Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu

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Want to enjoy an unforgettable experience in Peru? The Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu is exactly what you are looking for! Also known as the alternative hike to Machu Picchu, this excursion will take you through some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery, before reaching the iconic Inca city. READ MORE

During the Salkantay trail , you will have the opportunity to explore majestic mountains, green valleys and crystal-clear rivers. The Salkantay trail offers you spectacular views of the majestic Salkantay peak, which rises to more than 6,000 meters elevation. This trek is one of the best alternatives to the Inca Trail, which is why it has become one of the most popular for adventure travellers from all over the world.

The Salkantay trail tour also takes you through ancient Andean villages, where you can learn about the culture and traditions of the local people. The path allows you to have contact with nature and learn more about the way of life of the inhabitants of this region.

Finally, the walk culminates in the citadel of Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders of the world. Here you will have the opportunity to explore this historic citadel and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

What are you waiting for? Book this excursion now and join us on this incredible adventure! The Salkantay trail is a unique experience, which will allow you to experience the best of Peru and enjoy Salkantay in all its glory. You will not regret it! We are waiting for you in Peru!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here is some important information about the Salkantay trail tour and some of our most frequently asked questions.

What is the Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu?

The Salkantay trail is a famous hiking route located in the Peruvian Andes, known for its impressive natural landscape and panoramic views of mountains, glaciers, and valleys. It is a popular alternative to the Inca Trail for reaching Machu Picchu.

Where is the Salkantay located?

The Salkantay is a mountain located in the Andes Mountain range, in the Cusco region of southern Peru, in the Cusco region. Its peak rises to 6,271 meters above sea level, making it the second highest mountain in the region after the snow-capped Ausangate.

What is the highest altitude reached during the Salkantay Trek?

During the Salkantay Trek, the highest altitude reached is approximately 4,650 meters above sea level at the Salkantay Pass. This is one of the highest points on the route and offers stunning views of the snow-capped peaks of the mountain range.

How are the Inca Trail and the Salkantay trail different?

The Inca Trail and the Salkantay Trail are two popular routes that take travellers to Machu Picchu in Peru, but there are significant differences between these trails.

The Classic Inca Trail is a historical route of approximately 43 kilometers that dates back to the time of the Inca Empire. This road follows a pre-Columbian stone trail and crosses beautiful Andean landscapes. The trek takes 4 days and 3 nights to complete. During the hike, travellers pass through impressive archaeological sites such as the Llactapata complex, Runkurakay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Intipata, Wiñayhuayna, the Intipunku or “Sungate” and of course, Machu Picchu.

On the other hand, the Salkantay trail is a 72-kilometer-long alternative trekking route that has become increasingly popular in recent times due to its impressive landscape and the opportunity of seeing the snow-capped Salkantay peak. This trail takes trekkers up to higher altitudes, passing through a high mountain pass of more than 4,600 meters above sea level. The trek takes 5 days and 4 nights to complete. During the hike, trekkers can  enjoy spectacular views of the Andean landscape, valleys, and rivers.

What places of interest can be found along the Salkantay route?

The Salkantay Trail is a popular trek that offers stunning views of the Andes and local culture. Along the way, hikers can visit a number of notable tourist spots, including:

  • Humantay Lake: a beautiful turquoise lake at 4,200 meters elevation, surrounded by stunning mountains.
  • Nevado Salkantay: This is the highest mountain on the trail, with a height of 6,271 meters above sea level. It offers spectacular views of the Andean landscape and is one of the main natural attractions along the trekking route.
  • The Town of Aguas Calientes: also known as Machu Picchu Town, it is the starting point to visit Machu Picchu. This small town offers a wide variety of restaurants, shops and accommodation options.
  • Machu Picchu: one of the most popular tourist places in Peru and all over the world. Machu Picchu is a well-preserved Inca citadel and considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

These are just some of the notable tourist spots along the Salkantay Trail. Hikers can also visit small towns, temples, and ruins along the way, making this trek a rich and diverse cultural experience.

How many days does the Salkantay trail take and how many kilometers are walked in total?

The duration of the Salkantay Trail will depend on the travel agency and the itinerary chosen. In general, the trek lasts between 4 and 6 days, although some treks may take longer. In terms of distance, the Salkantay Trail is a journey of approximately 72 kilometers, which begins in Mollepata and ends in Aguas Calientes, the closest town to Machu Picchu.

During the trek, trekkers will hike through mountainous terrain and climb up to elevations of above 4,600 meters elevation. You will need to be in decent physical condition to complete the trek, although the stunning views and cultural experiences along the way are well worth the hard effort.

It is important to note that the duration of the tour and the distance covered may vary depending on the itinerary of the individual travel agency, the trekking speed of the group and the weather. It is advisable to talk to the travel agency and make sure that the tour meets your needs and expectations.

Is the Salkantay trail route suitable for everyone?

The Salkantay trail route is not recommended for everyone. To undertake the hike, it is recommended that children be over 8 years old, enjoy sports and long walks, and that adults over 60 years of age be in good physical condition. It is advisable for older adults to consult their doctor before embarking on the activity to ensure their safety and well-being during the hike.

What should I pack in my backpack for the Salkantay trail?

For the Salkantay trail, it is recommended to pack a backpack with warm and comfortable clothing, trekking shoes, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, a water bottle, sunscreen, insect repellent, basic medications, and personal documents. It is also important to carry enough cash and a camera to capture the stunning landscapes along the route. It is advisable to review a complete packing list and make sure to bring only what is necessary.

Are there vegetarian or vegan options during the Salkantay trail?

During the Salkantay trail, vegetarian and vegan options are offered to cater to the dietary needs of hikers. However, it is important to inform the agency or guides in advance to ensure that dietary preferences can be accommodated.

Are there toilets or sanitary facilities along the way during the Salkantay Trek?

Throughout the Salkantay Trek, there are bathrooms and sanitary facilities at the campsites and at some strategic points along the trail. However, it is advisable to carry toilet paper and additional personal hygiene products.

At what time of the year is it recommended to do the Salkantay trail and what will the weather be like during the trek?

The best time to hike the Salkantay Trail is during the dry season, which runs from May to September in the southern hemisphere. During these months, the weather is usually dry and cool, making it ideal for trekking. It is also possible to do this trek during the rainy season, which runs from November to March, but the terrain can be difficult and slippery in sections.

During the trek, the weather can vary depending on the altitude. On the lower sections of the trek, the climate is generally hot and humid, while in the higher parts, the climate can be cool and dry. It is important to wear suitable clothing for the rain and cold, as well as for the intense sun. It is possible to experience sub-zero temperatures in some sections at night, so warm clothing is recommended for sleeping.

In general, the weather during the hike is somewhat unpredictable, so it is important to be prepared for different weather conditions. It is advisable to check the weather forecast before you set out and wear appropriate clothing for all eventualities. It is also important to follow the recommendations of the travel agency, guides and local people regarding preparation for the weather and natural hazards.

How difficult is the Salkantay trail and what level of fitness is required?

The Salkantay trail is considered to have a moderate to high difficulty level, so a good physical condition is required to complete the hike. The route involves walking on uneven and steep terrain, so it is important to be physically prepared to face the demands of the tricky terrain.

During the trek, around 72 kilometers are covered, with altitudes ranging between 2,900 and 4,650 meters above sea level. You will walk on average 6 to 8 hours a day, although some days may be longer or shorter than others.

It is recommended that participants have previous experience in long treks and that they carry out prior physical training in order to strengthen their resistance and physical condition. In addition, it is important to adapt to the altitude before starting the trek, so it is recommended to arrive in Cusco a few days beforehand to acclimatize.

It is important to keep in mind that the tour can be demanding, but the beauty of the landscapes and the experience of reaching Machu Picchu make it a unique and unforgettable experience.

Is a special permit needed to do the Salkantay trail ?

A special permit is not required to hike the Salkantay Trail trek. Unlike the Inca Trail, which has a daily visitor limit and requires a special permit from the Peruvian government, the Salkantay Trek does not have this restriction.

However, it is important to note that booking with a travel agency can be beneficial as they offer a variety of services such as guides, transportation, camping equipment, and meals during the tour. In addition, by booking with an agency, you can be sure that they are complying with the necessary regulations and security measures, to make the trek a safe and memorable experience.

What type of accommodation is found along the Salkantay trail?

During the Salkantay Trail trek, tourists can find a variety of accommodation options. In general, two types of accommodation are offered: camping, or accommodation in lodges or domes.

Camping accommodation involves spending the night in tents, which are provided by the travel agencies who organized the trek. The campsites are located in strategic places along the trail and are equipped with basic services such as toilets and showers. In addition, some campsites also offer additional services such as kitchen tents and dining rooms.

It is important to bear in mind that the type of accommodation available on the Salkantay Trail depends on the travel agency you choose and the selected tour package. It is advisable to check with the travel agency before you book to ensure that the accommodation offered meets your expectations.

How far in advance should I book the Salkantay trek?

It is recommended to book the Salkantay trek at least 2 or 3 months in advance, especially during the high season from May to September. This is because demand is high, and spots fill up quickly, especially for large groups. By booking in advance, you will have more options to choose dates and tour providers, as well as the opportunity to get better prices. However, if you have flexibility in your travel dates, it is possible to find last-minute availability during the low season.

Can I do the Salkantay trail if I suffer from altitude sickness?

If you suffer from altitude sickness or mountain sickness, it is important to take precautions before doing the Salkantay trail. It is recommended to spend a few days in Cusco or at similar altitudes before the trek so that your body can gradually acclimate to the altitude. Additionally, staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and walking at a steady pace will help reduce symptoms of altitude sickness.

How many people typically participate in a group during the Salkantay trail?

The size of the groups during the Salkantay Trek can vary depending on the agency or tour selected. In general, groups usually consist of between 8 and 16 people, but there are also options for smaller or private groups for those seeking a more personalized experience.

Where does the Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu start and end?

The Salkantay trail typically starts in Mollepata, a town located about a 3-hour drive from Cusco. The trek’s final point is Aguas Calientes, the town near Machu Picchu, where hikers can rest and prepare to visit the citadel the following day.

Can the Salkantay trail be done by bicycle?

The Salkantay trail cannot be done entirely by bicycle, as some sections of the trail are too steep or restricted for cyclists. However, in certain parts of the trek, hiking can be combined with mountain biking.

Is it feasible to do the Salkantay trail without a tour guide and without a travel agency?

Doing the Salkantay trail without a tour guide and without a travel agency may be possible, but it is important to consider several factors before making this decision.

  • First, the Salkantay trek route is a high-altitude trek that can be dangerous and physically demanding. If you have no experience in trekking or are not in good physical condition, it can be risky to hike the route without an experienced guide who knows the route and potential risks.
  • Second, the route crosses remote areas of the Peruvian Andes, and it can be challenging to find accommodation, food, and water along the way. Travel agencies often offer packages that include camping accommodation and meals, making the logistics of the trip easier.
  • Additionally, the Salkantay trek route passes through areas belonging to local communities, so it is important to respect the customs and culture of these communities. A tour guide can help travelers better understand the local culture and avoid uncomfortable situations.
  • Finally, hiring a travel agency and a tour guide can provide a more enriching and secure experience. An experienced guide can provide information about local flora and fauna, the region’s history, and cultural traditions. Moreover, they can offer support and guidance during the trek and provide assistance in case of emergencies.

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Why do the Salkantay trail with us?

Experience

We have a team of highly trained tour guides with extensive trekking experience on the Salkantay Trail. This means that we will be with you every step of the way, guaranteeing a safe and memorable experience.

Personalized service

At our travel agency we believe in a personalized service adapted to your individual needs. Our team of experts will be at your disposal at all times to help you resolve any questions or needs you may have during your trip.

Accommodations

During the Salkantay Trail trek, we offer accommodation in tents, delicious and nutritious meals, as well as safe and comfortable transportation. Our goal is to make your travel experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Professional guides

All our guides are certified professionals and knowledgeable about the Salkantay Trail and the region as a whole. They will provide you with detailed information about the history, culture and nature in each place that you visit.

Flexible itineraries

We understand that each traveller has different requirements, so our itineraries are flexible and can be adapted to your specific requirements. If you need to change or adjust your itinerary in any way, we will be more than willing to assist you.

Competitive prices

We offer competitive prices, so you can enjoy the experience of the Salkantay Trail without having to worry about additional costs.
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