The Salkantay Trek is a popular alternative trekking route to reach Machu Picchu. It is named after the magnificent Salkantay Mountain, which is one of the highest peaks in the Peruvian Andes.
The Salkantay Trek is known for its stunning natural landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and challenging terrain. It offers a more adventurous and less crowded experience compared to the classic Inca Trail. The trek typically takes around 4 to 6 days, covering a distance of approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles).
Here are some key features of the Salkantay Trek:
1. Scenic Beauty: The trek takes you through diverse and breathtaking landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, high-altitude passes, deep valleys, lush cloud forests, and remote Andean villages. The highlight is the close-up view of the majestic Salkantay Mountain, which stands at an elevation of 6,271 meters (20,574 feet).
2. Challenging Terrain: The Salkantay Trek involves trekking at high altitudes, with the highest point being the Salkantay Pass at 4,630 meters (15,190 feet) above sea level. The trail includes steep ascents and descents, rocky paths, and varying weather conditions. It requires a good level of fitness and acclimatization to the altitude.
3. Cultural Immersion: Along the trek, you will have the opportunity to interact with local communities, including the indigenous Quechua people. This provides insights into their traditional way of life, customs, and agriculture. You may also visit lesser-known Inca ruins and learn about the region’s rich history and culture.
4. Camping and Lodging: The Salkantay Trek involves camping in designated campsites along the route. Some tour operators also offer alternative options, including stays in eco-lodges or rustic accommodations in local communities. Camping equipment, including tents and sleeping bags, is typically provided by the trekking company.
5. Arrival at Machu Picchu: The Salkantay Trek culminates with a visit to Machu Picchu. On the final day, you’ll take a train from Aguas Calientes to the entrance of Machu Picchu. The trek offers a rewarding and scenic approach to the iconic archaeological site, providing a sense of accomplishment before exploring the ancient city.
It’s important to note that the Salkantay Trek requires proper planning and preparation. Hiring a reputable trekking company or guide is highly recommended to ensure safety, logistics, and compliance with regulations. They can assist with permits, equipment, meals, and knowledgeable guides who will enhance your experience.
The Salkantay Trek offers an adventurous and awe-inspiring journey through the stunning landscapes of the Andes, making it a popular choice for those seeking a challenging and off-the-beaten-path trek to reach Machu Picchu.
The length of the Salkantay Trek is 4 days/3 night or 5 days/4 nights. The Salkantay trek can be booked HERE