One of the most incredible ways to visit Machu Picchu is through the Salkantay trek. This 5-day and 4-night trekking route crosses the imposing Salkantay snow and then reaches the Wonder of the World. Would you like to know Machu Picchu with this adventure surrounded by amazing landscapes? Know everything you need to know about the Salkantay trek.
The Salkantay Mountain
What does Salkantay mean?
The Salkantay is a Mountain whose name translated from Quechua would mean «Wild Mountain.» This summit is known as ‘Apu’ (‘Lord’) for its majesty and elevation.
Where is it located?
The Salkantay Mountain is located in the Cordillera de Vilcanota in the Andes of southern Peru. This mountain is the second largest in Cusco, after Ausangate (Mountain of the 7 Colors).
How high is the Nevado Salkantay?
The Salkantay Mountain reaches 6,271 meters above sea level (m.s.n.m.). The trek route that leads to Machu Picchu has its highest point in the ‘Abra Salcantay’, at 4,650 meters above sea level. From there you can see the peak of the snowy mountain.
How’s the weather?
The snowy one itself presents an extremely cold climate (several degrees Celsius below 0º).
The climate during the Salkantay trek, on the other hand, is varied. The intense sun and night cold in the first days are changed by the tropical environment of the last.
What is the flora and fauna like?
The 5 days and 4 nights that the Salkantay trek lasts, you will go through landscapes with a great variety of flora and fauna. Among the species of flowers and plants, the orchid and ichu (Andean grass) stand out. Among the species of birds and animals, it is worth mentioning the llama, alpaca, vizcacha, condor, spectacled bear and the cock of the rocks (national bird of Peru)
How to get to the Salkantay Mountain
The buses from Cusco to Mollepata depart very early from 4 AM to 5 AM and pass through Limatambo, from Mollepata is where the trek to the Salkantay mountain begins, after going up a high pass it is possible to have an impressive pyramidal view of Salkantay, one of the most beautiful snow-capped mountains in Cusco.
From Mollepata itself it takes two days to go down to Huayllabamba and connect with the second day of the Inca Trail.
To get to the Salkantay Glacier it is advisable to take the services of our Salkantay Treck travel agency since we have the necessary capacity to make your vacation come true.
What are you going to see on the way?
On the way you can see herds of Cattle and Sheep, Orchids, bear with glasses, medicinal plants of the Inca eponca, a small variety of birds, fruit trees such as Orange, Papaya, bananas, etc.
Note: The eye of glasses to see it you have to have a bit of luck.
Salkantay Trek 4 Days
Trek through the Salkantay Glacier of 4 days and 3 nights of moderate and strenuous hikes, on steep and rocky trails where there are stone paths from the time of the Incas.
Altitude: 6,600-15,000 feet (2,000-4,600 m),
DAY 01: CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – CRUZ PATA – SORAYPAMPA
Cusco (3, 400 masl): Pick up from the hotel at 4:00 am, and then go to the town of Mollepata where we arrive approximately in a journey of 2:30 hours Approx. After a delicious breakfast our walk begins,
Cruz Pata (3,600 masl): we will camp for lunch around 1:00 p.m. in Cruz Pata place where you can appreciate an excellent view of the mountains, it is important to enjoy the trip.
Soraypampa (3,900 masl): later we continue to Soraypampa, where we will have dinner and camp the first night, on this walk we will be able to appreciate the Salkantay mountain and at around 4:30 p.m. we will arrive in Soraypampa.
At our first camp, the highest and coldest campsite of the trip at 4,000 m (12,750 ft), we will be able to enjoy the beauty of the landscape.
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Time: 8 Hours Approx.
- Distance: 16 kilometers Approx.
- Climate: Cold and Windy
- Maximum Altitude: 3900 meters (20,671 feet) – 4,000 m.
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Camp: Soraypampa
DAY 02: SORAYPAMPA – ABRAS SALKANTAY – WAYRACPUNKO – CHAULLAY
Soraypampa (3,900 masl): We will have a hot breakfast around 5:30 in the morning and begin our hike to the highest pass on this hike (4650m / 15200ft) located between two large mountains.
Abra Salkantay highest point (4, 630 masl): Our walk will be able to fully appreciate the Salkantay mountain, it is impressive what nature and divine creation shows us.
Huayracpunku (4, 000 masl): Salkantay Glacier and Humantay (Salkantay Glacier at 6271m / 20575ft and Humantay at 4120m / 13500ft). From the pass, the views of both the mountains covered with, There will also be a possibility of snow here. We will continue our walk downhill through a beautiful cloud forest and arrive at Huayracpunku, where we will have lunch.
Chaullay (2, 800 masl): After your lunch another begins the walk, in the direction of the jungle until we reach our second camp.
Another possible campsite would be in Colcampata, Following the course of the Salkantay River, in this
Point we will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Andean landscape in the same place we established the camp (2900m approx.).
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Time: 9 Hours Approx.
- Distance: 19 kilometers Approx.
- Climate: Cold, Windy and Warm
- Maximum Altitude: 4630 meters (20,671 feet) – 4,000 m.
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Camp: Chaullay
DAY 03: CHAULLAY – LA PLAYA – SANTA TERESA – HYDROELECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES – HOTEL
Chaullay (2, 800 masl): Very early (6:00 am) we have breakfast and then we start our walk, this day is very attractive because we can appreciate a diversity of flora, medicinal plants, esoteric, orchids, and then go through the following towns.
The beach (2,064 masl): We continue advancing and we arrive at Collpapampa la Playa, in this beautiful place there are thermal baths, where we can enter and enjoy these baths for a period of one hour, and then continue to the beach to enjoy a delicious lunch, we will rest approx. 1 hour and we continue our trip to Santa Teresa, this section will make a transport of the area.
Hidroeléctrica (1, 820 masl): After arriving at Santa Teresa we board another transport to go to Hidroeléctrica, once there we are ready for our last section to reach Aguas Calientes.
Aguas Calientes (2,040 masl): In hydroelectric, we start walking for 3 hours, until we reach Aguas Calientes, take a good bath at the hotel, then we will have dinner and stay in a comfortable hotel.
- Time: 9 Hours, Walking and by car.
- Distance: 32 kilometers Approx.
- Warm weather,
- Maximum Altitude: 2800 masl
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Accommodation: Aguas Calientes Hotel
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 4: MACHUPICCHU
Aguas Calientes (2, 040 masl): We wake up at 4:30 in the morning and then breakfast is at 5:00 am in your respective Hotel
Machu Picchu (2,430 masl): Then you will line up to take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (which are first come, first serve – as a transportation service). The bus takes 25 to 30 minutes to reach the citadel of Machu Picchu (which opens its doors at 6:00 am)
Please be sure to bring your original passport -. The same one you used to book your trip because the park rangers will ask you to (you can get a Machu Picchu stamp in your passport if you like it too).
Your guide will help you find the perfect places to appreciate the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (which will be immediately converted to your Facebook profile photo!).
We present our income from Machupicchu, Passport and enter to start the visit.
Our guide will be waiting for you to start our tour to the sanctuary of Machupicchu and take a guided tour of 2 hours and 30 minutes Approx.
We will visit the different archaeological sites of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, such as the Agricultural Zone, Urban Zone, Tempo del sol, Royal Residence, Sacred Square, Inti Huatana, Sacred Rock and many more points where you will be surprised.
14:30 p.m. or 4:12 p.m. or 19:00 p.m. We will board our train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy.
What to bring for the Salkantay trek?
- Sleeping bags.
- Cap or hat.
- Trekking shoes.
- Trekking backpack.
- Waterproof jacket.
- Trekking pants.
- Poncho for the rain.
- Canteen with water.
- Water purifying tablets.
- Personal hygiene items.
When is the best time to do the Salkantay trek?
The best time to visit Salkantay Glacier and Machu Picchu is in the dry season (from April to October). During those months, there is less chance of rain so the roads are in better condition.
In the dry season, however, the days are sunnier and the nights colder. According to mountaineering experts, June, July and August; It is the best time to do the Salkantay trek.
Tips for the Salkantay trek
- Acclimate one or two days in the city of Cusco before doing the Salkantay trek.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages or foods with a lot of fat. Altitude sickness or soroche in Salkantay and Machu Picchu is one of the greatest difficulties.
- Do a little exercise before the Salkantay trek. You don’t need to be in excellent physical shape, but a little exercise will help.
- No matter what time of the year, wear warm clothes during the Salkantay trek. The nights are especially cold in the first two days.
- Plan even in the smallest detail the Salkantay trek on your own.