Salkantay is the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range, part of the Peruvian Andes. It is located in the Cusco Region, about 60 km (40 mi) west-northwest of the city of Cusco. It is the 38th-highest peak in the Andes, and the twelfth-highest in Peru. However, as a range highpoint in deeply incised terrain, it is the second most topographically prominent peak in the country, after Huascarán.
Currently the route of Salkantay, enjoys incredible landscapes, such as valleys, hillsides with native vegetation, rivers, rocks, high Andean lakes, animals. the route has a good state of preservation. Reason why it increases the influx of tourists by the route, being the second most quoted by tourists.
The Salkantay is a snow mountain whose name translated from Quechua would mean 'Wild Mountain'. This summit is known as 'Apu' ('Lord') for its majesty and elevation.
The 'Apu' Salkantay is located in the Cordillera de Vilcanota in the Andes of southern Peru. This snowy is the second largest in Cusco, after the Ausangate.
The snowy Salkantay reaches 6,271 meters above sea level (m.s.n.m.). The Salkantay trek route that leads to Machu Picchu has its highest point in the 'Abra Salcantay', at 4,650 m.s.n.m. From there you can see the snow peak.
The snow in itself presents an extremely cold climate (several degrees centigrade below 0º).
It is very sunny during the day, but a cold at night. The temperature falls below 0 ° C at night during the months of June to September. In the season from December to March is very rainy reason why it is not very advisable to go on these dates.
The best time for the weather, to do this walk is during the months of March to September.
The 5 days and 4 nights that the Salkantay trek lasts covers landscapes with a great variety of flora and fauna. Among the species of flowers and plants stand out the orchid and the ichu (Andean grass). Among the species of birds and animals, we should mention the llama, alpaca, vizcacha, condor, spectacled bear and the cock of the rocks (national bird of Peru)
The buses from Cusco to Mollepata depart very early 4 Am to 5 Am and pass through Limatambo, from Mollepata is where the trek to the Salkantay peak begins, after climbing a step up it is possible to have an impressive pyramidal view of the Salkantay, one of the most beautiful snows of Cusco.
From the same Mollepata it takes two days to go down to Huayllabamba and connect with the second day of the Inca Trail.
To get to the Salkantay mountain it is advisable to take the services of our travel agency.
It is an old and remote alternative path to the Inca Trail, it has much more spectacular views and with different ecological levels we will walk among lagoons, impressive snow-capped mountains such as Salkantay and Humantay, crossing rivers and subtropical areas of abundant vegetation and fauna.
The most usual way to do the Salkantay trek is with an organized tour. On the internet (and in the Historic Center of Cusco) there are many tourism agencies that offer this adventure.
The tour starts in the city of Cusco. The agency picks you up by car from your hotel along with the other hikers to the town of Mollepata. Then we ascend for about 7 hours to the Soraypampa camp passing through the Huamantay lagoon. There the tours organize the food and the tent so that the tourists rest.
The walk starts after breakfast. You travel the highest point of the trip in the 'Abra Salcantay'. Then continue downhill to the town of Chaullay, where the cold weather begins to change to tropical. That day is considered the most difficult.
The trek that day is easy. It starts with a descent to the so-called 'Playa Sahuayaco'. After lunch, the walk begins again until the town of Santa Teresa. In this tourist town you can enjoy the Thermal Baths of Cocalmayo. There he spends the night.
That day is one of the most fun trek. It starts with a walk of a few kilometers to the Hydroelectric station. After lunch, the journey continues parallel to the Vilcanota River (and the train track) until you reach the town of Aguas Calientes, at the foot of the Machu Picchu mountain.
That day starts very early with a bus trip to the entrance gate to Machu Picchu. Another option is to walk the 9 kilometers of ascent to the mountain. The rest of the day is dedicated to enjoying the Wonder of the World. The return to the city of Cusco is with a trip by train and bus.
The best time to visit Machu Picchu is in the dry season (April to October). During those months, there is less chance of rain so the roads are in better condition.
The Salkantay trek of 5 days and 4 nights has an approximate cost of USD 360 per person. There are more complete services (better camps, food and train service) that can cost USD 500 per person.
Most tourism agencies offer a discount of between US $ 20 and US $ 50 for minors (between 3 and 17 years old) and university students.
The Salkantay trek has a medium-moderate difficulty. According to the opinion of some tourists, this adventure is more demanding than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.