and take local transportation for a one-hour ride to Santa Teresa. Enjoy a well-earned lunch break before continuing by car for another 45 minutes to Hidroelectrica. From there, embark on a leisurely 3-hour walk along the train tracks, heading towards the charming town of Aguas Calientes.

Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, check into your hotel for a refreshing shower and some relaxation. In the evening, gather around 7:00 pm for a delightful dinner at a local restaurant. Afterward, head back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep, preparing for the next day’s adventure.

  • Covering a Distance: of 25 km – Approximately 8 Hours of Hiking
  • Lodging Altitude: Situated at an elevation of 2,000 meters above sea level
  • Considerations: Prepare for a long and challenging day of trekking
  • Weather Conditions: Warm, hot, and tropical climate
  • Accommodations: Enjoy a comfortable stay at a hotel
  • Meals Provided: Indulge in a variety of meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner

DAY 3: Machu Picchu – Cusco

  • Arriving at Machu Picchu’s Main Gate from Aguas Calientes: To reach Machu Picchu’s main gate from Aguas Calientes, you have two options. You can either embark on a scenic 1.5-hour hike or take a convenient bus ride that costs $12. The choice is yours, and you can even decide on the same day you plan to visit Machu Picchu. Regardless of the option you choose, your day will begin bright and early at 4 am with a delicious breakfast at your hotel in Aguas Calientes.
  • If you choose to WALK from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, your journey will begin at around 4:30 am. You’ll start by walking from your hotel in Aguas Calientes to Puente Ruinas, which takes approximately 30 minutes. Puente Ruinas serves as the first checkpoint, where you’ll need to present your Machu Picchu tickets and original passports to gain entry. Once you’ve passed the Puente Ruinas checkpoint, you’ll embark on an uphill hike to Machu Picchu, climbing approximately 1,700 steps. This ascent typically takes between one hour to one hour and 20 minutes. Upon reaching the main gate of Machu Picchu, you’ll meet up with your group and guide to enter the site and begin your unforgettable exploration of this ancient Inca citadel.
  • If you opt to take the BUS from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, you’ll need to purchase a bus ticket in town, either the night before or on the same morning. Each one-way bus ticket costs $12. Once you have your ticket, join the queue to board the first buses, which depart from Aguas Calientes at 5:30 am. The bus ride takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Machu Picchu. Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, you’ll meet up with your group and guide around 6 am to enter the site and begin exploring the remarkable ancient Inca city together.


  • Our program includes a Machu Picchu ticket, with the primary circuit options being either circuit 01 or 02. CHECH DETAILS: If there is no availability for the first choice, we will include circuit 03 or 04. Ticket availability depends on the time of booking, so if you prefer the primary circuit options, we recommend booking well in advance. For more information about the different circuits and ticket details, please visit our website or contact us directly. Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, our experienced tour guide will lead you on a 2.5-hour guided exploration of the Inca city, following the circuit outlined in your ticket. The guide will share insights about the history and significance of Machu Picchu while allowing time for photographs and taking in the breathtaking views. You’ll visit the most iconic locations within the site during the tour.
  • At the conclusion of the guided tour, you will have some leisure time to explore and relax on your own. If you have arranged to hike Huayna Picchu (which must be booked ahead of time, as it is a popular option that sells out quickly and costs $60 per person), your guide will direct you to the starting point. The hike will take no more than 2 hours to complete, with a round-trip time.
  • Alternatively, you may choose to hike Machu Picchu Mountain instead of Huayna Picchu. This hike is more challenging and takes a minimum of three hours for the round-trip (at an additional cost of $60 per person).
  • For those considering either of the mountain climbs, we recommend opting for the train return to Cusco to allow more time to explore the mountains. If you prefer to return by car, we suggest spending an additional night in Aguas Calientes and departing by car on the sixth day from the Hydroelectric station. This will give you ample time to fully experience the beauty of the mountains and make the most of your journey.
After immersing yourself in the wonders of Machu Picchu and exploring its surroundings, it’s time to make your way back to Cusco. We offer two convenient options for your return journey: by car or by train. Both options ensure a smooth and comfortable trip to Cusco.
  • If you choose to return BY CAR, you will need to begin your walk from Machu Picchu to Hidroelectrica around 10:30 am. This trek typically takes 3 to 3.5 hours to complete. It is essential to reach Hidroelectrica by 2:00 pm in order to board the car, which is scheduled to depart at 2:30 pm. The car journey from Hidroelectrica to Cusco takes approximately 6 hours, and you can expect to arrive in Cusco around 9:30 pm. Upon arrival, you will be dropped off in the city center of Cusco.
  • If you opt to return BY TRAIN to Cusco after visiting Machu Picchu, you have two options for getting to the town of Aguas Calientes. You can either walk down for 1.5 hours, or take a bus that takes just 30 minutes but costs 12 dollars. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you’ll have time to explore the town and have lunch before returning to your hotel to gather your belongings and head to the train station. The train to Ollantaytambo is available at either 2:30 pm or 2:55 pm, depending on availability, and the journey takes 1.5 hours, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, a transfer arranged by Machu Picchu Reservations or with your name on it will be waiting to take you back to Cusco, a 2-hour journey, arriving around 6:30 pm and dropping you off in the city center.


Salkantay Trek 3 days Inclusions
  • Attend a Salkantay trek briefing at 7:00 pm the day before departure at the SALKANTAY TREKKERS PERU
  • Receive a duffle bag to pack 7 kilos of your belongings, which will be carried by horses during the trek
  • Benefit from the guidance of professional English/Spanish-speaking tour guides
  • Enjoy meals prepared by a professional chef and the use of high-quality cooking equipment
  • Take advantage of horses to carry up to 7 kilos of personal luggage and other required gear
  • Enjoy pick-up service from your hotel in Cusco
  • Travel in private transportation to the head of the Salkantay trail
  • Relish 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners provided throughout the trek
  • Experience 1 night of camping and 1 night at a hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Unwind in Mountain Sky Huts featuring thick mattresses, glass doors, night lighting, and panoramic views for the first night
  • Rest on a personal double foam pad (2.5 inches thick)
  • Sleep comfortably with pillows provided at the first camp
  • Utilize transportation from La Playa to Hidroelectrica
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu included
  • Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Travel back from Aguas Calientes to Cusco by train or car, depending on your preference
  • Savor vegetarian/vegan meal options upon request with no additional charges
  • Stay prepared with first-aid equipment and an oxygen bottle for emergencies

Not Included

  • Entrance Fee for The Salkantay Trek: The local government of Mollepata charges a fee of 20 soles for access to Salkantay trail.
  • Sleeping Bags: If you do not have a sleeping bag, you can rent one from us for $10 USD, which covers the entire duration of the trek.
  • Travel Insurance: Please note that travel insurance is not included and is recommended to cover any unforeseen circumstances during your trip.
  • Extra Expenses: Any additional expenses incurred during the trek, such as snacks, drinking water or souvenirs, are not included in the package.
  • Tips: Gratuities for the trek staff are not included and are left to your discretion, depending on the level of service you feel was provided.



Salkantay Trek 3-Day Essentials

For the 3-day Salkantay trek, you’ll need personal trekking gear and a sleeping bag. If you don’t have a sleeping bag, you can rent one from us, as well as trekking poles if desired. We provide the rest of the necessary equipment.

Personal Trekking Gear to Pack:

  • A small 20 to 30-liter backpack to carry daily essentials, or any daypack you’re comfortable with
  • Wool hat or beanie
  • Sun hat
  • Scarf
  • A pair of gloves
  • 2 to 3 T-shirts (preferably with long sleeves)
  • 2 layers (sweater, fleece)
  • 2 pairs of long pants or leggings
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • 2 pairs of wool socks
  • A small headlamp
  • Shorts
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • A small towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Toothbrush and other personal toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • Water bottle
  • Rain gear (pants, jacket, or rain poncho) – crucial, especially during the wet season
  • Optional: thermal clothing for the first night at 4,100 meters
  • Snacks (chocolate, cereal bars, candies, nuts, energy bars, etc.)
  • Extra cash in Soles

Essential Documents for the Trek:

  1. Original passport
  2. Physical original student card (if you applied for the student discount)

Note: Machu Picchu Reservations provides a duffle bag in which you can pack up to 7 kilos of personal belongings. These will be carried by horses during the trek. You’ll carry your small backpack with daily essentials while trekking, and you’ll have access to your duffle bag at each campsite.


Frequent questions FAQ´S

Price from:



3 Days - 2 Nights
$270.00 Per person (Group service)
Amazing trek with the best guide I did the Inca trail to Machupicchu for 4 days and 3 nights, with Salkantay Trekkers Peru. Our organization was excellent I joined a group of 6 people. We had the briefing one night before our departure where our guide Jose gave us full information and some suggestions. The service was very good, with all the staff that we went from the first day between them it is worth mentioning the service of our Cheff and our porters who were the people who took our travel luggage. The whole group saw the desire to work as a team, and in a professional manner. Our Guide Jose very kind and attentive with all the group of tourists and the staff of the Agency. I had the best travel experience with this group and very organized, I congratulate the whole group for making me part of this unforgettable experience. I recommend this travel agency in Cusco, for those people who are interested in traveling to Machu Picchu.
Belen F
Belen F
El mejor!! Machu Picchu mi Excursión con ellos. Organizaros perfectamente. Salimos a tiempo y la guía fue informativo y servicial. Disfrutamos cada momento de la excursión y nos sentimos en manos seguras. Lo recomiendo para cualquier excursión en Cusco y alrededor de la ciudad.
Sreeram Hariharan
Sreeram Hariharan
Servicio impresionante Fui a Salkantay Trek con la agencia. Estaba bien organizado y las guías son conocedores e informativos.

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