We'd like to do the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in August

  A couple visited Peru in August 2017

“My girlfriend and I will be in Cusco. We'd like to do the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in that time, but preferably with a small group. We can find our own accommodation while we're in Cusco.

I've seen some treks that include camping and some that include a stay at lodges on the way. I've also seen 5-day hikes and 7-day hikes - would it be possible to get the price difference for all these options?

Let me know if you need more info.”

Nicole and Bill Koch, a local specialist from Peru, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary based on Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

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Trip planning highlights

41 messages exchanged
3 trip plan versions shared
Travelers completed their trip! Read traveler review

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 6D/5N

Day 1: Cusco - Soray Pampa - Glacial Lake Humantay
Day 2: Salkantay - Huaracmachay
Day 3: Cloud Forest - Organic Coffee Farm
Day 4: Llactapata - Inca Trail Trek
Day 5: Llactapata to Machu Picchu Pueblo
Day 6: Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain

Summary of the trip planning conversation

Below are some useful excerpts from the trip planning conversation
Alex Buri
Hi, welcome to kimkim. Happy to connect you to one of our local specialists for the Salkantay Trek. Are your dates confirmed for July? Are there any other details we can help with (domestic transport, accommodation, activities before/after the trek)?

Perhaps it would be better to do the trek a week after we arrive so we're used to the altitude - so a few days into August would be best.

Alex Buri
Agree, that would be better. The trek itself takes 5 days, where you reach and explore Machu Picchu on Day 5 (so actually, 4 days of trekking).

There are high-end lodges, basic/local lodges, and camping... we can help with all three, and I'll send you some pricing

For the high-end lodges, it's $3750 USD per person, where you'd join a group of 10-12 people that departs on a fixed schedule. Amazing experience, but more high-end.

For staying in the local lodges which are more basic, it's $1100 per person, just for the two of you. We can look into having you join a group for this, as well

You can also camp, where the price would be similar to the local lodges (I can get an quote for you, if needed). You would be camping in clearings along the trail.

Also, most itineraries are 5 days. Anything longer and likely the itinerary includes days after Machu Picchu or before the trek. All the prices above will include an English-speaking guide, transport to the trek, your train ticket back to Cusco, the Machu Picchu entrance permit, a guided tour of Machu Picchu, and horses to carry your gear, if needed. For the cabin trek, the $1100 also includes your hotel in Aguas Calientes and dinner on Day 5.

Ok that sounds pretty reasonable. Happy with 5 days. The option for just the two of us might be ideal, we'd probably like to go at our own pace.

Alex Buri
Great. And you may likely be able to meet a few trekkers along the way, as well, while still being able to move at your own pace.

I'm going to invite Nicole, our local specialist, in to put a trip plan together for you and help clarify the details. She'll be back online tomorrow and will take it from there.

Sure. Thanks for your help.

William and Nicole Koch
Hi, How exciting your upcoming trip to Peru! Salkantay is our favourite of all the treks in the area! Before I send you an itinerary I just would like to know how you would like to do the trek. As of April 2017 there will be a new addition/lodge to the trek 1/2 way though day two. I'll just ask a few questions and this will help to decide which itinerary would be best for your group.

~What is the max amount of hours you would like to hike per day?
~Would you like a 6d/5n or 5d/4n (Normally the trek is 5 days, but now that there will be the new lodge we can create a 6 day itinerary)
~Would you like to sleep on night overlooking Machu Picchu from the Llactapata Inca Trail?

Let me know any questions you may have!

Hi Nicole,
- For the number of hours hiking per day, 6-8 hours would probably be ideal.
- 6d or 5d, I would consider both. Can you provide the price difference? What's the advantage of the extra day? Just an easier walk on day 2?
- The night overlooking Machu Picchu sounds amazing, so yeah would be interested. Again, would like to know if there is a price difference (or difficulty?)

William and Nicole Koch
Hi, How are you? The locals from the Salkantay area have finally gotten back to us about the price of the new campsite that is currently being built at Huaracmachay. They are quite busy trying to have it ready by April and extremely hard to get in contact with. I can't imagine what it must be like to build in an area where you can not get to by car. Everything must be brought in by horse or carried by the locals. However, it will be nice to have this option to reduce day two from 9 hours to 6. An additional day on the trek will add an extra 215 USD. If you think you won't mind the 9 hour hike day on day 2 then I think the normal itinerary that I sent you is great. However, if you think that you would like a shorter day 2 then we may want to consider this 6d option. I do not yet have an itinerary for it written up since the camp is not yet ready. However, I would be happy to get one written up if you decide that is the best option for you.

Have a look at the bottom of the itinerary where it says what is included and what is not. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have. If you would like the trek with out horses the price is 1,100 as advertised. There is however, a horse that will carry your belongings to the pass on day 2 for the advertised price of 1,100. This relieves you of three hours uphill with a pack. We have found that almost everyone decides on the horses for the full day on day 2 which included having your packs forwarded to the next camp on day 3 and 4 and an emergency horse to ride on the uphills. The only other things that we do not include in this trip are, the hot springs on day 3 since they are located in another town and not part of the trek and also the bus ticket up to Machu Picchu since generally people are looking to hike to Machu Picchu. We do include the bus down after you have spent the day in Machu Picchu. There is also a small fee associated with using the KimKim site in order to have a secure means for payment and personal information.

I will be available for the next two weeks pretty easily. We are however on summer break and try to make it out into the mountains as much as possible before the season starts to create new treks and find adventures for the upcoming year. Once in the mountains here in the Andes internet is nil and phone communication even worse. If you find that you need something answered quick, (should you be trying to plan with someone and need immediate answers) feel free to text me or send me a whatsapp.


Thanks Nicole - that clears up the ambiguity for me. I think we'd be able to handle the 9-hour hike, but the prospect of camping out in the new location also sounds appealing. I also believe it's worth us having the horses just in case. I'm currently recovering from a knee operation — though I should be back to 100% by August.

I'll talk to my partner this week and come back with a preference. Can I just confirm — will this trek be just the two of us or part of a group?

William and Nicole Koch
Our treks are often private or small groups of 4-5 people. If you would like the group to be open for another trekker or two this would give you the opportunity to have the horses with out paying the extra 50 and it would also add a few people to split the cost of the hot springs with, if you decide to go there on day 3. That is the advantage of opening up to a few more hikers. However, if you prefer to do the trek just the two of you plus your guide then we can keep it that way. Let me know what you would like to do so I can make sure to have spaces reserved for you. July is a very very busy time of the year and the guides get booked up quickly along with spaces in the lodges.


Hi Nicole. We've had a chat and decided to go for the 6d hike with horses. Our preference is for just the two of us. What are our options for dates? We're both in Cusco from end of July, but would like a few days to adjust to the altitude first. Is the first week in August ok?

William and Nicole Koch
Hi, would Aug 4th work for you? Let me know and I will lock it in for you.

August 4th is perfect. I'd like to go ahead and book.
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Traveler Review

Planning and booking the trip was easy. KimKim connected us with a great tour provider, and always responded quickly to questions and requests.

It's rare to find a tour organizer really dedicated to creating a perfect experience, but that's the impression we had with Nicole and Haku. It's not the cheapest option, but hearing about others who had trekked with larger groups we are happy with our decision.

Our guide Josias was experienced, patient and a great companion for the 6 days. We stayed in comfortable lodges in epic locations, and really enjoyed the meal on the final night.

There were no hidden costs or surprises, and every detail was covered. This truly allowed us to enjoy one of the best hiking trails in the world.