Here’s why you shouldn't miss out on Salkantay Trek - AdventureTripr

Here’s why you shouldn't miss out on Salkantay Trek

Kayva Reddy · July 28, 2022
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Salkantay is a Quechua word that translates as "Savage Mountain."
Salkantay is a Quechua word that translates as "Savage Mountain."

The Salkantay Trail, often hailed as an alternative to the Classic Inca Trail route, attempts to take you off the beaten track and into the scenic wilderness of the Cordillera de Vilcabamba mountain range surrounding Machu Picchu. It's a journey that will undoubtedly be an experience of a lifetime. There are ice-capped summits, glistening alpine lakes, and untrodden gorges filled with rare vicua herds as you climb to 15,090 feet (4,600 metres) above sea level.

The Salkantay Trail is a famous trekking route that connects Cusco, the Incas' ancient city, to the breathtaking wonder of Machu Picchu. The Salkantay trek is 46 miles long and reaches a high point of 15,090 feet (4,600 metres) at the Salkantay Pass. 

The Salkantay trek takes four to six days to complete, but there are extensions available that can turn the adventure into an eight-day adventure through the Peruvian Andes. Salkantay is a Quechua word that translates as "Savage Mountain." Our traditional Salkantay Trek is a tailor-made alternative to the Inca Trail. Off the beaten track, this is a cutting-edge experience for expedition travellers seeking privacy and authenticity.

How to Get to Machu Picchu via the Salkantay trail

Humantay Lake
Humantay Lake

The five-seven day Classic Salkantay trail to Aguas Calientes is the best way to get to Machu Picchu from the Salkantay Trail route. The trail begins in Mollepata and leads to two well-known Inca sites: Llactapata and Machu Picchu. You can also hike up to the Humantay Lake to admire its turquoise blue waters. When you arrive at the Hydroelectric Power Station, you can take a 20-minute train ride to downtown Aguas Calientes or walk for about an hour to the village centre. 

The Classic Salkantay Trail is a difficult hike with significant altitude and climate variations, ranging from cloud forest to lush jungle. The views, on the other hand, are breathtaking.

The Best Season for Hiking the Salkantay Trail

The Salkantay trail is open all year, but we recommend hiking it during the dry months of April to December. The days are warm, approximately 62°F (17°C), and nights and early mornings are cooler, around 40°F (5°C). This route is all about the views of the glacier mountains and verdant valleys that run through the Andes below, and you're much more likely to see them without a cloud in sight during the drier months of April through December.

How to Get Ready

Whatever your fitness level, nothing can stop you from having the hiking adventure of a lifetime if you love the outdoors. But keep in mind that planning ahead of time, at least three weeks before the trip, will make it more enjoyable. Participate in aerobic activities like swimming, cycling, brisk walking, or jogging. Include a brief period of strenuous exertion in your routine.

The Trek's Highlights

Salkantay Trek Sky Lodge
Salkantay Trek Sky Lodge

Cusco- Cusco is the starting point for trips to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Cusco, the Imperial City, is the jewel of the Andes and a must-see stop on any premium tour. It's a Unesco World Heritage site established by Inca kings (in the form of a puma), pilfered by conquistadors, and revered by visitors. It is now perfectly preserved in the archives of time, beautiful and captivating.

Sacred Valley- The Sacred Valley is located to the northwest of Cusco. Hiking is one option for getting there from the Imperial City, but there's also a scenic train ride that takes you through mountains, rivers, and canyons. The Ro Urubama valley is dotted with old colonial towns and charming villages, as well as archaeological treasures. The expressionistic Incan temple-forts of Pisac and Ollantaytambo stand on the outskirts, clad to mountains high up in the clouds. On the full-day tour to Sacimpressey, you will see plenty of most remarkable sights, such as Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero, where you will see great examples of Inca architectural style and get a sense of daily life in this part of Peru.

Humantay Lagoon- The incredible turquoise-water lagoon surrounded by the outstanding Humantay and Salkantay Peaks offers one of Peru's most beautiful views.

Abra Salkantay Pass- At 4630 metres (15190 feet) above sea level, you will come face to face with the sacred Salkantay mountain. Salkantay's elevation is 6271 metres (20574 feet) above sea level, providing a breathtaking view.

Saint Teresa River- The Santa Teresa River, largely untouched by tourism and rarely commercially run, provides the most electrifying and wonderful rafting in the Cusco region.

Machu Picchu- Embedded in a dramatic landscape at the confluence of the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin, the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is one of the world's greatest artistic, architectural, and land-use achievements, and the most significant tangible legacy of the Inca civilization. The mixed World Heritage property, recognised for outstanding cultural and natural values, encompasses 32,592 hectares of mountain slopes, peaks, and valleys enclosing its heart, the stunning archaeological monument of "La Ciudadela" (the Citadel) at more than 2,400 metres above sea level. Machu Picchu was built in the fifteenth century and forgotten when the Inca Empire was successfully invaded by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. The archaeological complex was not known to the outside world until 1911.

Other reasons to go on this adventure

  • If you choose the Salkantay trek, you will encounter far fewer people and will have more time to enjoy the natural beauty and landscape.

  • The Andes make an excellent backdrop for photos before venturing into the jungle to photograph exotic plants and animals.

  • You'll be surprised by the variety of foods available to you during the trek. It's truly amazing to see all of the delectable dishes that the chefs prepare in the middle of the mountains without the use of a conventional kitchen. 

  • You get to see a lot from being up high in the chilly and fresh mountains, walking through the cloud forest, and trekking through the humid outer jungle.

So, if you only do one thing while in Cusco, make it the Salkantay trek. You can see that there are numerous reasons to choose it, and we are confident that you will have an unforgettable experience.

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