Salkantay 4 Day Trek to Machu Picchu

Updated: Jun 24

In this article, I will share with you my personal experience and journey during the 4 day Salkantay trek!


I will also cover some important things you need to know before you embark on this challenging journey!


Before we start, I just want to say that it wasn't as difficult as I thought it will be. It is definitely an adventure of a lifetime and it will make your Machu Picchu experience more magical. Just do it!


  1. My Journey

  2. Video of my journey

  3. Things to know before you go

  4. The weather and things you need with you during trekking

  5. Can I do Salkantay on my own?

  6. Best company to do it with

My Journey

My journey started a month before actually visiting Machu Picchu as I couldn't decide which way to get to Machu Picchu as for me this was once in a lifetime trip. So I took a paper and put pluses and minuses for each trek and that helped me decide. A very detailed comparison of all the ways hot to get to Machu Picchu you can find in my blog: Different Ways How to Get to Machu Picchu.


Since the moment I picked Salkantay Trek I have no regrets. My biggest worry was that I won't be able to do it and I can assure you - you can! People of all ages, skills and fitness levels embark on this trek all the time. It might get hard at some parts and the trek can get challenging but that is the beauty of it. After overcoming the challenges on the way and finishing the trek you will appreciate the Machu Picchu site more! In case something happens and you can't continue the trek or you really feel like it is too hard for you, there are always horses available and your guide can organize for you to be taken to the next camp with a horse.


Another big fear of mine was the weather. I was worried it will be cold and rainy and you know what? It was freezing cold and rained for 2 days! Do not worry about this too. You are in a constant move, so you do not feel the cold and rain so much. Also, you have amazing nature and views around you. You put the negatives on the side and enjoy the positives.


We actually timed the trip very well. It was supposed to be dry season so no rain, so this just proves how you always have to be ready for everything!


Day 1 highlight was definitely the Humantay Lake. An absolutely incredible hidden lake that some people actually visit as a separate day trip. So we were very fortunate to simply have it on our way. And of course, the feeling of embarking on this journey is amazing!


Our first night we spent in Soraypampa where you can find several camps, but we stayed at the KB Adventure Lodge.


Day 2 was the hardest day as the first part of the day, around 5 hours are just uphill. Day 2 main goal is to reach the Salkantay Pass which is more than 4600 meters above sea level. Once you have done that you have accomplished the main mission of the Salkantay trek. After that, the path gets easier as you are walking down.


Our second night we spent in domes at Chawllay.


Day 3 is completely different because the previous night you reach the bottom of the valley and the next morning you start walking by the river. The whole ecosystem changes from mountains to rainforest. So warm jackets off, shorts on, and time for a chill 25km!


On day 3 we reached Aguas Calientes which is the main exit point to Machu Picchu. There we finally stayed in a proper hotel room with a hot shower and a big bed!


Day 4 is the big main Machu Picchu day. Not too much to say here, just enjoy the World Wonder!


More about the practical things I will cover in the next session but emotionally I can just say that when you pick the Salkantay trek you just need the right mindset. Make sure you know you can do it and after each kilometer, you are closer to your goal. Don't let bad weather ruin your trip, enjoy the surroundings and all the amazing things around you that you won't see and experience on your normal day. The cold will pass and there will be a hot day walking through the rainforest.


Here is my Salkantay trip, step by step literally haha

Things to know before you go

Let's cover some practical things you need to know before embarking on this amazing journey!

  • There might be no hot shower or no shower at all so best to have some wet wipes with you.

  • There is no wifi or any connection. Even if you have your own Peru data, it won’t connect.

  • There will be a possibility to charge your cabers and phones in the camps. Might be an extra cost, but there will be an option.

  • Obviously, there will be no ATMs on your way so best prepare some cash for snacks and water.

  • I personally recommend not to take too much water with you, so you have a lighter bag. There will be several points on your way where to buy water.

  • Also if anything happens or you really feel like you can’t continue your guide will always be able to organize a horse for you.


The weather and things you need with you during trekking


The best time to do any of the trails and visit Machu Picchu is the dry season, which is from June to August. It's Peruvian winter so it is colder but definitely less rain.


Said that I was very unlucky and I only had one nice sunny day. The first two days were rainy and on Machu Picchu day there was a lot of fog.


So it doesn’t matter how good you time your visit. The weather in Peru in general is unpredictable and you need to be ready for everything.


Make sure you have a good rain-resistant jacket or a proper raincoat. Definitely have sunscreen with you, because even if you are high up and it feels cold, if the sun comes out it is very strong. I always had a hat with me.


If you do get a lot of rain on your way, it means you will also get a lot of mud. I had proper waterproof hiking boots so I was ok with one pair but if you are planning to the trek with the running type of shoes (which is totally ok) and it rains and is muddy then you might want to have an extra pair with you.


Can I do Salkantay on my own?

Yes, you can! I think you need to have some experience in several-day trekking but the trek is very straightforward and doable on your own.


The path is very clearly marked. I don't think there is a big chance you can get lost, but of course, best if you have researched and know the trek beforehand.


Either way, a lot of people are doing this trek every day with guides so at any point you can just start to follow a group or ask for help from anyone doing the trek.


The camps, especially now after Covid, are fairly empty so I don't think you will have a problem just arriving that day and booking. Ideally, if you know the camps you planning to stay at so you can plan your kilometers per day but there are several campsites on the way. They are also very near the trek so hard to miss.


KB Adventures

I did my trip with KB Adventures and I can't recommend them highly enough.


They are not the middle man, they have their own lodges, chefs, and guides. They are specialists in Salkantay trekking for more than 20 years and the service they offer is excellent.


I have no hesitation to recommend them to anyone!



I also have put together a very practical guide about 'Everything you need to know about Machu Picchu'. I have a video version of it too: