Salkantay Trek with Sky Lodge Dome 4D/3N .- This beautiful and varied hike (about 50 km) is the “soft option” from Challacancha as the pass is lower (although it is still 4,750 m (15,580 ft) and then it is mainly downhill through forested valleys, above deep ravines, ending at 1,500 m). The hike on the second day from Soray goes uphill for half an hour, then reaches a series of zigzags (Siete Culebras is the local name for this section). At the top of the seventh loop, the terrain levels out below the side moraine of Salkantay and drops gently down to the small Soirococha lagoon. The pass you see above is, unfortunately, a false one; the main pass is a bit further on, but the view of Salkantay looming above you more than makes up for the effort. The actual pass at 4,750m is reached after 3-4 hours from the moraine, and is marked by a pile of stones, “well known as Apacheta to the locals”, which grows daily as each traveler adds their pebble to thank the APUS for A Safe Journey.
Then the trail descends to the left side of the valley, remaining undisturbed in the swampy areas. And then comes a place called Huayrajmachay “eye of the wind”, from here we will have a great opportunity to see the beautiful pyramid shape of Humantay behind as it falls below the tree line, known as LA CEJA DE SELVA (“Eyebrow of the jungle”), and walk through bamboo forests with many orchids and other flowers and many hummingbirds, spectacular waterfalls, a small hot spring at Collpapampa, the right place to lock the parakeets that abound in this area as well. And then we will take a local bus to get to santa teresa where we will enjoy the hot springs which are 45 minutes away from this town. and then we will see the Machu Picchu and waynapichu mountains and then the last day we will finally see the inca city of machupicchu.
We pick you up from your hotel at 4:30 a.m. to drive for approximately 2 hours to Mollepata, where we will have breakfast at a local restaurant after breakfast, we will drive for 40 more minutes to Challacancha, where we will start our Salkantay trek. As soon as we are in Challacancha, the cook and rider will pack all the camping equipment and kitchen stuff and we will start hiking, the first hours will be a bit uphill to reach The Inca Chanel, where we will have panoramic views of the beautiful snow covered mountains (Humantay; 4120 m / 13500 ft and Salkantay; 6271 m / 20575 ft): just the beginning! We will start our Salkantay trek to Soraypampa for another 2 hours, our first Salkantay Trek campsite at our new domes, so we will have lunch here and rest a bit at the domes, then in the afternoon we will have a hike of about 2 hours to go to Humantay Lake (3800 m / 11750 ft; the highest and coldest campsite of the trip) we will be very close to the second highest snow-capped mountain in Salkantay, Cusco. And, of course, we will spend a night in our new luxury domes that have great comfort, hot shower and private bathrooms.
After having our Salkantay Trek breakfast, we start walking around 5:30 a.m., as this day will be the longest day, the first 4 hours are uphill to reach the highest point of the Salkantay Trek (4650 m / 15200 ft) located halfway between 2 huge mountains; Salkantay on the right and Tucarhuay on the left. From the pass, the views of the 2 snow-capped mountains are incredible. There is the possibility of snow here.
After a rest, we continue our hike (downhill) through a dramatic cloud forest to Huayracpunku, where we have lunch. We walk again after lunch towards the beginning of the jungle until we reach Chaullay, where we will take a shuttle to the Lucmabamba Domes camp.
After breakfast, at 6.30 a.m., we will start walking through the upper jungle towards Llactapata (the original Inca Trail approximately 2 hours to get to the top from there, you can see Machupicchu after that walk for approximately 2 more hours to Hidroelectrica after lunch we start walking 2 more hours taking the railroad to Aguas Calientes..
Important day of the Salkantay trek, we get up early in the morning around 4 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. to have breakfast and leave to hike to Machupicchu, which takes an hour and a half to Machu Picchu, but there is another option to take the first bus that leaves at 5:30 to Machu Picchu (25 minutes duration) to appreciate the magnificent city as the sun rises.
Your guide gives you a guided walking tour (approximately 2 hours) and then you can explore the mysterious city by yourself. If you still have energy, you can also climb Huaynapicchu (2720m / 8890ft)! It takes 45 minutes to reach the top. Then you will take the train around 9:50 pm depending on the availability of the train, so you will arrive in Ollamtaytamabo after 2 hours of travel, so a transport will be waiting for you and take you back to Cusco.
The Salkantay Trail connects Cusco to the Citadel of Machu Picchu and runs approximately 89 km/55 miles through high Andean peaks, cloud forest, and steamy jungle. The hike starts at the village of Mollepata, a few miles from Cusco.
The Salkantay Peak – Savage Mountain – is located within the Vilcabamba mountain range, to the northwest of Cusco. Salkantay is one of the highest and most spectacular mountains in the Andes (6,271m/20,574ft).
National Geographic’s Adventure Travel Magazine named the Salkantay trek among the 25 Best Treks in the World.
The amount you walk each day varies. An average day is 5-8 hours, but on the summit, night combined with the following day you can walk between 8 and 11 hours. Have a look at the itinerary for a day-to-day account.
For an average traveler or tourist, Salkantay is considered a challenging but certainly not impossible hike. Due to the physical demands, anyone who wishes to trek Salkantay should at least be moderately fit. Plus, all trekkers should spend at least 2 days in Cuzco before the trek, to get acclimatized. Being extremely fit does not grant any immunity from altitude sickness.
The entire hike is approximately 72 kilometers (approximately 45 miles), and this hiking takes place for 4 days and 3 nights. The remaining 1 day of the trek is spent at Machu Picchu. In general, Salkantay is considered to be slightly harder than the Inca Trail. Other trails, such as Choquequirao, are considered to be slightly harder than Salkantay.
The Salkantay Pass, at 14,760123 feet above sea level, is the most difficult section on the trail. Expect wind and cold temperatures. Some hikers might experience symptoms of altitude sickness. Symptoms will disappear as soon as you start your descent. Oxygen will be provided if needed. The Salkantay Pass, at approximately 4,650 meters above sea level is the most difficult section in the trail. These challenges are a result of several factors: the challenge of uphill climbing, cold winds, low temperatures in general, and the fact that you are trekking at a low-oxygen altitude.
Very young children may not enjoy this. They should be able to walk (without being carried) for 90 minutes without whining (the whining part applies to children of all ages.
Weather conditions during the rainy season make the Salkantay trek a risky decision. Therefore we cannot guarantee the availability of the Salkantay treks from mid-march to the end of February. If the weather is good, we will give the OK for a trek to start. If we think the safety of our porters and clients is being threatened, we will cancel the trek.
The dry season is the best time for this trek. In Cuzco, the dry season lasts from April to November, and the wet season is from December to March. June to September are the most popular months to do the trek, due to summer vacations in Europe and the US. It is generally thought that May and October offer the best weather conditions.
Yes, it is possible for a single traveler or a small group to hike the trek by themself, without guides or porters. However, the trail is not clearly marked at all points, which makes getting lost a high possibility. This is one of the biggest advantages of hiring a tour agency like Mystic Salkantay. Our guides know the route very well.
Children under 14 years old are not allowed to do the trek, and children who are over 14 years old should be in good physical shape and used to hiking long distances.
You will get sporadic phone coverage during the trek and there will not be anywhere whilst trekking to charge your phone.
One of the trek leaders will be carrying a satellite phone. However, this is for emergency use only.
Weather is very varied on this trek, due to the fact that it winds its way through wildly different terrain at different altitudes. The only place where the weather is a serious concern is the Salkantay Pass and the nearby areas. Temperatures here, and at the nearby Soraypampa campsite, can fall below freezing. The other camps are much warmer, due to their proximity to the cloud forest.
On our tours the Salkantay trek is easy. It is not a difficult trek in the Cusco area, although it is a route of ascents and descents, it implies some physical effort, for that our guides will be there to assist you.
Due to weather conditions, the Salkantay Trek is closed from January 31 to March 31, outside this date range, the hike is open and has the best conditions to enjoy it.
If it is possible if you have previous knowledge of the route and you can carry all your equipment; it can take you more time according to your physical condition; the most advisable is to do it with our experienced guides, besides we have exclusive camps, and you will only carry what you need.
The ancient Inca Trail 4 Days, originally part of the Inca Road system interconnecting the Inca Empire. This classic trek hike through diverse scenery. The Salkantay Trek, on the other hand, is more strenuous and famous for its mountain scenery.
|Inca Trail Hike||Salkantay Trek|
|Scenery||Mountains, cloud forest, and Incan Archaeological Sites||Mountains and abundant wildlife|
|Distance||26 miles over 4 days||46 miles over 5 days|
|Difficulty||Moderate (3/5)||Strenuous (4/5)|
|Highest Altitude||13,828 feet||15,000 feet|
|Availability||200 people per day, book in advance. More customizable than Salkantay.||No permit restrictions, an average of 50 hikers per day.|
|Facilities||Mid-range camping or luxury glamping. Porters are available to carry gear.||Options from rudimentary camping to luxury lodges.|
|Best For||Travelers in good hiking shape who value comfortable camps and don’t mind a popular trail.||For experienced, hikers who want to get off the beaten path and value solitude, mountain scenery, opportunities to view wildlife, and a wider range of overnight options.|
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