All you need to know about: The Salkantay Trek

In September 2016 I successfully completed the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu as part of a charity challenge (see the story here). The trek was organised by Choose a Challenge a company that organises fun challenges that you can complete for charity.

In this article I will be giving you a complete guide of what you need to know about this trek in case you are planning to go !

The Salkantay Trek is a 4 to 6 days trek that takes you across the Andes Mountains to the hidden Inca City of Machu Picchu. This trek will take you across a range of landscapes from dry, to rocky, to lush green jungles, and across a range of altitudes, from 1,900 meters to 4,650 meters (the highest point of the trek).

This trek is considered as one of the 25 Best treks in the world, taking you around the Salkantay mountain, which is the one of the toughest and the highest in Peru with a hight of 6,271 meters.

Fun fact : Salkantay in Quechua means ‘Savage’ or ‘Wild’

The Salkantay Trek is usually an alternative trek to the regular Inca Trail, often done when visitors did not manage to get a permit / place for the traditional trail.

If you are hesitating between the two and you are looking for a memorable experience, I believe that completing this trek will give you the best experience in the Peruvian mountains, at the same time challenging but also highly rewarding with incredible views !

So the trail departs from Cusco, from which you take a bus to the start of the trail and then you’ll be trekking through breathtaking mountain passes and valleys until Machu Picchu.

The trek takes between 4 and 6 days depending on you speed and the number of stops. My group and I actually took 6 days because we slept at an additional campsite that some trek guides skip. But the route stays more or less the same !

Trek Grading : Tough – it’s a multi-day trek through diverse eco systems and altitudes (up until 4560m). Several hours of hiking per day. You should aim to be in a good physical shape to make this trek easier.

Salkantay Trek map. credits to

Article Summary

  1. The Itinerary (page 2)
  2. The Accommodation (page 3)
  3. Solo or in group ? (page 3)
  4. When to go ? (page 3)
  5. What to pack ? (page 4)

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