Views 17 Feb The Salkantay Trail – an alternative trek to Machu Picchu (Peru)
 |  Category: Must-see Travel Destinations

The Salkantay trek is a great alternative to the classic Inca Trail, perfect for people looking to get off the beaten track and do something a bit different.  It is more challenging than the Inca Trail and also climbs higher, reaching 4,600m above sea level.  The trek that passes beneath the sacred snow-capped mountain of Salkantay. This mountain God (or Apu) was worshipped by the Incas and is still honoured by the local Quechua people.This is a unique opportunity to discover the wildlife and traditional way of life of the Andean peoples in more remote areas. The starting point is the old Inca town Cusco, at 3400 above sea level, in the Peruvian Andes. From here we go by bus to the warm citrus valley near Mollabamba where the trek starts.

Day 1: Mollepata – Soraypampa

We left Cusco at 6am; a Dos Manos representative welcomes us when picking us up at our hostel.  In Mollepata we stop for breakfast and meet the rest of our team.  We are 5 trekkers, plus the guide, the cook and the porters.  We begin the trek and there are some steep climbs but I don’t find it too hard.  we enjoy the lovely views of Nevado de Umantay and a part of Nevado de Salkantay.

The Salkantay Trail – an alternative trek to Machu Picchu (Peru)

As we near our camp for the night the walking gets easier, but it starts to rain so it’s a relief to eventually arrive, even if we were a little soggy!  Luckily the porters had already put our tents up, so all that was left to do was get changed and have dinner.  I’ve noticed that the porters work very hard – they even made flambéed banana for pudding! 

In our after-dinner briefing we are reminded that the following day will be the hardest.  Time to rest and prepare for the challenge ahead.  But camping at 3,900m is cold!  Our guide says it will get down to about -5 degrees Celsius tonight so I put lots of layers on to sleep.

Day 2: Soraypampa – Salkantay – Jungle

This morning we’re woken by a welcome cup of tea in our tent followed by a great breakfast! 
The first part of the day is mostly climbing and is very difficult.  I struggled a little with my breathing, but soon find that keeping a rhythmic pace and taking regular breaks helps.  After a few hours we arrive at the highest point of the trek, 4,640m and are greeting with a stunning view of the huge white pyramid that is the peak of Salkantay.  After taking a group picture, we sat admiring the view and recovering our energy for a while. 

We descend until we arrived in a beautiful valley where we stop for lunch.  By this time we’re all very tired, but we still have around 3 hours to walk until our camp for the night!  We trudge on in autopilot, descending as the landscape around us changes from rugged mountain tops to jungle.  Our camp is right in the jungle – after dark I can hear all kinds of animals and I see lights flicker and discover that they are fireflies!   We enjoy another lovely three-course meal and quickly go to bed. Today was an excellent day but I am truly shattered after nearly 9 hours of walking!

Daily departures throughout the year:

Tags: , , , , , ,

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response

  1. This is an amazing post

Leave a Reply