There are several ways to get to Machu Picchu, as well as a lot to see and enjoy that wonderful Inca citadel. but what adventurers like best is to take a nice walk and enjoy your trip to Machu Picchu even more. among the most requested adventures is the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. that spectacular adventure is probably one of the most difficult options to get to Machu Picchu.
the difficulty that this wonderful adventure presents. in the first place, it is because Salkantay is the highest Apu(mountain) of Cusco, with 6.271 m of altitude.
Who decides to take this road can observe beautiful landscapes, spend sunsets on the most beautiful peaks of Cusco and witness Alpacas and Condors in their natural habitat, as well as a variety of plants and flowers typical of the region.
Salkantay means Wild Mountain in Quechua language, and it is known as Apu “Lord” due to its elevation and majesty. This Apu is located in the mountain range of Vilcanota, where there are also numerous snow-capped mountains such as Tucarhuay, El Verónica and Huacayhuilca among others. All of them can be seen during the way to Machu Picchu.
To be able to enjoy those majestic Apus, the fauna, the flora and all that this interesting 70 kilometer route offers is much more seductive than it seems, since it is one of the most requested trips to Machu Picchu by visitors.
The Salkantay trek generally takes about 5 days, with a team of experienced and well-organized guides.
First day of Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.
After 7 hours of ascent we arrive at Soraypampa camp, from where we can see Humantay, a turquoise lagoon. There, meals and tents are organized to rest.
After breakfast, begins the ascent to Abra Salkantay, the highest point of the tour. undoubtedly is the most beautiful and extreme, from where the snowy can be observed in its maximum splendor. Then the descent begins to reach the village Chaullay. This is the most difficult day of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.
The next day (third day), begins with a descent to Sahuayaco Beach.
After lunch we continue the walk to Santa Teresa, a tourist town where you can enjoy and regenerate energies in the Thermal Baths of Cocalmayo.
the fourth day
you travel a few kilometers until you reach the hydroelectric station. After lunch, the tour begins again to reach Aguas Calientes, which is at the foot of the Machu Picchu mountain. This is one of the funniest and easiest days during the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.
The fifth and last day of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu.
The trek begins with a bus ride to the entrance of Machu Picchu, or you could also walk nine kilometers up the mountain. What is left of the day is to enjoy the place, before returning to Cusco.
The return is done by train to Ollantaytambo, and bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
The Salkantay Trek has been qualified by the National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine as one of the 25 best excursions in the world. Unlike the Inca Trail, it can be done on its own, without a tour or an experienced guide, as long as you take the following correct precautions.
Recommendations to take into account before starting the trek salkantay a machu picchu.
- Before starting the Salkantay Trek you must reserve the tickets to Machu Picchu, especially if you want to climb some of the mountains.
- The route is the same as with the tour, depending on the capacity of the hiker could take more or less days.
- The ascent begins in Mollepata and it is recommended to bring both food and sleeping equipment for only five days, so as to avoid carrying excessive luggage. Among the necessities you should take: Sleeping bags, shoes, backpack, jacket and trekking pants, hat or cap, canteen with water, personal toiletries, snacks, waterproof jacket, sun block, water purifying tablets and cash.
If you decide to do a Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu through a tourist agency (recommended for your safety), they include professional and experienced tour guides, entrance fees to Machu Picchu, breakfast, lunch and dinner, sleeping tents, necessary transportation and horses to transport luggage.
Before starting the Salkantay trek it is advisable to acclimatize in the city of Cusco for one or two days. Due to the altitude, the ideal is to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages or very greasy foods. Although you do not need to be in excellent physical shape, try to do a little exercise before leaving for the Salkantay trek.
Bring warm clothes, no matter what season of the year you travel, being the best time of year from April to October, which is the dry and safest time and although the days are sunnier, the nights are cooler.
The difference between doing the Salkantay trek with an agency and doing it independently, not only lies in the price if there is also the possibility of an accident, loss or discouragement in the middle of the road. also, you will have to carry your luggage on your back, while with the tour the horse service is included for the transfer of luggage.
Whatever your decision, enjoy a wonderful Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, do it in an organized and prudent way, and you will be able to enjoy an unforgettable trip and tell your adventures to all your friends.