The Salkantay or Salcantay (6,271 m.a.s.l.) is a snowy mountain belonging to the Vilcabamba mountain range. It is the second highest mountain in Cusco after Ausangate (6,384 m.a.s.l.) Its name means wild mountain. Due to its imposing and isolated appearance, it was highly appreciated by the Incas. They put the name ‘Apu’ which means ‘lord’ or ‘sacred’. This snowy mountain was considered one of the most powerful in the region. They worshiped it to the point that they built Machu Picchu in view of its summit. According to the Andean worldview, mountains provided life and decided planting, harvesting and even natural disasters. Because of this, respect and offerings should be given to him. Today, the inhabitants of the Andes continue to consider the mountains as spirits of importance. In Cusco, Salkantay is held in as much esteem as the Incas did.
SALKANTAY TREK ROUTE TO MACHU PICCHU INFORMATION
- Name: Salkantay Trek.
- Kilometers: 72 kilometers approximately.
- Climate: minimum of less than 0 ° C in the ‘Abra Salcantay’.
- Maximum height: 4,572 m.a.s.l. in the ‘Abra Salcantay’.
- Minimum height: 1,800 m.a.s.l. in the town of Santa Teresa.
- Difficulty: challenging.
- How to do it ?: with a tour or on your own.
- When to do it ?: in the dry season (April to October).
- Places it covers: Mollepata, Soraypampa, ‘Abra Salkantay’, Chaullay, Santa Teresa, Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.
- Physical conditions: it is recommended to be in good physical condition.
- The Salkantay trek is the main hiking alternative to the Inca Trail. More and more tourists are encouraged to arrive at Machu Picchu through this 5-day and 4-night trek through amazing landscapes such as the snowy Salcantay. To fully enjoy this adventure, take into account the following recommendations:
- It is possible to do this trek on your own or with a tour. Due to the difficulty of the adventure, it is recommended to do it with a tourism agency. Otherwise, you must have experience in mountaineering.
- Perhaps the main drawback to this adventure is the “soroche” or altitude sickness. It is advisable to do a previous acclimatization in the city of Cusco.
- Most tourism agencies include the main implements such as tents, food and guide. In case of doing it independently, it is recommended to take everything you need.
- The cold at the foot of the snowy Salkantay is perhaps another of the main difficulties. It is recommended to wear thermal clothing.
- The rainy season (from October to March) is characterized by the highest probability of river precipitation. It is not a good climate for trekking.
- In case you do it on your own, do not forget to book the Machu Picchu Ticket in advance. It is the only way to know the Wonder of the World