The barren landscapes of upper Andean mountains can be deeply spiritual to those who take the time to visit them. The Salkantay (also spelled Salcantay) is the highest peak of the Willkapampa mountains, in the middle of Peruvian Andes. It is located around 60 kilometers from Cusco, from where Machu Picchu is quite close by. This route is very popular among trekkers and hikers who explore the mountains before heading to Machu Picchu. The Salkantay trek is not as explored as the more famous Inca trail.
If you would like to explore this off beat path, you can try Karikuy’s Salkantay Trek, which comes with the options of four or five days. The four day trip is usually taken by those who do not want to trek on the last couple of days, cutting the number of hours. The five day trip requires you to trek through a distance that can be covered by a bus in a few hours, extending the trail by an extra day. Both the itineraries help you discover the wealth of Incan civilization in the jungles and mountains of Peru.
The 5 Day Salkantay Trek starts with traveling to Mollepata, which takes you along beautiful landscapes from your Cusco hotel. Once you have your breakfast at Mollepata, the trek to Soraypampa at an altitude of 3,725 meters begins. After trekking for an hour and half, you return to the camp and get rest for the larger trek the next day, which lets you breathe in some mountain air, as you hike to a point where you can see the snowcapped Salkantay Mountains.
If you are lucky, you might be able to catch a glimpse of small avalanches from a safe distance. Soon, you will begin to descend and and spend the after, evening and night at Chaullay, where the climate is milder. on the 3rd day, you you hike through beautiful valleys and gorges, which are at lower altitudes, and thus abundant in flora and fauna.
The highlight of the trip might probably be the relaxing Cocalmayo thermal baths, where you can warm your bones. On the 4th day, you can either skip one of the places and take a train to Aguas Calientes, or you trek around the place, before beginning the Machu Picchu trek on the 5th. On the 5th day, you will leave to Cusco again, after experiencing the beauty and majesty of the Andes Mountains. Click here to book Karikuy’s Salkantay trek today.
Image 1: Stevage
Image 2: Jesús Mari Rodríguez Pozo